Written by: Charity Dodd
DSD Professional Development
In Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk - How Great Leaders Inspire Action, he shares his Golden Circle. The Golden Circle has three rings. The outer ring is the WHAT, the middle ring is the HOW and the center of the circle is the WHY. He states that everyone knows WHAT they do, some know HOW they do it, but very, very few know WHY they do what they do. By WHY he means what is your purpose, what is your belief. Why do you get out of bed everyday and why should anyone care? He says inspired people think from the inside out. Inspired people start with WHY.
DO YOU KNOW YOUR WHY?
Think of Balanced Learning as the big umbrella that captures the process of blended and personalized learning by adding in the time for Maker Space, Coding, STEAM, Project Based Learning, and 20% time. The transformation of the classroom will in return start to produce students that are ready to take on the Innovation Era.
How can we change learning mindset? The first thing a teacher needs to do is get rid of the rows. If the classroom is set up in rows facing the front of the classroom, the learner automatically assumes that they will be watching a slide show while the teacher delivers the information. The learner will take notes, sit quietly, and raise their hand when called upon. The photo below is a classic case of setting up a classroom in rows. Even though the school purchased high end flexible chairs the teacher has still aligned them into direct instruction grouping facing the front of the classroom. Take a moment to examine the photo and look at the tape marks on the floor. The tape marks indicate how far the student can travel while sitting in their chairs.
Generating Flexible Classroom Environments
- Mini Lesson with the teacher
- Independent work location
- Digital content area
- 4C's plus 1 collaboration environment
Creativity and Use of Space
Steps to change your space
- Step 1: Take a photo of your current classroom space
- Step 2: Leave your room
- Step 3: Examine your classroom with a colleague or learning coach. Look for items that are needed in the classroom all of the time. Is your desk taking up too much space? What needs to be cleaned up or moved in order to generate flexible seating
- Step 4: Draw up your dream flexible learning environment. Use paper and pencil or an online design tool or app. Make sure to include a mini lesson area, an independent work environment, a place for digital content (I love setting up digital content bars), and a place for students to collaborate and work together.
- Step 5: Generate a list of items you wish to purchase or build for your classroom. Start a Donor's Choose campaign.
- Step 6: Go back into your classroom
- Step 7: Before moving anything, stop and envision the space. Can you see your students learning together? Can you see you teaching a mini lesson instead of whole group? Can you see the mindset change?
- Step 8: Start to move the furniture, clean up the room, and store items that are not needed on a daily basis
- Step 9: Teach in this environment for a few weeks and then reevaluate the classroom design. Is it working? What needs to move? If there is room for tweaking, then go up back up to Step 1 and repeat the process.
Classroom Design Challenge
What to buy at a Garage Sale for the classrooms?
Get the educational discount
How to use the Garage Sale finds within the classroom?
Choice Board Example
Explanation of the Items
Sample Direction Cards
App Dice- Wonderopolis.org
Who doesn't love a Cootie Catcher? Turn the famous paper game into a review game, a vocabulary game, and even an exploration of a new topic game. Here is a Google Folder with a bunch of free cootie catchers to use within your classroom environments.
Create Something, Create Anything
Allow students time to create something, anything that showcases a standard or even their passion. Pull out craft supplies where students can cut, paste, and share their ideas through hands-on items.
Create a Voice QR Code
Jenga Review and Practice
Take a garage sale find, a Jenga Game, and spray paint the pieces. with clear gloss paint. Once the paint dries, write questions and discussion points onto the pieces. Students play the game and review ideas, talk about main concepts, and share out ideas while trying not to tip over the game. (Create a challenge and see which group can get the most blocks stacked)
Another Garage Sale board game find. Give time for the students to learn how to play the game of Taboo. Next, students use the teacher generated Taboo cards to review vocabulary or concepts taught in class. Take the learning to the next level and have the students create their own review Taboo Cards. Download sample Vocabulary Taboo Cards.
Sample Taboo Cards: China Vocabulary Cards
Using craft paper, students create their own paper airplane. Let them see how far it can fly. Ideas on how to tie it into the classroom content.
Complete a QR Code Scavenger Hunt
Make a SMORE!
Learn more about tech tools and choice boards
We are little more than a month away until, the annual "Wild" Side of Blended and Personalized Learning Conference at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. This is not your typical conference but rather an event that showcases work and ideas from educators that are actually implementing blended and personalized learning strategies into the classroom environment.
- Blended Learning- Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3
- Personalized Learning- How to get started and where to go next
- STEM and STEAM Sessions
- Gifted Learning Sessions- Providing rigor and real-world applications Coding in the Classroom- Tech tools for easy code lessons
- Maker Space- If you build it they will come
- SeeSaw 101
- Class Hub- Managing the classroom devices
- Newsela- Differentiated Instruction with current events
- PearDeck- Engaging students during mini lessons
Two Amazing Keynote Speakers
- Brian Seymour from Pickerington Schools
- Dr. John Marschhausen from Hilliard City Schools.
Dr. John Marschhausen, the Superintendent of Hilliard City Schools, will be the Keynote Speaker on June 14th. Dr. Marschhausen will be talking about how personalization can help to educate the whole child. The below video showcases the March 17th visit from Apple Education to the Hilliard City Schools.
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The teachers asked me to demonstrate to the students how to build and construct a digital portfolio using to website creator, Weebly. I knew that the students have not been exposed yet to digital portfolios and I was only given two class periods to work with the students. After planning with the teachers, we came up with the idea to generate Tribe groups.
What's a Tribe Group?
How did the Tribe Groups Work?
What were the different activities?
Next the students logged into PearDeck.com to view the mini lesson prevention. The presentation broke the big idea of building a portfolio into six steps. (See slide examples below).
Since, I was using the program PearDeck. All of the slides and notes went directly to the student's Google Drive. They were able to share out the notes with their Tribe during the sharing session.
Do you have a video that I can watch?
Other post to read
One of my favorite books that I enjoy reading and that I always recommend to educators is Mindset by Carol Dweck. The reason why I love the book is due to the fact that I can use the concepts in the classroom, in my personal life, and with situations that I might find challenging such as wakeboarding, surfing, kiteboarding....
I have taken the concepts from the book and have developed a blended learning lesson plan that can taught in grades 3-12 and even in a professional development workshop. Below you will find an overview of the lesson.
Click here for the complete Lesson Plan and Checklist for Growth and Fixed Mindset
Watch the video below to get a quick glimpse of what the mini lesson would look like with your classroom or professional development workshop.
After 10 minutes, the students will rotate to the Digital Content activity. (Checklist can be found in the lesson plan template. Click here to get your copy)
Click on the download button below to get your copy of the printable articles.
The students will click on the provided YouTube playlist found in the Lesson Plan when they reach this activity. After 10 minutes, the students will rotate to the 4C's Activity.
Click here to get a copy of the lesson plan and the YouTube Mindset Playlist.
Learn and Explore
Jeff Kish - I.T. person determined to help deliver technology into the classroom.
Marcia Kish - Blended and Personalized Learning expert that has been working with schools across the world to transform the traditional classroom into a Blended and Personalized Learning environment.