Friday, January 30, 2015

Forging Ahead - The Start of it All

Staying Afloat: 
The beginning of my role as a TLC

"Forging Ahead" By: Gordon Edgar

      As I look back at the past few months, I have made a lot of adjustments and had to learn many new responsibilities in my role as Technology and Learning Coach.  I first must give enormous kudos and thanks to many folks who have provided constant support and feedback to the start of the school year.  Specifically I want to thank Heli Shelley, former TLC at my school for making this transition as easy as possible to walk into. The TIS team of our district, Donna Teuber, Janine Sears, MaryAnn Sansonetti-Wood, Lisa Knoche, Pam Hanfland, and Chuck Holland for their work in the summer and beginning of the year to provide training and physically coming to my work environment to get things organized.  The next group is the TLC family across our district.  We have wonderful people in these positions providing support for teachers and I've enjoyed learning from their experiences about how to best work with my teachers.  


Summer Training:

ISTE and Peer Coaching:  

ISTE Atlanta:  This conference blows me away with it's enormity of innovation on display.  This one conference somehow consolidates all the edtech in the world in one location for four days.  I really enjoyed this experience because of the opportunity to engage with educators and companies working to enhance education to its greatest heights.  I was excited by the opportunity to share my experience with the classroom and how that impacted student learning.  
"Connected Learners" Presentation

I am excited by the connections I made as well as the ones made by my fellow colleagues that attended.  We all came away refreshed and excited by future ideas.  Something in the works by our dynamic duo in the Media Center, Mrs. Swetnam (Media Specialist) and Mrs. Turner (Media Assistant), is making a Video Makerspace.  I look forward to future posts on this work.  We wrote a proposal for ISTE 2015 in Philadelphia on this work.  

Peer Coaching:


Don't let the cheesey book cover fool you.  This is an excellent book by Les Foltos and I highly recommend it for anyone who is working with teachers.  Foltos provides strong strategies on how to help teacher improve and stretch themselves as an educator.  Peer Coaching is not about mentoring and training teachers.  Peer Coaching is teacher driven and is about working alongside and being a support system for teachers on how they want to grow.  Our TIS crew who led our 1st Peer Coaching co-hort over the summer and now into the fall semester has done wonderful work challenging our thinking of how we as TLC's can work alongside teachers in the classroom.  What I have found the most exciting is implementing this approach and the positive response by my teachers.  They are excited about the school year and want to collaborate with myself and our Media Specialist.  I am truly humbled by the opportunity to work with our teachers at BMS and have really enjoyed sharing their great work through this blog.

Stay tuned for Part II as I reflect on the first semester.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Teacher Spotlight: Ms. Reeves 6th Grade ELA

Teacher Spotlight: Ms. Reeves 6th Grade ELA

Today's spotlight showcases the work of Ms. Anna Reeves.  She is a veteran teacher here at BMS and does amazing work with her 6th grade students.  She is currently a part of the Peer Coaching we have going on at BMS where the TLC, Tyler Abernathy, and her are able to collaborate on a more regular basis to plan and reflect on teaching practices.  Here you'll see her work with students using WeVideo.

What are the students doing? 
The students are using WeVideo to make book trailers for a book read independently or with a partner/small group.

What do you hope students accomplish by completing this activity?

I hope that the students are able to produce a trailer that encourages others, even school-wide, to read the book. I hope that working with a partner affords reluctant readers an opportunity to experience success with reading the book and completing the project. I hope that the students will become comfortable with WeVideo so that it can be used in future projects. Lastly, I hope that students begin to develop an appreciation and awareness of intellectual property.

How did this activity tie to your standards?

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.1.A Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.5 Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, images, music, sound) and visual displays in presentations to clarify information.

How did this activity promote student learning?

Students LOVE using technology, looking for images, creating, and incorporating music. Students were required to work through a process prior to working on the WeVideo. Students read and discussed the book, analyzed the plot, looked for appropriate images that were free to use, and cited images and sounds used. The technology component enticed and engaged the students to see the project through to the very end. Many of the students will have their book trailers broadcast on our school news show.

Creative Commons License
Make Common Sense Common (MCSC) by Tyler Abernathy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.