Middle schoolers helping locally and globally

The Great Shelburne Pencil Drive

In which we discover a direct link between Shelburne, Vermont and …Ghana?

middle schoolers helping globally and locallyLast week I had a chance to visit Shelburne Community School to see some underwater robotics. It’s one of several stories I walked away with that day that touched my heart and I feel compelled to share.

As we walked around, talking to students about their robots, learning about all the different opportunities students have throughout the year, we were invited into a side room and discovered an entirely different kind of building going on.

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What does innovation look like in Vermont education?

#vted twitter chat, 11/19/15

Two dozen Vermont educators sat down for an hour of their evening to toss around what innovation in Vermont can look like. Here’s what they came up with.

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Blended learning in the math classroom

Where is the tech in math classrooms?

blended learning in the math classroom

Photo by Wes Fryer, CC 2.0

According to recent studies, math teachers, tend to integrate technology into their teaching less frequently than those in other disciplines(1).

What was at the core of these research findings I wondered?  And what do we know about math classrooms here in Vermont?


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What makes for good goal-setting in a PLP?

Life’s four guidelines for goal-setting

what makes good goal-settingIn my experience as a teacher and administrator, I noticed a pattern to goal-setting in my school and classroom. We would do some good goal-setting at the beginning of the year and then at some point during the dark depths of winter I would realize that I was too overwhelmed or embarrassed to try to resurrect them.

There were some notable instances when goals were powerful for students, though.

In those cases I saw the potential of goals to cultivate so many important things in my students: self-direction, a sense of efficacy, and a connection to schooling, to name a few.

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Augmented reality and student identity

Students explore the geography of self(ies)

augmented reality and student identityAn innovative way for students to explore who they are happens in Lori Lisai’s classroom at Lamoille Union Middle School where she works with them to craft an interactive biography through her Geography of Self project.

A bulletin board houses the student self portraits; 8th graders include their 7th grade portraits side-by-side: a visual representation of growth-over-time.

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How to save, edit and share video clips with your students

Part 2: sharing videos in Google Classroom, Drive, and YouTube

ways to share videos with your students

In Part 1, we looked at tools for finding and editing videos to share with your students. But once you’ve found and marked up videos with polls or questions or just a shot of your own sweet self in there, how do you share these videos with students?

Let’s look at three platforms for sharing: Google Classroom, Google Drive and YouTube.

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Tailoring the Emergent Project approach for middle school

Emergent Project approach works wonders in middle school

emergent project approachAn unexpected highlight of my days at the 2015 AMLE Conference in Columbus, Ohio was hearing from young Ohio teacher Noah Waspe. He and his advisors, Sue Griebling and Patti Bills at Northern Kentucky University presented their preliminary research findings about the use of a project approach investigation in his sixth grade classroom.

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Vermont Fest 2015

Heading to the slopes for Vermont Fest

Vermont Fest 2015The lifts are open, but the lure of first tracks is not what is prompting educators from across the state to head to Killington this week. Vermont Fest will be in full effect on Thursday and Friday and educators will be eagerly awaiting the opportunity to exchange ideas and practices around PLPs, goal setting, gamification, student-led conferences and the list goes on.

We are especially proud of our partner educators who have been selected to present at this year’s Vermont Fest.

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How to save, edit and share video clips

Part 1: Finding and editing great videos with your students

how to save, edit and share video clipsFlipping your classroom? Found a great video about 18th century French military history that’s far too long for your students to stay focused on? Looking for great videos to share with students but stymied as to where to even start?

Worried that editing videos takes too much time and technical knowhow? Or possibly a different platform than the one you’re reading this blog entry on?

Let’s jam econo, y’all.

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The Lost Art of Educational Keynoting

Life Legeros, Tarrant Institute for Innovative EducationTwo weeks ago I attended the annual conference of the Association of Middle Level Educators (AMLE). I have been working in middle level education for most of my professional career, but this was my first time at the conference.

Overall, I had a fantastic AMLE experience. I was exposed to some interesting and important research. I was lucky to meet some incredible practitioners and heartened to hear about innovative practices being employed on behalf of young adolescents. I also spent some quality bonding time with my colleagues.

My generally positive experience, however, was slightly marred by what has become all-too-familiar at large education conference: disappointing keynotes.

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