4 ways to jazz up a school exhibition

Going beyond the gallery walk

community based learningExhibition season is upon us!

And as you’re making ready to throw open the doors of your school and welcome in the community, let’s look at a handful of ways to jazz up any school event: by planning your capturing in advance, making interactive takeaways, going off-campus(!) or setting up a digital guestbook.

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Kick off project-based learning with a community event

Hope launches in the Northeast Kingdom

real world project-based learningAs part of participating in the UN’s Global Goals, students at Burke Town School, in West Burke VT, kicked off their service learning projects by inviting their community’s leaders to come to the school and ask for what they needed. What would make West Burke a better place to live? And how could these students help?

Introducing “Project Hope”.

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How to use Google Docs so students talk to you

Using technology to help build relationships

#everydaycourageRemember when you were in middle school? How awkward did you feel, asking a teacher for help with everyone else watching?

Well #everydaycourage is a two-way street.

Laura Botte, 6th grade math educator at Edmunds Middle School, in Burlington VT, shared with us how she’s been using Google Docs to encourage her students to open up about what’s going on in their lives, and how that affects their ability to be present in the classroom. This is how you can use Google Docs so students talk to you.

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3 ways to use Google Forms to streamline your workflow

For exit tickets, student support & action research

use Google Forms to streamline your workflowUsing Google Forms and Google  Sheets together can streamline your process and make all your tasks feel just a little more manageable.

As an educator, it can be a bit overwhelming trying to keep all your different data streams organized, not to mention the finding the time to analyze and interpret that data! Let’s take three examples of how Google Forms can cut down on your paperwork flurries.

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Using digital tools to change student goal-setting and reflection

Measuring how students approach goal-setting in the 5th and 6th grades

Google Tools for personal learning plans

 

Educators at Wallingford Elementary School and Shrewsbury Mountain School, in central Vermont, undertook an action research project measuring how their use of digital tools — specifically Google Docs, Forms and Sites — changed how middle grades students approached setting goals and reflecting on their achievements.

Both schools are 1:1 with MacBooks.

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Managing time in blended classrooms

Shifting the way we manage time to personalize learning in a blended space

blended classroomsIn my former professional life, I had the pleasure and the challenge of managing a large high school library media center. An irony of the job, one that made me smile and cringe, was the volume of the bell which rang every 42 minutes to signal transitions. The speaker in my library was broken and for whatever reason none of us could figure out how to turn it down, so at eight 42-minute intervals throughout each day, a jarring, disruptive, and impossible-to-ignore screech blared.

In a space meant for reflection, quiet and focused learning, deep dives into inquiry, this interrupter literally felt like chalkboard nails reminding us our schedule boxed us in. I share this story because in my quest to consider how access to technology can support personalized learning, I have been interested in how pacing and timing play a role in middle level classrooms.

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G is for Group Device Management

Physical management of tech

aka OMG Where Did All These Cords Come From

management of tech in a 1:1The act of simply registering, storing, charging, keeping track of and distributing apps to devices in a 1:1 environment is a full set of challenges on its own. And so, while we’ll later this week get to the other two important aspects of Group Device Management — Behavior Expectations and Communicating With Families — let’s take a few minutes to tackle the physical realities of suddenly having mumble-hundred pieces of identical technology arrive at your door.

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Technology in the math classroom

technology in the classroom

A 1958 illustration of “the push-button classroom” by Radebaugh. (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

When we first started our work with the Tarrant Institute I was hesitant. I am a math teacher; unless using innovative technology in the classroom means a graphing calculator I had no idea where to start. Everything was new to me, and I have to admit, I was overwhelmed and intimidated by the prospect of how I could embrace technology in my room.

With the support of Tarrant and our technology specialist I took baby steps.

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