I have the fortune to have a principal that has been interested in personalized learning and who toured a school in the Milwaukee area that has been doing it very well. She has inspired me to learn more about personalizing educational experiences and setting academic goals with my students. I jumped right in this spring and relied upon my understanding of “the CAFE” by Boushey and Moser to help manage the process. I also had the opportunity to attend an “Introduction to Personalized Learning” workshop last spring at our local educational agency (CESA 6 in Turtle Lake, WI). I am excited to share what I have learned with my colleagues over the next few days. I am including my SlideShare presentation and accompanying notes as a resource for those interested in learning more about personalized learning as well. I am by no means an expert but I am definitely journeying down the personalized learning path with my students close at hand.
Click on the following link to download personalized learning notes that you can use to interact with the slide presentation.
Click here to visit CESA 1’s website to explore various videos about personalized learning (both from a student perspective and from that of a teacher).
Are you interested in learning how to identify the core elements of personalized learning? Click here to visit CESA 1’s website to download the personalized learning honeycomb. (Scroll to the bottom of the page where it says “downloadable graphic and matrix.)
Another title for today’s blog post could be “Blending Learning Effectively.” I have been deeply interested in blended learning for the past two years and I must say that I have come a long way in my understanding of how to craft engaging lessons that will help my students think deeply and learn successfully.
At first, I was reactive in my efforts to flip lessons. I had a student that was going to be absent for a significant amount of time due to a major surgery. My principal suggested flipping lessons to help her keep up with the work of her peers. The only thing I could think of was to tape the lessons that I was teaching the rest of the class and later post them on my classroom website. It quickly became apparent to me that I was missing something because as I reviewed my videos, I could see that my lessons tended to “wander.” Could I, let along a student, sum up the learning target in 1 or 2 sentences afterwards?
I began to experiment with different platforms to deliver content. I learned that opportunities to interact to the lesson and draw upon prior knowledge resulted in increased student success. I learned that students performed better when they had the chance to work in cooperative learning groups. I used to think that the sky was the limit in my potential to provide individualized instruction for my students with the use of technology. Perhaps one of the biggest “aha” moments was when I read in John Hattie’s “Visible Learning” book for the first time that individualized instruction has a low effect size (translation-didn’t give much bang for its buck).
I have included some resources here today that I will be sharing with my colleagues that are interested in learning more about blended learning. One of the most powerful and influential books that I have been reading this year is “Visible Learning for Teachers Maximizing Impact on Learning.” If you are familiar with Hattie’s work, you will recognize some of the suggested instructional elements in both the SlideShare and the notes to accompany the presentation.
Click on the following link to access notes that support learning activities that go along with this session: Blended learning notes
Click here to access examples of K-12 flipped lessons to evaluate.
You’re almost done! I first delivered this presentation at the 2014 MN TIES Educational Technology Conference with my co-presenter, Mike Henderson. Click here to access our resources page. You will find a brochure to accompany the presentation in addition to examples of student lessons. (Note: the Layar science and social studies activities are time sensitive and are no longer “active.” If interested in experiencing the lesson through the eyes of a student, just email be at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you current campaigns.)
Enjoy and, as always, if there are any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me or comment below.
I love Debbie Miller. I love the “Two Sisters.” I love Regie Routman. I love Ellin Oliver Keene. Now I am really sounding like I spend a lot of time in first grade surrounded by 6 and 7 year olds! The reality is, I do love what these reading gurus stand for. I love teaching my students to take a book from their book box and move beyond “word reading.” Regardless of reading level, I love to teach young children to dig deeper into their reading. The connections, the questions, the predictions, the inferences that result are exciting. At times, they bring tears of joy to my eyes!
What do you do, however, when you spend time introducing comprehension strategies in a systematic manner and students still “don’t get it?” I have never subscribed to the thought process of “Well, I taught it. It’s not my fault they didn’t get it.” I feel like if they didn’t get it, then I didn’t really teach it. (Not well anyways.) That’s when I go back to the drawing board. I try to come at it in a different way.
I have been excited this year about QR codes. I love using the app “Show Me” on the iPad to create a video that captures my thinking about something. I have been using “Show Me” to model different comprehension strategies. My students scan the QR code during their independent work on writing time and then practice the strategy on their own.
The QR code doesn’t take the place of my direct teaching, however. They are meant to reinforce the correct way to do something. Students can watch the QR codes as many times as they need to get it right.
It has been fun. It has also saved me some time. I don’t feel so much like a broken record this year.
O.k. So the title of this blog may be misleading. Teaching students to deliberately and conscientiously use strategies to understand and remember their reading better takes time. My goal as a curriculum coach, however, is to help simplify information and give teachers a place to start. I created brochures on each thinking strategy to share with colleagues at my school a couple of years ago. Today I would like to share them with you. If you are interested in adding a shared reading component to your day where you teach students to make connections, ask questions, or synthesize information, this is a place to start. The content is inspired by Debbie Miller and her work “Reading with Meaning.”
*Click on a link below to find the strategy you are looking for. FYI-I created these brochures on my home computer using Microsoft Works. Since we do not have that program at school, I scanned each page in order to share them with you.
Much of what I do is on my iPad. My husband (and our school custodian) call me obsessed. Call it whatever you like. My iPad is a tool that just makes sense to me and the opportunities it provides for me to organize, share, and evaluate student work are endless throughout the day. When I learned that our new math program (McGraw-Hill’s My Math) has a mobile app, you could say I was intrigued. I jumped in, and with my students’ help, we were able to figure it out and integrate it into our math workshop. Students have the choice to complete their daily assignments using the traditional paper math journals, or they can do everything digitally right on the iPad. Once you learn the apps ins and outs, it works out pretty well.
The “My Math” program has many digital tools to support teaching and learning (found at http://connected.mcgraw-hill.com). The iPad app is a mirror of what you (or your students) see when logged in. The coolest thing is how you can check each child’s work. They no longer have to come up to you, stand in line, and wait for you to look over their answers. You have the capability to check each and every child’s work without ever having them come to you. The “student review” function allows you to select each child’s account and evaluate their work while they are working. You can catch inaccuracies before they are practiced and ingrained. Pretty cool, huh?
You see the “student review” button on the mobile app as well. I have used it and have been able to see what my students are doing. However, you don’t have the capability of writing on student pages and giving corrective feedback. You do have the ability, however, when you log in to connected.mcgraw-hill.com and click on the student journal. Students will be able to see whatever you write.
I have attached the handout that I prepared to share with staff members at my school. You might find the handout handy if you also use McGraw-Hill’s ConnectEd “My Math” program. Enjoy!
Reflection time…that’s what today offers me. The last month has been bursting with new iPad applications and my students have been loving it. I have been loving it. Our first snow day was the first week of December and I couldn’t help but feel let down. After the roads were plowed and school was back in session, I was greeting my students in the hallway at 8:15 a.m. “Mrs. Rengo,” one little boy said. “There was no school yesterday.” “I know,” I replied. “It was a snow day.” The boy went on to say, “I was so disappointed.” I could relate and that is when I knew that technology not only increases student engagement but teacher engagement as well.
What has been happening in my classroom to keep me so engaged? The answer is simple. AR (Augmented Reality). I had the privilege of attending an iDesign workshop by Naomi Harm. As usual, she delivered a rich presentation. (A link to her blog is found in my blog roll.)
As a first grade teacher, I am accustomed to teaching a skill to a group of 6 and 7 year olds and having some of them “get it” the first time and some not. (Some need even a second, third, or fourth exposure). Aurasma is the perfect remedy for this. I learned that I could transform my word wall and math vocab wall and make it interactive. My students could record videos of science experiments, word work lessons (anything really) and watch them again later.
Once you understand the process, Aurasma is simple to use. It involves capturing a short video, pairing it with a “trigger image,” and then publishing it to a channel to later view on demand. I began by making my own Aurasmas and then moved on to teaching my students how to make their own because I just couldn’t keep up with the demand. Teaching my students how to make their own was one of the best things I have ever done (instantaneous ownership).
Another favorite app of mine is Layar. Layar allows me to take posters that I create using the app Pic Collage and move beyond 2-D. I can add links to YouTube videos and pictures to reinforce a concept.
What was the first thing I made with Layar? Several years ago I made a poster to teach different letter sounds to help students understand bossy e, double vowels, etc. in reading. It was a hodgepodge of hand drawings and clip art but I was pretty proud of it. I thought “What a great way to teach sounds in reading.” That was then and this is now. Now, my students take the amped up version of my sounds poster and use Layar to view different YouTube videos that show reinforce the spelling rules though song. How engaging!
The bottom line is that I now have the tools to help my students practice important skills independently (making the best use of their time AND mine. Yeah!)
(Pictured below: A sound chart and reading strategy poster that I created using Pic Collage on the iPad. I then used Layar to add various videos to illustrate important concepts.)