Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Differentiated Instruction Notes

We have a mindset that students need to know how to do things or understand how to do things, but what we really need them to do is be able to understand overarching concepts in which they learn knowledge-based information and are able to create products and "do" something that demonstrates that understanding. Concepts like culture can be studied across subject areas, broken down into smaller parts, and linked to literature, music, social studies, science. We get more bang for our 45-minute class periods when we use differentiated instruction to figure out who is in our classrooms, what you need them to understand, and how you will help them produce the best possible product based upon their current reality and their learning.

I'd like to thank Dr. Wil Parker for your incredible insight and for challenging us to see things through a new lens in order to start to discuss big ideas and changes for the betterment of our students.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Lessons from Strategic Planning

I have the privilege of being a member of our district's Strategic Planning Team in which we are looking five to ten years into the future at what we want for our children in Katy. I am in awe of the people who were chosen to be on the committee, those who will direct the future of education in our district: school board members, directors, principals, teachers, counselors, business leaders, and parents.

What an incredible experience to learn from each other and to all focus on one goal: changing the face of education for our children and becoming a model for others around us.

A few ideas:

  • Adding different venues for learning as well as time frame for learning to make it more indivudualized.
  • Adjusting the way schools "look" to enhance learning experiences.
  • Strategically abandon those programs and projects as well as structures that don't fit with what we need for our students.
  • Utilize individual student footprints for each child so they know how they best learn, what the best environment for learning looks like for them, and how we can best serve them.
  • Implement a Project- and Passion-Based learning experience for our children from elementary school through high school.

    Purely Amazing Experience!

Links to the Right

I have added some of my favorite and new links I have found. I am always looking for information that sparks my interest, and I hope you find something of interest in the links as well.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ready to Roll

  • Saw an awesome video today from Alan November made especially for our school district. Great ideas generated from the video including interesting ways to use podcasting and vodcasting in grades as low as kindergarten! Hooray!
  • I'm excited to put the video and still shots based upon our staff development sessions and activities from the Principals' Institute into an Adobe program that will help me create a movie. :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Great Day!

Had a wonderful day with my team leaders! We discussed the future of education through readings from Disrupting Class, Rigor Redifined, and Teaching Digital Natives. We also became acquainted with the draft of the new mission, values, and guiding principles of the district, and we discussed the work from the Visioning Institute and noted the links between all aforementioned pieces of the puzzle.

It is wonderful to hear the team agree to assist with moving that vision forward into the future for our kids. We discussed the "Exemplary . . . Now what?" situation we find ourselves in, and the readings and hot topics we reviewed provided a new platform for learning this coming year.

So exciting!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Getting ready for the new year!

As my AP and I prepared for the coming year, we were thrilled to have so many new and exciting books and articles to pull from. We will be sharing from Disrupting Class by Christiensen and Marc Prensky's new book about teaching Digital Natives. We are excited to have such forward-thinking authors to guide our work.

Hooray for a new outlook, and hooray for the exciting times ahead!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A few ideas

A few ideas to get us started:
  • Students these days are very different than in the past.
  • The role of teacher will morph into facilitator instead of teller of information.
  • Project-based learning with student choice as the focus is a new way to involve students in real and relevant learning experiences.
  • One of my teachers commented today, "Guided Reading should be guided by student need," not what to teach next on the list.

Exciting Times

I am thrilled to start a blog in order to share my ideas and the ideas of others about the future of education. If you have any ideas, please share as well!