Join Us for the Educator Development Series on Wednesday!

The Educator Development Series. It’s not just for new teachers!  The series is designed to facilitate learning for teachers who desire to shore up their foundational knowledge and skills. Personally, I am an educator who is always in need of shoring up in at least a couple of areas!

The series is hosted monthly at Cascade Middle School. This Wednesday, choose from a variety of breakout sessions including Elementary Reader’s Workshop, NCTM’s Effective Math Teaching Practices for Secondary, and much more.  Feel free to join us for any part of the series that fits your specific need, or sign up for all of it! This is a voluntary professional development opportunity. Clock hours are available if at least three hours or more of the series are attended throughout the year.

Meeting a Rock Star

A few years ago Eddie Vedder threw me his tambourine during a concert. I like to fantasize that he picked me out of the crowd because my praying mantis-like dance movements caught his eye; in reality I just out-jumped the people around me to snag it spinning in the air above our heads. Still, I felt connected to my musical idol in a way I never had before. (Humor me here.)  Continue reading “Meeting a Rock Star”

The Power of Story: Be the Light

I loved hearing Kristin Ziemke’s keynote about the power of story. During her talk, she said, “If we keep people at the center of what we do, we can make a difference.”

In the spirit of telling our stories, I overheard a conversation that caught my attention today:

A tall man in shorts stood in line in front of me at Starbucks this morning. He looked to be somewhere in his late 50’s. From just behind me another man spoke, “You must be back to work today.”

The man in shorts replied in a tone of drudgery, “Yes, this is my first day back. The four words I hate most are, ‘Welcome Back to School.’ Only two more years left of this.”

My heart sank at his words. I felt an ache of sadness for the man; then in an instant my sadness turned to real concern as I thought of the students who would have to endure his classrooms for the next two years. I screamed silently, “QUIT NOW!! Don’t do this to kids!”

Thankfully, most of our teachers are exuberantly excited to be back with kids! But I wonder, how many of our teachers are where this man is today? Can we intervene with support and hope that will trickle down to students?

Each student deserves and needs hope at school. Hopeless teachers cannot instill hope in kids. It is our moral imperative to rally around each other with hope and optimism for the sake of our students. We need to reach each teacher exactly where they’re at with truth and with hope. And the truth is 100 percent of kids are awesome. (Kristin Ziemke) We might even need to face where we are ourselves and seek help. Principals, coaches, teacher leaders, PLC members, please re-consider Building a Culture of Hope with an eye focused on teachers who need us.

Be the light for a teacher who needs you.

My wish is that my grandson’s teacher will be filled with hope and optimism, and that his classroom will an amazing place where kids are supported, loved, and excited about learning.

Brand New One by One Sessions Involve Kids!

Watch Kids in Action as they Interact and Learn with Sphero, Seesaw, BeeBot Coding and Scratch!

K-2 Seesaw Classroom Observation & 3-5 Seesaw Classroom Observation
Come and see what Seesaw looks like in action!  See how students are able to use Seesaw when given choice in demonstrating their understanding.  

K-2 BeeBot Coding Classroom Observation
Bee-Bot is an exciting new robot designed for use by young children. This colorful, easy-to-operate, and friendly little robot is a perfect tool for teaching sequencing, estimation, problem-solving, and just having fun!  During this session, participants will be able to observe students learning to code and problem solve.  

3 – 5 Sphero Robotics Classroom Observation
Sphero Edu uses app-enabled robots to foster creativity through discovery and play, all while laying the foundation for computer science. Sphero goes beyond code with collaborative STEAM activities, nurturing students’ imaginations in innovative and engaging ways. During this session, we will be able to see students being introduced to the Sphero, and engage in programming to solve a problem using the Sphero.

K-2 Sphero Robotics Classroom Observation 
Sphero Edu uses app-enabled robots to foster creativity through discovery and play, all while laying the foundation for computer science. Sphero goes beyond code with collaborative STEAM activities, nurturing students’ imaginations in innovative and engaging ways. During this session, we will be able to see students being introduced to the Sphero, and engage in programming to solve a problem using the Sphero.

3-5 Ozobot Coding Classroom Observation
Ozobots are miniature smart robots that can follow lines or roam around freely, detect colors, and can also be programmed. During this session, we will be able to see students engage in programming to solve a problem using the Ozobots.  

K-2 Scratch Jr. Coding Classroom Observation & 3-5 Scratch Coding Classroom Observation
Watch kids create their own interactive stories, games and animations using Scratch.

Listen to Students’ Honest Stories of Their School Experiences
Uncovering Hidden Bias
During this session, a panel of high school students will share their stories and experiences living and learning as an EL in Evergreen Public Schools.

Google Summit Coming to Union High in August

Want to learn everything Google from the those in the know? The Digital Bug Washington Google Summit will be held at our own Union High School this summer!

ESD112 describes the event like this:  It’s a day of learning, sharing, and fun that will focus on skills, strategies, and products that make a meaningful difference in classroom instruction. From Google Classroom to Chrome, from Google Docs to Google Sheets, you’ll hear skilled presenters and knowledgeable colleagues discuss ways to make the most of Google’s free products. With a mix of beginner, intermediate, and advanced-level topics, you’re sure to find sessions that fit your interests. Session topics will be posted on the summit website as they become available.

Participants should bring a charged wireless device to the summit.

Early registration of $135 ends July 9th, 2017.  Regular registration, after July 10th, 2017, is $150 and will close on August 2nd, 2017. Register here.

Covington’s Math Teachers: Meeting Their Students Right Where They Are in Their Learning Journey

 Covington’s 7th grade PLC decided to tackle a common problem by collaborating and ultimately creating a “just-in-time” learning experience for their students.  This team of math teachers wanted to figure out how they could support their students in filling in knowledge gaps while still moving forward with the 7th grade math standards.

We all know firsthand that if we aren’t using a subject or chunk of knowledge, we are apt to forget it. With this acknowledgement in mind, the teachers decided to use their PD time to create a data base of videos, notes and practice that students can access any time via ItsLearning and OneNote.

The goal is for students to access this digital resource twice a week for 20 minutes while the teachers meet individually with five-eight students during this work time. While the rest of the class is accessing this “just-in-time” content, the teachers are conferring with students on an individual basis and learning more about each student’s learning journey.