EPS Academy Offers Real Learning that Translates Directly to the Classroom

Do you need time and support to plan units that your kids will engage in and care about?

Sign up for: Learning Design for the Workshop Classroom, or Supported Unit Planning in PBL / Inquiry

My students have Chromebooks, now what?

Beginners, click here! Past beginner, but need more? Click here

Struggling to reach your at-risk kids?

Develop your skills in supporting students with social-emotional and cognitive learning needs in this session: Structures, Systems, and Routines to Create a Calm Classroom out of Life’s Chaos

Join us on November 20 & 21st at the EPS Academy at Cascade Middle School to get exactly what you need; and earn up to fourteen clock hours doing it!

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OnebyOne 2018!

 OBO-2018

August 14, 15 & 16

SAVE THE DATE!!

Dates have been set and the planning is beginning for OnebyOne 2018!

We want to hear from you! Tell us your hopes and dreams for OnebyOne 2018 here.

Mark your calendars and plan to join the excitement on August 14, 15 & 16th, 2018.

November EPS Academy Registration Open Now

Register now for the November 20 & 21 EPS Academy!

EPS Learning Academy sessions are designed to deepen and refine practice around core areas of work. Learning design sessions will provide teachers with strategies for designing personalized learning experiences for students as well as supported work time for unit planning.  Also included in the academy are sessions on Social Emotional Learning, Number Routines, Seesaw, and Chromebooks in the Classroom.

You won’t want to miss the EPS Un-Conference on November 21st!

At this participant driven event, you will have the opportunity to dig into learning that is meaningful to you.  When you arrive, propose any topic you wish! Topics from participant suggestions will be used and turned into Un-conference sessions. Depending on the suggestions, topics could range from social emotional learning to technology to math, and anywhere in-between! There will be several educators at the Un-conference who are willing and ready to lead sessions. You can come and lead, or just add to your learning, your choice. Looking forward to collaborating with you at the EPS Un-Conference!

EPS Academy is a voluntary professional development opportunity. 14 clock hours will be offered.

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.

Teaching Students How to Call Bull

The University of Washington introduced a popular course this year called something very close to (but slightly more vulgar) Calling Bull. This course was designed to give students the intellectual tools to recognize and address fake news, inauthentic use of data, and pseudo-science.

They developed a companion website (with the same vulgar name) and shared it with the world. They received enough inquiries from secondary school teachers that they created a mirror website that scrubs out (most of) the vulgarity (see they last paragraph below for an explanation of that qualifier). While I don’t personally give a… let’s say darn… about the vulgarity of the original website, having one without the reference to excrement in its title is helpful in the public school arena.

Secondary teachers, especially teachers of contemporary world issues courses, may find the resources on the Calling Bull website helpful.

My favorite resources are the case studies which illustrate real examples of instances where a good bull detector would be helpful for consumers of information to have.

I also like the Tips and Tricks for Spotting and Calling Bull that explain how to approach information

There are also videos of lectures that address such topics as causation versus correlation, the manipulation of visual data, and reproducibility. These videos have not been scrubbed of the vulgarity described above so use with students is not advised. That said, they can still useful to the harder-to-offend teacher who wants to better understand these (and other) concepts as they relate to spotting and addressing bull.

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”

What’s the Work During Modeling?

Having looked at conceptual modeling in science last spring, this might be a good time to consider some questions about instructional modeling in any content.

Instructional modeling of strong and weak work is a key practice for helping our students meet their learning targets. Sam Bennett emphasizes modeling during mini-lessons and catches in That Workshop Book as a way for students to develop as readers and writers.

So what are students expected to do during the time that teachers are modeling? Do students know what they are expected to do? How can we help them get the most out of these minutes? Perhaps we need to engage students in some meta-modeling: demonstrating the thinking and reflective practices that we want students using as they observe us modeling. Metacognition is critical to all phases of learning, including instructional modeling.

Modeling strong and weak work is included as the second strategy of Jan Chappuis’ Seven Strategies of Assessment for Learning. While it is a common practice to show students positive examples of work that is proficient or exemplary, sometimes we forget the value of modeling weak work. Not wanting to point fingers at struggling students, we might avoid sharing examples of student work that needs improvement. But in order to help students notice and be able to articulate the differences between strong and weak work, we need them to observe, discuss, and make comparisons for themselves. The act of comparing and identifying areas to improve becomes the student work during modeling. Two ideas for making modeling weak work a safer activity for students:

  1. Using the teacher’s “work” as a weak example. This provides a safer opportunity for students to examine work critically as they provide feedback to the teacher instead of one another.
  2. Looking at weak work or incorrect responses and asking “Why might an intelligent person have thought ____?” This creates an opportunity for students to be critical and identify misconceptions, while still honoring the thinking of students who might hold those same ideas.

What strategies do you use to help students get the most out of instructional modeling? Please share in the comments below!