Back for another round of workshops focused on the Learner Active Technology Infused Classroom, which is a model we’ve adopted in Bedford. We’ll be working for five days with the folks from IDE Corp, and I’m really looking forward to the time to work with 6 other members of my department and have time to collaborate and plan our units.
Today I focused on the task for a “Transforming Society” unit and the learning rubric for the task. I’ve shared my work via google docs.
This was definitely an easier experience than my summer workshop because I’m more immersed in the BCSD culture and have seen many more models of a LATI classroom, especially from the middle school teachers, who are farther along in their learning with this model.
Here’s the Google Folder with my work (This is just a draft)
Feel free to comment or make suggestions. Thanks.
Here is my presentation for our Middle School/Manhattanville College PDS meeting. This was my first time using Haiku Deck.
We went back to school today, the first time since superstorm Sandy. I’d say 50% of my kids are still without power. After some time to talk about their experiences, they jumped right back in to figuring out why Macbeth wants to kill his best friend, Banquo. I live the resiliency of kids. It’s inspiring.
As part of my introduction to my new district, I’ve jumped right in the instructional coaching model that has been happening at some level for the past seven years. The district is really explicit about the importance of meaningful conversations around teaching and learning, not in pockets or unstructured, but systemic and sustainable conversations and work around their instructional model. So part of this week will be learning the language and methods that are part of the district’s teaching and learning culture.
That’s what today was. I’m not ready to coach my way out of a paper bag on this stuff, but I am enjoying the way it is making me think about teaching once again. So I’d been doing project based assessment tasks and feeling pretty good about myself, then BAM. Time to turn it on its head again. Today’s push was about making our assessment tasks very problem based. But more importantly – unknown in its answer.
It took me a while to grasp it. How can kids really problem solve if the answer already exists?
So, with the help of our coach, Tanya, and my partner, Chris, I went back to my unit on leadership, examined the essential questions and just kept dialing it down – Why? So What? – what was important about leadership that I wanted students to know, and what problem exists around our ideas of leadership. Just getting to this point was work – but amazingly important work driven by powerful conversations that took place all day long.
For context, in my American Lit course, I have a unit on leadership where the performance task will look like this (this is a first draft)
It’s hard to believe that a single choice we make in checking a box on piece of paper or clicking a lever in a voting booth may determine our lives over the next year, four years or even our entire life. Yet the choice of who leads you or I is one we often take for granted and participate in without much thought. Our leaders may determine the way we behave, how we spend our money or the places in which we work, but we are often not informed enough to make good decisions on who we want to lead us.
This is not only an issue for Fox Lane students choosing a class president, but the issue of leadership affects people all over the world – as evidenced by the Arab Spring movement of 2011 or recent elections in France and Greece during the European economic crisis. If citizens do not believe they are being led effectively, it is their duty to choose new leaders. Without strong leaders, societies could descend into chaos, rebellion or even collapse. Do we have the knowledge and tools to choose effective leaders so that these things do not happen?
Here at home we are faced with deciding the next president of the United States, electing local officials to represent us in Washington or even with the choice of who will be the student body leader. While you might not be able to vote in a state or national election, it is important that we can all have conversations about what it means to be a good leader despite our differences. How can you provide a criteria for voters to choose their next leader? Some possible project ideas are listed below:
- Qualities of a Good Leader Survey
- Pamphlet on Leadership
- Public Service Announcement
Your task is to develop a __________ for your classmates and voters alike that helps them determine if someone is an effective leader. Help them answer questions that get to the root of whether someone can be effective. Your product may be applicable to a school or local election, or may work with any type of leader.
Suggestions? Comments? Here’s a link to the google doc of the task statement for anyone who wants to go in and comment.
It is a bittersweet moment when you have to say goodbye to a group of students. Every year a group graduates and they go off and do amazing things. It’s just part of the life cycle of high school.
What’s weird is when you (the teacher) do the leaving, which is the case for me this summer. Starting this fall, I’ll be the secondary English coordinator for Bedford Central Schools. I’m excited about the chance to work with teachers in more formal and structured ways and really explore how students can be successful in English.
That being said, it’s tough to leave the students who I’ve gotten to know at North. More often than not, you’ve made me learn and laugh and I want to thank for you that.
I feel especially bad that I didn’t get to say goodbye face to face, since you all have made such an impact on me. I wish you the best, whether it’s beyond North or whether you’re coming back for another year.
Here’s a little quote from my man Jack Kerouac:
“remember that book i told you about the first sip is joy and the second is gladness, the third is serenity, the fourth is madness, the fifth is ecstasy.”
Just because I assign summer reading, doesn’t mean you’re the only ones reading. I’ll be updating this post as I read books over the summer. Feel free to make suggestions in the comments section, so I can check out new books.
What I’ve read so far (I know it’s not summer yet, but I started early-I finished these first few in June)
Finding Ultra by Rich Roll – a true story about a man who turns his life around after a long path of self-destruction. He becomes a vegan and starts participating in ultra-ironman distance triathlons.
11-22-63:A Novel by Stephen King – Admittedly, I listened to this one in the car, all 30 hours, but I’ll still add it to the list. Stephen King’s fictional take on JFK’s assassination.
On the nightstand (or what I’m planning on reading-I’m always in the middle of more than one book)
Again to Carthage – John Parker
Creating Innovators – Tony Wagner
The Global Achievement Gap – Tony Wagner
The Book Thief – Markus Zuzak
Readicide – Kelly Gallagher
Critical Encounters in High School English – Deborah Appleman
Stretch: The Unlikely Making of a Yoga Dude – Neal Pollack
The Big Miss: My Years Coaching Tiger Woods – Hank Haney
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed – Jared Diamond
The Pickup – Nadine Gordimer
Anil’s Ghost – Michael Ondaatje
A Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
Fire Season – Phillip Connors
The Innovator’s DNA – Jeff Dyer
The Long Run – Mishka Shubaly
Managing My Life – Sir Alex Ferguson
Run to Overcome – Meb Keflezighi