Tag Archives: #ISTELitChat

Looking Forward to 2016 by Reflecting on 2015

This past year has been a whirlwind professionally. I delved into the world of #gamification, attended a plethora of conferences expanding connections and teaching ideas. As a teacher, I selfishly love to learn and sharing knowledge with others.

Below are the highlights of the conferences I presented and guest blog posts I wrote in 2015.

Get Your Game On guest blog post for ISTE Project ReimaginED.

Gamification Webinar for ISTE

Your Students Are Your Best Resource for Gamification guest blog post for Classcraft

Utilizing Interactive Notebooks to Support ELLs your Classroom  a workshop for NYS TESOL Annual Conference

Unpacking Race in To Kill a Mockingbird a presentation for Critical Questions in Education Conference in Baltimore, MD.

Tech Based Alternative Assessments in Lieu of Book Reports & 5 Paragraph Essays presented at ILA in St. Louis, MO

Twitter in the K12 Classroom: A Collaborative Tool for Learning Webinar presented for ISTE

Attaining Common Core Reading & Writing Standards with Interactive Notebooks presentation for Long Island LILAC/NRC Conference

And lots more to look forward to in 2016: ISTE, ILA, NCTE and other awesome conferences, EdCamps, and professional development opportunities.

#ISTELitChat is going to be awesome in 2016 with new guest moderators. We meet the last Sunday of each month at 9 PM, just type in the hashtag #ISTELitChat in Twitter to join us.

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy 2016 and look forward to learning, growing, and collaborating together.

 

 

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Twitter in the K 12 Classroom: A Collaborative Tool For Learning ISTE Webinar

As part of the ISTE Professional Learning Series I hosted a webinar on Twitter in the K 12 classroom. Below are the slides to my presentation. Here is a link to the archived webinar. I have compiled additional resources on a Google Doc Some people have requested to see the Parent Permission and Code of Conduct that I sent home for parents and students to sign before beginning the twitter book chats with my middle school students.

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Get Your Game On! #ISTELitChat Talks #Gamification with @BeGeeky 3/39/15 8:30 PM EST

#ISTELitChat Talks #Gamification w/@BeGeeky 3/29/15 8:30 PM EST

After attending EdCampSWCT this past March I was enamored by a session led by Matthew Dandola (@BeGeeky) sharing how he turned a tedious Wordly Wise vocabulary practice workbook into an intriguing story driven, role playing game that seems more Game of Thrones meets Dungeons & Dragons for his middle school students English Language Arts. After extensive research, Dandola chose Classcraft as a platform to create a world outside of his classroom where students craft the stories of their characters through weekly journaling and for bonus points adding Worldly Wise vocabulary for robust narratives about how characters are working together, and sometimes against each other, to earn powers win the game — or face consequences.

As described on Classcraft’s website, to play, each student must choose a character from three different character classes: the Healer, the Mage, or the Warrior. Each has unique properties and powers and is designed for different types of students. These are customizable as the game progresses and can be accompanied by pets. Classcraft is played in teams of five or six students for the duration of the year. This encourages students who might not normally socialize to work together to win the game. All team members benefit from cooperative efforts and learn to consider the needs of others before they take actions in the game. Powers and consequences are customized by the teacher. Participation in class activities is a must to survive.

Whether you are big into gamification or not, you need to join the next #ISTELitChat where we will talk all things #gamification. Learn more from Matthew Dandola’s and other #gamification tools for your classroom.

Questions for #ISTELitChat on #Gamification 3/29/15 8:30 PM EST:

Q1: Introduce yourself, where you are from, and your role in education.

Q2: What does #gamification mean to you?

Q3: What does #gamification look like in your classroom?

Q4: What #gamification applications or tools are you utilizing now to support learning in your content area and students interests in gaming?

Q5: What does one have to keep in mind when designing a game for content area learning?

Q6: How do you get all students to buy into the #gamification aspect of classroom learning?

Q7: What are ways that you envision using #gamification with your students?

Q8: What advice do you have for someone just starting out and interested in bringing #gamification into their  class and content area?

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Igniting #Genius, #Creativity, & #Passion Based Learning In the Classroom

This is my second year that I have incorporated Genius Hour into my middle school English classroom. Every Friday is dedicated to my students’ passion projects. This semester we embark on a Genius Hour project where students must build it, create it, or do something. To spark creativity, build community, and get students excited about genius hour students participate in a variety of STEM based challenges every other month. My students love these challenges and it is always fun to watch their creative thinking and problem solving skills unfold. Here are some of the STEM challenges that my students have completed so far this year.

1. Spaghetti Tower Challenge – Each group gets 20 pieces of raw spaghetti, one yard of tape, one yard of string, and a marshmallow. Students are to build the highest, free standing structure that holds the marshmallow on the top of the tower.

2. Save Fred Challenge – Fred has been spending his summer boating on the great lakes.  However, he’s not too bright (Fred is a gummy worm).  He’s never learned how to swim, and he never wears his life preserver.  The worst has happened!  His boat has capsized and he’s stuck!  Fortunately, his life preserver is in the boat, but unfortunately he does not know how to reach it without falling off and drowning. Using a plastic cup to represent the boat and a gummy life saver to represent the life preserver, students must save Fred using only 4 paper clips.  Students may not touch Fred, the boat, or the life preserver directly with their hands.

3. Sink or Swim Challenge – Students create a boat using tin foil that will hold as many pennies as possible. The boat should float in the water with the pennies and not sink.

4. House Challenge – Students build a house using nothing but 2 sheets of paper, 2 band aids, two paperclips, and two sticks of gum.

Want to know more about Genius Hour?

Mark Your Calendars for Sunday 2/22 #ISTELitChat talking #geniushour with @joykirr 8:30 PM EST 

The awesome Joy Kirr, teacher and My Own Genius Hour blogger,  will be a guest facilitator discussing all things Genius Hour and Passion Projects. Joy facilitates #genius chats on Twitter and blogs extensively about igniting passion in the classroom. She has a wealth of resources regarding genius hour and we hope that you will join us for this twitter chat.

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Five Things to Look Forward to in 2015

Happy and Healthy New Year!!!

Welcome to 2015, there are so many great things in the works for 2015 to share with you in hope that you will join me for some of these professional development experiences.

Number 1

#ISTELitChat happens the last Sunday of each month at 8 PM EST on Twitter discussing all things literacy and technology. As the facilitator of this Twitter Chat, I can attest that the topics are relevant to teachers who are looking to boost literacy and technology in their content area classroom in creative and authentic ways. Our last chat addressed Twitter in the K-12 classroom and the archived chat offers a host of resources and examples. Our next #ISTELitChat will be on Sunday, January 25th at 8 PM EST. I hope that you will join us.

number-2

Have you or are your students reading I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World (Young Readers Edition) by Malala Yousafzai and Patricia McCormick? This is an incredible book about Malala passion for equity in education and her own experiences standing up the Taliban. It offers personal insight how one person can help change the world and make a difference. I currently have my students reading this memoir for their outside reading assignment this January and will participate in weekly Twitter Chats to share their insights, reflections, questions, and understanding. The next Twitter book chats will be Thursday, January 8, 15, and 22nd at 8:30 PM EST. All are welcome to participate in the Twitter Chat using the hashtag #RMS8R.

number 3

Mark your calendars for EdCamp Mville on Saturday, August 29th at Manhattaville College in Purchase, New York to address relevant topics about education today. Edcamp Mville is a free educational conference where participants choose to attend and or present topics important today in classrooms, schooling, and educational policy. All are welcome. The conference is still in the works but if you are interested in attending or presenting please feel free to contact me.

Number 4

July 17-20, 2015 I will be presenting at International Reading Association (IRA) 60th Annual Conference in St. Louis, Missouri. My poster session is titled, “Get Techie With It: Technology Oriented Assignments That Foster The Love of Reading.” The essential question to focus the session is, How can teachers utilize technology in meaningful ways to promote the love of reading?

Learning Objectives include:

Participants will learn more than two dozen technology based projects and assignments (beyond book reports and essays) that encourage student reading and authentic responses to text.

Participants will understand how technology can be utilized to enhance reading and reading responses, differentiate, offer student choice, and promote collaboration.

Number 5

I have been receiving many emails about the interactive foldables that I created for teaching writing that I have blogged about this past year. I am amazed by the positive feedback I received with the dystopian interactive foldable bundle that I put together on TpT. I am putting together a bundle of the writing foldables and will post on TpT later this month.

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