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April 2011 Blog Posts (62)

What are the 'Critical Tools' for Educators today?

This weekend, I invested in a set of Henkel knives.  I am in awe of these knives; I can’t imagine that we have managed to cook without them at all.  This morning, I cut some celery sticks for lunch – and they cut like butter. 

 



Living in a world of metaphors, I thought about how we resource our schools. 

 

Do we always identify and…

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Added by Barb Holden on April 12, 2011 at 10:20pm — No Comments

The Invisible Leader

Sounds like an oxymoron, but all leaders will face the dilemma between the true purpose of leadership (empowering others) and the ego of leadership (getting credit) at least once in their careers.  Admittedly, this is one I have struggled with.  The struggle between humility and ego is one that all leaders must come to terms with.  Being an invisible leader is what we all know great leadership is about, but it can be challenging - even privately - to park our egos and allow others to… Continue

Added by Tom Schimmer on April 12, 2011 at 4:46pm — 1 Comment

Being the Messenger

As a Superintendent, I am often (daily if not hourly) in the position to communicate bad news. For example, early last week we shared information about a troubling incident involving some of our middle school students. Over the last few weeks I have been able to have lunch with the staff at five of our buildings. Part of having lunch was to talk with staff about how the year was going and part was to share the bad news about what the spring will be like as we establish the budget for…

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Added by Scot Graden on April 10, 2011 at 9:31pm — 1 Comment

Scott Adams in WSJ

In this op/ed in the WSJ Scott Adams articulates a number of experiences that chronicle what he regards as the most important, useful lessons he has learned.  It reminded me of an op/ed in the Boston Globe recently (memory failing at the moment) by a Boston College professor who lamented that the students he is seeing today have been deprived of the opportunity to flounder.   One of…

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Added by Chris McEnroe on April 10, 2011 at 10:58am — No Comments

If Teachers Were Treated Like Stars! A Short Story....

Can you imagine what it would be like if teachers were treated like actors, athletes, and singers, hey, even reality tv "stars?" Life would be so different for us.



"Mrs.Smith, Mrs.Smith, can I get your autograph?" She turned and smiled at the young woman running towards her.



"Mrs.Smith", she gasped," I have been following your career for years! I'm about to start teaching myself. She handed Mrs.Smith a copy of her book.



"Are you ready for it, young lady?' she…

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Added by Lisa Mims on April 10, 2011 at 9:00am — No Comments

The Future of Cooperative Learning

In a time of accelerated and massive change, when conventional resources are quickly being depleted, cooperative effort is needed to navigate the “rapids of change.”



ABSTRACT

The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation. Bertrand Russell

Cooperative Learning is one of the best researched fields of classroom based practice in the world. Teachers and researchers across several continents…

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Added by Julie Boyd on April 9, 2011 at 5:01pm — No Comments

Teaching: A Breathing Practice



The majority of the kids I teach are extremely motivated to get into the best college they can possibly get into.  The condition does allow me to make the observation that part of my role as teacher has gravitated toward coaching students into grade profiles, which is a much less complicated job than authentic teaching.  The result has been that teaching practice rarely, if ever,  is the topic of deliberative conversation at my school.  We talk a lot about individuals and program and a…

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Added by Chris McEnroe on April 8, 2011 at 10:07pm — No Comments

Testing, testing, 1-2-3

I spent an hour yesterday working with our Academic Resource Specialist trying to decide exactly which set of scoring results will make the most amount of sense for the battery of standardized tests our students have now completed.

 

One hour.

 

What should be cross-checked with what and which version should be sent to whom?Longitudinal data over how many different data points in which sections from when to when?  Do we err on the side of sharing too much…

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Added by Jon Mitzmacher on April 8, 2011 at 6:00pm — No Comments

Classroom Management is about "Predictability"

The other day I came a cross a tweet that asked what they key to classroom management was.  The first word that came to my mind was predictability.

Now before I explain...a little disclaimer.  This is not about "control" - it's about creating "conditions."  The word management seems to have fallen so far out of favor that it feels necessary to use "air quotes" each time we…

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Added by Tom Schimmer on April 8, 2011 at 5:14pm — 2 Comments

Pay It Forward!

Expert Advisors are now gathering to advise high school students as they create their wikipages around the flatteners based on Thomas Friedman's… Continue

Added by mrsdurff on April 7, 2011 at 10:30pm — No Comments

"We Are One!" A Day of Solidarity, April 4, 2011

They thought we were sleeping. They thought we were lulled into complacency with reality TV, cable television, DVR, fast food, and the latest tech gadgets. They were wrong! Gov. Scott Walker thought no one was paying attention. He thought he could scale back collective bargaining rights of state workers, and no one would notice. Shhhh!



However, the sleeping giant awakened, and proved that America was still the land of the free. I am proud of the teachers in Wisconsin.…

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Added by Lisa Mims on April 7, 2011 at 10:00pm — No Comments

World’s Simplest Online Safety Policy

April 2, 2011 by tomwhitby 

Lisa Nielsen and I co-wrote and cross posted this post.

When it comes to upgrading education to the 21st Century, those who are less supportive of change, often hide behind, or are frightened of acronyms…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on April 7, 2011 at 8:30pm — No Comments

Special Education and 21st Century Learning

Why would we ever believe that anything less than providing for individual needs, interests, abilities – gifts and talents would ever be good enough for all of our children? 



Throughout my career, I have been committed to children and their learning with particular focus on the inclusion of students with special needs.  I didn’t enter the profession intending that inclusion would be a focus in my career – I was blissfully unaware of exclusion. …

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Added by Barb Holden on April 7, 2011 at 12:04am — 1 Comment

The Strength of Being Soft

Over the last few years I have spent a fair amount of time reading the Tao Te Ching, a collection of verses authored by the Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu. Now I have been aware of this book for a long time, however, it's only in the last few years that I've really come to know it, study it, and reflect on the profound messages within it.  It is a very short book - it can be read in one sitting - but the messages last forever.  This is a book written 2500 years ago that is still relevant…

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Added by Tom Schimmer on April 5, 2011 at 5:51pm — 4 Comments

I finally understand architecture?

When crisis mode becomes the norm, you know you have a problem.  When more of what you are doing is reactive instead of proactive, you know you have a problem.  Architecture seems like such a frothy (think latte) thing to be concerned about, but I HAVE A PROBLEM and it has to do with the way teaching space is designed. At my school teachers are not consulted about anything with respect to classroom design.  The guy who decided upon and installed the LCD projector, a wonderful guy, is a handy…

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Added by Chris McEnroe on April 5, 2011 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Sharing Favorite Apps

Recently Brainpop invited educators to share their favorite apps for all mobile devices. They are sponsoring the Mobile Device Sandbox at the Mobile Learning Experience this week in Arizona and will load recommended apps on these devices for conferences attendees to "play with" at the sandbox.



I posted a blog with a copy of the apps I shared and a link to see all the other apps educators shared as well. There were many of my favorites and a few "new-to-me" apps as well.… Continue

Added by Kate Ryder on April 5, 2011 at 12:37am — 2 Comments

EDU422 NPF Blog Post

I read the blog post from "How systems support practices" by Tom Schimmer, the blog post is http://edupln.com/profiles/blogs/how-systems-support-practices. From the article I found that Mr. Schimmer talked about how teachers are failing as teachers in bad schools because they do not have the support system needed to succeed as a teacher in the school. That many teachers aren't bad teachers, they just lack the knowledge… Continue

Added by Nathan Fares on April 4, 2011 at 8:30pm — No Comments

How Systems support Practices



My previous post (Leadership FOR Confidence) emphasized that leaders need to balance the hard and the soft – the structure and the soul – of leadership.  Too much hard and we end up pushing at all costs; too much soft and we feel great about going nowhere.  This is especially true when we consider implementing a new practice, policy, or routine. 

Whenever something new is being implemented, it is important to make sure that the…

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Added by Tom Schimmer on April 4, 2011 at 9:13am — No Comments

EdcampPlano -Registration is Open!

Registration is now open for EdcampPlano which is scheduled for May 14, 2011 at the Sockwell Center from Professional Development in Plano, TX.



Registration opened Friday, April 1st at 6:00 AM and after one full day, the event has secured almost 100 attendees making it a third of the way full with capacity being set at 300. Numerous North Texas school districts will be represented at EdcampPlano and districts as far away as North East ISD in San Antonio, TX will be in attendance as… Continue

Added by Matt Arend on April 3, 2011 at 7:30pm — No Comments

Potential is an opportunity not a guarantee.

As a parent we want our children to live up to their fullest potential.  We do everything in our power to guide their lives and mold their events to allow our children to grow and develop into amazing adults. If they fall short we are there to support them and get them back on track. Throughout their entire childhood, all we can do his hope and pray that they will work to their fullest potential.  Nothing makes a parent more proud than seeing their child working to their fullest…

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Added by Steve Bollar on April 1, 2011 at 3:24pm — 1 Comment

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