Thursday, December 8, 2016

Required Reading -- by country

This is an interesting list describing the required reading for students in 28 different countries. TED Ideas created this list to give readers a chance to "expand your horizons - and your bookshelves." The United States books is To Kill A Mockingbird. Can you guess what the other countries chose? Go to TED Ideas to learn more.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

InnEdCO Presentation Submissions

During Thanksgiving Break, I submitted an application to present at the 2017 Innovative Education Colorado Conference (InnEdCO) in Keystone, CO. All submissions are up for review on the InnEdCO website.

Here are the steps to vote for me:

1) Go to the InnEdCO website

2) Find my application on the first page under Jonathan Almon

3) Click "Review this Session"

4) Fill out the Google Form

Thanks in advance for helping me get out in front of an audience. I've never presented at a conference, so I'm excited for the opportunity!


Monday, November 28, 2016

Educational Readings

Welcome back from Thanksgiving Break!!

It was extremely restful, long weekend for me. It's always good to spend time with family and friends.

After gorging myself on Thanksgiving dinner, I came across a timely post from A.J. Juliani (co-author of Launch) about what we feed our brains as educators. I can appreciate his approach to reading and writing as it applies to the goal setting strategies many teachers discuss with our students. He reads "at least 25 words a day" which allows him to finish a book a week. The idea of setting small goals resonates with me. I can easily read 25 words a day, and this practice will hopefully push me to read more than that most days.

Also, he provides several ways to find books to read, blogs to follow, and podcasts to listen to. It's a great list if you're not sure where to start when finding materials to learn more about the profession of teaching.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Student Feedback

This school year, I'm focusing (we call it our Personal Growth Plan) on providing students with feedback within each lesson, every day. It's a daunting task, so I'm working to collect as many resources as possible to assist me in creating a plan for feedback.

So far, I've listened to a recent episode of the TeacherCast podcast. Within the episode, Jeff Bradbury, Sam Patterson, Jennifer Judkins, and Matt Buchanan discuss:

1) Using Google Apps, specifically, Google Classroom and Google Docs to provide meaningful feedback with the writing process.  These could really be used in any subject area but they focus on writing.

2) Using the Google Add-On, Orange Slice, to create interactive rubrics that can be easily scored.

What other resources are teachers using to provide students with feedback?

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

InnEdCO Call for Presenters

I've had the fortune of attending the InnEdCO (formely TIE) conference a few different times when it was held in Copper Mountain, Colorado. After a hiatus due to the ISTE conference being in Denver last summer, InnEdCO is back in the beautiful Colorado mountain town of Keystone from June 12-15, 2017.

InnEdCO recently released their call for presenters for this innovative conference. You can go to InnEdCO's website to learn more about how to submit an application for review. Applications are due November 28th. I'll be submitting an application with a colleague with the idea of creating a workshop for attendees. Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

3D printer - FlashForge Finder

I recently was lucky enough to have a 3D printer, the FlashForge Finder, through Donor's Choose at the beginning of the school year. Honestly, I didn't have a clue what I was getting myself into with 3D printing. I knew I wanted to give students an opportunity to design, create, and share using a 3D printer because I had seen the amazing objects being shared on Twitter. Also, we had a 5th grade teacher move onto another school this year who had been using a 3D printer for a few years. I felt obligated to carry on the tradition for this year's 5th graders.

FlashForge Finder

Of course, I thought it would easily just plug in and start printing. I was wrong. It was a little difficult getting the printing table aligned and balanced. Make sure to follow the directions completely when leveling it. Also, I had trouble with the PLA plastic not sticking to the printing table after the first couple of prints. I ordered BuildTak adhesive and it took care of the problem.

Here are a few websites/articles to help you get started using any 3D printer. I wish I had read these before I started printing:
Here's an example of some of the amazing objects my 5th graders have designed using TinkerCAD:
Nameplates, Lounge Chair/Swimming Pool, 6-sided Die

Thursday, October 20, 2016

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I recently watched the TED Talk from Emilie Wapnick on why certain people have a hard time deciding on they're true calling.

I know some of us are/were truly dumbfounded when an asked what we wanted to be when we grow up. After teaching for 10 years, I still feel as though I don't know what I want to do when I grow up or don't have a true calling. Emilie calls this "multipotentialities." It points to the fact that many people have numerous interests or passions. Many of us find it difficult to pinpoint exactly one passion to follow over the other.

We should introduce our students to perspectives like Emilie's. It's more important to be passionate and deeply involved in numerous activities or interests than be void of passion at all. What's your take on Emilie's "multipotentialities?"