Monday, September 26, 2016

Innovator's Mindset -- Week 2 Reflection

After reading Part 1 of Innovator's Mindset, watching the Hangout, and creating my video reflection,  I'm struck by the question (pg 49):

"Would you want to be a learner in your own classroom?"

I was a student who struggled to enjoy school throughout my childhood. I was often bored and disengaged. It often felt like the content was there but it was up to me to find it interesting, not the teacher's job to make it interesting. It's one of the reasons I became a teacher, but I've often looked out at my tired, disengaged students and thought:

"Would I want to be a learner in this classroom?"

I was making the same mistakes many teachers have made.  We have this curriculum, these standards, and this standardized test, so we have to get through this. That's what I would tell my students. We just have to do this. I was empathetic in a sense. I understood my students' frustration but wasn't really willing to take risks. It seemed scary.

I'm trying to be an educator who thinks of the students first and how to engage them. I've taken risks on inquiry-based projects like Cardboard Challenges, Egg Drop Challenges, K'NEX Challenges, and other STEM problems for elementary students. I've been floored by their excitement.

Because of a fantastic coach last year, we began brainstorming innovative ways to deliver my content. She turned me onto Twitter and Google+ where I saw amazing things teachers were doing with videos they had created. I used Snagit to make my own leveled videos for students to help students complete tasks. They can view as many times as they need to complete tasks and move onto the next level. It was a real breakthrough for me as an educator.

A student approached me last year and wanted to make his own videos. I showed him how using free screen capturing software. Weeks later, he showed me all the videos he had created showing others how to play certain video games. He'd become a teacher!!! I thought, "I should have students teach other students using these video creations."

It's moments like these where I do feel like an innovative educator. I need to work on continuing to reflect on what worked and what doesn't. How can I improve this project to better engage my students? How can I turn a menial task into something profound? I hope I'm getting better at it every year.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Innovator's Mindset Week 2

The first meeting for the Innovator's Mindset meets on their Youtube channel.

 When?
Saturday, Sept 24 (tomorrow morning)
8am MST


Special Guest:
Shawn Clark & Brady Venables



Monday, September 19, 2016

Innovator's Mindset -- Introduction

After reading the introduction to Innovator's Mindset and watching the first Youtube meeting, I'm struck with the idea of creating a culture, within our school community, where educators feel empowered to take risks to foster students' creativity and curiosity. I love the quote:

"Compliance does not foster innovation."

How are we inspiring students to think critically, collaborate with their peers, and develop higher level questions? If we're not tapping into students' natural curiosity and creativity, instead focusing on compliance, students will turn elsewhere to learn. Schools are in danger of becoming the next Blockbuster. They didn't foresee the inevitable and lost out when consumers turned to streaming services. Will our schools become stagnant like Blockbuster, unwilling to change? How do we change the culture of our school community to match the needs of our students?

Friday, September 16, 2016

Innovator's Mindset

The first meeting for the Innovator's Mindset meets on their Youtube channel.

 When?
Saturday, Sept 24 (tomorrow night)
6pm MST


Special Guest:
Dave Burgess
Author of Teach Like a Pirate

 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Innovator's Mindset by George Cuocos

There's an online book study for Innovator's Mindset by George Coucos. I just ordered the book on Amazon and it discusses ways to unlock students' creativity, talent, and curiosity. The book study will run primarily through Youtube and Twitter. Read though AJ Juliani's blog post to learn more:

 http://ajjuliani.com/the-innovatorsmindset-mooc-starting-soon-immooc/

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Global Carboard Challenge

Throughout the month of September, my 4th graders will participate in the Global Cardboard Challenge. During the challenge, students will design and build things out of cardboard to present on Oct 1 on the Global Cardboard Challenge Day.

The inspiration for the Cardboard Challenge comes from a boy named Caine who built his own arcade out of cardboard.

Learn more about the cardboard challenge by following #cardboardchallenge

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Google Certified Trainer

Last spring, I recently earned my Level 1 Google Educator Certification. I'm looking forward to pushing myself to receive my Level 2 Certification at some point this school year (fingers crossed). After the educator certifications, you can become:

- A Google Certified Trainer
- A Google Certified Innovator

Kasey Bell helps us understand what it takes to become a Google Trainer in her blog, ShakeUp Learning. If you want to know more about ANYTHING Google, follow her on a daily basis.