In order to help myself further my education as a Physical Education teacher, I chose to read the book Nice Bike by Mark Scharenbroich. This book was about building relationships with others as well as building others confidence and self esteem. There were three key concepts that held strong throughout the book. These are Acknowledge, Honor, and Connections. I feel as though I do alright in these areas as a teacher, I know now that I can definitely improve in order to build better relationships with my students.
In regards to Acknowledge, I now know how to better acknowledge students and coworkers for what they do in my class and around the school. Rather than thinking about when someone does something good, I will now let them know. This will let the person know that their work is appreciated and will boost their self esteem and confidence. In my eyes, this is a one way ticket to starting a great relationship when someone knows you really do care about their work.
While talking about Honor, the book talks about knowing about what’s important to others. I think that I do an OK job at appreciating things that are important to others, but I do know that I could improve in this area. I know that if someone made me feel as though what I thought was important really wasn’t, then I probably would feel differently about that person and not want to establish a relationship with them. So I know that I need people to really feel as though what they think and feel is important truly is whether I feel that way as well or not. This doesn’t mean that I need to fake my feelings, but rather I need to let that person know that if something is important to them then that’s alright, whether people agree or not.
Connections are one of the most important aspects of being a teacher. The more positive connections I make with others, the better off I will be. Connecting with someone is not just saying hello, but rather trying to get to know the other person and building a positive relationship with them. I know if I have great connections within my school and community, I will have resources that could help me be more successful in the classroom. Also, having connections will allow those on the other end to see me as someone who they could rely on for help and guidance as well which is important as a teacher.
Overall, I would suggest this book to any teacher or coach. It is a great read that reminds people of how to create relationships with those around them and how easy it can be. I myself now have more information on how to be more compassionate and build those relationships with my students and coworkers.
This year Chelsea spent 60+ hours in Conscious Discipline training and countless additional hours implementing the material into our districts K-12 Alternative Program. Chelsea was also able to strengthen her skills with the information learned by leading the OneThing Conscious Discipline Cohort & providing Parenting Series classes with the ES Safe Committee!
Overall Training Objectives- pertain to how we use our data that we send to the State by using the Presidential Fitness Program and/or FitnessGram. Discussion was how we can measure data to improve student level fitness and change our methods to ensure success.
Brain Activity- Shows that students being active before a test will access more of their brain which will lead to better performance in the regular classroom. Even something as simple as walking will improve test scores by stimulating the brain. Perfect example as to why Physical Education throughout the day is so important for education.
Reflection- health literacy and how much media accurately portrays/ influences the decisions we make. How can we give accurate/ believable information to our students that they will remember and use in their lifetime. Presenting real world examples helps gives them an accurate example or what it takes to live a health and long life.
Discussion is always discussed as to how to keep our youth healthy and fit. From new interactive games, to real life curriculum that uses PBL.
DATA TRACKING AND ASSESSMENT IN THE MUSIC CLASSROOM
At the start of this school year, specials teachers were given the assignment of tracking data throughout the coming months on one grade level. Our music team decided to concentrate on first grade – tracking the standard for music vocabulary (high/low, same/different, loud/soft, etc.). I started to read blogs, articles, collaborate with my team, and watch videos about the topic to get a grasp on this massive beast called data tracking. Two of my favorite music educator blog sites are “The Music Room” and “Organized Chaos” from which I will be citing my information.
Here at ESSD we use standards based grading so that has already been set for us. I have learned that whatever grading scale I use to track data it needs to be consistent. When tracking data for first grade I have used 1’s for “emerging”, 2’s for “acceptable”, 3’s for “consistent” and 4’s for “above and beyond”. There is another scale that I did like which used “zero, minus, check, and plus”. These symbols could easily translate into standards based grading.
2. Keep it accessible
I have found that when recording data it is easiest for me to keep it right on my seating chart next to the students’ names. Kids rarely even know when I am tracking data because it is just my regular clipboard with the seating chart, which never alarms them because it looks normal for me to carry that around. I also find it easy to color code my assessments. I have a KEY on the seating chart that shows what the standard is, each in its own color. Pitch is usually in blue, steady beat or rhythm is in red. So when I go to write down the data I use that color for the # 1, 2, 3, or 4 and then I will instantly know which standard that data goes with.
3. Clarify the assessment beforehand
Once I had the organizational systems for grading scale and where to record everything, the rest was a bit easier. The most important thing I did before each individual assessment was to make sure I had a clear idea of what skill I was assessing. It has served me best to write it out in a formal rubric to make the process a lot easier and faster - then I know exactly what I’m looking for. The last thing I need is to be standing in front of a class hemming and hawing over what grade to give a student after they just sang a solo in front of the class!
4. Be consistent
The biggest challenge for data tracking is being consistent. I have to make a point to plan ahead for regular assessments on a variety of skills, using a variety of assessment strategies, so that students have the best opportunity to show you what they can actually do.
I used a lot of quick formative assessments on the smartboard in the form of a game, written assessments, and pulled manipulatives. We also used some solo activities so I could see students’ individual skills on performance. Many times the assessment was a group activity where I could spy the students who were not fully understanding the concept.
No matter how the data came, it has been an eye opener to the wide world of data tracking. I do not feel as overwhelmed about it as I did in the beginning of the school year and look forward to refining it for next year. It has been great to have other music educators to learn from and grab ideas to implement in my classroom.
For my flex learning I read the book “Making the Most of Small Groups Differentiation for All by Debbie Diller. Debbie starts off the book talking about time and listing with sticky notes nonnegotiable parts of the day and how many minutes for each. She talks about 30-45 minutes of whole group reading and about 45 minutes of small group reading. She does talk about the importance of spending 5 minutes at the end of that reading block for reflection. She said to be flexible from day to day. She had detailed schedule for the start of the year in Kindergarten and what the schedule looks like by November and December. She said the small group is so important like exercise is to our body that you have to fit it in. She did say she didn’t recommend meeting with every group every day unless you have another adult in your classroom such as a title teacher or a para. She said if you do have a title teacher or a para between the two of you that then you should meet with every group. The goal for IDR time is to conference with each child one time over a week or two. During those IDR conferences the teacher should be listening to reading, discuss book, and make suggestions about his or her reading and jot down notes so you can remember what you conferenced about. She plans small groups daily to see where they left off from the last time. She starts their group with a familiar read. The book intro she reads the title of the book and then have them share their predictions, then she gives a summary of what the book will be about, tells whether is fiction or nonfiction and talks about any headings, captions or diagrams. Set a purpose for the reading whether it’s characters or something else. She will show them what it should look like and sound like pointing to each word with their finger and tracking print or how your voice should sound to make it sound like the characters are talking. She tells them that she will be listening to see how they sound and not everyone will finish at the same time. Early finishers can go back and reread or jot down a note on a post it such as a new word, connection, or a question they had while reading. She suggests setting a timer for 20 minutes so time doesn’t slip away. During reading let everyone read at their own pace she suggests starting kids at different times to start their reading so they are not listening to someone else. A student that is reading on a second grade reading level she would have them silent read and then will tap for them to read to her. Then she will ask what she has read so far from the book checking for comprehension. Jot down a note about the child’s reading. After reading ask a few questions about the reading. She has a list of questions that promote deeper level thinking instead of basic comprehension questions.
Organizing the importance of having everything you need for your small group at your fingertips to help maximize her time. She keeps her materials in a stacking drawers. She has each drawer labeled with colors she uses red, blue, yellow, green. She keeps her lesson plan in a three ring binder on the table and makes it a priority to keep her small group table clean. She meets with her lowest group every day and her highest group once a week. The rest of the groups that need more support she meets more often than the other groups. Comprehension she uses a glove to show a visual to capture their attention using characters, setting, beginning, middle, and end, and problem and solution. She talks about the use of making anchor charts with your class and hanging them up such as inferring, fiction, nonfiction. Some of her literacy work station ideas are having a classroom library, listening work station, buddy reading work station, Poetry work station, Drama work station, big book work station, writing work station, and a computer work station. Beginning readers should have books with high frequency words and words they already know. You can practice a sight word game before reading for beginning readers. She said you can have them build the sight word with magnetic letters and then mix the letters up and have them build the word again.
This book has given me some new ideas on small group reading before, during, and after the lesson. This book has many options on lesson planning for different levels of readers and if they can do this then they need to move on and start learning this. It mainly focused on time, organization, how she forms groups, how she meets the needs for all groups.
On February 10th I attended a workshop hosted by the Lean Lab. The Lean Lab is a Kansas City-based community that launches transformational education innovations. To date, they have launched 17 ventures, impacting over 8,000 kids in Kansas City and 400,000 kids nationwide. One of the goals of the Lean Lab is to ensure that community members work with entrepreneurs, because they believe the most effective innovations grow from a partnership with those most impacted: parents, teachers, students, and school leaders.
The purpose of my attendance was to further explore design thinking strategies and to work on developing the curriculum for a class that I will be teaching in the 2018-2019 school year. The course is named Innovative Design. I will be co-teaching it with Tony Harman, who was also in attendance at the workshop. Together Tony and I worked through issues we were having with the course by using a design thinking strategy.
Video Related to Design Thinking
Design thinking is a strategy that can be used for the curriculum development of almost any course. However, beyond using design thinking for curriculum development the workshop also introduced Tony and I to new activities that could be used within our new course. Our intention is to guide students to develop new ideas by using the design thinking process.
One of the most worthwhile activities that I participated in during the day was using a Javelin Board to better imagine the course. A Javelin Board is a tool used in design thinking to help people identify their customers / users; the problem; possible solutions, and assumptions. Below is a picture of a blank Javelin Board along with the version Tony and I finished during our time at the Lean Lab. I recommend anyone interested in design thinking to look further into the Javelin Board and other organizers.
The Missouri Choral Directors Association annual conference in Jefferson City featured multiple reading sessions of new and "tried and true" literature, honor choir performances, and interest sessions led by guest clinicians and local educators. Among the many things I attended were a session with the composer of a piece that we performed this fall, and a conducting session led by internationally recognized conductor and author Timothy Seelig.
This is a resource build by the ESSD40 staff for to aid in transforming teaching and learning.
Inspire. Empower. Challenge.
Learning Out loud