Thursday, February 20, 2020

6-12 EdTech Coach Weekly Update (Week of 2/21/20)


This week on walkabout, I continued to observe the ELA departments at El Monte and Orosi High School. The written feedback I left led to some great conversations. One of those conversations was with Mr. Baza and Mr. Smyth at OHS. We met for about an hour after school to discuss the ideas I suggested about using Booksnaps to identify and rationalize textual evidence. These two gentlemen planned out a lesson for next week incorporating this strategy for proper use of semicolons. The beauty of this lies in how they adapted the strategy to meet their learning goal. For edtech to be properly implemented, the learning goal must be considered first before thinking of edtech. Stay tuned to see the fruits of their labor. 

As I've observed ELA classes, something I've noticed is the RACE strategy. The RACE strategy asks students to Restate the question, Answer the question, Cite textual evidence to support answer or inference, and Explain or rationalize how the evidence supports their answer or inference. As I learn more about RACE, I've concluded how simple strategies such as Thin Slides, Booksnaps and Iron Chef are great ways to increase student engagement and empower them using the RACE strategy. If interested in seeing how these strategies can support RACE, contact me to schedule some planning time.

On the sketchnoting front, the school in Singapore, inspired by sketchnotes done by COJUSD students, posted their first sketchnotes. Take a look below at the work done on the other side of the world inspired by our students. These sketchnotes come Chatsworth International School in Singapore. 


Teacher Workflow Tips

One of the best ways to implement a new app and strategy is through what I like to call a "student-leader" lesson. It works like this, based on the strategy, put your class into teams of 3-4. On each team, nominate a "captain" or team leader. The team leaders go with me to the Cardinal Innovation Center where I will "train the trainers". I will teach them to teach their teams who to use an app and or participate in a lesson. When the "captains" return, same day or next day, they will train their teams in using the app or participating in a lesson. 

While the captains are out with me, the class size is reduced, and those who stay in the class, can participate in extra practice, intervention and or enrichment. The wisdom behind this is to empower students to be leaders and teach their peers. Students often times learn better from their peers. If you're interested in trying this type of lesson, please contact me.

Being a connected educator and developing a Personal Learning Network (PLN) can transform your practice. Staying up to date on the latest strategies and finding fellow educators to connect with is easier said than done. Twitter has worked best for me in this pursuit, but Facebook Groups are another great resource. The beauty of this is that you don't need to go learn Twitter if you're not already on or familiar with it. Many reading this are already on Facebook and familiar with it. When you're at your kids' sports practice or looking to kill some time, get some quick, free PD.

Take a look at the list of some of my favorite teacher Facebook Groups. Each group is a clickable link to join.

- Teachers Using Google Classroom: Learn tips and tricks for using Google Classroom or, if you have questions, post it and someone will respond. 
- Site Leaders Connect: This is a network for coaches and administrators. If you have questions about leadership and coaching, post here and all are quick to help. Keep a look out for the Insight Interviews which are 15 minute videos where administrators and coaches share stories from their experience. If you'd like to do an Insight Interview, contact me and I will connect you with the moderator (It's my wife).
- The Suite Talk: This group is moderated by New Jersey educator Kim Mattina. It is an offshoot of The Suite Talk podcast and it is a great resource for ideas, tips and tricks for using all of Google in the classroom.
- Materials for English Teachers: This groups posts tons of ideas and resources for ELA teachers.
- Math Teacher Coach - Resources for Math Teachers: This is a great group for finding tips, tricks, ideas and resources for teaching math. 
- Science Teacher Lesson Sharing: If you're looking to learn from science teachers from around the world, this group is the place.
- Jo Boaler's How to Learn Math: Jo Boaler is one of the leading minds in teaching math in the world today. Stay up to date with her latest research and connect with like-minded educators. 
- Khan Academy for Teachers: Looking for ideas for implementing Khan Academy? If so, this is the group for you. 
- World History Teachers: A great group for ideas to engage students in a World History class.
- US History Teachers: A great group for ideas to engage students in a US History class
- The DBQ Project: For nearly 10 years, we have been using DBQs in our classes. This group is moderated by the company from which we get our DBQs.
- Music Teachers: This group discusses topics relevant to music education.
- The Helpful Art Teacher: This group posts a variety of ideas applicable to an art class.
- Global Innovative Language Teachers: This group is a valuable resource for anyone teaching a foreign language or ELD.

Support English Learners with EdTech

YouTube is the world's second most used search engine. You can learn to do virtually anything on YouTube. YouTube is a valuable resource for supporting learning with modern students. For English learners, YouTube has translated subtitles that can help students better access content in English. Take a look at the video below to see how to access the subtitles on YouTube videos. 

For more information on anything in this blog post, please contact me via email or Google Hangouts  at Text me at 559-355-4593. Learn more tips from me and my extensive Professional Learning Network (PLN) by following #cvtechtalk on Twitter and or joining the CVTechTalk Facebook group.

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