Don't forget to click on Celebrating Piedmont for great photos and news of the weeks (including Ms. Davis and Ms. Marshall as models of love, our Science Olympiad team playing in Ohio, and Social Studies teachers having students play to learn!)
When I was walking downstairs to the cafeteria (you know I love cafeteria lunch, right? If you haven't tried it, you should! Those ladies can cook and they put the love in, too!) I heard "You play too much!" from a girl who was chastising her friend for bothering her. We hear that a lot as teachers (and some of us say it) but it reminded me that in education, one thing I love about Piedmont is we do play a lot- and students learn more because of it!
Precicely because we are passionate about teaching, but we play at Piedmont: We play piano recitals, Lego League, Battle of the Books, academic competitions, Science Olympiad Games, sports... Some schools sit their students in desks all day long. They mistakenly believe that rigor is pushing a pencil, but at Piedmont, we know that rigor is pushing the envelope (Think a scavenger hunt on the field for EOG prep, egg drops and smores in science class , Whirligig, and stop motion movies in combined class STEAM projects, stemball in World Language, Minecraft and living history in Social Studies (in 6th grade, 7th grade and 8th grades! , Angry Birds in math, etc )
One thing I admire about Piedmont teachers is how they have high standards but at the same time make learning fun, even playful. Check here for info about how the 7th and 8th grade teachers did that this week. And check these old posts for a few other ideas from 6th grade and WL. If you want to know more about Gamification in ed check here.
Would you like training on Schoolnet? If so, let me know this week and CMS can come during your planning. Schoolnet training includes how to give autograded tests via schoolnet- scores instantly go into Powerschool. (to see how to do this with Google Drive check here)
Google Classroom Updates
Tech Integrated tools and lesson ideas
Here are 2 articles that were tweeted recently with interesting thoughts on rubrics:
Ms. Newburger and I presented about the media center's makerspace and Piedmont's maker culture at the CMS tech meeting. If you don't know what I mean by our maker culture, think the 6th grade's egg drop designs, the 8th grade civil rights museum installments and this week's 7th grade industrial revolution inventions extravaganza.
This week's links are from a differentiation training I am in right now. It repeats a lot of stuff we are fully conversant in here at Piedmont but it also meshes with our 1:1 initiative in that tech helps teachers truly personalize and differentiate in a way that we could only pretend to do before the days of online playists like Blendspace and learning management systems like Edmodo and Google Classroom:
Click through them and linger on the ones that speak to you:
http://www.educationworld.com/a_issues/chat/chat010.shtml - an interview with Carol Dweck
http://envisiongifted.com/critical-thinking.html - Critical thinking
http://pl.cmslearns.org/toolkit/ - Personalized Learning (tech infused) Clearinghouse
A nice explanation for students about why we differentiate was shared by Sonjateacher here:
"Look around the room. Do we all look exactly the same? Are our voices exactly the same? Do we all like the same things? Do we all behave exactly the same way? Of course not!"
"We are all different. Some of us are really good at reading. Some of us are really good with numbers. Some of us are great artists. Some of us can build amazing things with lego."
"Turn to your neighbor (or partner) and tell him/her something that you are good at. Just like we are all good at things, we all have things that are harder for us to do. Some of us have a hard time listening. Some of us find it difficult to wait our turn. Some of us need help standing in line. Some of us need more help with reading. Some of us don't remember our number facts. And that's okay! We are all different, and that's what makes our classroom such a wonderful place."
"You will see me doing some things differently with different students, because we are all different. And that's okay. Some of you will spend more time reading with me. Some of you will spend more time doing math with me. Some of you will spend more time talking about being a responsible member of the class. And we might even make special rules together for some of us. And that's okay."
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Lisa Gurthie is the PD facilitator at Piedmont IB Middle School. She specializes in tech and arts integration, interdisciplinary holistic education, and unschooling school to reconnect academia to real life. One day she will modernize her "about" page. She curates this blog for the professional development convenience of the teachers at Piedmont, but the editorial comments are her own.