Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Explain Everything in Spanish II Class

In Spanish II, students created a postcard in Spanish that pertained to a place that they visited.  With Explain Everything's features
  • Easily crop images
  • Layering
  • Multiple text font and size options
  • Exportable as a PDF to Google Drive
the students were able to create their two slide PDF, export it to Google Drive, and share it on Canvas.  All within a 55 minute mod.

The students who were prepared simply copied their paragraph from their Google Doc app into the Explain Everything text boxes.

As a technology integration coach, I presented the features to Explain Everything for about 5-6 minutes using AirServer.  Since this learning opportunity was multiple sessions, I taught the first Explain Everything tutorial and stayed in the classroom for the entire 55 minutes.  The second time I taught the tutorial, but then left the classroom.  The third and subsequent times after that the content teacher Ms. Slusarek taught the entire lesson.  This will be the case when I am in Mrs. Van Gheem-Rottier's room tomorrow.  As the first slide of the video displays, while the instructor is focusing on the content, we have instilled an expectation of creativity which aligns with the four c's.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Flex Mod Visit From Lake Forest (Illinois) High School

Four members of the Lake Forest High School staff joined us today to discover and ask questions as they determine if the flex mod schedule is right for them.

Our schedule was filled with different professionals from our school answering questions.  Everyone who participated in the different panels was open and honest with our visitors about positives and challenges of the flex mod schedule.  Teachers truly stated more positives than challenges.

If you are interested in how the flex mod schedule works, please contact Pulaski High School.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

From Subject Line To Signature: Emailing Correctly in a Professional Educational Setting

As we are in our second full month of the flex mod schedule, students continue to communicate with teachers on a variety of topics.  From missing assignments to acquiring resources, students must provide proper, professional emails.

On Thursday, our homeroom will focus on teaching students the proper way to email teachers to get fast, productive results.

The presentation provides a great video from Forbes magazine on proper business emailing techniques and a specific example of an email conversation between a student and a teacher.  Combined with discussion questions and after participating in this educational setting, students will know the correct aspects of properly writing an email to their teacher.

The motivation for this presentation can be found here.
The presentation template can be found at Slides Carnival.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Flex Mod Small Group Discussion with the Harkness Style of Discussion

For the first time, Mr. Krause, Mr. Rodal, and Ms. Krause (Mrs. Schartner) implemented aspects of the Harkness Style of discussion.  While we didn't have a large wooden table, we were able to have comfortable dialogue among a group of students ranging in number from 10 to 16.

Students focused their discussion on the interactions of the American Government with Native Americans.  Students needed to complete the discussion questions prior to small group.  The students utilized their Google Doc on their personal mobile device or on a class provided iPad.  In addition, main points of the discussion were written down by the students on a paper version.

The discussion questions completed during the conversation.  The TOR is the "Teacher of Record" and this completed sheet is turned into that teacher.

Our classroom set up.  Students used personal mobile devices or classroom iPads to access their Google Document prepared prior to the discussion time.

I was responsible for drawing the conversation path.  Each line represents a speaking opportunity from a student.  The lines are connected from person to person as they spoke.  We created a template that was created for each class.  Once students sat in a specific spot, students wrote their name prior to class.

To be fair, this was the first attempt by the teacher.  The teacher is in the top right corner with all of the lines. 

The very next mod, after reviewing the above discussion diagram, students in the next mod conducted this conversation.  The only change in this discussion would have been more teacher directed dialogue for question number 3.

Overall, having the flex mod "small group" classes provides a tremendous opportunity for a small number of students to discuss topics in an in-depth and engaging way.

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