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Showing posts from August, 2011

Conversations that Clarify PBL

I had the privilege of working with five different groups of educators on PBL this past summer. There were conversations in each of the trainings that I cherished. One of those conversation occurred with our elementary teachers.

As small groups were brainstorming their PBL topic, I heard a conversation about focusing on counting money. As the conversation progressed, several key questions came up.

How do you convert a theme to PBL?

The teachers started their conversation by choosing a standard that needed time and depth, and couldn't be learned through a one or two day lesson. Then a few of them started talking about learning activities they could do, while others were grappling with converting it into a complex and open-ended driving question.


These conversations helped them realize learning activities were fabulous differentiated instructional activities, but those activities did not make it PBL on its own.

What made it PBL?

PBL was a meaningful challenge that connected to the real …

Internet Safety and Digital Citizenship

In what ways have "personal safety" and "citizenship" changed? How do we respond to those changes?


Expectations of conduct

When I was growing up, there were expectations my parents had of me for my personal safety and development:
Ask permission before going somewhere.Don't talk to strangers. -- (With the exception of my parents/entrusted adult being aware of the conversation.)Ask for help when I need it. Be polite and use good manners.Help others when I can, and add to their lives.These are the same expectations I have of my own children for their interactions in our physical community and our digital communities.

What resources are available to us? 

Tap into resources to start the conversations and learning.
Our district has curriculum from iSafe.Edublogs is an amazing resource for teachers. Not only will they educate us about Internet safety, but they also provide an authentic context for applying it in the real world. See their blogging challenges. You can a…

Effective Leaders Model

Talk about it all you want, and we'll talk about it. Use it, model it, demonstrate it, and we'll give it a try. It won't happen all at once, but it will happen.

Effective Leaders understand Monkey See, Monkey Do

Do you want the focus to shift from a teacher centered classroom to a student centered classroom?

Then focus your staff developments by actually doing what you want to see in the classroom. If a student centered classroom is innovative, engaging, relevant, and motivating, then model it in your "classroom" which is your staff development.

Offer options for them to pick and choose from:
Give them a choice board or a menu to pick and choose their professional development trainings.Try FedEx-ing it: Work collaboratively on a PBL or a student-centered lesson. At the end of the training, you must "deliver it" and bring it back to the whole group. Flip your Professional Development by giving a 2-minute Web 2.0 Smackdown (teachers show their favorite web …