Showing posts from September, 2011

Our first Web 2.0 Smackdown

After experiencing the EdubloggerCon ISTE 2011 Web 2.0 Smackdown , I knew I wanted to see this in our district during professional development. To add to that idea, I read a post by Patrick Larkin , Burlington High School Principal, about their flipping the Smackdown to the beginning of their Professional Development as a preview for their breakout sessions. Our Collaboration Coaches , are just the people to introduce this idea to. They are passionate learners, collaborators, and focus on creating student-centered classrooms. Our version of a Web 2.0 Smackdown Any participants could share whatever tools/resources connecting to lesson improvement, coaching skills, or tech integration. The process: Submit topic and link to your visuals before we meet (collected in a Google Form). On the day we meet, present for 2 minutes live or show a recorded "trailer" for us. After smackdown, we'll vote for one to learn more about. Tools and Resources Here's what th

Bloom's Taxonomy and a Praying Mantis

Several mentioned that even though they knew Bloom's Taxonomy , they hadn't put a Bloom's microscope to their lessons until designing PBL. Once they designed a PBL, they realized a rigor boost in Bloom's Taxonomy was needed. Some rights reserved by Mantid Man Bloom's Taxonomy and a Praying Mantis About ten years ago, I had a third grade student bring a praying mantis to our class, and we placed it in a terrarium. The students were fascinated with it. To capitalize on their interest, I introduced Bloom's Taxonomy for writing research questions about our praying mantis. I gave a simple explanation, then they worked together in small groups to write questions based on Bloom's Taxonomy . They also had some great insight about each level: Knowledge : These are facts that we could just look up and memorize. They used the least amount of "brain-power" on Bloom's Taxonomy.   What is a praying mantis? What does a praying mantis look

Introducing Your Class to Your Blog

Blogging is a fabulous way to connect with an authentic audience. Like everything else, there is a transition process for learning how. Some rights reserved by T Hall Foundations for Blogging Houses need a sturdy foundation to remain standing. Likewise, blogging needs a sturdy foundation of digital citizenship and quality commenting . Digital Citizenship Introducing your class to digital citizenship is the first step. They will learn most of this in the context of blogging. However, setting guidelines is important for safety and netiquette expectations. Resources Sqworl Commenting When it comes to learning about quality commenting , I turn to Linda Yollis . She teaches us to break commenting into two parts: the content and the editing. Here is a summary of some of their tips : Start with a compliment. Add new information, especially facts. Connect with a personal story of how it's relevant to you. End with a question. Proofread. Comment Prompt St

Essential Questions

In my last post, I reflected on a conversation that clarified PBL . When we crafted the Driving Question or Essential Question , the teachers became comfortable with their PBL. What is an Essential Question? The purpose of an essential question is to connect relevance of the main concept or big idea back to the learner. It focuses the learner on what's important. Essential questions are: Thought-provoking, higher level thinking questions, and complicated with more than one answer. Open-ended, interesting, engaging, and focused on the key concepts. What are Driving Questions? I view them as essential questions that drive the PBL, containing the purpose for learning it and the project in one question. I honestly use "Essential Question" as a synonym for " Driving Question " depending on my audience. To set driving questions aside from essential questions, I ask: What real audience could benefit from the solution or answer to the question? How ca