Saturday, February 23, 2019

OETC 2019 Nuggets of Newness

OETC 2019 was an amazing experience.  I learned so much from colleagues, coworkers, and speakers during the event.  I loved reflecting and reviewing all of the nuggets of newness I mined during the conference.  There were so many amazing sessions as well as inviting vendors in the exhibit hall.  This year, I created a google doc to display all of the learning links that I wanted remember.  So, here, in no particular order, I have shared the most important information acquired during the conference.

To open links in the Google Doc, try right clicking on it and selecting, "Open in New Tab". 

Monday, February 18, 2019

A Byte about Pear Deck

Last Friday, I joined in being trained with other "inspearational" educators to become a Pear Deck Regional Coach!  I was overjoyed to be a part of the group and learn more about the "Peardagogy" from the Pear Deck trainers.  It's now official-I'm a regional coach and I'm happy to #sharethepear.  
During our training, we read articles to learn more detail about the philosophy of the company.  One of the articles I found inspirational included the details highlighted in the picture I shared here:
Source https://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/13/opinion/sunday/are-college-lectures-unfair.html

Active learning is one of the key reasons I know using Pear Deck is valuable and can make an impact on the students with whom teachers work every day.

If you have not yet used Pear Deck, check out this sample deck I made to share.  Kids love how Pear Deck works and as a teacher, you will too!  Each time a teacher publishes a deck with the "Google Slides Add-on", a random 5 letter code will generate and allow students to join via a web enabled device.  The teacher can then use the dashboard feature to monitor student responses and give immediate feedback as students participate in the lesson.

The product allows for all students to have an active role in participating throughout the lesson.  After the lesson ends, teachers can give additional feedback to students via the "takeaways" that are published and stored in the student's google drive.  The takeaways serve as a digital note sheet that collected their answers from the lesson.  This could be used as a study guide for future assessments.


Are you excited to see this in action?  If you are interested in learning more about Pear Deck, click here.  

Saturday, January 19, 2019

An Open Letter to LeBron and the LeBron James Family Foundation


Dear LeBron and The LeBron James Family Foundation,



(my 23rd post on this blog, ironically) Everyone across the world can agree, your Impact is beyond measure!  From the support hugs for Akron's students to trees in Topanga State Park, the amazing things you and your team do daily are inspiring people for life!  I am one of them.

I was first inspired by watching you grow up in Akron, hearing about your stories from the Central Hower High School office and watching highlights from St. VM.  Everyone knew you'd be great, but how great, no one knew for sure...

I then watched you grow as a player for the CAVS!  Our hometown team deserved to have a hometown hero like you-a kid from Akron.

I started hearing more about the foundation as Michelle spoke to our instructional coach group about learning from mistakes and growing up and going away...and coming home too.  I learned more about how you are #morethananathlete with all the philanthropy you and your team are making happen every. single. day.  I don't think there's an award big enough to give you all for the lives you've touched and impacted in special ways throughout your career.

As I started working on the curriculum team for the I Promise School, I learned even more through visits to the LJFF Suite-which is very sweet.  I became even more inspired by the work our team and your team would do to launch the I Promise School...

And that brings me to the staff and student promises.  Our staff and our students take these seriously.  One of  the parts I personally took serious is the message to take time and take care of myself.

I became inspired to focus on being more active.  I have been going to the rec center, meeting with a trainer and working out on a more regular basis.  As a result, I have worked on clean eating and setting goals on becoming more fit.  I think about pushing through the pain as I work out and have gained incredible respect for all the working out you must be doing to stay on top of your game.

I can't thank you enough for all of the support you and the family foundation have provided to me, our staff and most importantly, our students as we move through our first year at the I Promise School.  I am personally and professionally grateful to you in such a heartfelt way I am practically in tears as I write this post.  I truly feel blessed to be a member of the I Promise School Family.

I promise to keep running even when it seems like my tank might be empty.  When the going gets tough, the tough get going...


Gratefully,
Amy Rudd

Sunday, July 29, 2018

I Promise School Year’s Eve


Tonight is School Year’s Eve.  The night before the first official day of school.  I originally wrote about School Year’s Eve in this post over at The Rudder.

I want badly to ignore the butterflies in my stomach and nod off to sleep like I do every night but this night feels different because tomorrow is different.

I am working with the most amazing team of people ever assembled.  And tomorrow we will change the path for 240 students who will be the first classes of students to enter the I Promise School. A school where joint ventures and partnerships are expected as with Akron Public Schools and the LeBron James Family Foundation.  A school that came from a dream of Lebron James, who’s more than an athlete.  He keeps promises to his kids and community and continues to give so much.




As LeBron shared via Twitter, earlier today, the opportunity before us as our students begin tomorrow is “to help them to find their passion, give back to our community and change the world!!”  He’s leading the charge along with his foundation, the Akron Public Schools and an army of partners and volunteers who’ve been quietly working behind the scenes to set the stage for success.

I keep thinking about resolutions for this new year...I think about the ones I wrote on six years ago with my first graders and I want these for our kiddos at the I Promise School too.  As the ball drops toward the launch of a monumental beginning, here are the resolutions I want to share:

Give Thanks and Build the community-Together
Read and Write every day-Together
Use tech to collaborate, critique, create and critically think-Together
Problem solve and Persevere through work-Together
Think and create with the most amazing teachers ever-Together.

I’m ready-except I have to wait...as Principal Davis says, “Let’s get it! Let’s go!”
And I’m ready to step off! #WeAreFamily




Tuesday, June 19, 2018

#Flipgrid Fever


Over the past few days, I've been diving in to work on all things technology as our district hosted a mini-tech conference #APS3T2018 Teach, Tech, Transform.  By all accounts, I would say that most participants agreed that our conference was a success.  We had around 300 participants join in the learning with us.  We were blessed to have Vicki Davis, @CoolCatTeacher, as our Keynote Speaker for Day 1 and @StephanieDonofe for Day 2.  They both shared inspiring stories that were woven through their keynote speeches which tugged at the heartstrings of all who listened.


The @CoolCatTeacher shared great advice with us-a reminder to pick three things and innovate like a turtle-slow and steady wins the race.  Stephanie's great advice was-keep moving forward no matter what.  I will heed the advice and move forward with three things I want to get better at...my first is here-#flipgrid.

The tech tool I'm most inspired by is FlipGrid.  An announcement made yesterday about Flipgrid was that it will now be free to all who use it.  I am sure that this will only be for a short time so get it while it's hot!  I attended a deeper dive session today on how to use Flipgrid in the classroom.  One of the ideas shared was to use it as a reflection tool for students, teachers and parents.  I also like the idea of using as a bucket filler-a way to show kindness to others.


I hope to use it as a way for students to review books that they unearth as they participate in our school-wide after school book club when we start back to school.  I am looking forward to hearing what they have to say as they review and recommend their books to a friend.  It's very exciting to know that we now have a tool that can visually capture students' thinking so they can participate in making their mark on the world.

Thanks to Kristi and Jen for hosting the session and allowing us time to explore the #flipgrid tool.  I know I now have flipgrid fever.  LOL!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Grapefruit-A Fruit in Disguise



From the Wonder of the Day-I wrote a poem about this fruit in disguise...using the wonder to capture ideas and words about the topic of grapefruit.  Thanks to Wonderopolis for always inviting curiosity!

Grapefruit-The Fruit in Disguise

Grapefruit growing wild and free
Discovered in search of the knowledge tree

Seen by people, first given a name
"the forbidden fruit"-eaten in shame


Seems you're a cross between one and another
Pommelo and orange-one was your mother

At first you're a little like grapes-a little bit strange
then as you age you grow bigger and change 

Moving through time and revealed in print
Growing on trees and worth a mint

Tasty and healthy, packing a punch
Grab one from the grocery and eat it for lunch!

Thankful for Hughes and Lunart-our naming guys
Who helped us to learn about this fruit in disguise!




Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Stamp and Letter! Poems from Wonder

A few years ago, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater at the Poem Farm inspired me to write poems about the Wonder of the Day from Wonderopolis.  She called it, "Wallow in Wonder". During National Poetry Month, I am always inspired to write a poem or two but don't always commit to the time it takes.

Since I am on Spring Break, I am straining my brain, shaking off the rust and working to pen some poetry. I read the Wonder of the Day-#2119 How Much Does a Postage Stamp Cost?  I felt inspired to watch and listen to the videos, capture some words in my notebook and then pen a poem...in two voices-the Stamp and the Letter.

Who is better?  Stamp or Letter?

Dear Stamp,
Money spent-
Letter sent-
because of you,
my message goes through
Thank you postage stamp so true,
Thank you Stamp for being you!

Dear Letter,
Without you I'm nothing true
Unspent,
Unsent,
Because of you, I've a job to do-
Me and Postmark- and you go through
Thanks to you, Letter true
Thank you much for being you!

So  now we know
neither is better-
Each needs the other
Stamp and Letter!

Created with pix from Pixabay
and Google Drawings

Monday, March 12, 2018

Google Slides into Home with the Pear Deck Add-on

Are your presentations pleasingly plump with interaction or familiarly flat without any connection?

These days, connecting and being in tune with audience interactivity throughout a presentation is key.   I work to blend the right amount of all things as I get ready to jump into learning with my crowd.  You might ask how?  A tool I've started using is Google Slides with the Pear Deck add-on.
See these examples for how it might work:



Happy "Pearing" teachers!


Code of Kindness

The Code of Kindness!
I decided to create QR codes that inspire thoughts of kindness.   First, I created a table in Word with two columns (one for the QR codes and one for quotes) I chose ten random quotes that had to do with generating kindness.  I then pasted all ten of them in the second column of the table.  Next, I went to this QR code Generator Website http://www.qrstuff.com/ .  

At the site, I chose the data type, pasted the content (one quote at a time) and chose the color.  Then, I downloaded and renamed each one with the first few words of the quote.  I did this so I knew which one I needed to paste in the word table I made.

Some words of wisdom if you choose to do this!  Make sure you edit your quotes before you paste them in the QR creator.   If you edit them after you generate the code, you have to redo the code so you’ll get the edited version.  If you want to choose a different color, make sure you do that before downloading as well.  And finally, light colors are difficult for scanners to pick up so try to use darker colors if you change them from black to color.

Have fun and remember to “Choose Kind!” generate a code of kindness this year!











Saturday, February 17, 2018

Learning about a Person's Reading History

Shared by one of our wonderful presenters
Kim Haskins
#reflective

Last week, I attended a wonderful 2.5 day IB (International Baccalaureate) Workshop on Inquiry Reading and Writing.  On our last day, we were encouraged to write an action plan to say how we would take our new learning and put it in place.  I wrote that I would share some of my new learning with the world!

So, I want to begin by walking through one of the first activities we did as a group-mapping our reading and writing lives...

Our presenters broke us up into two groups-one to write about our journey of reading and the other our journey of writing.

They got us started by playing beautiful, peaceful background music from the piano guys...I made a youtube playlist of their music...so relaxing and wonderful to write to as I journeyed through these memories...
Here's my playlist:

Play it as you write about your reading and writing journey...if you need questions to jog your memory, check out this list of questions:  Reading History

Here's collage pic of how some of our pieces turned out...



and here's how mine turned out...

A common theme among the group who shared around me was the influence of their mothers on their literacy development.  I thought it important to note how parents influence literacy development...and I read facts from this site:  50 Top Literacy Statistics
Here's Stat 6 which talks about a mom's influence in terms of vocabulary development.

Stat # 6  Researchers found that when mothers frequently spoke to their infants, their children learned almost 300 more words by age 2 than did their peers whose mothers rarely spoke to them. Huttenlocher et al., 1991. Early vocabulary growth: Relation to language input and gender. Developmental Psychology, 27, 236-248.

I remember how my mom would read to me from my "I Can Read" books.  She influenced my literacy development and I moved from the bottom to the top reading groups as I moved through the primary grades.  I developed and evolved even more as a reader once I reached fourth grade and to this day can still remember how my fourth grade teacher read aloud.  Love you still Mrs. Hunter.

So I end  this blog post-curious to know your reading and writing history-share it with the world.

What does it look like?  Who's influenced you?  How will you influence others in the world?

Share your story...