Welcome to the 2012-2013 School Year with eMINTS! The Weekly Update feature resumes beginning today. Updates are published weekly on Mondays except for holidays.
eLearning for Educators:Fall registration is now open until Wednesday, Sept. 19. The Fall 2012 semester is from Oct. 3 – Nov. 20, 2012. Courses cost $150 per course. Optional Graduate Credit is available at an additional fee of $100 per credit hour through the University of Missouri-Kansas City or University of Missouri-St. Louis. A limited number of scholarships are available. You can even apply for a scholarship that reduces the cost of an e-Learning course to $75 by filling out an online form. Scholarships are limited to one per applicant. Limit 3 scholarships per one district. There are three NEW course offerings this semester:
Thinking Critically with Data (all)
Going Mobile K-12: Capturing the Power of Smart Phones, Tablets, Apps and More (all)
Flipped, Upside-down and Blended Instruction for the K-12 Classrooms (all)
Some of the additional courses available for the Fall 2012 semester are:
Algebraic Thinking in the Elementary School (elementary)
Beyond Your Schoolyard: An Intro to GPS, Geocaching and Google Earth (all)
Classroom Management (all)
Differentiating Instruction: Empowering All Learners (all)
Early Childhood: Creating a Language-Rich Environment (early childhood)
Google Tools for Schools (all)
Heart of Science Instruction (secondary science)
Improving Reading and Writing in the Content Areas (secondary)
Instructional Approaches for Teachers of English Language Learners (all)
Leading Schools in a Web 2.0 World (administrators)
Special Students in Regular Classrooms: Technology, Teaching and Universal Design (all)
Teaching Writing in the Elementary Classroom (elementary)
Share the Good News: Do you have something special to report about your school or classroom? An honor or award that has been presented? Share the good news with your eMINTS colleagues across the US and world by sending details about the good news to email@example.com.
New eThemes for the Week of August 13, 2012:
Africa: National Parks – These sites are about Africa’s National Parks. Learn about the animals, the climate, and the purposes behind why National Parks play an important role in Africa. Includes a link to an eThemes resource on the continent of Africa.
Circus Acts and Animals – These sites focus on circus animals, acts, and performers. There is historical information about circuses, plus photographs, audio files, and video clips.
Teaching Tips: “7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens” by Sean Covey – These websites are about Sean Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens.” There are summaries of the habits, as well as advice and lesson plans for incorporating the 7 Habits into the daily lives of teens. Includes a link to eThemes resource, Goal Setting.
Updated eThemes for the week of August 13, 2012:
Literature: “Dear Mr. Henshaw” by Beverly Cleary -These sites are about the book “Dear Mr. Henshaw” by Beverly Cleary. There are several hands-on classroom activities including how to make a lunch box alarm. Students can take online quizzes over vocabulary and events from the book. Includes eThemes Resources on Beverly Cleary and letter writing.
Literature: “The Monkey’s Paw” by W.W. Jacobs – These sites are about the short story “The Monkey’s Paw” by W.W. Jacobs. Includes full text of the story, quizzes, lesson plans, and vocabulary worksheets. There are also links to games about short story elements and a booklist of other horror stories and books. Includes links to eTheme resources on Story Elements and Character Traits.
Become a Blog Contributor: Share your insights and thoughts with eMINTS blog followers and fans. Contribute to the blog and community learning by submitting a blog post, resource link, online tool or teaching tip.
Monica Beglau is the Executive Director of the eMINTS National Center.
As many of you begin to prepare for the first days of school, you may be pondering ideas for creating a strong sense of community in your classroom. Educator Chris Biffle shares one holistic approach at his website WholeBrainTeaching.com. He shares ideas for grabbing the students’ attention and directly engaging them throughout the entire instructional process. His methods assist educators on creating a fun engaging classroom, where even challenging students thrive. This brain based approach puts the fun back into the classroom for both the teacher and the students.
To view the basics of this approach view this YouTube video:
The BIG 6 of Power teacher are:
The Five Rules
The Scoreboard Game
Hands and Eyes
If I had to choose just a “few” to introduce on the first day, I think it would have to be “Class Yes” and “The Five Rules”. I think these basic classroom management tools will have your classroom booming with student engagement and strengthen the sense of community from day one.
“Class Yes” is an approach used to focus the classes’ attention. The teacher says “class” and the students say “yes”. This works because it gives the students something to do immediately and prepares them for the teacher. Part of this method’s effectiveness is it has the students mirror the tone the teacher uses. For example the teacher could drag out the word and add a funny voice “clllllasssssss”, which the students would respond mirroring the teacher “yeeeeessssss”.
On the first days of school, it is common to start with sharing the classroom rules. In the video you saw a demonstration for “The Five Rules”. Each rule uses visual, auditory and kinesthetic movement to help students reach a deeper understanding of how the rules relate to the expectations of the teacher and the success of the classroom as a community. Here is a brief explanation of “The Five Rules”:
Follow Directions Quickly (wiggling hand moving forward)
Raise Your Hand for permission to speak. (Raise hand, make a talking mouth hand)
Raise your hand for permission to leave your seat. (Raise hand, make walking motion with two fingers)
Make smart choices (point to brain)
Keep your teacher happy! (frame your face, wag head back and forth smiling)
This is just one way to begin building classroom community….
How might you foster and sustain a sense of classroom community during the first days of school?
Amy Blades is an instructional specialist for the eMINTS National Center.
Those who know me know that I am a little obsessed with QR (quick response) codes. You know those little boxes of rectangles and squares that are on almost everything now a days. They really are just about everywhere when you start looking.
Now I am from Sedalia and the biggest thing getting ready to start this Thursday is the Missouri State Fair. As I was taking routine drive through the fairgrounds to check on the progress of set-up, I suddenly noticed… QR codes. A sign is in front of the major buildings on the fairgrounds with a QR code boldly printed on it. Of course I whipped out my phone and scanned and was pleasantly surprised to see a page of historical information about the building. The fair has embraced a piece of technology and utilizing it to teach history by creating historic-walking-tours with QR codes. I love it.
This brought back the memory of a recent conference I attended where a group of teachers presented how they use QR codes in their classroom. Some of the things mentioned for their use were center directions, interactive bulletin boards, information to parents, and links to resources. With the combination of ideas from the conference and what the fair is doing, my mind hasn’t stopped thinking about how a school or classroom might utilize QR codes. I think about scavenger hunts, historic background, or even star student information.
So I would like even more ideas and possibilities. Please share with me how you have used or would like to use QR codes in your school or classroom?
Terri Brines is an eIS and Cognitive CoachingSM Trainer for the eMINTS National Center.
We have often talked about PLN (Personal Learning Networks) in the blog but I thought I might share a specific site that you may want to add to your PLN. It is the Teachers Engage site from Intel. This is a community of educators K-12 and the focus is transforming learning with the integration of technology. It is free to register and provides many helpful ideas and tools to use in the classroom.
There are discussion boards, webinars, unit plans, and various communities you can join to meet your particular interests and needs. The resources that are provided are excellent and there are so many of them.
I mentioned webinars, an example of one of the webinars you should attend is tonight, Aug. 7th at 6:00 Central time. Doug Caldwell, Debbie Perkins, and Julie Szaj, all eMINTS Instructional Specialist, will be presenting a webinar called The FUNdamentals of Learning. In this webinar, they “will present on websites that help teachers and students get, become, stay engaged. Focusing on middle school-aged resources, they will show tools and have participants brainstorm classroom uses with an emphasis on back to school planning.”
If you are interested in the Teachers Engage or just want to check out a webinar, come and join them tonight and see if maybe Teachers Engage is a site you might want to add to your PLN.
Terri Brines is an eIS and Cognitive CoachingSM Trainer for the eMINTS National Center.
I guess I am a bit behind in the game because I just realized you can access your Google Docs in Edmodo now. This new feature came about in March and allows you to Sync your Google Docs (Drive) with your Edmodo Library. That means you can share documents with your Edmodo groups and students can easily turn-in assignments completed via Google Docs.Find the instructions to do this at the Edomod Help site. FYI all users will need to link their Google Docs account with Edmodo before and sharing of docs with users or groups takes place.
Wondering how I heard about this new feature of Edmodo??? Maybe not but here’s the power of my PLN…
In the video Monica Beglau, Executive Director, and Doug Caldwell, eMINTS Instructional Specialist, share what makes eMINTS successful in both improving teacher effectiveness and raising student achievement. The keys to the success of the program lie in its continued professional development spread throughout the year being relevant to the teaching, connected to the learning, and supported by face-to-face coaching.
Doug Caldwell, the eIS featured in this profile video provides that support and more. The Instructional Specialist at eMINTS take on several roles in the eMINTS organization.
Doug Caldwell, eMINTS Instructional Specialist
Doug lives in Lynchburg, Missouri, (pop. 75). He has been with eMINTS for 12 years and has trained countless teachers. While working at the eMINTS National Center he wears many hats. Not only does he facilitate eMINTS Comprehensive Professional Development sessions he also visits teachers in their classrooms to help them implement what they are learning through coaching, consulting, and collaborating. Doug is a Senior Trainer for the Intel program, presents at local, state, and national conferences, supports district technology staff as part of the eMINTS4Techs program, provides custom PD including training for veteran eMINTS teachers, and serves on various committees. He does all this with his ever present easy going attitude and smile on his face.
Tell us about your connection with eMINTS. What eMINTS program/s have you participated in? Who is/was your eMINTS Facilitator? What eMINTS accomplishments are you most proud of? And if you haven’t had the opportunity yet to become part of our eMINTS “family”, what might be the most appealing part to you?
The eMINTS National Center is a non-for profit organization that has provided comprehensive research-based professional development services to educators since 1999.
On July 25, the Edutopia’s Schools That Work profiles the eMINTS program as it has been implemented in the Hartville R-II School District located in Hartville, MO. The Hartville School District has implemented the eMINTS program at multiple grade levels from elementary through high school over the past seven years. The district was selected by Edutopia not only for its high levels of performance on standardized assessments but also for its strong showing on other measures of student performance such as graduation rate, number of students completing advanced courses, and career education placements.
Edutopia, sponsored by the George Lucas Foundation, is a digital treasure trove of resources, ideas, and communication opportunities for educators, parents, and others who are interested in improving the K-12 learning process. Edutopiahighlights evidence-based strategies that prepare students to thrive in their future education, careers, and adult lives.
Edutopia film crews visited the eMINTS National Center offices and the Hartville School District in April to capture footage about the eMINTS professional development programs and how they were implemented in Hartville. The crew interviewed program leaders, Monica Beglau and Lorie Kaplan, about the ways that eMINTS helps teachers learn how to integrate technology into classrooms so that learning can be transformed.
The interviews provide insight into how eMINTS professional development is one of the few programs that has lasting positive impacts on how teachers teach. The crew travelled to Hartville to film an eMINTS professional development session and then followed teachers into their classrooms to observe how the professional development changed their practice.
In addition to the feature video, eMINTS has shared program resources that teachers can use in their classrooms to integrate technology in more effective ways.
eMINTS is excited to announce the next round of the Cognitive CoachingSM Foundations Seminar to take place in St. Louis, MO beginning in September 2012.
The 8-day professional development series is tailored to anyone that wants to encourage self-directedness of others. Participants will learn strategies and techniques to increase others’ thinking potential and mediate thinking when working with someone who is planning, reflecting or struggling with a problem.
Click Image for Source
The seminar is split into four 2-day sessions lasting from 8:30am-4:00pm each day.
September 26 & 27, 2012
October 24 & 25, 2012
November 28 & 29, 2012
January 16 & 17, 2013
Cognitive CoachingSM – a research-based model – encourages the process of decision-making to achieve goals through metacognition. The seminar will be facilitated by Brooke Higgins, Carmen Marty, and Terri Brines, certified Agency Trainers of Cognitive Coaching.
Sometimes, we have to apply our knowledge and skills to something that has never been done before. Consider NASA’s Curiosity mission to Mars. The final descent to Mars is affectionately referred to as “Seven Minutes of Terror.” The video below demonstrates this point.
For NASA scientists, they were presented the problem of the unknown. In order to land Curiosity safely, they had to depend on their knowledge and training as applied in a theoretical context.
Think about the kind of tasks we ask our students to complete when applying knowledge. Do we ask them to attempt the unknown? Do we ever challenge them with tasks that are unsafe or untried? Or do we simply ask them to repeat back the content we’ve presented to them in lectures, readings, and research projects?
Rarely do we have problems in our real lives that resemble the problems we solved in school. So, why not design authentic tasks that challenge students to apply the content to new scenarios beyond their limited scope?
I am not suggesting the impossible. To engage students and really push their learning, sometimes we have to ask them to do something they have never tried, maybe even something no one has ever tried.
So, while you reflect on last year’s students and prep for next year’s group, consider the impossible and the never-been-done. Dream of ways in which your students can stretch their learning to new and unimaginable contexts. The results might be as exciting as ”Seven Minutes of Terror” or at least feature the kind of engagement and authentic learning we strive for in our students.
A few eMINTS instructional specialists were able to test out Google’s new “Hangout” feature in Google+ yesterday. The primary intent was to share some facilitation ideas and resources while exploring the possibilities Hangouts offer. Eventually, we would like to invite anyone connected to eMINTS to join us, but yesterday was just a trial run.
What we found is that Google Hangout is an ideal platform for conversation and collaboration. The interface made it easy for our small group of three to speak “face-to-face”, chat, and contribute to a shared Google Document. We also could have recorded the meeting using the broadcast feature but opted not to this time around.
In the future, there is a plan to focus each Google Hangout on a particular topic. Additionally, expect a recording of the meeting to be posted here just in case you can’t make it. Also be on the lookout for the shared document sure to hold many useful ideas and resources. This week’s document will be displayed below.
Next week’s Hangout will focus on how eMINTS facilitators will apply lessons learned from the Center for Adaptive Schools to our professional development program. There will also be time for participants in the Hangout to share online tools they have recently discovered. A video and Hangouts notes will be shared here on either Thursday or Friday.
Would you be interested in joining our Google Hangouts in the future? Add me to your circles on G+ and I’ll add you to the “eMINTS” circle. The tentative plan is to meet every Wednesday at noon, but we are open to suggestions. If there is enough interest beyond the nine-person limit Google offers, we’ll expand to multiple Hangouts.
Again, let me know that you’re interested and we’ll Hangout!
Zac Early is an instructional specialist and blogger with the eMINTS National Center.