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Monday, September 26, 2016

Apres Global Cardboard Challenge

Image taken by my colleague, Ms. Leo
The Challenge is over, and now it's time to put away all the supplies and give students time to reflect on the learning.

They'll type reflections and add images from our website student photo albums. Later their reflections will be added to students' showcase portfolios.

This week we'll work on a finishing last week's assessments, getting a baseline on fact skills, prepping for the Great Meadows field study, learning about coordinate grids, reading Pax, hosting a visiting naturalist educator, and attending specialist classes in music, art, technology, physical education, and library.

It's a full week, and now my attention is focused on the student-centered efforts that support that agenda. Onward :)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

ECET2-MA2016: Only One Month Away

It has been almost nine months since we met in San Diego at the Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teaching and Teachers (ECET2) National Event and began planning ECET2-MA2016.

The planning has been much like walking the Presidential ridge in New Hampshire. The vision is awesome, and the ridge trail is a mix of some steep climbs, comfortable plateaus, and even a few down hills.

The invitations were sent out on Friday. Fortunately we had room to invite everyone that was nominated. So far the response has been very positive and I've been most inspired by the many invitees and presenters who have reached out with questions and suggestions which demonstrates that our small team of five is growing steadily to a march larger team of invested and dedicated educators who are excited about coming together to spend a day to inspire one another to Teach ALL Children that we serve.

There's lots to look forward to as we get closer to the event.

On Friday night anyone who is attending the event is welcome to join us for a pre-event reception. Details of this early evening event will be sent out closer to the date.

Then on Saturday we urge everyone to plan so that they can be there for our 8 a.m. start so they don't miss Chop Chop's well-designed healthy and delicious breakfast bar as well as the chance to meet those who support educators and colleagues who are attending the even from throughout the state.

While the agenda keeps changing (sadly Meenoo Rami is unable to attend the event, but happily we have a number of awesome Massachusetts educators who have volunteered to speak in her place), the following main events will occur:
  • Jose Vilson will keynote. I can't wait to hear Jose once again in person. We're lucky he's able to join us.
  • At Colleague Circles we'll use good process with small teams to discuss a problem of practice--one that's related to our desire to Teach ALL Children.
  • We have many dynamic presenters and presentation.
  • Chop Chop will put on a terrific lunch.
  • There will be Tokens of Appreciation to bring back to school.
  • More keynotes from inspiring Massachusetts educators to be named soon.
  • A follow-up reception at a nearby restaurant (details will follow).
To keep up to date with this event, please visit our website regularly. And a BIG thanks to the many who have supported us financially and with the planning and preparation for the event. 

Lost in Email

I've been working with a team of teachers to plan ECET2-MA2016. We've made great use of Google forms and spreadsheets to help us organize the event.

The one change I'd make from the start, however, is to create a Google Doc conversation thread, website, or even a Google+ private community for all of our exchange rather than lots and lots of emails. I'm writing this down as I believe it's good advice for any group that is working together and wants to keep track of the work they are doing.

For example I'm also working with other groups who are sharing information, building community, and making decisions together. The emails have started, and I know we'll soon loose track of all these emails thus diluting the potential that exists for share, synergy, and collaboration.

What is your best tech vehicle for community building and share? How do you use it and why?

I'm thinking more about this at this turn in the education path. Thanks!