Today I was a 5th Grader #shadowastudent Day

After getting snowed out twice, I finally was able to shadow a student! Today, I spent the day as a fifth grader. Here are a few quick thoughts:

  1. I can survive for 7 hours without my phone.
  2. Even though I ate breakfast, I was hungry by 9am. Snack wasn’t until 10am.
  3. Taking a quiz when you don’t study is really uncomfortable — This happened to me when I got to Science and had to take a quiz on open and closed circuits. (EEK!)
  4. Desks are super uncomfortable, even for someone 5 feet tall. I can’t imagine what it’s like for kids who are taller. You can’t cross your legs or sit criss-cross applesauce. Who sits with their feet flat on the floor?
  5. I can still open a combination lock (thanks to my training at I.S.24).
  6. Just when I got into painting with watercolors in art or building with Keva blocks in library, class was over. BUMMER!
  7. I learned that Deborah Sampson was a Revolutionary War hero who disguised herself as a man to fight in the Continental Army (women weren’t allowed). When she was hit by a bullet, she dug it out of her leg with a pen knife so no one figured out her cover. #YouGoGirl
  8. Being forced to exercise is GOOD sometimes. And, I still know the rules for Volleyball. (Thanks, Sue Shep!)
  9. Recess is fun! I haven’t played freeze tag in many, many years. Swings are fun, too.
  10. I still have a lot more to process but I need a nap. I am too old for 5th grade!

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Great conference… and a few more wishes for NAIS 2017!

NAIS 2016 Annual Conference Online Community

For NAISAC 2016,  I wished for:

  • more opportunities for conversations 

This wish came true in an informal way as a result of the wonderful venue at Moscone and the Marriott. Common spaces to gather between sessions were plentiful, which made it easier to talk and make connections. Setting up the “face to face” #isedchat was easy (massive lobby bar helped) and the conversations were rich and full of big ideas and lots of laughs. 

  • less PowerPoints

This wish came true for me because I chose my sessions very carefully.  The one-hour sessions I attended were specifically panel-oriented and had some conversation or participation of the attendees involved. I vowed to use the “law of two feet” if I felt trapped in a massive slide deck. No “death by PowerPoint” for me!  This year’s general sessions I attended were amazing (Bryan Stevenson brought me to tears, Marcus Buckingham was fabulous, and…

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My Story from NAIS 2016

NAIS 2016 Annual Conference Online Community

IMG_6972It was every intention of mine to blog during the conference, however, I never seemed to be able to catch my breath. I didn’t want to miss opportunities to attend sessions or  to meet up with fellow independent school colleagues from all over the country. Enjoying the beautiful weather and taking in everything possible on my first visit to San Francisco didn’t help. And, the time zone change kicked my butt, too. I tried to make up for this by tweeting every chance I got! Here is a storify collecting all of them.

The conference began with a loving tribute to John Chubb, and I was inspired and motivated by several of the general sessions. I didn’t get to as many one-hour sessions as I would have liked but there was so much to do and see. The venue  (Moscone Conference Center) was easy to navigate (my favorite of the…

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Will my wishes come true?

NAIS 2016 Annual Conference Online Community

At the conclusion of #NAISAC 2015, I reflected on the conference in this post.

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Here were my wishes for #NAISAC 2016. Will they come true?

For NAISAC 2016,  I wish for:

  • more opportunities for conversations
  • less PowerPoints
  • ways to connect with people in similar positions
  • ways to be an active participant in sessions, instead of being a passive receiver of information.
  • a live twitter stream during speakers so participant’s questions can be answered.

We will see soon enough.

Here’s to a great conference for all!

CC Image credit

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My Top Takeaways from #naisac 2015…and wishes for #naisac 2016

NAIS Annual Conference 2015

01619482f096a67c9a3f66e52346bdaa3c9795872dSince I take public notes on twitter, my top takeaways will be my tweets or retweets of others. These are the things that will hopefully stick with me long after NAISAC 2015.

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#isedchat @ #naisac: Nothing like being face to face!

Each Thursday night at 9pm EST, a group independent school educators gather “virtually,” using the twitter hashtag #isedchat, to discuss a hot topic determined by a twtpoll or by the guest moderator.  Lots of learning, sharing and connections are made, and the hour is guaranteed to fly by.

This week, our #isedchat was in a different form– we were face to face…and it was amazing! We discussed programs at our school, successes, failures, resources, and much more. Putting that face to the twitter handle is a great thing!  This was a value added for my conference experience and I thank everyone who made it over to Summer Shack. We had an awesome time!

 

Don’t Miss Administrators/Teachers Unplugged!

Hope you can join us!

NAIS Annual Conference 2015

Last year, one of my favorite sessions of the conference was Teachers Unplugged.  As with most traditional conferences, sessions tend to be a speaker or panel at the front of the room, with rows of attendees sitting passively.  Ironically, this is what we are trying to move away from in our classrooms and yet the largest conference of the year for independent school educators seems to be mostly in this format. This is why I was happy to see that there was a session option in an unconference format: Teachers Unplugged.  This session exceeded all my expectations while providing me with amazing connections and thought-provoking discussions.

Read my reflections from last year here.

I remember wishing there were more of these types of sessions, and I especially wished there was one specifically for Administrators.  So, I reached out to Liz Davis, who ran the Teachers Unplugged session, along…

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GEAR UP for #NAISAC 2015 and download the app TODAY!

NAIS Annual Conference 2015

photo 1It’s almost here– NAIS AC 2015! While we have about 7 feet of snow waiting for us when we arrive, Boston is an awesome city and a great place for independent school educators to gather for this year’s annual conference:

The Design Revolution: Blending Learning, Leading and Innovation.

Before you get here, my biggest tip… DOWNLOAD the APP…Do it TODAY! Right now!

I remember feeling overwhelmed with the program book a few years back. I had a hard time figuring out my schedule, reading through descriptions and speaker info, and getting up to date information on any changes. I had to dig it out of my bag each time. Ugh!

Well… no more! The app organizes presentations by time slot, allows you to organize your schedule, track exhibitors, get info about presenters and sessions, follow conference tweets, and much more! It continues to refresh and update as presenters add speaker…

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Student Project- Olympic Scoring: Is it fair?

Sochi Olympics (Creative Commons)

Sochi Olympics (Creative Commons)

Here’s a project that I plan to complete with my Math 7 Honors class this week. It is based on a terrific activity from YummyMath.  If you teach math, this site is worth a visit (and is well worth the $16 for membership for advanced features)!

From the creators:

“We’ve created Yummy Math to provide teachers with an easy way to bring real-life into their math classrooms. It is our belief that when math is explored in contexts that are familiar and of interest to students, students will be more engaged to do math, reason, think critically, question and communicate. “

I must admit that I often struggle with the fact that I want to bring more relevance to my classroom but do not have a lot of time to build quality projects. I am so grateful that YummyMath has provided some great opportunities for my students to make connections.

Olympic Scoring: Is it fair?
Math 7H Project

After completing the activity: Scoring Olympic Ski Jumping, you and a partner are tasked with researching another Olympic event that requires judges to score based on multiple factors.  You are to create a 5 slide Google Presentation to present your findings on whether you think the scoring is fair.

Slide 1: Title of Event (with appropriate graphic), Group Members
Slide 2: Short Video of event (under 3 minutes) of event (I will teach students how to search for short videos)
Slide 3: Explanation of Scoring (include number of judges, scoring categories, how score is calculated)
Slide 4: Is it fair? Why or why not?
Slide 5: Sources

This project will introduce/reinforce the following skills:

  • advanced google searches
  • copyright/ creative commons
  • using features of google presentations (embedding pictures/ videos/ slide formatting)
  • collaboration
  • critical thinking skills
  • analyzing data
  • oral presentation skills

Here is a link to the full project explanation, including the grading rubric. 

Here is a link to other Olympic resources and activities I have been collecting in my Diigo Library.

I hope my students enjoy this project. They have certainly had a lot of time to watch the Olympics with all the snow days we have had since the Opening Ceremony. I will post pics and some final projects when we are done!

 

 

Always sad to say goodbye…

I’ve been in a bit of denial for the past few months that my colleague and friend, Sarah Ludwig, will be moving on to a different school next year. In three short years, Sarah has inspired me, challenged me and made me smarter! I will miss her terribly. She has made a lasting impact on me personally and professionally, and on our entire school community.

Here’s the presentation I made to honor and celebrate her. I shared it with our school’s Technology Committee and with Upper School students.   Sarah- you will be missed 😦

Here is the link  to the original video I created on Sliderocket.