#NAISAC14: Opening General Session with John Chubb and Lyn Heward

daretoexploreThe official opening of NAISAC14 was filled with excitement and energy. John Chubb’s first remarks as President were critically analyzed by everyone in the room. I was impressed with his tone and enthusiasm and liked what he had to say. And while I felt Lyn Heward’s (COO and Creative Content Division Director for Cirque du Soleil)   talk went on a bit too long, she offered some inspiring words on creativity and risk-taking. Both helped set the tone for the conference opening. I was a little disappointed, given the theme was “Dare to Explore and Discover” and we were so close to the Kennedy Space Center, that an inspiring talk from an astronaut was not on the opening agenda.

Here are my notes:


#NAISAC14: The Distraction Addiction w/ author Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

Although I couldn’t stay for this entire session because I needed to set up for my presentation, Alex’s talk was intriguing and I didn’t want to leave.  His book is now on my “to read” list. Being that I consider myself a self-proclaimed “multi-tasker,” I really had a lot to listen to. I also admit that, since this session, I am more aware of the fact that I do hold my breath when my email is loading… and I know that I look at my phone more than 150 times a day. #beinghonest

Here are my tweets from this session:


#NAISAC14: Teachers Unplugged

Session leaders Jenni Swanson Voorhees, Chris Bigenho, Jill Brown, Liz Davis, Sophie Halliday and Linda Swarlis led us in an amazing conversation where WE got to choose the topics!

Here’s the description from the conference blog:photo (30)

“Connect with colleagues and join innovative conversations in this new participant-driven session for teachers. Based on the “unconference” format, this session offers you the opportunity to drive discussion topics, share knowledge and passions, and find solutions to problems. Learn from colleagues and share your expertise with others. After a fun introduction to the open session format, join conversations on topics that you choose.”

The round table discussion I was involved in was entitled: “How to stop doing what we know we should not be doing.”  I have very few tweets from this session because it was hard to tweet, talk. and listen at the same time. I didn’t want to miss anything that anyone in this circle was saying! We were all noting that we wished that there were more sessions of this type throughout the conference– as opposed to a “sage on the stage” model. Our own professional development should model what we want our classroom to look like! 

My favorite tweet is the first one in this list! As a new person to the Lower School world, I couldn’t agree with it more!


#NAISAC14 General Session: John Chubb/ John Quinones

photo (31)Here are my notes from Friday Morning’s General Session with NAIS President, John Chubb, and Featured Speaker, John Quinones from ABC News. John Chubb shared the vision of NAIS and talked about the importance of quality teachers. John Quinones gave a heartfelt reflection on the impact of teachers in his life and  the power of making mistakes and learning from them.


#NAISAC14 “Beyond These Walls: How Augmented Reality Can Promote Your School’s Message”

Justine Fellows (Greens Farms Academy) and I presented at the Speed Innovating Session at NAIS (Disney World!). The session is set up much like “Speed Dating.” Attendees pre-register for three topics they want to learn more about and presenters have 15 minutes to share their topic. When the 15 minutes is up, participants move to their next topic of choice.  There’s a large, (very intimidating) stop watch on the screen at the front to keep everyone on schedule.

We started with a 3 minute description of augmented reality and then let our participants “play” for 5-7 minutes. We had iPads (yes, we lugged them from CT), headphones, and our trigger images all ready to go. We spent the next 5 minutes sharing ideas we had for using Augmented Reality to promote our school’s message, and we ended with a “share” of ideas that participants offered. It’s high energy, a lot of fun, and attendees learn just enough to figure out whether they want to learn more about the topic. They now have a contact person at another school to reach out to so they can. We had a blast! 

Here is our presentation along with handouts.


#NAISAC14 “Yikes! What have I gotten myself into?”

Here are my notes from this amazing session led by Peggy Campbell-Rush, Director of Lower School at Gill St. Bernard School (Gladstone, NJ). Every minute of this session was filled with great advice!

My favorite tweet from this session:

JOY

Here are the rest of my tweets:


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!

 

 


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