Coaching Corner

Volume 2 / Issue 1: Relationship Building

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The 21st Century Educator

This year I will be focusing on the 10 essential characteristics of a 21st Century Educator (thank you, George Couros).

Each Coaching Corner will go through one concept. We will start with Relationship Builder.

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In a world that is becoming more and more complex, students need to know that they can trust the educators to see them as individuals, and that they are valued. - George Couros

Relationship Builder: Flexible Seating | Flexible Learning

Relationship Building in Writer's Workshop: Storytelling

One way to get to know your students is through the art of storytelling. If students are able to articulate a story, then they'll be able to write that story. One way to do this is by starting with a picture. You could have the students bring in a picture from home of something they did this summer or even over the weekend. If they can't bring in a photo, then they could Google an image. If they went to the beach or park, pull up a picture of that beach or park.

Have them tell a story about it on Seesaw using the audio button. Have the students go on and watch each other's stories. This is a great way for you to get to know your writers and for your students to get to know each other as well. This is a great way to start learning more about where your students are with language. You'll be able to hear the way they speak and you'll also have it saved so that you can refer back to it and see growth.

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Relationship Building in Math: Would Your Rather

Start your math with these engaging math would you rathers. See image below. Have students work in pairs and discuss their reasoning for their choice. Give time for students to share out with a pair next to them. Pick a few groups to share their reasoning at the end. Check out Would You Rather Math for more of these great warm-ups.
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Relationship Building in Reader's Workshop: Conferring/Running Records

Build relationships with your readers by setting up a reading folder in Seesaw. Have students record their reading by taking a picture of the text and then use the audio button to record. Use the data to form strategy groups and to track progress.
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Relationship Builder in Science: STEM Challenges - Team Pen

Materials Needed:

String or Duct Tape


White Paper or White Construction Paper

Tape string or duct tape (see video below - no need to blindfold) to a marker. Put students in groups of 6-8. Each student takes an end of the string or duct tape. Students try to spell out a word (Unity, Team, Read - whatever you want). Students must work communicate and collaborate in order to make this work.

Innovate One Thing: George Couros

Teachers work extremely hard and the job can be thankless some days. Seemingly, more and more is being placed on teachers and educators, where they have moved from full “plates” but to full “platters”.

So why do I focus on “innovation” so much in education? Doesn’t this become just another “thing”?

The reality of our world is that we all have 24 hours in the day, but how you use our time is important. How do we get the most out of it? Innovation is not about doing “more”, but about doing things “better”.4 Time, like money, is a currency, but I believe it to be more valuable. The more we get out of our time the better.

Here is an example…

Kids write in a journal to improve literacy. What I have seen many students do is that they will write into their paper journal, and teachers will take 20 to 25 of those notebooks home to write to each student. But when you look at this formula, who is becoming the most literate? The ratio favors the growth of literacy in the teacher over the student.

But what if you had the students write in a blogging platform and instead of the teacher commenting to every student, you have students comment on five other student’s blog posts? Instead of writing once, they will write a minimum of six times, but probably more, as many would want to respond to the comments they receive. Yes, as a teacher, there will be some set up to make this happen, but long term, would you not save time and actually have students write more than what they were before?

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Keepin' It Real

Micah is back in preschool and the other day he said, "Mama, I just LOVE my school." As a teacher mom, I felt my hear about to burst. I know a big part of his love for school comes from his love for his teachers. He gets so excited to tell them what we did the night before, and they get so excited to hear it.