Bird is the Word

This is What's STATpening

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Did you know...COLLABORATION ALERT!! Something to use and not recreate!!

Wonders has weekly Research and Inquiry projects already built in to their weekly plan that you can assign to students for a collaborative project?


They are cool and I am excited. PLEASE let me know when we can sit down to look at these! Though- you probably are already using them!

Someone REALIZEd that students need access to Pearson...(3rd, 4th, 5th)

see what I did there?


Students now have access to Pearson through BCPSOne-Digital Content-the green P.


You can assign activities from your different lessons and unit directly to classes, or (CUSTOMIZATION!!) specific students.


Pearson will also keep data on the activities and assignments your students complete.


I have a lot of playing to do and would love to do some 'sandbox' sessions to look at it together.


(I also played with using ActivInspire's Annotate Desktop tool to use drawing tools to write over non-interactive worksheets and activities) eeekk.

Data Schmata- Food for Thought

What do you think of the data portion of our grade level meetings? Is it meaningful, effective, helping us to target specific kids and progress them? Are we using the data to help our students be successful and make growth? How can we more efficiently use the data to guide our instruction? Do we know what to with the data?

Your feedback is appreciated, invited, welcomed, and needed. Do you have suggestions for making it more meaningful? Please email ncalhoun@bcps.org or slip an anonymous note in my mailbox.

Lighthouse PD Follow-Up

On Tuesday we went to Landsdowne ES for our monthly LH PD and we did a walk through of the school. The focus was on responsive, small group instruction. There was a lot of great conversation and time for reflection. We walked away with some ideas of activities we saw in classrooms.

meanwhile...back at The VIEW

Ideas for Choice PD Day on November 23rd

Using Windows Movie Maker for Visual Enhancement

Thinking of sharing something on the announcements? Do your students have pictures that they take, but you want a better way to share them? How can you take videos for instructional purposes and get them out to your students in an organized way? Do you aspire to be like Steven Spielberg?


Running Away with Running Records

Would you like to know the guided reading level of your students? Are you yearning for data to show growth and progression in your students? Would you like another something to inform you decisions with small groups?


Secrets to Unlocking Envisions with your Students (3-5)

Need to spend less time recreating resources? Want to assign activities in Envisions and have data on the assignments your students are working on?

20-Time in Education: more collaboration ideas

20-Time in Education


Genius Hour

What is Genius Hour?


Genius Hour gives students one hour per week to work on any learning goal the student has. The difference between the 20% Project and Genius Hour is that there is no structured project- the outcome is largely dependent on what the teacher wants to require. Students learn how to become autonomous learners and are motivated because they are working on learning that THEY want to learn.



My favorite way to integrate Genius Hour is to allow students 45 minutes of the hour to search on a topic of their choice. In order to keep them focused I tell them they have to create five questions they want to answer about their topic.


After they've researched for 45 minutes, I "randomly" draw names out of a cup for informal presenations. Chosen students stand and tell the class what they learned in 1-2 minutes. We all learn pretty amazing things and I am always impressed by how interested everyone is in the presenter's information.


Amp it Up

After about 6 weeks, we all start to get a little restless so I tweek the process a bit by creating a 3-week cycle for topics.


Week 1: Students research a topic

Week 2: Students create a slide show presenation

Week 3: Students formally present their topic/presentation.


Note! After the first round of presenations, I realized students didn't know how to create interesting presentations. Each slide had 100 words on it and the students' backs were turned to us as they read each slide verbatim. They learned how to create a slide with just a title and a picture to represent their idea as they gave their presentations- much more interesting!


One more note! I always used the same rubric to guide their oral presenations whether it was for Genius Hour or another class presentation. Click here for a copy of the rubric.

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Website Worth Looking At: Turtle Diaries

educational games (similar to ABCYa) based on grade level, skill, or content

oh Smore...

Much like everyone else, Smore is premature with their "holiday" decor. I cannot get rid of the snowflakes above, but I was able to make the background Thanksgivingy.