LMS Tiger Times

December 2015

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Said No Teacher Ever

Tiger Teacher Training

Did you know there are over 15 ways you can earn Tiger Teacher Training flair? Even if you don't want the flair, there are some good resources (and I am not just saying that because I created them...hehe).

Look Who Earned Flair in November!!

Sema Adkar, Ashley Auchey, Robyn Cox, Suzi Craddock, Erin Crews, Judy Dunson, Aja Kessler, Veronica Larson, Lucinda Lassiter, Shirley Norris, Christine Simpson, Lynette Sinders, Joyce Tamez, and Kyle Wilson

Way to go! So exciting to see you utilize your new learning.

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Christine's Corner

In last month’s issue I introduced the concept of Blended Learning. Part two of the definition as quoted from the book Blended is described in terms of location:

“The student learns at least in part in a supervised brick-and-mortar location away

from home. In other words, the student attends a physical school with teachers or

guides. Often it is the neighborhood school…” (p 35).

So the question then becomes, “What does this or could this look like in a Title 1 school?” The attached QR code provides an intriguing look at the power of a blended model. I found it particularly interesting to see the use of small group instruction as a vehicle to implementation. LMS-ahead of the pack ☺. Take a look and share your thoughts in department or team!
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Google Corner: Flubaroo Update: Share Grades with Students in Google Drive

Flubaroo now lets you share the graded assignments with students through Google Drive. When you choose this feature, it will create a folder in your Google Drive with all of your students answers and grades. It will in addition shared the individualized document with the student to include their responses, grade, and answer key (which you can disable if you choose not to include this information). Check out this webpage for more information on using this new feature.

I know many of you were disappointed that I postponed the Flubaroo Techs-Mex training. The good news is that Google Forms has changed to its new look for Leander ISD, so Flubaroo will be offered in January.

Chris's Corner

A department and I just sat down to work on building a system and a schedule for moving their instruction closer to a workshop, self-guided model. One of the resources I used is How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-Ability Classrooms by Carol Ann Tomlinson. As you know, differentiation is the new normal. We cannot be satisfied with one approach, one assignment, and one expectation for all. That said, differentiation, which is the driving force behind workshop and small group instruction methods, often causes anxiety because it is seen as requiring twice (or 30 times) the work. So I pulled a few quotes to calm the nerves as you plan for next semester’s instruction. Whole class lessons are not bad approaches; the whole-class mini lesson is a fundamental piece of running an effective workshop. It’s just that whole-class shouldn’t be the only approach. Ms. Tomlinson says it better:

  • “Differentiated instruction is A BLEND of whole-class, group, and individual instruction. The pattern of instruction in a differentiated classroom could be represented by mirror images of a wavy line, with students coming together as a whole group to begin a study, moving out to pursue learning in small groups or individually, coming back together to share and make plans for additional investigation, moving out again for more work, coming together again to share or review, and so on” (5).

  • “Differentiation doesn’t suggest that a teacher can be all things to all individuals all the time. It does, however, mandate that a teacher create a reasonable range of approaches to learning much of the time, so that most students find learning a fit much of the time” (17).

  • “A new sort of fairness is evident. We often define fair in a classroom as treating everyone alike. In a differentiated classroom, fairness is redefined. In this sort of environment, fair means trying to make sure each student gets what she needs in order to grow and succeed” (23).

We have plenty of teachers (and of course, their students) who have benefitted from workshop, small group instruction, project based learning, self-guided pacing, and hybrids of each of these variations. There are plenty of experts in our community who are ready to lend a hand; sometimes we just need to be willing to reach out and take it.

Which Websites are Blocked for Students?

Here are the steps to see if a website is open or blocked for students:

  1. Copy the URL of the website in question
  2. Go to http://filter1.leanderisd.org:7080/swg/urlLookup.html
  3. Paste URL in URL field
  4. Keep selection as Default (this shows student view)
  5. Click Lookup
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Kelly Wants to Help!

Kelly is at LMS every Monday and Wednesday and wants to help with technology integration. Reach her via email kelly.fitzgerald@leanderisd.org, stop her in the hall, or drop by the Library Classroom.