The last two days were filled with so much learning I was able to attend several incredible sessions that pushed my thinking and provided me with a ton of great resources. I'm excited to be able to share them with other teachers this school year.
First, I attended a session about redesigning classroom spaces. Their presentation gave some great ideas for re-purposing furniture to create a more welcoming and effective classroom space. It reminded me a lot of an article I read about Caves, Campfires and Watering Holes by Ann W. Davis and Kim Kappler-Hewitt. You can find their presentation, which includes video classroom tours, here.
Next, I attended a session by Noah Geisel focused on Chrome Extensions for literacy. As a math teacher, it was cool to check out the Chrome extensions Hypothesis, Diigo and Stackup and learn about how they can be useful to support learning in English classrooms. Each extension has slightly different functionality. Hypothesis and Diigo allow students to annotate articles and engage in conversations with their peers and the world. Stackup provides students with a online reading log that shows their time spent reading on different topics and the reading levels of the articles they have read online. It was fun to play with each of them and think about how they can be used in the classroom.
I also presented Ignite talk called "Why Educators Should Share". This was a reprised version of a previous Ignite talk I did during 2015, where I stressed the importance of teacher blogging and social media sharing. You can watch it below. I have also included the slides, which include the script in the notes.
After lunch, I attended Kevin Crogan's session, focused on planning learner progressions. His model helps teachers differentiate different levels of understanding and provide them with the vocabulary to guide learners in designing their own learning progression. You can find his presentationhere. Below is an example of his incredibly helpful planning document filled out.
I then attended a session by Galen Mitchell, focused on Universal Design. She did an incredible job illustrating the difference between differentiation and Universal Design and how we can approach creating lessons differently. Focusing on student choice and flexible lessons, Universal Design is a refreshing lens on providing students with lessons that support their learning as individuals. You can find her presentation here. Below is an excellent tweet that shows the comparison between differentiation and Universal Design.
Mattea Garcia is a passionate educator dedicated to improving instruction by utilizing technology. This blog is dedicated to reflections on educational technology tools, instructional coaching, and educational equity.