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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Lemonade War that Motivated a Whole School to Read



10MT | #18 A 10-Minute Teacher Interview with Principal Ryan Kaczmark

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

When I called Principal Ryan Kaczmark @rkaczmark, he bubbled over with excitement from the Lemonade Wars experience. This elementary school-wide reading project is a sizzling combination of reading, parent relations, community service, school spirit, communications, and social media savvy.

Listen Now

We were going to talk about technology or school design or something else. But I’m happy that he talked about the Lemonade Wars and raising money for Mike’s Lemonade stand to help childhood cancer and everything that had just happened. I had to let him tell his story.

So, today’s Wonderful Wednesday with Ryan Kaczmark sounds more like a phone call between an excited educator (Ryan) and a curious one (me) than a “show.” But that’s OK.

The 10-Minute Teacher is a journey into what’s happening in schools now and you get a cool project for today’s show.

Today, Ryan shares:

  • The story of a literacy project turned community service
  • The joy of learning and helping others
  • How he used social media to spur on excitement
  • The power of having a fantastic team of teachers on your staff
  • The positive community response you get when you use social media for good.

Enjoy today’s show with Ryan!

Leave a review on iTunes.

10-Minute Teacher Show Stitcher

Want to hear another inspiring literacy story? Listen to Jennifer Serravallo talk about 5 Ideas for teaching writing in the classroom.


 Selected Links from this Episode


DOWNLOAD TRANSCRIPT #18 Ryan Kaczmark

Full Bio


Ryan Kaczmark

The principal of Mercersburg and Montgomery Elementary school in the Tuscarora School District. Father of Alex (9) and Macie (4). Wife Courtney, who is currently a 3-5 Stem teacher. I am a former special education teacher and middle school math teacher.


The post The Lemonade War that Motivated a Whole School to Read appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



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via Vicki Davis at coolcatteacher.com. Please also check out my show for busy teachers, Every Classroom Matters and my Free teaching tutorials on YouTube.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

What is the Aroma of Your Life?



Living a life well lived

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

What is the aroma of your life?

This morning I was getting ready to hop in the shower. I had my cup of coffee on the bathroom counter and accidentally hit it! Coffee went everywhere. After washing hairbrushes and bottles and hairspray and everything, the coffee was gone. The bathroom smells very much like coffee, though. It led me to this thought,

“If my life had a smell, what would it be?”

Would it be the fragrance of a life well lived? Of joyful thoughts? Of fragrant conversations? Of sweet smelling friendships?

Rotten

Because there are some people, who might smell like the trash. They wake up every morning and splash on some bitterness. To that, they add anger. And then on top of it, they toss a little resentment. And that, my friends, is perhaps an aromatic life, but not in a good way.

Some people wear the aroma of their life upon their face. As they walk, you see the anger. The pain. The hurt. And I’m not saying that some people’s lives aren’t hard. I’m also not making a statement of my life. We all have struggles. If you don’t think so, let me gently suggest that you look at little closer at other people’s lives before you think they have it easy. Each person is fighting a battle as Tim Hadley said on last weeks’ show.

The rotting refuse of a rotten attitude can happen to us all. Because I’ll admit, this time last year, my own attitude smelled more like garbage than flowers.

The Choice

The greatest most well-lived lives are those we examine. And when we’re too angry to confront ourselves and own up to the fact that while our circumstances are often not our choice — our ATTITUDE IS ONE OF THE ONLY CHOICES WE CAN MAKE— we’re missing out on life. If Viktor Frankl in a Nazi concentration camp can say,

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.

Then, I think, my friends, who are we to say that we cannot make a choice of our attitude as well?

So, let me ask you again,

“If your life had an aroma, what would it be?”

Would you be pleased? Would others inhale with a smile on their face? Or would they fan their face and go running?

I have a tray of perfume in my room. I’m about to go spray some on as the last thing I do before I head to school. I’m also about to decide to have a great attitude today.

For, no matter what is going on, my ability to teach is limited or enhanced by the smell of my life. And a great attitude is as pleasing as the sweetest perfume.

 

The post What is the Aroma of Your Life? appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



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via Vicki Davis at coolcatteacher.com. Please also check out my show for busy teachers, Every Classroom Matters and my Free teaching tutorials on YouTube.

#17: Microsoft One Note: Useful Tips and Tricks for the Classroom



10MT | A 10-Minute Teacher Interview with Dr. Tom Grissom

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Let’s learn about One Note with Dr. Tom Grissom. But perhaps to understand why I’m a Microsoft One Note fan, I’d like to tell you a story from several months a go. This past fall, I ran into my former student, Miller, at an away football game. She had made the University of Georgia website as a top student and was just starting medical school.

Listen Now

We are hosting a giveaway for three lucky reviewers of the show. Dave Burgess is giving away books to 3 (three) winners! The winners will pick from all 22 of the books from Dave Burgess consulting! See the list. Wow! Thanks, Dave.

All you need to enter is head over to leave a review on iTunes and just include your Twitter or Instagram handle so we can reach you. Full rules at the bottom.

As it goes when I connect with very dear students, we had a long talk about her life and future. She’s truly exceptional and was such a joy to teach. Then, she said,

“Do you know the most useful thing you ever taught me?”

I didn’t know and she said,

“One Note. I pulled in my professor’s slides and took notes. I could do so many useful things. It was the best thing you’ve ever taught me.”

So, I admit, I dusted off some old lessons and did a little more teaching with One Note this year. This jewel of a notetaking app is free on all platforms. It is also the subject of today’s Tech Tool Tuesday with Dr. Tom Grissom. Tom is using One Note with his higher ed students in all kinds of ways.

In today’s show, Tom shares:

  • An explanation of One Note
  • The collaborative features of One Note
  • How One Note relates to current cognitive theories of learning

I hope you enjoy today’s show with Tom!

10-Minute Teacher Show Stitcher

Want to hear another Tech Tool Tuesday? Listen to my favorite 31 tech tools from last Tuesday.


Selected Links from this Episode


Some links are affiliate links.

DOWNLOAD TRANSCRIPT: Episode 17 Tom Grissom – One Note

Full Bio


Dr. Tom GrissomTom Grissom One Note

Tom Grissom, Ph.D. is the Director of the Instructional Technology Center at Eastern Illinois University. The ITC is one of the premier teacher education resource centers in the State of Illinois serving the faculty, staff, and students in the College of Education & Professional Studies.

Dr. Grissom is a Microsoft Innovative Education Expert (MIEE) and focuses on the strategic implementation of technologies to improve the teaching and learning process. His specialties include the use of OneNote notebooks and digital inking in the classroom and beyond.

Dr. Grissom oversees and produces a growing collection of online resources including the TechTalk4Teachers podcast (now in its tenth year), ITC Techshare YouTube Channel, a Docs.com Journal, and many OneNote notebook examples. You will find links to these and many other resources at:
http://eiu.edu/itc


Contests included in this show

 

The post #17: Microsoft One Note: Useful Tips and Tricks for the Classroom appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



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via Vicki Davis at coolcatteacher.com. Please also check out my show for busy teachers, Every Classroom Matters and my Free teaching tutorials on YouTube.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Dave Burgess Talks Student Engagement #MondayMotivation #tlap



From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Great teachers attract their students to today’s topic of learning like a 3-year old boy to a mud puddle. Hooking students into a lesson is part of our essential craft of teaching. In my opinion, this artisanal craft of “hooking in” or “engaging” our students into a topic is best captured in Dave Burgess’ best-selling book, Teach Like a Pirate.

Listen Now

This book (called #tlap by those who follow its guidelines) is like an overstuffed tackle box for teachers full of useful tools, ideas, and tips for engaging kids and staging exciting experiences.

In today’s show, Dave and I discuss:

  • Some of the craziest things Dave has done to engage students
  • Why Dave decided he had to be different as a teacher
  • How Dave feels about leaving the classroom
  • What Dave would do differently if he was in the classroom now
  • A Monday Morning motivational “pep talk” for teachers that will REV YOU UP for your week of teaching
Dave is giving away books to 3 (three) lucky reviewers of this show! The winners will pick from all 22 of the books from Dave Burgess consulting! See the list below. Wow! Thanks, Dave.

All you need to do is head over to leave a review on iTunes and just include your Twitter or Instagram handle so we can reach you. 

I hope you enjoy this episode with Dave!

10-Minute Teacher Show Stitcher

Want to hear another author of one of Dave Burgess’ published books. Michael Matera talks about how to gamify your classroom in Explore Like a Pirate(One of the books you could win if you enter the contest today.)


Selected Links from this Episode


Some of the links below are affiliate links.

DOWNLOAD TRANSCRIPT Episode #16 Dave Burgess #mondaymotivation

Full Bio


Dave BurgessDave Burgess

Dave Burgess is the New York Times Best-Selling author of Teach Like a PIRATE, co-author of P is for PIRATE, and the president of Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc. which delivers powerful, inspirational, and innovative books, keynotes, and professional development.

He specializes in teaching hard-to-reach, hard-to-motivate students with techniques that incorporate showmanship and creativity.  At a recent ceremony in Washington, D.C., he was awarded the BAMMY for Secondary School Teacher of the Year by the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences.

Dave delivers the ultimate professional development experience for your teachers that is perfect for all circumstances from truly inspirational opening keynotes to full-day hands-on workshops.  It is a high-energy, interactive, and entertaining experience that will leave your staff unbelievably inspired, motivated, and with the practical skills to dramatically increase student engagement.

His presentations are a unique blend of outrageously energetic performance art and magic, mixed with an inspirational message of how and why to become more passionate in the classroom. All techniques and methods are modeled and fully explained so as to leave no doubt about how to apply the methods in the real-world. Participants will leave with a tool-box full of dynamic presentational ideas that they can immediately use to improve their lessons.

As a teacher in San Diego, California, he was a 2001 and 2012 Golden Apple winner in the Grossmont Union High School District and the 2007-2008 Teacher of the Year at West Hills High School. He was voted a faculty standout for 17 consecutive years in categories such as Most Entertaining, Most Energetic, and Most Dramatic.


Contests included in this show

The post Dave Burgess Talks Student Engagement #MondayMotivation #tlap appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



From http://ift.tt/2kDUE0B
via Vicki Davis at coolcatteacher.com. Please also check out my show for busy teachers, Every Classroom Matters and my Free teaching tutorials on YouTube.

Friday, February 17, 2017

5 Simple Ways to Gamify Your Classroom



10MT | Jessica Gordon shares her tips on the 10-Minute Teacher Show

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

You can gamify your classroom. It isn’t hard. Sixth-grade teacher Jessica Gordon@1337teach gives us tips, ideas, and links for how to gamify our classrooms now. Game based learning can be simple and free.

Listen now

Jessica is giving her book away free to 10-MT Listeners for Random Act of Kindness day! Click the link to go download it on Kindle today! (US Story only, sorry international friends.)

Today’s FREEBIE! Today only, February 17, to celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day, Jessica is having her own random act of kindness to 10-MT listeners by giving away the Kindle version of her book free on the US Amazon Kindle store!”It’s a Teacher Thing! FAQ Guide and Reflective Journal for New Teachers” is currently available in eBook and paperback through Amazon Kindle. Visit  — and it is free today on Kindle in the US Amazon store! Enjoy and thank you, Jessica!

Jessica Gordon , 6th grade teacher from Missouri gives us simple tips to gamify our classrooms. Jessica Ratliff-Gordon is an elementary educator, author, and doctoral student at Northcentral University.  Currently, she serves as a sixth-grade geography teacher for the Poplar Bluff School District as well as a Project Manager for Hilton Publishing.

In today’s show, we’ll discuss:

  • 5 cool tools: Wheel Decide, Breakout Facebook groups, challenges, some awesome quizzing tools (see links below)
  • Simple tips on making any lesson more fun
  • The big mistake many educators make when working to gamify their classroom

I hope you enjoy this episode with Jessica !

10-Minute Teacher Show Stitcher

Want to hear another episode on game based learning? Listen to Michael Matera, teacher and author of Explore Like a Pirate, share ideas for using games in your classroom. See the full list of shows.


Selected Links from this Episode


Editor’s Note: See the 10MT Interview with Breakout EDU cofounder Adam Bellow for more on BreakoutEDU and Breakout Classrooms

DOWNLOAD TRANSCRIPT #15 Jessica Gordon and Adding Games to Your Classroom

This post is being added to the more than 100 resources in my Epic Guide to Game Based Learning. You might also be interested in a tool I use to quickly create games that I blogged about yesterday

Full Bio


Jessica Ratliff-GordonJessica Ratliff-Gordon - YmP7_fGu_400x400 (1)

Jessica Ratliff-Gordon is an elementary educator, author, and doctoral student at Northcentral University. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, she first began her teaching career at Buder Elementary within the St. Louis Public School District. Currently, she serves as a sixth-grade geography teacher for the Poplar Bluff School District as well as a Project Manager for Hilton Publishing. For more information about the author and her current publications follow her on Twitter @1337teach, Goodreads, or search for seller “1337 Teacher” on Teachers Pay Teachers.


Some links in this post are affiliate links.

The post 5 Simple Ways to Gamify Your Classroom appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



From http://ift.tt/2l0tOy8
via Vicki Davis at coolcatteacher.com. Please also check out my show for busy teachers, Every Classroom Matters and my Free teaching tutorials on YouTube.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Game Based Learning: Make Fast Teaching Games with SMART lab



Sponsored Post by SMART Learning Suite

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Formative assessment and game based learning make a powerful combination in the classroom. I love SMART lab, a new feature of the SMART Learning Suite. Recently, when they sponsored several of my 10-Minute Teacher episodes, I tested SMART Notebook.

While testing their software as part of the vetting process, I fell in love with SMART lab. So, here’s a tutorial. Set up a free trial and try it yourself.

In this article, you’ll learn how to use SMART lab to build fast games and lessons.  We’ll also look at how using this tool changes the lesson planning workflow. For example, for me, the SMART Notebook makes it easier to present student games, formative assessment, and contentin a smooth, seamless way.

Tutorial: How to Make a Fast Game Based Learning Lesson with SMART lab

This is a sponsored post by SMART Learning Suite. Download a free trial.

My Typical Workflow for Teacher-Guided Discussions

Typically, when I have content and am going to teach it directly in the classroom, my workflow goes like this:

  1. Create an open-ended response activity
  2. Make the slides
  3. Make the formative assessment games and activities
  4. When I’m presenting, switch back and forth.

Admittedly, I do teacher-guided lessons far less than I used to — maybe 30 minutes a week per class. However, when I do, I want my lessons to be fun, exciting and promote cooperative learning. So, game based learning is a big part of most lessons. I also know formative assessment works and use it heavily.

What are SMART lab and SMART Learning Suite?

So, for those of you who are curious — SMART Learning Suite is the software that comes with SMART Boards. However, you don’t need a SMART Board to use their software. (I didn’t know that or I would have been using it already.)

A screenshot creating questions for Monster quiz in SMART lab a gbl game based learning tool for the classroom.

This is an example of how you enter questions quickly into SMART lab. Once you have your question bank entered, you can quickly pull the questions into a variety of fun, fast games for the classroom. (See the video tutorial for how I did it.)

Learn more about Smart Learning Suite

 I was very excited when I learned the SMART software could be used on my board for one big reason — Smart Exchange. I remember many years ago looking at all the resources and wishing I could get a SMART Board just for the software.

SMART lab Overview

The SMART lab feature is my favorite part of the SMART Learning Suite. Think Kahoot but with lots more options. My students like that the questions appear on their screens. I like that I can enter the questions in a bank (as I demonstrate in the video above) and make many different games off of one set of questions. That way, I can mix it up.

Ok, so I have already shared my workflow.

Not surprisingly, my big problem was just getting confused. I’d have PowerPoint or Keynote open. I’d have multiple Kahoot quizzes to open. I’d also have a Socrative ready to go. I didn’t have a flow. I’d get confused. The students would have to go into several things. It wasn’t a method I could really recommend to other teachers.

Now, my presentations flow.

Monster Quiz is part of SMART lab a gbl game based learning tool I use in my classroom

Ninety-five percent of my students prefer monster quiz to Kahoot as the questions show on the mobile devices. There are other games that do not require individual devices. This is just their favorite.

My Workflow Now with SMART Notebook

So, this workflow is much easier in the SMART Notebook:

  1. I create my presentation and embed my games in SmartNotebook.
  2. I start the notebook and launch into full screen and we’re ready to go.

The only tip — because I use the activities in multiple classes — is to end the activity and remove the students before the next class arrives. Now that I know how to do this, it takes less than a minute to set up between classes.

Most of the games can be played as a class from the board or projector.

My Favorite Game

The overwhelming class favorite is the Monster Quiz game. (see video) My students like seeing the questions on their own phone. I had them vote and compare and in each of the two classes. I had 95% of the students prefer the monster quiz game to Kahoot.

Monster quiz has every student use a device and is much like Kahoot but with one big difference — the questions are randomly shown on each student’s screen. Each student has their own quiz. Furthermore, if they miss the questions, they are presented the question again.

The program makes setting up teams a snap. I feed the points into our other game-based learning activity so their avatars can level up in Classcraft.

I timed it, it takes me less than 5 minutes to put in a quick 8-question game to play. It takes us about 4 or 5 minutes to play it, making this a fast formative assessment tool. I also like that I can go from activity to activity with a quick click like from one slide to another. I don’t have the long process of stopping a game in Kahoot, finding the next one and starting it again.

How SMART lab works with my students?

So, last Friday I had presented some material to my ninth graders on programming concepts. On Monday, we played a review game about programming concepts. Then, we reviewed and discussed. To finish, I ran the game again with different teams. The students recalled the concepts and I found them using the terminology in class.

So, then I tackled my very big project — SAT review. I’ve got SAT slides and review games scattered everywhere, so I’m using SMART Notebook to bring it all together in one place.

I’ve created a quick tutorial video (above) to show how to find and add things to the SMART Notebook. There are lots of learning objects in the gallery. From graph paper to graphics, pretty much everything a teacher would want is in the software. At first, I just browsed, but then, I started searching in the box for what I wanted to add.

Second, you have the option of going to SMART Exchange and finding things other teachers have made. There are ways you can import and export and share with just other teachers at your school but SMART Exchange has lots of features in it.

There is a new Math Equation editor that I’m using for the math review portion of the SAT.  Also, you can insert objects and items from Geogebra.

I also found a robust library of material for grammar review.

A tip for multiple classrooms

I did find out that I need to make sure that click “end activity” before I open the next activity. Also, keeping a separate notebook for the different classes is best.

I think SMART Learning Suite is a much better way to have games, content, and my presentations put together. I highly recommend that you download the trial and play Monster game for yourself. See what game based learning can do for your classroom.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to edit and post it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.) 

The post Game Based Learning: Make Fast Teaching Games with SMART lab appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



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via Vicki Davis at coolcatteacher.com. Please also check out my show for busy teachers, Every Classroom Matters and my Free teaching tutorials on YouTube.

The Heartwarming Story Behind the Viral Video and Principal Tim Hadley’s Stand Against Bullying



10MT Episode #14 A Positive Way to Stand Against Bullying

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

how to stand against bullying tim hadley (2)

Bullying is so hard to handle. Often it is difficult to know what to do. Is it true? Was the student who is upset just overly sensitive? And then, those who do the bullying are often in the majority and “close ranks” so it can be almost impossible to get at the behavior. That is why Principal Tim Hadley’s (@MrHadleyHistory) stand against bullying by shaving his head is so remarkable. His unique solution changed the conversation at his school, showing us that we educators really do have an opportunity to change the conversation.

Listen Now

Whether we realize it or not, the toughest situations are the canvas upon which we can paint the most vivid positive memories of how to live life. Today, for Thought Leader Thursday, let’s  think about how we can use unconventional responses to the most difficult problems we face at school.

Tim Hadley is the principal at Pekin CSD Middle School in Packwood, Iowa. When a little boy, Jackston, came to school with a bald head in support of his grandfather with cancer and was picked on, Mr. Hadley’s unconventional solution has gone viral, and rightly so. Our ACTIONS often have more power than our WORDS.  This is one of those episodes you’ll want to share just because it hits at the heart of who we are as educators.

We have thousands of examples of how NOT to handle bullying. Well, today, here’s a masterful example of what TO do.

In this episode we cover…

  • What happened when Tim got a call at home from a parent about bullying
  • The creative way Tim decided to solve the problem
  • The positive response from the student and parent
  • How students are sorry for behavior and positive conversations have started
  • Tim’s thoughts on handling bullying and what really works

I hope you enjoy this episode with Tim!

If you like the show, would you leave a review on iTunes?

10-Minute Teacher Show Stitcher

Want to hear another inspiring story? Listen to Jim Forde’s recording of “You’re the Teacher” and the inspiring message for teachers he shares with it.


 

Selected Links from this Episode


I found the raw, unedited video so you can see exactly what happened. There are other “polished” versions on Inside Edition, etc. but I wanted you to see it as it was. Just watch the beginning until the head shaving. I just think that the speech he gives about supporting one another and being a family is one every school should have and aspire to have.

Full Bio


Tim Hadley

Tim Hadley is the current junior high and high school principal at Pekin Community Schools in Packwood, Iowa. Mr. Hadley has a passion for motivating all students to achieve the best they are capable of in all areas of life and education. He and his wife, Bethany, a Math teacher, reside in Ollie, Iowa with their two children.

The post The Heartwarming Story Behind the Viral Video and Principal Tim Hadley’s Stand Against Bullying appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



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via Vicki Davis at coolcatteacher.com. Please also check out my show for busy teachers, Every Classroom Matters and my Free teaching tutorials on YouTube.
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