Posted in education, Learning standards

Saturday Study and Standards

sbg2I’m taking part in the #IMMOOC Challenge.  My challenge to myself during this process is to make my learning more visible and to be a little more vulnerable by just posting and not rewriting all of my blogs.

Every Saturday since I can remember, I’ve gotten up and read or studied something.  Today, my #SaturdayStudy has been on standards-based grading. (SBG)

I like the theory behind SBG.  Instead of an arbitrary number, the stuspg1dent is told their mastery of a standard.  That to me seems more valuable to me as a teacher and as a parent, but more so as a student. I’ve grown particularly fond of the “riding a bicycle chart” to describe the mastery of a standard.

I’ve read this article from ASCD on the subject, and it has given me an overview of the subject of SBG.  In my current school district, we’re using SBG in elementary schools, with the plan to move it into intermediate schools in a couple of years.

I’m particularly fond of the self-reflection piece of SBG.  As educators, we talk so much about learning, we need to make sure we’re helping our students learn more about it as well.

Learning is a process that isn’t stagnant; it doesn’t end when one receives a spgdiploma.  One of the effects I can see of SBG is that students will learn to master the standard, not just look for a grade on a report card.

My question for my PLN – do you have suggestions on what I should read about SBG?  What are your thoughts on SBG?  Please leave me a comment and let me know.

Posted in education

Thoughtful Reflection

imThis week I’ll begin to take part in the #IMMOOC challenge.  This challenge includes the reading (or rereading) of the book The Innovator’s Mindset, taking part in multiple challenges and reflecting via blog posts.  This blog post is part of the challenge.

I enjoy blogging but will admit that at times I find my blogs go unpublished.  If you were to look in my drafts you’d see a myriad of amazing topics ready to publish.  I’m just not sure they are perfect.

This leads me to think – blogging isn’t about being perfect, but instead is a mindful reflection amongst colleagues.  Blogging is more about me reflecting to become a better leader, coach, and educator.educator-as-lead-learner

To become the best coach I can be I need to model the learning journey.

I’m looking forward to this journey – and I promise to pull some of the past blog posts that are in hiding out for all to see!  (I will check my spelling and word choice first!!)

Posted in education, innovation, technology

Empowering Students

socialjusticeBeing a student today is a much different experience than most adults experienced.  As educators, we have to realize that today’s students need an experience that empowers them.  What students don’t need is to have information shoveled into their heads, instead, they need to learn to create and optimize the tools they have to make a difference in the world.

Technology now allows all of us to be global learners and social change agents.  The walls of our classrooms are now a physical barrier that we can overcome.  As we talk about the need to help students develop core values, our students can learn about how those values make a global impact.

For example, I recently discussed with a group of teachers the impact that Skype can have in a classroom.  Skype is very simple to use but allows students to connect with others across the globe.  I’ve worked with a teacher who facilitated a discussion among students in Texas with students in Brasil.  What a powerful experience for her students.

Our community is still rebuilding after Hurricane Harvey.  I’m now part of a Facebook technologygroup created to send books to our campus, I’ve seen and taken part in Flipgrid videos that are created to uplift our students in this very difficult time.  The outpouring of love from those around the world to help our students has emphasized how technology can be used to empower others to make a positive difference in the world.

I recently had a discussion with a colleague about our views on the ever-changing role of schools in our community.  Our original university education programs didn’t prepare us for the evolution of the new school.

Like most careers, research and advancements in technology have taken us to new and exciting heights in the understanding of the child and how best to serve them in classrooms.  Using the classroom as a way to empower students to see themselves as agents of change makes the classroom relevant, years after the lesson has been taught.


Posted in education

#IMMOOC Building Conditions to Support Innovation

If you are new to my blog, I am taking part in an online course (IMMOOC) over the book, The Innovator’s Mindset.   This entry is my reflection on the reading and the answer to my blog question.

Assigned Blog Question:  How do you create or build on these conditions to support innovation? What has been the impact on those you serve?

This week’s blog challenge has helped cement my ideas on howfoundation a technology coach can help a teacher develop an Innovator’s Mindset.  As I ask teachers to take a risk, it is my job to take risks with them.

I really like the foundation graphic on the right,  creating meaningful learning experiences for educators really speaks to me.  Most of my day is spent in professional learning experiences.  Either simple training or more complex coaching.  These learning experiences help a teacher build their own road to innovation.

When our district first went 1:1, I made a sign for my office door. The sign said, “It is NOT about the device, it is about the learning” but I wonder if in my zeal to help teachers become more innovative, if I really practiced what I preached.

Relationships – Relationships – Relationships

If I want someone to take a leap, I have to be there to catch them if they need it. It is not about the device, it is about the people.  As those relationships grow, my role as a coach becomes more meaningful.

Also, when I look at relationships, I have to remember that it is important for me to stay networked. This includes my immediate work family, but also my PLN.  I’m very excited to go to ISTE this year to meet some of the other #IMMOOC members!

I have realized that it is not just the ideas that I might get, but the courage to step out and try something innovative.  I’m looking forward to going to ISTE and meeting some of these people face to face.

Later this week I’ll share my reflection on how an innovator’s mindset can affect students.

One of the fun things we did this week is to develop a MEME based on our learning for the week.  I really enjoyed making a Meme!



(Challenges for this week can be found here on the #IMMOOC Page)

Posted in education

Innovation is not about the stuff! #IMMOOC

th This week in our #IMMOOC  study  of the book, The Innovators Mindset, we were encouraged to reflect on critical questions for educators in Chapter Two.  As I started looking at the question it reminded me of a grad school project on my perfect school.    I pulled out that old “perfect” school, and found that my new perfect school was focused more on the staff  then the stuff.

Questions that resonate with me focus on recognizing the student’s passion and assuring that we’re focusing on the needs of each student.  Having a staff that focuses on what each student needs at that moment and what each student is passionate about is my perfect school.  In my perfect school students will create, innovate, fill safe to try, realize that if they falter the first time, they can try again. To be able to assure that students have all these things we need to make sure our teachers are resilient and have the grit to keep trying new things, realize that they must think about the students’ needs and not their teaching style.  We need innovative educational facilitators.


I want teachers who are leaders, willing to take a risk and do things that allow students to think and create.

Essentially, my new perfect school is very people focused.  Of course I want a great facility that supports innovation.  WIFI that never goes down – great computers – a world class library with databases filled to meet all student needs – flexible seating options -a performing art center –  a music wing – an art wing that celebrate the arts  – Science and Math labs that allow for creativity -an Agriculture Wing that grows the food our students eat at school everyday – engineering and robotics classrooms  – a culinary arts lab that will provide our school lunches – an AV program that creates news for our school and reports on the local news stations – A CTE program that provides students options for the future  –   a state of the art Makerspace and each student will go home with a computer and WIFI accessible to them at home.

As cool as all that “stuff” sounds – innovative educators are paramount!

8 Characteristics of The Innovator’s Mindset