Updates from January, 2013 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • differentways2teach 10:20 pm on January 30, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: adding decimals with regrouping, combine decimals, decimal modeling, Explain Everything, physical model decimals   

    Screencasting with Explain Everything 

    I’m so excited! Do you love to screencast your lessons? Have you tried The Explain Everything application?
    It’s free and allows you to create your own slides, then record your video all on your iPad device! I have been preparing for my future absence from work by recording my lessons on Explain Everything, then exporting them to You Tube. Instead of written substitute plans, I’ll just have the sub show the video, then assign accompanied work! I literally created these four slides during a fire drill today. Next, once I got home this evening, I recorded the voice over the lesson in about 10-15 minutes. Finally, I compressed and exported the lesson. The biggest kink in the application for me was having to put down my iPad with the files compressed and exported. Unfortunately, you cannot run any other apps while they are compressing and exporting. This process took about 20 minutes. But, this was hands off time that allowed me to do other things.

    Check out the screencast below Nd let me know what you think. Won’t you try it out today and let me know what you think. Better yet, leave a comment and give me your link to you Explain Everything video screencast!

    Link to YouTube movie:add decimals with models
    Movie title: How to add decimals with models
    Movie description: decimal tiles addition using model method
    Movie category: Education
    The movie is public

  • differentways2teach 1:38 am on January 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Catholic special needs students, individual education plan, school program expansion, Special needs program   

    Preparing to Expand SPICE 

    I’m back in the saddle this semester with the growth of the SPICE (Special People in Catholic Education) program here at St. Laurence.
    Learn more about SPICE…Special People in Catholic Education

    As far as we know, our Catholic school is the first in the state of Texas to entertain private and small group education programs for students who struggle in the classroom. Our year started out with only two students. Then we grew to three at the beginning of January. Now, brace yourself… We now have a fourth student who will begin next week!

    The first three students were currently being served in our school with two periods a day of pull out instruction. This fourth student will be served on a full time basis in SPICE with an inclusion concentration in the areas of social skills at recess, lunch, electives, and religious activities. We never anticipated the growth of our program to expand so fast.

    We are also planning a luncheon to announce the SPICE program in all its glory to our local community. Our goals include informing the parish and community and soliciting donations from those corporations and families who find it in their hearts to give back to an educational program they feel so passionate about.

    Pioneering such a plan can be very lonely when there’s nobody to ask for advice. In times like these, we have to pray and ask God to give us the insight we need in order to serve his mission and serve his children.

    I’d love to hear from you. Have you found any Catholic or religious schools that serve special needs students to such specific capacity? Is your private school looking to serve students with moderate to severe academic needs? Let’s share and learn from each other.

    A student during a private math lesson on decimal modeling at the Smart Board.

  • differentways2teach 9:05 pm on January 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: differentiation, education, effective teaching, facilitator   

    Eyes on Me…Highly Effective Teaching 

    Debate facilitators and creativity engineers are the most highly effective teachers. You cannot fake it, they are the ones with markers/paint/(insert tool here) on their pants at lunchtime. When you peek into their classroom, you might not spot them instantly. They are not found at the front of the classroom providing a lecture for the student. Likely, they are at a student’s desk interacting, challenging, and listening to what the students have to say. Expectations are high and all students and teams have a role in the process. These teachers often don’t even check their email until you remind them. Why? Well, they are working with the kids.

    Principals do not receive many referrals from these teachers, often never. The students are pawing at the door to get in and do not want to miss class. They might miss something fun and interesting (important-none the less). Kids are excited to be there and are always a captive audience in the arms of a highly-effective teacher.  The students know what to expect and can find a comfortable routine of classroom management in the classroom. The learning is student-led, teacher-directed. The technology is found in an arsenal of tools to support the learning platform. It doesn’t hinder the lessons and is transparent as the students utilize the Smart boards and the Internet.

    What makes you a highly effective teacher?

  • differentways2teach 6:03 am on January 6, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: New ideas   

    Refreshed and Rejuvenated 

    Oh, it has been way too long! As I analyze my goals for the new year, I definitely want to blog more regularly. The more I read about blogging, the more I learn that everything does not have to be perfect. In fact, many bloggers merely have an idea when they start to write.

    The point is, you just have to write…regularly. Of course, you want it to be interesting, this is one of the reasons why I haven’t done it in the fall semester. But, the main reason that I haven’t blogged is because I have been swamped in my new role as the SPICE (Special People in Catholic Education) Director/Coordinator this past fall. We have customized a 2 hour per day program for two current students to aid them in the areas where they struggle the most. Additionally, in the spring (just 2 days away), we’ll be adding a third student who is currently served in our school. Yeah!

    I have a part time paraprofessional who helps me to implement the plans with the students. But, I am responsible for the oversight of the program and further development. Interest in the program has increased anticipated enrollment up to 6-8 students for next school year. We will expand the part time program to full time for younger students who are just beginning their Catholic education journey.

    This will allow us to hire another special education teacher and another paraprofessional. I will be able to provide oversight, write grant proposals to find donations and funding, and continue to support all of my teachers as a whole. Every school continues to have students who struggle in the classroom and we are no exception. With a label or not, a struggling student is a struggling student.

    Besides, that is one of the best parts of my job… I get to be a special guest visitor to the classrooms to work with some or all of the students. I’m especially partial to math, but have spent the majority of my time with language arts students. This outreach really expands my horizons and visibility as well.

    I am refreshed and really for the challenges that 2013 has in store for me. What about you? Are you ready to get going again?

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