Posts tagged ‘education’

Integrating Kid-Entrepreneurs into the Classroom

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” Walt Disney

We are hearing more and more about ‘Kid-Entrepreneurs’ from different sources such as the news to shark tank. Often teachers ask me, ‘how do you let the students know about these students?’ Below I give you three ways you can add it into your classroom, share my favorite 12 Kid-Entrepreneurs and a few sites that also can help you.

  1. Create a Kid-Entrepreneurs bulletin board in your classroom. On this board have the Kid-Entrepreneurs pictures and some information about what they invented. (Make it interactive and let the students add to it – you will be surprised how any go home and research it!)
  2. Use articles that are about Kid-Entrepreneurs in your classroom. For example have them do a close read.
  3. Add it into your morning meetings/class advisory time; once a week you can highlight a Kid-Entrepreneur.

Kid-Entrepreneurs to utilize in the Classroom:

  1. Adora Svitak, age 18  (started at 12)  Writer, speaker, advocate (if you haven’t watched her Ted Talks you are missing out, my favorite is ‘What adults can learn from kids’)
  2. Jake Andraka, age 17 (started at 15) – Jack Andraka
  3. Mikaila Ulmer, age 11 – Me and the Bees
  4. Alina Morse, age 10 – Zollipops
  5. Isabella Rose Taylor, age 15 – Isabella Rose Taylor Fashion
  6. Kid President, age 14, (started at 10) Kid President
  7. Rachel Zietz, age 15 – Gladiator Lacrosse
  8. Madison Robinson, ag2 18 (started at 12) – Fish Flops
  9. Mercer Henderson, age 13 – Audiots
  10. Thomas Suarez, age 17 (started at 12) CarrotCorp (His Ted Talk as an app developer)
  11. Hart Main, age 18 (started at 13) ManCans 
  12. E2D (a local Kid-Entrepreneurs from Charlotte)

Meet 15 Superkids Who Are Going to Change the World

9 Amazing (Very) Young Entrepreneurs 

Other Kid-Entrepreneurs Resources:

Kidpresneurs Site

Project Based Entrepreneurship (Biz World)

Biz Kids Site

The Start-Up Kids

Google Science Contest

Kids News (Entrepreneurs) 

Lesson Plans for Classroom Activities on Entrepreneurship 

Ted Talk  Related to Kid-Entrepreneurs 

 

You might even have some Kid-Entrepreneurs in your classroom!

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Moving Through The Continuum of Instructional Models

“Education is the key to success in life, and teachers make a lasting impact in the lives of their students.” By Solomon Ortiz

As we continue to change out instructional practices in the classroom, I think the difference between teacher centered, student centered and student driven need to be defined better. I do not see student centered and student driven as interchangeable as they are not the same. I see these instructional models as a continuum and defined below.Slide3 copy.jpgWe need to help move teachers across the continuum so that our classrooms are becoming places where students are agents of their own learning which is what Personalized Learning is all about. Personalized Learning leads to more student motivation, independence and empowerment. How do we move teachers across this continuum? Here are few ways to start making the shift across the continuum; the most important thing is to remember to start small and at your pace.

From Teacher Driven to Student Centered:

  • Allow students to have choice through a standard based choice board
  • Implement a workshop model
  • Allow students to self assess after a project is complete (self-assessment)
  • Allow students to set goals.

From Student Centered to Student Driven:

  • Allow students to own and track their own data
  • Allow students to chose what task they want to complete off their data
  • Allow students to plan lessons of skills they have mastered

The hardest thing for teachers to do within each model is the release of control to the students. As you move across the continuum, the teacher has less control which often gets confused with not having any classroom management but this should not be the case. There always should still be rules and clear expectations in the classroom no matter what model you are utilizing.

 

 

Entrepreneurship in the Classroom

“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” by Albert Einstein

Guest Blog Post by: Dylan Schreiner 

Whether people like to admit it or not, entrepreneurship involves everyone. Even professionals not commonly thought of as being business related. For example, an artist is still an entrepreneur due to the fact that he or she needs to sell their art or put on a show at a venue. No matter where you look, entrepreneurship can relate. Such is why, I believe teachers should focus on implementing entrepreneurial activities into their subjects. Involvement with entrepreneurship teaches people firsthand life skills applicable to whatever field they choose. Specifically, having entrepreneurial activities and projects allow incredible learning that translates to real world experience. 

A project might involve raising funds or awareness for charity. For example, after learning about the risks of smoking in “Life Management” class, the students could attempt to spread awareness through email marketing.  They could use graphic design in “art class,”  marketing fundamentals learned in “economics class” and analytics learned in “math class.”  This is just one example that illustrates the point.

The following are some benefits of such a system:

1. Teaches how to better work in groups

All too often in group projects, one person carries the group by doing a majority of the work. Instead, by having projects where students can choose their roles and what they’re passionate about, they become more invested. Also, even if one role gets filled, a person gets to learn how to do something new and thereby increase their skill set.

2. Give students marketable skills and experience

One huge limiting factor for students just entering the workforce, whether for a summer job/internship or a full time job, relates to experience. It’s almost as if a cycle exists by which lack of experience inhibits getting a job, but then students are stuck with no experience because they can’t get a job. Therefore, by creating projects with market potential and real world experience, graduates truly enter the job market ahead of the pack.

For example, if students were able to develop a product and were able to bring it to market, the experience gained through that entire process would make them more sought out by employers. . If that product were, let’s say a mobile phone application, the students involved in coding the application would also be sought after by potential employers. This idea even works for the arts. What English department or publishing company wouldn’t want a student with experience in marketing something? After all, sometimes the hardest part is selling your art.

3. Provides a well-rounded education

Think about it. How often do students in one college or area of study interact with those in another? Often, in college, all of the business majors group together and all of the engineers do the same. Even in high school, the AP and IB students are in a group of their own. Wouldn’t it be great if these students learned how to collaborate and gained a better understanding for the passions of one another? Doing so creates a society of well-rounded people adaptive to their environments.For example, working on projects that rely on creativity, adaptability and surviving change really sets someone up with the skills needed to be successful almost anywhere.

Overall, I hope to have interested you enough to think about including entrepreneurial activities in your school or classroom. Though, the article only includes some of the many benefits and reasons behind such an idea. Look out for continuation on this discussion in the future!

The Shift of the Role of the Teacher

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” By Anthony Robbins

The last 100 years in the workforce we needed farmers and factory workers. It was okay for classrooms to have a teacher at the front of the room, who was the only knowledge resource besides books, as the internet did not exist. Desks could be in rows because it replicated the workforce.

But times have changed; we must prepare today’s students for a different workforce. We know today’s students will have to create their jobs, not look for jobs. They will compete with others around the globe. They will have jobs replaced by outsourcing and technology if their skills are easily replicated or duplicated.  To succeed, students will need creativity, communication, critical thinking, collaboration, and entrepreneurship. They will need to be able to adapt to change, be resilient and able to work effectively in a variety of environments.

How do we do this? We need to empower students to take ownership of their learning but we also need teachers to not be the sage on the stage but the guide on the side. I know what you are thinking, ‘but how to do we shift the role of the teacher as change is hard’ and you are right. But just because something is hard doesn’t mean that it can’t happen.

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Teachers, instructional coaches and administration need to self-evaluate where they are on the teacher continuum and be purposeful in making small scaffolded changes. Hard work does happen over night, as educators will need time and so will students. To be purposeful, we need to look at the instructional approaches to create personal learning opportunities for students.  

A few ways to make the shift up the ladder on the continuum: 

From Lecturer to Instructor: Start by creating mini-lesson for your students that are no longer than 10-15 minutes verse teaching your whole instructional block. Implement a workshop model such as balanced literacy, daily 5 or math workshop that have students complete work both guided with others and individually.

From Instructor to Facilitator: Start by incorporating a rotation model; if you have a few devices or are a BYOT school try a blended learning model such as rotation station. A rotation model allows you as a teacher to teach mini-lessons to small groups verse whole class. The students should be grouped based on learning needs according to your data and each mini-lesson should address those needs.  The data can be informal such as an exit ticket or formal such as a pre-assessment. You can also use the rotation model to do student/teacher conferences as well. If you were doing 20 min. rotations, the other 10 minutes you can conference with a few students each day after the mini-lesson. I used to make a schedule so that each week I would meet with the students at least once. (See Week Learning Guide Example and Week Learning Guide Template) Examples of the other rotations can be students are practicing the skills with manipulatives/games with partners at another station they can do independent work such as a playlist, contract or choice board. (*Note rotation station model is different than stations! Stations is where each student rotates through and are learning and practicing the same skills. Rotation station is when the students are going to the same places ‘station’ but are doing work on the skills they need.)

From Facilitator to Coach: This is the hardest shift and takes a lot of management. In this approach students get what they need, when they need it, not at a set pace. A teacher/coach works on the skills the individual student needs. Students and teachers together make action plans based on the students needs according to a pre-assessment. When a student finishes a unit they can move on to the next unit. There is no mini-lessons but small teaching moments during conferencing and facilitation. Students use playlists and each other to master the skills.

Other ways to help teachers make the shift:

  • Innovation and continuous improvement needs to be embedded in a schools/districts DNA.
  • Everyone needs to understand the ‘WHY’ this change needs to happen and be apart of it.
  • Administration needs to have a safe learning environment that looks at failure as a way to learn. They also have to understand that every teacher is different and will be at different places on the continuum.
  • Teachers need to be coached, supported and helped along in the process on making the shift into the different roles.
  • Have teachers visit other teachers.  Seeing it in action helps teachers visualize.

I would love to hear how you as an educator have made the shift in transforming your teaching or how you have coached (as an instructional facilitator or administrator) teachers to make the shift.

Pixar Pitches in Education

“Write it. Shoot it. Publish it. Crochet it, sauté it, whatever. MAKE.” By Joss Whedon

This summer I learned a new way to present information in a quick manner called Pixar Pitch. The concept is that if you only have 60 seconds (elevator speech) to ‘sell/tell’ your idea, you need to know the key important information. To help condense your story into a single paragraph, Daniel Pink, the author of “To Sell Is Human,” suggests using this  6 sentence formula original created by Emma Coats.
 

Pixar Pitch Formula:
– Once upon a time…
– Every day or year…
– Then one day…
– Because of that…
– After That…
– Until Finally…

 
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Here is an education example that I created. The topic: Personalized Learning.
 

Once upon a time…we wanted to maximize student academic achievement in the 21st century through innovation.
Every day…we took notice that the world was changing. We were preparing our students for jobs that were not even invented.
Then one day…we realized we needed to make an instructional shift and personalize the students learning.
Because of that…we created a cohort of schools that would focus on an instructional design that requires a fundamental shift from a traditional teaching model, to a classroom that empowers and nurtures the social, emotional, academic, and developmental needs of each self-directed 21st century learner.
After That…the schools focused on the whole child, student ownership, mastery learning and paces, playlists and pathways.
Until Finally…we changed the classroom experience and raised student achievement.

 

Here is another example by Jay Connor from his blog. The topic: The community is seeking to dramatically improve early childhood reading outcomes.

 

Once upon a time there was … an education crisis haunting our schools and communities across North America.
Every day … large percentages of our children were not achieving proficiency in vital literacy skills to the point that some in our community even doubted whether they ever could.
One day … we developed a simple and shared definition of what children had to know to be ready for school.
Because of that … our early childhood centers and parents became better at helping all children enter kindergarten ready to learn
Because of that … teachers were free to work more on skill development for each individual child.
Until finally … every child, irrespective of ethnic or economic circumstance, became a proficient reader by the end of third grade.

 

I would love to hear your examples of using Pixar Pitches in education. Please share in the comments.

My Learnings Digested from #ISTE2014

“Actions speak louder than buzzwords. ” Adam Bellows

ISTE2014 Bound

ISTE2014 Bound

It is hard to believe a week ago I was at #ISTE2014 with 16,039 conference goers, from all 50 states along with 67 nations! It has taken me some time to process and digest what I learned from the conference that is now a check off my bucket list!

Top 3 Takeaways:

1. I want to be like Kevin Carroll! Why? He believed in himself, he was a change agent and a catalyst. By far  Kevin’s keynote was the most inspirational and best session I attended. His keynote speech has not been released yet but when it does, if you have not seen it, you need too. Here is a quick interview with him: Kevin Carroll at ISTE 2014 and his book: Rules of the Red Rubber Ball

2. Relationships and collaboration of ideas are the most important part of learning. My second favorite part about ISTE was the people, sharing ideas in lines, at meals and at events. I loved meeting my virtual PLN face to face and collaborating with educators from my own district that I don’t get to see so often and ones that I do!

3.  There is a lot of misconceptions about what Personalized Learning is. Personalized Learning encompasses many best practices that teachers already do such as conferring/conferencing with students, build relationships and allowing students to own their learning. What it is NOT: Personalized Learning does not mean technology. Technology is a tool to help the instructional shift that needs to be made in the classroom. There is no one Learning Management System (LMS), web tool, app or device that is the magic bullet for personalized leaning.

Top 3 Websites to check out:

1. Tackk : is a simple way to create beautiful pages on the web. It’s your very own page, flyer, blog post, or poster.

2. Graphite: Is a great site by Common Sense Media  that make it easier for educators to find the best apps, games, and websites for the classroom, making sure they are common core aligned and the rigor and relevance is there.

3.  Tammy Wocester : I used to visit Tammy’s site often a few years ago as I loved her ideas. I am glad I went to her session and was reminded how great it is.

Top 3 ideas to implement: 

1. #youmatter: I have heard about you matter by watching the TED talk but going to the session helped me realize it’s about personalizing the students learning through whole child approach. It is a movement. Here are more sites to add to your #youmatter resources:  http://choose2matter.org,  http://www.classroomchampions.org  and you matter day using #mattergrams

2. App Speed Dating: Is where students teach educators about apps they like to use in the classroom.  A great way to offer PD to teachers and allow student leadership.

3. Edtechwomen: One of the events I went to at ISTE was the #edtechwomen dinner. It was a favorite for me as I was inspired by so many amazing women; learning about their stories and journeys. I also learned the most about myself during this event as I never realized how much I ‘downgrade’ things I have accomplished in my life, such as when I introduced myself, I stated what my job was but I neglected to also state that I own my own company. That is something that is apart of me that I don’t share often enough, yet it is a huge accomplishment. I am slowly learning that I need to be proud of all that I have done. I’m in the process of starting a chapter of #edtechwomen for the charlotte area. Once I learn more I will be sure to share as I hope you will be involved and yes, men are welcome as they are our ‘malallies’ – male + allies.

Other great reflections and posts from ISTE2014:

Anibal Pacheco’s – Interviews w/ Presenters and Special Guests

Erin Klein’s: Reflections from #iste2014

Rafranz DavisPassion Fueled Connection

Lisa Pagano’s: Beginning to Process #iste2014

ISTE 2014 Sessions with Published Handout Links

Google Doc: ISTE 2014 Session Notes

Melissa  Edwards Reflections

If you would like to experience #iste2015 in Philly you can start checking out ISTE’s site.

Mini #edcamps for School Level PD

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” By Henry Ford

Edcamps are free unconferences where educators lead/facilitate the discussions based on topics they are interested. Edcamps started about five years ago and are modeled after bar camps (it has nothing to do with liquor). Now there are parent, student and leadership edcamps! Edcamp’s vision and mission is:

Vision: We are all self-directed learners, developing and sharing our expertise with the world.

Mission: We build and support a community of empowered learners.

Check out this great Edcamp 101 Video to learn more in just a few minutes.

The first edcamp I attended was edcampsc. I later attended Charlotte’s Bar Camp and both were well worth my time! Because of these great learning experiences; I have been replicating “mini” edcamp style PD sessions at schools. (I will also be hosting a full edcampcms in the Fall of 2014)  These mini edcamp PD session have been very successful and I think more schools should do them as it builds school culture, teacher leadership and is differentiated based on teachers needs.

How I set up a “mini” edcamp PD is I send the Edcamp 101 Video prior the PD session. This allows teachers  to have background knowledge on what it is going to kind of look like plus they start thinking about topics. When they walk into the PD session, on tables I have sticky notes where teachers can write down topics they want to learn/discuss (just like a real edcamp) and they place them on a large white board or chart paper. As they are writing and posting them on he board, I move the topics into session sections. Each session section has three to four topics per session depending on the size of the group. If I get topics that are similar, I put them together and give them a category name. For example, if one teacher writes conferring and one writes guided reading – I might put them together and call it balanced literacy.

What makes them “mini”are the edcamps sessions are only 20 mins because after school PD is usually only  an hour or an hour and fifteen minutes. (Typical edcamp sessions are 50-60 mins)

Schedule Template for Mini “Edcamp” if you had an hour and fifteen minute PD: 

8 mins introduction reviewing rules and giving input

20 min session

2 min rotation

20 min session

2 min rotation

20 session

3 minute wrap up/closing

Here are more resources that can help you start your own edcamp or “mini” edcamp:

Edcamp Foundation

Why Edcamp?

An Elementary Edcamp- An Unconference for Students

ParentCamp and A Guide to Hosting Your Own ParentCamp

Edcamp Leadership

Introduction to Edcamp: A New Conference Model Built on Collaboration

The power of ‘edcamps’ and ‘unconferencing’

Unconference: Revolutionary professional learning

 

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