Tuesday, July 28, 2015


I read my 2015 summer reading list this morning, well at least most of it. As I read through the articles, I made decisions about what to do with each one with respect to the year ahead. When you read professional information, it's best to read, plan, and act as that ascertains that the reading will find a place in the development of your craft. I added this action list to my 2015-2016 Teaching/Learning list.

The most inspiring article I read was the most recent, "Access to Learning Content Is Not The Same as Equity in Education" by Jordan Shapiro," which really struck a nerve in me. I want to reread the article again with greater reflection, but for now it will stand as a centerpiece for my work in the year ahead.

Another very powerful article was "Changing What We Teach" by Terry Heick. I was happy to be introduced to Heick and his terrific ideas and images. I know connecting with his work further will deepen my ability to design learning well with and for students.

Less intense, but still valuable, were a number of articles that led me to the actions listed below.

Improved Classroom Efforts
Action: Continue to advocate for meaningful technology use and integration. Use the articles noted here as part of that advocacy.

Action: Follow Tony’s lead by demonstrating empathy (“I can understand where you’re coming from. . .”), having fun with students, listening more than talking (a challenge for a talker/writer like me), create and learn daily, and pay attention to cultural relevancy and each student’s/colleague’s areas of interest and competency.

Actions: Attention to seeking out the best assistive technologies to help each and every student and continued to focus on personalized, blended learning.

Action: Continue to advocate for modern-age, healthy, inspiring cafeteria.

Action: Students love animation, play with and then share the apps listed on this list.

Positive PLC and Collegial Efforts
Action: Bring design think to PLCs:
  1. Understand the users.
  2. Observe the current status quo.
  3. Define the problem.
  4. Brainstorm solutions.
  5. Sketch or build a model of a rough plan.
  6. Test new solutions.

Leadership and Teaching Skills
Action: Print this article and hang it in my teaching corner. Use the language with colleagues and students, apply the attributes to the best of my ability.

This is another great article to print and post in your work area. Good language to share with colleagues and students too.

Learning Design
Action: This article would be a great focus of a PLC as it demonstrates how we can use technology to better support culturally proficient teaching. The article offers a great lens for inclusive learning design.

Action: More great considerations for culturally proficient teaching. I want to intentionally employ the attributes listed here and above to a specific unit and chart the results. This will help to embed these characteristics into my work.

Action: How can I deepen learning in all areas? When I teach, I need to ask, “Is this deep learning--why or why not?” Then make necessary changes.

Action: Excellent how-to post for creating a maker space. I like the idea of using themes. I’ll start with a measurement theme this year.

Action: Good article for child-centered learning. I especially like the advice to make time for students’ personal issues.

Action: We can employ these brain-based strategies into all curriculum areas. Children learn best when active, intellectually and emotionally safe, empowered, and when they understand the power of confusion.

More considerations for deep learning design. Good work to consider as I work with curriculum leaders and coaches on learning design work.

Parent/Colleague Share
Action: I want to share this article with families and colleagues at the start of the school year.

Action: Next time a visiting educator remarks on students moving around, I’ll share this article.

Math Education
Action: Embed into first STEAM Theme: Measurement

Action: Integrate into SRSD Problem Solving work.

Action: Integrated into Landmark Numbers unit