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John Evans

Embracing a "Tasks Before Apps" Mindset - 2 views

    "How can you place learning goals front and center in a tech-rich classroom? Let the phrase "tasks before apps" be your reminder to focus on technology's purpose for learning, even when bright and shiny digital tools grab your attention.

    As a teacher in a one-to-one iPad classroom, I strove to make the most of the tablets in my students' hands. From screencasting and moviemaking to reading activities and skill practice, these devices elevated and energized my students' learning experiences.

    Digital platforms can give children access to learning experiences that meet their individual needs, such as when a student uses the free Microsoft Learning Tool Immersive Reader to hear a passage read aloud. Digital tools can open up the world to students, such as virtual-reality videos from the New York Times that showcase a place they may never have the chance to visit.

    In my current role as a professional development facilitator, I spend time in other teachers' classrooms in schools across the country. The phrase "tasks before apps" was born out of my coaching conversations and presentations to educators. It is a reminder that, even as we consider how technology helps students do new and amazing things with their learning, we must always place learning goals at the forefront.

    Here are four strategies to make the most of technology and embrace a "tasks before apps" mindset this school year."
John Evans

An ASCD Study Guide for Learning Transformed: 8 Keys for Designing Tomorrow's Schools, ... - 1 views

    "This ASCD Study Guide is meant to enhance your understanding of the concepts and practical ideas presented in Learning Transformed: 8 Keys for Designing Tomorrow's Schools, Today, an ASCD book written by Eric C. Sheninger and Thomas C. Murray. You can use this study guide either with teachers if you are a professor, teacher leader, or coach, or with younger students if you are a classroom teacher. You may already have posed to yourself or a colleague many of the questions included here, and others will become evident as you read through the book. You may choose to answer the questions before tackling each chapter of the book or answer them as you finish the chapter. Each chapter is rich in information-content, pedagogy, and research-so take the time to digest one at a time. The study questions provided address some of the most salient ideas in the book. They do not address all of the notions covered in the book."
John Evans

ASCD Express 12.21 - Let's Build Roller Coasters! - 0 views

    "Summer fun. It is the absolute best. Whether you visit Six Flags, Kings Island, a Disney Park, Busch Gardens, or another amusement park, the looping lines of roller coasters offer the perfect lens for getting students to interact with STEM concepts. An old garden hose, duct tape, and a marble: the only materials that you need to build a roller coaster. Cut the hose in half, and then duct tape the two segments together down the back to create a nice groove where the two hoses meet for the marble to ride, on top. Then the materials are ready for students to explore the potential and kinetic energy of roller coasters."
John Evans

ASCD Express 12.15 - With Math, Seeing Is Understanding - 1 views

    "Helping children visualize math is critical to their success in the subject. I recently observed a 5th grade class starting a lesson on area and perimeter. I turned to a girl who was in my class four years earlier and reminded her that she knew the topic. "Yes I do!" she said excitedly. "The perimeter is where you sit along the outside of the rug in morning meeting, and area is the inside of the rug, where the squares are. That's from 1st grade," she said confidently, circling her fingers in the air to represent her thinking.
    Visual cues, like this one I use with my six- and seven-year-old students, stick and show that envisioning math helps children learn in lasting ways. We teachers can do more to give students internal ways to see the structure of mathematics-to understand types of units and what it means to move between them, and to pull apart and combine numbers. But math instruction is changing.
    At my school, in the early grades, we encourage children to use their fingers, something that feels so natural to them, to better understand numbers and the numbering system. We might talk about how a "high five" involves using a whole hand, which is really a unit made up of five fingers; while a thumbs-up involves just one segment of that five-part unit. We then go on to using things like beads on a string and, later, place-value disks, which are like poker chips, to help children see and work with numbers, units, and place value."
John Evans

ASCD EDge - Can Educators Ignore Social Media Any Longer? - 1 views

    "Social media enables collaboration, which for adult learning is the key to success for most adults. The best form of collaboration comes through conversation, which is often enabled by various social media tools. The key to accepting social media as a tool for learning comes in the term "Social". This requires involving other people in order to have a conversation. This requirement precludes the use of social media being a passive endeavor. It takes time to learn the tools, time to learn the culture, and time to learn the strategies to effectively learn through social media. All of this discourages people from even attempting to change what has made them comfortable in their profession. It requires effort, time, and work."
Phil Taylor

Empowering Students Through Technology: Moving Beyond Engagement | ASCD Inservice - 3 views

  • Technology can do a lot of things in our classroom, but one of its most important impacts is the ability to put the power of learning in the hands of the learners.
John Evans

14 Resources on Teaching a Growth Mindset | ASCD Inservice - 2 views

    "Research shows that teachers can greatly influence student mindsets. Learners who believe they can grow their basic abilities are more motivated and successful than students who believe their abilities are fixed. Here is a curated list of resources just released on ASCD myTeachSource that show you effective feedback strategies and how you can create a risk-tolerant, pro-growth learning environment from top education experts. "
John Evans

Three Ways to Use Podcasts This Summer | ASCD Inservice - 0 views

    "It's that time of year when both teachers and students are looking forward to time away from the classroom. The sun is out, and the days are long. We enjoy our quiet time, but at the same time, we know that soon we will be thinking about the ringing of bells throughout crowded hallways.

    I once heard a principal explain the summertime like this: Teachers think of July as one big Saturday. They wake up with an excited energy and spend each day enjoying every possible moment. However, teachers think of August like a Sunday. They start to become more focused on the upcoming year. They work on lesson plans, purchase school supplies, and look to see what is new in the world of education to make sure they are prepared for their incoming students.

    If this describes your typical summer routine, I would like to share some tips and tricks to stay updated throughout the summer and make your back-to-school prep as smooth as possible."
John Evans

ASCD EDge - School Culture Resources for Connected Educator Month - 1 views

    "ASCD's Connected Educator Month (CEM) resources and discussions this week are dedicated to school culture. We believe a key step to providing a welcoming, supportive environment for students is to offer you professional development resources that emphasize school culture. Visit this ASCD EDge® page for our updating list of overall CEM resources."
John Evans

Four Ways to Foster Independent Readers and Writers | ASCD Inservice - 0 views

    "As an elementary reading specialist, my passion and my goal is always to give students the confidence to see themselves as readers and writers. It seems to be a universal goal that teachers want students to become more independent. But how do we help them get there? "
John Evans

12 Tips for New Teachers (And Those Starting Anew in 2014) | ASCD Inservice - 0 views

    "For all of you new teachers out there (and also those who have been in the profession for a while now), I wish you years of success, as you are in the greatest position of all- the position to influence the lives of many students. Right now, your current focus is probably on how to have a successful first few weeks of school. What might be the best ways to spend your time as you are preparing for the school year to start? What are some things you should keep in mind once the students arrive and class begins?
    Here are 12 tips for success as you begin your career (or school year) and continue growing in the teaching

John Evans

Literature Circles: A Student-Centered Approach to Literacy - Ferndale, MI, United Stat... - 4 views

    "When we use literature circles, small groups of student gather for an in-depth discussion of a literary work. To ensure that students have a clear sense of direction and remain focused, each group member is given a specific task. For example, one student may be the designated artist; s/he is responsible for using some form of art to explore a main idea, a theme, or significant scene from the text. Another group member, the wordsmith, might be responsible for documenting important, unusual, or difficult words from the reading. Regardless of each student's role, each group must collaborate as they read, discuss and critically engage with texts."
John Evans

Educational Leadership:Making a Difference:Overcoming the Challenges of Poverty - 0 views


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    Online June 2014 | Volume 71
    Making a Difference Pages 16-21
    Overcoming the Challenges of Poverty

    Julie Landsman

    Here are 15 things educators can do to make our schools and classrooms places where students thrive.

    Last year, when I was leading a staff development session with teachers at a high-poverty elementary school, a teacher described how one of her kindergarten students had drifted off to sleep at his seat-at 8:00 a.m. She had knelt down next to the child and began talking loudly in his ear, urging him to wake up. As if to ascertain that she'd done what was best for this boy, she turned to the rest of us and said, "We are a 'no excuses' school, right?"

    A fellow teacher who also lived in the part of Minneapolis where this school was located and knew the students well, asked, "Did you know Samuel has been homeless for a while now? Last night, there was a party at the place where he stays. He couldn't go to bed until four in the morning."

    I couldn't help but think that if the "no excuses" philosophy a school follows interferes with basic human compassion for high-needs kids, the staff needs to rethink how they are doing things. Maybe they could set up a couple of cots for homeless students in the office to give them an hour or two of sleep; this would yield more participation than shouting at children as they struggle to stay awake.

    This isn't the first time I've heard of adults viewing low-income children as "the problem" rather than trying to understand their lives. In a radio interview I heard, a teenage girl in New O
John Evans

Daniel Pink at ASCD: why being persuasive in the classroom is more important than ever ... - 4 views

    "When we try to lead, teach, instruct, or explain, we usually spend most of our time talking about HOW to do something. We don't spend nearly enough time talking about the WHY. This is the cheapest persuasive tool you have: explaining WHY."
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