I love Genius Hour. I love the concepts behind Genius Hour ( having students explore and discover things they enjoy). Students choose something they want to learn about (ex: fashion, colors, etc) and they complete an in-depth research project on that subject. Students create an authentic learning experience that includes real world application on something they truly enjoy.



PLaPalooza Reflection

I really enjoyed having the opportunity to explore PL.  As a new teacher in elementary and LCPS, it has required a bit of a shift in thinking. The sessions I attended crossed age groups and it was interesting to hear how teachers at all levels are applying their ideas of PL in their classrooms.  The sessions I attended were round tables and it was just as interesting to learn what was not working–the shared frustrations.  One interesting commonality with some other special education teachers was the difficulty in meshing goals with PL, especially when the goals were not constructed with the PL curriculum in mind.  This is something to continue to look into and learn about further.


Because I presented with Sergio during the first 2 sessions I was only able to see one presentation this morning. As I walked the halls towards the room I was told by a colleague that the room I was headed to was only taking secondary attendees. I made an audible and chose to attend the last Seesaw it Up! presentation.

Although we as a school use Seesaw already, I have only ever logged in created some fake students and sent a fake assignment. This PD showed us how to connect with parents, which I think is brilliant as Seesaw does a great job allowing the teacher to control communication. I like that students have the ability to populate content for the world, through a blog, but also create content for the teacher’s private viewing. I also think it’s great that when a parent goes to view the history of student work, they are only seeing their child. Simple things like these make this tool a great feedback system.

My biggest takeaway was how they used Seesaw in language arts. Showing examples of how 3rd grade students could annotate over a picture of what they read really allows teachers a quicker opportunity for feedback. Students can highlight details from the text while also using skills taught during their mini-lesson. They also suggested having students record themselves reading. This could be a great tool for students who may be feeling anxious when asked to read to a teacher. It’s also a good opportunity for students to go back and listen to their reading as a means of helping the student build fluency.

Woot Math

I love the idea of being able to give students examples of how to show their work.  With Woot Math, students complete a problem and then as they submit their work, their answers populate so others can see different ways to show work for the same problem.  I am thinking this might be a great way to mix up and make my number talks more exciting!

Reply to Stotler

I also attended this and am very glad I did. It really solidified what we started in 3rd and reinforced what we are trying in 5th this year. Having a year of this with 3rd grade already under my belt I drew on my experiences from last year and felt that reaffirmation today after Ian’s session.  I really liked his ideas of smaller not bigger when it comes to assessments and exit tickets.

My thoughts on another’s slide

I read Christine Chandler’s slide about the different types of playlists we can implement in our classrooms.   I feel that it is  in my comfort zone to use the more basic playlist form with a task and an accountability piece, but Christine shared many other ways like choice boards and coloring playlists that could be very useful for K-2 classrooms, EL students, and students across grade levels.

I love the idea of a coloring playlist for Kindergarten students or EL students who are not yet able to fully write reflections but can use coloring as their method of accountability.

Also the idea of adding points/worth to playlists to make the playlist a little more engaging and exciting for the kids would be a great idea!  Students could create their own goal of the points they are going to have collected for the week to not only keep them accountable but to teach them how to create their own plan for goal setting.  They can work for rewards or even work to open a new exciting bonus task that is worth even more points!  I know my class could use some extra motivators for their playlists so this point system could be a great idea to implement!

PLpalooza – Learning from our colleagues

In reading some of my colleagues slides on this event, I found several slides to have stuck out with things I can use with my students but this is one I found super useful. Bear shared some ideas about playlists and this is what I found useful: offering options that are engaging to help with behavior management, including pit stops to check for understanding, setting goals, and putting something like a star for items that are completed to help with behavior management (positive reinforcement). I would love to use WOOT Math as it allows the whole class to work on a problem at the same time, and shows all of the students work on the Promethean not attaching any names. This is great because students can learn from each other, and I’ve found this is one of my best approaches in the classroom! I can’t wait to implement some of these new ideas.

PLaPalooza – Once, Twice, Three times a Presenter

First things first…

But it’s a good kind of pooped! It was really amazing to be able to present and share ways to formatively assess students in a Personalized Learning environment. The basics of my session(s) were about the different digital tools, but the explanations, questions asked and discussions had dug more into instructional strategies and how to get the most out of both the tools we are using and the students we are targeting.

It was also intimidating to present to middle and high school teachers – I chose the assessment tools to be K-12 friendly, but don’t have much experience implementing them with older students. I think I did a good job of making it reach across grade levels.

My hope is that each person (almost 30 per session!) walked away with even just one assessment they would like to try in their class. I gave a variety of options and hope that I didn’t overwhelm them. 50 minutes just isn’t long enough! Here’s a link to my presentation: PLaPalooza – Digital Formative Assessments: Let’s Take Some Together!

Now, onto #VSTE….

Mroz Slides Reflection

We all know student reflection is important, but having relevant and quick ways for students to reflect is awesome!  Lynne posted the emoji reflection pocket organizer in which students could drop popsicle sticks with their names to reflect how they are feeling about their current learning.  I love that this is a private and easy way for students to show their level of understanding.  As a teacher, you could then easily form groups based on this quick reflection.

Reflection on Farrill and Stark’s posts

I was particularly interested in the posts about the Google tools that were created by Chelsey Farrill and Alison Stark. These posts pointed out that Google Sites can be just as useful in the classroom as Google Classroom. Chelsey made the point that “Google classroom is more of a platform for students to turn in work… Google sites is a platform to deliver content”. This kind of reminds me of the difference between paper-pencil worksheets that students have to turn in and DiscoveryEduc boards that present the material to the students. Although I am not yet familiar with Google Sites and its functionality, I’m excited to get started using it because hopefully it will make it easier to access relevant content for my students; I will not be limited to those videos, photos and articles in the DiscoveryEd library.