Tuesday, November 10, 2009

NMSA 2009 Conference Notes

Here are my notes from the 2009 NMSA Conference in Indianapolis this past weekend.

Todd Williamson and Shawn McGirr also posted their session notes. You can also check out my Delicious Bookmarks for online sources from the conference.

Foldables (3-D Graphic Organizers)

Presenter – Dinah Zike

NOTE: got a bad seat, had to sit in front with back to presentation – notes are rough.

•Recognition and Recall were not preparing students for learning
•Production is a better process for learning
•By folding paper, the kinesthetic action helps to reinforce learning and remembering the information on the paper
•Clarify concepts with as few words as possible (Venn Diagrams, Concept Maps, etc.)
•Better off to have STUDENTS create them
•Foldables can be used in any curriculum
•Foldables turn 2-D into 3-D
•Proven to improve retention and recall
•“Make new connections”
•Hamburgers, Hotdogs, Tacos, Burritos, Shutterfolds – types of folds in the paper
•Use envelopes to staple into inside of organizer
•Can bind together multiple folded/cut papers

This session was pretty awesome, but it is very difficult to give an example of a foldable by discussing it in text. Get a better idea here:

http://foldables.wikispaces.com/
http://www.dinah.com/

What keeps us teaching MS? Understanding who stays, who goes, and why?
Presenter: Dr. Tariq Akmal

•This presentation discussed the reasons why teachers leave the middle school teaching/administration field
•Researchers suggested ways to keep teachers/administrators
•Did not take exclusive notes as Dr. Akmal was making presentation available.
•Will post notes and presentation when I hear back from Dr. Akmal.


VoiceThread
Presenters: Susanne.Long@onslow.k12.nc.us & Brent.Anderson@onslow.k12.nc.us

•I did not take notes on this session as we were involved in a hands-on lab, learning how to use VoiceThreads.


•For more information, check out the VoiceThread.com website.

Advisory
Presenter: Michele Tissiere

•“Do Now” activity
•Gathering: Stand up/Sit Down – in a circle, have them facing, make statements and students sit/stand based on statements
o Making connections
o Advisor find out a lot about students in a short amount of time
o Make individual kids feel special and noticed
o See uniqueness and similarities
o Safe activity – no talking (great for ESL)
o Builds community
oLifts strengths
•“Public agreements” – she uses this term to describe the agreement she makes with students.
•Goals:
o Walk away with a framework for Advisory
o Best practices
o Advisory design team
o Professional development
o CLEAR and they are brought into the conversation
•A FRAME FOR AN ADVISORY SESSION
o Gathering
o Agenda
o Activity
o Debrief
o Closing
•The ritual of the gathering and closing will help teachers feel like it doesn’t need a prep
•The four big advisory goals
o Academic Advisement
o Community and culture
o Healthy Development
o Post Secondary Planning
•Teacher Leaders – important to getting Advisory successful at the school level
•Advisors – the role of the Advisor
o Not a friend
o Not a counselor
o Not a parent
o Are a coach
o Are a facilitator
o Are a role model
o Are listeners
o Are mentors
•Professional Development formats to consider
o Workshops before school opens
o Workshops on PD days throughout the year
o Workshops during in-service
o Workshops during conference/planning
o Check-ins during dept. meetings
o Infusing certain rituals or routines into dept. meetings, etc.
•Assessment – a feedback process for continuous improvement of advisory

See Attached Handout for additional ideas/concepts on Advisory (will be uploaded today).

Digital Natives….Got Tech?
Presenters – Frontier Middle School teachers and principal
•All students, all teachers, have laptop
•“Turning Point” was the book that the school (Frontier MS) was built off
•We are teaching in their world, not ours
•Making a difference in the education of our students
o “The Navigators” – different groups have different names
o UTILIZING MIDDLE SCHOOL MODEL OF TEAMS (by grade-level).
•No textbooks, just computers
•Students became experts in their own subject
•1:1 computing opened the door
•Utilized “more than paper” to begin linking the groups
•Uses 4-point rubric rather than grades
o “advanced proficient”
•Options to include multiple types of media
ClassMarker.com
o FREE – throw out a test, automatically graded, results immediately
•Examples of assignments
o [student examples]
o PP/Keynote
o Personal expression through movies
•Turns short assignments/units in extended learning – more than short answer
•Harness the basics/keep the imagination
•Good students
•1:1 is not magic
•Unlimited ways to express one’s self
•Recommends the Mac – utilizing Pages for drag/drop templates
shadowpoetry.com
•Digitally, you can meet more standards and more easily
Wordle.net
•To better learn a concept, students need to interact with it (via media)
o Setting stories to music
o TASK-S’s compose a soundtrack to correspond with the elements of plot in a short story.
•Mood, identify key characters, etc.
o Utilizing GarageBand to compose (or Audacity on PC)
•Compose their own music
•Use preloaded instrumentals
•Use preloaded sound effects
•Include their own “composer commentary” to explain
o [student example]
•Scaffolding – gave help for students that may struggle with composer commentary
•Provides questions that kids might come across
•Provides rubric
•Music and technology, together, make a world of difference
o Blogger.com
•Utilizes blog to post warm-ups, discussion questions, polls, Google news reels, and to mediate.
•Technology and Assessment
o Utilize iLab for formal assessments – gives the quiet students a voice because they complete them in private (records video/audio).
o Obvious indicators from these iLabs “I think...”
•Student gave herself a 9 – but couldn’t explain why. Means she doesn’t understand the rubric either.
o First Class system is used (much like our FLHSemail.org)
o Twitter – she calls it a social networking site, but it is micro-blogging
•Rubric – INTERESTING and vague
o MySpace – 71% of students have online profiles
•Utilized MySpace for character development
•Created a profile on MySpace for a character in the book – lots of options!
•Rubrics are created with some student input
o Online Safety
o Anybody can make up information
•Filtering the Internet: “Don’t take it away from them, teach them to use it”
•SOURCES:
o FRONTIERMS.COM

YOU HAVE TO ALLOW STUDENTS TO PLAY WITH THE SOFTWARE FIRST BEFORE EXPECTING ANYTHING OUT OF IT.

TEACHERS SHOULD ONLY BE TAUGHT THE VERY BASICS OF EACH SOFTWARE APPLICATION, ENOUGH TO BE COMFORTABLE WITH IT-LET THE STUDENTS FIGURE IT OUT!

•QUESTIONS:
o GRADING?
o ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY?
o WHAT KIND OF TRAINING ON COMPUTERS/SOFTWARE FOR STUDENTS & TEACHERS?
o WHAT DO THE RUBRICS LOOK LIKE?
o INTERNET SAFETY AND COPYRIGHT?

Web 2.0 in Your Middle School Classroom
Presenter – Erica Roberts
Comp Apps @ Jefferson MS in IL (5th year, from the Computer Business)

http://www.go2web20.net/
Iteachyoucomputers.wikispaces.com
•Differences between Web 1.0 & 2.0
o Read-only
o Read/Write - Two-way street
•Shows Machine is Using Us (Michael Wesch video – another good one to check out is Digital Ethnography Anthropological look at YouTube)
•Benefits of Web 2.0?
o What’s going to engage students more? Books or online content?
•Use web to create own content – students become content-creators than consumers?
•Social Networking
o Limited amount of info that we can store
•When you “crowdsource” you can get phenomenal answers
•She gives the example of utilizing Twitter for its’ powerfulness
o She follows educators, people local to her area, Mac techies, etc.
•You can “expand your knowledge”
•Twitter Lists – you can follow lists, you can check lists that you’re on
o Plurk – like Twitter, but goes horizontally (more private? Don’t agree with)
o Edmodo – uses it in her classroom. Like Twitter for the classroom.
•Positive aspect of social networking
o “myspace is kind of an inappropriate place”
•all of her students are on edmodo
o can use as a replacement for flash drive
Classblogmeister.com
•RSS
o Really Simple Syndicate - like a newspaper subscription - you get new media when it is released.
o NetVibes – set up RSS feeds for your classes
•Wikis
o Made for collaboration, multiple people working on same thing at same time
o Decade assignments for the wiki example
o Wikis in Plain English
o CoolCatTeacher example of collaboration across the world
•Google Docs
Ning
o Private MySpace
•Creative Content Creation
o Kids are really engaged when they can put stuff together that’s fun for them to look at
o Edu.Glogster.com
•Up to 200, free, student private
Sharetabs.com
o Presents links in a table
•Acceptable Use Policy – uses as parent permission form, "it is fine because it’s a private network."