MACUL To Feature Michigan Educators at 2016 Conference #miched

Something that I have been suggesting for years to whoever was nearby at the annual MACUL conference is that there needs to be a strand or a room or a whatever that highlights Michigan’s best.

Now we will never know whether the seeds I planted actually sprouted or somebody in MACUL leadership had the same ingenious idea. All that matters is that MACUL is launching a Michigan Educators Series that features a whole bunch of people doing great things around the Great Lakes State.

Check out the lineup:

 

Julie Leach and Tosha Miller

Second Grade teachers and 2015 MACUL Technology Teacher of the Year Runners-Up Julie Leach and Tosha Miller. Find their stuff at TwoSassyApples.com

Nick Provenzano, @thenerdyteacher himself

High School English teacher from Grosse Point was the 2013 National ISTE Teacher of the Year. TheNerdyTeacher.com is his home base but you can find Nick contributing globally.

Gregory Green, Clintondale High School

Gregory Green created the first entirely flipped high school. Check out how this approach is increasing engagement and achievement at flippedhighschool.com.

Dave Tchozewski, Jenison Public Schools

There aren’t many people in the edtech game I know that can just flat out teach. Dave has a way with any audience to make any concept he is sharing seem do-able and at the same time very applicable to great teaching. Dave is all over the web but his help page at Jenison Public Schools is a great place to start finding resources.

Melody Arabo, 2015 Michigan Teacher Of The Year

From her elementary classroom in Walled Lake, Melody Arabo shares all kinds of resources and has dedicated her notoriety as Michigan’s Teacher of the Year to a number of causes like bullying. Her very reflective book “Diary of a Real Life Bully” takes a unique slant on an issue that effects all of us as educators and parents.

Dan Spencer, Western High School

There aren’t many people in Michigan who have taught me more than this guy. He is the ultimate connector and excels in ways to flip a classroom. Dan’s Twitter feed is full of inspiring ways he’s teaching science in Jackson County.

Apple Distinguished Educator Rebecca Wildman

Need a way to engage upper elementary kids? This lady has an answer. Rebecca Wildman has great resources for any elementary 1:1 program at her iPad Pd site. She’s pretty good with the Google too.

 

The 2016 MACUL Conference might be a ways off in March but I am excited to learn as much as I can from the new Michigan Educator Series. Also check out the newly revamped MACUL.org.

Check out all of the #cuerockstar Saugatuck awesomeness presenting at #MACUL15

We said last year that Rock Star Saugatuck Teacher Camp was all about launching the awesomeness within all of our attendees. On Day 1 last summer many were quietly questioning themselves as to whether they had bitten off more than they could chew. By the end of Day 3 we all were listening to and witnessing amazing transformations in so many of them. It wasn’t that they had attended some magical session. They realized that they do indeed have a lot of insight into powerful teaching and a lot to share. Now six months later, 1/6 of Saugatuck campers are presenting at this year’s big MACUL conference in Detroit from March 18-20.

Check out the great list of sessions below from last year’s attendees and faculty. Then visit cuerockstar.org to register for this summer’s July 7-9 camp presented by MACUL and Saugatuck Public Schools.

Thursday

8:00-10:00
Explore the Power of iPhoto – Dave Tchozewski (hands-on session, additional charge)

10:00-11:00
Blogging, It’s Elementary – Heidi Gascon
Make a Presentation that will Wow your Students – Nicole Bauman, AnnMarie Willette

10:30-12:30
Creating Digital Books with iTunes Author – Dave Tchozewski (hands-on session, additional charge)

1:00-2:00
If you’re Appy and you Know it, Come Smash with Us – Kristen Gavlas, Johnna Kline
Collaborate and Connect with Google Apps and Drive – Heidi Gascon
Inquiring Minds want to Know – Erin Mastin

2:30-3:30
These ARE the Droids you are Looking For – Andy Losik
Bring a new Dimension to Learning with Augmented Reality – Drew Minock
Going Paperless with Google – Kevin Kacel, Sam Sicilia

3:30-5:30
Create and Innovate with iTunes U – Rebecca Wildman (hands-on session, additional charge)

4:00-5:00
Beyond Paper and Pencil: Supporting Writing with Technology – Heidi Gascon, Stacey Schuh
No Tech to Lots of Tech – Keith Tramper
Student Data and Information Privacy in the App Era: A Panel Conversation – featuring Ben Rimes

Friday

8:00-10:00
If you can’t Build it in Keynote, you don’t Need It – Andy Losik (hands-on session, additional charge)

8:30-9:30
Needle in a Haystack: Internet Search Tips and Tricks – Colleen Robison
It Takes just a S.E.C. – Leveraging Schoology, Edmodo, or Classroom to Engage Learning – Nicole Bauman, AnnMarie Willette

10:00-11:00
Inspire Innovation by Fostering Collaboration and Creativity – Drew Minock
Teach Like a Transformer – Keith Tramper

10:30-12:30
Engage English Language Learners through Technology – Cheryl Prindle (hands-on session, additional charge)

11:30-12:30
Revitalizing Research in the Digital Age – Katie Aquino
The iPad’s Killer App – Ben Rimes

1:00-2:00
Why Connect as an Educator? – Erin Mastin
Engage your Students with Free Web Tools – Dave Tchozewski
I’ve got a Brain to Pick with You – Jennifer Gwilt
The Battle for your Class: Google Classroom vs. Edmodo – Josh Hubbard

2:30-3:30
Closing Keynote: Culture, Innovation, and Learning: A 21st Century Paradigm Shift – Drew Minock

Wow! After the opening keynote you can do the whole conference front to back and you’ve got Rock Stars leading every time slot.

See you in Detroit. See you in Saugatuck this summer.

Everything we need to know about teaching is in an 80s movie

On Saturday I was honored to present the keynote address at the Michigan Connected Educators Un/Conference. Here are my thoughts I shared with the group.

JacksonBig80s.002

I started teaching in January of 1995. This is who I thought I needed to be in the classroom and to some extent it was required. I took over a fourth grade classroom for a retiring teacher who had taken every Monday and Friday off the entire first semester. When I had been there eight days, it was the longest stretch of consistency these kids had had all year.

detnews.com
detnews.com

If I wasn’t being Sergeant Hulka from Stripes I was coaching like Bo Schembechler. I had high expectations. I was loud with very low tolerance. I expected my students to be exactly like I had been. Do what I ask when I ask it with few questions…It wasn’t very fun. I wondered how I would ever endure 30 more years of this.

JacksonBig80s.004

In 1998 I faced what I figured would be a “make or break” task. I would be teaching a 5-6 split.  I would have six 6th graders who all were academically gifted in one way or the other and seventeen fifth graders who hadn’t been selected for the previous year’s 4-5 split, primarily due to academics. How was I going to tackle this?

vcr.004

This is what I discovered when I started using project based learning with the sixth graders….primarily to keep them occupied while I tried to get my 5th graders ready for the state assessment….MEAP test. That approach overtook my teaching that year and by June all kids were working on all kinds of projects and learning together in so many ways. It also became one of my favorite years of my career. You can smile and cheer instead of bark and gripe when your kids are constantly engaged.

vcr.005

I have also discovered that everything we need to know about engaging learners is in an 80s movie somewhere.

I present to you the ultimate piece of educational technology. Just watch this trailer and think about how this phone booth does exactly what we want our technology to do.  These guys have incredible access to primary sources and get to witness history.  It is total immersion in content. 

If you remember how the film ends, these two put on an amazing rock concert-like oral report. They had the tools to gather information and then presented in a way that expressed the learning through their skills as rock and rollers.

JacksonBig80s.007

The next step is to value the time together. We can not monopolize the time.  Jeff Spicoli actually makes a great point in the following clip from Fast Times at Ridgemont High.  Mr. Hand shouldn’t be the only one having all of the fun…if we can call it that.

There is probably a better way to set up a “feast on our time” though.

JacksonBig80s.008

Kids love to the make stuff. It’s our job though to channel that energy into the right opportunities. Gary and Wyatt learned the hard way about being  responsible with tools. Okay….this 3d printer might trump the phone booth for top tech honors but we are still talking about technology being used educationally!  Weird Science brings one more thought to mind. Did these “two guys” grow up to the “Two Guys and some iPads” that host a fabulous Google Hangout on Tuesday nights and are augmented reality ninjas?

JacksonBig80s.009

Kids love to mess with stuff…even back in 1983 they were monkeying with NORAD and its super sophisticated computer the WOPR. Then in 1986 a kid who looked a lot like the War Games kid was hacking his high school attendance computer so he could go to the museum and a Cubs game. Poor Ferris. He asked for car and got a computer. Talk about being born under a bad sign. But….he had Internet in 1986. That’s not all bad. I wonder if David Jakes ever bumped into Ferris’ principal Ed Rooney in any Suburban Chicago educational circles. Rooney could have learned a lot from Jakes. 

One of the hardest concepts for me to get my head around was the idea everything cannot be the same for every kid. Adam Bellow mentioned it at MACUL, the idea of an IEP, or individualized plan for every kid.

JacksonBig80s.010

So, here is your opportunity to do just that. Pick one character from the Breakfast Club: Bender the Criminal, Andrew the athlete, Allison the basket case, Claire the Princess, or Brian the Brain and design some engaging learning activities for them. 

Here is the form:

Here are the responses readers are creating. Some are pretty awesome. Please pardon the ones from aspiring comedians.

The principal in Breakfast Club, Mr. Vernon, had required them to each write a 1000 word essay about who they thought they were. Here is the essay Brian ended up writing for all of them.

JacksonBig80s.013

He is exactly right. Let us never forget that every student is a complex human being and we need to foster development of their whole being.

In closing….

JacksonBig80s.014 JacksonBig80s.015 JacksonBig80s.016 JacksonBig80s.017 JacksonBig80s.018

Get in there and dig around with the kids. Dean Shareski told at MACUL, “It’s not good enough to be the guide on the side anymore. Be the meddler in the middle.”

Make your teaching an excellent adventure and not a bogus journey.

Join the #MichEd movement. Share great teaching in Michigan.

Great things are happening in the classrooms across Michigan and many educators are realizing they have the tools to tell their own stories. We are no longer at the mercy of how politicians or portray us or what stories the media chooses to tell.

The #MichEd Video Challenge is aimed at collecting all of the awesomeness in one spot. Please consider sharing the great things you are doing with your students. We must tell our own stories. We are the only ones who really know how they go.

“Happy” Wednesday!

It’s a rainy Wednesday with the threat of snow showers this afternoon in Michigan. Yuck! Luckily when I checked Facebook this morning, Patti Harju had posted this fabulous video from a group of Michigan kids.

I hope it adds as much “Happy” to your day as it did mine!