Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Taking Action to DESIGN Your Future

This week I have been flooded with information about taking action now in order to DESIGN your future. I read about a new generation called Gen C - where C stands for connectedness.

This video talks about the Class of 2015.

As a leader of educators, I know that I must embrace technology and social learning if I want teachers to do the same. The Gen C group is not defined by age but by behavior.

Another blog that I read this week was Are You Collecting a Pile of Underpants?
Steve Kamb talks about three phases that we all move through to be successful.

* Phase 1 - we read and learn all we can about how to do something (collecting underpants)

* Phase 3 - what we hope to accomplish after we build our pile

* Phase 2 - Dominated by Successful People - requires that we take action on Phase 1 information -  many of us get stuck in phase 1 hoping for phase 3.

As an educator how many underpants are you collecting?
Are you collecting information about differentiation, cooperative learning, building a PLN, technology integration, engagement, classroom management, ...?

As I read this article I thought about my own collection of underpants:

* sharing information with a wider audience vs just consuming information

* creating an online PLC for the teachers in the Texas Panhandle

* taking an art/woodworking/pottery/photography class

* learning to rock climb

* Calling Habitat for Humanity and helping build homes in the community

I also realized that I have many things that I have taken quick action on:

* 72 Pencils - Chop Sticks (my version)

* Penny Soccer Board - My son Blake and I built this after he saw something similar on StumbleUpon.

* Building my personal PLN - I started following Wesley Fryer @wfryer after hearing him speak in 2009 and then I started following Kevin Honeycutt @kevinhoneycutt in 2011. I have since added many people to my network.

* Buying recommended books and reading them quickly so that I can put the information into action.

* Weight Training - I started in June of 2010 with an 80 # back squat. On my 40th birthday in March, I did a 185# back squat. PRs in weight training only happen with consistent action.

* Instructional Coaching - The first time I went to a school district as an instructional coach, I knew very little about coaching. Now I can look back over the last two years and see how much I have grown because I was willing to jump in, take action, and learn through trial and error.

I received an email today from Karla Reiss where she shared an excerpt from her new book, Be a Changemaster; 12 Coaching Strategies for Leading Professional and Personal Change.

Even though I have not read this book, I am intrigued to learn more about it. She states, "Action is how we Maintain Momentum; consistent and persistent steps one takes that make progress toward the desired goals; daily action, weekly, monthly. As long as there is action, there is progress. Until there is action, it is just talk. All too often we focus on planning for the change, anticipating what we will do in the future, or even the near future. We talk about the changes we want and too often we spend too much time and energy talking about all the reasons why it is too hard. While it is perfectly okay to plan for change, we must move to action and Maintain Momentum. I don't mean occasional little bitty actions. I mean regular, intentional action on a daily basis."

So my challenge for myself is to take action on my collection of underpants each day. I don't have to do something perfect, I just have to start and be consistent in my efforts. The choices that I make today, DESIGN my tomorrow.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Blogger App on Droid

This is a test of the Blogger App.

I have been reading my twitter updates this evening and found a school who has implemented I pads with all of their students.

Burlington High School Principal's Blog (I am following the blog, still trying to figure out how to capture it as a link with the app.)

I am intrigued with learning how people are integrating new technology and also with building PLNs. I have decided to present on the importance of building a PLN at the ESC16 I3 conference in August. As I DESIGN this presentation I look forward to sharing more information here.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Developing a Framework for Science and Math Instructional Coaching ASCD Session

ASCD Session Developing a Framework for Science and Math Instructional Coaching

This is a copy of my notes taken on March 26, 2012 at the ASCD conference in Philadelphia. Presenters were Wendy Jackson, Ruth Seward, Carla Shortino and Hethyr Tregerman. This session was packed with information and I am excited to process their work with the Curriculum and Instruction team here. Much thought and attention to detail has been put into the DESIGN of their coaching model.

I'm Back

I just came home from the ASCD conference in Philadelphia. I attended the Strategic Teacher Pre-Conference session and conference.

My big take away from the conference was that I am much further along with technology integration than most and yet I still have so far to go. During the first general session, Reed Timmer from the Discovery Channel's Storm Chasers was talking about how he uses STEM in every part of his work. Reed was wearing a shirt with #ASCDcuriosity on it. As I was listening to him present, I realized that this hashtag was different than the conference #ASCD12 so I got curious and pulled out my phone to check it out. Once at the #ASCDcuriousity feed, I read that the first 23 to retweet using the hashtag could get their own shirt. I realized that I am a little competitive and enjoy a challenge and I immediately sent out a tweet. After his speech I went to the Discovery room and picked up my shirt and stayed to make a green screen video clip with Reed.

From the Strategic Teacher session I learned that Challenge and Competition are two sources of motivation for the Mastery Style and that Curiosity is a source of motivation for the Understanding style. The fact that the Discovery Crew had the Creativity (motivation for the Self-Expressive style) to design a hash tag that would bring Connections (motivation for the Interpersonal style) to the ASCD conference attendees and market their own sessions at the same time was great DESIGN!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Reflections on Action Research

The process of learning about action research has been enlightening for me. I completed my first master’s degree over ten years ago and I cannot remember the topic from my research class for that degree. I do remember that it revolved around insights learned from past research. My action research project for this degree revolves around current research that is developed and implemented by myself to add to the collective knowledge of all in education.

In week two of our course, we were asked to watch video taped interviews of some school leaders discussing their action research projects. One of the scholars that I chose was Dr. Timothy Chargois. Dr. Chargois talked about how his district uses action research to determine if new projects or systems will work for their school district. A statement that he made was that many of their administrators have higher degrees and are used to doing research and looking at data, but the teachers may only have pedagogy and content knowledge from their time in college. One suggestion talked about was how schools need to use research to affect tomorrow’s instruction. I work with teachers in my region on a program called the Texas Math and Science Diagnostic System. This program if used correctly can provide formative assessment for teachers that they can use to change their instruction immediately. In trainings, it is even suggested that a teacher could teach a concept in one class period, have the students take an assessment in TMSDS, look at the results, and then if needed change their instruction for the next class period that same day. Helping teachers learn how to use data and impact instruction is a rewarding experience and I look forward to learning how to do it better through action research projects.

In the video from week 3, Elvis Arterbury, Ph.D. and Steve Jenkins, Ed.D. discussed the eight steps to follow when creating an action research plan. They stated that the inquiry process is critical because it is based on logical reasoning and requires one to collect data in a systematic way. Once I had completed watching their video, I began the process of developing my own action research project. By working through the steps, I was able to develop my draft action research plan. The steps made it easier to work through the process of the development and revision phases of my plan.

In weeks two through five we were asked to make blog posts and reflections on others blogs as part of our continual learning. I found this to be very insightful and I was drawn to the blogs of my fellow classmates. In the first week, I was very interested in the layout and design of the different blogs, but as the weeks progressed I found that I was more interested in reading how my classmates were thinking about the content. I found that this helped me to understand the content better and to receive the information from several different perspectives

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Action Research Plan

How does the process of creating an online PLC team of content area teachers help support LEP instruction in our Region?

Goals and objectives of research investigation:
Create an online community of content area teachers working on instructional strategies for LEP instruction.

Raise awareness of how technology can be used for professional development among teachers.

Raise the awareness of how technology can be incorporated with students.

Raise LEP scores of schools whose teachers are participating in the action research project.

Participating teachers will have the capacity to create new online PLC communities in the future.

Activities designed to achieve the objectives:
Six hour professional development session to be offered at Regional Service Center for science teachers. This session will teach teachers how to create their own blog, post to their blog, and learn how to follow and respond to other’s blogs.

Instructional strategies will be posted each week on the science specialist’s blog. Teachers will implement the strategy with their students and then reflect about their experiences on their blog and then respond to others reflections.

Teachers will be asked to incorporate a new technology practice with their students as one of their weekly strategies.

Teachers will be asked to come back the following year and be a part of a new group of teachers as they create their own online PLC team.

Discuss the online PLC project during the Curriculum and Instruction PLC meetings to help others start similar PLC teams in their own content areas.

Resources and research tools needed for data gathering:
Teachers will need computes and internet access to be able to use their blogs.

Surveys will be used to gather data about blog usage and number of LEP students being served.

Interviews with participants will take place during the project.

Access to regional TAKS scores.

Timeline for completion/implementation of activities:
August – Professional Development Session to be added to Regional Website

September – A Six Hour Professional Development Session to be held at Service Center and a survey will be created to determine demographic data and past instructional strategies that have been implemented by the teachers. Each of these will be completed by the Science Specialist.

November – Survey of participants to be created by Science Specialist and completed by teachers.

November – Report on action research project with the Curriculum and Instruction PLC team to be given by Science Specialist

March – Interviews with participants to be conducted by Science Specialist

May – Face to Face meeting with all participants to review the online PLC process and interviews to determine how the new instructional strategies affected instruction. Interviews and meeting will be conducted by Science Specialist.

September 2012 – State Science Specialist meeting to share action research project with other science specialists across the state.

Persons responsible for implementation of the action research plan:
The Secondary Science Specialist will set up the Professional Development Session and facilitate the teacher blogs.

Teachers who sign up for the Professional Development Session will be responsible for the implementation of the strategies in their own classrooms and reflecting on the research.

Other Content Area Specialists will be responsible for repeating the plan within their own content areas with assistance from the Science Specialist.

Process for monitoring the achievement of goals and objectives:
Science Specialist will monitor and facilitate the teacher blogs weekly to offer support and ideas.

Teachers will be asked to rate the effectiveness of their interactions with their LEP students and the instructional strategies at the end of each six weeks.

Technology integration will be documented in teacher blogs. Teachers will be asked to post how they have used technology with their students.

Assessment instruments to evaluate the effectiveness of the action research study:
Surveys of teachers to gather demographic data of students to be created by Science Specialist and completed by teachers.

Interviews at the beginning and end of the project to determine which instructional strategies have been used in the past and any new strategies that were found to be helpful at the end of the study will be completed by Science Specialist.

TAKS data for the Region and for individual schools to be reviewed by Science Specialist and individual teachers.

Usage data to track the amount of posts/interactions between the teachers using the blogs will be completed by Science Specialist.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Professional Development Blog

I am still toying with the idea of how I can make an action research project work with 63 school districts. I have been training science teachers almost every day this summer on the new science standards, EOC Success for Biology, 5-8 Science Academies and English Language Proficiency Standards. I have been very impressed with the class blog and how quickly we have all taken to sharing our experiences with each other. One idea that I am now thinking about is providing a professional development session where I invite the teachers that I have worked with this summer to come to the ESC for a day and create a personal blog page. Then I would like to teach them how to follow each other's blog. Once this has been set up I would like the group to determine areas of focus (an action research project) to implement within their classroom. The group can then follow each other's progress throughout the semester and perhaps come back together towards the end of the semester/year to go back over their results and brainstorm new ideas for the next semester/year. I could see doing this many times and building small groups of teachers who are working with and supporting each other through the use of technology. By setting up professional development sessions, I can work with smaller groups at a time and then replicate the work many times over.