Monthly Archives: February 2016

Join Kid President’s Cabinet (video)

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Click the picture to view a short video featuring kids from three different states.

What if kids were empowered to change the world? Let’s make it happen!  Your classroom can join Kid President’s “Unofficial” Cabinet.  Classrooms across the country will be discussing citizenship together on Thursday, March 10th at 9:30am CST using the #StuConnect hashtag on Twitter.

This short (3 minute) video was created by kids from Minnesota, New York, and New Jersey.  Their collaborative project sets the stage for the conversation that will occur on the #StuConnect hashtag.  Our focus will be on learning about positive character, digital citizenship, and making a difference for others.  All classrooms are welcome to participate (K-12 and beyond)!

If your classroom would like to preview the questions that we will be sharing on March 10th please see below.  The chat will start at 9:30am CST and last 20-30 minutes.  We will spend about five minutes discussing each question.  Feel free to reach out to the #StuConnect moderators if you need help facilitating this Twitter-based conversation with your students. 

#StuConnect Twitter Chat Topic: Citizenship* 

Q1: If you were on Kid President’s cabinet, what citizenship project would you recommend? How could you involve others? #StuConnect

Q2: What are some ways that students, teachers, and leaders display positive character and citizenship? #StuConnect

Q3: How do you demonstrate digital citizenship? #StuConnect

Q4: How does your classroom show citizenship outside the walls of your school? #StuConnect

*On the day of our Twitter chat, you can reply to each question by starting your classroom Tweets with the letter “A” and number of the corresponding question.  This will help others understand that you are answering a particular question.  Be sure to add the #StuConnect hashtag to all of your responses.  Example: “A4 We show citizenship by….. #stuconnect”

#STUCONNECT

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The Dark Part of Black History Month

Deafening

If you really want to know if you are a culturally sensitive leader just ask your students about Black History Month. 

Students often associate February with Valentine’s Day, I Love to Read Month, or even the 100th day of school.  These are really comfortable things to talk about.  What I’m less inclined to talk about is how the color of a person’s skin may impact the opportunities that person experiences.  I’m even less excited to reflect upon my own white privilege.   

These are some of the hardest conversations I’ve never had. 

And I’m done not having them.  Fortunately I work with an amazing team of teachers who are helping me with my journey.  They push me.  They help us get better for all kids…not just the kids who may look like us.

This school year I’ve been reading a different book each month to individual classrooms.  This month…Black History Month…I’m reading, “All Different Now” by Angela Johnson.  I’ve had the chance to fumble through some pretty powerful conversations with students.  Admittedly, my contributions have been limited to asking a few difficult questions and then listening to students.  I’m seeking to understand.  At the same time I’m digging deeper. 

What I’m learning is that I have a long way to go.  Our kids are counting on me, and us, to teach them how to be culturally sensitive.  How can I do that if I’m not part of the conversation?

The silence is blaring.

I need to confront my own comfort with the status quo.  I need to question why I might be feeling so comfortable while others around me are hurting, angry, and oppressed.  I need to acknowledge that my own truth is not always the same truth and journey that others have experienced.

Recently, I had the chance to connect with Brandi Bates about this topic on a radio program called, UnearthED.  You can click HERE to listen to our 10 minute conversation. 

Brandi helped me begin to shine the light on the dark part of Black History Month; my own white privilege. 

 

White Privilege

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Subscribe to “UnearthED” in iTunes for more conversations that matter to the kids we serve.

World Book Talk Championship

There is no doubt about it.  We LOVE to read and we want to cultivate that same love of reading in our students.  One way we can do this is by talking about the books we love and involving our kids in the process.

Jen LaGarde and I are teaming up to bring you the World Book Talk Championship. This is the Super Bowl of book talks.  (We even included a few fun reading-themed commercials to complete the Super Bowl feel.)  We started with 16 incredible educators who each submitted a short book talk video.  We’re down to four finalists and we need your help.  Who will win the coveted “Vince LomBooki” award for best book talk in the world?

#30SecondTake Brackets 2016

It’s “I Love to Read Month” and we’re feeling the love!  Click HERE to view the championship round of the podcast.  In the eight minute video you’ll see two “Literacy Legends” take on two “Lead Learners,” but only one person can hoist the championship trophy.  YOU decide!

Click HERE to cast your vote online…voting is open through February.  We’re also seeing classrooms create their own versions of the #30SecondTake book talks too.  We’d love for you to share these with us as well.  Most importantly…keep reading!

 

Special thanks to Oliver Schinkten…his creative genius elevated our Super Bowl commercials to an entirely new level.

An interactive TouchCast is available at: http://www.touchcast.com/greenwood/30secondtake_podcast_world_book_talk_championship 

We Are Greenwood (video)

Our 4th grade podcast crew collaborated on a video project that depicts a year’s worth of learning in just four minutes!  Students brainstormed words that described their work and goals for learning.  The kids were amazing, and their video speaks volumes about who they are and what they can become. 

I’m really inspired by our students, and LOVE the fact that our teachers are so committed to teaching the “whole child” through the arts, character education, and so much more. Click HERE to view their video and to see what our artists, mathematicians, readers, writers, and engineers have been up to the past year or so.

The Super Bowl of Book Talks

Bracket

Click HERE to watch the Podcast

It’s finally here…the Super Bowl of Book Talks! Jennifer LaGarde and I are teaming up to bring you 16 educators sharing their favorite books in 30 seconds or less!  Just for fun we divided the educators into divisions.  Jen is heading up the Literacy Legends, and I’m rooting for the Lead Learners.  The only question is…who will take home the “Vince Lombooki” trophy?!

This podcast features all the thrills of the Super Bowl…including some amazing commercials!  Watch the podcast and then vote for who is moving to the next round using the online link below.

Vote for your favorite book talk today! Click HERE for our online voting ballot. Round 1 voting closes Sunday, February 7, 2016 at 10:00pm CST.  Vote for one book talk from each bracket to advance to the Super Bowl.

Pick the winner based on pure passion or perhaps try a more objective approach…the choice is yours! Click HERE for a classroom book talk rubric shared by Jennifer LaGarde.

Special thanks to Oliver Schinkten for his creative genius, as well as all 16 of the educators who shared their #30SecondTake book talks.

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