Blog Archives

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.

unearthED

unearthED logo

If you had ten minutes to talk about anything you wanted to what would it be?  What if you could join a conversation that educators halfway across the country were having about the very same topic?

I’m co-hosting a new show on the BAM Radio Network called, unearthED. The show premiered in iTunes this week and was listed on the “new and noteworthy” list.  We’ll be following the energy behind different conversations that teachers and school leaders are having on social media, and then taking them deeper.

We think students deserve a new narrative because many of the conversations on Twitter are too important to skim over. My good friend and co-host, Ben Gilpin, and I are committed to delving further into the issues that every educator confronts.  The show is less about answers and more about questions, vulnerability, and authenticity.

Our show is part of the BAM Radio Network’s TweetED Channel covering the best Twitter education chats of the week.  We hope you’ll listen and subscribe, but most of all we hope you will join us in moving beyond the echo chamber.  We think kids will benefit when we continue these conversations together.

You can subscribe to “unearthED” by clicking HERE or copying the link below into your browser.

unearthED itunes logo

 https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/unearthed/id1073709918

StuConnect Classroom Twitter Chat

#STUCONNECT

Join classrooms across the country as we celebrate student passion on December 1st at 9:30am CST.  Click HERE to watch a short (3 minute) podcast prepared by students in two different states.  Then join the conversation this Tuesday by tagging your classroom Tweets with the hashtag #StuConnect.

The entire chat will only last 20-30 minutes.  Feel free to join us for one question or stick around for the entire chat.  All grade-levels are welcome to participate.  We will share out a new question every 6-7 minutes.  Classrooms can respond to specific questions by starting their Tweets with the letter “A” (stands for Answer) and adding the hashtag #StuConnect to the very end of each Tweet.

A preview of the questions is below:

  • Introduce your classroom or school and share what state you are from. #StuConnect
  • Q1 What are your passions and talents? #StuConnect
  • Q2 Why is knowing what you are talented at important? #StuConnect
  • Q3 How do you get to ‘practice your passion’ in school? #StuConnect
  • Q4 Where else do you get to spend time in an area interest? How might school help with this? #StuConnect

Special thanks to my #StuConnect co-moderators John Fritzky (NJ) and Tony Sinanis (NY) as well as one of our fabulous student-teachers, Ms. Frick, for helping produce the podcast.  We hope you can join us for the Twitter chat at 9:30am CST on Tuesday, December 1st, 2015!

 

 

An Invitation

#STUCONNECT

Join us on October 8th at 9:30am (Central Standard Time) for an educational Twitter chat focused on kids! We’re inviting teachers to follow the hashtag #StuConnect and engage their students in a conversation about things that make school cool.  Click HERE to view a short (3 minute) video introducing the topic.

The chat will begin at 9:30am CST and last for approximately 30 minutes.  Classrooms may join or leave the conversation at any time.  Questions will be posed by three moderators: @TonySinanis @JohnFritzky and @GustafsonBrad and be posted to the #StuConnect hashtag on Twitter.  A sample question is below:

Q1 What’s cool in your school? #StuConnect

Teachers may respond to questions by typing A1 (answer one) and then their answers.  Be sure to include the hashtag #StuConnect in each tweet.  Feel free to interact with other chat participants and share classroom resources/examples that relate to the conversation.  We’ve already received confirmation that schools as far away as Dubai (United Arab Emirates) will be joining us! This is a great opportunity to model citizenship for students while connecting classrooms to a global community of learners.

Social media is learning media, but we have to scaffold the experience for our students!

Flipped Open House

We are extremely excited for our ‘Open House and Community Connections Night’ on September 3rd. This year we are flipping things around a bit! We are sharing some short videos before Open House so that our families have the chance to learn more about our amazing teachers and the curriculum prior to connecting in person.

Click Pic for Open House Video

Click Pic for Video

Directions:

1. Watch the short video promo above.  (It’s less than two minutes long.)

2. Go to https://goo.gl/4u7pFV and select the grade-level playlist you’d like to watch.  Don’t forget to watch the flipped videos created by Specialists and Administration too.

3. Join us at Open House and Community Connections Night on September 3, 2015.  PTA booths open at 3:00pm.  Classrooms are open between 4:00 – 6:00pm.  Community tables, PTA booths, and Social Media Support will be open in the Cafeteria throughout Open House.  We can’t wait to connect!

Additional Resources:

I’m really proud of the extra time our team took to create their curriculum videos. To access each grade-level’s playlist in YouTube click HERE.

To access our ‘Welcome Back’ letter click HERE.

To go to our school’s website with more Open House dates/forms click HERE.

Please let me know if I can help in any way.

3 Questions I Hope my Children’s Teachers are Asking

I often reflect upon how to empower students to learn at a high level while navigating the digitally-connected landscape we find ourselves in.  I ask questions and strive to serve our students better today than I did yesterday.

In addition to being a principal I’m also dad to three pretty spectacular kids.  My wife and I pray our children grow up to be loving people with humble hearts and curious minds.  We also understand that their world is different than ours was, so we think about other important things too.  My hope is that my children’s teachers are reflecting on some of the same questions I ask myself.

3 Questions I Hope my Children’s Teachers Are Asking

  1. How might I model digital leadership for my students?
  2. How might I help my students express their ideas in powerfully creative and appropriate ways using social media?
  3. How might I leverage the transformative power of technology to fuel collaborative conversations between students about their learning?

#STUCONNECT

For the past couple years I’ve collaborated with Tony Sinanis and John Fritzky (principals in New York and New Jersey) to create cross-state collaborative podcasts.  The podcasts feature our students sharing their favorite books, vision for education, and other creative endeavors led by kids.

This year we are adding an interactive Twitter-based chat to the collaboration.  We’d like to invite you to join us as we strive to model how to leverage technology as a tool to connect, inspire, and amplify student voice.

The four chat dates for the 2015-2016 school year are below, and we’re planning to share out a student-created podcast prior to each chat.  Please join us and include your classroom or school in the conversation.  We’ll be using the hashtag #StuConnect on Twitter starting at 9:30am CST on the dates below.

#StuConnect Chat Dates

October 8, 2015

December 1, 2015

January 15, 2016

March 10, 2016

Stop the Madness

We asked seven incredible educators to share one thing schools need to STOP doing….and we only gave them 30 seconds to respond! You’ll be surprised what they shared in this high octane episode of the #30SecondTake podcast!

Click the logo to view Episode 26.

Click logo to view Episode 26

Join the conversation on Twitter using hashtag #30SecondTake. Be sure to vote for one of the guest hosts from Episode 26 to return next episode to tackle a new guiding question!

30 Second Take: NAESP Special Edition

Episode 25

Todd Whitaker advises, “Ask what your best people think and base decisions on their input.”

This past week I attended the NAESP National Convention in Long Beach, California.  In addition to attending numerous breakout sessions and keynotes, I had the opportunity to speak on a panel of school leaders from across the country about innovation and connectivity.  I also had the chance to interview numerous school leaders to get their advice for new principals.  I have to admit that the advice that was shared was phenomenal, and it had me reflecting on my own leadership practices.  The seven minute podcast is embedded below from YouTube.

Click HERE if you are a subscriber to this blog and accessing this post via e-mail.  You can also subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.  Please take a moment to share your advice for school leaders using the hashtag #30SecondTake on Twitter.

Special thanks to Theresa Stager (co-host of the Principal PLN podcast) for collaborating on this NAESP special edition of the 30 Second Take podcast.  It was a blast producing this together!

What’s Your One Book?

We teamed up with the kids from Cantiague Elementary in New York and Byram Intermediate School in New Jersey to share our favorite books.  Our kids created their collaborative podcast to inspire the most awesome summer of reading EVER.  They packed nearly 30 book recommendations into this action-packed five minute podcast.  Checkout what K-8 students are reading across the country!

We hope you will share what you plan to read this summer too.  You can start by answering the same question our students responded to, “What’s your one book?”  Post a picture of your book to the hashtag #StuConnect on Twitter.  Let’s celebrate with our students and join them in their reading awesomeness!

3Leaders Mug Shot

*Special thanks to my friends Mr. John Fritzky and Dr. Tony Sinanis who helped amplify student voice and create this cross-state podcast.  

30 Second Take…National Championship Podcast

Our March Madness podcast series started with 16 talented educators willing to share their “take” on a single guiding question.  Now we’re down to the Final Four and we need your vote to determine who will be named the “30 Second Take National Champion.”  Fasten your seatbelt because the entire Final Four podcast is less than five minutes long.

Click HERE to vote via an anonymous Google form. You can also vote by posting a tweet to the hashtag #30SecondTake.

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