A Teenage Bullying Story

Sarah Beeghley on episode 173 of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Sarah Beeghley @the-geeky_girl has been called by a US Senator to tell her story as part of anti-bullying legislation. Hear her story or triumph and advice to teachers.

Today’s Sponsor: GradeCam lets you create assessments with formats including multiple choice, true/false, number grids, rubrics, and even handwritten numeric answers that can be read and scored by Aita – Gradecam’s Artificial Intelligence Teaching Assistant.Score assessments, generate reports, and transfer grades automatically. Work smarter instead of harder. Sign up for your 60-day free trial at gradecam.com/coolcatteacher

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Below is an enhanced transcript, modified for your reading pleasure. All comments in the shaded green box are my own. For guests and hyperlinks to resources, scroll down.

***

Enhanced Transcript

A Teenage Bullying Story

Shownotes: www.coolcatteacher.com/e173
Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Vicki: Today we are talking to Sarah Beeghley about her battle against cyberbullying. And I do have to give a shout out to my good friend, Jim Beeghley, who works with my website and does so many amazing things to help the Cool Cat Teacher blog behind the scenes. But Sarah, I’ve interviewed you before, and we’ll certainly link to that. But tell us your most recent news about your work with Senator Casey.

Speaking about Anti-Bullying

Sarah: So, Senator Casey of Pennsylvania, is proposing an anti-bullying law. And I found out on Facebook actually, so I gave his office a call, saying like I’m supporting him, I’ve been bullied and cyber bullied before. And I get a call, last Monday saying that they want to use my stories and possibly use them for going to Congress and just all over Facebook and all over the internet.

Vicki: So, if you got called to Congress today, what would be the first story, if you only had one story to tell.

Sarah: If I could only tell one story, it would definitely be the story of when I was bullied and cyberbullied in middle school. This girl who I thought was my best friend, started calling me names behind my back. And next thing I know, it’s going online. And thankfully my parents got on my emails at that point, but she had posted a quiz. And this quiz had questions that were mainly directed towards me and all of them were really offensive and hurtful towards me and my integrity. And we had talked to the parents, and the parents didn’t really do anything. And then, we got the school involved because it didn’t stop, it continued. Name-calling online and name-calling when we were at school too. And she got three days of in school suspension and then she had to sit out for the basketball playoffs. That’s about her punishment.

We are Survivors, not Victims

Vicki: You know, it’s tough, and I know from being picked on. There were times, you know we didn’t really take about bullying back when I was in..that age. But it was very hurtful. There were times people would say things like,” You bring this on yourself. This is your fault.” Don’t you feel like that is still the case, sometimes people blame the person who is being bullied?

Sarah: I definitely feel as though that happens, but especially online. Because of what people post online, but it doesn’t always have to fall back on them, on the victim. It is the people who are bullying the victim that are the ones who are kind of putting it on the victim because they’re figuring out the worst.

Vicki: And I have a word that I would love for you to start using so…back when we had three tornados hit Camilla my hometown. And we were really struggling, and there were so many people impacted. We used the word tornado victims. And one of the people came in the psychologist and said,” Stop calling them victims. They’re tornado survivors.” Because that is…I think of empowerment. I’m not a victim. You’re not a victim. We have stood up for ourselves, and we have said this is just not something that is okay to do. Do you feel like you are a survivor or do you feel like you are still in victim mood and feel helpless?

Sarah: I definitely feel as though I am a survivor because I know how to get over situations. Different situations that don’t even involve bullying or cyberbullying, because of what I went through.

What mistakes did teachers make in Sarah’s situation?

Vicki: What are the mistakes that teachers make? That you can think of that teachers make when dealing with similar situations?

Sarah: The biggest one was that girls will be girls, and boys will be boys. And then turn the other cheek and don’t care. I didn’t have anybody to turn to. And I’m in college now and I’m going to be a teacher. One of the biggest things I’m gonna do for my future students is I want to be there for them. Because nobody was ever there for me. Like somebody could be going through this and they just need to have someone there for them.

Vicki: But honestly, your parents were there for you, and my parents were there for me. So, fortunately, we had parents. But we have to remember that not everybody has somebody. So, you think that if they had just listened and realized that you were serious.

Sarah: Yes. Things would have been….like punishments would have been a lot different but they didn’t realize that.

Vicki: But do you think punishments really help?

Sarah: I mean, the punishment that was given to the girl…like the worst part of my story…didn’t help her at all because she continued to do it. But now, at least in Pennsylvania, cyberbullying is a misdemeanor of the third degree. People can actually go to jail for it. And I read somewhere recently that the cyberbullying rates have dropped because of that law.

Research-based methods that work

Vicki: This is just a hard thing. So, Sarah, I’ll interject this here. The Olweus method of dealing with bullying, which is really empowering bystanders, is really the only research-based anti bullying method that I’ve seen. I’ve kinda been through that, but even then it basically teaches you that the best thing and the only thing that works is empowering bystanders. That’s so hard Sarah, don’t you think?

Sarah: Oh, it’s so hard because I know for a fact that my friends didn’t want to stand up or say anything because they were friends with the girl. And it’s almost like the bystanders have to pick and choose, and if they pick the wrong side they’re going to be called a snitch.

Vicki: Get called a snitch or feel like they’re next.

Sarah: Yeah.

Vicki: Being bullied is a very lonely thing. I just remember in my case, I lost all my friends, I had two and a fella in our class had a skiing party and he invited everybody but me. Those two friends went to him and said, “Oh, you need to invite Vicki” and said, “Well you can choose. You can either come to the party or be Vicki’s friend” and they chose the party. But I will tell you, I used to tell the good Lord I wouldn’t thank Him for it, but now I thank Him for it every day because it’s being used for great good. Even talking to you and understanding, you know, because Sarah, you will never forget, will you?

Sarah: No, because after this entire situation I’ve learned to trust in the Lord. I’ve learned to just be a bigger person. I’ve learned how to overcome different situations from the skills I’ve gained through being bullied.

Vicki: So, Sarah, how do you think about the fact that you may end up in Congress about this? Does that scare you?

Sarah: It scares me a little bit, but like I’m so excited. Because somebody is actually taking initiative for it. And it’s not just the state of Pennsylvania either. It’s across the United States.

Vicki: People care. So you find that really encouraging.

Sarah: Yes. Like I’m sitting here and I’m so excited.

Vicki: Well, you know, I’ll be following you because we have a backchannel, we connect all the time. Teachers, I just want you to hear Sarah’s view because this is a view from a student whose feelings are still pretty raw in feeling all of this. There are things that are being done. Take it seriously. It’s not boys will be boys or girls will be girls. And I will just tell you this. Just know that it’s a lonely thing. We used to call it being picked on. When you’re being picked on, it’s a lonely path even if you have your parents on your side. It’s hard. I cried everyday for five years. I don’t wish that on anybody. No child deserves that. None.

Bio as submitted


Sarah Beeghley, a college sophomore, has experienced cyberbullying her entire life. Now she is advocating for it in many different ways.

Blog: http://www.thegeekygirl.net/

Twitter: @the-geeky_girl

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.) This company has no impact on the editorial content of the show.

The post A Teenage Bullying Story appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!


from Cool Cat Teacher BlogCool Cat Teacher Blog http://www.coolcatteacher.com/e173/

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Vampire bats

az_vampire_bat Ooooo. Scary!  This is a slightly didactic activity on vampire bats.  We’ve given lots of interesting metric and customary unit facts and asked students to relate those sizes to more familiar objects.  Simply enjoy the season with this slightly creepy activity … metric and customary units, size and weight comparisons, and blood-sucking bats.

The activity:  VampireBats.pdf

CCSS: 2.MD, 4.MD.A, 4.NF.C, 5.MD.A, HSN, HSM

For members we have an editable Word docx and solutions with teaching suggestions.

VampireBats.docx        VampireBats-solutions.pdf

Consider starting your class with this National Geographic video:

from Yummy Math https://www.yummymath.com/2017/vampire-bats/

K-6 Educational Music Videos: Selecting the Right Videos for Learning

Joanna and Matt Pace on episode 172 of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Joanna and Matt Pace write videos on a popular YouTube channel, Hopscotch. Joanna is an elementary teacher and Matt is a songwriter from Las Vegas. Their 7 Continents song has almost 300K views. Today they talk about what makes a great learning video and how to select good videos on YouTube for K-6 students.

Today’s Sponsor: GradeCam lets you create assessments with formats including multiple choice, true/false, number grids, rubrics, and even handwritten numeric answers that can be read and scored by Aita – Gradecam’s Artificial Intelligence Teaching Assistant.Score assessments, generate reports, and transfer grades automatically. Work smarter instead of harder. Sign up for your 60-day free trial at gradecam.com/coolcatteacher

Listen Now

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Below is an enhanced transcript, modified for your reading pleasure. All comments in the shaded green box are my own. For guests and hyperlinks to resources, scroll down.

***

Enhanced Transcript

K-6 Educational Music Videos: Selecting the Right Videos for Learning

Shownotes: www.coolcatteacher.com/e172
Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Vicki: Today we are talking to Joanna and Matt Pace. So this is really a unique couple – they have a great YouTube channel for K-6 – lots of free resources. Now Joanna, you are a 2nd-grade teacher. And I’m guessing that part of this is your desire to help kids remember. How do we help kids that age remember things?

How do we help kids remember?

Joanna: Well, that’s a great question. I think that most kids learn in different ways. And in my classroom, we try a lot of different things. And some of those include movement and repetition. Music is a great way to take both of those – as they are repeating things over and over and attitude. So, for different kids, some are more powerful than others, but we have noticed (at least in our classroom and my experience with my team members) music helps almost all kids to learn and remember things.

How did you get started?

Vicki: So, what happened Joanna? Did you go home and say, “Write me some music, Matt because you’re the composer?” What happened?

Joanna: That’s exactly what happened! I will look online, I look in stories to see what I can find to help teach concepts that my students are struggling with. And at the end of the day, sometimes I really can’t find things that meet our needs. So, I say, “Matt, you’re awesome at writing a song! Can you please take your skills and make up for what I lack in teaching sometimes?”

Vicki: So, Matt, I was looking at your Continent song. And we’ll post that in the show notes. You’ve got over a hundred thousand people who have seen that particular one. How do you write an engaging song about the continents?

How they wrote the 7 Continent Song

Matt: Well, that one we started off just talking about the key points – what we wanted the kids to get out of the song. And so after we had figured all of that out, then I had to work my songwriter magic to make it rhyme, to make it have an appealing melody. One of the big aspects of a song that we want to keep, is keeping it really short. Because then you can repeat it and then you can remember it. The longer you go the less attention you have because and so trying to say that idea in as concise a way as you possibly can and still make it melodic and singable and rememberable.

Vicki: Matt, are you surprised with the response you are getting to your videos?

Matt: On one side, yes. I didn’t expect our third song that we released on YouTube to have that much of a response. But on the other side, we had seen lots of videos on YouTube that have .. were about similar subjects. Similar type things that were song animation that had so many views. We didn’t know why they had that many views. So people must have been in need of that content. No matter how high or low the quality of the video was, they were getting millions of views. So we figured, if we put something out there that is good quality, that’s educationally sound as well as musically sound then hopefully we’ll get the same response.

Vicki: Yes, because you know YouTube has a lot of great resources. But some things are just are being viewed that are not being made by educators, and I guess that’s the difference. You’ve kind of got a partnership of music and education. So Joanna, what’s the response of your own students to this music, knowing that you are involved?

Joanna: They love the fact that they can put a name to the music. But on the other hand they will beg to listen to it over and over again. They always ask for Mr. Pace to write them another song. Can Mr. Pace write us a song about this? So, it’s fun to see they are understanding the way that they are learning. And that they appreciate music as a learning tool.

Thoughts on memorization

Vicki: Does it bother you that we have so much memorization? I guess that just has to be part of it in the elementary grades?

Joanna: It’s a great question. There’s a lot of different parts going into learning. We hope with all memorization that students have a conceptual understanding before memorization takes place. For example, addition facts. We want them to understand what 1 + 2 means before they memorize it. But at a certain point, as they get further along in their academic careers, or their academic experience, we want automaticity so they can apply those concepts to 2 and 3 and 4 digit addition, subtraction, and eventually multiplication. So, I don’t know that every subject matter needs a song. But I certainly feel like it helps, especially with those students that are on the fringes. That maybe don’t have the same parental support or maybe struggle with some learning disabilities, or autism, or other social disabilities. So I feel like music has a place in the classroom and it is definitely underutilized.

How do we pick effective videos to help kids learn?

Vicki: But not all music is going to be educational or worthwhile. So, either of you can answer this question. When educators are selecting videos for their classrooms, do you think there is a common mistake that educators make when they pick those videos and maybe it doesn’t have the results they want?

Joanna: I would definitely say in my experience, because of the level of desperation and low-funding for educators a lot of times they will go with the cheapest option, not necessarily the best option. And sometimes, at least in our experiences, if we do our research before creating a song, we will – we’ll see a song that repeats the same melody over and over again, but with different lyrics. Which kind of waters down the effectiveness, because the kids get confused on what goes where. If they hear the same melody with different lyrics, I guess it is either…I don’t know if Matt could better explain that. But it definitely confuses them.

Vicki: Well, and Matt, aren’t there some copyright issues with what some people are posting because they are actually not original. You’re making original music, right?

Matt: Well, it depends on the song they are using. We’re going to try to do most of ours original music. One we have done so far was to an old tune that’s now in the public domain. So, people can use that tune however they want for commercial or noncommercial purposes. And that’s totally fine. It just depends on how long the song is. Or how long it’s been since the song was published or how long since the song’s author has died. A lot of the tunes use old folk tunes, “Twinkle, twinkle, little star”, things like that. That’s totally fair game to use a melody for a learning song. Hopefully it is used well.

What mistakes do people make when writing videos for kids to learn?

Vicki: So Matt, a lot of educators are getting into writing music for learning. Do you think there is a common mistake that educators may make as they are creating music for learning?

Matt: Well, there are a lot of things that go into writing a song, and especially with such a specific purpose as we’re trying to do. I think one it has to be fun for the kids. If they are going to be engaged, if they’re going to want to use that as part of their learning it has to be a fun song. And the other thing, as I mentioned, concise, short and sweet, and obviously you want it to be correct.

Joanna: We also noticed some are just terrible to listen to. So having some quality in there doesn’t hurt.

Vicki: Well, we’ve gotten so many great tips. I know you want to check the show notes and you definitely want to check their [YouTube] channel, because they have lots more to come in this collaboration because it’s important to select the right videos for learning. I’m so excited, Joanna and Matt, to see you working together because I think that when educators and musicians collaborate that we are going to continue to see an increase in the quality of the videos we are using in our classrooms.

Matt: Absolutely

Bio as submitted


Joanna grew up as a military child overseas mainly in Europe. She studied Elementary and Early Childhood Education at BYU, and this will be her fifth year teaching. She married Matthew Pace, a songwriter from Las Vegas, in 2010. They love working together on various projects, including raising their baby boy whom they adopted last year.

YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgM7EYFFz_dba0OIZs5L9kg

 

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.) This company has no impact on the editorial content of the show.

The post K-6 Educational Music Videos: Selecting the Right Videos for Learning appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!


from Cool Cat Teacher BlogCool Cat Teacher Blog http://www.coolcatteacher.com/k-6-educational-music-videos-selecting-right-videos-learning/

Tips for a Purpose-Full Education #MotivationMonday

Dr. Amy Fast on episode 171 of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Vice Principal Dr. Amy Fast helps schools how to move their mission from the letterhead to what people do every day. A must-listen for school leaders. Dr. Amy Fast, the author of It’s the Mission, Not the Mandates, talks about how to regain the purpose of education in schools.

Today’s Sponsor: GradeCam lets you create assessments with formats including multiple choice, true/false, number grids, rubrics, and even handwritten numeric answers that can be read and scored by Aita – Gradecam’s Artificial Intelligence Teaching Assistant.Score assessments, generate reports, and transfer grades automatically. Work smarter instead of harder. Sign up for your 60-day free trial at gradecam.com/coolcatteacher

Listen Now

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Below is an enhanced transcript, modified for your reading pleasure. All comments in the shaded green box are my own. For guests and hyperlinks to resources, scroll down.

***

Enhanced Transcript

Purpose-Full Education #MotivationMonday

Shownotes: http://www.coolcatteacher.com/e172

From Audio File: 172 Amy Fast @fastcranny

Monday, October 16, 2017

Vicki: Today we’re talking with Dr. Amy Fast @fastcranny, the author of It’s the Mission, Not the Mandates.

Now Amy, this is tough for so many educators, because we have so many mandates coming down, right?

Amy: Correct.

How do we focus on the mission of our school?

Vicki: So how do we focus on the mission, when we feel overwhelmed by all the mandates?

Amy: That’s a good question. I think that it’s certainly something that we need to keep in the forefront of our minds, because mandates are kind of – like you said, in the forefront of our work on the daily basis.

But one of the things that I’m really passionate about is that if we’re not really clear about what our end goal is in public education, then we’re going to be spinning our wheels for the most part.

We only have so much time that we can do things in, and so much manpower and motivation to do those with. If we’re not really clear about how to get the biggest bang for our buck in every second of everyday, then we’re not doing right by our students, and we’re not doing right by society ultimately.

A Leader’s Responsibility in the School

For me, I think that A) it’s a leader’s responsibility to be mission oriented and not be so focused on the initiatives and the mandates that are rolled out in their districts and their states. But B) to be really clear about what their school and their district in there in this field of public education is all about, and to use that to make sure that their staff is on the same page and excited about what they’re doing every day… and knows pretty clearly what they need to do for students so that students can be as successful as possible.

Vicki: Now, Amy, you’re not just a thought leader, sitting in an office. You’re actually an assistant principal in Oregon.

Amy: Yeah!

3 ways to make a mission more than a statement

Vicki: So how do you reinforce this with your staff? How do you help them focus and stay on mission? And what do you say your school’s mission is?

Amy: We just came up with a mission statement this year. We have a relatively new team across the board. Three new administrators out of four – “new-ish” I should say, in their roles – and a lot of new hires, and a lot of veteran teachers who are ready for a chance to revitalize their purpose and revitalize the school.

We have this committee called Innovation Council. On that team, we determined the mission statement alongside students and parents and other staff members.

Our mission is “Ignite purpose. Pursue passion. Rise to your worth.”

That kind of encompasses what we’re all about. I think that even for me it’s hard to keep that in the forefront of my day-to-day work, but there’s a few things that we do to keep that mission alive.

Mission statement action item #1: Make sure every group purposefully pursues the mission

One is to not just have it live on letterhead, but to really make sure that all the programs and practices in our school fall under the umbrella of that mission and are really purposeful in realizing that mission. Otherwise, why are we doing them?

Mission statement action item #2: Rethink school meetings that don’t help the purpose

(Two) is making sure that if our meetings and our work with students doesn’t reflect that mission, then we rethink whether those meetings are purposeful or not.

I do something that’s called “Fast Facts.” You know, my last names is Fast, so…

Vicki: (laughs) I got that!

Amy: I send out weekly emails that are mission-oriented. They kind of get to you. I always tell people that “Mindset is more important than Skillset in what we do as educators.”

I’ve seen that to be true in my work with students and staff. These Fast Facts are really geared toward making sure that staff remember how hard the work is that they do and that they also remember that that work is valued.

I think that it’s really easy to feel demoralized as an educator. When you’re reminded constantly of the mission and of our value, I think that can keep your battery charged enough to do the really important work.

Also, I think that one of the big mistakes that we make as educators is not keeping our students in the know of the work that we’re trying to do. I talked on a few podcasts about our student survey that we’re really proud of.

Twice a year we use a Google Form to survey our students about how hopeful that are, and how much they feel like they’re significant in the school, and even have them reflect on their soft skills like teamwork and perseverance and those sorts of things.

Everytime we do these surveys and every time we have an assembly, we remind students of what we’re all about and how proud we are of them and the work that they’re doing and the achievement that they’re had thus far.

If we’re not taking the time to let them know the strides that they’re making toward that mission, and they’re the ones that are doing the real work, then we’re never going to realize that mission.

Mission statement action item #3: Make sure students own it

I think that:

  1. Keeping it in the forefront of our work as administrators, and
  2. Making sure that our staff see that it’s a living thing and not just something that lives on letterhead, and
  3. Making sure that students own it.

Those are probably the most important pieces of making a mission more than just a statement. It’s something that actually inspires you on a daily basis.

Make sure schools are full of purpose or purpose-full

Vicki: So, Amy, you said a word that I love. “Purposeful.”

But I like to spell it “Purpose-full.”

Amy: (agrees)

Vicki: Everything we do should be full of purpose.

As we’re thinking about motivating ourselves to be more, do you think that there’s anything that schools unknowingly do that are “Purpose-less,” or take away from your purpose?

Amy: All the time, unfortunately. This is probably the impetus for my book. I had this nagging feeling for fifteen years — when I was in the classroom or as an instructional coach — that what we’re spending the most time on isn’t necessarily the most purposeful for students and in turn for society.

We’re really doing this so that students can be happy and successful someday and so that we can live in a better world. When you zoom out at the 30,000 foot range, that’s why we’re here. The unfortunate reality in education is that what gets tested is also what gets taught. Not that what we test is wrong, but it’s limited.

I always say that there was this popular phrase for a long time that was “having a laser-like focus” in education. That’s important because without that focus then you’re all over the place. But at the same time, that laser-like focus can become tunnel vision if we’re not careful.

I think that one of the things that I care a lot about is making sure that what we focus on reflects our greatest purpose.

School is not just here for academic reasons

This is a statement that ruffles a few feathers, and this is probably where my niche is in this field, but I’m not sure that the purpose of education is solely academic.

The research that I did when I was writing my book was all about, “What is it that changes the trajectory of a society? What is it that changes the trajectory of an individual?”

If that’s 90% academic, then great. We’re on the right track as public educators.

But if it’s not, then we need to be really careful, because if what we’re testing is what gets taught, and we’re solely testing academic measures and that’s actually not what leads societies and individuals to be successful, then we’re going to be going down the wrong path.

3 Fold purpose of schools

1 – Academics

I have this conceptual framework in my book, and it’s something that I share sometimes on Twitter. It’s a triple Venn diagram, and academic achievement is only one sphere or circle in that.

2 – Foundational Skills

The (second one is) those foundational skills, those soft skills people talk about like perseverance and teamwork and creativity. Those are seeming intangible, but actually are pretty measurable qualities.

3 – Intrinsic Drive

The other circle, the third circle, is intrinsic drive, and that’s the piece that I talk about that we’re missing a lot.

When you look at things that are integral to individuals’ and society’s success, it’s really that piece about students

  • getting super passionate about what they’re doing,
  • feeling like they have something to contribute to society, and
  • feeling like they matter and matter in a unique way and not just a way that’s a number on a data point somewhere on a chart, somewhere in a school.

You’re actually an individual that people are seeing, you’re cared about, and you’re known.

For me, if we’re going to be purposeful about our work, then we need to be purposeful about what it is that’s really going to make a difference in education for students.

It’s not solely academic.

If I am pushing any agenda, that’s the agenda I’m pushing.

How to improve student performance

Vicki: Give us a 30-second pep talk about focusing on what will actually improve the trajectory of kids.

Amy: Well, I don’t know if it’s a pep talk…

But I’m all about multiple measures. I’m not about moving backwards in education and not measuring at all, just making kids “feel good.”

I think that we can’t do things the way that they’ve been done in the past. That hasn’t been proven to be as beneficial as we’d like them to be.

Let me give you a little caveat here, because I think that we’re really hard on the field of education. A lot of things we’ve done have come to fruition in society and actually made a positive impact. We’re not quick enough to give credit where credit is due.

But, that being said, it’ really important to have holistic measures. We are too quick to dismiss that because it seems impossible. But we forget that a really easy measure is asking students. We can measure a student’s motivation level and intrinsic drive. We can measure their soft skills with their own self-assessment or rubrics that teachers have. And we can certainly measure their academic achievement which we’re already doing.

So what I would like to see happen is to have these holistic measures that allow schools to capture not only how their students are doing academically, but also

  • how they’re feeling and if they’re able to think creatively,
  • have a global perspective,
  • have solid oral and written communication,
  • be good leaders,
  • be good at teamwork and digital literacy,
  • be flexible.

All of those things that are shown to actually be more important than technical or academic skills in the workforce. I think that we should put equal weight on those things. Then we’ll get an accurate reflection of what our schools are doing. Once we start looking at those things, schools will start paying more attention to those things. By virtue of paying more attention to them, students will in turn rise to their worth.

Vicki: OK educators. So, let’s get out there and let’s have a more purposeful education in our classrooms and in our schools.

Transcribed by Kymberli Mulford

Bio as submitted


Dr. Amy Fast is an assistant principal at McMinnville High School in McMinnville, Oregon. She is the author of It’s the Mission, Not the Mandates and is a rising thought leader in the field of education. Her focus is on public school policy and practice that ignites students’ passions and inspires them to pursue their purpose–both at the national socio-political level and at the grassroots school building level.

Social Media: @fastcranny

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.) This company has no impact on the editorial content of the show.

The post Tips for a Purpose-Full Education #MotivationMonday appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!


from Cool Cat Teacher BlogCool Cat Teacher Blog http://www.coolcatteacher.com/e171/

5 Ways to Add Morning Meetings to Special Ed Classrooms

Dr. Felicia Durden on episode 170 of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Dr. Felicia Durden shares methods behind having a powerful morning meeting in special education classrooms. From routine to celebrations, we talk about how to start the day well in special education classrooms.

 

Today’s Sponsor: WriQ from Texthelp is a new FREE Add-on for Google Docs that helps teachers easily assess student writing and track progress over time by automatically scoring students’ spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors. It also incorporates rubrics so teachers can provide meaningful, qualitative feedback to encourage the writing journey.
This handy free Google Docs add-on tracks things like: time spent writing, spelling-grammar-and punctuation error rates and pulls it into a clear graphical view in your teacher dashboard. To learn more about Wriq go to www.texthelp.com/wriq

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Below is an enhanced transcript, modified for your reading pleasure. All comments in the shaded green box are my own. For guests and hyperlinks to resources, scroll down.

***

Enhanced Transcript

5 Ways to Add Morning Meetings to Special Ed Classrooms

Shownotes: http://www.coolcatteacher.com/e170 Felicia Durden @drdrdn
Friday, October 13, 2017

Vicki: Today we’re talking with Dr. Felicia Durden @drdrdn, author of Morning Meetings for Special Ed Classrooms: 101 Fun Ideas, Creative Activities, and Adaptable Techniques.

Today we’re going to hit on five ideas.

So Felicia, give us our first idea for adding Morning Meetings to the Special Ed Classroom.

Step 1: Set up Your Room for Morning Meetings

Felicia: Hi! Well, one of the first ways that I want to begin by having the Morning Meetings in the Special Education Classroom is to set up your room. Setting up and determining what that space is going to look like is so pivotal to having a Morning Meeting.

In most classrooms, it’s a set area in the classroom – maybe on the carpet, or in an area that’s open where you can bring chairs. But the first thing to even start with the Morning Meeting is to determine where that specified place is going to be that your kids are going to meet with you.

That Morning Meeting area has to be a place where the teacher has prominence so the kids can see you. But you might also be sharing big books or having writing, so you need the space to be open enough where the kids can not only see you, but see the materials that you ‘re presenting as well.

So the first step is to really assess your classroom area and determine where you’re going to hold that Morning Meeting.

Step 2: Think About How You’ll Build Community and Set Expectations

Vicki: Awesome. What’s your second idea?

Felicia: The second thing is that when you do the Morning Meeting, one of the important things to think about is how you’re going to build community.

Morning Meeting is a really special time that you want to make sure that kids feel safe. They’re coming into the room, and you want to build that time when the kids can express themselves. So building community is your second step. Think about how you’re going to teach the rules for Morning Meeting. What are the expectations? That’s a part of community building, because it helps to make that area safe and secure – and really, I like to use the word “sacred.”

You want that Morning Meeting area to be sacred. So you need to think about, “What are my rules and expectations going to be, so that kids know exactly what the expectations are?”

Vicki: And it does make them feel safe to have routines and to know what to expect. It just does create a community of safety, and that kind of starts with structure, doesn’t it?

Felicia: It really does, especially for kids with special needs. Often, part of their IEP goals are social skills. Many have difficulties with connecting with others, and if they don’t feel safe and secure it’s really a challenge. Having that structure and routine, beginning the day that way, sets them off to a good start.

Step 3: Think about Social Development

Vicki: Excellent. OK, what’s your third?

Felicia: My third thing is that you want to think about social development. Think about ways to have the kids take turns. How are they going to alert you that they have a question? Are they going to raise their hand? What are you going to do in that Morning Meeting time to help them with their social development?

Again, this book was written for special education students, but it can be for any student. All kids need to learn how to be good listeners, how to take turns, how to ask questions.

So your third thing to think about in setting up that Morning Meeting time is what social development skills can you hone in on and really focus on during your Morning Meeting.

An example of teaching social development in morning meetings

Vicki: Could you give me one quick example, so we can all understand?

Felicia: Sure. One example would be that possibly the kids are going to have to listen to other kids share their ideas on the carpet. So one of those social skills that you’ll want to teach kids is how to listen when someone is speaking.

You can model that so perfectly during Morning Meetings. As you’re sitting there, you could have kids come up and model it. So have one child ask the question, and then you’re overdramatic and overemphasizing, but you show them what listening looks like and sounds like.

So what I like to do is in the Morning Meeting, it’s a time for kids… They’re feeling safe. It’s a welcoming time… Let’s model and show what proper behavior looks like and how we can develop social skills.

Vicki: And it’s so important when you see that listener recognize it, because sometimes we just focus on inappropriate behavior. We need to hold up the heroes who are doing the correct behavior.

Felicia: Yeah. Right.

Step 4: Think about Content Areas to Include in Morning Meetings

Vicki: OK, what’s the fourth?

Felicia: The fourth thing is to think about content areas that you want to emphasize when you’re in your Morning Meeting.

I think it’s one of the best ways to pre-teach reading skills, mathematical skills, that you’re going to be touching on.

I always used my Morning Meetings when I was a teacher as a way to do read-alouds with kids. Let’s say we’re focusing on character development. I would use my Morning Meeting to pre-teach something that we’re going to teach later on in the day.

Again, we’re writing this book for kids with special needs, and many of them need that pre-teaching so that they’re successful once you get to the lesson itself.

So, my fourth tip is to think about what academic skills you want to hone in on and pre-teach during a Morning Meeting.

Vicki: That’s great advice for all of us. We call it “frontloading” now in some of the techniques I’ve seen. That’s great!

Step 5: Think About Ways to Celebrate During Morning Meetings

What’s our fifth?

Felicia: Our fifth, I think, is my favorite. Think about ways to celebrate during your Morning Meeting.

We have kids who come in with so many cultural experiences, from so many different areas. And we really want to celebrate that difference, and what we have in common.

So think about, “What little gimmicks am I going to have during my Morning Meetings to celebrate?”

We know we’re going to celebrate birthdays.

But how about using the Morning Meetings to celebrate academic success? Let’s say someone is really doing well with a skill that you’ve taught. Using that Morning Meeting as a way as a community as a way to celebrate really helps make this Morning Meeting special.

And it really just ties into one of my first tips – building community. When you build that community, you celebrate together, you talk together about next steps.

So that’s an important part of the Morning Meetings.

Making celebrations appropriate to student preferences

Vicki: Now let’s say you have some kids on the autism spectrum in that Morning Meeting.

You know, some children really struggle with being the center of attention. Are there ways to celebrate without putting the spotlight on them?

Felicia: Absolutely. Sometimes you have to talk to those children and find out, “Can I celebrate you aloud?” Sometimes they don’t want you to, and maybe you can just talk about it in general.

I’ve also seen that maybe they want a buddy to share for them. But that’s a great point. You want to be respectful to the kids and how comfortable they are with that.

We have a lot of students at our campus who are on the autism spectrum. One of the things we work on with them is getting that socialization out there. What we find is that maybe at first they don’t want to celebrate, but as they begin to feel more comfortable and you have that respect and rapport that you’ve built in there with that social development that you’ve taught, they’re going to be more apt to want to be celebrated.

Vicki: That’s true. Every child is precious and different. You’re not recommending cookie cutter responses. You’re recommending customizing to the individual child as you have these Morning Meetings, aren’t you?

Felicia: Right. You have to differentiate.

That’s really one of the key things in the book. There’s not one way.

I have things in there also for gifted students. We have them as well, and sometimes they have difficulty with socialization and being celebrated.

So this is all about differentiation, There is not a cookie cutter, one-way-fits-all, but making it work for that classroom and each individual student in there.

Vicki: So, teachers… Here’s another remarkable idea.

Let’s take a look at Morning Meetings for Special Ed Classrooms – but really all classrooms.

This could be a technique or a strategy that you could use.

Check out the book, Morning Meetings for Special Ed Classrooms: 101 Fun Ideas, Creative Activities, and Adaptable Techniques.

We’ll include a link in the Shownotes.

Thanks for being with us, Felicia!

Felicia: It was my pleasure. Thank you so much.

Transcribed by Kymberli Mulford

Bio as submitted


Dr. Felicia Durden is an accomplished Educator with over twenty years experience in Education. She holds her Doctorate of Education degree in Educational Leadership, Master’s Degree in Curriculum & Instruction and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature. Dr. Durden has taught grades K-12, served as an Assistant Director of Reading and Writing and currently serves as Principal in a large Urban School District in Arizona.

She has taught English Composition at the College level as an adjunct instructor for over 5 years. Dr. Durden has a passion for assisting student growth in reading and writing. Dr. Durden is the author of “Morning Meetings for Special Ed Classrooms: 101 Fun Ideas, Creative Activities, and Adaptable Techniques“, “The everything parent’s guide to Common Core ELA, grades K-5 : understand the new English standards to help your child learn and succeed” and the upcoming “Visible Learning Day by Day: Hands-On Teaching Tools Proven to Increase Student Achievement” which will be released in February 2018.

Blog: http://www.balancededucator.com/

Twitter: @drdrdn

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.) This company has no impact on the editorial content of the show.

The post 5 Ways to Add Morning Meetings to Special Ed Classrooms appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!


from Cool Cat Teacher BlogCool Cat Teacher Blog http://www.coolcatteacher.com/e170/

Water saving toilets

 

 

How much water is used? How much water could be saved?

The activity: PottyTime-SavingWater.pdf

CCSS: 5.MD.1, 5.NBT.7, 6.RP.3, 7.RP.3, MP2

For members we have an editable Word docx and solutions with added world-wide information.

PottyTime-SavingWater.docx       PottyTime-SavingWater-solution.pdf

For more potty conservation work, check out:  Should I replace my toilets?

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from Yummy Math https://www.yummymath.com/2017/water-saving-toilets/

Bullying and Cyberbullying: The Things You Need to Know

Anne Collier on episode 169 of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Anne Collier helps us understand the statistics on bullying and cyberbullying. We talk about targets, those who bully and how to respond when helping those embroiled in this situation. October is the month we work to take a stand against bullying, so this is a topic of emphasis this month for many of us.

stop bullying and cyberbullying (1)

Today’s Sponsor: WriQ from Texthelp is a new FREE Add-on for Google Docs that helps teachers easily assess student writing and track progress over time by automatically scoring students’ spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors. It also incorporates rubrics so teachers can provide meaningful, qualitative feedback to encourage the writing journey.
This handy free Google Docs add-on tracks things like: time spent writing, spelling-grammar-and punctuation error rates and pulls it into a clear graphical view in your teacher dashboard. To learn more about Wriq go to www.texthelp.com/wriq

Listen Now

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Below is an enhanced transcript, modified for your reading pleasure. All comments in the shaded green box are my own. For guests and hyperlinks to resources, scroll down.

***

Enhanced Transcript

Bullying and Cyberbullying: The Things You Need to Know

Shownotes: www.coolcatteacher.com/e169

From Audio File: 169 Anne Collier @annecollier
Thursday, October 12, 2017

Vicki: Today we’re talking with my friend, Anne Collier @annecollier, about how we can reduce cyberbullying.

So, Anne, how bad is cyberbullying now?

Anne Collier

Current bullying and cyberbullying statistics

Ann: Well, I think that it’s really important to be clear that it’s far from the epidemic that we sometimes hear about in the news media.

There was a major update from the National Academy last year that looked at what’s really going on here. We do know that it’s still less of a problem than in-person bullying, that the range that the National Academy found for in-person school-based bullying is 18-31% of U.S. young people have experienced it or (been) affected by it. And for cyberbullying, it’s 7-15%.

So they looked at a whole range of research – lots of different studies – and that was the range of kids who were affected by it, in both cases.

Vicki: That’s still too many. I mean it’s… roughly 3 in 10 in face-to-face…

Ann: Yes.

Vicki: And almost 2 in 10 cyberbullying.

How do we help kids who are targets?

Some educators tend to just flip out and say, “Take away the phone! Take away the phone! Turn it off!”

What do we do that’s rational – that works?

Ann: Yeah. Well, that’s such an important question!

And it really isn’t as much about technology as it is about humanity. Right?

It’s a behavioral thing, and what we see on devices and on screens is kind of just sort of the tip of the iceberg. It’s just a freeze frame of what’s going on in a peer relationship, right, or a peer group.

Vicki: Right.

Ann: And usually it involves school, right, because most of kids’ waking hours and most of their social lives revolve around school.

So it’s really important for us to think about what’s going on with the kids. Taking away devices is – gosh – not even a band-aid, really. It doesn’t even really change the symptom. So we’ve got to work on the relationships instead.

The biggest mistakes educators can make when dealing with bullying

Vicki: You’ve worked with all kinds of organizations to combat this problem of bullying and cyberbullying.

When an educator is trusted enough by a kid or a parent to find out what’s happening, what is the worst thing that can we can do?

Ann: Overreact… Or try to take matter entirely into their own hands.

Because bullying and cyberbullying are about a loss of dignity and a loss of control from the child.

Vicki: (agrees)

Ann: Adults can really aggravate the problem by just trying to fix things themselves.

Vicki: Yeah.

Ann: So the most important thing we can do is know that every situation or case is as unique as the people involved. You’ve kind of got to get to the bottom of what’s going on among those people. There’s not a one-size-fits-all solution.

Vicki: Right. You know, one of the things that you and I have talked about before is that they used to say, “Stop, Block, and Tell.”

But I always say, “Stop, Screenshot, Block, and Tell.” Getting those screenshots is so important!

And once you block, sometimes you lose all that data… so you can’t say and show what’s happening.

Ann: Yeah. It’s really important to have some evidence if a child needs a screenshot, or needs to take a picture of a screen with another device, or whatever. Yeah, it’s good to have evidence. And it is good to tell and help kids that that’s not tattling. It’s about seeking help. And that’s really important.

What really helps the targets of bullying

They also tell us in research done actually with victims of bullying is that what helps them the most is to be really heard, to be really listened to. Whether that’s a peer, like a bystander being an upstander, or just a friend being a friend, or it’s an adult that they turn to. (It’s) that we really listen and kind of understand that it’s a process, that there isn’t as I said before a “quick fix.”

Vicki: You know, I lived it for five years. I know this. I know it! I don’t know what I would have done if my parents hadn’t listened because sometimes you have to go through it to get to it. You have to go through it to get to the solution. It’s not something you can wave a magic wand and fix, you know?

Ann: Yeah, and really listening to them and going through the process with them – rather than taking matters into our own hands – helps them see that they matter. It helps them get to hope. They see that they’re not alone and that this will pass. If we can help them with that, that is really going far toward really resolving the situation.

Vicki: So you’ve talked about, “Let’s not overreact.”

Let’s not think we can have a cookie-cutter approach, that everything is the same.

And to really listen.

Do you think there are some challenges that educators have as we deal with cyberbullying – and even bullying?

Educators can deal with these issues because it isn’t as much about technology as most educators think

Ann: I do. I think that very often — those of us who didn’t grow up with these technologies and media — think that this is a technology issue.

So we think that we’re unfamiliar with what’s involved, we’re not trained for this. And that’s simply not true because it’s a human thing more than it’s a technological thing.

We are trained. We do know how to work with kids. We do understand child development. We can use those tools and skill and that knowledge that we have to help our children.

How do we help children in the middle of a mass attack?

Vicki: How can you help when a child is in the middle of the situation, and it really is a mass bullying type of attack going on, and it feels like it’s everywhere. Like it feels like it’s on every social media platform, everywhere they go at school, and they don’t feel like there is an escape. What can we do to kind of take a little bit of the pressure off in that circumstance so that we can get through it?

I’ve been there, and I know how hard it is. If I couldn’t have gone home and petted my dog and been away from it, I don’t know how I would have made it — with social media and not being able to get away from it.

Ann: Well, I think we do need to shut down the devices sometimes. I think we need to help children kind of cut through that FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). They don’t like the drama any more than we do. There are always kids… I run a social media helpline for schools now, and what we’ve found is that most of the cases that come to us through school administrators come to the school administrators through the students themselves.

So there are always students who get sick of this crap and want to fix it and want it to go away.

We need to work with our students to make that happen. We can do that by reporting abuse in apps and services, and we can use them as our allies. Especially student leaders. I think we need to remember that there’s a digital component now to leadership and citizenship. Those students want to help, and so we need to look at those resources that we have… and work with them.

Vicki: So here’s the flip side of the coin…

I understand the – I’m not going to say “victim”. Victim is not the right word to use. I like to say, “survivor.”

Ann: (agrees)

Vicki: You know, you made it through. You lived it.

Ann: Yep, you were a target.

Vicki: Yeah.

OK, so Anne, let’s take a different approach for just a moment.

We’ve talked about the person who’s the target.

How do we help the parents of kids who are bullying understand?

Let’s talk about the kids who are doing this, and helping the parents of the children who are participating in this behavior to understand and handle it.

You know, a lot of times parents will make excuses and say, “Oh, kids are kids. This happened when I was (young). Bullying has been around forever. But they’re not really bullying. This is just what kids do.”

How do we help the children? The statistics of those who bully are actually scarier than being a target. If I had to pick, I would pick to be the target. Those who bully tend to really have some bad things happen in their lives.

But how do we help the parents of those who are participating in this behavior understand how to help their children not do this?

Ann: I don’t know if there’s a clear answer to that when the parents involved are determined to believe that their children are great, that their children don’t have a problem.

I think we see examples sometimes of parents who are bullying, themselves. They’re modeling that behavior for their kids. So they’re in denial about anybody victimizing anybody.

I don’t think there’s a clear answer or a blanket answer to that question. We’ve got to try to work with those parents as best we can, to the extent that they’re open to understanding what’s going on and the impacts on some of the kids – generalizing the situation a little bit, rather than blaming.

If we ourselves stay away from targeted blaming, then generally the conversation can open up a little bit. But we’ve got to test the waters, right? We have to understand where the parents are coming from, first, before we can have a calm, rational conversation.

Vicki: Yeah. And it’s tough.

So as we finish up, Anne, could you give us sort of a 30-second platform speech about the importance of actively working with this all year long?

We can’t just talk about bullying once a year: it is a year-long thing

I mean, October is Anti-Bullying Month. But we can’t pick up the mantle one month out of the year. It is something we have to live.

So could you kind of inspire us to help lead the charge with helping us focus on this topic all year long?

Ann: This really is something that we have to live. It’s about human relations. It is all year long and all life long, I think.

The research shows that the real solution — especially at the high school level when we really don’t know how to make bullying prevention work in grades 9-12 – that what the real solution really is positive school climate.

That’s a community-wide thing. That starts with helping teachers feel safe to keep classrooms safe places for students to learn and collaborate. So the whole school community has to be involved – not really just in bullying prevention, but in creating a school culture where everybody can thrive.

Vicki: And that’s so important.

So, educators, I do think it’s good for us to research this topic deeply, bring it back to the forefront of our mind – at least once a year so that we can read the latest research, read the latest information.

But we do also have to know that 3 in 10 kids? That’s unacceptable.

Almost 2 in 10? That’s unacceptable.

It is so many children in our schools. I just ask for you to please be part of the solution.

Transcribed by Kymberli Mulford

Bio as submitted


Anne Collier is the founder and executive director of The Net Safety Collaborative, the national nonprofit organization that runs iCanHelpline.org, the U.S.’s new social media helpline for schools.

A youth advocate with more than 20 years’ experience researching, writing and speaking about young digital media users, Anne has served on three national task forces on Internet safety and currently serves on the Trust & Safety advisory boards of Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat. Based with her family in the Seattle area, she blogs at NetFamilyNews.org.

Blog: http://icanhelpline.org/

Twitter: @annecollier

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.) This company has no impact on the editorial content of the show.

The post Bullying and Cyberbullying: The Things You Need to Know appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!


from Cool Cat Teacher BlogCool Cat Teacher Blog http://www.coolcatteacher.com/bullying-cyberbullying-things-need-know/