We need to get down from the balcony and sweat the small stuff

source: http://www.fastcompany.com/1798504/box-ceo-aaron-levie-create-something-exceptional-do-sweat-small-stuff

source: http://www.fastcompany.com/1798504/box-ceo-aaron-levie-create-something-exceptional-do-sweat-small-stuff

How many of you read the book, “Don’t sweat the small stuff?” I did and I agreed with it…. Until I started my third year as a principal. Why the shift? Glad you asked…

Over the past 10 or 15 years the message to administrators has been something like this…. Don’t be a manager, be a leader; stay in the balcony so you can see the orchestra; empower people and give them  freedom to work… All sounds like great advice, but what happens when the results from the organization are not what you expect? Are teachers and administrators matching their espoused (what the say) with their theories-in-use (what they actually do)? These are the questions that I am wrestling with as an educational leader in the 21st century.

So how will I lead differently? My plan this year is to pay more attention to the details. As I enter classrooms I will be looking, listening and interacting differently. I will be looking for standards-based instruction, listening for common language among grade levels and asking higher order questions of the staff and the students. I will be placing more emphasis on lesson plans and checking plans against the implementation of those plans.

 

Are we doing what we say we are doing?

 

I want to know why more then ever.

Starting at page 100: My Skype With Paula Naugle

12-12-11-The-ever-awesome-Ms.-Paula-Naugle-4th-grade-teacherWhen I was young, my mother told me it was rude to ask a woman their age. I have always remembered that and for the most part, have adhered to it. However, today, as I skyped with the infamous Paula Naugle, I couldn’t help but wonder about her age. See, age plays an important role in her story.

 

A few years ago, Paula was considering retiring. She had put in 30 years of teaching, and admittedly was feeling the effects of burnout. She attended the 2004 ISTE conference for 3 days and walked away from the experience realizing that as much as she knew about education, she knew nothing about 21st Century, connected education. It peeked her curiosity and left her wanting more.

 

Fast forward five years to 2009 and Paula continued to provide the best education to her 4th graders in Louisiana. Yet she still didn’t feel connected. She revisited the concepts from her ISTE experience and put together a grant proposal to redesign her learning environment. She ended up winning the grant which was 15,000 dollars! She used the money to purchase netbooks, interactive white board, and other goodies.

 

paula-brenda-at-receptionPaula then connected with Jan Wells a fourth grade teacher from Kansas. They worked together for 4 years connecting their 4th graders on various assignments, before ever meeting in person. Once they did meet in person, it was like they had been reading the same book and were able to start at page 100. Paula credits Joan Young for coining that phrase describing when connected educators meet in person. “We end up knowing so much about each other online, that when we meet, we already know so much about each other,” said Paula.

 

plnaugle_1372958072_81Similar to most people who become connected, Paula lurked and learned on twitter and blogs for some time. She didn’t think she had much to offer, but that all changed as she learned and connected with other educators throughout the world. As you check out her blogs, wikis and twitter, you will see that she has so much to offer!

 

Paula is committed to helping educators get connected. She is a tireless leader and when she goes to conferences she makes sure to spend time in the “newbie” lounge. She loves to pay it forward! When connecting educators to social media, she often shows them the graphic on Jeff Utech‘ blog (The Thinking Stick).

 

As for the future of education, Paula wants to see a 10-15 minute social media period added to the school day. That way, no one will have an excuse for not having the “time” to connect and learn. Since Paula came out of her comfort zone of 30 + years in education, she feels that other educators will be able to do the same and that will have lasting impact on our understanding of learning. She sees blended learning opportunities  become more prevalent. Paula also sees education becoming more individualized.

 

And I listened to my mom…. I never asked Paula her age because we started the conversation on page 100.

 

Take a few minutes to watch Paula’s story in her own words.

 

Connect with Paula

on twitter

on her classroom blog

on her classroom wiki 

#4thchat (every Monday at 7pm CDT)

on her professional blog (no wonder her initials are PLN)

 

Dangerously Relevant: My Skype with Scott McLeod

McLeodMost of you know Scott McLeod from the legendary Shift Happens videos. I can remember being at an in-service a few years back and watching Version 1. I was mesmerized. I ended up showing to to 7th and 8th graders because I thought kids needed to know how quickly the world, their world was changing… “We are preparing students for jobs that don’t exist.” I can honestly say that the seed that was planted by Scott ended up eventually leading me to becoming a connected educator.

 

I was fortunate enough to sit down with Scott as he returned from San Francisco where he purchased Google Glasses. Scott said that he rarely jumps into new technology, but with the Google Glasses he couldn’t resist. He is excited about how the Google Glasses will enhance classroom instruction, observations, walkthroughs and instructional rounds. I asked him what he “saw” when he looked through… He said it looks like a computer display a few feet ahead of you.

 

mcleodtwitterspaceboy2

Scott’s twitter pic

I was joined on this skype with one of my 5th grade teachers, Ryan Hudson. Ryan and Scott hit it off immediately because Ryan is the type of teacher that Scott has created… innovative, risk taking, student centered, and grounded in 21st century instruction.

 

I asked Scott to talk about Shift Happens. It all started with Karl Fisch. Karl wanted to do a PD session on the changing nature of the world. All Scott did was clean up Karl’s video, shorten it and put it on his blog, and it went viral.. The rest is literally history… It’s been a wild run, 60 million viewers..So, I asked him if “shift” happened? He said its happening slowly…human, social, organizational factors continue to hold us back from truly shifting… Many are still not ready for it… Many are not ready for the shift!

 

Scott talked a great deal of the future of education. He sees a continued movement to one-to-one devices. More kids will have a device and wireless will be everywhere. In addition, Scott believes that more and more districts will realize that learning doesn’t have to tied to the school day…traditional hours, but rather a more open and flexible structure.

 

If schools and student learning will change, I had to follow up with a question about teacher Professional Development… Scott talked about the one size fits all model for learning and if its differentiated and individualized for students, then it must be for teachers. Social media will help with this he added.

SMcLeod

Scott is always hard at work!

Currently, Scott is working on two rather large projects. He is doing research on connected principals and how they use social media and web 2.0 tools. With that, he is working on a checklist for principals and administrators who want to become more connected. He is leaving no stone un-turned in this research. He will be looking at job descriptions, postings and matching that with day to day responsibilities. He really wants to learn more about how technology is really being used, and how districts are documenting the process.

 

Scott was such a personable guy. He really took time to talk with Ryan and I. In fact, he encouraged Ryan to look at the University of Kentucky Doctoral Program that he was influential in developing. Scott said that the UK program is an excellent opportunity for educators to earn a doctorate in School Technology Leadership.

Learn from Scott:
Scott McLeod’s website

Scott McLeod on Twitter 

Scott’s CASTLE Project 

 

What Scott and his Innovation Team are reading?
Influencer:The New Science of Leading Change 
Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us
Meatball Sundae: Is Your Marketing Out of Touch?

Lead like a Cricket: My Skype with Joe Sanfelippo

joe s

Joe Sanfelippo District Lead Learner

I had the opportunity to skype with Fall Creek School District Superintendent Joe Sanfelippo the leader of the Crickets. I’m sure by now you have heard the crickets chirping through social media…. if not, you have to check out #gocrickets on twitter. In preparing for the interview, I had to brush up on my knowledge of crickets. I went to buzzle to research the characteristics of crickets and what I found was quite symbolic. Did you know that crickets can survive in almost any type of environment, and they play an important role in bringing balance to the ecosystem? #gocrickets!

 

Joe started his journey into social media as a better way to get information to people. He immediately saw the benefits of celebrating what is going in school and telling the story of his district. During his first year he “lurked” on twitter and was able to bring global ideas and best practices back to Fall Creek. As his comfort level grew with social media, Joe began to share the news with his fellow crickets.  He stayed true to his mission of being a servant leader… as he said, “If I am leading this organization, and I want others to be connected, I had to be learning along with everybody else. This learning helped me connect with parents, students and teachers in a much different way then I had before.”

 

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Everybody wants to be like Joe

In March, Joe attended the national ASCD conference in Chicago. It was during that conference he met many of the educators he had been following on twitter in person for the first time. He found out how much he had in common no matter where they were from. Joe and I met at that conference in Chicago and we attended the Maya Angelou Keynote together. Having been part of Joe’s PLN our conversation flowed naturally…. I felt like I had known him for 20 years!

I asked Joe to share his experiences as a connected superintendent (one of the least represented groups in the connected world). He says that his Board of Education is extremely supportive and loves how social media has helped the district improve its global awareness. The local media have covered several stories about the district which has served as an additional support network for the district. Joe balances his tweets between telling the crickets story on the athletic field, in the classroom, on the stage or on the playground.

 

Joe feels his job as the district lead learner is to help parents, teachers and students gain access to resources. He doesn’t mind leading the charge. Joe also sees the power of using social media to connect with his leadership mission and vision. “There is not a person who doesn’t know about my philosophies on education because of social media. It has opened up a whole new avenue of transparency and lines of communication,” he said enthusiastically.

 

599756_333598616731417_1888658378_nJoe also sees the power that social media plays in the marketing of his district. Kids tweet him questions during football games, and parents have immediate access to him. There is an renewed pride in being a Cricket. The Fall Creek School district, which is a PK -12 building with 800 kids, is the perfect location for Joe. Even though it is a small town in the mid-west part of the USA, the Crickets now have a global awareness due to Joe’s commitment of “telling the story.” Nowadays, wherever Fall Creek paraphernalia is, you are sure to see the #gocrickets!

 

When I asked Joe where he sees education in the  future he didn’t hesitate to say… Personalized learning. He hopes that in the future that students will have choice and voice in the process. He doesn’t see traditional schooling going away, it will get better. Schools are made of people who teach the way they were taught, and the systems keeps going on.

 

Want to learn more about Joe? Check out these resources

Follow Joe Sanfelippo on twitter

Joe Sanfelippo’s blog 

Follow the Crickets #gocrickets

Fall Creek Teachers on the Red Carpet 

News story on the new playground 

Joe Sanfelippo did his doctoral work on the implementation of PBIS…. Checkout this screencast

Richard Byrne: Free Technology for Everyone!

This is the second post in my summer 2013 series of people who are making a difference.

 

Richard_Byrne.2Picture being up in Maine, faced with opportunity of teaching a new subject and needing help….Where would you turn? Who would you turn to? In 2003, Richard Byrne was faced with these same questions and he turned to the internet. We all know the internet was much different back in 2003, but according to Richard, it was exactly what he needed, and exactly what his students needed.

 

Fast forward to 2013 and Richard Byrne has become an enigma in technology education. His blog, Free Technology for Teachers, has been viewed a gazillion times, has won Edublog awards since 2009, has over 5,000 followers on Google +, and has over 35,000 likes on Facebook. If you have never accessed the site, you have a lot of reading to do. As of July 9, 2013, Richard has 7,503 blog posts. Yes, 7,503 blog posts!

 

When I asked Richard to talk about his blogging process, he said that it has evolved over the years. At first, his posts were more about him, and now they are meant for his audience… us! In his first post on Free Technology for Teachers, Richard discussed his mission… to provide free resources for teachers to increase academic success. 7,502 posts later and Richard is staying true to his mission! In addition to being free, Richard ensures that his resources only take someone 10 -15 minutes to utilize and implement into their classroom. Yes, I said free!

 

richard byrne 3During the last year, Richard gave up his full time teaching position to focus on his blogging, speaking and consulting work. What started out as a labor of love, has afforded Richard the opportunity to travel around the world and meet amazing students and educators. He encourages new bloggers and web 2.0 users to keep going and be persistent. He also said that it is important to know why you want to blog and to stay true to that mission.

 

When I asked Richard about the future of education he did not hesitate to say, “We will see in a very short time the end of the computer lab.” He envisions an educational world that is focused on personalized learning devices to help student solve problems, access information and create something new. He doesn’t have particular advice for the platform (ie. mac vs PC) but rather he feels that districts should figure out what works best for their schools.

Take a look at this animoto about his recent trip to where the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp will be held:

Make your own slide show at Animoto.

 

Want to connect with Richard?

Twitter  

Facebook

Free Technology for Teachers 

Google+

 

Blending the future of learning with Rich Kiker

This is the first edition of my summer 2013 Learning Project.

kikerTalking with Rich Kiker was like talking to one of my high school buddies…. He is energetic, focused, futuristic, passionate, funny and loves to push the envelope.  In fact, when I asked him what type of student he was in school, he laughed and said, “Terrible! I was more concerned with selling sneakers, fooling around, then I was in school. For me, school was boring!” Yes, Rich and I would have definitely hung out in high school (and college for that matter).

 

I actually first met Rich at Educon in January. He came into the session I was facilitating (with Dana Sirotiak and Danielle Hartman ). He immediately breathed light into the discussion and made this remark that stuck a chord with me… “We need to invest in bandwidth.” Simply stated. Passionately delivered. Yet, I understood exactly what he was referring to…. No matter the device, app or online tool, if your bandwidth is not large enough to support it, your 21st century learning opportunities are meaningless.

 

Rich is a risk taker. A few years ago he gave up the comfort of tenure and a full time teaching  job to start his own company, Kiker Learning. At Kiker Learning he built one of the most successful consulting businesses in education. He blends learning through face to face, online and hybrid. In addition to building Kiker Learning, he came back to the public education realm as the Director of Online Learning for the Palisades School District. Rich blends learning with the best of them!

 

kiker trainerAt Palisades, he works with the district to provide online learning opportunities for teachers, students and administrators. His vision is to meet the needs of the various stakeholders in a blended learning atmosphere. So whether kids want to take an elective, are Gifted and Talented, need remediation, or get assigned to a course, Rich ensures that their needs are met. Rich uses resources for the program such as K-12, Blackboard, edmodo and the Blended Schools Network. He believes that the online curriculum should complement the mission/vision of the public schools and address the common core as well as the local curriculum requirements. To me, Rich is creating a paradigm shift within the system by blending the learning.

 

kiker w peopleWhen I asked Rich to talk about the future of education, he wasted no time in telling me that it is in bandwidth! He used the example of how the global learner can learn from a kid in Singapore through YouTube, but if the bandwidth isn’t there, then how can they access it? Rich believes that the investment also needs to be in the Human Resources of a company. He thinks its time to “stop buying stuff” and move to a digital space. He sees MOOC’s as the opportunity to let students and teachers build the process of their learning. He sees great value in continuing the social aspect of schooling. Rich values the art of teaching and the important place a teacher and student have in the learning continuum.

 

The future of  learning is Blended through bricks and clicks.

Suggestions by Rich

  • Project Loon – Balloon powered internet for everyone
  • The Element – by Ken Robinson – A great read for finding your passion
  • Be Our Guest – Great read for understanding the importance of customer service
  • Google in Education – Check this out for learning opportunities beginning in August
  • MentorMob – An ambitious project to re-imagine how learning works
  • Seth Godin –  Linch Pin – Want to make yourself indispensable? Read this book!
  • Kiker Learning  – Rich’s online company that provides state of the art consultation

 

 

 

Who is making a difference? I need your help!

Last summer, I set out to interview 10 connected educators. The goals was two-fold… I wanted to learn from the “best” to improve my practice of being a connected principal, and I wanted to continue paying it forward through my blog. I learned so much from those amazing educators (feel free to check out the participants below).

As I reflect on this summer, I am still pondering… Since I learned so much last summer why don’t I continue the project this summer.

So I am asking for advice…

Who is out there making a difference in the lives of students, teachers, communities, etc? Who has transcended the mundane aspects of education? Who has done something different? Who should I contact this summer for a skype interview? What can I learn from them? How are they making a difference? Please send me your suggestions… I can’t wait to hear back from you!

 

Spread the word!

2012 Summer Blogging Project Participants:

George Couros

Justin Tarte

Dwight Carter

Nerdy Teacher

Chris Wejr

Todd Whitaker  

Erin Klein 

Patrick Larkin 

Kelly Tenkly 

Jessica Johnson 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s talk about …. Cheese!

As I was driving into work last week, I was thinking about our final staff meeting of the school year. I had an agenda, and was fully prepared to carry out the agenda. Then I thought about all of the changes facing my school next year: Model Curriculum (NJ’s transition to the Common Core), Model Assessments (NJ’s transition to the PARCC), new teacher evaluation, new principal evaluation, increased state monitoring of student data and not to mention any other changes that we would want to address our own, unique needs. Then it hit me… A great clip to show the staff (and myself included) would be the classic video, Who Moved My Cheese? based off the book by Dr. Spencer Johnson.

 

After the clip concluded, the staff actually began to clap. In talking about the clip, I stressed that I too have had my cheese moved and that next year we will all be in the maze… together. Throughout the rest of the week, teachers referenced cheese moving…

 

As you think of next year, what cheese has been moved? How will you deal with this change? Do you have a person definition of how you deal with change?

 

 

Science Leadership Academy Where Inquiry is the Constant

SLA’s core values

Throughout the process of transitioning to the Common Core, I have been considering various approaches to supporting the depth, breadth, and nuances of the new standards. Recently, a team from my school district visited the Science Leadership Academy (SLA) in Philadelphia, PA. SLA, whose most notable contribution to the education community is EduCon, offers a unique opportunity to research the impact of Problem Based Learning (PBL). Lead by Chris Lehmann, the SLA is a magnet school within the district of Philadelphia Public Schools.

 

We arrived at our destination on a cold March morning.  The wind was whipping through the City of Brotherly Love with such force, it made walking a few feet a chore. As I approached the building I saw High School students running by me. They dipped into the building ahead of me. Could that be their gym class? Later on I found out that it was. SLA embraces the PBL philosophy even in terms of how they utilize their limited space (no gymnasium) and resources.

 

Our tour guide for the day, Jeremy Spry, met us at the main office. His relaxed, almost too calm for school demeanor  was both a welcoming and refreshing approach to our busy morning. He told us we would learn a lot more then just PBL on our visit. His excitement for the SLA learning environment was evident.

 

The Essential Questions are integral to the learning process at SLA

 

Grade 9 is Identity; Grade 10 is Systems

 

Grade 11 is Change

The “best student at SLA” with our team from Millville

 

As we toured the building, everyone seemed to know Jeremy. He took us into a science class that was studying genetics. We were introduced to the self proclaimed “best student at SLA”. After his warm greeting (of course took a photo), he went on to describe the Punnet Square concept with such ease, it was as if he was the teacher. Ironically, after observing their collaborative presentation on the genetic disposition of Huntingdon’s Disease, it was evident the students are in the driver’s seat of their own learning.

 

Jeremy explained that SLA’s core values (Inquiry, Research, Collaboration, Reflection) are integrated into everything. Furthermore, SLA is very specific on the progression of learning as the students enter 9th grade (Identity), then 10th grade (Systems ) which leads into 11th grade (Change), and then culminating into a capstone project in 12th grade.

 

From there, we spent time in a freshman English class. There was a lively discussion about what is art and what is not art in terms of paintings, and music. I actually had to ask Jeremy who the teacher was because the students were facilitating the discussion. He pointed to the teacher, and honestly, I thought earlier that he was a student. The class conversations were reminiscent of a collegial debate type atmosphere where everyone felt they could share their differing opinions while maintaining a respectful demeanor.

 

When we visited the digital video editing room, students were engaged in film projects that offered an answer to a number of questions. For instance, one student told me the focus of his film was about his conspiracy theory surrounding Chap Stick. He asked me, “Does anyone ever really finish a Chap Stick?” I had to laugh because I don’t think I have. When I watched his final product, I was amazed at his production skills and thoughtful consideration of character development.

 

Lunch time at SLA is much different from most schools. Students hang out and eat…. wherever. Sure, there is a cafeteria, but most kids line the hall near the main office, or in out coves throughout the school. Lines are blurred, and there are often teachers who are right in there eating with the kids and discussing life’s big questions.

 

Chris Lehmann and I at SLA

Our tour concluded with a sit down with the principal and SLA founder, Chris Lehmann. He told us that the school may seem unorganized from an outsiders perspective, but that SLA flourishes because it stays true to the core values. Chris doesn’t look for mavericks at SLA because he knows that most were at their prior teaching positions, but at SLA it is incumbent for everyone to be going in the same direction. Chris rarely suspends students, sees no need for a traditional dress code, and encourages his students to be treated as adults, as equals. Chris truley cares about his students. While we were talking, Chris had to balance being a host to us, and the sign ups for the Ultimate Frisbee team he organizes, and a student who was upset about something. His door was open the entire time, and anyone had access.

 

The visit to SLA was heavy. On the way home, I felt inspired by our experience because I believe our students can benefit from integrating the PBL philosophy into our own learning environment. As we continue our transition to the common core, I now have resources and experiences that can help our teachers and students dig deeper in the curriculum.

 

 

 

 

The kind of day that makes blogging easy

On February 22, 2013 I had the kind of day that makes blogging easy…

@JerseyAlicia assisting with the inter-district Skype!

On the way in to work, I was perseverating over our growing discipline numbers in the month of February. I was out the school the day before at a workshop, and I hoped that I wasn’t walking into “one of those days.” Well, in a sense, I was right! It would turn out to be one of those days that makes blogging easy.

 

Prior to the start of school, I had a great philosophical discussion on the transition to Common Core with some teachers. We challenged each other as to how we could make this transition, why the transition was occurring,  and even asking the BIG question… WHO is behind this? I love a heated philosophical discussion with colleagues! (Challenge the Process!)

 

Inter-district Skype

The school day started smoothly. I had a few teachers that invited me to learning events. I made sure to update my calender, and I was off to a meeting to … spend money on our most precious commodity… our students! based on the budget, I will be able to start a 5 week Saturday program, extend our before/after school programs, and purchase more devices to enhance student learning! What a great meeting!

 

I was running late (this is a constant) to my observation in Kindergarten armed with my iphone (this was my first attempt to capture an observation on my iphone). As I tried to observe the staff member, I had students come up to me to talk. They wanted to tell me about the book they were reading, what they ate for dinner last night, and how they were improving with swimming. I joked with the teacher that they seemed very engaged today. She laughed, and said, “Welcome to my world!” After the observation, I attempted to leave, but the rest of the class wanted to tell me how the Superintendent came to visit them at swimming. Hmm, I thought, I haven’t even made it to swimming  yet this season.

 

Mr. Hudson was covered with numbers before the activity even began.

I scurried up to 5th grade (running late again). One of the 5th grade teachers was working collaboratively with another group of 5th grade students from across town through Skype. I watched as the kids introduced themselves to each other and began to work. I tried to do a walkthrough on the other class. I asked a young man what he was learning and why it was important. He was able to tell me that they were working collaboratively on reading a passage, and that it was important to identify vocabulary for understanding. What a great experience!

 

@mrsbensonsbunch preparing the volcano!

I then ran upstairs to the 3rd floor to observe a Volcano Experiment. The students were on the edge of their seats the entire time. She set the stage, engaged the students, had them write down their predictions, and eventually …. poof… a learning memory. These kids, for the most part, will never forget that experience. They all had smiles and were so excited. Impossible is really Nothing!

 

After I finished with the Volcano Experiment I ran down to the gym for math class… Yes, the same 5th grade class that was skyping earlier in language arts were set to test out another activity that they developed for math. I had to recruit a team (I picked the math supervisor  the curriculum coach and our SuccessMaker facilitator) to compete against the students. In the first activity, well, let’s just say we lost. All we had to do was solve the problems by finding the correct numbers that were placed throughout the gym. During the activity, we were penalized for running, and solving the problems out of order. We came in 4th place. The kids were howling! The next activity required us to read a list of problems, solve the problems, find the answers scattered throughout the gym all while connected at the arms. This really required us to work collaboratively. We redeemed ourselves and won! I love winning against 5th graders in math 🙂

 

Our new Media Specialist, Meg Finney,  challenges students with 21st Century learning opportunities.

I made sure to congratulate the students on a job well done, and was off to prepare for our monthly PBIS meeting. I knew we had big problems to identify and solve! As I reviewed the data, I was somewhat encouraged. Compared to last year, we have nearly 40% fewer Office Discipline Referrals. As I ate my lunch, I thought to myself, there are some positives here, the data tells an important story.

 

@drgentilemps takes the Minute to Win It Challenge

As I arrived to the PBIS meeting I remembered that our Superintendent would be joining us. Pressure. We reviewed the data during our meeting. We talked about root causes, trends, possible solutions and ideas for improvement. We dug into some of the data and established that 24 students (out of a school that has 320), were responsible for over 85% of the Office Discipline Referrals. We brainstormed ideas to help these students. The superintendent told me afterwards, “Basically, Spike, you have to adopt those students, assign them mentors, and keep them engaged in the process. You guys will be fine!”

 

Bear Buck Challenge. Spend a Buck to enter the room!

Our committee went down to unveil the monthly “Bear Buck Store” where the kids can cash in their bucks for rewards. This month we tried something new. We wanted to create a buzz for the positives! For a single Bear Buck, a student could enter a door to compete in a challenge. In addition to the challenge, they could spend their bucks on homework passes, time on ipods, or even time with a teacher. The students who chose the challenge walked into a room with tables lined with rigatoni. They were given a piece of dried spaghetti, a few instructions, then had a “minute to win it.” If they were successful  they kept their Bear Buck. At the end of each session we explained the importance of earning Bear Bucks and how next month we would have similar activities for their reward! (Its simple, students earn rewards for Being Safe, Being Responsible, and Being Respectful!)

 

The end of the day went off with out a hitch. There were no discipline referrals for the day! The buzz of learning, innovation, and 21st century skills prevailed!

Basically it was the kind of day that makes blogging easy!