Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Season 2 Episode 1 "The First Day(s) of School

EDUCATING JO

Season 2
Episode 1

I hope you enjoy watching the new and improved (shorter) version of Educating Jo. I would love to hear what you do to start your school year off on the right foot. I would love to continue this conversation with you in the comments!

First Day of School
Hey Jo, Today I want to talk to you about the first day of school.
Intro
Welcome to Season 2 of Educating Jo, where I, an average Joe, talk about topics in education, to my lovely wife, whose name happens to be Jo. Since this is a weekly vlog, I will be uploading a video every Wednesday. I’m going to do a few things differently in season 2 now that I know what I’m doing??? First, I’ll do my best to keep videos under 5 minutes (although we all know sometimes it's hard for me to shut my mouth...Second each week of the month with have a theme.
1st week: class activity
2nd week: tech tool
3rd week: teaching philosophy
4th week: Weird Animal Wednesday Skype
August is already ruined because it has 5 weeks, so we’ll just pretend the first one never happened. So based on the schedule (pretending this is the 3rd week in August) I’ll be discussing the teaching philosophy related topic. And this week is… “the first day of school.”
Day 1
  1. Seating chart.
    1. Not a fan but need it for learning names.
  2. Have them download a few apps we’ll need for the class.
    1. 1:1 ipads sets the tone that the ipads are for learning, not games.
  3. Personal teaching philosophy
    1. Relationships
    2. Transparent classroom
    3. Exposure to science outside of school
    4. Practice skills needed throughout life
  4. Top 4 apps (10 min each and rotate)
    1. Evernote
    2. Thinglink
    3. EdPuzzle
    4. Canva
Day 2
  1. Mission statement
    1. If you don’t care about biology or science isn’t your thing, why are you here.
  2. PLANT poster
    1. Ways to show you are listening.
  3. Missing
    1. List of Rules
    2. Assignments
    3. Content
I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode and feel free to share, like, comment and subscribe! To all the other Educating Joes out there, have a great week teaching!
Outro

Monday, June 13, 2016

Episode 9 "The Innovator's Mindset" Chapter 3


EDUCATING JO

Episode 8
The Innovator's Mindset

"The Innovator's Mindset"

I'm really enjoying doing the book study and am excited to see more people answer the prompts! But I'm most excited to carry on the conversations about the topics in the comments! Let me know if anything I say resonates with you or if you have anything to add!



9. The Innovator’s Mindset 3
Hey Jo, this week I’m going to talk to you about chapter three of The Innovator’s Mindset by George Couros!
Intro
We are one week into the book study and it has been so much fun. I think Mr. Badura did a great job with the prompts, and I really enjoy the conversations going on in the comments. Today, I want to highlight the 8 characteristics of the innovator’s Mindset. Hopefully I will be able to show how I and my students embrace these concepts. 8 char IM.jpg

Writing at the top: The belief that abilities, intelligence and talents are developed leading to the creation of better ideas.

IMG_0118.JPG
Smart is not something you are…Smart is something you get! ~Stephanie Harvey
It’s easy to justify doing poorly by saying that others are just smarter or better than you. But with hard work, anyone can be successful.
  1. Empathy
  1. Me: Watching dadsined podcast, they always ask their guests how being a dad has changed them as an educator. That got me thinking how I’ve grown as a teacher since Briggs was born. The biggest way is it has helped me be more empathetic with my students. I now am more understanding when students have more important things going on in their life than school. How can I tap into those important things?
  2. Students: Understand and respect people who think differently than you. That’s a super important life-long skill they will need that is NOT modeled very well by our society.
  1. Problem Finders/Solvers
  1. Students: For most labs, I’ll show them how to do the control group, and each set of students has to find a way to make it go better with their experimental groups.
      1. Photosynthesis: more light, type of light, amount of light, number of leaves, type of leaves, amount of CO2, amount of water, temperature…
    1. Me: Reflect on a lesson, but do more than reflect. Make actual changes to solve the issues.
  1. Risk Takers:
    1. An educator with an innovative mindset will find the balance between drawing on experience while maintaining a willingness to try something new.
    2. Just like most things in life either extreme can be problematic. Balance between structure and adventure.
  2. Networked:
    1. So important to develop a PLN on twitter that can encourage, inspire and assist you whenever you need it!
  3. Observant:
    1. One thing I like to do with my students on social media is show science in everyday things. And I love it when students send me things they find during their normal day that ties into what we are talking about.
  4. Creators:
    1. I want my students to create things in my class. Students learn a lot more from what they make vs what they see. I model this by making almost all of the materials for my classes.
  5. Resilient:
    1. The first 3 years of trying to have my students blog didn’t work well, but I kept trying.
    2. The first time I tried to get scientists to skype with my students no one responded, but I kept trying.
    3. How do we get students to develop grit in their learning? This is where I struggle. I want my students to enjoy science and because of that, sometimes I over help instead of letting students work their way through difficult concepts.
  6. Reflective:
    1. That’s the main reason I started this vlog, was to reflect on my teaching!

Outro: I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode and feel free to share, like, comment and subscribe! To all the other Educating Joes out there, have a great week!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Episode 8 "The Innovator's Mindset" Chapter 2

EDUCATING JO

Episode 8
The Innovator's Mindset

"The Innovator's Mindset"

I hope you are enjoying my review of The Innovator's Mindset so far! I'm excited to start the seesaw activities with the other teacher's doing the book study, but if you've read the book, or something I say gets you thinking, please continue the conversation in the comments!!




8. The Innovator’s Mindset 2
Hey Jo, this week I’m going to talk to you about chapter two of The Innovator’s Mindset by George Couros!
Intro
I hope you are liking the book review so far. I had a lot of fun making the last episode and the book should take us all the way through the summer, which makes it easy for me! We still haven’t started the official book study yet, but I am excited to get started on Seesaw this week! I have 2 quotes from chapter 2 and the I will go through the “5 critical questions for the innovative Educator.”
  1. Quote number 1: The world only cares about...what you can do with what you know (and it doesn’t care how you learned it).
    1. Struggle with using innovative strategies with my students, know most science professors won’t use them.
      1. Am I setting my students up for future failure? Will they become so dependent on the activities from my class, they can’t learn from an old school lecture style?
      2. Focus on skills outside of science curriculum.
      3. Help students learn how they learn best, will help them in the future no matter how bad their professors are.
    2. Kayla Delzer quote: (@topdogteacher) Teachers can never base what happens in our classroom this year on what next year’s teacher may or may not do. If it’s best practice for our kids, do it now.
    3. If it helps my students learn this year, then do it! If it is best for student learning now, then it is best… period.
  2. Quote number 2: When I first started teaching, I remember thinking that students should learn the way I taught; they should adjust to me.
    1. Exactly what I thought my first year teaching.
    2. If a lesson fails, for any reason, as the adult, I’m responsible.
      1. I taught a horrible lesson over nutrient cycles right after prom. Students were STRUGGLING to stay awake. I knew they would be tired and I planned a lame lesson anyway. That’s on me, not my students.
  3. 5 critical questions for the innovative Educator
    1. Would I want to be a learner in my own classroom?
      1. If I weren’t passionate about this subject...
    2. What is best for this student?
      1. Conceptual Biology: students who struggle in science. What is the best way for these students to learn the content? It’s probably best for the other classes as well.
    3. What is this student’s passion?
      1. Adaptations → do their favorite animal= super ideas.
    4. What are some ways we can create a true learning community?
      1. Peer teaching
    5. How did this work for our students?
      1. Weekly feedback.
Outro: I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode and feel free to share, like, comment and subscribe! To all the other Educating Joes out there, have a great week!



Monday, May 30, 2016

Episode 7 "The Innovator's Mindset" Chapter 1

EDUCATING JO

Episode 7
The Innovator's Mindset

"What Innovation is and isn't"

I hope you enjoy Episode 7 about the first chapter of The Innovator's Mindset. Pictures are from George Couros' book and used with his permission. I'm switching up the format just a little bit for the summer by doing a shorter video each week about the book study book my district is reading. Please let me know if you like the shorter or longer videos as that will determine what I do when school starts in August!

George Couros' book: The Innovator's Mindset

7. The Innovator’s Mindset 1
Hey Jo, this week I’m going to talk to you about chapter one of The Innovator’s Mindset!
Intro
This summer our tech integration coach, Mr. Badura decided to do a book study over the summer. I’m super excited to get to do some professional development with other teachers in my district who want to be better teachers. We will be using the app Seesaw to build a portfolio throughout the summer about the book. This lets us kill two birds with one stone: learn a digital portfolio app for our students and participate in a book study without meeting face to face. We will be discussing each of the 4 parts throughout the summer, but I decided I wanted to make a vlog about each chapter. These should be shorter than during the school year, so let me know which format you like better!
  1. Quote by William Pollard:

    1. Great year this year, still need to improve and get better.
      1. Reflection journals.
      2. Talk about global goals=global citizens
    2. Teachers teaching the same year for the 20th time.
  1. What do you want kids to do with technology?
    1. Wrong “start blogs” this is what I have been doing.
    2. Fix for next year: use blogs to connect with parents and other classes.
  2. What do you want leaders to do with technology?
    1. Easy way out is to look at administration and look for shortcomings.
    2. I’m a leader in the school, how do I meet these goals?
      1. Build relationships
        1. Snapchat
      2. Flatten organizations
        1. Twitter
      3. Collaborate
        1. Skyping
      4. Tell powerful storyies
        1. Instagram
Outro: I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode and feel free to share, like, comment and subscribe! To all the other Educating Joes out there, have a great week!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Episode 6 "Textbooks"

EDUCATING JO

Episode 6
"Textbooks"

I hope you enjoy episode 6 of Educating Jo about my dislike of textbook teaching! I hope you enjoy me sharing why I don't use textbooks in my Biology classroom and some activities I do instead of reading chapter sections. 
Please share with anyone you think might be interested and I would love to see your comments here or on the YouTube channel! Thanks for watching!

Student Choice: Stars 
Activity: Jelly Bellicus



Here is the outline I used to make the video!


6. Textbooks
Hey Jo, this week I’m going to talk to you about my hatred of textbooks.
Intro
My inspiration for this post came from listening to a podcast of Matt Miller who wrote “Ditch That Textbook.” First I need to mention how lucky I am to teach what I teach. I have an 1 ½ hour prep period and then teach biology 3 sections a day. This gives me the time to plan lessons that not every teacher gets. I am also the only teacher that teaches sophomore level biology in my school which gives me even more freedom. So today I want to explain to you why I don’t use a textbook and somethings I do instead of a scripted curriculum or a read the chapter, answer the review questions approach.
  1. Why I don’t use a textbook.
    1. I think if a student wants to learn something, they google it. Reading a textbook chapter and learning information from it is no longer a skill students need.
    2. Creation vs. consumption
    3. Connect concepts to activities
      1. Easier to recall something you have done, vs something you have read
    4. As a trained professional, I have all the resources I need to make my own material. I don’t need a textbook company to tell me what connects with MY students.
  2. Read the textbook replacements
    1. Review engagement strategy
      1. For a 5 step process, group of five, each say a part then scramble. Content on the board and erase as needed.
    2. Act out the process with paper models and record.
    3. Presentations
    4. Student choice
      1. Here is the concepts we need to understand.
      2. Research the concepts to understand it.
      3. Figure out how to teach their classmates→ diagrams, videos, activities.

Highlight of the week: Golden Spaff Award
Struggle of the week: Grading and saying goodbye
Activity of the week: Jelly Bellicus

Outro: I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode and feel free to share, like, comment and subscribe! To all the other Educating Joes out there, have a great week teaching or starting summer break!


Thank you for taking the time to watch my video! I'd love to continue to conversation in the comments! Starting next week I'll be trying out a new format for the summer. My school is doing a summer book club over "The Innovator's Mindset" by George Couros. I'll be doing a shorter vlog over the a few chapters each week. Let me know if you like the change!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Episode 5 "grading"

EDUCATING JO

Episode 5
"Grading"

I hope you enjoy episode 5 of Educating Jo about grading! Even though grading can be difficult to discuss, I talk about what I think about grading, my grading categories and an example unit.
Please share with anyone you think might be interested and I would love to see your comments here or on the YouTube channel! Thanks for watching!



Here is the outline I used to make the video!

5. Grading
Hey Jo, this week I’m going to talk to you about my grading policies.
Intro
Our final grades are due this week so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to talk to you about how about grading. I’ll talk about how I feel about grades, the categories I have set up for student work and go through an example unit.
I feel like grades are almost a taboo topic and they grading policies are deeply personal (which is weird). It’s like we are scared to get criticized on how we grade so we make it a secret. I’ll try to fix that here and make it obvious how I grade my students’ work.
  1. Grades are stupid.
    1. Cons
      1. Care more about grade than learning.
      2. Parents think everything is great if they have a good grade.
      3. Parents think their kids are worthless if they get a bad grade.
    2. Pros
      1. Shows how well they understand the content.
      2. Try to emphasize learning over what grade they get. Going gradeless…
      3. Lots of ungraded work.
      4. Late work and retakes.
  2. Categories
    1. Videos
      1. Done in class, previous video 5-10 points
    2. Activities
      1. Activities we do in class. Especially presentations 10-20 points
    3. Assignments
      1. Practice mastering the skills you’ll need for the test. 10-15 points
    4. Tests
      1. Show you have the content masters by answering short answer questions about the content. 35-55 points
      2. For each unit the test should be worth the same as the other categories added together.
    5. Final
      1. District policy 10% of the overall grade: 60 points.
  3. Example
    1. Genetics
      1. Videos
        1. 3 5 point videos about replication, transcription & translation. 15 points
      2. Activity:
        1. Building candy models of DNA picture on iPad, show 5 main concepts 5 points
        2. Replication activity: show what the 3 main enzymes do in replication 8 points
      3. Assignment:
        1. Differences between DNA & RNA 8 points
        2. DNA worksheet: Review what we did in the activity and videos in assignment form. 10 points
        3. Translation assignment: show how to do replication, transcription, and translation. 13 points 59 points total
      4. Test:
        1. Genetics test worth 44 points.
Highlight of the week: Student compliments
Struggle of the week: Student behavior
Activity of the week: Evolution Game

Outro: I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode and feel free to share, like, comment and subscribe! To all the other Educating Joes out there, have a great week teaching!

Thank you for taking the time to watch my video! I'd love to continue to conversation in the comments!