#OKElem After School Chat, Thurs, 2/15, from 4:15-5:00

Feb 15 Invite

The topic of this chat was inspired by a question I keep asking myself and anyone who will listen…Why aren’t students retaining what we teach, and what they have supposedly learned?  This has prompted me to examine my own teaching and ask…am I teaching for mastery/competency?  I’m excited to learn from you as we collaborate and share ideas.

  1. What is learning for mastery?
  2. Are memorization and learning for mastery different? Explain?
  3. How do you teach for mastery when students come without prerequisite knowledge?
  4. How can we teach for mastery and keep pace with state standards, curriculum calendars etc.?
  5. When teaching for mastery how can we meet the needs of all students (high and low)?
  6. Should all students be required to demonstrate mastery in the same way? Explain.
  7. How do students demonstrate mastery?
  8. Does standardized testing have a place in a 21st Century Mastery Learning environment?
  9. How could mastery learning and project based learning be used together in the classroom?


Articles I’ve been reading:

Mastery Based Assessment Builds Accountability

A New Kind Of Classroom No Grades, No Failing, No Hurry

5 Myths About Mastery Based Learning

Competency Based Education

Building a Better Transcript: What Grades Measure and What They Don’t

5 Strategies To Insure Student Learning

Will Letter Grades Survive

Personalized Competency-Based Education

(Please share other articles that might be of interest in the comments.)


OKElem Chat Thursday 2/1/18



  1. Is it important to make a conscious effort to create a culture of kindness in your classroom/school? Why?
  2. Does your school have a plan for creating a culture of kindness among students, families, and staff? Share ideas!
  3. How do you create a culture of kindness in your classroom?
  4. How can you/ do you get other teacher involve in creating a culture of kindness?
  5. How can you create a culture of kindness among co-workers?
  6. What books do you recommend to encourage kindness?
  7. What activities, lessons etc. do you recommend for encouraging kindness?
  8. How could kindness be incorporated into Valentine’s Day activities?
  9. What books, activities, lessons etc., do you have planned for Valentine’s day?
  10. What books, activities, lessons etc.,  are you planning for Presidents Day?

#OKElem After School Chat, Thursday, 1/18/18

High Stakes Testing

  1. What are the effects of high stakes testing on students?
  2. How can we as educators address the effects of testing on students?
  3. How does high stakes testing effect the curriculum being taught?
  4. In a climate of high-stakes testing how do you provide opportunities for  authentic learning, innovation etc?
  5. Are the effects of high stakes testing only felt in testing grades? Explain.
  6. Should standardized testing have a place in a 21st century learning environment? Why/Why not?
  7. Are there more effective ways to evaluate student achievement? Explain.
  8. How can we fight against high stakes testing?

#OKElem Chat Thursday, 1/4/18

Jan 1, 18 title

  1. What are your professional goals or dreams for 2018 (and beyond)?
  2. What are your personal goals or dreams for 2018 (and beyond)?
  3. How do you stay on track to reach your goals?
  4. How can we (#OKElem PLN) encourage each other in personal and professional growth/reaching new goals?
  5. How can you be a leader in your building, setting a positive tone, and encouraging others?
  6. Do you set goals with your students? Tell us more!!
  7. We’re 1/2 way through the year…winter months can seem long…how do you do to keep things exciting?
  8. Do you have a 2018 personal or professional reading list? Share!!
  9. What books are you looking forward to sharing with students in 2018?
  10. Share one cool thing that you’ve done with students this year. (We love photos!)


If you need a little goal setting inspiration check our Stephanie Hime’s  blog post: My “One Word” for 2018 

#OKElem Chat Thursday 12/7/17

Dec Promo 2017

  1. How do you maintain order in the classroom during the Holiday Season?
  2. What Holiday activities are you incorporating into your lessons? How are you keeping it meaningful?
  3. Do you have a favorite Holiday lesson, book, activity? Please share…photos are great too!
  4. Do your students make parent gifts? If so how do you manage the cost? What do they make?
  5. Are you planning to give student gifts?  What? Where do you shop?
  6. How can we instill in our students the joy of giving, during the Holiday Season?
  7. How do you balance the varied traditions and beliefs of students when planning instruction and activities during the Holiday Season?
  8. Do you give homework/practice work over break? Explain.
  9. How do you get students back into the swing of things after Winter Break?
  10. How do you balance family and school this time of year?

#OKElem After School Chat Thursday, 11/16/17

Thanksgiving 2017

With all of the negative surrounding education it’s sometimes easy to let negativity creep in. Let’s slow down and count our blessings.  Share what you’re thankful for and why. The things you’re thankful for, may be the encouragement or reminder someone else needs.  (There will be Twitter shout outs and Chat suggestions…a great opportunity to find new people to follow and learn about great chats to join.)

  1. There are many things to be thankful for when it comes to being a teacher…why are you thankful to be a teacher?
  2. We all have those students who make our job easy, offer comedy relief, or  challenge us to stretch ourselves as educators.  Tell us about your students and why you’re thankful for them?
  3. Community stake holders (parents, community members etc.) help to create a positive school community. Who are the stake holders you are thankful for…Why?
  4. It’s important to have leaders we can count on…do you have an administrator you’re thankful for? Who is it and why are you thankful for them?
  5. Support from teammates and fellow teachers in our home school, and local school district is important. Who are you thankful for and why?
  6. Our schools couldn’t run and we couldn’t do our jobs without support staff and personnel.  Who are you thankful for and why?
  7. I don’t know about you but I’m thankful for my Twitter PLN and great chats that challenge my thinking. Give a shout out to folks in your Twitter PLN, and share a Chat that you’re thankful for!

If you mentioned someone in a Tweet who isn’t on Twitter…let them know you’re thankful for them!!


#OKElem Chat Thur 11/2/17

Join the conversation as we discuss, Personalize learning…Thursday at 7:30 PM CST.

Creating a personalized learning community and providing personalized learning opportunities may  sounds daunting at first, but I bet if you think about it you already have some of these strategies in place in your classroom.  If you are striving/struggling to meet the variety of needs/strengths in our classroom then this is the chat for you!

  1. What is personalized learning?
  2. How is personalized learning beneficial to students?
  3. In what way is RTI and Small Group instruction personalized?
  4. Is there more to personalized learning than small groups and RTI?? How can educators create additional opportunities for personalized learning in the classroom?
  5. What is the role of the teacher in a personalized learning environment?
  6. How do you (or could you) provide personalized learning opportunities for all students (struggling learners to advanced)?
  7. How can we use technology to assist in creating a personalized learning environment?
  8. How do you personalize learning and still meet curriculum and state standard requirements?
  9. How do you (or could you) make time for personalized learning?
  10. What role, if any, does room design play in personalized learning?

#OKElem Afternoon Chat Thursday, 10/19/17

Oct. 19The day all teachers dread is upon us…the day after Halloween.  Your students have stayed up too late the night before and eaten more candy in a single night than they have all month.  If you are brave enough to come to school you are brave enough to answer these scary questions!

  1. Talk about scary in so many ways…I had to share the definition of an anchor chart with a college professor this week, I described it as a visual reflection that shares ideas or information.  Do you use visual reflections such as anchor charts, charts using post-it notes, or exit tickets that allow students to “pin” their ideas and look at them again later.  What visual reflections do you use in your classroom?  How do you use them?
  2. Just the thought of glitter and cutting up paper can strike fear in a teachers heart.  Benjamin Franklin once said: “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” Hands-on learning is a great way to apply a creative twist to traditional course content and engage students on a deeper level.  Share some creative/hands-on ways you teach in your class?
  3. Moving around the classroom, no assigned seats, sound like a nightmare or just flexible seating?  Have you tried flexible seating or flexible classroom arrangements?  What did you try and how did it work?
  4. You are sick as a zombie with the plague…How do you plan for a sub?
  5. You head for the copier but you find that it isn’t working. Teachers are strapped for time.  Give us your best time saving, teacher tip for staying organized.
  6. Like a werewolf on a full moon we are expected to change what we do.  There are a lot of new theories, philosophies, best practices, and straight up mandates every year. They don’t always mesh with what you know from your own training, gut, and experience. How do you face this real fear when it happens to you?
  7. Technology changes quicker than Dracula changes into a bat, how do you keep up with changing technology?

Moderated by Julie Robinson (@Ro1julie )

#OKElem Chat Thursday, 10/5/17



  1. A) What tools do you use to group students for guided reading/math?                            1.B) Are STAR or other reports sufficient for grouping students, or do you use              additional measures?
  2. Do you use mixed ability or are groups based on specific needs and why?
  3. How do you determine the material you will use for guided reading/math? Share what you’re doing!!
  4. Self-contained: Do you do both guided reading and math? Why/Why Not?Departmentalized: Do you have small group Guided instruction in your class? Why/Why Not?
  5. How are your guided reading/math and RTI time alike/different?
  6. Do you use your guided reading/math time as your RTI time? If yes, how do you differentiate to meet the needs of your students?
  7. Do you see every student every day for guided instruction? Explain.
  8. What are other students doing during your guided reading/math time?
  9. How do you manage student behavior, handle interruptions etc. during guided reading/math?
  10. How do you measure/determine the effectiveness of guided instruction?

A special thanks to Julie Robinson for collaborating on this week’s chat questions!

OKElem After School Twitter Chat Thursday, 9/21/17

AS 9-21-17

“If we communicate the vision behind our ideas, the purpose guiding our products, people will flock to us.”                                                                                                                                                             Adam M. Grant, Originals: How Nonconformists Move the Word

Special Challenge: Use Chatter Pix in your Introductory Tweet!!!

Many schools have them…Mission Statements and Vision Statements, but is a statement enough? What needs to happen to make those statements a reality?

  1. What does it mean to have a shared vision or mission?
  2. Is it important that schools have a shared vision and mission? Explain
  3. Should individual schools and the school district have a common vision and mission? Explain
  4. What is your school or districts vision/mission statement?
  5. What steps are being taken to make the vision/mission a reality?
  6. Is it important that students, families, and community be aware of the school and school districts vision/mission statement? Explain
  7. How do you or could you make students, families, and the community more aware and invested in the vision/mission?
These blog posts might be helpful as you think about Mission and Vision:
Education World, School Mission Statements: Where Is Your School Going
Psychology Today, Vision and Mission