The 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!
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- You are sick as a zombie with the plague…How do you plan for a sub?
- 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.
- 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?
- Technology changes quicker than Dracula changes into a bat, how do you keep up with changing technology?
Moderated by Julie Robinson ()
- 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?
- Do you use mixed ability or are groups based on specific needs and why?
- How do you determine the material you will use for guided reading/math? Share what you’re doing!!
- 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?
- How are your guided reading/math and RTI time alike/different?
- 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?
- Do you see every student every day for guided instruction? Explain.
- What are other students doing during your guided reading/math time?
- How do you manage student behavior, handle interruptions etc. during guided reading/math?
- How do you measure/determine the effectiveness of guided instruction?
A special thanks to Julie Robinson for collaborating on this week’s chat questions!
“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?
- What does it mean to have a shared vision or mission?
- Is it important that schools have a shared vision and mission? Explain
- Should individual schools and the school district have a common vision and mission? Explain
- What is your school or districts vision/mission statement?
- What steps are being taken to make the vision/mission a reality?
- Is it important that students, families, and community be aware of the school and school districts vision/mission statement? Explain
- 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:
- Is there required reading in your class/grade level? If so why and what kind?
- How do you foster a love of reading in your students?
- How do you keep students accountable for completing assignments?
- How do you motivate students to do their best work?
- Do you assign homework? Why or why not?
- Do you require students to have an agenda, homework log, or reading log signed by parents. Why/why not?
- How do you encourage reluctant parents to become involved?
- How do you encourage “helicopter” parents to allow students to become more independent?
- Should academics take priority over extracurricular activities and/or family time?
- How can we support you this school year? What topics would you like to discuss?
(These questions came from collaborative conversations between Julie Robinson, Arica Dick, Sheila Cockerill, Amanda Smith, and Jennifer Seitsinger.)
Q1. What are you looking forward to the most about being back at school?
Q2. Are you going to try new school/class procedures this year? If so, what are you going to try?
Q3. How do you start he conversation on classroom procedures? How do you do this in your classroom?
Q4. What do you think about, “ If you have firm procedures in place, you have a solid foundation for class/teacher mutual respect.” Agree or Disagree and why?
Q5. What does a class wide mutual respect look like to you as the teacher?
Q6. What are some of your favorite tips or tricks you use in your classroom to establish respect between students?
Q7. What can we do to promote our classroom procedures when students are at home?
Q8. Tell us how you build mutual respect with parents at the beginning of the year?
Q9. How do we build a respectful relationship with our schools stakeholders?
Q10. School is about to start! What makes you nervous about back to school?
A special thanks to for moderating the chat!
All elementary educators, future elementary educators, or those interested in elementary education are invited to join the conversion! If you would like to share and collaborate please join our conversation! Remember to use #OKElem to find us on twitter, and in your twitter response.
Q1. What have you been reading for fun this summer?
Q2. What have you been reading to grow as an educator this summer?
Q3. What type of PD have you taken part of this Summer? How will it influence your teaching next year?
Q4. Are you planning something new for classroom management, or sticking with your tried and true method? Share your ideas and methods?
Q5. Are you adding to, or changing your procedures? What changes are you making and why?
Q6. What are your plans/activities for getting to know new students and build community?
Q7. How do you go about collecting important/contact information from parents…email, phone, going home procedures for students etc.
Q8. What is something new you can do to build community, and communicate with families?
Q9. What are you most looking forward to in the coming school year?
Q10a. How will the under-funding of education affect you in the coming school year?
Q10b. How can we better support and encourage each other as educators?
Join the conversation as we discuss
“Creativity and Critical Thinking”
Thursday, June 1, from 7:30-8:30 PM (CST)
Q1. What grade do you teach? Do students come to you prepared to think creatively? Why do you think this is so?
Q2. How is student creativity important to education?
Q3. Can creativity be learned/taught? Explain.
Q4. How is creative thinking different than critical thinking?
Q5. What role if any does creativity play in critical thinking?
Q6. How can educators be intentional about including creative thinking in the classroom?
Q7. How can we implement Standards with fidelity, while also encouraging creativity?
Q8. How can integrating different subjects enhance the creative opportunities for students?
Q9. Are good grades enough, or will our students need to be creative innovators to be successful in the “real world”?
This months chat will be moderated by Jennifer Seitsinger ().
Join the conversation as we discuss “Building Classroom Community” Thursday, May 5, from 7:30-8:30 PM (CST)
This month’s chat will be moderated by Arica Dick. Arica graduated from York College (York, Nebraska) in 2014, with a bachelors degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. After graduation she took a long term sub position in 2nd grade, at Sky Ranch Elementary School (Moore). She has been teaching 5th grade, Science and Social Studies, at Kingsgate Elementary School (Moore) for the past 2 years. Follow Arica on Twitter @AricaReeves .
Q1 What are some first day of school activities you do to establish a positive and safe community?
Q2 What are some building blocks to a strong classroom bond?
Q3 What are some ways we as the teachers can hold students accountable for maintaining that positive community all school year?
Q4 Mutual respect is a large part of classroom community, how do you establish this?
Q5 If you are experiencing Students not wanting to participate in the community process, how do you reach them?
Q6 If your class is not having a solid community, how do you redirect?
Q7 Do you think group seating charts can encourage students to collaborate and furthermore build your class community?
Q8 How do we take our positive class community and branch out into a school wide community?
Arica Dick @AricaReeves
I was recently honored for my part in promoting PD in the Moore Public School district, but I didn’t embark on my journey alone. Amanda Smith, a fellow teacher in Moore, agreed to join me in my journey to start the #OKElem Twitter chat. Julie Robinson and Sheila Cockerill quickly came along and have played an important role in brainstorming, planning chats, and proofing questions. Julie also moderated an amazing chat over the state standards and math frameworks. Stephanie Hime an assistant principal in Clinton offered exactly the kind of support and encouragement I needed, has done a fantastic job of promoting #OKElem in her district, and has been a chat moderator. Sharon Morgan, Oklahoma Director of Early Childhood, has been an active participant and moderator of #OKElem. Today Arica Dick a 5th grade teacher in my building agreed to moderate an upcoming chat! Our chat isn’t big but it’s growing. I haven’t named each participant but #OKElem depends on them. Each educator who takes part in #OKElem brings a new and different perspective to the conversation, and those varied perspectives and ideas are what help us to learn and grow from one another. #OKElem doesn’t belong to any one of us, #OKElem belongs to all of us…and we’re better together!
A huge thanks to all who have contributed to #OKElem!! I look forward to our continued learning and collaboration!! Jennifer Seitsinger
Join us as we reflect and share experiences from this school year, and look ahead to the coming year.
- What was your favorite math or ELA topic and activity this year? Share the details!!
- What was your favorite STEM, science, and/or social studies activity? Share the details!!
- What has been your favorite book this year and how did you use it in your classroom?
- Share 1 new thing that you implemented this year? Will you make changes for next year?
- Share your best technique for working with RTI groups and/or small groups.
- How did you connect with parents this year? Was it effective? Will you make changes for next year?
- How are you using technology in your classroom? Will you make changes next year? Explain.
- What do you want to learn more about? How will it impact your classroom?
A Tweet-UP is a great opportunity to tweet with friends!! Invite coworkers to your classroom, computer lab…for an engaging after school twitter chat!