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St. Philips Academy

16 Posts

National Geographic Education also uses BioBlitz to connect students with citizen science and community geography. Kids can do real research in their own backyards, schools, or local parks. They can also participate in National Geographic and the the National Park Service's annual BioBlitz, this August in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Regardless of the venue, kids of all ages can discover, map, and count species, helping scientists collect valuable data on biodiversity while adding to the park's official species list.Students will learn and improve observation and record-keeping skills during every BioBlitz. It's a win-win situation for the students, the scientists, and the community!

 

In addition, National Geographic Education promotes citizen science through its Community Geography Initiative, engaging the public to document, understand, and look after the places they care about.  A great example of this program is the web-based FieldScope platform, a mapping, analysis, and collaboration tool for scientists and students to work together. Take a look at the featured FieldScope projects in theChesapeake Bay and Saguaro National Park, Arizona.

 

Interested in learning more? National Geographic Education houses a growing collection ofcontent on citizen science on our website. From encyclopedic entries, to videos, articles, and activities, there is plenty to learn about the educational potential of citizen science, as outlined by Dr. Daniel Edelson, VP of Education for the National Geographic Society.

 

There are great, relevant discussions ongoing in the Thinkfinity - All About Science and Geography Education Interest groups.  Check them out!

kallen

Did I meet you at ISTE?

Posted by kallen Jun 26, 2012

Hi,

 

It was lovely to meet you! I've attached the handouts and my display material here. We believe in sharing what we've learned so please feel free to reach out with any questions and I'll do my best to answer them. Over the course of this summer I'll add posts to this group to highlight some of the specific examples around reinforcing student and teacher preparedness for 21st Century Learning here. If you like, you can sigm up for email notifications to get those updates in your inbox.

 

Here's a post to get you started that focuses on how we worked to curb technology frustrations at our school:

http://community.thinkfinity.org/community/professionaldevelopment/blog/2012/06/11/curb-technology-frustrations

 

21clc-panorama.jpg

 

Just looking for a display or handout I had at ISTE? I've attached them all here!

 

21 CLC Handout includes my direct contact information

Scope of Tech includes how we slowly introduced our main hardware and software tools to K-8 students in a way that allows them to reap the benefits while focusing on content

Math Standards is a mapping of engaging math lessons for each Common Core standard in K-8  that we use in traditional classrooms and help us reinforce 21st Century skills

ISTE Poster highlights the 4 skills we needed to most consciusly focus on in all our grade leveks to ensure our students are prepared to use a fully engaging, interactie environment

 

Enjoy the end of the conference and I look forward to talking to all of you more in the future!

kallen

Visit St. Philip's at ISTE!

Posted by kallen Jun 22, 2012

Hi,

 

Two staff members from St. Philip's will be presenting a Poster Session at ISTE! Come visit us Tuesday from 4-6pm at theSDCC Halls DE Lobby.

 

We'll be presenting Batteries Included: Lessons Learned in a Digital Age Classroom. We'll share with you the lessons we've learned using our 21st Century Learning Center the past two years and, more importantly, how we prepared our students to learn effectively in a state of the art 21st Century Environment.

 

21clc-panorama.jpg

Can't make it? Don't worry, I'll be posting pieces of the presentation here!

Here is a link that I wanted to share.  It was taken from the Thinkfinity Community and dealt with “video games in the classroom.”  Lori talks about STEM and Engineering, and what I liked was the free interactive game link.

 

Check it out and see if this could be used by your students.  If so, and you find a game that you find interesting for your group, please let us know along with your grade level.

 

http://community.thinkfinity.org/message/40081#40081

 

Thanks,

Kingston

Congratulations to the St. Philips Academy students for being new world record holders!

 

A staggering 300,265 jumpers participated in the "Let's Jump" event, breaking the old record by a huge margin! The challenge was kicked off by the first lady and “jumper in chief” Michelle Obama on the white house lawn along with 464 Washington-area children on Oct. 11 at 3 p.m. At the same time, thousands of people throughout the world participated in the event to help break the record.

 

Michelle Obama recorded a video address to announce the accomplishment, you can watch it below. I've also excerpted some highlights.

 

"I want to say thanks to every single young person who showed that exercise isn't just good for you, but that it's fun, too!"... "But this isn't just only about one day in October, it's not just about jumping jacks or even a world record. We've got an even bigger goal to go after: ending childhood obesity in a generation so that all our kids will grow up healthy and strong...If we all work together we can build a healthier tomorrow for our kids and for our country."

 

 

Check out the National Geographic Kids Let's Jump Blog and Photo Gallery for more coverage of this historic event!

In a series of three posts, we will share writings from Daniel C. Edelson, Vice-President for Education at the National Geographic Society, about geo-literacy, a concept he has developed to describe the broad set of skills students will need to make far-reaching decisions in the 21st century.  We hope this will be a valuable professional development resource for St. Philips Academy teachers. Please consider how you are currently teaching geo-literacy concepts in your classroom and how your instruction could be improved, and then share your ideas with a colleague to get feedback.

 

In this first installment, Danny answers the question "What is geo-literacy and why is it important?"

 

danny_headshot_160x120.jpg

 

What is geo-literacy?

 

We call the combination of skills and understanding necessary to make far-reaching decisions geo-literacy. The three components of geo-literacy are understanding human and natural systems, geographic reasoning, and systematic decision-making.

 

 

 

Why is geo-literacy important?

 

As preparation for far-reaching decisions, geo-literacy enables people to steer away from choices that will be costly for themselves and others. For example, individuals and communities bear preventable costs every time a retail business fails because of a poorly chosen location, a fishery is damaged by stormwater runoff, or travelers and deliveries are delayed because of inefficient transportation systems. In addition to economic and environmental costs that accumulate over time, like these, we also face immediate and sizable costs for geo-illiteracy in the form of loss of life from natural hazards, terrorism, and military conflict, and loss of livelihood from competition in a global economy.

 

While geo-literacy can reduce the costs of bad decision-making, it also provides the foundation for positive breakthroughs.  The hub-and-spoke system of modern air transportation, the introduction of high-yield, low-impact agricultural practices, the revival of urban neighborhoods, and early-warning systems for national defense are all examples of advances made by combining systems understanding, geographic reasoning, and systematic decision-making.

 

This is just an excerpt! Continue reading What is Geo-Literacy and Why Is It Imporant on the National Geographic Education website.

Check out this impressive video of St. Philips Academy 3rd graders presenting their community geography projects. They clearly put quite a bit of thought and effort into their displays and presentations. What a great way to conclude our Geography Awareness Week. I hope you all have had fun discovering the adventure in your own communities!

sjcaban

Let's Jump at St. Phillips

Posted by sjcaban Oct 13, 2011

 

St. Phillips Academy students participated yesterday in the Let's Jump campaign to break the Guiness World Record for the most people doing jumping jacks.

 

The attempt was led by "Jumper in Chief" Michelle Obama who did jumping jacks with students on the White House lawn as part of her larger "Let's Move" campaign to prevent childhood obesity.

 

The adorable kindergarteners in this video took jumping cues from Phillips teacher Christopher Barnes. Great work building healthy bodies to support healty minds!

laptop.jpg

At the beginning of the school year the technology team introduced a Lower School laptop cart. Our teachers could immediately identify ways they could use the laptops in class (in many instances thanks to resources from Thinkfinity!). However, some of our K-2 teachers were concerned about classroom management individually distributing, using and collecting the laptops. By the end of the year even our Kindergarten classes were reserving the cart on a regular basis. During our end of the year PD they happily reflected on how successful the process was and the headstart our first grade classes and higher will now have integrating the laptops going forward.

 

Here are some of the steps we took to comfortably empower the teachers:

  1. Ensured teachers could trust the technology to be reliable. We developed a clear reservation and delivery policy. In our case we used Google Calendars and created a different calendar for each type of resource. Teachers could book an appointment on the "Lower School Laptop" cart calendar. One person from our tech team was responsible for confirming the appointment and making sure the cart was in the correct room and fully functional at the correct time.
  2. Developed a straight-forward distribution and collection procedure. From the tech team perspective it was important the laptops be collected and returned correctly to ensure they could stay charged for the next class, make it easy to scan and see if there are any problems, there was a clear space near an outlet for the cart to be parked in the classroom, and the risk of any laptops being dropped or mistreated was minimal. From a teachers' perspective it was important the process was as seamless as possible to maximize instruction time and minimize distractions to themselves and disorganization for the students.
  3.  

              Each school's procedure might vary based on typical school norms, room set-up and the actual cart and laptops. We brainstormed how this would work considering each of those categories with two classroom teachers. We then modeled it during Back-to-School PD and created easy to follow instructions that we posted on the carts to remind teachers in the moment. We made sure the procedure and instructions were clear enough that assisting, or sometimes even leading, laptop distribution and collection could be a classroom responsibility for one of the students.

  4. Used Computer Science to the students procedure and operation. Our Computer Science teacher scheduled time during her periods with each class to work with the students in their classroom environment as opposed to the computer lab. She coordinated this with the teachers in advance to make sure they didn't need to use their rooms during this time. After the students were comfortable with: getting the laptops, turning them on, using a touchpad mouse, accessing the programs they needed, shutting the laptops down, and returning them to the cart; the students were ready to to use the laptops as part of their other classes.
  5. Differentiated teacher support for the initial roll-out. Teachers had different preferences when it came time to roll-out the laptops in their lessons. It was very important to approach  this with a customer-service oriented attitude. If the first one or two uses go well the teachers will keep using technology, if it does not go well or feels like a hassle  the teachers are less likely to keep using it.

          Some teachers chose to observe a laptop lesson with the Computer Science teacher and then requested a person from the Tech Team stay in the room for their first lesson integration in case of problems. Other teachers felt more comfortable working independently and a person from the Tech Team simply stayed in the room for the first 15 minutes of the first lesson. Other teachers needed more support and I worked with them to develop a couple of lesson plans and co-taught with them the first time and stayed on hand the next couple of lessons for moral support.

 

By the middle of the school year even our youngest students and most tentative teachers were laptop experts, making the technology a truly useful tool that could be brought into any kind of class. 

I had the privilege of acting as a school representative for the Thinkfinity in an interview with Rose Stuckey-Kirk, the President of the Verizon Foundation, on the Lifetime show "The Balancing Act". I was able to highlight a few of the many reasons we find Thinkfinity to be such a valuable resource at our school, especially for our teachers.

 

You can view the video here .

kallen

Technology Summit Part 2

Posted by kallen May 20, 2011

This is a duplicate post to include the second series of attachments.

 

We held a Technology Summit for area independent and private schools on May 13, 2011. The Summit included two sets of workshops and a panel discussion.

 

 

The panel was titled "Technology in Our Schools: Is the Tail Wagging the Dog?" . It featured:

Andy Berndt, Google, Vice-President of the Creative Lab
Al Browne, Verizon Foundation, Vice-President, Education and Technology of the Verizon Foundation and National Director of Thinkfinity
Dave Clune, Educational Records Bureau, President
Miguel Brito, St. Philip’s Academy, Head of School

and was moderated by Elisa M. Basnight, Esq., BIR & Founder of Girls Action Network, Inc


 

You can view a recording of the panel here.

 

 

The Workshops were split into two series. The first series was intended to provide guidance about building 21st Century Skills in the context of everyday classes. This included:

  • Developing Collaboration and Conflict Resolution Skills
  • Creating Socially Responsible Global Citizens
  • Encouraging Media Literacy through Content Development

 

The second series was about how to use technology in the classroom. This included:

  • Plotting a Technology Scope and Sequence for Early Education
  • Bring the Classroom Home by Creating a "No Excuse" Culture and Supporting Parents through Communication
  • Use Thinkfinity for Free Online Resources and Professional Development

 

With the exception of the Thinkfinity Workshop which was led by the trainer, Theresa Gibbon, all of our workshops were led by our faculty. The PowerPoints for the first series of workshops are attached to the preceding post. The second series of workshops are attached to this post. The Technology Scope and Sequence Workshop also included a template to help teachers craft their own Scope and Sequence and that is also attached.

 

I hope these materials are the start of an on-going collaboration and conversation with any interested technology integration specialists. Please leave a comment or question if it brings up any thoughts or ideas.

We held a Technology Summit for area independent and private schools on May 13, 2011. The Summit included two sets of workshops and a panel discussion.

 

The panel was titled "Technology in Our Schools: Is the Tail Wagging the Dog?" . It featured:

Andy Berndt, Google, Vice-President of the Creative Lab
Al Browne, Verizon Foundation, Vice-President, Education and Technology of the Verizon Foundation and National Director of Thinkfinity
Dave Clune, Educational Records Bureau, President
Miguel Brito, St. Philip’s Academy, Head of School

and was moderated by Elisa M. Basnight, Esq., BIR & Founder of Girls Action Network, Inc

 

You can view a recording of the panel here.

 

 

The Workshops were split into two series. The first series was intended to provide guidance about building 21st Century Skills in the context of everyday classes. This included:

  • Developing Collaboration and Conflict Resolution Skills
  • Creating Socially Responsible Global Citizens
  • Encouraging Media Literacy through Content Development

 

The second series was about how to use technology in the classroom. This included:

  • Plotting a Technology Scope and Sequence for Early Education
  • Bring the Classroom Home by Creating a "No Excuse" Culture and Supporting Parents through Communication
  • Use Thinkfinity for Free Online Resources and Professional Development

 

With the exception of the Thinkfinity Workshop which was led by the trainer, Theresa Gibbon, all of our workshops were led by our faculty. The PowerPoints for the first series of workshops are attached to this post. THe second series of workshops will be attached to the next post. The Technology Scope and Sequence Workshop also included a template to help teachers craft their own Scope and Sequence and that is also attached.

 

I hope these materials are the start of an on-going collaboration and conversation with any interested technology integration specialists. Please leave a comment or question if it brings up any thoughts or ideas.

As our school continues to embrace technology I want to make sure that parents feel included and involved. We might move at a different pace then our parent community and I don't want them to feel isolated from the work their children are doing in the classroom. One of the steps I've taken to include our parents was to host a 21st Century Workshop. I hosted the same workshop at multiple times in a two week period to make it as easy as possible for our parents to attend.

 

My goals were to:

  • Introduce the technology their children were using
  • Explain why that technology will enhance the effectiveness of class instruction
  • Let the parents see the technology in action to ease any fears that glitches would detract from instructional time
  • Troubleshoot any problems they might have with the online communications

 

I found that the parents could be divided into 3 groups:

  • No knowledge of technology and interested in how things worked and what they could/should do at home
  • Aware of the technology their kids are using and felt strongly technology integration was important to keep things relevant for our students, very interested in celllphone integration
  • Advanced understanding of technology in the business world, interested in why we chose to invest in the areas we have as opposed to other purchases

 

Overall it was a fantastic experience and I learned as much as I think the parents did. My hope is to host similar events throughout the year next year, tailored for each type of technology parent.

 

I've attached the PPT I used for the session with extra notes layered in for some context.

kallen

Cross-Grade Collaboration

Posted by kallen May 18, 2011

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As the school year draws to a close, I'm starting to outline how we can push our 21st Century Skill-building even further next year. We've focused on collaboration as a key skill within all our grades. However the more we talk about collaboration, the more I hear back from people how critical that skill is going to be in the future workforce. I'm committed that we will develop our students to be model collaborators, even in the more challenging circumstances.

 

One way we'll approach this is by identifying opportunities for our students to collaborate with others that are not of their peer group. I think finding opportunities for students different grades to collaborate with each other will help us create teachable moments around communication challenges and creating a final product when different specialists are working in a separate time and place.

 

Our 5th and 3rd grade teachers are in the process of organically piloting that model in preparation for our annual Science Spectacular Week. The third graders are performing a science-themed musical (which is incredibly exciting in it's own right!) and our 5th graders are building their set. The 3rd graders submitted a design, the 5th graders sketched out their ideas, which the 3rd graders then reviewed, and the 5th graders are now building!

 

In the future I think we can push this process farther by scaffolding the iterations and modes of communication between the two grades and encouraging them to self-reflect at each phase of the process. For example, the third graders can verbally communicate their ideas and the 5th graders can respond in writing. Then the 3rd graders will reflect on how close the 5th grade response was to their initial ideas. The 3rd graders can then respond in writing and the 5th graders can identify how close the two written pieces were, what areas they think they can improve on and what ideas they missed the first time. Then the 5th graders could respond with a sketch and present it to the 3rd graders (using screensharing software) and answer questions. The 5th graders could then have the 3rd graders "sign-off" on a final design and host a 3rd grade visit half-way through the building process. By the end each class will have experienced how modes of communication impact collaboration and how different ideas at different stages can make a project better.

 

I hope to host a school-wide curriculum overview during our June professional development to identify other opportunities in which grades can collaborate on projects throughout the school year. I think working in this way will be exciting for our students, help make some assignments feel more relevant and enhance their understanding of the importance of clear communication for effective collaboration.

kallen

The Wonderful World of Wikis

Posted by kallen Apr 1, 2011

I love simple tools that can have dynamic uses. We are finding wikis to be a great example of that.

 

While all of our teachers have blogs and use them in wonderful and creative ways. A blog tends to be a one-way conversation, owned by the teacher. Wikis are a great way to open the discussion so that it can be peer or student-led as well as document knowledge so that it can be referenced later on.

 

We've used wikis in a few different ways this year:

  • We have one class that rotates the role of "Class Scribe", the scribe takes notes during each class and posts them on the wiki. It is then other students' responsibilities to read the notes and suggest any changes where needed. The notes are an extremely helpful tool for review as well as building the concept and practice of metacognition. As a teacher, it's also a great place for the students to document and reference things they often forget such as log-in information and commonly used links.
  • Our Middle School Social Studies teacher is currently using a wiki in his class as a forum for reflection and discussion at the start and conclusion of each of his units. This is another helpful methid to promote metacognition as the class has documentation to demonstrate what they've learned. It also gives the students a fun, safe way to extend dialogue about concepts outside of class. Their essay questions are often connected to this dialogue so it is a helpful tool for review prior to their tests as well.
  • We have also begun using wikis as a tool for professional development. Our Math department is in the process of changing our math curriculim, and the new curriculim will be adopted by a few different grades each year. This is going to require a lot of extra support for our teachers as well as a lot of communication between each grade. They will use the wiki to:
    • document notes from professional development and school visits that might not be immediately relevant to some teachers this year, but will be down the road
    • share best practices
    • share methods of instruction between grades so that other teachers can use similar frameworks for review

 

I think wikis have been slower to take hold in our school, for a couple of reasons. Our teachers were already comfortable using blogs and it is another new (but easy!) interface to learn; they don't tend to be as aesthetically pleasing as blogs; and there was some confusion about what a wiki is due to the popularity of Wikipedia and WikiLeaks. However, the more examples of effective wikis I'm seeing in action, the more I'm becoming a fan! We know how important colaboration, communication and metacognition is going to be to our students and wikis provide an opportunity for those three skills to be exercised.

 

I'd love to see examples of wikis in action in other places, if anyone has examples to share.