Coaching Choice Board
Since so many people outside of education have asked what I do as an "Instructional Coach", I figured a lot of teachers didn't really know what I did either! It turns out, I was right!
Elementary school teachers are usually more familiar with the role an Instructional Coach plays in their schools, but not as much in Middle School. To help clarify, I decided to take our district job assurances and make them public so teachers knew what was required of me on a daily basis.
I took it a step further and made a "Choice Board" for my "services" so teachers had some ideas of how I can help them and/or their students.
This isn't a long post, I just wanted to share my resources in case someone else wanted to do the same for the schools they serve. This is a time consuming process and I genuinely feel like #sharingiscaring! I have my Google Slides Choice Board featured below. Click the link below the image to make a copy for yourself!
Directions have been placed in the speaker notes on page 1 of the template so you can change the background to work for you. The Google Drawing background template can be found here .
2019 In Review!
I don't know about you, but I often forget all the great things that happen throughout the year. Luckily, I take pictures at almost all of the events I go to (expect family events... I need to get better at that)! So to start this post, I figured it would be easiest to make a video with all those photos so it would be easier to reflect on everything. If you want to try this, I use the Quik app by GoPro on my phone. It's super easy and FREE! You can find the mobile app on Google Play or the Apple App Store . This post is all about what was to accomplish this year, even if I didn't plan to. So let's travel back in time and see how it went!
1. 2019 Kick Off! #FETC
I'm really sad that I won't be going to FETC2020, but I'll make up for it by going to the conference hosted by Dave Burgess & friends, #dbcPIRATEcon in June (check it out here). It will be EPIC!
I've been in education for 23 years, and I've probably gone to FETC at least 15 of those years. It's still the best conference I've been to! Not only is it amazing, they treat their presenters SO well, even paying for their conference tuition. That goes a long way in an industry that doesn't usually have a big budget professional development opportunities! The best part of going to this conference has been the connections I've made over the years. Check out this blog post to find some EDURockStars to follow!
My friend Pam Inabinett hosts a monthly CoffeeEDU here in Charleston on a Saturday morning to gather educators from the tri-county area in one place. It's a great opportunity to get to know others in our local area to add some personal value to our #TeachSC chat that Jed Dearybury hosts on Tuesday nights at 8:00 pm EST every week. I'm thankful for Pam's friendship and commitment to help others connect!
Berkeley County School District hosts monthly professional development sessions for coaches, including part of the day for Coach Cohorts. I love our time together as a group to learn from each other, but I have especially enjoyed our cohort time together. A small group of coaches from different areas of the county can really help to strengthen our coaching tool kit as well as build relationships. It's so nice to have a group of educators to go to when you need support!
I haven't written a book...yet, but I did get to appear in two in the last year! I know it's not much, but I was honored to be included in Tech Request by Emily Davis and Brad Currie (#satchat) and Connect to Lead by my friend Jacie Maslyk (also pictured in the video above at FETC). I couldn't imagine ever having anything to contribute to a book before becoming a connected educator. Now, my goal is to write one myself!
As far as reading books, I have to give DBCInc. crediThanks for most of my inspriation! I seriously love their books! Here's a link to all of my book blog posts if you need some ideas for your professional reading list.
5. All Things Shake Up Learning!
Kasey Bell and her Shake Up Learning community have been a big part of my life in the last couple of years, but this year was huge!
I'm one of the Community Managers for Kasey's Facebook groups, including for her online book studies. If you are reading the book Shake Up Learning, you need to check it out! It's a great way to read the book and connect with others for ideas. You can join the Facebook book study that starts in February 13th and runs through March 19th today! I also had my school bring Kasey to our school for her Dynamic Learning Workshop last October. It was great to have her in town and get the chance to hang out as well! The final treat of the year was getting to be on her podcast to talk about how I use #PottyPD. Here's the post and podcast if you want to check it out. I'm inspired by all that Kasey does for educators and value her friendship! If you aren't already connected with her, don't wait any longer!
This was one of my goals for 2019...present more! Besides holding Google trainings at my school, I got to present at quite a few conferences (local and national). It's my favorite thing to do in education! My long-term goal is to provide professional development to teachers full time!
7. EdCamp #EDUCoachSC
This was an amazing experience I got to be a part of with my friends Allison Walker and
Jen Shuffler! EdCamps can be an amazing PD opportunity and it's FREE! If you want to find an EdCamp by you, check out the organization site. You can also check out our site for our last event, and I'll let y'all know when we hold our next one! We hope you'll connect with us on Twitter.
8. #PD4uandme Twitter Chats
I can't say enough about this community! My friend Teresa Gross created #PD4uandme and asked if Emily Francis and I wanted to help out, because keeping up with a weekly Twitter chat by yourself is not easy! We hold this chat every Saturday (occasional Saturdays off during holidays and such) from 8:30-9:00 am EST. You can see the archives of all our chats in the Wakelet collection below. It's like a #CoffeeEDU on Twitter, so join us this weekend if you want to check it out!
I apologize for such a long post, but this is what motivates me to do more each year (I hope it inspired someone out there too)! As a classroom teacher for a long time, I never thought this would be what a year would look like. I would love to hear what your stellar year looked like! Connect with me today on Twitter or comment below to keep the conversation going!
By fostering student ownership of learning, developing learner profiles and learning pathways and adopting flexible learning environments, each student’s education experience is tailored to meet his or her unique strengths, needs, and goals." There's a lot to "unpack" here, but I'm just focusing on Learner Profiles of it for this post.
A few weeks ago, I made myself put down my required reading to escape with Carrie Baughcum's book, My Pencil Made Me Do It. It's a guide to sketchnoting, which is one of my favorite ways to take notes! After I read a professional development book I go back and capture all the notes scribbled in the margins, along with highlighted quotes/thoughts and add them into a bullet journal type planner so I always have my notes with me. There's NO way I could carry my favorite EDU books around with me and I'm not one of those people who can spout off quotes like I'm the one who said them (my husband is like that and I WISH I was, but I digress). So... Sketchnoting is my way of documenting and accessing my learning when I can't retrieve it from my own memory.
What does Sketchnoting have anything to do with Learner Profiles? Here's an #sketchnote I created based on Carrie's idea of creating a Learning Mascot! It is basically a character you create to give your learner profile a life of it's own. Mine had to have an owl because I love them for no apparent reason, but I feel like they fit the education theme, the rest of the image is pretty self explanitory. ?
Learner Profiles + Learning Mascots
"Learner Profiles are up-to-date records that provide a deep understanding of each student’s progress toward meeting the knowledge, skills, and characteristics of the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate as well as his or her unique strengths, needs, and goals. Meaningful evidence of learning from multiple sources is used to inform learner profiles including pre-and post-assessments and frequent formative assessments."
When I saw the questions asked to come up with a Learning Mascot, I realized that this activity also helps identify "unique strengths, needs, and goals" by creating a character to help students describe themselves. It's like having a friend that says what you want to say, but are too scared to say it.
It's like giving your learner profile a life of it's own!
Now the fun part... Draw your mascot image and add it's height, age, and where it lives.
Of course, I can't explain this part like Carrie would, so you have to check out her videos that I have linked above and grab her book while your at it! I can't wait to demonstrate this process in classrooms to give life to our learner profiles to help Personalize learning. I hope you'll join us on our journey by following the hashtag #learningmascot on Twitter and Instagram!
Anyone who follows my blog or my posts on Twitter knows that I love professional develop (providing it and attending)! My favorite way to provide "self-paced" PD for teachers is by using #PottyPD. I had the chance to talk about how I create and share PottyPD with my teachers on Episode 43 of the Kasey Bell's Shake Up Learning Show this week! "PottyPD: How to Make the Most of a Captive Audience". Check out the blog post and the podcast and please share your thoughts and ideas with me in the comments, Facebook, or Twitter! I'd love to connect!
What I've decided to do is to write a "Podcast Reflection" post so I can process what I've heard as well as put a plan in place for how I want to use what I learned (or was reminded). I was also hoping to demonstrate this as a form of professional development for teachers and a strategy for students as well.
Shake Up Learning Episode #34
Anyone that has read this blog before, or follows me on Twitter, knows I am a Shake Up Learning fan! So, what a perfect place to start!
This episode can reach almost all educators in some way. If you are a teacher who doesn't have access to Google Classroom, I am so sorry! I would definitley keep fighting for it! You could still use a lot of the ideas with a Learning Management System (LMS) your district already uses.
If you already use Google Classroom, you'll still get a lot of ideas from this episode. The ideas listed below are from Kasey's podcast, I'm just highlighting how I use (or plan to) the idea.
To Demonstrate Google Classroom as a Tool for Teachers
I have quite a few Google Classrooms, but I have one called "Test Class" that I use to show teachers what different features look like on the teacher's side as well as the student side. It's also a great way to test out new features since I don't have students of my own to try it with.
Of coures, my poor children (6th and 10th grade) are often in my test classes as well. Then I can log in as them to see what it looks like. They have learned to ignore those. LOL!
Hopefully, Google will eventually give us a "student view" so we don't have to have a class just for that, but it works in the meantime! Keep asking for that feature if you want to see it happen too!
To Teach an Online Course
Kasey mentions Classy Graphics by Tony Vincent as a great example of Google Classroom as an online course, and she's right! I took the course and learned so much! Funny thing is, I knew how to use Google Classroom very well, but I never thought about a couple of his strategies before.
1. Instead of attaching documents as an assignment , you would click submit, but you would put a link to your materials in the class comments so others could comment on them. This works well because the "teacher" doesn't need to remember to "return" the assisnment, and "students" get to view and comment on each others' work easily. It makes for great collaboration and valuable discussion. I use this strategy now with our school Google Classroom.
2. Sharing your documents so anyone with a link can comment. Then you get lots of feedback without anyone editing your document. Tony was good about making a copy of the original document, making the changes, then sharing the link in the comments so you could see what he was trying to explain. Using this with students would be the perfect example of authentic feedback!
Ongoing Support and Coaching
I use Google Classroom as a "hub" for the teacher's I work with. I have one class for my Google trainings so the teacher's always have access to resources without searching through their emails. I have other classes for teachers that I work with to support their evaluation process. It's a class for just the two of us! No administrators or other teachers. Again, it keeps us from having to keep track of emails and gives a private space to communicate when we aren't working together in person. You can even do this with students... Maybe you have a student with a lot of accommodations that needs a one-stop-shop for helpful strategies, reminders, and encouragement. Really, you can make your Google Classrooms work for anyone.
To Facilitate Online Book Studies
To Share Resources and Templates
As I mentioned earlier, I have a Classroom for all of my Google Trainings since it's how I keep my Google Trainer certification up to date. Once you are in the Classroom, you have access to all of my sessions, even if you didn't get to come to all of them. I don't require anyone to join unless they attend a session. It's also the easiest way to get resources out to the teacher's without sharing through Drive or email. If you haven't noticed... I obviously am not a fan of email. 😉
*Assign and Discuss Podcast PD
This is a new one for me and I can't wait to try it!
I'm connected with Laura on Twitter, so if it works for her, I want to try it too!
Kasey has a Podcast PD Choiceboard on her site and Laura has a blog post that shows how she used this option for professional development. I can't wait to try it!
*Support and Track Challenges & Badges for Teachers
I've been wanting to use badges for a while, but I don't want it to take a lot of time to create and share. I need to explore the resources Kasey shared in her post on badging so I can find the easiest one to use with teachers. If I use this with teachers, it might also give them ideas on how to use it with their students. Model the model, right?! If you have ideas on how to use Google Classroom to award and track badeges, please share!
Streamline Announcements & Communication with Staff
This one is pretty self explanitory... skip the email! Use Google Classroom as your one-stop-shop!
I want to add this to my current Google training classroom. The teachers I work with have asked for more virtual options, so this would be a perfect place to share them. My goal is to create videos using Screencastify and WeVideo, then add them according to topic (ie. Google Drawings, Google Forms, etc.). I also want to create GIF style tips for the easy shortcuts and quick tips that some of us take for granted.
*To Support Absentees
Having assignments posted in Google Classroom can really help those students that have to miss school, but this could also be a great place to communicate with them directly.
Since you can assign and share resources to the students you want without sharing with the whole class, it's easy to share something with one student at a time with a personal message so they know they were missed. This can also help with "repeat offenders" to hopefully reduce the number of absences. If they know they are missed, they may be less likely to just stay home and get their work done there. If you are working with teachers, it can show that they are appreciated and their opinions and conversation is missed when they can't be there in person.
To Organize and Blend Teacher Workshop Assignment
I'm an Instructional Coach at Daniel Island School in Berkeley County South Carolina.