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education

First ever Spedcamp!

First ever Spedcamp!

In the last several years, the type of students served in special education classrooms has shifted from students simply needing academic remediation to a larger population of students with emotional disturbances, significant difficulties with executive functioning and regulation, intellectual disabilities, and medical needs. The need for trauma-informed teaching and modification of curriculum is increasing.  With Special School District employees spread out all over St. Louis County the opportunities to connect with colleagues are few and far between.  The job of a special education service provider presents many unique challenges that make professional collaboration imperative to not only student success but also to staff growth and well-being.

On Saturday, September 8th, Connected Learning, and Jennifer Ferguson hosted the first SPEDcampSTL at Long Elementary from 8:30-12:00.  Eighty educators from across St. Louis County, some from Jefferson County, and as far south as Cape Girardeau gathered together to discuss topics such as racial bias and equity in special education, the impact giftedness has on emotional regulation, behavior intervention and modification, parent involvement, language therapy data collection ideas and strategies, music therapy, and staff well-being.  Participants connected not only during the three breakout sessions but also virtually through Flipgrid videos in which they reflected on what they hoped to gain from the morning.  The event concluded with giveaways from Adam Welcome and Kids Deserve It, Burgess Publishing Company, Boardmaker, and Flipgrid. SPEDcampSTL was a testament to the growing need for professional collaboration in the special education community.

- Jenifer Ferguson

Check out the session board and collaborative notes: http://www.bit.ly/SPEDCamp18

Enjoy some of the media from the day's learning here:

February Newsletter

2/24

Learning and Leading the culture of IKEA

Educators around the globe are looking into other sectors to better understand how to create something special in our schools and classrooms.  Come learn how IKEA makes your experience special and how you can bring that back to your school/classroom.

COST: $5

2/26 - 27

Lee's Summit R-7 Schools would like to invite teachers and administrators to CONNECTMidwest. Participants will experience two full days of interactive, highly relevant professional learning opportunities

2/28 - 3/1
Embracing Diversity and Inclusion conference at Webster University a "Free-mium" conference with BOLD speakers, great insight and inspiring ideas.

3/1

Improv Skills for Educators

Come learn new Improv games, strategies and activities to build community with your colleagues and students!  Improv is so much more than comedy.  It's learning about discomfort, agreeing and running with an idea, it's truly listening to another person, it's empathy and putting yourself in another person's shoes.  You know what else?  It's FUN!  It'll make you laugh, it'll change how you interact with students.

COST: $10

A multitude of learning around VR and AR and its impact on society to come.  Register for this FREE event and check out all the learning

3/6

The New Normal: Reframing Diversity in Tech and Entrepreneurship

You can't innovate without diversity.  Period.  Yet most proposed solutions to increasing diversity in tech and entrepreneurship falls short.  SO what's the solution?  Kathryn Finney will address the very real, technological and historic barriers to increasing diversity in an ever-growing sector of tech and entrepreneurship and how companies from start-ups to non-profits can directly address those barriers in creating a "New Normal"

Cost: $15 - 55

3/10

Learning Space Design Scavenger Hunt

Great design is often elusive, especially to those (like me) who struggle with good design.  Learn, discover, grow, and shift your mindset in order to expand your possibilities.  Together let's uncover the experiences we want our students to have.  When we better understand the experiences we want our students to have we can then design your amazing space.  Learn how to bring your instruction to life and find amazing resources to revitalize your space.

COST: 5$

3/17

Seeds of Joy

You're met Jill Stratton right here at South.  If you enjoyed her, learn even more about bringing JOY into your life.  Bringing together evidenced-based research and a lively blend of music, personal stories, and reflection, this workshop is more of a mini-retreat for heart and soul. Come if you're curious, skeptical, hungry, or hopeful and leave with "seeds of joy" and strategies for increasing and sustaining happiness this spring and beyond.

COST: $45

3/31

Chromecamp

Chromecamp is an “unconference,” a free, non-commercial gathering of passionate educators who share an interest in a particular topic – in this case, the Chrome (the browser and OS) and the entire Google Ecosystem. Attendees volunteer to run sessions – conversations, not presentations – on specific topics related to this theme (or not – sessions can also be about social media or other educational concepts, but the emphasis is on Chrome and Google.)

COST: FREE

4/14
The Missouri Botanical Garden has an awesome event focused on sustainability just for your school and your students.  Check it out!

 

Resources

Simple steps to starting PBL in your class.

A List of Excellent Student Design Projects for Middle School Creativity

28 question stems to foster critical thinking (TOTALLY TIES TO TEI STANDARD 4)

Need a summer job?  Check out the Global Hack position attached.

6 non-education books educators read

Local resource to find out resources across our region.  Lit Around the Lou

Great Add-ons for Google Slides

VIDEO: Individualizing assignments in google classroom (great way to differentiate assignments for students.)

6 steps to make your next book study the best one yet

Grants to fund learning in and out of your classroom.

6 Excellent Google Mapping Tools to Develop Students Geo-Literacy

5 Downloadable Vocabulary Activities that Make Words Stick

 

Articles

Great things happen when you're bored: 5 fascinating things I learned by making myself bored

PLEASE TAKE YOUR HOOD OFF and other microaggressions all teachers commit 

Who couldn't use better (or more) sleep?  Learn how to fall asleep quicker

The Japanese use of the word "Space" might change how you view the world.

So as future jobs continue to shift, what does it mean for those that struggle academically that working in a grocery store may be a thing of the past? Amazon Go

Teachers as Learners: Moving from Unintentional to Engaged to Empowered -  Reminded me, we are either constantly refining our practice around the needs of our students and the world THEY are entering or we are saying their needs are irrelevant. 

Twitter is Like Going to the Grocery Store - “Not every idea you encounter on Twitter will go in your shopping cart.” Check out the “10 signs you might be ready to learn using Twitter.”

“If the learning in the classroom is all about what the teacher does, and less about what the students create, then what is the long-term impact that this will have on our students?”  How can students take content knowledge learned and create something new with it?  Read More.

Sad news about what kids are doing on their 1:1 chromebooks across the world.  YIKES!

11th graders poem rocks the world, what could our kids write that shapes their world?

50 blog ideas for educators.  Do you blog?  Do your students?  Why not?

When working alongside our colleagues, if we remember the principles of adult behavior we may have better friends, better colleagues and deeper engagement.

The importance of Deep Fun.  Having fun at work is far more than just ping-pong tables, although those are cool too.

The Key Trait that Einstein, Jobs and Divinci had in common.  HINT: It's not content knowledge.

Why your PLC meetings need a rubber chicken

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Interview with Andrew Goodin

Student Introduction

When students make and create they are proud of what they make.  They feel good about what they make.  Questions that come to mind are how much of school work actually makes kids feel this way?  How can I have kids do more work like that?

Introduction

Andrew Goodin is a makerspace teacher at Grand Center Arts Academy and has been for the last three years. From the beginning Andrew had students design and create working solutions to real problems by using the D School Design Thinking Process.  He models design thinking in the makerspace by using it to continually improve the learning opportunities available. The results with students are impressive and Andrew has set up a fantastic example of what a makerspace is capable of in a school setting.

Andrew's Story

He started out discussing teaching with teachers and about how to make it better.  They started with a problem.  Kids needed computers in Andrew’s chemistry class.  Mastercard donated some computers and Andrew and his teacher friend Greg started a group called Tech Army after school.  This was a group of kids passionate about technology.  Kids gained a few skill in repairing hardware and loading software and were able to get computers up and running in Andrew’s class within three months.  He then began to question how he could engage kids in more learning like this.

This led to the next pilot program of makerspace at Grand Center Arts Academy in 2011.  It started small on Fridays only for one semester. Their budget was $100 for the entire year.  They made good friends with people who could give them resources and consumable material very quickly.  It was low tech

The following year in 2012 Andrew was hired on to do makerspace full time at Grand Center Arts academy.  

What does a typical day look like?

Makerspace is now a hybrid at GCA.  Andrew has more formal elective classes as well as time where students can drop in.  Everyday Andrew works on different skill building projects with kids in his classroom as well as individual projects that kids pick.  Seniors are now including their makerspace work as a part of their school portfolio that is submitted to colleges.  Andrew works with middle through high school age students.  

What are your goals and how do you know makerspace is working?

Goal 1:  Students use Design thinking applied to a problem.  By the end of the class students should be able to be a voice at the IDEO shopping cart challenge.  

Goal 2: building creative confidence by allowing kids to learn through failures and gain familiarity with certain tools.  

Goal 2.1Students build work in their digital portfolio so that it can be submitted to an open portfolio college after graduation

What would you say to someone starting a makerspace?

Start with design thinking and model design thinking to improve your makerspace.

Andrew credits the success that his makerspace is to implementing design thinking and continuing to iterate. 

Makerspace is not plug and play.  Different places will place different demands. 

Makerspaces do not look all the same, and they shouldn’t.  Makerspaces need to be flexible and need to be designed for the space and the users.  

What are some resources on Makerspace?

Invent to Learn- what is a makerspace, mindset, and how to start

Makerspace Playbook for schools- minus the tools section

Andrew’s Tumblr  with many book recommendations

How to contact Andrew and see the work his kids are doing. 

Makerspace Blog:  gcaamakerspace.wordpress.com

Makerspace Twitter:  @gcaamakerspace 

Makerspace Instagram:  @gcaamakerspace 

Personal Twitter:  @Mr_makerspace 

Outro

Connected Learning Playdate!

Waterway Car Wash-  Get a perk card for discounts as a teacher!

Who should we interview next?  email me at patrick@connectedlearningstl.org

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Interview with Rebecca Hare

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Interview with Rebecca Hare

This podcast features an interview with Rebecca Hare. Rebecca is a first career designer second year teacher who brings an interesting perspective on classroom design. Check it out! Who should I interview next? Leave a comment and let me know!

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