Thursday, March 27, 2014

Common Core Implementation in the Social Studies Classroom

Karen PatiƱo
Common Core Resource Teacher
Kern High School District
Office of Instructional Services

Common Core Implementation in the Social Studies Classroom
  • Everything that we hear today is a strategy that Karen has used in her classroom
  • These lessons have been subject to the scrutiny of "lesson study"--peer-critiqued and peer-reviewed lessons
Modeling behavior in the classroom
  • "Writing utensils down" - 100% attention to everything being said
  • Notebook Checks are simply measuring whether or not students can copy symbols off of a board
  • "To what end?"
  • What mindset do students need to have when they are learning?
    • Metacognition--learning how to learn
    • Focusing on the Brain
    • Carol Dweck published a book titled Mindset
      • Either a fixed mindset or a growth mindset
      • Fixed Mindset Statements
        • We used to believe that we had a fixed mental capacity
        • What you had at birth is all you're going to have
        • "Intelligence is a fixed trait"
        • "Look smart at all costs"
        • "Answers should come naturally and easily" if you're smart
      • Fixed Mindset Actions
        • Avoid challenges so I don't look stupid or foolish
        • When things don't go well, "fixed mindsets" blame others
        • Trying to feel superior
      • Fixed Mindset Praise
        • "That's a great score. You must be smart."
        • You did that so quickly and easily. That's impressive!"
        • We associate quick answers with intelligence
  • This note-taking strategy takes this format:
  • Everyone has more access to language when they are speaking when they are writing
    • When we get students to talk first before they write, they have access to both their vocabulary and their partner's vocabulary
  • One word that will transform my classroom tomorrow: . . . YET.
    • I'm not good at math . . . yet.
    • I'm not good at basketball . . . yet.
    • I'm not good in history . . . yet.
    • The mindset of "not yet" can transform a classroom environment.
  • Growth Mindset means that we empower students with the idea that there is no limit to their learning potential. We all learn and grow at different rates, but we are all capable of great things.
We have them awake during the day more than their parents do. We have incredible power to make change.
  • What do we do with absent students?
    • Quick review the day after
  • Witnessing a fight on campus first-hand accesses multiple parts of the brain; less so if you watch a video of the fight, or if you read a story about the fight
    • Engage more lobes = greater impact on the brain
  • Kids think that headphones work, but they have fooled themselves into thinking that it calms their mind
  • Different lobes focused on one task is good; different lobes of the brain being pulled in different directions is bad
  • A student's job is to learn
  • "I used to scaffold the assignment; not I scaffold the skill."
  • My goal is to help you learn 
  • "If they can't do it without you in the room, they can't do it." - Jill Hamilton-Punch
  • The dominant domain of language is speaking and listening
    • Multiple Reads
      • First time for decoding
      • Second time for fluency
      • Third time for meaning
  • Scaffolding should be for the purpose of teaching them how to eventually do it independently
    • If you are always scaffolding, you are never helping them do it independently

We need students to recognize and identify the three levels of reading.

  • Too often we assume that students know how to read what we're giving them
  • Teaching Reading is Rocket Science

  • Text is Read TO Students
  • Text is Read WITH Students
    • For decoding
    • For comprehension
  • Text is Read BY Students
Lecture is a source. Your lower-level text can be your lecture. Don't dismiss the lecture.
With a video, every chance you get, use captioning.

  • It is through language that we cement our thoughts. This is why very few of us have any memories before 3-years-old.
  • I'm always going to have you summarize what you read so you get into the habit.
  • I'm going to have you visualize, so the next time you learn you visualize it.
  • Explain. Explain. Explain.
  • "I assess my students all the time, and yet I very rarely give grades."

Assessment drives instruction.
We have had data-driven decision making.

The Common Core State Standards and the Smarter-Balanced Assessment

The analysis has to be entirely their own.

Model the skill, so that when you assess, they can demonstrate the skill.

The only reason to front-load vocabulary is either because the vocabulary is way too difficult, or to model how to do it themselves.

The "crowdsourcing" model of teaching vocabulary. The flourish example. We learn vocabulary from context clues. Scaffolding the skill, not the text.

If students don't know a word--old model: skip it and move on. New model: attack it.
Kids need to tackle these unfamiliar words head-on.


1. Create a word bank for yourself. On one side write "essential" and on the other side "unknown."
2. Reading #1 - skim for the words to put into the word bank.
3. Put those words in the word bank.
4. Reading #2 - read for fluency.
5. With a partner, create a summary of the reading using FOUR of the essential words they put in their word bank.
6. While they are creating their summary, they are doing Reading #3.

Another reading strategy with primary sources:
Have them first read a text about the primary source--then they read the primary source.

Again, we don't want to simply front-load vocabulary. We want to give them "attack skills" they can use these skills later in life.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Twitter for Teachers and for ASB - CADA Convention 2014

The 21-Day Twitter Challenge was created by Carl Hooker. Mr. Hooker is the Director for Instructional Technology in the Eanes Independent School District in West Lake Hills, TX, and is also the founder of iPadpalooza. He’s AWESOME, and you can find his original blog post here:
Carl Hooker's original "21-Day #TwitterGuide4Beginners Challenge - March 2013
Mr. Hooker originally created this checklist/challenge in March 2013. Technology changes so rapidly that I decided to revise and update the list to reflect changes that have happened in the last year, along with own personal experience with Twitter.

Day 1 – Go to Twitter, create your account and follow people with similar interests. It’s also important to put some basics about yourself in your profile. These can be a mix of professional and personal, but know like anything else, there’s a character limit so make it work. Your profile is how others will see your interests and make connections.

You can see my profile here:
You can keep it simple like my friend Matt Soeth:
The coolest twitter profile belongs to Hillary Clinton:

Day 2 – Figure out how to change your egghead picture into a nice catchy profile picture. The best profile picture is one that looks like YOU, but it could represent your passion or your brand as well.

Day 3 – Lurk and figure out how to favorite something.

Day 4Retweet someone else’s tweet. RT'ing tweets help to share great things with a wider audience. Think of a RT like adding a megaphone onto a megaphone.
Day 5 Find a good mobile app to use twitter on your mobile phone or device of choice. Mobile apps change regularly. Right now for me, the best app I use is simply the official Twitter app. My friend Matt Soeth is a fan of HootSuite.

Day 5.5 (Ron added this one) - Sign up for NutshellMail. This is how I usually keep track of what's happening on Twitter. It shows you what your last tweet was, any interactions you've had with others, and the activity of everyone you follow. It's totally customizable, too. You can get these e-mails sent to you once a week, once a day, once an hour! It's up to you.

Day 6 – Compose your first official tweet. Make it a good one and make it relevant to what you do. Share something going on in your work life.

Day 7 – Use Twitter to share a link from an interesting website or blog you discovered, maybe something your school or district is doing, or something from a colleague. Twitter will automatically shorten the URL for you, so you don't have to worry as much about going over your 140 character limit.

Day 8 – Figure out how to tweet a photo. (this is easiest from a mobile device)

Day 8.5 - If you have Instagram, connect your Instagram account to your Twitter account. This is how I tweet out most of my photos. I love Instagram!

Day 9 Mention someone in a tweet. Remember, they don’t know you are trying to talk to them unless you mention them with the “@” symbol and their handle. Also, know that anyone can see this. Here's an example:

Twitter user @yesca posted this after hearing Mike Smith Live speak at her school. However, none of her followers will see this message in their individual Twitter feeds, unless they follow both @yesca and @mikesmithlive (similar to Facebook where you will see interactions between two Facebook friends appear on your Facebook feed). She meant for this to be seen by all 296 of her followers, but chances are they won't see it. She could have made it easier for them to see by adding a period at the beginning:

.@mikesmithlive inspired me to follow my dream on helping children w disabilities and cancer (-:

If you are mentioning someone's username at the beginning of a tweet, and you are talking about them rather than talking to them, insert a period first.

Day 10Direct Message (DM) someone. This is a short, private message that is like email, so it won't appear in any public feed. If a determined person REALLY wanted to access your DM data (Andrew Breitbart accessed photos that Congressman Anthony Weiner sent via DM), they probably still could, so be cautious.

Day 11Create a hashtag (#) and find one to follow. Ours is #cada2014. You can use a tool like to follow the same hashtag across multiple social media platforms.

Day 12Tweet from more than one device to test your diversity (will accept phone, tablet, laptop, desktop or all of the above)

Day 13 – Start to learn Twitter slang like RT, DM, MT, #FTW, from some resource like this: Twitter Dictionary

Day 14Post three tweets during this day. Spread them out over the course of the day. You can use a tool like TweetDeck to schedule tweets in advance. Make one of them a famous quote that you love. (Carl Hooker says "post 5 tweets," and I'm going to respectfully disagree with him, because I sometimes get turned off by people who clog up my Twitter feed. If you're going to tweet a lot in one day, do it with purpose).

Day 15 – Don’t click on the link in your DM that says either “People are saying bad things about you” or “LOL. I was laughing about this video about you.” This is spam, and usually means one of your friends got hacked (in order to DM, someone needs to follow you, and you need to follow them back). Politely message your friend to let them know this.

Day 16 – Have a twitter conversation with someone that you’ve never met in person. This could be as little as a response, but see how long you can make it go. My favorite new Twitter friend is @alicekeeler. She's awesome!

Day 17 – Participate in a “Twitter chat” one night. Here are "13 Great Twitter chats every educator should check out" from THE Journal.

Day 18Test your Twitter cleverness – Post a tweet that is longer than 140 characters, however, use clever short-cuts and lingo to make sure you message fits. (like “4″ instead of “for” to save characters)

Day 19 – If you haven’t yet, post your 100th tweet.  If you are short, get to work! If you already have at least 100 tweets, take a day off. You have earned it. Your tweet count includes @ mentions as well, so 100 tweets is actually very attainable. I would discourage you from excessive posting to your Twitter feed simply for the sake of posting, though. Make every tweet count.

Day 20 – Go back and follow more people and follow people who have followed you (disclaimer: I don't follow my students until after they've left my school, even if they are following me).  Oh yeah, and go back and unfollow all those celebs you followed in Day 1.

Day 21 – Sync your Foursquare, Pinterest,, LinkedIn, and/or Instagram accounts (but not Facebook) to your twitter account.

. . . and beyond. Create your own "Twitter chat." I'm going to throw #asbchat out there. Anyone? Anyone?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Technology I: Google Drive at the CADA Convention - 3/5/2014

Welcome to Technology I: Google Drive! Your guides today are Ron Ippolito (West Ranch High School - Area E) and Lindsey Charron (Ensign Intermediate School - Area F). These might not make any sense right now, but trust me. They will make sense as we progress through our workshop today. As soon as you get to this page, feel free to fill out the "Welcome to Technology I" survey below.
Simon Sinek: Why Leaders Eat Last

Ippolito Sample Budget - Click on this link to open the spreadsheet, and then make it your own by choosing "Make a Copy":

You can check out the "Cutest Animal Gallery" that we created here:


Thursday, Sessions 3 & 4 (10:45 a.m. and again at 11:40 a.m.)
Lindsey is presenting on Pinterest here in the Cyber Cafe!

Thursday, Sessions 5 & 6 (2:50 p.m. and again at 3:40 p.m.)
Ron is presenting on "Twitter for Teachers and for ASB" right here in the Cyber Cafe!

Text Messaging in the Classroom - March 2014

Which should I use at my school?
Remind101, Twitter Fast Follow, or Celly?
Please note that I have kept this information current as of December 2013. Technology changes constantly! I used to be a huge fan of Twitter Fast Follow (back in 2010 it was the only free service like this out there), but now there are other great options worth looking at. Text messaging can be used for classrooms, individual classes (Class of 2014 account for senior events only), announcements for parents, clubs, teams, Renaissance programs, teachers-only, all-staff announcements. These services can also be used as a back-channel for a silent discussion during films or lectures.

Twitter Fast Follow
Can you embed web links? Does it automatically shorten URLs?
Yes, you can include clickable links, and websites you enter are automatically shortened to prevent you from going over your character limit.
Yes, you can include clickable links, and websites you enter are automatically shortened to prevent you from going over your character limit.
Yes, you can include clickable links, but at this time there is no automatic URL shortening. You need to use a tool like or to shorten a link.
New school-friendly features on the horizon?
YES, I believe (as of March 2014) that you can now create groups within groups in Remind101, so you can selectively target smaller groups of kids.
None that I'm aware of, but Twitter FF has started sending out a form of advertising that is NOT school-friendly.
YES, Celly just did a huge upgrade to their web interface in November 2013. You can now attach files from Google Drive and Dropbox, attach photos, and send messages to multiple recipients at one time. They are currently working on upgrading the mobile app as well (March 2014).
Character limit
140 characters
140 characters
No character limit; will simply spill over into a new message. Be careful, because if you include a web link in your message, it might be split between two text messages.
Ease of sending an image/photo
Not easy at this time, that I'm aware of. You have to use an image hosting service to post the image online first, then get a URL, then embed that URL into your message.
Easily insert image via Twitter app or web
Easily insert an image via the web (new feature just added Nov 2013).
Ease of sign-up for teachers
SUPER EASY, and you can get started in about 5-10 minutes. Remind101 is definitely the easiest and cleanest user-interface of the three.
Medium-Hard. The Twitter sign-up process has been intimidating to some teachers who are not as comfortable with technology, but with guidance can be made easy.
Easy, but because it has more features than Remind101, it still isn’t quite as easy as Remind101.
Ease of sign-up for students/parents
Easy. Send a one word text code to a 10-digit phone number
@cadacamps to (385) 218-6778
Easy. Send a two-word text code to the 5-digit Twitter short code.
follow cadacamps to 40404
Super easy! Send a one-word text code to the 5-digit Celly short code.
@cadacamps to 23559
Follow-up marketing or advertising?
None at this time
Yes, there is follow-up marketing from Twitter once or twice a week. Twitter suggests users to follow (not necessarily school appropriate), and occasionally will send out a “Top Tweet”--again, with no regard to the age of the user. Stops when you create a Twitter account.
None at this time
Viewable where?
Text message or e-mail. There is a Remind101 app, but it is only for sending messages, not for receiving.
Phone, Twitter app, on the web, embeddable into your website; Twitter can be viewed on an iPod Touch, in a public library, anywhere you have an internet connection.
Text message, e-mail, and Celly app. Celly app is user-friendly for both teacher and student. Option is also available for teacher to automatically publish content online so parents can find it without having to subscribe to text messages.
Ease of sending a message
Website or iPhone/Android app only; unlike Twitter, multiple accounts (classes) can be managed through the same Remind101 account
Website, iPhone/Android apps (multiple apps available), even via text message for a single account
Website, iPhone/Android app, and via text message; unlike Twitter, multiple "cells" can be managed through the same user account and the same cell phone
How fast does my message go out?
Your message could go out instantly, or be delayed 1, 2, or up to 10 minutes in some cases.
Schedule for later
Yes, from your smartphone or from the web
Yes, through a third-party application like TweetDeck (web only now) or HootSuite
Yes, from your smartphone or from the web
Limits on the number of followers?
No limit
No limit
No limit
How much is it?
Free, no strings attached
Free, although there is a small advertising component, discussed above (in “Marketing and Advertising”)
Free. There is also a premium service with additional features available for a small monthly fee.
Scariness factor
Low. Remind101 is designed specifically for education, so convincing students and parents (and administrators) of its merits would be easy.
Medium to high, depending on your community and the culture of your school. Twitter freaks some people out.
Low to medium. Celly isn’t as basic as Remind101, and is definitely geared to teens. As such, the interface could be slightly intimidating to some adults. Celly was designed by a programmer who is the parent of a teenager.
Can students respond back?
No. Remind101 is specifically designed for one-way communication only.
Yes, but only if they have a registered Twitter account. If they are just using Twitter Fast Follow, they cannot.
Yes. There are three "conversation types": alert only (one-way messaging), curated chat (you send messages out; students can reply, but the reply goes to you), and open chat (a student's reply goes out to everyone in the group).
Can I find out who is following me?
Yes. All users are required to enter a name.
Only if the follower is a registered Twitter user. Otherwise, you have no way of tracking who is following you, or how many followers you have using Twitter Fast Follow.
Yes, and Celly keeps track of both named and anonymous users.
Which one do I use with my students?
I have used Remind101 over the summer as the large group coordinator for CADA Leadership Camps. We have just started using Remind101 with the Area E Council.
I had used Twitter Fast Follow the last three years. However, starting August 2013, I am now using Celly with students. I still LOVE Twitter, just not to broadcast messages to students at this time.
I currently manage 15 different "cells" for each of my classes, for two clubs I advise, and for CADA. For me, what I do in my classroom, for interacting back and forth with students, Celly is the perfect tool for me.
Which one do I recommend for schools?
For a school or teacher who wants to broadcast out messages one-way only, and/or you are looking for a dead-simple interface, Remind101 is the choice for you. It's beautiful, it's clean, and does exactly what you need it to do. My daughter's elementary school teacher (and her school as a whole) are using Remind101 with great success, as are many friends who work in both middle and high schools.
If you're looking for a true "real-world" experience, go with Twitter. Twitter is what kids and adults are using now, and what kids will need to know how to use responsibly for now and years to come.
For me personally, Celly is the "Goldilocks" solution. It has the school-friendliness and kid-friendliness of Remind101. Celly, however, adds an interactive component that I like. Students are able to reply back to me, and I can answer their questions. This ability for students to reply back to you via text message, without revealing their cell phone or yours, is a powerful feature, and the reason I am now using Celly.