Saturday, September 20, 2014

Area E and F Advisor Conference - 9/19/2014

1. Start with Kahoot! Quiz

2. Yesterday in Room 301

  • We have a classroom set of Google Chromebooks
  • Students log into their Google account and go to my website as soon as they enter the classroom
  • The William S. Hart District is a Google Apps for Education (GAFE) district
    • Every staff member has a GAFE account
    • Every student has a GAFE account
  • We started off with a "pre-test" yesterday
    • Students logged onto my website to get the link
    • They clicked link to my pre-test (when I opened it)
    • They filled out the Google Form
    • I then used Flubaroo to grade the form and email them their results instantly
    • Later yesterday afternoon, I used Autocrat to take their form responses and put it into a format that easier for me to read and comment on
  • Google Classroom (GAFE only)
  • Paperless classroom just means less paper

Does all of this seem like an unrealistic dream right now?
  • This was unthinkable in our district three years ago
  • Work with your IT Department (mine is awesome!)
    • Have your people call my people
    • Jon Carrino, Director of Technology Services
  • Infrastructure comes before devices
  • Chromebooks are the way to go for our district
  • Find a way (1:1, BYOD, whatever it takes)
  • Always consider equity
If we have time, let's talk briefly about connecting to kids via text message. Options I like best are:

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Take the Teacher Twitter Challenge - OC GAFE Summit

To earn your #gearingup badge, I'm looking for a particular set of skills. You need to demonstrate that you know how to:

  1. Create a profile picture (you've evolved beyond "egg" status)
  2. Send a tweet
  3. Use an @ mention in a tweet
  4. Use a hashtag in a tweet

Therefore, for your Badge Challenge, you're going to send a tweet. In this tweet, please share with me one thing you've learned or one way you plan to use Twitter in the upcoming school year. In your tweet, include two things:

Mention my username somewhere in the tweet: @rippolito
Use our conference hashtag: #gafesummit

The original 21-Day Twitter Challenge was originally 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 my own personal experience with Twitter.

Level 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:

Level 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.

Level 3 – Figure out how to favorite someone else's tweet.

Level 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.

Level 5 Install the Twitter app on your mobile device.

Level 5.5 (optional) - 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.

Level 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, or better yet, say something about the GAFE Summit you're at right now. Think about who your Twitter audience will be as opposed to your Instagram audience or your Facebook audience or other social media. How will you use Twitter to connect with friends and/or connect with colleagues?

Level 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.

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

Level 8.5 (optional) - 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!

Level 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. 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.

Level 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. You can only send a direct message to a user who is following you; you can only receive direct messages from users you follow.

Level 11Create a hashtag (#) and find one to follow. Ours is #gafesummit. You can use the magnifying glass tool on your mobile device to view everyone using the same hashtag. Use a tool like to follow the same hashtag across multiple social media platforms.

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

Level 13 – Learn Twitter slang like RT, DM, MT, #FTW. is like Urban Dictionary for Twitter slang.

Level 14Post three tweets in a 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 an inspirational 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).

Level 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. Politely tweet, call, text, or email your friend to let them know this.

Level 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!

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

Level 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). Look to other Twitter users to figure out how to shorten a message while still keeping it professional. Here's another way I did this to help ease tension on our campus after a tragedy.

Level 19Seek out 10 meaningful people to follow and use a critical eye when thinking about following 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).

Level 20Create your own "Twitter chat" for the teachers of your school or district. I'm encouraging my colleagues for the next three days (starting tomorrow, Monday, August 4) to use the hashtag #HartSDAIE to unite the conversation in our SDAIE training for the Hart District.

And before we finish, here are two great tools for connecting with students and families: Celly and Remind (formerly Remind101).

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.