Sunday, April 26, 2015

What I Wish for my Students - Inspiration from NETA 2015

After attending my first NETA conference I was blessed to be surrounded by so many inspirational and motivating educators. After leaving the conference on Friday, I was definitely in Information Overload! I learned about so many innovative ideas that I want to try and implement in my classroom. There are so many new ways I will be able to enrich and enhance my teaching with the use of technology. 

But what stood out the most was the passion and love these educators have for their students. The two Key Note Speakers Adam Bellow and George Couros were not only inspirational, but they really made you stop and think about the impact you have each day on the students who count on you.  The importance of making a difference in our students' lives was apparent in each session I attended.

So this leads me to my post - What I Wish for my Students  
They are counting on us to make a difference in their lives!

Top 10 Take Aways that Truly Inspired Me

#1  The Big Question from George Couros - Would you want to spend the whole day in your classroom? I want my students to have a passion and love for life and learning! What do I want them to do?      
I want them to......

Shared by Couros

#2   To inspire meaningful change, you need to make meaningful connections to the heart, before you can make connections to the mind. Be the reason your students want to come to school every day!  -George Couros
I want my students to enter my classroom each day with an excitement of wonder and curiosity.  We need to truly listen to their personal stories and what they have to share.  It is awesome at the end of the day when students want to stay and keep learning. I want my students to come back and share their stories with me years after they are no longer in my classroom.
Leon VanderPol

What if your students couldn't wait to come to school? -Michelle Baldwin
Created by Tony Vincent

#3  Technology will never replace great teachers, but technology in the hands of great teachers will be transformational.  We need to focus on the process of learning, not the product. -George Couros
We should have an IEP for every learner: Individualize, don't standardize. -Adam Bellow
I am blessed being a 1:1 classroom, and my students are always creating and showing their learning on a daily basis. It is important our students are engaged and take ownership of their learning. I want my students' eyes to light up each day with anticipation of all the wonderful learning that will take place. 

Do your students have the light in their eyes? - Couros

#4  The importance of being a sponge-constantly learning and growing. 184 Days of Learning - Ask, Publish, and share with the community what you learn each day.  - George Couros  
Our students need to be sharing their stories with the world, and it has never been easier.  I want my students to be curious and ask lots of questions. Our students are the best teachers, and they need to take the leadership role.

George Couros

#5  What we model is what we get. - Jimmy Casas - Mentioned by George Couros 
Our students watch and listen to our every move. It is so important that we model what we expect from our students.  We need to share our personal stories of successes and failures. Most importantly they need to see us "Walk the Talk"! 

Author Unknown

#6   Cheer others on and push people to go further with their passions. If we send a lit match to school, do we extinguish the flame in the classroom?  - Adam Bellow
I want my students to come to school each day with an excitement and passion to be there. I want them to pursue their hopes and dreams long after they leave my classroom. I want them to know that "They Matter"!

Angela Maiers

#7   The four walls of your classroom do not define your students' learning.  -Michelle Baldwin
Teaching in a "World Classroom" makes learning relevant and engaging for our students. Breaking down the walls of our classroom helps students develop a respect for different cultures and ideas. 

#8   Our learning isn't defined by giving answers we already know. It's built on being able to ask better questions.  -Adam Bellow
I hope my students never lose their curiosity and their passion for seeking answers to questions.

#9 Sometimes you fall and sometimes you fail! A failure is not a permanent condition - own it! -Adam Bellow
It is important we share our failures with our students. I hope that my students learn that making mistakes is what learning is all about.
Author Unknown

#10  Learning Happens Everywhere! Take Risks! -George Couros
I hope my students take risks even if they don't always succeed the first time. We need to share with students risks we have taken and how we have grown from those experiences. Yes, learning happens everywhere!

Let's All Be - More Dog
Shared by Couros

Communication is the Key!  - George Couros

Trust Fall - Fail

Courage is to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart. The courage to be imperfect. Brene Brown
Love the Video Adam Bellow Shared
Awesome Message - Other than its an alcohol commercial.

I can't say enough about how inspired I am after attending NETA.  It has inspired me to grow as an educator and professional.  Our job isn't easy and sometimes we can can get discouraged and feel defeated. As educators, we need to be there to support, encourage, congratulate, and console each other.  Our students are counting on us! 

Rita Pierson sums up our job perfectly! 

George Couros Blog - The Principal of Change

Friday, April 10, 2015


Literably has helped tremendously with students' running records and it is simple and easy to use.  It is a great tool to assist classroom teachers in assessing each student's comprehension and reading fluency. After students record themselves using Literably a complete running record is generated. This includes specific data on accuracy, rate, fluency, and comprehension.  

In our district we use Fountas and Pinnell to level our students and individualize their reading instruction.  Literably uses Fountas and Pinnell Levels, but it also has a conversion chart to level students.
Reading Conversion Chart

Overview of Each Student's Level on the Dashboard

Literably is easy for students to access on their iPads. 
Students can also use it on the website.
All About Literably

Once students log-in to their iPad, they have the passage they are to read.  They hit record and read the entire passage. 

Once they have read the passage they have comprehension questions to answer, and students also retell what they read.  After they complete the summary, they record themselves reading.  Then all they have to do is click done.

The results are given for each student who completed a running record the next school day  The data gathered is a huge time saver for teachers.  The class dashboard is easy to use.
Example of the Running Record

Students Retell the Story and Record 

All questions are tied in with the Common Core Standards. 
This includes student's reading behaviors.

It is great that I can listen to each child's recording at my own leisure. It is easy to share the Running Records with parents.  All you have to do is email the link, and parents have assess to their child's data.   It is a meaningful  way to share examples of student's growth with parents.

Teachers can spend countless hours each week completing individual running records.  Using Literably serves the same purpose and frees up teacher-time to work with guided reading groups and individual students, which is how our students grow and learn as readers.

Margaret Fuller