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The Connected Classroom

Information on and from EducationPlus' Learning Division

Monthly Archives: November 2012

National speaker Mark McLeod is known for his dynamic and motivating presentations and can speak to the heart of a teacher. He is at Cooperating School Districts today to talk about classroom management strategies and strategies to motivate students. Mark promises that  participants will leave with many simple, yet powerful ideas and plans to use immediately in the classroom. During today’s session at CSD, Mark will also share ways to create “win-win” situations when intervening with students who are misbehaving. As a lifelong educator, Mark’s educational expertise includes teacher, coach, assistant principal, and principal.

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Guest blog post by Robert Dillon and Chris McGee, edcamptSTL organizers. Dillon is principal of Maplewood Richmond Heights Middle School in St. Louis County; McGee is a Curriculum Coordinator for Science and Social Studies for the Webster Groves School District,  also located in St. Louis County. Follow Bob and Chris on Twitter.

We have all experienced long-form, conference professional development, and we have probably all experienced individual professional development that had you with a book on your couch learning about something new to implement in the classroom, but it has only been a few years since the opportunity to receive just-in-time professional development has been widely available to educators. This is the type of support that you receive that is focused on your needs, in real-time that connects you with colleagues in your field.

Chris McGee

Just-in-time professional development is one of the goals of the the edcamp concept that is spreading across the globe. Edcamp allows educators to have conversations that they want, about the topics that they want, in a space that they want. Since the first edcamp just a few years ago, educators have been gathering on Saturdays with the hope of building learning allies with educators in their community and beyond. Just-in-time for Monday, teachers and leaders are receiving the resources, supports, tools, and energy that they need to make Monday better than Friday for their students.

Robert Dillon

The second edcampSTL will take place on February 9 at Hixson Middle School in Webster Groves. Even before this post, there are already 200 area educators signed up to participate in the event. There is a growing number of educators that are looking for ways to be more innovative, define their own success, and create new learning experiences for their kids. Many of them are growing and learning as connected educators on Twitter, and this group of learners and educational leaders have felt the power of Edcamp, and they are signed up and bringing colleagues to this just-in-time professional development experience.

Take the time to register today for edcampSTL. A day of handcrafted learning that is designed by the participants to meets your needs has been the elixir for so many educators around the country to propel them to a new level of passion in their classroom instruction. There is no greater time than now to receive your booster shot of just-in-time professional development courtesy of edcampSTL.

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Author Amy Sklansky conducts interactive videoconferences live from Cooperating School Districts for elementary classrooms. Learn more about her sessions here:

In Cooking a Book, she will put on a chef’s hat & coat to “cook” a book. Into her large cooking pot go inspiration, rough drafts, revisions, pencil sketches, and more as she explains how an author’s idea becomes a published book. She will use her fifth book, The Duck Who Played the Kazoo, as her primary example, although she will also read from her other selections.

In Author Visit and Eggs-periments Videoconferences (pictured), Amy discusses her book Where Do Chicks Come From? This book, part of the well-respected Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science series, explains what happens inside an egg from fertilization through hatching. Using visuals in a highly interactive videoconference session, Amy outlines various stages of writing the book — research, revisions, artist’s sketches.

With Inside a Poet’s Mind, Amy gives students a peek inside the mind of a poet. Sharing poems from her own books, she discusses the various places a poet finds inspiration. Then she gives examples of the ways a poet may revise her work – emphasizing concepts such as word choice, line breaks, action verbs, and punctuation. She encourages students to write a poem on their own during the videoconference using the same process.

For Amy’s programs, CSD members pay $155, nonmembers pay $195 per session.To schedule a videoconference, contact Cooperating School Districts.

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Presented by Metro Theater Company at the Edison Theatre (Washington University St. Louis ), Jackie and Me is the story of  a young baseball fan named Joey Stoshack.  A rare baseball card is his ticket for time travel to Branch Rickey’s office on the very day that Jackie Robinson is signed as the first black man to play for the major leagues.  The extraordinary twist:  Joey is now black, too. This play, appropriate for ages 9 and up, illuminates Jackie Robinson’s courage and dignity in the face of cruel racial prejudice. Jackie and Me will have you on the edge of your seat as we all root for the man who changed the face of the game.

While the 90-minute play runs through most of January, CSD’s CHARACTERplus invites baseball fans, theatre lovers, educators and their families to a special performance on Friday, January 25, 2013. Tickets for this special evening with CHARACTERplus are $14 eachJackie and Me is by Steven Dietz, and adapted from the book by Dan Gutman (Harper Collins). This would be a great lead off hit to start Black History Month studies! For questions on the January 25th performance with CHARACTERplus, please contact Jill Giordano.

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One of our Pinterest boards is dedicated to social media’s role in education. If you haven’t had an opportunity to take a look, we encourage you to do so. You do not have to have your own Pinterest account to access these resources! If you have some online resources you think should be added to our page, please leave the link in the comments section below.

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To see some great images of students participating in mock elections this week, check out the #kidvote hashtag. One particularly active teacher is METC Spotlight Educator Krissy Venosdale of Hillsboro, Missouri. She’s documenting every step of her students’ election process- voting, tabulating, reporting, and Skyping- over several media platforms. You can find links to them all at her Twitter feed, including their mock election results. Remember, for those of you 18 and over voting in the real election, the closing time for Missouri polls is 7 p.m. central time; the Show-Me State is worth 10 electoral votes in the presidential race.

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