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If a child can't learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.


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Have you heard of EdJEWcon?

Currently, I am attending the EdJEWcon conference at our school, MJGDS. (follow us on twitter #edjewcon) We have educators from all over the world joining us to teach, reflect, and share.  It’s been a fabulous experience so far.  Today, I enjoyed listening to Chris Lehmann, who is the founding principal of the Science Leadership Academy. I was completely amazed and inspired by everything he had to say.  His entire philosophy of education is everything I aspire to be.  So far, the highlight of the conference for me was watching seven of my students teach a session called “Speed Geeking,”  modeled after the well known “Speed Dating.” These students volunteered to become the teachers and SHARE different technology tools, answer educators’ questions and showcase their own learning. They each spoke for 5 minutes  before their group moved on to the next “Geek” station.  The educators rotated to all seven stations, and were taught tools that these students use regularly and effectively in school.

edJEWcon Day 1 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!-1edJEWcon Day 1 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

edJEWcon Day 1 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!-3edJEWcon Day 1 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!-2

edJEWcon-Day One | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

 

Tomorrow I will be presenting with Mike Fisher on our collaborative efforts to create a book based on some kids’ poems that Mike Fisher wrote.  My students have illustrated the poems, and next, we will be  publishing them,  selling them and creating a marketing plan around our work.  This is authentic learning!  I will be sharing more soon.


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When students lead, they succeed

The preparation and stress to prepare for the SLC’s (Student Led Conferences) was more than I had anticipated, however, the result made it all worthwhile.  I was so proud of my students leading their conferences with their parents.  I was surprised that some of my most outspoken students were the most timid and anxious.  I had not realized how nervous they were.  I loved seeing how the parents interacted with their children. I allowed for 30 minutes for each conference, which seemed like too much time, but we used every minute.  I think one conference ended 5 minutes early, but other than that, it was needed.  It also allowed me to discuss some important issues regarding individual students. Overall, I received positive feedback from parents and I felt really pleased about the entire day.  I look forward to moving to the next step and developing deeper reflections with the 4th graders. I am sending home a survey to the parents and hopefully I will get some positive comments to share.

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What is a STUDENT LED CONFERENCE?

This conference day I am trying something different.  The 5th graders successfully completed Student Led Conferences earlier in the year with their Mrs.Zavon, and they found it was beneficial to the parents, the students, and the teachers.  Once I heard about their experience, I was ready to try it out with the 4th graders.  I loved the idea of the students taking ownership of their own learning.  Not only can they share their achievements, but they can also reflect on the areas they need to work on in order to improve.  It is a time for my students to reflect honestly and make goals.  We have been diligently writing reflections this week to share with the parents.  My plan was for each child to reflect on a quality piece of writing, share areas of growth in math and/or Social Studies, share achievements in Jewish Studies, and strengths and weaknesses in their work habits.  The students also wrote new goals for the last nine weeks.  They also had to show their technology skills by hyperlinking, adding images, properly citing their images, and provide evidence for their parents. They will reflect on the experience on their blogs after conference day.  Stay tuned our first SLC‘s in 4th grade.

Check out some of their reflections:

Orlig

Jasminem

Ariellat

Emilyt

Jaggerl

Griffw

Samanthaz

Juliac

Joshuam

Elado