Tuesday, August 16, 2011

McKee 5 at TFI Presentation in the Situation Room

I can not begin to tell you how proud I was to see the young men of McKee participate in the presentation on the 2nd floor in the Situation Room of the JP Morgan Building on 47th Street and Park Avenue. They are (from left to right) Tracey Cooper Jr., Reggie Fredericks, Kin Chung Choo, Kenneth Alphonso, and Samuel Conteh

Thirty young men participated in the summer program. The McKee 5 all participated and gained invaluable life lessons about team work, perseverance, resilience, focus, and problem solving skills. I was there with my iPad and gave each student a huge hug. I also managed to snap a picture and (hold your hats) actually take a few clips using iMovie which I downloaded literally an hour before attending the event. I will be "editing" my first iMovie over the next few days.

As the students introduced themselves and launched into their speeches, their very demeanor, pitch and modulation of tone reflected such growth, resoluteness and maturity that my eyes welled with tears. Talk about making a principal's week. Hat's off to Ms. Kim Davis (Head of the TFI Program), Ms. Twinkle Morgan (coordinator of the TFI 2017 cohort), and the JP Morgan Foundation.

By the way - The mayor is getting huge corporations like JP Morgan to contribute to the Young Men's Initiative. JP Morgan contributed to the mayor's initiative. TFI is strictly a JP Morgan program.

As one executive mentioned, "imagine if 30 companies adopted 30 young men and instituted this type of initiative. That's 900 young men, leaders." I added, "It's a culture change."

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Organizing Your Classroom

1. Find out if you share the classroom or if you are in the same classroom the entire day.
Designate specific sections of the room for materials, dictionaries, textbooks, etc.

By the way, 99 cent stores are great for small storage containers where you can store magic markers that you can then distribute when there is group work.
Always work out the areas of the room and the drawers one can use with the teacher with whom you share the room.

The SMART board is your friend and a powerful tool.

Never cover the SMART board with chart paper. Start simple with using it for PowerPoints. Connect with a colleague who is comfortable with showing basic steps about using a smartboard. Download Smartnotebook 10.8 to your PC or MAC. One can get the code from Ms. Henry.

2. Folders that are labeled are your friends. For example: Put the handout on the outside of the folder and place the handouts inside the folder. Place the folders inside a file cabinet, if one is in your room, or in a portable cabinet. It makes it easier to find. Get a storage system that you can label.

3. Make sure that you have a box that you walk around to collect the homework. Put it in a storage area for that particular class period.

4. Set up a system for collecting the homework. For example: period 1 turns in homework; Tuesday - period 2 turns in homework, etc. Again, make sure it goes into a storage case.

5. Return the homework within 24 to 48 hours. GRADED. Use a rubric. The comments on the homework come from the rubric.
The easiest, no fuss site for every type of rubric possible is from teachnology.net.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Two great SMART board training workshops - Differentiation + IPad

I just returned from two amazing summer courses provided by Teq Equipment for $35 each at their Lexington Avenue Address. The first workshop dealt with strategies to use with the SMART board to differentiate lessons. It truly emphasized a literacy approach.

First step is to download SMART Notebook onto my MAC. I encouraged my teachers to download onto their laptops and forgot to do it on mine.

The big key, in light of Common Core Learning Standards Initiative (CCLS) is to do the following:
--select the standards for the unit (we were given three from the DOE)
--be mindful of the assessment
--look at a lesson and make sure that the resources one exposes the students to appeal to several elements: visual, audio, and kinesthetic that directly relates to the content.
--have students come up to the SMART board to either explain an answer.
--have students generate presentations based on content covered in a series of lessons

Second step, go through my notes and practice looking at the different sites that were suggested by the very patient and coherent trainers.

In the afternoon I attended Learning with the Ipad. Very cool APPS were recommended that help to aggregate other types of files such as Evernote

and Fiipboard which collects and one is able to organize news feeds.

A great site that helps to promote literacy is DIIGO. One registers onto the DIIGO website. Browse to one's favorite website that has content one wishes the students to view and understand. Upon following the step by step directions from the DIIGO site, one is able to have students annotate text and respond to questions. Here's another great point about DIIGO, it's FREE.

I came away from the second workshop realizing I had no idea the wonderful array of activities one can access and have the students do using the iPad. The key word is practice, practice, practice so that I am able to impart some of this information to the faculty.

Apture Multimedia