NCMSA12: Closing Keynote with Dr. Bobb Darnell

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to School Improvement
Dr. Bobb Darnell
bobbdarnell@mac.com
http://www.achievementstrategies.org

50s Sputnik – New Math, New Science…New Everything
60s Age of Aquarius…Feel good age
70s Back to Basics…behvorial objectives
80s Age of Assessments
90s Brain Research
2000 – NCLB, Data Driven Instruction, and now Common Core

Sharing Did You Know (STILL SURPRISED IF FOLKS HAVEN’T SEEN SOME VERSION OF THIS…)

Four things have changed…
1) Kids
     Shorter attention spans and visually preferred (showing Rocket Power clip…32 frames per second, nothing there longer than 2 seconds)
     Students hate to be bored…Bueller…Bueller??
     Wired for a certain kind of learning…SpongeBob uDraw as an example of what they are doing outside of school, and younger than middle school
     Immediate gratification
     Interactive and Hands-On
     Love Challenge and Are Curious
     Want to succeeed (win) using strategies, practice, and do-over…
     Kids will play a video game an average of 100 hours to “get good” at it…
2) Expectations
     For Teachers…Teacher Evaluation as an Olympic Event…
     For Administrators…walkthroughs…
    
3) PD
     LYNT – Last Year’s New Thing
     TYNT – This Year’s New Thing
     NYNT – Next Year’s New Thing
     Hot Topic Du Jour PD…leads to a need for change therapy…
     Now?? Marzano Classroom Instruction that Works…we know things that work…

4) Research about teaching and learning
     We know there are best practices…reading for information and analysis…Graphic Organizers 27% increase in learning…summary frames and templates…There are great practices for vocab, that are NOT word searches…Vary the Content, Vary the Process…I do, we do, I do, we do, I do, YOU do, Closure, Review…

Use optimatal learning time 7-10 minutes, and then have them apply
Use Graphic Organizers
Use short cycle-challenge and feedback
Create challenges

NCLB won’t go away…no president will say “Yeah, let’s leave a few kids behind”
Common Core…nothing in it is stuff that’s “brand new”…not in ELA, not in Math…
Yesterday…Help!…Highway to Hell….what’s your stress level about Common Core?

RTI-RTID (respond til I die)
PLC? PLC? M-O-U-S-E?

Hammer, Screwdriver, Hand Drill, Chisel, Saw…category? Tools…10 points
Washington, Lincoln Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Madison…Pres or Streets…10 points…another? sure, we’re winning
bed, chair, desk, sofa, dining table…furniture
Rose Sylvia, Harrriet, Pennie Caryl…girls names
Hardest one??? schematic association, metacognitive assimilation, synaptic neuropathic patterning, dendrite pruning, cerebreal dissonance…something about the brain DURING learning…
violin harp clarinet, banjo guitar…instruments…
Go back to hardest one…
pontiac oldsmobile hummer yugo plymouth…cars…going out of business…

Walt Disney…winding lines…we’re making progress…if the lines were straight no one would stand there…

across 7800 studies kids will make 37 points worth of improvement when giving specific feedback related to objectives.

KINDA SUPER SCATTERED…GOOD INFO, BUT VERY HARD TO TAKE DOWN SPECIFIC POINTS…LOTS ON THE SLIDES WITH LITTLE TO NO TIME TO READ ANY OF THEM…AT LEAST THERE WERE SOME SOLUTIONS OFFERED, JUST WISH I COULD HAVE READ A LOT OF THEM…PERHAPS PPT IS ONLINE…

GREAT CONFERENCE…WISH I HAD GOTTEN TO MORE SESSIONS…WE’RE GOING TO TRY AND HAVE SESSIONS IN THE SANDBOX NEXT YEAR…WE’LL SEE HOW IT GOES…

NCMSA12: Virtual Science Fair

Ravenscroft Middle School
MY THOUGHTS IN ALL CAPS

Melissa Spainhour, 6th Science and Math, Math Dept. Chair
Janet Vande Berg, 6th Science, Dept. Chair
Kathleen Christopher, ITF

Science Fair with a Twist
Students are not doing it at home…doing it at school with teacher and e-mentor help
Connects to scientists around the world
Traditional Science Fair the teacher becomes the lead…took the teacher out of the equation
Each group gets an e-mentor who helps them develop the project
National Assoc. of Independent Schools or Google Science Fair…or do it independently

Why Do a Virtual Science Fair?
Connect kids with scientific method
Authentic vs. Inauthentic learning…virtual help from others makes it more student completed…all done in classroom, e-mentors can’t do project FOR them like a parent could
Student Autonomy over what they pick…(WONDER HOW THIS CONNECTS TO STANDARDS FOR GRADE LEVEL?)
Parents don’t see it until project is completed.

Communication – forces kids to talk to one another…groups of 2 to 3 students…develop group procedures, group work early and often, “this is a kind place”…toughest place is in picking a topic…pick groups for kids, and keep it so they are working with those they will get along with fairly well…

Virtual Science Fair takes a couple days a week over the course of 9 weeks…don’t want one kid taking over so it’s not “the smart kid with a couple of kids he drags along”

Everything outlined in rubrics…including behavior…how do you talk to each other? how do you talk to an e-mentor?

Research piece…6th grade skills are pretty basic…ExpertSpace, teaches paraphrasing, and summarizing…spent 4 or 5 days on research…e-mentors just coming on board so teacher plays a larger role…experiment about baking cookies, more talk about baking soda, less about just baking…teacher helps guide this part a lot…also students not as strong of a writer as you’d hope…

Believe this is best suited for 8th graders (those that win the competition from NAIS and GSF tend to be older students)
Writing for Science…GET ELA TEACHER TO HELP…but e-mentors also helped, because they have experience in the field…have e-mentor break it down for the students in 6th grade terms to help kids learn to paraphrase

Paired with a ELA component would make this even better…PERHAPS PAIR UP WITH ANOTHER ELA TEACHER IN THE COUNTY?

Critical Thinking…what is the conductivity of each metal? They connect it to a battery which puts the same voltage through all…talk them through it and let them think…some just won’t get it

Reflection…what have they done? What did e-mentor suggest? Have to evaluate each piece based on rubric…have to look at videos? THERE ARE VIDEOS?? MORE TO COME…

Revisions…spend lots of time to get them to make it “perfect”…working for self, group member, teacher, and e-mentor…so many folks looking at it helps keep them working.  e-Mentor suggestions REALLY have an impact on the kids. When they ask a question, the e-Mentor really wants them to come up with a response, so the kids have to do it, and it’s non-evaluative.

Gather People for Support
Tech People

e-Mentors – scientist from local community and around the world…1 per group, required to check in on a weekly basis…teacher sends weekly email telling what has been completed and what to check for…e-Mentor responds…have some replacement e-Mentors…sometimes you have to…but not often…
Take Risks…email just about anyone in scientific community…work through circle of friends, local organizatons, Bayer, Glaxo-Smith-Kline, for us UNC/NCSU/DUKE MARINE LABS…they got 36 e-Mentors this year, grad students…contact ECU science dept. or UNCW…careful about student identities, no last names etc for safety reasons and for parent assurance

ORGANIZE! First year it was thrown on them in Oct, it started in Nov “We don’t do science fair…thanks” but they did anyway…with a small group of kids that were technology students…two years done in 6th grade now

Google Docs did not work as well as expected…this year implemented Team Folders…kept at school, students not allowed to take them…How to create a background, how to create a procedure, etc

NAIS runs this through Google Sites…GOOGLE PROBABLY DOES TOO…all communication done on Google Sites…no email back and forth…e-mentors log into Google Sites…kids have grouped emails VSF1, or VSF2 (CAN TALK TO GOOGLE APPS ADMIN ABOUT SETTING UP THESE NEW SHARED EMAILS)

Documents were created on Word, saved as PDF and posted…this year the did group work on individual Google Docs, shared with group members, still posted as Group Team…There are some schools that do first and last names…that wouldn’t fly  for Ravenscroft

Videotaping is not a requirement for NAIS, but they thought it would be good…used Flip Cams to begin with…used iPads this past year…

Google Site: Ravenscroft VSF 2012…Kathleen set up all of the Google Site NEED A GOOD ITF TO HELP OUT WITH THIS…separate PAGE for each team within SITE
e-Mentor comments on the page…teacher isn’t doing the “nit-picky” work the e-Mentor as a professional scientist is doing this…

Folder Page for Documentation…could probably also be done on wikispaces or pbworks…
Saving to PDF is a good skill for kids, and then have them openable on ANY operating system, etc
When revising they just save as a new PDF

Table set up for the videos…Intro, Background, Experiment, Conclusion…possibly scale this back in the future…possibly use advisory time to teach the tech skill of video recording and editing prior to starting this for the class…Ravenscroft has a Mac Lab with 9 computers for Video Editing…AND HERE’S AN ISSUE, MOST SCHOOLS HAVE A MAC LAB WITH ZERO MACS…Could take lots of pictures if you can’t do the video component…If only one video, have them record the experiment

Videos they have their group Letter Sign to help identify each group…GROUP X was a winning group…DEFINITELY WANT TO WATCH THIS IF I CAN GET ACCESS TO THEIR SITE

How long does it take?
Pick Topic and Introductions – 3 days (before Thanksgiving)…purely interest based topics…NOT SURE HOW THIS WILL CONNECT TO THE MOVEMENT OF SCIENCE SKILLS ACROSS THE ESSENTIAL STANDARDS…
Intro Video – 2 days (not required)
Research and Variables – 3 days…this was after doing ExpertSpace to learn paraphrasing, plagerism, etc…done the 2 days prior to researching science fair topic (so 1 week total)
Background Video – 2 days
Hypothesis, Materials and Procedure – 3 days (jumping back and forth the whole time with curricular topics…pick an easy curricular topic that could have good mini-units for 3 or 4 days at a time…don’t have the stamina for doing this every day for a long time)
Experiment and Experiment Video – 4 days…did it the 4 days after christmas break, all materials had to be in BEFORE christmas break…
Data Analysis and Graphing – 3 days
Conclusions – 3 days
Conclusion Video – 2 days
Final Report – 1 day…cutting and pasting parts into a final page with Sci Method headings

e-Mentor time requirement…15 to 20 minutes a week…teacher sends email reminder to all e-Mentors just to remind them…

Challenges
Picking Topics
Hosting Videos…did them as mp4s and they were slow to load…WONDER ABOUT HOSTING ON YOUTUBE?
e-Mentors…used faculty members to supplement e-Mentors if emergencies came up…not all are as into it
Scheduling

jvandeberg@ravenscroft.org
mspainhour@ravenscroft.org
kchristoher@ravenscroft.org

COULD BE TRANSITIONED TO A BOARD…STILL A CHALLENGE FOR DISPLAYING THESE DIGITALLY FOR A PARENT NIGHT…REALLY WOULD LIKE TO TAKE A LOOK AT THE SITE AND SEE WHAT THE FINAL PRODUCTS LOOK LIKE…