Technology at your fingertips

Images of screens from iPads with apps being used discussed





Showing FUZE for meetings, classes, etc

Fun session…lots of new folks playing around with iPads…great selection of apps for folks to play with!


ECU Clinical Teacher Conference Keynote

Northeast Region Teacher of the Year: Vann Lassiter

Long list of accolades for Mr. Lassiter…

Your reach in the classroom is TBD…to be determined

What is my reach?

Trigger dreams – kids have big dreams…we sometimes think they are impossible…Encourage your students to dream and think big…sometimes dreams get deflated, take time and retrigger those dreams in your students

Believe in yourself and your students…you can achieve anything…you may be your students biggest cheerleader…Vann got to teach a new class for students who had failed NC computer test 4 times…ages 14 to 19…held fourth period after lunch…GREAT PLAN…students respond when they know you are there for them…

Demonstrate excellence – what a teacher IS, is more important than what he does…20,000+ moments to impact students throughout the day…what are you doing with those moments? The kids are watching…what are you demonstrating? People will never forget how you made them feel – Maya Angelou

Do this and your bucket will overflow!

K12Online Conference Staff Development

For our monthly IMPACT staff development meeting this time around, we asked each of the teachers in the building to find and watch a session from the K12Online Conference archives that interested them. During the meeting, they each gave a brief presentation on their thoughts from the session and on the conference in general.  Our IMPACT meetings are held during grade level planning time, so I worried that information from each grade level would never make it out of their own meeting.  In an effort to promote continued sharing, I created a Google Form for basic information on the sessions: Title, Summary, #1 Takeaway, Usefulness, and Other Information.  To continue the sharing, I thought I’d post the document here.  Names of those who viewed the sessions have been removed.  Many folks viewed sessions from previous years, a few people gave their takes on the same sessions.

If you’ve never watched any of the K12Online Videos, you’re missing out on an amazing Professional Development experience. After the 2008 Conference, I walked around with about 20 sessions loaded on my iPod Touch for anytime, any place learning. Hopefully these notes will give you a little taste of what some of the sessions are about, and point you in the direction of a few to start your learning. Enjoy!

NCMSA10: IMPACT and Tech in 20

Below you will find some notes from our session on IMPACT and Tech in 20 at BCMS.  My apologies for not having the video archive that I expected to have from the Live Stream of our session.  Something was wonky with the audio, so unless you want to listen to robotic sounding voices for an hour, I think it’s best kept deep in the archives.

Two Pronged Approach

  • Monthly 90 minute grade level media and technology meetings…
  • Weekly Tech in 20 Sessions on Tuesday afternoons

Monthly Meetings

  • Allow grade level conversations about tools and strategies to be used in the classroom
  • Focus on the use of media and technology within our building
  • Occasionally include guest speakers for additional professional development

Sample Topics

  • Verifying Information on the Web
  • Google Desktop
  • Creating a Voicethread
  • Big 6 Research Method
  • Blogs as a Classroom Webpage

Tech in 20

  • 20 minute sessions held weekly on Tuesday afternoons
  • Sessions are livestreamed and recorded for staff to view at a later date and time
  • Focus on introducing topics that can be discussed deeper during monthly meetings
  • Sessions are archived at

Tools Needed

  • Google Site
  • Livestreaming service like:,, or
  • Webcam (We use a Logitech Quickcam which can be purchased for ~$50)
  • Staff Interest Survey – used to determine the direction of the first sessions of Tech in 20

Below you will find a slidecast of the Tech in 20 portion of our session.  This is the best I could do as a replacement for our botched livestream. Hopefully you will find the information useful in setting up your 20 minute staff development program.

Thanks to all those who attended our session. If you have further questions, please feel free to share them in the comments or email me!

NCMSA10: Efficient Communication within the Educational Environment

Thanks to @techtipsPRMS for these notes!!
Here’s my notes on Communication with Chip Buckwell

Efficient Communication within the Educational Environment
KMS Communicates, collaborates, and Learns
Dr. Chip Buckwell- Principal
Kannapolis Middle School- 7-8 Middle School

Efficient Communication within the Educational Environment
KMS Communicates, collaborates, and Learns
Dr. Chip Buckwell- Principal
Kannapolis Middle School- 7-8 Middle School
Let’s go paperless! 100% Paperless for the first staff meeting.  WOW!
Google Tools- Main tool to be paperless
Diigo- bookmarking management tool- saving websites for staff
Schools’ internal website  is housed on Google- school schedule- confidential information, so you must log in to see information.
Morning Announcements, Interesting Articles and Websites, Meeting Notes, ASD assignments, Curr. Resources, planning resources (collaborative). Department Wikis, Examview Resources, Writing Prompts.   (Much like a staff handbook)—ASD rotations, bus schedule, assembly seating assignments, phone lists,
Google forms to schedule academic coaches (Literacy Coach Model)
Schedule is on Google docs.  Created by form that staff completes question are and doc is generated.
Google docs allow for teachers to see real time forms.  No more emailing revisions and several copies saved.
Agendas, Goal Sheets, and Notes from Collaborative Planning Meetings on the site.  – These collaborative meetings are much like a business meeting.  Staff talks about academics, pedagogy, and strategies.  Fueled by the Agenda, and notes are recorded and shared to staff.
Academic coaches use Google tools to ‘keep things run smooth’.
WKMS- news program
-Used to be live:  Now it is a loop.  Totally kid produced show.
Google Calendar- meshes several calendars together, KMS calendar, Coaches calendars, Elm. School calendars, etc.  You must be invited to join a calendar.   USE OF NOT THIS SYSTEM AVOIDS TOO MUCH USE OF INTERCOM SYSTEMS!!! Huraay!
Skyping with “Kelly”- she just finished lunch with David Warick.  Chatting via skype.
Invite several people into the conversation.
“Do you use this more than email?” Yes- it is live and real time.  If I leave her a message, it stays up until she responds.  This tool is very useful and time saving.  The message stays with them until they have time to add to the conversation.  It archives the conversations for later review.
You can video, call or text with Skype.  Just had a conversation with another admin in his district via Skype ‘phone’.
Substitute teacher mounted webcam backwards- and teacher could monitor students while substitute was in the room.
Investigating using it for homebound students.  Set student up with district computer to access internet, and participate in class while sick.
Teacher websites/Team websites:
Home to class wikis- and are able to save projects to the wiki so students are not using up server space! UCPS take note!!
Teachers share plans and resources on wikis. accounts for students
Ourspace accounts- email, chat, blog, other software to communicate and collaborate.
Very effective in keeping students where they need to be, but not fool proof.  Any middle-schooler if given enough time- will find a way to get where they shouldn’t be.
“Its not about the “Stuff” … it’’s about the people.” If you don’t have good people behind the stuff, it’s still a mess.
Take it slow.

Question: How much have you saved?  “We have saved about 40% of our copies—not enough- push past 50%.  40 is a good chunk, and want to do better.  Next year’s copy budget may be less.”
GroupWise: Original email system used before Google revolution!
 In order to have googlewebpage.—requires Gmail account.  All staff needs Gmail account.
Still using GroupWise, just meshing it with google-webpages.
Their best resource was allowing Google be the agent to “house” our stuff.  It no longer slows down their VPN.
Google focused on teachers/staff at first.  Now staff is sending students to it.
Resistant at first.
“Has transformed how I do PD for myself.  Transformed how I read, and what I read.”
People quote edleadership before it gets to your desk.
Retweet- send out to everyone who follows you
and then add address to your diggo account.
DIIGO:  Saves bookmarks online- so if you aren’t on your computer- you can still pull up your pages on any computer.  Email Chip for access to his Diigo account
Twitter Blogs  Google Reader
-allows you to (in one place) capture all the blogs you want to read in ONE PLACE.  MikeFisher- digigogy (digital+pedagogy)
When someone posts to their blog, it is forwarded right to your Google reader.  You can catch up at a separate time.
“Get a good idea about communication in your school, and I promise you- I am not the fastest learner on the planet- when I find something that is this good, and it can transform what we do, and save time- we try it” Dr.Chip Buckwell

NCMSA10: Math Literacy Strategies

10:00am – 11:00 am
Math Literacy Strategies
presented by Meghan Sharp and Melaine Rickard

for entire presentation go to
Notes by @jjbsyman

As you walked into the session the presenters had a cartoon on the screen captioned “Math Majors Exchanging High Pi’s”(THEY HAD THE SYMBOL).
Around the room where 6 poster papers with questions derived from Bloom’s Taxonomy and we would answer them.

The math EOG is just another reading EOG!

1) Anticipation Guide
– helps students predict and understand text
– activates prior knowledge
– personal connection to text
How to create?
– write questions that relate to “big ideas”
– explain task
– before and after reading answers
– give kids time to talk about answers, explaining reasoning

ex. Dilation have “real world” applications
a Dilation is only an enlargement
If the scale factor of a dilation is between 0 and 1 it is a reduction
A negative scale factor would reflect or rotate a figure as well as a change
Similarities to LA
– activate prior knowledge
– practice thinking and writing
– big ideas
Difference to LA
– may have right or wrong answer
– typically not used with a reading, just terminology
2)SWBS – somebody – who
wanted – what did who want
but – what happen
so – what did who do

– math is WBS
what – list all facts from word problem
but – write what the question is asking in your own words
so – solve the problem and show your work
summary – write how you solved the problem and its answer using WBS

3)World wall activities
Fortune Tellers – folding paper into handheld vocab and answers
– purpose – intro, review, practice
– show, play, make
Word puzzles- squares- using terms, definitions and examples to match up all four sides to complete puzzle
word scramble – have students cut up a predetermined list of letters, then ask questions distributing the letters in and out to make vocabulary words. Helps to post a vocab list with spelling

4)Comprehension pyramid        – summarizing, comprehension, example
In LA – start with one fact – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – etc so there words look like pyramid

In MATH – each math concept has different format
– define what levels should be addressed

+ /
2x = 16
inverse operations to solve
2x        –        4        =        12

other examples – describing a number
– graphs (histogram)

some good math reading resources
Numberland         by George Weinberg
Mathcurse         by John Scieszka & Lane Smith
The King’s Chessboard         by David Birch
Anno’s Mysterious Multiplying Jar         by Masaichiro and Mitsumasa Anno
Twizzlers Percentages Book         by Jerry Pallotta
Count to a Million         by Jerry Pallotta
Hershey’s Milk Chocolate         by Jerry Pallotta
The Best of Times         by Greg Tang
Math for all Seasons         by Greg Tang
G is for Google         by David Schwartz
Sideways Arithmetic from Wayside school         by Louis Sachar
A Gebra Named Al         by Wendy Isdell
Kiss my Math         by Danica McKellar
Math Doesnt Suck         by Danica McKellar
Secrets, Lies, and Algebra         by Wendy Lichtman

NCMSA10: Debbie Silver Keynote


Loves NC because we can understand the way she talks 🙂

We’re going to celebrate about who we are and why we do what we do!

Ready for teachers to step it up and TAKE OUR POWER BACK!

Everyone is an expert on schools because “they went”

Debbie told her college students if they said “I’m just a teacher” she’d hunt them down…

“Why do you teach?”

  • For the money of course…haha
  • Debbie didn’t know she was going to be a teacher
  • Some teachers DIDN’T enjoy school…but they still do alright

Not against standards…but against standardization…it’s not about regurgitating facts

It’s not about the art of teaching, it’s about the HEART of teaching

Teaching is not what you do, it’s who you are!

Can’t give someone the Heart for teaching…it’s those people telling kids to spit out their gum at Walmart, or chasing them down the aisles screaming “We don’t run in here”…they have the heart

Students wrote Debbie about what the State Teacher of the Year should be like

  • Not one mentioned ability to test, anticipatory sets, etc
  • Every one of them mentioned caring

Be a Teacher, Be a Hero!

  • Because You Teach by Monte Selby

There is a distinct difference between elementary, middle, and high school teachers…Get down on your knees and thank the elementary teachers in the world…because as a middle school teacher you don’t want their job 🙂

Many times if someone is a “good teacher” but not successful they may be in the wrong grade level

Now standardization is causing the expectation for everyone to be the same

Every teacher has their own way to connect with kids…but we’re losing our autonomy in education today

I’ve got 30 years of experience…no you don’t, you’ve got 1 year you repeated 30 times!

Debbie wrote every student a letter during the year: things I value about you, dreams I have for you, etc…

Stay away from the Lounge Lizards…those that hang out in the lounge and complain

Teachers are the worst PR people on the planet…we need to stick up for ourselves and take a stand

That technology is nothing but a fad…I went and bought a laptop (etch-a-sketch)…erase? Shake it? reboot? Shake it. Save? Don’t shake it” – Debbie as Rhodina Cullsmucker (the lounge lizard)

When’s the last time you heard a teacher say “I think I changed a life today”?

Teachers are NOT talking…not letting folks know they’re spending their own money, spending time they don’t get paid for, staying late after school to help kids…

Pay It Forward

“I want you to look around your world, and find a way that you can improve your small part of the world.”

Teachers go after every single kid because it’s the right thing to do…

The children who most need your love are going to be your most unlovable kids…

The seeds we plant as teachers aren’t going to show up on the scores of the EOG…We send messages to a future we’ll never see.

Why Do You Teach?

I teach to pay it forward…what do you mean?  I work with kids who go more in the morning than you go through in your lifetime…It’s not about the end of grade test…


“The letter that you made the time to write me when I was in your room…literally, saved my life.”

Every year those kids better be your favorites!

End of conversation with Jeff:

It doesn’t matter how rich you get, how famous you get…I owe this all to Debbie Pace P-A-C-E…Ms. Pace I’m not very rich, and I don’t think I’m gonna be famous…but I do owe it all to you.

I don’t think we cry enough, don’t think we tell people our stories enough, and don’t think we laugh enough…

How many teachers talk about “their kids” and people don’t know if they mean biological or school kids?

We must view young people not as empty bottles to be filled, but as candles to be lit.

password: iamateacher