Sunday, January 28, 2018

SAMR, Starbucks and One AWESOME Way to Insert Learning! ~ January 28, 2018

LID Updates

Let's chat about Professional Development...or as some are calling it now, Professional Learning. Either way you call it, it's about striving to always learn and always grow. Take a look at, or remind yourself, about the SAMR model, which is a helpful way to self-assess your work in the integration of innovative learning technologies, developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura

The goal is not necessarily to have all lessons be at the "Redefinition" level, but rather, to critically look at your practice and reflect upon how you spend your time and if this is the best use of your and your students' time. Some tasks will certainly be at the Substitution level, but if you believe you're doing all sorts of innovative work with your students, but always stay in the realm of Enhancement, maybe it's time to reach out to one of your LID Directors to help SAMRize a lesson or two. (It is our job, after all! :) )

For a quick way to understand what the different descriptors mean, check out this short video that uses Google Docs as the context to describe SAMR.

Or...the Starbucks comparison...

If you want to learn more about this and beyond, consider joining Diane Main, Liz Brumbaugh and thousands of our closest nerd friends at the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) Conference in June. Early Bird pricing ends on March 1 - if you're interested, ask any LID Director, or reach out to Liz directly. The more, the merrier!


Other Resources

I learned about a fantastic tool this week, called Insert Learning. It's a quick and easy way to insert notes, questions or discussion prompts into websites (think: nonfiction articles and fake news!) I was so excited, I created a screencast to review the tool and how to use it. I didn't cover EVERYTHING it can do (it has lessons you can take and edit, as well), so let your LID Director or me know if you have any questions or want to explore it further!



Congratulations to Ms. Seshadri, who won our last LID Trivia and is having a hot beverage delivered to her soon! And here is the growing popular trivia...first one to respond via email to Liz @ with all correct answers gets a hot beverage of their choosing delivered!
  1. Why do we have eyebrows?
  2. In computer terminology, what is a nibble?
  3. Dmitri, Ivan, and Alexei were the title characters in what novel?

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Classroom Redesign, LID Vision Day Resources, Kindness and More Trivia!

LID Updates

It's been over a month since our last installment - you missed this little blog, didn't you?

Here is a sampling of the impressive learning, innovation and design work happening across the school. Hopefully, you find something that sparks your interest and imagination!

Overall: Remember LID Vision Day? If there was a session you really wanted to see, but you couldn't be in two places at once, OR it was being held at a different campus, check this link out. We had some awesome sharers who let themselves be recorded for YOUR benefit - please check it out! 

Also, we're still making progress in our Great SIS Adventure. That blog has also been updated recently - check it out!

Lower School: Kate Shanahan, 5th Grade English: Her class is reading Call of the Wild, and the students are creating a “Choose Your Own Adventure” project as they are reading the novel. They create alternate endings to different plot points in the text. Because student choice increases motivation and engagement, the students were given the options of writing their Choose Your Own Adventure stories in Google Slides, Google Forms, or Scratch, MIT’s online programming software. Kate Shanahan reports that the students are really enjoying this project and that she has been impressed with their creative stories.

Middle School: Read below what Melanie Ramsey (History) is doing  - what an immersive experience for her students and something anyone can do to adjust the design of their room to compliment the students' learning!

Ms. Ramsey reported: I change the classroom frequently throughout the year depending upon certain activities, lessons, environments of the area of study, or sometimes simply based on how I will be grouping students. 

This week's redesign was to accommodate Islamic centers on learning/introducing students to Arabic, calligraphy, geometric art, and chess. The centers correspond with our learning about the House of Wisdom in Baghdad during the Abbasid Caliphate's Golden Age. In one corner, I threw together a makeshift bedouin tent to enhance the mood. That turned out to be a huge hit with the students! I also have a few related "artifacts" around, and include an Arabic music soundtrack while students are working. 

Changing up the room is a regular part of my thinking through curriculum and lesson planning. It is like a shot of B-12 for both me and the students, as it helps inspire ideas for me to enhance lessons and learning, and students come in excited about the"new" environment and eager to find out what we'll be doing and learning with the new configuration. 

Upper School: 
  • Sometimes, free tools on the web disappear, and we have to find new ones.  This was the case with TubeChop, which Kate Schafer’s biology students have long used to trim clips from YouTube videos to include in their projects.  Diane is working with Kate and her students to find new ways to do this, including a feature built into YouTube itself.
  • Every year, juniors select their senior English electives by ranking the available courses in order of preference. Last year, Diane worked with Derek Kameda using Poll & Match, which announced that it was disappearing on January 15th.  Diane was able to find PollJunkie to replace it and is working with Troy Thiele and Evan Barth to help students select their electives for next year.


Other Resources

This week, I'm sharing just one website:



Congratulations to Ms. Chow, who won our last LID Trivia! And here is the growing popular trivia...first one to respond with all correct answers gets a hot beverage delivered!

  1. In what year was the first Rose Bowl televised IN COLOR?
  2. On January 17, 1984, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that doing WHAT is NOT an infringement of Copyright Law?
  3. (Not so much a trivia question, as much as a fun task) Go to this website and pick your favorite "holiday" and include that as your response to this item.