Saturday, January 18, 2020

Leading in the new decade {Podcast episode}

I'm thrilled to re-introduce you to Rising Tide Radio, the podcast created and hosted by me and my friend, Allyson Apsey

We kicked off our podcast a year ago, and it started out with monthly epsiodes. But when school started in August of 2019, we got caught up in the busyness of school and didn't connect to continue the podcast. 

As the calendar year closed out and we kicked off a new decade, Allyson and I renewed our commitment to Rising Tide Radio, and we'll publish a new episode every other week in the year ahead. 

The first episode of 2020 is titled, Leading in the New Decade, and we discuss 4 main ideas (Listen in to hear our thoughts about the ideas listed below)

  • The importance of leading ME in the new decade
  • Leading and learning from new leaders
  • The importance of continual learning - (new generations, new social media, new trends, new research, about what motivates teachers since too many are leaving the profession) - it's a journey, not a destination!
  • Using different modes of communication; the importance of keeping relationships at the forefront of communication as we continue to move into using text more frequently than voice

In every episode, we share resources to further your learning, and we always close with a challenge. If you hear something you like, we'd love for you to share it on social media using the hashtag #RisingTideRadio

Sunday, January 12, 2020

How to make a visual bucket list and why you need one

Have you ever created a "visual bucket list?" I'm about to create mine, and I thought I'd share my process with you in this post.

As I began to write a post about what's on my bucket list, I realized one important thing as I sat down and tried to write mine. 

I needed to not only write about my bucket list, but I needed to get it out of my head and into a visual place where I could see it every day. 

Oh, I have a lot of things on my bucket list (and it doesn't include bungee jumping or skydiving!), but I know that I need reminders and "visual cues" so that I can turn my dreams into realities. 

I know that I'm not alone in needing the visual nudging.

In 1996, researchers at Michigan State University identified over 200 emergency room patients with lacerations who were given instructions on how to care for their wounds at home before being discharged. Half of the patients received text-only instructions. The rest received the same text accompanied with images, specifically cartoons that illustrated the written instructions.

Three days later, the research team followed up with the patients  to see which individuals were more successful in following their home-care plan. Almost half (46%) of the people who received the images along with the instructions were able to answer each of the wound-care questions correctly, but only 6% of the text-only group were able to answer successfully.

Even more intriguing (as it relates to achieving goals) individuals in the visually-enhanced group were 43% better in terms of their adherence to the instructions than the text-only crowd. Wowser! I better get to creating my visual bucket list!

As I started to research ideas for HOW to create a visual bucket list and look for inspiration, I found a few to share with you. 

For the family Summer Bucket List above, it was as simple as talking to kids to create the list, finding photos on the Internet, pasting them into a document, then cutting them apart and posting on a bulletin board.

For the visual bucket list above, it a simple can that has been decorated with the bucket list items written on wooden clothespins. When you complete something, you drop it in the bucket. 

I have friends who are huge fans of Disney. I think this is a cute idea to write the items in an identifiable shape and highlight each one after you do it. This works when you have a main theme that ties all of your ideas together (Think plane for travel bucket lists, beach umbrella for a summer beach trip, or a house if it relates to the home.)

I love the visual bucket list in the photos above. When an item on the bucket list has been completed, the butterfly goes into the jar on the table below the awesome display of butterflies. 

The picture above is from an activity that a teacher did with her students. They brainstormed their lists, she used a template for the students to create their own buckets, and she created a bulletin board to display. You can read the entire post HERE.)

Teachers, what if you created this with your students at the start of school for the year together, or what if you created a summer bucket list in May with your students?

School leaders, what if you did this with your staff?

District leaders, what if you did this with your principals?

After I shared My 3 Words for 2020, I got some DMs from friendly folks who shared stories about the envelope system, helpful budgeting apps, and more. One of the apps that was shared with me is Hip2Save. I haven't downloaded it yet, but I thought it was fun to find this FREE printable from Hip2Save

What's on my bucket list?
  • Visit all 50 states
  • Write a book
  • Take a pottery class
  • Learn sign language
  • See the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)
  • Run a marathon
  • Sing karaoke (in public)
  • Live debt-free

What's on yours?

Delp, C. and Jones, J. (1996), Communicating Information to Patients: The Use of Cartoon Illustrations to Improve Comprehension of Instructions. Academic Emergency Medicine, 3: 264-270. doi:10.1111/j.1553-2712.1996.tb03431.x

Sunday, January 5, 2020

How to plan for a year of blog posts {Free Printable included}

Blog-planner by @Jennifer_Hogan

I am so excited to share today's blog post and FREE resource with you! 2019 was a slower year for me with blogging, and part of it had to do with one of my 3 words for 2019. I made deliberate choices to say yes - and to say no - in 2019 so that I could honor my needs (which I had neglected too often) during the year. 

Now that we're into 2020, I created a 12-month blog planner that can be used any year! It's a perpetual calendar that can be printed and used at any time. 

The blog planner is based off of a popular post I wrote titled, 50 blog post ideas for educators

Each month, there are 3 topics for you to choose from. Choose 1 or choose all of them. Totally up to you and what you have time and desire to accomplish. 

A goal without a plan is just a wish.

It's free without any sign up, no strings attached.  Just click HERE or the image below to download your copy of the 12-month calendar I created for you!

Blog-planner by @Jennifer_Hogan

Know someone who has been struggling with being consistent with blogging? Be sure to share this post with them and encourage them to download and follow the calendar so that they can have their best year yet!

I would love to hear from you on how it's going each month! Just share using the hashtag #CompelledED. 

Are you in?

Pin now, share later >>

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Using data to drive instruction

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting

For all the Fixer Upper fans reading this post, you are going to totally relate to it. 

If you don't know who Chip and Joanna Gaines are, or that Chip LOVES demo day, you will have a greater understanding after reading this post. :-)

If you've been following my blog for a while, you know that I enjoy analyzing data and using it to find strengths and weaknesses and get better at what ever it is we need to improve. 

I wrote a collaborative blog post with Bob Starkey, the Assistant Coach for the Texas A&M women's basketball team, titled Why Data is Not the Villain

I also wrote a blog post describing a data meeting we held at our school, which was an encouraging and empowering meeting for our teachers who were not used to reviewing standardized assessment data. 

Data can and should be used to help identify areas where there are weaknesses. It passes no judgment, it only notifies and highlights those areas where we are not strong. It shows us not "what was taught," but "what was learned."

For example, If I follow an eating plan and hope that I lose weight and inches, I will use data from a scale or measuring tape to inform me of how well the diet plan is working. I will know if I followed it closely or not, and keeping a food journal will help me to have even more data to use for determining if there are improvements that might need to be made. 

Data is not about adding more to your plate. Data is about making sure you have the right things on your plate.  

I recently attended a workshop for the International Baccalaureate program, where I met some really thoughtful and incredible educators. One of them was Kurt Nuss

Kurt, sharing another awesome insight

Kurt is the kind of guy who is full of analogies, a great listener, and a sharer of awesome ideas. I took so many notes when he spoke that my hand started to cramp, and I realized that he is someone that I want to stay connected with long after the workshop.

I asked him if I could share his data day analogy on my blog, and he said yes! I'm a fan of the HGTV home decorating and DIY show, Fixer Upper, and I love watching the husband and wife who star in the show, Chip and Joanna Gaines. 

Chip and Joanna work with clients to remodel and renovate the "worst house on the block" in Waco, Texas. Chip acts as the lead contractor and Joanna is the designer. What you'll see in every episode is just how excited Chip gets about Demo Day. It's the day that they go in and start ripping down walls, cabinets, fixtures, and more. 

At the IB workshop, we started talking about data, and Kurt told us about how at his school, he teaches his faculty that Data Day is like Demo Day. How so? On Fixer Upper's Demo Day, that's when Chip learns about the structure of the house, if there are any hidden secrets that Chip needs to fix, and what exactly they need to build the house back so that it's better than before. Kurt makes the point that Chip sees all the ugliness and areas that need improvement so that he can put together a plan to build it into a fantastic home. 

I thought the analogy was awesome. Sometimes we DO get data that we don't like or that we wish were different. But without having it and knowing what needs to be improved, we can't get to where we need to be. 

Chip loves Demo Day! He loves it not because it makes the house look ugly or so that he can find a ton of problems. He likes Demo Day because he can find the weaknesses, and he's able to turn them into strengths. 

Just like Chip, we can approach Data Day like he approaches Demo Day. We can look forward to finding the ugly, we can create a plan and work collaboratively to build a masterpiece.

In Driven by Data: A Practical Guide to Improve Instruction, by Paul Bambrick-Santoyo, he gives us some questions to help us dig deep into data results: 

Larger Picture Questions
* How well did the class do as a whole? 
* What are the strengths and weaknesses in different standards? 
* How did the class do on old versus new standards taught? 
* How were the results in the different question types (multiple choice vs. open-ended, reading vs. writing)? 
* Who are the strong and weak students?
“Dig in” Questions
* Bombed questions – did students all choose the same wrong answer? Why or why not? 
* Break down each standard – did students do similarly on each question within the standard? Why? 
* Sort data by students’ scores – are there questions that separate proficient and non-proficient students? 
* Look horizontally by student – are there any anomalies occurring with certain students?

When teachers examine and analyze data, there must be an action plan to follow that is based on the results. 

Below are some strategies from Driven by Data that will help ensure that the action plan will be implemented in classroom instruction.
* Re-write and tighten objectives: Teachers should use assessment results to focus the objectives of future lessons on the areas students need improvement. The more specific the objective, the better. 
* Do Nows / Bell-ringers: During the quick 5- to 10-minute assignment to start the class is a perfect time to review those standards outlined in the action plan that require more attention. Teachers can include questions students struggled with in the last assessment. 
* Differentiation: When the action plan calls for targeting certain groups in the class with specific needs, differentiation can be a good strategy to work with those groups while others work independently. 
* Ongoing assessment: Constantly checking for understanding (for example, having all students write an answer on a white board and hold it up to show if they understand) is an effective way for teachers to see if the action plan is achieving results. 
* Peer-to-peer support: A student who has mastered a standard can help another student, identified from the assessment results, as needing help.  
* Homework: Re-design homework to target those areas that students need to review according to the action plan. 
* Outside of the classroom: Have students who struggled on the assessment come to a breakfast club or guided study hall for extra practice or provide afterschool tutors with assessment results so they can help students with their specific weaknesses.

So, let's get excited about breaking down data and reviewing our strengths and weaknesses. Then let's make a plan for getting better (and follow through). Just like #DemoDay!