Author Archives: Deb Porcarelli
How do you collaborate in a group setting when all members of a group are super busy, live in different time zones, and can’t find a common meeting time? I’m sure you have found yourself in the same scenario, and I was in this very predicament earlier this week. I had sent group texts asking when getting together would work for everyone in the group before an upcoming deadline. No luck… but one of my colleagues suggested creating a Flipgrid to accomplish our task.
Flipgrid is a platform used to share ideas and learn together. It’s a place where you can amplify and feel amplified. It’s short videos participants create and use. It may be the leading video discussion platform used by millions of PreK to PhD educators, students, and families everywhere. Who knew? Now I do!! Head to the Flipgrid website which allows anyone to create “grids” that are comprised of short discussion-style questions which invited participants respond to through recorded videos. Each grid is effectively a message board where a question is posed, and people post 90-second video responses that appear in a tiled “grid” display. Flipgrid is user friendly and an easy way to collaborate.
This week Flipgrid was the platform I used to collaborate with my Learning Forward Academy class of 2019 teammates. We are in the throes of an extended and profound learning experience that has us immersed in a model of inquiry- and problem-based learning. We are working collaboratively to gain knowledge to solve significant student learning problems within our schools, districts, or organizations. Each individual’s work is around an identified “Problem of Practice” and our we are focused on finding a solution for it during the academy experience. I’m working to strengthen professional learning partnerships and experiences that schools and districts have with AIMS Professional Learning. Specifically, I want to make sure that the model of learning we use to facilitate professional learning is content focused, collaborative, job embedded, uses models or modeling, provides coaching and support, offers feedback and reflection, and lasts for sustained periods of time.
As the saying goes, “teamwork makes for dream work,” and this week was no different. It was exciting for me to be introduced to Flipgrid and to have the opportunity to learn how to use it to collaborate with my team using current technology. Thinking within and around the box, I’m always looking for available solutions. What innovative solutions have you been introduced to lately?
I like NGSS, the content standards that lay out the expectations for what students need to accomplish in K-12 science. Becoming more familiar with them and learning how they fit best around curricula is a process. I am embarking on a journey that will definitely allow me to become very familiar with them and that… Continue Reading
I recently submitted answers to questions for a quarterly magazine published by my high school alma mater. You may remember that I attended a non-traditional athletic academy in Vermont because of my alpine ski racing talents. The magazine editor was looking for input from alumni who work in the areas of science, technology, engineering and… Continue Reading
I describe the elementary school classrooms of today with terms such as collaborative, talkative, active, thinking, and problem solving. Close your eyes and envision such a classroom. Do you see students moving around? Do you hear the students talking? Do you see collaborative work being done and problems being solved? These images make me smile… Continue Reading
Two things I definitely am: a sports fanatic and a lifelong learner. Because of those two things, I have followed John Urschel’s story over the past few years. He is currently a doctoral candidate in applied mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and formerly was an offensive lineman, first at Penn State, then in… Continue Reading
More than 30 engaged, collaborative-minded elementary school principals made for a lot of fun last Thursday in Indianapolis. I was there to help them do some thinking about how their teachers might incorporate more hands-on mathematics into their classrooms with the end goal of increasing math achievement scores in their district. At AIMS, we believe… Continue Reading
Don’t forget to remain a student while you teach others. To me, that is what being a teaching/learning professional is all about. I also think it is about the support that comes with the permission to change as an educator. And it’s about learning in a way that makes sense, so a person can make… Continue Reading
Increasing student achievement: three words many schools incorporate into their mission, vision, and goal statements. Schools are making commitments to strengthen every student’s conceptual, representational, and abstract understanding of what they study. To ensure we are meeting the demands of 21st century learning and increasing student achievement, we must ensure teachers have a deep understanding… Continue Reading
How do students come to know that persevering in mathematics has merit? I believe it is with the help of a great teacher. Teachers can listen to students and help them to understand that their mathematical thinking is powerful. Teachers facilitate the learning of students, justifying their mathematics in appropriate ways and gear lessons to… Continue Reading
Having discussions with students is how most teaching is done. Classroom discourse in a mathematics classroom, for example, means having whole-class discussions around mathematics in such a way that students get to express their conceptual math understanding through reasoning, debate, and an exchange of ideas. Leading and engaging students in this form of instructional arrangement… Continue Reading