DB: Oh, you're welcome, I'm excited to be here.
HK: Yeah, so Dustin why don't you introduce yourself to our listeners and granted some of our listeners will be people from our beginning teacher course because we want them to hear our teacher author voices as we talk about engaging all learners in the 21st Century classroom. So I'm going to let Dustin introduce himself.
DB: My name is Dustin and I'm from Pennsylvania originally. I moved to North Carolina 6 years ago and been teaching 1st grade ever since. I will be teaching 3rd grade next year and am nervous, excited, hopefully will be successful. We'll see.
HK: For sure. Absolutely. I'm excited about that too because you'll be right next door to me this year.
DB: Yeah, so you're gonna see me a lot.
HK: Partners in crime (laughter). And collaborating. So let's talk a little bit about some of the collaboration and stuff we see ourselves doing because that's one of the big things we put into this course. We've collaborated on the course - number one.
DB: We have.
HK: And we've got a lot of the 4 C's built into the course as ways to engage learners. So why don't we talk a little bit about the 4 C's and 21st century learning, engaging all learners, what you see that like in your classroom.
DB: Well, in my ah
HK: or defining it.
DB: Defining it. So, I consider 21st Century learning to be - ah - a lot of people look at
it as a technology piece. I think. Where they just assume that technology and using technology in their room is what 21st Century learning is. And while that is correct, we have to be sure that it's a meaningful use and not just a substitution kind of thing. And I also think that sometimes, people forget that 21st Century learning also has a global component to it. Where, not everything is meant to evolve around just technology use. There's a lot more to it than just throwing some kids on a laptop and having them Google some things.
HK: Right. Absolutely. Earlier we were talking about how our school, we're fortunate that we're at a global themed school. But not all the schools in our district or across the nation are global themed. So, it's more at the forefront for us to think about - oh - we need to integrate some global connections. Each grade level has a specific continent they are focused on even. What was...
DB: 1st grade is the Oceana region. So, it was Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji, and that kind of, that area of the globe. So, it was amazing because not only was I - I got a chance to learn about stuff that I had no idea about and then I got to pass that knowledge and information along to my kids. 3rd grade is Africa, so again, I get to learn a whole new section of things and region of things and learn some things and it's amazing. I'm excited.
HK: Right. That's exciting. You were telling me earlier about some things you did with language. With some cue cards, with the letters of the alphabet and kind of promoting - and how you were engaging your kids in some conversation about other parts of the world.
DB: For the numbers, you know in K-2 classes you need to have these anchor charts up. A lot of basic ones. And one of them is numbers 1-20 and my numbers were both in English and in Māori. And so the kids were learning to count in English and in Māori, which worked really amazing for math because they do tens and ones place value and that's how they count in Māori. So instead of saying eleven, they say one ten and one one and one ten and two ones for twelve.
DB: And for the alphabet, instead of it just being a picture of a nest for the letter "N", it was a picture of Ned Kelly, who's like a famous outlaw there, and for "L", instead of a lion it was a Lamington, which is a dessert. And it really helped the kids because the kids questioned these things and instead of me just giving them an answer, they were able to research it for themselves. They were like, who's Ned Kelly? And I was like, you tell me who Ned Kelly is. You have the ability to find that out for yourself. So they were able to go to a computer and look it up.
HK: That's pretty cool. Also, um, we collaborated a little bit last year with the virtual reality Goggles. I'm just remembering that as we're sitting here talking.
DB: Oh yeah.
HK: We brought everybody into the classroom, you know a group at a time, and let them explore the different global regions and things using the virtual reality through Google Expeditions. That's another neat connection, that although not everything needs to be tech driven, we do want to infuse it and integrate it in a really meaningful way.
DB: Right, because we were studying sea turtles at that time. And so, we went on an underwater dive, to go and see some other underwater things and the sea turtle was in that Google Expedition which was really amazing.
HK: Yeah - the kids got really into it.
DB: The kids loved it! They really did.
HK: Did that prompt anything when you got back to the classroom? For them to continue engaging with that?
DB: It did. I think it did, because they had a lot of questions then and that's really the goal of education - isn't it? Is for them to ask questions and they were like, how do these specific animals interact with these other animals. And how does the turtle live, you know, alongside of a shark. How does the shark not eat the turtle? When we learned these different things. And so, it did have a lot of - you know, they're 1st graders - so their questions were all about the shark and eating things, but (laughter) - they did have some great questions. I remember that we went back and we had another week of talking about it because of that. Where I think, ultimately, we were about ready to shut down, but then they came up with a bunch more questions and we just continued to go. So it was very student driven which I think is another component of 21st Century learning. Isn't it?
HK: Absolutely! Yeah. So, in the upper grades, an example of some student driven instruction that I'm really excited about has been the Passion Projects and Genius Hour things. I work with gifted students at this point but I also work with some of the regular classrooms and anybody can really do this but you've gotta be, you have to be intentional about it - I've found out. I'm a 20 year veteran teacher and I'm still learning things. We were talking about that earlier. Like we're gonna keep learning every year because it's not gonna be perfect.
DB: Every year!
HK: Especially as we try new things and engage with our students in new ways. So, um, I thought, oh - my students could really do these Passion Projects. They probably know what they're really into. You know, gifted kids tend to be really passionate about things. Right? It's not always the stuff we're trying to teach but there's a lot of great skills that go into it. So whether it's the content that we need to teach them for our standards or whether there is a standard that can be taught using a content that they're interested in. Either way is ok, but I found out the hard way - um - my first go around. That they still - when you give them an opportunity to explore and learn - um - about things they're interested in on their own - they still need a little structure. They still need a little guidance because we're still talking about elementary students, that just are not super well versed in how to manage their time, work towards a long term project, and those kinds of things. And all of those things are great for them to be doing.
DB: Staying on task is hard.
HK: Yeah - right?
DB: It's hard for me and I'm not 9 years old.
HK: And then collaborating with each other too. It was neat though. The 2nd time around the collaboration was better. I only tweaked just a really small portion of what I wanted to give them for structure. And all it really was, was checking in a little more often. Just checking in a little more often. That was all it took. Um - the collaboration increased where friends were helping each other - saying - "Oh, I know how to do that. Oh, you're trying to learn how to do this?" So that was pretty cool and then to see the product at the end, was, they owned it and the learning and the growth that happened was just amazing. So, I know I could talk a whole other show just on Genius Hour and Passion Projects. But, we have a lot of other things that we want to talk about.
DB: I would be interested in hearing that, myself, because I know that coming up from a lower grade, that's going to be - I'll have more opportunities to do more things with children that they can be a little more independent on and I'm not going to have to stop every 30 seconds and tie a shoe or get a band-aid.
HK: Right, you know but I've even seen some people online. One of the ways, that I learn about things that I feel will engage my students is by exploring places like Twitterchats and
DB: Yeah - hitting up those hashtags. Right?
HK: Exactly. So, #edchat, #elemchat, #mathchat, #2ndgradechat, you know every grade level has a chat. And, um, it's a great way to grow our professional learning network as teachers. So, when I'm looking for something, a new idea, that's where I will go. But, I've seen some people as early as kindergarten doing Genius Hour with students. But again, it's really gonna be about what you feel works in your classroom, what you feel you can manage.
DB: What your kids can handle.
DB: Which is gonna change, every year.
DB: Because I feel like that goes back to what we were talking about - or what you mentioned about - something not being successful the first year. There are those instances where something is going to be astoundingly successful the first year and then the second year it's going to flop because you've got a whole different batch of children, with a whole different batch of needs.
HK: Absolutely. And not everything I see on Twitter, or Facebook, or Pinterest, for that matter, is going to be something I'm going to try in my room, with my students. Because ultimately, I still have to know - um - you really have to know your students to be able to engage students. Right? Wouldn't you say so?
DB: Absolutely. Yeah.
HK: Right, so - um - you told me a story earlier and I told you I was going to put you on the spot to share it with everybody listening in. We all have those dreaded observations and having our students engaged is one of those things that the administrator's are looking for when they check off the boxes. So, I want you to share your experience of the observation, I think you referred to it as - "the dog and pony show" - and we all know what that means.
DB: Yeah - the dog and pony show.
HK: But, tell everybody about that experience and what your take away from it was because I think we'll all benefit from it.
DB: I'm not a dog and pony kind of guy. I always pride myself on the fact that I am who I am, but this was my first year at a new school and um I knew that he had heard - my old principal and I did not see eye to eye my last year there - which was part of the reason why I was leaving. So I knew he had heard a few negative things. So I really wanted to - and this was my first observation at this new school - and I really wanted to make sure that I was giving him what he - what I thought he liked. Because I listened to ALL of my new friends at my new school and they were like - oh he likes these things, he doesn't like these things. Don't do that. Don't do these things in your room. So, I listened to all these people and while it wasn't a dog and pony show to make myself look better, it was more of a dog and pony show so that he would be more engaged. It was more geared towards him.
HK: So, it would be the stuff you would expect - you thought he expected to see.
DB: Right. And it wasn't geared - so I geared my lesson and my activities more to please him than to meet my students needs.
DB: And my students' interests.
HK: Look, I think we've all fallen into that trap at some point.
DB: It went down in flames! Um, and I noticed it halfway through or probably sooner than halfway through. And so, I did some recalibrating and thought about it and I brought them back to the carpet and we kind of came back together and talked a little bit more about what was the expectation of this lesson and what was the activity that was at hand. And I sent them back out there to try it again. And, again, it was going down, so I just shut it down and brought them back to the carpet and told them - "Hey, this was not a success and that's OK. And it's not your fault, it's my fault." I owned up to the fact that I sent them out there and had them doing things that they weren't quite ready for. Which, it's an activity that we were going to do it's and activity that I had planned to do. I just kind of rushed it along because I thought it would be - I thought that activity was something that he would want to see. So, I just told them that. I told them that "I sent you out there unprepared and I apologize. And moving forward from here, we're going to get prepared for this activity and we'll come back and we'll visit it again."
DB: And, several days later, we came back and revisited it and it was much more of a success. But I owned up to my mistake.
HK: And that's I think our big huge takeaway we want everybody to get from this.
HK: That, we need to be willing to admit those mistakes, willing to make those mistakes, um - and share it with our students and own it. Let them own it and let them - because that's how we can help them to feel like it's ok to make a mistake in this room.
DB: It's how you learn.
HK: And that we're going to learn from them and we're going to move forward from them. A mistake is not the end of the world. Failure is not the end of the world.
DB: No. It's the best lesson. You learn more from a mistake than you learn from a success. And it's important that we teach our students that. How you can grow from that. Accept it. Grow from it and where they can go to - give them the resources that they need and the knowledge that they need to go and find out how to fix it or where to fix it or what to do. That's critical thinking skills.
HK: Yeah - so that's really important too. That it's not just, oh well, that didn't work and we abandon it and we don't think about it and we don't try to improve it. So, our teaching, our student learning, all of that just needs to be a really iterative process where we're constantly trying to be better. None of us are all the way there. Ever! Because it's a constantly moving target. Our students are changing. The world is changing and um - nobody can do everything either.
DB: No one can do everything. No one's perfect and it's important that the kids realize that too. Especially those children who are gifted in the class, that believe themselves - that they're always getting things right and they're always doing the right thing and they're always... Gosh, I had a student one time who - perfect, perfect child. I loved this kid. He was super academically gifted and amazing and always well behaved. But then, he did one thing, one time. In the hallway, he talked in the hallway which is one of my biggest things. So, I gave him a red point on Class Dojo and he lost his mind. That was four years ago, and I saw his mom recently and she says that he still holds it against me. He got that one red - because to him he made a mistake. It was this mark, because he made a mistake. And I think it's important that kids know that it's ok to make a mistake. Because no one's perfect, you're gonna mess up sometimes.
DB: And you have to just go from there.
HK: So, let's talk about how you set routines then and organize and structure - what we each do in our respective classroom environments to keep it student centered, to engage our students, not let it become total chaos although it may be noisy and messy and to an outsider not always look entirely organized.
DB: Yeah - that's my room.
HK: (laughter) Yeah - me too so it's going to be interesting being next door to each other. (laughter) But, yeah - how do we go about - so that there is actually an underlying structure all the time. It may not, you know an outsider may not know what that is exactly but that our students understand it and we understand it and that we've - for me and I think for you too - we've sort of built that together. I work with my students to build those structures. What do they feel like is going to work in this given situation we have coming up. We're getting ready to split into 3 groups or whatever and everybody's going to be working on a similar objective, similar goal, similar end product in mind but you can go about it the way you choose to go about it in your group. What does that mean for them? Does that mean you can just have a free for all and everybody goes and just grabs all the materials and supplies out of the little Makerspace or the supply closet or whatever? Or is there some order to it? And how do you go about doing that. So, you know with older kids you can sit down. We have a conversation and all of those kinds of things and kind of come up with class norms. Real official like. And really let that be their voice. And things that don't come out from the kids, it's real easy for us to just sort of twist and say, as the teacher, "so, I think that you mean...thus and such. I see all of these things about sharing or respecting, so I think all of that together means that no one group is going to monopolize all of the materials. Is that what we mean by that?" And everybody agrees and we move forward so that we can take their voice and give a formal, agreed upon statement to it. With that buy-in. I think that's really important. So, I've had really great success with that in the upper grades. I long ago, gave up on having just a singular set of rules for the whole entire time that we are together because it shifts and changes with the type of learning that we're doing.
DB: Always. And the type of activity.
HK: But we do have our Panda 4. We are a PBIS school. For anyone listening that does not know, it's a Positive Behavior Intervention and Support system. I mean - we have that so we have some school-wide norms, in general, anyhow.
DB: And all the rules fall under [the Panda] 4 and really it's amazing because when I came over to New Century and I saw the Panda 4, I was like - Wow! Because all the rules that you could possibly come up with really do fit under these four essential rules.
DB: And it's amazing because I utilize these things. I had to make it a very - um - I had to think about it all the time in the beginning. All the time. It was always at the forefront. And I had to be very - uh - I can't think of the word I want
DB: intentional. Yes, that's the word. I had to be very intentional about making sure that I was implementing those 4 things and always referring back to it and now it's just very 2nd nature.
DB: To do that. But at the very beginning of the year, and I think this is really important in those K-2 grades, um especially K-1, at the very - those first couple of weeks of school, everything you do, for all routines, constantly come back to those school-wide rules or your classroom rules. And for us one of them is being a problem solver. And the other one is being respectful. Those are two of our Panda 4 things as you know. So I always come back to those two, no matter what we are doing. And I always bring it up. So before send kids out to do anything, I always say "and remember our Panda 4." One of those is being respectful. So make sure that you're thinking, not only are you thinking about yourself but you're thinking about your peers and me. Is the decision you're making respectful to yourself, to your friends, to the school materials, and to me as the teacher - and toward the expectations? And are you being a problem solver? Are you... Because I don't assign jobs. I let them do it, so when they go out into those groups to collaborate or to do whatever, I say "here's - someone's going to have to do this, someone's going to have to this, someone's going to have to get these things, someone's going to have to be the timekeeper, someone needs to be the - you know - the moderator, someone needs to do this. You know, but I'm not assigning those jobs. Those are up to you. You need to be a problem solver.
HK: And this was at 1st grade?
DB: This was at 1st grade. Yup.
HK: I mean, I know people are probably listening, thinking - this is not going to work with these little people.
DB: And it does! It takes time. It does. It takes time. It takes patience. It takes some perseverance because... Which was again, all lessons that you can put towards the end goal with your kids too. Like, they can learn these things too.
DB: And again, at the beginning of they year, it's a lot of you going over and checking in, and talking to them and going over it with them. It's a practice thing. And you're like - "OK you guys weren't super successful at that, this go around. Here's how you can fix this. Here's how we can all fix this.
DB: The next time. And then you just do it again and do it again and do it again. And I think anyone who teaches K-2 knows that pre-Christmas, it's all a lot of stress. A lot of wrinkles. A lot of gray hair grown. (laughter) And then that post-Christmas break, it's a drastic change and that's really amazing! It's amazing what a kid, what 1st graders are capable of doing that 2nd half of the year. And so, putting the education in their hands is attainable.
HK: Right. I know some people are listening and thinking, hey I thought this was all about engaging all learners - and it is!
DB: It is!
HK: Because without this, without structure, without the classroom management part of it; you cannot engage them because they will be wherever they will be.
DB: It's going to be chaos. It will be chaos.
HK: So that's a little bit of a disclaimer there. We felt that was really important. We needed to go into that because you just really gotta have a plan for how you're going to engage them and what they're going to do while they are hopefully engaging in a really excellent learning opportunity.
DB: and what they are capable of. Because let's face facts. You might have a group of kids one year, that just, you are gonna have to lay down specifics for that year. If for whatever reason you have a group of children that just can't get along or can't make the best decisions or can't do those things for themselves.
HK: Absolutely. So, let's talk about some of the specific activities. Let's go back a little bit and talk about some specific things we've done in our rooms that we feel like are prime examples of students being engaged. OK? So, I'm gonna go back and I want to revisit a STEM challenge that we've done in our room where everyone had the opportunity. This goes to some student choice and all of those things that can really allow kids to get engaged. Um - we chose - and they love STEM challenges. Just generally speaking, kids of all ages seem to love STEM challenges. And, um, I found one called the Pringles Challenge. Where you try to successfully build a container that will ship a single potato chip, a single Pringles chip, to some other classroom across the country. So again, we're interacting with other classrooms and things. I believe that the program is still an active program, um - we did not do it last year. It's been a couple of years, but everybody had the choice: I can build my own, I can build with a partner, I can do a small group. So you've got all this flexibility. We can use whatever kinds of recycled materials we want to, but we also knew that size wise, we were aiming for the most compact packing as possible. Although there were limitations on how small of a package the US Postal Service will actually ship. (laughter) So, but, there was a formula. We were trying to get it to be intact as much as possible and not break by the time it reached - and for us it was all the way to California. From North Carolina to California. And my kids did some practice rounds too, where they shipped to my parents in NY and my father would video record himself opening it and share with them exactly how the chip came out; which was kinda fun. Um - I know he got a kick out of it and I know the kids got a kick out of it
DB: Now this was standard USPS?
HK: Yeah. Just standard mail.
DB: You throw it in the mailbox.
HK: Yep and they had wrapped it. They had it in like a sponge around it and all kinds of things. And ultimately, then, we decided as a class which packing material we thought was the best and that's what we shipped across the country. But they were engaged in picking materials to bring from home. They were engaged with choosing what size things would work best or how to cut and how to change and how to pad around the chip without the padding breaking the chip. To try to form it, because Pringles have an interesting and unique shape to them too.
DB: They do.
HK: So, there was a lot of critical thinking going on, there was communication, collaboration - All the 4 C's and we had that authentic - I mean, if they go into business somewhere and they want to ship something...
HK: Then it can translate to an authentic real-world problem, there too. I mean, no one's probably going to ship 1 chip, but if you're shipping something fragile. Let's put it like that. You're shipping something fragile to somebody. A relative or something. Or a gift - right?
DB: And these days - in this new 21st Century world - everyone is doing all this online shopping and so if you go into that - say you go into that realm, it is going to be useful information because ...
HK: and they can open up the packaging from something that was shipped to their home and they can compare it and have discussions and conversations around it. So, that to me was a real - the students were just super engaged around it. Um - they were engaged - they had that authentic audience too, which is a hard thing! Even with the upper grades in elementary and I would think even in middle and high school. That, for me, remains my hardest piece. Is getting that authentic audience for my students. That when they do something they are getting feedback from outside our four walls. Because when you do that, that seriously engages them because they've got this person on the outside who is also invested in this for whatever reason and wants to know what they were thinking. And wants to know what they did. So, for me that is just a prime example of a really cool and low tech - I mean it didn't include any tech really.
DB: no, yeah
HK: So it doesn't have to be techy.
DB: It doesn't have to be techy.
HK: It can be. I've got plenty of techy - um - you know - examples of engaging the students too. But, honestly, that low tech/no tech was outstanding. So, how about you? What kinds of things have been super engaging in your room?
DB: Well, ah, one of the things that I did this year, heavily, was I got rid of a lot of morning work and I started doing morning bins. And, so this is kind of Maker spacey almost.
DB: And there were LEGOs. I had Brain Flakes. These - I think they're called Qubits and oh, there was another one that I had - off the top of my head, I can't think of it. But they - all building materials. And I would have on the Smartboard, just projected, like - create a dinosaur. Pick a material and create a dinosaur. And so at each of the 4 tables that were in my room was a material sitting on it and they had to sit at that table, like whatever table they sat at - because I [use] flexible seating, I don't have assigned seats...
DB: in my class. So they just come in and wherever they sat, they sat. And so, for morning they just came in and wherever they sat, they had to build a dinosaur. It didn't have to look like anything particular. It just had to, in whatever material they were using... And it was amazing because I thought that most of the kids would sit at the LEGO table and but they didn't. A lot of them sat at the Brain Flakes, which I would have not chose that because to me, I felt that would have been much more complicated to make a dinosaur than out of the LEGOs. And the Qubits thing I also thought was - I think they're called Qubits - but they're also much more complicated because they're in a - like a trapezoid shape.
DB: And they interlock together. So if you don't know what those are, they're actually really awesome for geometry.
HK: We'll drop some links in the transcript of all the different kinds of things that we talk about.
DB: That we use in our classroom. Yeah. These are great for math and geometry, but one of the kids sat down and he was the only one to sit down at that - and his dinosaur was AMAZING! It was - he made it so it was kind of a hat/helmet that went over him. And then he made little raptor claws that he had and so instead of actually making a dinosaur, to sit on the table...
HK: He became the dinosaur.
DB: He made a costume out of it.
HK: Amazing! He was engaged!
DB: He was engaged. And he is NOT a kid that is easily engaged. (laughter) So, he was engaged and he loved it and all the kids chose him as the winner for it. Yeah - because he didn't do something typical.
HK: That's fantastic.
DB: Amazing. 1st graders can be amazing.
HK: They can. Alright, we're gonna wrap it up here. Is there anything as we start to wrap up that we didn't hit on, that you really want to make sure everybody took away from this?
DB: I don't know. There's just so much really. Isn't there?
HK: There is.
DB: When it comes to 21st Century. Like the use of Memes and Youtube. Twitter.
DB: The mail. Even the mail. This nontypical...
HK: I know. Right? It doesn't seem 21st Century but it does work.
DB: Well, I think that's what 21st Century is though, isn't it? It's not necessarily using technology - it's just - new education. It's education where children aren't just sitting at that - and I mean we've all seen that/those ads or those videos and those Memes and posts on Facebook - where this - children aren't what they were 50 years ago. And then they show you that picture of kids just sitting. And then, so why are we doing that?
DB: And I think that's what 21st Century education is. Is making sure that all the students are engaged and they're not just sitting there in rows with their hands raised.
HK: Right. Which means acknowledging the fact that we are in a global
DB: a global
HK: a global
DB: a global world these days.
HK: Our schools are global. Plain and simple.
DB: And we do have access to technology and you can use that. Like one of the things I do for center work is to cut down on paper usage. Because - 21st Century - we need to - let's eliminate some waste.
HK: Well, sure.
HK: We can.
DB: I have printed out, each of my students has a number, you know, that's what they all do. They're assigned a number and they go over and they do a center that I've been using for the last 5 years. They do it. It's all laminated, precut. They just do the activity. They lay their number card down beside it and they take a picture of it. That gets turned in that way, which is preparing them for submission. How much do we submit online?
HK: Sure. RIght.
DB: So, it's kinda the same aspect for them now. Preparing them for that college experience of submitting things online. There's so much to do. So many different ways.
HK: Yeah. So I'm looking forward to, speaking of things to do, I'm going to test the waters along with all of the beginning teachers who are just learning the ropes and hopefully lots of other veteran teachers who never stop learning. We're going to branch out and try some of the TED Ed clubs.
DB: Very nice.
HK: This year and see how that goes. But I'm also really excited because last year, I got connected with a teacher in Texas. And we did a Mystery Skype with my students and hers. And then we, actually, she and I met face to face this summer. We both were at an event together in Nashville and got to spend time together. And we ended up spending a significant amount of time planning out, in detail, how our two classes are going to collaborate this year and I am so excited for that to get started!
DB: Oh that's awesome!
HK: We're going to collaborate on the global read aloud. We're going to do Twitter Math Task Challenges together, the #GMTTC, and we're going to do some writing back and forth. I'm a little frustrated. So, you know, nothing's perfect - right?
DB: No, nothing's perfect.
HK: We really wanted to share a Google Classroom together and I don't think we can because I think we're outside of each other's domains and I don't think it will let us.
HK: But, we're going to figure something out about that because we wanted the students to, you know, be able to write back and forth to each other. I just thought that Google Classroom would be a great place to do that so we're going to have to figure that out yet, but I'm super excited for what's coming up because I really think that - again, that the more we connect our kids because that's another thing, we're connected in the 21st Century - right? We're all connected - all the time. Like all the time.
DB: All the time! With all the stuff we do.
HK: And so, you know, we can either see it as a problem. Or we can see it as something that is available just in time, when we need it, right when we need it, to help us do exactly what we're trying to do. So, um, that's kinda how I'm looking at it anyhow.
DB: And I think the key - and I think with Google Classroom, that's my - for me, that's my thing this upcoming school year. I tried to implement it last year and it failed. It flopped a little bit, but only because I didn't keep up with it the way I wanted to and I didn't implement it correctly. But next year, I plan on doing it much better. And one of the things that you can do with Google Classroom, and making sure that you are engaging all those learners is, you can give more options and list more things. Like on an ELA [assignment] and I realized that it was a little more complicated for 1st grade. It was easy for them to go in and click on Prodigy game for example and click on that and automatically log in. But, to really set up the folders on the sides and things.
HK: and follow that to be able to differentiate, like, this is your group and go to that
HK: Yeah and to use the tags
DB: Yeah. That was a little harder at times, but fortunately for games like Prodigy - it did it's own differentiation, so it engaged them and put them at their level. And the kids loved that but I can easily go over and put a math folder and put different things and then for them - they can choose their own. Which I think is also 21st Century education. Allowing students choices.
HK: choice - and we've heard that today. Several times. We've both mentioned it. We've mentioned it in seating. We've mentioned it in group jobs. We've mentioned it
DB: Choices. Because then they can take ownership of their education and when something doesn't go the way they wanted it to and the way we wanted it to, we can go back to that and say: "What choices did I make? What choices did you make?"
DB: And how can we make better choices next time.
DB: To get what we wanted in the end.
HK: Yeah. I think we could keep talking for a really long time.
DB: Yeah, forever. I'm a talker.
HK: No - we both are and we have - um - you know combined - quite a bit of experience with it and across the gamut from K-5. So, um if people want to ask us anything, you can certainly drop it in the comments of this podcast. Afterward, there will be a spot for you to do that. And like I said, we're gonna go ahead and link into the transcript, all of the different tools that we dropped names of and all the different hashtags and things that we tend to go to. Our biggest "go-to's". We hope that this podcast has been helpful to you. So, good luck this year in 2018-2019 everybody.
DB: Absolutely. You can do it!
HK: Have a great year everyone!