50 Things I Have Learned in the Last Few Years

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50 Things I Have Learned in the Last Few Years
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Well, this is my first post of 2014. I want to start with a list of what I have learned in the last few years.

  1. Posting resources to my website every morning has given students a glimpse into the day.
  2. Allowing students to find valuable videos online will make them watch more closely.
  3. Allowing students to find valuable videos online empowers them in their own learning.
  4. A loud classroom is more of a collaborative community than quiet rows.
  5. Bean bags chairs rock.
  6. It’s not about the app, it’s about the process.
  7. The lesson should determine the app and not vice versa.
  8. Risk taking is incredibly important.
  9. Bandwidth is incredibly important.
  10. Students want to be creative.
  11. Teachers can tie student choice to the curriculum easily.
  12. There are a gazillion apps that all do the same thing.
  13. Web based services are always up to date, unlike iOS apps.
  14. iOS 7 has been problematic for our iPad 2s.
  15. “Genius hour” is a term for student choice but students need the label.
  16. When I email students marks and feedback, they often forward it to parents.
  17. Intermediate students as leaders in your school builds a phenomenal school community.
  18. Reaching out to parents via (fill in app / service name here) is better than cat and mouse on the phone.
  19. Modelling leadership in school reflects on teachers as well as students.
  20. Buzzwords in education are meaningless and trendy.
  21. Watching students troubleshoot technology on their own pretty cool.
  22. Letting students troubleshoot my own technology problems is even cooler.
  23. Music in class goes a long way.
  24. Playing floor hockey at recess keeps me thinner.
  25. Playing floor hockey at recess builds rapport.
  26. Reward systems work, especially if students pick the reward.
  27. Policies and procedures don’t always put student learning first.
  28. Doing your own thing without asking is usually better, especially in students’ best interests.
  29. Having a positive rapport with students leads to better classroom management.
  30. An open minded administrator empowers staff in incredibly positive ways.
  31. Spelling tests are useless.
  32. Multiple choice and true or false questions need to be more open ended and less facts driven.
  33. Students must be able to support opinions with factual evidence and experiences.
  34. We must bring the world to the classroom using technology.
  35. “Playing” on iPad apps (depending on the app) is more valuable than note taking.
  36. Inquiry inquiry inquiry – see #3 and #35.
  37. Student privacy is important – read the TOS (dropbox for example)
  38. Don’t take offense when students think they don’t do a lot of ‘work’ in your class. They see it as fun and not work.
  39. Stop preparing kids for high school / college / uni – teach them the skill set to be resilient and adaptable to different environments.
  40. Every teacher needs a PLN outside their school – twitter twitter twitter
  41. Teacher’s should have a choice in their PD, especially on PA days.
  42. Technology is a tool, we don’t bring students to the Pencil Lab for 40 minutes weekly.
  43. “DEAR” time is not just about reading.
  44. Always admit mistakes, even in front of students.
  45. One Direction is the best band in the world (???)
  46. I sarcastically say #45 out loud often just to rile up students.
  47. I have been “flipping my classroom” for years.
  48. Less us, more them.
  49. Rote learning is still important in certain areas like BEDMAS.
  50. If Siri can answer your questions, you may wish to rethink them.

Happy New Year, folks!

2014

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