Marking makes me happy! *said not enough teachers ever*

 

This familiar feeling . . . .

 

  

 

All too often we complain about marking, I do it!  Especially in junior years or at times of reporting when BULK work is collected and turned around at a stupid rate.

But really, when I actually sit down and open a student’s book, or read a final reflection, or see photos of a finished project my heart gets happy! 

As we come into our final term, that point where exams are being sat, student numbers used incorrectly, books collected, work samples scanned, projects finished, reports are being written – instead of sharing those memes, let’s share an item that makes our hearts happy!

 

Some photos from Year 8 Technology – Plant Production:

 

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Cultures of Thinking – Project Zero – Sydney

– I am so excited to share some of my notes with you from Saturday’s conference, it was a free PROJECT ZERO event at Shore School that I attended, it was much bigger than expected, with 550 registrations, a highlight of the day for me was seeing old friends and having time to have rich conversations with colleagues . . . . I will sum it up briefly by sharing some parts that were a standout for me. . . .
  
Ron Ritchhart was the keynote, his engaging talk covered some core Project Zero research projects . . . .
– The 8 cultural forces are:
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This video unpacks them nicely: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faXX-hETf68
 
An exercise he did with the audience was ask: “What are three things you did at the start of the school year to establish a culture of thinking amongst your students and in your classroom” it is a great reflective exercise and maybe one that you could do! – a follow up question was “what was one think you did to build that culture that you hadn’t done in the past”  — this is asked to acknowledge risks you take in the classroom to build better practice and deeper thinking. 
He then introduced the understanding map, this was really unpacked in great detail, so if you like the graphic below there is more information here: http://www.pz.harvard.edu/resources/understanding-map
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During his talk and my short workshops we were introduced to a simple questioning technique that makes students think deeper and use evidence: “what makes you say that” – maybe you could try using this questioning technique in your classes?
More reading on “What makes you say that” here —-> http://www.visiblethinkingpz.org/VisibleThinking_html_files/03_ThinkingRoutines/03d_UnderstandingRoutines/WhatMakes/WhatMakes_Routine.html
In my short workshops we were shown a thinking routine called “See – Think – Wonder” – this is used to encourage enquiry thinking, prompt students to seek their own research and to really build deep discussions about art, sources, artefacts and texts.
More info on the  “See – Think – Wonder” here —->  http://www.visiblethinkingpz.org/VisibleThinking_html_files/03_ThinkingRoutines/03c_Core_routines/SeeThinkWonder/SeeThinkWonder_Routine.html
The tweets the appeared on the #pzsydney hashtag really value added to the day! – Thank you to Andrea who created this awesome Storify:  https://storify.com/stringer_andrea/project-zero-sydney-pzsyd-25-feb-17#publicize
Thank you to the Project Zero team for hosting!

Edmodo-Con V3.0

 

Flashback to 28th July, 2011 – a copy of my very first blog post. . . .

 

hmmmm, so, what am

I thinking???

Well, I do have my own private blog for journaling, but since being whisked away on this amazing EdmodoCon journey I feel like the only teacher that isn’t expressing their thoughts, pedagogical practices and lesson plans via a blog!
I did sign up for for a twitter account about an hour ago, but THEN the first suggested person I followed was Justin Timberlake???? it really just irked me out! hahahaha!
So I’m having a go at journalling my journey. As both a teacher and a student.
*insert twitter name here later
On the 20th July, 2011 – Betsy Whalen from Edmodo emailed me to let me know that I had been successful in my application to be a part of the FIRST EDMODO-CON, at this point in time I had been using Edmodo since late 2008 – the news sent me into a complete fan-girl state. There were a few requirements, like start a blog, get a Twitter account, install Cisco WebEx and there are three other Aussies that I was to present alongside. 
Betsy connected me with Henrietta Miller, primary teacher local to the Northern Beaches, Bianca Hewes, Secondary English teacher who lived around the corner from my place on the Northern Beaches and Jess Melkman, Secondary art teacher ALSO local to the Northern Beaches?  We met up at the local McDonalds to plan our Edmodo-Con presentation and laughed at the fact that Edmodo had selected four women who were alike in passion, ideas and lived in the SAME AREA?
Look at these four Edu-dorks . . .
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The FIRST Edmodo-Con was a whirlwind – we presented at about 4am Australian time from our respective workplaces, homes (I was in my PJ’s eating vegemite toast and drinking tea). Bianca Hewes Mc’d the hour session – it was surreal. There were 11,000 people listening to us online, and they loved Edmodo as much as we did.
*** For flashblack – here is the Edmodo Blog update for the FIRST Edmodo-Con: https://blog.edmodo.com/2011/07/25/edmodocon-2011-presentation-schedule/ 
*** AND – I dug up my powerpoint presentation! edmodo_dalli2011
POST EDMODO-CON 2011 – I fell in love with the online collaboration of Twitter and began networking with teachers outside of my school, diocese and subject area. The possibilities for my PD were now limitless.
In 2013 I was lucky enough to present at ISTE in San-Antonio, during this time I did a short workshop at the Edmodo booth with Jess and Bianca. I got to meet Lucia Giacomantonio in person and thank the Edmodo team IRL for powering technologies in my classroom. The second photo below is really pretty special to me as it has Bianca’s husband Lee, her boys and Andy McKeil – a Canadian edu-geek I met and connected with via twitter.
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At the same time as this Edu-Adventure, Jess and her husband Mark got married. Bianca, Lee and their boys and I got to attend. . . special Edu-family.
Who have thought that 3  years later, I would have the opportunity to present at Edmodo-Con for the SECOND TIME, THIS TIME LIVE IN SAN FRAN??!!
Jess and I talk shop alllllllll the time, tech tools, project ideas, Edmodo uses. . . all this teacher banter eventually turned into an application for Edmodo-Con 2014. . .
We had 7 days off work – with 2.5 days of travel there/back we were in San Fran for 5 days? – It was a jam packed schedule. Highlights were visiting the Edmodo office and shaking the hands of those that respond to our help queries and honour our development ideas!
*** Our presentation was about how our Edmodo use had evolved and like an onion it had many layers!
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This year, I am not presenting formally – I am not travelling abroad, I am a “Chat facilitator” – I will be working the backchannel in between speakers and connecting like minded educators together over their common love, Edmodo.

In thinking of my up-coming role in Edmodo-Con 2016, I have been really sentimental for the opportunity and the spring board that the Edmodo team gave me back in 2011.
Today, I bought a book that Bianca and Lee wrote together and spent the day playing with Jess’ daughter Lottie who is ONE on Friday. The opportunities, learning journey and friends that emerged from my 2011 experience is what I hope to give back to others.
Oh Edmodo, since 2008 you have been making my classroom a connected online learning space, you started my first blog post, my Twitter account, connected me with edu-nerdy friends . . . . you will always have a place in my heart.
If you haven’t registered for Edmodo-Con 2016, you really should!