Saturday, February 4, 2017

Thoughts From Common Sense Education's Teacher Institute

Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend and speak at Common Sense Education's Teacher Institute.  The topics this year was Assessment Beyond the Gradebook.  I enjoyed the small conference size (about 100 people) with attendees arranged at tables of 8 and 10 minute breaks in between sessions for conversation.

Here are some brief thoughts on the presentations.

Kari Croft and Erin Whalen from RISE High
  • It must be amazing to have the opportunity to build a school from the ground up and reimagine everything
  • This talk made me think about topics I never imagined would be a problem in school, such as low attendance due to life circumstances
  • Wouldn't it be cool if we could all start teaching from a student's current level of understanding, rather than teaching specific content because of a student's age/grade

Kelly Mendoza from Common Sense Education
  • lateral reading (students read a news article and compare what the read to other sources on that topics)
  •  there has been a significant spike in "fake" news and most students students can't detect the difference between an ad and news
  • media literacy lessons coming in March from Common Sense Education

Adam Bellow and James Sanders from BreakoutEDU
  • learning and fun are not antonyms
  • you can be wrong a lot
  • respect failure
Jeff Knutson and tanner Higgin from Common Sense Education
  • formative assessment should be a green light not a red light
  • formative assessment should be a check for understanding, allow teachers to adapt instruction, and spark metacognition
  • check out their teaching strategies at 
 Ariel Raz from the Stanford d.School
  • use the design thinking model to get students thinking
  • to be empathetic you really have to listen
  • Shadow a Student Challenge can really change your impressions on life as a student (my husband, a high school math teacher, did it last year and he learned a lot)