Wednesday, September 20, 2017

MRVED Update

MRVED MELT 2018 Call for Presentation Proposals

The MRVED Educators Learning Together (MELT) conference will be held at Lac qui Parle Valley High School on January 15, 2018. To help make this conference the best ever, we need your help. The MRVED is looking for enthusiastic people willing to present on something great happening in your classroom. This can be anything from Google Drive to differentiation techniques in your classroom. Technology or no technology proposals are welcome. Presenters will be paid a small stipend for your work. You may submit as many presentation proposals as you wish.

We are especially looking for any Pre-K teachers willing to present!

**By filling out this form you are not committing to presenting, just providing the MRVED with your name and topic.**
2018 Call for Presentation Proposals Link

October 18 Common Day

Be looking for information on the October 18 Common Day held at Yellow Medicine East in the very near future.  Here is a brief synopsis of the day.

Training for PLC Leaders at the Kilowatt Community Center in Granite Falls.  This training will be from 8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. and will be facilitate by Jack Baldermann, consultant with Solution Tree.

For people who are not PLC Leaders, Kayla Delzer will be a keynote speaker at Yellow Medicine East High School.  Kayla will be speaking to half the teachers in a 90 minute session, while the other half of the teachers are attending breakout sessions.  After 90 minutes the groups will flip-flop.  The afternoon will be spent in district teams, facilitated by your districts.

Be looking for more specific information in your email in the coming weeks.

Innovator's Mindset Series - Chapter 1

This week we will start the series over the book Innovator's Mindset by George Couros.  The series will feature some information from the chapters with my (Brandon's) own take on what it all means.  I highly suggest buying this book, it's a quick read and really makes you think.  Not to mention, George Couros will be our keynote speaker at the Spring common day.

Chapter 1 - What Innovation is and isn't
The chapter starts off with a very good example of Blockbuster going under because they were unwilling to give up an outdated business model (nobody rents movies from stores anymore...everything is streamed).  Basically, innovate or die!

We work in a world where the same holds true.  We need to either innovate our practices or education as we know it may die.  Think about what the Internet has done to the movie industry, it changed it ten-fold.  Think about what it should be doing to education!

The Innovator’s Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity by [Couros, George]Couros defines innovation as a way of thinking that creates something new and better (pg 19).  Couros puts emphasis on the "new & better" part, whereas, I also think that "thinking" should also be emphasized.  Couros says, "when we think differently about the things that we are used to seeing daily, we can create innovative learning opportunities" (pg 25).  True innovation is taking an idea, thinking deeply about it, and moving forward in hopes it creates a new and better experience for someone.  Often times, we forget about the "better" piece.  You may innovate a practice, but did it really make it better?  For example, a teacher believes they are innovative for scanning their worksheets and providing them to the students online.  This practice is #1 not innovative and #2 does not automatically make the experience better for the students.

Innovation is not simply doing something differently (see example above).  It's a way of thinking that keeps the interests of both the teacher and student in mind.  If it's not a solution that is better for both parties, it isn't innovative.

Questions to consider (pg 27)
1. What is an example of a practice that you consider to be innovative?  How is it new or better than what you did before?

Tech Tip

Google Classroom is gaining in popularity in our classrooms.  Not only for the ease of using Google Drive, but also organization & communication.  Google is constantly updating and changing things within their platform.  Use this website to see what was updated last month, and you can even look back to the updates over the summer.  If you are an avid user, you may not even know some of these features exist!

Google Classroom Updates

Article - How the Google Suite Can Enhance Open-Ended Math Exploration

This article was sent to me and offers some great talking/thinking points about visualization in the math classroom.  I think there are some great ideas in here for both elementary and high school as well as other content areas.  Give it a quick glance today!

How the Google Suite Can Enhance Open-Ended Math Exploration Article

MRVED Meetings
September 29, 2017 - Title III Paras
October 25, 2017 - Superintendents' Council
October 27, 2017 - Principals' Council
November 8, 2017 - Joint Principals' & TAC

Friday, September 8, 2017

Welcome Back

Welcome Back!

Welcome back to school!  We hope that your summer was relaxing and rejuvenating.  2017-18 is going to be the best school year ever.  We can't wait to interact with the 650+ teachers of the MRVED in the coming school year.

This year is going to be an AWESOME year as a MRVED.  One of the highlights this year is that we have not one, but TWO top-notch big name speakers coming to speak to us.  This Fall Kayla Delzer will be in attendance at our first common in-service day.  If you have not seen or heard Kayla, she is phenomenal and you are in for a real treat.  You can check out her website HERE.  More information will be coming about the October common day soon, in the meantime, here is her TEDx talk from 2015.

Then, this Spring, George Couros will be keynoting our Spring common in-service day.  Couros is another rock star presenter that delivers a great message to all educators.  You can find more information about him HERE, or check out his TEDx talk from 2013.

We also can't forget that MELT 2018 is going to be the best yet!  Featuring some of our very own rock star teachers sharing and showing inspiring things happening in their classrooms.

We can't wait for all the great opportunities we have before us this year.



For those of you on Twitter, we are encouraging the use of the hashtag #WeAreMRVED to promote great things happening in your school or classroom.  If your classroom or school uses Twitter give us a follow and we will follow you back.


Arts Standards Review Process

Are you interested in helping to review and revise Minnesota’s K-12 arts standards? Consider joining the Arts Standards Review Committee! Before applying to the committee, please read the Assumptions for Guiding the Standards Committee’s Work and the Standards Review Timeline documents posted below. Serving on the committee requires an intense time commitment of at least one two-day and nine full-day committee meetings from October 2017 through May 2018. The initial two-day meeting is scheduled for October 30-31, 2017, at the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), and is required of all committee members. Applications will be accepted August 22-September 19, 2017. Committee members will be announced on the MDE website on September 29, 2017.

MDE and the Perpich Center for Arts Education will cover mileage costs for all committee members as well as meal and lodging costs for those travelling from great distances. MDE and the Perpich Center for Arts Education also will cover the cost of substitutes for all teachers selected for the committee. For more information about the standards review process, contact Alina Campana (763-279-4183).
Minnesota Department of Education Website

Tech Tip - SeeSaw

Image result for seesawIf you have been looking for a way to use the tablets in your classroom?  Look no further than SeeSaw.  SeeSaw is an AWESOME App that allows students to capture their work and then easily submit to the teacher.  SeeSaw is great for K-12, but probably geared more toward the Elementary level.  If you think signing in to the app will be an issue for the kids, it's not.  You can setup your class list and student log in is a breeze.  Students can also scan a QR code or create their own accounts, depending on age.  The app works if students have their own device, or if you have a classroom set.  It does not matter your age group or how your devices are distributed, this app works in ALL environments!  Teachers who have used this app, absolutely love it!  It's free, give it a try right away this 1st quarter.

Innovator's Mindset

For the past couple years we have highlighted a couple books in the MRVED Update.  Last year we looked at What Great Teachers Do Differently by Todd Whitaker.  This year we will examine The Innovator's Mindset by George Couros.  Couros will be the keynote speaker for our common in-service date in March 2018.

Image result for innovator's mindsetI highly recommend purchasing the book The Innovator's Mindset and following along as we examine a chapter for each MRVED Update this year.  This book is amazing and could possibly change the way you approach your classroom on a day to day basis.  Give it a try, you will not be disappointed.