Wednesday, April 25, 2018

MRVED Update - April 25, 2018

MRVED Business

Paraprofessional Conference
The Paraprofessional Conference is going to be on August 15, 2018 at the Benson Schools. Walking Tacos will be served for lunch that day. Registration information will go out to the Districts by May 4.

Upcoming Meetings
May 9 TAC
May 23 Superintendent's Council
June 13 MRVED Board
June 27 Superintendent's Council

Legislative Updates

The legislative session is moving along quickly and there are once again a handful of issues that pertain to education.  The first, and probably most important information to stay up to date on is information from PELSB (Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board).  MREA does a nice job of providing updates, you can read about the PELSB updates HERE.  The second legislative issue pertaining to education are the new mandates that are proposed.  You can read about the new mandates HERE.

MREA Annual Conference Call for Proposals

MREA seeks dynamic presenters to share best practices, solutions, and research at the 2018 Annual Conference on Engaging Students Now. Presenters will have the opportunity to positively impact more than 400 rural education leaders from across Greater Minnesota. Proposals are due May 18.

2018 Annual Conference: Engaging Students Now

Engage Students in Learning Process

As competition for student engagement in the learning process has changed over the years, the biggest hurdle for any school or teacher is finding ways to make learning relevant, authentic, and valuable in students’ lives. How do we evaluate whether what we are doing in our classrooms is truly worth being engaged in?

Effective student engagement is not about quick fixes, but rather instrumental changes in our teaching philosophy. MREA seeks student engagement and rural education presentations that will:
  • Share promising strategies, tools and best practices
  • Demonstrate innovative ideas and solutions and what’s possible
  • Challenge the experienced rural educational professional
Presentation Focus Areas

Focus areas for Sunday evening early bird and Monday breakout sessions are:
  • Curricular design that engages and builds understanding
  • Instructional practices that engage and empower students
  • Classroom management strategies/programs
  • Personalizing learning
  • Taking learning beyond the classroom
  • Sharpening the saw: strategies for educator continuous improvement
  • Additional topics such as school safety and teacher license renewal requirements
View focus area details

Proposals are due by 5 pm on Friday, May 18.
Call for Proposals View proposal requirements.
Interested in Presenting? Submit proposal online.
Important Dates

April 9: Call for Presenters Opens
May 18: Deadline to Submit Proposals
June 15: Presenter Notification Begins
June 30: Presenter Commitment Deadline

Questions? Call the MREA Office at (320) 762.6574.

Tech Tip of the Week - PBS LearningMedia

I was reminded of this hidden gem last week.  PBS LearningMedia is an awesome website with tons of great PBS content.  You can find short clips to images to lesson plans.  There is so much awesome FREE stuff here.  There is something for every grade level and content area.  My favorite is searching the Ken Burns Collection and watching segments of his Civil War, Baseball, and Prohibition documentaries.  The best part, I don't have to fast forward through a DVD to find the segments I want to watch.  Check it out today!

Teach Like a Pirate Introduction

This year we have had a focus on innovation.  The MRVED principals have looked at the topic, our TAC has explored innovation in education and the Superintendents are reading The Innovator's Mindset by George Couros.  Next year will be the year of the pirate, Teach Like a Pirate.  Dave Burgess will be our keynote in the fall.  I highly, highly suggest reading his book Teach Like a Pirate prior to hearing him speak in October.  It would be a super easy summer read.  Order the book today!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

MRVED Update - April 11, 2018

MRVED Business

March 29 - George Couros
Thank you to the Dawson-Boyd school district for allowing the MRVED to invade their space on March 29th.  The building was set up perfectly and everyone was able to easily get from point "A" to point "B" throughout the day.  The MRVED hopes you had a great day listening to George Couros.  We have spent the last year going through his book in each update.  If you bought his book as a result of his keynote, look back through the MRVED update to read a short synopsis of each chapter.

Also, if you have not filled out the evaluation for the day, please do so by the end of the week.  The link can be found below:

March 29 - George Couros Evaluation

Other Business
Mary Brown retired as of April 6. Thank You to all who were able to attend her retirement party and/or gave her well wishes. She will be missed. Reminder, there is an additional date for a TAC meeting which will be Wednesday, May 9 at the MRVED Offices beginning with rolls at 8. The meeting will be from 8:30-12.

Upcoming meetings
April 11- MRVED Board 
April 20- Title III Teachers
April 25- Superintendent's meeting

May 9- TAC
May 23- Superintendent's meeting

June 13-MRVED Board

Science Standards Review Committee

The application for the Minnesota Science Standards Review Committee is now posted on the MDEScience page. This committee will review current standards and recommend any changes. Committee members will represent teachers, administrators, professors, scientists, business and community. It will have geographic and racial diversity. We especially encourage you to recruit scientists and community members that could make a contribution. The deadline for submitting applications is April 23.

The committee will meet approximately monthly from August through April for full day sessions.
Applicants will have to commit to the full schedule of committee meetings. Technical writing teams (mostly teachers) will meet more frequently and likely electronically. The committee schedule and assumptions guiding the committee work are posted at the same site. The review process and considerations are described in a series of articles at the MnSTA Science Standards page. Contact for questions.

Educational Hashtags

If you were able to hear George Couros in the afternoon on March 29th, you would have heard him talk extensively about creating a worldwide network.  He mentioned Twitter being a great place to create your network and connect with other professionals.  He talked about the use of hashtags to help you find information.  Below are a couple lists to help you find hashtags to follow.  If you have a hashtag for your classroom, tweet it out to the hashtag #WeAreMRVED to share with everyone in MRVED.  You can also tweet at the MRVED @MNRVED or Brandon (@braymo22) or Karen (@KAKJacobson)

The Grief of Accepting New Ideas - Rick Wormeli

Rick Wormeli Tweeted this article out the other day and I thought it was very fitting coming off the heels of listening to George Couros.  Couros said in his keynote, "The only constant is change".  Change in education is unavoidable, and this article talks about the emotions we go through with change.  The article offers strategies to deal with the change and/or support one another through the change.

The Grief of Accepting New Ideas by Rick Wormeli

The Innovator's Mindset - Wrap Up

Last update we finished The Innovator's Mindset by George Couros.  Finishing the book the day prior to hearing him speak was very beneficial.  The one quote from his keynote that has really stuck with me is, "Make the positives so loud the negatives cannot be heard".  We tend to focus and give the negatives so much of our time and energy.  If the positives are louder than negatives, we won't even hear them, thus not have to spend the time on them.  We can be the positive voices, either in person or on social media.

My final thoughts after reading the book and meeting George Couros is every one of us has a story to tell.  Every one of us knows something that someone else does not.  Every one of us have different talents and abilities.  How can we leverage the technology today to help share our story?  To share our talents?  To share our knowledge?  We can consume and gather knowledge all day long, but it's when we give back to that community is when we see the full breadth of a true network.  Nobody may ever retweet or quote your tweet, but what you share may impact someone, somewhere and you will never know it.  Believe that what you are sharing, creating, or doing is important and others will believe it too.