Podcast #112: Wimp Yourself into Middle school


The LAPD, The FBI, and the CIA are all trying to prove that they are the best at apprehending criminals. The President decides to give them a test. He releases a rabbit into a forest and each of them has to catch it. First the CIA goes in. They place animal informants throughout the forest. They question all plant and mineral witnesses. After three months of extensive investigations they conclude that rabbits do not exist. Next the FBI goes in. After two weeks with no leads they burn the forest, killing everything in it, including the rabbit, and they make no apologies. The rabbit had it coming. Finally the LAPD goes in. They come out two hours later with a badly beaten bear. The bear is yelling: “Okay! Okay! I’m a rabbit! I’m a rabbit!”



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The Michigan Joint Education Conference is coming up June 23, 2010.  Presentation proposals are due April 2, 2010.  $79.00 for non-members and $49.00 for members of the member organizations sponsoring the event.  This is a great way to pick up some PD this summer and you won’t have to sell your soul to your administrator . . .

From the Twitterverse:

From our Listeners:

Kitty Holman:

Google Earth for Educators: 50 Exciting Ideas for the Classroom

Ideas for all ages.


MCSS:  Super Social Studies Saturday! (3-13-2010)
Link to the conference notes including the ones mentioned in the podcast:  http://web.me.com/mcgirr/MCSS_Super_Saturday_3_13_2010/
Lots of great stuff presented integrating middle school geography and World History.



Online Learning in the Classroom – a Tool for Differentiation

Melanie Dever

Typical online courses are designed for remote learners, but there are benefits to using an online class structure in a traditional classroom.  This format allows for differentiated instruction and pacing, aids in catching up absent students, and provides materials parents can use to help struggling students.  This session will show different ways to use online course systems in the classroom.  Topics will include online delivery of new material, online assessments, and student collaboration.

A tool for differentiating instruction in a traditional classroom.
From the student: Know and trust the students. They may not work at the same pace every day. Some days they may do very little.
How Parents view Online vs Classroom Learning.
Traditional Classroom
•    Everyone moves at the same pace.
•    Advanced learners could be doing more
•    Struggling learners need more time.
•    Teacher is available to help ,but stretched too thin.
Online Class:
•    Students move at their own pace
•    A greater variety of content
•    Not all kids are disciplined enough to learn independently.
•    Teacher is available, but not necessarily when you need it.
•    Parent think child is bored.
•    Advanced students
•    Independent and motivated students
•    child needs guidance
Students who are the most motivated and disciplined and who have the most involved and supportive parents may “self track” out of traditional classrooms.
For profit companies are aggressively seeking out those families.
•    Blended learning
Just inside the traditional instruction:
•    Google Sites
•    Homework Calendar
•    Online Worksheets
•    Online class notes
Mr. Nale.com
Other end (online course:)
• Moodle
• Blackboard
• MyiCourse (free)
• Textbook Publishers

Differentiation Benefits:
• • •
Students can work on their own pace, fast or slow. Built in assessments can monitor for mastery before allowing students to progress. Students can choose different tasks or activities.
Cool things you can do:
1.    Be in two places at once:
1.    Students can pause and rewind a lesson
2.    Students can ask questions in a low risk setting.
3.    Teacher is free to have
4.    Parents have access to the lesson
5.    Students can go back to it again.
2.    Show don’t Tell
1.    Use Jing to create screencast.
3. Expand opportunities for student choice in activities and sequence.
4. More
1.    Get out of the “what did I miss”
2.    Give parents and kids access to notes.
3.    Make sub plans
4.    Have tests instantly graded and disaggregated.

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