Thursday, October 26, 2017

#D100bloggerPD's Book Study on Hacking Engagement: 50 Tips & Tools to Engage Teachers and Learners Daily, Hacks 16 - 20

#D100BloggerPD is a group of teachers and administrators in Berwyn South District 100 in suburban Chicago who like to blog and Tweet. "We devote ourselves to staying globally connected. The crew embraces change, strives to better themselves professionally and desires to join forces with others to share what we learn because...together we are better!"
Footnote created in EasyBib - Noffsinger, Colleen. “#D100bloggerPD's Book Study on Hacking Engagement: 50 Tips & Tools to Engage Teachers and Learners Daily, Hacks 1-5 .” Literacy Loving Gals, Colleen Noffsinger, 19 Oct. 2017,


Thanks to Sue Butler (@sbutlerbsd100 on Twitter) for her post on Hacks 11 - 15. 

I'm so glad that I decided to participate in this round of #D100BloggerPD. This book is quick and easy to read. Each section is only 2 to 4 pages long. Sturtetvant (@jamessturtevant on Twitter) makes it easy by dividing each section up by - The Problem, The Hack, and What You Can Do Tomorrow. I think every teacher loves when you can take something you just learned and apply it the next day. I also like it because it offers real solutions that are both offline and online. I have a few of the other #HackLearning books. They all uniquely belong to the author, but have that same easy to read and implement format.

Hack 16
Break the Ice Ice Baby
The Problem: Your Students are Cliquey

When you go to a conference and the presenter asks you to form groups with people that you don't know you usually dread it. Why do they ask you to do it? They are modeling what we should be doing with kids. Ice Breakers work and they are valuable to helping create a positive classroom culture. Many times we assume that students know each other because they are in the same class. That may be true for the students in your class that are future teachers, but not for others. In talking with my own teenage boys I realize that unless they are forced to interact with other students in their class they hardly know that they are there. You want kids to feel comfortable and secure in your room. Sturtevant say, "If teachers don't use icebreakers, they're missing a golden opportunity to help kids bond.”

The Hack: Make a Living Movie Marquee

  1. Kids write down their all time favorite movie
  2. Have them look up the year the movie debuted and any other pertinent information.
  3. Have them create a marquee with images, slogans and phrases connected to the movie. This can be an offline or digital representation. You may have to define the word marquee for students.

  4. Have students arrange themselves, in the hall, in order of when the movies debuted - a timeline if you will. Let them problem solve if there is more than 1 movie from the same year.   
  5. Have them step forward 1 by 1, turn and face their peers to present about their movie. 
    1. Name of the movie
    2.  Year it debuted 
    3. Describe images/slogans 
    4. Why you like it

What You Can Do Tomorrow
  • Introduce your own marquee
  • Challenge students to make their marquees
  • Create a new seating chart
  • Find more ice breakers

Hack 17
Collaborate Globally with Voxer
The Problem: Disengaged Teachers Can't Engage Students

We all go through our ups and downs in teaching. We need to keep teaching fresh, and it’s awfully hard to do that in isolation. Most educators are on Twitter and if they're not they've at least heard of it. Voxer, a less know app, is another way to break down the four walls of your classroom. Mark Barnes says, “Teachers should use Voxer to build their tribe.” I say, "Find people, like minded or not, who will push your thinking!”

The Hack: Find a supportive Voxer group you can join

Voxer is an iOS or Android app which is free, that combines the best of live voice, text, photos, and videos with end to end encryption. I was able to leverage my PLN (Personal Learning Network) on Twitter to find a list of education related Voxer groups. Thanks to my friend Sarah Thomas (@sarahdateecher on Twitter) for her help on this one. Visit the Ed Squad Website for a list of 60+ groups. You can also add to the list if you have a group that you would like to share. 

Thorne, Pierce, Towner, Garrett, Thomas - Summer 2015

What You Can Do Tomorrow
    •    Sign up for a FREE Voxer account
    •    Join a Voxer group (see above)
    •    Start your own Voxer group 

Voxer is a very versatile app. Go to their blog and type in education for more articles on using Voxer.

Hack 18
Build an Extensive Student Support Network
Problem: Students are Intimidated by Academic Challenges

Students sometimes struggle with the challenges they face. It is counterproductive to let them struggle in isolation. They will just shut down.

Hack: Escalate Your Availability and Build a Student Support Network
Elevate your students by being available outside of class time. Since you have to balance work and school. Make sure students can collaborate with each other when you are not available. 

What You Can Do Tomorrow 
  • Create office hours when you'll be available to help students 
  • Advertise your availability 
  • Create virtual office hours - using your school LMS, Remind, or other virtual tool 
  • Create a peer tutoring Voxer group - if your students are over 13 y/o

Hack 19
Present for Ten, Then Collaborate for Ten
Problem: Teachers Talk Too Much

Teachers tend to over explain sometimes, to the point of turning students off. Also some teachers don't take the visual or non verbal cues from students - like falling asleep in their chairs. This is an exaggeration, but I know I've wanted to do it from time to time at lectures or conferences.
Peter DeWitt (@PeterMDeWitt on Twitter) asks teachers four questions:

  1. Do you control the conversation?
  2. Do students ask questions?
  3. Are they allowed - even encouraged - to have conversations with one another?
  4. Or do they sit as you talk?
How would you answer these four questions? 

The Hack: Lower Teacher Volume and Amplify Student Voice
The hack here is two-fold. The first is to limit teacher talk. The suggestion from Sturtevant is for the teacher to talk for 10 minutes and then for the teacher and/or class to do something different. The second part is to encourage and amplify student collaboration. He suggest setting up "the agora" in the middle of your classroom. I'm not going to explain. I'm going to let you Google it or buy the book. 

What You Can Do Tomorrow 

  • Comb Through Your Lesson
  • Decide what students can take charge of themselves
  • Practice the Clear the Deck maneuver
  • Practice the Listen to Me with Your Face maneuver.
  • Clear the center of the room to create the agora. 

Hack 20
Ride the Podcast Tide
The Problem: It's Difficult to Find Great Guest Speakers

Students get a lot out of hearing a guest speaker or expert, but they are not always easy to find especially depending on where you are located. 

The Hack: Pan for Podcasting Gold, Then Refine Your Treasure

With the increase in podcasting you should be able to find someone to meet the needs of your class. If you're not in a 1:1 school district you can dial one up on your phone or tablet. The two most popular distribution sites (which is different from hosting sites) are iTunes/ Apple Podcasts and Google Music Play Podcast Portal. Age restrictions may apply, so make sure you do your homework. 

What You Can Do Tomorrow 
  • Give students Prime the Pump prompts
  • Fill out a Somebody wanted but so then template (Google it)
  • Complete a character web
  • Play Jeopardy

As an Instructional Coach I don't have a classroom, but I'm eager to try out a few of these hacks and some of the others in this book with the teachers that I'm currently coaching! Thanks you James Sturtevant for such an awesome book!

Next up with hacks 21 to 25 is Amy Gorzkowski at Grammar Mamma.  

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