Monday, April 27, 2015

On the Rise K-12 Conference

On The Rise K-12 Conference

Keynote - Jessica Holmes

Take a look a all areas of your life. Should you be doing something different/better in an a specific area.  Be careful not to let all the areas in your life get 'low' you need a balance.

Who do you admire, 3 people? think of one quality that you admire for each person.
Willingness to help
Respect (for all to move forward.)

Tragedy + Time = Comedy (Character Building, Learn from it)

Get rid of Toxic people in your life!
Get an emotional divorce from them, don't worry about having them like you, get on their good side.
Don't focus on the areas we are not good.
Don't try to repair the areas we are not good at. Focus on the areas we are strong at.
Perspective can shift when on the offensive and not the defensive.
Start with small changes and you will see your outlook become broader.

Take chances in life to broaden your hoirzons.

Google vs. D2L Session
Log into google and D2L

Google - creativity and collaboration
D2L - Organization and management

Slide shows - enable commenting so students can comment.
Collaborate on google docs.

Branches of information
Benefits for students
- break down information (identify core concepts and relationship between concepts)
- power of mind map lies not in the map itself, but in the process of creating it.
- Supports inquiry based learning

Guidance, spec ed, SST uses to share information and increase Communication
Communication and collaboration within department and within school.

Tweet as a means of communication.
 Communication for students, staff, parents.
- understand social media to be able to teach to students.
Careers class,
Follow both local and global businesses
Summarize careers articles (140 characters)
May lead to business leaders wiling to commit to a 10 minute interview on twitter, could lead to SKYPE
Example game designers - come up with predetermined questions put on projector as twitter conversation occurs.

Remind - Sends text message to anyone who signs in.
Communicate Community service hours.
Students need to opt in.

How do you determine what goes out on Twitter vs. Remind

Use forms to collect info. transition meetings, SSR's, track back end support for students suspended, exit cards for graduating students, share strategies for specific students.
Be sure to share Positive information too!!

How to videos - Read CCS, Couirse selection, college/university applications

Engaging Parents with Brightspace(D2L)
Parents can get notifications for courses via email
Auditor tool connects multiple users (family members) to account
Driving student and parent access in the system to access announcements, learning activities, and assessment feedback.

Parent has their own credentials to log in.
Can see daily activities, reminders, news, calendar.
Access student progress (evaulations, assessments)
Email teachers.
View ePortfolio artifacts.

How to set up 
- Create Parent Role
- set up desired permissions
Enrol parents in courses of their students
Enrol them is specific board courses.

Establish Auditor - Auditee relationship with appropriate paretns (grant access to send automated emails from teachers)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Positive Psychology

Watching a Webinar on Positive Psychology - This ties in very nicely with my previous post about Growth Mindset.

Traditional Psychology has looked at what is wrong with someone and fix what is wrong.
New theories (Positive Psychology) look at what is right with us and what makes us strong ...this will then in turn help build resilience.
Traditional thinking has been success causes happiness.
Positive Psychology finds happiness causes success.

Mindset can have a positive impact on well being and prevent illness (flu)

Thoughts on the negative impact of stress has a bigger negative impact on physiological health than the stress itself.

5 pillars of well being PERMA Well being

1) Positive Emotions
- Finding joy, happiness.
- Build psychological tools for greater resilience, happiness and well-being.
- Different than "positive thinking"
- Results from things we do...can also be occurred by reliving (thinking of event)
Positive emotions build intellectual, physical, social resources which improves psychological resilience.
How much positive emotion?  More Positive emotion than negative emotions.

Increase your positive Emotion
Eat a healthy lunch, spend some time outside, exercise, talk with a friend, dance, listen to cool music, watch a funny youtube clip

Decrease Negative emotions
Reduce time spent on social media, stop watching negative reality TV, wake up earlier to avoid fights with parents, spend less time with crabby people.

Don't have to be positive all the time but you need to have more positive than negative.

2) Engagement
Truly engaged in a task experience flow - lose sense of time, no self conscious.
When experience flow more likely to experience well being.
Meet a level of challenge with appropriate skill level can meet FLOW.
- Too much level of challenge = anxiety
- Level of challenge too low = Boredom

3) Positive Relationships
-Most critical pillar of all
-research shows that the greatest predictor of happiness is meaningful relationships.
"Other People Matter" - Chris Peterson
Why? we are hard wired for social connection - Social pain shows same areas of brain affected as physical pain.
Focus on Building positive relationships. (Appreciation Circles, Random Acts of Kindness, Positive Notes)

4) Meaning (& Purpose)
Feeling that your life has purpose and contribute to something bigger than yourself.
A way to bring greater happiness to your life is by doing something kind for someone else.
Altruism vs. Pleasure - Study found those that do altruism vs pleasure activities are happier

5) Positive Accomplishment
- Mastering a skill, achieving an important goal, succeeding at work or school or in a competitive event.
- Building Confidence and self efficacy
Angela Duckworth - What if doing well in school and in life depends on much omre than your ability to learn quickly and easily.  Once characteristic emerged as a significant predictor of success it was GRIT.

Many Psychologist add a 6th pillar - Vitality
- Physical Activity, eating healthy, sleep

Growth Mindset

In this blog entry i'm going to reflect on a PD session staff received on Growth Mindset.
Admin introduced the concept of growth mindset at our PD day with a video from Carol Dweck (the growth mindset guru).

The ultimate message is that people (students), can improve their learning, skills etc. with power of believing they can improve.  Changing their mindset to one that allows for exploration and even failure at the benefit of learning from your mistakes.  It was evident that failure is a huge part of learning, and must be reflected on in order to grow as a person/learner. I feel that this isn't a new message for teachers. Many of us are in the occupation because we love to work with kids and see them learn and grow as we empower them.  I think the biggest challenge for teachers today is having students embrace the growth mindset. Many turn their brains off if they don't feel something is relevant or even beneficial to them. As an educator we must engage these students in whatever subject area we are teaching to allow them to grow and learn to the best of their ability. I am very interested in the growth mindset not only for my students but also for myself professionally.  I feel our PD session only scratched the surface of the growth mindset and I look forward to learning more about it in particular how teachers can motivate/engage students to embrace the growth mindset. I've included a great image of the growth mindset that was created by Sylvia Duckworth. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Moving Forward

Moving Forward is a blog I've decided to start to help me reflect on ways that I can move my life forward in all aspects.  As a father, husband, friend, teacher, guidance counsellor, Catholic and coach. I look forward to discussing topics, strategies, and articles that can help me move my life forward . While also looking at ways to help move forward those I deal with on a daily basis, whether its my family, students or colleagues, we can all continue to move forward in our lives.