Thursday, December 7, 2017

Strategy Spotlight: Review Strategies

This weeks spotlight is review strategies for quizzes/exams. The two highlighted strategies could be used in any content area.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Spotlight Strategy: Surviving the holidays

This week's Spotlight Strategy has some tips for getting through the last few weeks of the semester and surviving the holiday madness. Hope you find something useful, or at the very least get a chuckle for the day.

December Tech Tip - FLIPGRID


Flipgrid is a video discussion platform.  Teachers can post topics to their grid and students respond by recording a short video.

There are many ways that teachers can use Flipgrid in the classroom. One great way it could be used in all content areas is as a discussion board, similar to posting a question on Google Classroom and asking the students to respond through text.  Students can post their responses as well as video the other videos.

(With the free version, videos cannot be more than 90 seconds, so keep that in mind when creating the task/question for students to complete.)

Example lesson - Miss Sealock used Flipgrid to jigsaw new vocabulary words from the story the students were reading. Each student was responsible for learning their word and teaching it to their classmates through the video*. They then had to watch the other videos to learn ALL of the vocabulary words on their own. Here are the videos they created.

*The teacher moderated the posts, so she viewed them for accuracy before posting them to the grid for all the students to see.

Here are some ideas for possible ways to use Flipgrid in various content areas:

  • Book talks: students can talk about a recent book they read and their thoughts on the book. This could be shared with other students as a way to introduce them to other book choices.

  • Students explain the process of cellular respiration step by step, showcasing drawings they make of each aspect as they explain.

  • Students record themselves explaining an important rule or walking someone through an example problem to explain how they got the answer.

  • Students explain how to effectively execute a certain exercise or how to use a piece of equipment and then they watch each other’s videos to learn about all of them.

Social Studies:
  • Students give mini reports on important people or events during the time period being studied.

  • Students record themselves pronouncing vocabulary words
  • They could also respond to a question in Spanish, and the teacher could check it for accuracy and pronunciation.

  • Students show a piece of their artwork and discuss why they created it, how they created it, etc.


  • Student record themselves singing or playing for the teacher to provide feedback to the students.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Power Thinking Strategy

This weeks Strategy Spotlight is Power Thinking. Power Thinking helps students to differentiate between main ideas and supporting details. It is an organizational tool for reading, writing, and studying. Power Thinking could be used in any content area. Check out the first video for information about Power Thinking.

The following video shows you some examples of how to teach your students to set Power Thinking up and an example to use.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

November Tech Tip - Screencastify

Screencastify is a Chrome extension that allows you to record your screen while also recording your voice.  

There are a lot of different ways this could be used in the classroom. I actually learned about this specific extension from a student who was using it to create a project for Mrs. Ewing’s class.  They used this tool to record their computer screen instead of recording themselves on video teaching their content.

Another use for this extension could be to record notes or lessons to share with the students.  A teacher could record themselves talking through a PowerPoint to provide students a lesson when the student is absent or when the teacher has a substitute.  

There are lots of options with tool, and I would love to help you explore it more if you are interested.

This video shows how to add the extension. You can click here to go straight to the extension in the web store.

This video explains how to use Screencastify.

ABC Brainstorming Strategy

This is my first Strategy Spotlight. I chose the simple but effective ABC Brainstorming Strategy. (Project Criss Manual Chapter 4 pg. 57). This strategy could be adapted for nearly any content area.
Here are some ideas I had, feel free to leave a comment on how you use ABC Brainstorming in your classroom.

English: identify parts of speech; pre-writing tool; synonyms/antonyms
Science: opener for a new unit to see what students already know about the topic
Social Studies: States/capitals; topic review
Physical Education: rules to games; identify different calisthenics and then have them perform so many of each one they list.

Click here to make a copy of my ABC Brainstorming graphic organizer

Monday, October 30, 2017

New Technology in the Primary Building!

This year an additional chrome book cart was added to the Primary Center. Previously, one classroom set of chrome books was being shared among the 2nd and 3rd grade classrooms. Classroom teachers welcomed this new addition as they are continuing to implement more technology and digital learning into their core instruction. Below is a picture of 2nd graders engaged in a math lesson on their chrome books using Pear Deck and an instructional and sharing tool. Students were very excited to share their problem solving and thinking with their classmates in a new and engaging way!

What is Digital Citizenship?

Digital Citizenship is the use of technology and online devices in a positive, safe and responsible way. Elementary students kicked off Digital Citizenship week on October 16th with their first lesson of the school year. Lessons focused on the importance of leaving behind a positive digital footprint and what we want to have connected to our name 5-10 years from now.  Students will participate in monthly lessons that focus on a different Digital Citizenship skill each month. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Personalized Tech PD

This year the Jr./Sr. High teachers are doing something new in Professional Development.  We have implemented a personalized professional development plan that includes technology.

Personalized Technology Professional Development at Southeast Warren Jr./Sr. High School:

In this course, teachers will work through a 5 level cycle to discover research-based strategies, as well as implement and share a new practice in their classroom centered around a student achievement goal and tech tools to support that goal. Teachers determine the area they would like to research and a goal they'd like to accomplish with their students.  They then work through the 5 level cycle to research how to accomplish this goal (including selecting at least one tech tool). They then implement their research into their classroom and ultimately share out their learning. During each level of the cycle, the teacher meets with either the instructional coach or technology integrationist to share where they are in the process and get any feedback or guidance necessary.  After completing each level, the teacher is given a window cling to hang in their classroom to signify completion of the level.  After all 5 levels have been completed, the teacher may also earn one license renewal credit.

Overview of the levels:
Level 1 - Selection: Teachers explore topics and tech tools, and then select their topic as well as identify a few tools that are related.

Level 2 - Research: Teachers research their topic using a variety of mediums (articles, videos, AEA resources, etc.) and write about what they learned during the research process.

Level 3 - Implementation: Teachers use what they learned in their research to plan and integrate what they learned into their classroom through a lesson or unit.

Level 4 - Reflection & Share-out: Teachers reflect on the implementation. They then create a presentation about their research, implementation and reflection, and present it to the staff.

Level 5 - Additional Share-out: The teacher watches a recording of their presentation and reflects upon it. Then, they present to an additional group beyond the staff (school board, AEA training, SEW TLC blog, etc.). The final step is a reflection of the entire process.

You can see these clings outside of teacher's rooms
 as they complete each level.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Videotaping in the classroom

Today I wanted to share with some of what I am learning related videotaping in the classroom. As I learn more and more about instructional coaching, one thing that is consistently a part of the conversation is the importance of teachers recording themselves teaching, as well as coaches recording themselves coaching, and the conversations that happen based on those recordings.  Jim Knight, an expert on instructional coaching, along with a team of authors and researchers, published an article entitled “Record, Replay, Reflect,” and in this article, they share the results of a study they did on “what happens when coaches and teachers watch themselves on video.”  This article provides a lot of insight on why recording yourself is important.  

Here are my biggest takeaways from the article:
  1. Video provides us with an objective perspective of what is going on in our classrooms and conversations. We can’t get this same perspective from someone else.  We need to see it for ourselves.
  2. Reflecting on recorded lessons or conversations helps us to set specific goals for things we want to improve.  We, as teachers and coaches, get to pick what we want to focus on and what is important to us.
  3. Recordings can help us gather data to track our progress towards a goal.
  4. Teachers and coaches should watch the video by themselves first to be able to react and reflect in their own way.
  5. Our nonverbal behaviors (facial expressions, gestures, etc.) are often the things that would go unnoticed if we didn’t take time to record and watch ourselves.
  6. Improvement comes from first establishing a clear picture of our reality.

After reading this article and reflecting on what it said, I decided to record a few of my own lessons and reflect upon them.  There was a lot for me to see and take away from the videos, and as the article said, I was able to pick the specific goal that I wanted to focus on. I plan to use more recordings along the way to collect data and reflect on my progress towards my goal.

Thursday, September 14, 2017


Welcome to the Southeast Warren TLC blog!  
This is a place where the TLC team will be sharing what we are doing within the district as well as what we are learning.

What is TLC?
The mission of our Teacher Leadership Compensation (TLC) plan is to develop leadership opportunities for exemplary educators that will further improve instructional practices and increase student achievement.
Who are we?
The TLC team is comprised of 11 members K-12.
  • Haley Seuferer, K-6 Instructional Coach/Technology Integrationist
  • Shelley Mitzelfelt,7-12 Instructional Coach/Mentor Teacher Instructor
  • Megan Birchette, 7-12 Technology Integrationist
  • Pam McCombs, Mentor Teacher Instructor
  • Amanda Carnes, K-3 Model Teacher
  • Megan Cooper, K-3 Model Teacher
  • Lacey Burrell, 4-6 Model Teacher
  • Tina Schneider, 4-6 Model Teacher
  • Sarah Sealock, 7-12 Model Teacher
  • Shane Rowlands, 7-12 Model Teacher
  • Angie Kelso, 7-12 Model Teacher

What do we do?
Instructional Coach: These positions enhance instructional practices at the classroom level by raising student achievement through collaboration, coaching conversations, analysis of data and facilitating professional development.
Technology Integrationist These positions enhance technological instructional practices at the classroom level by raising student achievement through collaboration, coaching conversations, analysis of data and facilitating professional development centered on technology integration.
Model Teacher They invite colleagues into their classrooms to observe best teaching practices or content specific techniques.
Mentor Teacher Instructor These positions oversee the mentoring program district wide and will contribute time and expertise to make significant contributions to the development of new and current professionals in the district through discussion, instruction, and collaboration.
Southeast Warren Community School District is a progressive student focused institution that brings together outstanding educators, dedicated parents, and a proud community. We are excited about the TLC program and the impact it will have on our staff and student achievement.