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Kim Sherk Uncategorized 

GRIT – What is it really?

The concept of Grit is viscerally appealing even before we fully understand what it means. Unfortunately, such a superficial understanding impedes our ability to truly evaluate whether we, or our students, actually possess grit.  This summer I decided to go back to school…again. This time I am working on an Ed.D. in Teacher Leadership. I’ve always been a pretty good student, good grades without too much effort. I worked hard, but never really broke a sweat over any given class to get a good grade. I knew that doctoral classwork…

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Kim Sherk Uncategorized 

Stability and Change in 4th Grade – Part 2 – Application to Literature

Once again, I had the pleasure of discussing the 4th Grade Crosscutting Concept of Stability and Change with our 4th graders. After defining stability and change: A fire pit – Stability: The ashes will always go up. Change: You can always put water on a fire. The Sun – Stability: The sun will always be very hot. Change: It gets bigger and bigger until there is a solar flare. These reflections were written with no teaching about the topics. Students used their background knowledge about the topics in order to…

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Andrea Hernandez 

Using Artifacts to Reflect

Now that some time has passed since the 2-day “bootcamp” with the CESJDS cohort, it’s time for me to reflect on those two days through the lens of my role as coach. (Note: This post is not ABOUT using artifacts to reflect; it is an example of me using artifacts to reflect on my own teaching). Image Credit Who am I in this cohort? What value do I offer? I am a storyteller, facilitator, questioner, a sharer of experience, a connector, an instructional designer, a data collector, a listener. I…

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Alexis Soffler Uncategorized 

Elementary STEM Labs- Part 1

One of the most frequent requests that I get from schools at the beginning stages of their STEM program development is about the creation of a STEM lab. They are called all different things (and that’s OK!): Tinker Spaces, Innovation Labs, STEM Labs, etc. The idea usually evolves out of 2 needs- 1.) A space to put new STEM equipment and materials, and 2.) A place besides a classroom where these materials can be accessed without disruption to the rest of the school in terms of mess or on-going projects….

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Kim Sherk Uncategorized 

Stability and Change in 4th Grade

Change is a huge part of our lives. Thankfully, stability is as well. Last week I had the exciting opportunity to explore this opportunity with one of our 4th grade classes. Here’s some background information: Last year we introduced the NGSS Crosscutting Concepts into our curriculum. Over the summer, we spent lots of time finding ways to introduce this thread throughout each of our grade levels. Each grade level team chose the crosscutting concept that integrated best with their grade-level curriculum. 4th grade chose stability and change. So, we started by…

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Andrea Hernandez 

Examples of Blogging Excellence

Models are an important piece in the learning puzzle. Today, members of the cohort are struggling with big-picture questions like, “Why are we doing this work?” and “Can’t we skip this step of blogging through the lens of our own professional learning?” We opened our day yesterday with a blog-hunt, big and open-ended. I think it makes sense to revisit that work today, after two packed days of learning, with more specific and focused examples. I want you, the cohort teachers, to see yourselves in colleagues who blog their professional learning and whose professional roles most…

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Alexis Soffler 

Imagination Playground- “The Big Blue Blocks”

If you read my last post (on STEM Carts) you likely get the sense I was waging war against the doldrums of indoor recess. And you would be right. Thankfully, we have a strong corps here of many advocates at many ranks, and we all pulled together over another initiative- An Imagination Playground. I’m going to start off by saying two very straight forward things. 1.) These are very expensive. 2.) I get nothing from this company for this blog post, I am not associated with them in any way….

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Hadas Heyman 

Teachers are life-long learners, but we don’t know it all

When I attended elementary school as a child, we were taught so many things, mainly by our teachers. The teacher held all the knowledge and in order to seek more information, I had to take a trip to the local library and search for it.  Teaching has evolved in many ways since I attended elementary school. The changes affected teachers, students, parents and everyone involved in the community. Image taken from: https://www.tjed.org/about-tjed/7-keys/ With the advances in technology, people today are both learning and being taught in new ways. Teachers must be…

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