Ideas but No Direction

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A few years back I took the Strengthsfinder assessment. One of my top 5 strengths is ideation. Some people might consider this strength a weakness because of how they perceive ideation in action. Ideation is the ability to generate ideas and make connections between seemingly disparate phenomena. I like this strength. I like how I have a lot of ideas for anything I do, and I like how my brain craves to know more, find answers, and seek new solutions.

Still, though, problems emerge with this strength:

  1. I sometimes chase one idea then another then another not knowing where to stop.
  2. Others shake their head in bewilderment as to what my point is.
  3. Ideas come at strange time
  4. Sometimes at the last minute I decide to manufacture a product from an idea and do so before I can envision where I’m going.
  5. Without a clear vision, my dots get jumbled and the mental picture created is unclear even for me.
  6. Oftentimes I chase new ideas instead of just building off an old idea.

In the past, I would take those ideas and jump into the deep end. Lately, though, I’ve realized that easing into the water really is better for everyone.

Because I keep nodding off, I’m going to cut this post short. Perhaps I need to let these thoughts sit in the shallow end before wading deeper.Perhaps I need to rethink the ways I allow this strength to work for me.

Perhaps the time is now for the hamster to step off the wheel and let the ideas rest.

Yes…even my ideas need rest. If I write anymore, the dots will create a jumbled mess.

Goodnight.

 

 

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Thought Provoking Questions to End a Lesson

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Slice Daily for the Entire Month of March

March Slice of Life Challenge

I may be sick and tired, but my hamster doesn’t stop running on its wheel, oh no. On a paper grading break, blogging in bed and wondering of what would be great thought provoking questions that would work well in ELA.

These thoughts were sparked because yesterday when I had a lesson follow up with the Instructional Design Team, I told my TechEds county person that I’d like to make my own randomizer of questions. Guess what she did? She made me a video with directions where even I can cut and paste and put things in HTML and make my own random questions to use with a QR lesson closing. I am excited to use this as a way to bring some excitement and higher-level thinking to closings. Of course, now that she figured it out and made a user-friendly video, I feel compelled to take that step.

I thought of even making my own QR die, Tony Vincent style:

vincent die

Here is what I used yesterday for my closing yesterday and last week:

QR reflection

 

While I like the above reflection questions,  I want to make at least some faces of the die more reading, writing, communication based; I want to make it my own and select my own questions. Still, though, I’m looking for great minds to help me. When I finish my die, I will share what I create in the comments section of this blog, so give me some good ideas and share your thoughts.

I might make one that is totally generic for any content, but that works well with summarizing and digging deeper into a lesson…like I said, the hamster is still running…just a little more slowly.

Thanks in advance.

 

 

 

 

 

Overplanning Madness

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Slice Daily for the Entire Month of March

March Slice of Life Challenge

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Being part of TechEds requires me to try new technology, and I love that. I love learning new things and finding new ways to engage and reach kids. I regularly use all sorts of tools for differentiation, assessment, and instruction.  However, when several people are coming to watch me teach using technology, I feel the need to do something that perhaps they won’t see others doing. This is where the overplanning madness began.

OVERPLANNING

Overplanning is something I do when I have time and announced visitors observing me teach.   This time visitors are coming to see what the TechEds teachers are doing in their classrooms, so I got some crazy ideas and started running with them. This weekend I looked at my plans, and I was like, “Huh? How am I going to do all that? Why did I set it up this way? Does that even make sense? Will it make sense to the kids? Is the content getting lost in the wordiness? Am I trying to make a production?” Aaargh!

TWEAKING

Sometimes I chase an idea, catch it, and then don’t know what to with it. Yesterday I began tweaking what I was going to do because I couldn’t figure out how to do what I had envisioned. Then, it just didn’t make sense when I tried to plan the logistics of the lesson.

STREAMLINING

Finally, I moved to streamlining and simplified what seemed like the “dog and pony show” or “the production” of it all. And now, it makes sense. Now I feel like my technology is infused in my lesson in a way that makes sense. I still might be a bit over the top, but I am trying to show them what kids can do with BYOD.

Tomorrow the students will be participating in “The Great Comma Race” in teams of four. They will take a QR comma quiz (you can make QR quizzes at http://www.classtools.net/QR/) in groups, they will edit sentences written by students differentiated by their level of comma expertise, and the will take  a group quiz on their edited sentences using Formative (https://goformative.com is a new favorite tool of mine). They will end with QR reflection questions (I wrote about this a few days ago). They will be charged to go home and revisit  their essays, and return tomorrow with examples of 3 of 4 types of commas we’ve discussed.

THINKING AND BLOGGING

Now I’m just thinking through the lesson. I want to feature tools, I want teachers to see how you can use BYOD, and I want what I’m doing to be grounded in good instruction. As usual, blogging about my thoughts helps me harness my thoughts.  I’ve never really thought of the process I go through so often: overplanning, replanning, tweaking, streamlining, thinking, walking through…

Thank you for helping me make sense of my madness, teacher friends and blog readers. Thanks for commenting, too.

Wish me luck tomorrow. 🙂 I’m tired just thinking about it. I feel like I’ve run The Great Comma Race already many times, in circles.