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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Join the Free EdNextGen Conference about Social Emotional Learning



Free this Week! Learn about Social Emotional Learning and the Impact on Kids

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Social Emotional Learning is so important. The free online conference going on now put together by Jason and Ceilia Hilkey with experts like Alfie Kohn, Tony Wagner and many more experts on this topic is a must-listen and share.

ednextgen-register

Register now for the free conference

My interview will air on Friday about Using Projects to teach Compassion AND Technology to share how compassion-based engineering works in the classroom.  Teachers, administrators, homeschoolers, and parents will find inspiration.

Please join me for the Education: Next Generation Online Conference! This is a FREE global online event from May 23-27, 2016, bringing together the voices of over 25 experts and thought leaders in parenting and education. The conference is hosted by Jason and Cecilia Hilkey, educators and creators of Happily Family.

You’ll get access to cutting-edge interviews full of inspirational ideas and practical tools to raise and work with children using connection and cooperation. These educators, researchers, and authors support parents and teachers who desire to live more creatively and compassionately at home and school. You will leave more aware, more empowered, and with the tools you need to help children (and yourself) LEAD, LEARN & LOVE! (See below for the schedule.)

Some of the speakers (I’m one too):

  • Alfie Kohn (Author of Feel Bad Education and Unconditional Parenting)
  • Scott Noelle (Author of the Daily Groove and founder of PATH Parenting)
  • don Miguel Ruiz, Jr. (Author of 5 Levels of Attachment)
  • Dr. Ross Greene (Founder of Lives in the Balance, Author of The Explosive Child)
  • Tony Wagner (Expert in Residence at Harvard’s Innovation Lab, Author of Most Likely to Succeed)
  • Daniel Rechtschaffen (Author of The Way of Mindful Education)
  • Vicki Davis (Classroom teacher and Author, Creator of Cool Cat Teacher blog)
  • Maurice Elias (Psychology professor at Rutgers University, Author of Emotionally Intelligent Parenting)
  • Todd and Cathy Adams (Hosts of Zen Parenting Radio)
  • Naomi Aldort (Author of Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves)

Register now for the free conference

Conference Schedule

My Interview will air on Friday of the conference but wow, there are some amazing presenters.

day-2

day-3

day-4

day-5

Available via Recording

I’m a tad late so you don’t want to miss these, now you can purchase all of the videos to use from the conference site for those interviews which have already aired. So if you want to see these videos, you’ll want to go that route.

day-1

See More and Register at NO COST here.

Each day, from May 23-27, there will be 5 video interviews with expert speakers, available for viewing for 24 hours.

The full schedule of interviews and instructions for how to tune in will be emailed to you each day, so be sure to register!

This conference will bring tens of thousands of parents and educators together from all around the world to explore how we can raise happy, self-motivated, resilient kids.

The post Join the Free EdNextGen Conference about Social Emotional Learning appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



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via Vicki Davis at coolcatteacher.com. Please also check out my show for busy teachers, Every Classroom Matters and my Free teaching tutorials on YouTube.

Friday, May 20, 2016

1 Easy, Fun Way to Ignite a Love of Reading



A Tip for Parents and Teachers

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

He was dyslexic. I’m not sure if there is such a thing is “very” dyslexic. If there was, he was.

1 easy fun way to ignite the love of reading

I had a trick that worked with my older children. But would it work for him?

The “trick” was simple. On a long trip, I would start reading the Chronicles of Narnia. I would put as much excitement and energy my reading as I could. Usually, I would read for thirty minutes to an hour each day on the book.

I would wait until the kids were fascinated by the book. I could tell. For example, when we would stop for gas, the moment we were back in the car, they’d beg for me to read again. It was almost cruel to stop reading right there. But that is what I did.

I would yawn, stretch my arms, and say,

“You know what? I’m really tired.”

I would hear howls from the backseat.

They wanted to know what happened next.

So, I would turn around and say,

“Read it for yourself. I won’t stop you.”

(My older two kids never asked why I happened to have two copies of the book with me on the trip!)

And with that, there was no stopping them. My kids read. And read. And read. Within weeks, they would be finished with the whole series. That summer, each of them read thousands of pages of books.

I can’t take credit for this idea. My fifth-grade teacher Ginger Collins used it on me.

Mrs. Collins was very pregnant. Huge. Miserable. On those hot South Georgia days, she would sit in her rocking chair. She read A Wrinkle in Time to us. Sometimes we got a chapter; sometimes we got a little less.

But I remember getting frustrated when the book got great. I HAD TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED! So I went to library got the book and finished it. It was such a good book that even though she read it after I finished it, I still enjoyed it the second time.

That was the beginning my journey. There was no stopping me. The summer after fifth grade, I read everything. From Homer to James Michener, I inhaled books. 

So, would this work with a child who struggled with dyslexia?

I only needed one copy of Narnia, but that summer changed everything. There was no stopping my youngest child. He became an amazing reader. He still is.

To be fair, I have to note, this event was the turning point. But this was not the FIRST time I read to the kids.

To put it simply, I read with all of my children until they were motivated to read for themselves. But it took a challenging book a bit past their reading level and several hours in the car. 

Taking time to read shows kids that it’s important. We read to them just about from the moment they were born. Books represented warm, snuggly time with parents who loved them. But in that plot twist moment in the car, books became riveting. 

So, on your next trip — put up those movies! Put up those games! Read! It might just be the most worthwhile trip you’ll ever take. You may just start your child on a journey that lasts a lifetime.

This post is part of the Global Search for Education series with Cathy Rubin of CM Rubin World. Be sure to find out all the answers on her blog. 

The post 1 Easy, Fun Way to Ignite a Love of Reading appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Ending the School Year with Epic Ideas and Intrigue



End the School Year Like a Pirate with Dave Burgess

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

ending the school yearYour legacy moment as a teacher is the last day of school. In today’s high-energy show Dave Burgess will get us all motivated to end the school year well.

Listen to this show on: BAM Radio Network | iTunes | Stitcher

Learn about Student Trips with Rustic Pathways

Show Notes:

  • Some epic (but easy) ideas for ending the school year.
  • Great ideas for teachers who are burning out and tired that will get your students excited and end the school year on an up note.
  • The kind of stuff every teacher should be trying at the end of the school year.

Dave Burgess @burgessdave is a teacher and highly sought after professional development speaker, well known for his creative, entertaining, and outrageously energetic style. He is the author of Teach Like a Pirate.

Today’s Sponsor: Rustic PathwaysThe most memorable experiences in my teaching career happened on trips with students. Today’s sponsor Rustic Pathways can help plan your trip and make learning meaningful. Take time now to plan an incredible trip with your students. go to http://ift.tt/1YA5UVh to learn more about the exciting trips you can plan with students.

You can also hear a Bonus episode with Dave Burgess, “Avoiding the Biggest Mistake Teachers Make at the End of the School Year.”

Educator Resources from this Episode

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or elsewhere, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above.button-itunes

The post Ending the School Year with Epic Ideas and Intrigue appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



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via Vicki Davis at coolcatteacher.com. Please also check out my show for busy teachers, Every Classroom Matters and my Free teaching tutorials on YouTube.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

2 Ways to Unleash More Energy By Examining Your Relationships



Living an Epic Life Full of Meaning

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Examine your relationships. You may find a secret stash of energy waiting to be unleashed.

Don't be a vampire. Be a dragon slayer

The People Who Drain Our Energy

Some people are vampires. When they come around, you taste dread. Inevitably, they will suck your blood. Well, not literally, they won’t suck your blood. But certainly they’ll absorb your will to live. You are less energized when you leave their presence.

Supposedly Picasso was a vampire. The sculptor Constatin Brancusi literally “unfriended” Picasso. He said being around Picasso was exhausting. Picasso took everyone else’s life drained them of it and put it into his paintings.

The first step to having more energy is to start noticing how interactions with others make us feel. Are we being sucked dry?

If we aren’t aware of how people affect our energy, we can find ourselves drained all the time. We need stamina. We can’t always eliminate the vampires. But just like a real vampire, the closer he gets, the more likely he’s going to bite.

We can limit our exposure to negative, angry, bitter, life-sucking people. Or, we can just guard our heart when we are around them and keep perspective on trying to please people who cannot be pleased.

The People Who Boost Our Energy and Help Us Achieve Great Things

Some people are Dragonslayers. They are real people too.  Not like Don Quixote fighting a windmill– these people fight real problems and vanquish them!

What’s great about dragonslayers is their energy and determination. These people are so inspirational!

We want to hang out with people who make big problems seem smaller. They make us feel like we can kill the hidden monsters of the sea.

Life is full of problems. We all get knocked down. But the true Dragonslayer fights the dragon until it moves on or until the dragon is defeated.

Oh, to labor alongside a Dragonslayer once or twice in life! For they are out there.

So, the second thing you’ll want to do is to surround yourself with people who fight and win. You become like the people you think about and hang around the most.

So, if dragonslayers are your friend, you’ll find yourself drawing your sword and taking on your own dragons. You’ll kill problems. You’ll be the person who reaches the unreachable child. You’ll be the person who pays off that huge credit card debt. You’ll be the person who fights to save a relationship. You won’t fall on your sword anymore, you’ll use it to fight and win.

You Have a Choice

  • Are you more like a vampire?
  • Are you more like a Dragonslayer?
  • Are we problem solvers or problem creators?

I don’t know if one can be neutral. You have to choose. You can also change direction if you realize you are sucking the life out of those you love. We can change.

But then again if you’re the Dragon, I guess the Dragonslayer is a vampire. 😉

The post 2 Ways to Unleash More Energy By Examining Your Relationships appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



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via Vicki Davis at coolcatteacher.com. Please also check out my show for busy teachers, Every Classroom Matters and my Free teaching tutorials on YouTube.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

STEM can be fun, just do this.



8 Ideas for Fun STEM Learning with Kids

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

8 Ideas for Making STEM Fun

STEM lessons can be fun. Whether it is origami jumping frogs or making a boat out of cement, Mandy Casto has eight high-energy ideas for making STEM fun. She also shares her favorite ways to find new ideas and about the success of school-wide “STEM Time” for the students each week.

Learn about Wonder Workshop Robotics Clubs

Listen to this show on: BAM Radio Network | iTunes | Stitcher

wonder-workshop-robotics

Last year I judged a robotics competition for Wonder Workshop. I was amazed at the incredible things students could do with Dash and Dot. This would make a great summer activity at home for kids or check out their robotics clubs.

Today’s Sponsor is Wonder Workshop: The Wonder Workshop robotics club is a great way to get students excited about STEM.

If you sign up to start a club before July 10, you may be eligible for a $10,000 grant to get your club started. (They also have some cool things to help you get going.)

My son loves the Dash and Dot robots from Wonder Workshop. He’ll be programming them over the summer as I continue to reinforce Computer Science at home.

Show Notes:

  • 8 Lessons Mandy used to make STEM fun
  • The benefits of having “STEM TIME” in your school.
  • How to connect all subjects with STEM in unique ways. (You can connect history, ELA and more to STEM.)
  • How Mandy helps students become more courageous and creative.
  • Mandy’s favorite places to find ideas to make STEM fun.

Mandy Casto @thatmathlady is a middle school math and science teacher in Concord, North Carolina. She currently teaches students in a STEM program and is constantly amazed by the impact of STEM education on her students.

Note: I promised the link to the other show where we talked about pumpkin chunkin

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or elsewhere, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above.button-itunes

The post STEM can be fun, just do this. appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



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via Vicki Davis at coolcatteacher.com. Please also check out my show for busy teachers, Every Classroom Matters and my Free teaching tutorials on YouTube.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

7 Tips for Teachers Who Have No Interest in Coding



21st Century Skills Made Simple

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

7 easy ways to teach coding

Grant Smith helps teachers learn to code. Surprisingly, he says that teachers have less to learn about teaching coding than programmers do! Today’s episode will help you learn how you can teach coding too.

Download a FREE Coding Kit from DK Randomhouse

From simple sites to the tips and tricks to get you started, now is the time to learn to code.

Listen to this show on: BAM Radio Network | iTunes | Stitcher

get started with coding

DK.com has created a free Computer Coding Kit to get you started. It includes a poster, coding cards, and tips as you begin your coding journey. You can also go there and hear the bonus segment with Grant Smith, 3 Mistakes Teachers Make When They Try to Teach Coding.  

Show Notes:

  • Why just taking students to the websites for coding is not enough.
  • What the research says about the teacher’s role in coding instruction.
  • The use of coding journals in elementary schools to assess learning and blogs for older students.
  • How some schools are meeting ELA (English Language Arts) standards using coding. Other options for math, science and history teachers to meet standards and use coding to do it.
  • Some simple places to get started with teaching kids to code.

Grant Smith@wgrantsmith is an elementary computer science teacher trainer, consultant, and curriculum developer. He loves working with school districts to implement CSforAll initiatives at the primary grade levels.

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or elsewhere, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above.button-itunes

The post 7 Tips for Teachers Who Have No Interest in Coding appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



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via Vicki Davis at coolcatteacher.com. Please also check out my show for busy teachers, Every Classroom Matters and my Free teaching tutorials on YouTube.

Friday, May 06, 2016

The 7 Questions I ask myself EVERY day



Living an Examined Life of Loveliness

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

7 questions I ask myself every day

Tracy left me a comment on the 36 Edtech Tools blog post I posted this week. She asked about the seven questions I ask myself every day. So, I’ll share them with you.

There are more than 7 questions below. The ones with the stars are my must-answers. If I’m too busy, then the others get deleted.

These are my questions. You need to create your questions based on your values and what you want out of life. My life is better in every way with this routine. 

Title

journal titles

Some recent titles of journal entries. I keep several types of journals but this is my memory journal.

Each day gets a title. My journaling app, Day One, makes the titles bold.

Instead of writing “I’m stressed and exhausted” I wax a bit romantic and might write “My epic battle over exhaustion just as the day of victory approaches.” Sometimes I am silly or dumb. It doesn’t matter it is my journal. My private stuff.

Hey, you be you. I fell in love with Donald Miller’s book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. I’ll blame old Don for making me this way.

Some people see their lives as a movie. Not me, I see my life as a novel. One unique chance to pursue what God has called me to do. A story, I guess. Except you write it and you can’t edit! My simple prayer:

May I not rest my head till my work is through
and memories are melded
living what I was born to do.

YESTERDAY

*What did I do yesterday?

Part of enjoying today is making memories. Part of making memories is jotting them down.

Looking back at past memories makes me smile and enjoy the progress.

Live the time;  don’t just pass the time. For if I just wait for tomorrow, I don’t ever enjoy today.

What lessons did I learn?

Wow, I hate failure! But I fail a lot. So, when I fail, I write down a learning lesson. This way I’m less likely to repeat the failure.

It works! Recently when faced with a situation, I saw in my mind the note I wrote about what I learned last time I screwed that situation up. I meant I wasn’t going to write about my failure again! I had written about that lesson learned enough and I was going to learn it.

So, I chose a better solution. I didn’t make the same mistake twice. (well, in this case- nine or ten times. grin) By consciously recording my lessons, I hold myself accountable and refuse to repeat those mistakes.

*What prayers have been answered recently?

I can’t hide this part of my life. All that I accomplish and do that is good in the world goes back to the fact that at 5 am each morning, I take my life to God. He does far more through my weakness than I could ever do through my strength. While lots of people hide this part of their lives, for me – it would be a lie. I speak truth even if it costs me. I’m not such a great person, I’m just guided by God.

Don’t ignore your spiritual side when you ask yourself questions. Be intentional.

I do have a Christian blog for those of you interested. OK, yes, it is Cool Cat Christian. Just happened that way – ha ha. 😉

NOW

*What am I thankful for right now?

Those of our ancestors who could remember that the panther sat by the creek at noon would live longer than those who couldn’t. So, negative thoughts are like velcro. We’re wired to remember negative.

Seeing the good things takes practice.

Thankfulness breeds gratitude. Gratitude changes my attitude. 

*What am I feeling right now?

If I write something like “I’m so exhausted I can’t see straight, I’ll immediately realize that I need to change my plans for the day. Realizing my own feelings is helping me not wait until I hit bottom before starting to buoy myself. If I can interrupt my descent, I can stop burnout and help myself feel better. Staying in touch with how you’re feeling is so important.

Just this morning, I realized that my new workout schedule is really exhausting me. I’d been meaning to order some new vitamins, so I texted my friend to get them ordered. I’ll be feeling better by the end of the week because I stopped to examine how I feel today! Yeah!

This is not an invitation for every well intended but determined vitamin, smoothie selling person out there to reach out and tell me they have the answer – I’m quite content with my vitamin regimen, thank you. 😉

EXPECTATION

*What is one thing I’m looking forward to right now?

Anticipation is a foundation of elation!

Just this week:

  • I spent Tuesday looking forward to my 6pm run.
  • I’m excited about the delicious fruit I’m going to have at lunch.
  • We’re filming for the first time today in keyboarding. Fun!

Expectation helps you savor the flavor of life.

I refuse to spend life waiting for the weekend or the summer. I’m not going to let my circumstances make me happy. I’m going to live with Great Expectations. If you don’t have something to look forward to — give yourself something. 

What is one thing I’m curious about right now?

Curiosity doesn’t kill the cat. A lack of curiosity kills the brain under your hat.

I constantly look for things to spark my curiosity. Sometimes these things are silly and sometimes they are quite deep. There’s no pressure. My journal is just for me. I have no one to impress. 

 What prayers am I praying now?

Here’s where I often pour out my soul. While most of my time praying is on my knees between me and God, I do jot down what I’m praying so I can remember later and see His work.

TODAY

What have I read recently that impacted my thinking?

Reading is so much fun. Reflecting on reading helps transport ideas on a page into action on life’s stage.

To stand back and realize that I’ve had a mind shift helps me notice my own growth. For to keep the same ideas without examining them is to choose to decay. This question is another key to having a growth mindset. I’m ready to be impacted and looking for it every time I open a book. 

This day would be incredibly successful if…

Before I asked this question, I used to just look at all I hadn’t done and feel sorry for myself. I feel more successful. I feel more joy.

We always have more to-do’s. Always. What we need is more tah-dah’s. This question helps me find the tah-dah’s! (OK so you know how a magician shows something new and says ‘tah-dah’ – that is what I mean by tah-dah!”)

*What are my plans for today?

I don’t regurgitate my calendar here, I just sort of talk through with myself why I’ll be doing and when in a few paragraphs. Think of this like narrating the day beforehand. And, since I’m a romantic, I’m going to add my handsome prince and some flowers along the path. Or maybe a good smelling candle or the wafting aroma of delicious food for dinner. Narrating my day before it begins lets me craft the story of my day in a way that helps me enjoy each moment.

If I narrate the day and realize there’s no joy,  I’ll jump down to my plans and add something. Then I’ll go back and type it on the expectation list.

*What is one thing I must accomplish today?

If I have to answer one question a day – this is it. Some people call this their “MIT” – or “most important thing.” Sometimes we die a death of a thousand papercuts because we do tiny little insignificant things that keep us from doing our most important thing.

It works! Two weeks a go, I threw my calendar and list out the door. Instead, I headed out the door to spend a day fishing with my whole family. We laughed. We rode ATV’s. We ate fried chicken down by the river and drank ice cold Coca-Colas. I told my sisters that day was at least in the top 50 of my whole life.

That day I realized the power of having a most important thing. My most important thing was to enjoy the day with my family and to give myself a birthday day. Happy birthday to me. Whee! 

Pick Your Questions, Change Your Life

Ponder your life. Examine who you are. Savor the moments.

I shared these with my friend Angela Maiers when we were in Utah a few months back. Angela made her own list of essential questions.

I’m not sure it is the answers that define us, but we are certainly defined by the questions we ask ourselves every day. Please share yours in the comments!

Choose wisely.

The post The 7 Questions I ask myself EVERY day appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



From http://ift.tt/26ZtpNp
via Vicki Davis at coolcatteacher.com. Please also check out my show for busy teachers, Every Classroom Matters and my Free teaching tutorials on YouTube.
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