Episode 60: Vicki Davis-The Cool Cat Teacher

July 1, 2015

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Vicki is a teacher and an IT Director in a small school system in Camilla, Georgia, but she is connected through her writing, speaking, podcast, and social media content throughout the world! 

This is her 13th year teaching.

She writes regularly for the website Edutopia and Vicki can frequently be found as a national keynote speaker presenting on a multitude of topics.

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She is a published author and has her own podcast on the BAM Radio Network called Every Classroom Matters

I subscribe to her podcast on iTunes and look forward to every episode.

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Her books are Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds: Move to Global Collaboration One Step At A Time and Reinventing Writing: The 9 Tools that are Changing Writing, Teaching, and Learning Forever

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She has an amazing blog, http://www.coolcatteacher.com/, where she expresses her thoughts about many different areas associated with teaching from technology to classroom management and many topics in between. She also connects the readers to many resources for helping with better teaching and school leading.

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She also is very active on social media, especially Twitter, where her handle is @coolcatteacher

https://www.pinterest.com/coolcatteacher/

https://www.facebook.com/coolcatteacher

https://www.youtube.com/coolcatteacher

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Vicki is engaging and overflowing with incredible ideas for making the classroom experience unforgettable.

After talking with Vicki, I couldn't stop talking to my team members about her inspiring words! 

I think that you will get just as energized.

Enjoy!

Length:

40:45

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Episode 54: The 50 States Album and Engaging Kids with Dr. Lodge McCammon

May 7, 2015

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Dr. Lodge McCammon is focused on improving teacher quality and helping teachers create learning environments that are highly collaborative, differentiated, and engaging. 

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Lodge is a professional musician who plays numerous instruments and creates educational songs for each of the academic core areas. Recently, he has been working on his 50 States Album as well as teaching teachers and kids how to use paper slide videos. He is an expert at flipping the classroom, a concept that he sees as making the teacher more efficient at using time. Lodge shows teachers how to flip so that more classroom time can be spent on learning instead of listening. (Check out Lodge’s original talk with me on Episode 10 and Episode 11)

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If anyone has ever visited with Lodge they would probably talk about his creativity, his sense of humor, and his ability to make learning fun and engaging! You will hear all of this loud and clear throughout the interview…

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By the way…my favorite state songs are Illinois and Colorado… Find out which ones you like the best…

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He is a former public high school teacher (Civics and AP Economics) who earned his PhD at NC State and has worked with that same university to emphasize efficiency and engagement in the classroom with new and veteran teachers.

Lodge is an amazing keynote speaker, consultant, musician, and educator. In today’s interview I get him to talk about everything from what music he likes to his latest on using time more efficiently…Flip the Phone Meetings… and Walk and Talks.

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Episode 51: Rigor Made Easy with Dr. Barbara Blackburn

April 17, 2015

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My guest today is Dr. Barbara Blackburn. She is an educational consultant who has made Rigor in the classroom one of her signature topics. She is the author of 15 books and numerous articles on educational topics to name just a few there is Rigor in the Classroom, Rigor is Not a Four-Letter Word, Rigor for Special Needs Students, and, our focus today, Rigor Made Easy.

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She has taught early childhood, elementary, middle, high school and college students. She is a national speaker who can often be found presenting to workshops for school personnel. 

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Rigor is a word that sends shivers through many typically because it has been misinterpreted or introduced in a manner which connects it to thoughts of more of everything. In Rigor Made Easy, Barbara addresses Myths about rigor…such as Myth#1… Lots of Homework Is a Sign of Rigor and Myth#2…Rigor Means Doing More. 

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During our talk we discuss a few of the myths as well as several key elements of Rigor Made Easy. The book is divided into seven chapters, the first one is called Understanding Rigor and the other six are:

2. Raise the level of Content

3. Increase Complexity

4. Give appropriate Support and Guidance

5. Open Your Focus

6. Raise Expectations

7. Challenges and Adventures

Barbara’s writing style is easy to read and understand. You will find yourself ready to reassess your lesson plans so that you can address her thoughts about Rigor in your classroom and school, tomorrow.

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This is an awesome discussion that lends itself to helping kids get to greater understanding of content and learning processes.

Check out the links below to find out more about Barbara and to connect with her:

Website-    http://www.barbarablackburnonline.com/

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/BarbaraRBlackburn

Pinterest-  https://www.pinterest.com/barbblackburn/

Blog-           http://rigorineducation.blogspot.com/

Twitter-      https://twitter.com/BarbBlackburn

YouTube-   https://youtu.be/4LZ6na9V1Wc

Or simply call… (609) 474-4677

Enjoy!

Length: 60 minutes

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Episode 46: Building Relationships with Hugh Kight

February 10, 2015

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Hugh Kight is the principal of East Laurens Elementary School in Laurens County, Georgia.

Laurens is Hugh’s home. He grew up here, attended school, and eventually became a teacher and principal here.

Hugh is actually retired but “Un-retired” to be the principal of East Laurens.

Between his amazing energy and contagious smile he is someone who everyone should get to know. Just spend a few minutes with him and whatever troubles you will wilt away as you will see the silver linings, feel the sunshine, and want to smile…because you know that all will be good.

Mr. Kight is always looking for methods to recognize success. He connects with kids and, staff, and the community. He wants to find unique ways of saying … “Good Work! Keep it Up!”

Hence the Falcon Fun Zone!

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A place where the teachers and staff can schedule to send kids who have demonstrated hard work, success, and achievement! A place where the kids earn time to play…(check out the pics of the many games and activities)! What an amazing idea!!!

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By the way, the teachers have also been able to find time to initiate the room! (And the paintings of characters on the walls were created by a staff member!)

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Hugh also has his Coca-Cola Diner…It's not sponsored by the corporation…but it grew out of an idea for having a room to celebrate and connect with others. Hugh is known for his cooking skills…just ask anyone about the chicken dinners!

In this room he often feeds staff, students, families, and community members. The walls have the school’s test scores and other data to show their gains and successes. Feels like you are visiting family…

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Hugh likes to visit garage sales and flea markets…this is what led to his decorations for the room…Check out some of the really cool Coke artifacts!!!

I challenge you to think about the ways that Hugh has created to celebrate, connect, and build relationships and develop your own. It will inspire your kids to do well. It will help your staff feel valued and it will help you connect with the parents and community.

Enjoy!

Length: 37:26

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Episode 45: Laura Robb-Vocabulary is Comprehension

February 2, 2015

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Today I am talking with Laura Robb. She is a teacher, speaker, author, and coach.

She has taught for over 43 years and continues to teach each year in middle grades classrooms.

She has published 18 books primarily focused on reading, writing, and comprehension.

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You will often find her speaking across the country and working with classroom teachers to learn how to address the needs of kids in reading, writing and text comprehension.

Laura is concerned about teachers who are “stressed out” with attempts to measure classroom success by using standardized, high stakes tests. The money and time that is spent on these tests could be better spent on training teachers to use better instructional practices.

Laura says, “One of the joys of teaching is that every child is unique.”

Our talk is primarily focused on one of her most recent works, “Vocabulary is Comprehension: Getting to the Root of Text Complexity”.

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This work is filled with understandable lessons on how to connect vocabulary building and development with complex text comprehension.

Any teacher could easily take this book read sections and immediately begin to use its lessons in her plans for the week.

Some instructional works are cumbersome with their own language and information. The teacher would need a translator first before even getting close to thinking about using the information…not this book! It is easy to understand and use!

Take a look at her Big 10 and then turn to any of the lessons associated with them and you will be able to start making a difference in a child’s understanding of the text and content.

I strongly encourage you to take this information to heart and to use her book to help change your lessons to help the kids “get it!”

By the way…also, check out her foundation. She and her son are focused on getting books into the hands of children with none.

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Enjoy!!!

 

www.LRobb.com

www.e2efoundation.org

Vocabulary is Comprehension

www.teacher.scholastic.com/products/classroombooks/laurarobb

www.twitter.com/LRobbTeacher

www.facebook.com/laura.robb.372

www.middleweb.com

Length: 1:00:19

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