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 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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Episode 43: Learning in the Fast Lane with Suzy Pepper Rollins

January 15, 2015

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Suzy is a math and literacy consultant.

She is mostly known by math teachers for her awesome course called Math in the Fast Lane.  


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She also was my first guest to be interviewed so check out Episode 2: Math in the Fast Lane with Suzy Pepper Rollins.

Suzy is now a published author and wow did she do it right!

Her book, Learning in the Fast Lane: 8 Ways to Put All Students on the Road to Academic Success is an ASCD hit!

Her 8 ways are …

1.     Acceleration: Jump Starting Students Who Are Behind

2.     Standards Walls: Transforming Standards into Clear Learning Goals

3.     Success Starters: Sparking Student Success Right Away

4.     Formative Assessment and Feedback: Checking Student Understanding Minute by Minute

5.     Vocabulary Development: Implementing a Strategic Plan

6.     Student Work Sessions: Giving Students Greater Responsibility With Valuable Work

7.     Student Motivation: Creating Engaging Tasks and a Positive Learning Environment

8.     Scaffolding: Providing What’s Missing Just in Time

Her last chapter … 9 is titled Why Are Some Students Still Failing, and What Can We Do About It?

We talk about her path to being a published author and then get into some of the specific details of the book.

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Her book is right on the money for being a treasure chest of tools that can be put to use immediately in a classroom. It doesn't require a lengthy book study, on-line course or 1000's of dollars. She cuts through the education jargon and makes it easy to understand what the research says that we should be doing!

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There is so much to learn from Suzy and her book!

One caution… If you read this book you will be excited about seeing the change in your students’ success!

You can contact Suzy at

suzypepp@yahoo.com

or 

(404)399-6760

Enjoy!

Additional Links:

Chapter 1: Acceleration

A blog summation of What the Writer Learned Listening to a Webinar with Suzy about Learning in the Fast Lane

Length 53:05

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Episode 33: Six Apps for the Classroom with David Lockhart

September 16, 2014

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David is a high school teacher at North Atlanta High. This summer we met at the Georgia Virtual School Symposium in Athens, Georgia where I had the chance to attend his awesome class titled,

…30 Apps in 30 Minutes.

David has always had an interest in Tech… he says, “I found something that I was good at…”

In our interview we focus on four points…

1)      His 6 favorite apps

2)      The cost of apps (In a word…cheap!)

3)      Engaging!

4)      Ease of use…

David advises…in looking for apps, “Find what works in your classroom…and then find an app that will help you. If it doesn't work…then adjust.”

Most importantly…David comments, “Don’t be afraid!”

He has amazing advice for apps to use and why as well as how to find the best apps.

I know that you will find this episode brain food!

Here are the 6 Apps that we talk about and their websites.

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1)      TouchCast   http://www.touchcast.com/

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Google Drive  https://support.google.com/drive/answer/2424384?hl=en

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3)      Symbaloo http://www.symbaloo.com/home/mix/13eOcK1fiV

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4)      Weebly https://education.weebly.com/

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5)      Tackk https://tackk.com

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6)      81dash http://81dash.com/

Follow David on Twitter @ld112265

And read his blog at www.edtechspeeddating.com

Seasame Street Song, “There’s An App for That! Find it at www.sesamestreet.org or on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhkxDIr0y2U

Enjoy!

Length 30:37

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