4 Nuggets from the #HSEunconference

After any conference, there should be takeaways, nuggets to ponder on, and action steps to do. The #HSEUnconference was a little different, but in a good way.

At the beginning of the #HSEUnconference, we set our community norms and things to expect. The one part I really appreciated being stated was to expect and accept non closure. This was the first conference I left and had no set-in-stone action steps, but instead I had things to think about. There was a lot to consider and internally reflect on.

As we discussed at the conference, the following topics and questions came up. These are questions and ideas that have my mind spinning. Which of these stand out to you?

Nugget #1:

Equity work. This is a hot topic, but a very important one traveling through our education world. This work is often done inwardly, as we focus on our own biases and experiences. You may disagree. And that's okay. All of our opinions are valuable.

- Equity is not a choice.

- How can we allow access to after-school activities to everyone?

- Can we connect parents and create a way for carpools and support?

- Could our libraries have a check out system for technology items?

- We will always have pushback on change.

- How can I address and learn more about the LGBTQIA?

- I can acknowledge a students comment, and circle back with just that one student. It doesn't always have to be a class discussion. Don't get me wrong, whole class discussions are valuable, but it can be just as valuable to circle back to that one student and talk more. Dig deeper.

Nugget #2:

Experimental learning and cross-district collaboration. I love this topic! Connecting with educators across our district, I am very passionate about. My podcast and our monthly kindergarten meet up's were designed to connect educators, learn each others' personal stories, and to work smarter by working together.

- Can we create a materials hub for our maker spaces and creative spaces?

- How can we change our Study Trip bussing guidelines to better serve our student-led projects?

- We need to tap into our parents across the district! Not just from our own schools.

- How can our district create intentional time to connect our teachers to one another?

- Don't forget about our amazing Curiocity hub! Found here.

Nugget #3:

Door prizes. Who doesn't love prizes? I rarely win, so when my name was called, I was so excited. I was debating between bluetooth earbuds or a book. My husband laughed when I told him my choice. I chose the book. It's the book, 'Don't Ditch that Tech'. A book I've been wanting to read. It has practical ideas that I could apply to my classroom right away. Although, my husband argues that he could have really used those earbuds.

Of course I began reading it as soon as possible. Within the first few chapters, an idea popped in my head. How can I enable more choice in how my students learn? Who am I to say that listening to my mini lesson while sitting on our carpet is the best way for my 24 students to learn? I know there is immense value in a mini lesson and my physical presence. How can I provide this mini lesson in different ways? This sparked a few ideas that I am still chewing on.

My Essential Question--> Can I give my students choice in how they learn a skill?

- Can I use Canvas to embed my mini lessons via video?

- Can my students choose to visit me, physically, for a mini lesson?

- Can I harness my own students, and other grade level students, to teach the skill?

Can these 3 questions be choices for my students, everyday, for whatever skill I am teaching? No matter the subject matter?

What are your thoughts?

Nugget #4

Autodraw. This website has stolen many hours of my weekend. Beware! It is amazing! It allows you to draw anything you want, and it populates drawings it thinks you might want. It allows people like me, who would love to sketch note, but cannot draw, to create sketch notes. I even went to the store and bought my students each a stylus to use when we all try autodraw together. Below is a recent one I created from my podcast interview.

I love Shawn Humphrey's action step via twitter (follow him @shumphreylib). What you do next, with the things you learned, or from reading this blog, is the most important part. What will you do with what you learned?