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Orion
13939 Diagonal Rd
Clearwater, Kansas 67026
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Phone: 620-584-3300
Toll Free: 877-875-3305
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April 12, 2017

How do we help students learn ONLINE?

By Lori Jensen, SCKESC Education Consultant

If you're facilitating students learning online, we have some ideas to help! Students are not naturally equipped with the skills necessary to be a successful online student. These classroom management ideas, can help TEACH the student how to LEARN in an online setting!

Objectives

  • Since students are working on different courses and at different paces, be intentional on helping students set daily and weekly objectives. Have them email you every day on what their objectives are. Make sure it's focused on what they will LEARN - not just what they will do.
  • This will help you to monitor their progress. You will be able to do this anyway within the course, but this action helps students to be accountable. 
  • Help
  • Make sure to be walking around, offering help. Students are more on task if you're actively engaged where they are working. They will also be more likely to ask for help when needed.
  • However... we do want to TEACH kids how to learn online. I'd recommend setting up a procedure for how they ask for help. As with any procedure, teach it / remind them more than once.

Help Procedure

  1. Re-read the problem. Make sure you didn't miss something the first time.
  2. Re-read the lesson. Be calm and persistent in finding the answer. Let the course teach you!
  3. If you're still needing help, signal me!

The idea is - eventually they'll take other online courses without teacher support. We want to provide the help they need, while also equipping them with tools to help when they're not with you.

Do your students know how to use Khan Academy when they're stuck with an online math course? What other tools for different subjects would you recommend when they need help?

Grading

  • We can make the assumption that their grades will come from their work online - obviously. We would, however, recommend a daily grade from you. 
    • 15 points 
      • 5 on participation; submitting daily objectives, progressing through the course objectives at a good pace.
      • 5 on effort; using the Help Procedure, 
      • 5 on time-management; getting right to work, not distracting others
  • Again - we're trying to help them learn how to learn independently. Self-monitoring is KEY!! If you can help a student see that the daily effort they're giving is in DIRECT alignment with their achievement in the class, that can be a powerful learning tool for the student!!
  • Have students chart their daily points you're awarding with their performance on the quizzes or homework or even tests. Students should self-analyze and email you their thoughts on their performance.

Self-Management

  • Help them know when to take a break from the computer. Look away, stand and stretch, brain breaks (just Google some), etc. 
  • Design a projected schedule of completion. 

Projected Schedule of Completion

  1. Copy off a paper calendar of the months scheduled for the course.
  2. Cross off all dates NOT in school.
  3. Have students put in times they'll be busy (Homecoming or class trips, etc.)
  4. Write in the deadline of the course. Write down any mid-term grade reports according to the syllabus.
  5. Count the chapters or sections in the course syllabus. IN PENCIL, project completion of each section / chapter. Be realistic. Leave room for time at the end to finish if ill, etc.
  6. Use the calendars WEEKLY to monitor progress. Self-reflect on what changes need to be made.

Using these management structures can help you help students be successful in their online courses! Contact us if you have questions or would like help implementing these ideas in your classroom- ljensen@orioneducation.org.




February 13, 2017

Allergy Awareness- A Mom's Perspective

 

By Lori Jensen, SCKESC Education Consultant

As schools are aware, there is a growing number of students with allergies in our classrooms. Here are some alarming facts from FARE (www.foodallergy.org).

  • Researchers estimate that up to 15 million Americans have food allergies.

  • This potentially deadly disease affects 1 in every 13 children (under 18 years of age) in the U.S. That's roughly two in every classroom.

  • According to a study released in 2013 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, food allergies among children increased approximately 50% between 1997 and 2011.

  • The number of people who have a food allergy is growing, but there is no clear answer as to why.

Are you prepared to help students with allergies? Is your school?

A Mom's PerspectiveAudra 2.jpg

“ I am the mother of a funny, smart, and handsome 13 year old boy. As much as he would like to be a normal teenager, he knows that is impossible. My son was diagnosed with severe food allergies when he was 10 years old. Before his allergy, I never thought that having allergies would be such a dramatic impact on life.

I am, what most would call, a helicopter parent. I try not to make it obvious for my son’s benefit, but I cannot help the need to keep him safe. I must make sure that the parent is aware that he has a severe allergy, carries epi-pens, make sure that he can check the labels of whatever he eats there (or know where they are eating out), and that if the need arises to use them, he must go straight to the hospital. One of my worst fears is that he will have a bad reaction while I’m not with him. I know that I may be the annoying parent at times. I know that reading labels is annoying, but it is now a part of our life. Every item that I pick up while grocery shopping I read the label. Grocery shopping takes me quite a bit longer than it used to! Just last week I stopped the cashier and said “wait, I forgot to check that label”! She looked at me oddly as I read the label and handed it back and said it was okay.

While some may find it annoying to monitor every food, it is a life threatening reality to my son. The reality is my son would likely die if he were to ingest one of his allergens. At the very least he would be stuck with his epi-pens (maybe more than once) and end up in the emergency room not breathing and/or vomiting uncontrollably while doctors work to get his airways open again. It is serious and should be taken serious. If someone is not sure about the allergens in a product, then he cannot have it.Audra.jpg

One thing that I would urge parents to do is get the allergy on a 504 plan at school. Elementary School was great! My son had one teacher all day who understood his allergy. She even kept treats aside that he could have in case a student brought birthday treats that we weren’t sure of the allergens.

One of his teachers brought a snack that was homemade. My son asked if it contained tree nuts and she assured him that she didn’t put nuts in the treat. Still, he was unsure whether the teacher understood the cross-contamination issues, so he declined the treat. He told me at home that he didn’t want to explain the whole “cross-contamination thing” and just decided it wasn’t worth it. I was glad that he had been so responsible, but I felt bad for him in that scenario. It is exhausting sometimes. I know the teacher meant well and would never hurt him intentionally, but it also made me wonder how are teachers supposed to get this knowledge?

We recently added the allergens to his 504 plan. I would love for all teachers to fully understand severe food allergies. His school has been great to work with! He participates in the after school program. Since the office containing his epipens is locked after school, he has a second set of epi-pens in his backpack. His after school teachers know where they are in the event they need them. It would be great if every teacher could be trained in the use of epipens.

My son doesn’t want to be different. He doesn’t want anyone to make a big deal about it. He doesn’t like the attention. He gets embarrassed when discussing it in front of him. He isn’t thrilled with carrying epipens, but it has become a part of life for him. He may not seem afraid, but he is.” 

- Audra Brownlee

Training Programs

FARE (www.foodallergy.org) has a variety of resources designed for specific audiences such as school professionals, health professionals, and restaurant and food industry professionals.

These tools are available to help you in turn teach staff members the essentials behind food allergy management to help individuals safe from reactions. Some of the resources found here are published under the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network name.

  • FARE Education Network: The “Food Allergies: Keeping Students Safe and Included” presentation and materials provide clear, actionable information to schools to help them support students with food allergies. The program can be delivered by internal school staff or by a member of FARE’s Education Network, a collaborative of volunteer lay educators created to provide training to schools.

  • How to C.A.R.E.™ for Students with Food Allergies: What Educators Should Know: This FREE online interactive course teaches educators how to prepare for food allergy and anaphylaxis. It is specifically great for school personnel – administrators, nurses, teachers, and other staff – in the United States

  • Online Food Allergy Toolkit for School Nurses: The National Association of School Nurses (NASN) has been working on a joint grant from the Centers for Disease Control with FAAN and the National School Boards Association to develop resources for food allergy and anaphylaxis management in the school setting. The NASN Online Food Allergy Tool Kit is now available online at www.nasn.org/ToolsResources/FoodAllergyandAnaphylaxis. This toolkit includes algorithms to enhance the school nurse’s approach to planning and care, checklists, forms, and resources. Guidance documents will soon be added.

  • Binky Goes Nuts: Understanding Peanut Allergies: The popular animated PBS children’s series Arthur explores food allergies in an episode titled "Binky Goes Nuts." The DVD and educational activity unit can be used by teachers and parents to teach kids about food allergy, and teach them how to help make their schools a safer place.

 




January 18, 2017

Fighting Fake News

By Kristi Orcutt
SCKESC Education Consultant

 

We are currently in the midst of a fake news crisis. There has been an explosion online recently of false and misleading stories disguised as reliable news. As more students are getting their daily news through Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and other online sources, their ability to tell fact from fiction is essential. Based on a recent study by Stanford University, however, most are unprepared. Researchers were shocked to find that a vast majority of middle and high school students had difficulty identifying credible resources online. Now more than ever, students (and adults) need to learn to be critical consumers of information.

So how can schools fight fake news and help students become critical media consumers? Here are four strategies to try.
 

1. Teach students how to spot a fake news story.  

  • It can't be verified. Do the links trace to credible sources?
  • It is biased. Does it lean towards a particular point of view?
  • Authors usually are not experts. Do a quick search to check their credentials.
  • It can't be found anywhere else. Is any other news outlet reporting on the issue?
  • Fake news comes from fake sites. Examine the domain and URL.    
      

2.  Use a few basic questions when evaluating media sources.

  • Who made this?
  • Who is the target audience?
  • Who paid for this? Or, who gets paid if you click on this?
  • Who might benefit or be harmed by this message?
  • What is left out of this message that might be important?
  • Is this credible (and what makes you think that)? 
     

3. Give students practice by using lessons that incorporate fake news sites.
 

4. Take advantage of the many digital learning resources available online. 




July 13, 2016

Are you a Consumer or a Producer?

By Lori Jensen

I just had the awesome opportunity to hear George Couros, Rick Wormeli and Zachary Walker speak at a conference. I'm sure a couple of those names are new to you, but won't be for long. 

What's interesting is a theme that ran between them that stopped me in my May-tired tracks. We are teaching our students to be good consumers of technology, but are we focusing on their skills of production? For example, do they search for YouTube videos to support a conclusion or are they MAKING them?

George Couros is the author "The Innovator's Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity". This is an awesome book I highly recommend. In his book and presentation, he led me on a path of discovering that we're forgetting the R of RELATIONSHIP in our Relationships, Rigor and Relevance focus on education. "We tell them what they shouldn’t do with technology instead of what they can do." says Couros. "100% of kids walk into your school curious. We kill it because we say we don’t have time."

He and others are trying to help us extend education beyond our walls. Couros says, "Students don't care about your school website. They care about SnapChat." So why don't we take learning there? Suddenly, time isn't the issue anymore. Certainly appropriate use is - - but let's try to not let a couple of students' poor judgements affect exciting assignments for others!

As your summer brain is starting to think about school next year, I will challenge you to a few ideas I'm taking from my time spent with some fabulous thinkers. 

Would the following be posted on your school's doors?

Welcome to Mother Teresa High School - Turn on Your Devices

- Are we viewing technology as the gateway to information or as the purveyor of problems? Worried about classroom management? We can help! Here are some quick tips from Zachary Walker: 

  • Dock your device. Have a location for students to place their technology face down in the upper left hand corner of their desk - - not in their pocket.
  • Quick - Hands Up. Look quickly and see what students were doing with their device. Make sure to train them how to do this.
  • 1-2-3 Show Me Your Screen
  • Color Coding - change font color for the task that day. At a quick glance, if everyone has that color on their screen, you can see who is on task.
  • Proximity Control
  • Peer Pressure - If you use your device improperly - we all put our device away.
  • Green Flag. Yes, we're using the technology all day. Yellow Flag. Dock the technology for now. Red Flag. Store the technology away.
  • 5% Rule - Don’t make decisions based on the 5% of kids that ruin it for everyone else.
  • Interesting Quote: "If a child is off-task, perhaps the problem is not the child, but the task." - Alfie Kohn

Are your students CONSUMING or PRODUCING?

We have all learned our Active Learning strategies. We know what the research says about students that produce, create, make, etc. And yet, with the most important devices for their future, they are only consumers. Teaching students how to consume wisely and efficiently is critical! (Make sure to Google "Google Searching Tips") But for the sake of the students' brains, let's get them creating!

Here are some ideas from Zachary Walker and his 10 Tools Every Teacher Should Know About:

1.     Polling - Create a poll to assess peer opinion. Ex. www.polleverywhere.com

2.     Music - Create a new soundtrack for a book using Garage Band.

3.     Photos - Take photos of mathematic principles and send to you.

4.     Video - Create a video summary of the unit. Use these summaries with next year's students in a Flipped Classroom structure.

5.     Twitter - Every teacher should be tweeting! Have students reach out through Twitter with a famous author, athlete, etc. Get their feedback on a report about them.

6.     Google - Make sure all students have a Google page for their resumes for their futures. 

7.     Blogging - Students get tired of writing to you about what they've learned. Have them blog and ask that peers edit and provide feedback.

8.     Backchannel Discussions - Encourage discussions through Twitter,www.polleverywhere.com, etc. for discussion of topics outside of class. Give points for every relevant post and stay out of the discussion.

9.     Screencasting - Use screencasting to explain a concept instead of tried and true Power Point.

10. Whiteboarding - Download a whiteboard app to use for quick data-gathering during class discussions.

Wormeli reminds us, "As complexity of assessments go up, so does their completion rate. Complexity usually involves more meaningful work, making connections, recoding content for personal relevance, and applying knowledge as students do something meaningful or useful."

This is a lot to take in, friends. Start with something new. Feel the RUSH of adrenaline course through your brain as the discovery of new information comes alive! We can help!! We have several online courses and opportunities to help you move forward.

Feel free to TWEET your thoughts to me -- @ljensensckesc. 

Let's Produce!!