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4041 N. Central Ave., Ste. 1200
Phoenix, AZ 85012

602-506-3866

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TXTS 4 Teachers

TXTS4 Teachers

The Iconic Phoenix Staycation!

Laurie King

There's something special about staying in a room you don't have to clean and hanging out by a pool where people bring you drinks. It's called a vacation. And in Phoenix in the summer, we call it a staycation! Take advantage of that final chill-out experience you deserve before heading back to school!

The Wigwam Resort

The historic west valley resort is within walking distance of local restaurants and bars, making this a great place to stay without having to pay resort restaurant prices. Summer resident rates starting from $99 Sunday – Thursday. Learn More

Mountain Shadows Resort

Newly renovated, this iconic Phoenix resort is a sleek, hip, retro marvel in Paradise Valley. $119 on select dates, May 28 through August 31. If you like to golf, it offers a fantastic 3-par, 18-hole course. Go early to avoid the heat. Learn More

Pointe Hilton at Squaw Peak Resort

If you have kids, this is the place to go. With suite deals starting at $129 a night, you get access to the water park and mini golf (call to see what the current resort fee is). Even better, get a group of friends together and book an entire casita. The rooftop patio on the casita makes a great place to hang out in the evening, and each group of casitas has their own pool and bbq area.  Learn More

For a more comprehensive list of summer deals, check out this article from The Arizona Republic.


This post is part of TXTS4 Teachers. A weekly teaching (and sometimes vacationing) tips service. Sign up here to receive a tip each week via text messaging. Choose SMS/text messaging as the subscription type.

36-Hour Beach Vacation

Laurie King

There are 17 days until most teachers report back to school. Don’t despair: there is still plenty of time to get in some epic summer adventures. For starters, you can do a 36-hour beach trip for under $300! Check out our plan: 

6 a.m. - Noon

Pack a cooler and drive to San Diego ($120 in gas, round trip)

Listen to these podcasts to pass the time:

Noon - 12:30 p.m.

Grab a couple of tacos at City Tacos ($8)]

12:30 p.m. - 2 p.m.

Visit the tide pools at Cabrillo National Monument. It’s also a great photo spot if you are looking for that “look at me rocking summer vacation” photo. ($15 entrance fee)

3 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Beach time! Drag out that cooler you packed and have a picnic on the beach. Stay for the sunset.

Find a hotel away from the beach and downtown for the best prices. Pick one with free breakfast. ($100)

9 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Boat ride across the bay. Take the ferry from downtown San Diego to Coronado. ($10, round trip, plus a few bucks for parking downtown)

Walk around Coronado. Grab a slice of pizza on Coronado at Village Pizzeria Bayside ($15)

Noon - 6 p.m.

Drive back to Phoenix. Listen to those podcasts you didn’t finish.


This post is part of TXTS4 Teachers. A weekly teaching (and sometimes vacationing) tips service. Sign up here to receive a tip each week via text messaging. Choose SMS/text messaging as the subscription type.

Summer Reading

Ginger Topize

Welcome summer! TXTS 4 Teachers will be on vacay with you, so this one is about sending you off with your summer needs in mind.

I know you've been waiting all year to get started on your summer reading. You may already have your list all planned out. Something beachy? Something dystopian? Romantic? How about instructional strategies, engagement, or differentiation? I did some digging to help you plan your reads.

 

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The Unshakable Summer Book Club (Angela Watson) meets via FB from July 17th-August 5th. This book club is over 9000 strong and provides free resources. This year's read--Enjoy teaching every day...no matter what.


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Get the Inspired Summer Teacher Reading List's Top 20 of 2018. With titles like, The Magnolia Story with Chip and JoJo, Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha, and Preparing Educators for Arts Integration, you are sure to find something that floats your boat.


 Also available from Google Play, Chromecast, Amazon and Apple TV.

Also available from Google Play, Chromecast, Amazon and Apple TV.

Are you a digital reader? Hoopla is for you. Get 24/7 access with your library card. You can check out audiobooks, movies, TV shows, music, and more. Get your kids hooked on reading with Hoopla for Kids as well.

 

 

 

 

Dyslexia

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"To simulate the experience of reading with dyslexia, try using this key to decipher the coded statement below."

a=/z/  b=/y/  c=/x/  d=/w/  e=/v/  f=/u/  g=/t/  h=/s/  i=/r/  j=/q/  k=/p/  l=/o/  m=/n/  n=/m/  o=/l/  p=/k/  q=/j/  r=/i/  s=/h/  t=/g/  u=/f/  v=/e/  w=/d/  x=/c/  y=/b/  z=/a/

ivzwrmt drgs wbhocrz rh vcszfhgrmt

-Accommodating Students with Dyslexia by Jessica Hamman

How did you do? Exhausted? Or did you skip it because it would take too long? How would a student with dyslexia feel within the perky pace of today's classrooms?

Increase your dyslexia know-how to better support your learners today!

Click here to read about these easy to implement accommodations:

  1. Audio-books
  2. Note-taking Apps
  3. Recorded assignments/instruction
  4. Reduction in amount
  5. Text-to-speech Apps/Extensions

Please comment below to share your expertise and research-based resources on this topic.

Targeted Feedback

Ginger Topize

Feedback is something you do day in and day out. Why not make it better to make your job easier? Watch the video, then meet me below.

Effective feedback = aligned to sub-objective + references a specific skill/knowledge + timely

Not so hot:

Good job, nice model, very good, you are right, try again.

Better:

I noticed here (point) that your product is less than your factor. Let's look at your strategy for multiplying.

The model you drew for the moon phases is accurate and labeled properly if the sun is where?

You identified the theme accurately, however, I am struggling to see that you have justified it with evidence. Can you go back into the text and tell me what made you decide that?

Once your feedback rocks and is individualized: 

Teach students to use resources (e.g. rubrics, exemplars, checklists) to assess themselves and provide their own feedback to advance learning.

The following resources will support you further in your feedback journey.

5 Research-Based Tips for Providing Students with Meaningful Feedback By Marianne Stenger

20 Ways To Provide Effective Feedback For Learning By TeachThought Staff

Teaching Strategies: The Essentials of Giving Feedback By Jordan Catapano

 

Know Who Represents You and Your School

Laurie King

Arizona educators have found themselves in a historic moment. At the time of this post, most schools in the state are shut down for the fourth day in a row. Educators and supporters have been gathering at the capitol to protest low pay and school funding.

If you are one of those educators, and you desire to have your voice heard, the following information can support your efforts in connecting to the right people.

We also included a summary of the Governor’s budget proposal provided by our friends at Expect More Arizona.

What Legislative District (LD) Do I Live In/Work In?

Voterpop.com is an interactive map of Arizona. It shows the representatives for each LD, and provides information to where they meet (LD meetings) and other contact information. (It works best on a desktop computer.)

How Have State Legislators Voted On Education Issues In The Past?

Friends of ASBA compiled a document titled How Arizona Legislators Voted in 2017 on High Priority K-12 Education Bills.  The information is separated into two pages. The first includes data about the legislative district itself with the names and party affiliation of each elected representative, the partisan split of registered voters, and data regarding voter turnout in the 2016 general election. It also includes race/ethnicity of the total population, and the population under age 18 within the district. Also, note the number of school districts within each legislative district and the student enrollment of each.

The second page displays the voting record of each legislator in that district on key K-12 education bills. These are grouped into three focus areas: funding, vouchers and local control.

 

Targeted Intstructional Strategies

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WWMD?

What Would Marzano Do?

Robert Marzano's research from Classroom Instruction that Works: Research-based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement listed nine strategies that yielded high results. They are:

   Source     

If you are interested in knowing how successful each are, check out his book or visit this PDF adaptation. Warning: without the book you might not realize that there is also a matter of HOW well the strategies are implemented. 

Differentiation

Ginger Topize

Carol Ann Tomlinson and Differentiation are synonymous in the world of education. If you haven't met her, I suggest the short video below. But buyer beware, the YouTube rabbit hole will open up so many great videos with her wisdom that you might just spend your whole afternoon immersed in Tomlinson.

Carol Ann shares the in and outs in a short ERIC article:

4 Classroom Elements to Differentiate

(for each element, she gives multiple specific examples)

  1. Content
  2. Process
  3. Products
  4. Environment

Carol Ann writes how to begin differentiation in the classroom, "...there are no recipes. Nonetheless, the following guidelines are helpful to many teachers as they begin to differentiate, begin to differentiate more proactively, or seek to refine a classroom that can already be called “differentiated”:

•Frequently reflect on the match between your classroom and the philosophy of teaching and learning you want to practice. Look for matches and mismatches, and use both to guide you.

•Create a mental image of what you want your classroom to look like, and use it to help plan and assess changes.

Read the article for the whole list of how to begin tips plus much more about the differentiation mindset.

STEM lessons still a head scratcher?

Ginger Topize

There is a lot that goes on around MCESA to support you and your students with STEM. Today, I'll wet your appetite.

STEM Pro Live!

Bringing STEM professionals from their workplaces into your classroom for free. Yep. You heard it! FREE!

The LIVE webinars are the 3rd Wednesday of every month. In March, Amazon gave us a tour around their Phoenix fulfillment center and explained how technology and mathematics makes it all possible.

Can't make the live event? That's okay. They are all archived to access at any time.

 

SOLVE IT!

This is a series of videos with STEM educators posing real-world challenges to students. Educators provide students and teachers with necessary background information, guiding questions, and suggested resources to solve community challenges.

Can your classroom solve it?

This month's challenge: Conduct research about your school lunchroom and design a better system for distributing lunches or getting students through the lines more efficiently.

Click here for the teacher materials for this challenge.

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Get more resources on MCESA's STEM webpage.

Sharing is caring, so share this information with your colleagues.

Products brought to you by MCESA's very own STEM gurus--Darcy Moody, Brian Hoffner, and Gale Beauchamp.

Digital Dementia in Children

Ginger Topize

Dementia is typically associated with the older population, but not anymore. Today's youth are increasingly suffering from Digital Dementia.

Have you ever spoken directly to students just to see blank stares and unresponsive actions? It could be Digital Dementia. Discovered in 2012 as a cerebral deterioration phenomena that happens with overuse of today's technology (smart phones, tablets, hand held gaming systems and such).

Here's some expert tips to recover/avoid it:

1. Use your noggin, not Google. Teach students how to concentrate on remembering.

2. Use real books. Research shows it's better for retention anyway.

3. Let them play. Increased blood flow to the brain brings in needed nutrients.

Pat Quinn, The RTI Guy, recently suggested in a webinar that teachers:

1. Focus students on posture so that heads are not tipped forward (relieves pressure to brain stem).

2. Have students do eye circles off to the left and then off to the right to eliminate eye convergence.

3. Use triads more often than pairs so that heads and eyes are moving more.

4. Let the students play! If you have to power to influence recess minutes, influence away!

Digital Dementia isn't just for kids. Make sure you are not falling into the same digital trap.

 

 

 

You Time

Ginger Topize

You've been working hard all year and you deserve a break. Why not take advantage of all Phoenix has to offer for weekend fun or spring break plans?

Go, do, refuel!

 Whether your a native or a transplant, the  Visit Phoenix  website is a great place to start the planning.

Whether your a native or a transplant, the Visit Phoenix website is a great place to start the planning.

Did you know that this weekend, you can:

  • Visit Dinosaurs in the Desert
  • Experience bold Japanese sculptures in a beautiful garden
  • Check out a charming Romantic comedy set in Ireland
  • Sit on a blanket and listen to great bands In the McDowell Mountains
  • Get your medieval on
  • and much much more...

Focus on you for a change.

Black History Month

Ginger Topize

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Biography

Biography is Celebrating Black History Month with rich news, history, videos, and stories from the times of slavery to current affairs. This site has something for everyone.

 
  Association for the Study of African American Life and History | Est. 1915   The ASALH named 2018 Black History Month theme, African Americans in Times of War. Check out the website for printables or even purchase a Black History Kit.

Association for the Study of African American Life and History | Est. 1915

The ASALH named 2018 Black History Month theme, African Americans in Times of War. Check out the website for printables or even purchase a Black History Kit.

 
  History    Videos, Articles, Pictures, and Speeches. This website takes you through Black History in America, the founding of the NAACP, explains how Black History Month came to be, and much more.

History

Videos, Articles, Pictures, and Speeches. This website takes you through Black History in America, the founding of the NAACP, explains how Black History Month came to be, and much more.

Response to Intervention

Ginger Topize

What is RTI

  • High-quality, scientifically based classroom instruction
  • Ongoing Assessment
  • Tiered instruction
  • Parent Involvement

How do I get started?

1. RTI Action Network

The RTI Action Network is a comprehensive website that can help support your planning and implementation.

2. Get connected with Pat Quinn, The RTI Guy

Pat is a classroom teacher with a passion for RTI. He know it can go all sorts of wrong and has the knowledge and fails to support you.

 

Here's Pat's next FREE ONLINE TRAINING (Link below)

Motivating Unmotivated Students
featuring Pat Quinn

Monday, February 19th
8:00 p.m. Eastern
7:00 p.m. Central
6:00 p.m. Mountain
5:00 p.m. Pacific


This 60-minute training will show you:

-- Teaching Strategies to Motivate your Unmotivated Students!

-- Strategies that save you time, energy and stress!

-- Specific ways to help under-achieving students succeed!

-- The 3 mistakes you MUST avoid this school year!

PLUS great prizes and free resources!


This online training is perfect for teachers of all subjects and grade levels K-12.  You can participate from any computer in the world with internet access!  

Here is the best part:  You can share this invitation with ALL of the staff members at your school, plus colleagues, friends and family from other schools!

Click here to sign up...Advanced Registration is REQUIRED:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3239982979172730369?source=Newsletter

 

 

 

Engaging Everyone Easily; Even Jimmy

Ginger Topize

Authors Persida and Wiliam Himmele wrote Total Participation Techniques, so that every teacher could not only engage Jimmy, but assess him throughout the learning sequence using higher-order thinking prompts. One of their most famous tools for engagement are Bounce Cards so that students can bounce abound ideas, thoughts, and extended learning.  Print them out today for scaffolding learning tomorrow.

 You can find the book online (about 20 bucks). I'm also willing to bet, you might find one on your campus somewhere (free)!

You can find the book online (about 20 bucks). I'm also willing to bet, you might find one on your campus somewhere (free)!

Visit the Total Participation Techniques Website for more information.

Today's TXTS 4 Teachers content was provided by the illustrious Dr. Judith Campbell.

Wah wah wah wah wah....

Ginger Topize

Jan Burkins and Kim Yaris wrote a book on a project titled, "Who's Doing the Work." Something I know you say to yourself often. But what if you did less and the students did more?

Limiting "Teacher Talk," Increasing Student Work author Tori Filler shares the meat of this project in her Achieve the Core article. She explained the after only a month and a half of working on the project, 90% of the teachers reported that their students were more engaged and that they were, in fact, talking much less than previously. Here's some tips that the participants found most effective.

  • Elicit 100% participation
    • Example strategy: Think, Write, Pair, Share based on a MEATY question
  • Beef up discussions
    • Example strategy: Reduce ping pong between one student and you. Include others teaching them how to listen first, then agree, contrast, add on, and so forth.
  • Read, read differently, then read differently
    • Example strategies: Increase reading time by providing support strategically, use partner reads, echo read, re-read, annotate, cite evidence.
  • Build Independence
    • Sample Strategies: Explicitly teach students to engage, facilitate student-led discussions, read and re-read more, and self-assessment (and how to adjust one's self).

If you visit the article, you can find the entire list of strategies.

Challenge: Do a small scale research project in your own classroom by implementing one of the strategies for two weeks. You might be surprised what you learn.

 

Resource attributed to Michele Rutin, Peer Evalutor and Education Aficionado.

 

APPS for Special Needs

Ginger Topize

In a recent Achieve the Core blog, Dr. Drost shared APPS for special needs students. These Apps help teachers:

  • help students ACQUIRE the content standards

  • help students PROGRESS with meaningful feedback

  • measure PROFICIENCY of learning

  • SUPPORT students in learning the content

Here is the first of three Apps that Dr. Drost shared in his blog post.

  "TextTeaser  summarizes the content from a webpage as a list of sentences or in paragraph form. What’s really great is that you adjust the output using a slider to give different detail levels of the passage or article (Drost, 2018)."   Now that's an easy tool for any teacher who needs a different reading level of any webpage content! Visit the blog for 2 more APPS just as robust and designed for multiple grade levels.

"TextTeaser summarizes the content from a webpage as a list of sentences or in paragraph form. What’s really great is that you adjust the output using a slider to give different detail levels of the passage or article (Drost, 2018)."

Now that's an easy tool for any teacher who needs a different reading level of any webpage content! Visit the blog for 2 more APPS just as robust and designed for multiple grade levels.

 

And...

Totally unrelated but absolutley necessary.

Get your AZ bucket list here and go make 2018 a year of adventure.

Free STEM Event

Ginger Topize

STEM Pro Live airs this Wednesday from OdySea Aquarium!

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STEM Pro Live! has featured engineers, app developers, researchers, business owners, and other STEM professionals from companies and agencies including Intel, Medtronic, the Arizona Coyotes, Maricopa County Air Quality, Freeport McMoRan, Arizona State University, and Butterfly Wonderland.

STEM Pro Live! broadcasts are the third Wednesday of every month (excluding June, July, and August) from 9:00 to 9:30 am. Click here to register.

 

Looking for more?

STEM Resources that MCESA provides are:

 

STEM Pro Live!

Next Generation of Innovators Speakers Series

360 STEM Adventures

Solve It!

Engineering STEM Identity

STEM Immersion Guide

STEM Walkthrough Protocol

STEM Teacher Support

STEM Leadership Series

 

 

How do you teach an intorvert?

Ginger Topize

Do your students raise their hands excitedly to give responses?

Do your students work together or collaborate often?

If you answered yes to either one, you might be rewarding extroverts and forgetting about your introverts.

 

Susan Cain founded the Quiet Revolution and immediately went to work on changing classrooms. In a 2012 TED Talk she stated that educators "unconsciously reward extroverts who dive headfirst into discussions, sometimes without much forethought." Her work shows us how to measure engagement versus participation.

Here's some tips to support your introverts:

1) End hand raising practices.

2) Evaluate body language and "facial feedback"

3) End traditional Think-Pair-Share, go for Think-WRITE-Pair-Share

4) Learn how your students learn

5) Look for culture differences. In some cultures listening is prized more than speaking.

6) Engage one-on-one

7) Help students explore their preferences

 

Ready to learn more?

Read Teaching Introverted Students: How a "Quiet Revolution" is Changing Classroom Practice by Brenda Iasevoli.

Watch Susan Cain's TED Talk.

Visit the Quiet Revolution website which also includes tips for parents of introverts.

 

 

 

 

So, What's Involved in the CRA Process?

Ginger Topize

Concrete - Representational - Abstract

It is how our mind works!

Ever wonder why your students don't know the why behind division, exponents or fractions? It could be that they cannot SEE what is happening which makes concepts out-of-reach.

Check out the CRA process in the video below, and while you are there, think about the vertical and horizontal alignment of the math standards.

 

Visit Research-Based Education and Strategies for explanations, steps to take, examples, and benefits.

Try it for a month and you won't regret it.