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Webinars

This page is my portfolio of recorded webinar presentations.

ASU Learning Forward Professional Development -- Address Common Core with Student Blogging
Educational blogging goes hand and hand with the Common Core. During this webinar, we present how they complement each other, the impact blogging makes on learning, how to grow a blogging culture, and tips for getting started. 
Recorded May 6, 2014

School Leadership Summit -- Process Education: Effective Communication, Reaching Every Person
Connecting with others, building relationships, and creating positive classroom/school/district culture starts with communicating effectively. During this session you will hear about the impact Process Education, a research-based communication model, has on students, teachers, and administrators. The benefits of Process Education include techniques to manage classrooms, schools, and districts; and to individualize teaching, meetings, and professional developments through communication strategies, reaching every person. These strategies can be used face-to-face and online.
Recorded March 27, 2014

Classroom 2.0 LIVE -- Building 21st Century Classrooms with the Common Core
Common Core learning standards, 21st century learning, global collaborations, and project-based learning (PBL) go hand-in-hand. During this webinar, we will present how the four of these complement each other in the classroom; and how the teacher, Common Core coach, Technology Integration Specialist, and Technology Director can nurture that 21st century, student-centered learning environment.
During this webinar, we'll explore the depth of the Common Core Reading, Writing, and Speaking and Listening Standards that takes place in 21st century learning, through the examples shared throughout the session. We'll also investigate the evidence of success through district-level data, learning artifacts, and student reflections
Recorded December 7, 2013

University of Kentucky's Next Generation Leadership Academy -- Using Technology to Transform Learning
"This webinar will be led by Tracy Watanabe who is the Technology Integration Specialist for the Apache Junction Unified School District, in Apache Junction, Arizona. AJUSD is a district that was very traditional, and transitioned to a district with one-to-one learning in grades 7-9, and innovative learning, reaching beyond the four classroom walls, K-12. During this webinar, Tracy will share what they did, how they did it, and their results. This session should be very relevant for any school. All schools considering how they can use technology to transform their schools will benefit from this session." -- Dr. Nick Sauers, CASTLE 1 to 1 Schools
Recorded April 22, 2013

2013 School Leadership Summit -- Using Instructional Rounds to Create 21st Century Schools
Instructional Rounds, based on the work of Elizabeth City, Richard Elmore, Sarah Fiarman, and Lee Teitel, are a form of walkthoughs, district improvement strategies, data collection, and team building/networking. They are not for teacher evaluation, but rather for systemic improvement. The four steps in instructional rounds are to identify the problem of practice, observation, debrief, and focus on the next level of work. The discussion of 21st century learning can enter at any or all steps of the process.

During this session, we will discuss what Instructional Rounds are, a few examples of rounds and how rounds can build a collaborative, inquiry-based culture focused on 21st century, student-centered learning.
Recorded March 28, 2013

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Close Read Complex Text, and Annotate with Tech--Part 1

Students need to be taught how to read complex texts. One of the strategies for learning how is close reading. It slows the reader down to notice and ponder more. It also connects meaning and builds systems of thought.

Text complexity with close reading

Complex text requires a close reading. So what makes a text complex? There are three "ingredients" to text complexity:


It's important to understand text complexity to build students' literacy skills. As they become more skilled, they will read more complex text on their own.

Introduction to close reading

Here's an overview of close reading:




What does close reading look like in the classroom?

Here are some examples of close reading at different grade levels and content areas (or components of it such as annotation):
9th-10th grade -- Thinking Notes: A Strategy to Encourage Close Reading by the Teaching Channel 10th grade, Close Reading with nonfiction6th grade, Teaching Annotation4th grade, Close Reading3rd grade l…

Striving for Higher-Order Thinking and Depth of Knowledge

A little over a year ago, I read Higher-order thinking is the exception rather than the norm for most classrooms on Scott McLeod's blog, Dangerously Irrelevant, and have been mulling it over, wondering if our school district is any different.

Over the past year, our teachers periodically collect data with their teams on the types of questions/tasks they ask students. One teacher records teacher questions and the other records student responses on a shared Google Doc; then teams sort through their own data, plotting teacher questions by Bloom's Revised Taxonomy, and student responses to those questions/tasks with Webb's Depth of Knowledge (DOK). The 2012-2013 data showed we were not very different from other districts; therefore, our teamsset their own goals for higher-order thinking and depth of knowledge.

The data so far for the 2013-2014 school year shows questions asked of students are up and down the Bloom's ladder, equally distributed (with a little less in the c…

Close Read Complex Text, and Annotate with Diigo--Part 3

Close reading is a strategy for reading complex text. In Part 1, the focus is how to do a close reading. The focus in Part 2 is how to annotate with iPads. The focal points of this post are the teacher steps in close reading; how to create text dependent questions for informational text in 6th-12th grades; annotating in Diigo; and creating writing activities to go with close reading.
Below are the teacher's steps for creating a close reading lesson. However, the student steps are in the poster shown on the right:

Teacher Step 1: Choose the text

Choose a short and difficult text to do a close reading on. It should be at the frustration reading level.

Some examples to choose from for informational text are short speeches (or excerpts from a speech); research; paragraphs or chapters from biographies, memoirs, or historical accounts to name a few.

Teacher Step 2: Planning

Plan and do what you expect your students to do.
Decide if they will annotate on a paper copy, with sticky notes, o…