Saturday, July 23, 2022

A Post Copied from another Blog

I found this blog post on an old-school blog and I am afraid it will be taken down. This is a description of an MYP Individuals and Societies unit I helped work on at KAS.

This post was copied over from the Share blog where we could help spread the good teaching at the school. That was one of the many ideas I copied from SIS.


Jen and I met about this unit way back in October. She wanted to design a unit that incorporated elements of gaming.

After meeting with her to discuss which unit she would be doing, when it would happen, what she wanted to accomplish with this unit [student outcomes], we both went off and did a little research to gather more ideas.

I came across many articles, but then I came across Paul Swanson’s blog. He is a technology coordinator at UNIS Hanoi and had experience assisting a middle school humanities teacher, Kelsey Giroux, gamify her unit.

At our next meeting, Jenn had a better idea of the direction she wanted to take, so I added what I had found — most notably to add a narrative to the unit.

See how the unit has unfolded so far – Unit 3- Medieval Europe

  • She created a Google Site in which the sections (levels) are divided by pages.
  • For her first level, the students each created their own coat of arms. They then took a picture of it and used Thinglink to explain their thinking. (This also pushed students to more critically evaluate their own work.)
  • The students then voted on the best coats of arms.
  • Throughout the unit, pictures are uploaded to Instagram and displayed on the class blog through an Instagram feed widget. This has led to authentic discussions about digital citizenship and responsibility.
  • The Thinglinks were then embedded into a Padlet where all of them could be displayed at once.
  • Each unit has Google Docs with directions, creating independence amongst the students.
  • Students independently move through the levels after they have attained the point requirement.
  • There is a leaderboard so students can see their own progress. This has freed Jenn from reminding them what to do next.

The unit is still in the toddler stage — and all that stage implies — but what has become most apparent is the increased motivation and engagement from the students.

Monday, March 28, 2022

A Parent Guide to Technology

I gave a parent presentation on how to support children at home.

On Giving Feedback


This might seem obvious to you, but have you crystallized why you are giving feedback? Have you thought about it? 

Do you plan how you are going to give feedback? 

At its best, feedback can 
  • motivate 
  • teach
  • correct
However, if done improperly, it can also
  • demotivate
  • demoralize
  • depress


Who is the feedback for?

It is strange to ask, but when you consider this question, you start thinking with an empathy mindset. So, it is best to ask the receiver when the best time will be. Chances are, they will always say OK.

It is always best to ask:
Can I give you some feedback?
When is the best time to give you feedback?

Feedback is probably best given sooner than later. Given too late it is almost torture.


Have you ever had a superior only give you negative feedback? 

Employees who experience negative feedback can become demotivated, detached, and can actually start to avoid contact their the manager. 

Is there something of a feedback framework?

Can you find something good in what happened? Or do you only focus on the bad?

Do you plan how you are going to give feedback?