Tag Archives: Justin Cahill

#GISAConference 2016: notes and quick reflection

2016 GISA Annual Conference
Monday, November 7, 2016

Wendy Mogel (@DrWendyMogel) encourages us to raise wildflowers instead of bonsai trees.  She challenges our community to help our children through the journey to independence instead of hoping to skip over the struggles that come with the journey.

gisa2016-wendymogel

Justin Cahill (@justybubPE), Brian Balocki (@BrianBalocki), and John Turner were serious about Keeping Kids in Motion. While originally scheduled into a traditional classroom, they encouraged everyone to check in and join them outside of experiential lessons to implement in PE and in base classrooms.  They taught the why, the how, and the what of keeping kids (of any age) in motion. Best GISA session EVER!

gisa2016-cahillbalocki

Mary Cantwell (@scitechyEDU) facilitated a conversation around design, STEM, STEAM, and Design Thinking.  My big, lingering take-aways are the following questions.

How might we impact our learners and their approach to solving problems every day?

and

If the users of our assessments are our learners, how might we design with them in mind and design using an empathetic lens?

gisa2016-cantwell

Rich Wormeli (@RickWormeli2) sent the message that students will only be creative, courageous, and persistent if they have teachers willing to be creative, courageous, and persistent. Sense-making is a worthy goal, but don’t stop there; strive for meaning-making. Relationships first.  Use assessment to reveal the story of learning.gisa2016-wormeli

Focus on learning: build a team – Embedding Formative Assessment VTR SPW

What if we collect evidence of progress to plan for next steps in learning?

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What if we take up a series of 30 Day Challenges: Step outside your comfort zone! as described in Justin Cahill’s linked post? Justin (@justybubpe) writes:

How about professionally? How can I apply the 30-day challenge to my job as a physical education teacher? How can I use this challenge to motivate my students? How can I take advantage of trying something new for 30 days to help bolster my planning and strengthen my curriculum? How will I answer all of these questions in under 30 days?

What if we focus on learning? When we set goals, are we committed to reaching them? What if we set micro-goals and action-steps that move our learning forward regularly?  How might we choose to team to step outside our comfort zone for 30 days to shift our practice to more formative assessment?

What if we choose to build a supportive accountability team to carve out moments for self- and peer-assessment?

Four weeks appears to be a minimum period of time for teachers to plan and carry out a new idea in their classroom. (Wiliam, 22 pag.)

How might we shift to grow from

a knowledge-giving business to a habit-changing business? (Wiliam, 19 pag.)

What if we try for 30 days?

Indeed, the evidence suggests that attention to classroom formative assessment can produce greater gains in achievement than any other change in what teachers do. (Wiliam, 11 pag.)

How might we try for 30 days?

Viewed from this perspective, choice is not a luxury but a necessity. (Wiliam, 15 pag.)


Cahill, Justin. “30 Day Challenges: Step outside Your Comfort Zone!” Keeping Kids in Motion. WordPress, 06 Jan. 2016. Web. 08 Jan. 2016.

Wiliam, Dylan, and Siobhán Leahy. Embedding Formative Assessment: Practical Techniques for F-12 Classrooms. West Palm Beach, FL: Learning Sciences, 2015. Print.

Telling Our Story – #LearnAndShare

In the Information Age, we strive to serve a broader purpose, to learn and share, to give back to our community.  How might we give and take, consume and produce?  As learners, we seek to find and offer our voice, to reflect, and to embrace learning out loud.

What if our goals include sharing our in process thinking and learning? How might we level up in writing, reflection, and public presence?

  • Kathy Bruyn: Student Portfolios: It’s all worth it!
    If you’re wondering if it’s worth the time and energy you put into helping students create online portfolios of their work each year, I have your answer.
  • Chari Nickerson: #TBT.Pickle.Trees
     I’m so proud to have been there to hear and learn alongside my students.
  • Marsha Harris: Coding for Communication Collaboration Critical Thinking and Creativity
    When students learn to code, they learn to think analytically, problem solve, and practice public speaking skills.  They begin to think like inventors, entrepreneurs, and creators. 
  • Jill Gough:  Engaging Every Learner #AskDontTell
    What if we offered the opportunity for every child to show what they know instead of having them raise their hands and wait for the chance to respond? Here’s what that looks like in practice.
  • Mary Jacob Harris: Taking Risks to Flourish
    While Michelle and I constantly remind students they need to take risks to grow and that making mistakes is okay, I thought it was time to model risk taking. 
  • Justin Cahill: The Art of Losing
    Let’s model gracious behavior both in victory and defeat.  Following a tough loss, the last thing our guys want to do is dwell on it.  Losing is not the end of the world.  A positive character is what will make our budding sons into great men.  That is priceless.
  • Samantha Steinberg: When Do You Abandon A Book?
    Although a week ago I was ready to set this book aside for another time, I’m actually glad I stuck with it for just a little longer. Halfway through the book, it got very exciting, and I’m now fully engrossed.

Derek Sivers says it well:

Tell your story. Tell our story.

Learn… and share.