<![CDATA[Marlena Hebern - Blog]]>Tue, 17 Oct 2017 11:33:07 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[#edcampyosemite]]>Tue, 20 Sep 2016 02:24:18 GMThttp://marlenahebern.com/2/post/2016/09/edcampyosemite.htmlWhy are we doing Edcamp Yosemite again? 


We've run Edcamp Yosemite for the past three years, and every time, sometime in the planning process, I wonder to myself, "Why are we doing this again?" 
It isn't that the planning is hard or very time consuming, it's just that, like educators everywhere, I'm busy! 

And then I see the Twitter stream start to grow and the pictures start to come in. The next day, as I review Twitter, I find everyone's reflections completely captivating and contagious. 
And I know exactly why we do it!  
And I know we have to do it again. 
This isn't PD or PL your way, this is 'find your family, connect, have a good time, enjoy the fresh scent of pine trees, and relax....while doing PD your way!' Then, take an evening side trip out to Glacier Point or Sentinel Dome and take in the beauty. 



These are the things that make 

Edcamp Yosemite 
unlike any other edcamp. 

 
Let's back up a bit, our little edcamp started out with 3 planners just three years ago.
We wanted to create a camp where we could bring in our local teachers and mix them with other teachers from around the Central Valley. That was our mission. 
Jon, Marlena, and Nora: the braintrust of Edcamp Yosemite! 
Our committee consists of Jon Corippo, Nora Allsteadt, and myself. Walt Hebern isn't on the committee, but provides support whenever asked! We meet on Voxer since we don't really live near each other. We all just do what needs to be done. 

This year, Nora reimagined our logo and made some beautiful stickers (see above) and set up 
the schedule. I secured the event location and found sponsors, and Walt made the Eventbright. Jon, well...Jon does his thing and shares out the links to his growing network and then the magic happens! (Nora and I share it on our network, just our networks are not growing quite as fast as Jon's! Hey, we try!) 

Then we sit back, answer questions, keep it moving on Twitter, and wait. Slowly at first, and then in a rush, the signups flood in! 
I am always relieved that someone wants to come!
Of course, none of this would be possible without the generous sponsorship of Merced County Office of Education and use of the Jack L Boyd Outdoor School. 

Our other generous sponsors include:
The Edcamp Foundation: Provided breakfast and edcamp supplies. 
Edutopia: Every year they send prizes and lanyards. 
BreakoutEDU: They supplied us with an awesome Breakout box that inspired us to play and then we gave it away to one lucky winner. 
Max Cases: A handy Chromebook Max Case, the really nice one, and some door prizes

I try to remember, this is an edcamp set at an outdoor camp, in the forest. We have buildings, but the wifi is just as great outside as it is inside. So why not enjoy it outside under the trees? Causal is in our bones and we embrace it! 
Oh and Jon plans the after party at Southgate, our favorite brewery, and announces it live without telling anyone beforehand. And Nora and I just roll with it because we can't believe we didn't think of it ourselves! And we all go and love it and have a great time with the new and old friends that we met at edcamp. 
That's just how we roll! 
We cannot forget the food. I attended Camp Green Meadows once with my 3rd grader many years ago for science camp (Camp Green Meadows is an outdoor school), and I remember the food was absolutely delicious. That has certainly not changed one bit over the years. We loved the fish tacos! 
But what makes me want to do it again are the tweets and photos and excitement of the participants.

 The stories of what they are trying in their classrooms as a result of what they learned at Edcamp Yosemite. 

That is what makes it worth the 

time and keeps it fun. 
So thank you to...
...all the participants, Edcamp Yosemite would be nothing without you and your energy and fun spirits. 
...our sponsors, your support is so greatly appreciated. 
...my fellow committee members, so glad to be working with you! 

I have included some tweets below so that you might enjoy some of the contagious excitement and energy to which I am so shamelessly addicted! 
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<![CDATA[Journey to Google]]>Sun, 21 Feb 2016 05:00:42 GMThttp://marlenahebern.com/2/post/2016/02/journey-to-google.htmlWhen I share that I was accepted into the Google for Education Innovator program, I get a variety of responses. Most people just don't know what it is.

Click HERE to learn more.

But the responses that gets me the most are the ones where people think I got into the program simply by being talented, and that I was either born into that talent or I somehow magically acquired it overnight! Nothing could be further from the truth! 
Historically, I've pretty much been the computer naysayer in the family. When my husband came home from work one day in 1993 and said that we needed to upgrade our Apple 2E because the new ones at work were color, I replied, "What? We don't need color!!!" 
Needless to say, we soon had a brand new computer.


I wrote, I used Publisher, I played games. But that was about all. 


I only started using Google 3 years ago when my boss kept asking me to make Google forms and sites and things and I struggled at every turn. I finally decided that the only way to get ahead would be to study up and master the skills I needed. 

So I studied, and I studied, and I studied. 

I finally passed the 5 Google Educator exams in 7 days after work. (That was a big moment!)  It was at that point that I finally 'got' the big picture and saw how Google could work together for kids. 

So, no, I wasn't born with talent. I didn't magically become blessed overnight. I worked to master skills, I practiced at home on my own time, I networked with people on Twitter who could help me, I watched what others were doing, I stayed up late to complete projects, I youtubed solutions, I collected ideas, I asked my husband for lots of help.


And slowly, I learned.  


Then I started creating things of my own. 

So I feel especially honored to be counted among the 2016 cohort for Google Innovator. I am not the only one who has worked hard to master skills, create, and innovate. We all have. But my work isn't done, and neither is the work done for the other Innovators. 


We are just beginning.  
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<![CDATA[Changes, Changes, Changes]]>Sat, 20 Feb 2016 23:31:18 GMThttp://marlenahebern.com/2/post/2016/02/changes-changes-changes.htmlI stood in the empty hallway of my new office building. I was the last in the office to leave this evening. I paused, and I gazed around me and I realized 



that this is my new home. Amazingly enough, it feels like I have been here forever, even though only 3 months have passed. 


This has most certainly been a year of changes for me. Last February, I learned that my beloved job in Mariposa was being cut, in September I returned to the classroom, and In November, I left Mariposa and I am now working for FCOE. I am training teachers on technology. I am learning a new office, new co-workers, new boss, and mastering new skills, but I am enjoying my job tremendously and I am loving every minute. And I cannot thank my new co-workers, my new boss, and my new employer enough for making me feel like I belong to this team. You all are, if you are reading, the best! Thank you. 

More changes...
I was recently accepted into the Google for Education Innovator Academy, and I can hardly believe that the long anticipated 3 days in the Mountain View Google headquarters is less than a week away. 

So change is scary..it look me a long time to embrace it, but sometimes the right change is good for the soul. 
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<![CDATA[Resiliency in a Changing World]]>Thu, 11 Feb 2016 06:50:37 GMThttp://marlenahebern.com/2/post/2016/02/resiliency-in-a-changing-world.htmlI visited Venice last year and while we were there the tide rose into the Piazza San Marco. We watched the water rise and tourists walk on planks as children splashed in the water seeping up through the drains. I didn't think too much about it at the time.

Then I read, A history of flooding in the sinking city of Venice – in pictures
and I began to see the flooding a whole new way.

Marlena and her husband in Venice in 2014.
The city of Venice is adapting to the fact that they are slowly sinking into the ocean, or rather that the ocean is slowly rising around them. They have developed an elaborate system that allows them to determine the exact height of the incoming tide and are able to warn shop owners so that they may move their merchandise the designated number of inches above the floor. Considering the collection of glass and high end merchandise, it is not an easy task to move everything off the floor by a meter or two.

Ramps and blocks are stored in handy locations and are quickly installed so that residents and tourists may walk above the water. Residents and visitors are no longer allowed to have living quarters on the ground floor due to the increased flooding and resulting dampness. Even the tile stone floor of St. Mark's Square has been raised. And flood gates are in the process of being installed to control the ever increasing number of flood events and higher tides.
Apparently, it's not about individuals adapting to change.

This is resiliency on a much larger scale, a community, a country, or even the whole world scale!

                

This is the resiliency that our students today will need in order to navigate the world of the future.


Let's face it, technology is not the only way our world is changing. The way war is being waged is changing before our eyes, global warming is affecting our world, plastics pollute the ocean. In my home neighborhood, the unprecedented California drought brings the double whammy of dryness and destructive fire. Even Pope Francis has warned that humanity's "reckless" behavior has pushed the planet to a perilous "breaking point." (CNN)

When educators talk about preparing students for a future we don't yet understand, I tend to imagine a world filled with technology, opportunity, entrepreneurship, and self directed education. One in which careers have yet to be created. Like the Geographical Information System (GIS) that my daughter now works on for a living- unknown to us just 6 years ago. I also think of the original goal of an American educational system that educates every child so that every adult may be capable of participating in democracy. I don't really think about the greatest challenges facing humanity. But they have arrived, like a midnight guest persistently tapping on the door. 

This is our real call to action.
Without world stability, our American way of life is surly at risk. This is what resiliency means to me now. My call to action is to teach our students to not only navigate the changes upon us, but like the city of Venice, to participate in the creative problem solving and re-construction of a society that can respond to the changes that we cannot easily fix or predict.

More than ever, our children are our hope for the future! 

I ask myself, how do we go about this tremendously daunting task?


To start, teach each child to think on their own and to be creative in solving problems, and most importantly, teach them empathy for others. 


And as educators, we must constantly and vigilantly seek new ways to prepare every student for the future that awaits, for our call to action is a great one and reaction now will bring hope for the future.

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<![CDATA[A Clean Slate, Now What?]]>Fri, 04 Sep 2015 04:35:31 GMThttp://marlenahebern.com/2/post/2015/09/a-clean-slate-now-what.htmlNote: I wrote this blog just before school started and then got so busy starting school that I didn't publish until now! 
I stood in the door of my new classroom, completely overwhelmed by its emptyness.
I snapped a picture to send to a friend and captioned it, This is it - the before - the clean slate.

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And then the impact of that statement hit me like cold wind on on a winter day.

This IS the clean slate. Given a few parameters of the school district that I work in, how this class functions, what it does....is completely under my control.

I am the designer.
Pretty much...the sole designer.

So here it is, my clean slate. How shall I paint it?

I have been reading some incredibly good books to get me started this summer.
Here is my list so far of books and tools I plan on using: (I am sure this list will grow as I fill in the canvas of my classroom)

Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess
Learn Like a Pirate by Paul
Class Craft for Classroom Management
The 20 Time Project by Kevin Brookhouser
Team-E Engineering Grant Merced County Office of Ed
5 Fantastic 6th Grade Team-E Team members
Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon

I have been deeply inspired by each one in a completely different way. I know that implementing the concepts in these books, with a blend of my own sense of what education should look like, is going to be a bit of a trial and error process this year.

Trial and error you say? But our kids are not experiments!

Well...to some extent,
that is how it is done. No one has yet written a book, tailored to my teaching style, on everything that will need to go into one sixth grade class run by me in this particular town. 

Except me. :)

So trial and error it is!

Should I be afraid of a this trial and error process. NO!
The greatest inventive minds in our society have actually embraced a trial and error process for developing new inventions. It is called the 'engineering process', consists of roughly six steps, and each try is called an iteration.

Trial and error is what professionals do! 

This is where some folks struggle with this concept. They think that one size fits all. What works over there will work over here in exactly the same form and function. But life isn't always like that. 

Not all teachers are cut from the same mold either. We share each other's ideas and learn from one another. We learn from research, but when it comes down to it, it is up to us to mold all of the theories into a comprehensible program for kids.


One size does not fit all.

The good news, however, is that I won't be starting from scratch. Aside from my 25 years of experience in education, iterations have also been done by Burgess, and Brookhouser, and Solarz and Corippo and many other innovative educators. 

We know kids need coding, and math, and hands on, and that they need to participate in their learning! These are great starting places for my classroom.


The rest is up to me.

I'll study my own class to see what works and what does not work within the scope of my style. And to be honest, right now, I am not completely sure what my style will be in this new design. I do know, it will be very different from the last time I was in a classroom. I know different things, I have read different books, learned about different ways that kids learn. So yes, my style will be different! I look forward to the change and expect to surprise myself along the way!!!

Check back and see how I have painted my clean slate. Maybe you can save yourself a few iterations from my trail and errors!


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<![CDATA[How to Write Gamified Class Rules]]>Wed, 02 Sep 2015 03:21:18 GMThttp://marlenahebern.com/2/post/2015/09/how-to-write-gamified-class-rules.htmlHow to Write Gamified Class Rules
There are rules for writing game rules. I don't mean your garden variety family game, I'm talking about serious role-playing games, and believe me, the rules for my class are serious! 

But you can have a little fun with your students by adapting the format of role playing game rules to your own classroom rules and syllabus. 


If you are not a gamer, the easiest way to learn about these rules is to befriend a gamer, since all serious gamers are into the rules almost as much as the game itself! 
           So go find one....

Picture
...or be lucky enough that your daughter dates one. :) 
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The trouble of finding your own personal gamer may be well worth the payoff. My students loved the gamified class rules, and the parents loved them even more.

Just in case you don't know one...here are the suggestions that Garrett gave me...

Rules for Writing Rules: 

1. Name your game. (I called mine the Game of 6th Grade or g6g. I used the lower case g because the upper case looked a lot like 666...and I just didn't want to go there.)
2. Use lots of acronyms  in the directions.
3. Once the acronym is introduced, use it throughout the directions.
4. All games have a Game Master (GM). They break all ties, change the rules as they play when needed, and generally have the last word on everything. (Yep, just like the teacher!) This allows you to maintain the last word at all times. 
5. Players are called Player Characters (PC)
6. Rules should have lots of examples with illustrations.
7. The good games use a D12 which is a 12 sided dice. The really cool games use a D20!
8. Include how to win the game.
9. Move from general to specific.
10. Mind the white space.
11. Include these parts:
Summary of the game
Acronym meanings
How to solve disputes
Set up and structure of the game
Strategy
Winning
Game Calculations
12. Have fun! 

That's about it. Easy. Check out my classroom gamified rules (below) to get you started with writing your own gamified class rules.


Good luck, and most importantly...have fun! 


Direct slide share link to the the rules below:
http://www.slideshare.net/MarlenaHebern/game-of-6th-grade-rules

*Special thanks to Garrett for getting me up and running with this project! 




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<![CDATA[If Twitter Ever Retires...So Will I!]]>Thu, 16 Jul 2015 18:33:00 GMThttp://marlenahebern.com/2/post/2015/07/if-twitter-ever-retiresso-will-i.htmlAn Open Letter to My Wonderful Teaching Friends Who Are Not On Twitter...Yet (And Anyone Else Wondering About Twitter for Educators)

Dear Anne, Shelly, Miriam, and Sherry,
I have finally found a way for us to connect over our shared profession and passion - teaching. It is a great little app called Twitter. If you are on Twitter already, read no further, just message me @mhebern and we can start sharing.

But if you are not on Twitter, then let me convince you that Twitter is a great place to hang out.

I miss you guys, and I think about you often. All of you!

You share on fb all the time! You share...
inspirational quotes, funny stories, tips, and kid pictures. You share everything about your lives and you connect with family and friends from afar....including me.

And over the years I have enjoyed following your growing families and adventures. (Miriam- your summer trip Europe looks amazing, Shelly- your little girls have grown, Anne- I love your trips to Tennessee, and Sherry- you and your students inspire me with every fb post )


Twitter is THE platform to do the same....
                ....but with teaching stuff!

We share inspirational teaching quotes, stories about our successes and frustrations, tips on teaching better, conference resources, we ask questions, and then we reply to questions, and most importantly, we support each other.
Through thick and thin.

Unlike Facebook, Twitter is only educators and the conversations are around education, and unlike Pinterest, there is a conversation with the sharing of resources.

I have built my network of support and collaboration with people that I have never met.

                That is...until we meet!

Now, I am a pretty outgoing person, but I have to make myself be that way sometimes. I felt this little ping of 'what the heck am I doing here and where is the exit' panic whenever I am in a room of strangers and I don't have the security of someone that I know. We all do.  Inside, I feel like I should have just stayed home with a good book! So once I have talked with someone on Twitter...and then I meet them in person at a conference or at a meeting....it is if we have known each other for a very long time already. And the following conversation is really easy!
 
The Twitter support I have received this year has been tremendous. It wasn't an easy year for me personally. And I appreciated being able to go to my network on Twitter 24/7 for a boost of energy and inspiration.

But I missed connecting with you there. I looked, and I could not find you.

I'll admit, when I last taught 5th grade, it was not my favorite grade. So as I return to the classroom this year, moving from primary to 6th grade, I get a little nervous. But two HUGE factors have changed this time and that is 1:1 and unlimited 24/7 access to resources, peers, ideas, support, collaboration, answers, and other educators who care about kids the same way that I do!

I know that my Personal Learning Network
                                            on Twitter

                           will be there for me anytime I need it.

And what a relief that is, to say the least.

I am a little selfish....I know that it would be even better if I could meet up with you there!


But let me warn you about Twitter...it took me a little while to really begin to feel connected on Twitter. I had to join in some Twitter chats and follow a wide variety of people. I had to be persistent. I had to be open to new ideas. I had to contribute. It took a little time for me to figure it out and to move from lurker to participant. My advice, just jump into any conversation- Twitter people welcome it! (see the links below to help you get started.) Some of my best ideas have come from other conversations I have joined.

I had to foster that relationship just like I would foster a relationship with anyone who is relationship worthy. And yes, that takes a little bit of a commitment....but just a little bit! (And honestly....when it comes to keeping up on relationships, I'm terrible at it.)

The payoff, the return value....I'll just say that I couldn't teach without it.

                    If Twitter ever retires, so will I!

And in return, I found that people on Twitter do not complain, they seek ideas, they share freely and openly, and do not judge. They are quick to lend a hand. They are fun.

I think you would fit right in!

You can find me on Twitter @mhebern.

Hope to see you soon and looking forward to sharing teaching stuff,
Marlena

P.S. Twitter tips below. :)


Note:
Sherry was a high school friend that is now teaching English at our former high school. Go Vikings!
Miriam was my college roommate in Sierra College and Chico and we worked together in Tahoe one summer. What great memories!
Anne and Shelley were my teaching buddies in an all kindergarten school. I'd have never survived those early years without you guys. Everything I know about teaching math, I learned from Anne! And Shelley helped me with the ELs. We
had some great adventures at those kindergarten conferences!

Twitter Resources to Get You Started:


Post Note:
The early response to this post was surprising to me. I didn't realize that so many of my Twitter friends felt the same way that I did about our Twitterless friends. I have posted a few of their replies here.
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<![CDATA[First Day of Sixth Grade Begins Now]]>Thu, 02 Jul 2015 02:50:08 GMThttp://marlenahebern.com/2/post/2015/07/first-day-of-sixth-grade-begins-now.html I'll be teaching sixth grade next year after being out of the classroom for 5 years. I didn't choose this assignment and I have mixed feeling about taking it on. I've never fully taught 6th grade before. Previously, I was a primary teacher. No problem, because sixth grade doesn't start for another 3 months, right?

Wrong! It starts today!

Today? It's only JUNE 2nd! How can that be?


It's right there in those staff meeting notes from yesterday! Darn! I knew....

I should have attended that staff meeting! (I missed it due to other duties.) The students will be moving up to the next grade level for an activity and overview of the next grade level. All 5th graders will be coming my way. Today. All 44 of them.

"No problem," I reassure the principal, "I got this! Really"

But really, I have no idea what we will DO. My partner teacher and I, both being new to this school, will not start planning until this summer! My mind is a blank. Well....not totally blank. I have tons of cool things up my sleeve, but nothing much for keeping a group of 44 6th graders engaged for 30 minutes without technology!
It takes me all of 3 seconds to realize that I need to channel Obiwancorippo and the answer will magically appear. I close my eyes and of course, It comes to me like a lightening bolt!
Things That Suck!

The famous edcamp session created by none other than Dan Callahan and carried on by Bill Selak and reproduced by Jon Corippo and Will Kimbley and many others all across America!

I knock out 30 slides in 10 minutes. I realize that I can't call it Things That Suck with those darling little 6th graders...just can't go there. I head immediately to my PLN on Twitter for suggestions. Where else can you get instant feedback? Corippo suggests the title, Things That Are Not Optimal, I reply, "Really? These are 6th graders! How about Things That Are Stupid?" You can't win them all, Corippo.

So finally, taking Mark Hall's suggestion from Edcamp Yosemite, I call it Things That  Rock. There you go Mark, this one's for you!

I realize that I'm not just visiting these kids for a  half hour, these kids will be mine for a full 180 days!

This is going to take a lot more than being cool for 5 minutes.

They approach the classroom, escorted by the principal, in long disciplined lines. 
Picture
Picture



Marlena as a Sixth Grader

Blowing it is actually a fleeting possibility in the back of my mind! But then it dawns on me that this is a big moment for them. They are filled with anticipation and excitement and nervousness, just like me.

They have wondered who their next teacher would be for months now. They may have heard it might be Mrs. Hebern, but who I am has been left to their imaginations. I remember fretting over an ominous first day all summer with exactly that same feeling!

They ask as they approach the classroom, "Are you Mrs. Hebern?" They are not sure they are pronouncing my name correctly. One dark headed girl approaches me with a smile, genuine enough to melt your heart, and reaches out her hand to shake mine, "Hello."
And then we have a really great time! The kids have fun, the activity is engaging. They remain fairly disciplined.

I am surprised to see that they are interested in many of the same topics that the adults at edcamp were interested in discussing, like homework and grading and bullying. 

Then our time comes to an end, and they plead for one more. That's success in my book!

The first day, done...with smiles!

This 6th grade thing might just be more fun than I had anticipated.

Yeah, I got this!


Note: Special thanks to the wonderful staff at MES and principal who planned this whole school wide Flash Forward activity. Kids loved it and the teachers gave it rave reviews! Even the parents were buzzing about it!
Such an awesome way to wrap up this year and set the pace for next year!


Picture
Topics like grades and homework are of high interest to kids as well as teachers.
Smart Start
"Things That Rock"
Activity
Things That Rock Smart Start:
Homework
iPads
Dodge Ball
Boy or Girl Drama
Not knowing your grade
Friends
Teachers
Rules
Bullies
Lunch time
School projects
PE
Pool parties
Tech that doesn't work

Missing assignments


Missing the bus
People who yell
Little kid parties
Math
Lame project partners
Backpacks
Working alone
Chrome books
Writing
Detention

Little brothers or sisters
Seeing the principal
Reading books

Recess
Field trips
How to do a Things That Suck Session as written by Bill Selak.

http://www.billselak.com/2012/thingsthatsuck

Bill had 23 items, I got through 23 in 30 minutes with a quick pace. I called on 2-3 kids per item for a quick statement. In the fall, I plan to repeat this activity as part of Smart Start, with a lot more discussion. Of course, I'll only have half of the 44 kids that I had today.
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<![CDATA[Reflecting with Students]]>Wed, 01 Jul 2015 16:07:13 GMThttp://marlenahebern.com/2/post/2015/07/reflecting-with-students.html I consider myself a reflective learner.

        But... what does that really mean?

I don’t know exactly when I started reflecting on my classroom practice, but it was very early on. Maybe even that first year as the year ended. Then I moved from my first Kindergarten job to the second kindergarten job in a different district. As I started that job, I knew exactly what I wanted to do, and more importantly, what I didn’t want to do. In other words, I learned a lot that first year!

Before I knew it, I started...
Picture
reflecting on my practice sooner…around April. Then I spent May and June experimenting on my class to see what new things I wanted to perfect and implement right away in the fall. The kids loved it, although they had no idea I was experimenting.
They just thought I was changing up the routine!

Experimenting in the spring has become a tradition now. I ponder what worked and what didn’t and how I can make it better. I move the room around, try some novel crazy lesson. I ask students for feedback on that crazy lesson. Anything new that I want to have perfected for the new class coming up, I try out in the spring.

And a reflective learner was born!

Now I reflect on my practice throughout the year, no matter what I am doing, and I think I have gotten much better at it. I ask myself questions, and I ponder the answers. Sometimes I ask the same questions year after year!

My new favorite question…..

What would my mentor/s do in this situation? Ha, I learned that question just last year and it has stuck with me!

But the approach pushes me to think outside my own box.

I think we all get to an age where we get tired of listening to ourselves and this question gives me an opportunity to think in a different way from what I normally would.

I think about how I learn.

    I dig deep…
        really deep…
            and sometimes...
                 it hurts.

Sometimes I bruise my self-esteem a little because I am, perhaps, too hard on myself.

            But in the end…I know that I will only grow if I try.


Picture
So what about kids?

Is this a process kids can learn from?


If kids are going to grow into creative and collaborative adults, it is an imperative job skill. They must be able to self reflect and learn from their own successes and mistakes.

I have used reflection with younger students with questions like, “Do you think you understand what was taught?” But now I realize, that was surface stuff.


How DO we teach them to be reflective learners?


That was the question posed on Twitter a few weeks ago. My tendency is to have kids write responses to prompts that would spur reflection. But then I began to think about my own process.


        It isn’t written.

Not at all. In fact, I am quickly learning that even writing a blog post is not where the reflection happens. It happens way before the keyboard is opened up!

        It is verbal!

Yes, verbal. Sometimes, my husband thinks it’s a little too verbal! But my own thoughts are a kind of verbal dialogue with myself.

But kids don’t know how to reflect on what they do or on a project they have completed, much less on their process of learning. I hadn’t really considered that until it was brought up on Twitter. Kids need modeling.

        I want kids to go beyond what did you learn today?
            Beyond what worked for you and what didn’t?
                 I want them to dig deep into themselves…
                        …really deep.

They need to consider the hard questions. And then they need to hear the thinking of others so that they can begin to learn a process that works for them.

What I came up with is an activity that gets kids up out of their seats, moving and listening and sharing with one another. The model I used was the edcamp Things That Suck model…but with a twist in the form of discussion points built right in.

My students enjoyed this process. It was fun, but I am hoping some willing teachers will experiment with me. Try this out for awhile and see what works. And then let me know how it went!

I share with you, here, my early thoughts on teaching kids how to reflect. And I cannot believe that it has taken me this long in my career to get to the point of seriously considering how to teach kids how to reflect. Now begins the process of researching, of trial and error, of consulting my PLN, of experimenting.

            And of course, reflecting on what works and what doesn’t!



Facilitating Student Reflection
Student Reflection: How can we facilitate student reflection? Try using some of these questions with your students.
This slide deck is modeled after the Things That Suck Edcamp Session by Bill Selak.

I'd like to thank Edutopia, their resources are eduawesome!  I'd especially like to thank @mathkaveli for the inspiration and collaboration. You rock!
Some great resources that I found so far:

Let it Marinate: The Importance of Reflection and Closing
By Joshua Block

Creating a Culture of Student Self Reflection
By Clyde Yoshida

40Reflective Questions
Edutopia
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<![CDATA[Top 5 List]]>Tue, 19 May 2015 04:23:23 GMThttp://marlenahebern.com/2/post/2015/05/top-5-list.htmlWhen it comes to education, we have to stop pretending…
I accept the challenge from Ryan Archer (@ArcherEdTech) to list five things that I wish education would stop pretending. There are so many, where will I even begin!

I don't remember if anyone has ever actually asked me this before! And I wonder why?
As educators, we know the educational system better than anyone. Inside and out. We work, we observe, we see the effects on children that are put into play by lawmakers and policymakers.
                    We live the results.
And yet, we are rarely asked, if ever, to list the things we want to see changed.
So now's our chance! Thanks Ryan for including me in the challenge. Here is my top five list.


                                            The compiled list is here:
                                             https://goo.gl/IyzWEN



When it comes to education, we have to stop pretending…
...that children are tiny adults that can handle pressures put upon them to complete complicated           adult sized tasks, and can plan, produce, think, and conduct themselves like adults- all the time.
...that collaboration is good enough for kids, but not for adults.

...that homework is the best way to cover new material we couldn't manage to cover in class.

...that grades define a student. 

...that we know what the future holds for the children of today.


I challenge
@whebern

@rcorippo
@brianbiggs
@msreede

@jorippo

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