Episode 044: Legislative Wrap Up

The 2019 Oklahoma Legislative Session has come and gone. This year Passing Notes, with the help of a couple of friends, worked to help keep #oklaed informed with regular updates on all things #okleg. Please send your feedback to me by commenting below or direct message me @thestephhinton.

This last episode, posted a little later than planned, is a conversation with Senator JJ Dossett of Senate District 34 and Representative Cyndi Munson of House District 85 (twitter handles linked to name). This episode focused on #oklaed reflections and frustrations from the legislative session.

A BIG shout out to Todd Gragg and Shari Gateley who took the time to research and record for each episode!

Episode 042: Student Podcasts

Erin Barnes is a principal and former teacher of Epic Charter Schools. She is also a co-host of the OklaSaid Podcast and the producer of the podcasts The Emancipation Podcast Station and Navigating School.

I sat down with Erin to talk about how thinking outside the box and allowing students to demonstrate mastery through a variety of means provides educators with a more authentic forms of assessment.

Reflection Questions:

  • What do you currently use to assess student mastery?
  • Do you currently use any alternative forms of assessment when determining student mastery?
  • What alternative forms of assessment have been the most effective for you?
  • Have you ever considered using student podcasting to determine student mastery? How would creating a student podcast help you identify mastery and needs for remediation?
  • What other forms of authentic assessments have you tried or considered trying? How did this experience grow your thinking about assessments or student mastery?
  • What are your next steps towards changing assessments in your classroom?

Episode 040: Blogging & Podcasting for Education

For this episode of Passing Notes, Michelle Waters from reThinkELA and I talk all things!! Our focus for this episode was on blogging & podcasting for education but we also visited about student voice & choice, falling in love with reading, literature, and more!

Michelle Waters is a high school English teacher in rural Oklahoma. She is the genius behind reThinkELA, which provides English teachers with a community of learners to grow and think critically about their teaching practices. reThinkELA is a blog, a podcast, a place to chat. You can find Michelle Waters – on Twitter @watersenglish or at her blog reThinkELA.com.

reThinkELA is a member of the #oklaed Podcast Network.

Reflection Questions:

  1. What ways do you currently add student voice and choice in your classroom?
  2. What are some of your current practices to encourage a love of reading/writing in your classroom?
  3. Do you currently have a student who you are struggling to connect with literature? What are some ways you might think outside the box/mix it up in your classroom to help this student?
  4. How are you sharing what is happening in your classroom/school with others?
  5. How do you learn from others about best practices? Do you listen to podcasts? Read blogs? Read books?
  6. How are you a life long learner? What are practical steps you can take to be more purposeful about learning (i.e., PLC book study, listening to a new podcast)?

Episode 039: Legislative Update 8

This episode of Passing Notes Todd, Shari, and I focused on other systems that impact education because it is not enough to fully fund education. We cover healthcare, criminal justice, DHS, and how all three intersect with education. To sum it up, if we are going to be a top 10 state, Oklahomans need to care for Oklahomans and our policies need to be reflective of the Oklahoman Standard.

Find Todd on Twitter @MrGragg and Shari @ShariGateley.

Episode 038: Kids First

This is part 2 of my interview with Kristi Mraz. This episode will focus more on learning environments and creating a mindset for learning You can find Kristi on Twitter @MrazKristi or on her blog www.kristimraz.com.

Reflection Guide:

  • What values does your classroom environment portray about your teaching philosophy? What do you want it to say?
  • What current classroom practices do you have in place that doesn’t match up with your values? How do you plan to change that?
  • Have you audited your schedule lately? Is your schedule designed with child development and current research on how children learn in mind?
  • Do you feel like a manger of students or a curator of community? Why?
  • Take a moment to write down your beliefs about students and learning. What evidence exists in your classroom of those beliefs? What steps do you need to take to demonstrate your beliefs in practice?