When I was getting ready for this conference, I prepped by making sure I had multiple pens, notebooks, a computer, an iPad, phone, chargers for each, extension cords, etc. I was ready to absorb as much content knowledge and innovative teaching techniques as I could. I was open to take that knowledge, self evaluate, and then do things differently then I did last year. What I did not expect to have personal, life changing moments that really have nothing to do with teaching. Points in the day where I had to look inward and say: That's me, or I am guilty of that.
When someone is presenting, they usually interject some personal stories to relate to the audience. Something in your story will resonate with an audience member and the presenter's story is mirrored someway in audience member's life. However, you also run the risk that someone can not relate because they haven't experienced the history that colored your perspective.
I say all of this because sometimes you are put in a place and time to say a message or hear a message. Not every session I have attended touched me on a deeper level and that is O.K. I had a take away and that was sufficient. More and more I am put in situations where I need to present information to audiences that are taller than 4 feet. I am a nervous wreck before hand. Jitters and nerves get the best of me at some point and I dread everything about the experience. I need to work on this. I continue to be in awe of everyone here who passionately speaks on a topic and shares personal experiences that are, sometimes, painful and embarrassing to recount to their audience. I want to be the presenter where people leave and feel inspired. To do this, you have to open yourself up and that is what I continue to struggle with and need to work on.
If you want to see any of these powerful sessions they are archived on densi2014.com.
So first I have to say that it is so refreshing to go into every session here and people want to attend. They aren't just filling in time slots or signing an attendance sheet to get credit, these people applied, spent their own money for travel, and left their families to attend each and every part of this Institute. Sitting in a room where everyone is actively listening and participating is a sight to behold. The energy in the room is tangible. I wish I could bottle this up and take it back to my own district. ALL professional development should be like this.
Opening Morning Session
I have used many of Dr. Lodge's songs in my classroom but his session was less about songs and more about using your time efficiently. He talked a lot about filming his short lectures for all subject areas. He shows these videos while he is walking around managing the classroom. When the video ends, the kids have a chance to have discussions on the video topic. The kids can access these videos at a later date if they need to. It is a concept that I am really considering for next year.
Teaching with one image- Tim Childers
Great session- He started off by saying we need to get rid of bullet points in presentations. This is a hard one for me because I love my life in bullets.
Take an image and start the conversation with your kids.
Ask- What do you notice?
- What can you infer?
Focus on one section in the picture so your students do not get lost or overwhelmed. Keep it simple. Put the picture in iMovie to add some jazz to the presentation.
Coding- Lea Anne Daughrity
The basis of coding is programming, building, and creating. As a grade level this year we want to start at least basic coding with our students. There were some great lessons given to help us get started.