Mimio Educator

A Different Kind of Education

Posted by Kristy Nerstheimer on Thu, Jul 19, 2018

When I first became a teacher, I had no idea what a perk my profession would turn out to be once I became a mom. I went into teaching because I love children and couldn’t wait to educate them, but once I had children of my own, I was able to be at home with them since we share all the same breaks. Coincidentally, I am married to a fellow educator, so we have all enjoyed special family time together over the years. We decided to make these moments even more special by creating a goal of taking our daughters to all 50 states—and that’s just what we did.

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Topics: tips for teachers

Redesign Education in Your School District

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Tue, Jul 17, 2018

I feel fortunate to work in a state that has a very compelling vision for education. In Kansas, our commissioner has articulated exactly what we are to do every day in our classrooms, our schools, and our districts: Produce students who can be successful. 

Following No Child Left Behind, this vision feels very different and much broader. A few years ago, we were tasked with simply producing students who could pass reading and math assessments at the state level. That was it. That was all that “mattered” for accreditation and evaluating our effectiveness. As educators, we know that these test scores did not correlate with success—but it wasn't up to us.

All of that changed with the ESSA act a few years ago. More local control was given back to the states, and accreditation didn’t come solely from an individual test on a given day. Teachers began to focus again on all the factors that impact a student being successful instead of just math and reading.

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Topics: Administrator Resources

Genius Hour Part 2: Making Genius Hour Work

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Thu, Jul 12, 2018

In the first article on this topic, we provided an overview of the philosophy behind genius hour and why teachers should consider trying out the concept. We also gave some considerations for getting started—things like how to schedule the time, the standards to support the learning, and the comfort level with putting it all together.

If a teacher is ready to pull the trigger, what happens next? It is hard to know where to start or what to do. Should I dabble in it or go full steam ahead? Should I start the year with it or wait a few weeks to get routines down? How am I going to grade this—or should I even grade it at all?

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Topics: Administrator Resources, tips for teachers

ISTE 2018 Top Trending Topics

Posted by Travis Rink on Wed, Jul 11, 2018

Another great year of ISTE has come and gone—as always, the EdTech conference left a lasting impression on everyone who was able to attend. Whether you’re a teacher, administrator, or technology specialist, ISTE 2018 offered countless new ideas, products, and connections to be discovered.

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Topics: Education Technology, education industry, Educational influencers

5 Tips for Your Students to Help With Fast and Effective Learning

Posted by Annabelle Fee on Tue, Jul 10, 2018

 

Between extracurricular activities, classes, and increasing workloads, students have a lot on their plate. With such hectic schedules, it can be difficult to clear the outside influences and pressures to focus on the task at hand. However, the situation can be improved if habits are changed to seize the maximum out of each study session. Here are our top five tips for fast and effective learning: 

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Topics: tips for teachers

Summer Training, Learning, and More!

Posted by Travis Rink on Fri, Jul 6, 2018

Summer is here and it’s time to kick back, relax, and unwind after a long year of teaching!

But once you’ve recharged, why not use some of your free time over the break to learn something new? Check out the selection of Quick Learn sessions being offered this month:

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Topics: tips for teachers

Genius Hour Part 1: Genius Hour Overview

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Mon, Jul 2, 2018

Over the past few years, the term “genius hour” has caught fire and become more common in classrooms. If you have heard this term before but weren’t sure what it means, here is a short primer about the topic.

The origins of genius hour are pretty simple. In Daniel Pink’s book Drive, he discusses some insightful research about motivation. He cites three key areas that are most effective in motivating people (and students): autonomy, mastery, and purpose. He asserts that traditional incentives for behavior—things like rewards and punishments—only work with certain types of tasks, like rote learning or repetitive tasks. For tasks that require depth of thinking, creativity, and problem solving, we are much more motivated by having a sense of purpose, a feeling of autonomy, and a hope of mastery.

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Topics: Administrator Resources, tips for teachers

Creating Strong Teams in Your School

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Thu, Jun 28, 2018

Schools are comprised of teams, and these teams working together create the “team” that is the entire school. Although teachers are often stereotyped as preferring to work alone isolated in their classrooms, most teachers love working within a team—at least within a strong team. Weak or ineffective teams can be frustrating and potentially toxic. Because of this, the aspects of a strong team are critical for teams and leaders to know and understand.

There isn’t a step-by-step list of how to develop strong teams, but there are some universal guidelines and expectations that can help teams to become more effective. Here are some of the key ingredients for a strong team:

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Topics: Administrator Resources

Summer Recharge

Posted by Kristy Nerstheimer on Tue, Jun 26, 2018

We made it—summer is finally here! Sometimes I feel like the Energizer Bunny throughout the year since I just keep going and going and going. While everyone is excited to have a break, it does seem like our summers keep getting shorter and shorter, so we need to make the most out of the time we have. And just like the Energizer Bunny, every battery needs a little recharging. Here are some tips to help you recharge this summer:

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Topics: tips for teachers

Maintaining Trust to Build School Culture

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Thu, Jun 21, 2018

The school year is off to a great start and all school teams are working together without issues. Everyone has a positive attitude each and every day. Teachers leave meetings with a sense of efficacy and support all the decisions that come from administration.

Well, maybe not exactly. But we can dream, right? I have been part of 18 different school years thus far in my career, and each year is filled with highs and lows. At times, there is a positive energy in the school and the culture is great. Other times, it feels a little more like “work” and there are top-down decisions that are hard to support. 

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Topics: Administrator Resources

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