Mimio Educator

Kelly Bielefeld

Kelly Bielefeld is currently a Curriculum Director in Clearwater, Kansas and an adjunct professor at Friends University in Wichita, Kansas. Prior to this he spent 13 years as an elementary and middle school principal. He holds a bachelor's degree in Secondary Education from Kansas State University, and master's degree in Educational Leadership & Administration from Wichita State University. As a principal, he has worked in rural, urban, and suburban schools along with having experience in both parochial and public school setting.
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Recent Posts

Things to Consider When Creating Assessments

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Wed, Feb 13, 2019

At the end of a section of learning, it’s time for the teacher to create an assessment. This could be the end of a unit or chapter, but for what we are discussing today, a summative assessment needs to be created. Instruction is over, and we need to see what the student knows and has retained.

Where should a teacher start? The first question that should always be asked is, “Do I even need an assessment?” This may seem like a crazy question. “If I don’t give a test, what will I put in the gradebook?” But if we stop to think about it, not all learning is created equally. In the mind of a student, if something is tested, it matters because it is for a grade. So as teachers, if we test everything equally, we are sending the message that everything matters to the same degree.

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Topics: tips for teachers, MimioVote assessment, classroom assessment

Get Students Engaged With American History Through Presidents’ Day Activities

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Tue, Feb 12, 2019

In February, we celebrate all of the 45 presidents we have had for the past 200+ years. It’s a great time to integrate technology, trivia, and our standards while increasing student learning about our leaders. There are interesting and funny stories to be told about each of the presidents, and each one has made decisions that defined our country. 

Here are some ideas for getting students engaged and interested in American history through Presidents’ Day activities.

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Topics: Lessons, tips for teachers

Retaining New Teachers

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Thu, Feb 7, 2019

In some areas of our country, finding great teachers is becoming harder and harder. There are many teachers retiring, fewer joining the profession, and new teachers who don’t last more than a few years. We will focus on the third group here to consider what can be done to help retain new teachers.

For starters, we need to determine why people choose to leave the profession. After giving four years of college to the degree, why would someone abandon teaching in just a few years’ time?

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Topics: Administrator Resources

Obstacles to Changing Education

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Wed, Jan 30, 2019

 

Over the past few decades, there has been a great deal of interest and desire to change, and most of the time improve, public education. Some of these ideas have been innovative, and some less than so. Some have been on a large scale, while some are more at a building level. Some have had political backing (charter schools), while others have had financial backing (think The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation or Summit Education founded by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg).

So, what does all this focus on “change” matter for a school building? Or does it not matter at all? Are the teachers or the principals in individual buildings impacted by these changes? Many experts, some more expert than others, have many opinions about what should or should not be going on in schools. But what impact does this have on schools that are trying to improve from the inside?

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Topics: tips for teachers, Administrator Resources, education industry

“School Is Your Job.” Well, Not Exactly.

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Tue, Jan 29, 2019

The metaphor usually goes something like this, and often when a teacher is frustrated with a class of students: “School is your job. You need to show up to work every day and work hard. Your grades are like your paycheck—the harder you work, the more you can earn in our classroom. Some of you aren’t working hard and need to be fired.”

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Topics: tips for teachers, Administrator Resources

Tech Tips for Paraprofessionals

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Wed, Jan 23, 2019

Paraprofessionals are critical to a student’s success—I think any teacher, principal, or student would attest to this. A great para can make a difference in a classroom in a lot of ways, but they are often forgotten about. Even though they are important cogs in the educational wheel of a student’s life, they might not always be treated as such. They may not have the keys they need, the desk they need, or the training they need.

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Topics: tips for teachers, Administrator Resources

Female STEM Role Models: Increasing Girls in STEM Fields

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Wed, Jan 16, 2019

There are initiatives all across the country in the field of education and in industry that encourage girls to consider joining STEM-related occupations as adults. This is a great idea as a female perspective is highly valuable in these areas. The question is, how do we support young girls to make this happen?

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Topics: STEM, STEAM

How Coding Can Help You Teach Reading, Math, and Science.

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Tue, Jan 15, 2019

In the previous century, computer science and computer coding was left to a few highly trained individuals. There was a level of expertise and skill needed to “speak the language” of computer science—for most people, it was a foreign language.

As we embark deeper into the technological age, we are finding that the language of computer coding is not a “foreign language” anymore. K-12 schools have worked to introduce coding earlier and earlier into the curriculum. Education organizations like www.code.org provide amazing resources for teachers to be able to cover this subject matter.

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Topics: Coding, STEM, tips for teachers

The Role of a Mentor

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Thu, Jan 10, 2019

Mentors play a critical role in the success of teachers. Even following a quality student teaching experience, new teachers still have a lot to learn. There are so many nuances to the profession, to the grade level, and to each particular school. Plus, there is much to be learned even after the teacher has graduated. 

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Topics: Administrator Resources, tips for teachers

The Point of Learning

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Wed, Jan 9, 2019

“At what point do you feel like you have ‘learned’ this concept?” This question that triggers a student’s metacognition can be a hard one to answer. As we reflect on the question, we may not be able to answer it easily ourselves. Have we learned something, like a fact, if we can recall it? Is learning the same as remembering? Have we learned something when we can use the information in a specific way—is learning the same as applying? Or does it have to be an even deeper level? Have we truly learned something when we can explain it to other people? Is learning the same as teaching?

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Topics: tips for teachers, classroom assessment

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