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

Practicing Counterarguments in the Classroom

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Wed, Jun 19, 2019

Students should argue more in the classroom. You may be thinking, “Wait...what?” as you read that. Most teachers probably think their students argue enough already, but constructing an argument in the academic sense is one of the important Common Core standards. This isn’t a traditional “you cut in front of me in line” argument, but one that is written to “argue” a point of view about a topic.

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Topics: tips for teachers

The Power of Belief

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Thu, Jun 13, 2019

Educators tend to focus on what students know in school. We teach, we test, and we intervene if needed. We also take into consideration the social and emotional wellbeing of students, caring about their socialization and their effort. But one of the most foundational factors in a student’s future is often ignored. One thing that, when changed, can literally change the course of a person’s life: their belief.

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Topics: education industry, Educational influencers, tips for teachers

The Curriculum Question

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Tue, Jun 11, 2019

A student is sitting down to eat a “meal” of information that has been prepared for them. One teacher offers them a homemade meal as a chef would, with different ingredients pulled together to create the meal. Another teacher produces a quick ready-made meal that has been provided for them (think Hamburger Helper). The student is offered both meals—which will they eat? 

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Topics: curriculum, tips for teachers

Teaching Listening

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Thu, May 30, 2019

In the English language arts Common Core standards, there are standards about speaking and listening as well as presentations. As teachers around me have unpacked the standards over the past few years, the concept of listening cited specifically as a standalone standard has been questioned. Teachers have claimed, “I expect students to listen every single day, so I'm covering that standard every single day of the year.”

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Research Series Part 2: Helping Students Be Successful at Researching

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Thu, May 23, 2019
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Topics: tips for teachers

Numbers and Grades: Finding Meaning From the Scores

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Tue, May 21, 2019

Your child comes home from school and on their paper is a single number: 9. Should you punish or reward them? Call the teacher? Call a tutor? 

The answer is pretty obvious: we don’t know. A single number doesn’t really make any sense without having some context. Was it 9 out of 10 or 9 out of 100? Was it a score for points or a score from a rubric? We need more information to know what the number actually means.

The next questions for the teacher and the student are “How does this impact grading?” and “What do the numbers even mean when it comes to the grade?” Again, a number with no context doesn’t mean much. But in order to create meaning from this number, we need to start with what the number actually means once it is turned into a grade. 

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Topics: classroom assessment, tips for teachers

Research Series Part 1: Why Researching Is So Hard for Our Students

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Thu, May 16, 2019

Teaching students how to research is more difficult than it has ever been. Common Core standards emphasize research skills, which help to support complex and critical thinking for our students. It’s a good thing to teach, but can be a very hard thing to learn. There are many reasons for this challenge, as well as why it’s getting harder all the time for our kids.

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Topics: tips for teachers

Turning Data Into Action

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Wed, Apr 24, 2019

In most schools, we have plenty of data. It is usually assumed that more data means better outcomes for students. This very well could be true, but I believe most schools are DRIP (Data Rich, Information Poor) schools. We have the data, but what does any of it mean? Using data helps us to guide both learning and instruction, but it has to have context. Teachers must know how to reference the data and how to form context around it.

Collecting the data is the easy part. Assessments abound all around us, and we layer benchmarks on top of formatives on top of summatives on top of progress monitoring—not to mention classroom assessments. It takes a great deal of time and resources to administer all of this, but unless these numbers turn into action, it becomes a giant waste. 

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Topics: classroom assessment

Characteristics of Strong Student-Teacher Relationships

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Thu, Apr 18, 2019
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Topics: Administrator Resources, tips for teachers

Budgeting Instructional Time

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Wed, Apr 17, 2019

As most adults know, creating a budget is an important step to having financial stability. It can feel like a downer at times, but it is the responsible thing to do.

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Topics: tips for teachers

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