Mimio Educator

Kelly Bielefeld

Kelly Bielefeld has 12 years of experience as an elementary school principal. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education from Kansas State University, and master's degrees in Curriculum & Instruction and 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

Helping Students Become Better Writers Through Brainstorming

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Thu, Mar 16, 2017

Asking students to write is one of the most difficult tasks we require. It tasks the writer with managing multiple cognitive functions all at one time: idea creation, organization, word choice, grammar rules, voice, correct sentences, and focusing on a topic. Whew. Writing this myself is taking a lot of hard work!

Because of the load that is placed on the writer, students are more successful when some of the individual tasks are broken down and isolated for them. Teachers do this in a variety of ways. We have them spell check at the end so they can focus on the ideas at the beginning. We have them review their sentences for run-ons or incompletion. We help them to organize in paragraphs. And most importantly, we try to help them with original and complete ideas. 

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Topics: curriculum, 21st Century Skills, tips for teachers

Cyberbullying Resources for Teachers

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Thu, Mar 9, 2017

Over the past few years, students have had technology in their hands more and more. Often times, that technology is even provided by the school in a 1:1 setting. Just as a school would not provide another tool to students without appropriate safety training, neither should they provide a device that provides access around the world without some precautions. Imagine opening the doors to the wood shop and telling the students, “Here is the power button...have fun!”

Our attitude toward cyberbullying in school isn’t typically that laissez faire, but good, systematic teaching of technology expectations does not always occur either. The risk is really broader than just bullying when we talk about technology, and other issues such as sexting, over-sharing, and inappropriate content should also be considered.

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Topics: tips for teachers, cyberbullying

Getting Students to Think Deeper About Content Using Technology

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Wed, Mar 1, 2017

As I conduct classroom walkthroughs with my fellow administrators, we often discuss the role of technology use in the classroom. One of the indicator areas on our form is “student technology use,” which we mark if students are using technology. The next indicator, “technology is used to enhance the lesson,” is a little more tricky. There are times when technology may be used, but we have to consider whether or not it is really enhancing anything about the lesson.

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Topics: Education Technology, curriculum, tips fpr teachers

Free Incentives to Motivate Students

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Tue, Feb 21, 2017

 

Finding ways to motivate students can be difficult. Finding ways to motivate students when you have a tight budget can be even harder. But with a little creativity, a teacher can find multiple tricks to bringing a free incentive system into the classroom. 

These ideas are separated into four different areas that research has indicated motivates students: adult approval, peer approval, consumables, and independent rewards. The level a student is motivated to obtain one of these will fluctuate from one student to the next, but by a quick survey, a teacher can find the area that calls to each student and then have a list of ideas for engaging them to work for a reward. Most of these are free and take very little effort, but will be greatly appreciated. Here are some suggestions for how to integrate these ideas easily to make them work for you:

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Topics: curriculum, tips for teachers

5 Math Apps That Are Great for Differentiation

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Thu, Feb 16, 2017

 

Differentiation is both a complex concept and a critical tool to meet the needs of today’s learners. At times, I have seen the complexity overwhelm a teacher to the point of frustration. Teachers will tell me it is just too much, and they are returning to the whole group instruction model that they used before.

While front-of-the-room learning isn’t a bad concept, it is difficult knowing that all of your students are not at the same place and you can’t do anything to help all the differing levels. Technology has helped change this—especially in classrooms with a 1:1 model. With a device in the hands of each student, teachers can more easily differentiate to meet the needs of the individuals. 

So when it comes to math, where is a teacher to start? Here is a list that touches on a few of the major players in the market—each one has its advantages and disadvantages. Some of these are connected to large textbook companies, while some are more independently operated. If you are seriously considering the time and money needed to invest in one of these, here is a starting point for your research:

 

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Topics: STEM Lessons, Math, curriculum, tips for teachers, STEM

Why Coding? Part 3: DIY Coding in the Elementary Classroom

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Tue, Feb 14, 2017

As a classroom teacher, you may have heard about the recent push to incorporate more computer science and coding into students’ lives. The problem could be—as it is with most teachers I know—that you feel vastly underqualified to teach anything in that realm. Coding seems like an intimidating subject and something that requires a lot of professional learning before jumping in.

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Topics: Science Lessons, STEM Lessons, curriculum, 21st Century Skills, tips for teachers

Why Coding? Part 2: Exploring Coding Curricula

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Wed, Feb 8, 2017

When looking at the big picture of a school system, it can be daunting to think about effective ways to incorporate change. Systems are complex by nature, and education can be a hard one to change for a variety of reasons.

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Topics: Science Lessons, STEM Lessons, curriculum, 21st Century Skills

Why Coding? Part 1: The Future of Computer Science Education

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Thu, Jan 26, 2017

 

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Topics: STEM Lessons, curriculum, 21st Century Skills, tips for teachers

Makerspace Hacks: Ideas for Saving Time and Money

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Wed, Jan 18, 2017

Become a Makerspace Rock Star While Saving Time and Money

You are a progressive, cutting-edge classroom teacher who knows the benefits of project-based learning and how it incorporates both critical thinking skills and 21st century learning. You have been reading about a trending idea to meet the needs of today’s learners: a makerspace.

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Topics: curriculum, The Maker Movement, tips fpr teachers

Performing Whole-Class Checks When Assessment Tools Aren't Available

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Tue, Jan 17, 2017

Do They Get It?

A few months ago, I shared an article on checking for understanding in a 1:1 classroom. Because there are many classrooms that do not have aa assessment device for every student, I wanted to share some other ideas for how to check whole groups of students to see if they are understanding the content and confident in their learning.

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Topics: Classroom Technology, classroom assessment, curriculum, Whole-Class

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