At Anastasis Academy, our year begins by building a Learner Profile for every student. Before we’ve even ventured into the school year, we know a tremendous amount about our students. This is the first step for building student agency. Our Learner Profile is made up of six parts:
The Learner Profile Survey (student’s interests/passions)
Multiple Intelligence Strengths
Learning Style Preferences
Parent/guardian hopes and goals for the school year (both social/emotional and academic)
We get a lot of requests for our Learner Profile template. Today, I’m sharing the first piece: the Learner Profile Survey. These are the questions we ask our students each year to get a better understanding of who they are, what makes them tick, what their vulnerabilities are.
To download this resource for FREE, just enter your information below and you’ll receive an email with the Learner Profile Survey PDF!
The complete Learner Profile template is free with purchase of the Learning Genome Project Card Sets that help you determine multiple intelligence strengths, learning style preferences, and brain dominance.
At Anastasis Academy, we’ve decided that above all else, we will value the identity of all of our students. Because this is a core value, we’ve built it into our school year. Before our first day of school, we hold two days that we call “Learner Profile Days.” Parents sign their child up for a one hour, one-on-one conference between the student and teacher. During this hour, our teacher’s job is to get to know the student. We ask a host of questions that inevitably come with nuance and supporting stories. Then the kids interact with Learning Genome card sets to identify their learning style preferences, their multiple intelligence strengths, and their brain dominance. The result is a Learner Profile.
This profile is our starting point for every decision we make. When you begin the year this way, it is impossible to think of students as data points. When you listen to their stories, you learn their feelings, and experiences, and values, and habits of mind, and gain a picture of who they are.
You can do this, you can make the decision to take time out of your first weeks of school and gain a picture of who your students are. What do you value?
The anatomy of a Learner Profile:
Student Name- In the whole of history, there has never been another one just like them. With this name comes unique gifts, passions, and a vantage point on the world. With this name comes unique genius all their own. The student name is a bold reminder of the identity.
Interests/Passions- This is where we begin to learn about student passions, their likes and dislikes, their hurts, and the things that make them feel alive. In this one-on-one interview, we hear stories, often these questions will lead students down a thought trail that gives us insight.
Learning Style Preference- Learning Style preferences do not indicate that this is the only modality that the student can learn with; however, when we know the preferences that a student has we can make better decisions about introducing new learning. We discover Learning Style Preferences through the Learning Genome Card Set.
Multiple Intelligence Strengths- Howard Garner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences details eight distinct intelligences. All learners have the capacity to learn and understand in a variety of ways, each learner differs in their strengths of these intelligences. Discovering a students unique mixture of strengths allows us to better direct students in learning and curiosity. We discover Multiple Intelligence Strengths through the Learning Genome Card Set.
Brain Dominance- Learning about a student’s preference in brain dominance allows us to make better decisions about how we design our classroom, how we design learning experiences, and how students will approach learning and assessment. We discover Brain Dominance through the Learning Genome Card Set.
Strengths Finder- This is where we gain insight into our students strengths and the way passion can collide with learning experiences. We use Thrively.
Being an educator is a FULL time job. Nights, weekends, and everything in between seems to be fair game. It isn’t always assigned work. Education is more than a career, it is a worldview. You see everything through the eyes of an educator and are constantly dreaming of how that non-educational thing you saw could relate to something you are doing in the classroom. It’s the sparks of…maybe-THAT-would-work, that occur in the shower. Not to mention the dreams! We’ve been on summer break for 3 weeks and every single night I’ve dreamt about school or students.
This is just one of the reasons that educators find it laughable when someone mentions how nice it must be to get out of work in the afternoon and have summers off. None of those things have ever happened. They are a rarity. Ask my husband about what a summer off looks like! “Seriously, you work more hours during the summer than the school year.” I love the summer time. I love that it makes my schedule more flexible, makes it possible to use the bathroom whenever I want (teachers understand the luxury of this!), go to the grocery store in the middle of the day when they put out the fresh produce and you don’t have to pick through the left over sad and bruised produce. I love that I can sit and dream up curriculum and lesson plans at Starbucks and come home to read a new edubook in the sunshine. Happy!
I’ve never felt the need to get an additional summer time job. I appreciate the flexible days and I need the time to breathe. This year that changed. I found something that allows me to be flexible, own my own business, and make some great extra money on the side. The best part is that when the school year kicks back into gear, I don’t have to give it up and it still makes mail money (that’s the money that just shows up in your PayPal account, it’s pretty much the best kind of money!) You can do this, too! But first, a story.
There is something about being in your 30s that flips a switch. You’ve finally nailed your skin-care routine and things are mostly balanced and easy. Just when you think you’ve finally got the skin figured out, 30 comes along and is like, “don’t you think a few little wrinkles would make us look distinguished? Sun Spots, you come too!” This is particularly annoying because 30 also insists on trying to hold on to youth and includes breakouts the likes of which haven’t been seen since 13. I mean really?! The emergence of sun spots, wrinkles, WITH breakouts. Not fair at all. I think I could have handled any one of these issues, but throw in all 3 and I have NO idea how to deal. The sun spots creeping in are supremely frustrating, because I’m the queen of dutifully applying sunscreen as part of my daily routine since the age of 10. I mean sun spots? I did all the right things to keep those puppies from ever existing.
I have always been a sucker for the newest miracle cream in drugstores and magazines. Sort of a, “Well, she looks amazing, this must be the fountain of youth!” I’m kind of a beauty store product junkie. “This time, this will be the one! I think as I pour over the directions of exactly how to use it (because heaven forbid I put the cream on wrong and THAT is the reason it doesn’t work). I’ve found a few standbys over the years, but I wouldn’t say that they did a great job of living up to their promises. They are more like that old robe that you keep around because it’s kind of comfortable and has just always been fine.
I started a school 4 years ago, about this time of year. I’m one of those dreaded millennials, the one who doesn’t really fit Gen-X or millennial neatly, and believes they can totally change the world, and wonders why everyone else is just sitting around doing what has always been done. Cut to 4 years later and INTO my 30s and suddenly it makes sense why not everyone is trailblazing like there’s no tomorrow: it’s hard. It sucks every ounce of time and energy. The shiny veneer of changing the world starts to wear off when ANOTHER email pings in (a good day is less than 900…email is from the devil). Then you start to wonder if the fatigue you see in your face isn’t really about 30, maybe it is all the other stuff aging me. I definitely blame email.
Then I found it (or rather, it found me), the miracle answer that takes care of all three of 30’s “gifts” and gives me back the manageable skin of 25. A teacher friend of mine has been telling me about Rodan and Fields for years. I paid little attention until her Facebook feed started filling up with before and after pictures of people I actually knew. Holy smokes!! Dramatic differences. They looked rested. I was half convinced that they had somehow found an extra 8 hours in the day to get a good night sleep. Then I started seeing the posts about matching her teaching income as a consultant. Then I started seeing Rodan and Fields products pop up in the beauty magazines I flipped through while getting my hair done. These weren’t ads, but beauty editors touting R+F products as the favorite. My friend and I met up for coffee so that I could beg her to be our long-term sub solution. I hadn’t seen her in person since I started Anastasis Academy, and was excited to catch up. She looks AMAZING. She was always stunning but her skin looked younger than it did the last time I saw her. Glowy, gorgeous, and makeup free. As I was leaving, she handed me a little pack of goodies to try.
SOLD. The pack of goodies turned out to be the Micro Dermabrasion Paste which polishes skin with a sugar-salt scrub with vitamins C and E, a “magic” blue pill (Redefine) night serum, and a “magic” grey pill (Redefine) lip serum. Holy smokes, my face hasn’t felt like that since I was 2 or 3 years old! Honestly, the results were immediate in the way that my skin looked and felt. Some of my glowy came back. The next day I messaged my friend and told her that I needed to order this miracle to have on hand. She graciously gave me the link to purchase but followed with a, “you know, if you are a consultant you get 25% off.”
I run a school. I honestly have NO extra minutes in my life to add anything else. Initially, I told her no. I do not have time for one more thing and I assumed that being a consultant meant that I had to sell a minimum each month for the discount or had to carry product. My assumption was wrong. There is no minimum monthly orders, there is no product to carry. To become a consultant, you purchase the product you are already planning on purchasing and fill out the form to be a consultant. There was no catch. Honestly, you can start a business for as little as $45 (depending on what products you want to order). I’ve been enjoying my vastly improved, evened out skin, and have the added bonus of 25% off for two months now. These skincare products are designed by two of the most respected dermatologists in the country with a legacy of delivering on what they promise. Using these products is about as close as you can get to visiting a dermatologist without an appointment. It truly can change your skin (and even comes with a 60 day money back guarantee…always a good bet).
The thing about good products is that you tend to talk about them. Obviously, I’m someone who naturally shares the things I find and love (this whole blog is based on that premise!) When people ask if I’ve gotten extra sleep, I tell them about Rodan and Fields. When people ask what I use, or lament about a skin care problem they are having, I naturally want to share my find. The bonus, if they try it, I get that mail money I mentioned above. You know what kind of email I don’t mind? The kind that pings in and tells me that money has been transferred to my PayPal account.
The unexpected bonus that came with being a Rodan and Fields consultant: I get access to a whole library packed full of business advice, brand equity, marketing ideas, business presentations, templates, training, etc. Because my worldview is education, I think about how I could apply some of these tools to my school. How could this kind of communication better help me communicate with parents? How could I use this idea to build a lesson in finances? How could I use a similar method to help students set and meet goals? I had no idea that this would be such a treasure trove of new approaches to teaching/learning! A happy bonus.
My friend started her Rodan and Fields business just a few years ago. In that time she has matched and surpassed her teaching income, she has travelled the country on business trips, and she has earned a Lexus. It is inspiring! Her goal at the time was to raise a little extra spending money for her growing family. She has met that goal and then some! My goal began very simply: prolong the even-tempered skin of my 20s. After being on the “inside” and seeing success stories of my friends and new friends, my new goal is to help other educators make some mail money and to use my own mail money to help fund projects that I am wildly passionate about (The Learning Genome Project). It doesn’t feel like extra work because I only talk about R+F as it naturally comes up in conversation. I buy what I need (it lasts way longer than the beauty store brands that I had been using), and don’t think about it until I have time or want to put energy into it. I’m not punished when I’m swamped with school and can’t think about it, and I have an incredible support system of others when I want to put energy into it.
So, if you are looking for a summer job (that doesn’t feel anything like a job), want to keep your skin looking and feeling amazing, and want to start something now that could impact the rest of your year: Rodan and Fields is worth a serious look.
If you are interested in learning more about the product, click here for your free consultation to find out what products are best for your skin.
If you are interested in learning more about starting your own business, leave contact information in the comments below, or you can email me directly through my contact form. Currently this opportunity is only available to those in the US and Canada. (Sorry my overseas friends…soon!)
If you have questions, I’ll be happy to answer them.
What it is: It’s teacher appreciation week! One thing that I quickly learned in starting a school, teachers ARE the school. I always appreciate companies that recognize and honor this. Learning a-z is holding an Open House during teacher appreciation weeks which gives you free access to all 6 of their sites for the whole week. It also happens to be their 10 year anniversary, to celebrate they are giving away 10 free licenses each day of this week. Learning A-Z is an excellent resource that I have used for ages. Sites include: Reading A-Z which is a great collection of printable and projectable books and resources for 27 different levels; Raz-Kids which is a student-centered site where kids can practice reading online; Vocabulary a-z where you will find 12,000+ pre-made vocabulary words where you can build custom lists for students; Science a-z which delivers science curriculum resources across more than 60 units and includes three reading levels for each; Writing a-z which contains everything you need to teach writing in your classroom; and Reading-Tutors which provides more that 400 reading resource packets to use for one-on-one tutoring.
Be sure to take advantage of these great resources that are being offered FREE to you this week (May 7-11).
How to integrate Learning A-Z Open House into the classroom: The materials and resources at Learning A-Z are wonderful. I like the way they are available at the touch of a button so that you can instantly customize resources and lessons for students on the fly. Learning A-Z is like an instant boost to your classroom library. Students have additional resources that they can access both at school and at home. When I was a new teacher, Learning A-Z was a lifeline! I didn’t have a great classroom library built up yet and I didn’t have the money to go out and build it up immediately. Learning A-Z helped me give students exactly what they needed, when they needed it. My second grade students loved the printed books, they would often color them, take them home and read them over and over again. It gave them a sense of ownership over their reading.
Learning A-Z resources are great book-buddies for home. One year, I podcasted all of these (I wish I had saved them so I could share!) and sent my students home with the book and an iPod nano so they could read along at home. This was wonderful for the kids that didn’t have someone reliable at home to read with.
The resources can be used for individual students or for a whole class using an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer. Be sure to set up your classroom computers with these resources for your students this week!
Tips: Learning A-Z isn’t always a free resource, but they always offer some free material for you to access. You may find after this week that you would like a subscription. Be sure to register for the license give away…great end of the year present!
Please leave a comment and share how you are using Learning A-Z in your classroom!
What it is:Project Global Inform is an incredible movement bringing together education and a mission to do something about human rights. Project Global Inform “is an in-school project where students use media to spread awareness about human rights violations. PGI came out of the idea that we too often “teach” our students about genocide and human rights violations, but never “do” anything about it. This project’s main objective is to create awareness about current human rights violations in our schools, communities, and abroad. Through the use of media and technology students have the power to make a difference.” This is education and learning at it’s finest, it is a call to action and an invitation for students to do something important. The project is made up of eight steps. First, students learn about human rights issues through media and literature. Next students form groups based on the humans rights issue they are passionate about. Each group learns about the history of the human rights issue they chose including the current political stance, media, etc. Students come up with an action plan for creating awareness. Students use the action plan as the base for their project where they will choose a media outlet to spread awareness about the issue. At the end of the campaign, students will collect data on the effectiveness of the campaign (based on website hits, video views, “likes” on Facebook, etc.). Each team writes up a report detailing and reflecting on the project, success, and failures. Each student creates a video or slideshow (a kind of documentary) of their project. This is an opportunity for your students to learn about humans rights issues and to get involved in an authentic way that has the potential to directly impact those suffering from human rights issues.
How to integrate Project Global Inform into your curriculum: Project Global Inform is an incredible resource and movement that get students involved in impacting their world in real and meaningful ways. As a result of this project, your students will be more informed about humans rights issues, have a better understanding of social networking and how to virally spread a message, how to use media as a communication tool, how to track web 2.0 data and statistics, collaboration, and reflection. This would make a great project for an ethics class, but could be used as a transdiciplinary project including literature, math, and technology (to name a few). Project Global Inform literally meets every single level of Blooms Taxonomy from knowledge and understanding to creating, apply, analyzing, and evaluating.
While the project appears to be focused on the middle school or high school age group, I think that it could be tailored to the elementary classroom. For example, I had my students use Free Rice as the basis for a similar project. They learned about hunger, created a video slideshow that we uploaded to YouTube and played on Free Rice to earn grains of rice. If using Project Global Inform with younger students, choose a humans rights issue to study as a class. Make sure the information you gather is age appropriate. Students can create posters or pictures for a local coffee shop, create slideshow videos that they upload to YouTube, or hold an information day for the local community. These are they type of projects that will make an impact on your students and the world.
If you decide to take part in Project Global Inform, make sure you let your local news organizations know about it. They love covering stories of children impacting the world and it helps spread the message. Here is our Free Rice story in the local paper. I can’t tell you how this project transformed these two boys featured in the article. They became “celebrities” in the school and were so proud of their hard work. Two average students became two of my top students after this project. Give your students something important and meaningful to do, it makes a huge impact on them.
Tips: Even if you don’t have time for the full project, make sure to take the “Plus Two Pledge”. As your students are learning about human rights violations have them sign the pledge to tell at least two people about what they have learned. I told my two…hopefully more are reading this…who are you going to tell?
Please leave a comment and share how you are using Project Global Inform in your classroom!
What it is:Collaborize Classroom is an online learning platform developed for classroom discussion and engagement. Collaborize lets students and teacher collaborate in online discussions. It can be used for meaningful conversations related to classroom curriculum, to ask and answer questions, to collaborate on projects, to vote on ideas/issues, and more. Teachers can continue valuable discussions, facilitate online learning groups, encourage the sharing of resources, and provide students with space to engage in collaborative learning. Collaborize is easy to set up and navigate for both teachers and students. Questions can be posted easily including multiple choices, yes/no, vote or suggest, and forum. After the questions have been answered, the results of the discussion can be published on a results page. Collaborize has great teacher features. Add attachments to any question including photos, videos, and documents. Send a message to students using the built-in messaging system. Participation reports track each student’s activity on the site including number of logins, votes, comments, and replies. Activity reports can be sent to your email daily for review. Set up a watch list to follow a discussion more closely. Collaborize has fantastic supporting materials including lesson plans, helpful tutorials, and research articles. If you sign up for Collaborize before November 15, 2010, the product is being offered at no-cost (read FREE) for the 2010-2011 school year! In partnership with Democrasoft, The Kids in Need Foundation made this free year possible…take advantage of it before the 15th!
How to integrate Collaborize into your curriculum:Collaboraize is an awesome tool to facilitate discussions in (and out of) the classroom. The format of Collaborize makes it flexible enough to use in any classroom and in a way that works for you. Use Collaborize to facilitate discussions and literature circles, plan a science lab or experiment to be conducted in class, practice second languages with online dialog, post current events for students to reflect on, work with classrooms around the world to discuss and debate any topic, pose a math word problem and ask students to discuss the different ways the problem could be approached. Collaborize is a wonderful tool for student discussion and collaboration, but the teacher tools are what make it such a perfect fit for the classroom setting. It is easy to sign up, get your free year today!
Tips: Collaborize has really helpful resources for teachers. Learn about the do’s and don’ts of student forums, the art of asking questions, lesson and activity ideas, rethinking your role in the classroom and much more. Even if you don’t sign up for Collaborize, I recommend spending some time checking out these free documents, they have great tips that can be applied to a variety of web collaboration tools.
Please leave a comment and share how you are using Collaborize in your classroom!
It is October, which means the second issue of Project PLN! In this issue, we asked educators to share their best practices for the start of the school year. We got some great ideas, challenges, and suggestions from PLN members. Take a look at the newest issue here or view the embedded version below. I encourage you to get to know the contributing members of this month’s project PLN. Connect with them via Twitter or through their blogs. In the next issue we want to hear from administrators, what do you wish teachers knew about administration? What suggestions do you have for teachers, parents, administration? Give us an inside look at the world of the administrator.
What it is:Watch Know is a new educational video collection site. The site has not been officially launched and is still in beta version but already has a number of outstanding educational videos all offered for free! Watch Know brings together the best educational videos online into one convenient-to-search, safe site. Teachers, parents, and kids come together to find the videos, the videos are then approved for appropriateness by a media review panel made up mostly by school teachers and librarians. The site is very easy to search by category, topic, or keywords. Every video that I viewed was outstanding!
How to integrate Watch Know into the classroom: Watch Know is a great place to find educational videos to introduce any topic to students. The videos are wonderful to use as the anticipatory portion of a lesson to capture students interest in new topics, themes, or subjects. The videos are also well used as discussion starters for classroom debates/discussions. Because the videos are collected from all around the Internet but hosted on the Watch Know website, you can bring educational You Tube videos into the classroom even if your school blocks You Tube. Encourage students to interact and think critically about the video by rating the videos and leaving comments.
Tips: Videos are collected from all over the Internet from sites like SlideBoom to sites like You Tube. Some videos are interactive. I particularly liked the Logic puzzle interactive video where a logic puzzle is presented, kids can work out the puzzle and then click the video for the correct answer.
Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Watch Know in your classroom.
What it is: I found Daft Doggy several months ago and put it in my “explore more” folder. The Daft Doggy site is in beta version and it isn’t obvious upon first visit what exactly it does. Today I had a little bit of time to go and explore the site more and I am glad I did! Daft Doggy is a free service that lets you record web browsing sessions, play them back, and share recorded sessions with others. It is very simple to use (only 2 clicks to start recording!) You type in the starting point URL and Daft Doggy keeps track of all subsequent URL’s along the way. Daft Doggy doesn’t record everything you do, it only remembers each separate URL you visit in a sequence, it does this both within the site or a separate external site. When students or teachers view the session, a blue bar at the top of the page shows the URL along with reverse and next navigation. Each recorded session is assigned a unique link making it easy to share with students or other staff. After you have recorded the sequence of sites, you have the option of labeling each site and even adding a voice recording that will play when that site is being viewed.
How to integrate Daft Doggy into the classroom: Daft Doggy is a great way to lead students through a series of activities on the web. Younger students especially who would have trouble keeping track of and typing mulitiple URL’s would benefit from a lesson recorded with Daft Doggy. Daft Doggy is also perfect for whole class instruction with a projector when mulitiple sites will be visited. The recorded session will keep you on track and keep you from having to type in multiple URL’s while teaching. As a computer teacher and technology integration specialist, I like Daft Doggy for the ability to make quick guides for students and teachers as well as tutorials. The Daft Doggy recordings are quick and easy to create making them ideal for quickly answering web questions or leading colleagues/students through websites. Make your own online virtual field trips or webquests for students using Daft Doggy. Student projects can also be enhanced with Daft Doggy. Students can create web presentations with site to share with peers. This would also be a great site to use as students are researching. Instead of trying to remember the exact search words and links they used to find a site, they can record their research so that they can re-trace their steps at a later time if needed. So cool!
Tips: This beta site definitely doesn’t have any frills, it is very basic but it gets the job done easily and quickly. To get started just create a login and you are ready to go!
Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Daft Doggy in your classroom.
The K12 Online Conference 2008 officially kicks off today! This is a great FREE online conference to attend. Not only is it convenient for your schedule (you can attend sessions at your convenience online), but you will learn and be inspired by the speakers and presenters. I highly recommend attending as much of this conference as you can! You can get involved in the conference in several different ways, as a viewer of each strand, with the blog, wiki, interactive fireside chats, Twitter, Google maps, and an Elluminate event called When Night Falls. Topics include the ReadWriteWeb Revolution, Free tools for Universal Design for Learning in Literacy, Assessment, Google, Delicious, Primary Access, History, Tech Integration, Reading Revolution, Video Conferencing, Blogging, Photostory, Games in Education, Emerging Technologies, Wikis, Video Podcasters, and much more. The conference runs from today, October 20, to Next Saturday, November 1. Even if you can’t fit it all in during the next two weeks, you can come back later and visit the sessions that are of most interest to you. There is professional development and credit options available for attending this conference so be sure to look into that as well.
What sessions are of most interest to you? What have you learned as a result of the K12 Online Conference?