The Learner Within: Week of May 10, 2015

How will you activate the learner within this week?

Inquirers – Knowledgeable – Thinkers – Communicators – Principled – Open-Minded – Caring – Risk Takers – Balanced – Reflective

“The teacher, the admin, the coach – the individual – has to assume responsibility for his[/her] own learning. The individual path an educator takes to grow professionally must be built by the learner, for himself[/herself], in order to be effective. No two paths will look the same. And that’s a good thing.”

Hilt, Lyn. “A PKM Challenge.” Learning in Technicolor. 19 Feb. 2014.

How do we, as educators, take responsibility for our professional learning in order to be the best we can be for AIS students?


We act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere. We take responsibility for our actions and their consequences. (IBO. IB Learner Profile. Principled. 2013.)



How are you taking charge of your learning?

Set an objective for your learning this week!

On the AIS Campus

COETAIL. The Certificate of Educational Technology and Information Literacy is coming to the AIS Kuwait campus Fall 2015. COETAIL will challenge you professionally while opening up a network of international educators. Each course will include 3 weeks of online work and 14 hours of face-to-face work with a COETAIL instructor on the AIS campus. Find more details here. #risk-takers

In Kuwait

Museum Day. 15 May 2015, 4pm – 10pm, at Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah’s Amricani Cultural Centre. Lectures. Workshops. Recycle Paper. Mosaic Workshop. Childrens’ Art Workshops. Henna. Outdoor Music. Holi Art Workshop. Donate your used clothes. More information can be found here. #open-minded

TESOL Kuwait. TESOL Kuwait is a professional organization for anyone involved in teaching non-native speakers of English. This membership organization is devoted to the professional development of its members most of whom are based in Kuwait and the Gulf region.  TESOL Kuwait is an official affiliate of TESOL International. #knowledgeable #communicators

tesol kwt

Outside of Kuwait

ASCD Connect 21 Camp. If you are interested in making the transition from 19th century school structures to the 21st century learning models, then this academy is for you!  Join Heidi Hayes Jacobs and her Curriculum 21 team to create your own path to explore solutions to contemporary education challenges—the modernization of your curriculum, upgrading classroom and district assessments, and creating authentic personalized learning experiences. Learn more with a free webinar on May 13. #open-minded #inquirer

NESA Fall Training Institute. NESA’s weekend training institutes are a fantastic place to spend your professional learning time and money! The Fall Training Institute will take place at the American School of Dubai, UAE November 6 – 7, 2015. NESA’s Training Institute model is a cohort approach where participants choose one offering that will be their focus for the two-day experience. #inquirers

NESA 2015 – 2016 Speaker Roster. Take a look at NESA’s conference line-up of speakers for 2015 – 2016. #knowledgeable


#AISQ8chat. Join us Tuesdays on Twitter for a slow chat when we discuss a wide variety of educational topics. These slow chats include #AISQ8 Twitter members as well as a wide variety of educators from various locations around the globe. How to participate details can be found here. #communicators #risk-takers

ELLs and Academic Conversations. In this first in a 3-part series from the Teaching Channel, see how English Language Learners are engaged in academic conversations. Learn how to use clear structures (e.g., talk moves, participation protocols) to encourage students to express themselves and clarify their thinking. #communicators #knowledgeable #inquirers

iTunes U. Use iTunes U courses to learn about anything your heart desires. iTunes U courses are often self-paced and free. Take a course to impact personal learning, professional learning, or student learning. Find the iTunes U app here#balanced

  • 4th Grade Common Core Math. This resource is intended to give teachers ideas and resources for 4th grade Math. Common Core Resources from ASCD (like this one) exist for both Math and ELA for grades K – 12.
  • Brain Teasers. Random logic puzzles and brain teasers from Khan Academy.
  • Differentiated Instruction: Tools for Teachers. Differentiation is not a cookie cutter plan or one-size-fits-all. Within this course you will learn about the key features of differentiated instruction, strategies for implementation, using your data to differentiate, and lesson design.
  • Lessons in Grammar. Quick 2 – 7 minute mini-lesson/tutorial videos tackling some of the common grammatical issues ELLs have with the English language.
  • Explain Everything Lesson Ideas. Wondering where/how to begin using technology in the classroom to enhance student learning? The Apps in the Classroom series was created by Apple to provide teachers with a few ideas on how to integrate apps into daily classroom instruction. Examples provided for students K – 12 in a variety of subjects (e.g., Math, Literacy, History, Science).
  • K12 Science Podcasts. What’s going on in K12 Science education? Listen to timely podcasts on science: inquiry, content, curriculum, leadership, curriculum involvement, eResources, professional devlepment, and more.
  • Roy’s Writing Tools. The Poynter Institute’s Roy Peter Clark provides tools for your writing toolbox. Clark is the author of the book Writing Tools: 50 Essential Tools for Every Writer. Poynter’s podcasts are sponsored by the City of New York Graduate School of Journalism.
  • The Graphic Novel. Students will explore writing and artistic representation of thought and then delve into a plethora of apps and platforms for visual expression. Consider this resource to inform teaching and planning since some content would not be considered appropriate in the context of Kuwait. (High School)
  • Understanding Circumference. In this inquiry-based lesson students will discover the formula for the circumference of a circle and use/apply this formula to solve problems. (grade 7)

#nesachat. Join NESA educators Monday from 6:00 p.m. –  7:00 p.m. (AST) on Twitter to discuss the NESA Continuum of Implementation. How to participate details can be found here. #communicators #risk-takers

Preventing Summer Learning Loss. According to the Johns Hopkins Center for Summer Learning, all young people experience learning loss over the summer if they do not engage in educational activities.  In this TIME For Kids webinar on May 13, we will discuss motivating students to apply their “school year” knowledge all summer long. Please join us for hands-on, practical strategies for preventing learning loss and keeping kids sharp all summer long. If you miss the live session, a link to view the recording will be sent within 24 hours of the live event. #knowledgeable

Why Formative Assessment is so Important. According to Hattie (2009), who did a meta-analysis of hundreds of studies, formative assessment is in the Top 10 of effective teacher practices. So, the question becomes “How and when do I do formative assessments to maximize their effectiveness?” Join middle school Assistant Principal Shannon Holden as he shows novices how to implement formative assessment techniques, and take corrective action with students having difficulty mastering concepts. Register for this May 12 free webinar hereIf you miss the live session, a link to view the recording will be sent within 24 hours of the live event. #inquirer #caring

Reading: Articles and blog posts of interest.

  • Learning Deeply. In The Paradox of Deeper Learning: The Unlearning CurveSam Dyson shares how learning grows from preconceptions. He claims that misunderstanding doesn’t indicate a lack of knowing. It’s actually about transferring our prior knowledge incorrectly to a new situation. Supporting this kind of learning requires a shift away from defining teaching as the transfer of information and toward teaching as the design and facilitation of (un)learning experiences. (may require an Education Week login) #thinkers #reflective

The apparent paradox of deeper learning is that you can grow to know more at precisely the same moment that you understand less.

  • Mastering Vocabulary Demands in Complex Texts. In any content area, “if kids don’t know enough of the words, they’re going to have a hard time understanding the text.” This blog post highlights three strategies for supporting students during any in-depth text study. #thinkers
  • Thinking Aloud. By thinking aloud for our students, we model metacognition. Four Reasons Why I Talk To Myself identifies how talking aloud to ourselves can support student learning. #reflective
  • What it takes to be better. It’s easy to sit back and point out the flaws of schools, teachers, students, parents, etc. But it takes real grit and courage to confront and overcome the fear of disapproval by colleagues and superiors when you dare to dream and envision something better. This Edutopia article shares probing questions to engage in reflective conversations. #principled #risk-taker

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