Approaching Teaching @ AISK

inquiring – conceptual understanding – contextualizing – collaborating – differentiating – assessing – reflecting

The Learner Within: Week of April 10, 2016

 How will you grow, learn, and inquire this week?

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

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



We use critical and creative thinking skills to analyse and take responsible action on complex problems. We exercise initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions. (IBO. IB Learner Profile. Thinkers. 2013.)





How are you taking charge of your learning?

Set an objective for your learning this week!

Outside of Kuwait

The Innovator’s Mindset. Great teachers have been “innovators” long before any of the current technologies existed in our world.  It was always about doing something better with what was available, to help kids. In this workshop, George Couros will discuss the idea and characteristics of the “Innovator’s Mindset”, and how they can make a significant impact on the learning of ourselves and ultimately our students. May 19 – 20, 2017. Bangkok, Thailand. Learn more.

Leading Innovative Change. Although schools are moving forward, change is always something that many struggle with. Focusing on an innovator’s mindset and our “why”, this workshop, led by George Couros, is meant for leaders to help others within their organization not only accept change, but embrace it, to create better powerful learning opportunities for our learners. May 17 – 18, 2017. Bangkok, Thailand. Learn more.

NESA Weekend Training Institutes 2016 – 2017. NESA’s weekend training institutes are a fantastic place to spend your professional learning time and money! 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 #open-minded

  • The Fall Leadership Conference will take place in Doha, Qatar, October  20 – 23. Current topics scheduled include: U-Theory, The Thoughtful School, Facilitative Leadership (with Carolyn McKanders), 
  • The Fall Training Institute will take place at The American Community School Abu Dhabi, UAE, November 4 – 5, 2016. The FTI is set to feature some very exciting two-day workshops, including: Adaptive Schools, Visible Thinking, MS/HS Reading Comprehension, C3, and more to come.
  • The Winter Training Institution will take place at Riffa Views International School, Bahrain, January 20 – 21, 2017. The WTI is set to feature two-day workshops, inlcuding: Assessment in MS/HS Social Studies, Digital Pedagogy (with John Burns), Mindfulness, Math Coaching, NGSS Team Facilitation, and more to come.

Teacher/Principal/Counselor/Teacher Leader Training Centers. Institutes are held each June-July in London and Miami and include intensive 7-day and 5-day courses addressing the essential skills necessary to be an effective leader, teacher, and counselor in an international school. Register now for a summer learning experience! #knowledgeable


  • #AISQ8chat. As always, the #AISQ8 Twitter crowd will be slow chatting on Tuesday’s #AISQ8chat! Details about how to participate can be found here. Tips for participating:
    • Chat questions are released each Sunday.
    • During our Tuesday slow chats we usually release Q1 by 8am, Q2 at 11am and Q3 by 2pm (just in time for the meetings!). However you are welcome to reply to any question at any point throughout the day.
    • When you have time on Sunday and Monday, start formulating your As to the weekly Qs. Then use Hootsuite to schedule them for Tuesday so that you don’t have to take time away from teaching. [Don’t worry, you can still edit pending Tweets if you change your mind.]
    • When you do have a couple free minutes on Tuesday, browse #AISQ8chat and engage in the conversation. Ask the community clarifying or probing questions. Twitter is your Personal Learning Community – you will get out what you put in.
    • #AISQ8chat is Storify’ed every Wednesday morning. Didn’t have a chance to engage in the conversation on Tuesday? We still want to hear from you! Feel free to answer any of the previous week’s Qs from Wednesday to Monday. Please just remember to include #AISQ8chat. You can also add #AISQ8unchat if you’d like.
      If you have any questions or need Twitter coaching, please let a #AISQ8 ‘member’ know. We’re excited to start this learning journey together! #communicators #risk-takers
  • Eduro Learning. Eduro Learning believes that as technology continues to change both the way we learn and the way we think about learning. The power of relationships are more important than ever. #open-minded #communicators
  • Office 365.
    • 8 Tips and Updates to Help You Master PowerPoint. PowerPoint is fairly easy to use, and if you’ve used other Microsoft Office applications before, the menus and toolbars will look familiar. This post assumes you’ve used PowerPoint before, but if you want some introductory posts be sure to check out the rest of 365 Ninja!
  • Summer and Beyond. In this upcoming webinar, End Strong to Start Ahead: Five Key Strategies for Now, for Summer, and Beyond,  learn some practical, pragmatic strategies to finish strong – accelerating literacy skills and creating routines students can take into the summer. Students lose, on average, a month of instructional time during the summer months. As the assessment window closes and we enter the final stretch of the school year, teachers and students have a unique opportunity to innovate, synthesize, and get ahead so kids don’t start behind in the fall. Find details here to view live on Monday, April 11 (4 p.m. Eastern/11 p.m. AST) and to access the archived webinar. #principled

Reading: Articles and blog posts of interest.

  • Analyzing Poetry: Imagery & Emotions. In this 15 minute lesson, students compare and contrast poems by Langston Hughes. #thinkers #communicaters
  • Assessing Character Traits. In this New York Times article, “grit” guru Angela Duckworth (University of Pennsylvania) says she’s pleased with the growing recognition of non-cognitive skills as a key element in students’ life success. Working with a number of district, charter, and independent schools, Duckworth and her colleagues have found that giving students feedback on these attributes increases students’ self-awareness and improves their behavior and academic achievement. It’s especially helpful to compare students’ self-assessment on key traits with teachers’ assessments. But Duckworth is alarmed that some educators are incorporating assessments of character into schools’ high-stakes accountability systems. “[W]e’re nowhere near ready – and perhaps never will be – to use feedback on character as a metric for judging the effectiveness of teachers and schools,” she says. “We shouldn’t be rewarding or punishing schools for how students perform on these measures.” #caring
  • Close Writing. How closely do your students read their writing? What are the implications for those who do and those who don’t? During her work in classrooms, literacy coach Paula Bourque noticed that students who read their own writing closely are engaged in their work, write fluently, are able to produce lengthy drafts, and incorporate teaching points from mini-lessons into the day’s writing. Check out Close Writing (online for free) to discover strategies to help create student writers who are more aware of what effective writing looks like, who care about what they write, and who take ownership and responsibility for their growth as writers. #communicators
  • Math Problems. What is the purpose of Math problems? This blog post from Education Week highlights four purposes of Math problems. #inquirers
  • Poetry. Have you ever considered starting class with a poem? In this blog post from edutopia, discover 4 reasons to start class with a poem every day (and some great poem suggestions to get started). #balanced #open-minded
  • The Last Five Minutes. In this Chronicle of Higher Education article, James Lang (Assumption College) says he’s observed two things in college classrooms over the years: students starting to pack up their things in the last five minutes (intensely annoying to instructors), and instructors hurriedly covering a few more things. We’re still trying to teach while students’ minds – and sometimes their bodies – are headed out the door.” Lang suggests using a mixture of these closing techniques over time: the minute paper, closing connections, the metacognitive five, and close the loop.
  • Secret of Effective Feedback. In this article in Educational Leadership, assessment expert Dylan Wiliam reports the startling research finding that students often learn nothing from the comments and grades their teachers write on their papers – in fact, many students learn less when teachers provide feedback than when they write nothing at all. “The apparently simple process of looking at student work and then giving useful feedback turns out to be much more difficult than most people imagine,” says Wiliam.

“The only important thing about feedback is what students do with it…

If our feedback doesn’t change the student in some way, it has probably been a waste of time.”

  • Understanding Math. This blog post from the Teaching Channel explains how to help kids understand Math problems by taking away the numbers and the question. This scenario helps to develop the Common Core Standard of Mathematical Practice 1Mathematically proficient students start by explaining to themselves the meaning of a problem and looking for entry points to its solution. They analyze givens, constraints, relationships, and goals. They make conjectures about the form and meaning of the solution and plan a solution pathway rather than simply jumping into a solution attempt. #reflective #thinkers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on April 10, 2016 by in Language A: English, Math, NESA, Uncategorized.
%d bloggers like this: