Approaching Teaching @ AISK

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

The Learner Within: Week of April 17, 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?

Teachers who find their kids’ ideas fascinating are just better teachers than teachers who find the subject matter fascinating.”

Philip Sadler, Professor, Harvard University Science




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 consequence. (IBO. IB Learner Profile. Principled. 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
  • Coursera. Explore topic interests and learning styles around the world, and find your next course or Specialization along the way.
    • Build your own internet of things. This Specialization covers the development of Internet of Things (IoT) products and services—including devices for sensing, actuation, processing, and communication—to help you develop skills and experiences you can employ in designing novel systems. Offered by UC San Diego, April 11 – May 9, from $39USD.
    • Improve your English communication skills. This Specialization helps you improve your professional communication in English for successful business interactions. Each course focuses on a particular area of communication in English: writing emails, speaking at meetings and interviews, giving presentations, and networking online. Offered by Georgia Institute of Technology, from $79 USD.
    • Shape your life with leadership. You will explore your own leadership style through conversations with your peers, and acquire the necessary self-confidence to make good decisions based on the opinions and ideas of others, even if they are contradictory. You will also hear perspectives on leadership from outstanding leaders such as an Olympic athlete, business executives, and other distinguished guest speakers. Offered by HEC Paris, from $49.99USD.coursera top topics


  • Earn your M.Ed. or Ed.D. Earning your advanced education degree is a great way to boost your professional knowledge, demonstrate leadership, and enhance your career opportunities. Concordia University offers a fully online approach allowing you to earn your M.Ed. in 14 months, and Ed.D. candidates benefit from an innovative “Virtual Residency.” Find more information here.
  • edcamp Global. #ECG2016. “PD in your PJs” July 29-30, 8PM-8PM Central Standard Time (CST) Register  &  Facilitate. #risk-taker #communicator
  • Endicott M.Ed. in International Education Programs. Endicott College offers five degrees for international school educators, which are delivered through a combination of summer class work and online courses during the school year. Students can begin the program in the spring, summer, or fall.
    • M.Ed. in International Education. San José, Costa Rica; Bangkok, Thailand; Madrid, Spain; Leysin, Switzerland and Prague, Czech Republic.
    • M.Ed. in International Education Administration. San José, Costa Rica; Bangkok, Thailand; Madrid, Spain and Leysin, Switzerland.
    • M.Ed. in International Education with ESL Specialization. Prague, Czech Republic and Bangkok, Thailand
    • M.Ed. in International Education with a concentration in Educational Technology. Leysin, Switzerland
    • M.Ed. in Athletic Administration. Leysin, Switzerland
  • Global Maker Day. #GlobalMakerDay. “Create locally, share globally” May 17th, 8AM-4PM Eastern Standard Time(EST) = 15:00 – 23:00 Arab Standard Time (AST) PLUS special 6PM-7PM. Register  &  Present#thinker
  • Office 365. Become an Office 365 Ninja!
  • Visible Learning for Literacy: Practices That Best Accelerate Student Learning. A FREE webinar with Fisher and Frey. This webinar introduces key concepts from the book on what works, and more importantly, when it works. Fisher and Frey explain the importance of effect size in determining one’s impact on student learning, and explore the learning conditions needed as students go from surface learning, to deeper learning and transfer. Graphic organizers are effective, but when? When is reciprocal teaching best deployed? In collaboration with John Hattie, the authors have aligned literacy practices to phases of learning. Wednesday, April 20, 2016 1:30 am (AST).

Reading: Articles and blog posts of interest.

  • The Art of Copywriting. Learn more about writing copy in this blog post. “Essentially, copy is the web pages, advertisements, emails, and promotional materials. It’s often used in a business context. However, it can also be used in social and civic contexts. It is often persuasive but it can be more functional and expository text as well. Think of copy as the shorter, intentional writing we do that often feels invisible (a blog title, a book description, a short video script) but has a profound influence on what we are thinking.” #communicators #thinkers
  • Critical Thinking. In Good Thinking, Erik Palmer shows teachers of all subjects how to transform the activities they already use into openings for improving student thinking. He reveals how all students—not just those in advanced classes—can begin developing sophisticated reasoning skills that will improve their oral and written communications. Preview the entire book online for free! #thinkers
  • ELL Support. This blog post highlights some strategies to support ELLs to meet the CCSS Speaking and Listening standards. #communicators
  • Finger Math. This blog post explains why kids should keep using their fingers to do math to strengthen brain networks. #caring #thinkers
  • The First Year. An important article to help avoid making the first year of teaching feel like fraternity hazing. #principled #caring

“We’ve gotten into a habit of accepting that we treat the first year of teaching like a fraternity hazing.”

  • Homework. More thoughts on the always interesting homework debate! Read this article on the question of homework: Should our kids have it at all? #caring #principled
  • An Inquirer’s Mindset. Learn more about the mindset that it takes to support inquiry in this podcast featuring Kath Murdoch. #inquirers #open-minded
  • A Picture and a Poem. In this blog post, Shirley McPhillips talks about finding connections between paintings and poems, about creating “art from art.” At the end of her post, be sure to look at her paintings and try your hand at writing a few lines inspired by the images. #open-minded
  • Power of Knowing the Wrong Answers. Find out why teachers need to know the wrong answers in this piece from NPR. #knowledgeable

    …cognitive science tells us that if you don’t understand the flaws in students’ reasoning, you’re not going to be able to dislodge their misconceptions and replace them with the correct concepts.

  • Serious Reading. “How do you live your life? What do you live for? What kind of person are you? How do you see your future? Where are you going? How do you fit into this society?” David Denby, author of Lit Up (Henry Holt, 2016) about English classes in three high schools, on the kinds of questions that might be asked of adolescents to pluck them from the shallow world of social media and transform them into critical thinkers and serious readers of great literature. Read more about Denby’s thoughts on serious reading here#thinkers
  • Student Engagement: Authentic or Compliant. Read more about authentic vs. compliant student engagement in this blog post#principled

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This entry was posted on April 17, 2016 by in Uncategorized.
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