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20 Dec 2017
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Calendexes, Productivity Bingo, and Students! Oh MY!

We are rapidly nearing the end of the year and with that comes semester exams if you work at a high school (which I do). Last week our school library offered a 12 Days of Stress Relief with a variety of analog activities ranging from bookmark coloring, friendship bracelets, and playdoh to jenga and holiday card making. I decided to reprise my “Bonkers for Bullet Journals” session and augment it for the high school level and a lunch and learn.

Because there was no real direct teach approach to this and students come and go, I set up two tables with supplies (4 tubes of washi tape, 2 packages of planner stickers, and Sharpie art pens and Faber Castell pens) and handouts. I gave a brief overview (2 minutes) of the function and intent of each of the handouts (e.g. calendex, Productivity Bingo, habit and goal trackers, etc…) and then really let them go wild. I have to tell you they were so excited (dare I say… giddy) about the washi tape, stickers, and fancy pens. Out of all of the paper handouts, the two most popular ones ended up being the calendex and Productivity Bingo. As these are not super common in the education realm, I thought I would spend the rest of this blog post highlighting their features and purpose and how you can use them with students.

TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE CALENDEX

A calendex is a mash-up of a calendar and an index. It is not meant to be a stand-alone calendar… more to use as a goal setting or goal-tracking tool in conjunction with a planner or bullet journal. The calendex was actually invented by Eddy Hope back in 2013 and has since then become a staple in the bullet journal community (check out Boho Berry and BulletJournal.com). Because the bullet journal and analog world is focused on customization and tailoring ideas to make them work for you, I will share a few examples (college student example, teacher example, professional example 1, professional example 2) and then delve into the tips I shared with students.

  • My Adaptation for Students: I took the idea of a calendex and mapped it against our school calendar. I created both a Monday and a Sunday start version. I prefer my week starting on a Monday but some people prefer it on a Sunday so I allowed for choice. The cells that are grayed out are days we have off (according to our district calendar). The cells that are blacked out are days that don’t exist in that month (as each column has 31 cells but not every month has 31 days). The darker line encompasses an entire week. When I shared these with students, I insisted they create a key. I suggested something simple like red dot for days you have a test, blue dots for days you have homework, and a green dot for days you have an event after school. Students really took these and ran with them. I am really looking forward to seeing how they use them this next semester.
  • My Adaptation: For me, I plan on using this to track how I spend my year at work. My plan is something like this… a red dot for meetings, a purple dot for days I create something, a pink dot for days I blog, a green dot for days I work with students, an orange dot for days I work with teachers, and a blue dot for days I offer parent webinars. In this world where too often we wear busy as a badge, I want to be able to at least track the things that I do that are meaningful or that have some sort of impact. And this is simply one way to do that.

TELL ME MORE ABOUT PRODUCTIVITY BINGO

Productivity Bingo is a gamified version of a to do list and far easier to explain than a calendex. Basically you create a bingo board and then you fill the board with your to do’s and you designate prizes for yourself if you get all 4 corners or a diagonal bingo. You get the idea. Since this tool doesn’t need as much explanation, I am going to dive right into examples. I have adapted the concept from @lalalauren.creates. She has an example of her Productivity Bingo here and one for Self Care here.

  • My Adaptation for Students: I don’t know that one would use this every week but if you had a large project due with multiple steps and counterparts, an essay where you might want to reward yourself with 500 word increments, or finals approaching where you had multiple items due, this is simply a way to gamify it. When I had a student complete one, I noticed she added items like “annotate chapter 4 To Kill a Mockingbird”, “Spanish 1 Unit Review”, and “1 page Math practice”.
  • My Adaptation: When I had my surgery last month, I created a Productivity Bingo (see below) to make sure I got a few things done whilst I was on “break”… one of which was knocking out 13,000 or so words for my new book. And because I loved it so much (and I had just finished reading “A Book That Takes Its Time: An Unhurried Adventure in Creative Mindfulness” **), I explored a Self Care one as well.

I should also mention that if you are looking to support CASEL’s Social Emotional Learning competencies, these activities fit nicely into the Self-Management section.

I think the biggest take-away for me from this session was that students wanted more. They loved the casual format with the supplies. And they asked if I could offer a second one after the holidays. With the “12 Days” format, students know what to expect, so I think we will revisit this type of scheduling format when we look at developing professional development for the spring semester. We have already talked about “13 Days of Tech” and a “Wonderful Week of Writing” which might encompass typewriter rodeo, calligraphy techniques, and how to start your own personal writer’s/reader’s notebook or bullet journal.

I truly never sought to write an entire series on professional development for students, but I am finding the more that I offer it to students, the more of it that is needed and wanted. I hope this post has sparked some interest in easy ways to support students with organization, planning, and task management. I also know that many of the resources and processes that I have shared in this Student PD Series can also be adapted to adult learners. And as I have already been asked for a 2018 calendex and there is seriously no reason to buy one… I have created one for you here. The calendex is designed to be printed as 2 pages in 1 on one 8.5 x 11 inch page (printed in landscape). The reason I suggest this is that many bullet journals happen to be an A5 size which essentially means they are 8.25 by 11.5 if they are opened to a two page spread. I just try to mimic a similar size with these handouts for consistency and if they would like to actually add it to their planner or journal.I sincerely hope these make you as happy and jovial about organization and planning as they do me. Enjoy! I only ask one favor… if you end up using them yourself or with your students, I would love to hear about it. You can Tweet me, FB me, Instagram me, or email me techchef4u@gmail.com. Thanks in advance.

Oh… and if you are interested in delving into bullet journaling or analog writing, I have some posts for you here… where to start, how to create a reader’s journal, how to augment analog notes, and supplies to get you started.

** If you are interested in additional book recommendations, check out “18+ Books Everyone Should Read in 2018”.

STUDENTS NEED PD TOO!

As you know, I am a firm believer that Students Need Professional Development too. If you are interested in additional ways to design and deliver professional development to students, here are a few more ideas and formats:

Thanks so much for reading. If you do something similar or have questions on this initiative (or any other), please reply in the comments and share ideas as well!

WHERE WILL TECHCHEF BE NEXT?

If you are interested in booking Lisa Johnson and/or would like to know more about her speaking history or professional development portfolio… visit the TechChef4u speaking page for more info or email techchef4u@gmail.com.

And… Check out her latest creation… the book “Cultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students.”


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04 Dec 2017
Comments: 3

5+ Strategies to Deliver PD to Students

It occurred to me… sadly… only after I was done with my series on professional development for students that I never really explained what that was and how it differs from traditional teaching. So two things… I am an Educational Technologist so while I do support students and staff on a daily basis… I do not have a classroom of my own. Secondly, the content I share in these professional developments (while complementary to curricular content)… goes beyond the content shared in the classroom, will not be tested, and is information that they can readily apply to their personal and academic lives. So I guess that is the real distinction. Similarly, to each chapter of my book, “Cultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students”, where I made sure that each type of communication was steeped in SEL, each of these student-focused professional developments that I discuss weave in a range of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Competencies as well. For example, the session on “Organizing Your Digital Binder” narrowed in on organizational skills, the session on “Bonkers for Bullet Journals” targeted Self-Management skills like goal-setting and self-motivation, and the session on “Managing Your Digital Experiences” honed in on Responsible Decision Making skills and Self-Awareness.

5+ Avenues to Deliver PD to Students

While these sessions could very easily be woven into a classroom or within the daily curriculum, I wanted to clarify the content, focus, and design… as I had had several questions over the past few weeks. The list below is in no way exhaustive… but does showcase 5+ different topics for student professional development as well as 5+ different methods for delivery:

  • A Whole Day: The session I delivered entitled “Bonkers for Bullet Journaling” was roughly 30 minutes long and was part of a day of choice-based (students chose from a schedule of experiences) learning for students.  
  • Half a Day: The session I co-presented on “Managing Your Digital Experiences” was a 45 minute sessions and was part of a half-day rotation (all students attended each of the 4 sessions).
  • Stations During the Day: This session that uses the Base Camp model utilized 4 stations (lasting 8 minutes each) that all  students rotated through during one class period.
  • Class Pop-In’s: This is probably the most traditional way to deliver professional development to students. Oftentimes, a teacher will ask me to lead or co-teach a session so I will come in to class for 10-30 minutes depending on the topic. The most popular one to date seems to be visual literacy and presentation skills.
  • Class Rounds: This is similar to Class Pop-In’s but students come to us in a fixed location like the library and we meet with every class within a grade level (rather than just the teachers or classes that have requested the topic to be shared with their classes). The topic we focused on here is organizing a digital binder.
  • Lunches: This is a bonus avenue. I ran a bullet journaling professional development that focused on setting up a bullet journal and a calendex in December. I set up a table in a high traffic area in the library during lunches and provided all of the supplies. As this session was optional, I promoted it on campus through fliers and our student-led announcements. Here is the full write-up on this session.

While I work with teachers, my ultimate goal is to impact our students… whether it be through the training and support I provide to our staff… or working directly with our students. I hope this post helps you to think differently and/or creatively about the “professional development” you provide for your students. And as always… if you ever have any questions, feel free to reach out on Facebook, Twitter, or even email (techchef4u@gmail.com). I would love to connect.

Students Need PD too!

As you know, I am a firm believer that Students Need Professional Development too. My last few blog posts share some of the other initiatives I have been working on:

Thanks so much for reading. If you do something similar or have questions on this initiative (or any other), please reply in the comments and share ideas as well!

WHERE WILL TECHCHEF BE NEXT?

If you are interested in booking Lisa Johnson and/or would like to know more about her speaking history or professional development portfolio… visit the TechChef4u speaking page for more info or email techchef4u@gmail.com.

And… Check out her latest creation… the book “Cultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students.”


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