Why did I do this session? Well, at ILC some of the best attended sessions were one I did on Tech in ELD and one that came before my session on using Tech for intervention with IEP (special ed) and other low-performing students. The presenter worked for an ed consultant that works with PI and other schools who need help. It was her first time presenting and I thought she had good bones in her presentation in her basic organization. I mistakenly thought there would be an audience for this at CUE, and I overloaded the title with “jargon” in hopes I would get the folks more oriented towards curriculum, and in need of help with NCLB. The original proposal was turned down, and it was only pulled out of the dust bin because they had a cancellation about a month before CUE and needed the spot filled.
The session was on Thursday, the “Bonus Session” day and was in the very first spot on the conference schedule. I feel that this, and my poor job in titling and describing the session killed it’s prospects. Only four people showed up. Since I added Adina Sullivan on as a co-presenter, I was happy when we got more than two, and our audience out-numbered the presenters. Two of the audience members knew us (Brian Van Dyck, and Diana Kenney) and I have a feeling Brian was just there becuase I asked him.
The Session itself:
Given all that, I think it went pretty darn good. It would have been nicer to have a larger audiecnce, but the folks there seemed to get something from it, so all was not lost. CUE lost nothing on the deal, because they had already given me comp entry for my later presentation on blogging in elementary. We went through deconstructing (also called unpacking) a standard. This is just making sure you understanding what the standard is that you are remediating, and looking at the released test questions so you know how the question is asked and the vocabulary used. You really should avoid drilling on the test questions, but instead look at the ideas, and save the questions for formative assessment at the end of your lesson/unit, rewriting them for the material covered. Adina went through a third grade language arts standard that was more skill based (suffixes and how they change word meanings), and showed a day by day lesson plan of how it was addressed both in whole class, small group, and extended day tutoring. I then show the same thing with a more complex math standard on linear graphing for fifth grade. One of the audience members was a high school algebra teacher and it was a more simplified version of what he had to teach with slope, so it worked out well. I walked though what I had done whole class to build background, then the final part, where students in the tutoring program made a stop action video to show what they learned. I then showed how to use flickr to get visuals AND using the titles to teach about metaphor, since many of the folks uploading there using symbolic language and idiom when they title things.
I moved onto using music videos to teach symbolism from a visual point of view. Some folks came in at this point when I was showing how to use Zamzar to get stuff off of YouTube, and loved learning about that. I may have gotten an extra positive eval just off of that, lol.
Here is the audio:
and the Google Doc:
Besides improving how I title and describe sessions (believe me, I really learned that lesson). There were some things I did that I may not have paid off with such a small audience, but I think are good practices.
1. Putting a label on the back of my business card with links to preso materials.
2. Pre-posting the materials to the conference ning so folks can get them in advance.
3. Leaving the business cards and eval forms on each seat for participants.
4. Having at least one later session on a related topic to point folks to. This builds community with other presenters, and also helps the participants have a more “cohesive” experience at the conference if they follow that lead, rather than going to a bunch of different presentations on a lot of different topics.
5. Still a question mark, I put up my presenation as a Google Doc, which will allow for commenting as I’m presenting. This could make the experience more interactive, or just a mess. I’m going to continue trying this as time goes on.