Jen Kessler, Super Teacher, nominated for KS teacher of the year.
Jennifer Kesler is a second grade teacher at Stockton Grade School in Stockton, Kansas. She received a Bachelor of Science in Family Studies and Human Services from Kansas State University in August of 2002. She received a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Special Education in May of 2006. She also received a Master of Science in Special Education in May of 2009.
Kesler began her career as an elementary special education teacher at Stockton Grade School from 2006-2011. She then transferred to the regular education classroom and has taught first and second grade since 2011. Kesler is an active member on many committees in her district. She serves as a member on Curriculum Council, Student Improvement Team, the Professional Development Committee, Kansas Education Systems Accreditation Team, and serves as a mentor teacher for new staff at Stockton Grade School. Kesler is also involved in coaching Junior High sports and serves her community and church in various positions.
Jen also does an awesome job sharing on social media! Follow her classroom facebook page Mrs. Kesler's Classroom Adventures (@secondsweeties) or find her on twitter @JenJkesler!
Curtis and Ben had some real fun with the critters in this mission's comic! While they are imaginary, they were created within biological constructs and based on life that exists, or existed here on Earth. We've seen some pretty extraordinary critters in Borneo, too! Here's a fun activity to try to boost literacy AND creativity skills!
Which way now?
Why publishing matters...a lot!
One of my favorite things about technology is how easy it makes to get that student work published and in front of an audience! Our Go2Science teachers share work on social media and classroom platforms too. (Please remember to tag us so we see the awesomeness!!!) Our publication page is another way to give students and authentic audience. We will see and comment on each and every publication. Only registered Go2Science users can see the work and, while it has never ever been and issue, we can delete any comments or content that we deem inappropriate for our audience. This makes it a safe and tightly focused platform to share student work.
Publishing also gives you and your students a chance to set the bar high. The promise of publishing is an opportunity to do quality work. If students know that their work is being seen, they have motivation to really do their best. Students are even more able to effectively self evaluate if they consider the audience? Asking a child if they would be proud to share a piece of work with a favorite relative or Beth and Curtis gives them a chance to reflect on what they've done.
Baby, just go outside!
In so many important ways, technology gives us a window to the world. Students can explore incredible locations, see fantastic critters, and get to know some wonderful people. But they have access to another portal to learning: the door! Now is an incredible time to encourage students to explore their own back yards! Super Teacher, Roberta Hart, is extending our mission in Borneo by having students track and observe plants and animals in their own back yards! I love that she's taken full advantage of the opportunity to do things differently. I also love that she's found a way to keep technology use focused, purposeful, and limited. Her students connect with her as needed and can vary the pacing and intensity of activities to suit their circumstances.
Both of the lessons headed your way next week are awesome to do outside. Each is a STEM challenge and the testing for each could easily happen outdoors! I really enjoy hearing the stories of how so many of you are flipping your classrooms right now. It is great to use video conferencing and collaboration tools to connect, collaborate, and share. What happens in between times, however, can be AWESOME! Talk to your kids about balancing screen time and outdoor time. When is each learning space the best choice? Because so much learning is happening asynchronously, kids have more chances than ever to take advantage of fickle spring weather and get out there when the conditions are right. I hope our lessons will make going outside more meaningful and fun!
I was talking with a colleague this week who was sharing concerns about a virtual classroom situation where the students were expected to be working with on-line learning apps while she monitored for three solid hours each morning. After a lunch break her students were once again plugged into screens with synchronous learning activities. Parents and specialists working with children in this class are rightly concerned! Thankfully, this story is atypical of the reports I'm getting from Go2Science teachers! Like Roberta, it seems as if you've all found ways to support your students that keeps technology use balanced and kids involved in hands-on learning. When that hands-on learning can happen outside, it's even better!!!
Where shall we look next?
Read to a friend!
This week an awesome video came our way! One of our Go2Scientists is reading the comic to his teacher each week. It got me to thinking. One of the best ways to become a better reader is to read and re-read! Parents may not have the time to listen again, and again...and AGAIN! Let technology lend a hand! Call a friend or family member who is lonely or just looking for a distraction and have your child read to them. It will go better with a text they've practiced and can read pretty fluently like our friend below. If you'd like to share your child's reading with us, we'd be delighted to hear it too! With your permission, we are happy to share it with other Go2Scientists. Remote story time is a win for all!
Creative ways our teachers and students are engaging!
Pushing familiar tools to the limit
Crafting online learning materials
Here is how she explained how they use these files with students:
Inventing new games!
Rock on and share!
We'd love to feature your creative ideas too! Let us know what you are doing by tagging us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram or shoot us an email at Curious@Go2Science.com!
Where should Beth and Curtis look next week?
Need those directions about Google Forms again? Read on!
I learned a few new things last week too! This form should work for you the first time!
Distance Learning Tip for Teachers: Have you ever used Google forms? They are a great way to create surveys and polls and collect data! We've made one for this week's vote that you can copy and use it with your students. You can even edit your copy prior to sending. Here's how to do it!
You can also join us for one of our Zoom calls and I'll guide you through it!
Meet Beth and Curtis!
Presidential Award-Winning teacher and hula hoop fanatic, Beth loves bringing real world science to kids! Beth is fascinated by engineering challenges, technology, and outdoor learning spaces. After 25 years teaching kindergarten, she’s excited to share her passion and experience on-line with classrooms from around the world!