If you read all the way to the end - there is a great idea at the bottom!

We read an article from Reading Teacher called "HOT Blogging: A Framework for Blogging to Promote Higher Order Thinking". We jigsawed it and had a great conversation. I will put a copy of this article in teachers' boxes. The two blogs that are recommended are edublogs.org and classblogmeister.com. Another one that was brought out by the group was kidblog.org This one is great for lower elementary. There was a whole group discussion on some of the pros and cons for blogging. Some teachers have difficulty because the district blocks a lot of resources. We also discussed some of the blogs that are not for elementary students. The two above are approved for elementary. We also discussed parent and community resistance to blogging. One district showcased blogging for the SIAC. They had a blog up and students were blogging in during the meeting. It was very effective.

At this point, the tornado sirens went off and we all had to head to interior rooms.

We watched a videotaped lesson and had to identify CRISS strategies and 21st Century Employability skills. A high school band teacher used ABC and Venn Diagram to help students identify marching bands skills that carry over to employability skills, such as cooperation, self discipline, understanding incremental tasks to achieve a goal. The most powerful part of the lesson was the summary activity, where students identified how marching band skills will carry over to their future employment and life.

We broke up into groups of two to write lesson plans. I went onto the Iowa Core Curriculum DE website. I identified an area - Civic Literacy and a grade level - 3-5. I wrote a lesson plan on civic literacy (teach the branches of government and their funtions) using CRISS strategies. I start with a KWL on what they know about government. I work with students to develop learning goals.i.e - identify the branches of government, their functions and how they work together. I give students a page describing 3 branches of government and ask them in groups of 3 to jigsaw the article (1 student take legislative, 1 student judicial, 1 student executive) Each study would write a summary of the basic function of their branch of government (i.e. the legislative branch makes laws) Then I would have students use a VENN Diagram to write in each branch and the function. As a group, we would then discuss how they function individually and then what areas they are similar (center part of Venn Diagram) This could be very simple thoughts (They all are part of the government, are in Washington, deal with laws.....) Then as a summary, I would have them develop 2 column notes on the branches of government and the functions of each branch. I would have them develop a one sentence summary on how the branches of government work together.
I know this is pretty rough, but it was a good exercise on how to connect CRISS strategies with the Iowa Core Curriculum. For CRISS strategies, I used KWL, Jigsaw, Venn diagram, 2 Column Notes and One Sentence Summary. For CRISS principles, I used Metacognition, Background Knowledge, Purpose Setting, Discussion, Writing, Explanation & Modeling and Teaching for Understanding - hopefully.

For more information and lots of resources on connecting CRISS and Iowa Core Curriculum - go aea11.k12.ia.us Click on the Educators Tab Click on Professional Development: Initiatives Click on CRISS There are catagories that you can click on including resources, video lessons and lesson plans.

We did a Triangular Comparison between Curriculum Instruction Asessment and the following initiatives:
E2T2 Cognitively Guided Instruction Authentic Intellectual Work Char. of Effective Instruction 6+1 Traits
Project CRISS Principles Non-negotiables of Differentiated Instruction IDM I triangulated Characteristics of Effective Instruction with the three areas of Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction.

Here is an idea for combining CRISS with PLCs. Teachers identified one of the CRISS strategies that they felt they needed more information or help. Those teachers became a PLC group i.e. Author's Craft That PLC then develped a learning plan and goal. They chose instructional materials, divided up learning areas, set goals and developed lesson plans. All the PLC's met at the learning center, so that principal and curriculum director could go around to groups and provide assistance and support. They also showed me a great technology tool for a PLC. It is called wiggio.com You can organize, put information and post comments. It is more flexible than a regular wiki.

Here is a great idea. Get "parachute" type fabric at a fabric store. Spray it with Spray Mount Adhesive. You can get it at craft store of office supply. You can then put the fabric up on a bulletin board or wall. Students/teachers can then put papers, cards... up on the spray mount fabric and they will just stay there. A student can take a paper they have finished and just place it on the wall - it stays right there. It is pretty amazing!!! For our group, they created a triagulation with tape on it and we just came up and placed our cards on the fabric.