Kass Bates’ Blog

         Member of the Texas Discovery Education Leadership Council

Archive for Texas

September 30, 2013

Discovery Resources Explored

Filed under: Texas,TX @ 5:46 pm

Hooked on Discovery!

Today I had the opportunity to share Discovery Resources with all of the Secondary Media Resource Specialists in my district.  While most of them have been aware of Discovery as a great source for videos supporting our various curriculums they had no idea of the depth and breadth of the available resources. We also explored the Science Techbook, which brought oooh’s, and aaah’s as we navigated the model lessons, interactive glossary, and teacher resources. Finally we spent some time creating classes, and experimenting with the student side of Discovery including the wonderful board builder. They left excited and anxious to share with teachers on their respective campuses. I am excited that some of my district peers are now DEN STARS!


February 24, 2013

Self-confessed Blogging Lurker

Filed under: Texas,TX @ 12:14 pm

O.K. I am coming clean. I am a blogging lurker. I love to read blogs to see what others are posting, thinking, and sharing. I reflect on these entires and I know what I read influences my professional practice. I use what I read to add technology tools and creative applications to my toolbox. I pass along great sites, new web applications, and even the ideas of others to my teachers. But that is where I stop. I rarely comment on others’ blogs and even more rarely post my own thinking where others can access it. So I am challenging myself right here where it can be read, maybe talked about, or best of all begin a challenge for others like me. Starting today I going to require myself to comment on someone else’s blog at least twice a week. Not a hefty start but something I know I will do now that I have made it public.

Recently I listened to the archive of Sue Waters on ETMOOC. Sue is the support manager for edubloggers. She said reading and commenting is as important in blogging as the writing part. I get the reading part, now I am going to jump on board with the commenting part. And I challenge you to join me! Come on, all you Discovery Ed blog lurkers, start commenting!!!

February 16, 2013

Simple is Good!

Filed under: Texas @ 10:55 am
Tags: ,

Simple is Good

This is a picture I took of the Dembo/Shareski presentation at TCEA last week. And ever since I haven’t been able to get the second one…”SImple is Good” out of my head. I even went so far as look up “simple” in the dictionary. Not like I don’t know what it means but just to see if the way I was metagonating on simple was even close…..Surprise, here are three definitions of simple that resonated with me. “1. free from ostentation or display 2. free of secondary complications and 3. not limited or restricted” I love that all three definitions imply some sort of liberation because that was one of the messagesI took away from their presentation. We need to give ourselves permission to share what is real, what is  ongoing, what mistakes we are making, what risks we are taking, and how we are genuinely growing as learners and thinkers.

So it was with this mental frame of mind I went into working with the second graders this week as they were finishing up their projects for our district digital festival “Penguin Palooza.” SInce TCEA was smack dab in the middle of this three  week  project the kids and teachers were left dangling last week to get their projects finished without me. Or so I thought….

What I found was that the groups of students I worked with had continued on their projects freely without me or their teachers. While the projects weren’t completed they totally reflected the thinking of a child, the work of a child, the creation of a child. This gave me the luxury of simply sitting next them, watching their spontaneous collaborative exchanges, and offering assistance when needed. I was amazed and touched by the level creativity, the willingness to accept one another’s ideas, and the varied ways they chose to present their projects. While my students may not win in their respective categories for the competition, I am confident that my entries reflect their work, not mine. And while their work really wasn’t “simple, ” it was not limited or restricted or complicated by the invasion of adult ideas .  To me that feels like “simple is good,” really, really good.

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