This week we are checking in with Delsia Malone, Principal at W.E. Striplin Elementary School, Gadsden City Schools in Alabama. Delsia has been using Discovery Education since 2012.
“As a principal, I had always heard from my teachers about this great resource. I didn’t have a clue! So I browsed and clicked away on the site, learned how to use it, became a DEN STAR and retrained my teachers so they’d get more than “videos” out of the site. Although I became a DEN STAR, I still didn’t have a clue on “how to find the DEN.” One day, I got a package via UPS and it contained 5 trading cards, an acrylic DEN Star and information. I reached out to Jannita Demian and voila, A DEN Star was born! Discovery Education connects me with other principals, teachers and schools beyond my district so that my learning as a school leader is extended. Learning for my students, teachers and myself now happens globally.”
Read on to learn more about Delsia!
After I open my eyes and thank God for another day, I converse with my husband. I check email, return replies to social media posts and watch the news all by 6 AM. Breakfast time is spent talking with my family about our day’s plans. Once I arrive to school, I do a building walk through, converse with my staff, and check email. I spend the time before class in the cafeteria with the students for my morning duty post. Then school is in session where I’m with the students and teachers throughout the day. I do get “office time” after school and with my iPad- on the go!
Why did you become a teacher?
I became a teacher to teach Spanish and to share my passion for the language. Then, I became a principal because I want to be a positive agent for change when it came to school & district policies and curriculum decision-making
Four to One is my favorite SOS strategy! This is a fun, creative, and easy to implement instructional strategy. I used this strategy with my English Learner (EL) and intervention students. Although I’m not a classroom teacher, I support classroom teachers as their principal/instructional leader by helping to re-mediate small groups at various grade levels. I use the PhotoGrid app to merge images found on Discovery Education. If technology fails, then feel free to use any four images you’d like from flashcards or magazines. This strategy allows students to make connections using the four pictures. The end product is a complete sentence that incorporates the four images.
Here are the steps I took. We love utilizing technology, so sharing via projector and screen, is fun for my students. Merge four photos onto an interactive smart board or use a photo app to display four pictures at once. Give students a sheet of paper. Have them divide the paper into four squares/boxes. We set a timer for one minute, thirty seconds. During those 90 seconds, students work in quads using their iPads to record what they know about the pictures. Their knowledge may derive from a prior experience, a memory or from something read. We shared our photo responses via our mounted projectors. Some students used the Show Me app and others used the notepad on their iPad. Then students were given one minute, thirty seconds to create a complete sentence using new information gleaned from the presentations.
What is a ritual you have in your classroom?
We have a ritual of celebrating birthdays every other month. We announce good news daily or as often as it happens- I began this when I became principal over 10 years ago.
How are you involved in education aside from your role as educator?
First, I am an involved parent of two active teens and they attend school in the district where I work. I support public ed via Twitter and showcase what goes on in my school throughout the day. I am a mentor for teachers and principals, a member of the Alabama Education Association and vice president for District V of the Alabama Association of Elementary School Principals. I serve on Gadsden City School’s Highly Qualified Committee and I am a member of our Accreditation Team.
What advice do you give to a teacher who is hesitant to use digital media in their classroom?
My advice to any one who teaches others no matter the grade level is to take baby steps. If you can text then you can tweet. Start there, but the key is to start. Get the students or another tech savvy person in your building to help you and remember that it is trial and error.
You will be overwhelmed at times and that is expected. Get to know your students and teach them with all your might. Use every minute with them to instruct or remediate. Seek help as often as you need it from an assigned mentor. If you don’t have a mentor, ask your principal for one to be assigned to you. Lastly, exhale and find a way to relax away from work everyday.
What sites do you visit to assist in your teaching practice?
Discovery Education, Twitter , Edutopia, Education Week, and Edmodo are my favorites. They are always updated, contain relevant and new information and are easy to navigate.
What other organizations/groups are you a part of?
Council of Leaders in Alabama Schools (CLAS), I am a lifetime Girl Scout and a member of the Alabama Education Association. I am a member of service oriented Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
What is your most memorable experience with the DEN?
Attending my first DENSI in 2013 was the most memorable experience! I got to meet Lance Rougeux and his wonderful team, I met people who I only knew on Twitter, and I met DEN STARs whose passion for technology and education is still unmatched!
When you’re not working, where are we most likely to find you?
When I’m not in my building working, I’m traveling with my husband or I’m home with my husband and kids.
How can others connect with you?
@Jonnai2 on Twitter
Delsia Malone on Edmodo
Connect with Delsia today!