Flipagram in the Classroom

Flipagram in the Classroom 

I put together this new presentation on BrainShark for using Flipagram in the Classroom, including information such as:
What is Flipagram?
Why use Flipagram? 
Making a Flipagram
and most importantly!
How can I use it in MY classroom?

Please follow the link below to view the presentation

Flipagram in the Classroom

Learn more about Flip Teaching or visit our Free Teacher Resources page for more tips and advice on using technology in the classroom.

– Shannon Holden

My TechTools edWeb Community

Join TechTools for the Classroom: Easy Ideas to Engage Students

TechTools is a free professional learning community (PLC) where educators can discover new resources, free technology, and great ideas for integrating technology into the classroom to engage and inspire students.

The community hosts free monthly webinars and live chats that are highly engaging and interactive.  Online discussions provide an easy way to continue the conversation and share ideas and experiences with other teachers and educators around the country.

Upcoming Webinars
Presented by Shannon Holden, a high school and middle school teacher and administrator who loves technology and helping teachers learn easy ways to use free tools in the classroom.

Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 5 p.m. Eastern Time
Tuesday, Dec. 16 at 5 p.m. Eastern Time
Pre-registration is not required for TechTools community members.
Join the webinar at the scheduled time with this link:
You’ll be automatically emailed a CE certificate for attending a live session.
Be sure to join the TechTools community:
  • Receive invites and reminders to free webinars
  • Access the recordings for past webinars
  • CE quizzes (to earn your certificate for viewing a past webinar)
  • Additional resources and discussions

Preview the webinar “Getting Students Organized With Evernote & Dropbox” presented by Shannon Holden, Assistant Principal, Republic Middle School, MO.  After viewing, take the CE quiz to earn a certificate for this session.

– Shannon Holden

Upcoming Webinar – Classroom Discipline Mistakes That Undermine Your Authority

Classroom Discipline Mistakes That Undermine Your Authority
Tue, December 2, 5pm – 6pm

Upcoming webinar with Shannon Holden, follow the links to join the discussion!
Presented by Shannon Holden, Assistant Principal, Republic Middle School, MO Click here for more information and to pre-register for the live session. Join the live session at the scheduled time at: www.instantpresenter.com/edweb6. Join the New Teacher Help community to participate in online discussions with peers, for invitations to upcoming webinars, to view past webinar recordings, to take a quiz and receive a CE certificate for a past webinar, and for access to more resources.
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My New Teacher Help edWeb Community

New Teacher Help: An Online Community for New Teachers

New Teacher Help is a professional learning community (PLC) that helps new teachers get advice and support, and share experiences about the first years of teaching.

In our series of free webinars, live chats, and online discussions, you’ll explore how to:

  • “Set the tone” for a productive year of student learning.
  • Develop a repertoire of instructional strategies that result in higher levels of student engagement and achievement.
  • Establish yourself as the “authority figure” in the classroom.
  • Deal with students and parents who try to question your authority.
  • Discover resources you can turn to for assistance when necessary.
  • Develop techniques to increase communication and build relationships with students, parents, veteran teachers, administrators, and school support staff.

Upcoming Webinars
Presented by Shannon Holden, who has been a high school and middle school teacher and administrator, and a new teacher coach, in North Dakota, Texas, and Missouri for 20 years. 

Tuesday, Dec. 2 at 5 p.m. Eastern Time
Pre-registration is not required for New Teacher Help community members.
Join the webinar at the scheduled time with this link:
You’ll be automatically emailed a CE certificate for attending a live session.
Be sure to join the New Teacher Help community:
  • Receive invites and reminders to free webinars
  • Access the recordings for past webinars
  • CE quizzes (to earn your certificate for viewing a past webinar)
  • Additional resources and discussions

Preview the webinar “Inquiry-Based Learning” presented by Shannon Holden, Assistant Principal, Republic Middle School, MO. After viewing, take the CE quiz to earn a certificate for this session.

The New Teacher Help PLC is a place where you can post questions, start discussions, and get feedback from experts and peers on the issues and challenges you facing starting out on a career in teaching.  Stay connected, share ideas, and get support from other new teachers all across the country.

Join the New Teacher Help community for invitations to the free webinars, to view the archives and get a CE Certificate for previous programs, and to access the discussions and resources.
Follow the link to sign up today!

New Teacher Help edWeb Community

– Shannon Holden

Reduce Tardies in Your School

I have worked in many different secondary schools, and they all have one thing in common… They all at one time or another have had a “Tardy Problem”. That is, many students did not feel the importance of showing up for class on time, and wandered to class one, two, or even five minutes late (some students would do this several times per day). Teachers would grumble about having to deal with tardies, and a building with 50 teachers in it would have 50 different opinions of how to solve the tardy problem. Everyone felt that the administration should do something about the situation, but no one was quite sure what that “something” was.

I developed a plan about five years ago called a “Tardy Reduction Plan”. Notice I did not call it a “Tardy Elimination Plan” because I am not so naive as to think I could eliminate tardies altogether. If I were THAT gullible, I would also believe that a person could lose 54 pounds by eating drive-thru fast food! This plan will reduce tardies by a LOT, though. Teachers love the plan because the tracking of tardies and the punishment of the wrongdoers is taken out of their hands. Everything is handled by the administration… Here’s how the plan works:

Once the tardy bell rings, teachers simply shut and lock their doors. Administrators and/or teachers on their conference period “sweep” tardy students to a predetermined area (we use the cafeteria), where they are issued a “Tardy Slip” from the tardy book. The tardy book is made up of two layers of NCR paper, which automatically makes a copy of the writing from the top sheet (we have our tardy books made by a printing company in town). The pages can hold 10 slips, and the slips are perforated for easy removal from the book (like a receipt book). An example of what the pages of our tardy book looks like can be found at www.newteacherhelp.com/Tardy_Reducer_Documents.html

Once the student is issued his tardy slip, he can be admitted to class. An administrator then enters all of the student tardy information into a spreadsheet, like the example posted on the same website as the tardy book documents. The date of each student’s tardy can be entered, as well as what period the tardy occurred.

The last Saturday of the month is designated as a “Saturday School” day for chronically tardy students. Students with four or more tardies during the month must stay in Saturday School for fifteen minutes for each tardy earned. For example, a student with four tardies will have to serve an hour, a student with ten tardies will serve two and a half hours, and so on. Students with three or less tardies will not be asked to attend Saturday School. After the last Saturday of the month, all tardies will be reset back to “zero”, and the process repeats itself.

I host our Saturday School in the cafeteria, with the start of Saturday School being 7:00 a.m. I like making this experience as inconvenient for students (and parents) as possible. Students wait outside the school until 6:45 a.m., at which time I unlock the front doors of the school. Students then walk to the cafeteria, where I have placed stickers with each student’s name assigned to a certain table. I lock the front doors of the school at 7:05 a.m., and students are not admitted if they are late. My rationale is this: Why let a student arrive late for a punishment they earned for being chronically late? That would not make any sense… right?

Students are allowed to read, do homework, or otherwise sit quietly while serving their time. They are not allowed to communicate with each other in any way, nor are they allowed to have cell phones, video games, laptop computers, or other electronic devices. The cafeteria is so quiet, I am able to catch up on any work I have neglected to do during the week!

I know what your next question is… What happens to a student who skips Saturday School? Good question! I tell parents that students who miss Saturday School automatically have an hour added to their time for next month, and they are prohibited from attending any extracurricular activities until they serve their time. You can find the letter I send home to parents with the other documents I described at www.newteacherhelp.com/Tardy_Reducer_Documents.html

Students will cry and beg to be let in to a football game, basketball game, pep rally, or dance… But you cannot let them in if they have not served their time. If you make exceptions, the whole system will break down! In December, we have a “Winter Formal” dance that is the highlight of the year. You can bet your bottom dollar (do we use that expression anymore?) that no students skip the November session of Saturday School!! Another thing that will cause the breakdown of this plan is the teacher who secretly lets students in after the tardy bell because they “almost” made it. Luckily, other teachers will let that teacher know their leniency is unacceptable.

Forrest Gump used to say “That’s all I have to say about that” when he got to the end of a story, and that’s what I am feeling right now about tardies. Implement the Tardy Reduction Plan in your building, and become a hero to your staff!

Coin Flip Discipline

As an administrator, I am faced with several student disputes in a normal day. My job at that point is to listen to both sides of the story, and try to steer the two sides to a peaceful resolution of the problem. If the dispute persists, I then try to determine who the aggressor is, and discipline that person to discourage him/her from starting trouble again. In most cases, it is easy to determine who the aggressor is… But what happens if both parties are the aggressor?

I was faced with this very situation recently. Two students (whom I’ll call “Lucy” and “Ricky”) became involved in a nasty give-and-take that lasted for weeks. The two students were involved in a boyfriend/girlfriend scenario that ended badly… Now they live for nothing else except to bother, irritate, and upset the other. To make matters worse, they had several classes together… And drove their teachers crazy with their antics.

After the same episode played itself out several times, I decided to take a fresh approach to the problem. Instead of spending an hour or so listening to each student give his/her side of the story, then trying to figure out who was at fault this time… I invented a new way of dealing with the ongoing dispute. I called both Lucy’s and Ricky’s parents, and asked if I could implement “Coin Flip Discipline”.

I explained to each set of parents my reasoning, and that this solution is my “last resort”. Both sets of parents were also sick and tired of dealing with the problem, so they happily agreed to my solution.

Remember, do not try this at home unless you have the blessing of BOTH sets of parents! You will get yourself into big trouble if you don’t have the parents’ approval.

When the two students are sent to the office, I pull a coin out of my pocket, and flip it. If it lands on “heads”, Lucy goes to our In-School Suspension room for the remainder of the day. If the coin lands on “tails”, Ricky spends the rest of the day in the In-School Suspension room. I explain this to the students, along with the warning that the coin has no memory… It is possible that the coin could land on tails four times in a row, meaning that Ricky would be in ISS four consecutive times, for example.

Coin flip discipline has been a great success! Instead of having to deal with Lucy and Ricky every day (sometimes several times in a day), I have not seen either of them in the office for three weeks! Lucy and Ricky have been overheard by their teachers working together to make sure that they are not sent to the office, where they face a 50/50 chance of spending the rest of the day in ISS. Now, they are not best friends forever by any stretch of the imagination, but they have found the motivation to work out their differences themselves instead of bringing me into the mix. Lucy and Ricky’s parents have thanked me for my innovative solution to their problem, and they will be more likely to support me if I have to discipline their child in the future…and that’s our goal, right?

Remember, this solution should not be used for ALL disputes, just ones that are ongoing and show no signs of letting up. Also remember that the parents need to be on board before the coin is flipped. But, when the time is right… The coin can be your friend!!

– Shannon Holden

Five Questions for Students Accused of Bullying

One of the main reasons why bullying is not addressed is that the bully tells teachers, the Principal, or their parents that they were just “playing around” with the victim. While it is socially acceptable for friends to call each other unflattering names or make harmless physical contact – it is NOT acceptable for people to do it to others who they do not consider “friends”.
Here are five questions that determine a student’s intentions in a neutral, non-accusatory way:
1. If someone I didn’t know came up to me and hit me or said something rude to me in front of my friends, would I laugh
and think it was funny? Would I do the same thing to a total stranger that I just did to my “friend”?
2. If the person I just “played around” with did the exact same thing to ME in front of my friends, would I laugh and think it
was funny?
3. Was this the first time I hit, kicked, made a joke about, or otherwise “played around” with this person?
4. Would I sit at the same lunch table with the person I just “played around” with? Would I invite this person to my
house to hang out and/or play?
5. Did I stop bothering this person immediately after they asked me to stop?

If the answer to any of these questions is “No” – then you are bullying the person that you are “playing around” with.
For more FREE information to help you deal with the bullies at your school, visit lesson one of our Bully Neutralizer online course 

– Shannon Holden

Why Do We Have To Explain “Why” To Students?

Why do teachers have to explain why each rule exists? Everyone remembers their time in school. For most, it was a time of innocence, learning, and fun. Some remember it as a painful time…filled with bullies, mean teachers, and not being part of the “cool” group. People’s attitudes towards school remain unchanged with the passage of time, and their painful memories cloud their perception of what goes on in schools today. This has led to the erosion of power wielded by educators, as parents have increasingly resisted the school’s attempts to make their student “conform” to the standards of behavior considered acceptable by our society in previous years. In this post, I list the reasons why we now have to explain to students why they have to follow specific rules.

* “Top-Down” Leadership Is A Thing Of The Past – In the “Good Ol’ Days” of business, employees complied with the rules of the office or factory, no questions asked. If a worker had the audacity to ask why a certain rule had to be followed, the boss would reply “Because I said so!” As time passed, workers formed unions, studies were done that showed workers were happier and more productive if they were allowed to provide input to their bosses as to how the company should be run. Pretty soon, “collaboration” became the order of the day. Nowadays, you would be hard pressed to find a company that uses a top-down leadership style.

* “Because I Said So” Isn’t Good Enough Anymore – The paradigm shift in the workplace trickled its way down into the educational sector. Remember the “Good Ol’ Days” of education? Students complied with the rules with no questions asked. If a student had the audacity to ask why a certain rule had to be followed, the teacher would reply “Because I said so!” Students had no backing from their parents in this situation, the parents had the attitude that the school was always right. One day, a movement was born that encouraged students to “Question Authority”, and fight for their rights. The originators of the movement were convinced that many in positions of authority are corrupt. Students were encouraged to not blindly follow their leaders…they were encouraged to question why decisions were being made a certain way. Parents (many of whom felt that they were treated unfairly during their school career) didn’t automatically support the school when the school tried to discipline their children. As a result, students became more and more emboldened to question why their school operated in a certain fashion….and they gradually demanded more and more of a say in their own education and disciplinary consequences.

*The default setting on kids’ “respect” meter is “no” – In the past, students automatically respected their teachers (and other adults in their lives). It would take a traumatic event for a student to ever lose respect for their teacher. The default setting for student respect was in the “on” position. In recent years, many students and their parents have come to the conclusion that students are not required to respect adults just because they are adults. Many students believe that an adult has to “earn” their respect before they give it. Not only do students not automatically respect the position of teacher, they do not respect police officers or other authority figures. The reasons for this troubling development are a mystery to me, but could have something to do with TV shows and movies that belittle people in authority. When have you seen a TV show or movie where the policeman, teacher, or principal is seen as the hero? Most shows portray these authority figures as evil, “uncool”, dishonest, or stupid. Another reason why adults are not respected could be because of the high divorce rate in this country. Kids see their parents fighting, splitting up, having a new “boyfriend” or “girlfriend”, or using childish tactics to hurt the other parent. Kids’ lives are littered with adults that make empty promises or empty threats, which makes it hard for students to view their parents as a positive role model, worthy of respect. This lack of respect for parents has led students to disrespect their teachers as well.

*There’s a Higher Percentage Of Compliance When You Explain “Why” – For some reason, explaining why the rule exists (and why it needs to be followed) has a magical effect on students. Maybe it is because the student has an “A-Ha!” moment when he sees the school’s point of view…maybe it is because the student respects the person enforcing the rule because the person has taken the time to explain why the rule exists. In any event, explaining rules to students results in a higher percentage of student compliance. Not only are more students compliant, they seem happier while complying because they know why the rule exists.

**Do you want to reduce bullying behaviors at your school?  Check out my online anti-bullying course called “Bully Neutralizer” at this link: