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612 Search Results for "exhibit show"

  • Leaders Who Love... Leaders Who Love...

    • From: Mandy_Vasek
    • Description:

      

      If anyone of you has not read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, then you are really missing out on some effective communication strategies to use with your students and staff.  Chapman describes 5 different ways to communicate effectively to the ones we hold dear to us.  Now, you may be freaking out a little because that kind of language sounds too intimate for the workplace, right?  Wrong!!  Actually, he did write this book for more intimate relationships, such as spouses or close family and friends.  However, after reading this book for about the fifth time, I had a revelation!  Why didn’t I see it before?  I think it was because, like you are thinking, the words “love language” sounded too mushy for a working environment.   Nevertheless, Gary Chapman has inspired me to be a leader who loves.  When I use the word leader, I do not mean just an administrator but any person who leads others.  A leader could be a classroom teacher, an interventionist, coach, nurse, secretary, content specialist, bus driver, etc. 

      Chapman discusses five languages desired by human hearts.  His languages are recipes for healthy, happy relationships.   According to the author, most of us have a preferred way to be treated by others in order to feel worthy. Reciprocally, we also have a favored style we use to show others we care about them.  For many of us, we will demonstrate to others we care in the same way that we choose to be loved. 

      Below are the five languages discussed in the book along with examples, which I’ve added:

         Words of Affirmation- saying nice or kind words to the person

         Quality Time- Having a meaningful, quality conversation; listening

         Receiving Gifts- a coffee, favorite snack, an inexpensive token of appreciation

         Acts of Service- teaching a class for someone or doing their duty

         Physical Touch- a hug, a pat on the back, or a touch on the shoulder that says you care

       

       As a leader, you also yearn to be esteemed by one of these languages; you may even have two. In fact, you may desire all of these to some degree, but you probably have at least one or two dominant languages that feed your soul.   More often than not, you show others you care by reciprocating with your dominant language(s).

       For instance, I am “words of affirmation” and “quality time”.  In order to have my emotional tank filled, I need to hear kind, positive words about something I am doing or who I am.  I also love spending time with others.  As a wife, mom, and assistant principal, I tend to show others I care by participating in the same actions; that’s just human nature.  I do have to be aware that others may not share my same dominant language.  Their heart could thrive on one of the other three.   So, even though my tank is getting the fuel it needs, the person I am with may not.  I have to pay careful attention to signs that will help me identify their dominant language.  It may take experimenting and time, especially with students. 

      As a school leader, it is important to realize our students and staff have emotional needs.  These language identifiers really help!  Just think about how you could get children to do what they are supposed to do by simply speaking their language!  On the flip side, you must be careful and sensitive whenever critiquing or disciplining them.  If you use a lot of words that may be considered “put-downs” to a person who attains some of their self-worth from words of affirmation, you can actually degrade the individual. It does not mean the student or staff member cannot take constructive criticism; we just need to be mindful as to how we deliver our words.  Many times, our well-behaved students and staff might feel neglected, especially if their language is quality time.  Really, think about this…. Who gains most of our attention?   Yes, those who require more of our time and attention for learning or behaving. 

      Building relationships is key to sustaining a great educational environment for our students and staff.  You really have everything to gain in just trying.  It can’t hurt to affirm or care for someone a little too much as long as it is genuine.  In my opinion, it is a win-win situation.

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  • 5 Ways to Help Struggling Read 5 Ways to Help Struggling Readers

    • From: Ryan_Thomas1
    • Description:

      struggling readers


      Use the Web to find texts they want to read

      In the past, finding books that piqued our struggling readers’ interest was challenging, but with the help of websites like Bookwink, Whichbook, Shelfari, Your Next Read and BookLamp.org, finding good books has never been easier. Use these sites, and show your students how to use them, too.
       

      Pair struggling readers with younger readers

      Even when we give our students their choice of reading materials, many struggling readers continue to choose books that are too difficult for them. When you think about it, this makes a lot of sense. Most sixth grade students don’t want to be caught with the Magic Tree House books when their friends are reading the Divergent series.

      Pairing these students with younger readers is a simple solution to this. The “indignities” associated with “babyish” books are no longer an issue when we pair our struggling readers with younger readers and have them read aloud to them.

      Find creative ways to create independent reading time

      If you timed it out, we bet you’d be surprised by how much of the day is squandered on interruptions—you know, special deliveries, messages, forgotten lunches, notes, or quick questions from other teachers. Train your students to always have a book out on their desk. When an interruption occurs—and they will occur—students should immediately begin reading.

      Here’s another idea: When students finish their work early, skip the extra dittos and busy work; instead, allow them to read silently until their peers are all finished.

      Take Phonics instruction beyond “sounding it out”
      Encountering big words can be daunting for the struggling reader. Relying solely on teaching readers to “sound out” letters can prevent growth and lead to frustration, especially when encountering words with many syllables or words that don’t follow the standard rules. Teach readers to break words down into chunks – called “chunking” or “reading by analogy.”

      Handle struggling readers with care

      We have best intentions when we say, “Stop and reread this sentence,” or “Can you read a little bit faster?” but we should really avoid this type of coaching. To learn how to handle your struggling readers with care, check out a video by Amy Mascott called, “What Not to Say to Emerging Readers.”

                                                               



       

       

                                                                download click and clunk

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  • Leadership Through the Looking Leadership Through the Looking Glass: A Tale of Two Teacher-Leaders

    • From: Krista_Rundell
    • Description:

      On March 15, 2014, a friend and fellow ASCD Emerging LeaderAllison Rodman, and I had an opportunity to present at the ASCD Annual Conference in Los Angeles, California.  The topic was "Teacher-Leadership" and the goal was to organize our ideas in the Ignite format.

      While we were both used to speaking at conferences and in front of large groups of people, neither of us had experience with this format.  Ignite limits the presenter to 20 slides, each on a 30-second timer.  This organizes the presentation to a manageable five minutes, but forces the presenter to remain focused in order to efficiently convey the true message of the presentation.  The task at-hand was exciting, challenging, and daunting.  Could we actually do this and be successful?

      Allie and I live about an hour away from one another, but our crazy schedules did not allow us to meet in person to organize our ideas or to practice.  We worked through google docs and phone calls to compile the PowerPoint, divided up ownership of the slides, then finally were able to practice together just 30 minutes prior to the actual session.

      Other Emerging Leader-friends were also part of this session, presenting their own insights into Teacher-Leadership.  We jested that we'd be the only ones to show up to the session but that at least we'd be there to support one another.  Our jokes became obsolete when the room filled to capacity of 150 people and others had to continually be turned away due to lack of seating and safety regulations.  Needless to say, our nerves were getting the better of us!

      I am incredibly proud of the work that Allie and I did leading up to that presentation, as well as the actual presentation itself.  We shared our professional experiences with one another, divulged our fears with one another, laughed with one other, learned from one other, and ultimately, achieved success together.  We challenged ourselves, stretched beyond our comfort zone, and drew on the wisdom of others for guidance (shout out to Alina Davis!).  Now we have a story to give back to those who come after us.

      We are teacher-leaders.

      P.S. Allie organized our slides and spoken words into a beautiful blog post on her site, The Learning Loop.  Please visit and enjoy!

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  • Teaching with an Adventurous S Teaching with an Adventurous Spirit

    • From: Tiffany_Della_Vedova
    • Description:

      

      As much I flooded my blog Teach on the Edge with shameless bragging over my preparations for and "reasons" to, it was hard to miss that I was in a triathlon race this weekend. When it was over, my 28 days of race blogging also came to an end, and I was left thinking about the connections between two central pieces of my identity: fitness and education. I feel strongly that one informs the other constantly, so I set out to explore these connections in an April blogging series: Teach Fit. 

      Teach Fit Tip: Teach with an Adventurous Spirit

      One synapse through which energy flows between all the facets of my personal and professional life is adventure. When I think of adventure, my heart returns to my childhood favorite The Goonies, in which an eclectic crew of well-intentioned, ill-prepared teens sets off to find the hidden pirate treasure that will "save the Goondocks" from foreclosure. With no forethought, the group hops on their bicycles with nothing more than an old map and key, an asthma inhaler, and a ton of brash courage. Along the way, they find friendship, purpose, compassion, inner talent, and (of course) the treasure.

      While it would be hardly responsible to send students off to impending doom by booby trap, it seems today that too many teachers are fearful of teaching with an adventurous spirit. As I stood in front of the waves on Sunday's race day, it was not without a fair amount of trepidation, but I also felt sure that I could at least survive and succeed given my level of preparation. In an age of so many creative and collaborative possibilities, educators would benefit from confidence in their abilities in order to dive into an adventurous sea. When facing something new or unexpected, we need to remember that we have arrived on this shoreline of possibility with no trivial amount of preparation. Unlike our beloved Goonies, we have far more in our packs to help us avoid danger and find the learning treasures with our students. Here are five adventurous seas most teachers face and should feel confident diving into...

      1) Tech Integration: Beyond checking age-appropriate guidelines for platform use, which are clearly outlined in the user terms, the integration of technology, especially that which has been specifically designed for the classroom, is a safe sea. While there will be waves to contend with, nobody is going to drown. Allowing students to play around in the surf and share with each other how they used different techniques to arrive at the same task completion is a great practice.

      2) Project-Based Learning: The best projects are often the most open-ended ones. It's uncomfortable for teachers to set forth projects with vague rubrics, but students can benefit from ones that set high standards for creativity, collaboration, and quality, with very little else detailed. 

      3) Choice-Based Exploration: As long as the prerequisite standards have been set so that students know how they must show they have learned, allowing students to choose what they learn and design their own demonstrations of learning is an excellent way to foster agency and creativity.

      4) Unfamiliar Topic: In today's data age, information is as easy to come by asking Siri. What is far more difficult to find is guidance, rapport, and connection. Allowing for student choice sometimes means allowing for topics outside our expertise. That's okay though because teachers are adept at the latter skills so as to guide students to the best resources and connections. We are boosters of brain power and creative, critical thinking...not databases for facts. Think Socrates--he never answered any questions!

      5) Being Ourselves: This is a personal and sometimes polarizing topic. Teachers cannot and should not try to be separate people in class and outside of school. While it would be unprofessional to over share information about one's personal life, our families and our interests make us human and relatable. These are two qualities a computer can never be. Yet, teachers are understandably fearful of sharing about their family if they feel the environment is intolerant. A moving example is Chris Friend's Edutopia blog "Silence is not Golden" in which Chris explores his missed opportunity in helping students embrace their own identities and differences. "Because I never brought up my sexuality on campus, I continued the discrimination. By hiding, I silently expressed my fear and added to the problem I feebly wanted to protect students from. I was trying to make sure that students felt safe in my classroom. Instead, I showed them that even I was not." 

      There is no shortage of fear in teaching. Sometimes we fear for ourselves, but mostly we fear the impact our mistakes will have on our students. We feel the weight of each interaction because we know that there are no neutral moments or do-overs. Still, with safe boundaries for exploration, we can trust in our skills as educators when faced with some trepidation. Our adventurous spirits can inspire our students to learn at new heights if we provision our packs with trust, creativity, and strong rapport. 

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  • Leader to Leader News: April 2 Leader to Leader News: April 2014

  • The Obsessive Educator The Obsessive Educator

    • From: Barry_Saide
    • Description:

      A hot buzzword in education is the term ‘connected educator.’ For the past year, I’ve gone to unconferences, EdCamps, and had countless Twitter interactions. We always talk about what a ‘connected educator’ is.


      Well, what about an ‘obsessive educator’?


      It’s important to recognize this type of educator, too, as they are a strand of the ‘connected educator’. An obsessive educator is eternally hungry for teaching and learning knowledge. So hungry, that they’re never full. They’ll attend Saturday free conferences the weekend before Thanksgiving because they want to learn something, be inspired, meet others like them, and go home with their passion ablaze. Snow on a Saturday in Philadelphia? No problem for the obsessive educator. The pros way outweigh the cons. The obsessive educator burns the candle at both ends, only because there isn’t a third end.


      The default setting for an obsessive educator is to communicate. Once an obsessive educator learns something new, they need to try it out immediately. And, then share out: not to brag or show off, but to deconstruct what just happened -- so more learning can occur. They want to break down why something worked, why something didn’t, or what they can do better.


      They also want to help others get better. Making an investment in someone else by sharing new knowledge makes the obsessive educator happy. They know at some unknown future point, their investment will pay a dividend because a student will learn. And, that’s in their job description..


      The obsessive educator is a teacher first, next, and always. And with teaching, there will be times when their peers don’t comprehend the material. They won’t see its relevance. Why do that? Who has time? Everything is already good the way it is, the obsessive educator hears. However, the obsessive educator sees a different picture than others hear. They don’t see the forest or the trees. Their vision is longer term, and it’s beautiful: a place where we are all connected and an obsession with learning becomes the norm.


      But, they understand that their obsession is not the norm now. They understand that not everyone gets stoked when Tom Whitby and Todd Whitaker follow them on the same day. They understand that by taking pictures of the educational badges from the conferences they’ve attended that people they love, respect, and even marry may call them “Nerd Camp.” Because, the obsessive educator believes they get it -- the rest of the world will just catch up soon.

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  • 6 Ways to Reduce Your Students 6 Ways to Reduce Your Students’ Test Anxiety

    • From: Ryan_Thomas1
    • Description:

       

      test anxietyTest anxiety needs no formal introduction. Most of us have experienced it—and if you haven’t, you’ve probably seen the impact it can have on your students’ performance and self-esteem. Below we’ve pulled a few stress-management tips from Neal A. Glasgow and Cathy D. Hicks’ book, What Successful Teachers Do: 91 Research-Based Classroom Strategies for New and Veteran Teachers.

      6 Ways to Reduce Your Students’ Test Anxiety

      Model low levels of anxiety in front of your students
      It should be no surprise that research shows a connection between the way we negotiate stress and the way our students handle it. If we’re stressed, chances are that it’s going to rub off on our students. We can apply every stress-management strategy in the book, but if we fail to create a positive classroom culture, even the best stress-management activity will fall flat. 


      As Tim Haston, a 7th grade math and science teacher at Earlimart Middle School, suggests, teachers would do well to approach test days like athletes do game day. “It is the performance; it is the thing we grow all year to be excited for. I don't want them to work around any anxiety, I want to teach them how to channel it as athletes do for a game, musicians do for a concert, and actors do for their play/movie/show.”

      Deep Breathing
      In addition to modeling low levels of anxiety in front of our students, we can also teach them how to be in tune with their bodies and minds. Here’s a simple deep breathing exercise we like to use before tests:

      With erect posture, breathe in deeply through the nose and hold your breath for a count of 8-10 seconds. Then, slowly exhale through the mouth, counting 8-10. Repeat this procedure several times until relaxation occurs.

      Olympic Success
      This mindfulness exercise fits in nicely with what Tim Haston said in our first point.


      Tell students to try what Olympic athletes do to develop confidence in their performance. Picture yourself in a tense situation, such as taking a test, and visualize yourself looking over the test, seeing the questions, and feeling secure about the answers. Imagine yourself answering the questions without too much difficulty. Complete the picture by imagining yourself turning in the paper and leaving the room assured that you did your best.

      Relaxing Place
      Where do your students feel most at peace? One spot could be at the ocean. Have students identify a place and use all their senses to imagine themselves there and how they feel when they are there. Guide them in an activity: Watch the waves with the whitecaps rolling up the shoreline onto the beach. Listen to the waves and the seagulls. Smell the salty air and feel your fingers and toes in the warm, soft, and grainy sand.

      Keep in mind that this activity should be done with some reserve. It may not work for all of your students, so gauge the class and encourage students not to give up on relaxation exercises just because this one doesn’t work well for them.

      Write Letters of Encouragement
      This activity will require more effort on the part of the teacher, but it’s one that will certainly stick with students. Before a major exam or standardized test, write a letter of encouragement to each student the day before. If you have the time to custom-tailor each note, your effort will go a long way, but a generic note will also have a positive impact on your students.

      We’d like to thank Angela Oliver, a 7th and 8th grade teacher from Leggett, Texas, for sharing this idea with us!


      Watch This Test Does Not Define You
      This Test Does Not Define You is one video we always show students in the weeks preceding big exams. Not only does it do a nice job of dispelling a few myths about testing, it also sends them an important message: They are not defined by test results! The video also highlights some simple research-based activities that reduce test-anxiety.

       

                                                                     Download 25 Classroom Management Tips for Teachers

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  • Support Systems Support Systems

    • From: Durell_Thompson
    • Description:

      Linking Support Systems: The Equation for Success


      In one of our recent mentorship sessions, one of our students mentioned to use that he spends a lot of time focusing on his athletic ability; with his dedications leading to outstanding results. However, in dedicating this time into his athletic abilities, he neglected to allocate time to his studies; thus, in light of this, we used the following hypothetical to show the importance of time management.


      Sports (hours spent working) =9hrs, this amount yields 540minutes vs. Class work=2 hrs. This amount yields 120minutes.
      After coming up with this simple, yet, informative equation, we came to the conclusion that it is our task as mentors to encourage all our students to micro manage their time, ask for help (using their support system), and become accountable for finding an “equation for success” between recreational activities and their school work.

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  • Taking the "Byte" out of PD fo Taking the "Byte" out of PD for Teachers

    • From: Mandy_Vasek
    • Description:

       

      2013-12-02-tweet-thumb

      Constructivists, like myself, in education today would agree that technology is redefining the way we think, practice, communicate, and carry out the routines of day-to-day living. In my personal and professional life, I have become increasingly dependent on my personal devices, such as my iPhone, iPad, and my Mac.   I may leave home without matching shoes, but you can bet I will have all my tech gadgets.  My iCali is synced to at least 4 systems and so are my reminders.  My life has changed for the better due to the synchronization of my tech tools.  Evernote, Drop Box, Google Drive, Live Binders, iCalendar are just a few ways I can manage my career and family.  One of the best things is that my devices have afforded me the luxury of having access to personalized professional development at any time of the day or night.  Because of the technology, my leadership skills, pedagogical practices, content knowledge, etc. have soared during the past two years.  I have allowed social media, blogging, and other web 2.0 tools to become a consistent standard in my life.

      Professional development has always been a part of the educational system.  Rebore (2012) described that the main purpose for a staff development program is to “increase the knowledge and skills of employees and thereby, increase the potential of the school district to attain its goals and objectives” (p. 112).  Cooper and Johnson (2013) believe learning needs are always present, therefore, educators find staff development necessary to stay abreast of current trends and practices. Many districts will perform a needs assessment to gain useful information regarding the types of professional development that should be offered to employees. Using the data from the assessments, the district pays attention to employee deficits. These shortfalls will show up as gaps in staff knowledge and/or skills in certain areas of the profession. To orient staff with new knowledge and skills, a district or campus may provide professional development to help close the learning gaps between those educators who display strengths in a certain area and those who do not (2012).

      Traditionally, many staff development models try engaging their audience with a single presenter, who shares new knowledge centered around an idea.  These models are mostly called workshops or seminars.  Research has shown that these particular models are frequently presented in isolation without the motivation needed to change practices (Cooper & Johnson, 2013). This delivery style is very common in the educational world.  Who needs this old-fashioned, "sit-'n-git"* approach to learning??  As a campus leader, I have the ability to move us away from tradition learning models and into the current era where there are means to personalizing PD for every single member on my staff.  (* Thanks @ambercldrn for the "sit-n-git"…love it).

      Research indicates that professional development is most effective when:  “it involves the participants in concrete tasks; is participant driven while rooted in inquiry and reflection; is collaborative, connected to and derived from teachers work; and includes ongoing support” (Cooper & Johnson, 2013). With purposes quite the same as face-to-face counterparts, online teacher professional development (oTPD) operates using Web 2.0 tools, which  have the potential to maximize principles due to flexibility and personalization for the educator. Web 2.0 oTPD engages and provides motivation for learners through reflection, review, connection, and immediate action, which are key to the constructivist experience (2013).

      Our district administrators recently had the pleasure of hearing Maria Henderson, an Education Development Executive at Apple, Inc., speak to us about new and innovative ways of developing students and teachers on Web 2.0 tools. Henderson (2014) defended using 2.0 tools as an innovative way to personalize professional development for staff. I agree 100% with Ms. Henderson!  Online professional development (oTPD) is not new but becoming more alive in the world of education.  On my campus, I have tried using new apps and online resources to ease the time constraints that accompany traditional staff developments in an effort to deliver information. I have implemented the use of tools like Screen-Cast-O-Matic, Google Drive, Padlet, iMovie, YouTube, Teacher Channel, Blogging, Twitter, ScoopIt, Haiku Deck etc.  Unlike traditional professional development, oTPD can be tailored to the professional or grade level, which increases engagement and the likelihood that the educator will apply what was learned or discussed.

      With less time and more to learn than ever before, I often wonder why teachers do not embrace online learning more.  Henderson (2014) stated it best when she said, “There has never been a more exciting time to be an educator or a student.” She is right!  As an educator, I cannot wait to see where we go next.  I am not afraid but rather anxiously await the next new, innovative tool to take us through our life's journey.  #EXCITING!

      We have always lived with and adapted to change; however, today’s changes are fast and furious. In education, building networks globally can help us stay abreast of current research and tools. Using Twitter, users are able to collaborate professionally with other educators about interests personalized to them (Cooper & Johnson, 2013).  Books and magazines have much to offer but, once written, they stay the same and are not able to update immediately.  Online venues, such a Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook provide educators with current feed with around the clock access in real-time. Almost nightly, I am able to read a plethora of new information and decide what best relates to my needs.  I am able to share and learn skills and content on my own time with others who I have accepted in my professional learning network.  By participating in #chats, I am able to discuss even more specifically the topics, which are more relevant to me.  This method sure does beat sitting in a cold, sterile meeting where I might (or might not) walk away with something worthwhile.  When I am on Twitter, I walk away with new learning each time I log off.  (Which…by the way…logging off  Twitter is hard…VERY HARD!).

      Blogging is another user-friendly Web 2.0 feature that puts professional learning at your fingertips.  Blogs are intended to prompt dialogue between people who have a vested interest in the material presented.  Well…like this one!!  I hope the material I am presenting makes you think.  Sometimes blogs can embed other attractive and engaging features, such as YouTube videos, graphs, media clips, trailers, etc.  Cooper and Johnson (2013) found that most research on blogging and teacher development has taken place with preservice teachers. New teacher bloggers have shown ability to critically reflect and interact with others in their online communities. My own Learning and Leading blog has taken me to new levels of learning. For me, it has given me a voice and a platform to speak.  I also know that it has helped other educators reflect and think about their own practices in education.

      Online professional development using 2.0 tools and other online resources can connect and give authentic experiences to the constructivist through reflection, review, and collaboration with network members.  Not only that, but it can making learning simpler and easier.  Another added bonus, as Cooper and Johnson (2013) stated in their article, “Exploration of professional development with such technologies presents possibilities for their use in the educational settings, while also engaging teachers in 21st century learning.”

       

       

      References

      Cooper, T., & Johnson, C. (2013). Web 2.0 tools for constructivist online professional development. EdItLib2013(1), 1923-1926.   Retrieved from http://www.editlib.org/p/112231

      Henderson, M. (2014, 0320).Apple learning. Lecture. Waco, Texas.

      Rebore, R. (2012). The essentials of human resources administration in education.(1st ed.).Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

      Source for graphic:  AppEducation.org

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  • Inquiry Project Learning Inquiry Project Learning

    • From: Lee_Anna_Stirling
    • Description:

          

         Inquiry learning is integral to project-based learning.  In project-based learning, students can learn about a topic in a variety of ways - for example, from speakers, reading, giving surveys, conducting interviews, field investigations, experiments, videos, and other information sources. They reach conclusions about the topic through analysis of data and present their findings to an audience. Presentation can be in one or more ways, such as verbal presentation that might include a slide show or other visual, inventions, brochures, web sites, podcasts, videos, dramatic performances and other art forms.

         Buck Institute for Education (BIE)  provides resources for managing project-based learning. On BIE’s web site, in Google Hangouts, videos, and articles - elementary, middle, and high school educators describe and demonstrate strategies they use in managing project-based learning. 

      Buck Institute for Education's web site address is 

      http://bie.org

       

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  • SE2R Feedback Changes How We E SE2R Feedback Changes How We Evaluate Learning

    • From: Mark_Barnes
    • Description:

      One of the keys to a successful student-centered, Results Only Learning Environment is the use of narrative feedback over grades. Although feedback isn't necessarily difficult to provide, a systematic approach can simplify the process.


      A few years ago, when I was writing more feedback than ever before, I developed a system that I call theSE2R approach:

      • Summarize -- Provide a one- or two-sentence statement of what was accomplished.
      • Explain -- Give a detailed, objective explanation of what learning is demonstrated and/or what is missing, based on the activity's guidelines.
      • Redirect -- When learning outcomes are not demonstrated, redirect students to prior learning or to seek help from the teacher or a peer.
      • Resubmit -- Ask students to resubmit activities, projects or assessments, after they've returned to prior lessons and models and made changes to the work. This way the teacher can re-evaluate for mastery learning.

      SE2R feedback in action: Here is an example of SE2R feedback for a student who wrote what we call a reflection letter about a book she read. Notice that there is no point or letter grade attached; this is crucial to the success of narrative feedback. Studies indicate that if you add a measure of any kind to the feedback, students do not read it, making your effort a complete waste of time.

      Summarize

      "You wrote a brief reflection on The Hunger Games, in which you mix plot details and your own personal connection."

      Explain

      "The summary information demonstrates comprehension of plot elements including characterization and conflict -- elements of fiction we recently learned. I think, however, that you misidentify the rising action. I like how you show empathy for Katniss and her plight, as she faces the prospect of killing Peeta (hint: what story element is this?). Elaborating on this part would improve your reflection."

      Redirect 

      "Please review the presentation on rising action on our classroom web site linked here. Then, revise your reflection, reworking the part on rising action, in order to demonstrate understanding of the concept. Then, elaborate on your feelings about Katniss' tough decision near the end of the story.

       Resubmit

      When you have finished, e-mail me or send me a message on our private message board, telling me that you've done so."

      What makes the SE2R approach integral to mastery learning is that it removes the kind of subjectivity present in grades and rubrics, while providing students with clear information about what they've accomplished and what they still need to do.

       

      Parts of this are cross-posted at Brilliant or Insane

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    • 2 weeks ago
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  • Why I Lead Why I Lead

    • From: Mandy_Vasek
    • Description:

       

               Leading a school as assistant principal or even as an instructional coach (my previous job) was never in my career path. In fact, until a few years ago, I could not imagine myself in a role defined by any leadership definition.  I would have to say that life has taken me on some unpredicted journeys with some major twists and turns.  At the time, these unfavorable moments in life seemed like some pretty hard-luck.  Today, looking back,  those hapless situations have played a huge part in directing me to where I have found so much passion and joy.  You see, hardship sometimes brings out the best in us.  I had to gain a lot of personal confidence before ever reaching a point in my life where I had enough faith to lead others.  I  had to let go of inner thoughts that often plagued my mind about what others thought of me.  I lived most of my life through the lenses of how others perceived me.  Outward affirmation from others far outweighed my inner desire to be happy with who I was.  I am now certain that many unpleasant circumstances occured in my life to build patience, confidence, courage, and other characteristics that leaders often get branded with so readily.  Today, I can say I've grown in tremendous ways!  I am definitely a work in progress, but I have been able to break many of the negative strongholds in my life.  

      About a year ago now, I started to see how personal experiences, learning opportunities, and desires were leading me down an uncharted path of becoming a school administrator.  Feeling a bit risky, I jumped in head-first and decided to be adventurous instead of taking my normal stance, which is standing with others on the observation deck.  At the time of this revelation, I was attending grad school.  I changed my whole graduate plan from curriculum (which I still love) to administration.  New doors began to open, and I felt on fire to really lead for the first time ever.  I can honestly say I made the BEST decision of my life to apply, interview, and accept a position as an assistant principal.  My true passion was finally ucovered!  

      Who knows where this career will take me, but I will never look back and say, “I wish I had.”  I have said that only a million times in my life with regrets.  Along my new journey, I hope to inspire others who feel like they do not have much to give.  The truth is, we all do.  Leading does not mean you always have to stand and shout from a mountain-top.  You can lead even in the trenches.  In fact, the best leaders are at the bottom serving those who follow.  Leaders show empathy and know how exhausting and cruel the road can be at times.  They lift their people up and quench their thirst with support, sincere affirmations, and encouragement.  The best leaders, in my opinion, have been shaped and formed from a raw state.  

      I am more excited now than ever about education.  It is incredible how rapidly it is moving and shaking.  I yearn to do so much more to make learning for students and teachers the best it can be!  So, why am I leading?  Well, I am leading because I have the passion to do so now, along with the faith and confidence in my ability to do it.   Those beliefs about myself were born from hard work, heartache, and even a broken spirit.  I am leading because I know it is the thing I am called to do.  I am leading because I want to create other leaders as passionate as me.  I am leading because I love what I do so deeply that I don’t want this passion to be wasted.  I am leading because I care for people, for children, and finally for me and what brings me true joy.  I lead because I want to make a difference!

    • Blog post
    • 3 weeks ago
    • Views: 776
  • The Perks of Following The Perks of Following

    • From: Jennifer_Davis_Bowman
    • Description:

      My 3 year old son follows his older brother around non-stop.  Whether it is doing push-ups, saying “shut-up”, or standing on the living room couch (unfortunately it’s our new couch), my older son is locked into a silent game of Simon Says.  

       

      It really got on the older one’s nerves.  Even though siblings intentionally try to push each other’s buttons (the more my older son would protest, the more intense the following became), I wondered if there was something more to this.  Did following have to be a bad thing?  Better yet, were there any benefits for following someone or something?

       

      In contemplating the perks of following, I was reminded of the childhood game “Follow the Leader”.  The game emphasizes the power of observation and environmental study in planning one’s next move.  Similarly, consider the mantra from the Wizard of Oz, “follow the yellow brick road”.  It reveals the power of tenacity-in spite of any real (tornadoes, losing your way, etc.) or imagined obstacles (witches, fake wizards, etc.) that come our way. 

       

      What is Involved in Following?

      Nowadays, following is an action associated with the use of social media.  For example, thinking about Twitter, we may "follow" celebrities, friends, or colleagues in order to network or keep abreast with things that interest us.  In that sense "following" is done online using technology as a communication platform.  For the purpose of this article, the concept of "following" relies on the desire to emulate.  Please note that there is an element of imitation, but most importantly there is an internal change (learning) when effective following occurs.  

       

      So, let’s clarify a few aspects about the act of following before proceeding:

      • Although copying characterizes the early stages, following is more than becoming a “copycat"
      • There is an attempt to recreate an identified principle or style
      • It is a change process
      • It is not limited to a physical act
      • It requires situational assessments (appropriateness, relevance, effectiveness) 
      • It holds meaning (professionally or personally)
      • It is pursued with a specific outcome in mind

       

      What Can We Learn About Following From Teachers?

      I began to wonder how the concept of following translates into the classroom.  Educators follow instructional principles in their classrooms everyday.  Let's take a look at the experience of a few educators to learn how and why they follow:

       

      1. Blogger Jose Vilson suggests that following the principles of an admired educator is inspirational.  Jose recommends that educators study the style of other professionals as a means to refining classroom practice.
      2. Larry Ferlazzo, in one of his blogs, argues that in contemplating following (to discern whether to be principled or unprincipled) a valuable process of self-assessment occurs.
      3. In a post by Jane Healy, we see that following a principle impacts more than just the individual involved with following.  Jane argues that the consequences of following student-centered principles (in which teachers become invisible) reap more benefits for her students (such as self-directed learning, independent thinking, self progress monitoring) than for her.
      4. In a blog by Mark Barnes, he shares the dilemma of being torn between a widely accepted principle and his personal (less popular) belief that homework is ineffective.  His conflict highlights the importance of evaluating principles before committing to following them.

      What Does Research Show in Regards to Teachers Following?

      The teacher mentor process is one way instructional principles are studied and practiced.  Let's take a look at what teacher mentor research suggests about following:

       

      1. Mentoring is connected to teacher retention.  Research shows that beginning teachers that follow the instructional principles set forth by mentors are more likely to remain in the teaching profession (Odell & Ferraro, 1992). 
      2. Mentoring impacts the perception of teaching.  Research indicates that when teachers observe their mentor modeling an instructional principle, teachers report greater job satisfaction and self-efficacy (Smith & Ingersoll, 2004).  
      3. Mentoring establishes teacher support.  When teachers communicate instructional principle difficulties with their mentors, they are able to obtain the required resources to meet classroom challenges (Appleton & Kindt, 2002).

      What Are the Rules For Following Effectively?

      Although teacher experiences and research indicate that following can be advantageous, as educators we must show care in how we follow.  There is a difference between becoming a follower and following (the latter is the goal). Keeping in mind a few tips helps to ensure effective following:

       

      • Strive to focus on a principle even if at first a person or behavior interests you
      • Expect to see a change between pre/post following.
      • Ask how the principle you wish to follow is appropriate, relevant, and effective for your needs.
      • Understand why the principle that you wish to follow is meaningful to you.
      • Determine the short-term and long-term goals that you hope to accomplish by following the principle.

       

      At last, it is time to revisit the questions that were inspired by my 3 year older following his older brother. Was there a deeper meaning to gain from this simple act of following?  Yes.  I believe that there is an important take-away from watching my younger son engulfed in the act of following. I believe that following is a powerful and necessary process that may begin copy-cat like, but when done effectively, results in learning.  As for the second question:  Was following bad?  I conclude that following is not bad at all, as long as it is principle-based, purposeful and change oriented.  In addition, we have to remember the many benefits of following that are echoed by teacher experience and education research.  Now, if only I could get my 10 year older to be more receptive to the benefits of following...

       

      References

      1. Appleton, K., & Kindt, I. (2002).  Beginning elementary teachers’ development as teachers of science.  Journal of Science Teacher Education, 13(1): 43-61.
      2. Odell, S.J., & Ferraro, D.P. (1992).  Teacher mentoring and Teacher Retention.  The Journal of Teacher Education, 43, (3): 200-204. 
      3. Smith, T.M., & Ingersoll, R.M. (2004).  What are the effects of induction and mentoring on beginning teacher turnover?  American Educational Research Journal, 41 (3): 681-714.
    • Blog post
    • 3 weeks ago
    • Views: 289
  • Critical Literacy Across the C Critical Literacy Across the Curriculum

    • From: Eric_Sheninger
    • Description:

      By Lisette Morel, Colleen Tambuscio, Lynne Torpie, and Joanna Westbrook


      Rather than being daunted by the literacy demands posed by PARCC and the Common Core, three teachers at New Milford High School have embraced the challenge. This semester, they collaborated with a 9th grade ELA teacher to develop critical literacy across the curriculum. What arose from that collaboration was rich and pushed students to interact with text and present their ideas using the discourse of each discipline.

      These teachers worked to create tasks that foster the investigative, critical thinking and written communication skills that embody real-world endeavors. Though literacy skills are the foundation upon which these outcomes are built, these teachers felt unsure about assessing critical literacy and needed guidance in building clear rubrics. With the support of an ELA colleague they were able to develop activities to engage students in authentic writing tasks as they analyze and synthesize content.

      The Science Task

      Infographics in Science:
To connect the cognitive learning goals in science class to the cognitive learning goals in ELA Mrs. Torpie worked with Mrs. Westbrook to create the Infographic Project. For this project, students collected data then presented it graphically using Infographics such as bar graphs, a column graph, a pie chart, or a hierarchy. In addition, students compared their data to other representative data, drew conclusions, and made specific recommendations.

      Click HERE for the assignment and rubric.

      Common Core Standards Addressed: WHST.9-10.6; WHST.9-10.8; WHST.9-10.9

      The Social Studies Task

      Curating an Exhibit in History
Since students often experience history through museum learning, either within the walls of a museum or through online exhibitions, the Become a Curator assignment provided an authentic method for engaging social studies students in learning. Mrs. Westbrook and Mrs. Tambuscio built this task using an advanced text on the subject of Nazi ideology. To begin, students utilized a specific chapter in Nazi Ideology and the Holocaust by The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to research their assigned cluster of non-Jewish victims of Nazi oppression. The goal was to allow students to understand the many layers that encompass Nazi ideology while citing specific artifacts and evidence to support their conclusions.

      Click HERE for the assignment and rubric.

      Common Core Standards Addressed: RH.9-10.3; WHST.9-10.2; WHST.9-10.4; WHST.9-10.5; WHST.9-10.8.

      The Art Task

      Artist Statements
The task created by Mrs. Morel and Mrs. Westbrook asked students to write Artist Statements to accompany their finished pieces for exhibition. Mrs. Morel provided mentor texts from the art class MOMA fieldtrip which students used to create their own statements. These statements mirrored the professional standards of the art world. This assignment gave them experience in articulating their process and in writing clear statements to describe their intended effect.

      Click HERE for the assignment. 

      Common Core Standards Addressed:WHST.9-10.2; WHST.9-10.4; WHST.9-10.9

      Conclusions

      What these teachers learned from their collaboration is that writing in the content areas can no longer be centered on tired, recycled 5 paragraph essays students write year after year – the idea of making the content classes into extensions of the English class just does not have traction. What does have traction is work that couples real content with real literacy and that threads reading/writing opportunities throughout the curriculum.

    • Blog post
    • 4 weeks ago
    • Views: 547
  • Reflections on ASCD Conference Reflections on ASCD Conference, 2014

    • From: Mark_Barnes
    • Description:
      ASCD authors from left: Mike Fisher, Bill Sterrett, Mark Barnes

       

      The ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show in Los Angeles attracted over 9,000 educators from around the world. The conference featured amazing keynote speakers, like Daniel Pink and Sir Ken Robinson, and many remarkable sessions and roundtable discussions by authors and K-20 education experts.

      Hundreds of vendors shared astonishing products, books and services that help educators improve teaching and learning in their schools. Conference host, ASCD, provided author talks, book signings and engaging receptions for attendees and presenters.

      Professional and personal engagement

      For me, the best part of the ASCD Conference was the professional and personal interaction. The conference gave me four days to see people in my Personal Learning Network -- many of whom I'd never met face to face -- and to reunite with colleagues and friends I don't see very often.

      I have been social network friends with Bill Sterrett and Mike Fisher (pictured above), for years. At the ASCD Conference, not only did I meet them in person for the first time, we presented in a roundtable discussion about ASCD Arias, broke bread together and brainstormed ideas for future education projects.

      At the conference, I also presented with longtime Twitter friends, Kristen Swanson, Steven Anderson, Tom Whitby, Nick Provenzano and Kim Sivick. Because we live in different states, I rarely see these people outside of cyberspace (we do hang out on Google+ occasionally), so the ASCD Conference gave us a chance to spend valuable time together in person.

      There is nothing quite like a major education conference to refuel your engines and provide powerful information and tools to take back to the classroom.

      For me, though, the ASCD Conference was about fellowship. Our PLNs provide an amazing group of people, with whom we have a unique kinship. Meeting them in person adds to that relationship, making it even better than it already was.

      Thanks ASCD for an amazing weekend. Of course, the LA sunshine didn't hurt.

      Mark Barnes is an education author and consultant and the publisher of Brilliant or Insane. Follow Mark on Twitter here.

      cross posted at www.brilliant-insane.com

    • Blog post
    • 4 weeks ago
    • Views: 250
  • Creating a Roomful of Leaders Creating a Roomful of Leaders

    • From: Barry_Saide
    • Description:

      There was a quote spoken twice over a week-long span that resonated with me. The first time I listened to it I tweeted it out. It was a great thought in a presentation full of them. The second time the quote was said, I understood it. There was a difference.


      The quote was, “Leadership is what happens after you leave the room.” Irvin Scott, Deputy Director of Education at the Gates Foundation said it during his evening keynote welcoming us at ECET2 (Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teachers and Teaching). A week later, after hosting 50 New Jersey educators at a professional development event on digital leading and learning, Matt Hall, Supervisor of Science and Technology in Bernards Township said the same thing.


      So why did it take me two times to truly figure out what they both meant?

       

      It’s a complex thought: the idea that what you do and how you do it will show itself (positively or not) when you’re not there. The rationale is that if we’ve created the right environment, empowered the people in it to be involved in the environment’s creation, agreed upon very specific norms about what’s expected and why when we are there, the people who inhabit the room will continue to follow it when we’re not. 

       

      Why? And, how does this apply to teacher leaders, site-based leaders, and the students they serve?

       

      Whether you’re a teacher or an administrator in a building, chances are, if your environment is running smoothly it’s because you’ve created an expectation about ‘how things are done here’. There is buy-in because those involved were given a voice and a choice in how ‘things here’ operate. Then, once rules and guidelines were established, the teacher or administrator made sure to reinforce expectations when needed, but in a positive way so teachers or students retained their dignity. This created an atmosphere of trust between those in the room and the person in position of power. It’s clear to all who witness a private exchange take place that even if they can’t hear what was said, the way the teacher or administrator handled it was respectful. When a teacher asks a student to step outside for a moment and then never refers to it again, or gently whispers something in a student’s ear and continues their room rounds, the student knows, ‘if I mess up, I’ll be held accountable for it, but I won’t be embarrassed publicly. It’ll be a private thing.’

       

      The same holds true for when a conversation like this is held between an administrator and teacher. When an administrator visits a teacher in their room and has the hard conversation in private this may make the teacher uncomfortable, but it also creates mutual respect. At some point, just as other students know a conversation took place but don’t know the details, teachers know when an administrator spoke to a peer. Someone always sees or hears something. And, when (or if) it’s our turn having that conversation, we’re going to feel comforted knowing it will be handled the same way we know it was handled before. That shows caring.

       

      As a teacher, the note I love to read from a guest teacher when I am absent is: ‘your students were wonderful. They were just a pleasure to teach.’ This lets me know that even when I’m not there, my leadership still is. It’s there because I have empowered my students to be leaders. They police themselves, support each other, have the hard conversation, and hold all accountable (even themselves). Because, they want to. My hope is that when they become a leader in their own field, they will continue to model these qualities and the cycle will continue. 

       

      The next time someone says, “Leadership is what happens after you leave the room,” remind yourself of the time spent in the room to create the environment that functions well when you’re not there. Because, the students aren’t doing it by themselves. They’re modeling leadership in the room you taught them in.

    • Blog post
    • 4 weeks ago
    • Views: 661
  • Putting the Child into Whole C Putting the Child into Whole Child: Give Students Voice to Improve Your Practice

    • From: Eric_Russo
    • Description:

      Recently I was having a discussion with a colleague who is new to the building.  This teacher is confident, self-assured, and has decades of experience over me.  We teach the same children, so we meet frequently for RTI and team meetings.  This is the type of teacher that takes pride on being “old school,” which roughly translates to a no-nonsense, quiet-equals-learning, behavior-should-have-negative-consequences type of environment.  It’s the model that many of us grew up with.  Although I was able to navigate through this system because I was a so-called “good student,” many friends were not particularly successful, with the logical assumption that they were “bad students.” This model puts the system itself as the driving force for success, which is disempowering both to educators and to the students alike.
       

      Now, the conversation in question did not go smoothly, especially when I insensitively insisted that the teacher “would not be successful” using this old school approach.  Realizing that I was working against my goal, I quickly concluded with a final statement that I paraphrased from a Maya Angelou quote:  People don’t remember what you say; they remember how you made them feel.  It is a statement that I share with staff and students, and for me it is at the foundation of the type of teacher I strive to be.  It is also at the core of the safe and supported tenets of Whole Child.  The Whole Child philosophy offers a new approach that does not consider students to be good or bad, but forces educators to consider students’ needs.  And what better way to find out, then to ask the students themselves?  Consider two examples of how student voice and Whole Child thinking work together to show improvements on both the classroom and individual level.
       

      Example 1:
       

      In the beginning of this school year the majority of my first period reading class was sitting with their heads down.  There are two quick assumptions that a teacher can make.  One is that the kids don’t care about school; the other is that the teacher and or content actually is that boring.  The old school of thought would assume the first, placing the responsibility of learning on the learner.  The second is something that many teachers don’t want to admit, or that they convince themselves is all right because (true to old-school fashion),“it’s school, we sat through boring classes too, but it’s just something you have to do.”    But a Whole Child approach caused me to consider a third option based on the Healthy tenet.  As I was addressing the class about having their heads down I thought came to mind: “Raise your hand if you ate breakfast this morning.”  Few hands went in the air, and surely none of the droopy heads had their hands up.  On the spot, the homework assignment for the next class was to eat breakfast in the morning (in hindsight, I should have made students report out and really build understanding by reading articles as well, but now I know for future reference).  I checked up on the class the next day, and pointed out how different the dynamic in the class was when all or most ate breakfast.  I also included this information in my weekly email to parents with a link to an article about the importance of eating in the morning.   

       

      I started to think about my own practice and the assumptions teachers make everyday.  How many students have been written off as not caring, when in fact they may have simply been hungry and unable to concentrate?  The combination of awareness of the Whole Child tenets, and a discussion with the students lead to a change, and hopefully a lesson that they will never forget.  This is also something that will be woven into my opening lessons at the beginning of the next school year along with other brain-based research.  Had it not been for Whole Child thinking, and a moment to talk with the students, I may have plugged forward with the lesson.  Others might have fallen back on an “old school” management approach of consequences or phone calls home.  Whole Child opened my mind to other possibilities.  I still get some heads down during class, but it is almost guaranteed that every time a student complains about a stomachache or being tired, they skipped breakfast; and we can fall back on that day and use their experience as evidence.   On the flipside, I also have several students that tell me what they ate for breakfast regularly now (win). 
       

      Example 2:
       

      Having conversations with the students is an essential in serving the whole child on the individual level as well.  At a recent student conference, the teachers asked about being off-task in math class.  The student shared this:  
       

      “When you tell everyone to pass the warm-up to the front, I haven’t even done it yet because I don’t know how.  I’m still just trying to figure out what to do.  Then I get so frustrated and upset because I don’t understand what you guys are talking about, and it’s not even worth trying after that.”

       

      The teachers asked him why he doesn’t ask for help when he is confused, and he replied:
       

      “I look around and see how much the other kids in the class need you and how you are trying to help them out, I just don’t want to be bothering you.  You already have your hands full.”


      Finally when we asked him about the classes he was doing well in, he shared that in those classes he felt the teachers explained things more clearly to him, and checked up with him to make sure he understood what he was doing. 
       

      Thinking about the Whole Child philosophy forces teachers to go back to the tenets. This student definitely did not feel supported in math, which caused him to disengage.  Possibly the most disheartening aspect of this story is that the student felt like he was bothering the teachers to ask for help, or even worse, that he wasn’t worth their time.  Meanwhile, the teachers thought that he didn’t care, that he was all over the place, too social, or just couldn’t focus.  In this case, trying to reach the whole child truly led to an improvement in instruction and learning by changing the thinking of both the teachers and the student.

       

      From that meeting a direct plan came about to give the student extra time to complete his warm up, to assist with some guided notes and cloze steps for problem solving, and to find a peer tutor that can be trusted to assist during presentation and practice of new content.  It was a powerful meeting and one that came about from allowing the student voice into the process to assist with figuring out the missing pieces of the puzzle.  The student felt more supported, and would then presumably engage more in class.  The teachers were forced to think outside of the “old school” model of learning, and truly personalize for the individual in front of them.  More of these conversations need to happen regularly if we are truly going to reach every child, every day (and we have to push our colleagues to have them).  These conversations lead to greater understanding, but none if this understanding can happen without allowing the whole child to help you see the whole story.  Not every child is so open and self-aware, and many children are not used to sharing their opinion about instruction.  Some may not even know how to explain themselves, but they do know how you make them feel in class, and that discussion alone may be enough to help them help you.

    • Blog post
    • 4 weeks ago
    • Views: 271
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  • AC14 Exhibit Hall AC14 Exhibit Hall

    • From: Kyle_Steichen
    • Description:
    • 1 month ago
    • Views: 45
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  • AC14 Exhibit Hall AC14 Exhibit Hall

    • From: Kyle_Steichen
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