Archive for category Communities of Excellence
At the upcoming Character Education Conference in San Francisco, Quantum Learning representative Cami Eiskamp will be hosting a workshop. Cami has worked with administrators, teachers, students and parents as an instructor and trainer around the globe for more than 13 years. Her witty, outgoing personality — combined with her highly interactive training approach — keeps audiences energized and engaged. She models applicable instructional/leadership strategies that all attendees can use immediately when they return to school. Cami is a San Diego native, currently in her seventh year as a high school Spanish and leadership teacher. She was voted Teacher of the Year by staff and students. If you are attending the conference, you can join Cami on Thursday, 2:30 – 3:45 p.m.
Congratulations to Bob Callahan for being chosen as Region 16 Principal of the Year by the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals (TASSP). Mr. Callahan is in his 20th year as principal of Dumas High School and his 33rd year with Dumas ISD. His prior positions with the district include five years as a biology teacher and assistant coach and eight years as the assistant principal all at DHS. He had six years of teaching experience before coming to Dumas. Mr. Callahan will be recognized at the upcoming TASSP State Conference.
Bob will present with Quantum Learning at a session entitled “Light the Fire of Loving Learning in EVERY Student!” at the Texas School Improvement Conference in October in Austin.
“Quantum Learning is the most powerful program for improving teacher effectiveness, enthusiasm and excitement for teaching that we’ve ever had in this district. It has become contagious! I remember hearing one of the QL instructors who is also a teacher talk about a new teacher who would come by his class every day because every student in the grade level he taught in wanted to be in his class, and the new teacher wanted to know why. The same thing has happened at my school. Students want to be in classes where teachers are using Quantum Learning methods to teach. They want to come to school and can’t wait to get there. You know, new teachers who step into a classroom and suddenly have to get everything done are just overwhelmed at first. There is so much more that they are responsible for than they ever imagined. And then they have a diverse classroom and all kinds of situations to deal with. That is where Quantum Learning comes in. It equips teachers to be the best they could ever want to be. If they are a parent, it equips them to be the kind of teacher they’d want their own children to have. I can see it in how my teachers carry themselves. They’re confident and their excited to be at school every morning. It’s been a real transformation in our school since we began Quantum Learning.”
The best part of our job is to see results. Below, we bring you an article reinforcing our techniques by a teacher, Kecia Burcham.
Thanks for the support Kecia!
I recently published an article on one of the concepts of Quantum Learning; living above or below the line. As I was preparing to teach this concept in my Franklin classroom, it occurred to me that although the model originated in the business world and moved to educators, the principles lend themselves beautifully to goal setting and achievement for all ages.
For example, many if not most of us are bound in some way by limiting beliefs about just what we can and can’t do. We often feel trapped by a lack of confidence, lack of resources, education or, perhaps most commonly – fear. We wear some labels that often define our lives and leave us stuck on the fence of familiarity. As many will agree, change is hard – way hard.
It can be said that whatever we are doing, saying, even wearing is sending a message of some kind about who we are. That being the case, the way we approach our life mission sends a message as well, to ourselves as well as others.
Revisiting the “below the line” ideas of laying blame, justifying, denying and quitting; let’s explore how those responses translate into roadblocks to our personal destinations.
- Laying blame – it’s someone or something else’s fault. “My family doesn’t have money or prestige.” “Society is prejudiced against my gender, race religion, etc.” In other words, “I don’t control my goals; others do.”
- Justifying – it’s okay because….”No one else is…”, “I’ve been too busy doing something else.” (raising families, working, going to school – which are all worthy in themselves, but can easily justify ignoring your own personal goals) In other words, “Outside circumstances dictate whether or not I pursue my goals.”
- Denial – lying to yourself; “I couldn’t have pulled that off anyway” “I didn’t really want that degree, that job, etc.” This sends the message “I can’t trust myself – I must believe what others say about my future.”
- Quitting – simply giving up. “I’m stuck with these labels and it’s too hard to change.” “I’m too tired, too old, too short, too fat, etc.” This is so common and so sad. We give up when things seem too difficult. We let go because the obstacles seem so great. This sends the message to ourselves and others that we simply don’t have what it takes. It becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. Most of us have far more than we realize. This is where we need motivation and to remember that good things are almost always difficult. Change is rarely if ever easy. Getting off the fence takes a whole lot of effort. Rome wasn’t built in a day, etc. etc.
Take a second look at “where you’re living” when it comes to what you want to get out of this life and what you want to leave behind. Watch where your kids are in the same context. Are you; Are they making the hard choices that result in the power to free yourselves and move forward? Are you finding it hard to rip off those old labels and get off the fence? I challenge you to identify where you really are and start rising above. As the saying goes, “Life ain’t no dress rehearsal!”
Eisenhower Elementary School students saw their negative thoughts, comments and actions go up in flames Friday. Eisenhower third through fifth-graders wrote put downs on paper to be burned during the ceremony. The school’s head custodian, Al Ortego, then burned, and extinguished the put downs in a brief but powerful ceremony.
Put downs are negatives comments students say to one another or about one another. Burning the put downs is part of the school’s bullying philosophy that if a student does not have anything nice to day, they don’t need to say anything at all said Eisenhower third grade teacher Kari Moddelmog.
The lesson also goes along with the district’s new 8 Keys of Excellence, which is part of the Citizenship, College and Career Ready initiative. The second key, speak with good purpose, teaches students to make positive comments to one another. By burning the put downs, the negative thoughts and comments student have heard or said “will be gone forever, never to be said or thought about again,” Moddelmog said.
A new school year is here! Below is a message sent out by Quantum Learning with helps for starting a new year with new students. There are some specific and easy ideas for each part of FADE, with links to terrific resources. Enjoy!
Wow! Another school year is already upon us. Where did the summer go? Well, school can be fun, too, because Quantum Learning has a ton of ideas for you on how to get things off to a great start and make it the best year ever for you and your students.
Remember, Quantum Learning is a SYSTEM for boosting student engagement and learning and it all begins with FADE:
The beginning of a new school year means “training” students in what’s expected in the classroom. With a strong Foundation, you can establish a shared vision and an understanding of expectations in your classroom. Download our document entitled How to Develop Rules and Consequences for a plan on how to establish ground rules that will support a successful year.
How would you like your students to enter/exit the classroom? Consider last year – what did you develop that worked? What would you change? What level of self-directed behavior do your students manifest? Each of these areas of consideration is defined and developed in the QL attachment on PAPR – Policies, Agreement, Procedures, and Rules. Download it here.
The start of the year is your opportunity to establish an empowering Atmosphere for learning. Here’s a link to a short video with tips on what you can say and do to create a climate in your classroom that promotes a sense of joy, safety, and support.
Also, get QL’s Top 5 Hot Tips for creating an empowering Atmosphere in your classroom this year and tips from QL teachers and facilitators on how to build rapport with your students from the first day of school.
Begin every lesson with a plan for how you will Enroll your students so that they are engaged; create Experiences and curiosity; Label what is learned AFTER the Experiences; allow students to Demonstrate what they have learned;Review and promote Reflection of new content learned; and Celebrate your students’ learning successes. The Quantum Learning Design Frame (E L L D R C) provides a proven process for promoting greater learning and long term memory. Click here for some great “Enrolling” ideas.
The start of the school year is your chance to establish a physical learning space that is inviting and supportive so that you can deliver your content in more engaging and interesting ways. As we say in QL, “Everything Speaks,” meaning everything in the environment sends a message that either enhances or detracts from learning. Download our document on How to Create a Supportive Environment in your classroom.
This is just the beginning of how you can begin to make it a GREAT YEAR for your students and boost learning! Also, be sure to check out our QL blog for valuable research and more great ideas.
Looking forward to hearing all about your successes the next time we see you!
Your Quantum Learning Education Team
P.S. Ask about our additional programs to support you: Observation and Coaching Days, Tele-coaching sessions, Reinforcement and Renewal Workshops, and our new QL Topic Specific one day workshops! Visit our website at http://www.qln.com and find out what’s new at Quantum Learning! Or, contact your QL Education Senior Consultant at www.qln.com/learning_education_contact.html
Iconic Posters: Hang an iconic poster to reinforce learning.
Here is a classic memory tag. I once had a conversation with someone about the power of icons. I need to do more research into this. Companies and marketing groups understand the potential in a superb icon. Think the golden arches (McDonalds). Think the Nike swoosh. Think the Apple…apple. Just seeing one of these icons brings a rush of thoughts, associations, feelings, etc. We have a few icons in Quantum Learning: Home Court Advantage (circle in a triangle); the Line; and Prime Directive. Each of these can represent a wealth of information (and associations, feelings, etc.). It depends on what we put into it. I have a friend and fellow facilitator, Dan St. Romain, that only brings icon mini-posters to events (versus full-size flip charts) of all the Quantum Learning content.
Now What?: What are your big rock concepts? What’s the big stuff that holds it all together? What information bears repeating over and over again? How can you represent these concepts, ideas, formulas, or whatever in an ICON? I recommend icons that are simple, yet distinctive. After learning all about it and repeating it several times, students should be able to look at it and know immediately what it’s all about. Work to be as purposeful as possible with the icon. Put it on a chart and hang it as a content poster. Put the icon on relevant homefun assignments. Have students recreate the icon with additional details for a review activity.
Bonus: As you create multiple icons for your classroom, is it possible for icons to interact? If the knowledge builds on or interacts with other knowledge, can the icons do the same? Wouldn’t that be cool? As always, I would love to hear your examples (firstname.lastname@example.org). Keep up the great work!
It’s the start of yet another school year, but it’s not business as usual for the students of The Coastal Academy.With the help of parents and teachers, a group of middle schoolers on the Student Leadership Team put together an “8 Keys Field Day” held yesterday in a local Oceanside park.
At this special event, students were invited to rotate between 8 different stations to grasp a better understanding of The 8 Keys of Excellence. At each of the 8 stations they experienced a key, its definition and body motion, and a story and activity pertaining to the key. Here is a summary of some of the activities held at each station:
Integrity: Students engaged in a game of Jenga with classmates. In this game, as more and more pieces are taken out, the tower becomes weaker. Students were explained that his is also what happens to our integrity when our actions don’t align with our values. Because of this, they learned that their integrity is stronger when their values and behaviors are aligned.
Failure Leads to Success: Students were asked to build a tower of cups. This displayed the Failure Leads to Success Key because, while often times the cups fell and they had to re-build the tower, they finally finished the tower and achieved success.
Speak with Good Purpose: Students played a game called “Two Truths and a Lie,” where one student told three statements about themselves, two true and one a lie, and other students tried to guess which one was the lie. They then discussed why it’s important not to lie to others and to practice Speaking With Good Purpose on a regular basis. They also took turns throwing bean bags at blocks displaying various positive and negative words, trying to knock out the negative words.
This Is It: Students participated in a game of tug-of-war, signifying the importance of being in the moment and trying your best at whatever it is that you’re doing.
Commitment: What better way to practice Commitment than to participate in a 3-legged race? Students learned that it’s important to stay committed to the activities in their lives and not to give up when the going gets tough.
Ownership: Students got low for the Limbo and learned to take ownership and admit when they touched the stick and were out of the game. When the stick became too low to get under, students began stepping over it, signifying that they were Living Above the Line.
Flexibility: The boys were instructed to weave through an obstacle course of cones while the girls moved the cones to different places. This taught students to be flexible and keep moving through the course even though the path was changed.
Balance: One student was instructed to hold a stick with bags on each end, while other students added bean bags to each side. The object was to keep the two sides in balance so one side wasn’t heavier or more impacted than the other. This taught students that it’s easier to handle situations when they have Balance in their lives.
Way to go, Coastal Academy! This “8 Keys Field Day” was a great way to introduce the 8 Keys of Excellence to students and get them excited for the school year ahead.