Tuesday, April 9, 2013 by Jethro Jones
Monday, March 18, 2013 by Jethro Jones
Videos are a powerful way to supplement your curriculum and, if correctly implemented, are an excellent way to build some background knowledge quickly.
Here are two tips for making videos successful in your classroom
1. Load the video before kids are in the classroom (avoid searching for a video in the moment, as you will likely find many inappropriate videos on your way to that video you want).
2. Ask the students questions that cause them to relate it to your objective. Obviously, it should be tied into your curriculum, but also find a way to ensure that the kids really are getting something positive from it.
Thursday, January 10, 2013 by Jethro Jones
First, yesterday some kids ruined a fort that our Playworks coach was building with about 30 kids. She was really sad about the hard work that the kids lost because of some insensitive people. Well, this morning, one boy who did it came and apologized to her. She has done such a good job of building a great relationship with all our students that the boy felt genuinely sad. That is great. He apologized and Coach Vee was on cloud nine. She completely and totally forgave him. She is the exemplification of why we do PBIS.
Next, a student was crying in the hallway. Balling her eyes out and she could be heard from quite a ways away. I was called to help her and I went to see what I could do. I asked her if she needed to calm down and take a break. She said she did. I told her we needed her teacher's permission. We went to ask him if she could come with me. He asked her where she was supposed to be and reminded her she was supposed to be in REACH, with the teacher next door. So we went in there. The class was already at work on a project, and I commented that it looked like fun. That teacher said simply, "Are you ready to join us?" The girl apparently decided that this was better than a break, so she said yes. The teacher was completely accepting and welcomed her into the classroom. She asked just the right question that invited the student perfectly. It inspired me to watch.
Finally, a teacher had a student that was especially difficult and mean today. The teacher needed to intervene in his behavior, and that made him more mean. He started to cry, then she started to cry from the continual problems she has had with this little boy that she loves so much. She obviously needed a break, and one our behavior specialist swooped in to help her. She came out of the room just as another teacher was walking down the hall. The teacher in the hall saw the upset teacher and grabbed her in a warm embrace. There was no judgment, just the recognition that someone was hurting and there should be love and concern for that person. I was down the hall and headed that way to see what was the matter and uncoils almost feel the love and concern the teacher had for the one who was hurting.
When you work in a school where this level of support exists, it is easy to come to work and face the difficult challenges that inevitably exist. I am so fortunate to work here.
Saturday, December 22, 2012 by Jethro Jones
1. Ask the right questions as a patient.
For me, I need to ask questions about the things the doctors are saying. So, while I sit here with my daughter in the Emergency room trying to figure out what is wrong with her, I am asking a lot about what they are saying so I can better understand what is going on and so that I can relay that back to my wife who is with the other kids at home. It is the first time I have tried so hard to understand what is going on. Usually, I just trust what the doctors say, but today, I am trying to really understand it.
2. Asking the right questions when you are trying to help someone.
There is a stark contrast between the resident and the head ER doctor. The resident was asking questions about this situation (bloody stool) while the head doctor was asking about other aspects of my daughter's health. It was fascinating to see how connecting a couple more dots. As of right now, we still don't know anything. But, I could tell the doctor was trying to puzzle it out. The resident asked a couple questions that led to a specific diagnosis and settled on that. The head doctor didn't agree with that diagnosis because there was something missing. That led her to ask questions about other areas of my daughter's health. It didn't lead to a diagnosis, but it almost ruled out another.
The real question is, what are the right questions?
That, I don't know the answer to, but here is one idea of how this applies to education. If I ask one of my teachers how I can help her, she will never tell me what she needs. If, however, I recognize a need (by being thorough in my questions to her) and then offer specific help on that area, she will be much more likely to accept it.
Have a Good Life.
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 by Jethro Jones
In writing my book, I used Markdown as I was writing it to force me to focus on the content, or else I would never get it done. I didn’t start playing around with fonts, and colors, and design until the actual writing was in to be reviewed by a trusted friend.
I had a really hard time getting the Markdown text out of Scrivener into a readable format with the pictures that I had linked in. I needed the format to go to Word so that I could insert chapters into iBooks Author.
When I compiled from Scrivener to Word, I got markdown formatted text, not RTF (and no pictures)
When I compiled from Scrivener to RTF, I got rich text, formatted how I wanted, but without pictures.
When I compiled from Scrivener to PDF, I got rich text, formatted how I wanted, with pictures, but when I copied and pasted it, the pictures all went to the last ten pages, which would have required more work than I wanted.
When I compiled from Scrivener to TXT, it gave me just what I had written in Scrivener.
When I exported to OPML, I got a really cool Mind Map of my whole book!
To get what I needed, I had to go to and download the Drag and Drop apps (all the way at the bottom) from Fletcher Penney’s github site. When I did that, I dragged my Scrivener-exported .txt file onto the HTML app, and it converted it to HTML for me. I opened that up and copied the styled text from the web browser, and pasted it into a Word doc. It got all the formatting how I set it up in Markdown, and made it easy for me to get it out into chapters to be imported into iBooks Author.
I realize now that I could have compiled from Scrivener to HTML and been totally fine with what I needed. Live and learn, right?
As a side note, I really like iBooks Author. It makes even what I am doing look fairly decent!
Have a Good Life.
Thursday, August 2, 2012 by Jethro Jones
In 2008, I even started blogging about my experiences as an intern with the intent to turn that into a small book (really a journal). My cooperating principal didn't think that was a good idea, so I scrapped that idea (though I still have 30 blog post drafts waiting to be published).
In 2002, I came up with the opening line for the fictional work that I will someday write. It is....Well, I'll save it for later. I haven't forgotten it, and I don't think I will.
It has finally happened. I am finalizing a book. I have been staying up late at night for the last few weeks trying to get it done in time. Some days it is easier than others to write, but every day it is rewarding.
The book is called "Paperless Principal" and you can preorder it here: http://paperlessprincipal.com.
It was inspired by David Sparks' Paperless, which I bought earlier this year. Since I bought that book, I have been staying up late at night organizing a paperless system for our office at work. I spent hours creating those workflows, and realized that I was making it a lot harder than it needed to be. Since we are still so reliant on paper, the goal of a paperless office eludes many of us. It is possible however, to have a mostly paperless office. And I show principals how to do that in my book.
It includes screenshots, screencasts, and a lot of instructions. In the preorder, I include the automation tools that I have talked about in the Paperless Principals posts on this blog. I am also offering a 30 minute Skype/FaceTime/Phone consult to help get people started.
I think it is pretty good. I think you might, too, especially if you are a principal interested in a paperless office. Go support your indie author and buy it.
Have a Good Life.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012 by Jethro Jones
As I mentioned in my post yesterday about the Random Quote for Email Signatures , I have a lot of quotes that I have collected from various places over the years. Many of them came from LeadershipFreak on Twitter. And many came from sources that I can't remember now.
If you would like to try it out for yourself, read the post from yesterday, and then feel free to use the TextExpander folder that I created from my list of quotes. Leave your great quotes in the comments. I'll add them to it.
Have a Good Life.
"Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion." - Jack Welsh
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