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Cyber PD Podcast
26 minutes | Nov 25, 2020
Episode 23 - Twenty Online Engagement Tips
In this episode, John shares 20 strategies for increasing synchronous virtual classroom engagement. They are: 1. Seating charts – A great tool for keeping notes about your students, to help build connections. 2. Communicate early – Let students’ parents or guardians know early about issues, but do so in a non-confrontational way. 3. Crystal Clear Directions – Set cue, give time, task, materials, and drop cue. 4. Silence can be Golden – Give students quiet work time. 5. Chat Waterfalls – Give an opportunity for all students to write, and submit their answers simultaneously. 6. Breakout the Steps – Give all of the steps in breakout groups on breakout slides.7. Assign Specific Roles – When working in breakout groups, assign each student a specific role. 8. Group Active Students Together – Reward active students with active partners in breakout work. 9. Gallery Walks – Allow breakout groups to show off their work through gallery walks10. Stations – Have students move to various stations to learn. 11. Escape rooms – Create escape rooms for students to work through, like this one from Peters Township Public Library in McMurray, PA: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSflNxNM0jzbZJjUqOcXkwhGTfii4CM_CA3kCxImbY8c3AABEA/viewform12. Choice Boards – Give students choice in how they engage. 13. Cold Calling – Call on various students to get a sampling of class understanding, not just volunteers. 14. Participation Squares – Divide screen space between participants, to have multiple participants working on screen at once. 15. Teach Routines – Just like in a brick and mortar school, teaching routines will save time in the long run. 16. Welcome Students by Name – This will start the session off right!17. I Don’t Know Yet – Adding this choice to polling questions allows you to distinguish between students who don’t know the answer, and those who are not engaged. 18. Practice Success – Allow students to change their answer to the correct answer after reteaching. 19. Voice – Your body language becomes less important and your voice more important in an online setting. Use it well.20. Find You Passion – Get excited about your subject area, and share that passion with your students.
36 minutes | Mar 12, 2020
Episode 22 - Advice from Cyber School Parents for Cyber Educators
In this episode, John is joined by three Agora Cyber School parents, Sonya, Valerie, and Jamie. They share some background about themselves and their students, and offer advice to cyber school teachers, family coaches, and schools on how to build partnerships between schools and parents. Intro and outro music provided by BenSound.com.
29 minutes | Feb 5, 2020
Episode 21 - Scaffolding Writing
In this episode, Agora High School World History, and AP World History Teacher, Jesse Nicholas joins John and Robin to discuss scaffolded writing techniques. He tells how distributed practice, combined with his three-step process of using sentence starters, guided constructed response paragraphs, and differentiated rubrics led to writing gains for his students.
39 minutes | Jan 27, 2020
Episode 20 - Word Problems
In this week’s episode, John and Robin are joined by Agora Elementary math teachers, Jessica Boyer and Beth Ann Stevens. Jessica and Beth Ann have been on a journey to learn all they can about teaching word problems, or story problems, to students, and have been trying their techniques in the cyber school classroom. In today’s episode, you will be able to discover what some of the current research shows about teaching story problems effectively. Intro and outro music provided by BenSound.com.
36 minutes | May 28, 2019
Episode 19 - Preventing The Summer Slide In Reading
John and Kelly welcome Agora Cyber School Reading Specialists, Janet Whippo, Lisa Samar, and Michelle Tilsner to discuss "the summer slide." They share strategies on how teachers can motivate students and parents to get reading over the summer, and to avoid the dreaded summer slide.
19 minutes | Apr 29, 2019
Episode 18 - High School Students Mentor Elementary Students
Why have high school students mentor elementary school students? How does it benefit the high school student? How does it benefit the elementary student? And how would a school go about setting up a program where elementary school students are mentored by high school students? All of these questions are answered in this episode, where John and Kelly welcome Agora High School Instructional Coach, Rebecca Adams, and Agora Elementary School MTSS Coordinator, Lauren Wilson, who established a mentoring program. We also welcome Agora Kindergarten teacher, Amy Lutz who has a high school mentor in her classroom. And we welcome our very first student guest, Erica M., who mentors Amy's Kindergarten students.
34 minutes | Apr 22, 2019
Episode 17 - Differentiation in Cyber Schools
The four hosts of the Cyber PD Podcast, Katie, Kelly, Steve, and John, are reunited in this episode to discuss differentiation in cyber schools. They define the term, discuss its importance, the philosophy behind it, and some strategies that could be used to incorporate differentiation into your classroom. This was a listener requested episode. If you would like to request a topic for an episode, please do so in the comments section of our blog: cyberpdpodcast.blogspot.com.
36 minutes | Apr 15, 2019
Episode 16 - Advanced Learners
John and Kelly welcome Pam Sieger to the show to discuss methods for teaching students who are advanced learners or who are gifted in cyber schools. Pam is an ELA teacher at Agora Cyber Charter Middle School, and is also on the board of the Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education (PAGE). For resources and suggested readings, please visit our blog, at cyberpdpodcast.blogspot.com.
31 minutes | Apr 8, 2019
Episode 15 - Trauma Informed Part 2
In this episode, Katie and Steve take a closer look at being trauma informed and trauma sensitive with guests, Maegan Bregenser and Mike Scheirer. They discuss signs of trauma that cyber school teachers can see when they are on the other side of a computer, how teachers should respond when seeing signs of trauma, research about the importance of building relationships with students affected by trauma, and more. Instructional Strategies mentioned during the episode include: Routines Modeling Stress Management Music Wait Time Brain Breaks Apologize For a complete list of resources, visit our blog, at cyberpdpodcast.blogspot.com.
23 minutes | Apr 1, 2019
Episode 14 - Trauma Informed Part 1
Jennifer Barrios and Gina Sczepkowski join Katie and Steve to discuss being trauma informed and trauma sensitive. They briefly discuss how trauma affects the brain, and why language, empathy, listening to students, and recognizing that “one-size-fits-one” is critical to student learning. They also discuss the unique situation Agora Cyber Charter is in for addressing the needs of students who have suffered through traumatic experiences. Episode Resources available at CyberPDPodcast.blogspot.com
39 minutes | Mar 18, 2019
Episode 13 - Co-Teaching in the High School Classroom
Katie DiSefano and Stephen Nugent are joined by Agora High School Literary Analysis and Composition co-teachers, Jordan Alderson and Anna Lepsch, to discuss co-teaching in the high school cyber-classroom. They discuss the importance of building trust between co-teachers to form a solid co-teaching relationship for the importance of students.
20 minutes | Mar 14, 2019
Episode 12 - Co-Teaching in the Middle School Classroom
Kelly Quackenbush and John Thomas are joined by Agora Middle School Math co-teachers, Karen Hamburger and Jenna Dietrich, to discuss co-teaching in the cyber classroom. They discuss co-planning, co-instruction, and co-assessing, highlighting the importance of communication between co-teachers.
30 minutes | Mar 12, 2019
Episode 11 - Co-Teaching in the Elementary Classroom
In this episode, hosts Kelly Quackenbush and John Thomas are joined by Agora Elementary School ELA co-teachers Gina Mallon and Robin Hartman to discuss co-teaching in the cyber classroom. They discuss co-planning, co-instruction, and co-assessing, as well as some of what co-teaching allows in the classroom.
15 minutes | Mar 1, 2019
Tapping in the Classroom
In this episode, hosts Kelly Quackenbush and John Thomas are joined by Agora Elementary advanced learner math teacher, Megan Kiebler. Megan will introduce us to the concept of tapping, which is a free stress relief technique that can be used for teachers or students. In the episode, we discuss the benefits of using tapping for teachers as well as students, how to use it most effectively, and with whom it should be used. Find resources at cyberpdpodcast.blogspot.com.
21 minutes | Feb 20, 2019
Binge Worthy Classrooms
In this episode, Agora Cyber School PD Coach, John Thomas, looks at elements of binge worthy television, and how teachers can apply those elements to the classroom. For resources, please visit our blog at: cyberpdpodcast.blogspot.com
29 minutes | Feb 13, 2019
Connect 4: Four Strategies for Connecting with Students in a Cyber School
In this episode, John Thomas and Kelly Quackenbush interview Amber Brisbane, a transition teacher at Agora Cyber Charter School. They discuss four strategies that Amber has identified that help to build relationships with students. Those strategies are, “Kicking It Old School,” “Conversations Matter,” “Reflect and Refresh,” and “Keep It Real.” Find out how you can use those strategies to build relationships with your students in this episode.
31 minutes | Feb 6, 2019
Teaching Art in a Cyber School
In this week's episode, hosts Katie DiStefano and Steve Nugent welcome Agora Cyber School High School Art teacher, Nichole Simpson. Nichole answers the common questions faced by fine art teachers in cyber schools: How do you teach something like art in a cyber school? Nichole brings the philosophy of “Why can't I?” to her classroom. When faced with the question about whether something can be done in a cyber school, she asks, “Why can't I?” She thinks about what can be done in a brick and mortar, and asks why we can't do such things here. With the right attitude, the answer is often that you can do it, just a bit differently. Nichole also talks about how to find resources that work in the cyber environment. You can follow Nichole on Instagram: @mrssimpsonarteacher (one "t") For more information, visit our blog at cyberpdpodcast.blogspot.com
34 minutes | Jan 30, 2019
What Game Developers Know About Motivating Students
In this week's episode, guest Allison Keefe, a middle school ELA teacher with Agora Cyber Charter School, joins hosts Kelly Quackenbush and John Thomas to discuss what game developers know about keeping players motivated, and how teachers can bring those strategies into the classroom. http://cyberpdpodcast.blogspot.com/2019/01/episode-6-what-game-developers-know.html
23 minutes | Jan 24, 2019
Reaching Students with Emotional Support Needs in the Cyber Environment
In this episode Agora High School Emotional Support Teachers, Heather Silberman and Anta Brucker join our co-hosts, Kelly Quackenbush and John Thomas. They discuss topics such as: --What it means for students to have emotional support needs. --The reasons students with emotional support needs join cyber schools. --The relationship between "Emotional Support" and "Behavioral Support." --Building relationships with students who have emotional supports in the cyber environment. --How general education teachers can meet the needs of students with emotional disturbances. --The importance of developing relationships between emotional support teachers and general education teachers.
30 minutes | Jan 16, 2019
The Power of Introverts
In this episode, hosted by Katie DiStefano and Steve Nugent, Agora High School Principal, Holly Allen, and Agora Family Coach, Tiffany Joyner, discusses what power introverts bring the community. While it may seem like extroverts dominate most conversations, introverts play a pivotal role in steering the direction of organizations and schools. As processors and listeners introverts bring a unique and valuable perspective to the work environment. In this discussion, both introverts and extroverts will learn how to work with each other to maximize the benefit we all can bring to the table.
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