Monday, February 2, 2015

Pure Genius Week 1: Introductions

Today we begin our spring 2015 book club. We are reading Pure Genius: Building a Culture of Innovation and Taking 20% Time to the Next Level by Don Wettrick. Don is the Innovation Coordinator and oversees the media center at Noblesville High School. We are excited to support a local author and to learn about adding innovation and authentic learning to classrooms. The digital and paperback versions of this book can be purchased from Amazon. If you have a group of more than 5 participants at your school or district and are interested in purchasing paperback books in bulk, please contact Shelley Burgess at daveburgessconsulting@gmail.com. If you don't have the book already, don't worry. You can jump into the conversation a little late if you need to. Just catch up as soon as you're able to.

Here are some particulars to help you as you participate in the book club:
  • A prompt or question will be posted here in the blog every Monday morning.
  • To receive notifications when posts are made, click Join this site or Follow by email in the bar to the right.
  • Respond to our post and/or respond to a comment by another participant each week. The more interaction there is between participants, the richer and more beneficial the conversation will be.
  • In order to receive 12 PGPs and be eligible for the $1000 professional development grant (1 will be awarded at the end of the book club), you will need to make a meaningful contribution to every week’s discussion.
  • We will typically read one chapter per week.
  • There is no official sign up for the book club. Your first week's assignment is to introduce yourself in a comment to this blog post. Just click the comments link below this post and enter your comment in the text box. You will need to be logged in using a Google account. In your introduction be sure to include your name, school and/or corporation, and what your role there is. (If you have any problems commenting, please email Meri Carnahan at carnahan@doe.in.gov.) 
  • Your reading assignment for next week is the introduction and chapter 1, "Why Innovate."

74 comments:

  1. My name is Brandy Hicks. I am the Technology Integration Specialist at Milan Community School Corporation. I am excited to read Pure Genius. This is my first time participating in a book study here!

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  2. Good morning! My name is Stephanie Steiner. I'm the Educational Technology Specialist at the Indiana School for the Deaf. I'm excited to get started with my first online book study!

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  3. Good morning everyone from snowy Kouts. I am sitting at my breakfast bar working from home today as we are on a snow day. I am the Principal at Kouts Middle/Senior High School, part of East Porter School Corporation. I am not only looking forward to this book club, but to hearing Don Wettrick speak in March. Hope you all have a great day, and happy reading!

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    1. Hi Mr. Stoner. My name is Meri Carnahan and I am a Morgan Twp. alum, long before the consolidation. Spent 13 wonderful years there! You may know my stepdad, Byron King.

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  4. Good morning. My name is Fawn McTagertt. I am a special education teacher at McCutcheon High School. McCutcheon is in the Tippecanoe School Corporation. I teach Basic English 10 and 11, Alternative/ED English, and Co-Teach English 11.

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  5. Hi all. My name is Angy Northern and I am the Media Specialist at Southwestern Middle and High School in Hanover, IN. We are working hard to get ready for our 1:1 initiative. We have had a few stutter starts, but it looks like we are “good to go” for August. I’m looking forward to participating in this book discussion and learning about bringing out the “Pure Genius” in all my students and teachers.

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    1. Your 'home' is where I enjoyed my student teaching experience 28 years ago with Mr. Emery (Spanish) and Mr. Barnett (math). Great, seasoned fellows who gave me a good career start.

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    2. Hi, Angy! Happy to see a fellow librarian on here! :-)

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  6. Hello. My name is JD Weagley, I teach 6-8th graders science and social studies at Princeton Community Middle School in Princeton, IN. I am also working on my Master's through Ball State in Educational Technology and Curriculum. We are also in the process of starting a FIRST LEGO League team for next year.

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  7. My name is Susan Taylor. I am not currently teaching. I am working on getting my license renewed. This is my first book study.

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  8. Hello! I am Pamela Ghaffarian. I am Instructional Coach at Franke Park Elementary School in Fort Wayne. It is a beautiful sunny snow day here today. This is my first book study with this site. I am looking forward to learning from everyone!

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  9. Hello! My name is Julia Johns. I am an alternative education/literacy specialist by day and an online instructor by night. I am really looking forward to reading this book and learning from everyone's input :)

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  10. Hello! My name is Misty Crouch and I have a new position this year as the Transition Coordinator with the MSD of Martinsville in the district Special Education office. Most recently, I taught special education classes at West Middle School in Martinsville for the last 7 years.

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  11. Good afternoon! My name is Jean Dowen and I am a band assistant and ISS person at Salem Middle School, Salem, Indiana. I really enjoyed the last book, "Crash Course: The Life Lessons My Students Taught Me" by Kim Bearden and am looking forward to another interesting read.

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    1. Though 200 miles from where I currently live, I was in your high school a week ago to watch my niece (from Paoli) play your Salem Lions in basketball. Salem is where my mother grew up so we had to visit H&R Bakery and show my children the town highlights.

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    2. Yes, no trip to Salem is complete without a trip to H & R Bakery.

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  12. Hello! My name is Charli Sparks and I am a 5th grade teacher at MSD of Martinsville. This will be my second online book study. I really enjoyed the first and am looking forward to this one, too.

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  13. Afternoon, book club! My name is Katie Hutchinson and I am an eLearning Coach for a 1:1 Chromebook school district (grades 3-12) in Southern Indiana. We also utilize iPads in many of our K-2 schools and with our students with disabilities. This is my first online book club and I am super excited. I love learning and adventure!

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  14. Good afternoon, My name is Laura McDermott and I am Assistant Superintendent for Whitley County Consolidated Schools in Columbia City, IN. We will be engaging our administrators in a year-long tech integration study, so I am hoping to get some great ideas here!

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  15. Hello! My name is Amy Heavin, and I am the principal of Ryan Park Elementary School in snowy Angola, IN. Yet another snow day here - 14 inches on the ground! I'm looking forward to learning from everyone!

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  16. Hi! My name is Katie Thompson! I have stayed home the past couple years with my children but have been an elementary teacher for a while and plan to go back soon! I look forward to reading this book and hopefully getting some new ideas for the classroom!

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  17. Hello, from Wabash, Indiana: I am Tammy Farlow, teacher at Southwood Jr. Sr. High School in the Metropolitan School District of Wabash County. This year my teaching assignment is four 8th grade math classes, a high school Spanish 1 class, and a 7th grade rotational Exploring Languages course. Today was a weather e-learning day which allowed me to appreciate the snow, recuperate from the Super Bowl party, and keep up with students' incoming assignments at a leisurely pace.

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    1. Tammy, it will be nice talking to you via the E-Learning book club! I miss our lunch room and golf course chats as well as the people of Southwood! Any other Southwood teachers participating this time around?

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    2. Welcome back. I will give my next-door neighbor a nudge as I think she is the only one planning on returning for this book session. I checked in with the other six or seven usual participants prior to ordering the book, and they are taking a break.

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    3. Hi, Tara! I am glad you are participating again! I like keeping in touch with you and look forward to reading your comments. You, Tammy, and I should try to arrange dinner together when we are close to finishing the book, too!

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    4. Hello friend, co-worker, and neighbor! So glad you are participating again! It keeps me motivated to have someone else in the building reading the same book. Always appreciate your comments - on this topic or any other!

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  18. This is my third eLearning Book Club. I am a counselor at Salem High School and very interested in learning more about Innovative educational strategies.

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  19. Hello! My name is Tara Ulmer, and I am a 7th grade Social Studies teacher at Bluffton-Harrison Middle School. This is my second time participating...and I'm excited for Don Wettrick's book Pure Genius primarily because I recently started using our Homeroom time for Genius Hour and because I have been following Mr. Wettrick on Twitter and YouTube for some time.

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  20. Hello everyone! My name is Lila Jay - I am the Principal at Carmel Middle School in Carmel. I am really excited to read Pure Genius and further my learning on this topic. We are implementing a new structure at our Middle Schools next year and I see a lot of potential in weaving these concepts into that structure!

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  21. Hello everyone! My name is Casey Nidlinger and I am the seventh grade math teacher at Bluffton Middle School in Bluffton Indiana. I am really excited to participate in this book study. This will be my first time participating with INeLearn although I have done several other book studies and have loved the knowledge and connections that has come from each one. I am excited to read Pure Genius and take some of Don's great ideas back into my own classroom, as well as possibly implement some of his ideas into our seventh grade team management system. Can't wait to dive in with you all!

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  22. Hello! My name is Deborah Gaff and I teach grade 7 science and 7/8 Grade PLTW at Greensburg Junior High School. I am looking forward to reading Pure Genius! It is exciting that we are reading and celebrating the work of an Indiana author. I am ready to be inspired to implement new strategies to take myself and my classrooms to a new level of innovation in learning.

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  23. Hello! My name is Tim Kasper (@TimKasper) and I am the Director of eLearning at Danville Community School Corporation. This is my 2nd book study. My first one was "Teach like a Pirate" by Dave Burgess. We were fortunate enough to have Dave and Don as speakers at our "Conference on a Couch" last summer. I had the pleasure of working with Don for six years at Franklin while his Innovations Program was just getting started. I look forward to all of the insight and ideas that are generated around this book.

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  24. Good Morning! My name is Deb Bishop. I am a counselor at Roosevelt Middle School in Monticello. I read a synopsis of Mr. Wettick's book and am looking forward to this book study.

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  25. Hello! I'm Crystal Mart and am a 6-12 instructional coach with Tippecanoe School Corporation. This is my 3rd book club. Some of our teachers have used the reading topics as the foundation for their EDGs. I read with them so I can better support their efforts!

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  26. Hi Everyone-
    My name is Tammy Stouse.I am the Media Specialist at Twin Lakes High School in Monticello. I really enjoyed the Fall Book Club and I am looking forward to doing it again :-)

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  27. Good morning! My name is Lindsay Berndt. I am the music teacher at Longfellow Elementary School in Gary, Indiana. This is my first time in this book club and I am looking forward to it!

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  28. Greetings!
    My name is Alicia Spray. I am an English teacher at McCutcheon High School in Lafayette. I teach students in grades 10-12. I've not been part of prior book clubs; however, I was immediately drawn to this text due to the fact that the author is from Indiana and the book was published by Dave Burgess. I asked for the book for Christmas and Santa came through! :-)
    I'm looking forward to this semester's book study with each of you.
    Take Care!

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  29. Hello fellow educators! My name is Michelle Lyons Sparling, and this is my twenty-ninth year of teaching. This year I am teaching English 9 and Current Events at Southwood Jr.-Sr. High School, part of the Metropolitan School District of Wabash County. I returned on Saturday evening from a professional development conference in Atlanta, Georgia that I was able to observe thanks to an IDOE grant I received for participation in a previous eLearning Book Club. Thank you to Glenda Ritz, the IDOE, Meri Carnahan for continuing to offer this book club as a way for teachers to earn PGP points. This will be my fifth eLearning Book Club read, and I have enjoyed the previous four books. I find the club pushes me to read career-related books that always reveal benefits for me in and out of the classroom.

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    1. Thanks for encouraging several of us to join along with you.

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    2. So glad you enjoyed your PD opportunity, Michelle!

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    3. I truly enjoyed it. I visited the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, Georgia, after reading the last eLearning Book Club pick, Crash Course by Kim Bearden. I got to observe teachers and students in classes, participate in workshops, tour the school, and interact with Ron Clark and Kim Bearden. It was the most inspirational and motivational professional development I've experienced in my career. Thank you so much for the opportunity to participate with these wonderful educators!

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  30. Hello!
    My name is Myra Lolkema and I am the Educational Technology Trainer at Lake Central High School in St. John, Indiana. This is my first time participating in the book club and I am looking forward to sharing with and learning from everyone =)

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  31. Good afternoon!
    My name is Taylor Philhower and I am a math teacher at Lincoln Middle/High School in Cambridge City, Indiana. This is my first book club and I am excited to get some new ideas to try out in my classroom.

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  32. Hello, my name is Gail Zmierski and I teach at Longfellow Elementary School for Lake Ridge School Corporation. I have enjoyed being part of the book club for the last three books. Really looking forward to this book with its Indiana connection.

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  33. Hello! I am Carli Worthman, Media Specialist at Carmel Middle School. This is my first book club through eLearning, and it could not come at a better time. I was just getting started on Pure Genius on my own, so this will be ten times better!

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    1. What perfect timing, Carli. Glad you'll be part of the conversation.

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    2. And we meet again friend! I know Pure Genius will help you continue to build Genius Hour at CMS

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  35. Hello everyone, My name is Brian Knight and I serve as the principal at Southport Middle School in Perry Township (south side of Indianapolis). I look forward to connecting and learning from each of you as we read this book!

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    1. Hi, Brian! I see you are now a principal. Glad to see a Southwood High School graduate who is a part of the education ranks. I clicked on your picture to make sure you were the Brian Knight I once had in one of my English classes, and sure enough it is you. It's nice to see an administrator participating in this book club. Welcome!

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  36. Good evening! My name is Melissa Pancake and I am the principal of Franklin Elementary School in Vincennes, Indiana. I look forward to collaborating with others while reading this book.

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  37. Hi everyone! I am a technology instructional coach for Noblesville Schools. I am a friend and coworker of Don's! I love the INeLearn book clubs but never dedicate myself to completing the entire event! Since I have already read the book, I'm hoping that I can keep up this time.

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  38. Hello everyone. My name is Alecia Conrad. I am a second grade teacher in the Penn Harris Madison school corp. I'm exited about the book club choice and look forward to added inspiration through future discussions with all of you.

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  39. Hello! I'm Jessica Conrad, I'm a Speech-Language Pathologist and Technology Integration Specialist for Special Services, Johnson County and Surrounding Schools. I'm excited to join my first online book club and take away some ideas for my learners!

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  40. Thank you all so much for joining in the conversation. It's great to see familiar names along with many new participants. My name is Meri Carnahan and I am an eLearning Resource Specialist at the Indiana Department of Education. I am excited to be part of our 10th eLearning book club. I will be reading the book along with you, posting questions for discussion each week.

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  41. Hi everyone. I am Zach Dodson and I am a first year History and Government teacher at Warsaw Community High School. I also have a certification in Technology and I am hoping to put that into better practice the rest of this semester and next year. I am looking forward to sharing ideas with everyone in this book club blog.

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    1. Zach, it was great to meet you at the e3 tech conference last summer. I hope your first year is going well! Looking forward to going through Pure Genius with you.

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  42. Hello all! I am Megan Tiscareno. I teach the reading intervention program at Clark MS/HS at the middle school level in Hammond, IN. I previously taught high school English for 3 years. I'm looking forward to my second book club!

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  43. My name is Samantha Snowberger. I work at Wea Ridge Middle School for Tippecanoe School Corporation. I am a life-skills teacher.

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    1. I am however employed through Lafayette School Corporation in Lafayette, Indiana.

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  44. My name is Jennifer Collicott. I work at Harrsion High School for Tippecanoe School Corporation. I am a high school math teacher.

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  45. Hello my name is Kerri Gieras. I teach intense intervention students at Vernon Manor Children's Home in Wabash, IN. This is my third elearning book club. Even though my teaching location is outside the norm, I aways take something from the book club discussions to incorporate with my students. I look forward to this new opportunity.

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  46. Hello, everyone! I am Jenn Brower, Library Media Specialist at New Haven High School, East Allen County Schools. In addition, I am one of the organizers for EdCamp Fort Wayne and a member of ILF/AISLE. I bought Don's book back at ICE and am so glad to have stumbled upon this just in time to join!

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  47. Hello! Mu name is Kristin and I am a Life Skills teacher at Battleground Middle School. I really enjoyed being a part of the Fall book club and getting to interact with so many teachers from different areas. It was great to share different ideas and hear about what works for others in the classrooms and how they responded to the book. I look forward to having the same experience this Spring with the new book!

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  48. Hey everyone! I'm Jason and the Assistant Principal at Lane Middle School in Fort Wayne. I am working with Jenn Brower (among others) in order to bring EdCamp back to Fort Wayne this summer. I also run a podcast and website at principallyspeaking.com. I was lucky enough to interview Don not too long ago for my show and really enjoyed his book so I was excited to hear about this opportunity. I'd love to connect with anyone here through Twitter @APJasonBodnar. Take care everyone!

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  49. Hello everyone, my name is John Hebert and I am a twenty year member of the social studies department at Carmel High School. I look forward to learning from some great new strategies and approaches from Mr. Wettrick and you all!

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  50. Hello everyone, my name is Brad Bowsman and I am a 7th grade math teacher for the Twin Lakes School Corporation. Looking forward to my first ebook study.

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  51. Hello! My name is Kristin Sherry. I am a Title 1 teacher in the Carmel-Clay School district. Looking forward to some great discussions.

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  52. Hi, my name is Teri Oliver. I am a kindergarten teacher at New Palestine Elementary. I was excited to see this opportunity on Twitter. Rebecca Crull and I recently started an after school Genius Hour group at our school for grades 2-6. I have already read the book, and I am looking forward to learning from other educators about this topic. Great book choice and perfect timing!

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  53. I am Laura Frondorf, the school librarian at Mt. Carmel and Laurel Schools at Franklin County Community School Corporation. I am looking forward to learning more about innovation and Genius Hour.

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  54. Sherry Gick - Library & Instructional Technology Specialist for Rossville Schools. I am really enjoying reading Don's book -- now to catch up on the book club questions!

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  55. Sherry Gick - Library & Instructional Technology Specialist for Rossville Schools. I am really enjoying reading Don's book -- now to catch up on the book club questions!

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  56. Hi Everyone! I'm Marissa Zimmer, a first grade teacher in the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation. I'm late to the party (as usual), but I'm excited to be joining this book club! My book just arrived, and my class started brainstorming for our next Genius Hour projects today!

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