About Craig Schneider

K-12 district math specialist | Designer of teacher professional learning | PhD in Instruction & Curriculum | Husband & father | Coffee fan | Beatles listener | www.teachingmathematically.com

Brian Roth: County Distinguished Educator of the Year


San Marcos High School is proud of its own!

Congratulations to Brian “Chuckie” Roth for being named Santa Barbara County Distinguished Educator of the Year. This is much deserved. Mr. Roth has had an impact on hundreds of San Marcos students and has been an inspiration to the staff.

Please take a moment to see the many stories written about Mr. Roth winning this award.

Communicating with parents in EDU 2.0, even if they speak a different language


Communicating with students and parents about grades, assignments and classroom issues is very easy in EDU 2.0. As a teacher, you can send announcements to your whole class. Additionally, you can send messages to individual students and/or parents.

Even if English is not their first language, teachers will be able to communicating with parents seamlessly via EDU’s automatic translation feature. It’s very slick.

Here’s an example. In EDU, you type your message to a parent in English and click “send”. A Spanish-speaking parent will see, in their EDU account, both your original message in English and a translated version of your message. Then this parent to write back to you in Spanish and EDU will translate that message into English on your account.

All users can select their default language in their account profile. Currently, there are 40 different languages to select.

Watch this clip to see how it works.

SMHS One-Acts Coming Soon


Recently, I was speaking with Phil Levien about some of the intervention work that is occurring at San Marcos High School. We both are on SMHS’ Intervention Committee and are working with students that has been referred to our Student Assistance Program.

Phil began to describe the “one-acts” that his students have been preparing for months and will be performing in the coming weeks. These are original performances all written, directed, and acted by students. Phil expressed his excitement for the progress the students have accomplished so far in preparation of these performances. Regarding a recent performance, Phil said, “To see so many students find success and recognition, perhaps for the first time in their academic career, was a pure joy.”

I’m looking forward to seeing the one-acts. They will be presenting 6-8 original one-acts during period one, on 5/31 and 6/1, in the auditorium.

Lara Willbanks’ students using our new iPad cart


Lara Willbanks’ economics class is using SMHS’ new iPad cart and the AppleTV to display the students’ graphs on the class HDTV. The mirroring capabilities of the iPad allow teachers and students to show what is on their individual iPad screens so that the whole class can see. It’s a great way to allow students to share their ideas visually with others. No more transparencies or even document cameras to show student work. Students can create their artifacts on the iPad, present them to the class, then “turn in” the artifacts via Google Docs, Dropbox or email.

See for yourself Ms. Willbanks and her students using the iPads. Click the photo to see a short video clip of the lesson. Great job Lara.

Come to the library if you’d like to learn more about the iPad cart and how to use it with your students.

Related articles

TED-Ed: Lessons Worth Sharing


If you are a follower of the amazing lectures found at TED.com, you know the quality of the speakers and the innovative ideas they have to share about a wide range of topics. If you’ve never watched a Ted Talk, spend some time browsing the selection of videos. You’re sure to find a topic of interest.

Now Ted Talks introduced TED Ed, which are especially selected for teachers and students. What a fantastic resource to bring into your classroom to help broaden your students’ (and our own) perspectives of issues of high relevance.

How have you used TED Talks with your students?

TED (conference)

TED (conference) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Marzano’s Levels of Understanding – Student Self-Evaluation Sheet – Google Docs


Ed Behrens, principal of San Marcos High School, came across this great assessment tool to use with students. It comes from PLN – Not Just My Initials blog.

I think it is a nice way for teachers to have their students self-assess their understanding of a learning objective, concept or skill. I like the visual that goes along with the written description of each level.

What are ways you can see using this with your students? Leave a comment.

Marzano’s Levels of Understanding – Student Self-Evaluation Sheet – Google Docs.

The potential of 1-to-1 iPads in instruction


Earlier this week, Dovas Zaunius (SMHS English teacher) shared a link he found on the webenglishteacher.com blog about 1-to-1 iPad initiatives. The post describes how the teachers of a middle school are beginning to incorporate iPads into instruction, where each student has an iPad for use during the class period.

There are great descriptions of free and paid iPad apps and how teachers used the apps throughout their lessons.

The post helped me to visualize how students and teachers can use iPads to engage further into content and how the workflow of sharing what the students create with the teacher.

Thanks for sharing the link, Dovas.

Do you have ideas of how to encourage more teachers to utilize iPads in their instruction? Please share in the comments.