From the Tarrant Institute: Check out these 3 games that teach students about sustainability.
Why should your students be coding this week? Check out this great rap video produced by Flocabulary.
Code.org has added several new coding activities this year for students of all levels, so even if you have participated before, your students can still explore something new. Give it a try - your students will love it!
The awesome people at Powtoon have just released a brand new slide presentation tool, appropriately named Slides. You can sign up for a free account through your Google, Facebook, or Linked In account. Although the free version does not allow you to download your presentation, you can get a link to the presentation, or grab the embed code.
Slides provides beautiful, professional quality templates in a variety of designs, which can also be customized in the Powtoon Studio. There are eight templates available to you in the free version. In addition, Slides has a feature called "Clip-A-Vid", in which you can easily clip and embed any YouTube or personal video into your slide show.
Keep in mind that according to the Terms of Service, Slides is for users 18 and older. However, Powtoon does have a paid EDU version that is quite reasonable ($8 a month for a teacher and 60 students). See all of the EDU pricing options here.
Photo by Mitch Altman (maltman23@Flickr)
Audience: Elementary through post-secondary teachers, administration, businesses, non-profit organizations, and high school students.
Deadline: Friday November 14th
Registration: The event is free, and lunch will be provided, but please register here: http://goo.gl/sH82Ce
Explore the confluence of Making, Personalization and Environmental Stewardship. Find out about how bringing "making" into the classroom can bring Personalized Learning Plans to life, as well as to teach students non-cognitive skills, such as critical thinking, problem solving, creativity and innovation. We will have a variety of workshops to choose from or, if you have some big questions you'd like to work through with others, we will have an opportunity for Edcamp/Open Space workshops to occur as well. For more information or questions please email Greg Young: firstname.lastname@example.org
Even if you don't have an account, Twitter can be a treasure trove of resources for classroom teachers. Simply by going to https://twitter.com/search-home, you can search for resources and ideas.
One way to tailor your search is through the use of a hashtag (#). Many groups and chats are organized in Twitter by hashtags. Jerry Blumengarten (@cybraryman1) has a very comprehensive list of the educational hashtags that exist on Twitter, which can be found here. Simply choose the hashtag that applies to you (for example, #scichat), type it in on the Twitter search page, and Twitter will find all of the tweets related to that topic. You have the option to look at the Top tweets, which would be the tweets that have the most shares (re-tweets) and likes (favorites), or you can view All tweets that pertain to your search topic. Tweets generally have links that will lead you to the new resources you are looking for.
If you'd like to set up a Twitter account, but don't have any idea how to start, please contact us. We'd be happy to help!
If you find that some of your students need a little help with maneuvering a mouse or trackpad, these websites may help. Depending on some of your ad block settings, some sites may have ads.
Bees and Honey
This one has three separate games. It begins with moving the mouse just to touch bees, then moving the mouse and clicking flowers, then clicking bees and dragging them to flowers.
Help Daniel explore a fish tank.
There are several here that may work.
Some of the other games are more advanced and may be useful.
Want to get rid of those annoying video/audio ads that automatically play when you visit a website? There is a really easy setting in Google Chrome on the Chromebook that can disable those ads from playing automatically.
To disable auto play video/audio ads:
1. Open Settings in Google Chrome
2. Click ‘Show advanced settings’
3. Click ‘Content settings’
4. Switch Plug-ins to ‘Click to play’ from ‘Run Automatically'
Voila! No more annoying ads! The ads will appear as a gray box with a puzzle piece in the center. Sometimes, however, the setting may disable video or audio you would like to auto play. To manage this, click on the puzzle piece with the red X on it, that is located on the right side of the address bar (see below). You can manage your preferences from there.
Google Classroom has been a powerful tool for student engagement in our supervisory union. Teachers using it have reported a more positive outlook towards learning and increased excitement on assignments.
While not as feature rich as other learning management systems (LMS) such as Edmodo or Schoology, the fact that Google Classroom already being updated with new features bodes well for the future.
You can read all about it here, but the more useful updates include:
- Mark Assignments as "Done" - Many teachers like to assign things that can't be turned in as a Google Doc, like watching a video or reading a chapter.
- Export All Grades - Teachers can now download all grades for all assignments.
- More Teacher Controls - Teachers will have the ability to control whether a class can comment on a stream, mute individual students from posting or commenting and look at streams that have been deleted.
- Egg & Cheese - Google Classroom will now make that egg sandwich you really like with that really good melted cheese you got from the organic section that time. I'm still waiting for mine and will post a full, detailed review of my dining experience along with a slow-mo video of every savory bite.
Would You Rather? presents a picture with a mathematics problem (most have a financial aspect to themthat asks "would you rather?" This framework is great for middle schoolers because...
1) It’s relatable. It asks students to choose a path, and justify their choice.
2) It allows for rapid estimation. Students will immediately have a conjecture.
3) CCSS Standard of Math Practice 3: Construct viable arguments and critique the arguments of others - "Mathematically proficient students are also able to compare the effectiveness of two plausible arguments, distinguish correct logic or reasoning from that which is flawed, and—if there is a flaw in an argument—explain what it is."
Since it is a blog site, you can follow the blog by signing up with your email, so that you can receive updates of new postings.
However, not everyone knows about Common Sense Media's resource known as Graphite.
What is it?
Graphite is an ongoing catalog of the best websites, games, and apps in education. They rate both free and paid products.
Sounds good...anything else?
Quite a bit. One area of interest is Graphite's Common Core Explorer. This allows you to select specific common core standards (science is coming soon) and see apps, sites, or games that address those standards.
- Develops student critical thinking, visual literacy, and collaboration skills
- Introduces elements of identity and role-play
- Allows for a lot of creativity
- Uses a familiar format
- Incorporates both visual and written information
- Improves narrative writing skills
One web tool you can use to accomplish this is Bitstrips for Schools. Bitstrips for Schools features tools that let students easily create cartoon-form comics & characters. It includes an art library stacked with props and backgrounds, and hundreds of ready made activities organized by subject area.
And the best part is...
you can try it for a month for FREE.
Teachers can quickly and easily sign up, and receive the following:
One classroom for up to 40 students
Unlimited saved comics, characters and activities
24/7 access from school and home
Personal & friendly customer support
The Follow by Email Gadget
This option will allow parents or any visitor of your blog to sign up for automatic email updates each time you post. Guaranteed to increase your popularity by at least 18%. Additionally, it will only generate one email per day - reducing recipient frustration by 4% to 7% and reducing teacher anxiety by .2%.
Here's how explained in about a minute:
The Navbar Gadget
Have this on your classroom blog? Get rid of it!
You are right to question me. I'll work harder to earn your trust.
The Navbar can allow students, parents, and other visitors to your blog to navigate to different blog that you have absolutely no control over. In the education world we call that an AEBI - An Extremely Bad Idea.
Here's how, explained in about a minute:
Register for a Code Studio workshop (for teachers, grades K-5)
Many teachers across our SU have begun, or are fully using, Google Classroom. Before getting into the tips, it is helpful to quickly look at what Classroom is and how it can be useful.
What is it?
Classroom is Google's initial take on an LMS, but the main draw is the integration with Google Drive. While not as feature rich as Edmodo or Schoology, it may be useful for teachers who don't use those services, and even one's who do.
Why should I care?
Prior to Classroom, teachers typically shared and accessed documents with students individually or using folders.
With Classroom, teachers are able to streamline the process. After creating a classroom and inviting or having students sign up, teachers can create Google Docs (and some other files) to assign. When students are done, they can click "turn in" and submit their copy to you. These are automatically stored within the "Classroom" folder of Google Drive.
So, some tips:
1) Use the "About" section. Here, you can post links and files that students will frequently use or visit (these are called "Materials.")
2) The announcements can be used in a similar way - post a link that you want students to go to so that they can get their quickly. This is better for links students won't need frequently.
3) Announcements can also be a place for a threaded discussion/brainstorming about a topic or questions for an assignment.
4) Assignments can be shared in 3 ways:
- Students can view the assignment only - obviously, students will just look at it.
- Students can edit the assignment - This means all students will edit the same exact document.
- Students can edit a copy of the assignment - Students will get a copy of the assignment to edit and turn in to you. This is probably the most frequently used option.
5) Remember all assignments are stored in your "Classroom" folder (this is true for both students and teachers). Within the classroom folder, each assignment will have its own folder where they are stored.
6) There doesn't seem to be a limit to the number of "classrooms" you can have, so you could also use different classrooms for small groups.
7) As of right now, there doesn't seem to be a way to have two teachers in a classroom.
Join hundreds of visitors at Shelburne Farms for the Champlain Mini Maker Faire. Dozens of makers will be exhibiting in the third annual event aimed to celebrate the DIY/homegrown invention movement. Projects ranging from robotics, biochem and tesla coils to found object creations and the performing arts will be showcased at the fair.
For more information: http://www.champlainmakerfaire.com/
|Student taking a standardized test in the year 2114. Image courtesy of andrelyra at Pixabay.|
Take a look here.
What is it?
Hundreds of thousands of images are available, and none of them require attribution (although you are still certainly welcome to do so).
Images can be downloaded as files and then used as you would normally.
Is there a catch?
Not really. However, but you will notice that typically the first row of images are "Sponsored," which means that those do cost money.
You will notice that you can signup and login, but you don't need to do that to use the site.
|Photo licensed for noncommercial use|
As we continue to implement keyboarding standards, some teachers have asked me when they should cover the keyboard. As of right now, the best advice I can give is: When you think it is right for your students.
You might be surprised to find that students actually enjoy the added challenge.
So why the cereal box image?
Some teachers cut the back off of a cereal box and use it as a cover that is suitable for a variety of different keyboards. This is particularly useful if the orange covers available in our SU are not properly sized for a laptop.
Let me know if you have other ideas or thoughts on covering keyboards for touch typing.
Some tips from the video include:
- Be descriptive. Imagine the website that has your answers. What words are on it?
- For words that appear together, use quotes around the phrase. (example: "sand shark")
- For words with multiple meanings, use a minus sign/hyphen and the meaning you are not looking for. This symbol can also be used when you want to exclude a word from your search results. (examples: mullet -hair, bass -fishing)
Some other search shortcuts that will provide more effective searches are:
- Use ~ to find a word and all it's synonyms. (example: ~mobile phone)
- Use OR (capitalized) when searching for multiple words. (example: vacation London OR Paris) This will find web pages that include either word.
- Use ... to search for a certain time period. (example: Willie Mays 1950...1960 will get you results about Willie from this time period)
- Use site: to search for more reliable web pages, such as those sponsored by a educational institution (.edu) or the government (.gov), (example: global warming site:edu)
mal technology classes are no longer offered to students at the middle school level, we will work with teachers to implement the new “push-in” model. This may involve calling on us for support, collaborating with us to develop ideas and find materials, and ideally, co-teaching in classrooms. We are both certified teachers with years of classroom teaching experience between us.
We will continue to work on developing technology standards that will be embedded in the CESU curricular units of study. Some of these standards were developed last year. Teachers will be responsible for assessing those standards this year.
In addition, we will be providing professional development activities directly related to the integrated use of technology in all content areas. We will regularly communicate information about training, curriculum materials, and other technology resources that are relevant to teachers. We know how quickly technology changes and that teachers don’t have the time to navigate all of the apps, websites, software, hardware, and other tools available to them. We are here to do it for them, and to guide them toward the tools that will best serve their needs and the needs of their students.
Please feel free to contact us by e-mail at any time with any questions and/or suggestions you may have, or to schedule time with us.