Read, Connect, Listen, Learn

Each week when trying to find things to share with my colleagues, I spend time clicking links in emails, opening links from Twitter, engaging in webinars, and reading different books on my Kindle. This week’s share pulls from all these places and comes with opportunities for everyone. Get comfy, there’s a nice amount coming your way.

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First off is an opportunity to connect with other classes during World Read Aloud Day. World Read Aloud Day (WRAD) is just two weeks away, happening February 1st. Lit World has pulled together the many ways you, or you and your class can celebrate WRAD including connecting with an author via Skype. Additionally, Mike Soskil, a teacher whom I follow on Twitter and wrote about during the 2017 DITCHSummit has created this connections project that your students can do synchronously or asynchronously depending on what works for you. However you choose to participate, it will be a great way to share a love of reading with another class.

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Speaking of reading, next up is Common Lit: leveled reading passages, text sets, instructional materials, and text-dependent questions created by teachers for teachers and is FREE “because teachers shouldn’t have to pay.” Common Lit recently, they added literacy materials for third and fourth grade so now the literacy support materials go from third through twelfth grade! There are many ways to find what you need including a searchable library, search by book, genre, grade level, lit device, text set, or theme. You are going to want to browse their collection and do some looking around at everything they have; it’s quite robust!

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The other day EdCurrent offered a free webinar titled, “Moving from One-Size-Fits-All to a Universal Design for Learning”. I signed up and then watched the recording the next day, which, as a side-note is a great way to deal with webinars that you are interested in but may not be able to participate in when offered. In any event, the next day in my inbox, along with the “sorry we missed you” message was the link to both the recording and the resources.

A great quote to come out of the webinar is this one, “How can we maximize the amazing strengths that Ss have so that we can eliminate barriers and make everyone successful?” It made me think of Lea Waters who recently tweeted this, “We often ask ourselves the question ‘What is wrong with me?’ But when we ask ourselves the question ‘What is right with me?’, we start to get a fuller sense of who we are. We start to identify the #strengths and assets that really help us to thrive and reach our full potential.” Its up to us as educators to create an environment in our classroom where all Ss can feel successful. To learn more, check out the recording.

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If you like to watch videos to help with learning, then you will like Edutopia’s, research and science-based “How Learning Happens” video series. Currently there are 22 videos on topics like Cultivating a Belonging Mindset, Fostering Positive Relationships, Building Academic Confidence, and Developing Foundational Skills.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Lastly, if a child you know has anxiety, Renee Jain, a University of Pennsylvania MAPP (Master of Applied Positive Psychology) graduate and creator of the GoZen website (tools for dealing with anxiety and building resilience in schools and at home), now has a FREE podcast, Dear Anxiety. Jain and her guests share research-based solutions for “greater mental wellness for the whole family.” Currently there are four episodes, “Worrying about Worry”, “Tackling the Perfectionism Monster”, “Transforming Anger for Parents” and “Transforming Anger for Kids”.

Happy browsing!

New Year, New Links, New Learning

“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”
― Oprah Winfrey

We are only back from winter break since Monday, yet the the number of open tabs on my laptop make it feel like it’s been weeks.

This week I have several things to share so sit back, get comfortable, and enjoy.

Time-Sensitive Learning Opportunities

First, Will Richardson and Modern Learners has a free, one-hour webinar, Reimagining Assessment, coming this Tuesday, January 15th at 3PM and 8PM EST.

Next, if you were busy getting ready for the holiday break and did not get a chance to participate in the DITCH That Textbook Digital Summit, the videos are back. For a limited time only, you can watch all 35 videos. Yes, I said THIRTY-FIVE because this includes not only this year’s DITCH Summit videos, but the 2018 CUE videos, the 2017 DITCH Summit videos, and the 2016 DITCH Summit videos. This is 35 hours of professional development that you can use right away so start clicking!

Also on January 15th at 8PM ET/5PM PT, Newsela and EdCurrent are hosting a free, one-hour webinar on Moving from One Size Fits All to Universal Design for Learning. Don’t worry if you cannot make it, all registrants will get a link to the recorded video.

Tools for Teaching

Remove. Have you or your students ever wanted to remove a background from a picture so you could layer it on another background? Well, look no further than here. It’s literally two steps: upload a photo or paste in a url; the site does the rest in as long as it takes for you to identify which images have a traffic light or bus. Then you can download your image and use it wherever you want.

Ms. Havrot’s Math Videos. Ms. Havrot is a retired Canadian math teacher who missed teaching. She began making math videos and posting them on her YouTube channel to help high school students with Trigonometry. She even includes practice quizzes! A great resource for math students and a great inspiration for math teachers to create and post their own.

Geography Games.  If you teach geography or want to brush up on your map skills, then you will want to take a look at and bookmark Setera. I learned about Setera, “the ultimate map quiz site” from Richard Byrne’s website. Setara is addictive to say the least. I started with the map of the United States and had to stop myself from moving on to the state capitals. You and your students can play online, or you can get the printables. There are over 300 games to choose from including ancient civilizations, latitude and longitude, flags, oceans, lakes. and they are in 34 languages. This site is amazing!

Retrieval Practice. Do you teach content that you would like your students to be able to learn deeply and remember later? Would you like to teach students the right way to study for learning, exams and tests? Pooja Agarwal, cognitive scientist, has a new retrieval practice guide out, “How to Use Spaced Retrieval Practice to Boost Learning”. This Spacing Guide joins the others in her resource library that are free for you to download. If you want to learn more about Agarwal, be sure to check out her video, “Brain-Friendly Learning That Works”, in the 2017 DITCH Summit.

Learning Theories. When was the last time you thought about why you teach the way you do? Well, this visual summary of 32 learning theories will remind you of the whys of yours and others’ teaching philosophies.

 

photo credit: ★Yo photography Sparkling Sydney via photopin (license)

A Chance to Be Part of History, Herstory, & Ourstory

Great learning opportunities are coming your way! If you are a history or social studies teacher, The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History’s teacher seminars series is open now for applications. What is the Gilder Lehrman Institute you ask? They are a non-profit organization whose mission is “to promote the knowledge and understanding of American history through educational programs and resources.” You can read a previous post about Gilder Lehrman here.

To learn about their online courses, click here.

For information about this year’s teacher summer seminars, click here.

To apply, click here.

Neither a history or social studies teacher ? Feeling left out of the learning? Not to worry, you can learn everyday from December 14-31 form the comfort of your own sofa or classroom being part of the DITCHSummit. For more information, you can see my previous post.

NINE Days of Learning Coming Your Way #DITCHSummit

Image from Pixabay

Friends, it’s almost here: The 2018 DITCH Summit is two weeks away and with that will come NINE fabulous presenters that will leave you pumped, energized, motivated, and armed with tools, tips, and ideas that you can start using right away with your students! You can sign up here.

Beginning December 14th and daily through December 31st you will receive your daily gift of learning in your inbox along with all the accompanying materials for the day’s presentation.

This year’s schedule for the 2018 DITCHSummit:

December 14 (Fri) — How Students Are Using Technology to Change the World (Ken Shelton, Disruptor, Keynote Speaker, Techquity Voice)

December 15 (Sat) — Building Relationships and Communicating with Students (Kim Bearden, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Ron Clark Academy)

December 16 (Sun) — Six Practical Ways to Amplify Learning with Technology (Matt Miller, Head Textbook Ditcher, Ditch That Textbook)

December 17 (Mon) — Appsmashing Your Way to Redefinition (Jornea Erwin, Head of Educator Innovation, Flipgrid)

December 18 (Tue) — Infusing Coding in Any Class (Bryan Miller, Co-Founder, TopTechEDU, Director of Education Strategy, Wonder Workshop)

December 19 (Wed) — Fantastic Learning Activities with Google Drawings (Tony Vincent, 5th grade teacher / LearningInHand.com)

December 20 (Thur) — Using Visual Thinking to Unlock Powerful Learning (Manuel Herrera, doodler and visual thinker)

December 21 (Fri) — Sparking Student Creativity and Creation with Video (Claudio Zavala, video/creativity/storytelling enthusiast)

 If you are curious about DITCHSummit, you can read my posts from the previous years here, here, and here, and I promise you will be happy that you did!

This Week’s Purpose

“A purpose can increase your persistence for what you do.” ~Angela Duckworth

My purpose in writing these posts is to share great things I find with my colleagues and others who might not have the time to read and sort through all that is out there. I made it my purpose when I started my current job 11 years ago. As I was learning about great things, I wanted to share them with others. When inviting people to my room did not work, I made a wiki (now defunct and the resources live here). Then I started making video messages and posting them to my wiki. And then to share what I had added to my wiki, I started this blog. So, please enjoy today’s purpose below!

Have you checked out Nearpod lately? There are a ton of free lessons on all subjects in both English and Spanish. Just doing a quick filter for free lessons in grades 2-8, I found ice breakers, lessons on social emotional learning, a lesson on Harriet Tubman, the Great Wall of China, lessons on different writing styles, Chemistry, and The Declaration of Independence. Of course if you were to look, you could filter more specifically for your grade and subject and you are bound to find at least one lesson that you could use right away with your students. Nearpod lessons include text, images, drawings, video, and more and what they all do is allow your whole class to participate and interact with the content at the same time and on their own screen. You can create your own lessons, use one from another teacher, or a combination of the the two.

Next is a post from Matt Miller on In ‘n Out Burger. Well, it’s not really on In ‘n Out Burger because Matt always shares tools and tips we can use. His post is about the secret menus that are out there that we might not know to ask about (which makes sense if they are secret). Anyway, in his post, Miller shares things about Google Slides that we might not know about and that are really helpful once we hear about them. My personal favorites are the paint roller (which, to be honest, I still need more time to play with) and the set as background option for things you don’t want your students moving when you create and share templates with them. Of course, the captions are pretty cool too but you will have to check out the post to see what I am talking about.

You might remember that over the last couple years I have shared posts about the DITCH Summit (that link is to last year’s summit post) that happens in December. Well, December is soon upon us and for nine days there will be another FREE virtual DITCH Summit for you to get your learning on. These are always worthwhile, always thought-provoking, and always motivating. The best part is that you can watch the videos when it works for you during the summit. A new video and supporting materials is posted each day during the nine days BUT when it’s over, it’s over. So, sign up

Learn and Collaborate from the Comfort of Your Classroom

anthonyjdangelo1-2xI love to learn. It’s a true statement. When I get hooked on a topic, I just want to keep learning more about it. I also love to share my learning with others which is why I write these posts and send my colleagues and friends lots of emails whenever I find something that might be of interest to them. It’s why I share on Twitter. This week I am sharing a few things that I think may be of interest or use to you.

Learn

One of the things I love to learn about is learning- specifically what aids in learning. From the first time Judy Willis presented to us about the reticular activating system, I have been fascinated about this topic. I still have camp friends who remember a talk I gave about the health center (back when running the health center was my job) because of the way I made not-so-subtle changes before I said something important I wanted them to remember. Pooja Agarwal and her site, Retrieval Practice, offer numerous research and evidence-based resources and strategies for learning about which I have written several times before. On November 5 from 3 – 4PM, Agarwal, a cognitive scientist, and Patrice Bain, a veteran teacher/education specialist, along with Allison Shell, author and research fellow,  are presenting at a free webinar titled, Unleash the Science of Learning, where  they will share and discuss evidence-based learning practices you can use in your classroom.  I have signed up to participate and will share what I learn and hope some of you will do the same.

Just clicking around through some of the links provided in the webinar’s description led me to some fantastic resources like these:

  1.  learner factors that influence math success and strategies to help build lessons that support these different math PK-2 learners or
  2. the factors that influence reading from the Learner Variability Project.
  3. and this Practice Guide for Organizing Instruction and Study to Improve Learning.

Collaborate

How many miles can you travel around the world in 24 hours?

On November 13-14, Microsoft and Skype in the Classroom is hosting a Skype-a-Thon to support quality education for children around the world. For every 400 virtual miles traveled, Microsoft will support educational resources for children in need. There are many classrooms and experts waiting to connect with you and your students. You can check out the different collaborations here. While browsing, I came across several that relate to our sustainability initiative like this on the ewaste movement,  this on plastic pollution, and this on managing garbage. There are many more on all matter of topics and subjects that you can search by age group, subject, and location.

In the effort to keep things short and sweet, I will stop here. Happy learning!

Sharing with Wakelet

The other day I posted about the great things I learned even though I was not able to attend FallCue. There was so many great finds that I decided to split my weekly share into two separate posts. This is Part 2 and it comes to you via this Wakelet.  By the way, did I mention that you can share your Wakelet to your Google Classroom?!