Happy Thursday. For those of us at my school we are heading to break—yay— for those of you not here, some have had it, some have not, and some have just “had it.
Anyhoo, lots to share today’s Shipley PLN Lower School Edition; many tabs open, many links ready to go. I’m hoping for a few of you (and by a few, I mean the 2 that actually read this) to read it and find something useful. Let’s see what sticks.
First, and maybe the best for some of you, is this post from Kelly Tenkely about Google Docs Storybuilder. Seriously, is there nothing that Google does not have for us to use with our students! Google storybuilder is another different, fun, and creative way to share learning about anything you or your students can think of. It’s pretty cool. Take a look. I’m thinking specifically about the 4th and 5th grade end of year projects, but definitely a possibility for 3rd grade and most certainly middle and high school.
Next, I’m learning how to code html5. This is what I’m using. If you have any interest, you might want to check it out as well, even if just to get an idea of what </p> means.
This is what the html5 code looks like before it is run (I’m using Text Editor on my Mac)
And this is what it looks like after (I pasted it in to my Text tab on the blog)
This article from Eric Sheninger, Principal extraordinaire of the New Milford High School in NJ wrote this piece on being “connected”, and included several true stories from his teachers on how connecting with others via social media has enhanced their teaching and learning. A fairly quick and important read.These two quotes sum it up,
Those who are connected to greater social networks are more informed about their practices, beliefs, and perceptions regarding education
Connectedness is no longer an option, but
rather a standard and a professional obligation.
You probably know I am a serial tweeter. I love to learn and share with great educators. I tweet from your classrooms and even the littles in first grade have tweeted during their butterfly unit taking pics and explaining what’s happening. 140 characters is a great way to get your students to summarize and get to the point! This post from Aviva Dunsiger is all about the educational benefits of “blogging in 140 characters.”
How about having your students make a digital book jacket using Google for one of their book reports or just to practice the art of summarizing or persuading? This post will explain the idea and show you a how to video for getting this project from start to finish.
And now for something provocative. This article from Icelandic Educator-now living/teaching/studying in Sweden, Ingvi Hrannar is titled 14 things that are obsolete in 21st Century schools is not the first of it’s kind, but the one I’m looking at at the moment. What are your thoughts about this? Do you agree? What would you add?
If you have read my other weekly shares, then you have seen this post before. I’m putting it out there again because it’s Alan November’s summer learning conference, and because the pre-conference workshops are going to be great. I recommend the one by Kathy Cassidy, 1st grade teacher who brings the world to her classroom and who shares her classroom with the world. She will show you that it not only can be done with first graders, it can be done with your students, AND it does not take much to get started other than interest, patience, persistence, and perseverance.
Many teachers begin a new unit of study or a project with inquiry. This post will help you to make sense of the inquiry cycles.
Finally, many of you have heard about the big changes coming (again) to the SAT. Unfortunately for my Ben, these will not take effect- boo- but will for my Madel. Just thought you might want to read this very interesting article from the NY Times about how and why this change came about. Fascinating.
And lastly (I know I said “Finally in the last one but hey, I’m allowed to toss one more out if I find something). Reading Bear is a new site that is FREE and is great for differentiating reading instruction, enrichment, and remediation in your K-2 classrooms. Think digraphs, blends, and vowel sounds. Think phonics and vocabulary, think Reading Bear.