I know many of you have thought about using Twitter with your classroom and now Twitter has come up with a way to make multiple users able to tweet from a single account (your class account) without the need to share your password. Now you have to be tweeting from Tweetdeck, which is a platform that allows you to create columns so you can see the twitter searches that you are interested in without having to do a separate search each time (ex. You could have a column for #edchat a column for #4thchat –or whichever grade you follow- a column for your notifications), which is not a big deal at all. Just think how great it would be if your class was tweeting about their learning, sharing the excitement, sharing the innovations, and learning from other classrooms. This might also be a great way for a team of teachers (think grade level or department) to tweet about what they are doing.
This next is absolutely the best thing of the week hands down. The title is “Assessments that Don’t Suck” and the teacher, Paul Bogush, offers 24 different ways to creatively assess your students, rather, they are 24 ways your students can creatively show and share their learning. One of my favorites, is the Notecard Confessions idea. In this he gives a day-by-day account of how he introduces the lesson and then step by step how to do this with your class. It puts your students right into the character, whether historical or fictional, and clearly shows evidence of their deep understanding of the material. Now you really must take a look at all of the 24 ideas as each one offers different ways for your students to show what they know. Some are tech based, others are not (like the Footsteps idea, or the “I’m Breaking Up With You” letter- aka the Declaration of Independence lesson- which I love). Imagine trying different ones as a class, then allowing your students choose the one they want to do for an assignment later in the year. Now that would be empowering and engaging! I am serious when I tell you how excited I was to see this on Twitter today and I would love to help you implement these assessments with your class.
OK, I thought the last was the best of the week, but I think my art friends will beg to differ once they see this learning series from PBS Learning Media. This is the sixth of an installment on Elements of Art, this on Color where you can share short videos and hear from artists discussing the various elements of art. The rest of the art school series includes videos on space, form, shape, texture, as well as videos on hip hop, printmaking, crocheting, and more- all areas of the art world. These say they are for grades 6-13, but I do think that with guidance and facilitation from you, our upper elementary students can enjoy learning from these artists.
For those of you who would like to see what else there is this week, then please visit today’s Shipley PLN Lower School Edition.