Spring in the courtyard

Spring in the courtyard

This past Thursday was a beautiful Spring day and I had lots of great things to share!

This first is an amazing opportunity for your classroom to connect with Jane Goodall on Monday, April 20 from 1-2PM. This is something you won’t want to miss (especially if you are in our third grade and reading biographies!) You can submit questions ahead of time using this link; she will also answer ones asked during the webinar. The webinar will take place from 1:00 – 2:00pm ET, on Monday, April 20, 2015. For more information and to register, please visit: http://bit.ly/1y5wZaD

Thinking about adding blended learning (teaching using multiple formats some of which happen out of the classroom) to your classroom? Last month I shared Edynco which is a great way to incorporate blended learning using learning maps (they look like graphic organizers and move like a Prezi). This week I read this blog post from one of the co-founders of Edynco. In it, she shares how to go about curating the content and creating the maps. By the way, this is not just an approach for middle or upper school teachers, it can actually work in an elementary classroom too by scaling it down, having students move through the modules in the classroom, and then having them do various activities based on the learning.

I love this next short post by Silvia Tolisano. It’s titled, Used Effectively or Simply Used? And it’s based off a presentation of the same name by Beth Holland (@rbholland) that she gave at the ASCD15 conference. Silvia shared the presentation slide deck as well as the questions Beth posed in her presentation (all with respect to the use of technology): are children engaged, are they sharing their learning, are they creating evidence of their own knowledge, and more. These questions should make us all think about our own use of technology in the classroom and how if it is used effectively, our students should be leaving a legacy of learning as well as doing things they otherwise could not. In the slide deck (which by the way is an embedded Google slides presentation) Beth shares examples from classrooms that I think are pretty great. This is a video of a student sharing her thinking and understanding about a piece of writing that she then turned into a blackout poem (see here and here for explanation). There are other videos embedded in the presentation that are worth the time to watch. 

Though this next link is for our Science and Engineering teachers, I think it deserves to be shared with all of you just so you can see how vast the resources and ideas are that are out there for everyone and you don’t even have to look that far. Not to mention, it’s from PBS Learning Media which means that if you hit the “browse by options button” you will likely find something for your classroom or subject (and I mean all subjects including the arts, world languages, physical education and health! Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Engineering Design Through Media has a myriad of activities, resources, and lessons for K-12 teachers that all share ways of bringing the engineering and design curriculum to life for your students. 

I love a good wthese examplesord wall and (which seem familiar to me so it’s possible I’ve sent this before) are amazing. I particularly like the synonym wall which is great for your writers and going beyond “nice” and I love the science one.

You all know how much I love my Google, well here are 14 Google search tricks that you might not know about. My favorites are the Karaoke, reverse image, and recipe (type in the food to the search, use Search Tools, then choose by ingredient, calories, cooking time). Which ones are yours??

This just in! Let your students create StopMotion Animations right from their browser (I.e Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc) with Parapara. Open the site, click the color crayon of your choice, and start drawing. The great thing about it is the previous part of the drawing is grayed out on the next slide so your students will know where to add. Now your kids can be like Harold and the Purple Crayon, only they will be drawing separate images that when put together will become animated. Here is one that I madeThis is VERY cool!

Last one of the week. How many of you have things in your classroom that you regularly lend out to students (or other teachers)? Well, Google has a new add-on called Check It Out. Here is a post by Richard Byrne and here is a link to a screencast showing you how to set one up for your classroom.

For more great articles, videos, and links, please visit the Shipley PLN Lower School Edition.

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