Back to School, Back to Sharing

Welcome back! I thought I would send some treats your way as many of us prepare for the opening of school. While I was away and busy for 8 weeks of overnight camp this summer and did not keep up with my shares, I still kept some things saved for when I was back.

First off is an amazing opportunity to get your feet wet in the global collaboration pool. Global Collaboration Day is September 17th and it promises to be a fun, easy way to make some connections for you and your class. You can choose to join an event that is hosted by another classroom/teacher, or you can choose to host your own. This can be as simple (and they actually specify making it simple for newbies) as sharing a read aloud, or introducing yourself to a school who speaks a world language to a school who is learning ours, or even share something your students have created. 

Speaking of a global collaboration opportunity, this one is perfect for our lower school friends, specifically 1st or 2nd through 5th grade, and it is called the Not Perfect Hat Club Blogging Challenge. It fits in perfectly with our theme of belonging as well as our character education model as you can see here:

We will be reading, talking and blogging about the topics in The Not Perfect Hat Club a book about what it means to be perfectly Not Perfect by Jena Ball. The book was written as part of CritterKin’s “Not Perfect Hat Club” program, which is designed to foster empathy, kindness and respect while teaching  kids the all important lesson that no one is perfect.

You can fill out this form to sign your class up and we can talk about ways your class can collaborate and contribute to the discussions. Don’t be distressed if you teach in an older grade, why not choose a book and start your own global book club!

Next are two new sites that I was notified about on Twitter, Hstry and Spiral. Hstry is a great site for classrooms to both learn from and contribute to by creating your own. They are interactive timelines on topics ranging from To Kill a Mockingbird and Arctic Native Americans, to Mr. Peterson. “Who is Mr. Peterson” you ask? Click to see. The interactive timeline can include videos, text, maps, quizzes, photos, and more. 

Spiral is a new site for active learning and formative assessment in your classroom. You post questions, students can respond anonymously to the class, but as the teacher you can see who has answered the questions. This anonymity allows your students to feel comfortable putting their thoughts out there while showing you who has misconceptions thereby allowing for reteaching on the spot. With their two enable apps, Quickfire and Discuss, you can ask for both quick and more thoughtful responses from your students. Check it out.

This week to get back in the swing of things I participated in Teacher Entrepreneur Week by watching live interviews with educators from around the country. Hosted by Steve Hargadon and sponsored by tes from Monday through Thursday evenings, these 15 to 18-minute interviews were all focused on the lens of teachers as entrepreneurs. Here is my Storify of tweets so you can get an idea of what the conversations were about and perhaps inspire you to listen to one or many of the recordings (remember, 15 minutes can get you more than car insurance. For some Back to School bundles of ideas, visit the new U.S. Version of tes marketplace.

Have something interesting to share? Please tweet me as I love to learn and share!

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