Back to School Supplies

Photo by Frans van Heerden on

Back to school can mean lots of things to people: excitement, nervousness for the start of the school year; back to school shopping, end of sleeping in and playing outside all day. For me, it means pulling together the emails, Twitter, and Facebook likes that I have been saving from the summer to share with my colleagues.

So without further ado, here is some of what I have accumulated:

First, my final post of the 2021-22 school year is a great reminder of how our actions, beliefs, and behaviors impacts our students. If you have not had a chance to read, Great Expectations, this is a good one to start the year off on the right thought.

Trevor Muir is an educator and speaker whom I follow on Facebook. He recently shared his free, downloadable posters, Discussion Ground Rules that you can print and hang in your room and point to as reminders during classroom discussions.

To be honest, I am not sure how I made my way to Defined Learning, but I am glad that I did. It’s possible I followed a link tweeted by Jay McTighe about a free ebook on how performance tasks lead to deeper learning, the section on UBD complete with videos and another whitepaper, or maybe it was the free whitepapers on topics like Getting started with PBL, Exposing students to STEM in the early grades, or Guide to meeting the performance standards of NGSS. Whatever it was, this site is full of resources like recorded webinars and research that will fill our professional learning needs for quite some time.

This collection of Choice Boards for Math is one of the best ways to help foster engagement in your students because it allows for student choice over their learning path. Once arriving at the link, continue to scroll for choice board templates and boards for students in elementary all the way through high school calculus.

Ziplet is a quick and easy entry and exit ticket tool that I previously included in last year’s back to school post, Teching Tools to Give Voice to Your Students. Ziplet knows the importance of regularly checking in with your students and shared this list of 38 questions that will help us build relationships with our students, encourage a sense of belonging, foster a growth mindset, and help build a culture of community for the rest of the school year. Questions are listed by category. Students do not need to have accounts to respond to your questions.

Richard Byrne of the Practical Edtech newsletter shared this tip of the week for getting to know your students at the beginning of the year (or anytime you want to do some ice-breaker games). In it, Byrne shares a flippity wheel of icebreaker questions and includes a video of how to set up your own wheel. Flippity can be used for random name picking, group making, and other classroom essentials like flash cards, assessment practice game shows, word puzzles, and more. Each flippity tool comes complete with a demo and instructions. Byrne has several instructional videos on his site as well as his YouTube channel.

John Spencer shared his 5 Ways to Get to Know Your Students at the Start of the School Year here. There are fun activities ranging from surveys to scavenger hunt maker projects that both allow you to learn about your students and for them to learn about each other.

Robert Kaplinsky shared these recorded webinars on why we should reconsider worksheets (and what we should be doing instead). There is one tailored for K-5 and another for 6-12. In the webinar, he shares depth of knowledge matrices like this one for Geometry and how using one of these with your students allows entry points for all students challenging them at their different levels. You can find additional webinars here.

For additional reading, check out the Shipley PLN Lower & Middle School Edition

More likes to come!

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