Learn and Collaborate from the Comfort of Your Classroom

anthonyjdangelo1-2xI love to learn. It’s a true statement. When I get hooked on a topic, I just want to keep learning more about it. I also love to share my learning with others which is why I write these posts and send my colleagues and friends lots of emails whenever I find something that might be of interest to them. It’s why I share on Twitter. This week I am sharing a few things that I think may be of interest or use to you.

Learn

One of the things I love to learn about is learning- specifically what aids in learning. From the first time Judy Willis presented to us about the reticular activating system, I have been fascinated about this topic. I still have camp friends who remember a talk I gave about the health center (back when running the health center was my job) because of the way I made not-so-subtle changes before I said something important I wanted them to remember. Pooja Agarwal and her site, Retrieval Practice, offer numerous research and evidence-based resources and strategies for learning about which I have written several times before. On November 5 from 3 – 4PM, Agarwal, a cognitive scientist, and Patrice Bain, a veteran teacher/education specialist, along with Allison Shell, author and research fellow,  are presenting at a free webinar titled, Unleash the Science of Learning, where  they will share and discuss evidence-based learning practices you can use in your classroom.  I have signed up to participate and will share what I learn and hope some of you will do the same.

Just clicking around through some of the links provided in the webinar’s description led me to some fantastic resources like these:

  1.  learner factors that influence math success and strategies to help build lessons that support these different math PK-2 learners or
  2. the factors that influence reading from the Learner Variability Project.
  3. and this Practice Guide for Organizing Instruction and Study to Improve Learning.

Collaborate

How many miles can you travel around the world in 24 hours?

On November 13-14, Microsoft and Skype in the Classroom is hosting a Skype-a-Thon to support quality education for children around the world. For every 400 virtual miles traveled, Microsoft will support educational resources for children in need. There are many classrooms and experts waiting to connect with you and your students. You can check out the different collaborations here. While browsing, I came across several that relate to our sustainability initiative like this on the ewaste movement,  this on plastic pollution, and this on managing garbage. There are many more on all matter of topics and subjects that you can search by age group, subject, and location.

In the effort to keep things short and sweet, I will stop here. Happy learning!

Sharing with Wakelet

The other day I posted about the great things I learned even though I was not able to attend FallCue. There was so many great finds that I decided to split my weekly share into two separate posts. This is Part 2 and it comes to you via this Wakelet.  By the way, did I mention that you can share your Wakelet to your Google Classroom?!

 

CUEd Up!

The Fall CUE event was held this past weekend out in California, and while I was not there (I was happily visiting my son in Happy Valley),

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I was able to learn about many of the great presentations by following the hashtag #FallCUE.  It was there that I saw this tweet from Heather Marshall:

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Boy do I feel like I hit the jackpot!

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If you have read any of my previous blog posts, you know that I can be a serial clicker. I mean, I follow links to see what else there is. I’ll attribute it to my love of learning- my top character strength– and not an ability to be distracted as some might think.

So the first thing I looked at was Wakelet. Since Ms. Marshall thanked them for making her year, I thought I should see what that was about. First off, Wakelet allows you to create “collections” from the web that include pictures, social media posts, text, sound files, and links. What is more, you can explore  other peoples’ collections that you can then use in your classrooms (like this on Landfills, this on The New Silk Road, or this on Rube Goldberg machines), or for your own personal benefit (like this about Paris or this about Quinoa). You can quickly create your own free account, add the Wakelet Chrome extension, and begin saving websites and creating, embedding, and sharing your own collections from around the web!

Then I began combing through her FallCUE wakelet and WOW! First, you can see all the resources from numerous sessions here in this shared Google Drive folder. In it you will find presentation materials about Math, Writing, Coding, Digital Citizenship, more Math, Productivity, Work flow, HyerDocs and more! You will need time to look through it all but it will be worth it!

Speaking of HyperDocs, I opened this FallCUE multimedia text set and here is where it gets exciting! There are sample templates, resources for building MultiMedia Text Sets, links to content and more. Here are some fantastic things I found that connect with our curriculum while exploring:

  1. This Immigration HyperDoc
  2. Greek Mythology HyperDoc
  3. Lisa Highfill’s YouTube page filled with helpful videos with How Tos like how to create MMTS (Multi-Media Text Sets), HyperDocs explained, growth mindset, adding maps, and more. A veritable PD day on it’s own!
  4. A Padlet of HyperDocs created and shared during the HyperDocs online bootcamp. Here you will find HDs on Gilgamesh, Math, The Odyssey, To Kill a Mockingbird, Native Americans, Civil Rights, a Spanish one for Day of the Dead, and so many more!
  5. Common Lit a free site for educators that is both a digital library and instructional tool. You can choose texts, assign them to your students, and assess their reading at the same time. You can browse by book, genre, grade level, theme, literary device (from alliteration to internal conflict, symbolism, theme), or text set (including the American Colonies, Ancient Civilizations, Westward Expansion, Slavery, and more). Beginning in grade 3 and going through 12th grade, you will find a myriad of high-level texts and passages that you can begin using in your classroom as part of your reading program.

Ah, the power of Twitter and sharing and following the right people and hashtag! So, even though we may not have been at the event, we can still benefit from those who were through the resources they shared!

 

Resource-Full!

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This week I am sharing a little bit of this and a little bit of that. But first, apologies for the lack of sharing this past month. I have started a specialization through Coursera and have been trying to be efficient with my time, i.e.,  when I have it, I am using it to learn.

And now the shares!

Listen Up

I have listened to and read transcripts from several podcasts, TED talks, and articles the first of which is from The Cult of Pedagogy, aka Jennifer Gonzalez. Gonzalez shared how she is transforming her teaching and therefore student learning by incorporating what she learned when she began going to Crossfit workouts with her husband. Gonzalez shares four ways she has changed how she teaches based on the Crossfit methods. My personal favorites are the Differentiation and Student Choice, and Variety Matters. Who says all the students need to be doing the same things at the same time, and who says that you can’t switch things up in your classroom!

While I was browsing Gonzalez’s site, I came across her post about ways we as teachers can support students of color  which was inspired by Dena Simmons’ TED talk . Her post offers four ways Simmons suggests we can begin and continue to change our behaviors and our classrooms to honor and recognize all of our students, one of which is Create ways for students to bring pieces of their lives into the classroom.

If you teach middle or high school math or have children who are in these grades, then these Math tools Chrome Add-Ons are for you. Graphing calculators anyone??

This next was a BIG find! Thanks to Nicole Mancini who created this Author Connections Flipgrid, you and your (elementary) students can hear authors read aloud first chapters of their books, get writing advice, as well as hear the authors share their books and why you should choose to read them. It is a great resource for your budding writers and readers.

If you do anything on (in?) Chrome, then these Top 10 Must-Listen Google Teacher Tribe Podcasts are for you. From add-ons to Slides, Classroom Hacks to Special Education, there is a Must-Listen podcast for everyone that includes links to numerous resources. One of my faves is on different things you can do with Google Slides that go beyond presentations. Thanks Kasey Bell and Matt Miller for these resource-full podcasts!

It’s all about the search!

Sometimes I just get lucky and today was one of those days. I was looking for a Twitter template for a colleague and while I was searching, I came across some fantastic options. First is this list of results from a template search on Matt Miller’s DITCH That Textbook website. I knew he has written and shared about these before so his would be the first site I checked. And you know me, one click leads to another and I found Template Palooza. Take some time to browse the numerous options and then get your creative juices flowing for ways you and your students can do a deep dive into a character’s thoughts and motivations using these and other templates.

Next on the agenda

Lastly are some articles I have open and ready to read. While I have not read them yet, I am sharing them with you because I am sure they will be meaningful and thoughtful. First is an article on over-scheduling, next is on teaching students how to structure their thinking,  and last is on the importance of building relationships in our classrooms.

 

 

Ready, Set, Go!

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School has officially started. If you managed to miss seeing the school busses on the road, the obligatory first day of school pics on your favorite social media platform probably gave it away; not to mention the back to school meetings and classroom prep we have all been part of 😉

With the start of the school year come more great opportunities for you and your students to engage, connect, explore, and create. Here is what I have for you this week:

Breakout of your Centers and Gamify Your Classroom Content

This first share comes from a guest post on Matt Miller’s DITCH That Textbook blog. John Meehan shares how he uses games in his classroom to have students engage with novels in his 11th grade English classroom. Think of it as reverse of Breakout games that people are playing everywhere. Meehan shares templates, tips, and ideas that can be modified for use in middle or elementary classrooms.

Explore the Effects of Ocean Plastics

Explore by the Seat of Your Pants has a month’s worth of live lessons from Marine Biologists all over the world that you and your students can partake in from the comfort of your classroom. There are daily options with varying times so you can easily find one that is convenient for your classroom. Each lesson offers opportunities for classrooms to have a camera spot but if none are available, the lessons are streamed live on YouTube with a recordings library that is growing for later viewing. Can’t participate this month? Not to worry, there are events every month with different themes like conservation, space, exploration to choose from just to name a few.

Seesaw: Not Just for Playgrounds

If you are thinking about getting started with a fabulous portfolio tool for your classroom, Seesaw is offering September PD in your PJs. Seesaw is a tool that can be used within your browser or on a tablet and is a great way to make your students’ thinking visible. September PD in your PJs is a series of short webinars to get you started using Seesaw in your classroom whether you are an elementary, middle, or high school teacher. Each short webinar will show you not just how to get started, but also how you can use Seesaw in your PreK-2, 3-5, or 6-12 classroom. What are you waiting for!

Using Portfolios? Here are Self-Assessment Questions for Encouraging a Growth Mindset

We all understand the importance of encouraging our students to think with a growth mindset and to know that while they may not understand or “get” something right now, with practice and feedback, they will come to it in time. This post offers some great questions and prompts that you can have your students reflect on that will encourage them to think differently about their work. Use them as portfolio prompts or even as exit tickets at the end of a project.

What’s New in Classroom

If you are using Google Classroom, then you might have seen the updates and changes. Here is a list of what’s new and improved to make your workflow even simpler. You can read the full blog post here.

 

“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”

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If you are singing the song and thinking about the holidays, then you are partially correct. While this is not a post about the winter holidays as it is only nearly September, it is a post that brings “gifts”. These gifts, however, are in the form of great tools you can use and connections you can make right off the bat for the new school year ahead!

First off is the All New Educator’s Guide to Flipgrid 3.0. In early August, Fligrid launched a slew of updates including making it FREE to educators everywhere! Now you and your students can share your voices, connect with other classrooms, become epals, and co-pilot topics safely, securely, and easily. Just imagine using Flipgrid on one of the first days of school for students to share something they want you to know about them, goals for the start of the year, or a favorite poem.

Speaking of sharing, flattening classroom walls, and connecting, the 2018 Global Read Aloud will kickoff in just over a month on October 1. Join with over a million other students and teachers in reading one of this year’s selections.  Then use Flipgrid to share reflections, favorite passages, and messages about the book with other classrooms from around the globe.

Richard Byrne has recently released his Practical Ed Tech Handbook for the 2018-2019 School Year that you are free to view, download, and use in your classroom and schools. In it you will find tips for staying in touch with parents and students, ways to use online quiz platforms, tools for making stop-motion and documentary-style videos, and more.

As my school continues our implementation of Positive Education under the Positive Psychology umbrella, and schools are realizing the importance of promoting and facilitating a growth mindset in their learners and faculty, Learn Storm and Khan Academy offer these growth mindset lessons and activities for elementary, middle, and high school students that you can utilize with your free Khan Academy account.

Day one is coming or for some is already here. Here are three options for one-minute of retrievals from Pooja Agarwal you can use with your students to get them primed and ready to learn. These are simple, quick warm-ups you can easily implement that are research-based ways to deepen your students’ learning. You can subscribe for weekly updates, read about the research and download free guides and follow Agarwal on Twitter.

Lastly, while you are setting up your classrooms, taking a walk in the beautiful weather, or just like to listen to learn, then take a few (usually hovering around 5 – 10) minutes to listen to Matt Miller’s DITCH podcast. This will take you to a podcast about more ways to use Quizizz and if you scroll down, you can hear about Fliphunts (a mash up of Flipgrid and a scavenger hunt), changes to Google Classroom, Educator Goals and more.

Slow Jog to the Finish Line

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The end of the school year is coming. I know this because the calendar says so. I also know this because the weather is finally looking and feeling like summer. And yet, as far as the work goes, we are still in the thick of it. So since we are still working, I will do one final share of resources and articles until we return from summer break.

7 out of 10 adults say they experience stress or anxiety everyday

First is somethingShawn Achor shared on Twitter.  Achor wrote The Happiness Advantage which we are reading as part of our positive education implementation. But honestly, if you interact with other people in any way, this is a book you might want to read regardless. You can read more about the book here in our ShipleyReads blog. This post from Happify is titled, How to beat stress and boost happiness. I feel like this is something we all could use at times and Happify has created a lovely infographic that offers numerous science-based suggestions that are easy to do.

“I don’t do math.”

Next up is a year’s worth (probably more) of materials from Jo Boaler that will enhance your teaching towards a growth mindset. The first is the mathematical mindsets teaching guide, teaching resources, and teaching videos. Next, if you have not browsed YouCubed’s site, you might want to get started. There is a wealth of material there including lessons, resources, articles, videos, and learning opportunities. It is really a treasure trove for those who teach or work with students. And for fun, an article from Stanford Magazine, Jo Boaler Wants Everyone to Love Math.

“You can’t get to the content if the relationship and the social-emotional well-being piece is not being attended to first,” 

If you boiled down positive psychology to just three words, they would be “Other people matter.” This next article, “The Power of Teacher Student Relationships to Boost Learning” highlights the importance of relationships between teachers and students to student learning. 

Consequences of Passive Learning = memorization without engagement

Continuing along the lines of how students learn best is this robust post, 102 Brain-Based Learning Resources for Brain-Based Teaching. This is basically a psych major’s dream list. There is A LOT here beginning with research. If you scroll down you will see a list of Brain and Learning Blogs including Brain Rules (which was one of our all school reading books) and Judy Willis’ R.A.D. Teach blog. Judy gave a two-day professional development at our school a number back in 2010 and I still remember the strategies she suggested to help the information stick. Towards the end of the article, you will find General Brain-based Learning Resources. 

I hope you have found these posts useful and that you will come back for new ones in the fall. Until then, I will repost some of the more popular posts from the archives!