Lots of Awesome


It has been a great week of learning beginning with Google Education on Air last Friday and Saturday, December 2-3. It was amazing to be part of a global education experience learning from inspiring educators. In one of the sessions What is your spark, I learned about Classroom Bridges, a way for teachers to connect their classroom with classrooms around the world. Just sign up and start connecting! If you are looking to connect your class with others around the country and around the world, this is as easy as it gets! Another fantastic session was the one on HyperDocs which I have written about before. Here is the link to the recording and this links to the resources from the session. You can view all keynotes and sessions on demand by clicking here.

The next thing I want to share is this article about which research and evidence-based teaching strategies effect student learning, “8 Strategies Robert Marzano and John Hattie Agree On”. Clear focus, overt instruction, and student engagement with the content are the top 3; read on for more!

This week’s Shipley PLN Lower & Middle School Edition has some excellent articles, tips, and ideas.  I think you will love this idea for your English classes- Memes Everywhere wherein you will learn how one teacher has his students create memes for literary characters while reading novels. It is a fun way to engage students with content while reading. Though I shared this a couple weeks ago, Book Snaps is another way your students can interact with text while reading.

I was interested in reading this next article, “PD Should Model What You Want to See in the Classroom”, since I recently read and wrote about best practices for professional development.This article is a recap of how the presenter designed the PD day so that he incorporated modeling various ways to teach while presenting on creating lessons incorporating and using primary sources from the Library of Congress.This post comes completely loaded with both ideas for different ways to teach, AND complete lessons for teachers in this PDF The Student as Historian. In it you will find the PD piece and lessons from 4th grade through high school including lessons on Lewis & Clark, the Civil War, and Native Americans of Oregon. You will need time to digest this one but it is worth it!

Continuing along the history path is this recent post by Richard Byrne, “Two Good Sets of Animated Maps for U.S. History Students” . Here you will find Byrne talks about two sites: one that shows animated maps of historical battles, and the other that shows map changes over time. Both are great supplements to your history and social studies classes.

For more great articles, visit the Shipley PLN Lower & Middle School Edition.






Read, Snap, Doodle, Share, Repeat

Sometimes I read something and I immediately want to share it. This morning while looking through my Twitter feed I saw several posts with the hashtag #booksnap. Since I had never seen that before and certainly had no idea what it was, I clicked on it. I scrolled through several tweets with pictures from pages of books that were written on, drawn on, and typed on until I found one that had a link to what this was all about.

#Booksnaps are a perfect blend of what teachers want students to do with books- read, engage, connect, find meaning- and what many students love to do- take and share pics via snapchat.


When ideas and related concepts can be encapsulated in an image, the brain remembers the information associated with that image. ~Katrina Schwartz, Mineshift KQED

Part of what makes this such an exciting idea, is that the snapchat app allows users to add fun doodles, emojis, and stickers to the pics they snap. Sketchnoting and doodling are great ways to help move information to long-term memory. When your students (or your colleagues) find text they want to snap, they can add their own text, drawings, doodles, arrows, or stickers on top of it making their own mini sketchnote of the idea and thereby making it meaningful and memorable. A #winwin for everyone!