Read, Connect, Listen, Learn

Each week when trying to find things to share with my colleagues, I spend time clicking links in emails, opening links from Twitter, engaging in webinars, and reading different books on my Kindle. This week’s share pulls from all these places and comes with opportunities for everyone. Get comfy, there’s a nice amount coming your way.

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First off is an opportunity to connect with other classes during World Read Aloud Day. World Read Aloud Day (WRAD) is just two weeks away, happening February 1st. Lit World has pulled together the many ways you, or you and your class can celebrate WRAD including connecting with an author via Skype. Additionally, Mike Soskil, a teacher whom I follow on Twitter and wrote about during the 2017 DITCHSummit has created this connections project that your students can do synchronously or asynchronously depending on what works for you. However you choose to participate, it will be a great way to share a love of reading with another class.

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Speaking of reading, next up is Common Lit: leveled reading passages, text sets, instructional materials, and text-dependent questions created by teachers for teachers and is FREE “because teachers shouldn’t have to pay.” Common Lit recently, they added literacy materials for third and fourth grade so now the literacy support materials go from third through twelfth grade! There are many ways to find what you need including a searchable library, search by book, genre, grade level, lit device, text set, or theme. You are going to want to browse their collection and do some looking around at everything they have; it’s quite robust!

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The other day EdCurrent offered a free webinar titled, “Moving from One-Size-Fits-All to a Universal Design for Learning”. I signed up and then watched the recording the next day, which, as a side-note is a great way to deal with webinars that you are interested in but may not be able to participate in when offered. In any event, the next day in my inbox, along with the “sorry we missed you” message was the link to both the recording and the resources.

A great quote to come out of the webinar is this one, “How can we maximize the amazing strengths that Ss have so that we can eliminate barriers and make everyone successful?” It made me think of Lea Waters who recently tweeted this, “We often ask ourselves the question ‘What is wrong with me?’ But when we ask ourselves the question ‘What is right with me?’, we start to get a fuller sense of who we are. We start to identify the #strengths and assets that really help us to thrive and reach our full potential.” Its up to us as educators to create an environment in our classroom where all Ss can feel successful. To learn more, check out the recording.

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If you like to watch videos to help with learning, then you will like Edutopia’s, research and science-based “How Learning Happens” video series. Currently there are 22 videos on topics like Cultivating a Belonging Mindset, Fostering Positive Relationships, Building Academic Confidence, and Developing Foundational Skills.

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Lastly, if a child you know has anxiety, Renee Jain, a University of Pennsylvania MAPP (Master of Applied Positive Psychology) graduate and creator of the GoZen website (tools for dealing with anxiety and building resilience in schools and at home), now has a FREE podcast, Dear Anxiety. Jain and her guests share research-based solutions for “greater mental wellness for the whole family.” Currently there are four episodes, “Worrying about Worry”, “Tackling the Perfectionism Monster”, “Transforming Anger for Parents” and “Transforming Anger for Kids”.

Happy browsing!

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!