Ready, Set, Go!

back bus education school

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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.

 

Boo! A Not so Scary Share

This week I am sharing articles and posts that I think are timely and important.

I just read this article about the importance of helping and teaching our students not only about how to be good digital citizens, but also how to be good digital leaders. Just because they don’t see themselves doing anything stupid or silly online when they Google themselves does not mean that they should not be found at all. We need to help and encourage our students to create a positive digital footprint so that they can be found when Googled, and that when they are, it shows their leadership, innovations, and inspirations.

Since many are implementing digital portfolios, I thought this EdWeek article by Larry Ferlazzo about the importance of making reflection a habit would be appropriate to share. EdWeek articles require a log in to read. This is free to subscribe to with your school email and a password.

I read an article from The New York Times about teaching math and in it was this great site for math riddles to be used for problem solving and critical thinking that I thought you might like to try with your (older for many riddles) classes. The riddles range in difficulty from easy to very challenging and topics from Geometry to Algebra, probability, logic, and more and would probably be best if these were worked on in small groups so students can practice problem solving collaboratively. 

Here is a site that I shared last year but that came by again in my Twitter feed this morning. Hstry.co is a cool site for learning and creating using interactive multimedia timelines like this featured one on Life in the Colonies or this one on Using Twitter in your classroom. You can include text, images, videos, and quizzes in the timelines you create and then share or embed these on your site. One drawback that I have is the inability to filter timelines by subject. The site is free to sign up and free to create, though access to some of the really great bundles that Hstry.co creates  (and there are some really perfect ones for our 4th and 5th graders) are for premium users at $49/year. Beyond that, it’s pretty cool.

That’s all folks.