What’s On Tap

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Lovely thing to learn from water. “Adjust yourself in every situation and in any shape. But most importantly, find your own way to flow.”

~Buddha Teaching & Science

There are a plethora of opportunities on tap to take your teaching to the next level by participating in webinars. Here are just a few to get your mind percolating and start the year off energized. . .

Thursday, August 29 gives you two different webinar options:

 “Building Teacher Confidence and Camaraderie Through Math Coaching.” from EdWeek

and

EdCurrent and Newsela are offering this, “Ed Current: The Case for Differentiated Instruction on the First Day of School” at 7PM Eastern Time. You can register here.

Coming soon and On-Demand:

Facing History and Ourselves (which I have written about before) is offering this in early September, Current Events in Your Classroom, and also offers these On-Demand learning options.

I have enjoyed participating in webinars (click to read!) as they are both reminders of good teaching practices, and that there are many like-minded educators who are always looking to improve their teaching and therefore student learning, achievement, and engagement.

So whether you are interested in one, all, or some, all it takes is a click to get started!

Back to School Learning Opportunities

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I hope you have all had and are continuing to have a great summer!

With the start of school around the corner, there are many learning opportunities to be had for all areas of the curriculum. Here are just a few to get you started on a great year ahead.

Project-Based Learning

This opportunity popped in to my inbox this morning so I wanted to pass it along to you. It is a FREE, ONLINE workshop for teachers  (and school leaders, curriculum coordinators) about turning units and experiences into Project-Based Learning. You can check out the email below and click this link to register. A. J. Juliani will be leading this tonight.

Differentiation from Day ONE

“How can district leaders and educators make decisions that promote equity, inclusion, and learning for every student?”

Newsela and Ed Current offer monthly webinars throughout the year. You can read about the one I attended on Universal Design for Learning in this post. In this webinar, you will hear from Dr. Rhonda Bondie Director of Professional Learning at Harvard Graduate School of Education and how you can begin differentiating from the first day of school. Click here to register. Can’t attend? Not to worry, register then you will get the link to the recording and the materials!

Fall History Courses with Gilder Lehrman

You know the amazing resources you find at Gilder Lehrman, and these fall online history courses are yet another reason why you should check it out.

All NEW Flipgrid

You loved Flipgrid before, you will love it even more now! Check out the new features like whiteboard mode, photo overlay, and more.

New Year, New Links, New Learning

“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”
― Oprah Winfrey

We are only back from winter break since Monday, yet the the number of open tabs on my laptop make it feel like it’s been weeks.

This week I have several things to share so sit back, get comfortable, and enjoy.

Time-Sensitive Learning Opportunities

First, Will Richardson and Modern Learners has a free, one-hour webinar, Reimagining Assessment, coming this Tuesday, January 15th at 3PM and 8PM EST.

Next, if you were busy getting ready for the holiday break and did not get a chance to participate in the DITCH That Textbook Digital Summit, the videos are back. For a limited time only, you can watch all 35 videos. Yes, I said THIRTY-FIVE because this includes not only this year’s DITCH Summit videos, but the 2018 CUE videos, the 2017 DITCH Summit videos, and the 2016 DITCH Summit videos. This is 35 hours of professional development that you can use right away so start clicking!

Also on January 15th at 8PM ET/5PM PT, Newsela and EdCurrent are hosting a free, one-hour webinar on Moving from One Size Fits All to Universal Design for Learning. Don’t worry if you cannot make it, all registrants will get a link to the recorded video.

Tools for Teaching

Remove. Have you or your students ever wanted to remove a background from a picture so you could layer it on another background? Well, look no further than here. It’s literally two steps: upload a photo or paste in a url; the site does the rest in as long as it takes for you to identify which images have a traffic light or bus. Then you can download your image and use it wherever you want.

Ms. Havrot’s Math Videos. Ms. Havrot is a retired Canadian math teacher who missed teaching. She began making math videos and posting them on her YouTube channel to help high school students with Trigonometry. She even includes practice quizzes! A great resource for math students and a great inspiration for math teachers to create and post their own.

Geography Games.  If you teach geography or want to brush up on your map skills, then you will want to take a look at and bookmark Setera. I learned about Setera, “the ultimate map quiz site” from Richard Byrne’s website. Setara is addictive to say the least. I started with the map of the United States and had to stop myself from moving on to the state capitals. You and your students can play online, or you can get the printables. There are over 300 games to choose from including ancient civilizations, latitude and longitude, flags, oceans, lakes. and they are in 34 languages. This site is amazing!

Retrieval Practice. Do you teach content that you would like your students to be able to learn deeply and remember later? Would you like to teach students the right way to study for learning, exams and tests? Pooja Agarwal, cognitive scientist, has a new retrieval practice guide out, “How to Use Spaced Retrieval Practice to Boost Learning”. This Spacing Guide joins the others in her resource library that are free for you to download. If you want to learn more about Agarwal, be sure to check out her video, “Brain-Friendly Learning That Works”, in the 2017 DITCH Summit.

Learning Theories. When was the last time you thought about why you teach the way you do? Well, this visual summary of 32 learning theories will remind you of the whys of yours and others’ teaching philosophies.

 

photo credit: ★Yo photography Sparkling Sydney via photopin (license)

Coming Soon & Here Now!

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#1 EdCamps are grass roots style education un-conferences that began a few years ago with the first being EdCamp Philly which @WendyE40 and I attended. EdCamps are known as “un-conferences” because they are free, often sponsored, attendees are encouraged to present topics of interest, sessions are not pre-planned, rather attendees write  and post their topicCo ideas on notecards on the day of the event, and if you are in a session that does not speak to you, you are encouraged to get up and move on to something else. There is one coming up in Philly on May 14 that Wendy and I again will be attending and you may sign up here. 

#2 While EdCamps are for the adults in the room, there are many schools and teachers who are hosting Student-Led EdCamps which are engaging, empowering, and a host of other “ings” for your students that I believe we could try to do too. You can check out these resources to get  your ideas flowing.

#3 Quizlet is a great for formative assessment, reviewing for a test or quiz, studying material, and learning new vocabulary and concepts, and it has gone live! Now you can turn your Quizlets into a live, team-based quiz show for your class. Students will join the live event from any device, be randomly assigned to teams (which you can reshuffle if need-be), and then the reviewing/learning/formative assessing can happen! Just another in a long line of options for having fun while learning in (and out of) class. For more like this, you can reread this post.

#4 PBS + I-Books is a match made in K-8 teacher heaven. This past Tuesday, PBS announced their most recent addition to their teaching and learning resources and materials- I-Books for K-8 teachers. These interactive I-Books will enhance a variety of curricular areas including beginning Spanish, math, and language arts and will include videos, professional development resources, lesson plans and games. These are available through I-tunes. You can read more about PBS Learning Media from a recent blog post.

#5 Many teachers are using Newsela in their classrooms for current events and election updates, but did you know that Newsela has leveled 18 Famous Speeches in their bank of resources for your classroom including several in Spanish! You can listen to Eleanor Roosevelt, Amelia Earhart, Patrick Henry, Frederick Douglas, President Johnson, and President Obama just to name half a dozen. These can be filtered by grade level, standard, or language. Don’t just read about history- listen to it loud and clear! 

photo credit: Reputation Management Tips Businesses Can Handle via photopin (license)

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” ~Henry Ford

This is a huge WOW! This teacher whom I follow on Twitter (@MrsEvon1) is sharing how her 4th grade students are using their ipads in a 1:1 environment. All throughout the day the technology and creativity is embedded in their learning and in everything that they are doing. It is truly amazing. Just because you might not be using ipads does not mean you cannot do what she, is doing. Many of the apps that she is using are also websites (Haikudeck, Vocabulary and Spelling City, Storyline Online, Kidblog, Quizlet, Wonderopolis; the ones that are not also web-based can easily be found in other tools). 

I especially like the ipad menu of activities that Mrs. Evon is using to keep her students responsible for their learning. 

You know how much I love all things Google. Well, Google has another new add-on which will make using Google forms for sign-ups like appointment times or bake sale donations even better. Now Google has added Choice Eliminator— when a selection is made that should no longer be available, Choice Eliminator gets rid of it. Now you will no longer have 5 people bringing paper plates or signing up for the 4:00 appointment. Yay!

More Google (because we could all use more Google in our life)- this from Kyle Pace in my Feedly (used to be Google Reader but, alas, sadly, that went). Anyway, when you go to Create something in Google Drive, your default choices are Folder, Doc, Sheet, Slides, Drawing, and Form; but if you look closely, you will see at the bottom of that list, “Connect More Apps.” There are many wonderful apps that once connected, can offer you and your students a lot of benefits and assistance. You can find the ones that Kyle B. Pace recommends here. I am a fan of Lucidchart, Pixlr, and Powtoons, but there are really so many options.

This next set of tools are great! I came across Wideo over the weekend, and have had it open in a tab so I could try it out (still open, am going to help my daughter make a math video for her class). Then I saw that Richard Byrne, aka Free Tech 4 Teachers, had a nice post about this and 2 other video creating sites. I have used We Video and found it fairly easy, but I have not tried Magisto (which seems to me to be similar to the easy and simple-to-use Animoto which I and my 5th grade students love). Anyway, you can read here about all 3 sites that will allow you to create your videos in the cloud (aka Web-based) then easily share them or embed them. I would say that in order of ease-of-use you should try Animoto, Magisto, We Video, then Wideo (which makes animated-style videos).

Last, for our folks teaching current events or doing current events with your students, here is Newsela— a site that allows you to search for topics by grade level, reading standard, or quizzed articles. You can sign up and create a classroom for your students and assign them articles, or just make it a job for our student to bring a piece of news to your morning circle. 

Looking for more classroom jobs? Have a class public relations person tweet out what your class is learning. Have an historian of the day find out what happened on this day in history and see that today is not just another ordinary day. I have more ideas but if you have been reading and you got to this point, you can ask me.

Shared in late October with my colleagues