Ice and Snowflakes

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Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.”

―Abigail Adams

I love the above quote but I am part of the choir so-to-speak because I love learning. Not everyone’s top 5 character strengths includes a love of learning which is why as educators we need to know what Interests the students, Captures their attention, and what Engages them (ICE: a nice little acronym that happened naturally). This week I am sharing ICE and a few other snowflakes.

You’ve probably have heard of Fantasy sports games like baseball and football, but have you heard of Fanpolitics or Fangeopolitics? I am guessing some of you may have not. I learned about it today when I read this article, “Gamify Social Studies Learning and Current Event Learning with FanSchool.org”, whose purpose is to engage students with current events through a fantasy sports style game. Imagine your class divided into individuals, pairs, or teams of students drafting policymakers, countries, states, or candidates and following their “players” in the news, scoring points for when their “team” members are mentioned in the news. By signing up for a free FanSchool account you get a commissioner (you), up to 35 players, and access to all the games. There are lesson plans and links and everything you need to get started engaging your students in the events happening around them so why not start drafting!

sometimes I like to close my eyes

And imagine what it’ll be like when summer does come

~Josh Gad, Frozen

No need to imagine when you can explore the 2020 Gilder Lehrman Summer Seminars. Once again they are offering not-to-be-missed topics like Native Americans in American History, Rehearsal for Equality: American Women from the Revolution to Seneca Falls, and The West and the American Nation. The seminars range from 3 days to 6 days and are led by lead scholars, master teachers and attendees have the opportunity to attend book talks by historians. One of my amazing colleagues attended one last summer and his lesson, “Murder, Theft, and Silence: The Conestoga Massacre” is now part of the Digital Paxton Teacher Seminar Education Materials collection. For more on the experience, you can read the EdWeek article, “How Do We Teach with Primary Sources When So Many Voices Are Missing?”

Last is something that will capture the interest of anyone who uses or is looking to use rubrics in their classrooms. This was a lucky click thanks to Richard Byrne. He shared some digital portfolio platforms along with a link to assessing digital portfolios. We use digital portfolios in our school and while we do not assess them, I clicked anyway just to have a look. Well, Creating and Using Rubrics for Assessments is exactly what I have been looking for and I think it may be what you have been looking for as well. You will find rubrics on all topics from writing to online discussions, to podcasts, group work participation to Slides presentations, elementary rubrics, middle school, all subject areas and grades, and tools for creating rubrics. It’s really a treasure trove.

For more curated topics you can check out the latest Shipley PLN Lower & Middle School Edition.

A Chance to Be Part of History, Herstory, & Ourstory

Great learning opportunities are coming your way! If you are a history or social studies teacher, The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History’s teacher seminars series is open now for applications. What is the Gilder Lehrman Institute you ask? They are a non-profit organization whose mission is “to promote the knowledge and understanding of American history through educational programs and resources.” You can read a previous post about Gilder Lehrman here.

To learn about their online courses, click here.

For information about this year’s teacher summer seminars, click here.

To apply, click here.

Neither a history or social studies teacher ? Feeling left out of the learning? Not to worry, you can learn everyday from December 14-31 form the comfort of your own sofa or classroom being part of the DITCHSummit. For more information, you can see my previous post.