Friday Photo: Life Lessons from Children

Aug 29, 2014 by

As we embark on a new school year, let’s remember these lessons that we can learn from our students.  I would add two more: 1) don’t be scared to be a little bit silly and, 2) try new things.  Welcome back!

Lessons kids can teach us

read more

Related Posts

Share This

Socrative

Aug 28, 2014 by

Android App for Socrative for teachersSocrative is a great tool to help teachers pre-assess knowledge before a lesson or check for understanding during and after a lesson.  Socrative works on any web-enabled device and is available on Android or iOS.  The teacher app has options to prepare quizzes ahead of time or quick question assessments that are created on the fly.  The results of the Socrative assessment are available in the dashboard view and can be easily downloaded, exported, emailed or saved to Google Drive.  Teachers can use Socrative to easily create exit tickets for students following a lesson or activity.

Android Socrative StudentThe student version of the Socrative app also works on any web-enabled device and has Android and iOS versions for students to use to respond to the formative assessments created by the teacher.  Students don’t have to have accounts for Socrative, they can simply join the teacher’s class.

Socrative is a fun, easy way to check for understanding and gather formative assessment data and it even includes the Space Race game to engage students and keep learning fun.

 

read more

Common Core Standards App

Aug 27, 2014 by

Common core standards iOS appThe Common Core Standards app is a great way for teachers to look up their grade level standards for language arts and mathematics quickly and easily.  The Common Core Standards app by Mastery Connect breaks the standards down by content area and then by grade level.  Each grade level has a list of standards by category (domain/cluster).  The mathematics standards can be viewed in the traditional or integrated pathways, as listed in Appendix A of the Common Core State Standards.  The standards are easy to search and understand using this handy app.  Mastery Connect also has apps for some of the specific state versions of common core and the Next Generation Science Standards.

read more

Related Posts

Share This

Random Name Selector

Aug 26, 2014 by

Random Name Selector iTunes iconRandom Name Selector is an easy way to make sure that you are getting feedback from all your students and keep track of how many times they are called on.  Random Name Selector allows you to add your students to groups for easy tracking.  All the student names will be displayed before any students are displayed a second time.  A simple, on-off switch makes it easy to temporarily remove a student from the group when absent or out of the classroom.  The Random Name Selector is a great tool to help you manage your 21st Century classroom.

read more

Related Posts

Share This

Welcome Back to School

Aug 25, 2014 by

It's Monday, Don't forget to be Awesome

 

Welcome Back!  I hope we all had a great summer- both restful and productive.  I worked with some great teachers in Las Vegas, Chicago, and Singapore at National Institutes on Technology this summer.  I learned a lot and am genuinely thankful to those of you who agreed to share your ideas, successes, and productive failures with me this upcoming year.  I look forward to another great year in the classroom.  Here are three things I am going to focus on in the classroom this year.

 

 

1.  Students Researching Resources.  I often talk about this as the Most Valuable Lesson (MVL) and I have used it quite a lot in the past.  I plan on increasing the use even more this year.  Every new topic I teach is going to have a built-in assessment of students finding resources.  I am going to challenge the students to find videos, apps, websites, twitter chats, etc. that have to do with the content.  We are going to critically evaluate them in class.  I will work less and allow them to work more.  And we will be creating a virtual library of resources for their use.

2.  Assessments.  My good friend Rich Butler introduced me to the book, Permission to Forget, by Lee Jenkins this summer in which Jenkins states that all assessments should be composed of 80% old material and 20% new material.  If we don’t want students cramming and forgetting, this strategy makes a lot of sense.  I don’t do many traditional assessments in my classes; but, the ones I do will incorporate a lot more “old” material.  This way, students actually store it in their long-term memory, not just learn it for the 45 minute assessment and then lose it forever.

3.  Project Based Learning.  So many of the skills our students need to know for work in today’s world include collaborating, critical thinking, collating of knowledge, and producing of new knowledge.  Project Based Learning is a great way to have students attack a problem from the start- ask the right questions, gather the right information, report it in a meaningful way, and ask critical follow-up questions.  Technology, of course, facilitates this learning in much deeper ways because of instant access to the content.  We are going to be doing this a lot in our classroom.

Please let me know what you are going to be focusing on too.  I look forward to hearing from you as you try new things.  Please be in touch- and remember to stay crazy in the classroom.

read more

Related Posts

Tags

Share This

Door 24

Aug 20, 2014 by

Door 24 iTunes iconDoor 24 is an iPad app that is aligned to the Common Core math standards.  This app is a great way for students to practice basic math facts, number sense and algebraic thinking on the path to computational fluency.  Door 24 specifically targets math practice for students in grades four through eight and works well for students who are a grade level behind.  The students can work through six levels in pursuit of fixing Victor the Robot.  The rewards and story keep kids engaged as they work through multiple problem sets with increasing levels of difficulty.  Door 24 is a great, research-based, common core aligned math practice tool that provides fun and learning.

read more

Related Posts

Tags

Share This

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

Aug 13, 2014 by

Cosmos iTunes iconThe Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey app is a companion to the television show hosted by Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson.  The television series reveals our discovery of the laws of nature and our place in the space time continuum and our quest for knowledge.  The Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey app includes breathtaking images, videos, and an interactive Cosmic Calendar that visually represents the 13.8 billion years of history in a single calendar year.  Teachers can use this stunning app on it’s own as a conversation starter, for writing prompts, or as a companion to science curriculum.

read more

Related Posts

Share This

Today: Edmodocon Virtual Conference

Aug 6, 2014 by

Edmodocon logo

 August 6 at 7:00 AM

Edmodo is a great free tool for social learning.  This web-based program is customizable for your your students and easy to use. Educators all over the world are using Edmodo to do great things in their classrooms to improve the learning experience for students.  One of these is Kyle Kline, a math teacher, who started using Edmodo when his school went 1:1. He has been kind enough to share his Edmodo successes with me so that I can share them with you.  Kyle is just one of thousands who are using Edmodo in their classrooms.  You can join these educator’s at Edmodocon, a completely online conference, whether you have never used Edmodo and want to learn, are brand new to Edmodo, or have lots of experience to share.

read more

Related Posts

Share This

MakeBeliefsComix

Jul 30, 2014 by

Make Beliefs Comix icon

MakeBeliefsComix is a great website to make comic strips. The MakeBeliefsComix website has frames that students and teachers can use to write a story with a large collection of characters, scenes, and props.   Students can choose from eight different talk bubbles and eight different thought bubbles in several different languages.  MakeBeliefsComix can be shared via email, printed, or saved as a PDF.  The MakeBeliefsComix Website is a fun, creative way for students to practice writing in English or a foreign language.  The MakeBeliefsComix Website also has lots of resources for teachers and parents and over 350 printable comics for students that can be used in many different ways.

read more

LetterSchool

Jul 23, 2014 by

LetterSchool iTunes iconLetterSchool is a great app for teaching young students and English language learners letters and numbers.  LetterSchool has four fun games per letter and number so that students are engaged in learning.  Students can use this app to learn how to write letters and numbers as well as the letter sounds.  The app has both uppercase and lowercase letters and the games help students with their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.  LetterSchool is a great app for practicing essential letter and number skills in a fun way.

 

read more

Related Posts

Share This