Friday Photo: No more forgetting

Dec 2, 2016 by

No need to worry about ALL those passwords anymore.incorrectpass

read more

Related Posts

Tags

Share This

Coggle Classroom Idea

Dec 1, 2016 by

Last year we featured Coggle on Last Backpack as a mind mapping tool. Below is a great classroom example of how you can use Coggle in your classroom.

Mrs. Martin teaches sixth-grade students with special needs.  Her students often have trouble organizing their thoughts when working on assignments.  Mrs. Martin uses Coggle to help her students with executive functioning.  They learn to put down any relevant thought, idea, word, or photo that pertains to a topic she chooses.  She then has her students color-code those ideas and re-order them to form a plan by dragging and dropping the concepts.  Even though some of her students struggle with abstract concepts, the color coding has allowed them to organize thoughts and concepts in a way that has made content easier to digest.

read more

Related Posts

Tags

Share This

Newsela for Reading

Nov 30, 2016 by

newselaNewsela is a great tool for students to practice reading in class or out of class because it is filled with articles that your students will find interesting no matter what they are into.  Newsela is great because of the content, but also because it offers five different lexile levels so that students of all reading levels can enjoy all of the articles. The best part is that students can change the lexile level on their own so no one else knows that they moved to a version that is less challenging or moved up to make it more challenging.  Another great feature of Newsela is that it has comprehension quizzes attached to many of the articles so you can check to see that your students are understanding what they are reading.  And, one last thing, many of the articles are available in English and in Spanish for students who are learning another language.

read more

Related Posts

Share This

Voxer Classroom Idea

Nov 29, 2016 by

Last year we featured Voxer on the blog and here is a great way that you can use it in your classroom.

Mr. Glasner uses Voxer in his 5th grade classroom to keep parents in the loop. He has found that his notes home to parents frequently get left at school, lost, or die crumpled up in the bottom of the backpack. Mr. Glasner also knows that many of his students live in two income homes with both parents working hard to make ends meet. He has found that he can use a Voxer group to quickly send out updates about class activities, homework, exams and more that every parent can listen to whenever they have time. Voxer messages reduce the need for busy parents to contact him in search of the information on the note that never made it home. Mr. Glasner also uses Voxer to send quick messages to parents about great things that students do during the day. He has found that his parents are grateful to hear the positive and his students behavior has improved as they work to earn a message home.

read more

Related Posts

Share This

Creativity and the Brain-Reflection #2

Nov 28, 2016 by

I spent time recently in South Africa attending a colloquium entitled, “Why the Brain Matters”.  There were twelve of us invited to discuss the brain, neuroscience, and learning specifically regarding creativity.  The participants include neuroscientists, artists, authors, and… well, me.  I am an educator concerned with how the brain works, how it impacts education, and how we can better teach children using principles of the brain.  As a special educator, specifically, I am always interested in how we can meet the needs of learners who learn differently.   During the two weeks in Johannesburg, we met every morning to hear one person’s presentation and then we discussed the content critically and the creative process- how it can be fostered, what the science says so far, and how we can better understand differences in individuals.  We had colleagues from Uganda, Barbados, Holland, Nepal, Iran, Israel, Switzerland, Kyrgyzstan, and others so it was a very diverse group.  I will be sharing some of my musings from these fascinating talks the next three weeks.  This is my second reflection. See Reflection #1 here.

The second take away is the idea that creativity is innate- everyone has it- but it manifests itself in those that allow their mid-line structures to explore it.  However, schooling, and often, parenting is built around the idea that children should stay within the lines and stay rational, usual, ordinary.  Being creative often starts as irrational or unusual but can become extraordinary if that creativity is allowed and then built upon and nourished.  There is a discipline, persistence, and resilience needed for extraordinary creativity to happen but. . . it can happen if we allow it.  Unfortunately, as children grow into young adults and adults, the irrational and unusual is discouraged or maybe even, not allowed.  This diminishes and, in some cases, extinguishes creativity in people.

As we often discuss in professional development sessions that I have with teachers, “Genius does not fit on a rubric.”  Well, creativity does not fit within most rubrics either… it is important that we try to value creativity as much as we value staying within the lines.

How can you allow your students to be creative?

read more

Related Posts

Tags

Share This

Friday Photo: Don’t worry!

Nov 25, 2016 by

Don’t worry about all that turkey and stuffing! notfat

read more

Related Posts

Tags

Share This

Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 24, 2016 by

Here at Last Backpack we are extremely thankful for all of you who give your time, your skills, your expertise, and your heart to your students and colleagues!

Happy Thanksgiving!

read more

Related Posts

Tags

Share This

AudioBoom for Podcasting

Nov 23, 2016 by

audioBoomaudioboom-logo is a tool that allows users to quickly and easily create an audio recording to produce a podcast, audio story or for oral reading fluency practice. Record, edit and upload your content straight to the cloud all in the app for easy access on the go. When you’re done, share your podcast on your favorite social media networks. The audioBoom app makes it easy for users to follow their favorite channels or individuals. Podcasts are a great tool for gathering new information about interesting topics while on the go.

read more

Related Posts

Tags

Share This

Google Slides for Presentations

Nov 22, 2016 by

apps-google-drive-slides-iconGoogle Slides is a cloud-based presentation tool that is part of the Google Apps Suite.  Like the other Google tools, Slides offers multiple levels of collaboration from view to edit.  Users can create slideshows using built-in themes and colors or create their own slides with images and backgrounds.  Google Slides makes it easy for users to add images, shapes, symbols, tables and more to tell their story.  Google slides also allows users to embed YouTube videos right in the slide for easy access during presentations.  The down side is that you cannot embed a video file in case you do not want to rely on the internet or YouTube, unfortunately.  Thankfully, the interface and menu structure are intuitive and simplify presentation development for any kind of audience.  Slideshows no longer have to be linear with the hyperlink to slides feature.  Google slides has the ability to embed a Poll Everywhere poll right in the slide for a quick formative assessment during instruction.

read more

Friday Photo: Overnight Success

Nov 18, 2016 by

Give it time, you will get there!

overnightsuccess

read more

Related Posts

Tags

Share This