End of Year Countdown…

May 1, 2017 by

Hello All,

This will probably be my last post for the coming weeks as the end of the year comes into play and I really want to focus on finishing strong.  Please remember the following as the year winds down.  We cannot stop trying- our teaching matters just as much now as it did in September… maybe more!  Wishing you all a strong a enjoyable year end.

Image result for the best thing about being a teacher is that it matters quote

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We were hacked!

Mar 29, 2017 by

Hi Everyone,

Sorry for the long delay in posting- we were hacked by someone apparently looking for great educational resources and information!  Haha!  Anyway, with the tremendous help of GoDaddy, we were finally able to get to the bottom of it and put in additional security measures for the future.

**Side note:  GoDaddy’s service team continues to be the best I have ever encountered.  They are reasonably priced, wait times are short to non-existent, they spend as much time as needed with you, and for those not as tech-savvy, they are encouraging in the process.  I have been with GoDaddy working on various sites for 5+ years now and I constantly appreciate the help they provide.

With LBP, we will be working through some reorganization issues here and making sure that there aren’t any further small hacks/problems that we need to address.  We will do our best to start posting content again soon.

Thanks for your patience and stay crazy in that classroom!

Zachary

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Newsela app for Reading

Feb 6, 2017 by

newselaappNewsela is a great website that we have reviewed on Last Backpack. It is a great way for students to read about current topics that interest them at their reading level.  Now, there is an app for Newsela so that students can find and read articles that they are interested in all on their mobile device.  Many of the articles are available in English and Spanish and at five different reading levels.  This is a great way to foster a love of reading, strengthen comprehension, and help our students become global citizens.

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PhET for Innovative Learning

Feb 2, 2017 by

PhET simulations were developed at the University of Colorado, Boulder and originally started as a simple tool to help high school and college students understand the principles of physics. Now, PhET simulations have math, biology, earth science, and chemistry in addition to physics. These learning activities can be filtered by grade level and consist of interactive learning experiments that let the student be the scientist and manipulate variables to see what happens. Young students can practice arithmetic and fractions while older students can tinker with trigonometric functions. Don’t forget the physics with fun simulations like Skate park and Collision Lab. These experiential learning activities have all been redone in HTML5 so they work on nearly any device that has an Internet connected browser. If you’re not sure how to best use simulations with your lesson, check out the teacher resources for lesson plans and great ideas from other educators and the developing scientists.  

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Monday Tech Issue? What?

Jan 31, 2017 by

Hi Everyone,

Jetpack and WordPress are currently having issues… I wish I could explain it more appropriately…lol.  We are trying to work with them on resolving these issues and hope to be back online next week.  Have a great week everyone- stay crazy in the classroom!

Thank you for your patience!

Zachary

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Friday Photo: I got you!

Jan 27, 2017 by

Keep getting up!file_000-2

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CreativeLive for Creative Learning

Jan 26, 2017 by

creativeliveCreativeLive is a really neat app for creative learning.  Whether it is turning your creative tendencies into artistic products or providing extension activities for students CreativeLive is a great way for you to learn about visual arts.  Classes on the app are created by experts in the field so you have the best teachers available.  Video lessons are created in small chunks so that they are easy to view and use on the go.

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Live Binders for Content Organization

Jan 25, 2017 by

live_binders2LiveBinders is a virtual three-ring notebook that can be used in many different ways.  Teachers can curate resources for students in an organized way using tabs, sub tabs, and base tabs.  LiveBinders makes it easy to add all kinds of content with the add button such as text, web links, YouTube videos, Flickr images, HTML gadgets, and more.  Users can even add QR code pages to access web content with a mobile devices.  Customize the LiveBinder with color and layout options and creating your own cover.  Keep your content organized by adding it to a binder, keep your binders organized by adding them to a shelf.

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PowToon

Jan 24, 2017 by

powtoonPowtoon is a great tool for creativity.  Use the scenes, props and characters, and text to tell a story and Powtoon will help you animate it.  You can use the templates that are available in the library or you can start with a blank scene, adding in the content that you need.  Powtoon has a drag and drop toolbar that makes it easy to add content and drag it around your screen.  You can even add in special effects like a hand moving objects around or clearing the screen with a click of a button.  Powtoon is a fun tool to tell any kind of story.

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Monday Musing: The Value of Practice

Jan 23, 2017 by

downloadAs educators, we know the value of students practicing skills. The more they practice, the easier the skills become. When concepts become automatic, students are able to use those concepts in activities that require higher order thinking. This is the key to learning, providing students the opportunity to transfer what they learn to novel concepts.

I believe that we should be doing the same thing! The way we become better educators is to practice. In order to practice new skills, we have to try new things. . . maybe even try new things a few times until we get better at them. The best way to start innovating in the classroom is to try that new thing and then, if it works perfectly, keep doing it! If it doesn’t work perfectly, modify and try again. . . just like we teach our students.  A great way to start practicing is to set aside 10-15 minutes a day to check out something new that you can use in your classroom to innovate and improve learning for students. Start small and practice, that’s the way we all become experts.

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