Tag Archives: Education

Curricu-Links: 22 July 2013

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General/Multi-Topic

  • The Teaching Channel.
    • A professional development website featuring videos on a variety of topics. Browse all videos or filter by grade level, curricular area or topic.
  • Library Centers
    • Although this blog posts specifically addresses libraries, I thought some of the ideas would be useful to our classroom teachers and others.
  • The Bully Project
    • This is the companion website to the movie Bully.  The creators hope to spark a grassroots effort to take a stand for the silent.  Sign up to pledge to take a stand against bullying.  Educator resources available. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but even the trailer is powerful.
  • Wonderopolis
    • A website that peaks your natural curiosity to lead the way to discovery and understanding.  Includes a “Wonder of the Day” page.

Language Arts

  • Daily Writing Tips
    • This is a blog which does exactly what it says, delivers a daily tip about grammar, vocabulary, etc.  You can get a free 10 day trial for the daily exercise (some of which are pretty tricky by the way) but you will need to pay to access the exercises after the trial is over.
  • Children’s Book a Day Almanac
    • Anita Silvey’s daily book reviews.  She also includes a side-bar with other events for the day.  EHUE will have the print version in the library next year.
  • The Watson’s Go to Birmingham Movie
    • Airing Sept. 20th, at 8:00pm on the Hallmark Channel.  Watch the preview here.

Science

  • A Rare Spectacular Total Eclipse of the Sun
    • Short Ted_Ed talk explaining the science behind the total eclipse of the sun.  I get a little choked up every time I hear about this.  Read Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass and then mark your calendar, for August 21, 2017.
  • Exploring the Universe
    • While you’re at it, check out some of these books about the universe.  Book reivews from School Library Journal.

Information Literacy/Tech

  • Celly
    • This website allows school communities to conduct private conversations through text or their website.  No cell numbers are collected.  As always, I’m a bit skeptical, and I’m not quite sure if we’re there yet, but Celly does seem promising.
  • Guest Speakers on Skype
    • Ideas and lessons for bringing the experts into your classroom.
  • How Coffeechug Uses Evernote
    • This blog post is the first in a series about using Evernote.  Evernote is a website (and app) that allows you to collects ideas and information, view you data across devices and share with others. This post specifically deals with using Evernote to create learning portfolios.
  • Twitter Tips and Tricks
    • If you’re a twitter newbie this presentation by James Allen and Christi Unker can help ease your fears.  I’m hoping to be able to offer some Twitter PD for EHUE during upcoming school year.
  • The Complete Guide to Twitter Lingo
    • If you’re going to start tweeting you might as well be up on the lingo, right?

I found many of these resources by reading posts from the following: Diane Ravitch’s Blog, @coolcatteacher, Ted_Ed, Free Technology For Teachers, School Library Journal, The View From Here, John Schu (@mrschureads), Joyce Valenza (@joycevalenza)

Inspired Idea: Reading Remix

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Hold Fast Remix from M E Shenefiel on Vimeo.

I was listening to some Pandora yesterday and the station kept playing those funky, jazzy remixes with spoken word throughout.  Maybe I’m still lingering on the rhythms of Langston Hughes and Blue Balliett’s Hold Fast, but I kept stirring that around in my head.  In the middle of the night I woke up with this idea of creating reading remixes.

Similar to a book trailer, a reading remix could be used to promote a favorite book.  Key words, ideas, and phrases could be remixed with audio loops, and possibly images to create a composition that enhances the book and engages a prospective reader.  Students could work individually or in groups to promote a book club book.  For classroom novels, you could have different groups find quotes and phrases for different themes throughout the book.  The challenge is selecting the words and music and deciding how to manipulate the tracks so that the end product is aesthetically representative of the writing.

Admittedly there is not a lot to look at in the sample remix above.  When I created this earlier, I was more focused on finding and manipulating the words and music than the visual appeal.  Other images could have easily been added.  That’s one of the benefits to a project like this… there is all kinds of room for flexibility.

Has anyone else done something like this before?  What types of advice do you have for starting a project like this?

Wishing You Passion

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On Nerdy Book Club yesterday, Mr. Sharp (@colbysharp) posted his “Nine Days I Am looking Forward to Celebrating With My Students.”  Certainly, read about all of the marvelous activities he’s planned, but if you only have time for one video, watch this one, his first day of school speech,  in which he talks about how much he loves reading.

As you plan for 2013-2014 and begin to make your way back to the classroom, here’s wishing you this much passion for the endeavor you are about to undertake.

Unconferences and EdCamps as PD

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Recently I’ve been reading and hearing the terms “unconference” and “edcamp” more and more frequently. I first heard of an “unconference” in reference to the first ever PSLA Unconference hosted by Joyce Valenza (@joycevalenza) and Stephanie Brame.

From the PSLA 2013 program:

“Share, learn, exchange ideas, solve problems, build community and capacity at our very first PSLA Unconference. No spectators allowed! Come prepared to start or participate in relevant, timely conversations and help us prepare an exciting, interactive agenda, culminating in a fast-paced Smackdown.”

I was unable to attend the conference but during and after the conference, everything I read pointed to how valuable and inspiring this session was.

Fans of the Nerdy Book Club know about the first ever nErDcamp, an edcamp for which the praise seems to echo infinitely with the participants.  (For those of us who couldn’t make it (me) we feel like the kid who missed the bus on the day of the field trip… although we can life vicariously through the Idea Board.)

Correction (See comment below) Vicki Davis (@coolcatteacher) Angela Watson (@Angela_Watson) just returned from ISTE in San Antonio, TX.

From Cool Cat Teacher The Cornerstone

My best learning still takes place in unstructured situations. In both edcamps and the Hack Education unconference, there are no presentations or formal sessions, just opportunities for educators to get together in groups talk about topics that matter to them.”

The internet is a pretty big place and I don’t profess to know it all (even though I am a librarian) but I have yet to read anything negative from people attending these types of events.  Maybe the nay-sayers aren’t posting or maybe I’m just not following them, but the overwhelming majority of comments about unconferences and edcamps have been very favorable.

With all due respect, I have to say, as of late I have been less than impressed with the topics that have been presented for professional development during our in-service days.  Not that there isn’t a time and place for the district to voice their goals and provide information and strategies to reach those goals, but wouldn’t it be rewarding if, even once a year, we held an unconference or an edcamp on a professional development day.  The concept of these types of events as professional development is appealing because it provides the participants with the autonomy to decide which topics are most important to them.   They have the added benefit of providing the administration with insight into the priorities of the staff.

Do you think this could work?  What are the drawbacks? And can someone please tell me the difference between an unconference and an edcamp?

Curricu-Links: 19 July 2013

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General/Multi-Topic

  • Graphite
    • (In beta) From Common Sense Media, a new website by teachers for teachers to help them locate quality digital media.  Filter your query by type of media, grade, subject, and price.  Common Sense Media is a “non-partisan and not-for-profit” organization that “provides age-based media reviews and information so that parents can make informed choices about the media in their kid’s lives.”

Language Arts

  • New Storytelling Tools
    • Blog post by ChristinaStoryBox showcasing several new digital storytelling tools.  StoryPlanet is in beta, and looks like it will be pretty high end, but also pretty cool!  Populr is also in beta and you can only use Chrome or Safari to create your webpages.  Slick! Can’t wait to play!  Unfortunately, they all seem to require login and registration, meaning the teacher can use it, but possibly not the students.  There are more resources discussed in her post.

History/Social Studies

  • Google Cultural Institute
    • “Discover exhibitions and collections from museums and archives all around the world.” Interactive exhibits, probably more for adults than kids, but you may find something that works for you and/or your classroom.

Math

  • Bedtime Math
    • Designed for parents, but can be a benefit to teachers.  Daily real-life math problems that kids might find themselves facing.  The answers are provided too!
  • Envision the World in 11 Dimensions
    • I truly can’t get enough of TEDTalks! If you are a fan of “A Wrinkle in Time” you’ll totally appreciate this!  You’ll actually understand (kind-of) the fourth dimension and “tesseract.”

Information Literacy/Technology

  • ABCya Animate
    • I know a already provided a link to this website, but I thought this particular “game” deserved it’s own shout out.  Students can create 100 frame animations by drawing and using included clipart.  Can be used across the curriculum to animate stories, math problems, science concepts… Awesome!

I found many of these resources by reading posts from the following: Free Technology For Teachers @rmbyrne, @CoolCatTeacher, @TED_ED, @joycevalenza

Curricu-Links: 16 July 2013

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After spending much of my summer following some of my favorite educators, librarians, and contributors, I’ve come to the conclusion that there are way too many amazing resources hiding on the web.  With that in mind, I’m going to try to organize and aggregate some of the gems that I think would be helpful and interesting for the EHUE community.  (Please note that I found most of these resources by following the blogs to the right and through twitter.  You should check them out!)

General/Multi-Topic

History/Social Studies

  • Create Free Interactive Timelines – Stories Displayed on Maps | myHistro.
    • Haven’t played with this one too much yet, but I thought it looked interesting.  Combine timelines with maps to tell a story.  Click on the “explore” link to see what’s already out there.
  • Map Lab.
    • A new blog from Wired magazine devoted to maps!  Look at the post about “Your Favorite Movies Laid Out as Vintage Treasure Maps.”  Can you figure them out?

Science

Health/Physical Education

Music

Information Literacy/Tech

International Dot Day

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Today is two months to the day until International Dot Day.  This event has been recently publicized in the blogosphere and of course I was curious…

From the Dot Club Website:

“International Dot Day was launched by teacher Terry Shay when he introduced his classroom to Peter H. Reynolds’ book The Dot on September 15, 2009. (Fun Fact: Terry chose September 15 because the original publishing date of The Dot is September 15, 2003!) The Dot tells the story of a caring teacher who reaches a reluctant student in a remarkably creative way. The teacher dares a doubting student to trust in her own abilities by being brave enough to “make her mark”. What begins with a small dot on a piece of paper becomes a breakthrough in confidence and courage, igniting a journey of self-discovery and sharing, which has gone on to inspire countless children and adults around the globe.”

This year September 15th falls on a Sunday, so the date might make for some interesting scheduling.  Still, I’d love to to see EHUE students and staff participate.  Let’s start planning now!  A free resource guide is available after registering.  Are you ready to make your mark on the world?