"It’s summer, which means you’re most likely out of the classroom and enjoying the weather and all that comes with it. For many of us, this means either attempting to grow a few things in our own gardens or hitting up the farmer’s markets for some awesome fresh produce. Others will start smallschool gardens with their students in the fall, which offer many learning opportunities extending way beyond just the idea of how to get something to grow. The handy infographic below takes a look at fifty cool facts about plants, many of which you may not have already known. Use them as cocktail party fodder, to get your students interested in plants, or just for fun! "
"A number of insightful writers have suggested the skills that people need in order to cope with the 21st century. One of my favourites that appears to summarise all of them is from Jackie Gerstein who has put together a neat pictorial of these skills. See also Tony Wanger’s work, which Jackie acknowledges.
The skills she has identified are: effective oral and written communication; collaboration across networks; agility and adaptability; grit; resilience; empathy and global stewardship; vision; self-regulation; hope and optimism; curiosity and imagination; initiative and entrepreneurialism; and critical thinking and problem solving.
Some of the implications of self-determined learning are:"
"In just a few short weeks new teachers around the world will embark upon an exciting and crazy adventure. This adventure will surely have its fair share of ups and downs. In spite of that, this adventure will allow for countless opportunities to serve and positively impact current and future generations of students. This adventure will be like no other adventure...
Here are 10 pieces of advice I'd like to share with new teachers as they prepare for this adventure:"
"We take for granted that we can interact with text, but up until recently it’s been a challenge to interact (read/write/talk) with media. I last looked at tools for annotating and interacting with video more than a year ago. The field has changed a bit.
Why interact with video?
Being able to interact with video allows us to personalize video-based instruction, by leading learners to the segment of video we like them to watch, by adding voice-overs, notes, pop-ups, screenshots, maps, references, pauses. It also allows learners to create video with even more depth and features and can the interaction can be used to support media literacy learning."
"A few days back, we looked at five great ways to incorporate word cloud generators into your classroom. There are obviously many more uses out there for them – but that is a discussion for another post. We’ve mentioned most of these before – in a post from way back when – so I won’t go into too much detail about each individual one, but we’ve added a few notable ones to the list. (Of note, the list is in no particular order)."
Edutopia blogger Rick Curwin examines what happens when a student acts up in class, and illustrates how dealing with it is a two-step process - stabilize the situation ASAP, and intervene at a later, calmer moment.
"With most teachers out of school for the summer by now, summer learning loss probably isn’t top priority. After all, the kids are back in their parents’ hands for at least a couple of months, right? If the students aren’t in your classroom, there isn’t a whole lot you can do beyond a summer reading list (that the parents may or may not encourage their students to complete, anyway). What you dohave to worry about is the amount of catching up you need to do once you have students back in your classroom in the fall. The handy infographic below takes a look at some interesting statistics on summer learning loss, aka the ‘summer slide’. It also offers some really simple ways to keep kids’ brains churning along during their summer break. You can even offer these as simple recommendations to parents, to show them that summer learning doesn’t necessarily mean their kids need to sit down and read all of Dostoevsky’s works before the evenings get chilly!"
"Creating effective slide decks that can engage the audience and pull them right in is a task that requires some serious training. This training comes in the form of practice in the key elements that make a better presentation. These elements are: the choice of images used in the slides, the amount of text used with these images, the font and type size of the text, the placement and arrangement of text vis-a-vis the images, and the transitions and effects used in the slides. These elements, if used properly, are enough to make your presentations slick and charming."
"Canva is another web tool you can use with your students to create mini-posters for your class. Canva is easy to use and has user friendly interface. The process of creating a visual through Canva is as simple as drag and drop. Canva provides you with a wide variety of images and clip arts that you can modify to suit your purposes. You can even upload your own images to use as background in your graphics."
Design Thinking is a mindset. Design Thinking is the confidence that everyone can be part of creating a more desirable future, and a process to take action when faced with a difficult challenge. That kind of optimism is well needed in education.
"Great teaching can be learned. This web site provides tools and resources that support ambitious science instruction at the middle school and high school levels. Ambitious teaching deliberately aims to get students of all racial, ethnic, and class backgrounds to understand science ideas, participate in the discourses of the discipline, and solve authentic problems. We describe 4 core instructional strategies that support this kind of teaching. These “high-leverage” practices make up the Science Learning Framework (below), and have been selected based on extensive research of how young people learn science, on authentic forms of science activity, and how teachers learn to appropriate new practices."
"Today as I was browsing through Coursera looking for some new upcoming courses I came across a bunch of important courses for teachers. These courses are free and you can take them right from the comfort of your coach. You can also check out this link for the complete list of newly released courses. The courses are provided by different institutions and universities and span different periods of times. Some of these courses offer verified certificate."
With “Back to School” signs cropping up all over stores, educators are certainly aware of the imminent countdown to the first day of school and the first few days of inservice. But why wait till August or even September to indulge in exquisite professional learning… when these Wicked Good Ideas for Professional Development are ripe …
"Here is an interesting visual on the concept of differentiation in education which I came across on a tweet by Karen Friedman. This visual is created by ASCD and outlines some key differences between what differentiation is and what it is not. Have a look and share with us what you think of it."
"So when we saw the very useful teachbytes graphic above making some noise on pinterest on several different popular #edtech websites, it reminded us of the constant demands changing technologies place on existing ways we do business.
When and in what contexts it makes sense to cite social media content is probably a more relevant post than sharing a graphic that simply shows the format, but they’re both nice to have, yes?"
"Using games or game play elements in the classroom to drive learning outcomes is sill gaining popularity. Though most teachers aren’t ready to embrace bringing serious games like Minecraftinto their classrooms, many are willing to gamify learning or use other types of games. That said, getting an idea of how many teachers are (or aren’t) using gamification (or are interested in doing so) is a somewhat difficult task: Many people define gamification in different ways, when it may be a more accurate description to identify different levels of gamification. The handy infographic below takes a look at gamification and more ‘serious gaming’ in organizational learning. It offers some interesting statistics on just what types (or levels) of gamification are happening in classrooms. Keep reading to learn more!"
"The rush to grit is pretty intense, but so is the push-back. I’ve been writing about grit in articles and a book (Fostering Grit) and giving lots of presentations on the subject. I’ve spoken to schools and parents; presented at conferences; and have been a guest on NPR. Universally, grit is embraced. Everyone sees the merit in teaching our kids to accept challenges, step out of their comfort zones, and know how to respond to failure. So far, so good.
Grit is hanging in and never giving up, but it’s more than that. Grit is being comfortable when you are outside of your comfort zone, and it’s forging ahead when you hit the wall because you know that you’ll get up and continue moving forward. Grit is a life skill! But sometimes teachers are uncomfortable with the notion of fostering or teaching for grit. They’re uneasy with the role they must play and I get that. We went into education because we wanted to help students: we like it when they succeed and it gratifies us when our class is filled with smiles. When our kids do well, it tells us we’ve done a good job!"
"There are a variety of forms in which visual representation is materialized. Knowing these forms will enable you to diversify the visual channels through which you communicate information to your students. To this end, I am sharing with you this wonderful periodic table that features different visualization methods. When you Hover your mouse on any of the boxes in this periodic table, a pop-up picture will be displayed showing the name and a sample of the visualization."
"When we use literature circles, small groups of student gather for an in-depth discussion of a literary work. To ensure that students have a clear sense of direction and remain focused, each group member is given a specific task. For example, one student may be the designated artist; s/he is responsible for using some form of art to explore a main idea, a theme, or significant scene from the text. Another group member, the wordsmith, might be responsible for documenting important, unusual, or difficult words from the reading. Regardless of each student’s role, each group must collaborate as they read, discuss and critically engage with texts."
"The use of visual, engaging content is a regular topic around these parts, isn’t it. Getting your students interested and keeping them engaged is a challenge for every teacher in every subject and at every age level. That said, when you’re putting together your class materials, do you give a ton of thought to how things look? The answer is probably yes – with an overwhelming answer being that obviously, content matters more.
That said, the handy infographic below proposes using the laws of visual perception -aka the Gestalt principles – in e-learning design. Even if you’re not an artist, design shouldn’t be overlooked. Content may be king, but if it isn’t pleasant to look at, eyes will drift away much more quickly."