Professional Learning for Busy Educators
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Top Ed-Tech Trends of 2012: The Flipped Classroom

Top Ed-Tech Trends of 2012: The Flipped Classroom | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
“Flipping the classroom” is hardly new. But with all the hype surrounding both Khan Academy and MOOCs, it’s hardly surprising that the practice became incredibly popular this year."
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A look at both sides of the Flipped Classroom ...

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Professional Learning for Busy Educators
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ASCD EDge - Can Educators Ignore Social Media Any Longer?

ASCD EDge - Can Educators Ignore Social Media Any Longer? | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Social media enables collaboration, which for adult learning is the key to success for most adults. The best form of collaboration comes through conversation, which is often enabled by various social media tools. The key to accepting social media as a tool for learning comes in the term “Social”. This requires involving other people in order to have a conversation. This requirement precludes the use of social media being a passive endeavor. It takes time to learn the tools, time to learn the culture, and time to learn the strategies to effectively learn through social media. All of this discourages people from even attempting to change what has made them comfortable in their profession. It requires effort, time, and work.
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Classroom Tech That Doesn't Exist Anymore | Edudemic

Classroom Tech That Doesn't Exist Anymore | Edudemic | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Cutting edge classroom technology from 2000 was decidedly less advanced than what the average student can expect today.

Educational videos were often shown on video tapes with a TV and VCR that were wheeled into the room. Overhead projectors and floppy disks were classroom staples, and blackboards were still to the go-to teaching tool. In 2000, Wikipedia and iPods were months away, while Facebook, Youtube, and SMARTboards took several more years.

Since the turn of the 21st century, technology has progressed rapidly, leading to new opportunities and a fair share of distractions in the classroom. Educators should take a look back at some of the technology of the past to see how the modern classroom has evolved and which contemporary teaching tools may be on their way out.
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Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's curator insight, April 26, 1:27 PM
What this article underscored was the speed at which we are experiencing change in schools and life more generally. Teachers and students have a need to learn skills that help them deal with the change and new tools.
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What #Autism Can Look Like - Edutopia

What #Autism Can Look Like - Edutopia | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Autism can be confused with misbehavior. Here are three autism behaviors to look out for and tips on how to respond to them.
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Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's curator insight, April 26, 1:30 PM
I disovered parents were an invaluable source of understanding how their children experienced their learning needs, including on the autistic spectrum. Parents want to help their children and many of them educate themselves to try accomplish that.
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Dear Parents: Here's What You Should Know About Letter Grades -

Dear Parents: Here's What You Should Know About Letter Grades - | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Ah, the letter grade– a much-maligned symbol of an era where kids would go to school and passively ‘get’ grades written on thick blue and green and beige paper to take home and have signed and returned to school so the teacher could be sure the parents ‘saw’ the thing.

And that wait–the slow tick of the analog clock on the classroom wall that measured the time between when you saw the grades and when your parents would see them. Whether the grades were good or bad, that wait was unbearable. They’d already waited a month and a half since the last blue or green or beige thick-stock paper had been sent home.

There were even times I had my report pinned to the back of my shirt, between my shoulder blades. I could reach back with my little arms to grab at it, but my teacher was clever as a fox–clearly a master of engineering and geometry and angles because no one earth was getting to that report card but my mom.

But like lunch boxes and pigtails and playgrounds and varsity jackets, while iconic, letter grades are full of spectacle and half-truths. We’ve talked about this idea before–one article below, for example–but today we’re going to address parents directly with the hope that they might better understand what they’re looking at when they see that ‘grade.’
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Lucas Jubb's curator insight, April 26, 3:56 PM
Here is a break down of what a letter grade means for your child.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/luke-jubb-138026125/

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How Kids Learn Better By Taking Frequent Breaks Throughout The Day

How Kids Learn Better By Taking Frequent Breaks Throughout The Day | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it

Excerpted from Teach Like Finland: 33 Simple Strategies For Joyful Classrooms (c) 2017 by Timothy D. Walker. Used with permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton. 


"Like a zombie, Sami*—one of my fifth graders—lumbered over to me and hissed, “I think I’m going to explode! I’m not used to this schedule.” And I believed him. An angry red rash was starting to form on his forehead.

Yikes, I thought, what a way to begin my first year of teaching in Finland. It was only the third day of school, and I was already pushing a student to the breaking point. When I took him aside, I quickly discovered why he was so upset.

Throughout this first week of school, I had gotten creative with my fifth grade timetable. If you recall, students in Finland normally take a fifteen-minute break for every forty-five minutes of instruction. During a typical break, the children head outside to play and socialize with friends.

I didn’t see the point of these frequent pit stops. As a teacher in the United States, I’d usually spent consecutive hours with my students in the classroom. And I was trying to replicate this model in Finland. The Finnish way seemed soft, and I was convinced that kids learned better with longer stretches of instructional time. So I decided to hold my students back from their regularly scheduled break and teach two forty-five-minute lessons in a row, followed by a double break of thirty minutes. Now I knew why the red dots had appeared on Sami’s forehead."

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Viljenka Savli (http://www2.arnes.si/~sopvsavl/)'s curator insight, April 19, 7:19 AM
Good to know :)
 
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's curator insight, April 19, 2:00 PM
The breaks students take can be breaks that teachers take with them. I used to go with students for recess and lunch break. It was time to converse in a more informal way.
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Brain-Based Strategies to Reduce Test Stress

Brain-Based Strategies to Reduce Test Stress | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
We live in a stressful world, and the stress is heightened for students and educators when it’s time to prepare for high-stakes tests. When test scores are tied to school funding, teacher evaluations, and students’ future placement, the consequences of these stressors can be far-reaching.

Via Elizabeth E Charles, Dean J. Fusto
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9 TED Talk on math in unexpected places - TED.com

9 TED Talk on math in unexpected places - TED.com | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
These talks are here to set the record straight and illuminate the unexpected ways formulas and fractions influence everything, from love and war to origami and coral reefs.
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Students sit to take important exam, are shocked to find teacher's wrote note on their desk

Students sit to take important exam, are shocked to find teacher's wrote note on their desk | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Standardized testing is an incredibly stressful time for students. While it doesn’t necessarily count against their grades in school, it’s an assessment that many analyze to view a child’s ability.

Keeping this in mind, Chandhi Langford, a fifth grade teacher at Evergreen Avenue Elementary School in Woodbury, New Jersey, chose to do something surprise. When students walked into class the morning of PARRC standardized testing, they were shocked to find handwritten notes on each of their desks.
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Victor Ventura's curator insight, April 13, 1:52 PM
It is inspiring to read about this teacher's belief in her students and the measures she will take to encourage them to do their best. Powerful messages here.
Viljenka Savli (http://www2.arnes.si/~sopvsavl/)'s curator insight, April 19, 7:21 AM
:)
 
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Math Learning - and a Touch of Science - in the Outdoor World 

Math Learning - and a Touch of Science - in the Outdoor World  | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
With spring in full bloom many kindergarten children are spending time exploring the outdoors! There is so much opportunity for rich math learning hidden among the natural treasures in any play space! If you'd like to learn about the potential for math in the outdoor world, check out my newest article:
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Innovation Reality Check

Innovation Reality Check | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
I love this image created by David Carruthers during #IMMOOC because I truly subscribe to Global Teacher mindedness.

Using technology and social media to reach beyond our classroom walls is both a passion and an obsession of mine. It is also the very anchor of student Digital Leadership. But this week has really given me pause to think about not only the importance of global connectedness, but also the nature of Innovation.
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Victor Ventura's curator insight, April 9, 10:35 AM
The possibilities are endless!
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Kansas Student Newspaper's Fact Check Results In New Principal's Resignation - NPR

Kansas Student Newspaper's Fact Check Results In New Principal's Resignation - NPR | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
In Kansas, a student newspaper is being praised for its hard work in reporting that Pittsburg High School's newly hired principal had seemingly overstated her credentials. The principal, Amy Robertson, has now resigned, after the paper found she claimed advanced degrees from Corllins University, an entity whose legitimacy has been questioned.
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Dennis T OConnor's curator insight, April 6, 6:54 PM

Should fact checking be part of all library training?

Dennis Swender's curator insight, April 7, 10:27 AM
Some clues as to who should be overseeing district and board decisions?  This reaffirms Jonathan Kozol's advocacies for trusting students.  
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12 Ways to Know if You're in a Project-Based Learning Environment or Merely Having Kids Create Projects in Your Classroom - Ginger Lewman

12 Ways to Know if You're in a Project-Based Learning Environment or Merely Having Kids Create Projects in Your Classroom - Ginger Lewman | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
I often talk with educators (and parents and administrators) who are convinced that their students are working within Project Based Learning environments. They tell me about the wonderful projects the kids have created and how much fun the kids have. I’m always delighted to hear the kids are having fun in school! However, I find that when asked a few probing questions, it becomes clear whether or not PBL is actually happening or if the teachers are merely creating projects for students to complete.
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Celebrating Science: 50 Books to Inspire Science-Loving Mighty Girls

Celebrating Science: 50 Books to Inspire Science-Loving Mighty Girls | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
We don't always think about it, but every child is a scientist! From the moment she pushes a spoon off her high chair to see what happens or starts asking, "why?" to everything, she's started on a long and exciting lifetime of discovery. As time goes on, though, kids can be discouraged from this natural interest and come to believe that science is too complicated for kids -- so it's especially important to nurture that spirit of curiosity from a young age!

One great way to encourage a child's interest in science is by showing them role models of kids -- particularly girls -- in STEM fields. In fictional stories, they can see faces that match their own: kids who are turning their ingenious minds to investigating questions and solving problems using the scientific method. And, through non-fiction, they can learn about curious children just like them who grew up to make amazing scientific discoveries.

To that end, in this blog post, we've shared many of our favorite books about girls and women who love science, engineering, and math! In the first part of the post, you can discover many fictional stories about curious, inventive Mighty Girls, while in the second part, you'll find many inspiring books about real-life female scientists. From beautifully illustrated picture books to fascinating teen biographies, these titles show the importance of scientific curiosity and celebrate the scientific progress that we owe to women in science both past and present. They're the perfect choice to inspire the budding scientist on your gift list!
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Illuminations

Illuminations | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
"Illuminations works to serve you by increasing access to quality standards-based resources for teaching and learning mathematics, including interactive tools for students and instructional support for teachers."
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The Student-Centered Math Class - Edutopia

The Student-Centered Math Class - Edutopia | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Close your eyes and picture the most recent math class you taught. Who is doing the math? Who is doing the talking? Who is doing the thinking? Three years ago, my answer would have been “me”—the teacher. My students were doing math, but I was probably telling them how to think and what to do most of the time.

My big aha moment was being introduced to the research of Peter Liljedahl, a professor at Simon Fraser University. Liljedahl proposes three strategies that you can implement in order to create what he calls the thinking classroom: Start with good problems, use visibly random groups, and work regularly on vertical nonpermanent surfaces. I started using these three strategies in my math classes, and they have been an absolute game-changer. I can confidently say that my students now do most of the thinking and talking in my classroom.
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Victor Ventura's curator insight, April 26, 2:17 PM
From my experience, teachers in elementary math classes do most of the talking and do most of the work. . Need a game changer? Consider the changes in this article. They make sense and will change the dynamnic.
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5 Good Ways for Students to Create Digital Showcases of Their Work

5 Good Ways for Students to Create Digital Showcases of Their Work | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it

Creating a digital showcase makes it easy for parents to see what their children think are their best works. Here are five ways that your students can create a digital showcase of their best work.


Via Karen Bonanno
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Victor Ventura's curator insight, April 23, 1:45 PM
Google platforms allow this to happen and others are listed. Video tutorials are available.
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The Benefits of Browsing: Why Teachers Should Indulge in Online Social Networking

The Benefits of Browsing: Why Teachers Should Indulge in Online Social Networking | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
The Internet is not just about consuming – it’s also about connecting. Forums and other forms of online social networking provide opportunities for educators to come together and commiserate, encourage, and share information.

Online social networking encompasses different online communities of people who share common interests. It allows members of that community to interact in a variety of ways. They can conduct live chats, or they can leave comments in blogs or discussion groups.

These communities are shaped by different profiles of individuals who link to each other. Each member of the community creates a personal profile that can include pictures, personal information, audio, and video files. Others can access this profile and can connect to it by requesting a friendship with the other member. Almost all of these social networks have security settings, so each member can accept or deny access to their information and profile.
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A moving short film explores what it’s really like to live with ADHD.

A moving short film explores what it’s really like to live with ADHD. | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
We've all heard the stereotypes. Symptoms of learning disabilities and attention disorders are often dismissed as laziness, too much energy, a result of bad parenting — or worse, that it's all in the head. There are even those who think it's completely and utterly made up.

But one Swedish filmmaker is shining a light on these often-misunderstood conditions. His moving four-minute silent film, "Bokstavsbarn" (or "Falling Letters"), gives viewers a glimpse into the life of a kid that struggles with attention issues.
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Victor Ventura's curator insight, April 21, 7:04 AM
I have a lasting image of ADHD children struggling in school and it was refocused when I viewed this film. The joy, sadness, and the struggles as expressed in his eyes affected me. This moving film and an open discussion about ADHD or LD is appropriate for educators in some forum.
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ASCD Express 12.15 - With Math, Seeing Is Understanding

ASCD Express 12.15 - With Math, Seeing Is Understanding | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it

"Helping children visualize math is critical to their success in the subject. I recently observed a 5th grade class starting a lesson on area and perimeter. I turned to a girl who was in my class four years earlier and reminded her that she knew the topic. "Yes I do!" she said excitedly. "The perimeter is where you sit along the outside of the rug in morning meeting, and area is the inside of the rug, where the squares are. That's from 1st grade," she said confidently, circling her fingers in the air to represent her thinking. 


Visual cues, like this one I use with my six- and seven-year-old students, stick and show that envisioning math helps children learn in lasting ways. We teachers can do more to give students internal ways to see the structure of mathematics—to understand types of units and what it means to move between them, and to pull apart and combine numbers. But math instruction is changing. 


At my school, in the early grades, we encourage children to use their fingers, something that feels so natural to them, to better understand numbers and the numbering system. We might talk about how a "high five" involves using a whole hand, which is really a unit made up of five fingers; while a thumbs-up involves just one segment of that five-part unit. We then go on to using things like beads on a string and, later, place-value disks, which are like poker chips, to help children see and work with numbers, units, and place value."

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Maths Anxiety (Maths teachers have it too!) - @Resourceaholic

Maths Anxiety (Maths teachers have it too!) - @Resourceaholic | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
A lot has been written about maths anxiety in children. I have a Year 7 student who always complains that he 'can't do it' before he's even tried. It's clear to me where his anxiety stems from - unlike his peers, he doesn't know his times tables well, which makes many simple tasks (long multiplication, simplifying fractions etc) really difficult for him.

But this post isn't about maths anxiety in students. It's about maths anxiety in maths teachers. Whatever your job, when you stand up and say you're an expert at something, you naturally feel some anxiety that you'll get caught out. This isn't something unique to teaching. In my previous career in banking I often worried that I'd be asked a question that I couldn't answer. 

I experience most of my maths anxiety on Twitter, where I worry about saying something stupid and being publicly criticised by clever mathematicians. But I also sometimes feel a bit of maths anxiety in the classroom. I'm willing to bet that some of you do too.
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Are You Normal?

You may not be as normal as you thought! Watch "Humans Are WEIRD!" https://youtu.be/8mpsIW1Mhs8 SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/asapsci GET THE ASAPSCIENCE BOOK

Via Ana Cristina Pratas
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Facilitate Online Discussions with Backchannel Tools

There are many Learning Management Systems out there, such as Google Classroom and Seesaw, that allow teachers to post information and questions. In return, students can make comments when prompted by the teacher. While this can be an engaging piece, it still doesn't feel very conversational. This is where using a Backchannel chat can be used facilitate discussions between your students either in the classroom or from a distance.


I know what you may be thinking... "Did he just say chat? As in a chat-room?" Yes chat rooms can have negative connotations with them, but when used correctly in an educational setting, they can be a safe discussion alternative. Two backchannel sites that I am going to suggest allow the teacher to create a virtual room that can only be accessed with a specific link shared by a teacher. This means that you have total control of who has access, keeping your students safe.
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Jeopardy Rocks Now As Factile - Jeopardy & Flashcards

Jeopardy Rocks Now As Factile - Jeopardy & Flashcards | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
A couple of years ago I featured Jeopardy Rocks. Recently, Jeopardy Rocks changed its name to Factile and added some more features.

At its core Factile is a free platform for creating Jeopardy-style game boards to use in your classroom. Factile lets you create games and save them in your account to use whenever you need them. When you create your game you can include images in the answer display. One of the new features is a gallery of templates for creating games. You can browse the template gallery and make copies of the ones that you want to use in your classroom.
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Victor Ventura's curator insight, April 8, 2:38 PM
A useful tool to try and it is free.
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Five Ways To Shift Teaching Practice So Students Feel Less Math Anxious - MindShift

Five Ways To Shift Teaching Practice So Students Feel Less Math Anxious - MindShift | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Math has been a traditionally thorny subject in many American schools. Lots of children dislike math and many more adults stopped taking mathematics as soon as they are able, even when they were successful in their classes. At the same time, mathematical thinking is a crucial part of many of the most exciting and growing careers in science, technology, engineering and math, not to mention important for a general understanding of the mathematical world around us. So, what can U.S. math educators do to shift this dynamic?
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Victor Ventura's curator insight, April 6, 12:42 PM
My takeaways-abandon the lock step method of teaching math and don't focus on students' speed, performance or right or wrong answers. Instead, ask teachers to have students tackle open-ended problems, share ideas, and make math a creative endeavor.  
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Manage Money Like a Mighty Girl: 30 Resources to Teach Kids Financial Literacy

Manage Money Like a Mighty Girl: 30 Resources to Teach Kids Financial Literacy | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Financial literacy is an essential skill for every child to learn! Money is an integral part of modern life, and whether your child is a preschooler counting coins, an elementary school child saving for a new toy, a tween learning about investing, or a teen budgeting for school expenses or their first full-time job, there are plenty of opportunities to teach kids how to earn, save, spend, donate, and invest. And yet a recent study from the Girl Scouts found that only 12% of girls aged 8 to 17 feel very confident making financial decisions, proof that we need to do more to improve kids' financial literacy.

In this blog post, we've showcased our favorite resources to help kids (and maybe parents too!) learn more about money and how to manage it. From play money that helps young kids learning to identify coins and bills, to books that introduce concepts like debt, entrepreneurship, and investing to older kids, and even a few titles to guide parents in money conversations, these resources will help you give your Mighty Girl the confidence to manage her money successfully — and use it to plan for her future.
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Victor Ventura's curator insight, April 14, 8:51 AM
Essential skills for all children.