"Science, Technology, Engineering, Math. Teach coding, get girls interested in all of these subjects. However you slice it, there’s a lot of focus on the logical and analytical brain functions these days. Many schools are cutting the ‘extras’ like art and music. While I firmly believe that students need to be well rounded and really need subjects like those to be considered more than ‘extra’, and while there are many people fighting to keep these programs in schools, you can’t deny that the international economy and jobs outlook is demanding more focus on STEM. But does that mean we should drop all focus on the other stuff?
The handy infographic below takes a look at why focusing on the skills of half our brain is not enough. It explores the functions of all parts of the brain (however simplified) and gives some insight into how the creative skills can help you a lot."
"Climate Kids is NASA's climate change website for kids. On Climate Kids you will find a nice selection of online games and hands-on activities for students. Some of the topics that the Climate Kids online games address include recycling, renewable energy, and climate history."
With the recent announcement of Google Classroom, school districts and educators across the country that are currently integrating Google Apps for Education into their classrooms are awaiting the opportunity to gain access to Google’s workflow solution. While there are currently a number of workflow solutions and approaches within Google Drive that classroom teachers can take …
"For the typical American kindergartner, unstructured free play during the school day consists of 20 to 30 minutes of recess, and perhaps some time at indoor “stations” — perhaps creating with building blocks, costumes, or musical instruments. But what if there was more? What if the answer to “what did you do in school today?” was, “I climbed a tree, played in the mud, built a fire”?
That is exactly the kind of learning going on in the Swiss Waldkindergartens, or forest kindergartens, where children ages four to seven spend all of their school days playing outdoors, no matter the weather. With no explicit math or literacy taught until first grade, the Swiss have no set goals for kindergartners beyond a few measurements, like using scissors and writing one’s own name. They instead have chosen to focus on the social interaction and emotional well-being found in free play."
"The handy graphic below synthesizes the overwhelming to-do list of flipping your classroom into 6 easy steps that make the whole process a little less daunting. The big take home: Start small. Flip one lesson to start. Learn from what you’ve done, and go from there if you want to (or need to) keep trying. Once you’ve got the basics, there are so many resources you can draw from to refine the flipped classroom experience and add and modulate the nuances of this type of learning experience."
"No question, teaching is one of the toughest and most satisfying gigs around. We’ve gathered 27 of our favorite quotes on the high wire act that is being a teacher. Save them for that day when it’s raining papers to grade and IEP forms and you need a little inspiration."
John Evans's insight:
These are awesome! Please share this with someone today! JE
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.
"Evernote is a powerful note taking web tool and mobile app. It is definitely an elemental component of teachers workflow. I have been using it for a few years now and I just can't live without it now.Evernote enables you to take notes in both text and audio format. Your notes can also include images,videos and even files. Evernote is available across different devices so that everything you do with Evernote on your computer can be automatically synced to your Evernote account on your phone or tablet.
With the growing popularity and widespread of Evernote, there appeared a wide variety of applications that can enhance your productivity and expand your Evernote experience. Here are some of these applications as recommended by Evernote app centre:"
Get parents involved in your classroom – and in their kids’ education – by putting all the information they’ll need on a class website. No web design skills or budget? No problem. Google Apps make the process easy and free.
"Jackie Gerstein’s User Generated Education is a favorite of ours, with her ideas on self-directed learning, connectivity, experiential learning, and other strands of progressive teaching and learning very much in aligned with our own thoughts on what a modern learning experience should look like.
At the core of Gerstein’s thinking is the idea of making–hands on creation of compelling stuff that reflects what’s important to students. She has recently released a new book on this idea, The Educator as a Maker Educator. Among the ideas offered up in the book is exactly what you might expect from the title–reenvisioning the role of the teacher, this time as a “maker educator.”"
"We’ve talked about the definition of intrinsic motivation in the past. We’ve also talked about some basic ways to improve student motivation.
This time, it’s Mia MacMeekin‘s turn to speak to you about the same, but through gridded, blocked, and easy to read infographics. The graphic starts with a definition for both intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation, then offers 27 verbs that can help promote that magic stuff that is characterized by curiosity, effort, engagement, and academic success.
Some were a little iffy–”praise” and “milestones” seemed a little closer to extrinsic motivation. But the vast majority are useful to consider as you design units, lessons, and activities this school year."
"Everyone uses Google for random queries, but it's way more powerful than a traditional search engine. Check out these Google tips and tricks that'll change the way you look for stuff online for good."
"There’s only one thing I found jarring in their feedback and it relates to my beliefs about inquiry learning. They noted that neither students nor teachers seem able to identify what particular inquiry cycles we follow. They said the children to whom they spoke didn’t seem to be aware of the specific ‘stages’ of inquiry and that most teachers couldn’t articulate how an inquiry cycle directs our planning.
"Though I’m not in the classroom this year, I teach English (literature, writing, digital media, etc.)
I was recently going through an old folder of reading reflection prompts and forms, and found a reading log that I called a “Self-Guided Reading Response Log” (whatever that means). It’s a few years old, but I remember using it first as a way for students to get “points” in a reading program we were doing at the time.
I thought it might be useful to share for the student-centered approach it takes, and its usefulness across content areas (depending on what you want them to analyze). It’s primarily about the craft of writing and elements of style, but 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, and several others would work after reading almost anything.
And you are reading and writing in your non-ELA classroom, yes?"
"FluencyTutor for Google is a new offering from Texthelp. FluencyTutor for Google is a Chrome web app (works on Chromebook, PC, Mac) that allows teachers to share selected reading passages with their students. Students can hear the passages read aloud. The text being read aloud is highlighted to help students follow along with the reading."
Without professional development that can give teachers the full practical knowledge on the use of technology, you will not see technology being successfully integrated in the classrooms for better learning.
"TodaysMeet is a backchannel tool that I have promoted for years. Recently, I discovered that you can now create an account on TodaysMeet. By creating an account on TodaysMeet you can manage multiple rooms from one screen. You can now require people to sign-in with verified Google Accounts before they post in your TodaysMeet room. Perhaps the best benefit of creating a TodaysMeet account is that doing so allows you to close your rooms before their planned expiration dates."