Professional Learning for Busy Educators
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Sixteen Steps Every Educator Should Take in 2016 - Gerald Aungst

Sixteen Steps Every Educator Should Take in 2016 - Gerald Aungst | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it

"Educators have the benefit of getting a fresh start not once but twice a year. We have the start of school in September, then the turning of the calendar in January.


Fresh starts often involve fresh commitments. I propose that every educator should make the commitment today to take sixteen new steps in 2016 to deepen their knowledge, sharpen their craft, and stretch out of their comfort zone. In no particular order:"

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Professional Learning for Busy Educators
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How A Later School Start Time Pays Off For Teens | MindShift | KQED News

How A Later School Start Time Pays Off For Teens | MindShift | KQED News | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Many American teenagers try to put in a full day of school, homework, after-school activities, sports and college prep on too little sleep. As evidence grows that chronic sleep deprivation puts teens at risk for physical and mental health problems, there is increasing pressure on school districts around the country to consider a later start time.

In Seattle, school and city officials recently made the shift. Beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, the district moved the official start times for middle and high schools nearly an hour later, from 7:50 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. This was no easy feat; it meant rescheduling extracurricular activities and bus routes. But the bottom line goal was met: Teenagers used the extra time to sleep in.

Researchers at the University of Washington studied the high school students both before and after the start-time change. Their findings appear in a study published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances. They found students got 34 minutes more sleep on average with the later school start time. This boosted their total nightly sleep from 6 hours and 50 minutes to 7 hours and 24 minutes.
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The Best Books of 2018 for Young Readers | Penn GSE

The Best Books of 2018 for Young Readers | Penn GSE | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
The last twenty years have seen a revolution in children’s literature. Authors and illustrators have embraced YA fiction and graphic novels as forms for telling stories that feel true to life. Picture books for the first time started to reflect the wide diversity of our world.

According to Penn GSE’s Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, 2018 will be remembered as the year this publishing trend was seen in books aimed at nascent independent readers.

These breakthroughs for early independent readers are highlighted on Thomas’s list of the best books of 2018 for young readers. In choosing the list, Thomas and her team showcase authors and illustrators whose work deals with issues like gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, and socioeconomic class in ways that are real and empathetic. For the third annual edition of this list, Thomas added a category for anthologies.

For 2019, Thomas and her team anticipate the continued revival of chapter books beyond popular series and a wider range of middle grade stories.

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App #55: Extempore – A Language Teacher’s Most Important Tool! – Teaching with iPad - Steve Lai aka @sly111

App #55: Extempore – A Language Teacher’s Most Important Tool! – Teaching with iPad - Steve Lai aka @sly111 | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
As a language educator, it is my goal for my students to be able to speak spontaneously in the target language. Every language teacher knows the challenge of getting all students to speak authentically in class. Here is an excellent tool that all foreign language teachers will love to have. Extempore is a service designed for educators to assess speaking skills as they learn a new language. Extempore has proven to be a very effective and time-saving assessment tool.

Extempore is both an app and a website. Teachers will need to set up an account and input their class(es).
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Four Pillars of a Meaningful Life That Could Be Part of Every Learning Community | MindShift | KQED News

Four Pillars of a Meaningful Life That Could Be Part of Every Learning Community | MindShift | KQED News | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
When Emily Esfahani Smith went to college and embarked on her adult life she thought the key to a happy life was success. She was looking for the perfect job, boyfriend and apartment. But the longer she chased the things she thought would make her happy, the more anxious and adrift she felt. So she decided to go to graduate school to study positive psychology and figure out once and for all what makes people happy. But what she learned was that many people feel hopeless, depressed and alone.

"There's an emptiness gnawing away at people and you don't have to be clinically depressed to feel it," Esfahani Smith said in a TED talk.
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20 Ways To Provide Effective Feedback For Learning - TeachThought

20 Ways To Provide Effective Feedback For Learning - TeachThought | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
A teacher has the distinct responsibility to nurture a student’s learning and to provide feedback in such a manner that the student does not leave the classroom feeling defeated.  Here you will find 20 ideas and techniques on how to give effective learning feedback that will leave your students with the feeling they can conquer the world.
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Oscar Carrera's curator insight, December 14, 12:09 AM

A teacher has the distinct responsibility to nurture a student’s learning and to provide feedback in such a manner that the student does not leave the classroom feeling defeated.  Here you will find 20 ideas and techniques on how to give effective learning feedback that will leave your students with the feeling they can conquer the world.

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Can You Build A House For A Gingerbread Man? - Maker Maven #makered

Can You Build A House For A Gingerbread Man? - Maker Maven #makered | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it

"The gingerbread man sure is popular this time of year. Kids will love this simple gingerbread STEAM challenge!

 Are you up for the challenge? Can you build a house for a gingerbread man?"

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Opinion | What Straight-A Students Get Wrong - The New York Times

Opinion | What Straight-A Students Get Wrong - The New York Times | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
If you always succeed in school, you’re not setting yourself up for success in life.
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Future of Learning: Forecasting in Education

Future of Learning: Forecasting in Education | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
The next decade represents a critical window of choice:

What major societal shifts will impact the future of learning?
What will learning look like in ten years, based on dominant trends today?
How will educator and student roles be reimagined?
As you explore the future of learning with us, we invite you to unleash your imagination, consider new possibilities for learning and explore how we can create a better future for all learners.
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Hot Chocolate Writing –Tamara Letter @tamaraletter

Hot Chocolate Writing –Tamara Letter @tamaraletter | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Each December my world is a whirlwind as I’m sure many of your worlds are, too. There’s so much to do! There’s so little time! It’s an unbalanced force of nature that heaps on additional stress from party planning to gift giving to oh-my-goodness-we-are-out-of-tape-on-Christmas-Eve panic that is enough to make anyone want to crawl into the chimney themselves and hide.

Despite the chaos of holiday happenings, I secretly LOVE this time of year! Oh, the joy of writing by the twinkle of lights on my tree, decorated with decades of memories from my family! Oh, the love shown by others as Secret Santas sprinkle kindness to make someone else’s day just a little bit brighter! Oh, the jubilation of doing fun, creative lessons at school where holiday themes and acts of service trump standardized tests and worksheets!

One my my tried-and-true, favorite lessons to teach this time of year is “Hot Chocolate Writing.” It’s an engaging lesson that can be adapted for any age level and is sure to bring a smile to many!

The lesson begins with sounds of Sleigh Ride jing-jing-jingling throughout the room as students enter our Innovation Lab. They pick up their supplies from the table and sit anywhere they like. They have a small white board, a dry erase marker and an eraser.

That’s it.
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English for Beginners - Vocabulary for Winter Weather, Clothes and Activities

English for Beginners - Vocabulary for Winter Weather, Clothes and Activities | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Learn English words for for winter weather and other things connected with winter, such as clothes. An easy online English lesson for adult ESOL beginners and young learners, with an illustrated winter themed word list and audio. Suitable for classroom use or home study.

Via Sue Lyon-Jones
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100 Books Every Teacher Should Read – @AJJuliani

100 Books Every Teacher Should Read – @AJJuliani | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
I am by habit a bibliophile. I read at least 25 pages of a book per day which usually turns in to 40-60 books per year. I've written a few books myself, and plan to
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Favorite December Read Aloud Books for the Longest Nights of the Year

Favorite December Read Aloud Books for the Longest Nights of the Year | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Making a non-holiday December read aloud books list was more challenging than I expected! As you will see below this list is not entirely holiday free, but you will find that no matter what December holiday you celebrate, all of these December books will fit into your winter reading list.
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50 Awesome Books for Teachers - Shake Up Learning

50 Awesome Books for Teachers - Shake Up Learning | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
I love to read! And my professional learning bookshelf is always full as well as my Kindle app! So I decided to put together this HUGE list of books for educators, 50 Awesome Books for Teachers!


There’s a little bit of something for everyone, no matter what your role in education.

All of these books are books that I have personally read, or are currently on my own reading list!

This list will continue to grow and evolve! Please feel free to leave a comment and suggest your faves. You can also check out all of my recommendations on my Amazon Influencer Page.

This list is in no particular order so it is not numbered.
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Ten Creative Alternatives to Showing Movies Before the Break - John Spencer @spencerideas

Ten Creative Alternatives to Showing Movies Before the Break - John Spencer @spencerideas | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Here are a few creative ways you can spend the last few weeks before the winter break. I realize that teachers have curriculum maps and expectations, so you’ll notice that these ideas are all things that still include the standards and still require critical thinking. We also experience the time crunch, so I want to note that some of these are single day activities and some of these cover an entire week. 
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Innovate My School - Top tips for surviving Christmas

Innovate My School - Top tips for surviving Christmas | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it

"One thing is for sure, and that is you cannot walk into Christmas activities with your eyes closed! What for most children is a time of excitement and fun, for others is sensory overload.

Our preparation for Christmas starts with that thought in mind. The school SENCo circulates a reminder in mid-November, a set of questions to consider about the pupils in our care. These include questions like:

     * Do you know what Christmas is like for this child? What takes place? What traditions events will take place at home? Where? Who with?
     

     * What sensory sensitivity issues might need to be considered?

 

     * Does this child know what will happen in school? How will routines change? How will we share these with the children?"

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12 Ideas For Holiday Activities In The Classroom - TeachThought

12 Ideas For Holiday Activities In The Classroom - TeachThought | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
This time of year, students are excited about the holidays.

And they’re often excited for different reasons, of course. Elementary students are learning holiday traditions and enjoying festive songs and stories, while middle and high school students are eagerly counting down the days to vacation! And with Thanksgiving and Christmas break quickly approaching, you might be seeing less enthusiasm for classwork in your older students.
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50 Of The Best Educational Toys & Gifts For 2018

50 Of The Best Educational Toys & Gifts For 2018 | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
If you’re still shopping for Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, or any other holiday or celebration that involves children, we hope this list is useful. We’ll update it regularly so that you can find value in it not just for the holidays, but anytime throughout the year.
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Because of a Teacher… 

Because of a Teacher…  | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Image by John Spencer It is almost winter holidays for many teachers all over North America.  At this time of year, it can be extremely stressful as kids minds are often other places, sometimes pos…

Via Vicki Moro
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How To Ease Students Into Independent Inquiry Projects | MindShift | KQED News

How To Ease Students Into Independent Inquiry Projects | MindShift | KQED News | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
When I (Trevor) first adopted an inquiry approach in my classroom, I discovered that when students explore a topic they are truly passionate about, amazing things happen: engagement increases, attendance and work ethic improve, twenty-first-century skills are acquired, classroom energy and collaboration are fostered, and my assessment of student understanding becomes more clear and accurate.
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9 Ways To Support A Culture Of Wellness In Your School - TeachThought

9 Ways To Support A Culture Of Wellness In Your School - TeachThought | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
How can you create a culture of wellness in your school or classroom?

General wellness is an important concept for leading a healthy life wrapped up in a generic term. What does wellness look like and how can you encourage it in a class setting? Sketch-noter Sylvia Duckworth created the graphic above to share tips for supporting a culture of wellness in schools. 


Children spend a significant amount of each week day in a classroom, making it not only a place to learn academics but also an opportunity to teach life skills that will serve them beyond the schoolyard, like self-care, community involvement, and fostering a sense of connection and belonging.
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Assessing Literacy Skills Without Risking Readicide

Assessing Literacy Skills Without Risking Readicide | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
We want to help our students discover the joys of reading. We also need to track their progress as readers. We can’t do both if we only throw worksheets at them after each chapter they read or just give them a quiz to check their comprehension. Kelly Gallagher has discussed this very dilemma in his popular book Readicide. We can systematically kill the love of reading in our students by giving them a binder full of worksheets to be completed after reading.

Besides literature circles where students can have real world conversations, there can be other ways to check our students’ understanding of what they have been reading.
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How Coding Supports the Mathematical Practices - MIND Research

How Coding Supports the Mathematical Practices - MIND Research | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Many educators across the world will be inspired to engage their students in a coding lesson this week, as December 3-9 is Code.org’s annual Hour of Code event. Coding is not only great as an elective or extra activity, it can also provide an avenue to apply and deeply engage in mathematical concepts. Perhaps we should consider including coding as part of our mathematics explorations more often!

For instance, our board member, Mike Lefkowitz wrote about how mathematics provides the foundation for the other STEM subjects, including science, technology and engineering. Similarly, the president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Matt Larson, made a compelling argument that math education is STEM education. So maybe it makes sense to build these skills in conjunction with one another, and support students in identifying those connections.

Other articles have also explored upon how coding can help students make sense of the eight mathematical practices, and here I endeavor to showcase more examples and anecdotes from colleagues working in technology.
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Winter Holiday Videos - learn about different religious traditions 

Winter Holiday Videos - learn about different religious traditions  | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it

Via Tom D'Amico (@TDOttawa)
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The 40 greatest family games, from Guess Who to Catan.

The 40 greatest family games, from Guess Who to Catan. | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it

"For some families, game nights are at the very core of who they are and how they live together. From generation to generation, brothers and sisters and cousins in game families have shared in-jokes, swapped anecdotes, and passed down the legend of that time Grandma accidentally drew something kind of racy in Pictionary. When they gather around a game board, they’re at their smartest and their funniest, and they make some memories.

And then there are those families whose kids melted down during one game of Monopoly, and they never pulled a board game out of the cabinet again.

No matter where you are on this continuum, Slate’s list of the 40 best family games is for you. The past two decades have seen a renaissance in family-friendly tabletop gaming, with new games taking the best elements of the classics, then reimagining and improving them. Some of the more popular modern games have become franchises, spawning expansion packs, special variant editions, and mobile apps. There’s no reason why any parent these days should wish for a fun family gathering and then come back from the store with Scrabble, Battleship, or Clue. There are so many better options out there: games that are more fair, more exciting, and more likely to provoke memorable conversations afterward about the choices everyone made."

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Victor Ventura's curator insight, December 3, 9:09 AM
Good Family games should be good School Games. Reward time, indoor recess, etc
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Free Inspirational Reading Posters for the Classroom

Free Inspirational Reading Posters for the Classroom | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
If teaching kids to love reading and books is one of your favorite parts of the job, you’re going to love our new printable reading posters. This set of five posters is great for bulletin boards, your reading corner, or your school library. Just submit your email to get the full set!
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