GAFE for Littles
It seems like a week doesn't go by without seeing a great new idea from Christine Pinto, or a new way another teacher has used one of her templates. Looking though my bookmarks for the last couple of weeks, there were a couple of ideas I wanted to be sure you saw.
First was her graphing with Google Sheets template. I saw another teacher post on Twitter about how she had used this with her Kindergartners to graph eggs and they did a great job. What a wonderful way to introduce the idea of data collection and visualization to our youngest students! You can check out her post here. You can take this idea and run with it for spring with flowers, baby birds, etc...
Christine and Jessica Twomey also collaborated on a 2D connected play board. This is the tweet about that one. Looks like fun for a lesson or just a center time activity.
Another great collaboration from Jessica and Christine was on animal habitats- using Google Slides. Looking at this one, I could easily see this being adapted for our grade 2 habitat projects. Lots of ideas, tools, ways for students to demonstrate learning. Click though to Flipgrid and you can even get the link for the complete lesson plans.
So, if you aren't already following Jessica and Christine on Twitter- here's another reminder! You're missing out on great ideas, not only for the littles, but most can easily be transformed for all elementary grades.
Jessica Twomey : https://twitter.com/jlabar2me
Christine Pinto: https://twitter.com/PintoBeanz11
This is a resource that is new to me. It is essentially research based curriculum for CT. Here's part of the blurb- "...focuses on researching innovations in computational thinking education at the elementary and middle school levels with a primary emphasis on equity and inclusion for all underrepresented populations - underrepresented ethnic minorities, females, and students with learning differences."
What I really liked was the fractions unit for grades 3 and 4. There are also 2 Scratch units- one for an intro and one for middle school. The breadth of these ideas flow from a CT reading list for PK-2 and up to quantum mechanics for HS and uni. And the resources are free.
Check them out here https://www.canonlab.org/resources
Ideas to Share
More Poetry Links
I saw this one come up the day after I posted about National Poetry Month and knew that I really had to include it. Be sure to check out Kathleen Morris' blog post with a list of 30 ways to celebrate National Poetry month, a list of 15 great ideas you can use tomorrow and so much more. My favorites- a poem by our friend Kevin Hodgson over at the Norris School and a visual poetry mosaic tool. Richard Byrne also shared links about National Poetry month, using Poetry 180 . Check out his post here. I absolutely loved Tricia Fuglestad's work with second graders on Shel Silverstein's poem.
I was excited to read that StoryboardThat now has Infographic Templates for Education. Many of our HES students have used StoryboardThat to tell a story, as a book report, etc, but now, there's a new, easy to use feature- Infographics. One of the many things I like about StoryboardThat aside from their dedication to keeping our student info safe is their constant work to provide graphics to enhance learning.
Here's the blurb from their site: "Creating an infographic is an easy way to showcase different information and topics in a digestible and visual format! They help students combine data, information, and visuals to further understanding and synthesis skills."
We have a Vimeo Plus account here at HES. One of the new bonuses with the Plus account is access to the Essentials collection- for free. So if you or your students are working on creating new videos and need some stock footage, check it out. See me if you need access credentials for this school account.
Tinkercad 3D projects
AS we all learn more about using our 3D printer, I am always on the lookout for ideas to use the printing capabilities to integrate with and to extend our curriculum. Although it is tempting to just "go shopping" on Tinkercad or Thingiverse, I was happy to see some other examples on the We Are Print Lab click here . Here's one example:
Ideas to Share
National Poetry Month
Yes, it's April and it's National Poetry Month. I wrote a long post on this last year, see this link. One new link to add is theListenwise Blog. They have an excellent selection of poetry and lesson plans. Best of all, you can listen to them! I had never explored this web site before and am really impressed with the breadth of the offerings across disciplines, including social studies, science, ELA and current events. If you're interested in hearing a new poem every day, be sure to check out the Poetry Foundation. NYPL is posting a new poem every day . You can find many more ideas on Twitter #NationalPoetryMonth.
Learning and Movement
Jennifer Gonzalez wrote an excellent blog post on learning and movement. I embedded her podcast below, but her actual blog post has real examples, links and a whole batch of great video examples. Don't miss this one! Some of her videos referenced TPR, which I had never heard of, as well as a web site that was new to me- Teacher ToolKit. So, after you finish listening to her podcast, and reading her great ideas on her blog, watching all the videos, you can go check out Teacher Toolkit, too.
Now this sounds like a really cool idea from Book Creator and Elevate Books Edu. Here's a short version: "âThey have a growing library of hard copy books that weâll be converting into microbooks â short, bite-size, multimedia versions that give a glimpse into the concepts contained within the book. This gives teachers an opportunity to sample the book before committing to a deeper dive into the full book."
Read more about it in this month'sBook Creator newsletter, and check out an example below.
You know all those articles you've read arguing about screen time? How about all the ones about digital equity? Well, it seems that the latest thing is that the "elite" schools are moving away from screens and putting value on human contact. This has been a hot topic on the independent school list servs of late. I think it is just a pendulum swing myself. What do you think? Here's a recent NY Times article to get you thinking. Love the subtitle. Human Contact Is Now a Luxury Good Screens used to be for the elite. Now avoiding them is a status symbol.
Ideas to Share
As I look at all of the amazing resources for students and educators that are online today, a couple words come up regularly, regardless of age group, regardless of discipline- choice and empathy. When I look at resources for digital design or STEM- first thing on the list- empathy; and the same thing happens when I look at ELA resources. They are all about choice and empathy, not just the subject matter. The two resources I have been looking at are ostensibly for "History" or "Global Culture". Both seem to me to be about people, empathy and the choices we make, even when we don't actively make a choice. Check them out, see what you think.
Facing History and Ourselves
The intro states: "Through rigorous historical analysis combined with the study of human behavior, Facing History’s approach heightens students’ understanding of racism, religious intolerance, and prejudice; increases students’ ability to relate history to their own lives; and promotes greater understanding of their roles and responsibilities in a democracy." I embedded a few of their intro videos below, but do check out all the resources available on theweb site.
Global Oneness Project
I love the stories on theGlobal Oneness Project web site. The imagery compliments the rich stories about culture, about climate and more. This is from the site: "Committed to the exploration of cultural, environmental, and social issues, we offer a rich library of multimedia stories comprised of award-winning films, photo essays, and articles. Companion curriculum and discussion guides are also available. All for free.
We aim to connect, through stories, the local human experience to global meta-level issues, such as climate change, water scarcity, food insecurity, poverty, endangered cultures, migration, and sustainability."
Ideas to Share
Matt Miller at CUE
GAfE 4 Littles
NGSS put out a new newsletter the other day with lots of resources to teach the new science standards, especially focused on ESL/ELL learners. Check out the link to see more.
I enjoyed meeting old friends and lots of new folks at EdCampNQ on Saturday. This edcamp is relatively small, with about 40-50 teachers. This is the link to the Board with the topics. Some have great notes associated with them, others not so much. What I found interesting- one session about SPED/Gen Ed pretty much reinforced what I see at our school- in both positive and negative aspects. There was a lot of discussion about push in vs pull out. I enjoyed the session on makerspaces since we got to visit their new space. This is new this year (or maybe last year), but has a bunch of rooms- for CAD, for woodworking, etc. It is a required semester course for middle school. Right now it really seems like a choose your own adventure space, where kids come up with projects and work with their teams to make "stuff". It much more about entrepreneurship, problem solving and working collaboratively than robotics or electronics. I'll be curious to see where they go with this.
One other new thing I enjoyed over in Orange was seeing a demo of Jamboard. "Jamboard is a collaborative digital whiteboarding experience, available through a physical board, tablet and mobile apps as well as on the web." So, it's a very fancy interactive whiteboard- but it is easy to use and you can collaborate with folks anywhere. You don't actually have to have the fancy board to try this out. You can use the app, use the web interface, etc. Check it out.
Trying to keep up with the constant changes in Google tools isn't always easy. Even when you learn how to do something, unless it is something that you use all the time, it's often hard to remember. One solution, of course, is to Google it... watch a YouTube video, etc. The Applied Digital Skills curriculum is a great place to start for many. Now Google has a new place to find training, The Teacher Center where even your students can earn digital badges. Teachers who are interested can do these tests as well, but they recommend that adults go through the certification process. The tests are not free. What I like about this site: there are two paths- fundamentals and advanced, and most importantly there is a whole section called First Day. If you are new to Google Docs, Google classroom, etc... this may well be a great way to start. This is an example- First Day in Google Classroom.
Student Chat via GDocs
This is not news to most of us who are actually in the classrooms, but has gotten a ton of media attention of late. Yup, no surprise, kids use docs to chat in class. It should not be a big surprise is that they sometimes use these digital tools inappropriately, even using them to bully others. You can read more of the hoo-ha about this in The Atlantic, Inc, Gadget, Parents, Lifehacker and more. So, is this a problem? It is a violation of most school AUPs and can be and is addressed that way at our school. There are several different software solutions to help schools monitor this- for example Securly. In the classroom, it is just another classroom management issue, at least at the elementary level. However, if students are unsupervised at home, or if their parents assume that if they are on Google Docs that they are just doing school work, that may be a parental issue. Just as we cannot control all other things that come along with using technology, we cannot control ethical use, aside from educating our students, ourselves and the parents and guardians in our community.
PBS- Inspiring Young Scientists Series
Starting today- March 19th, PBS will be showcasing a new 3 part series Inspiring Young Scientists through STEAM Education. Read more about all of them and register here.
"Data,data, data..data is everywhere! How do we teach students to care about data? To interpret data? To understand all the cool things that can be done because of data? Look no further: join us on this LIVE conversation with NASA experts to explore how they brought visualizations of the Earth to the palm of our hands all by using, you guessed it, DATA!"
Part 2 “Live-Learning” Experience #2: Teaching Computational Thinking
March 26, 2019
“Live Learning” Experience #3: Exploring Models Inspired by Nature
April 2, 2019
Ideas to Share
VoiceIn Voice Typing
Science and Social Justice
Western Mass Science for the People with Arise for Social Justice
A two-part workshop on integrating science and social justice in
elementary and middle school classrooms. This series features
presentations and facilitation by community organizers, K-12 teachers,
scientists and historians of science on themes including:
* ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
* WORKING WITH COMMUNITY EXPERTS
* INTEGRATING SOCIAL STUDIES AND LANGUAGE ARTS INTO SCIENCE CURRICULA
* TRAUMA-INFORMED YOUTH LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
Participants will be provided with concrete examples and resources,
guidance on fulfilling NEXT GEN SCIENCE STANDARDS, and time to develop
and workshop individual plans for innovative curriculum units.
Saturday, April 13 and 20, 8:00 am - 3:30 pm
Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center
100 Bigelow Street, Holyoke, MA
BREAKFAST AND LUNCH PROVIDED!
Space is limited to 30 participants and registration is required!
More Info an REGISTER HERE!
I was lucky enough to spend the day on Saturday with about 200 educators from around the state and the region at EdcampBoston. I can even check back on the schedule to get notes from sessions that I did not attend. If you've never been to an edcamp, where the choice of sessions and what the sessions will actually be, belong to the participants, check out the video in the smore below. One thing that I like about edcamps is the ability to connect f2f with educators from other schools and to talk with them about what they are doing and how they are doing it. Often times it feels like each teacher is in a silo, be it one of a single classroom, an age group, subject matter or even a single school or district. Edcamp is a way to escape the silo and learn from others. This coming Saturday brings one of the very few western MA edcamps out our way with EdCamp North Quabbin over at Mahar.
Looking to curl up in your PJs and learn? Sign up for the first Library 2.0 mini conference. This will be this Wednesday, but you can register and then watch the recordings at your leisure.
Media Literacy Certification
This is a course that I have on my to-do list. Media Literacy is a moving target as both the technology and cultural mores shift. It seems to be more important than ever to be able to help our students determine whether the information they are reading/seeing is credible. This is a set of micro-credentials- badges that you can complete at your own pace and then get the certification from KQED/PBS. Check it out here. This may be something that you can also work into your educator plan and get pdps for completing.
This week I noticed a a couple of great short videos from Edutopia with ideas for quick, easy formative assessment- Closing the Loop and 60 Second TAG. The 60 tag video also had a TAG critique worksheet that students fill out. If you're looking for another exit ticket type activity, check out the MakeyMakey exit slips.
Ideas to Share
Women's History Month
A friend posted a link to an article about women becoming invisible as they age, which really got me thinking more about this topic. You can check out theAtlantic article here. So, as educators, how can we make sure that all voices are heard? How can we encourage girls and young women in our classes? How can we highlight the contributions of women across history?
How many can you name?
This is a playlist- mostly from Google Edu... 28 videos, use arrows to navigate
Resources to check out:
I subscribe to Austin Kleon's weekly newsletter and enjoy reading about his latest adventures, poetry and even his random ramblings. One of the things that he is known for is blackout poetry. I saw examples of this being done in new ways last summer at Pathfinders. Colleen Graves has some great videos and labz to demonstrate how to use makeymakey and scratch to make interactive blackout poetry. So, what is this "blackout poetry" that you speak of? Here's Kleon's video:
Here's Colleen's example of an interactive way to do this.
Ideas to Share
One Small Step
My friend, Victor Tam, shared this online recently. As educators, we often don't realize how much we influence our students every day, helping them take that one small step. I didn't realize that this story was also nominated for an Oscar. Producer, Shaofu Zhang also hopes that One Small Step can help inspire young girls and women to pursue their dreams in the STEM fields.
Merge cubes have been in the news for the last year or so. They recently won an Award of Excellence for Classroom at TCEA. I picked up a bunch of merge cubes when they went on sale last year, but have not had time to dig into how to integrate them into general ed classes. Also- all of the AR/VR stuff makes me seasick- instant vertigo. I've tried sitting, tried using the fancy Oculus goggles, etc., but I can't do it. Lucky for me, the art teacher next door, Ken Richards, took the materials I have on hand and started exploring to show his grad class. The HES students he has shown this to loved it. We don't have devices to fit into googles for all, and only have a few pairs of them anyway, but we do have ipads. Many of the apps are free. You can learn more about Merge Cubes here... and here. If you have a project you'd like to try out, or if you just want to test it out yourself, stop by and see me. We don't currently have a subscription to co-spaces, which is a topic for another day, but it is easy enough to get trial access.
One of the new free apps that is getting a lot of press and some rave reviews from folks who do AT and SEL is Moment AR. Here is a full demo of Moment AR, an evidence and research based tool using the Merge cube for Autism, Mental Health, Language, and Social Skills.
This was shared recently on twitter by Don Yerks. It is a nice little graphic to show a trackpad checklist with all the basic gestures you and your students can use on chromebooks. Click the image to see the shared gsheet with more info
Finding Images Online
This is probably the topic I get asked to help students with more than just about anything else. Yes, images must be cited. Yes, not all images online are available for you or your students to use. Jennifer Gonzales wrote about this recently and did a really nice job covering all the currently available options in this post. Although I have to say that when students are using Gsuite products the image search feature can be set and I think the default is CC or PD images. But, that said, students often just do a Google Image search and forget to use the filter dropdowns to target their search. I tend to use Pixabay and Unsplash when I am searching for my work.
Ideas to share
Technology ≠ Learning
I met Tom Murray at at Future Teachers conference in Albany a couple years ago. A dynamic teacher/leader, he has been pushing educators to examine their process via Future Ready Schools program. Recently he has been talking a lot about wasting time on low level learning in the name of using technology. What do you think?
Vicki Davis interviewed Tom Murray recently about Time Wasting with Low Level Tech. Tom talked about this in his blog post- Need to Stop.
George Couros wrote a post about this back in January called, As Technology Becomes Easier to Use, Our Depth of Learning Needs to Continue to Increase. I liked this quote, "Technology has removed many barriers, but thinking should not be one of them." You can read his whole blog post here.
Scott McLeod over in Colorado was singing the same tune in a recent interview with EdSurge: How to Move From Digital Substitution to ‘Deeper Learning. Interesting article, especially the conversation about SAMR. McLeod: " Well the challenge with SAMR, which is sort of the dominant framework for K-12 schools right now, is that it’s a technology continuum, not a learning continuum." Yup, he's right. Check out the whole article here, or listen to the podcast.
We've all seen phishing scams come through our email, phones, etc. Last week a friend in Oklahoma, Wes Fryer, shared this phishing quiz from Google. Take it yourself, have your students take it. See if you can identify the scammers.
I've used Wakelet as a consumer for a while, mostly as a way to catch up on twitter chats that I miss. The other day I saw something from Matt Miller about using it as an educational tool. He has a post with lots and lots of ideas here. I must have missed a guest post back in August from Paul West- with more curation ideas.
I hadn't even looked at this tool as a curation/collaboration tool. So far, with just a couple hiccups, I really really like it. I wanted to have it as a Google Chrome extension and as an iOS app. The extension appeared to work, but it also killed off my speeddial2 extension that I really rely upon. Wakelet support responded really quickly with an idea for a multitab new tab link, that works for me. They have also reached out to see if I want to have a Google Hangout and talk more about how to use this tool in the classroom.
They are starting to accumulate some ideas on their website and even have a newsletter that I found interesting. They have a how-to guide for educators ebook, and a blog post to walk you through the setup. All of these features are written up in The Wakelet Wave- a monthly newsletter. They also have aYouTube video channel with ideas, and tutorials.
Where to find PD?
Teachers often ask me where do I find all these webinars, etc., and then the second question is always, how to carve out the time. My go-to resource is EdWeb.net. There are new webinars almost every day, with learning communities formed around the major topics. The webinars are online; they are free; and they are recorded in case you cannot watch them live. Everyone learns differently; everyone has different tastes. I try to catch webinars live, if possible, but like knowing that the recording and the CE certificates are available to me. The variety of webinars offered through EdWeb is amazing. Try it, you may like it.
Odds 'n Ends to Share
Googly Activities for Primary Grades
Eric Curts shared a post recently with lots of wonderful ideas. Check out Eric's work here.
Paul Reynolds at FableVision shared this one.
TelepromtMe is a free online teleprompter. Check it out here.
Sharon LaPlante, a special educator with over 2 decades of experience, recently recorded a webinar for Innovate CT. She presented on Enhancing Notetaking and Executive Functions with Educational Technology. You can find more about Sharon's work on her website, including her podcast.
Aeon, Medium, EdSurge...etc.
As I was following links shared by my PLN on Twitter the other day I came across Aeon. I had never heard of this unique digital magazine. It is really interesting, providing 3 channels, Essays, Ideas, and Videos. It was one of the video links below that hooked me. The tweet was something along the lines of "Watch a single cell become a complete organism in six pulsing minutes of timelapse". Through this I also clicked around to find out more about the filmmaker, Jan van IJken. Jan has a vimeo channel, andhis own site- with gorgeous graphics and images. Check it out here.
I also try to check in with both Medium and Edsurge digital magazines. You can find interesting topics, alternative viewpoints and many new writers you may not have read yet. I love the recent article about the new Scratch 3.0 . Scratch just keeps on getting better and better... and it's free. Here's a real quick minute with Mitch Resnick on using Scratch with kids.
Edsurge had an article which seemed to be congratulating Massachusetts on how well the students fare on tests, although it was entitled 'In the Future, Today’s Education Will Look Like ‘19th-Century Medicine’, with an image similar to the one below and quoting Education Commissioner Riley: “But I think in a few years, this will start to look like 19th century medicine: Get your solder out, because the best we can do is amputate. Instead, we need scalpels.”
Interesting article, but have to say whenever someone starts talking data and testing I kind of drift back to this Alfie Kohn quote.
If you use Pear Deck, you have probably already seen these templates, but if not- here you go. Preview and Download the all new Pear Deck Math Templates
The 3-Act Tasks are really fun and a great way to teach/learn. If you want to learn more about them... check out Graham Fletcher's site here https://gfletchy.com/ But if you just want to go to a spreadsheet with a ton of great links...click here for K-12 ideas.
Not familiar with 3 Act Tasks? They came from Dan Meyer (link is to Dane Ehlert's site) and can be used across thegrade levels. Still unsure? Try one out... go over to Graham's list and pick one-like this. You can download the lesson, see the videos and the suggestions.
Black History Month
As we celebrate Black History Month, here are some of the many links that have come across my feeds lately. Please feel free to add more links to share in the comments.
You can find tons of resources for teachers at African American History Month including Library of Congress, National Archives, NEH, National Gallery of Art , and the National Park Serivce among others. https://www.africanamericanhistorymonth.gov/for-teachers/