This is a new one to me. Mathshare. I just got a promo from Benetech, the same folks who put Bookshare together. I asked about it in one of the listservs I follow and one person had played around with a bit, but not very much feedback so far. Check out the video below and let us know how it worked with your students.
Here's the blurb:
" Mathshare is a free problem-solving tool that makes learning math easier. With Mathshare, students can solve problems step-by-step and explain their reasoning with a note. This helps students stay focused and shows teachers how they got their answers. Mathshare is free for teachers and students.How Mathshare Helps Students
Many students struggle with learning math. Some need help staying organized, some have trouble with legible handwriting, and others may have learning differences like dyscalculia or dysgraphia. For all students who want to learn math, Mathshare makes it easier to learn and helps build positive math experiences.
Lots of Advent Calendar Style Lists
My task list keeps filling up with stuff that I might do, given time. Lots of ideas that folks are sharing, mostly in an advent calendar style.
Aaron Maurer started out my list of lists with his 25 days of Making Challenge. These are lots of fun to try, by yourself or with your students. You can check out Aaron's 25 Days of Making Challenge here.
#CreateWithChrome- a Google Slide Based Advent Calendar with teachers sharing project ideas. I think the original creators are Brian Briggs @bribriggs and Ryan O'Donnell
@creativeedtech. Check it out here and add your own ideas!
Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell) shared a wonderful 25 Days of STEM calendar on her Teacher Reboot Camp site. So many ideas to explore! Thanks Shelly!
Need more Media Literacy Ideas?
I hadn't seen this site before, AllSides.
I had used FactCheck in the past, and of course Snopes, but this one is different. They also have an AllSides for Schools, but realistically, reading their TOS, very few of our kids qualify to use it on their own; " you represent that you are of legal age to form a binding contract", although it says it is for middle school through college. Perhaps the best use would be as a teaching tool with younger kids.
Here's how they describe the site.
"AllSides strengthens our democracy with balanced news, diverse perspectives, and real conversation.We expose people to information and ideas from all sides of the political spectrum so they can better understand the world — and each other. Our balanced news coverage, media bias ratings, civil dialogue opportunities, and technology platform are available for everyone and can be integrated by schools, nonprofits, media companies, and more."
If you haven't followed Eli Pariser and his work on filter bubbles and algorithms, check out his original TED talk or his talk about algorithms from last December(2018).
There was an article in Forbes this summer by Kalev Leetaru which reiterated that "Fake News" is not a technology problem, but a societal problem. The gist of the article was,
"To truly solve the issue of “fake news” we must blend technological assistance with teaching our citizens to be literate consumers of the world around them.Societies must teach their children from a young age how to perform research, understand sourcing, triangulate information, triage contested narratives and recognize the importance of where information comes from, not just what it says.
In short, we must teach all of our citizens how to be researchers and scientists when it comes to consuming information.
Most importantly, we must emphasize verification and validation over virality and velocity."
Sadly, this is not news.
Starting out with a little social studies. Did you see the article inThe Washington Post the other day? Ken Burns has come out with a new collection for educators. Here's the gist of it: "Created for sixth- to 12th-grade educators, the new one-stop destination houses a full library of classroom-ready content — aligned to state and national standards — about historical events and issues that Burns has highlighted in his films.“Ken Burns in the Classroom” includes hundreds of video clips, lesson plans, activity suggestions, discussion questions, handouts and interactives to help educators integrate the films into their classroom instruction.
I checked out the site- part of PBS Media and loved what I saw. I also learned about his other site "Unum" which I had never seen before. It was inspired by the motto of the U.S.
KEN'S NOTE "E pluribus unum was chosen as the motto of the United States in 1782. It means “out of many, one” which captures the very soul of this project. It’s all one story. It always has been."
EdSurge ran an article about a renaissance for Social Studies. Their 3 major points to focus upon are :
1. Focus on student engagement above all.
2. Ensure a diversity of voices.
3. Listen, build, learn, repeat . Read the whole article here.
And of course, a little geography too. Richard Byrne wrote a blurb about this the other day, so I went over to the Google blog to check it out. https://www.blog.google/products/earth/new-google-earth-creation-tools/ "With new creation tools now in Google Earth, you can turn our digital globe into your own storytelling canvas, and create a map or story about the places that matter to you."
On to Science articles this week: We hear about/talk about diversity and equity a lot lately. These articles relate these topics back to STEM.
Kathy Renfrew and Amber McCulloch did a NSTA blog post recently where they discussed "Ensuring All Elementary Students Have Access to Science Learning". The problem, as most of us are aware is that teachers in elementary school have little time for science. The students are tested in Math and ELA on the state tests, thus most of the teaching time is devoted to those core subjects. One of the resources they mentioned is easy to access and worth 22 minutes of your time. It's called Elementary Science Video Workshop and will "walk you through some learning tools centered around why elementary science, what does good science instruction look like, and how building leadership teams can best implement changes to what science instruction looks like in your school." Check out the blog post for more tools to explore, including this one about integrating STEM into the curriculum. The NGS Navigators podcast did an encore of Jay McTighe and Dr.Judy Willis talking about Upgrading Your Teaching: Understanding by Design Meets Neuroscience
A bit about accessibility. I noted an interesting article and a great resource shared online by Dodie Ainslie over at BT BOCES in NY state. Dodie shared an excellent resource to help access learning through #Chromebook and #Google accessibility features. She said to feel free to share and adapt. I really appreciate having all these tools listed in one handy slide deck. Thanks @djainslie! Just click on the image below to make a copy for yourself. (File>Make a Copy)
Edutopia shared a nice article on Developing Executive Function back in January. Don't you just wish that we could go through a checklist and miraculously all have perfect executive function? This article is aimed at the middle school student and walks you through setting up priority lists with students. The with is important, not for the students. Here's the article and here's the video
And last but not least esports.
I have seen several articles of late raving about the importance and popularity of esports. Within the last year this has become a hot topic. Since the first and last video game I played was pong, gotta say, not up on this topic. But- if you are into video games, or even if you're not, you need to understand a bit more about esports. Here to help you out..
EdTech Magazine with the recent article: Fact or Fallacy: Why Esports Are Here to Stay in K–12 Schools Tech & Learning University also ran an article about esports in highered.
Looking through my Wakelet for things to write about and once again either Google Slides has the most interesting articles out there or I just gravitate to them.
But, before I forget, last week was World Kindness Day. Rather than just being kind 1/365th of the time, why don't you check out some of the ideas on the Random Acts of Kindness site. They offer free curriculum ideas for K-5 and for 6-8 centered around the 6 core concepts of Respect, Caring, Inclusiveness, Integrity, Responsibility, and Courage.
Check it out here: https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/
Google Slides Add On
This one comes from Julie Smith, The Techie Teacher. It is a Google MarketPlace add-on that lets you slip additional slides into a slide presentation that you have assigned on Google Classroom. For example, if you have students working on an ongoing science journal in slides and you want to add a few explanatory slides to the assignment- this add-on lets you just slide them right in. Read more about it here and grab the Add-On here.
Google Slides as Narrated Storybooks
This is from a post that Greg has on Medium. It's a really nice simple, easy to do idea. Greg describes a 6 step process. He gives excellent examples of programs to use, where to find audio, etc. I will have to check out his suggestion of using 123apps.com to record audio on chromebooks. Do check out his article and follow his suggestions to create narrated storybooks in your classroom. We haven't yet gotten the magical add audio button on our chromebooks yet... but it's coming! I was thinking that this would be a really nice simple way to use Storyboardthat images/comics, download them as images, pop into a Google slide deck and then narrate. As soon as we get audio, I know the students will have lots of ideas.
Ideas to Share
Upcoming Free Workshops
Please share with your students too! This coming Saturday, Nov 23, will be a Maker Jam sponsored by Holyoke Codes over at the MGHPCC center in Holyoke. Check it out . https://holyokecodes.org/events/maker-jam/
Digital Storytelling Tools
I was asked recently about the best tools for video on chromebooks. I recommended Adobe Spark and Screencastify. We Video is OK, but the free version is limited. Then I remembered a couple of nice posts that Richard Byrne published about digital storytelling and thought I should pass that link along as well. Richard almost always gives you a nice little video tutorial, which I always find helpful.
Handwriting & Notetaking
I keep on hearing that students remember best when they physically write/draw than if they type it. I have also seen some really interesting articles about the benefits of teaching handwriting. Do you teach handwriting? Do you have students type notes or write them out? Do you see benefits one way or the other? This is an article from Edutopia called How to Teach Handwriting and Why It Matters.
This article from the Univ of California tells students to take notes by hand to get better grades. I wonder why the research they quote is almost 6 years old and if that makes a difference? I also wonder if sketchnoting is better or worse- more or less effective.
Audio in Google Slides...almost
According to Google, by the end of November, all users should have the "insert audio" capacity. I just checked my accounts. My personal account- Yes! I can insert audio. My school account- nope. I expect that it will roll out soon. Here is a quick video from Richard Byrne to show you how to do it ( when you actually have the magic button).
Scientific Method or Engineering Design Process?
I truly had not given this conundrum much thought until this summer when Kathy Renfrew, The Science Lady, and I were chatting at an edcamp and Kathy was pretty adamant, saying that scientists use EDP, not scientific method. I don't know if all scientists do this or those in a particular field or academics vs lab or field based, etc... Then, just the other day I saw this infographic that Vivify STEM shared online, showing the differences between the two methodologies and it got me wondering again. Here's the infographic from Vivify STEM. What do you think? Is this a binary choice? What do "real" scientists use?
Links to Share
The Age of AI
Wes Fryer shared the link to this article/video series recently and strongly recommended it as a must read. I haven't watched all the episodes, but wanted to share the link, as it is interesting and important information for all to begin to wrap our heads around. Is AI a threat or does it offer wonders not yet imagined? Here's the blurb that came with this installment: "FRONTLINE investigates the promise and perils of artificial intelligence, from fears about work and privacy to rivalry between the U.S. and China. The documentary traces a new industrial revolution that will reshape and disrupt our lives, our jobs and our world, and allow the emergence of the surveillance society."
KQED published a downloadable guide The MindShift Guide to Understanding Dyslexia"This MindShift Guide to Understanding Dyslexia is meant to serve as a primer to: • Better understand, recognize and identify dyslexia • Discover new tools and teaching strategies to support dyslexic students in improving their reading skills • Be aware of resources that can support dyslexics of every age"
Closing the Gap- Resource Directory
As always you will find many resources here. However, the key to finding the right resource is SETT- Student, Environment, Task, and then Tech... and this is not a one and done deal. The student will change, the environment and required tasks will change- so the tech will have to change as well.
Veterans Day Reading Passages
Getting Started with Google Sheets
Brain Pop Standards Alignment
New Tool from EdCite
Articles I've Been Reading
Social Media Has Not Destroyed A Generation
Leveled Reading Groups Don't Work. Why Aren't We Talking About it?
AR/VR in K-12 Virtual Summit
The Global Education Conference
Coming up November 18-20. Register here.
Upcoming Assistive Technology Webinars
Click on image for live links
I got this in an email today from Steve Hargadon and Library 2.0. This looks like an excellent mini-conference- just 3 hours of learning, tomorrow, Wednesday 10/30/19 3-6 EST. Free and it will be recorded as well. It's not just for librarians! Check it out!
"We're excited to announce our third Library 2.019 mini-conference: "Emerging Technology," which will be held online (and for free) on Wednesday, October 30th, from 12:00 - 3:00 pm US-Pacific Daylight Time (click for your own time zone).
Tomorrow’s technologies are shaping our world today, revolutionizing the way we live and learn. Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Blockchain, Internet of Things, Drones, Personalization, the Quantified Self. Libraries can and should be the epicenter of exploring, building and promoting these emerging techs, assuring the better futures and opportunities they offer are accessible to everyone. Learn what libraries are doing right now with these cutting-edge technologies, what they’re planning next and how you can implement these ideas in your own organization.
This is a free event, being held live online and also recorded.
I've been meaning to share this link for a while now. I love this site, SmARThistory, https://smarthistory.org/. It reminds me of Google Arts and Culture, but is easier, at least for me, to navigate and seems to have been curated with educators in mind. I like the collections, the images, the videos and they even offer free books that you can download as pdfs. Here's a couple of videos to watch from the beginner course: Introduction to the Visual Arts, informative and funny. Do check out the web site for a lot more!
While I am in my social studies folder, have you used Facing History.org? This is their mission statement, "Facing History fosters empathy and reflection, improves students’ academic performance, reinvigorates teachers, and builds safe and inclusive schools."
Aimed at secondary school teachers and students, I found a nice mix of material- some for students, other for professional development for teachers. You can check out their recent course (microcredentials offered), Teaching with Current Events: Practicing Media Literacy and Understanding Human Behavior by clicking on this link. They also offer a lending library of materials, as well as a large section on teaching strategies. I like the database, which sorts by subject, media, lesson, featured collection and much more.
I recently attended Edcamp Worcester and tried out a site that was new to me, called Ever Fi. It has some good units to try out. I'm not quite sure what you would call this sort of digital platform. Here's their blurb- "EVERFI empowers educators to bring real-world learning into the classroom and equip students with the skills they need for success–now and in the future. Thanks to partners who share this mission, EVERFI’s online resources for teachers are available at no cost."
So, for example there are courses in finance for K-12, courses focused on wellness, on SEL, etc. It's free. A teacher I met from central MA, really likes it and demo'd it for all. It is worth checking out. The one unit I am particularly interested in for K-6 age is The Compassion Project- aimed at grades 2-4. They even have a financial literacy course for grades 4-6. If you teach middle or high school there is a far greater selection of courses to choose from. Whether you use some of this for bell work, or an intro to a subject or as a mini course on its own, it is worth your time to check it out.
These last couple of weeks I have been inundated with science professional development, science in the STEAM lab and over the weekend, computer science PD. What could be more fun? I really enjoyed learning more about Project Lead the Way recently. Our students, grades K-6 at HES, along with middle school students at Hopkins, all participated in the Massachusetts STEM challenge. I worked with grades 3-6, on Zero Energy Waste, making and testing solar fans. The curriculum was robust, with a solid 10 hours that could be worked into a gen ed classroom easily. I enjoyed, and from the sounds of it, the students enjoyed, making and testing our solar fans. I hope to have our school begin to participate in the PLTW program.
I also got to test out the NICERC curriculum for microbits. I love using microbits in the STEAM lab. They are inexpensive, versatile, easy to use and can be integrated into the curriculum. I hadn't tried out the NICERC curriculum (it's free) and found it easy to follow. It is an NGSS based curriculum, and is phenomena driven. Here's their blurb. "We’re the National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center (NICERC). We offer grant-funded cyber, STEM, and computer science curricula and professional development to K-12 educators at no cost. Our goal is to empower educators as they prepare the next generation to succeed in the cyber workforce of tomorrow." The focus is 3 fold- STEM, computer science and cyber science.
I spent most of the time working in the STEAM fundamentals program: "STEAM Fundamentals is a project-based, hands-on curriculum designed to engage students in real-world applications. In each module, students study natural phenomena and investigate fundamental concepts while developing social, observational, descriptive, and higher-order thinking skills. Each module develops concepts in a logical and practical manner that students can relate to and teachers can easily implement." Right now they have units for 2nd and 3rd grade, with 4th and 5th coming soon. We played around with the force and motion for 3rd grade. We also spent time with the STEM EDA curriculum. This one is aimed at middle school, grades 6-8. The modules are well-developed- and fun. Did I mention that it's free?
Want to check it out? You do have to sign up to request access.
Looking for free STEM lesson plans for K-5? Snoopy may have something for you from the Space Foundation.
Media Literacy Week
This week is Media Literacy Week in the U.S. October 24-31st is Global Media and Information Literacy Week 2019
What is it? Why is it important? From Wikipedia: Media literacy encompasses the practices that allow people to access, critically evaluate, and create media. Media literacy is not restricted to one medium. Wikipedia
These stats are from 2 years ago- and I'm quite sure that they are worse today. At a time when misinformation and fake news spread like wildfire online, the critical need for media literacy education has never been more pronounced. The evidence is in the data:
When I saw this post by my old friend Wes Fryer, I knew I would have to share it with you. I first met Wes back in 2007 or maybe 2008 at NECC, now ISTE, spoke with him on most Saturdays on the Classroom 2.0 Live series for years and I have continued to follow his work online ever since. Wes is currently the Technology Integration and Innovation Specialist and Digital Literacy teacher at Casady School in Oklahoma City. This link is to an excellent post that Wes originally created to help teach his 5th and 6th graders. Great ideas for one and all. Click on the link or on the photo below. Thanks, Wes!
More Googley Stuff
When I first looked at my list of things to share this week, it seemed that 90% of them were ideas using something Googley. Easy to use, versatile. Check out some of the wonderful ideas folks have shared recently.
This week, October 14–18, 2019, is Digital Citizenship Week.
Commonsense Media is leading the way, as usual, with some great activities, broken up into short 10 minute bites, to help your students understand what it means to be a good digital citizen. Interested? Check out their lineup here.
Schoology has put together a free ebook that you can download to learn more about digital citizenship. Here's their info: In this eBook, you'll learn:
The Digital Citizenship Institute is happening right now. This has a global appeal. I first met Dr. Marialice B.F.X. Curran about 9 or 10 years ago at edcampCT. She was, and is passionate about digital citizenship. The professional development and now these conferences offer a great way to connect, to practice digital citizenship and to learn more about digital citizenship around the world. I like to see what's in store for the day and know that it is all recorded and I can catch up with it later. You can check out the offerings and register here. The daily videos are also posted.
Natalie Ryan recently shared her
BrainPop Digital Citizenship
doc to an online STEM group. Great resource.
DigCitCommit has pulled together an excellent set of resources for students, for educators, and for families. I like the focus on a positive way to look at digital citizenship vs. fear mongering and negativity.
Game-based Digital Citizenship programs
Two easy to use resources for elementary students are Digital Passport (from CommonSense Media and Interland, from Google.
Digital Passport consists of 6 interactive games. "Introduce students in grades 3–5 to Digital Passport™ by Common Sense Education. The award-winning suite of six interactive games addresses key issues kids face in today's digital world. Each engaging game teaches critical digital citizenship skills that help students learn to use technology responsibly to learn, create, and participate. Games are available in Spanish."
from Flocabulary and NearPod
Math & Reading
I got an email over the summer from a veteran teacher asking me about eSpark. I had never used it and after checking around a bit, advised the teacher to go ahead and do the free pilot for the year. Today, another veteran teacher decided to try it as well, since the first teacher (5th and 6th grade) has reported that she is getting useful data and the kids are engaged. So, what is this eSpark? It is differentiated reading and math instruction for K-5. It has some good reviews on both edsurge and commonsense media. Does it stand out from the crowd? I don't know. Is it expensive? Probably. Is it worth checking out? Sure. Here are a couple of videos to hlearn a bit more about it.
I was looking around for something to do with cards for young students and came across this site with 16 Math Card Games posted by Jill Staake for We Are Teachers. They look like a lot of fun. And, of course while I was clicking through them, I found this treasure trove of math resources from Mrs. Weigand! Wow! so many choices! Check it out when you have a chance.
If you haven't been by Jo Boaler's YouCubed site recently, take a peek at her work on Data Literacy and listen to her interview on the Freakonomics podcast entitled, America’s Math Curriculum Doesn’t Add Up (Ep. 391)
This article from The Book Whisperer, Donalyn Miller, hit home for me. She talks about kids becoming Readers, In Spite of School. I just had a conversation with a teacher at school today who was having her students use Epic- just to free read for 15 minutes. She was successful in engaging her students, at least in part, because she wasn't telling them what to read, or what not to read, or regulating the reading level or whether it was a graphic novel or an audio book or testing them on their reading fluency or comprehension. The kids simply choose what to read and they read it.
I have to admit, I don't like graphic novels. Never liked comic books as a kid. Would rather read a 300 page novel than a 32 page graphic novel. So, I went out and bought George Takei's memoir, They Called Us Enemy. I haven't really gotten into it yet- but I will- just because I need to look at graphic novels through a different lens. You can borrow it when I'm done. Do I have to love graphic novels? No, but I have to respect that some people do- and that they are reading, obtaining information and maybe even learning to love reading. Check out Donalyn's article, she is far more articulate than I.
I saw a tweet from Lucy Gray referencing Glide Apps the other day, so I decided to take a quick look at it. Similar to some other app creators, you can very quickly and easily make an app. Check out their video. Take one of your spreadsheets- try it out! There is also a nice little tutorial on Online Tech Tips.
Ideas to Share
I was excited to see a hyperdoc by @nadineglikison to help kids learn to more effectively use Read and Write for Google Chrome. We have this for our district, but not everyone knows how to use it or how to help students use it. However, when I opened the hyperdoc and found that topic was all about poop and farts- not so excited. Honestly, I can't justify this in a classroom. The how to part is fine, but seriously... Oh well. Perhaps the version for younger kids will be created with a topic that I can use. Here's the link if you want to check it out. Nadine has shared it, CC: By: NC: SA.
The Feedback Fallacy is an article from the Harvard Business Review that I found interesting on two levels, both as an adult working with other adults, and as an adult working with children. The immediate message is, of course, we're doing it wrong. Our standard beliefs are not based in reality. So, what then? According to the article:
So, how does this translate to education? I liked the very last sentence:
"We excel only when people who know us and care about us tell us what they experience and what they feel, and in particular when they see something within us that really works."
I started looking through old posts I have done about dyslexia and wondered... what else can I add? Then... wow! So many great resources out there that I had not explored. Who knew that dyslexia was a superpower?
I love Understood.org for the clear messages they impart to parents and teachers. I started reading their page on historic figures that many now think were dyslexic. You can find this here. Then I got caught up in their page on Dyslexia as a super power. I had just looked at Christopher Brantley's announcement about his first comic/graphic novel which is coming out in time for Dyslexia Awareness month, called Phonetic Boy. Then I flipped over to "What's your Super Power?" and listened to the creator of Dog Man and Captain Underpants talk about having dyslexia. You can read more about him and other celebrities with dyslexia here.
I saw a webinar offering on Dyslexia Awareness that I signed up for here. You could also check out this webinar given by Wendy S. Farone, Ph.D. on Dyslexia: The Myths and the Mysteries
on Oct 16th.
But wait, you're not a SPED teacher, you don't need to know more about dyslexia.
YES YOU DO! Research shows that approximately 1 in 5 students in the typical classroom has dyslexia! So, chances are, you have students in your classroom today with dyslexia. And the really cool thing is, just about anything you do to help a student with dyslexia, will also help all your other students too. UDL works.
I saved the best for last... Microsoft has teamed up with Made by Dyslexia to offer a one hour online course on Dyslexia Awareness.
C'mon, you can spare an hour that may help you help your students, can't you? The link to the course: https://education.microsoft.com/courses-and-resources/courses/dyslexia-awareness-in-partnership-with-made-by-dyslexia