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
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/
New England: Growth Mindset
Not even a big Pats fan, but if you need a demo of grit, perseverance, a growth mindset... here you go.
World Read Aloud Day
Friday brings us World Read Aloud Day, sponsored by Scholastic and LitWorld. This year, on the 10th anniversary, be sure to check out all the offerings on LitWorld andScholastic. This is one of many playlists available for World Read Aloud Day. Note: these are on YouTube, not safetube, viewpure, etc. as I couldn't get the playlist to work there.
Speaking of reading aloud: here's a link to the recent ASCD article, Why Every Class Needs Read Alouds, which goes into much more depth on why you should continue to read aloud to your students/children. Pernille Ripp is quoted, "One of the biggest misconceptions is that once kids pass 10 years old, they don't need to be read to—that there's no value in it. That's definitely not true."
Most of you are aware that Microsoft bought Flipgrid. Now, it's all free. Now things have changed- a lot. If you need to catch up on the changes, or if you are new to Flipgrid, have no fear, Sean and Karly have updated their Teacher Resource guide to version 3.0 and you can get it here.
Some Resources to Share
H/T to all the gracious members of my PLN who share resources every day!
Code for Life
I had not seen Code for Life until Richard Byrne wrote about it in his blog. Although it does seem that we have a plethora of coding resources to choose from, I liked both the simplicity of the drag drop interface as well as the curriculum alignment for the teachers.
I'd been hearing about this since last spring and finally took the time to check it out. Since I don't teach in a traditional classroom, I sometimes don't spend the time to check out some tools that I would otherwise find indispensable. This is a quick and easy way to let students know what the expectations are, to help teach, and has a pretty extensive, easy to use tool bar. Even if you love your current tool set, check out all that this classroomscreen has to offer. Lori Gracey over at TCEA wrote up a great post about this tool today. Check it out here.
I had hoped that the 3rd grade would be able to try some of these, but with the NGSS transition, perhaps not. If you are working on anything to do with space- check out these really cool STEM challenges from VivifyStem. I hope to be able to take some of these ideas and use them for STEAM challenges as well.
Black History Month
There are some excellent resources online for Black History Month. One of my favorite new resources is the hyperdoc shared by Randi Merritt. ReadWorks has featured Reading Passages for the month. PBS has an excellent collection-Black America Since MLK- And Still We Rise. Our local station is hosting a special screening of More Than a Month- Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart on Thursday 2/1 at 1pm ET
Storyboardthat offers a collection of storyboard ideas for students to learn from or use to start their own creations. We also have 2 tabs on our HES symbaloo for Black History month. The 2 tabs are pinned to the beginning of the navigation tabs for the month.
Last, but certainly not least- Adobe Spark
When I read about the changes in Adobe Spark for students under 13 last week, it really made my day. Adobe Spark is a beautiful, easy to use tool, but the TOS was limited. Teachers essentially had to create one account and then have all of the students log in and use it. Now, beginning in April- students under 13 will be able to use Adobe Spark. You can read the whole announcement here. Many different bloggers wrote more about this, but perhaps you'll enjoy Monica Burns' post here