I know there are whole websites out there, full of videos to inspire teachers and students. This video was shared today on Terri Eicholoz' blog and it worked for me. I'd like to think that as teachers we can all break out of our simple cogs in a wheel dynamic and make a difference as well as helping our students to do the same.
I know, I know, let's finish up this year, before we talk about next year, but my reality has always been that if I did not plan, get PD or just get my ideas in order over the summer, that when September rolls around, I am plumb out of time and need to be ready to go. I cannot take the time for reflection and planning once the school year starts. So, here goes...
One of the things I have heard from teachers is that "this year" they are going to start a blog, or begin to use student portfolios, or find better ways to communicate with parents. There are many ways to do this, but you can't change your mind midstream and expect parents to follow along. Most parents have access to the internet, either via phone, laptop, or computer. If you can "train" them to check your website, not the bottom of the backpack for the newsletter, you may find that they begin to look to your blog, or site for information and may even interact online. But, if you give them the paper newsletter, they may or may not read it and they will certainly not look in yet another place online for the same information. No one has the time or energy to check your blog or site if the information comes home in what may be a more familiar format. So, what are some options to explore?
New Google Sites
Interested in Global Projects?
April is National Poetry Month!
You don't have to teach English or Language Arts to have your students appreciate the beauty of the written word. Edgar Allen Poe defined poetry this way... "I would define, in brief, the Poetry of words as The Rhythmical Creation of Beauty."
Check out some of the poems about physics or chemistry or math. Just as Fibonacci is represented in so many things in nature, so poetry is represented in so many of the things we study at school.
These are "classroom friendly poems" I have not listened to all of them.
From "Where the Sidewalk Ends" by Shel Silverstein.
Poem in Your Pocket Day is coming up on April 21. You can still celebrate it before or after the date. Check out their resources here
Did I mention that it's free.... online... all week...
I signed some of the classes at HES up for this project...http://ifyoulearnedhere.weebly.com/
The final project last year was to publish a page for your school in this book
This is an epub so you need a reader to actually download and read it-
If You Learned Here eBook download
To read the book, you will need an ePub reader, such as:
the iBooks app on an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch
The Readium extension for the Chrome browser on a computer
Calibre for a computer
Or just Try the PDF instead.
If you have access to iPads or tablets you can use a myriad of tools to make books, video or slideshows. My favorites in this category include:
The hardest thing about digital storytelling is choosing the right tool to enhance and display your content, or your student’s content.
Believe it or not, this is a very short list of what is available online, on devices. What’s your favorite tool?
Powerpoint is not evil… but check out some tips from the experts:
Thoughts & Tips on Presenting Naked.
Aren’t you glad you read to the end?
Teacher-student-parent communications can be a lot easier with Remind (formerly Remind 101.
Another way to communicate and organize is through the Google Calendar system.
All students in grades 4 and up have google accounts and access to Google Calendar. Teachers can set up a calendar for each class. Google calendar allows you to share your calendar with others. Parents or students can subscribe to your calendar and get notifications of new assignments, due dates, etc. You can add files and links to the calendar which can be helpful for students who miss class. Here’s a calendar 101 video to get you started.
The last tool I wanted to mention is vastly underused- Google Keep.