Two posts from amazing educators stood out for me this past week. One was about Daniel Pink's new book, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing; and the other was from Jessica Twomey and Christine Pinto's #Innovative Play- 2 great resources- Connected Play Centers and MLK Character Traits Study .
I actually saw images with Pink's "controversial" statements about the research on timing of math in school, not realizing that this was part of Pink's book, until Matt Miller tweeted about Pink's keynote at FETC. So, I haven't read the book yet. I ordered a hard copy (so I could lend it out after I read it), which should be arriving today. But I was intrigued by the research cited and have questions about it.
Here's Matt's sketchnote:
Images from Keynote attendees' posts
So, what subject comes first in the school day? Is the data only related to math or all subjects? What does later in the day mean... how subjective is this? And last but not least- breaks... How do you time all of this? How much control do teachers have/should teachers have over scheduling?
How ? The #Innovative Play Way
I have always found that early childhood and elementary teachers come up with the best ways to learn. The connection to play is so important. This week I saw two great resources, one on Connected Play Centers- embedding character traits, which connected so nicely with their presentation on MLK - Character Trait Study, using stories to make this important connection. I love the way these teachers think and their creative ideas. They also take so much of the work out of a project by including the links, the videos, but spark ideas that let you incorporate your own materials.
Check out the Connected Play Center's updated play board here:
Check out MLK Character Traits here:
Ideas to Share
I often get asked about using Google Read and Write for Chrome. It is a pretty amazing tool set, which is often underutilized. Texthelp continues to add more and more features. This, although helpful, can put folks off. I remember the first time I saw the Kurtzweil dashboard- pretty much made me walk away. Student and teacher time is precious. Things need to work with no fuss, and no one really has a lot of time for a steep learning curve. So- Check out the training Texthelp offers online. You can spend less than an hour and get a lot of the basic skills, or just watch a 3 minute video to help you figure out one tool. Remember- use the Chrome browser- log into your school account. Teachers get all the features free, students get a free trial, or if you get lucky, your district can get a great deal and include everyone. Here's the basic training link . Here's the Resources link. Scroll down and check this one out. There's a whole series of resource material for ELL students, including this handy PDF. Need a quick video to learn a tool? Check out their YouTube channel.
Edutopia has a nice article called, " Preparing Social Studies Students to Think Critically in the Modern World", which can give you ideas about using primary sources.
Check, Please! is geared for older students, but I think high school students or any teacher could pick up a few pointers. Here's their info: "In this course, we show you how to fact and source-check in five easy lessons, taking about 30 minutes apiece. The entire online curriculum is two and a half to three hours and is suitable homework for the first week of a college-level module on disinformation or online information literacy, or the first few weeks of a course if assigned with other discipline-focused homework."
To Share with Parents
The UK has a great organization called National Online Safety, which puts out a weekly post/pdf around various topics that parents, and teachers, should stay informed about. A recent one was on TikTok, but check out all of their free, downloadable resources here.
I love this quote from Sylvia Martinez. I get tired of the buzz words used in education- from "learning styles" to growth mindset to grit. I think we all just want to find ways to reach kids, to light those fires and help them learn to love learning. Yes, compliance is nice. I did compliance as a young girl in school- got the A's, never learned much math- but could follow the recipe, and honestly, never really cared about school. I liked it because it was easy for me, my friends were there and I just like to read. Now, as an educator, I still work on trying to find ways to make school meaningful for students, especially those who struggle. I fail every day. Not in the ever popular "first attempt in learning" manner; I just make mistakes, miss the cues, and more. It is certainly not my first attempt. But, I have learned to care about what I do, or perhaps, I do what I care about... and that helps me persevere and demonstrate if not mastery- grit.
If you ever get a chance to hear Sylvia speak, go for it. She is an engineer, an educator and goes around the world talking with and helping educators. Her latest book is a new version of Invent to Learn, co-authored with Gary Stager. They also run a makers conference every year up in Manchester NH.
Andrew Roush wrote a great article on the TCEA blog about Interactive Maps. I had never looked at these National Geographic Maps. They have lots of very cool features. Andrew goes through these in his post with some good examples. If you just want to investigate on your own, head on over to National Geographic's Mapmaker Interactive. There's a playlist with 9 short videos to get you started.
I had never heard of this site before and it was explained to me as sort of an ask the expert type of site. Not so much from what I can see, but really interesting and is much more about learning about people. This is from their About page:
"DON’T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER
The Human Library™ is designed to build a positive framework for conversations that can challenge stereotypes and prejudices through dialogue. The Human Library is a place where real people are on loan to readers.
A place where difficult questions are expected, appreciated and answered."
Lots of "books" to explore and it looks like they will be starting a Human Library for children this summer.
Here's a TED talk to learn more:
I first skimmed through this article about how Google is working to make devices more accessible to all, but was utterly transfixed by one of the projects- Project Euphonia. This project is to expand the capabilities of speech recognition to all. I'm sure that you all have had students who were difficult to understand, for various reasons. I know that when I am looking for assistive tech solutions, I sometimes just plain run into the wall with artic issues- and speech to text just plain cannot work. This project, although still in its infancy- has real promise for those with articulation issues due to development, medical issues and more. Just watch this short video and see what you think. The article is here- there are several other projects to check out.
Ideas to Share
Must be getting to the end of the year. I looked through all my bookmarks/wakelets for the last week and there was a whole bunch of unrelated "stuff", no unifying theme whatsoever. Here you go...
Erin Riley's "The Art of Digital Fabrication"
I was lucky enough to meet and learn from Erin last summer at the Maker Educator Collective Bootcamp in Indiana. Erin was one of our facilitators for the week. Little did I know that she also works at Greenwich Academy, is the director of the @GA_EDLab and knows my cousin Jane, who also works at GA!
An artist, an engineer, a teacher, Erin helped me begin to learn how to design with a laser cutter. I love the new book and am looking forward to learning more this summer!
This course was shared recently in a FB STEM teacher group. It is simply a pretty comprehensive set of lessons for NGSS grades K-5, set down very clearly by teachers in classrooms in Michigan. It is a work in progress. If you are looking for ideas for elementary science and/or trying to transition to NGSS standards, this is a nice collection.
Rivet- Reading App
Richard Byrnes shared this one recently, Rivet- a reading app from Google. I had never heard of it. Check out the video below and the review Richard has on his blog. Sounds like something to check out... and it's free.
When I saw this article in the Smithsonian Magazine, I immediately thought of Josh Driver. A 5th/6th grade ELA and Social Studies teacher, he infuses his lessons with hands on games, Senet, Mesopotamia Surplus, etc. This article talks about a new find, an ancient Roman game board, found near the Hadrian Wall. It also cites other web sites that I had never looked at... like AncientGames.org, which has some really cool games on it- kind of like chess. Check it out.
Matt Miller: Awesome Lesson Planning
Matt has a new 4 part video series out, all about how to align, realign your lesson plans. I know you don't usually think of "lesson plans" and awesome in the same sentence... but Matt can help. "These are part of a NEW four-part video series called "Awesome Lesson Planning Made Easy." It's full of strategies to level up your lesson planning game, making you more organized and helping you to get more done." I love listening to/watching Matt's videos- full of practical ideas from a teacher who is actually in the classroom... Check out his whole series.
Lori Gracey, over at TCEA, shared a new word cloud tool- Word Wanderer. You can read all about it on her blog post. It's pretty easy to use and has some different comparisons.
EOY Google Classroom Cleanup
As I'm sure most of you are aware, Google Classroom made some changes over the summer. Aside from what I consider the 3 big changes, two things I have noticed over the last couple weeks as we begin our year: One: Don't forget to click on the gear for settings! This is where you can adjust who gets to comment. Depending on your class, you may well not want student comments on your assignments. Two: You can now turn off notifications for some of your classes. Getting too many emails from classes you co-teach? Turn them off by going to Menu/Settings/Notifications/Class Notifications. H/T to Jenn Judkinsfor the gif.
The 3 big changes:
This is a new site for me. I had never even heard of this until #edcampCT in August. At a session on Primary Sources (notes) folks from CT public TV, as well as CT teachers brought this site up several times. So, what is this Thinkalong? Created by CT public television, its goal is "to help students become better critical thinkers and media consumers by giving classrooms access to news-based learning activities made to enhance their curriculum." Aimed at middle and high school students, it can help students learn to discuss difficult topics and have important, serious discussions. I love the approach they take. Check out the intro video... or just go ahead and check out the topics.
I have enjoyed using Storyboardthat since it first came out. It provides a clean, safe, easy way for students to visually organize and tell a story. Great templates are provided as well as lesson plans. This afternoon I attended a webinar which featured the new story cube and worksheet design tools. These are pretty easy to use and if you use worksheets in your classroom, you may want to check them out. They have over 40,000 objects to choose from and lots of pre-made diagrams, and instructional templates. One thing that came up at the end of the webinar was that they are having a one day sale at TPT on all of the "stuff" they have created. Each packet is going for $1.00/each. Some of these are usually 5, 10 or even $20 each. Great deal if it's something you can use...and it's a One Day Deal- Wednesday 9/12/2018
Microbit Global Challenge
As many of you know, I spent time this summer learning more about makerspaces, raspberry pi, new features of Scratch 3.0 and more. One of the things I really liked learning about was physical computing... making "stuff" and using tech to code it to do something.
Microbits have been used extensively in the UK as part of their national coding instruction. Now Microbit.org has combined forces with The World's Largest Lesson and ARM and will run a global challenge, based on UN SDGs ( Sustainable Development Goals). Cool idea! Read more about it here.
For those of you who are new to Hadley- this is a weekly tech update. I try to post info that both the elementary and middle/high school teachers could find useful, although some pieces apply more to one age group or discipline than others. As usual, the world of edtech did not stand still over the summer. I have a whole list of things that changed to talk about, but for tonight I will try to focus on just a couple things. Just a reminder to HES teachers- please give feedback on what you would like to see in the new HES STEAM space.
Flipgrid is here. https://flipgrid.com/hesteachsteam
Practical Ed Tech Handbook
One of my all time favorite edtech bloggers is Richard Byrne- www.freetech4teachers.com/Free Technology for Teachers. I still remember when he came to ISTE as the newbie of the year and now he is a leader in the field, bringing his love of history, dogs and the woods of Maine. Recently Richard posted an update of his useful The Practical Ed Tech Handbook. You can visit his blog and read the embedded copy there or use his download link to obtain your own copy. www.freetech4teachers.com/2017/09/the-practical-ed-tech-handbook-for-2017.html
I am a big fan of Google Classroom as a great way to help streamline student workflow. Today I came across this hyperdoc about Google Classroom, clicked thru a few links and thought that many of you would like to give it a try. Great way to explore more about Google Classroom. Thanks to Ben Cogswell for sharing this Google slide hyperdoc. Click the image to see Ben's work. Remember we now have GSuite from grade 2 on up- even younger students can use these tools.
Shawn Beard does a nice job of summarizing the latest features that were rolled out this summer.
Looking for more ways to use Google Classroom? Alice Keeler shares 35 More Ways...
Watch the Playlist
Google has also launched a Welcome to Your First Day of Google Classroom site with tons of resources. Check it out here. www.blog.google/topics/education/welcome-your-first-day-classroom/
Google offers an excellent service for students who are graduating or moving, as well as teachers retiring or moving to a new school to save and move your files and all your data. It is called Google TakeOut and Mr. Duffy has now enabled this for our district. There are several good blog posts with tutorials out there to choose from: Kyle Pace has his take, Sean Beard, his version, Jeff Bradbury's podcast and my favorite Jenn Judkins. Sean has a nice handout, if you prefer a print version. I shared Jenn's video below. Her site has a nice set of written instructions to follow along with as well. I used the service when I switched schools and it was relatively fast and painless... and that was 4 years ago.
Google Data Gif Maker
Google recently announced a new tool to make animated Gifs from data. I read about it here, confess that I have not tried it out myself. Got boring data? Jazz it up with the new Data Gif Maker. Here are some basic directions. You can play with it here. I just used their basic example to make a gif to show you. It does seem to take forever to download from their site and that was with pretty much no real data. Perhaps it is just pokey hilltown internet.
Google Classroom Cleanup
For many teachers this has been the first full year of Google Classroom. Now that the school year is coming to a close, Eric Curts has some excellent advice on how to clean up your virtual classroom to keep things organized and ready to go next year. His six steps to success are on his blog. Check it out; you'll be glad you did. Although I must say there has been some discussion about #6 on Google + as some folks never, eveh, touch anything in "shared with me" unless they are moving it to "My Drive", but some folks do clean it out, etc.
I would never recommend #6.
Not under any circumstances.
It's way too easy that type of "cleaning" gets out of hand.
Much easier to just teach students and staff "that's where everything shared with you is listed", period.
"If you wish to organise stuff shared with you, add it to your My Drive. If not, don't do anything."
EPSB District Technology was inspired by Eric's post to make the video below.