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
How do you get unstuck?
With the new year many of us try to figure out new goals, and new ways to reach our goals in the new year. You may be interested in checking out the Innovator's Compass.
New Year- New Goals
Many of us have students do some sort of reflection or goal-setting for the new year. This can be #OneWord2019 or a word cloud to represent goals or more. I shared a hyperdoc last year for #oneword and for MLK Jr , and had students make bracelets with their word. This year I saw that Lisa Highfill posted some new hyperdocs for #oneword. Check them out.
One other idea, along these same lines came from Sarah Kiefer. Her class inspiration quilt idea is to use slides, with images, goals and quotes. Check it out here.
Although Google Docs has some great templates for education, I am always on the lookout for more. This week I was looking at Sarah Kiefer and Beth Kingsley's Templates for Teachers google site. What I like about the site, aside from currently displaying 44 cool templates, easy to sort through by age and format, is an additional page with links to other great template collections for educators. Start here and I'm sure you'll find something that you can use tomorrow.
I seem to be stuck on sharing templates of one sort or another. I saw a post by Heather Marshall, a reading teacher in California. In addition to being the author of some excellent hyperdocs, she was also chosen as one of the CLMS teachers of the year in 2016. Heather, on her blog, THE BOOK SOMMELIER, posted a great idea for students to try- a BookaKucha. She gives all the directions for this Pecha-Kucha style book talk. "The lesson is from Jon Corippo and Marlena Hebern's book Eduprotocols."
She goes on to give great examples, and some slide templates to try and leaves us with a quote:
"The impact of a good book cannot be measured through one-dimensional, cardboard cutouts of a single scene from a narrative. Something this big can not fit in a shoebox, but it may fit into a BookaKucha."
This is a student example she shared: About 2 minutes long
Yet one more opinion on ScreenTime
NPR put out an article featuring Jordan Shapiro. "In his new book, The New Childhood, his argument is that we're not spending enough screen time with our kids." You can read the whole article here.
Inclusion Benefits All
This short film has gotten rave reviews around the world. The film sets out to show that children with disabilities can and should be included. Check the write up on Respectability.org
Here's the blurb from YouTube: " A short film that appeals to emotions. A crush on the heart so that we all participate in the construction of a more inclusive world. Ian was born with cerebral palsy. Like everyone else, he wants to have friends. Like no one, he needs to work hard to get it. Discrimination, bullying and indifference keep him away from his beloved playground. But Ian won’t give up easily and will achieve something amazing. Ian is not alone. In Argentina there are five million people with disability. In the world, more than a billion. Inclusion is vital for our society, it makes us richer, more diverse and more just."
Less than 10 minutes... take the time.
12 Days of Techmas
Nadine Gilkison has shared a great slidedeck filled with wonderful ideas. She has given me permission to share the first slide (above) and to link it to her work. Check out her video below which explains a bit more about her motivation, the big picture. I first became aware of Nadine's work via Twitter and then was amazed all the wonderful hyperdocs that she shared. Lots of great ideas in the slide deck and don't forget to follow her work online for more.
A Holiday Gift from Lisa Highfill and HyperDocs
Lisa and her co-authors, Kelly Hilton and Sarah Landis, as well as all the teachers who freely share their work on the Hyperdocs.co site, or on the FB group deserve a standing ovation from all who benefit from their work. I was in the first cohort to take the Hyperdocs course, back when the book first came out and have to say that the ideas shared then combined with all the new hyperdocs shared online, are amazing tools which can really help you connect with and make a difference for your students. Click here or on the image below to see all the goodies Lisa shared today.
Ditch Summit 2018 & Access to all 35 Videos!
I know I already posted about this free online PD, but I didn't know that Matt Miller was going to open up all 35 videos in the series! These are only available through Dec 31st- so watch as many as you can before they disappear again. Today is Day 5 and I am already behind... but plan to catch up.
Don't Forget- Free Master FlipGrid course is live!
The debate around screen time is heating up once again. I have my own personal take on this, being one of the only tech folks in the universe who does not own a cell phone. But, aside from all the personal engagement/social issues that we can all acknowledge as adults- what is this doing to our kids' brains?
60 Minutes did a whole show on this recently and it was written up in the NY Times. This is an excerpt from the NY Times article: " As part of an exposé on screen time, “60 Minutes” reported that heavy screen use was associated with lower scores on some aptitude tests, and to accelerated “cortical thinning" — a natural process — in some children. But the data is preliminary, and it’s unclear whether the effects are lasting or even meaningful."
So NIH is doing a big longitudinal study to help clear this up. This is all well and good, but it also means that there is no quick and easy answer. I get a bit frustrated when I hear complaints about screen time in school. Our goal is to use this as an additional tool, to create, to learn. When the complaints come from folks who hand off a phone to a toddler in the car, it bugs me. Is this generational? Perhaps. When I see a group of students on a really cool field trip looking at natural wonders through a lens, instead of being present, in the moment, I think they are missing out. I see tech as a cool tool, but it should enhance, not limit, our world.
The various press releases around this study are already pointing fingers... more than 2 hours of screen time negatively affects the brain; brains of 9 and 10 year olds who use screens more than 7 hours a day show "thinning cortex", and on and on. It is a really interesting study, but it is far too early to say what these initial findings really mean. However, it is not too early to remind ourselves, parents and children to be aware of screen time and to balance our activities.