Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Teaching Elementary-Level Learners About the Brain

User Generated Education

Judy Willis in How to Teach Students About the Brain writes:

If we want to empower students, we must show them how they can control their own cognitive and emotional health and their own learning. Teaching students how the brain operates is a huge step. Even young students can learn strategies for priming their brains to learn more efficiently.

Teaching students the mechanism behind how the brain operates and teaching them approaches they can use to work that mechanism more effectively helps students believe they can create a more intelligent, creative, and powerful brain. It also shows them that striving for emotional awareness and physical health is part of keeping an optimally functioning brain. Thus, instruction in brain function will lead to healthier learners as well as wiser ones.

Here is a run down of the learning activities I did with my gifted elementary students to teach them about their…

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Be That Teacher

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” By Barack Obama

This week I would like to reblog a post by Derek McCoy titled: Be That Teacher. Derek is an amazing educator that I admire because he is a lead learner, change agent and risk taker. I have had the pleasure of learning with him at #edcamps and conferences such as NCTIES. His blog pose inspired me and so I wanted to forward it to my blog readers in hopes they are also inspired as well.

mccoyderek

0050ec171fb4eff4365f729391c9ab38Teaching is hard.

Change is hard.

We regularly ask teachers to make difficult adjustments to their practices. Change talks come from all levels, central office, building administrators and from the teachers themselves. If we are going to commit to relevant and rigorous learning, we have to commit to real, regular and honest conversations with ourselves, and our groups, about what we are doing in our schools, what things need to look and be like, and then work we need to engage in to get there. Without these talks and commitment, we won’t realize changes in:

  • implementing teaching practices to get students to communicate, collaborate, think critically and creatively;
  • making sure students are future ready, whether it be college or a career;
  • changing not only how we teach, but how we think and FEEL about what teaching is and should be;
  • using different mediums or approaches, sometimes that challenge us personally…

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Resources for CS EdWeek 2015

“It should be mandatory that you understand computer science.” By will.i.am

Computer Science Education Week is Dec 7th-13th, 2015. You don’t have to be a coder to participate in CS EdWeek. An Hour of Code is a smaller event during the week to allow students to be introduced to computer science topics such as coding to promote awareness. Below are some sites/ideas for how you can incorporate Computer Science into your classroom.

Hour of Code has lots of lessons, ideas and resources.

A Beginner’s Guide to Bringing Coding Into the Classroom by Kasey Bell

Teaching Kids to Code Guide by Edsurge

Hour of Code: Khan Academy Starter Lessons

Made with Code by Google: What if every girl knew the amazing things she could create with code? Invite girls to come together to experience the wonder of code, including an exciting new coding project being launched for Hour of Code.

Sail the High Seas with CS First by Google: In this activity students animate an ocean wave to create the setting for a story set on the high seas. Who are the characters, and how did they end up in the middle of the sea in the first place? That’s for the students to decide and create through code.

Koding – Say goodbye to your local host, and code in the cloud with the Koding Chrome App.

Computer Science Goes Beyond Coding

Take part in CS EdWeek and use the hashtag #csedweek to gather more ideas for you and your students! I would love to hear what others are doing for Hour of Code or CS Week!

Link

Reblog: 101 e-Learning Tips From Experts

Recently I was asked to provide some tips on the topic e-Learning along with some other educators for an article by Scott Hawksworth and Sarah Bass. I really enjoyed reading the tips and so I wanted to pass it along to my fellow blog readers.

Educational technology, and more specifically e-Learning, offers tremendous value to both students and teachers. Both are constantly evolving, and as such, challenges are inevitable. To that end, we surveyed hundreds of e-Learning experts in search of useful tips for teaching and learning online. Our search generated 101 amazing tips, which are presented below. For the first timer to the seasoned e-Learner, you’re likely to find many valuable tips to help you succeed online. Check out the article here: http://bestonlineuniversities.com/101-elearning-tips-from-the-experts

All of the expert contributors are also listed here with links to social media profiles so readers can connect and learn more about their work: http://bestonlineuniversities.com/expert-contributors

Students Creating with iPads

“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.” By George Bernard Shaw

To often lately I have been walking into classrooms and students are on iPads but all they are doing is either using it for research or to play a game. The iPad is a tool that allows our students to create content verses only consuming. Students can use higher order thinking skills to apply what they know when using many apps. The students then own the learning because they are applying concepts verse regurgitating information. Here are some of my new favorite FREE iPad apps and some oldie but goodies.

  1. Koma Koma – is a stop-animation app. It is simple to use with only four commands — shoot, delete, play and save.
  2. Adobe Slate –  create visual stories easily with this app.
  3. Shadow Puppet Edu – create videos in the classroom to explain ideas. There is also 30+ lesson ideas supporting Common Core too! (Great for all ages but I love that it is easy enough for K-1 students to use as well)

Oldies but goodies that I still use in the classroom:

  1. Thinglink
  2. ShowMe
  3. Tellagami
  4. StoryMe
  5. Adobe Voice
  6. Toontastic
  7. Padlet
  8. Haiku Deck
  9. iMovie
  10. ReadWriteThink Apps such as Trading Cards

All these Apps I have shared can be used across all content area and in many different ways from tasks to projects.

Helping Students Prepare For Online Testing

“The best preparation for good work tomorrow is to do good work today.” By Elbert Hubbard

test

Computer based (online) testing is coming no matter if we agree with it or not; it is inevitable. The best way to prepare our students is to be integrating technology into all subjects, daily and in a variety of ways. Here are some tips below of things you can start doing in your classroom this week to help your students.

Model and teach….

  • … how to use a toolbar.
  • … students to use a calculator that is online (not just the ones you have in your classroom).
  • … students to read online text; including how to use strategies such as using an online highlighter and notes.

This past week I modeled how to do a stop and jot (annotate) using an online text from Tweentribune and Bounce. Here are some other web-tools and sites you can use in the classroom to help prepare your students:

  1. Diigo
  2. Dreambox
  3. Compass Learning
  4. Khan Academy
  5. Zeal
  6. LearnZillion
  7. Illustrative Mathematics
  8. Schoolnet or Mastery Connect
  9. Discovery Education Techbook
  10. Chrome Extension:
    1. Read & Write works with all sites, including Google Drive.
    2. Yellow Highlighter  with any site/article like NewsELA

If you have another way to help your students prepare for online/computer based testing please share in the comments.

Motivational Video Toolkit

“What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” By Ralph Marston

Below I have compiled some of my favorite motivational videos I like to use in no particular order:

  1. You Can Learn Anything
  2. Growth Mindset: World Best Motivational Videos for Students
  3. New Bell’s South Africa TV Ad — The Reader
  4. Rita Pierson: Every Kid Needs a Champion
  5. Rubik’s Cube: A Question, Waiting to be Answered
  6. 212 Degrees
  7. Broken Escalator
  8. Piano Stairs
  9. What Adults Can Learn From Kids
  10. Kid President Video Playlist
  11. Disrupting Education 
  12. This I Believe

I am always looking for more motivational videos so please share in the comments your favorites to help build the toolkit.

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