FOCUS ON LEARNING
I hope you can skim this newsletter sometime during the week. Much of the information is time-sensitive, so hopefully putting it in this format will be easier to take a quick look at, and click on those links that interest you. Please contact me any time if I can help you with anything at all.
I am available all week: please email, call or text anytime to set up a time to get together!
“Read&Write Extension for Google Chrome: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/readwrite-for-google-chro/inoeonmfapjbbkmdafoankkfajkcphgd?utm_source=gmail
This is a fantastic extension for students and teachers, and I am thrilled to share it with you! With this extension you can have any webpage, line, or section of a webpage read to you. However, that is just the start! From hearing emails or documents read out loud to text prediction, picture dictionaries and summary highlighters, Read&Write makes lots of everyday literacy tasks simpler, quicker and more accurate. Check out the website for demos, as well as your FREE fully-functioning account (valued at $150!). If you work with students who read and write (and who doesn’t?) check it out today!!
Free account for teachers: https://www.texthelp.com/en-us/products/read-write/free-for-teachers/
The Global Read Aloud: https://theglobalreadaloud.com/
The Global Read Aloud project extends throughout October and November. Teachers pick a book from the list to read aloud to their students during a set 6-week period and during that time try to make as many global connections as possible. Each teacher decides how much time they would like to dedicate and how involved they would like to be. Some people choose to connect with just one class, while others go for as many as possible. The scope and depth of the project is up to you. You choose the communication tools that will make the most sense for you (Skype, Google Hangouts, or other). Teachers get a community of other educators to do a global project with, hopefully inspiring them to continue these connections through the year.
Looking to participate? Complete the form (on the website) – or let me know, and I’ll connect you with some additional classrooms.
The Library of Congress: https://www.loc.gov/
Don’t overlook the incredible resources located at the Library of Congress online. Their digital collection is very wide-reaching, and can support research and learning in every curricular area. Locate Civil War photographs, presidential papers, magazine & newspaper archives, classic books online, everyday mysteries, Veteran’s History projects, and so much more! Discover the Library of Congress today!
Google Classroom for Lower Elementary? http://www.alicekeeler.com/2016/05/14/4-year-olds-log-google-classroom/
Yes, it’s true! You really can use Google Classroom, and other Google Tools with children as young as preschool. Alice Keeler gives tons of ideas and tips for using Google with young children on her blog post 4 Year Olds Log into the Google Classroom. Besides Classroom, Alice gives her ideas for using Sheets, Drawings, and Slides in a creative and thoughtful way. Take a look at this post, and others on Alice’s website, for great Google information.
Citizen Science: https://scistarter.com/educators
Do your students want to change the world? SciStarter is a Citizen Science website that lists crowd-sourced science projects currently going on…and your students can help with the data collecting! People around the world are studying climate, insects, lakes, plant life, and so much more – but they need more data collected. Here’s where you fit in: commit to keeping track of your data and submitting it to the project. You can truly teach a class of citizen scientists and they can see how their contributions can make a difference.
ASCD Educational Leadership’s Unleashing Problem Solvers: http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership.aspx
The October issue of Educational Leadership is all about problem solving! There are articles for all teachers of all grades and content areas, all focusing on the idea of creativity, questioning, and problem solving. Many articles can be read online at no charge – but if you find a “locked article” that you’re interested in reading, let me know and I’ll send the magazine your way. ASCD’s Educational Leadership has been my go-to magazine for a number of years. I always find articles that are relevant and timely – and I think you will too!
ISTE Teacher Standards: https://www.iste.org/standards/for-educators
Following the release of the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) Student Standards in 2016, ISTE released their teacher standards at the annual conference in June, 2017 (access Student Standard information here: https://www.iste.org/standards/for-students).
The Educator Standards include: (View Indicators on the website above)
The ISTE Standards for Educators are your road map to helping students become empowered learners. These standards will deepen your practice, promote collaboration with peers, challenge you to rethink traditional approaches and prepare students to drive their own learning.
Learner: Educators continually improve their practice by learning from and with others and exploring proven and promising practices that leverage technology to improve student learning.
Leader: Educators seek out opportunities for leadership to support student empowerment and success and to improve teaching and learning.
Citizen: Educators inspire students to positively contribute to and responsibly participate in the digital world.
Collaborator: Educators dedicate time to collaborate with both colleagues and students to improve practice, discover and share resources and ideas, and solve problems.
Designer: Educators design authentic, learner-driven activities and environments that recognize and accommodate learner variability.
Facilitator: Educators facilitate learning with technology to support student achievement of the ISTE Standards for Students.
Analyst: Educators understand and use data to drive their instruction and support students in achieving their learning goals.
Breakout Edu: https://www.breakoutedu.com/
Breakout EDU is a powerful learning experience in the form of an immersive learning games platform. The Breakout EDU kit allows for the facilitation of games where players use teamwork and critical thinking to solve a series of challenging puzzles in order to open the locked box. Games are available for all ages and content areas, and are designed for large groups (20-30), while most are designed for small groups (8-12). Many teachers choose to have multiple kits so that they can break their class up into 2-3 groups and play one of the games designed for smaller groups. Others use Breakout EDU as a station or classroom center activity.
I have a kit – and I would love to come and plan a Breakout activity with you for your class. There are games for all curriculum areas and age groups. Let me know when you’re ready to try this with your students. If you’d like to try it out with a group of teachers first, let me know. There are many activities created for professional development!
Have you updated your iPad? If you have an iPad 2 or earlier, you won’t be able to move up to the new operating system. However, if your iPad is newer, you may want to consider installing iOS 11. There are a few neat new tools that I have found useful. I especially like the multitasking it allows me to do. I also love being able to take screenshots and annotate on them. There are also some features for accessing documents and creating folders for your apps. And, although it’s not new, if you haven’t been using Airdrop it is definitely something you need to try. It is the slickest, easiest way to share photos and videos with other iPad, iPhone or Mac users.
You can learn more about some of the special features here: https://jonathanwylie.com/2017/08/18/11-ios-11-features-for-ipad-educators/.