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 in Park Rapids on Wednesday this week: please email, call or text anytime to set up a time to get together! I will always reply to your messages and help in any way I can.
EDpuzzle’s FREE Curriculum: www.edpuzzle.com
EDpuzzle now includes access to curated content in all subject areas and grade levels, just perfect for our schools! Once you log in to EDpuzzle, click “Search” at the top right. Then click “My School” and then click “Curriculum”. You can access all of the content created by any teacher in your school. This is a fantastic (and EASY) way to share content for your students!
However, select the “CURRICULUM” tab and it will take you to terrific content created by others that fits beautifully into our curriculum. This will save you time in searching, and will make locating differentiated lessons simple. There is no charge for all this content, plus you still have access to content from YouTube, Khan Academy, National Geographic, TED Talks, Veriasium, Numberphile, Crash course, and Vimeo.
Take a look today…and if you don’t have an account, create your free one right away.
Educational Scavenger Hunts: https://www.goosechase.com/edu/
Goosechase offers scavenger hunts for students to do with mobile devices. These are created for all ages and grades, and even for adults. Goosechase is a wonderful way to provide a review, introduce a lesson, or frame a field trip. It involves taking pictures and completing other tasks using the mobile device. As an example, a lesson on shapes may require students to take a picture of a rectangle, join with another person to create a triangle and take a picture of it, draw a circle and upload it into the program.
I’d love to try out Goosechase with your class: let’s see what we can do with it today!
Symbaloo Learning Paths: http://learningpaths.symbaloo.com
Graphing Learning Path, grade 2: http://learningpaths.symbaloo.com/preview/L44225/
Learning paths are a fantastic way to provide a full lesson, complete with differentiation options, to a group of students using Symbaloo. Symbaloo is a great tool for creating those starting pages (to incorporate a whole bunch of links), and the idea of learning paths gives direction to your lesson while keeping students focused. This is a great way to provide numerous activities without having to post a lot of links to your Google Classroom: all of the links are located in the path. You can view learning paths that others have created as well as creating your own with your free Symbaloo EDU account. Let me know if I can help you today!
Teaching STEM requires students to ask questions…continually. Wonderopolis is a great framework for those questions. Each day Wonderopolis offers a new question through a short, engaging video. Use that video to get your students asking questions and thinking critically.
The excitement of learning that comes from curiosity and wonder is undeniable, and Wonderopolis helps create learning moments in everyday life. Try it when you have a few minutes to spare, or want to send your students off with something “to chew on”. Check out the tools for teachers, where you can find lesson plans, correlations to state standards, and real-world applications.
Click2Science Professional Development for STEM: http://click2sciencepd.org/
Not quite sure what it means to be “STEM”? The Click2Science resources (most of which are free for educators) offer videos, webinars, step-by-step guides, and additional supporting documents which help teachers. I looked at one on Modeling Engineering Practices and another on Making Connections to STEM careers. Both were excellent and engaging. If you’re interested in learning more about STEM, or if you have parents asking about STEM in the classroom, you may find these resources to be very helpful.
One of my favorite FREE resources for staying on top of technology in education is the Tech & Learning magazine. Both a printed magazine and an online resource, Tech & Learning is an easy way to view the hottest tools available, read the important topics in tech education, and hear the stories from people out in the field (just like you!)
Subscribing is free, and you can decide if you want a printed magazine, weekly or monthly emails, or just want to visit the site when you can. You’ll find tips on everything from getting grants for your classroom to developing a digital literacy curriculum, and you’ll have access to a huge professional development library, tons of articles of interest, and a whole new network of experts.
And StoryMaps: http://storymaps.arcgis.com/en/gallery/#s=0
Maps are important in every subject area and in every grade level, wouldn’t you agree? As valuable as that “pull-down” map may be in your classroom, wouldn’t you love to have maps that you can share with your students that can be manipulated to share data, to illustrate events, and to tell the stories that we need to tell? ArcGIS can do that, and so much more!
You can use ArcGIS freely, without an account. You can create maps and share them with others, but more importantly, you can use maps that have already been created – to show things like hurricane damage, bombing missions, explorations travels, walking tours, and landmarks.
This powerful mapping software (the same software that professionals use) is available at no charge to schools. We have accounts if you would like to set one up for your classroom. But you can also visit the websites and create your own maps and view those that others have created without even logging in. Don’t miss this fantastic resource!
TechTips on Pearltrees: http://www.pearltrees.com/shellyterrell/tech-tips/id5941548
Pearltrees is a place to organize your interests, similar to Pinterest. This free service lets you organize, explore and share everything you like. Save web pages, files, photos or notes and organize them naturally. Explore amazing collections that relate to your interests and subscribe to their updates. Shelly Terrell has organized a TON of tech ed resources here. You will want to bookmark this one and take a look at all the great offerings related to teaching with technology!
Organizing your Google Drive: http://www.techlearning.com/blogentry/12265
Feeling frustrated with your Google Drive folders? Check out this article and get some great tips on how to organize your Google Drive.
Breakout Edu Digital: https://www.breakoutedu.com/digital/
Last week I talked about Breakout EDU, and the kits available in Park Rapids. However, if you want to try a Breakout in the classroom environment without using a kit, a digital Breakout is the way to go. In a digital Breakout you need some type of device for your students (either individually or shared). You set the stage with a story. Bring your students to the website where all the clues and the scenario are located. This is usually a Google Site, but they can be made on other platforms as well. The locks are housed on a Google Form.
Students look for the clues, and put the answers into the Google Form. They know instantly if they’ve solved a puzzle or not, so they can either move onto another clue or continue working on that one. The puzzle are not easy! They really challenge students to think critically and read and observe everything. It can be frustrating – but once students begin to solve the puzzles they get especially motivated to solve them all.
One note – there are no answer keys for teachers. You are encouraged to work alongside them and attempt to solve the puzzles. Want to hear more? Talk to Aarin Galzki or Emily Schueller. They have tried Digital Breakouts with their classes, and would love to share their stories.
Edmodo Give-away: https://www.edmodo.com/topics/8711/World-Teacher-Day-Giveaway
Are you an Edmodo member? In addition to fantastic free professional development and networking for teachers they are giving away some free iPhone Xs and $100 Visa gift cards. All you have to do for a chance to win is click this link and sign in with your account. If you’re not a member, you might try creating a free account. You never know when you might learn something valuable!