October 31, 2017

FOCUS ON LEARNING

 

Padlet: https://padlet.com/

Wow! The amazing Padlet has gotten even better. Padlet is such a great way to have your students work together and get their ideas down in one place. Here are some additional features that are new for fall 2017:

  • Collaborate and assess with reactions. You can grade, star, upvote or like the posts of others!
  • Categorize posts with colors. Give your posts one of five colors. What colors mean is totally up to you.

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Book Creator for Chrome: https://app.bookcreator.com/

Book Creator has been an awesome app on the iPads for years – but now you can access it on Chromebooks and in the Chrome browser on computers. This is an inexpensive and beautiful way to create books of all kinds! Consider using it to make a classroom book of your activity, field trip, student interests, or lesson. Or, have your students make books for their book buddies in other grade levels. Try Book Creator as a way for students to share their knowledge or to extend an activity.

Book Creator is flexible, easy to use, beautiful, and free! Students log in with their Google account. Books can be shared in a variety of ways, or even downloaded and printed. This is a great tool for all grade levels and content areas! Check it out today!

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Free Pioneer Press for Schools: http://www.ppnie.com/

Classrooms teachers are all eligible once again this school year for a free access to the St Paul Pioneer Press. One of the best reasons to register is to receive FREE online access to all of their great lesson plans, tools and resources! You can set up individual student accounts if you so choose, but you don’t have to. This is a great resource for teachers of all grade levels – and it is entirely FREE! Check out the website and register for your free account today.

In addition to the website access you can sign up for weekly emails that highlight the resources for that week. You will find that these support your curriculum and engage your students. There are daily puzzles, lesson plans, and so much more! Don’t miss out! Register today!

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Infinitec App Search: http://www.myinfinitec.org/app-search

Looking for just the right app for reaching your student’s individual needs? The App Search at Infinitec (which we get through PAWN) is the perfect place to search! The Infinitec Mobile App Searchable Database is a new tool which can guide your decision-making by identifying the features found in apps for Writing, Reading, Math, Organization and Study Skills, AAC, Language, Daily Living, and Fine Motor. Soon they will add Classroom Tools, Social Skills/Behavior and Visual Perception/Visual Motor.

By using this tool, you will be able to select apps based on the criteria important to you, as well as view and compare the features of a specific app before you buy. You can then match those features with the needs of your students to make better selections.  When you find an app you’re interested in learning more about or purchasing, you can click on the link to the vendor’s app store or marketplace to be taken directly to the page for the app.

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Powerpoint Changes: https://goo.gl/zfAPBz

Our Office 365 licensing allows us to use the most current updated version of Powerpoint and Word (and more!) which is fantastic! Did you know there are new changes to Powerpoint that make it even better for teachers? This blog post highlights the best of the new changes to Powerpoint. These include add-in tools, great new charts, sharing and co-authoring, exporting your presentation as a video, and creating closed captaining. So, even if you only use Powerpoint a little bit, it is worth looking into these new features. Read through the article and learn some new tricks today!

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Communicating with Families

A recent parent survey conducted by Speak Up Research Project, may help schools and educators determine how to communicate different kinds of information with parents. Overwhelmingly, parents still prefer to be texted or emailed about important happenings at school and with their children. While many schools have moved to social media platforms to communicate with families, the recent study found that many parents view this form of communication to be less reliable and less credible. Food for thought as you continually examine your communication tools and their effectiveness (HarperEducationDIVE).


Google Keep: https://www.google.com/keep/

Google Keep is not just for teachers! I hope you’ve taken a look at this great little tool. It allows you to grab lists, images, webpages, and more, and save them for later use. It works seamlessly within Google Docs and Google Slides. But there’s so much more than it can do!

Vicki Davis has been exploring how students can use Google Keep for research. You can watch the YouTube Video or view the Edpuzzle if you want to be guided along. Students can use Google Keep on their phones for lists and notebooks, and then have easy access to those while in any Google program. You are going to love how this tool supports you and your students! If you haven’t taken a look at it yet, you certainly need to do so now.

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Through My Window: https://teamthroughmywindow.org/

Through My Window is a multimedia curriculum that uses story to integrate STEM and literacy, and frame engineering in innovative ways. It is geared for grades 4-8 and could make a fantastic addition to your PLtW, STEM, and literacy activities.  What can children and young teens do on throughmywindow.org?

  • read Talk to Me, a young adult mystery novel
  • follow the adventures of the Talk to Mecharacters in a graphic novel
  • explore engineering concepts such as artificial intelligence, engineering design, and engineering ethics in imaginative learning adventures
  • share and imporve ideas about engineering in interactive forums
  • listen to the audiobook

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