Useful Sites | Academy of American Poets This American site can be search by looking up a poet or poem. It includes featured thematic lists such as “love poems” and “black history month.”
Famous Poets and Poems – Read and Enjoy Poetry This site offers an eclectic mix of poetry, both modern and classic. There is a list of the top 50 poems, famous quotes by poets and you can search thematically.
Poetry Foundation This site includes established and classic poets. You can click on “poems and poets” and browse for poems. Searches can be done by themes or by browsing by poem type. | Poetry archive This an archive of poets reading their own work. It isaccompanied by the written text. It also contains lesser known poets and is searchable by theme, the poet, or a poem.
Purdue OWL: MLA Formatting and Style Guide This is Purdue University’s Citation site, and links directly to the MLA section. It is a valuable resources for all students who are looking for citation information!
R U 4 R.E.A.L? Strategy for Website Evaluation Slideshow that sets out how to evaluate websites using the pneumonic R.E.A.L. Explains how you tell if a website is credible or could be used for a school research project by explaining the R.E.A.L. strategy. Puts up the sorts of questions students should ask to evaluate a website’s credibility before using its information for a school project.
Critical Evaluation – Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Everything Kathy Schrock has created a long list of links to iuseful information about how to critically evaluate information found on the Web. This page includes forms for teaching the process, articles for learning about the aspect of literacy, and a list of bogus sites to use to showcase that all things on the Web are not real.
Evaluating Internet Resources This post outines the Criteria for Evaluation of resources. “Students need to learn to evaluate the quality of information they find on the web as well as other information resources such as books, magazines, CD-ROM, and television.” Students should be skeptical of everything they find. They need to be encouraged to compare and contrast different information resources. Also has links to hoax sites that can be used to to explain how to evaluate information.
Evaluating Sources – Use the C.R.A.P. Test! — Mercer University Libraries When undertaking any research you will need to evaluate all of them to determine whether or not they are reliable and relevant to whatever your project is. It does not matter if you have a book, article, website, or other source, you can use the C.R.A.P. Test* to decide whether or not it’s worth including in your resource list. This piece outine what is involved in the “C.R.A.P.” test.
Getting ‘REAL’ with web evaluation – tips and tools to develop information literacy | LinkingLearning Using the ideas of Alan November, who presents a great strategy for students to apply whenever they are researching and need to confirm the reliability of the source of their information. The pneumonic ‘REAL’ illustrates the step that can be used to test the any site.
5 Components of Information Literacy – YouTube“Published on 29 Jan 2014. Information literacy can be divided into five different categories: Identify, Find, Evaluate, Apply, and Acknowledge. View academic and real world examples for each component to discover why information literacy is important to success in college or university and in life.”
Why can’t I just Google? – YouTube “Uploaded on 9 Feb 2010 Information is everywhere! Its just so easy to Google and use something that looks relevant… so why cant you just Google?”

Why Technology in Classrooms Doesn’t Always Boost Scores An interesting look at how technology should be used in the classroon for it to be effective. “HAVING technology means nothing. You have to: 1. Have technology in the classroom, 2. Students must have access, and 3. Teachers must know how to teach with tech.  A number of different ideas for “using Technology in Ways that Improve Classroom Learning” are then explained

Free Technology for Teachers: Streamline Your Feedback Process in Google Docs “JoeZoo Express doesn’t limit you to using just feedback phrases that they have listed. You can create your own feedback phrases and explanations.

Teachers who want to use rubrics to give feedback and grades can do so within JoeZoo Express. JoeZoo offers a free rubric builder tool. You can customize the rubric to meet your specific needs. The rubrics that you create can be saved and inserted into students’ documents when you are grading their work.”

Useful links

DigCit Deep Dive – DigCit@SJP “Good online behavior is directly and inextricably related to good behavior in general, which rests at the heart of a solid K–12 education. We cannot predict what technology will look like in 2020, or even 5 years. But we do know that children will always need our guidance in managing and navigating the increasingly complex digital world. Such guidance is essential in creating not only a generation of positive, responsible, and kind digital natives, but also a generation of good citizens. The basic tenets and concepts around digital citizenship are evergreen. Digital citizenship and information literacy comprise some of the most important education we can provide our children. Unlike the comings and goings of technology devices and applications, the way people operate in the digital world will be relevant and significant for years to come.” $ tenets: Etiquette; communication and responsibility; privacy & safety and Ifentity and personal brand.
Kids & Family Reading Report – Scholastic What Kids want in books. An overview with choice being #1
The Strategy for Digital Citizenship Some of the rationale: “Much of digital citizenship education is related to being a good citizen and exercising good judgment. We teach these values in everyday life, but to date the digital life of children is often considered outside this realm. By focusing on digital citizenship, we acknowledge that our students’ online lives require the same attention and guidance as we give to their offline lives. Our aim is to empower students to make smart, responsible, and respectful decisions when using media. At the same time, we want to help them to understand the ethical consequences behind the decisions they make online.:
Top Tips, Tools, and Techniques for Easy Formative Assessment “The secret to great teaching is to understand what students know. Formative assessment can improve your classroom learning. Technology can make formative assessment easier for you and make a lesson flow.”
An English language lesson from the movies Alternatives to using “very”
Mathematical Habits of Mind | Edutopia Although about maths the ideas and concepts are applicable more widely. “Experienced vs. Inexperienced Problem Solvers. According to Levasseur and Cuoco (PDF, 80KB), it’s the mathematical habits of mind, or modes of thought, that enable us to reason about the world from a quantitative and spatial perspective, and to reason about math content that empowers us to use our mathematical knowledge and skills to make sense of and solve problems. It’s these habits that separate the “experienced” from the “inexperienced” problem solver.”
Note Taking Skills for 21st Century Students @coolcatteacher “Note taking skills aren’t just automatic. We tell students “take notes” but they have no idea what that means. What makes “good notes.” What do they write down? How should notes look?” “A new frustration that has me grappling with noteaking. I don’t just take my students into full blown digital notetaking in the beginning. If they don’t have basic notetaking skills down in an analog way adding a new technology AND teaching how to take notes at the same time is too much.
Design: Creating An Effective Scientific Poster Presentation Simple tips on how to create better presentatilons
Poster Basics – How to Create a Research Poster – Research Guides at New York University “The poster is usually a mixture of a brief text mixed with tables, graphs, pictures, and other presentation formats. At a conference, the researcher stands by the poster display while other participants can come and view the presentation and interact with the author. What makes a good poster? Important information should be readable from about 10 feet away. Title is short and draws interestText is clear and to the point. Use of bullets, numbering, and headlines make it easy to read. Effective use of graphics, color and fonts. Consistent and clean layout. Includes acknowledgments, your name and institutional affiliation A sample of a well designed poster
Infographic: Tips for designing better research posters “The research poster must be clear, concise and attractive in order to generate discussion and feedback from colleagues. However, it is not easy to achieve those goals in a pleasing layout. Here are some tips to help you design effective research posters that stand out.”
Templates – Scientific Posters Useful poster templates

Education at a Glance 2016 – OECD Indicators – en – OECD “Education at a Glance 2016

OECD Indicators”
Why we Need to Talk About Leslie Jones in Class – Teacher Tech This post offer some good advice about how to get the message across. “Why telling kids to “be nice” online is NOT enough” is a post by @julnilsmith on the blog of @alicekeeler. This is a very useful one on the topic of Digital Citizenship, security & privacy.
Free Infographic Maker – Venngage Free tool that enables you to make infographics

Evaluating Websites: Using pneumonics to remember C.R.A.P. AND R.E.A.L.

Working with students in year 7 (and after some research sessions with parents) I created this slideshow to help students (and parents) remember the things we spoke about and investigated. The students used in in conjunction with someweb research they were doing in respone to a variety of English tasks where they were to recommend several websites that would be useful to the characters they chose to work on. The students had to find and evaluate the sites then explain why they were sites their characters would have used.

STEM: resources

I have been investigating resources for supporting the curriculum next year. We will be embracing the STEM ideas in a more structured way for the first time although other schools have been onboard for a long time. There are  a myriad of rich resources and approaches that other schools and organisations have shared by schools. The sites I find that meet our needs are being added to my Blendspace lesson on STEM resources. Although I like the STEAM idea that incorporates creativity (through the Arts addition), I am keen to get all our teachers on the same wavelength with STEM. There are still some who are not sure about why we are making this push. The following infographic (although from the US) gives us some ideas about why we need to get kids excited about science and maths.

Why STEM Matters
Image source:

Digital literacy: Better Googling. Parent sessions

Recently we ran some Digital literacy session for parents. They were run over three evening and were hour-long session designed to give parents an idea about the tips we give to their sons. The second session was entitled “Better Googling” and explained about how to use the standard Google search more effectively to get the most useful results. This following was a slide presentation I prepared. We always try to make the sessions hands-on and encourage participants to play. There are so many things we could cover but we keep it to an hour because, at the end of the day, we believe this is an optimum length for everyone to concentrate and enjoy the sessions.

Although we used live internet connections, copies of Powerpoint slides given as handouts work well with parents as they like to write down notes.

Useful links

Free Technology for Teachers: 5 Tools to Organize and Cite Research Sources Richard Byrne offers a description of some of the tools (with links) that may help students organize and cite their research sources.
Online Tools and Resources That Support Academic Honesty | Getting Smart “This post offer an annotated list of 10 edtech tools that can help promote academic honesty. They offer an easy way to fit doing the right into daily routines and improving the quality of educational efforts especially with research.”
Writing guide – EasyBib Blog Whilst there is no single, ‘correct’ way to write a research paper, there are certain guidelines that can assist the writer. This is a writing guide that cna be used as a framework depending on what the task is..
Favorite Portals for Pedagogical Planning (and a new curation tool) — @joycevalenza NeverEndingSearch  Joyce Valenza examines some interesting pedagogical portals that educators should have a look at if they are seeking some inspiration for engaging learners in meaningful conversations and a few new activities.
Libraries of the future are going to change in some unexpected ways | Business Insider An article that discusses some fascinating ideas about what libraries might become – their services and whatresources they curate
The growing need for developing (the right) STEM skills – Skills and Work An interesting discussion around what STEM skills and abilities are important and should be taught to students.
School Libraries: Are They Relevant in the Age of Google? “There are some great opportunities for the new school library. The idea of libraries as learning commons has gotten considerable national traction, and some successful models have been born”
Leverage Library Orientations to Reach Students AND Teachers “As a teacher librarian you are always learning about new ideas, skills, and ways of doing things that can enhance learning, engagement, and/or efficiency for students and teachers alike. But, it’s frequently a challenge finding the opportunities to share all we want to with either group. One way to expose both students and teachers to new concepts and skills simultaneously, thus getting double mileage from the time, is to introduce them during library orientations.
Study Skills Handbook by ELES Assisting my students develop good study techniques including improving memory, revision techniques, active reading and listening.
Free Clip Art and Public Domain Images Incredible art department. Many links to aide range of resources
Coding, Literacy and the 21st Century – Read Write RespondAn interesting discussion about the place of coding in education. “In the end, maybe coding is the 21st writing firm of writing? Like poetry, maybe every student should write code. One thing that is certain, coding as a topic of discussion provides more questions than answers. So what about you? “

How to Organize a Paper: Ten Ways to Write the Perfect Document – The Visual Communication Guy: Design, Writing, and Teaching Resources All in One Place! Whatever your purpose for writing, the way you organize your paper is critical to the way in which it will be received. To organize a paper, you much be conscious of what your goal is, what your audience will interpret your message to be, how you’ll build to your main point, and how you’ll leave the appropriate lasting impression.

This graphic doesn’t cover all the ways to organize a paper, but it covers ten of the most common.”
Is Listening to an Audio book “Cheating?” – Daniel Willingham “Learning to read is certainly important, no one is saying that it isn’t, but in some cases, listening to the story can encourage students to read more, something high school English teacher Michael Godsey discovered using podcast audio with transcripts. “
Digital Licence This the site of the eSmart Digital Licence. It is a comprehensive online cyber safety resources. It teaches school aged children critical digital skills and promotes discussion about online safety between young people and their parents, carers and teachers.
Google now lets you explore U.S. National Parks via 360-degree virtual tours | TechCrunch This offers a wonderful to gain some understanding of these amazing places.
The 7 C’s of Minecraft: Education Edition – LearningBlocksEdu One educator discusses “How would I do Minecraft Education Edition?” He takes a look at what might happen if there was “a blank canvas to work on and a bottomless pit of resources”. The ideas are laid out under 7 headings: “The 7 C’s” that are at the very core of his vision of Minecraft in Education. These are: Curriculum; Curriculum; Collaboration; Community; Communication; Control; Coding. There are ideas here that could lead to some interesting discussions.

Useful links

Educational Postcard: ”Grades are not t by Ken Whytock, on Flickr
Educational Postcard: ”Grades are not t” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by  Ken Whytock 

A Handy Collection of Some of The Best EdTech Tools for Teachers and Educators ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning “The aim of this multi-purpose collection is to provide teachers with a handy resource where they can access some of the best educational tools to leverage in their instruction. This list is a work-in progress and we will be adding more to it in the next coming days.”
New Code Club Python Projects! | The Code Club Blog The Code Club has updated. New developements explained and new projects. “The projects cover key skills such as sequencing, variables, selection, repetition, as well as lists, dictionaries, functions and files. The projects also focus on data, both using open data sets (in the ‘Where is the Space Station?’ project), as well as data that can be collected and analysed by the children themselves (such as in the ‘Popular Pets’ project).”
4 Apps to Foster Parent-Teacher Communication | EdTech Magazine There are many apps, ranging from Facebook-like social formats to simple SMS reminders, that can provide safe messaging options and communication tools to help create a stronger relationship between teachers and parents. 4 apps are discussed here.
Personalized Learning: Enabling Student Voice and Choice Through Projects | Edutopia “Six tips to bring personalized learning projects into your classroom and build student engagement. “
What Happens to Behavior When You Incorporate Student Choice? – John Spencer ” Is student choice is a privilege or a fundamental right? One teachers reflection about his journey. “I was afraid of student choice. I knew it could work with a typical classroom. But what about a hard class? What about a group where I am regularly missing 4-5 students a week for suspensions around playground fighting, graffiti, and drug possession? I was scared that autonomy would lead to anarchy. I was also proud and even a little arrogant. I had a positive reputation in my district and suddenly I was struggling. I didn’t want to be found out. I felt powerless and so I tried to micromanage….It’s something that all students need. But more importantly, it is something that works. It can feel risky to empower a student who misbehaves. However, it is worth the risk. I’ve learned that so many students, labeled for years as being the “bad kids” do amazing things when they feel empowered to own their learning.”
Top 10 Apps to help improve the lives of Autism spectrum children “The number of apps being developed for autism spectrum children has soared due to the high demand for such tools. Here are ten that are highly recommended.
How do I learn more about different SharePoint topics? | Sharegate Links to almost anythig about using Sharepoint
Google Apps update alerts: Add images to questions and answers in Google Forms “Google Forms makes it easy to create, distribute, and analyze surveys. Starting today, you can craft even more effective forms by inserting images into survey questions or adding images as multiple choice or checkbox options in Forms on the web.”
Cool Ideas to get started with Office 365 in your classroom “Anytime, anywhere access to resources and tools for learning is an essential element for today’s online learning environments. Thanks to the cloud (and some clever technical engineers) digital tools are enabling seamless connections between teachers and learners and transforming the what, when, how and where we work. In this post, one teacher shares some of the productivity elements of Office 365 classroom that he has made use of “
18 Digital Tools and Strategies That Support Students’ Reading and Writing | MindShift | KQED News “From a presentation to the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference on an array of digital reading and writing tools teachers and students in her district find most helpful. Littleton’s Instructional Technology Specialist, Dana Levesque, started compiling resources on a site that both teachers and students can access to find the tools that fit their needs. The important thing is for kids to begin to think metacognitively about what they need to succeed in school and to advocate for what works. Not every student will use the same tools, but there are lots of powerful ones that could be the slight boost a student needs to feel successful.”

Newsela rolls out Library to help students read beyond the news | TechCrunch Newsela, the exceptional reading site offering the same article written for different reading levels (see The Best Places To Get The “Same” Text Written For Different “Levels”) has unveiled a new “Library” feature offering similar “levels” of primary source documents. Access is free to all Newsela resources, though you have to register on the site. A fee is required, though, in order to use advanced features like a virtual classroom.

Free Technology for Teachers: TurboNote – Take & Share Notes While Watching Videos TurboNote is a useful Chrome extension that enables you to take notes while watching a video in the same web browser window. Unlike some similar extensions, TurboNote isn’t limited to working with YouTube videos. TurboNote can be used on Vimeo, Netflix, and Facebook videos.
Venn Diagram Templates to Download or Modify Online “There are some Venn diagram templates/examples available for you in the Creately diagramming community. You can download them for free or modify then online using our diagram software. New templates are added frequently, so be sure to check back often.”
15 of the Best Open Source Image Sites on the Web A useful annotated list of sites to obtain and use images fairly.