Student Centered Instructional Methods

Another one of Mia Macmeekin’s great infographics. This one offers inspiration to teachers with a range of 28 different ideas for promoting active learning in the classroom situation. These suggestions are general in nature so they can be applied to various types of lessons and learning areas. There are brief statements included to give starters to teachers for planning lessons.

Students are the focus in in the learning processes mentioned here. They involve individual learning methods, group work and communication between students and some include using various technologies.

This is a great overview different methodologies that could make any classroom management more inclusive and welcoming to all students.

An Ethical Island

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What makes a good teacher in 2016

We have recently had parent teacher conferences, some professional learning activities and staff appraisals, for a number of our teachers, occur at this time each year. This has prompted some discussions about what teachers do and what should they do.

I found the following infographic interesting and thought it might form the basis for further discussions. It would be interesting to hear what my colleagues think about what attributes are need to be a good teacher in today’s schools and what it will take to be so in the future.
What Makes a Good Teacher in 2016 Infographic
Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics

Useful links

Your Online Presence is a Digital Tattoo, Not a Footprint | The Golden Age of Education Some nice infographics that explain why why we must model and demonstrate how to actively create digital tattoos instead of passively leaving digital footprints.
DERN: Digital Educatioonal Research Network (DERN) “Free Research Reviews – published fortnightly. The latest 2 research reviews are FREE.”
IFLA School Library Guidelines, 2nd edition This is the new edition of the School Library Guidelines, approved by the IFLA Professional Committee in June 2015.
These guidelines constitute the second edition of the IFLA ‘School Library Guidelines’. The first edition of the school library guidelines was developed in 2002. They have been developed to assist school library professionals and educational decision-makers in their efforts to ensure that all students and teachers have access to effective school library programs and services, delivered by qualified school library personnel.
TLT | Australian Teaching and Learning Toolkit What impacts most on student learning. Teaching and Learning toolkit
Rethinking Learning: The 21st Century Learner | MacArthur Foundation – YouTube A thought provoking video about critical and creative thinking from John Seely Brown
Bebras Australia | Digital Careers Computational Thinking Challenge For Students “Bebras is an international student challenge whose goal is to promote computational thinking for teachers and students (ages 8-17 / school years 3-12). Bebras is aligned with and supports information and communication technology curricula across Australia. Bebras Australia is run by NICTA under the Digital Careers program, funded by the Australian Government. It’s a great way to get students interested and participating in information and communication technology (ICT) which could lead to an interest in pursuing a career in the exciting ICT industry!”
ISTE | 9 resources for teaching digital citizenship “In classrooms where digital citizenship is taught effectively, the teachers often share two things in common: They model ethical technology use for their students on a daily basis, and they naturally incorporate conversations about it whenever technology is part of their lesson plan. In other words, they weave digital citizenship seamlessly throughout their curriculum.” There are some resources here to help you ion your task
8 Apps for Testing Student-Created Curriculum Many teachers still create their own lesson plans, activities, and assessments based on curriculum standards and scope and sequences provided by their various educational guiding bodies. Technology can give students more opportunities whilst still allowing teachers to maintain a guiding hand.

Mean What You Say: Defining and Integrating Personalized, Blended and Competency Education – iNACOL “This paper provides a scan of the literature to expand the knowledge base for the field of online, blended, and competency-based education. Authors seek to integrate the core ideas of personalized learning, blended learning, competency education, and standards. The goal of the paper is to explain the nuances of key terms used across the field of K-12 education related to personalized, blended and competency education, and how the ideas integrate in order to create new learning models.”

The right conditions for creativity — The Learner’s Way “Creativity is best served by a culture that values it. Ultimately the sum total of our beliefs, attitudes and behaviours will define our cultural valuing of creativity. Encouraging creativity begins with what we say and what we do to support it but the ultimate success of our endeavours will be measured by the degree to which creativity becomes a part of the culture of a school.”
A Handy Chart Featuring Some of The Best Tools and Apps for Creating Educational Screencasts ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning “A screencast is a great way for teachers to create and share instructional videos and explanatory step-by-step tutorials with students. The quality of the video screen captures can sometimes impede the communicative intent of the message. Therefore, knowing what tools to use to create educational screencasts is as important as the content of the screencasts themselves. To assist teachers this curated collection of some of the best screen casting tools was put together. They are divided into four major categories: Web tools, Chromebook apps, iPad apps, and Android apps.”
Using Twitter In The Classroom – From The Perspective Of Students | The Edvocate At the end of the year students were asked to reflect on their classroom highlights. Using twitter in the classroom was one of those. The are some interesting comments
Stories Teachers Share | Free listening on SoundCloud  Katrina Schwartz and Ki Sung at MindShift started a podcast titled “Stories Teachers Share”. It highlightst the many varied and interesting work teachers do daily. It gives teachers the opportunity to help the larger community better understand what it really means to be a teacher.

Letting Students Lead the Learning | An effective way to have students learn about a topic. “Instead of giving them access to that Google Document full of information and instructions, I asked students to investigate RSA animation to find out what it is and how they are created. Then groups worked together to write a project proposal explaining how they were going to execute this project. It required them to think through the purpose, strategy, and process before beginning their work. It asked them to do the work that most teachers do for them.”

Portal 2 Puzzle Maker – Valve Developer Community “The Puzzle Maker (also known as Puzzle Creator or Editor) is an in-game puzzle editor that allows the creation, testing, and publishing (to Steam Workshop) of custom single-player and co-op test chambers. The Editor also adds new lines from Cave Johnson which, altogether, adds a story to downloaded test chambers. The DLC introduces the player to “The Multiverse” which contains an infinite number of Earths, an infinite number of Apertures, and therefore, an infinite number of test chambers.

Puzzle Maker is not intended as a replacement of Hammer, which while more powerful and generalized in nature, is significantly more difficult and time consuming to use. It is possible to export a VMF from Puzzle Maker and open it in Hammer; many mappers do this to add polish or features that are not currently possible using the Puzzle Maker. Some mappers use the Puzzle Maker to quickly iterate through (and test) puzzle designs before building a chamber from scratch with Hammer. It is not possible to load a Hammer VMF file in Puzzle Maker.”
Kids Start Coding Their Vocab | Teacher Tech An interesting approach that teaches coding and gives students a reason to do it. The idea is to practice coding using Google Docs. Links to more how-tos and extra options also in the piece
10+ Tips for Using Brain Based Methods to Redesign Your Classroom | EdSurge News Interesting article. If are you looking to redesign your learning environment, this piece offers some ideas about where you might start.
10 Things Every Teacher Should be able to do on Google Docs | Indiana Jen Google Docs is a powerful word processing tool that many schools are now using. Most of its features are intuitive to use and it can function like of a traditional word processor, it also provides more capabilities that offer teachers many valuable options.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Black Dog Gang: a story of Sydney life in 1900’s. Book review

We are always looking for books to engage our boys. The Premiers’ Reading Challenge is being promoted to classes this week,. It has been a good time for revisiting some of the literature we have added to our collection and promote books that appeal to our boys. Robert Newton‘s books Runner and The Black Dog Gang are two great Australian stories.

If you are interested there is a review here and some teaching notes from Penguin here

The Black Dog GangThe Black Dog Gang by Robert Newton My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a fast paced and gritty historical novel set in Sydney in 1900. It is also a story about friendship, loyalty and the bonds that can form in harsh conditions. The world the boys in the book inhabit is full of poverty, dirt and hard-work. Frankie Maguire relates the story of his gang. There are 5 boys from shabby inner city Sydney who form a friendship and bond together. They experience bullying and violence and name their gang after a pirate from the “Treasure Island” story.
At this time Sydney is panicked by an outbreak of Bubonic Plague and there is a bounty of 6 pence on rats. The boys set about making money by finding and catching rats. They come up with an interesting money-making scheme along the way. The era has been well-researched and the characters are believable and likeable. There are wonderful descriptions of school and family life and a rather gross description of the rats eating cats (our boys rather like that). The dialogue is also rich with colloquial language and terms of the time.
This is an interesting story about a time in Australian history that most us know little about today.

View all my reviews

Latest addition to the Harry Potter story.

The Harry Potter books nd films are still fondly discussed by our students. Today we began a unit on film study looking at film techniques and many examples from the Potter films were given by the boys.

So it is with interest that I looked at the latest addition to the Potter stable.  The latest installment of the Harry Potter series has a trailer out. “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”

As always everyone has an opinion and they are quick to share. Below is a video that has a few fans discussing their reactions to the teaser trailer.

What do you think of the trailer?

 

Book Review: Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens

Although looking after my niece and 2 little nephews for one week of my holidays, I have also enjoyed time to read. My niece also loves reading, especially mystery stories. I recently gave her 3 books in a series by Robin Stevens. (Murder Most Unladylike series aka Wells & Wong Mysteries). She has read all three and loved them. She gave them to me to read and I have recently finished the first one, Murder most unladylike,  and enjoyed it a lot. Below is my review for it

Murder Most Unladylike (Wells and Wong, #1)Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Murder Most Unladylike is a delightful read and it was very easy to suspend disbelief that school girls could investigate a murder, unfettered by any adult interventions in this very English boarding school crime setting.
The story is set in 1934 in a boarding school for girls called Deepdene. It combines the traditional detective novel, (think Sherlock Holmes) with a bit of the traditional girls-own boarding school drama. The story is narrated (Dr. Watson-style) by Hazel Wong, a student from Hong Kong, who, with best friend Daisy Wells (the self-cast Sherlock Holmes of the duo), make up a secret detective agency that in the past had only very mundane cases to investigate.
The adventure begins when Hazel finds the body of their Science Mistress, Miss Bell, in the gym. Hazel runs for help but when she returns with Daisy a few minutes later, the body has disappeared. The official from the School Headmistress is that Miss Bell is simply gone, resigned. The rumour is that it is due to a broken heart after a failed romance with the new music teacher, Mr Reid. Hazel and Daisy know better and set out to first prove that a murder actually happened and then find the culprit.
Whilst the skilfully plotted murder mystery in Murder Most Unladylike is the central thread there are also many other incidental elements that provide an interesting picture that encompasses not only the actual mystery but also the difficulties the two main characters have in maintainin their’ friendship as well as wider social mores of the time about gender, class and race.
Although she has been schooled by her father, who is clearly a fan of all things Anglophile, Hazel has had to learn to fit in and deal with the casual racism and small slights from her classmates. Also, given the historical context of the novel, the classes that are considered necessary, sort of good behaviour that is expected of the girls and how intelligent and smart they are allowed to be. Daisy and Hazel’s characters both play down their intelligence in class and deportment is a timetabled class.
This story has plenty of charm. It is funny and clever, and as with all good classic detective stories, the two heroines complement each other perfectly.
The author Robin Stevens has captured the feel of all of the classic mystery stories that I enjoyed when I was a child. It should have great appeal for many middle-school kids today. I spent 12 months in a boarding school and, although it was not English and 50 years later than the timeframe here, there is a ring of authenticity to the lives documented in the story. There is a language that goes with boarding schools and for this reason there is a glossary at the end that explains all the 1930s boarding school slang.

View all my reviews

Useful links

TEEN ZONE – Book Lists Some useful loists for YA literature. Grouped under various topics and each book given a short description.
7 Ways You Can Be a Digital Citizenship Leader Webinar presented by Susan Bearden, Director of Information Technology at Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy and hosted by Common Sense Education.
Global Digital Citizenship—in 15 Minutes! (Global Digital Citizen) “tTe final instalment of our Global Digital Citizenship in 15 Minutes blog series. This series covers the 21st Century Fluencies and Global Digital Citizenship. It shows how to explore them with students in 15 minutes or less each day. In this one they they look at the Global Digital Citizen.”
Science Of Persuasion – YouTube “The animated video describes the six universal Principles of Persuasion that have been scientifically proven to make you most effective as reported in Dr. Cialdini’s groundbreaking book, Influence” useful ideas to keep in mind
24 Websites to Offer Coding at School “A collection of some of the best tools to help teach coding in schools. They included sites for training for teachers to prepare to teach programming, and games to keep students learning beyond the classroom.”
Free Technology for Teachers: The 2016 Google Science Fair is Now Open “To help students develop project ideas the Google Science Fair website offers a Make Better Generator. The Make Better Generator site asks students to complete the phrases “I love,” “I’m good at,” and “I will make better.” From the students’ responses to these questions the Make Better Generator site generates a collection of videos and websites that could spark project ideas in their minds.”

Make Better Generator – Google Science Fair 2016 This may be a useful device to help students develop project ideas for science. On the Google Science Fair website there is a Make Better Generator. The Make Better Generator site asks students to complete the phrases “I love,” “I’m good at,” and “I will make better.”  From the students’ responses to these questions the Make Better Generator site generates a collection of videos and websites that could spark project ideas in their minds.

The Importance of your Digital Reputation – Cyberbullying Research Center “Those who do not learn how to utilize social media strategically run a great risk of encountering obstacles when seeking employment or admission. Research has been clear that social media can serve important professional purposes, such as personal branding, self-promotion ad impression management (Chen, 2013; Jackson & Lilleker, 2011; Labrecque et al., 2011; Zhao et al., 2013), and we encourage its intentional positive use. We suggest that all youth (and young adults!) work extra hard to do great things at school and in their community (e.g., making the honor roll, volunteering, extra-curricular activities, etc.) so that when one does search for them, they find evidence of hard work, integrity, and civic-mindedness.”

George Couros: The 8 Ingredients of the Innovator’s Mindset – Cool Cat Teacher Blog  “The greatest innovation in the modern classroom happens not when we innovate with technology. It begins with the Innovator’s Mindset. George Couros shares these 8 important ingredients of the Innovator’s Mindset in this new show series. “
This is the Future of Education | John Spencer “The future of education can’t be found in a gadget or an app or a program or a product. It doesn’t require a think tank full of pundits. The future of education can be found in the classroom. The classroom is packed with creative potential. Teachers have all the innovation they need right there in their room and they they have the power to make it happen. “
Three Reasons Students Should Own Your Classroom’s Twitter and Instagram Accounts | EdSurge News “Social media is happening—with or without teachers. The lessons students learn by taking ownership of social media ends up enhancing all of their work, both in and out of school.
Type with your voice – Docs editors Help The official list of available commands for editing and formating Google Docs by voice from Google.
An Educator’s Guide to Acceptable Risk Taking @coolcatteacher “Risk taking is not a bad word. If we want to help students read, write, and learn anything – we have to learn to take risks. But how can we understand what risks are worth taking? How can principals, teachers, and students learn how to take acceptable risks? From routine busting to reflection, George Couros, author of the Innovator’s Mindset helps us understand the risks and rewards of great teaching.”
National Poetry Month: Useful Resources for Teachers and Students | Edutopia “This is a great place for students to explore the works of favorite poets, from Oscar Wilde to Percy Shelley. All of the poems are in the public domain and are open and accessible for classrooms. The Poetry Foundation also features an immense collection of more than 12,000 poems that are searchable by topic, occasion, author, and more.”
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