Useful links

Finding an Authentic Goal for Your PBL Classroom | Edutopia “PBL is focused on helping solve the problems around us. e-NABLE has definitely tapped into something, but it doesn’t need to be the charity that you focus your classroom on.Teachers have a role to play in helping students ask the questions to discover what those needs are. This process of inquiry should be the initial part of any PBL unit”
Welcome to Quick Rubric – Free, Fast, and Easy to Use!  A tool that helps you create and print assessment rubrics. You can customize point values, definitions of good performance, rows and columns, then print the rubrics for distribution. The site also offers tips for writing a strong rubric. Also privacy note: Quick Rubric collects personal information from educators who create accounts. Students do not need to create accounts.
Photos For Class – The quick and safe way to find and cite images for class! A search engine for Creative-Commons-licensed photos for students to use in class or on their homework. Students can download and repurpose any photo they find, and the images come with appropriate attributions. The search also filters out inappropriate images.
WeAreTeachers – Get Lesson Plans – Teacher Grants – Teaching Resources and More This site offers a lot of free, printable lessons, PD resources, decorations, lists and blog posts, along with info on grants and contests. Subjects range from financial literacy to social emotional learning.
101 Educators to Follow on Twitter | @TeacherToolkit This is a list of educators who use Twitter to share their ideas and expertise with others. “They are not teachers, but educators in various sectors and countries, curated from those whom the author has been interacting with online for up to 8 years; some people they have met and have developed professional relationships with.
[3874] 7 Tips for Teachers Who Have No Interest in Coding A podcast that is useful to listen to as it offers ideas and tips for teachers and it is not too long. “Though many teachers have no interest in coding, demand for the subject is growing rapidly. Increasingly, teachers are being asked to teach elements of coding in their content areas. Our guest offers some simple tips to help teachers get on board.”
Reflective Practice- Are you Doing it? | An Ethical Island “Reflective practice occurs when teachers step back and evaluate the learning environment. The teacher looks at himself or herself. They ask, “How can this be better?” They identify what went right or wrong. It occurs both during the learning events and after.”
Instead of Handouts – Google Keep – Teacher Tech A Google option that allows you an easy way to go paperless.
Math Vocabulary Scavenger Hunt – Teacher Tech “A fun way for students to learn math vocabulary is to ask them to go on a vocabulary scavenger hunt. Students go out on campus and take pictures that represent the “math in the wild.”” It could be adapted for use across many learning areas
My Lesson Plan Template – Teacher Tech “I teach pre-service teachers. Part of my class is their first lesson plan ever. Unlike most of the lessons my students experienced as K12 students, their lesson plans need to include Common Core standards, SAMR model, students using technology, Digital Citizenship and identifying DOK levels. The lesson plan template I provide the students is really long, I would not expect them to fill it out more than this one time. The idea is to get them thinking about elements of a lesson plan that they possibly would not naturally include since they do not have any experience with lesson planning.”
To-Do List Competition: Level UP – Teacher Tech “A Google spreadsheet to keep track of all the assignments due during the semester. Each person who voluntarily wanted to participate created a column for themselves to check off when they have completed a task. This was helpful, but after adding a gamification element to the to-do list it really got fun. “
Why a Brochure? – Teacher Tech Links to template but many ideas for better student creation listed
CS Teaching Tips: A project funded by the NSF (Grant # 1339404) 10 posters with Teaching Tips for teaching Computer Science focussing on a number of areas including reducing bias, assessment, seeking help, pair programming, scratch and more. ach is linked to the tip sheet and helpful video.

Useful Links

Texting in the Classroom (or using Fake texts to connect & engage students). The Brown Bag Teacher A discussion about different ways to use the tool “ifaketext” It allows users to create faux iPhone text conversations. The website lets you fit between 35 and 50 words on one screen (a conversation between 2 different people). Then, you can take a screen shot of the conversation or right-click to save the picture as a Jpeg. Here are three different ways I see myself using this free resource.”
50 Insanely Useful Websites College Students Need To Know – SOCIETY19 “There are many apps and websites for college students that make the learning process a lot easier. Here it has been simplified by consolidating 50 good websites for college students into one list you can access any time, any place.”

Cultivating Mindfulness in the Classroom | Getting Smart “Mindfulness: a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

Mindfulness is about more than the stereotypes that might pop into your mind when you hear words like “meditation” and “guided visualization.” Teaching kids how to be more mindful and aware of their thoughts and feelings has been shown to improve memory and attention, boost learning outcomes, decrease behavior issues and more.”
What Constitutes Plagiarism? § Harvard Guide to Using Sources “While it may seem obvious that copying someone else’s words verbatim and submitting them in a paper with your name on it is plagiarism, other types of plagiarism may be less familiar to you. These more subtle forms of plagiarism are actually more common, and you should make sure you understand all of them, as well as how to avoid them by conducting your research and writing carefully and responsibly.”
Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know Your Makerspace Needs | Getting Smart Some makerspace components are very commonly known. Educators planning makerspaces know they can start small with simple circuitry materials, cardboard and hot glue guns, or go to the biggest level with 3D printers and laser cutters. The level of sophistication/extravagance of the space will vary enormously depending on each institution’s choices and funding but there were a few surprises as we developed our space, noticing or finding unexpectedly critical makerspace components that have made our space more successful. Here are 10 unexpectedly critical makerspace components, clickbait countdown style!
EdTechTeacher | How to Design Your Own MakerSpaces – From Courtney Pepe “What is a MakerSpace?  Makers build, fix, and create.  They are students, teachers, tinkerers, cooks, technology buffs, architects, crafters, performers, hobbyists, builders, artists, engineers, scientists, and writers.  They use the MakerSpace to solve real life problems with access to tools and materials.  A MakerSpace is not confined to a school setting but can also be a community space like a public library where community members of all ages, means, and abilities can design, prototype, and create original works.”
Adding value: Principals’ perceptions of the role of the teacher-librarian | QUT ePrints “This paper reports on a study into principals’ perceptions of the role of the teacher-librarian. Nine principals in Australia were interviewed about the role of the teacher-librarian and library in their school. The findings indicated a range of ways in which the teacher-librarian adds value to the school, including in their role as teacher, providing the principal with a broad perspective on the workings of the school, providing advice and ideas, and providing leadership in the use of information and communications technology (ICT) at the school. It also identified a number of personal qualities valued by principals.”
How to STEAM ” Once you have the foundations of what STEAM is and why it’s important, the next step is to understand how to implement STEAM with integrity.  Many schools claim to be “STEAM Schools”, and yet their model of implementation is weak or simply brushes the surface of what STEAM truly requires.  The authors’ core belief is that STEAM has a foundation of integration at it’s core, which means that each curricular area should be both taught in its own right, as well as connected through standards and assessments when used in tandem.”
8 digital skills we must teach our children | World Economic Forum   “How can we, as parents, educators and leaders, prepare our children for the digital age? Without a doubt, it is critical for us to equip them with digital intelligence. The digital world is a vast expanse of learning and entertainment. But it is in this digital world that kids are also exposed to many risks, such as cyberbullying, technology addiction, obscene and violent content, radicalization, scams and data theft. The problem lies in the fast and ever evolving nature of the digital world, where proper internet governance and policies for child protection are slow to catch up, rendering them ineffective. 8 skills suggestions and a great infographic to visually set out different area.”
5 Ways to Make YouTube Safer for Kids – YouTube Youtube short pPublished on 1 Jul 2015 by Common Sense Media. Kids love watching funny videos, learning cool stuff or uploading their own creations on YouTube. Discover 5 ways to make YouTube Safer for kids, whether they are watching or creating a channel. “
5 Social Media Rules for Teens & Tweens – YouTube Short video published on 2 Oct 2015 by Common Sense Media. “Social Media is a way of life for many teens, and even some tweens. Here are 5 rules to share with your kids before they start posting, uploading or sharing online”
12 Reasons To Teach Searching Techniques With Google Advanced Search… Even Before Using The Basic Search | 21 st Century Educational Technology and Learning “Google Advanced Search, when used correctly, can facilitate student’s to expand their digital abilities while promoting productivity and learning in the classroom.”
20 Awesome BYOD and Mobile Learning Apps | Edutopia Post from Vicki Davis. “Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD) have been in her schhool for three years. Students certainly took to it. They bring it all! We have iPads, Surface, iPhones, Droids, Chromebooks, Macs, and PC laptops. Here’s her thinking about some of the tools she likes.”
Smithsonian Learning Lab :: Discover. Create. Share A great resource. “The Smithsonian Learning Lab is about discovery, creation, and sharing. ” The Smithsonian Learning Lab contains more than one million resources (videos, photos, and documents, etc.) on topics from the Discovery space shuttle to the French and Indian War. Students and teachers can organize content into “collections” and set up quizzes or assignments, among other things. The Lab’s Senior Digital Strategist Darren Milligan also says that the array of content will grow over time, both with user-generated resources and new digital museum artifacts.
Part 2: STEM, STEAM, Makers: Over 40 Amazing STEM Resources | 21 st Century Educational Technology and Learning “Welcome to this second post in a series that brings STEM, STEAM, and Maker Space together with Project Based Learning and proper technology integration in the classroom. You will discover around one hundred resources in this series along with some great ideas for finding student success.”
Hanyu@Narralakes: Screencasting on a budget Screencasting (making a video recording of your computer or tablet screen” can be used for making a presentation.  Teachers can find this resource valuable as it is a recording that can be used by students to learn or revise lessons or can be reused for future use. It can also be edited if need be.
Upper Elementary Snapshots: Reading Strategies that Work! “6 simple strategies that we can teach our students to drastically improve reading comprehension.” Link to downloadable posters
Google Arts & Culture A useful resource. An aggregator like Google Cultural Institute can bring together collections from multiple institutions from around the world.
A Handy Infographic Featuring 10 Things Every Teacher Should be Able to Do on Google Classroom ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning “An Infographic that features 10 of what we believe are basic things every teacher should be able to do on Google Classroom. Instructions included are only for Classroom on the web, check out Google Classroom Help to learn more about how to use these features on mobile devices.”
Three schools reforms that will lift student outcomes Analysis piece. “A federal election is an opportunity to take stock of how Australia is doing, where it’s going, and what governments can do about it. This series, written by program directors at the Grattan Institute, explores the challenges that Australia faces and advocates policy changes for budgets, economic growth, cities and transport, energy, school education, higher education and health.”
Part 4: STEM, STEAM, Makers: Turning STEM to STEAM… 24 Resources | 21 st Century Educational Technology and Learning “It is the STEAM that allows students to not just be technology consumers, but technology creators! Proper infusion of the Arts will create a STEAM culture that engages and promotes intrinsic learning. In the post the author has included some sites that may just allow educators to integrate the Arts, allowing STEM to become STEAM! While there is a lot of talk on STEAM Education, it is difficult to find a lot of material.”

Character Scrapbook Teaching Guide | Character Scrapbook, produced by Scholastic, is a web resource that is a simple to use. It offers a reader’s response activity that students can use to analyse any character in a book or story.

The template allows them to include details and reflections about a character through text, but it also provides the students with an opportunity to create a visual representation of that character. Once created they can save or print it as a type of scrapbook. .
It offers is a simple way to engage students and also offers an opportunity to help them form a deeper understanding of a book’s character(s).
Character Scrapbook could be utilized with fiction or non-fiction text as an individual, small group and/or even whole class assignment
There is a detailed teacher’s guide on the Scholastic site that has a detailed how-to as well as lesson extensions.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Useful links

 Do YOUR Kids Think that Being Right is More Important than Being Curious? | CTQ #CTQCollab Some good discussion here. “Questions with no clear right answer should be fun to think about and wrestle with.” “Our educational system has failed if it has trained students to think that “there must be only one answer, and the teacher knows what it is, and they have to be the first to guess what it is.”
Detecting Bias, Browsing, Freshness, Backlinks, Red Flags… – ThingLink An interactive fluency model. It is a useful reminder for students about plagiarism, author bias and search strategies. The links to Information fluencey have changed but by going to ythe home page they can be found.

Soundtrap – Make music online Soundtrap allows you to make music online, from any device, with your own instruments or the virtual ones on the site. The free version offers 5 projects, many loops, instruments and sounds as well as other features. It works on Mac, Windows, iPad, Android tablets and phones, Linux and Chromebooks. It allows you to start, edit and collaborate on your recordings and, being cloud-based, wherever you are. You can collaborate with others and share your music on Facebook, Twitter and SoundCloud, as well as Spotify and iTunes. You can sign in with Office 365, Google, Facebook or an email account.

There are premium options with more features and fewer limits.
Did Shakespeare write his plays? – Natalya St. Clair and Aaron Williams – YouTube This is an intersting visual explanation tht offers and interesting way to introduce Shakespeare to students, making it more accessible.
10 of the Most Engaging Uses of Instructional Technology (with Dozens of Resources and Tools) — Emerging Education Technologies Kelly Walsh shares ’10 highly engaging uses of technology in the classroom, along with dozens of tools and resources for implementation’ in 10 of the Most Engaging Uses of Instructional Technology (with Dozens of Resources and Tools). This is a great place to explore for new ideas as the new school year begins.
The Difference Between Doing Projects Versus Learning Through Projects Terry Heick has created a visual comparison of traditional projects versus how current projects can assist in deeper learning. It is helpful for understanding the changes to pedagogy in our schools today.
Digital Content Guide ” The Digital Content Guide has been developed by a group of creative rights holders and creative content industry associations to help consumers find licensed content online across a range of services and platforms. The funding members are: Australian Screen Association; APRAAMCOS; ARIA; Copyright Agency Ltd; Foxtel; News Corp Australia and Village Roadshow.”
Teaching ideas – School libraries – guides at NSW Department of Education “Curriculum and policy support for school libraries – meeting the needs of future learners”
Activity Ideas & Resources – Teen Read Week Links to many ideas to celebrate books and reading
4 secrets to building rapport with students (even when it’s hard to connect) | The Cornerstone “Rapport is a relationship in which the student enjoys working productively with the teacher. It is the single most important facet of a successful educator, and its effectiveness depends upon the character of the teacher and how efficiently this is employed in all interactions with his or her students.”
5 skills students need to be contributing global citizens – Mr Kemp “Educators need to provide students with the behaviors, knowledge & skills to become responsible global citizens who can take action to solve a problem either individually or with others. So what are the important skills, behaviors, and attitudes that students need to become contributing global citizens? Here is a list of the 5 skills (there are many more, but these are the ones this teacher perceives to be most important) they believe students need to demonstrate:”
Teachers Digital Skills Chart ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning The chart features some 21st century digital skills that every teacher should be familiar with. For each of these skills they have come up with a collection of web tools that can help develop such skills “
A New Excellent Google Forms Feature to Auto Grade Quizzes ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning “Google Forms has recently introduced a new powerful feature that allows teachers to auto-grade multiple choice and checkbox questions.Additionally, ‘Teachers can also add review materials in the form of explanations, supplemental websites or review videos — so students can get quick, actionable feedback. Plus, teachers can get instant feedback on student progress, so they know which lessons need more explanation and what to teach next. We’ve also added a common request from educators to disallow students from sending themselves a copy of their responses.’ We are working on a detailed guide on how to incorporate this new feature in your Google Forms quizzes and we’ll share it with you as soon as it’s ready.”
Arduino or Raspberry Pi: Making The Right Choice For Your Project | YourSpot Good comparison piece explaining the strengths of both . “Arduino and Raspberry Pi are two different boards designed for different applications. The choice of using one completely depends on the type of project one is trying to make or the amount of knowledge one has of electronic components and software languages. “
Free Technology for Teachers: How to Create a KWL Chart in Padlet “A useful way to use Padlet is to have students collaboratively create multimedia KWL (Know, Want, Learn) charts. To provide students with guidance on where to place their notes, I use a custom background on Padlet. The background is a just a screenshot of a three column page that I make in Google Documents (any other document program will work just as well) that is uploaded to Padlet. “
ISTE 2016: 5 Tech Trends Reshaping Education | EdTech Magazine An overview of some current and emerging technological trends that are shaking things up in the K–12 space. These are put under the headings: Big Data, Augmented Reality, The Semantic Web, Extreme BYOD and Transmedia. Interestiing discussion.
6 Must Haves for Developing a Maker Mindset | EdSurge News “Best defined by the research and work of Carol Dweck, Jo Boaler and Eduardo Briceno, growth mindset is the recognition of the brain as a muscle that—with practice, effort, and nurturing—can continue to grow and develop. When you think of an inventor or innovator, past or present, what descriptors come to mind? Creative. Persistent. Curious. Fearless. Passionate. But educators know that most students don’t show up to your class on the first day of school exhibiting these qualities. So how do we provide not only the physical tools but the mental tools to Make? Here, in this post, are the essential pieces:”
9 Excellent Dropbox Features for Teachers ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning “Dropbox is a file hosting service that allows you to ‘keep your files safe, synced and easy to share.’ You can use it to upload files, videos, pictures and documents as well as generate unique URLs to share with others. Dropbox has introduced a new suite of productivity features that make creating, sharing and collaborating easier.  Tis post offers a quick round-up of the main features included in Dropbox:”
Minecraft in Education. 30 ideas for using minecraft in the classroom – teachwithict It is well documented how using games in a classroom context can facilitate collaborative learning, promote problem solving and stimulate an engaging learning environment. One methodology that demonstrates all these elements is Game Based Learning. One game that seems to optimise Games Based Learning is Minecraft. inecraft is a sandbox game where players have to build structures, fight monsters, hunt for food and gather resources in order to survive. Because of its sandbox environment, Minecraft is an perfect tool for engaging students and fostering creativity. Due to its open-ended nature, Minecraft also lends itself to a variety of subject areas and some are discussed here..
Why better STEM programs are the key to creating global citizens | eSchool News We live in a society today were facts are at our fingertips through ready access to the internet and search engines. To keep pace, our educational system needs to focus less on memorization of facts and more on how to use facts and how to ask the right questions.
How to Teach Digital Citizenship to All Students – Advancement Courses “In a world filled with blogs, tweets, texts, social media posts, and memes, it’s more important than ever that students understand the norms of appropriate and responsible technology use. No matter which subject or grade you teach, you can help your students live, grow, and work in a technology-driven global community.  Not sure how to begin teaching the many components of 21st century, technology-based learning? The nine elements of digital citizenship are a great place to start.”

99 texting acronyms and phrases every parent should know “By now, texting acronyms like LOL and OMG are pretty pervasive in pop culture; my daughter knew them in preschool, you hear them from the least hip anchors on TV morning shows, and heck, your own parents probably have texted you an LOL at some point. But when you’re the parent of a tween or teen, and you’re keeping careful track of who – and what – they’re texting, it’s good to be able dig a little deeper. Here, 99 texting acronyms and expressions that every parent should know. It’s not complete by any means, but it’s a start. Of course, lots of text speak will vary by region or even school or peer group. This is really just to help you understand that this kind of language exists in the first place. And yes, there will be completely new ones by the time you have these memorized”

Learning in the classroom Some good charts for measuring learning that could be used in most classrooms
Using Scratch in the Curriculum · TeacherCast Educational Broadcasting NetworkbyJeffrey Bradbury “In this episode, Jeff sits down with Kasia Chmielinski to learn how Scratch is being used in over 150 countries in more than 40 languages.  Join Jeff, Rob Pennington, Kevin Donatello, and Sam Patterson as we dive into the Hour of Code and Beyond on TeacherCast Podcast 124.”

Not All Student Engagement is Good Student Engagement Student engagement is a hot topic in schools these days. Students who are bored or disinterested tend to zone out in class, which zaps their enthusiasm for learning—or, so the thinking goes. On the other hand, students who feel inspired and energized in school perform better. Former school principal and education leader Eric Sheninger in a new book out called, “UnCommon Learning: Creating Schools That Work for Kids” says educators should be careful: Engagement doesn’t always translate to learning, especially when it comes to the integration of school technology. Sheninger says the key to a strong technology implementation is to establish clear measures and “observable evidence” that learning has actually occurred—and he outlines several questions school leaders should consider. Listed here are a few of his ideas

Education & Skills Today: How to transform schools into learning organisations? “The OECD-UNICEF Education Working Paper, “What makes a school a learning organisation?” should be seen as a first step towards building a shared understanding of the concept that is solidly founded in the literature and is recognisable to all parties involved, i.e. scholars, educators, policy makers, students and parents.

Based on an in-depth analysis of the literature and informed by a small network of experts, the paper identifies and operationalises an integrated model that consists  of seven over-arching ‘action-oriented’ dimensions which show how to transform schools into learning organisations”
Questions you need to ask when developing a digital strategy | Jisc  “Digital isn’t just a nice to have, it’s a necessity in the modern world. A digital strategy that unifies effective use of technology to enhance teaching, learning and assessment, and makes processes more effective and efficient, is a must for providers to deliver for learners and stay competitive.”
Blended Learning Slides and Resources #iste2016 @coolcatteacher” At ISTE Tom Arnett, Jon Bergmann, Mike Gwaltney, Aaron Sams, Stephanie Sandifer, and Jerry Obermyer all did an incredible job discussing blended and flipped learning. Shell Terrell shared the session on Periscope” links and slides

Preparing Students to Present

Our year 7 students have a couple of major presentations this semester – in English and Science. The points in this infographic are both simple and pertinent. I hope to put this infographic up in each year 7 home classroom to serve as a reminder to both teachers and students

An Ethical Island

Students will at some point be required to give a presentation. If the students are prepared, they are more likely to be comfortable. Here are 27 ways to help prepare students for successful presentations. The main thing I left out was to create an open,team environment… where  mistakes = learning…. and every presentation is a success.


What do you do to prepare?


View original post

Useful links

Technology Addiction Research Executive Summary | Common Sense Media “The executive summary of our research brief Technology Addiction: Concern, Controversy, and Finding Balance highlights the six key findings from the report; presents findings from a poll of over 1,200 parents and teens examining how families feel about their mobile device use and how that use is affecting child-parent relationships; and offers advice for creating balance in this “always connected” world.”

Redesigning Thinking in Libraries with Hamish Curry (with images, tweets) · camillaelliott · Storify Storify “Redesigning Thinking in Libraries with Hamish Curry. At this workshop hosted by School Library Assoc of Victoria, Hamish Curry of NoTosh guided library staff through a design thinking approach to exploring the future possibilities for their individual school libraries.”

Makerspace Ideas & Resources For Maker Education “ is made up of makers, geeks, educators, technology/stem leaders, library media specialists, librarians, school principals & superintendents, instructional technology specialists, edtech leaders, maker educators, makerspace operators, 3d printing enthusiasts, robotics club and so much more. Our mission is to bring makerspaces into the educational system, so we can bring the educational system into the 21st century. “
Take Charge To Maximize Your Library’s Online Presence | School Library Journal All libraary staff want to provide excellent library services for users, to be more integrated into the fabric of our communities, and to impact student engagement and achievement. This article looks at what you can do to improve your online presence to work towards accomplishing this. Recommendation: “Start small, learn from others, and make your online presence a priority. Your students, staff, and community deserve it!”
Architect Andre Chiote’s Minimalist Library Illustrations Focus on the Buildings’ Architectural Details – CityLab These posters offer artists impressions of the library buildings – with no books, but plenty of architectural details.
How Google Impacts The Way Students Think Interesting reflection on how we use Google and what thinking goes with that.
Moving at the Speed of Creativity | Comparing Risks and Benefits of a PreTeen YouTube Channel Wesley Fryer reflects on his daughter’s foray into the digital world. “While Shelly and I acknowledge the risks Rachel is facing by publishing a YouTube channel and using social media channels like Twitter and Instagram, at this point I do think the benefits of her learning, literacy development, and identity formation outweigh them. Decisions like these are definitely going to vary by family and by parent. I’m thankful we have open lines of communication to continue talking about what she’s doing and encountering. It’s certainly a dynamic situation that could change at any time”
What Does Learning Commons Mean for Your School? | PFAU LONG ARCHITECTURE  A reflection about one school library faculty’s goal of creating a positive learning environment with space that would help students and teachers develop real-world connections and the approach they took to creating it. The ideas for the space included housing the collection, helping students and teachers collaborate, being a hub for learning with a flexible floor plan and supporting newly developing areas in educational technology. The school decided to create a learning commons to move beyond traditional thinking about libraries and respond to what the kids and teachers really needed. The faculty envisioned their environment to be developmentally appropriate for their young students, as well as to foster a sense of creativity, inspiration, and encourage dialogue and a sense of community. The new learning commons library offered more space for stacks, added conference rooms and a lounge area, but the learning commons concept informed more than the library. These design changes increase opportunities to be inspired by student work and performances and create stronger interpersonal connections among students and faculty.
Free Newspaper Template Pack For Word. Perfect For School “Post has links to newspaper templates. it includes some good designs that students can choose from to create their own newspaper. They are all for Microsoft Word.
Student-Made E-Books: A Beautiful Way to Demonstrate Learning | Cult of Pedagogy
How to Use Padlet in the Classroom: A Fantastic Teaching Tool “Padlet is a versatile and easy-to-use tool. The post offers a great way to learn the basics.
So Many Fun Ways To Use Blabberize In The Classroom — Emerging Education Technologies “Blabberize is a free online tool that allows you to quickly create talking images. It provide opportunities to improve student engagement and collaboration. This post offers some ideas and examples of how it coould be used.
How Game-Based Learning Can Help Students of All Ages Learn | Edudemic

Game-based learning offers an approach where learning and play aren’t at odds with each other; in fact, games are the vehicle and environment for learning.
Printing Press A way for students to create a more professional version of their work. Works (short/stories/poems) can be published using the ReadWriteThink Printing Press. It is interactive and uses 3 simple templates. Students can save their draft then share it or publish it when they are happy
B’s Book Love : Technology-Based Poetry Activities for Poetry Centers and Poetry Stations A how-to about creating digital blackout poems. “These can help struggling readers focus on the MOST important words in the poem to find the main idea/theme of the poem in a fun and artful way:” There is an example of how to use You Doodle as well as a non-technology option.

Create Time-stamped Multimedia Notes on Your Android Device | Android 4 Schools This looks to be a promising app for ome of the students i work with who have difficulties with text but very good auditory and thinking skills. “Mic Note is a free Android app that allows you to create voice recordings, text notes, and image-based notes on one concise notebook page. The notes that you record with your voice can be time-stamped by clicking on your Mic Note note page while you’re recording. You can also take notes without recording any audio. ”

Top 100 education apps by subject and grade – Microsoft in Education A useful curated list of 100 microsoft education apps that you can get frokm the Windows Store. Downloadable PDF doc.
100+ Great Google Classroom Resources for Educators This is a very comprehensive post from Vicky Davis. It is a consolidation of the many things that Google can offer teachers and students. They are categorized under useful headings, many links to follow up and some useful videos are also embedded.
How to Use Padlet in the Classroom: A Fantastic Teaching ToolA very comprehensive explanation about how teachers could use Padlet with their classes making it a very versatile tool. Includes links and video
What Counts as Civic Participation? | Harvard Graduate School of Education A discussion that considers what we have included in our citizenship courses and what should/might be included now that the on-line world is so readily available to most.
Word Mover – ReadWriteThink Word Mover (By ReadWriteThink) is designed to help students develop poems and short stories Students can use word banks already created or they can also add new words to the list. They can then drag onto a canvas they have selected to construct their poem or story. They are also able to manipulate and move the text as they wish to creatively publish poetry. There are six different categories and 12 canvas backgrounds students may select. Useful lesson plans that use the app for a variety of learning levels and subjects are also shared.
Should I Download That App? A Ten Question Checklist for Choosing Tools Worth Your—and Your Students’—Time | EdSurge News Advice worth looking at. “Whether you are a classroom teacher, instructional coach, or administrator, ask yourself these ten questions before going any further”
Teaching literacy is more than teaching simple reading skills: it can’t be done in five easy steps | EduResearch Matters A good article about developing literacy skills. “All Australian children and young people becoming literate I believe it is vital we understand and define the complexity of literacy. Literacy encompasses the knowledge and skills students need to access, understand, analyse and evaluate information, make meaning, express thoughts and emotions, present ideas and opinions, interact with others and participate in activities at school and in their lives beyond school. “
Make a Book Map with Google Maps – Reading By Example “A nice class activity when the books, being read by the students, have specific locations for the settings. You can create a book map using My Maps from Google to highlight the settings in which these texts took place.”
Your Library@CSU: The Wonders of Trove “Trove was created and ismaintained by the National Library of Australia (NLA). It allows users to find and use resources relating to Australia, from more than 1000 collections; spanning libraries, museums, galleries, archives, govt agencies, research orgs, and other unique Australian content.  There is a useful how-to video embedded in the post”
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?” Lesson plans and teaching ideas for teachers
Worlds of Learning | Makerspace Vision Statement “What makers this process unique is that it offers a thematic approach to planning and creating a makerspace.  After deciding upon the themes you want to advance in your makerspace, and procuring the necessary equipment, materials and supplies to support each theme, attention can be given then to designing the physical aspects of your makerspace.  A good place to start this process is to think about your school’s mission statement and vision and then think through how your makerspace can be seen as a physical representation of that strategy.  “
What is a Makerspace? | Create, Collaborate, Innovate Author looks at the universal ideas/themes that lie behind different types of successful makerspaces.
21 Digital Tools To Build Vocabulary – Annotated list of tools. “Digital tools must coexist alongside more traditional tools. Online tools, compared to their more traditional counterparts, can provide a broader array of information about words and word meanings. Some tools also allow teachers to customize words so that students can practice, review, and play games with content or unit-specific words. “
EdTechTeam: Get coding in your classroom! Enter the Challenge.“Do your students code?” Some ideas to get you started – not all digitech heavy and many other resources are freely available.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Responding to the class novel: Wonder by R. J. Palacio.

Wonder wordlist-on cover image

Created using Tagul

This term our year 7 students are reading Wonder by R. J. Palacio. I have been working on different activities that our teachers could use with their classes. This week I have been working with one of the year 7 classes and they been the first to trial the some of the activities.

One of the first activities, for those that had finished reading the book, was to think about the vocabulary used in the novel, creating a list of words that the boys then created their own word searches. We use Word Search Generator that allows you to create your own printable “word find” worksheets. It is very simple and easy to use. There are several options that allow you to tailor the style of word search very easily. Some boys worked in pairs and others preferred to create one on their own. Some have already been shared with boys from other classes. Both groups have been totally engaged in their work and there has been some great discussion.


An example of a word search



These same boys have now gone away to create crosswords using Eclipse crosswords. This is a tool I have used many times to generate crosswords as extension activities. Our student book club boys have created some, based on books they have been reading, recently as well.

These new crosswords will be shared with the class next week. Eclipse offers another very simple tool that allows boys to explore the language used in the novel.

Eclipse crossword 2016-html

Pay attention, please… Engaging students in their learning

I like the opening lines above this infographic. After being a teacher for quite a few years now, all my observations show that one of the most important things for a teacher in a class of young people is to remain passionate about your subject and about learning. The students at my school will forgive quite a lot if you have that passion. If you have that deep interest, chances are that you will also be constantly reading and developing your knowledge and looking for new ways for students to learn about it.
The infographic offers a lot of practical ideas to be proactive about ways out of difficult moments without resorting to negative options.
Keep the passion, maintain the fire for learning and enjoy the time you spend with developing minds.

An Ethical Island


it is the students who are bored


sometimes it is the instructor who is boring.

Engaged students pay attention.

Creative Commons License
This work by Mia MacMeekin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

View original post