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

Two unusual alphabets and using them with classes.

Alphabet using GoogleMaps

I was looking for typography and different letters of the alphabet when I found these two (amongst others) via Pinterest. One particular board I like is Typography / Calligraphy.

Pinterest has become quite a resource for me when I want some images and it does not let me down often. I have to be very disciplined so as not to get too engrossed in what I find there as time gets away.

The first alphabet here is Google Maps Typography by Rhett Dashwood.

It is amazing that people find so many different ways to make use of Google maps.

For several months in 2008 and  2009 Rhett spent time searching Google Maps. He was looking for  land formations or buildings that resembled letter forms.  The place were limited to those within the state of Victoria, Australia. Go to his page and find the placemarks and links to all of the “letters” used except for “y”

I liked the idea and thought that the idea could be adapted for students to use as a class activity in geography. They could do it the way Rhett did, picking a particular area and searching.They could also try to find the alphabet in their local area/suburb. They could give map co-ordinates so that others could find the “letter”. It would be a great way to get to know an area. They could also go out and search their area, finding letters and then locate them on the map.

The second alphabet offered another way to catch the interest of students and test their knowledge. I have found some good Harry Potter alphabets and posters but this one makes you think about all the characters and their traits to find the answers.

The Harry Potter Alphabet on Buzzfeed and although it is not the only Harry Potter alphabet, it tests you. How well do you know the characters in the series? The letters give a clue. I am sure the students could come up with alphabets for the books they enjoy. I must think further about this idea – may be a good book week activity or take the place of a traditional book report.

Harry Potter alphabet

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Not long now until the final installment of the Harry Potter saga.  The official trailer:

Official description:

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2″ opens nationwide on July 15th, 2011.

 “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2,” is the final adventure in the Harry Potter film series. “In the epic finale, the battle between the good and evil forces of the wizarding world escalates into an all-out war. The stakes have never been higher and no one is safe. But it is Harry Potter who may be called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice as he draws closer to the climactic showdown with Lord Voldemort. It all ends here.” Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 Trailer Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

And..if you have not had time to read all of the books before the film is released there is this ..

Have  a look at this site created by Lucy Knisley. She has created one-page comic versions of the first five books to help speed up the process.

The posters are available for sale here and are $10 (US) and I am tempted to get them for a July display.

Big Posters

Examples of the posters made from the BlockPoster site. The MCG (with 30cm ruler at the side)
MCG from 4 PDF pages put together

MCG from 4 PDF pages put together

I also tried out a much larger size. From the example below I printed each page with a border. I guillotined one side off and used the other to glue the pages together, as above. You could use separate sheets and work on a display in a mosaic style. I pinned these page up quickly but this morning quite a few students had a good look at it and found it interesting.
Block Arcade - 3 pages wide

Block Arcade - 3 pages wide

Making BIG posters and other things

I am working on a new display for our library. We have a huge wall that is covered with black material. I am always aware that even A3 paper looks minuscule. I thought I would try the BlockPoster site. The claim is that you can make your small image into a very large one. It is also a free tool.

 I wanted a big picture of the MCG (to go with a AFL football display) I clicked on start, loaded up my image (max file size 1MB).

Next I decided just how large a poster I wanted. It was very quick to choose how big you want it to be: the default is 4 pages wide (but you can change this),  portrait or landscape, A4 or letter (US).

select size

select size

You continue and in a matter of seconds the pdf is ready for you to download. You can then print out your poster and construct it.

Download PDF file

Download PDF file

Everything fits together perfectly. I used a guillotine to slice off the white borders. There is a gallery that you can visit to see posters that others have created and you can email a photo of your own finished creation as well.

It took less than 2 minutes to create a large poster.  After I had done this, a teacher came in with a small image of a gameboard she needed. It was too small and needed to be larger than A3. We used the Block Poster site  and created the makings for 6 boards. The students will construct the boards (stick them together) and the boards will be laminated for future use. It was all so quick and simple.