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:


Useful Links

From concept to classroom – STEM research | Teacher | ACER  “While the need for STEM-related expertise in the workforce is growing, the number of students choosing STEM subjects at secondary and tertiary level in Australia is stagnating. Although decisions about future pathways are made later on in a student’s school career, teachers in the primary years have an important role to play.A new review offers practical ideas for primary STEM teaching. “Translating STEM education research into practice” also looks at useful programs for teachers and frameworks for curriculum integration.” linked article

How to Take Digital Citizenship Schoolwide During the 2016 17 School Year | EdSurge News Students need to learn Digital Citizenship skills. There are some suggestions here about how to approach a program for instruction.
Make an infographic – Lucidchart “Infographics have recently seen a huge uptick in popularity. They combine the visual appeal of images and diagrams with the educational qualities of facts and figures. You can make an infographic in any medium—by hand, with specialized software, or online. If you’re looking for an intuitive canvas for designing infographics, try Lucidchart!”
Top 5 Apps for Coding – Top 5 edtech Children in schools are no longer passive consumers of technology. They are creators of content, using building blocks of code to design their own games, their own apps and tackle big issues. There are many different ways to use iPad to generate content and explore coding. So three authors share their top 5 apps for coding. They suggest iPad versions
NAPLAN ‘meaningless’ as a test of creative writing skill, says 65-Storey Treehouse author Andy Griffiths – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Two of Australia’s best-selling children’s book authors Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton question the value of the NAPLAN testing. They wonder why attributes such as creativity are not considered. They doubt the NAPLAN testing can offer any offer valuable insights into kids’ reading and writing skills. They also make a final statement about the importance and value of teacher librarians.
Instructional Fluency: 10 Activities with Google Slides Ideas for putting together slides to work in new ways. Even by having students do it. There ae some ideas here on how to use Google Slides beyond the traditional use.

Building Community With Attendance Questions | Edutopia “Taking attendance is usually a five-minute task at the start of a class period, but it can sometimes take much longer. On rare occasions, taking attendance can take up an entire class period.”

One way a teacher has changed the idea about how to take a class roll. The discussion makes it sound easy but students would need to get used to it. It also offers a way to reflect on the learning that each has been happening in the class and no technology is needed.
Student-Led Conferences: Resources for Educators | Edutopia “Student-led meeting formats that engage students in the process. These student-led conferences between teachers and parents can provide powerful opportunities for students to advocate for their own learning.”
5 Ways Teachers Can Encourage Deeper Learning With Personal Devices | EdSurge News “To ban or not to ban, that is always the question when it comes to personal devices in the classroom. But rather than fight this uphill battle (Generation Alpha is forecasted to be more technological than any previous), let’s figure out how to leverage these little machines. If used intentionally, mobile devices can be an express pass to exploring beyond the walls of our schools. While pushing students to learn outside our classrooms is a step in the right direction, how do we ensure that these experiences lead to deeper learning? Here are 5 ways to get to curate that practice by making your class a BYOD zone.”
Hacking Design Thinking For Education Part 3: Design Thinking In School – Edwords Blog – BAM! Radio Network 9 Places You Can Learn How to Code (for Free) | “Coding isn’t just for the supergeeks anymore–getting a little code under your belt is an incredibly valuable skill for marketers and any other members of a business team.” Annotated list and links
Internet Sacred Text Archive Home This is the largest archive of free books on religion and spirituality on the internet. You can find information about mythology, religion, folklore, alchemy, parapsychology, and much more.
How to Take Digital Citizenship Schoolwide During the 2016 17 School Year | EdSurge News Ideas about how to implement digital citizenship start with the why – “Since our students are using technology to play, learn, and communicate while at home and at school, they should be learning how to use that technology responsibly. Full integration of digital citizenship (or DigCit) curriculum into every class and every content area—at every grade level—should be the goal to meet this need.”
Assessment – Events in Instruction- Event #8 | An Ethical Island Infographic: “Students have performed something to demonstrate understand but how do you assess that performance? Was the assessment of the performance reliable and valid? There are 27 tips here to reliably and validly assess the performance.
14 Bloom’s Taxonomy Posters For Teachers “Bloom’s Taxonomy is a useful tool for assessment design. In this post they look at better use of Bloom’s taxonomy in the classroom. During research for the post it became interesting how many variations there were of the original work. Included in this post are some of the many charts they found – some that only show aesthetic changes compared to others, most are concept maps of sorts–with graphic design that signifies extended function (power verbs), detail (clear explanations), or features of some sort (Bloom’s Taxonomy tasks by level).”
ASCD Express 9.21 – Alternatives to Traditional Homework An instrumental music teacher discusses some ideas about “homework.” . “Practice is essential to a student’s success although it is true that some students can get by on pure talent alone, this is rare and unreliable. The benefits of putting in the time to learn include getting to know what works and what doesn’t, benefitting from perseverance, and feeling a sense of accomplishment. Traditionally, the instructor teaches the lesson and then gives students practice exercises to complete later as homework.” She offers some alternatives to this traditional approach outlined in the post.” A document that discusses 5 different ways to assess student learning during class.
Top 16 Tech Tools to Try in 2016 – edutechchick “Edtech continues to evolve and grow, with new players entering the ring all the time. It can be hard to keep up with, particularly when so many of the tools may accomplish the same end goal.” Some suggestions here that are worth looking at to see if they meet your needs.
Computer Science Goes Beyond Coding | EdSurge News “Computer science is about solving problems using computers and coding (or programming) is about implementing these solutions. Computer scientists can be like architects who design the house—but do not have to build it.”
What’s the Difference Between Coding and Computational Thinking? | EdSurge News A useful explanation. “What is Computational Thinking (CT), and how does it differ from Coding and Computer Science, especially when it comes to classroom practice and instruction?”
Life of an Educator: 10 questions every teacher should ask themselves: #edchat #ntchat An interesting list of questions that ae simple but effective as teachers reflection tool .
Education Update:Syllabus-ted: Preparing Students for the Rigors of College Reading:Flipping Math to Engage Curiosity “Flipping math instruction saves class time for what matters: engaging, enriching projects that foster student learning, and more important, students’ desire to learn” Tips on how to go about fostering the curiosity of students.
3 Top Tips to Make Writing Exciting When You Teach Writing ‘Vicki Davis with Cynthia Alvarado discuss getting your students to enjoy writing can be challenging. In this segment, we look at how we can make writing more relevant and engaging to students. Learning writing can be exciting! Kids can love writing. Now, students can easily join writing communities. After joining, students find that commenting on another student’s writing can be fun. Teacher-librarian, Cynthia Alvarado, shows us how to make writing exciting for kids. Additionally, she’ll also teach us her tips and tricks for coaching kids to level up writing.”
Free Technology for Teachers: Teach Your Monster to Read Teach Your Monster to Read is a great series of online games designed to help students improve the speed and accuracy with which they recognize letters and sounds. The website gets its name from the friendly monster avatars that students help learn to read through the course of the games.
Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Wearables for Learning! Oh My! – Teacher Reboot Camp “Students can experience new cultures, history, and understand the world in better ways with virtual reality, augmented reality, and wearables. Teachers are using these technologies to send learners on virtual field trips or getting students to keep track of their steps, cardio, and health with fitness bands. These technologies help engage learners by providing sensory learning and sparking curiosity and imagination. For your next classes, go beyond getting students to read and learn only from worksheets and books. Integrate virtual reality, augmented reality, or wearables to create meaningful learning experiments for students. This post has a slide presentation (free to download) followed by bookmarks filled with activities and resources.”
Titles for Great Library and Classroom Bulletin Boards and Displays “Ideas for creating displays in libraries and classrooms. It’s important to create a stimulating and inviting space for user, and draw attention to available media and people resources, showing that libraries are not merely a luxury, but a true necessity. Displays are important for teaching, creating a stimulating environment for students and staff, encouraging great student work, and raising self-esteem by displaying student-created items.”

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.