Useful links

44 New Cool Websites and Apps to Learn Something New A post for anyone who might be interested in digital educational content. It shares some interesting places to go to for learning.
Smart Strategies That Help Students Learn How to Learn | MindShift | KQED News Some ideas to assist students in understanding about their learning. “Research has found that students vary widely in what they know about how to learn, according to a team of educational researchers from Australia writing last year in the journal Instructional Science. Most striking, low-achieving students show “substantial deficits” in their awareness of the cognitive and metacognitive strategies that lead to effective learning—suggesting that these students’ struggles may be due in part to a gap in their knowledge about how learning works.”
Word Search Generator :: Create your own printable word find worksheets @ A to Z Teacher Stuff Simple to use this enables you to create your own custom word search worksheets. There are a variety of options available including font size, font style, lowercase or uppercase letters, grid shape, word placement, and more to customise you creation.
Critical Evaluation – Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Everything Kathy Schrock has created a long list of links to useful information about how to critically evaluate information found on the Web. This page includes forms for teaching the process, articles for learning about the aspect of literacy, and a list of bogus sites to use to showcase that all things on the Web are not real.
Evaluating Internet Resources This post outlines the Criteria for Evaluation of resources. “Students need to learn to evaluate the quality of information they find on the web as well as other information resources such as books, magazines, CD-ROM, and television.” Students should be skeptical of everything they find. They need to be encouraged to compare and contrast different information resources. Also has links to hoax sites that can be used to explain how to evaluate information.
R U 4 R.E.A.L? Strategy for Website Evaluation Slide show that sets out how to evaluate websites using the pneumonic R.E.A.L. Explains how you tell if a website is credible or could be used for a school research project by explaining the R.E.A.L. strategy. Puts up the sorts of questions students should ask to evaluate a website’s credibility before using its information for a school project.
88 Assistive Technology Tools for Struggling Learners. Learning Specialist and Teacher Materials – Good Sensory Learning: 88 Assistive Technology Tools for Struggling Learners This post talks about 15 different types of assistive technology that can benefit struggling learners with links to the authors favourite tools. There are links to a more comprehensive discussion of these technologies as well.
A Great Visual To Help You Integrate Visible Thinking Routines in Your Class ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning One way to create a thinking culture in class is to use “Visible Thinking, as a learning approach. This makes extensive use of thinking routines in class.These routines are simple structures( eg a set of questions or a short sequence of steps, that can be used across various grade levels and content. The way they become routines, versus merely strategies, is to use them constantly in the classroom so that they become part of the fabric of classroom culture. The routines become the way students go about the process of learning.” Included here is a great infographic created by Langwitches.
Tony Wagner’s Seven Survival Skills – Tony Wagner These skills are familiar to those in educations, Each of the seven are defined by business leaders in their own words. They are: Critical thinking and problem-solving. Collaboration across networks and leading by influence. Agility and adaptability. Initiative and entrepreneurship. Effective and written communication. Accessing and analysing information. Curiosity and imagination.
THE BRAIN RUMMAGER A site that has English activities, including games and puzzles on topics such as English Language, writing, thinking, creativity. For a range of year levels.

Do Learning Styles Exist? So as long as our senses or brains are not damaged, we are able to process in all ways. But remarkably, even those with “broken” sensory inputs or head injuries can compensate. Other senses and parts of the brain become more acute and we are now learning, for example, that even a blind person can utilize their visual cortex and sound to create mental imagery or a “map” of their surroundings. We need to think about teaching students in kaleidoscopic ways, or using a multisensory approach to teaching that honors all 12 ways of processing information as outlined in the Eclectic Teaching Approach

The Boat | SBS Link to award-winning interactive graphic novel based on the story by Nam Le. The multimedia adaptation offers some insight into the Vietnamese refugee experience was adapted by Matt Huynh. There are suggested classroom activities and background information deigned for yr 9-12 students.
Stories from the Web This site has ideas and activities for those who are interested in reading and writing. For younger students.
Now teachers can include live code demo in OneNote – Office Blogs “You can now embed executable code snippets from Repl.it into OneNote when teaching programming. You use Repl. which is a tool that allows teachers to create live executable code examples in the cloud with zero setup time needed. It supports more than 30 major coding languages and more with highly customizable, simple and easy-to-use IDE-like features. Teachers using OneNote can now put code examples created in Repl.it into a OneNote notebook as an embedded object”
Puzzle Choice – Crosswords, online and printable puzzles and games “PUZZLE CHOICE offers online and printable puzzles and games. Choose from many different types of printable and online CROSSWORDS. There is also a daily US style crossword. You can play WORD SEARCH puzzles or see the WORDPLAY section for anagrams, offers brainteasers and other printable word games. The ONLINE GAMES section has jigsaws, mazes, memory games and a choice selection of classic puzzles and games. Kids young and old can visit the KIDS’ CHOICE section for a variety of puzzles and games for all ages.”
Printable Daily Crosswords for April 2016 “Free daily printable crosswords we know some of you like to print your puzzles to complete everyday so we have provided you with a list of every day’s crossword puzzle and solution that are easy to load and print using with the free to use trusted Adobe PDF reader. Return daily to find a new Printable puzzle and its solution”
Human-Scale at Scale: Personalization, But to What End? | Getting Smart Article discusses two very different school approaches to learner centered models of education.
https://www.commonsensemedia.org/sites/default/files/uploads/classroom_curriculum/cs_digitalcitizenshipcurric_2016_release.pdf Common Sense Education lessons. A scope and sequence for Digital Citizenship that allows for flexible use across the curriculum.
45 Minute Goals Can Transform Your Teaching @coolcatteacher“Shelly Terrell’s 30 goals challenge. She wants teachers to tackle small, short goals. They take just 45 minutes each. Small achievements within the day can build momentum in your classroom. These small goals can energize you”

Epic Guide To Game Based Learning @coolcatteacherGames are fun and can be used effectively to teach. Game based learning invites students to learn in classroom situations. It can ignite a passion for learning in students. “In this post, Vicky Davis shares what she is doing in her classroom and she offers you a list of 100+ of her favorite game based learning resources”

How to Make Flipped Classroom Better @coolcatteacher Worth listening to. “Prepare for criticisms. Understand challenges. Learn from the mistakes others have made. I love using videos to teach the point and click software lessons in my classroom. Whether you’re advanced or a beginner, this conversation brings you to the leading edge of instructional design”
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Useful Sites

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fake websites – Internet literacy

Why is our first impulse to believe something that we see, read or hear? Especially if it is in print, online or comes in an “officially” looking packaging? How do we teach ourselves and our students, that another impulse has to follow the first one immediately: Evaluate…critical thinking… learn to listen for and to your own “gut feeling”… cross referencing…”

So far I have brought together some of the hoax sites and will work on organising some suggested activities that will lead the students to “discover” the problems with not evaluating the information they find.

So I have included most of the sites I have found, and believe would be useful in classrooms, below. Any other good sites would be welcomed. Next step some simple and medium level activities

  • Burmese Mountain Dogs The ‘official’ site for the breed you will never before heard of.