Graphics are a great way to make something clearer and easier to understand. I am constantly bookmarking and saving interesting posters and infographics that I find on the web. Today, I'm sharing five with you that I think are most relevant for classrooms and libraries, focusing on social emotional health, growth mindset, physical movement, and (surprise-surprise) reading!
So, Take5 mintues and spend some time checking out these thought provoking graphics. Do they resonate as much with you as they do with me?
We value choice so much as it relates to our students and our instructional practices. We create learning menus, we offer options when it comes to task, choices in end product and more. So why not honor that same choice when it comes to adult learners and professional development as teachers? Inspired by a recent post on Twitter and our own love for creating fun BINGO boards, we developed PD BINGO targeted specifically to learning opportunities within our school district (as well as some beyond). Take a look and LEARN with us!
A few years ago our History 7 team set out to create an Ellis Island Simulation for our students. The problem: the ones we found online were expensive or weren't what we were looking for. So, with the help of our amazing school librarians, we created our own -- now we want to share it with you and your students! This simulation helps kids develop a rich understanding of what it was like to be an immigrant passing through Ellis Island in the early 1900's. It's fun, interactive, and has become a tradition at our school. Sure, it takes time to set up, but it gets easier every year and from our perspective it's worth it. In this post, we'll talk you through things step by step, show you some photos, and at the end of the post you'll find all of the materials we use (passports, registries, reflection docs etc.) to make the simulation come alive. Let's set sail for Ellis Island!
This week’s Take5 is all about standards based grading. I believe in it (I think) but my school hasn't adopted these practices. Instead, our school's policy is based on the curriculum teams' preferences. Changing our team's particular grading policy would require a reckoning and revamp that we haven’t tackled...yet. I admire my math colleagues who adopted standards based grading at my school years ago not because they were told to but because they thought it was the right thing to do for kids. To add another layer to my thinking, when as a parent I hear friends of school-aged children talk about standards based grading, I get impression that they don’t like it or they don’t fully understand it or they don’t fully understand it AND don’t like it.
So why today's post? I think standards based grading is the future as educators continue to focus on bringing equity to our classrooms. To that end, I to want to learn more and hope that through my own learning I can move closer to these grading practices and maybe become brave enough to advocate for it in my collaborative team. Bonus: the more I learn, the more I will be able to explain it to my friends when it comes up in my mom world. So Take5 and dive into standards based grading with me. Together, we might just broaden our understanding.
In today's Take10, we are excited to feature the one and only, Sam Wightman. We first met Sam at a local edCamp -- he is part of the team that coordinates edCamp NOVA, educator-driven professional development that offers choice and relevance, while building relationships across school districts throughout Northern Virginia. As a Senior Instructional Technology Coordinator, Sam is an innovator in our field, helping to meaningfully infuse technology into classrooms and into the lives of students. So Take10 and meet the insightful, funny, techie, Sam Wightman.
This week we wrapped up our first semester of the school year at our middle school. And the stress level was palpable. Teachers were feeling the crunch of what seems to be a never ending to-do list. I swear every time I opened my email there was another thing to do. And I wasn't the only one; my students were feeling it too. I asked what in the world was going on when I saw one of my kiddos looking exasperated -- her reply, "there is just so much to do." Meanwhile, other students were acting so off task it was as if they had never been in a classroom before: a sure sign that their formative minds are completely overwhelmed. I honestly left my building Thursday afternoon, frustrated (like, where did I go wrong; how did I let myself get so stressed and why did I let myself stress my students out?). Time to dig deep and try to come up with solutions. I called my stepmom (a huge support in my life for decades and a veteran teacher with more than 30 years of experience) for ideas and also of course hit up some favorite blogs and websites. In case you had a week like mine (AAAHHHH - make it stop!), here's what I found.
Our Essay Outline Generator has been an invaluable tool for us as we support student essay writing. It allows students to complete an electronic graphic organizer and then, with one click, the organizer becomes an outline for their essay. However, up until now, it has only been available for essay building in MS Word. But thanks our school's former tech coach (she is now with a different school district), our Essay Outline Generator is available for Google Docs -- and completely customizable so that you best meet the needs of your students!
This week's Take5 focuses on what's happening in the classroom -- creating time, a Google tool to support English learners, mastering conversations. We also look at a game that would be fun to play in the library and a great site with lots of ways to explore science in the classroom.
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