Monday, October 27, 2014

Tip of the Week: October 27: The 5 C's

In my post dated May, 12, 2013, I talked about the "4 C's" of 21st Century Skills as they are supported by the Common Core standards. The "4 C's" are designed to prepare our students for the demands of the 21st century workplace and community.  The "4 C's" are known as:


Communication
Collaboration
Critical Thinking
Creativity/Innovation

I had the privilege of listening to Peter Reynolds, author, illustrator, motivator and champion of creativity, at the MassCUE Conference last week.  Peter, a New York Times bestselling illustrator, has written and/or illustrated internationally renowned children's books such as The Dot, Ish, The North Star, Judy Moody and many others.  In addition to designing the logo for the MassCUE event and giving the Keynote on day 2, he also ran a session that showcased a variety of his software applications. 


All of Peter's work champions the creative process in all of us, both young and old.  But I was really touched when he shared his two most recent books with us:  Going Places and Full Steam Ahead. These stories celebrate creativity as well as thinking outside the box.  They celebrate collaboration, communication, critical thinking and of course, creativity. 

But Peter paused for a moment and with a heavy heart said that what is really needed in our society and the workplace is a 5th "C".. and that 5th "C" stands for Compassion.


If you're interested in learning more about how compassion affects the workplace and life in general, here are a couple of articles and research studies that talk about this important topic:

Why Fostering a Culture of "Companionate Love" in the Workplace Matters (Wharton University and George Mason University)







Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tip of the week: TIPS: October 14, 2014

This week I thought I would send some updates and tips related to some of the web tools we have available to us in Sudbury!

Glogster EDU:  Glogster has recently added over 10,000 new educational graphics to their library.   In the past, his library had been populated with fairly generic and 'cute' graphics that did not tie as well to the curriculum. These new graphics are completely original and copyright free, categorized by subject, and ranging from accent graphics and text boxes to backgrounds and media players.

GlogsterEDU has also launched their iPad app!  It is pretty cool if I do say so myself... Log in the same way you do normally and have fun!  


Be on the lookout for teacher management tools in Today's Meet.. !  

Manage your classroom backchannel with permanent transcripts, the ability to pause a conversation, better access controls, add prompts along the way, and even the ability to mute a student... Coming soon!

Class DoJo now allows students to create their own avatar.. Many other management features have been added too. Over 35,000 teachers, parents and students are now using this easy to use classroom management tool!

DEStreaming: DEStreaming, online educational videos, video clips, images, sounds, songs, interactives, and much more, has added the following:

  • Global Wrap Current Events Content: presents a summary of the week’s most pressing global news, keeping students abreast of current events and connecting the past to the present
  • Content collections, featuring resources hand-selected by Discovery Education’s curriculum experts, aid in planning lessons on commonly taught topics
  • Video library features content from over 100 educational publishers aligned to Common Core includes exclusive, award-winning titles from Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, and Science Channel including Frozen PlanetPlanet Earth, and Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero.  DE adds to their library of resources continuously.

If you don't have an account yet, please go HERE to create your login..

Friday, October 3, 2014

Tip of the Week: Hour of Code: October 3, 2014



The Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science and basic coding (programming) for students in grades K and up. Designed to show that anybody can learn the basics of programming (coding), the Hour of Code is a global event that typically takes place during Computer Science Week. This year Computer Science Week takes place December 8th through the 14th but if you can't do it during that week, you can do it the week before or after.  

So you might be asking yourself, "Why code?"  Code.org believes that "Every student should have the opportunity to learn computer science. It helps nurture problem-solving skills, logic and creativity. By starting early, students will have a foundation for success in any 21st-century career path."  


"The Hour of Code is organized by Code.org, a public 501c3 non-profit dedicated to expanding participation in computer science by making it available in more schools, and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color. Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Boys and Girls Clubs of America and the College Board (among other partners) have come together to support the Hour of Code."

A few classrooms from across our district have participated in this "Hour of Code" with great success. In fact we have a 2nd grade teacher here in Sudbury who is doing coding activities with his students throughout the school year.  

You do not need to know anything about coding to host an event with your students.  The activities are self guided.  You choose the tutorial you want and pick an hour and Code.org takes care of the rest. They have options for every age and experience-level, from kindergarten and up.  Yes, I said kindergarten..  

Here is everything you need to know about implementing this in your classroom:



Friday, September 26, 2014

Tip of the Week: Power My Learning: September 26, 2014

PowerMyLearning.org is a free digital learning platform where K-12 students, educators, and parents can search for and use a wide variety of curated online learning activities. You will find thousands of academic games, videos, and interactive simulations that are tagged by individual Common Core Standard, subject, grade, Spanish-language support, and more.  There is even an iPad compatible option!


You can gather interactive resources into playlists for your students to use.  This tool is great for classroom use, especially if you want to differentiate learning.  It is also great for a flipped classroom model. Playlists allow you to sequence activities and assign them to an individual student or group of students based on their unique needs. You will receive feedback and can use that information to assign new activities that are an even better fit.

You can even search for playlists that others have created and edit/use as you wish.  An example:


Here is a nice video tutorial on setting up a Power My Learning Classroom:


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Tip of the Week: SPS Resources and Kahoot!: September 18, 2014

Welcome back!  This week's (overly optimistic ?) blog post contains two 'tips':

First, here is a link to a new area where you can find the resources I've created for you over the years.  These links had not been centrally located in the past but now they can be found on the sudburyteachers.org site:



Second, Michael DelGreco, 7th grade math teacher at Curtis, said this about Kahoot: "... it's awesome, engaging, and the students love it!" 

Kahoot is an online tool that let's you post test questions, start a discussion, or take a survey.  Results are seen immediately and the data can be downloaded and looked at later to help inform your instruction.  This simple game-based tool's philosophy is that "Great Learning Starts by Asking Great Questions"

Here is a great video that walks you through the entire process of setting up and creating a Kahoot!


..and here is a link to examples and pedagogy.  I think you'll find some really cool ways to use this tool, in any content area, and at all age levels..

Monday, June 23, 2014

Tip of the Week: GameUp with BrainPop: June 23, 2014


Sudbury has a districtwide subscription to the online video resource called BrainPop and BrainPop Jr.. (directions for accessing BrainPop can be found HERE).  BrainPop consists of a huge library of videos, lessons, quizzes and more to support teaching and learning in all content areas.  These short, 'teachable moment' videos have been a favorite of many teachers for years. 

But did you know BrainPop also includes an entire lineup of curriculum connected games called Game Up?  These free games are aligned to standards and are also great for "introducing “gaming” as a serious tool and has versatile uses in traditional, flipped, or tech driven classrooms."

These games are designed to:
  • Motivate and provide goals
  • Encourage participation
  • Foster creative, interactive problem-solving
  • Strengthen critical and systems thinking
  • Pose adaptive challenges
  • Spark inquiry
  • Require very little prep by busy teachers
Watch this very informative screencast on GameUp!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Tip of the Week: QR Codes in the Classroom: May 6th, 2014

QR (Quick Response) Codes

... in the classroom allow you to make teaching and learning more 'clickable'!  Check out the resources below to see how this simple tool can help you have more independent learners, more engaged learners, and differentiate instruction in your classroom!




Several teachers throughout Sudbury are using QR codes in a variety of ways! Check out my site with more resources.. QR Codes in the Classroom!  

And check out this link to a couple of ways to use QR Codes: Download a QR Code Reader on your smartphone or iPad, or laptop! I like QuickMark or I-nigma but there are tons out there!