Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Genius Hour

If you aren't familiar with Genius Hour, it's an educational movement pushing students to learn what they want to learn. As educators, we should be giving students opportunities to follow their interests at least an hour a day, or a Genius Hour. It's a movement also tied closely to personalized learning.

I found a fantastic wikispace page to help teachers pull of a Genius Hour: 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Open Education Resources

There's a big push in the Education world to find, create, and share resources for FREE. They're being called Open Education Resources (OER) and are extremely important to meet to growing needs of teachers and students.

Steven W. Anderson, Web 2.0 Classroom, recently published a blog post about the importance of OER and where to find them. In his post, he lists numerous websites housing OER. Great resource!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Library/Classroom Designs

Here's an interesting article and podcast on redefining the role of the Library space from Cult of Pedagogy: How this School Library Increased Student Use by 1000%.

They changed the layout of the library by having all the books along the wall, bought movable furniture, and increased the interactive technology. Every piece of furniture could be moved and rearranged to meet group collaboration needs. The library basically became an extension of the classrooms where students could work in groups to complete work. Instead of having a makerspace, the library was becoming more of a space for personalized learning.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Google Slide Templates

Do your students have Google Apps for Education accounts? Do they frequently build Google Slide presentations? Slide Carnival is an excellent site for helping students find better templates then the ones offered by Google Slides. A colleague introduced me to Slide Carnival today, so I can't wait to have my students use it.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Inquiry Based Learning

I recently listened to TeachThought's Podcast (Epsiode 37) about strategies to effectively implement inquiry into your everyday classroom routines. Kimberly Mitchell spoke about the 5 strategies she helped to create involving inquiry based learning and her website: Inquiry Partners. The podcast was an excellent introduction into her 5 strategies:

1) Personal/Emotional Connections
2) Ask higher level questions, talk less
3) Encourage students to use evidence
4) Maintain neutrality during class discussions - be a facilitator
5) Increase student thinking time

Also, the Inquiry Partners website includes videos of each inquiry strategy being effectively implemented into a classroom environment.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

ClassCraft & Google Classroom

ClassCraft, a behavior management role playing game for your classroom, is now fully integrated with Google Classroom. It easily allows you to add classes from Google Classroom to Classcraft. I can't wait to get started with my 3-5 grade students.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Free Money for STEAM

Welcome back from Spring Break!!! We even had a couple of snow days before the week off school.

Here's an excellent opportunity a colleague shared with me from Erin Klein's blog (Kleinspiration). It's the Citgo Fueling Education Sweepstakes and is looking to fund teachers having students work through STEAM challenges. Many of these teachers purchase their materials for STEAM challenges and the Citgo Fueling Education Sweepstakes can help with funding.