Website Wednesday @ SOH
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Website Wednesday for March 18th, 2020 (special COVID-19 Edition!)
I hope everyone is hanging in there today. For Website Wednesday I am going to update this post for the remained of the year. Ill add resources under the four categories I mention below.
While we wait for more information and guidance I thought I’d share some online resources with you all and try to find a way to wrap our minds around what we may need to be doing during these times.
And as a librarian I feel I can put together a decent list of resources if I organize my mind around what we could need. Let me know if I am missing something.
In trying to wrap my mind around this sudden monster and these areas come to mind. We need some resources that can supplement content. I know many of you have specific resources you use already but I will share some other places maybe you hadn’t thought of or in mediums you hadn’t thought to use before.
This list will get updated constantly and assuming I get a good response from I may move it to its own page.
- Scholastic has set up some cool learn from home resources. Mostly for K-Middle School but it may be useful for SpED and ELLs.
- I’ve shared Listenwise with you before on WW. This is a reminder that this cool resource offers lessons around listening to podcasts. (all subjects)
- The New York Times Learning Network has stepped up their game in light of the COVID-19 and are offering a webinar today (which I expect they will archive somewhere) to help people get started in using their resources. Furthermore, they will also created a guide to help parents and teachers get started on their own. Check out their Lesson Plans. Get a basic overview of what they offer here. AND please remember that the NYT is free for all Californians. Another reason Librarians rock, SUHSD.
- Spanish for Spanish Speakers teachers: UNAM is offering a free online course on spelling (in Spanish , of course) free and with a certificate of completion. More info HERE.
- The Smithsonian is offering Distance Learning Resources
- I shared this resource with you back in November 2018 (scroll down for more details) but I will remind everyone about Open Library. Open Library lets you check out a book (usually a classic) and post it up to share online.
- YouCubed has an online student math course in English and Spanish free to all students. If you aren’t familiar with it the program is created by Jo Boaler of Stanford University.
- I love recommending AllSides. aims to try and prepare our students to be thoughtful consumers of information. Their Mission is simple: To free people from their filter bubbles so they can better understand the world and each other. AllSides promotes media literacy, critical thinking and civil discourse. Visit the AllSides News Page for daily news stories by topic categories with left-center-right bias ratings. Students who search for specific issues will get background articles, think tank and policy group perspectives. AllSides provides classrooms with a platform for connecting classrooms and promoting civil discourse. It has boards where you can post assignments, share materials and organize your research. Did I mention its aligned to the Common Core? It contains a wealth of resources. You have to check it out. This is one of my favorite sites ever.
- Junior Library Guild has opened up their online platform. This means students could read online, if they have access to the internet.
- EBSCO’s PrepSTEP for High School has given us free access until June 30th.
- Improve core skills in English language arts, math and science, social studies and computers
- Prepare for AP®, SAT®, ACT® and other college entrance exams
- Prepare for military entrance tests (ASVAB, CFAT)
- Explore colleges and careers
- Search for scholarships
- Prepare for occupational certification tests (e.g., allied health, nursing, teaching and many more)
If you aren’t using Google Classroom or Canvas in your classes already (and I know the vast majority already are) here is a good Google Classroom Bootcamp, just in case.
Synchronous Learning refers to everyone learning together, in our new situation this means online. And, so many cool resources are being shared everywhere I wont reinvent the wheel here. But just in case you are out of the loop here is a good plan from QKED. But rest assured everyone is jumping in and offering lists. I mean everyone. There is no need to get fancy. All we need is a way to deliver content. Here are a few places that offer suggestions:
- Google for Education
- The UN (Yes, that UN, as in United Nations)
- The NEA (National Education Association)
Given the state of technology in our District I would be very surprised if our district attempted this method given that so many students don’t have devices and equal access is nearly impossible. If they do attempt this, rest assured I will post more resources to help meet these goals. For now I won’t spend too much time on the impossible and aim for the possible.
Given the state of things I think Asynchronous Learning is the way to go. If you didn’t click on the definition above Asynchronous Learning implies a more self-Paced approach. It can be online and offline. And, it offers more flexibility. I suspect this is the way we will take things.
Here are some ideas:
- Try Hyperdocs! Cult of Pedagogy has a great intoduction to hyperdocs .
- Lisa Highfill, one of the creators of the concept has all sorts of resources on hyperdocs on her website.
- Check out the Hyperdocs Library HERE
- Use Google Drive to share videos. You can create videos, screencasts and share them on your google classroom.
- Create a Screencast with Screencastify. Here are some tips on creating good screencasts.
- Use tools like Book Creator to create content for students.
- I’ve talked to you before about this: Consider creating Playlists to differentiate Instruction .
- Create a PDF book with Google Slides
To be continued… check here for updates and additional resources.
Send me an email with any suggestions or requests. You still have library services up until the very last of this school year and I’m committed to curating tools for everyone to address this new situation.
see you after the break Raiders!
Website Wednesday for February 12th, 2020
For today’s Website Wednesday I want to share a cool resource named one of the best tools for teaching and learning by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) this past year.
The tool is called EdPuzzle :
The premise is pretty simple with edpuzzle. You can basically turn any video you pick into a lesson. Edpuzzle lets you track if and how many times students are watching a video and if they understand the content. You can create self-self paced videos with your own voice narration and questions as a guide. You can use existing videos or create your own on Edpuzzle. A few of you already use edpuzzle. I think more of us should. You do need to create an account (its all free for teachers) and the easiest way to do it is to use your SUHSD google account. Check it out!
Here are a few others cool things I’ve come across this week:
- From Cult of Pedagogy: The Big List of Class Discussion Strategies
- Also From Cult of Pedagogy: Three group work strategies that help hold all students accountable.
- Edutopia has a cool article on kids and Procrastination. We will be talking about this on STEP 4 next week.
- And in honor of Kindness Week : Edutopia has a cool article with suggestions on how to promote kindness among students.
And, last but not least, I made a YouTube Playlist of Kindness videos to show your classes. I emailed you about them yesterday but here they are again:
see you next week!
Website Wednesday for January 30, 2020
I was out sick last week and am running a bit behind. Please accept my Website Wednesday (on a Thursday, sorry). I’ll be back on track next week!
The Stanford History Education group (part of the Stanford School of Education) has recently come out with an awesome new curriculum to help teachers and students teach students to evaluate information. This curriculum (and assessments) can be adapted to any subject and it’s free. It’s called Civic Online Reasoning. Did you know that the .org domain is basically useless? Check out the NYT Op-Ed explaining the reasoning and need for this curriculum from Stanford Education Professor Sam Wineburg.
A few more cool resources I came across this week:
- KQED has a Youth Media Challenge in time for the 2020 election. Check it out here.
- Edutopia has a framework for helping students develop goal setting skills.
- From Ditch that textbook: Time-savers for teachers: a more efficient you!
- Are electronic devices giving you trouble? Check out this article from Stanford Magazine: How to limit distraction
- And from the Greater Good Center in Berkeley : Four ways to calm your mind in stressful times.
see you next week!
Website Wednesday for January 15, 2020
Welcome back! I just have some some really easy and hopefully helpful things to share with you this week. They all tie in somehow to things that have been mentioned in our meetings this week.
Phones in the classroom:
I wanted to remind everyone of this awesome App called Flipd (android and Apple versions). I’ve shared it before. This App helps students stay off their phone and you can incorporate it into your class room! It was created for teachers and students. Here is a great article on the Washington Post with the history behind it. I think its worth a try. If phones are driving you nuts why not give it a try?
And last but not least from Greater Good Magazine: Five ways to help teens feel good about themselves.
Short and simple this time! see you next week!
Website Wednesday for November 6th, 2019
For today’s post off year election Website Wednesday I want to share the following resources with you:
- KQED Education has a youth media challenge focused on the upcoming 2020 election. Read about it here. And, here is a teacher page with lessons and resources for teaching around the theme Let’s talk talk about election 2020. It’s free, standards-aligned and co-hosted by the National Writing Project and PBS NewsHour Student Student Reporting Labs.
- And, to keep with the civics theme this morning are you familiar with the Annenberg Classroom Resources resources on the Constitution? If you haven’t then you are in for a treat. Here you can find games, lessons, guides, books and all kinds of resources for use in the classroom. One of the best features are their award winning videos, but also check out how they connect current events to the Constitution.
- Check out this blog post of the best Android apps to enhance teacher productivity.
- It’s been a long while since I revisited Canva and reminded you all of this wonderful presentation tool. So, take this as a reminder about Canva and its amazing potential for you and your students and to point out that Canva has all sorts of awesome tools to visualize data. Use the Canva graph maker in your classroom or with your students to create charts, graphs and diagrams. If data isn’t your focus check out their amazing template library. Sign in with your district google account for instant account access.
- The last website I want to share with you is really data nerdy and I wasn’t sure if you would be interested but its too cool not to share. Its a new interactive data tool from The Educational Opportunity Project at Stanford University. Its the first national database of academic performance. Look at average test scores in our community, learning rates and trends in test scores. This platform lets anyone in the community explore and compare the data from Stanford’s Education Data Archive which is the first comprehensive national database of academic performance. Use this tool to generate charts, maps, and downloadable PDFs to compare data on individual schools, districts and counties. (you can use up to six location tabs at one time). Some examples of the research coming out of this data: Is Separate Still Unequal? New Evidence on School Segregation and Racial Academic Achievement Gaps, a study that suggests it is poverty, not racial segregation that limits educational opportunity, and Affluent Schools Are Not Always the Best Schools, which shares that Chicago Public Schools are more successful than they are given credit for. Please excuse the nerdiness but it’s a neat resource you should know about. 🙂
And last but not least I always like to share something visual. KQED and Common Sense Media have partnered together to create a video series to tackle controversial topics, media literacy and other hotly debated topics that are important to teenagers today. Read more about it here and be sure to subscribe. See you next Wednesday!
Website Wednesday for October 30, 2019
For today’s Website Wednesday I wanted to share a few cool articles and one really neat app I came across recently.
Last year I shared with you a really awesome chrome extension called InsertLearning hopefully you remember it. If not, in a nutshell InsertLearning turns any website into an interactive lesson. If you haven’t checked it you yet now is the time. I came across this blog post explaining four ways to blend learning using InsertLearning. Its the perfect opportunity to try it out if you haven’t yet. Maybe test it out on one of Joan Didion’s essays especially this one about the Santa Ana winds. (I always think of this essay on days like today)
In case you didn’t know how here is a blog post showing you how to create google doc and slide templates for your classes.
Engaging Congress was named one of the best apps for teaching and learning by the AASL a few years ago . It can be used as an iOS or Android App or on the website. It uses Primary source documents and games to teach students about the basics of our Democracy. I think it might be useful for students who are ELLs, struggle with reading longer texts or are new to the American system of government. Check out the games here.
From Common Sense Media: A lesson for HS teachers to use in teaching about Fake News (the actual real stuff). The Poynter institute issued a report on the shameful way many Southern Newspapers normalized or covered up racism, violence and bias toward African Americans in their newspapers. Their coverage fueled racial violence against African Americans. This lesson takes students into the work of journalism, bias in reporting and helps them build a more informed understanding of Fake News.
The Website/app I want to share with you today is called WAKELET.
Wakelet is a curation and storytelling tool. I know I share a ton of these with you but trust me, this one is one of the best ones. Ill share AASL’s description directly with you:
Wakelet is a robust curation and storytelling tool, offering educators and their students a multitude of possible uses Links, images, notes, titles, PDFs, YouTube and Vimeo videos, Tweets, Facebook and Instagram posts, Google or Dropbox Documents, Soundcloud tracks, Spotify playlists, Google Maps, Flipgrid responses, Screencastify recordings and more can be added to user created “collection”s via browser extension, dashboard or directly from synced applications. Users can edit, embed, change privacy settings, customize the appearance, and invite contributors to add to their collections. Wakelet may be used to create newsletters and playlists, collect learning experience resources, present research artifacts or create an annotated bibliography- it’s potential is endless! Grade: All
I love Wakelet so much I started curating my Website Wednesday links in there. For a quick list of links check out my Website Wednesday Wakelet.
And before I go check out this video on the Adolescent brain:
see you all next Wednesday!
Website Wednesday for October, 23rd 2019
For today’s Website Wednesday I want to highlight a couple of cool articles and sites I came across these past couple of weeks.
Common Sense Media has a series of videos and resources for high school students addressing various topics around Digital Citizenship week. This is a good opportunity to remind everyone that every week is Digital Citizenship Week!
An example from Common Sense’s resources is this video, “Who are you on Social Media?”:
Some cool Ed research articles I came across:
- From EdWeek: Poverty not race, fuels the achievement gap
- Kids in poor, urban schools learn just as much as others
From blogs around the web:
- Better book reports: 10 Techy alternatives
- From Edutopia: Teaching students to give peer feedback
- From Caitlin Tucker’s blog: Student Agency: What Do Students Want to Create to Demonstrate Their Learning?
Two cool Chrome extensions:
Today’s cool tool is called Deck.Toys and it allows teachers to create interactive lessons for students. Create a “deck” by creating a “path” and activities for students to follow. You can include media to your deck with the option of adding apps that help assess students as they travel down the path. You can integrate deck.toys into Google Classroom or just share it as a link with your class. Check it out! it is very visually appealing and engaging!
See you next Wednesday !
Website Wednesday for September 18th, 2019
For the last Website Wednesday before Fall Break I want to share a few cool things I’ve come across this week.
I’m going to share a very low key resource with with everyone today given that we are on our way to Fall Break. It is called Brush Ninja and its a FREE and SIMPLE application for making animated GIFs. Its free , doesn’t require a log in and it doesn’t track students. You make a GIF by drawing on the screen editor. Its simple and no frills but it works. Try it out.
- From PBS : Everyone loves a good Ken Burns documentary but they’re too long for classroom use. Luckily the Ken Burns: Teaching American History and Culture site has a neat collection of clips that can be used in different types of lessons. They’re 3-7 minutes long. He also has lesson plans. Check them out here.
- From Mindshift: How can schools help kids with anxiety?
- Also from Mindshift: Digital Text is changing how kids read: Just not how you think
- I know we are winding down before break so I want to share this cool list: 20 sites for students with free time on their hands.
Last but not least Common Sense Education has a Summer Reads for teachers list I want to share with everyone. I know its technically not summer but its a break and any break is a good excuse to read stuff, in my opinion.
Have a good break everyone! see you when we get back!
Website Wednesday for September 11th, 2019
For today’s Website Wednesday I would like to share a few sites I came across this week. It’s a bit google classroom/Google EDU heavy this week.
But first, a cool website! Genially is a cool presentation tool you really need to know about. Genially allows you to create presentations, info-graphics, video presentations, resumes and more. You can use their templates or create original designs with their easy to use tools. The neatest feature is that it allows you to make any image or text interactive. You can share the content you crate via a link or download it to your device. Take a look. Genially was named one of the best websites for teaching and learning by the AASL this year.
And, now google:
I just came across the Google EDU YouTube channel. Are you familiar with it? Its a really good place to get the latest news on Google for Education updates. It’s not just a good place it’s a goldmine. You can subscribe and get alerts on new videos then watch when you have time. They’re fairly short and to the point. Everyone has three minutes right?
Here is an example: EDU in 90: Chrome Extensions to save time.
Other cool news and sites from GoogleEDU:
Did you know that Google Classroom is know testing out a new feature to help students with plagiarism? It’s called Originality reports. Learn more about it here. It let’s you scan for “missing” citations and cross checks student content against the web. It’s in Beta version right now but you can start using it. You just need to sign up for it through the link. I expect this is going to be a very popular google classroom feature in the future.
Do you grade assignments through Google Classroom? If so, then you need to try out Google Assignments. It’s also in Beta version but you can sign up for it and be the first to try it out. Its going to save you a ton of time with grading.
It’s that time of year and Google offers NEW search features to help students explore college opportunities. Check out the details here.
Other good resources:
- This slightly gloomy (but important) article from Common Sense Media on digital ways students use to cheat.
- 8 tech tools to streamline independent reading management.
See you next week!
Website Wednesday for September 4th, 2019
Hello and LISTEN everyone!
For today’s Website Wednesday I want to share a few things I came across this week that involve the skill of listening and speaking.
I want to share a few podcast resources with you this week. The first resource was named one of the best websites for teaching and learning by the American Association of School Librarians this year and it is called Anchor. Anchor is an app and a website that allows teachers and students to create high quality podcasts that have easy to use creation tools and a free hosting service. The site also has audio clips, transitions and sound effects so students can create professional audio. Anchor has the ability to share podcasts to social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. You can also get a link to the podcast you create to share or embed codes to add to a website. It’s a neat creation tool and perfect if you want to get started with podcasting.
WeVideo has a video newsletter (of course) where they explain they can now be used for audio only. Check out their video newsletter and audio creation resources here.
I guess you could say that NPR knows a bit about podcasts and delivering audio in a compelling way. They have created a series of lessons and examples for teachers who want to teach the art of podcasting. Find all their checklists, clips, lessons and resources here. NPR has a yearly student podcast challenge (in the Spring) and you can listen to the most recent winners HERE.
Listenwise (which I have shared with you on WW before) not only has several cool lessons to teach listening comprehension through engaging podcasts for students in ELA, Social Science, Science and current events they also have lessons designed for students and teacher to learn podcasting. Listenwise has teaching guides, webinars and examples of student generated podcasts teachers can use to get started podcasting on their blog.
Some other cool articles I saw this week:
- From The Atlantic: How to Respond to Teen’s “Emotional Eruptions”.
- From KQED Mindshift: Concrete Ways To Help Students Self-Regulate And Prioritize Work
- From The New York Times: How to Help Teenagers Keep Track of Their Stuff
And I just have to share this video
See you all next Wednesday !
Website Wednesday for August 28th, 2019
For today’s Website Wednesday I want to share a few things I’ve come across this week.
The main site I want to share with you is another best site for teaching and learning from the American Association of School Librarians but it’s a two parter. The site I want to recommend is The Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting. The Pulitzer Center promotes student engagement with critical global issues and they sponsor quality journalists and newsrooms. The stories they sponsor are freely available on their website. Here you can find thousands of print, video, photo and digital stories published in over 150 media outlets. Some of these you will recognize: The New York Times, PBS News hour, NPR, Time Magazine, The New Yorker and National Geographic.
The stories available on The Pulitzer Center website come with lesson plans and are searchable by issue, date, author, region, and grade level. You can also partner with The Pulitzer Center to get in person and through Skype journalist visits to your classroom. They also offer workshops and professional development opportunities.
And, one of the main reasons I wanted to highlight The Pulitzer Center this week is because of another resource I want to share with you that is available through their website. And, that is The 1619 Project is a special project through The New York Times Magazine. The 1619 Project seeks to examine the legacy of the first enslaved Africans brought to the British Colonies in Virginia on August 20th, 1619 which started the system of slavery in this country and how that legacy still shapes our society. The Pulitzer Center has developed curriculum around The 1619 Project. They also developed a 1619 Project reading guide and are asking educators to share their lessons with them and each other around the 1619 Project.
A Few articles on the 1619 Project and 1619 in general from around the web:
- From EdWeek Teacher: The 1619 Project Curriculum challenges teachers to reframe US history
- The 1619 Project is now available as a podcast.
- Teen Vogue has a good article on “The Year of Return”
- From Teaching History: Teaching Hard History: American Slavery
- From the Washington Post’s Education page: Teaching America’s Truth
Some other good resources I came across this week:
- From KQED Mindshift: Harnessing the incredible learning potential of the adolescent brain
- From NPR: Pediatrician’s group warns that Racism is harmful to the health of children.
- From Cult of Pedagogy: 4 things you don’t know about the jigsaw method
- From Common Sense Media: Who’s looking at your digital footprint? How can information you post online affect your future opportunities? (high school lesson)
see you next Wednesday!
Website Wednesday (on a Thursday, sorry!) August 22nd, 2019
This is our first Website Wednesday of the year!
I wanted to share a few things I have been hoarding for you all summer.
The main cool site I want you to know about was named one of the Best Websites for Teaching and Learning by the American Association of School Librarians this year. It’s called Now Comment and its an online discussion platform designed for students. Now Comment allows students to have conversations around documents, videos and images in a way that leverages their enjoyment of social media. Students can have engaging discussions in both large and small groups using Now Comment. It also handles multiple and simultaneous conversations. Use Now Comment to spark thoughtful written exchanges in your classroom.
3 cool blog posts from Edutopia:
- 10 Powerful Community building ideas.
- Dispelling myths around Learning Disabilities
- 8 strategies for teaching Academic Language
From KQED Mindshift:
- Teacher strategies for remembering and pronouncing student names correctly
- What’s going on inside the brain of a bilingual child.
TeachThought has a cool list of 10 Metacognitive prompts to help students reflect on their learning.
From Common Sense Education : This infographic for teachers with recommendations for protecting student privacy on Social Media. Every teacher needs this!
And, last but certainly not least here is a video promoting libraries and the work we do. It has a heavy Public Library focus but the spirit of the library is certainly addressed.
Thank you everyone! See you next week!
Website Wednesday for April 24th, 2019
For today’s Website Wednesday I would like to share a few things I have come across this week.
- From Edutopia: Podcasts that engage our hearts and minds.
- From eSchool News: A teacher’s essential guide for cyberbullying.
- From Common Sense Media: Which Digital Citizenship skills do students need most?
- Also from Common Sense Media: Why and how to use YouTube video essays in your classroom.
- I realize this is a bit late but…From Cult of Pedagogy: Making the Most out of a 90 Minute Block.
And last but not least I want to share the NewseumED site with you. The Newseum is not only a physical museum in Washington, D.C. it is also an amazing online resource for teachers and students. The NewseumED site offers primary sources, historical videos on media literacy and civics. You can find lesson plans, units and media artifacts all related to media literacy, the press, the First Amendment and civics in general. Sign up for a FREE account and use their resources to teach about propaganda, media literacy, and about fake news. It’s an awesome resource that was named one of the best sites for teaching and learning by the American Association of School Librarians this past year.
See you next week!
Website Wednesday for April 17th, 2019
For today’s Website Wednesday I want to share something I shared last year but it bears repeating and that is AudiobooksSYNC is back!! Hopefully you will remember I told you about it last year that it is an amazing FREE summer audio book program for teens. Teenagers 13+ can get access to TWO free audiobooks a week for teens to listen to all summer long. The program starts April 25th (yes, next week) and goes for thirteen weeks. You can assign listening for the summer or start now. The titles are awesome and engaging. All students need is to download the Overdrive app on their phone and sign up.
Take a look at the titles HERE. These are really good YA and contemporary non-fiction titles (classics, science and, history). Listening to books and engaging with language is as valuable as reading. And did I tell you its FREE? why not give it a try?
That’s it for this week! see you next week!
Website Wednesday (on Thursday) March 21th, 2019
Happy First Day of Spring Everyone!
For today’s Website Wednesday I want to share a few cool things I’ve come across this week.
- Planet Nutshell has a series of 18 Net Safe videos on topics ranging from everything from responsibly posting pictures to mobile location safety. The videos are labeled by grade levels so they could work with high school as well as younger students.
- And to follow up with being safe online do you know what phishing is? Google has a cool phishing quiz you could take with your students to learn to spot the clues. Stay safe out there everyone!
- The Center for Civics Educations has a 60 second Civics Podcast you should know about. They’re short podcasts on various topics explaining aspects of our government.
- From School Library Journal : Our Brains are wired for stories.
- Are you familiar with The Smithsonian Learning Lab? The Smithsonian Learning Lab allows you to create collection and assignments to share with your students using the vast resources available through America’s library. You can search (and share) the Smithsonian collection for images, documents, videos, interactive animations, and lesson plans. Its not just historical items either. Search the Smithsonian for art, culture, film, science and history (of course). Below is a short video showing some of the things this amazing resource has to offer. Check it out!
Have an awesome break everyone!!
Website Wednesday (on a Thursday) for March 14, 2019
For today’s Website Wednesday (on a Thursday, sorry) I found a few things I thought you might like.
I want to revisit the theme of Copyright and Fair Use. Hopefully everyone remembers that we need to teach students to use pictures they find on the internet responsibly. They either need to cite the source of the picture or they need to find images that are free of or have a flexible copyright. I want to share two ways to do this. The first is with this awesome list of free stock photo sites. The other way is to use a Creative Commons search that will find copyright flexible images for students.
What on earth is Creative Commons licensing you may ask? Creative Commons is an organization that has been promoting flexible copyright and its the first step in truly leveraging the power of OER (Open Educational Resources). Not only is it important for students to understand copyright and attribution of sources they should also, as creators, learn to apply Creative Common Licensing to their own creations.
- EdSurge has a pretty cool podcast on various educational and EdTech topics. This podcast about four teachers learning to see their students differently. Read the article or listen to the podcast (below).
- And, while on the subject of podcasts have you heard of Listenwise? Listenwise was named one of the best websites for teaching and learning by the American Association of School Librarians a few years ago. It aims to harness the power of podcasts and listening to enhance literacy. It has a pretty strong podcast and audio story collection of current events, ELA, Math and Science stories with standards aligned lessons designed to provide ELL’s exposure to academic language. The site offers comprehension assessments and scaffolding for ELL’s. You can try the basic membership for free or try out the premium membership for 30 days with no obligation. Check out more Listenwise features here.
- And, last but not least, in honor of Pi Day this from the Guinness World Record people. This young man attempted to break the record of the most decimal places of Pi memorized. He memorized 70,000 spaces and it took him 10 hours to say it all!
Here’s just a few pages from Rajveer Meena’s evidence of his attempt for the most decimal places of Pi memorised – 70,000. Rajveer wore a blindfold throughout the entire recall, which took nearly 10 hours https://t.co/nAvsMXepKk #PiDay pic.twitter.com/mHf3OJRcXC
— GuinnessWorldRecords (@GWR) March 14, 2018
See you next week!
Website Wednesday for March 6, 2019
For today’s Website Wednesday I want to share a few cool sites and resources I think you may like.
- From Cult of Pedagogy: 16 ideas for student projects using google docs, slides and forms.
- Did you know Common Sense Media has quite a few lessons on Digital Citizenship? These lessons focus on protecting student privacy and teaching them to be careful with their information online. The site has lessons, handouts and guides for modeling good online privacy habits for students and setting a good example for our kids with our own devices and digital life.
- Did you know you can use Google Docs to convert images and PDFs into editable text? The feature has been around a while so you you probably do know. Here is a guide just in case. BUT did you also know that the google App for Android lets you use the camera on your device to scan any type of document and save it in the form of a searchable PDF file? well now you know. Here are the instructions.
- This compelling History Resource from the Library of Congress: Freed people tell their stories of enslavement. They’re audio interviews of people who were enslaved. It’s a good resource to teach students that this wasn’t that long ago.
- Time.Graphics is a step-by-step online timeline maker. The site leads students to easily incorporate text, video, and graphics to create an online timeline. You can share on social media or you can download. You can explore other’s timelines on almost any topic imaginable.
see you next week!
Website Wednesday for February 27th, 2019
For Today’s Website Wednesday I want to share a few things with you:
- Have you ever seen the worlds largest lesson? The Global Goals initiative boasts to have it on their site. The site introduces students to the 17 sustainable development goals agreed upon by world leaders for a better world by 2030. The goals have the potential to end poverty, fight inequality and stop climate change. Each goal has lessons and resources to use with students of all ages.
- Edutopia had a whole thing on Decoding the Teenage Brain. It has some really good graphs and insights into reaching students at this stage of their development.
- Is phone use in your classroom an added distraction? I’m not sure how to describe this resource yet. But I read about it on this blog post. Basically, it’s a new app that teachers can use to reward students for staying off their phones during class. You can customize the rewards you offer your students and its free. It’s called Pocket Points and its worth a look. Basically you can set times and goals, track them and then reward students for positive behavior. Take a look!
- Do you believe in the power of stories? Check out the Global Oneness Project. This is an awesome library of FREE interdisciplinary multimedia stories that incorporate film, photo essays and articles. They include curriculum for teachers. You can find stories on climate change, water scarcity, food insecurity, poverty, endangered cultures, migration, and sustainability. The site emphasizes our common humanity and facilitates the development of students’ critical thinking, inquiry, empathy, and listening skills. They release a new lesson each week. It’s really an awesome site. You can also sign up for their weekly lesson plan and newsletter. Check it out!
see you all next Wednesday!
Website Wednesday for January 30th, 2019
For today’s Website Wednesday I want to share a few things with you.
First and foremost check out this article: How Powerful use of Technology can increase student engagement.
- I want to share a cool Chrome extension called ScreenShade. ScreenShade covers up your screen or portions of it. It can come in handy if you don’t want your students to see something on your screen just yet, are waiting for an answer, or waiting on students before you start to show them something. It has a timer option too. It’s just a handy little chrome extension you might find useful. (make sure you start and restart your browser after installing. It needs a refresh before it kicks in)
- And, while on the subject of cool extensions and add-ons. Here is another cool extension for Google Docs you may like. Its called JoeZoo Express and it lets you create or import rubrics, add written or voice comments to student assignments. It let’s you import canned comments or add original ones. And, after all that work it checks to see if the student actually read them. It has an engagement tracker that tells you how long a student spent interacting and reading or listening with your comments. Grade an assignment in two minutes with this handy add-on.
- And, on the topic of feedback…this blogpost on Why feedback is SO time consuming –and how to fix it.
- I want to share a cool App Smashing idea using one of the applications we currently have available here at our school. Use a screen casting tool like Screencast-o-matic , a video tool or any recording and upload it to flipgrid to create instructional videos. You could do it for the students or better yet, the students could do their own to demonstrate knowledge. David Byrne has a cool video explaining it here:
- Have you seen this classroom noise volume meter? Quiet down your class in a minute. More info on the site here. (make sure you give it access to your microphone)
- PhET is this awesome site for science and math (especially physics) simulations. At first glance it doesn’t look like anything fancy but it is actually a really neat resource. Here is a quick video that breaks it down:
see you next week everyone!!
Website Wednesday for January 23rd, 2019
Happy New Year Everyone!
For today’s Website Wednesday I want to suggest a few things to try this year. A sort of SOH Website Wednesday 2019 challenge! (except it’s totally optional. You all know how low pressure I am about these things)
- Google Tool Creator: You may already know about Google Expeditions but are you familiar with tool creator? Google Tool Creator lets you create your own expeditions using Google Street view and 360 photos and publish them to Google’s own library of free VR and AR objects. Students can use Google tool creator for research projects, to explore a historical site or a region of the world, they can visit the setting of a country they have read about or supplement anything they write for you. You can create tours of your classroom, our school or even our community. There are lots of great possibilities with this. I know funding is an issue but did you know a Google Cardboard is only 15 dollars? add a smart phone and you are ready to go.
- Great Big Story: If you believe video can be used as a text then you are going to love A great big story! Their mission is: ““We believe there is magic in the world and it’s our mission in life to help you discover it. We search for stories showing a sense of optimism for the world…because goodness can grow through the smallest cracks in the sidewalk.” If you are looking for inspiring and optimistic videos then this might be a good site to check out. The site is meant for everyone so you must preview whatever you decide to share with your students, of course. But, I know you wont be disappointed.
- WebJets: Webjets is going to remind you Padlet. But, it actually has a bit more potential. Webjets has the familiar cards you see in Padlet but it can also contain video, , attached files, images, documents or tables. The BEST part of Webjets is that you can create folders that you can move to the side. It can be a great collaboration tool, a great way to curate information and sites for a course you are teaching or for students taking your class. The possibilities are kind of exciting. Take a look at WebJets.
- YoTeach!: You may be aware that TodaysMeet died. It’s no longer available. But, luckily someone missed it enough to create an alternative for teachers. YoTeach! lets you create a “back channel” room for discussion. create a “room” give students a URL and there you have it.
- ClassroomQ: ClassroomQ solves the problem of having a bunch of kids waiting in line to get help from their teacher. This cool site lets you create a digital queue of students and allows you to check them off the queue with the click of a button. Don’t you just love nerdy solutions like this?
see you next week!!
Website Wednesday for December 12th, 2018
For today’s Website Wednesday I wanted to share a few things I’ve come across this week.
First if all I want to bring up more topics and resources relating to Digital Citizenship and their connection to libraries and information. And, what better way to start that conversation than to talk about attribution and copyright and Fair Use? Exciting, right? Our students are now empowered with devices they can take home and use to create stuff. Its important to remember that one of the best skills we can give students is a strong foundation in handling information ethically and giving credit where credit is due. I will be revisiting this topic and all its nuances throughout the remainder of the school year. (Along with all the other cool stuff I usually curate for you, of course.)
- The first neat resource I want to share with everyone is Edutopia’s 5-minute film festival on the topic of Copyright and fair use.
- Austin Kleon’s simple, straightforward essay on why Credit Is Always Due.
- And, to illustrate the beauty of copyrighted works and those in the Public Domain you have to check out the new National Screening Room from the Library of Congress. Over 300 films ranging from 1890 to 1999 are now available through Public Domain to stream and download. Films still holding a copyright are available to stream. You can find classic fiction and non-fiction films, newsreels, are all available and the LOC promises teaching tools and guides are coming soon.
Some cool Google stuff:
- 20 Practical ways to use google forms in class
- Self checking assessments in google sheets with conditional formatting
- 8 Great Google Extensions you probably didnt know existed
And, since Winter Break is almost here:
And, courtesy of Newsy here is a video showing your brain on books:
see you all next week!
Website Wednesday for December 5th , 2018
For today’s Website Wednesday I wanted to share a few resources from Common Sense Media on managing Digital Distractions in the classroom.
First of all, if you haven’t been to Common Sense Media’s Education site recently it is really worth a visit. I’d like to focus more on digital citizenship this coming semester and I will be sharing things with you.
- Here is their landing page with articles, videos and handouts on Managing Digital Distractions. I’ve also embedded two of their handouts below.
- Check out their reviews of Classroom Management Apps and Websites.
Some other cool stuff:
Have you heard of the Noun Project? The Noun project is an open source project of free icons and images you can search and add to your workflow without attribution(more on attribution next week). They’ve have a Mac app and integration with Microsoft and google add-ons.
The Noun Project has a free and a paid subscriptions. The free version is pretty awesome on its own while the paid version has over ten times as many images to choose from. See some samples below:
(I just found an excuse to post a bunch of cat pictures on my blog.)
And, let’s take an opportunity to remind everyone about PBS learning Media and their awesome collection of videos and lessons on all sorts of educational subjects. And, don’t forget you can follow their Channel on YouTube.
And, not to add to recent grading tool controversies but Google Classroom has added new grading features to their application. See the tweet below:
📝You asked, we listened! Grading in #GoogleClassroom just got better. Teachers can now view submissions across classwork & students, view & customize average grade calculation, and add weighted grade categories. Sign up for the beta: https://t.co/6zxdlJJHgM pic.twitter.com/NdZIF2jnQj
— Google For Education (@GoogleForEdu) November 29, 2018
see you all next week!
Website Wednesday for November 14th, 2018
For today’s Website Wednesday I want to share a few good things I’ve come across this week.
I want to share a cool tool today that on the surface may not seem that useful (other than it being really cool) but it has potential. That new tool is Autodraw. I warn you its addictive. Autodraw uses AI to guess your doodles and offer up professionally drawn doodles to use instead. The more detail you add to your doodle the better the guess. Kids can use doodles for non linguistic representations, to add to their notes or projects. You can use it to add images to your assignments or handouts. Use Autodraw anytime you need an illustration or drawing for assignments. And I just had to share it because it’s too cool!
Let’s feed my google obsession with these two blog posts:
- 25 Incredibly Useful Things You Didn’t Know Google Docs could do
- The “secret menu” for google docs, slides, drawings and more…
Some stuff that is neither here nor there:
- Have you ever found a PDF and wished you could edit it ? Or, wished your school had purchased editing software, at least? Clever PDF is a completely free site that offers 20 completely free PDF editing tools online. You can find more information HERE.
- 8 Ambient Sound Sites for your students and classroom.
- This article: School Engagement is more than just talk
- From Edutopia: How Metacognition boosts learning
And I will leave you with this cool tweet. I’m wondering how it could be adapted for Secondary classrooms….
For those asking, the cards say:
4- I was a positive leader and learner. I gave my best effort!
3- I was a leader and worked hard today.
2- I gave some effort but I know that I can give more.
1- My effort needs to improve, but tomorrow is a new day!
— Garrett Derr (@MrDerrGrade2) September 9, 2018
see you after the break!!
Website Wednesday for November 6th, 2018
Hi Everyone! For today’s Website Wednesday I want to share a few cool things I’ve come across and an awesome google update that will make your life so much easier. I want to start with the Google update. Google recently came out with an even quicker way to access docs, sheets, slides etc. You can now just type in the omnibar or your chrome browser. In fact, let me show you:
Introducing a ✨ .new ✨ time-saving trick for users. Type any of these .new domains to instantly create Docs, Sheets, Slides, Sites or Forms ↓ pic.twitter.com/erMTHOsdyH
— Google Docs (@googledocs) October 25, 2018
- From ISTE: Digital Equity: Dont leave mobile-only families behind (this one really made me think)
- From The Atlantic: Schools Are Missing What Matters About Learning (spoiler alert: it’s curiosity)
- From Teaching Tolerance: Pittsburgh Shooting Reminds Us Why We Must Talk About Hate (includes resources and links to lessons)
Some Cool election and civics resources:
- Khan Academy is launching a civics based video series for students. You can find more information about it HERE.
- Flocabulary is also launching a series of video lessons and songs about civics and American government and they have a new one on VOTING they just released in time for the midterm elections.
The main event: The awesome resource I want to share with everyone today is the Internet Open Library If you aren’t familiar Open Library it was created in 2006 and is part of the Internet Archive project and it lets you check out digitized copies of books. Their goal is to create one web page for every book ever published! A user community encourages corrections and new information , like a wiki. A neat feature of the Open Library is that it now has search features (sort of like a kindle). So, you can do full text searches of over 4 million books. You can also give star ratings and keep a log of what you read (with privacy settings). And, the best feature of all is that Open Library lets you turn your website into a library. It allows you to check out a book (2 week loan period) and embed the book on your site. See below: you can also share the link: https://archive.org/stream/heartofdarknessaconn00conr This is not just for ELA teachers, any text that is important to your subject matter could be shared this way. Check out Open Library! It’s a real treasure. See you all next week!
Website Wednesday for October 17th 2018
Hi Everyone! This is Digital Citizenship week and I thought I would have a few things to highlight the need to teach our students to be thoughtful users of technology and information.
- I’d like to share this easy list of 5 doable goals for Digital Citizenship week. (and every day beyond!) It’s from ISTE. If you haven’t explored their site please take a look. ISTE stands for the International Society of Technology in Education.
- And, from the California Department of Education: A list of awesome resources and lessons to support Digital Citizenship week.
Here is a poster for you courtesy of ISTE:
- Here are 20 virtual field trip ideas you can take with your students.
- Checking for Understanding resource: Did you know that the android app for Google Classroom now has a random name picker feature? It’s like the Popsicle sticks but on your phone! So, far this feature is only available on Android but its a good start.
- This article from EdWeek: The Teen Brain: How Schools can help students manage emotions and make better decisions.
- Did you know there’s now research to support that greeting students at the door increases student achievement and engagement? Edutopia talks about the research findings here.
- This awesome illustrated video on the Science (and power) of expectations. From the equally awesome NPR podcast Invisibilia:
- Did you know that the National Day of Writing is going to be October 20th? Here are some good writing resources courtesy of Larry Ferlazzo.
Have a wonderful week! See you next Wednesday!
Website Wednesday for October 10th, 2018
Welcome back from Fall Break Everyone! For today’s Website Wednesday I want to share a few resources based on conversations with some of you. I know many of you grade assignments on Google Classroom so I want to share a few options, add-ons and tips to help you grade quicker and more efficiently.
- From Shake up Learning All the Google Classroom comments you need to know.
- 3 great grading add-ons for Google Docs
- How to easily assess student writing on Google Docs
- Google Docs grading tips and tricks
- 10 ways to save time grading with google
- Did you know there’s a Gradebook for Google Sheets and Google Classroom?
- I love Alice Keeler’s blog with all her awesome Googly tips. Here is her Google Classroom Workflow, tips on providing feedback faster and, information on the new Google Classroom comment bank.
- Want to grade even faster? How about voice comments? Here is an article on how to use voice comments on your end of year projects.
- Have you heard of the Google Classroon add-on Kaizena? It allows you to add verbal feedback to assignments and to add saved feedback. Here’s their blog post.
- Blog Post: Google Classroom speed grading.
And, neither here nor there but still Google Classroom related:
- 50 awesome apps that integrate with Google Classroom
- From Teach Thought: 60 Smarter ways to use Google Classroom
Website Wednesday (on a Thursday, sorry!) for September 13th, 2018
hi Everyone! For today’s Website Wednesday (on a Thursday. Sorry!) I want to share a few things in more detail from the resources I shared with you at the Staff Meeting yesterday. And, one more that I think you should know about. If you don’t click on any of the links I shared with you yesterday except one Insert Learning is the one I recommend most. Insert Learning is a Chrome extension that lets you insert instructional content into any website. Basically, you can insert questions, highlight text, promote discussions (and monitor student responses) all on a website. You can integrate other applications like Flipgrid, YouTube, EdPuzzle or Quizzlet into Insert Learning. And did I mention it integrates into Google Classroom? It has so many neat possibilities. Check out this neat example of it using Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven. Give this extension a shot. You wont be disappointed. The other cool tool I want to share with you more in depth today is an app. It’s the new(ish) Google Science Journal app and it is amazing. This app aims to promote and facilitate the development of citizen scientists. It contains tools for measuring which would be incredibly expensive to purchase on their own. Use the app to measure things like light, motion, sound and Gforces. Its recent new features include a linear accelerometer, a magnetometer and a compass. It has a note taking feature and a snapshot mode so students can record their observations. The app also provides a long (searchable) list of interdisciplinary experiments created with partnerships with the California Academy of Sciences and the NY Hall of Science. This app is not just for classroom use! Think about what kids can accomplish on their own during Fall, Winter and Spring Breaks. It has really good potential. Check it out.
And, from the American Association of School Librarians Best Websites for Teaching and Learning I want to tell you about this cool video creation and editing tool called Typito. It’s easy to use and it has many cool features that allow the use of icons, shapes and photos. Incorporate audio, photo and video files in order to create something unique and demonstrate learning with Typito.
Also from AASL there is EDWeb. EdWeb is an online Professional Learning Network for teachers, librarians and administrators. It contains community sponsored webinars which are timely and pertinent to what is going on in classrooms today. EDWeb also offers continuing education certificates, online discussions and, free resources for educators. Its a really good support network for like minded professionals. Go take a look! There! its short and sweet today but I made up for it with the things I shared in my presentation yesterday. See you all next week!
Website Wednesday for September 5th, 2018
hi Everyone! For today’s Website Wednesday I want to share a few cool articles I came across this week and a couple of neat resources I think you may like.
- Do you use Google Sheets? Google Sheets is an awesome teacher (and librarian) tool and if you haven’t explored all the cool add-ons for teachers you really should. Here is a cool article on 8 Google Sheets Add-ons every teacher should know about.
- From Cult of Pedagogy : Listenwise: Bringing world-class podcasts to the classroom.
- A topic close to every librarian’s heart and also from Cult of Pedagogy: Teaching students how to avoid plagiarism.
- From Stanford’s YouCubed program : These FREE posters with messages about learning and Math (if you’re not familiar YouCubed are the growth mindset for Math people)
- From Mindshift: Getting inside students’ minds: Why misconceptions are so powerful.
And last but not least, here are two awesome best website winners courtesy of the American Association of School Librarians:
- For my science peeps! Have you heard of BioInteractive? Biointeractive has multimedia science resources for High School and college teachers (and students). You can find all kinds of short films, lectures, virtual labs, tutorials, apps, click-and-learns, and teacher guides. The site is easy to use and covers topics such as Chemistry, Biology, Genetics, ecology, AP Bio. Biointeractive is a really good site and it’s the perfect resource to enrich our science textbooks.
- You have to take a look at BookCreator! Book Creator is a tool for teachers and students that allows you to create and publish your own books. You can use BookCreator to write fiction, non-fiction, comics, how-to guides etc. You can add text, video, audio and illustrations. Teacher accounts can have up to 40 free books with the free account. Its not only a neat resource for teachers to use but its also a good tool for kids to create and demonstrate their knowledge.
See you all next week! 🙂
Website Wednesday for August 29th, 2018
Hi Everyone! For today’s Website Wednesday I want to share a few good sites and articles I came across this week. Hopefully you will find them useful.
- Did you know that October 20th is the National Day of Writing? Well, to celebrate that the New York Times has compiled a list of all the writing prompts that they’ve asked students as part of their Learning Network site. Here is the PDF with all 650 prompts (and a lesson plan).
And, here is a article on Writing Personal essays with help from the NYT for our students getting ready to write that personal statement for college.
- From Teach Thought here is a cool blog post of 20 ways to provide effective feedback for learning. And, while we are on the topic check out this other one : 7 ways to assess without testing.
- Alice Keeler’s blog has a list of 32 videos to help you get started with Google Classroom. Are you still on the fence? Now is the time!
- I just love the Mindshift blog and their twitter feed. Here is one example why: How to Cultivate Student Agency in English Language Learners.
- Teaching Tolerance has some awesome resources to tie in with the current conversation around Asian American representation in the media and how we can help Asian American students feel “seen” at school. (Not just in theaters this fall)
- And the last cool site I want to share with you I saved for last because it is the best thing ever. This site was also named one of the Best Websites for Teaching and Learning by the American Association of School Librarians this year. It’s called Allsides and it aims to try and prepare our students to be thoughtful consumers of information. Their Mission is simple: To free people from their filter bubbles so they can better understand the world and each other. AllSides promotes media literacy, critical thinking and civil discourse. Visit the AllSides News Page for daily news stories by topic categories with left-center-right bias ratings. Students who search for specific issues will get background articles, think tank and policy group perspectives. AllSides provides classrooms with a platform for connecting classrooms and promoting civil discourse. It has boards where you can post assignments, share materials and organize your research. Did I mention its aligned to the Common Core? It contains a wealth of resources. You have to check it out. This is one of my favorite sites ever.
And before I say goodbye for this week I thought I would share this awesome tweet….
These are the qualities students identified in teachers that impacted their lives via @bettyray @woodard_julie @SteeleThoughts #edchat #teaching #stuvoice #teachchat #backtoschool pic.twitter.com/9vpYkgI8ta
— MindShift (@MindShiftKQED) August 11, 2018
See you all next week!
Website Wednesday for August 22nd, 2018
Hi Everyone! For today’s Website Wednesday I want to share with you a few good resources I’ve come across this week that you may like. Two good resources I came across today:
Have you heard of the Magic Ladder? Its a promising resource for ELLs reading digital texts. It helps kids sound out words as they come across them. I came across this article on the Hechinger Report. The article has the Magic Ladder tool installed so you can see it in action.
Kapwing! Kapwing was named one of the best tools for teaching and learning by the American Association of School Librarians this year. Its a neat tool for teachers and students. You can use Kapwing to create all sorts of video montages, memes, stop action videos, sound effects (and more stuff) for your presentations and to showcase learning. The power of EdTech is in creation, collaboration and connecting! And this is a great tool for that. Check out this neat article on Digital Devices and long-term retention. And consider something like Kapwing. And here some good Google Resources I saw this week:
- Ten ways to make Good Google Classroom assignments even better.
- Ten Awesome and inspiring ways to can use Google docs in the classroom.
- 9 updates to Google Classroom you may not know about. And three more to come.
- 9 cool apps to Up your teaching game
And, last but not least Larry Ferlazzo’s Edweek Teacher blog has some awesome themed teacher resources and he put them up in one place. (be warned EdWeek gives you three free articles a month. Make them worth your while) And, if you’ve never visited Larry’s regular blog you are missing out. Check it out here. Teaching Tolerance is offering a voting and democracy grant for schools that want to encourage voting among youth. This would be a neat opportunity and the Library would be a great place to make it happen. Anyone interested? See you all next Wednesday!
Website Wednesday for August 15th, 2018
Hi Everyone! Welcome back to a new school year. I hope you have a wonderful and productive year and I hope the things I share out with you are worthwhile. I want to share three cool tools I cam across this week to get to know your students better (with their laptops).
- Be Funky can be used to create a digital collage about themselves.
- Use Classroom Architect to create your dream classroom
- Try Mentimeter to create interactive presentations.
And don’t forget that you LIBRARY has many services available. Check out this awesome Edutopia article on all the possibilities of collaborating with me. Here are some other good resources I came across:
- 5 good Google Forms Templates for teachers
- Three ways to use Google Classroom with low or no vision students. (we have three students who could benefit from this on our campus this year)
- From Edutopia : 6 PD reads you shouldn’t miss.
- This cool article and how-to: Create Interactive Agendas with Google Slides for your students.
- Here is a good video with ideas for creating Screen Casts to connect with parents:
EdWeek has a couple of good articles on technology in education that can help us keep grounded and remind us what we all already know: You make the biggest difference in student learning. Not the device. 🙂
- Laptop Note-Taking: External Brain-Booster or Memory Drain?
- Screen Reading Worse for Grasping Big Picture, Researchers Find
And last but not least this awesome tweet from MindShift:
— MindShift (@MindShiftKQED) August 5, 2018
see you next Wednesday everyone !!
Website Wednesday (on a Thursday) for May 17th, 2018
Hi Everyone! I am no sorry for not posting a WW sooner but this end of year has been particularly hectic. I would like to share a few resources to end the year and wish you all a wonderful summer. (I know we have three weeks left of school but this may be my last chance before we drown in laptops and textbooks)
- The Atlantic Magazine did a neat article on the Myths of Learning Styles.
- Scientific American has an article titled The reading brain in the digital age. You should check it out.
- Did you know that TED has a Podcast in español now?! Its small but growing and interesting in typical TED fashion.
- Common Sense Media has a nice list of documentaries recommended for the High School Classroom. I normally don’t recommend films on here but these are really thought provoking titles.
- Have you heard of Google Tour Builder? Its a neat way for you and your students to create interactive tours on a map with imagies, links, videos, descriptions and more. Here is a good introduction. Google Tour Builder is not just helpful for the Social Science and ELA classroom. HERE is another good blogpost creating Google Tours on any subject.
And, the one resource I am so excited to share with you all for this summer is SYNC! What is SYNC you ask? it’s a free program for teens 13+ where they can get two free audiobooks a week for FREE throughout the summer. All they need is a phone and to download the Overdrive App. These are the titles being offered this summer. Here is SYNC’s blog with additional information on the different titles, how to listen and general info on the awesomeness of this program. Did I mention its FREE? And, I know some of you may be thinking that audio books probably don’t cut it as much as a regular book does. Its a form of cheating you’re thinking. But it really isn’t! It’s an awesome way to keep students engaged with language and books all summer. So, don’t worry. I would like to dispel those worries as myths and share with you a few good articles on the topic. (below) 🙂
- From KQED Education: How Audiobooks can help kids who struggle with reading.
- From We are Teachers: 7 ways Audiobooks benefit students who struggle with reading.
- Nerdy librarian research: Use of Audiobooks in a School Library and Positive Effects of Struggling Readers’ Participation in a Library-Sponsored Audiobook Club
- From NY Magazine: To Your Brain, Listening to a Book Is Pretty Much the Same As Reading It
Have a wonderful summer everyone!
Website Wednesday for April 11th, 2018
Hi Everyone! I hope everyone had a wonderful break. I love the month of April mainly because its School Library Month and this is National Library Week! (Oh and the weather is nice too.) Yesterday I had a curious encounter out in the world where a very misguided soul asserted the profession of Librarian would not exist in the future. I beg to differ. Librarians are here to stay we guide students through the world of information and reading. So, for today’s Website Wednesday we are taking a detour into all things library, reading and books. I hope you will humor me, this is our month to shine. (Ill share some other techie stuff too)
- From Phi Delta Kappan : Why School Librarians Matter: what years of research tells us.
- In 2018 Libraries to the rescue: why Americans are right to crave facts and books.
- From the Paris Review : The Strange Magic of Libraries.
- From Brain Pickings: Neil Gaiman on why we read and what books do for the human experience
- The Library of Congress has a blog post this month about the History of Libraries. Its kind of meta…
- This awesome essay on the history of Public Libraries in the US is from the Children’s Defense Fund blog.
- This is also National Poetry Month! Be sure to check out Poets.org for the celebration. Check out their list of Library poems for kids (they have great teacher resources)
- Also, from Brain Pickings: The Public Library: a photographic love letter…
- Nikki Giovanni has a series of poems celebrating libraries and librarians
- From the NY Public Library: Ten songs about libraries and librarians.
- Reading Across America a book for every state is from the NYPL.
- The American Library Association put out its anual State of America’s libraries report for 2018. You can check out the portion on school Libraries here.
Thank you to our nation’s libraries for being a place of learning, passion, discovery, entertainment, solitude, love, and sanctuary. And to the people who run them—we’d all be a little more lost without you. #NationalLibraryWeek #LibrariesLead #AlbertEinstein #NLW18 pic.twitter.com/bV5nG0C9UB
— Simon & Schuster (@simonschuster) April 8, 2018
It’s #NationalLibraryWeek, a good time to advocate for what students and schools in every community need, including librarians and library resources ➡️ https://t.co/iEw5qtdrvT #LibrariansTransform pic.twitter.com/ObqVOeKzRw
— NEA (@NEAToday) April 9, 2018
OK…ok….enough! Here are a few cool teaching resources for you:
- I came across a really nice screen casting tool I think you might like. It’s called Loom and it works right off your chrome extension bar. It has three recording features (screen and camera, camera only or screen only) and it can record your full desktop or just the current tab. It has a little circle camera that you can drag and resize around the screen and position however you like. Loom creates instant urls that are shareable. Creating a screen cast on the fly can’t get any easier than this. Oh! and Loom let’s you add emojis. How awesome is that? check it out!
- 10 digital bell ringer activities to kick start class.
- From Cult of Pedagogy: The big list of class discussion strategies
- Stanford pyschologists explains why goofing off and spacing out is good for you. (I knew it!)
- Did you know you could use Google Drive to share videos privately? Think about what you could do for kids who missed your lessons, days you have to miss class, sharing projects etc.
- A topic close to my heart: Strategies to ensure introverted students feel valued at school.
- Also, check out Susan Cain’s TED Talk : Fostering the power of introverts and her Podcast
See you next week!!
Website Wednesday for March 14th, 2018
hi Everyone! For today’s Website Wednesday I want to share some cool things that have come across my feed lately.
- 20 ways to engage students with Pear Deck
- I really like Screencastify for creating screencasts. Here are 24 tips for creating a good screencast.
- I know I’ve shared all about Google Arts and Culture with you before but check this out!!! They have a Harry Potter exhibit and its as awesome as you imagine.
- Did you know one of the many possibilites for kids to show what they have learned through research is a Podcast? Here are ways to create a podcast in six minutes or less.
- And, while we are on the topic of podcasts. Try this quick five minute idea podcast of ed tech ideas everyday.
- Have you taken advantage of the cool new bookmark feature on Twitter? Have you tried going back and looking for said bookmarks on your desktop only to not be able to find them? Well, there’s a reason for that. The bookmark feature is only available on mobile. Luckily you can go to: mobile.twitter.com/i/bookmarks and your twitter bookmarks will be visible. (I recommend you bookmark this link for easier access)
- Do you have an avatar? In case you haven’t noticed by now mine is Batgirl. But you can create your own, make it part of your branding. Here are ten cool webtools for creating an Avatar.
- 30 Best book engines for your perfect summer (or Spring Break) read.
- Have you wondered how to get kids to have ownership of their own learning? check this out: The Neuroscience of Trust.
Quick Google stuff you can use:
- G suite is getting a new activity dashboard! (GSuite used to be called google docs in case you’re out of the loop)
- Here are 4 google slides add-on’s that can enhance your presentations.
- Google Classroom Quick Start guide and Tips
see you guys after spring break!
Website Wednesday for February 28th, 2018
hi Everyone! For today’s Website Wednesday I want to share some cool things that have come across my feed lately.
- Science peeps! are you familiar with ScienceNet Links? The site offers hundreds of science lesson plans organized by grade or benchmark standards. It has a science careers focus as well! The American Association of School Librarians named ScienceNet Links as one of the best sites for teaching and learning.
- I like to collect examples of plagiarism like some people collect figurines. They’re great cautionary tales for students to teach them how plagiarism has real world implications. Here are 5 stories of Plagiarism that made the news this past year. Courtesy of EasyBib.
- Have you given Google Keep a try yet? It is a really useful tool to keep track of things. There is even a chrome extension you can use to save things to keep while you are browsing around online. It connects to Google Docs, calendar and Drive. And the phone app for Keep is also awesome. Here are 9 basic tips to help you master google keep.
- The Best Chrome extensions for ADHD brains
And, neither here nor there, but I’ve updated our library’s Digital Citizenship resources on our website. If parent’s ask you can always direct them to my list of resources. Check them out! The main thing I wanted to share with you all today was Twitter Chats! Are you familiar with those? In a nutshell twitter chats are conversations that use special tags (or hashtags) to thread them in a way that you can follow all the crazyness that is Twitter. You don’t need to tweet anything out if you dont want to. Especially at first. Twitter chats are a great resource for following trends in Education or in your particular subject. They’re also a great way to share resources and spark ideas for your classroom. You dont have to have a Twitter account to follow a twitter chat. For example one of my favorite twitter chats is called #TLchat …for reasons. They chat the second monday of each month at 8pm ET. If I missed the chat, which I usually do, I just go back and search the hashtag #TLChat to see what was said. I save links and resources and collect things for future Website Wednesdays on Twitter. Its a great resource for educators. So, where can you learn more about these awesome Twitter chats you ask?
- Edutopia has a great primer on the basics of Twitter chats
- ISTE has a list of some really good Educationsal twitter chats worth your time HERE.
- Here are 13 great Twitter chats every educator should check out
- 10 good Twitter chats for Education
- Popular Twitter chats for every day of the week
- And once you’re feeling comfortable HERE is a guide to hosting your own Twitter Chat
QUICK Thursday update: Twitter just added the ability to bookmark links that you want to read later! It used to be that you could only “like” things (“likes” are public) and it resulted in “newsworthy” likes by well-known people sometimes. This is much better. Read all about this new feature HERE. And, if anyone is visual here is a video that shows how to join a twitter chat. See you next Wednesday!
Website Wednesday for February 14th, 2018
hi Everyone! For today’s Website Wednesday I’d like to share a mix of resources I’ve come across this week. First of all The American Library Association just came out with their annual Youth Media Awards. If you aren’t familiar you should! These awards include the Newberry and Caldecott and these award winners are on every librarian’s “to buy” list every year. The awards are usually broadcast live (its a big deal for kid book nerds) and listed on the ALA website. Here is a link to this year’s winners. Today’s cool tool:
- I found a cool tool to annotate and create video snippets. Its called ReClipped. Some cool features include:
- Trim your video for a specific timestamp to start and end your video.
- Add a “summary note” which is a cool quick summary you can write as you watch the video (it adds time stamps with each bullet point)
- Add videos snippets with notes and questions and share with your classes.
- Use Reclipped as an extension to your Chrome browser or simply copy and paste the URL of the video and paste it to the ReClipped homepage.
- Video snippets can be added to a “board” where you can share and invite feedback.
- Your snippets, boards and saved/liked videos are visible on your ReClipped profile page.
Some other cool resources I came across this week:
- Are you a Data nerd? The 2018 World Development Report is out. Here are 9 charts from the report. (The whole report is linked in the article.)
- Did you know you can set a timer directly from the Google homepage? Check out how to do it HERE
- And, while we are on the topic you can set up a timer with MUSIC using this google extension.
- Edutopia has this interesting article on the rhetorical analysis of poetry.
- And, Also from Edutopia : The tyranny of being on task .
- Did you know you can follow the Library of Congress on Twitter? They have a special account specific to teachers called teaching with the LC. Today they shared an impromptu speech by Fredrick Douglas given at his 71st birthday party:
Celebrate Fredrick Douglass’s “birthday” by reading a speech he made at a surprise party celebrating his 71st year. https://t.co/xOyMrP9TDq #BlackHistoryMonth #edchat #sschat pic.twitter.com/adhxZ0Ij2f
— Teaching with the LC (@TeachingLC) February 14, 2018
- Or check out this economic map of the Allies during WWI. Courtesy of the LOC maps twitter account:
see you next week!
Website Wednesday for February 7th, 2018
Hi Everyone! For today’s Website Wednesday I want to share a couple of things today. I would really like to share a few resources to get you excited about the possibilities of using Pear Deck. (thank you for your wonderful participation during today’s staff meeting) and I also want to share a few good resources on hyperdocs. so, in a nutshell, these are some cool things you can do with Pear Deck.:
- Use a timer and freeze their screen
- Check for classroom climate (how is everyone feeling today?)
- Embed other cool sites within a Pear Deck
- Embed a website into your Pear Deck Presentation (online textbook, IC, get the idea?) and allow your students to interact with the website without leaving your presentation
- Are you pretty advanced? Automatically grade students responses with Flubaroo
- check out this page of Pear Decks to learn about the possibilities of Pear Deck. (it’s meta)
(contact your BLS/ Librarian to for more ideas) Ok! on to Hyperdocs! Have you heard of the term? think of hyperdocs as a digital worksheets on steroids. It does much more than a regular worksheet. Hyperdocs are more than a document with links. A good hyperdoc can help a student reflect on their own learning and show what they know. Creating a good Hyperdoc is work but it creates so much student engagement. It allows for exploration and collaboration and can really transform the way students interact with a “worksheet”. HERE is a sample Hyperdoc so you get the general idea.
- Lisa Highfill, one of the creators of the concept has all sorts of resources on hyperdocs on her website.
- Cult of Pedagogy has a great intoduction to hyperdocs .
- Check out the Hyperdocs Library HERE
Below is a quick introductory video:
See you next week!!
Website Wednesday for January 31st, 2018
Hi Everyone! For today’s Website Wednesday I want to share a few good resources I came across this week. First of all, to piggyback with last week’s Google Classroom talk I thought I would share a few good how-to’s I came across recently in my PLN (Professional Learning Network)
- From Common Sense Media : 6 Great google classroom tips for teachers.
- Did you know that there is a mobile app for Google Classroom? Here are 10 tips for using the Mobile app .
- Use Google Classroom and google forms to turn in group work
- Integrate apps and website to Google Classroom (or use them on their own). Some notable ones are:
- Pear Deck is an interactive Presentation tool that allows students to connect to your presentations. It now has a Google Slides and a Google Classroom Integration.
- Typing Club and Brain Pop (Im not sure if our district still has a Brain Pop license but they have a few free ones on their site.
- ClassCraft (a game based behavior tracker).
- ActivelyLearn (a social ereader platform)
- Newsela (a differentiated news site for students)
- CK-12 (STEM resource site with the ability to create your own content)
Still on the fence? Here is a list of Google Classroom features straight from Google. And, did you know that Google is constantly adding features to Google Classroom? Keep up with the latest news and updates HERE. Three other cool things I found this week:
- From TeachThought: 27 ways to respond when students don’t pay attention.
- Edutopia has this neat article on Academic Courage. You have to take a look.
- From Ted-Ed: The mysterious workings of the Adolescent brain. (embedded below)
See you next week!
Website Wednesday for January 24th, 2018
Happy New year Everyone! Ms. Waters and I had a really fun meeting with the ELD PLC today and it gave me an idea for Website Wednesday. We talked about cool google extensions and add-ons to make your life easier as well how to set up Google Classroom in your classes. If you are interested in inviting us to your PLC please just let us know. We are happy to take our show on the road. First of all, Google Add-ons and Extensions and Apps are different things. Here is a good infographic and nice explanation of the difference. Also check out Extensions, add-ons and Apps Oh My! how to utilize google in your classroom. In a nutshell this is what they do:
- Extensions – Small helper tools to give you more features in Chrome (those are the little icons that appear next to your chrome search bar)
- Web Apps – Larger stand-alone web programs
- Add-ons – Extra tools for Docs, Sheets, Forms, and Slides (these are the ones that attach to these applications specifically)
Today I want to show you a couple of cool google extensions that attach to your Chrome browser that will make your life easier. So, I will post this as a possible “problem” and the extension that can provide a “solution”. All of these (and more) can be found in the Google Chrome Webstore.
- Problem: I need the students to follow certain steps on a screen, it would be nice if I could label stuff too (IC, A website, Canvas, Google Drive, Google Classroom , a database etc)
- Problem: I found this great image or document online and I want to share it to my google Classroom
- Solution: Share to Google Classroom
- Problem: I found a great image or document or resource and I want to save it to my Google Keep or Google Drive
- Problem: I want to share this massive long URL/web site with students but I JUST KNOW they will type it in wrong.
- Solution: shorten the URL so its less trouble to type. Use goo.gl url shortener (it also makes quick QR codes and has a nice right click feature)
- Problem: I’ve never met an extension I didn’t like. I’m basically an extension hoarder. I need an intervention.
- Solution: Extensity lets you turn on and turn off extension with the click of a button. Keep that search bar visible!
- Problem: I swear this is the semester I get organized
- Solution: Add your Google Calendar to your extension bar. (dont forget you can sync it up to google classroom)
- Problem: I need to create a google doc, sheet, slide quick! I don’t have time to open up no stinkin’ website first.
- Solution: Quick Create lets you create a Google Doc, slide, Sheet etc from your browser extension bar. (H/T to Ms. Waters for this one)
- Problem: I have a ton of useful tabs open and I’m afraid to shut down my computer because I’ll never find them again.
- Solution: One Tab gets all your tabs and consolidates them onto one tab with clickable links. You can even email the tab out with your links.
Are you’re still on the fence about Google Drive and its many awesome uses in education ?
see you next week!
Website Wednesday for December 8th, 2017 (on a Friday, sorry)
Hi Everyone! For today’s Website Wednesday Id like to share the following resources I’ve come across with you: I was recently reading a blog post about virtual field trips (more on this in a bit) and it got me thinking about offering our students new experiences even if they are not able to leave the community to experience them. So, I started thinking in terms of libraries as a whole and in terms of traveling beyond the physical. Libraries and books are obvious ways to do this but what other ways can we offer students? If one of my roles as Teacher Librarian is to develop a (physical and digital) collection that supports teaching, learning, inquiry and thought shouldn’t that also include the idea or concept of virtual curation, exploration and experiences? So with those thoughts swirling around in my mind I’d like to share with you a few resources to take our kids out of the South Bay, without actually leaving the South Bay.
- Do you listen to podcasts? or even recommend podcasts to students? Podcasts are becoming increasingly popular. There is a podcast about almost any topic you can imagine and if you cant find a topic on a podcast dedicated to your topic there are certain episodes within a podcast that may focus on your topic. And, you can now use a search engine to find them. Listen Notes is a new search engine that lets you find Podcasts by people, places, topics and multiple languages. Listen Notes let’s you listen to the podcast right from the search results page. You can also download a podcast, embed it on your website (see below), or share it via social media or email.
- And, while we are on the topic check out the Education Podcast Network for podcasts specific to teaching and pedagogy.
- Discovery Education: virtual Field Trips offers virtual field trips to almost all major iconic world locations. If your students are reading about the Holocaust in English class with the novel Night why not have them see Auschwitz ?. Discovery Education has a calendar that you can explore by subject, grade or theme.
- Google Arts and Culture allows kids to experience impressively curated collections of stories of art, history and wonders of the world. Its also available as an app on Android and Apple devices. Students can take self-guided exploration of Artists, Medium, Art movements, Historical Events, Historical Figures and places. And you can check out The Lab for news of their latest interactive experiences. (check out the cultural partners for this thing!!). Warning though. If you start poking around this site it’ll make you late to whatever you were supposed to be doing. Its THAT addictive. Check out this month’s featured theme Latino Cultures in the United States.
- And then there is VR as in Virtual Reality. As in Google Expeditions! (among others) This is Google’s new virtual reality teaching tool (not that new actually) that will allow our students to visit outer space, walk through world famous museums and more, all without leaving your classroom. Some cool tours include : electronic circuits, the civil rights movement, the great barrier reef and a field trip to Paris. Do you see the possibilities? There is a community of teachers that share lessons using Expeditions. and there is an Expeditions community on Google. Here is a list of available Google expedition. (Google Expeditions requires access to mobile phones, VR viewers and a tablet for the teacher guide)
- And since we are nearing vacation time I thought I’d share some good downtime resources for you. (downtime= reading)
- And before I go I thought I’d share the a video I found on Mashable. Its guaranteed to make you sob at your desk. I just tested the theory, it works. (Happy Holidays everyone).
Here is the article that goes with this podcast.
WW for November 29th, 2017
Hi Everyone! For today’s Website Wednesday I wanted to share a few cool sites I’ve come across.
- Edutopia has this cool article of the four best practices for Assigning more writing without more grading. I thought you might like to look at it.
- Edutopia also has a good article on What your students really need to know about digital citizenship.
- Common Craft Videos has put out new videos for their “Online Basics” series. If you aren’t familiar with their videos you should really check them out. They’re to the point , clear and concise. The latest ones are : Digital Lifestyle, Online accounts, Online Identity and Secure Passwords. But, browse around their site. They have explainer videos on almost every topic imaginable.
- OK, so for the main event today I want to share with you the ISLCollective. It is a site made up of over one million ELD/ESL/EFL teachers. You can also access the site in German, FRENCH, SPANISH, Russian and Portuguese. Sign up for a free account with you your google (or Facebook) and then you can explore all the resources such as power points, worksheets and videos created by language teachers around the world. It really is a collaborative wonder. The site lets you sort and filter by grade, type of materials, vocabulary or grammar structure you are teaching. You can also sort by format categories (Printables, Projectables and video lessons). You can also create interactive video lessons. Its got a ton of cool resources. FL/ELD PEEPS you have to check it out!
see you next Wednesday!!
Website Wednesday (on a Thursday) November 2nd, 2017
Hi Everyone For today’s Website Wednesday (on a Thursday, sorry!) I wanted to share a few resources on Digital Citizenship as well as a few things I’ve come across this week. Here are some good resources on Digital Citizenship. Ill try to touch upon this subject throughout the year so keep an eye out for more resources.
- Common Sense Media has quite a few resources for teachers, students and parents. HERE is the Scope and sequence for the lessons. More stuff is found HERE
- The Teaching Channel Blog has a nice round up of resources and suggestions for preventing Cyber Bullying.
- TED has a playlist of talks about for Bullying Prevention Month.
- This website from the Internet Society has Online Modules that can teach you about Digital Citizenship and your Digital footprint.
- Brain Pop has a free Digital Subscription you can sign up for. They have videos you can show your students.
- Common Sense Media also has a program called Digital Bytes. Its aimed at teens and its designed for them to collaborate together, voice their opionions on internet safety and each module is self paced and takes about two hours to complete. It could be used in a mixed grade or blended class. It even has a way for students to earn badges for completing each section.
- Videos on Digital Citizenship. Lots of quick videos that illustrate several concepts. All from Common Sense Media. Find them HERE
Some other resources:
- Edutopia has these cool motivational posters that you can put up in your classroom.
- This article showcasing a study of how READING the classics helps your Social Skills.
- From READWRITETHINK.org : Here are 50 alternatives to a book reports. HERE are a few more. And here is a cool lesson for a book report alternative using a comic book creation app.
See you all next week!
Website Wednesday for Wednesday October 11th, 2017
Hi Everyone! For today’s website wednesday I wanted to share a few cool things I came across this past week. the first thing that got me really excited this week was this tweet:
— Andrew Campbell (@acampbell99) March 16, 2017
So, I’m thinking…this type of rubric could be modified or adapted for our own devices here at school no? Just a thought on this fine Wednesday…
- I found a nice list of cool MATH tools for chrome HERE. It goes well with this blog post: Ten virtual tools for the MATH classroom.
- Turn YouTube and Vimeo videos into interactive lessons with Playposit. Its Free, web based and lets you create formative assessments and monitor students with your teacher account. Cult of Pedagogy did a whole review of it that you can read HERE. See the video explanation below.
- Do you have any students with Dyslexia? from Understood.org: A day in the life of a teen with Dyslexia.
- And because I’m a book nerd: 10 college courses to read along with this semester (from your couch)
- This study I found on EdSurge: Students have more confidence in their growth mindset than their teachers.
This is it for today! See you all next Wednesday!
Website Wednesday for Wednesday October 4th, 2017
Welcome back! for today’s Website Wednesday I’d like to share a few cool things I came across on Twitter during break. If you tweet then consider following me @sohlibrarian. I only tweet and retweet educational stuff. I promise.
- 30 creative ways to use Padlet for teachers and students.
- Someone created a guide for using the Timer feature in google. Did you know Google has a timer feature? I love it when we can use one application for different things. The blog post has a link to a FREE handout on Teachers Pay Teachers that takes you step by step through the set up and ideas on how to use it. But, the blog post has enough information that it might do.
- This neat post on a recent study that shows bilingual children learn others languages easier.
- From Edutopia: The Neuroscience behind why you should teach with stories.
- From Larry Ferlazzo : Resources on the National Anthem Protests. AND while we are on the topic from Edutopia a video: Talking Politics : Valuing different perspectives.
- From Cult of Pedagogy: What to do on lame duck school days
- Math peeps! did you guys know EquatIO is now available in the Chrome Webstore?
- From Common Sense Media: How colleges use kid’s social media feeds.
see you all next Wednesday!
Website Wednesday for Wednesday September 6th, 2017
Hi Everyone! For this Website Wednesday I would like to share a few things I’ve come across this week.
- Here are some good resources for creating “how-to” videos for students.
- Explain Everything- Is a screencasting tool that allows students to draw on their screen and create their own animation to show off the steps of a procedure.
- Spark Video– Spark video is a movie making tool that allows you to embed a movie clips. This opens up a ton of possibilities and subjects. The Spark site is HERE
- Buncee- This is an awesome all around creation tool for students to use. It was named one of the best tools for teaching and learning by the American Association of School Librarians this year. You can use it for everything from how to solve a math problem to how to make new friends. Buncee can be found HERE
- mySimpleshow- use this awesome app to create basic explainer videos that are shareable.
Some other good things I’ve come across:
- Edutopia has a short little article with some good tips for remembering student names. Its been six weeks we have to remember by now.
- From The Independent this article with the lofty title: 35 books that will change how you see the world.
- This interesting article on a recent study on e-books: Are e-books a waste of money? The surprising winner when it comes to reading.
- From EdWeek Teacher magazine 5 ways to help students build prior knowledge.
- I reminded you of TED-Ed last week this week I want to remind you of Storycorps. You can now listen to the popular storycorps stories on their online archive as well as watch their story animations on their website and on their YouTube channel. I know many of you are sometimes looking for motivational and inspiring clips to show your students. This is a good resource.
- Did you know that National Geographic has 36o degree videos you can view with your classes? You can make any location come alive with these. Here is a description and here is the YouTube Channel.
see you next Wednesday!!
Website Wednesday for Wednesday August 30th, 2017
Hi Everyone For this year’s first Website Wednesday I would like to share a few cool things I’ve been collecting these last few days in between textbook and laptop distribution. First off, WW is moving to my library blog because Tackk has been going offline and its making me nervous. So, I will be directing all WW traffic over to this site from now on. Besides, you guys need to use my website more often. It has some great resources for everyone. OK, on to the good stuff…
- Common Sense Media has a monthly thing where they share this month’s Must-Know tools. This is the list for August.
- I found a great collection of Videos for MATH Teachers HERE. You may already know about them but I like this list because they are also in a nice place. You can also create playlists on your District google/YouTube account. Let me know if you are interested and I can show you guys how to do it. And, while we are here I am going to share this collection of cool Math apps too. (I will try to do better for you my Math peeps this year. I promise!)
- This cool article from Mindshift titled Digital notetaking strategies that deepend student thinking.
- Did you guys know that the UK’s National Archives is trying to put their entire collection online? So far they have Managed to get all of 5% up online for us to access. They have THIS nifty search tool you can use to find historical documents. 5% doesnt seem like a lot of material but its a good amount and its quite impressive. Check it out!
- You HAVE to add this extension to your Google Chrome. It’s an on demand Google docs training app. Its help for you and helpful for your students. If you are finding your students need help navigating any Google tool this is the perfect extension for them. You can find it at the Google Store. And, Here is a neat description and guide on how to use it.
- If you haven’t checked out TED-ED lately then you really should. They keep adding videos and resources that are just awesome and visually appealing. Check out this cool TED-Ed on why the metric system matters.
- Did you know reading the Classics helps us with our social skills? Science proves it.
- And last but not least….This awesome website where you can type in your profession and it will tell you if robots will replace your job someday. It’s called Will Robots take my job? and it totally tells you if your job is safe from our future robot overlords. Go on and type in “teacher” you know you want to…
We may be relatively safe from robots taking over someday but we are not safe from them beating us at dancing. See you all next Wednesday!!
Below are older posts transferred from Tackk….
Website Wednesday 5/17/17
Hi Everyone!! This is the last Website Wednesday of the year! After today we will be tied up with laptops, senior clearances, book orders for next year and textbook collection of all kinds. I created a VERY SHORT survey that I’d love for you to take and give me input on Website Wednesday. I want to know how I’m doing with it and if you like it. The Survey is HERE. (its just three questions! I promise) OK, here goes Website Wednesday:
- I found two interesting blog posts from the Innovative Educator blog that are interrelated. One, is on how to teach kids effective online commenting skills using Google docs and the other is on how to address digital confrontation. Both are related, if you stop and think about it. As we look at how more of our students create an online presence for themselves we need to start thinking on what tools we give them to do this.
- Understood.org has two good blog posts one is 6 chrome tools for kids with math issues. And, the second is 8 new apps for teens and tweens with learning and attention issues.
- A topic close to my heart! This Washington Post article on how parents can help their introverted children thrive.
- Have you ever planned a lesson and thought of a perfect film or tv clip to to either hook your students or illustrate a point? But, how would you find that exact clip, isolate it into a quick clip? Is it on YouTube? What if its not? We have all wondered. Well, Classhook thought that same thing. Classhook is a database of classroom appropriate clips taken from television and movies to be used in your classroom. You can search their database by grade, subject, topic and clip length. Classhook is free but they ask that you create an account so that you can bookmark, comment, create, and share clips. You can also submit clips or make suggestion for clips to be added to Classhook. Browse all their clips here. Most of the clips are vetted by teachers so you can know that they understand what you need.
Website Wednesday 5/11/17 on a Thursday (sorry, everyone)
Hi Everyone! Sorry for the delay. I’ve been working on getting the Lenovo collection prepared and I ran out of time yesterday. For today’s Website Wednesday (on a Thursday) I’d like to share a few good resources I’ve come across. So, first of all, happy day of the teacher!
- Here are some cool discounts and special offers to anyone who is a teacher.
- This cool article on what our brain does when it reads poetry.
- ISTE has a nice list of the top 10 sites to help students check their facts.
- And, I’m sure I’ve shared this resource before but I will share Rewordify again. It’s free and easy to use and allows teachers to quickly simplify text in order to differentiate lessons and make any text accessible to students. If you aren’t aware of this site you really need to check it out. Be warned its not the prettiest thing out there but its still pretty awesome and it works.
- Let’s face it most adults are Noobs at social media. Courtesy of the NYT: Rules for social media, created by kids.
- And, last but not least Shake Up Learning has some good Google Keep resources I want to share. A Google Keep cheat sheet for teachers, 15 ways for students to use Google Keep and, How to personalize Google Keep for your students. And, here are all her Google Keep Resources in one place.
See you Next Wednesday!! (or possibly Thursday)
Website Wednesday 5/3/17
Hi Everyone! For today’s Website Wednesday I thought I would share a few good sites I’ve come across.
- KQED Teach has a couple of modules designed to teach teachers how to create Infographics. They look like fun and could also be used with students. Check out the modules here. (ALL of KQED Teach modules can be found here).
- 10 digital citizenship resources to share with your students.
- Do you need to write a Recommendation? USE THIS! (You’re welcome) 🙂
- 15 ways to maximize your productivity with Google Drive is found here.
- 12 free Add-ons that take Google Docs and Sheets to the next level.
- I think you might like this blog post: 9 ways to increase parent engagement using media
- Check out these 10 innovative formative assessment examples for teachers.
- For next year: The science of effective learning spaces is by Edutopia. Also check out How Flexible learning spaces support student learning.
- Teens: are their brains to blame? is a good blog post from the Innovative Educatior blog.
- This essay is awesome: Why we need to read.
See you next Wednesday!!
Website Wednesday 4/26/17
Hi Everyone! For today’s Website Wednesday I wanted to share a few good things I’ve come across.
- Howlongtoreadthis.com is a site that gives you a quick estimate of how long it would take (on average) to read a book. Are you a slow reader? It also has the option to let you time yourself as you read a passage from that text in order to see how long it would take you to read the book yourself. Or, it can give you a nice average.
- These 10 lightning quick posts for feedback kids can really use (blog post)
- The PBS Mindshift blog has a nice article on How to remove obstacles to learning math and another one on Strategies to help students “Go deep” when reading digitally.
- TeachThought blog has a cool post on the 12 tools that made the biggest difference in my teaching.
- This neat article Brain Science in education: How much should teachers know?
- Edutopia has 26 research based tips you can use in your classroom tomorrow.
- Someone came up with a google slide presentation explaining how to upload documents from google docs up to Canvas. It looks useful so I thought I would share it with you.
- Common Craft came out with a new Cyberbullying video.
- And, in honor of the March for Science this past Saturday Ted Talks has a new playlist called Jaw Droping Science Breakthroughs
And its School Library Month!! so here are some cool articles and whatnot on reading and books and libraries.
- This article showing how kids still prefer books to screens
- This article on how children who grow up with books earn more money as adults.
- This news article about ebooks and how they don’t make more kids read more than print. The actual research is here.
- From Common Sense Media: 10 Reasons librarians are more important than ever.
Website Wednesday 3/8/17
Hi everyone! For today’s Website Wednesday I have a few good resources I want to share with you all.
- TED-Ed lessons has this cool video on How to Practice effectively, According to science. It applies to any skill from dancing to playing an instrument to sports.
- While on the topic of brains Edutopia has a good article titled: Brains in pain cannot learn.
- And related, this cool article: Suspensions plummet in this NYC school that incentivizes good behavior.
- You are going to love this. Google Slides has gone through several updates recently. It has four new features you should be aware of: 1) you can now embed video other than YouTube in a slide when you store the video in your Google Drive (remember you have unlimited space in there) 2) you can set up the video to start and end at any times of your choice. 3) You can also remove audio from a video and play it on mute. 4)You can set up video so it plays automatically on autoplay as you do your presentation. Here is a link with a description of all the cool new features.
- CoolCat teacher has 3 fast, free lesson plans to fight fake news.
- did you know The Met (as in the Metropolitan museum of art in NYC) has a collection of images in the public domain, digitized and available for anyone to use. Here is the website with their guidelines.
- This blog post with quite a few resources for Social Studies reading passages to use with your classes.
- From Edutopia : Are we innovating or just digitizing traditional teaching?
- I’ve shared this with you all before but it’w worth repeating. Google templates are awesome and you can now access all templates through your google drive dashboard. The instructions are HERE.
- Rights of women: 10 resources for women’s history month is from KQED education.
- Do you have any kids with ADHD in your classroom? Here is an interesting article with 17 strategies to help students with ADHD concentrate in the classroom.
- And just for fun: Free coloring books from the world class libraries and museums.If you’re going to doodle you might as well get fancy, right?
WEBSITE WEDNESDAY 2/1/17
Hi Everyone! For today’s Website Wednesday I have a few good resources I want to share with you.
- The first is this awesome Shakespeare Resource I discovered recently called myShakespare which offers the full text of each play with audio, notes and assorted media. It’s so incredibly awesome you need to check this out. myShakespare contains :
- Full audio recordings of the plays
- Contemporary translations
- Pop up notes offering info about the latest literary devices.
- animated videos that explore the play
- Performances of key scenes
- Interviews with characters about the events in the play.
- Teacher resources including lesson plans, act-by-act resources, ideas for essays and projects, reading quizzes and teaching tips as well as background videos on shakespearan life and theater.
- Currently they offer Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth but soon they will have Julius Caesar.
This is really good Stuff! check it out!
- The second amazing resource I want to share with you is Universityvideos.org. Its a FREE video library that curates academic videos from all (or most) University YouTube Channels that are out there. It also includes TED and TEDx talks, NASA and Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, research institutions, hospitals, and respected broadcasts such as NOVA , Science channel and Discovery channel.
The best part of Universityvideos.org are theTRANSCRIPTS. Yes, you can browse the long list of video libraries BUT you can also search transcripts and metadata by keyword. The search opens up the video to the exact spot where you searched! This is the very best part: When you click a line on the transcript it lets you go directly to that section in the video. Use the text to reinforce learning and video to illustrate it. And, you can highlight a portion of the transcript and email that clip to someone via an instant link. How awesome is that? See you next Wednesday!
Website Wednesday 1/26/16 on a Thursday (rats!)
Hi Everyone! For today’s Website Wednesday I have a few good resources I’ve come across lately. The main resource I want to share with you today is called Flipgrid. I just read about Flipgrid in one of my favorite librarian blogs. Flipgrid is a video based discussion platform designed for education. You can create grids of videos with student video responses. Here are some suggested uses for Flipgrid:
- encourage conversation among students who arent in the same class together
- digital storytelling
- practice fluency (I’m looking at you FL/ELD peeps)
- Sharing responses to prompts
- Mini Performances
- collecting video responses to research questions
- sharing the voices of others in your own presentations
Flipgrid lets you easily embed video grids , topics and responses into your blogs, LMS systems and websites. New updates to Flipgrid now let you vary the length of responses from 30 seconds to 3 minutes. They’ve also developed partnerships with MicrosoftEdu and Skype. A subscription with all the features is 65 dollars BUT Flipgrid has recently changed its FREE features and now offers all teachers ONE FREE GRID with unlimited topics and unlimited number or student responses. This is really cool AND new. Check them out! (thank you to Joyce Valenza’s awesome blog for this ) And, here are a few other cool resources I thought you might like:
- This article: Brain Science and Education: How much should teachers know? is from Edsurge.
- This cool GOOGLE CLASSROOM hack from Teacher Tech shows you how to Pull student paragraphs from Google classroom and give feedback
- This fascinating blurb on a study conducted at Stanford that got 20-30% more kids to go to college. It ties into this other study which studied what living in poverty does to the brain.
See you next week!!
Website Wednesday (on a Thursday) 12/15/16
Hi Everyone Sorry, for the delay for today’s Website Wednesday I wanted to share a few things I’ve come across lately.
- This 2016 Appvent Calendar (catchy, no?) with the best apps of the year.
- This article on how to Self-Check the news and get the facts is from NPR.
- I came across this neat list of google docs keyboard shortcuts that will make your life easier.
- The White House recently came out with a way to view the White House using Augmented Reality (and a dollar bill). You will need a smart phone for this.
And, because winter break means good reading and relaxing time….
- Edutopia has a good list of books to read over Winter Break.
- NPR has a book concierge website which is just striking and pretty to look at. They put out their best books of 2016. (I love their filters on the left hand side of the page)
- NPR also puts out their list of best music of the year. Find it here.
- This was a tough year in the grand scheme of things. Quite a few fascinating and important people left and no doubt you will see quite a few tributes to the good and bad this year brought with it. by far my favorite was this 2016 Dumpster Fire holiday ornament. (In case you’re crafty)
- Have a wonderful winter break. See you next year!
Website Wednesday 12/7/16
Hi Everyone For today’s Website Wednesday I wanted to share a few things I’ve come across lately. Given the prevalence of fake news and its purported effect on the election I wanted to share a few resources on Media Literacy. As I’ve mentioned before information/media literacy is the bread and butter of libraries and librarians. Any time you want resources on the subject just ask away.
- This article from the Wall Street Journal on a Stanford study that shows most students don’t know when news is fake. (probably most adults too!!) Here is NPR’s take on the same topic. And here is the study, in case you’re curious.
- From Edutopia: Evaluating websites as information sources.
- Edutopia has a 5 minute film festival on News Literacy.
- And, this article from the NYT is a little older but its still timely given that recent fake news article circulating on Facebook about Hillary Clinton’s murderous tendencies. And, here is an NPR story on the creators of fake news stories.
- This great article called: Secrets of the Teenage Brain: a psychologist’s guide for teachers.
- Also, from the Guardian : Seven scientific ways to beat the onset of panic in an exam. (hopefully this will be helpful for some kids during finals)
- Shmoop (yes, Shmoop) has some good examples of college application essays for our students to check out.
- Google recently released a new citation feature that will help kids cite their sources.
- From TeachThought : 100 ways to use Google Drive in the classroom. (checkout the keyboard shortcuts)
- 5 more awesome chrome extensions for teachers
See you all Next Wednesday!!
Website Wednesday 11/9/16
Hi Everyone! We are drowning in Laptops so today’s Website Wednesday will be short and sweet.
- I found a great site from the NYT with great advice for writing the college personal essay.
- This essay on How to help kids develop a love of reading.
- This awesome Google Drive guide for teachers and students.
- This awesome article on the research (and benefits) of having kids collaborate on projects together.
See you all next week!
Website Wednesday 11/02/16
hi Everyone For today’s Website Wednesday I want to share a few good things I’ve come across lately. The site I want to share with you today is the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). I’ve shared this site with you before but recently they’ve put together more Interdisciplinary Primary Source Sets. The source sets were created to help students and teachers explore history, literature and culture. Some of the Literary Primary sets include:
- Beloved by Toni Morrison
- The Crucible by Arthur Miller
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
- The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston
- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
- The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
- A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
- The Watsons Go To Birmingham—1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
- The Poetry of Maya Angelou and The Poetry of Emily Dickinson
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
- The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
- Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs
- The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
- “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe
- The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
You have to check these out! You can search by subject, time period or how recently they were added to the collection. Also, check out these other articles and resources I’ve come across this week.
- From the NYT: Nudges that help struggling students succeed
- From the Atlantic: Is attending the best high school academically irrelevant?
- This cool video explaining how you can set up your computer to have a split screen. I know this will be useful for some of you.
- This article: Why does writing make us smarter?
- Edutopia has this nice article I thought you might like: The five priorities of classroom management.
- This readability grader that gives you reading levels on blogs. But, it can be used for anything. All you need to do is cut and paste in the text and you will get a nice analysis.
- TED-Ed has a good article on How to talk about politics constructively.
- This article: 5 ways teachers can encourage deeper learning with personal devices
- Cult of Pedagogy has an interesting article: 5 teaching practices I’m kicking to the curb.
- This Step by Step guide for creating assignments on Google Classroom
Website Wednesday 10/12/16
hi Everyone! For today’s Website Wednesday I want to share some GOOGLE stuff I learned about this weekend.
- The first and simplest is this amazing Chrome extension called Crafty Text. Crafty Text basically blows up a URL on your screen so that when you are presenting something to your class and want those kids to go to the same website the url is visible. You can set it up so that the actual URL shows or you can ask it to do shortened google URL. Just go to the Chrome Web store type in Crafty Text and install it!
- This simple group creator using Google Sheets. And, here is a quick explanation of the group creator (with videos)
- So, Google recently renamed “Google Docs” Google Suite or GSuite for short. Here is a quick overview of what this means for education and teachers who use Google Doc….errr….. G Suite.
- Keeping up with Google and their updates is tough. But, recently they’ve launched a new blog called Keyword which is meant to be the one blog to rule them all! If you want the latest and greatest going on in the world of Google just check this site out. Or you can check here with me. Ill keep you informed too!
- And, now given that so many kids have access to laptops here is a list with five sites containing high quality informational texts.
- Back to school with Google EDU YouTube channel has some great google resources to use in your Google Classroom.
- OK enough with Google. Here are some cool election resources courtesy of PBS’Election Central. They’ve come up with an election decoder that does the math behind the electoral college, students can analyze past elections, watch videos explaining different aspects of our electoral system and, the best part is students can play with the electoral college decoder in order to figure out the many variations that a candidate can win the election. And, while we are on the topic of elections here is a great TED-ED talk about the electoral college. And HERE is a very nice common craft video explaining the US electoral process.
- EDIT: I CAN’T BELIEVE I missed the International Day of the girl (October 11th) Here are 5 cool girl centered stories to read from NPR.
See you Next Wednesday!
Website Wednesday 9/14/16
hi Everyone! For today’s Website Wednesday I wanted to share some interesting things I’ve found on the web. SOH resource: did you know that we now offer two new databases? EBSCO and World Book Online. See me for password info! The website I would like to share with you today is calledRecite. Recite lets you pick out a quote and stylize it. Students can insert their stylized quote into their presentations (from PowerPoints to iMovies) and identify information from a text worth highlighting. You can download an image, share it on twitter, facebook or email it out. Here is my example. (I will be tweeting it!) And in addition to Recite here are a few other cool resources I’ve come across recently.
- The first is this awesome video from TED-ED on the benefits of a bilingual brain.
- This other awesome video from TED-ED on how students can boost their confidence.
- This awesome TED-ED playlist on finding Math in unexpected places .
- This Emoji Exit Ticket to use in your classroom.
- This Wired magazine article on the Social Media Life of Teens
- Google Forms had some cool updates this summer. I think you might like this Teacher Guide to Using the New Google Forms.
- Edutopia has Differentiated Instruction Roundup I thought you might like.
- Also, Check out What every teacher should know about ADHD and ADD from Edutopia.
- This article:New Teachers: how to develop the ‘look’
- This interesting article by the creator of Wolfram Alpha on teaching computational thinking.
Website Wednesday 5/18/16
This is the last Website Wednesday of this year. Here are a few cool things I’ve come across lately.
- I’ve told you about TED talks before and I’ve shared interactive lessons using TED talks which are called TED-ED before. I recently came across some cool new civics lessons Government and History classes might find useful. Check out this one called “Why is the Constitution so hard to amend?“, or, check out the entire Government: Declassified playlist. Or try: Math in real life, Everyone has a storyand, How things work. (all are TED-ED playlists)
Other TED talks and TED playlists you might like:
- Brilliant TED talks by kids and teens
- Everything you thought was wrong
- 7 talks to make you love science
- Stand up to bullying
- Be a Man TED Talk by Joe Ehrmann
- This blog post: How to screencast your ipad.
- APP: Flipagram is a video slideshow creator app that can be used to showcase student learning. Check out the review and analysis for using it in the classroom HERE.
- This interesting article that just came out in the Washington Post (and its been making the rounds on Twitter)Why smart kids shouldn’t use laptops in class.
- Teaches Yoda Does: appreciating teachers in #StarWars is a blog post from Tech & Learning magazine.
- This amazing documentary from the people who brought you The Miss Representation Project called The mask you live in. Its about boys and how our culture pressures them into certain behaviors. It’s fascinating and really gives you insight into boys, their lives and the pressures they are under. This movie is available on Netflix and you really need to check it out. It ties in really well with restorative circles.
Website Wednesday 5/11/16
Hi Everyone For today’s Website Wednesday I wanted to share a few things I’ve come across lately. The first is this cool new resource from Teaching Tolerance. They have a new site called Perspectives it’s their literacy based curriculum that uses anti-bias and social justice texts. Its absolutely free and it meets Common Core Standards. Their text anthology alone is reason alone to go take a look. They have some good stuff in there! You will need to set up an account. Its super easy to use. Go check it out. Here are a few other good things I’ve found on the web.
- This cool research that points out that teachers do know more about using technology than students. Don’t let anyone tell you different. The research shows that if it weren’t for our pushing for a focus on Educational Technology the majority of kids wouldn’t use their technology for more than games and social media. (makes you wonder why we have 1:1 and so little teacher tech training)
- And its end of year, final project time! This step by step guide on how to create interactive presentations using all the new Google Slide features. (Also good in case you didn’t know about the new features)
- And here are 10 tips for making engaging presenations in Google Drive. And here is another one.
- Here are 6 video tutorials to help teachers make Google Presentation in class.
- And, last but not least: 10 Tips to Design Effective Presentations.
- And I came across a few cool history sites. Reading like a historian is from Stanford University History Education Group, Analyzing Primary Sources: Learning from images is from the Library of Congress and last but not least Beyond the Bubble: a new generation of history assessments is also from Stanford U.
See you next week!
Website Wednesday 4/20/16
hi Everyone For today’s Website Wednesday I want to show you a few things I’ve found. First of all I want to let you know that April is School Libraries Month and National Libraries week!
- Here is a good animated video from NPR’s StoryCorps on how libraries change lives. It’s very moving. I hope you show it to your students.
- This article: Libraries improve literacy: the research.
- 27 things your teacher-librarian (that’s me) does.
- From EdWeek: Libraries and Librarians: Essential to thriving schools
- NPR also has a photographic tour of America’s public libraries here. And, here is a slideshow of amazing libraries around the world.
- School Library Journal has this great article on how Librarians help ELLs get ready for college.
- This other article: School Librarians and English Language Learners.
- Everything you need to know about Librarians is from Vox and it’s a little silly but its still has some neat facts about us.
- Kind of related to all this, NPR is coming out with a three part series on school funding calledWhy America’s schools have a money problem. This is just the first part. Check out the interactive map.
Ok, I know this is a very library heavy post but I promise to bring it back to our regular programming next week!
Website Wednesday (on a Thursday, sorry) 4/14/16
Hi Everyone For today’s Website Wednesday (on a Thursday) I wanted to share a few things I’ve come across lately. The main thing I want to show you is this great resource that you may not have heard of its from Georgia Tech and it’s called The US News Map. It’s an archive of American newspapers from 1836-1925. It’s a searchable database (keywords and phrases) whose results are displayed as markers on an interactive map. It’s very appealing visually. Once you click on the markers on the map you get a list of articles related to your search that can be viewed on the Library of Congress website. And, don’t forget the Google News Newspaper Archive which contains a wider time range and is more geographically diverse. April marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. The NYPL is publishing a Soundcloud with librarians reading their favorite shakesepare poems and soliloquies. Its called 30 days of Shakespeare. Have you heard of soundcloud? If not, check it out. Here is a video explaining step by step how to use it. How about we celebrate National Poetry Month with a daily poem read by our students and recorded on Soundcloud? (h/t to David Byrne’s amazing blog for the resources and idea) And here are the usual blog posts and cool articles that have crossed my path lately:
- This great blog post on how to design you own digital choice board.
- 3 Google App tools you didn’t know you could use offline. May be useful for our students with an ipad but no internet at home.
- 3 good sources for historical maps and check out 5 Online Activities for teaching with Primary Sources
- This interesting article on Sarcasm in the classroom. (quick summary: it’s not good)
- EdTech Review has a cool article called Do’s and Don’ts for creating a school culture of EdTech
Website Wednesday (on a Thursday, sorry) 3/10/16
Hi Everyone! For today’s Website Wednesday (on a Thursday, sorry) I wanted to share a few cool links and resources you might like.
- Thoughtful Learning has a nice collection of model texts in different genres and grade levels.
- The New York Times Learning Network has a list of their 100 most popular questions for debate and persuasive writing.
- Holt (yes, the textbook publisher) has some good pdf handouts with Reading Strategies for the Social Studies classroom.
- And last but not least I want to share a cool new site called Wizer. Wizer is a tool for creating blended worksheets. There are basically two ways to use Wizer. You can create interactive image assignments by uploading an image and asking students to label it. Students can get feedback on their labeling. Think of it as thinglink but with a quiz component. Wizer lets you create fill in the blank (or cloze) activities where the student get instant feedback. Wizer also lets you create multiple choice, matching and open ended questions. Everything on Wizer can be shared on Google Classroom or by sharing a link and an activity pin code. Below is a video showing how to create a Wizer worksheet.
See you all next week!
Website Wednesday 3/2/16
Hi Everyone After a continuous month of being sick and generally out of sorts Website Wednesday is back! I’d like to start with some resources and articles you might find useful.
- I’ve shared with you online stopwatch before but did you know they now have online egg timer? Its visually appealing. Check it out.
- Understood.org is a learning and attention issues advocacy site. The have this fascinating simulation tool that lets you experience what a student with learning issues or attention issues is feeling when he is in your class. It’s definitely an eye opening exercise. Many of these sites often dont include HS students this one does. Check it out. We all have kids with these types of difficulties in our classrooms.
- Virtual Nerd Math Library is an app with math video tutorials from Pearson. You can search by CC standard, grade or keyword. (need I say more)
- EdTech Review has a nice article titled Do’s and Don’t for creating a school culture of EdTech.
- Edutopia has a cool article today on How to reach Quiet, Disengaged, struggling and troublemaking students.
- Google has now come out with a kid friendly search engine! It’s called Kiddle and you can find it here.
- This cool blog post and guide on how to use YouTube in the classroom.
See you next Wednesday!
Website Wednesday 2/10/16
hi Everyone For today’s Website Wednesday I would like to share with you a ridiculously large list of Educational You Tube channels and some other stuff I have come across lately.
- TeachThought has a list of 197 Educational YouTube channels you might want to check out.
- This list of apps that can turn your iPad into an interactive whiteboard.
- And a list of five sources for differentiated reading:
- Newsela: I’ve shared Newsela before with you. Use Newsela to browse current events at different reading levels. (You can also search for older articles too.)
- Breaking News: This site has news articles that are frequently updated. Use it to assign the same content but at different reading levels to your students. You can choose up to seven levels. All articles include a 26 page PDF with activities, quizzes and lesson ideas.
- Common Lit : I’ve shared Common Lit with you before too. It was just starting out and it is much more developed now. I like that it was created by teachers for teachers and I like that it contains Fiction and Non-fiction. Its a nice mix of historical and contemporary articles set around themes and thought provoking questions. You don’t often see fiction in these types of sites. The articles are aligned to CC standards for grades 5-12. It’s a well done site that has won many awards. Check out this sample lesson. You need to check it out.
- Tribune by Smithsonian: The Smithsonian has a ton of really cool resources for teachers. If you check out the blue band at the top you can select by grade level and then lexiles. The site also has articles in Spanish,
- Rewordify : This is one of the best ones. Rewordify is amazing. It lets you create leveled reading from any text you want to use. Rewordify simplifies difficult English. Enter a difficult piece of text (a sentence, a whole book chapter, or a website URL) and click “rewordify” and you will instantly get an easier version. Another nice feature is that the reworded text is highlighted and it allows the user to click on the new word and hear the original (harder) word. It has more functions worth checking out.
See you next week!
Website Wednesday (on a Thursday) 1/21/2016
hi Everyone For today’s Website Wednesday (on a Thursday) I wanted to share with you a few cool resources I discovered this week.
- Have you heard of EdShelf? EdShelf is basically an app search engine designed for teachers. It lets you search for educational apps based on age, platform, subject and category. But it does much more than that. It has a social component in that you can “follow” other user bookshelves. Or, you can crate your own shelf and have teachers follow yours. It has app reviews from other teachers and you can review apps yourself as well. My favorite feature is the launchpad because it lets you browse the app and it detects your device and launches it for you. One possible use for EdShelf is to create a shelf for a specific subject or course. World Geography and Math come to mind right now. But, as we integrate more online tools into lessons I can totally see this being used by different subjects. Give it a try.
- This cool article from eschoolnews : These 6 questions determine if you’re technology rich, innovation poor.
- FindingDulcinea has a cool lesson on how to analyze online content using the Kony2012 video.
- This cool blog post showing you how to use Google and Flippity random name picker to create groups and randomly pick students.
- CoolCatTeacher blog has this cool interview and podcast on the first 8 minutes that matter most. Its on student engagement. MindShift also had a nice article on student engagement this week.
- From Honolulu community college this amazing list of teaching tips. It looks sort of primitive but the links connect to some cool resources. There is some good stuff here.
- Shake Up Learning blog has a cool infographic and list of 16 things teachers should try in 2016. Don’t worry if you don’t know what they are! (she explains it all below the infographic)
see you next Wednesday!
Website Wednesday 1/13/2016
Hi Everyone Happy new year! For this year’s first Website Wednesday I have a few bits and pieces of cool stuff I’ve come across to share with you.
- The first is an example of a Zaption lesson. I’ve shared Zaption with you before. This one is a lesson on poetry with Billy Collins based on his TED Talk. It’s a good TED talk but its also a good example of what you can do with Zaption.
- And while we are on the subject of TED talks. Let me share these six TED talks every language learning enthusiast must watch.
- The University of Oklahoma has a site with Instructional strategies and their descriptions in a really cool and visually appealing way. I thought I would share it with you.
- This really sensible article on what research says about classroom technology.
- Carol Dweck (the Growth Mindset guru) has an interesting article on Edutopia on how educators are praising false Growth Mindsets. It makes sense. We do tend to go overboard with stuff sometimes. (flipped classrooms anyone?)
- I’m not sure if this site is any good but I’d love to hear what math teachers think. I came across it during winter break and mailed myself the link so I could remember to share it. It’s called Better Explained and its a site dedicated to explaining math concepts in easy language.
- For my FL peeps. This interesting article: Motivation, memory and Mind: the psychology of learning a language. And, these five cool resources for streaming news in Spanish.
Welcome back everyone. See you next week. -Ana
Website Wednesday 12/16/15
Hi Everyone For today’s Website Wednesday I would like to wish everyone Holidays and share a few cool resources.
- Did you know that Google Drive has templates like Microsoft does? Newsletters, presentations, certificates etc? Click here to check them out.
- By now a bunch of you have tried Kahoot or at least heard of it. I want to share a new one with you called Quizizz. Quizizz is not meant to be projected up on a screen but rather players see the questions and answers on their own devices. This feature makes it easy to give the quiz as a homework assignment. And as the host you can see real time results on each player on your screen. It has funny memes and is really fun to use. You don’t have to give up on Kahoot!. Just use both for different things. Here is a very helpful article comparing both.
- Wondering about other class quiz sites? Try : Formative, Socrative, Pear Deckand Quizalize.
And, because I can’t hold back on this sort of thing (and vacation means more time to read in my world) here are a few more reading suggestions.
- Your Holiday reading list: 58 books recommended by TED speakers
- From Buzzfeed books: 53 books you wont be able to put down
And, just because, the Peanuts Christmas dance… Have a great vacation everyone.
Website Wednesday 12/9/15
Hi Everyone For today’s Website Wednesday I am going to try to make up for missing last week. I’ve come across some cool resources I think you might like:
- PopBoardz allows you to organize content and easily present it to your students. Creating a PopBoardz is super easy. All you do is drag and drop items into a tile board (up to 16 tiles per board) where each item becomes a tile that creates an instructional dashboard. You can add: pdf files, jpegs, videos, notes and websites, pictures from your camera roll, google drive or iCloud drive. You can use PopBoardz as your instructional dashboard. Use it to illustrate lessons, show examples, and prove your point as you teach your lessons. Check out this demo of a teacher using PopBoardz to teach a lesson.
- More than one hundred public media organizations have come together to create the American Archive of Public Broadcasting. The site offers something for everyone. You can find such interesting things such as a 1956 interview with Rosa Parks, the full Vietnam: a television history series and, The American Experience. The AAPB site allows users to search and filter by media type, genre, topic, asset type, year, organization and theme. The content is overwhelming at first but after learning to use the filter the site is much easier to navigate. You can also browse by themes. They currently have three curated historical exhibits. Check out: Voices from the Southern Civil Rights Movement.
- This article titled: 5 simple tips for teaching with technology.
- Edutopia’s Most Popular Posts of 2015
- From ASCD: Five trends that are transforming education.
- This amazing TED talk by YA author Linda Sue Park titled “Can a children’s book change the world?” (video is embedded below)
And…. one last thing. As we get well into the end of 2015 a great many cool lists of the best books of the year are being put out there. I want to share a few good ones. You will probably see some overlap. These aren’t Young Adult titles. These are for you to read (for fun) during vacation.
- Entropy Magazine’s Best Fiction books of 2015
- Kenyon Review has some holiday reading recommendations
- Here is Buzzfeed’s take on the best Fiction of 2015
- From The Atlantic: The best book I read this year.
- NPR’s Book Concierge. Their guide to the best reads of 2015
- 7 Foolproof travel hacks for travelers who cant leave home without their books
- Not feeling it yet? Publisher’s Weekly has a list of cool Graphic Novels to give as gifts. Like I tell the kids who don’t like to read: “Why don’t you start with a comic?”
See you next week!
Website Wednesday (on a Friday) 11/13/15
Hi Everyone For today’s Website Wednesday (on a Friday) I wanted to share the following cool resources I came across this week:
- This well-made video on learning math by Stanford School of Education Professor Jo Boaler. I wish I had seen something like this when I was in high school. Although the focus is math the message about social emotional learning applies to all subjects so anyone could use it. The video mentions “youcubed” at Stanford. Here is a link to their site.
- A funny video with Stephen Colbert and Math Professor Eugenia Cheng explaining exponentials (and plugging her new book)
- This quick three minute video that explains how we learn.
- Common Sense Media just released this great new study on how Teens and Tweens (8-18 year olds) use technology. It’s all the sensation right now. You can see the study here. And if you want a quick infographic breaking down the essentials click here. A good blog post doing the same can be found here.
And some cool articles or blog posts I came across this week:
- An article on EdWeek that tries to answer the question: What are the Dos and Don’ts of having a successful one-to-one computing (where every student at a school gets a device) program?
- This cool blog post titled 8 guaranteed ways to enhance teen learner motivation in the language class.
- A thought provoking research study : Pupils learn poorly when using most computer programs.
See you next Wednesday!
Website Wednesday 10/28/15
For today’s Website Wednesday I wanted to share a few things I’ve come across lately.
- PBS has an idea channel on YouTube and I just came across these videos called a The Guide to Common Fallacies. Here is a good info graphic on logical fallacies. HERE is a link to the Fallacy Project another good resource of fallacy examples on video. And, HERE is is the entire book of Bad Arguments online. (videos are below) h/t: Larry Ferlazzo’s blog
- By this time you’ve probably realized that iOS 9 is out and most kids (and teachers) should have it installed on their ipads. Here is a great article on 10 Great iOS 9 Features for teachers.
- Cult of Pedagogy blog has a Big List of class discussion Strategies that looks pretty good and I thought I would share.
- Fantasy Geopolitics is based on the same premise as Fantasy Football except with geography and world events.
- FluentU is a site designed for teachers and students learning a foreign language. It contains audio and video clips (authentic language) to support all levels of FL students in Spanish, French, English, German, Chinese and Japanese. This could be a could be a useful resource for ELLs and FL students from newbies to native speakers.
- Check out these ten tools to help your students become better writers.
- And this is Halloween week after all so check out Google’s Frightgeist. It combines Halloween and Geography to show the most popular Halloween costumes in different regions of the us.
See you next Wednesday!
Website Wednesday 10/21/15
For today’s Website Wednesday …
- One of my favorite Ed Blogs The Cult of Pedagogy has a great article on why Google Drive is so great and why we should be using it with our students.
- WeTheEconomy is a site with entertaining, short films that attempt to explain the US Economy and basic econ concepts for students. The videos are created and acted by famous actors and directors with names such as : GDP Smackdown, Supply & Dance, Man! and, FED Head.
- And, the last resource I am going to share is inspired by the news that we might be buying Turnitin.com for our school. On the library end of things I’ve noticed students don’t normally plagiarize on purpose. They simply do it because they don’t understand the skills involved with paraphrasing, quoting and summarizing content and then citing it effectively. Here are a few videos to introduce these concepts: Paraphrasing, Citation for Beginners and, Plagiarism. And for a more critical (and funny) take here is John Oliver explaining “quotations” on his HBO show “Last week tonight”.
- See you next Wednesday!
Website Wednesday 10/14/15
- Did you know you can use Google Drive to share videos? Students can create videos or you can create them and share them out by following these steps. And, using a google script you can have students upload folders directly to your google Drive. Here are the instructions.
- This study on Motivation and how it can help boost student engagement.
- This Tackk on How to make the most of your Teacher iPad.
- EduCause has an interesting article titled Paper or Tablet? Reading Recall and comprehension.
- This cool new study that shows repeating new words out loud aids memory and cognition and repeating them to someone else is even better. What does that mean for ELL’s and our efforts to teach Academic Language to our students?
- Edutopia has a cool blog post called the 7-Step prep with ideas for planning and organizing yourself.
- Here is a cool article from NPR on this year’s Nobel Peace Prize Winners. Here is an NYT article and video explaining why they won and why it is extraordinary.
- see you next Wednesday!!
Website Wednesday 9/16/15
- Share to Classroom is a cool Chrome extension to use with Google Classroom. It allows you to push a webpage directly out to your students in two clicks. It’s available in the Google app store. Below is a quick video explaining its features. (remember you have to be logged into your District google account for this to work). Tech Crunch also has a nice little description here.
- The second resource I wanted to share with you is called You Can Book Me. It’s a web based scheduling application that connects to your google calendar. It has quite a few great features such as sending automated email reminders, allowing users to reschedule their own appointments and allowing you to set blocks of times that you are available for appointments. It has great potential for scheduling meeting with students, with parents or for me, scheduling textbook distribution. (I’m still thinking about it) Below is a video describing how it works.
And a couple of cool articles I came across:
Website Wednesday for 9/9/15
- Newsmap aggregates news from google news into this visually appealing site.
- I wanted to share this great article on using technology tools to teach Text Complexity from the Teaching channel.
- TeachThought.com has a great list of the 50 best Podcasts for High School Students.
- The True Size of lets you visualize how big countries really are, rather than how they appear on a distorted map.