Sep 23

20 Charts to Help You Teach Close Reading

By: Med Kharbach

reading3“Close reading is a  much debated topic in the world of academe. I have recently attended a seminar on this topic and it seems like several teachers are still missing the mark concerning what and how to go about teaching students to be close readers. Close reading is definitely a “survival skill” particularly in a world drowned in information. Close reading is all about reading differently. It is reading for deep understanding; it is  paying attention to what others would normally overlook. Being a close reader entails focus and dedication to your reading material. It empowers readers to delve deeper into the latent meanings of text searching for cues that make the reading a totally different experience, one that resembles the detective work. Close reading is also about critical reading, reading that does not take things at face value but rather probes into what is hidden between the lines.” To read further please click here:

Sep 23

Computational Thinking in the Primary Computing Curriculum

By:Phil Bagge

NASA Visulization Explore (APP)“Over the summer I have been reflecting on what computational thinking is and how it affects primary computing understanding and practice. In this short article I am going to look at the following questions.

  • What is computational thinking?
  • Who first thought of the term?
  • Is it a new idea?
  • What thinking skills are included?
  • What do these thinking skills mean for primary pupils and teachers?
  • Computational thinking in the Computing National Curriculum
  • Cross curricular?

What is computational thinking?

Wikipedia2 describes it as “problem solving method that uses computer science techniques”” To read further please click here:

Sep 23

5 Critical Questions for the Innovative Educator

By: George Couros

digital world“Technology is a crucial part of what is happening in the classroom, and whenever a new hardware or software comes out, educators are thinking, “How could we use this in the classroom?” Although we should have different ways and options to reach all students, we far too often start thinking about the “stuff” instead of what our students need. For learning to be “student-centred”, then our questions should often focus on the student experience in the classroom.

Here are some questions that can help us create new and better opportunities for our students in their learning:
1. Would I want to be a learner in my own classroom?” To read further please click here :

Sep 23

7 Ways to Use #Readergrams with Students

By:jKatherin Hale

readergrams“t’s only been a couple of weeks since I first introduced our class Twitter account (@HaleNetwork5th) and #readergrams/#writergrams to my students. I’m already amazed at how it’s transformed my students’ attitude towards reading and writing. While we haven’t used #writergrams yet, here are some ways my class has used #readergrams.

FYI: Add that “s” to #readergrams when you tweet! I discovered that #readergram sometimes contain photo tweets that are not so educational if you get what I’m saying.” To read further please click here:

Sep 22

7 Outstanding Augmented Reality Apps for iPad

By: Med Kharbach

augmen“Augmented reality apps are transoforming and revolutionizing the way learning and education are delivered. I have already written a detailed guide on everything teachers need to know about Augmented reality and below is list of some great Augmented reality apps to go with it. Check them out below and share with us what you think of them:

1- Junaoi: Augmented Reality Browserjunaio is the most advanced mobile augmented reality browser. It’s a fast and easy way to discover your world. Find local events, offers and listings; scan QR codes and barcodes to get instant access to additional information; unlock augmented content on images and objects to play games or experience new virtual interactions.” To read further please click here:

Sep 22

The Teacher’s Quick Guide To Blended Learning

By: Katie Lepi

blending“Blended Learning. A huge buzzword in the recent past, right? We’re hearing a lot about online learning, MOOCs, and lots of different devices in our classrooms, but I haven’t seen a lot on just how popular bridging the virtual and in-person learning models are. In many ways, this mixing of in-person and virtual interaction in our classrooms is inevitable as teaching and schools become more flush with technology. It’s way more than adding a cart full of iPads or laptops to a classroom, too.

So how popular is blended learning? The handy infographic below takes a look at some statistics on blended learning adoption, facts on four different models of blended learning, and the success of some blended learning programs.” To read further please click here:

Sep 22

Knock, knock. Who’s there? An effective teacher

By: Helen Ward

teachHumour is key to maintaining classroom discipline, study says

Managing behaviour may be no joke for many teachers, but having a sense of humour about it can go a long way, research on primary school classrooms shows.

The report on effective teaching, published today by Pearson, explores the attributes that help excellent teachers to thrive and identifies humour as a vital weapon in the battle for control of lessons.

Behaviour management is singled out as the area where differences between poor, good and excellent schools are most evident. But traditional ideas of authoritarian teaching are dismissed in favour of a more friendly approach.” To read further please click here:

Sep 21

8 Recommended Technology Tools That Enhance Student Learning


techoo“Technology advancement made everything more convenient and accessible in promoting human learning. Integrating technology in the classroom greatly advance the proficiency of students and teaching skills of educators. Many academic institutions today recognized technology as an instrument for instruction. Because of its benefits, almost all educators are exploring innovative ways to utilize the web into their school lessons.

The speedy and extensive application of educational technology made a major overhaul on how knowledge is contemplated and taught in the classroom. Students became more excited to learn and more focus about their studies because of such web tools. There are variety of educational tools and apps that students can use in their academic subjects.

Here are some of the recommended technology tools that can help improve students learning:” To read further please click here:

Sep 21

Lighthouse Schools Working Out the Digital Kinks

By:Gwendolyn Glenn

lighthouse“About two years ago, Baltimore County officials announced a plan to provide all students with a computer and other high-tech devices. This year, they are testing that plan in ten Lighthouse schools where first through third graders are using computers daily in their lessons.

One of those schools is Halstead Academy, in Parkville. Five years ago, Halstead was a failing school with lots of discipline problems. Today it’s a turnaround school and students have done consistently well on standardized exams. But the missing link is that many Halstead students don’t own computers, which is why principal Jennifer Mullenax applied for the Lighthouse program. “To read further please click here:

Sep 21

How Looking at Student Work Keeps Teachers and Kids on Track

By:Katrina Schwartz

elementary-school-math-ipad-apps-edshelf“Much of the work students produce is read only by their teachers. It can feel disconnected from the class as a whole and irrelevant to a broader conversation. That’s why examining and critiquing student work as a regular part of classroom interactions can be a powerful way for both teachers and students to reflect on their work, while building a community culture that focuses on the process of learning.

Increasingly, educators are focusing on teaching students about their learning brains, in addition to specific subject content. Research by Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck and others ondeveloping academic mindsets have helped show that students’ perceptions of themselves as learners plays a large role in their academic success. Evaluating student work throughout the creation process is a great way to make sure students are grasping the concepts being taught along the way, and can be a gentle way of focusing evaluation toward improvement.

Educators use student work for many reasons: to fine-tune lesson plans, to give students practice offering constructive feedback to peers, even to inspire other students. Whatever reason for using student work, it should be clear to both the student and teacher why the work is being evaluated at that moment.” To read further please click here:

Sep 20

Great Websites to Teach Anatomy of Human Body in 3D

By:Med Kharbach

human body“Looking for some amazing web tools to teach human anatomy? The websites I have assorted for you below are probably among the best you can find out there. From engaging interactives to live simulations of the body system, these tools will enable your students to explore the mystery of the human body in unprecedented ways. Some of these tools provide 3D imaging of parts of the human body so students will both learn and live the experience of discovering the hidden secrets of our body.” To read further please click here:

Sep 20

Ideas For Easing Students Back to School

By:Corinne Jacob

small-child-going-to-school“Summer has ended and to quote a too-popular show, winter is coming! The groans you will hear from the students are almost as loud as the more subtle groans of the teachers. The end of summer is always seen as a tragic end to freedom and fun. Like on Mondays, when the whole long week seems to loom threateningly in front of you, new school years fill you with the same sort of dread. The good news is that dread, it’s only based on imagined outcomes.

It is true that your classroom feeds off your energy. You are handed a classroom full of students who are excited to be back but not so enthusiastic to study. You can even use their summer slide to your advantage and bring back the joy of learning. It isn’t as monumental a task as it seems.

Watch this pep talk and then we can begin!” To read further please click here:

Sep 20

Three Tips to Focus Parent-Teacher Conferences On Creating a Partnership

By:Elissa Nadaworthy

parents“So you finally get the chance to meet one on one with your child’s teacher — now what?

Like a good Boy Scout, be prepared: Educators agree that doing your homework before a parent-teacher conference can make a big difference.

The Harvard Family Research Project’s Tip Sheet for Parents suggests reviewing your child’s work, grades and past teacher feedback. Ask your child about his experience at school and make a list of questions ahead of time to ask during the conference. — a website that matches up parents and child caregivers — created a list of questions to print out and take with you.

A good parent-teacher conference, experts say, should cover three major topics: the child, the classroom and the future.” To read further please click here:


Sep 20

Every Math Teacher in the World Should Do This…Right Now!

By:Nathan Kraft

white“What happened next? Only the greatest damn thing ever! When students are working on the whiteboards, I can see everything happening at once. It’s like I’m looking at the freaking Matrix. With a quick glance, I can see which students got it, which students are making minor mistakes, and which students have no idea what’s going on. I can quickly identify errors for students. I can ask a stronger student to help a struggling one. Once a student has the correct answer, I yell, “Great! Erase it! Next problem!”

And the kids love it. As soon as the kids walk into my classroom each day, they ask “are we working on the whiteboards?” As soon as I say, “Go to the boards!”, they rush out of their seats potentially harming each other as they make their way there. As soon as I put a problem up, they quickly get to work, Even the students that I know would typically struggle in math class, love the whiteboards and are learning much more because of them. “To read further please click here:

Sep 18

How Virtual Reality Meets Real Life Learning With Mobile Games

By: Katrina Schwartz

virtual reality“The buzz around games and learning has mostly focused on how educators can learn from game structure to create engaging learning experiences. Or else, educators are experimenting with video games meant to help students practice academic skills. Less attention has been paid to a niche of mobile gaming seeking to bridge the gap between the screen and the real world — pervasive gaming.

“Most games are not automatically motivating,” said Benjamin Stokes, postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Berkeley School of Information and co-founder of Games for Change. “One of the things that makes a game engaging is that the choices are meaningful.”

Giving students the opportunity to make meaningful choices isn’t at the center of every classroom, especially when it comes to civics. Most civics classes focus on teaching about democracy and governance in its most ideal form, as a static system. The focus is on preparing students for their eventual participation in the system, without giving them a real-life experience of what it means to be civically engaged.” To read further please click here:

Sep 18

Computer Applications Lesson Plans: Microsoft Access Curriculum

By: Sarah Layton

access“Just last week, I was asking if when establishing your computer applications lesson plans,do you give Microsoft Publisher its fair share of attention? I have the same question this week about Microsoft Access. I have to admit that I’m a bit of a database junkie! When done well, they are such amazing tools for all sorts of things in your professional and personal life. So don’t sweep Access under the carpet if it’s not an application you are comfortable with. Give some of these ideas a try, and you’ll soon embrace the database, too!

Here’s where to find some good computer applications lesson plans that highlight Microsoft Access.” To read further please click here:

Sep 18

Google Classroom: Sorting Student Scores by Student Last Name

By:Alice Keeler

google classroomsFor now, Google Classroom sorts students by their first name. This of course does not match how the students are listed on our rosters or in our gradebooks. If you are putting student scores into Google Classroom you can export the scores, per assignment.” To read further please click here:

Sep 18

Check Out The #SkypeAtoZ Back-to-School Lesson Collection

By:Shannon McClintock Miller

skype“One of my favorite go-to-places for connecting students and teachers is Skype In The Classroom.

It is filled with amazing resources and connections that matches you and your school community with other teachers and classrooms, along with rich lessons to use.

I also love #MysterySkype that you can find on Skype in the Classroom. In a Mystery Skype, your students can embark on a global guessing game with others around the world.

With Back-to-School, Skype In The Classroom has put together something really awesome for this time of year!” Toread further please click here:

Sep 18

Back to School With Must Have Web Tools in Class

By:Ozge Karaoglu

back-to-school-tech-r5sw2y“It’s September and we’re back to school again.

This year, if you do not want your students to use only pencil and paper, here are some ideas and tools that can enhance your lessons with some technology.

Evernote is one of the my favorite web tool/app ever!  You can create different folders for different lessons and take notes by writing text, audio and images. If you are using Evernote on your phone or on your tablet, then you can immediately take the pictures or record your voice as you are listening to a lecture. In class, we can motivate our students to keep record of their learning by taking notes all throughout the year. Like that, Evernote will be their e-portolfio and a great showcase or feedback of what they have learnt in a year. Evernote can be a better replacement and more eco-friendly when compared to a paper-based portfolio.  ” To read further please click here:

Sep 17

5 Strategies to Reach At-Risk Students with Technology

By: D. Frank Smith

exams“A new report has shown that technology can produce significant gains in student achievement and engagement, particularly among students most at risk.

The report, Using Technology to Support At-Risk Students’ Learning, was released Sept. 10 by the Alliance for Excellent Education, a Washington D.C.–based policy and advocacy organization.

In the study, two Stanford professors and a doctoral student gathered educational research in an effort to determine how technology has made a difference for students in danger of failing or dropping out of school.

“This report makes clear that districts must have a plan in place for how they will use technology before they make a purchase,” wrote Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education, in the report.” To read further please click here:

Sep 17

Blogging as Writing Curriculum

By:Susan Lucille Davis

blog“What a thrill! After reading my last post onblogging with my 6th-graders at my former school, my new 7th-grade colleagues embraced blogging for our grade level. As a result I have blended my previous experience with teaching writing as blogging with our more traditional writing curriculum. My hope is that this draft curriculum can serve as a transition to more vibrant and engaging writing program for today’s students.” To read further please click here:

Sep 17

5 Useful iPad Story Starter Apps for Your Students

By: Med Kharbach

storywheel“Here is a list of some excellent iPad apps that you can use with students to get them into  ‘the creative writing mode’. Some of these apps provide story starters that students can draw on to build their stories, other apps provide writing prompts to spark students thinking and guide their writing responses.” To read further please click here:

Sep 17

Reading and Commenting on Student Posts Made Easy

By:Sue Waters

myclass“We’re often asked if there is an easy way for teachers and students to be able to quickly read posts and leave comments across a class of students’ blogs.And there is!

With our ‘My Class’ tool and the new Edublogs Reader, you and your students can do this all directly inside your own blog’s dashboard.

Let’s show you how simple it is on Edublogs and CampusPress networks.  To get started you’ll need to set up My Class and your student blogs.

Reading student posts

The Reader automatically feeds all published posts from all student blogs and the class blog into the dashboard of every user attached to My Class so that you and your students can easily read and comment on each others’ posts.Reading posts is as simple as:”  To read further please click here:

Sep 16

Using Google Classroom to Differentiate Assignments

By:Alice Keeler

google classroom“What is nice about a digital environment is the ability to differentiate. Google Classroom allows you to build a set of resources for a single assignment. This makes it possible to offer students choices as to how they access the information or how the student would like to address the assignment.” To read further please click here:

Sep 16

Digital Literacy Is the Key to the Future, But We Still Don’t Know What It Means

By:Marcus Wohlsen

savethenet-cybercrime-inline1-660x672“The entrance to GitHub is the most Instagram-able lobby in tech. It’s a recreation of the Oval Office, and the mimicry is spot-on but for the rug. Instead of the arrow-clutching eagle that graces Obama’s office rug, it shows the code-sharing site’s Octocat mascot gazing into the digital future, just above the motto: “In Collaboration We Trust.”

One recent morning, just past this presidential decor, representatives of the tech industry (Google, Palantir, Mozilla, Github) and academia (UC Berkeley and digital education nonprofit Project Lead the Way) sat on massive leather couches trying to figure out how to give more people the means to participate in that future. The theme in play was “digital literacy,” the idea that the world’s citizens, and kids in particular, will benefit if they’re skilled in the ways of information technology.” To read further please click here:

Sep 16

Seven keys to deploying tablets successfully

By:Marc Fanaroff

KidsTablets_Resized“As schools start to mature in their use of technology, moving from the innovator phase into the early adopter stage, we’re getting increasingly wise about the necessary steps to achieve successful classroom implementation.

After my experience implementing tablets into our school, I thought I’d share my advice for a successful investment.

1. Outline your objectives.

The first step is to know from an instructional standpoint what your objectives for the investment are, and how you envision using the resource. This could have implications for the required functionality of the hardware device. While many tablets are designed for consumer use rather than classroom use, in general, a tablet is a tablet.” To read further please click here:

Sep 16

8 Reasons why the implementation of tech in schools is so slow

By:Jayne Clare

classroom 6“Schools that are not adjusting their teaching practices to incorporate technology are doing their students a tremendous disservice. Much of this comes from the top-down. If administration is not supporting professional development and teachers are not being taught how to teach with technology, much needed 21st century skills are usually not happening in your typical classroom. The longer we wait the farther behind you fall, teachers need to embrace tech, for many a reason. Here is my list of 8 reasons why the implementation of tech in schools is so slow:

  1. Fear -Learning new technology can be scary for teachers; teaching with it can be downright terrifying especially if proper professional development is lacking.
  2. Lack of Leadership – When administration is not supportive of implementing technology and lacks the resources to integrate it properly. Teachers are left to their own devices.”

To read further please click here:

Sep 15

Is your gradebook supportive of learning?

By: Jusin Tarte

grades“When was the last time you looked at your gradebook?

Not just look at your gradebook because you are recording grades, but to actually look at your gradebook and evaluate its purpose and the reasoning behind its existence.

What is the purpose of a gradebook?

The logical answers would be…

To record and document the grades of students in a particular class.

To document how well a student did on worksheet 1.7 and record how well a student did on the chapter 4 test.

To sort and categorize our students into A, B, C, D & F grade rankings.

These answers are widely accepted and widely practiced by educators all across the globe.


What if the gradebook was more?” To read further please click here:

Sep 15

3 Easy Ways to Integrate iPad into Your Google Classroom

By: Med Kharbach

ipad class“Now that the Google Classroom is officially released to all Google Apps for Education accounts, those of you using iPad in their instruction would probably be wondering about possible ways to integrate this new tool with iPad. The video tutorial below will guide you through the process of how students and teachers can use Google Class on their iPad to create and turn in assignments.

The process is pretty simple and is made of three main steps:

  • Students use the suggested iPad apps to do their assigned work
  • They then export that work to their Google Drive
  • They turn it to Google Classroom by downloading it from Google Drive.”

To read further please click here:

Sep 15

5 Ways Teachers Can Help Students Learn to Manage Their Emotions

By: Emily Ko

FRANCE-EDUCATION-SCHOOL-YEAR-START“The most valuable lesson for a student to learn inside the classroom is not science, or math, or communication skills, or artistic inclinations – but how to deal with others and society in general. Children and their emotional development at this time shapes the rest of their lives. Encouraging self-management over their own emotional impulses will help them in their studies and the formation of lasting friendships.

For teachers, teaching children to manage their own behaviour frees them to spend more time teaching and less time dealing with disturbances in the classroom. Here are five tips for teachers about how to students can manage their emotions. Exercising their independence can be a rewarding experience.” To read further please click here: