By: Alex Quigley
“Mr Laing was my year 8 Maths teacher. He was a rare breed indeed. He helped me, and my fellow pimple-clad teens, find mathematics interesting. Intermittently, he would betray a deep excitement about a mathematics problem or reveal that he had woken up in the middle of the night with an answer to some mathematics concept. We were incredulous – being excited by mathematics was anathema. Soon enough, incredulity became intrigue. Over time, he made us think that such interest might be possible for us too.
Mr Laing had once been like us, he had told us. He didn’t like Maths either at school – he had found it too difficult. He spoke about how he had persevered and something had inexplicably clicked. Though still difficult, it had become gradually easier. He found pleasure in what W. B. Yeats termed, “the fascination of what’s difficult“. Maths became his passion.
Over the course of a year or two, with the implicit language of high expectation and an unremitting belief in our capacity to be better at mathematics we became believers.
What magic was this? What trickery? As a teacher, now, I wrack my brains to remember the detail of what he did and what he said. I can’t quite remember – I can only recall the lingering feeling he had created. Sadly, Mr Laing left and with different teachers my instinctive aversion to mathematics returned. A lifetime of impressions from my family – that we were natural born readers and artistic types, naturally hopeless at mathematics, reasserted itself grimly. My own expectation of success in Maths was diminished.” To read further please click here:
“It’s the start of another term or half term and there seems so much to do. As Stephen Covey’s famous quote goes, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” In an increasingly frenetic world and the busyness of the school day, it is too easy to lose focus.
The #5MinMainThingPlan has been devised to help you keep your key priorities in mind and create a simple plan to make sure the main things get done. Pulling together the key development or improvement plan priorities, alongside the routine issues and tasks and keeping on top of more maintenance style issues is all part of the job. The #5MinMainThingPlan pulls it all together onto one page.
Your development or improvement plan should contain the key things that you intend to work on during the academic year. These are likely to be big issues that will require significant time for you and/or your team to discuss and formulate plans. There are likely to be some decisions to be made and professional development needs to be met if a smooth implementation is to ensue. Due to the time-intensive nature of development plans,you will need to keep the number of objectives in your plan to a minimum.” To read further please click here:
By: Angela Watson
“I have used 4 different types of parent surveys for many years in my classroom to help open the line of communication with my students’ parents. They have been really instrumental in helping me get feedback and make sure I’m meeting kids’ needs, and they’ve been an invaluable way to document my attempts at outreach.
This spring, I’ve finally gotten around to compiling and formatting them for my TeachersPayTeachers store. I also decided to have the parent surveys translated into Spanish so that teachers can get input from from their Spanish-speaking families, too. The surveys were translated by two fully bilingual educators with over 25 years of classroom teaching experience between them. One is a native English speaker, and the other is a native Spanish speaker from Argentina. Both have exceptional grammar and writing skills, so you can trust that the surveys are translated correctly and are error-free.
I’ve created the surveys in a ready-to-print PDF as well as a fully editable PowerPoint file so you can alter the parent survey wording and print your own customized version.”” To read further please click here:
By: Saikat Basu
“It makes it easier to think during class—and I’m doing less busy work.
Stephanie is just one of the 950 students at Sammamish High School in Seattle who have taken wholeheartedly to Microsoft OneNote along with their teachers.
Across the country in Ohio, teachers gave their students “blizzard bags” when schools got closed for bad weather. These teaching “bags” use OneNote Class Notebook to share interactive lessons. The “school closed” notice is no longer an excuse for celebration.
Lugging around a satchel full of books pales a bit in comparison, doesn’t it?
The notetaking member in Microsoft’s suite is a cross-platform productivity application. There are many unique ways to use OneNote, and using it to change the way you teach or study could be the best one. Come aboard. OneNote has loads of tips for the teacher and the student. And before you forget — OneNote is free!” To read further please click here:
By: Peg Tyre
“At the Carpe Diem-Meridian School in Indianapolis, row after row of students are wearing headphones and staring into computer screens. Although they look like employees at a call center, they are actually fifteen-year-olds tackling algebra concepts. Their lessons were delivered earlier in the day by a software program offered by Edgenuity and reinforced by an instructor. Now the students are working through problems on their monitors, to show they have mastered it. Their results will be quickly fed back to their instructors, who will use it to shape the next day’s instruction.
Two students finish quickly and check the overhead monitor for their next task. Others are sweating through sophisticated problems. A few, who are struggling with the material, are working on problems that a software algorithm has determined are simpler but will help build the foundational skills they need. And, as in any classroom, some students are using ancient technology that has become less central at Carpe Diem schools — a notepad and a pen — to make abstract doodles.” To read further please click here: https://larrycuban.wordpress.com/2015/04/16/ipads-and-teachers-why-technology-assisted-learning-will-never-on-its-own-solve-our-education-crisis-peg-tyre/
By: Elizabeth G
“Knowledge of the Subject: First off, this quality is an absolute necessity to being an effective teacher. It does not matter how motivated, passionate, or creative you are if you cannot teach your students what they are there to learn. How can you expect them to learn if you don’t even know what they are supposed to be learning?
Motivation: To be an effective teacher one has to be motivated, motivated to learn and to help others learn. That motivation for learning and self-improvement is what separates the truly great teachers from the rest. They are always trying new ways of teaching and engaging their students and they never tire of being students themselves. Effective teachers are always learning different ways of doing things and take the time to learn from other effective teachers.” To read further please click here:http://www.coolcatteacher.com/qualities-effective-teacher-gesf/
“Myths are often created to explain things we don’t understand.
There are many people who do not have a complete understanding of assistive technology (AT) and the role it plays in education and the greater community of those affected bylearning disabilities (LD). Students and adults who regularly use AT certainly know the benefits of the myriad tools available on computers and mobile devices. Likewise, the teachers, family members, and friends who support those with LD often have a solid understanding of how technology can be an equalizer and a gateway to success.It is imperative that we all contribute to spreading AT awareness. As more people gain and share a better knowledge of assistive technology, these seven common misconceptions will fall from our conversations about learning disabilities.
Myth #1 – AT Gives LD Students an Unfair Advantage
Perhaps the most prevalent misunderstanding involving AT is that it gives LD students an unfair advantage over their non-LD classmates. Nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, all it does is provide equal access to the same learning experiences. Assistive Technology does not control the brains of students with learning disabilities. It does not generate thoughtful responses to essay questions. And it does not conduct science experiments while students sit back and watch.”To read further please click here: https://www.noodle.com/articles/7-myths-about-assistive-technology-explained
By: Libby Nelson
“A headache-inducing logic problem from Singapore’s Math Olympiad went viral this week, sparking online debates, a Twitter hashtag, and even a song that mimics the process of elimination that leads to the correct answer.The task — figuring out a girl named Cheryl’s birthday with seemingly little information — is maddening at first glance.
But the problem isn’t nonsense: it’s actually a test of logical reasoning skills. And questions like these help explain how Singapore’s students have come to rank as some of the best problem-solvers in the world — by being taught math differently, and well.
A 2005 study from the American Institutes for Research praised Singapore’s method of teaching math, saying it was much better than the American method. On reason was that word problems and real-world examples were used not just to show students that math is important outside the classroom, but to illustrate how math works.
Here’s the problem Singaporean high school students were asked to solve, reworded slightly for clarity:
Albert and Bernard just became friends with Cheryl, and they want to know when her birthday is. Cheryl marks 10 possible dates: May 15, May 16, May 19, June 17, June 18, July 14, July 16, August 14, August 15, or August 17.
Then Cheryl tells Albert the month of her birthday, but not the day. She tells Bernard the day of her birthday, but not the month. Then she asked if they can figure it out.
Albert: I don’t know when Cheryl’s birthday is, but I know Bernard doesn’t know either.
Bernard: At first I didn’t know when Cheryl’s birthday is, but now I know.
Albert: If you know, then I know too!
When is Cheryl’s birthday?” To read further please click here:
“Essentially text-based, interactive fiction is a genre of games with roots that predate the internet. The player/reader makes choices that determine the outcome of the narrative. It’s like a digital version of Dungeons & Dragons, the paper-based role-playing game set in a medieval fantasy world. It’s also similar to choice-based fiction, like the Choose Your Own Adventure book series that began in the late 1970s.
Because player choice changes the narrative arc, interactive fiction can be used to teach empathy, what it’s like to be in someone else’s shoes. For example, Begscape (built with Twine, which I’ll discuss later), puts the reader in the role of a beggar. Another intriguing text-based game is A Dark Room, an addictive resource management game. In 2015, a text adventure adaptation of the film Interstellar was released at the same time as the DVD.
A Brief History of Text-Based Gaming
Computer-based interactive fiction began in 1975 with Infocom’s Adventure. Next came the Zork and Ultima series. In the mid-1980s, Douglas Adams adapted his bestselling book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy as an interactive title. It’s still playable online today.” To read further please click here: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/interactive-fiction-in-the-classroom-matthew-farber
By: Launa Schweizer
“My childhood unfolded in the last few years BC (Before Computers). However, my own children and my students have lived their entire lives with bleeps and buzzes and signals from multiple channels of information. Parents and teachers alike worry about the impact that constant multitasking is having on children’s developing brains.
Kids—digital natives—swim comfortably in the floods of information and often crave the sensation of clicking from screen to screen, flicking from channel to channel, and juggling tasks throughout each day. The problem, according to neuroscientists, is that multitasking is changing our human brains as we prioritize juggling over digging deeplY into thinking, relationships, and planning.” To read further please click here:
“Being a child is hard. The world is new, and there are a lot of things to learn. And re-learn when we get it wrong. As we grow, sounds turn into words, words gain meaning. Then people start throwing numbers at us. First they’re small numbers, then they grow. They want you to do what with them? Understand their value, their order. Add them, subtract them. Now it’s back to words, which now come in clusters called sentences. Which we have to write stories with.
And that’s just the beginning. There’s a lot to learn in our early years on which our later years rely upon. Fortunately, today’s children have tablet computers like the iPad. In addition to the touch features being incredibly addictive, there are thousands of apps that making learning fun. In no particular order, here are 30 fun and educational iPad apps aimed children in the “early childhood education (ECE)” group. Definitions vary, though it covers kids about 3 to 9 years of age.”To read further please click here:http://www.teacherswithapps.com/30-ipad-apps-for-early-childhood-education/
“When Flipboard invited magazine readers to create their own magazines, I jumped on the bandwagon and immediately began compiling my own. Most of my magazines are targeted for the education field. I believe Flipboard is the perfect tool for educators to create magazines for themselves, their students and colleagues. Here is how Flipboard can be used by educators.
- Collect and share information with students
Educators can search Flipboard to find content on any topic, then flip (add) that content into a magazine, and then share that magazine with their students. I curate content on that pesky topic of copyright in a magazine I call Beg, Borrow, Steal, for teachers to use and share with students. Targeted magazines like this allow educators to provide students with specific information and saves students time that they would otherwise spend searching for content.” To reAd further please click here: https://about.flipboard.com/educators/how-i-use-flipboard-as-an-educator/
By: Alice Keeler
“I have been asked by math teachers how they can use Google Classroom. Google Classroom is great for any subject area, especially math! Earlier I had posted on 5 ways Students Can Use Google Docs in Math. This builds on those ideas with a list of 60 ways Google Classroom can be used by Math teachers.
- Create a blended classroom: Google Classroom is the perfect tool to transform a traditional class into a blended model.
- Go paperless: There are many ways that Google Classroom can support a paperless classroom. Stop standing at the copy machine and use Google Classroom instead.
- Distribute handouts: It is easy to attach files that are either in Google Drive or on the computer. Attach handouts to an announcement or assignment to allow students to easily access.
- Collect homework: The homework collection process can take many instructional minutes. Eliminate this by having students submit their work in Google Classroom.
- Return work: Passing student work back in Google Classroom is as simple as checking
- Use equation editor: Attach Google text documents to assignments. Google Docs has an equation editor built in. Directions and questions can include equations made with the equation editor. Students can respond using the equation editor.” To read further please click here: http://www.alicekeeler.com/teachertech/2015/04/13/60-ways-math-teachers-can-use-google-classroom/
“Why it seems that blended learning will become a number one trend in education in the next two years? According to NMC Horizon Report: 2015 Higher Education Edition “blended approaches were most successful in ‘unbundling’ the classroom — students felt that instructors were more accessible when learning materials and discussion forums were placed online and there was altogether more persistent communication through the use of virtual learning environments”.
What drives to this? The expansion of social and multimedia use, for sure. Students begin to rely more heavily on their mobile devices for accessing and participating in course activities. They are willing to contribute anywhere and anytime it is convenient for them. The second important fact why going blended is getting more practice time in class, which is a critical component for student success.
Blended learning stands for a variety of pedagogical approaches using multiple formats and instructional tools. In this post I will present a simple process of preparing lesson for blended learning using a Learning map. Learning map is a very simple tool that enables you to create a perfectblend of content/resources and student activities/collaboration for online purposes.” To read further please click here:http://blog.edynco.com/instructional-design/a-surprising-way-of-preparing-a-lesson-for-blended-learning/
“Videos have already become an important part of modern education, whether through well-known education platforms like Khan Academy or content created by teachers for their students’ use. Video tutorials can help students with questions on homework or test preparation. However, students are finding the value in creating tutorial videos themselves for other students.During her sophomore year, Shilpa Yarlagadda was falling behind in her high school courses and began looking up video tutorials online to help catch up. But she soon realized she learned difficult material better from her friends than from any of the content she could find online. She was struggling with AP Chemistry that year, but when a concept finally clicked, she would make a video about it to help her friends taking lower level chemistry classes.” To read further please click here:
“In order to be successful, school-based educational technology coaches must wear many hats and continually iterate on professional development plans and strategies based on school culture. Collegial relationships Are also vital to successful instructional coaching; it’s essential to be intuitive to the needs of colleagues. Coaches are often called upon to be advocates, cheerleaders, storytellers,” To read further please click here:
trainers, curators and perhaps even therapists; their primary focus should always be on supporting and championing teachers and students as they progress in their uses of technology for improved teaching and learning. Here are a few suggestions on how technology coaches can approach their work.
- Start with reviewing ISTE’s standards for educational technology coaches.
- Join ISTE’s coaching community as well in order to network with others outside of your school.”
To read further please click here:http://edtech.about.com/od/Professional-Development/fl/Tips-for-Educational-Technology-Coaches.htm
By: Christopher Piehler
“In the midst of the digital transformation of Val Verde Unified School District (CA), Michael McCormick, the assistant superintendent for education services, faced a familiar problem. He Wanted the district’s classrooms to have interactive displays, but he was “not a fan of the electronic whiteboard” because it “tethers a teacher to the front of the classroom.” His first step was to give teachers iPads, allowing them to roam the room. Then, to help Val Verde’s teachers connect with students and push content to LCD projectors, the district chose the Splashtop Classroomsystem.
The system is device-agnostic, so teachers armed with iPads can share screens with students working on both the Asus Transformers that the district has deployed in kindergarten and first grade and the Chromebooks that second- through twelfth-graders use. Teachers use the system to annotate presentations, and can save their annotated versions as separate files. Splashtop also allow them to access students’ devices from their iPads.” To read further please click here:
By: Fiona Barry
“In 2014, a quarter of children had not developed the communication skills expected for their age by the end of Reception, a report by the Early Intervention Foundation recently found.
This included language skills (using and understanding words and sentences) and social skills (interacting with others). This also covered speech sound skills, or pronunciation, which is the ability to use spoken sounds accurately in order to say words and sentences so that others will understand.
Speech sounds develop in a set pattern throughout the preschool years. Young children will make predictable and rule-based pronunciation errors in order to make tricky words easier to say. They may substitute sounds like using a ‘d’ for ‘s’ (‘sock’ becomes ‘dock’) or ‘r’ for ‘w’ (‘rabbit’ becomes ‘wabbit’).
They may also miss the beginning or end of words or reduce sound combinations (‘spider’ becomes ‘bider’).
“If your kids HATE math, you are not alone. Here are some math activities for kids to help them learn to love math one problem at a time. If you do one of these activities every afternoon with your child they will not only catch up to their peers and become more confident learners, they just might also discover a love of logic!
Why use math worksheets when you can use game cards to review math skills! Check out how this mom plays and learns using Uno.
Skip counting is one of the pre-requisites for a solid foundation in math. Help your kids understand patterns in numbers with this skip counting activity.
Do your kids LOVE games? Ours do! Practice and review fractions with the game Connect 4.
Have a Math white board – I love this idea for a class opening activity! Kids race to see how many ways they can combine numbers to make the answer. It is great for multiple levels of learning.” To read further please click here: http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/70504/math-games-for-kids
By: Michael Linsin
“Are you having trouble getting your students engaged in quality discussions?You’re not alone.
We frequently hear from teachers who struggle in this area.Given the growing emphasis on student talk, this is no small problem.
Your students’ ability to communicate has suddenly become a reflection of your teaching.
This realization has made teachers more aggressive in trying to get everyone on board.
It’s made them more determined and insistent. It’s made them eager to push and prod and coax their students into meaningful conversations.
But when students feel pressure, they clam up. It freezes their brain rather than frees their brain.” To read further please click here:http://www.smartclassroommanagement.com/2015/04/11/a-simple-way-to-improve-student-talk/
By: Adam Webster
“Initially I wasn’t too excited about visiting the V&A’s Alexander McQueen exhibition, but trying to be a dutiful husband, I took the plunge. I walked out, a little late to the party, A huge fan.
On three levels I was inspired:
- As an English teacher I was inspired by the way that he took different periods of time and made them utterly relevant to the modern age.
- As a teacher who has always, first and foremost, battled to keep creative thinking and teaching at the heart of what I do, I was inspired to see a man do just that; there was nothing but passionate energy in every piece of work.
- Finally, in my position as a technology leader, I walked into the second room of the exhibit and saw this quote on the wall:
“You’ve got to know the rules to break them. That’s what I’m here for, to demolish the rules but keep the tradition.”
Never has anyone so perfectly summarised what I have always tried to propose as a starting point for the integration and roll-out of technology in schools.” To read further please click here:
” Teach with the latest technology
Learn how to create educational materials for K-20, adult learners, and corporate settings using the latest e-learning and educational technology tools. Then discover teacher professional development courses and use lynda.com to pre-assign video learning to your students to flip the classroom.” To read further please click here: http://www.lynda.com/Education-training-tutorials/1792-0.html?bnr=NMHP_blocks
By: Mrs Wideen
“As I am wrapping up my geometry unit, I wanted to share some of my favourite activities I created for my kids to show their thinking. When I told them that we were starting a new unit next week they were upset because they had so much fun learning and showing their thinking during this unit. I hope you can find some of the following activities useful and fun!”To read further please click here:http://www.mrswideen.com/2015/04/geometry-ipad-activities.html
“Note-taking apps are a dime a dozen. Some are too simple for anything but the simplest of tasks. Others are abundant in features that are locked behind premium accounts. Can’t we have the best of both worlds?
For a while, the cross-platform note-taking app Evernote was the de facto standard. That’s nOt true anymore. While Evernote is still a remarkable app, Microsoft recently upped their game when they announced that OneNote would be more free than ever before.
Sounds like a funny statement, doesn’t it? But it’s true. OneNote has never been more free. Does that make it the ideal note-taking app for you? It might!
The Appeal of OneNote
The primary selling point for OneNote is its sense of organization. Take one look at its interface design and you’ll notice that it’s incredibly sleek, clean, and minimal. There are no distracting elements at all. You have your notes, your hierarchy of notebooks, and that’s it.
That kind of compliment isn’t typical for Microsoft, who is often known for clunky designs and unwieldy layouts. OneNote is their biggest exception and I have to say, I’m impressed. It’s truly one of the best apps on the market.” To read further please click here:
By: Trach Duffy & Margaret McKay
“Mobile technologies, far from being a distraction, are increasingly recognised for their ability to enhance teaching and learning and contribute to the digital student experience.From speaking to people in further education (FE) and higher education (HE), we know that both staff and students are benefiting from the opportunities that this technology affords.
From using mobile to provide enhanced methods of communication and more timely assessment, feedback and submission opportunities, to delivering new channels for accessing and using research, as well as promoting the sharing of resources and knowledge digitally, the list of applications is almost boundless.
For the traditional student, these opportunities are ubiquitous and often taken for granted in terms of aiding the learning process. But how does this apply to non-traditional students or those that need that extra bit of support? Do mobile technologies provide these students with the same opportunities to enhance their teaching and learning experience?: To read further please click here: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/blog/are-you-using-mobile-technologies-to-support-inclusive-practice-10-apr-2015
By: Med Kharbach
“When it comes to creating a classroom website or blog, the first thing you would have to consider is the technical features supported by the hosting platform. Are they student-friendly? Are they simple enough so those with no advanced technological skill can operate them? is the platform web-based or does it require software installation? Does it allow the integration of multimedia materials such videos, audio files, pictures…etc? Does it provide any interactive features so visitors can interact with published content? How about privacy settings, does it allow for controlled access? These and several other questions are what you need to keep in mind when selecting a hosting platform for your classroom website.
Below are some very good suggestions we would recommend that you start with. Our favourite in the selection is Google Sites.” To read further please click here:
““Have you ever noticed that a third year teacher and a 30-year teacher have the same job description?”
This question, posed to me a while back by a colleague, seems particularly important in light of a report from the Alliance for Excellent Education released last summer. It highlights what those of us in education already know: way too many new teachers leave the profession. This is particularly troubling given another recent study highlighted in a recent EdWeek article which shows that teachers’ skill sets do not plateau after a few years, as was previously thought. Indeed, teachers continue to get better as they gain more experience. Again, this is something those of us in education already know. After all, great teaching is hard. In Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell touted the 10,000-hours-of-practice rule as the amount needed to achieve mastery and greatness in a field. Though this rule has been much debated, the point is one that’s hard to dispute: Expertise develops over time through hard work and practice.” To read further please click here:
By: Vivek Wadhwa
“When I was in elementary school, about 50 years ago, teachers used to stand in front of a class of 40 or 50 children and write on a blackboard with chalk. To make sure the material was absorbed, the teacher asked occasional questions and assigned lots of homework. If students discussed their homework or helped each other on tests, it was called cheating, and they were punished.
Today the blackboard has become a whiteboard; chalk has become a maGic marker; the slates that students used have been replaced by notebooks; and classes have sometimes gotten smaller. Little else has changed. True, some schools are providing their students with laptops, and teachers are increasingly using technology and encouraging collaboration, but the methods are essentially the same — with the teacher dictating learning.
What is becoming possible, however, is a revolution in education. I am not talking about the much-hyped massive open online courses (MOOCs). To me these are as imaginative as the first TV shows in which radio stars stood in front of a camera with a microphone in hand. I am talking about a complete transformation of the way teaching is done, with the computer taking the role of the lecturer, the teacher becoming a coach, and students taking responsibility for their own learning.” To read further please click here:
“There is a certain magic found in rolling up your sleeves and tackling a project head on, an undeniable sense of empowerment that results from solving problems and manifesting big ideas. In essence, that’s the soul of the maker movement — creative individuals from all walks of life united by an insatiable desire to improve the world around them. Although synonymous with 3D Printing, it extends far beyond a single technology or buzzword. Truth be told, the maker movement represents the instinctual drive of our species to ascend ever upwards: to innovate, design, and construct a better tomorrow.
When I was a child, playing the classic game Oregon Trails was the extent of my technological wizardry. Little did I know that a few decades later, I’d be processing infinitely more power in my pocket. Likewise, today’s students will graduate into a strikingly different world. Much like the railroad, assembly line and automobile revolutionized the global economic landscape, so too will the explosion of big data, cloud computing, additive manufacturing and artificial intelligence. In light of this, students will need to be equipped with more than just the ability to answer multiple choice questions.” To read further please click here: http://www.edudemic.com/turn-classroom-makerspace/
By: TeachThought Staff
“This is part of of a 2-part series on questioning in the classroom. Part 1 focuses on questions in general–their function, purpose, forms, their relationship with cognitive dissonance, as well as a quick overview of essential questions. Part 2 of the Guide To Questioning In The Classroom will focus on question strategies, especially those that help students learn to ask their own questions in an inquiry-process.
Something we’ve become known for is our focus on thought, inquiry, and understanding, and questions are a big part of that. We’ve done questions that students should ask, parents should ask, students should and shouldn’t answer, questions that promote and stifle inquiry, question that reveal self-knowledge and wisdom, and more.
If the ultimate goal of education is for students to be able to effectively answer questions, then focusing on content and response strategies makes sense. If the ultimate goal of education is to teach students to think, then focusing on how we can help students ask better questions themselves might make sense, no?” To read further please click here: http://www.teachthought.com/learning/quick-guide-questioning-classroom/