Oct 31

Teaching Strategies: What to Ask Before Assigning Homework

By: Jordan Catapano

homework33“Homework seems like a foundational component of school. It’s a pillar of education, a rite of passage for school-aged children everywhere. It is so fundamental to how we approach education that it feels like a given, and only on the rare occasion do we question or re-evaluate how we use it as part of our assemblage of teaching strategies.Homework involves a teacher requiring that students make time outside of class to focus on their subject.” To read further please click here:  http://www.teachhub.com/teaching-strategies-what-ask-assigning-homework

Oct 31

Some Ideas for Personalizing Learning in the Younger Grades

By:Pernile Ripp

ipad in class“Personalizing learning in the younger grades has always been something I felt slightly clueless about.  After all, most of the kids I have taught have been older than 9.  Yet, by watching what Thea is experiencing in her 1st grade classroom, I have a few ideas for how learning can become more personalized in the younger grades in order to create more passionate learners.

Give  scaffolded topic choice.  While this seems like a no-brainer, I think giving choice looks a lot different in a 1st grade classroom versus a 4th grade.  I know that 6 year olds often have many ideas, which can either lead to brilliance or indecisiveness, so I have seen how a limited amount of choice in specific areas can really help them get engaged.  In Thea’s science project she was told to study a Wisconsin animal and was then given a suggested list to select from.  She knew right away when we read the words “Coyotes” that they would be her choice, however, her teacher also left it wide open for any animals not on the list as long as they were found natively in our state.  Having choice, but with limitations helped Thea get straight to work, and helped her get excited about her topic.” To read further please click here: http://pernillesripp.com/2015/10/28/some-ideas-for-personalizing-learning-in-the-younger-grades/

Oct 31

5 Ways to Engage Parents Using Google Drive

By: Jackie Myers

parentts“There are plenty of adaptive and personalized learning tools along with online homework and assessment engines. And just about everything a student needs can be found inside a learning management system. So if students and teachers are doing everything online, why hasn’t parent communication made its way there as well?Parents are just as consumed with technology as their children. If you’re having a challenge reaching parents, it might be because your methods are outdated. Consider trying a little technology to encourage parent engagement. You can start with something simple like using the various apps in Google Drive.” To read further please click here:  https://www.gaggle.net/speaks/5-ways-to-engage-parents-using-google-drive/

Oct 28

Design Thinking for Personalized Learning

By: Megan Mead

kkids“Technology has drastically and quickly changed the way we live, work and play. It has also opened new doors for how we learn, teach and engage. Developing a personalized path for students that engage them more deeply and accelerate their learning is not only possible, but necessary to improve the way that we currently do school.We may not be able to list the jobs that will exist 30 years from now, but we can assume that critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, empathy, communication and passion will be in high demand. Personalized Learning allows schools to be more responsive to the future needs of society by engaging students in the right lesson at the right time, encouraging them to take ownership over their learning and placing an emphasis on interest that is often missing in more traditional models.” To read further please click here: http://gettingsmart.com/2015/10/design-thinking-for-personalized-learning-5-strategies-for-effective-whole-school-design/

Oct 28

How to Teach Student Organization

By: Julie Pettersen

small-child-going-to-school“We all have those students. It’s dismissal time and they are lined up for the bus.  In a moment of panic, a little darling hands you a note that they are supposed to be picked up today. The note is crumpled, ripped and partially wet.  Ummm….thanks. This is the same student that can’t find their homework, they have no idea where that signed permission slip went, and their cubbie could rival a college dorm room
Before I had kids I swore I was not going to raise an insufficient human being on this planet. And then….I had kids.
Rather than remind Tyler 75,000 times to make his bed I just did it for him.  I had to get to work on time so it was easier to put his homework in his backpack for him. Who the heck has time to watch a 9 year old stand with the cabinet wide open for 10 minutes staring at the cereal boxes as if the decision he is about to make is as important as world peace? ” To read further please click here:  http://www.afirstforeverything.com/2015/05/how-to-teach-student-organization.html?showComment=1432776786780

Oct 27

How Autism Apps Help Kids on the Spectrum

By: Dina Roth Port

autismTechnology is helping children with autism master decidedly non-technical skills.

Children with an autism spectrum disorder can have a range of special needs, such as social or communication difficulties and restrictive or repetitive behaviors.While technology has always held promise as a therapeutic tool, the customization and personalization of the latest apps are helping children with autism learn to communicate, socialize and master routines in new ways.“Apps are transformative — they have been shown to improve communication skills, the effectiveness of behavioral therapy and learning and school performance among people with autism,” said Dan Smith, Ph.D., vice president of innovative technologies for Autism Speaks, a leading autism research and advocacy organization.” To read further please click here:http://iq.intel.com/how-autism-apps-help-kids-on-the-spectrum/?linkId=18181565&sr_source=lift_twitter

Oct 27

Google Classroom Essentials Infographic

By: Alice Keeler
Google_edu-300x229“This Google Classroom essentials infographic shows some of the key items in Google Classroom. There is a lot more features this does not cover, including the student perspective. Check out the student guide to Google Classroom. I also have over 90 blog posts on Google Classroom at http://alicekeeler.com/googleclassroom.Please feel free to use this graphic with schools, teachers, students and in trainings. Please do not publish the graphic publicly” To read further please click here:


Oct 27

5 Ways to Accelerate your Digital Curriculum

By: Mark Barnes

techoo“If you have computers in your classroom, periodically use laptops or tablets or, better still, teach in a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) environment, you have a digital curriculum. You may not refer to your lessons and activities as a digital curriculum, but using technology for teaching and learning means you are going digital.

As this infograpic, by SoftChalk Cloud, suggests, rolling out the mobile laptop cart or inviting students to grab their smartphones doesn’t automatically lead to learning. A digital curriculum must have more than just objectives and hardware; it requires a clear strategy.You may be acknowledging the existence of your own digital curriculum and asking yourself,Do I just have technology, or do I have students learning with technology?It’s okay if you’re not sure right now; just make certain that you have a plan when you return to your classroom tomorrow. The infographic below is a good place to begin.” To read further please click here: http://www.brilliant-insane.com/2015/10/5-ways-to-accelerate-your-digital-curriculum.html

Oct 25

Assessment for Learning strategies

By: Kate Jones

learning1“AfL was initially an area of my teaching that I would describe as a weakness, especially the plenary task at the end of the lesson. I would find myself running out of time, rushing and not spending enough time on reflecting and setting targets. I’ve done lots of research into this area of teaching  from reading articles online by Dylan William, books including 100 ideas for Secondary teachers: Assessment for Learning by David Spendlove and finding what other teachers have shared online via Twitter, TES etc. I now feel more confident about my AfL strategies, that I have embedded into every lesson and not just including a more thorough plenary. Here are some strategies I have adapted and collected from other teachers and I have created myself. These idea’s have been tried in my classroom and proven to be successful and other teachers have adapted these ideas to work within their lessons and with their students. ” To read further please click here:  https://stressfreeteacher.wordpress.com/2015/09/19/assessment-for-learning-strategies-by-kate-jones/?relatedposts_hit=1&relatedposts_origin=193&relatedposts_position=0

Oct 25

5 YouTube science channels primary school teachers need to know about

By:Fran Barnes

Youtube“Why should primary teachers use YouTube?YouTube is now an essential part of the internet and for many young people, it’s almost entirely replaced TV. For every Minecraft tutorial out there, there’s an education channel dedicated to providing high-quality teaching content. And because it’s on YouTube, it’s completely free and a goldmine for primary teachers.We’ve listed channels below that are great for quickly getting up to speed on science topics and some that are great for showing to your class at the start of a lesson.

Our top five ‘science for all’ YouTube channels:

1. SciShow – really useful YouTube channel. Clear explanations of some tricky concepts. Lots of frequently asked, fun science questions. Has a collection of videos all about key figures in science (past and present), which would be perfect for children’s research.” To read further please click here:



Oct 24

How to Have Courageous Conversations With Your Child’s Teacher

By:Pernille Ripp

parents“Every year it has happened to me, you check your email or your voicemail not expecting much and there it is; a message from “that” parent that makes you so upset.  That message that makes you question everything you have been doing, everything you are trying to do.  And you cannot help but get a little angry, but get a little defensive, to immediately want to protect yourself rather than stop and think.  It is so hard sometimes being in a world where communication is so easy and words can be interpreted in a million ways.  And while those messages may seem hurtful at first, they can become the biggest inspiration for growth, if we let them.

No one sets out to be “that” parent.  No one sets out to send an email that can be read a million ways, to make a phone call that you know might dampen someone else’s day.  But sometimes we have to start the types of conversations that we hope to never have with our child’s teachers.  Sometimes we have to ask things that may be seen as questioning them.  And it is so hard.  Especially when you are a teacher and you know exactly how something can be taken.” To read further please click here:   http://pernillesripp.com/2015/10/22/how-to-have-courageous-conversations-with-your-childs-teacher/

Oct 24

Reaching The Community With Periscope

By:Steven Anderson

periscopee“I am on the road a lot. Traveling the country, working with teachers and districts to improve the way they use technology and bridge the gaps in the way they communicate with their communities. And while I have the best job in the world, that means I miss many opportunities to be involved with my first grader and what’s happening in her school. Parent-Teacher Conferences, After-School Events, other meetings, are just out of reach.

Or are they?

Periscope is a live video streaming app that lives on your mobile device. To broadcast, simply fire up the app, give the broadcast a title and go. No complex set-up. No special equipment needed. You carry around a full fledged broadcasting station in your pocket with the power of one app.

To view, one gets a notification on their device that a broadcast has begun and they can tune in. While watching they can type comments and even favorite individual parts of the broadcast by touching the heart in the bottom right.” To read further please click here:  http://blog.web20classroom.org/2015/10/reaching-community-with-periscope.html

Oct 23

Digital Spaces: 12 Best Practices for Multimedia Learning

By:Michelle Manno

happy-classroom“Google searches for “classroom design” or “science of classroom design” yield helpful results on how to set up your classroom for student success. Yet, with the increasing use of educational technology, student learning isn’t limited to the physical classroom. According to a 2012 study by Evergreen Education Group, roughly 275,000 students are enrolled full-time in online education.

The growing popularity of online education may be due, in large part, to innovations in multimedia learning and instruction, defined as “presenting words and pictures that are intended to foster learning” (Mayer and Moreno, 2003). Richard Mayer, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, identifies the essential pieces of multimedia learning in his 2001 study, 12 Principles of Multimedia Learning (PDF), which we’ll consider below.” To read further please click here:


Oct 23

Teach Students How to Email

By: Alice Keeler

Teach Email

Who taught you how to use email professionally? We’ve all been victim to the colleague who thinks an email is a book, replies to all with “thanks,” or does not include a subject line. Considering how much email we send as a professional, this tool should not be something we overlook with our students.

With so many schools having Google Apps for Education (GAfE), many students have email. This gives us the opportunity to  use the tool as a platform for assignments. Ask students to craft an email to demonstrate their learning. Include requirements such as “Send an email to your group and the teacher using BCC” or “Write an email with a subject line that indicates what class you are in.”” To read further please click here:


Oct 22

Can Social Media Have a Role to Play in Managing a Successful Classroom?

By: Silvia Tolisano

“As in previous posts in the series, I am examining the prompt from a semantic point of view and ask myself immediately: What do we consider ” managing a successful classroom” (and even what does it successful mean)? I also stumbled immediately over the word “CAN” and cringed when I wondered if it could say “Should” or “Must”?  Semantics aside and out with an easy and short response: YES, social media can play a role in a successful classroom.

social-mediaMaybe a better question would be: Why is Social Media not playing a larger role in managing successful classrooms?” To read further please click here:  http://www.techlearning.com/blogentry/9880
Oct 22

Twitter for Teachers

By:Matt Miller

twitter for teachers cropped

Set up your Twitter account by going to: twitter.com

  • Remember (or write down) your username and password
  • After you enter your name/e-mail/Twitter username, you can close the tab/window you have open, go back to Twitter and log back in.


A quick, 90-second video showing what you might find on Twitter: To read further please click here:


Oct 22

Five Ways to Use Skype in Your Classroom

By: Kathy Cassidy

skype4“We’re going to use Skype?” “Yay!” “Can I talk?”

These are some of the comments from my students when we use Skype in our classroom. Engagement is never an issue when we use this tool!But using Skype in a relevant way…that is another issue. If we are going to use technology, we need to use it well. We need to use it to learn.

Here are some of the best ways I have seen to use Skype in a classroom.”To read further please click here:http://plpnetwork.com/2015/10/20/five-ways-to-use-skype-in-your-classroom/

Oct 22

Google Classroom: Locate Documents for Multiple Classes

By: Alice Keeler

“In Google Classroom when you create an assignment where students submit work a folder is created in Google Drive. If you assign the same assignment to multiple sections, a folder will be created for each section. Folder structure

A feature of Google Classroom that I really like is that all the work students submit through Google Classroom are neatly organized into a folder in Google Drive. I can go straight to Google Drive to review student work and provide feedback. With multiple class sections that is multiple folders I need to open.

Search Google Drive

The easiest way to find all of the folders for an assignment is to use the Google Drive search features.”To read further please click here: http://www.alicekeeler.com/teachertech/2015/10/20/google-classroom-locate-documents-for-multiple-classes/

Oct 20

How to Engage Learners With Innovative Presentation Technology

By: http://blog.visme.co/engage-learners-presentation-technology/

presenting“Educators and students will benefit by creating and learning through the availability of vibrant presentation tools online. Stories come to life, students are more engaged through the variety of possibilities available through technology.

How do students show what they know?

It does not matter what level or what subject one teaches, we all assign projects, homework and other forms of assessments to our students. It is a necessary part of what teachers do in the classroom. While the topics of these tasks vary depending on the grade level or subject taught, quite often the end product comes in a very similar format.As teachers, we have all assigned the creation of a brochure or poster, or required students to write a report, or some other form of presentation. All of these require specific guidelines and organization skills for both students and teachers.”To read further please click here: http://blog.visme.co/engage-learners-presentation-technology/

Oct 20

5 Reasons I Use a Class Blog to Keep Families Involved

By:  Rachel Lynette

blogs2“Hi there! I’m Haley from Miss L’s Busy Bees, and I’m just bursting with excitement to share with you how my class blog is such an asset in my classroom in keeping families involved.
I’ve had coworkers ask me, “But how do you keep up with a classroom blog? Isn’t the weekly parent email the same thing?” While parent emails are great, when implementing a classroom blog into both my classroom lessons and my parent communication, it becomes a one-stop shop for the following five purposes.
This is the crucial part of the blog. Before I begin my explanation, know this: I struggled with newsletters in the past because that’s just one more thing for parents to read, and, oftentimes, ain’t nobody got time for that. In other words, I felt that they were rarely read. I needed something that my families would actually see. Amongst my frustration I found the winning ticket: Add in pictures of the students, and the parents become much more interested. It’s more visual. And, you know, parents love pictures of their kids.

Anyway, you should know the many benefits of posting these pictures.
I take an average of 75 pictures each week, and I upload them every Thursday. That may sound daunting, but really, it adds up quickly since I take pictures of our learning every day. Also, once I dedicated a specific evening to uploading the pictures, it really became second nature.” To read further please click here:  http://www.minds-in-bloom.com/2015/10/5-reasons-i-use-class-blog-to-keep.html
Oct 19

How parents and teachers should talk to each other

By:Michelle Maltais

parenntt“Students aren’t the only ones who have homework. We parents also have an ongoing assignment: building, nurturing and maintaining a relationship with our kids’ teachers.“The level of success a child experiences during a school year is definitely enhanced by communication and cooperation between parents and teachers,” former LAUSD kindergarten and middle school teacher (and mom) Wendy Kennar said.For some of us, forging a collaborative relationship might seem daunting. As a mother of five, Gracie Lujan of La Cañada, put it: “You always feel like you’re going to the principal’s office.”Sure, exchanges between parent and teacher can, at times, feel territorial or even adversarial. But they shouldn’t — and they don’t have to.”To read further please click here:http://www.latimes.com/local/education/teachers/la-me-edu-parent-teacher-communication-explainer-20151018-htmlstory.html

Oct 19

8 Classroom Accommodations for Dyslexic Students (That Benefit ALL Students)


dys“In Reading Horizon’s Internet article “8 Classroom Accommodations for Dyslexic Students (That Benefit ALL Students)”, the author goes over eight important steps to helping not just dyslexic but also other students in helping them in understanding the concepts of the material they are learning in class. Teachers will benefit by helping students better understand the material they are learning through various means of extrapolation.” To read further please click here:  https://www.learningsuccessblog.com/8-classroom-accommodations-dyslexic-students-benefit-all-students-%E2%80%93-reading-horizons-infograph

Oct 19

Best of Breed Tools for Learning 2015

By: Jane Hart

appps“Following the release of the Top 100 Tools for Learning 2015 (compiled from the votes of over 2,000 learning professionals worldwide), I have been working on this year’s Guidebook, and have now created a Best of Breed Tools for Learning 2015 list, where I classify the Top 1000 tools in 30 different categories. # is the position of the tool on the Top 100 Tools list.  So here it is …” To read further please click here: http://www.c4lpt.co.uk/blog/2015/10/17/best-of-breed-tools-for-learning-2015/

Oct 18

This much I know about…learning your times tables

By: John Tomsett

mathema“I have been a teacher for 27 years, a Headteacher for 12 years and, at the age of 51, this much I know about learning your times tables.

I feel a little less like a dinosaur this morning. Here’s why. I have not always agreed with the young and distinctly un-dinosaurish Kris Boulton. In this article about lesson planning I think he uses a flawed metaphor and what he argues is plain wrong-headed. I think his latest article, on why children should learn their times tables, is, however, excellent. He writes, “if you simply know that “seven eights are 56” then recalling that fact from our infinitely-capacious long-term memory uses no working memory at all; it liberates a person’s working memory to focus instead upon the more demanding, higher-level ideas.” Common sense, except that common sense is not that common.

I am old-school about some things. There are fundamental benefits to knowing your tables which even Kris does not detail. Firstly, knowing your times tables saves you a huge amount of time.” To read further please click here: http://johntomsett.com/2015/10/17/this-much-i-know-about-learning-your-times-tables/

Oct 18

Should I be marking every piece of work?

paperless3By:Mary Myatt

“The mammoth mountains of marking are still piling up. Why on earth is this the case? I first wrote about this two years ago. There is one rule for marking and feedback: if it’s not making a difference to learning, don’t do it.

The School Inspection Handbook (page 11) makes it clear that it is not necessary for every piece of work to be marked: ‘Ofsted does not expect to see a particular frequency or quantity of work in pupils’ books or folders. Ofsted recognises that the amount of work in books and folders will depend on the subject being studied and the age and ability of the pupils.'” To read further please click here:  http://marymyatt.com/blog/2015-10-16/should-i-be-marking-every-piece-of-work

Oct 18

Discover Educational Resources on Your iPad

By: Richard Byrne

pbs-students-1PBS Students is a new iPad app designed to showcase some of the best educational content for students. Through the app students and teachers can search for educational videos, articles, and diagrams. Some of the the video content can be downloaded directly to an iPad. The app was initially launched two weeks ago and it was updated this week. The update fixed an issue with some content shown in the app not being accessible when selected. The other update is the inclusion of a Puzzle Builder tool.”To read further please click here: http://ipadapps4school.com/2015/10/16/pbs-students-discover-educational-resources-on-your-ipad/

Oct 17

Teaching with technology: iPads and primary mathematics.


bindercase-ipad-620x348 (1)“Although they weren’t originally intended for use in classrooms,iPads and similar mobile devices are being purchased by schools allaround Australia in the hope they’ll enhance the education experiences of our students. The need to integrate technology is now an essential aspect of Australian classrooms, with current curriculum documents expressing explicit expectations that ICTs are integrated into the teaching and learning of mathematics (Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority, 2012. Board of Studies New South Wales, 2012).Literature around teaching practice and the use of ICT suggest the implementation of new technologies has potentially changed teaching and learning radically, providing opportunities for a shift of focus from the mechanics of action to a more problem-solving based approach.” To read further please click here: http://techyoucan.com/teaching-with-technology-ipads-and-primary-mathematics/


Oct 17

50 Ideas For Student Blogging And Writing Online

By: Ronnie Burt

blog4“Are you looking for prompts or ideas for blog posts?You are in luck! This post aims to get your creative juices flowing by providing you with a solid place to start.As you think about writing assignments for your students, try to vary it up. Even better, give your students some choice in the type of posts they write. The end goal is an authentic and engaging learning opportunity for all.Let’s dive right in!

Types Of Blog Posts

Though you can certainly have overlap and combine multiple types into one, there are 9 main types of blog posts you commonly see on the web:

1. Reflection – deep thoughts and self-reflection. Putting it all out there can really help organize thoughts and ideas.

2. How-to/Helpful – the classic ‘How-to’ essay is way better when it includes pictures, videos, and other media.” To read further please click here: http://www.theedublogger.com/2015/10/15/50-ideas-for-student-blogging-and-writing-online/

Oct 17

Should We Still Learn To Write Cursive? An Education Expert Weighs In

By: Maddie Crum

cursiveI’ve always thought that if I learned anything from cursive lessons in elementary school, it was the art of persuasion.When my second grade teacher, Mrs. Hasselhoff, let me and my fellow students know that it was time to put away our copies of Mr. Potter’s Penguins and fetch our lined, instructional handwriting books, we moaned in protest. We voiced the arguments we would later fine tune in calculus class: why do we have to learn how to do something we’ll never use in the real world? Why are such rigid rules being imposed upon us, stifling our creativity?Most post-school conversations I’ve had about learning cursive reflect more of the same, with a few shaky hypotheses thrown in the mix. “Everyone has to have a signature,” one colleague suggested. “Maybe the point is to teach you how to have a signature.” I nodded in agreement: entire years of educational instruction have been devoted to stranger, more obsolete skills. (Although my knitting and apparel teacher might disagree.)Still curious, I poked around to figure out why handwriting matters, whether cursive in particular is important, and whether kids are still learning it, inundated as they are with on-screen options for conveying their thoughts.” To read further please click here:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/should-we-still-learn-cursive_561ff614e4b050c6c4a4d544