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Showing posts from March, 2018

There is Even More Google? - Google's Incredible Hidden Gems and Secrets

The ISTE Standards for Students provide educators with valuable keywords connected to technology connected to great teaching and learning. The 4 Cs of Education are a big part of these standards and there are many resources connected to Google that can support collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity outside of Google Drive and Google Search. We've created two guides to help teachers and students get to know some of our favorite resources connected to Google. 
Google's Hidden Gems

Google Secrets Interactive
What are we missing? Share your thoughts in another of our favorite resources. Google Hidden Gems and Secrets Padlet
The More You Share The More You Learn - #GoogleEDU “The Smartest Person in the Room is the Room” - David Weinberger

What Inspires Me? - Spoiler Alert: It Is Not Having Summers Off

Spring Break is upon many of us and my friends and family outside of education have already started to give me some grief about having a week off. I don't even try to explain to them anymore about the pros and cons of having my vacations scheduled for me. It did get me thinking about how much I love being an educator. ("Summers off" is not one of the reasons.) My reflections combined with a recent thread started by Simon Helton in the ISTE Community got me thinking about why I teach.

Before I dive too deep into my thoughts I need to confess something, this may be a reason for you to run from this post, but I have to get this off my chest.
I like, no I love Mondays! I am also typically not a fan of Fridays! Call me crazy, but this is who I am. I love coming back to school for each new week of teaching and learning.  Source We all have days where teaching and learning can be a grind, but even on the darkest of days I cannot imagine myself on a different path. I love teaching f…

Learning From My Mistakes - To Meme or Not to Meme?

In November I had a creative idea to engage my students. I am a strong believer that both formative assessments and reflective questions are essential components of any learning process. I am always looking to try something different to help my students understand what they know or don't know, so I came up with the idea of having students create memes to reflect on our Agriculture and Food Unit. 

I was pretty excited by my first attempt and the creative reflection that would happen. 

What We Eat - Meme Activity
I hoped to see some incredible creative examples of my students making connections to the unit objectives. I was excited to see what they took away from the unit and how they would express their learning takeaways. Sadly, this was not what I got. 

Despite my frequent use of the word create, most of my students found and shared a meme that someone else had already created.Some of the blame is on me because I did the same thing when I created the activity. I didn't want to us…

Getting Creative with Adobe Spark - 3 Tools in One

Creative Communicator Students communicate clearly and express themselves creatively for a variety of purposes using the platforms, tools, styles, formats and digital media appropriate to their goals. ISTE Standards for Students
I've tried many tools and strategies to engage students with creativity and visual learning. I think one of the most important things I can do for my students is help them develop and share their voice. This year I discovered and started using a great tool that helps students create and share their learning. Adobe Spark is three incredible tools in one. Students can use Adobe Spark to create images, videos, and web pages. 




Spark Post (Meme's and Media Posts)

Spark Page (Infographics and Web Pages)

Spark Video (Photo Stories)

Explore Adobe Spark With These Resources Get inspired in the Adobe Spark Inspiration Gallery.The Adobe Spark Blog has some great ideas to enhance creating in your classroom.Visit Adobe Spark EDU for great resources and activities connected…

Learning Challenge - Teachers Helping Teachers Flipgrid

I know there are so many ways for teachers to share their voice and I am hoping to encourage the use of one more.

I've put together a Flipgrid with several topics in place connected to teaching and learning? 


Teachers Helping Teachers Flipgrid
Password (ShareYourWhy)
My purpose is to encourage educators to share ideas and resources while modeling student voice with FlipGrid.

What do you think?  What other topics should I be including? I hope to expand and add more as this resource grows? 



HyperDocs and Pear Deck - Student Voice and Student Engagement

We recently organized and hosted nine lunch-n-learns sessions with our staff connected to student voice with Pear Deck as the featured resource. We used the Pear Deck Add-on to create the presentation. Our slide deck placed staff in the role of students to demonstrate the interactive features. Our theme was animals and our staff loved it! 

I also used Pear Deck with my students as part of my substitute plan when we were meeting with staff. I've been using Pear Deck with my students for most of the year and I decided to complete a student-paced HyperDoc using Pear Deck for the day's activity. This was the first time I used a self-paced deck with my whole class. (I have done this a few times for absent students.) I loved the idea of sharing Pear Deck with staff while using Pear Deck as part of my substitute plan. The student piece also seemed to go very well. 


Exploring Water Pollution HyperDoc - Student Paced Pear Deck
Exploring Water Pollution Pear Deck Template
Here are a few tip…

March Book of the Month - Inquiry Mindset by Trevor Mackenzie and Rebecca Bathurst-Hunt

The best educators are not content to do the same old thing year after year. Innovative educators push their thinking by engaging in social media, exploring blogs, attending conferences, and exploring the newest generation of educational books.


We've created a site to organize and share some great books connected to teaching and learning. Each month we will feature a new book from our PLN. Have an idea for our next book of the month? Please share in the comments below.

Inquiry Mindset: Nurturing the Dreams, Wonderings, and Curiosities of Our Youngest Learners From their youngest years, our children are innately curious. They explore the world around them through play, imagination, and discovery. They build meaning, they create understanding, and they unabashedly share their learning. It's in this process that they find joy in life and relevance in the world around them. Why, then, do some of our students become disconnected from their learning in school? Where does this natural c…

Supporting the 4Cs in Learner-Centered Classrooms - Critical Thinking

Critical thinking - Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources. Students will:

Identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation.Plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.Collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions.Use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions.
Source: Student Skills Connected to Critical Thinking
"An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don't."- Anatole France
I have long believed that my content should support the development of student skills connected to the 4 Cs or collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity.

Interested in tools to share your story? or a…

Reboot the Noggin - Inquiry and Curiosity

"My favorite words are possibilities, opportunities, and curiosity. I think if you are curious, you create opportunities, and then if you open the doors, you create possibilities." Mario Testino
Teaching and learning in a fast-paced Advanced Placement Curriculum can be a grind. I'm not complaining, this is just a simple fact. Every educator faces challenges on a daily basis regardless of the course or grade level. This post is about stepping away from the daily grind to engage your students outside of your daily curriculum and objectives.

6 to 8 times a year the students and I engage in what I affectionately call a "Reboot the Noggin" Activity. These activities take many forms, but most typically they are HyperDocs. I love creating these because it gives me a chance to learn and explore something other than Technology or Environmental Science. I also sometimes use these to experiment with a new resource or website. 
Most of my students enjoy the chance to explore …

Supporting the 4Cs in Learner-Centered Classrooms - Communication

Source Communication - Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others. Students will: Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media. Communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats. Develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures. Contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems. Source:Student Skills Connected to Communication
“We speak not only to tell other people what we think, but to tell ourselves what we think. Speech is a part of thought.” ― Oliver Sacks
I believe that content should support the development of student skills connected to the 4 Cs or collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity. 
Interested in tools to share your stor…