Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Teach Like It's 2999!

This educator's blog looks like a great resource for using GAFE.

I used this link to look up creating a word sort on google docs:

Sunday, November 13, 2016

New Resource: Education DIVE

An educational news feed that covers Higher Ed, K12, Tech, Policy, Online Learning, Legal/Courts, and For Profit headlines.

A recent article about a teacher in NJ:
  • Video-Based Questioning- A new technique for teaching through video clips.

    A useful list of education conferences and events worldwide

    Friday, November 11, 2016

    Teaching Through Tough Subjects: Slavery

    No doubt, tough things happen in your classroom.  Whether you are faced with a student's personal life crises, current events, or topics in curricula, teachers guide their classrooms through understanding and considering their futures.

    In 5th grade in NJ, curricula includes the history of the United States from Native Americans to the Civil War.  We cover "What is slavery?" In 2002, NJ also approved the Amistad Bill to ensure schools address and have tools to teach African American contributions to our nation's history.

    Personally, I feel slavery is a very tough subject to teach.  I'm sure many educators, especially in Elementary levels, feel the same.  Though, the topic is an integral part of how our nation has evolved and a wide example of democracy, "we the people" working to be "a more perfect union."  In fact, to not teach the subject is depriving students a full understanding of the American experience, a sentiment also expressed in the Amistad Commission.  I challenge teachers to explore the subject but also how to approach teaching tough subjects to develop critical thinking and empathy.

    Here are resources and ideas.  I will add as I find more.  Please comment to add to the list!

    1. List of texts by grade level K-5: http://www.nj.gov/education/amistad/resources/literacy.pdf 

    2.  Register as a NJ Educator on the Amistad Commission website: http://www.njamistadcurriculum.net/user/registration

    3. African American Museum in Philadelphia has resource trunks to borrow and educational resources: http://www.aampmuseum.org/

    4. Scholastic Articles:
      -Teaching About Slavery in the Elementary Classroom
      -African American Heritage

    5. National Museum of African American History and Culture has educational resources: https://nmaahc.si.edu/

    6. Smithsonian Resources: www.smithsonianeducation.org/educators/resource_library/african_american_resources.html

    7. Tolerance.org Resources: http://www.tolerance.org/article/dos-and-donts-teaching-black-history

    8. Resources from Teaching Channel on best practice techniques for social studies:
      - https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/teaching-slavery
      - https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/tch-presents-social-studies-essentials

    Monday, October 31, 2016

    Dramatic Teaching: Social Studies

    You open your Kohl's coupon and it says 30% off.  Do you cheer a little bit?  Give students that same experience with this SS lesson.

    Trade, Exploration, Conquistadors, and the Development of Colonial America

    Two things are going on here in this lesson model.  On one side I am teaching a grand, overarching idea: trade.  At the same time, I am using theater to create an experience  The driving force for the Silk Road and Columbus's journey can be acted out like this:

    Provide a variety of country names for students to research.

    Pairs or teams of students research what natural resources, goods, and services their country provides.  They can use this list to make trading cards.  As they work I ask them to consider making two of each, or more.  They can use one to trade and keep one for their country.  Make sure they write the country of origin, their team name, on their cards.  It makes discussing imports and exports easier later.

    Students meet in a circle and trade freely.  Each country should have items to help their citizens survive: food, shelter, transportation, communication (technology).  There are always some students that take the lead and their conflicts and resolutions make for great teaching points in the end.

    Last, discuss what challenges students faced.  How does that help understanding what it was like for nations as they developed the "New World"?  You can stretch thinking to consider if these ideas still play a role in the way countries act in today's world.  Or for higher levels, you can ask students to consider communism vs. capitalism, the fairness of trade agreements and embargoes, or connections to current events.

    As students see the competition, they can feel and experience what drove human kind to reach out and explore the world around them, how a war might start, and how needs and wants drive our past and present.  Besides all of that, it's just fun...just like scratching off that Kohl's coupon!

    Friday, October 28, 2016

    Monday, October 24, 2016

    Pro and Con Close Reading 2nd-8th

    To provide students with ways to practice deep comprehension, close reading strategies for non-fiction texts, we buddy-read a selection.  One student takes notes on a red sheet, paying attention to negative statements or ideas.  The other uses a green sheet, recording positive statements.

    Students help one another read and collect information, and they consider bias, pros and cons of events in history.  Finally, pairs develop a debate "script" where they turn-key their section to the class in a performance.  It could be two competing paragraphs or a back and forth dialogue.

    This week we are reading the section on explorers.  So, the essential question becomes "Is exploration a good thing for humankind?"  Students will extend their thinking by asking what the world would be like without this age of exploration and trade. Transfer of knowledge and fun. Woohoo!

    Monday, September 28, 2015

    Apps for Tablet Notes and Quizzes

    Tablets might be just what you need to get students to understand new ideas and collect the data you need!

    Try Kahoot!  
    An online quiz with a presentation on a class shared screen.  Students can use any device to log on and view material for each customized question.

    Try Socrative 
    An online class quiz for formative assessment and teacher decisions.

    Try Nearpod 
    A tablet presentation that coincides with shared screen information.  All students see the same screen.  Many options for quiz questions, interactive slides, and polls.