Category Archives: Valuable Web Resources

Summer Video Series: Friday Favs Episodes 1 – 4

This summer I offered an option to our district staff to receive a weekly video I’ve been making called y Friday Favs.  In each video I share an educational resource that is one of my favorites that I think other people may like, but maybe they aren’t a broad enough topic to offer an entire training on.  Sometimes they are web resources, apps, books, activities, tech skills, or ways to save time so you can learn more about technology!

I have about 35 people signed up to get the videos delivered via email, and a couple have said I need to be sharing them on my blog and elsewhere.  So I’m going to share the first 4 episodes here and for the rest of the summer, I’ll post each as its own blog post.

As a reflection to this process after the first four videos, I’m glad I committed to doing them because it has made me continue to work on my own video tutorial/screencast skills.  I’m not a naturally personable and witty on-screen personality, so I trying to let some of “who I am” in to the process has been challenging.  But I know that as we move forward, video is only going to be more important for students and teachers and I’m glad I’m pushing myself in this way.  I’ve been using You Tube’s Creator Studio to record the videos as live events which is nice because then it automatically is saved to YouTube in one step when the even is ended.  Maybe more details on the technical side on another day.  For now, here are Episodes 1 – 4.  (Followed by the sign up form if you want me to add you to the mailing list to get the videos delivered directly to your email)


 

ClassroomScreen: Web Tool to Checkout

I recently heard about and then checked out a new handy little web-based tool I thought I’d do a quick blog post about.  ClassroomScreen is a website you visit in your browser that has several handy built-in tool options I think many teachers would find valuable.  So for the rest of this post imagine having ClassroomScreen open with your computer hooked up to a projector and the image being displayed for your entire class!

Of first note is that the background images that are available:  they are beautiful and soothing.  Of course you can upload your own photographs and share those beautiful vacation pictures if you’d prefer!  So much more focused than a busy  computer desktop with hundreds of icons.

The entire screen is controlled by a simple toolbar that shows across the bottom of the screen.  Tools that are in use, have a simple red circle an “x” that will let you turn it right back off.  Some tools have options.  Here is a screen snip of just the toolbar:

Toolbar from classrooscreen.com

Toolbar from classrooscreen.com.

From left to right the tools are:

  1.  Language:  You can display the words for this tool in your choice of languages.
  2. Background:  Select from about 35 beautiful images or upload your own.
  3. Random name generator and dice:  Add your class list and you’ll always have a way to quickly select a student at random.
  4. Sound level:  This tool allows you to use the laptop’s microphone to measure sound in the room and the represent it visually so students can tell when they are getting too loud.
  5. QR Tool:  A handy little window you can pop open, paste in a website and generate an immediate QR code you can have your class scan to quickly visit the site you’re wanting.
  6. Full Screen Drawing Window:  Simple pens of a variety of colors and paper background options…including the option of graph paper.
  7. Small Screen Drawing Window:  A smaller window with fewer options.
  8. Text Box:  Great for collaborative writing with your class or leaving written instructions as “bell work.”
  9. Work Symbols:  Visual reminders to students about what type of work should be going on at any one time.  Included are:  silence, whisper, ask neighbor, and work together.
  10. Timer:  A visual timer that counts down from the time you give it.  Notice in the picture below, you can have multiple timers for various groups that may be working in your class or various reminders you may set for yourself.  You can also set this to a stopwatch feature to have it count increasing time.
  11. Clock:  Simple display of the current time.

Multiple tools can be open and in use on the screen at the same time.  Just drag them around for an arrangement that makes the best sense to you!  A few more screenshots follow this post, but the best way to learn about ClassroomScreen.com is to follow the link and try out the tools for yourself!  Let me know if you find it valuable!

Timers from Classroomscreen.com

Timers from classroomscreen.com.

The drawing window and example of a "work symbol" from classroomscreen.com

The drawing window and example of a “work symbol” from classroomscreen.com.

Example of a quickly-made QR code at classroomscreen.com.

Example of a quickly-made QR code at classroomscreen.com.

Online Resources for Teaching Statistics

Image of workers in Section of Vital Statistics (Census): 1909

Isn’t this a cool picture of workers in the Census Bureau from 1909?  I found it on the Library of Congress website at www.loc.gov?  I can’t imagine what it would have been like to be a statistician 100 years ago!  Technology makes statistical analysis so much easier and quicker!

Today’s blog post is for teachers whose standards include the teaching of statistics.   These resources were gleaned from a MOOC I planned to participate in called Teaching Statistics Through Investigations.  Unfortunately I didn’t get to fully participate in this MOOC, but I was able to glean some useful information that I wanted curate here in this post.

First, Tech Tools:

http://www.tinkerplots.com/

http://fathom.concord.org/

http://www.statcrunch.com/

https://tuvalabs.com/k12/

https://public.tableau.com/s/

https://plot.ly/

http://www.jake4maths.com/grapher/

Next, YouTube Playlists:

TSDI-Unit Introduction Videos:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLG6iFkLydgaq7phl8BMFzuxr9meK16MK0

TSDI-Expert Panel Discussions in Statistics Education:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLG6iFkLydgaoY2LN0Z3RvbjpcxgAntatL

TSDI-Animated Illustrations of Students’ Statistical Reasoning:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLG6iFkLydgapHVNAL4251iFoK_FohKl2o

TSDI-Instructional Support Videos in Statistics Education
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLG6iFkLydgaocM_zesW4_Co1YBNgIM7-o

TSDI-Other videos we used from YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLG6iFkLydgaroOKXMhze7etkwpCdFm7QN

And finally, an opportunity to subscribe to a newsletter for K-12 teachers of statistics:

The Statistics Teacher Network (STN) is a free newsletter published by the ASA/NCTM Joint Committee on Curriculum in Statistics and Probability for Grades K-12. Issue 86 of STN is now online atwww.amstat.org/education/stn.

Hour of Code Lesson Flow on Graphite.org

Graphite.org is a great place to find tech resources vetted by teachers and organized in an easily searchable way.  Graphite Educators can create lesson flows that show how tech resources can be put togBox island screenshotether in a logical flow for a tech-rich experience for your students.  I recently completed a lesson flow on how we use several technology resources together to introduce coding to students at the elementary level.  You can read my lesson flow here:  Hour of Code Lesson Flow.  I’m also excited to get to take three teachers with me to do a college and career visit to a local business that employs programmers this year.  We hope to be able to help our students make even more meaningful connections as we have them work on coding in the future since we will be increasing our own understanding of careers in computer science as a part of the visit.

The screen shot accompanying this post  from Box Island a new coding app I plan to use with 3rd graders this year during the Hour of Code week!

 

Going from Effective to Highly Effective: Reflections from #SatChat 10/25/2014

This morning’s #SatChat Twitter chat topic was “Going from Effective to Highly Effective.”  The questions posed by the chat moderators and my own response tweets are here:

Q1:  Pedagogically speaking, what does a highly effective teacher’s classroom look like? #satchat
A1: Ts make clear WHY they teach WHAT they teach by helping Ss see connections to own lives & do so enthusiastically. #SatChat
Q2: How can school leaders support teachers as they move from effective to highly effective?#satchat
A2: Model differentiation! Get to know Ts as individuals. Their strengths? needs? what type of praise does each respond  to? #SatChat
Q3:  Do teachers need to be connected on social media to be highly effective? Why or why not? #satchat
A3: no but they are missing out on lots of personal growth and opportunities to help their students connect globally if not! #SatChat
Q4: How can teachers be highly effective when using technology? #satchat
A4:  Allow S choice of what tech to use & when to use it based on task at hand. Use it to make “expert” connections for Ss. #satchat
Q5: What characteristics are symbolic of a highly effective school leader? #satchat
A5: Same as HE Ts: keeps Ss at center of  decisions, focus on relationships, willing to differentiate, praise & critique #satchat
Q6: Please share resources that can help educators move from effective to highly effective.#satchat
A6: VIDEOS https://www.teachingchannel.org/ MOOCS https://www.class-central.com/subject/education WEBINARS http://simplek12.com & BLOGS http://feedly.com/  #satchat

A couple of links I gleaned from the talk this morning:

8 Ways Teachers can Talk Less and Get Kids Talking More

Great Bloom’s Taxonomy Chart for Teachers

And finally, I’m exploring a tool I’ve seen for a while that is useful for curating information found on line,  Storify.  Here is my first Storify “story”:

 

Voki and Tellagami: Avatars for all Platforms

Another project for the Digital Differentiation workshop I’m preparing! This time I was looking at avatar creation as a way to differentiate either the deliver of content to students or, even more excitingly, as a way to differentiate for demonstration of mastery of knowledge.

Students could create a Voki or Tellagami project that includes script-writing to show deep understanding of the content you’ve been working on. They could even make a series of these projects if the 30 second time limit isn’t long enough. If you’re lucky enough to be working on the iPad with both Tellagami and iMovie…smash those apps together! Record short Tellagami projects, save them to the iPad’s photoroll and then import them into iMovie to piece them together into one single movie!

Anyway, here are my two talking avatar projects for you to compare:
Tellagmi Project:

Voki Project: (Warning: Voki uses Flash and will not play on an iDevice.)

Differentiated Instruction: Video Playlist and Reading Selection

As part of a workshop called “Digital Differentiation,” I’m providing this post as a way to model some alternate content delivery to the participants. The first link is to a reading selection from Edutopia. It’s followed by five short videos from The Teaching Channel. Spend some time exploring differentiated instruction in your own preferred format!

Reading Selection: Using QR Codes to Differentiate Instruction

Videos: Use the following videos to explore differentiated learning through a visual format. Thanks to Sarah Brown Wessling for compiling the playlist from The Learning Channel at her link here: https://www.teachingchannel.org/blog/2013/09/06/video-playlist-differention/
Differentiating Math Using Computer Games (Elementary) (6:00) (Differentiating Practice)
STEM Design Challenge: Edible Cars (14:00) (Differentiating for Demonstration of Mastery)

New Teacher Survival Guide: Differentiating Instruction (12:00)
Differentiating with Learning Menus (5:00)

Analyzing Texts: Putting Thoughts on Paper (5:18)

Sample Photo Peach Project

Mozambique on PhotoPeach

These are just a few pictures from Mozambique where I traveled this past summer.  I threw a few of them into an online tool called PhotoPeach to experiment with its slideshow features.  Built-in music choices were nice.  It was very easy to use.  Now just trying out the embed code to see how it looks/works embedded into the blog.  Take a look at it here:  http://photopeach.com/home