Showing posts from July, 2016

Develop Critical Thinking Through PBS Learning Media Daily News Stories

How do we help our students become critical thinkers and make educated decisions? It often begins with how they consume and curate information. Helping our students understand and navigate through the daily news is a very helpful strategy and can be used in any subject area. PBS Learning Media's Daily News Story tool provides a daily story for students in grades 6 - 12 to analyze and practice their critical thinking skills. PBS Learning Media:  Not familiar with PBS Learning Media?   PBS LearningMedia  i s a free tool containing  over 100,000 videos, images, interactives, and lesson plans for every grade level and subject area.   Resources are aligned to national and Common Core academic standards. PBS LearningMedia provides tools to increase your productivity, such as Lesson Builder, Storyboard and Quiz Maker.  Teachers have access to a larger community of educators , who are committed to helping ALL children succeed.  What is the Daily News Story?  The D

Long Live Flashcards! How Tiny Cards is Changing the Way Students Learn Vocabulary

Vocabulary tends to be one of the biggest barriers all educators face in our classrooms, regardless of subject area. Even though our students come to our classrooms with diverse background experiences and learning needs, they still need options for how language, vocabulary and symbols are represented. Tiny Cards iOS App: Tiny Cards i s a free iOS App designed for students to quickly learn new vocabulary terms in effective and efficient ways. Students can find user-created flashcards on a plethora of topics such as foreign languages, geography, history, and science.  You also have the option of creating and publishing your own flashcards with a free account. Options for Learning: I like the fact that Tiny Cards represents vocabulary terms in different ways for students through text, images, and spoken text. I also like the fact that Tiny Cards provides users with different ways of learning terms through interacting with flashcards, multiple choice questions, short answer quest

5 Ways to Make Your Pictures Speak a 1,000 Words

Students in our classrooms are highly variable in the way they learn and interact in learning environments. Many of our students love the power of images and video to learn. With this in mind, we will investigate the question: How do you make your pictures speak a thousand words? Here are five ideas: 1. Google Drawings I love Google Drawings , yet I believe it is the most underutilized Google App with the most potential. Students can use Google Drawings to label images, create graphic organizers, mind maps, etc. David Garcia came up with a very cool idea. Why not create a Google Drawing and use it as an interactive worksheet? David designed a math activity, where students can make a copy of the drawing and use the image of a protractor to measure and draw angles. 2. Explain Everything with Explain Everything A good friend of mine teaches a unit on genetics. He found that students can fill out a worksheet, but often struggle with explaining why they wrote what they wrote. H

GUEST POST: The Visual Edge: Graphic Organizers for Standards Based Learning, Common Core 6-12

Today we have a guest post from Sargy Letuchy, author of the book discussed below. Enjoy!  Common Core Standards pose many challenges, including quantity, rigor, and a lack of precise resources.   The Visual Edge: Graphic Organizers for Standards Based Learning, Common Core 6-12 is designed based on the principle that visual learning is an effective, efficient way to tackle these challenges.  It is an e-book of digital instructional tools carefully crafted for each English, History, and Science-grades 6-12 standard.  Using The Visual Edge, teachers are able to ensure that a lesson, project, or assessment is precisely tailored to the standard(s) in order to maximize classroom time.   T hey can visually model and have students perform the skills outlined for their grade level with each tool provided, as the graphic organizers maintain classroom attention on the particular standard(s) being taught.   Each page has three sections:  the standard(s) in full text, an explanation se

5 Ways to Make Writing More Accessible in a Google Doc

Writing is an important component of all schools, yet it often creates barriers for students based on ability and disability. Google Docs is an awesome tool to increase student success in the writing process. Here are five ways to make writing more accessible in the classroom: 1. Google Voice Typing Google Docs has a great feature called Voice Typing.  When you are in the Google Chrome Browser, open up a Google Doc, choose the Tools Menu, and select Voice Typing.  Students can use this free speech-to-text tool to record their thoughts.  2. Table of Contents Feature How can you use Google to provide students with the scaffolds and supports they need? Why not turn to the table of contents feature in Google Docs to answer FAQ's or Frequently Asked Questions. Students will be able to click on a hyperlinked text, which will direct them to the resources they need to answer their questions.  Want to see it done? Check it out! 3. Outline View The outline view

Three Ways to Use Free Technology to Reduce Barriers in Your Classroom

How do you help ALL students learn and engage with the curriculum if they are experiencing problems and barriers? Here are some ideas to to help our students succeed in the classroom regardless of their ability or disability. 1. Voice Typing How many of our students struggle with writing papers because of their ability to get their thoughts on a page or their typing abilities? Are we grading them on their knowledge or typing ability? Google Docs has a great feature called Voice Typing.  When you are in the Google Chrome Browser, open up a Google Doc, choose the Tools Menu, and select Voice Typing. Students can use this free speech-to-text tool to record their thoughts. This can be a perfect tool for students with dyslexia, cerebral palsy, or a broken arm. 2. Provide Scaffolds and Supports through FAQ's  I believe that there are three types of students in any classroom. Students who need your help, students who don't need your help (in fact, they wish you would stop