Always Prepped Demo
March 4, 2013
We’re super excited over at the Always Prepped HQ today because we just finished our first instructional video for Teachers. This short, informational, and overall awesome video goes over the basic features that the AP Dashboard has to offer.
Step by step, the video shows how easy it easy to securely manage student data, and link accounts with our partners over at Khan Academy, Engrade, Socrative, JumpRope, and the NWEA. Every one of our partners are amazing, and if you haven’t signed up for their sites, just click on their name.
We hope you’ll take the time to check out this video, and then go to our website to sign up for a free account with us today.
24 Ed-Tech Terms That All Educators Should Know
December 21, 2012
1. 1:1 Technology. Providing every student with a labtop or tablet to make learning more individualized, increase independence, and extend academics beyond the classroom.
2. Adaptive Learning. Software that adapts its content and pacing to the current knowledge level of the user, so it’s almost like having a personal tailor for your education.
3. Asynchronous Learning. A student-centered teaching method that uses online resources to facilitate learning without requiring students and instructors
4. Blended Learning. Mix one part students learning at school and one part students engaging with content delivered online. Blend well for results. Optional — adjust when, where, and how the students use the online content.
5. Course Management System (CMS). Class websites can be a big undertaking. A CMS keeps teachers and students organized with digital resources for class discussion, document management, homework submission, and course scheduling.
6. Differentiated Learning. Programs or tools to present learning materials in creative ways that match every student’s individual learning style, from typical lectures to fun games and quizzes. Though the tools used depend on the student, the learning goals are the same for all.
7. Digital Storytelling. Once upon a time (2012), there were students and instructors who used digital tools to tell exciting stories in educational ways, like showing off research or building course assignments.
8. E-Books. Put down your highlighters and Post-Its, e-books are completely digital and are usually read on computers or e-readers.
9. E-Learning. A web-based learning environment that allows instructors and students to interact through the computer without worrying about time or place.
10. Electronic Classroom. A classroom equipped with multimedia devices to enhance the learning experience.
11. Flipped Classroom. Wouldn’t it be convenient to do your homework at school? In a flipped classroom, students learn lessons at home with the help of videos or other instructional materials and spend their valuable classroom time doing assignments with help from their instructor.
12. Gamification. Let the games begin! Using game design and mechanics to drive motivation and increase engagement in learning.
13. Individualized learning. When a group of students all receive the same content but work through it all at their own pace — anything from slow and steady to fast and furious.
14. Informal Learning. Learning that occurs outside a traditional school, i.e. forget having to lug around that heavy backpack.
15. Instructional Technology. Combining education and technology to enhance a curriculum. Instructors can alter how they deliver content to students depending on the technology available at their school.
16. Learning Platform. An interactive online service organized around a specific topic that gives users the ability to submit and receive information and learning materials.
17. Lifelong Learning. There’s no rule that says learning stops after a certain age. Lifelong learning continues education informally for personal enrichment, usually after finishing formal education.
18. Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). A course in which materials and instruction are delivered over the internet to users around the world. The course is designed to connect instructors with learners interested in a common topic and works best with a large user-base and open content.
19. Open Educational Resource (OER). Digital materials available for reuse and repurposing in teaching, researching, and learning. These materials are made available through open licenses that allow them to be used through means not permitted under copyright, so the flow of knowledge is boundless.
20. Online Lab. Students learn almost exclusively online, and do so while logging in from a physical school setting. No lab coat or goggles required.
21. Personalized Learning. Unfortunately not all about monogrammed notebooks and book bags — it’s learning entirely geared toward the individual student. The content, pace, structure, and goals of instruction vary depending on the student’s learning habits.
22. Synchronous Online Learning. A real-time learning situation in which immediate, two-way communication between instructor and participants in possible.
23. Virtual Classroom. An online space where students and instructors interact. Not to be confused with a video game, though engagement definitely improves if students think of it as one.
24. Virtual Learning Environment. An education system online that mimics real-world education by using virtual concepts for exams, assignments, classes, and more.
Here is an infographic of these 24 terms! Any other ed tech terms that all educators need to know? If so, please comment below!
20 Ideas for Teaching Citizenship to Children
December 20, 2012
This blog was reposted with permission from Leah Davies, and selected from the Kelly Bear website.
Citizenship means being a member of and supporting one’s community and country. A United States citizen has certain freedoms which are declared in the U.S. Bill of Rights. In addition to these privileges, a citizen has an obligation to be informed, law abiding, and uphold basic democratic principles such as tolerance and civic responsibility. Voting, conserving natural resources, and taking care of oneself are all part of citizenship. In addition, citizens often participate in local community projects dedicated to the common good.
In response to concerns about children’s ethical development, many states have adopted character education programs of which citizenship is a part. Most educators agree that helping children understand their rights and obligations as a U.S. citizen needs to be reinforced in all grades.
Educators are obligated to teach students the history of our democracy on a level children can comprehend. Helping students explore citizenship and connecting it to their lives are the keys to true understanding. When children are exposed to storytelling, drama, and other activities in which they are actively involved, their retention is increased. If they learn that people from other countries are not necessarily free to voice dissenting opinions, practice their religion, or even have as many children as they would like, the students will begin to appreciate their freedoms.
Hearing accounts of people who fought for and founded the U.S.A. will increase their awareness. Children need to be taught that citizens of the United States are not free by accident, but because individuals made great sacrifices to protect their rights. Learning the history of our symbols such as our flag, Liberty Bell, and Statue of Liberty will contribute to their insight. Since our flag embodies our values and the unity of our country, respect for it needs to be maintained. Reasons behind certain holiday celebrations such as Fourth of July, President’s Day, and Veteran’s Day need to be addressed, as well.
Many schools have adopted rituals that inspire citizenship. Immigrants report that saying the Pledge of Allegiance and singing patriotic songs are meaningful traditions that help them feel part of America. In addition to classroom lessons, some schools invite children to read school-wide messages that encourage citizenship and stimulate discussion. Patriotic programs can be presented by the students once a year. If children learn to love and appreciate their country through thoughtful activities, they will be more likely to become responsible, active citizens in their community, nation and the world.
What are some activities that foster citizenship in children?
- Hold a discussion on what citizenship means — including rights and responsibilities of citizens.
- Define a good citizen and have the students share personal stories about when they exhibited citizenship. For example:
- I was friendly to a new child from a different country.
- I helped clean up the park.
- My mom and I passed out voter pamphlets.
- I collected used toys and clothes for needy children.
- I walked away from a fight.
- I said “no” when a friend asked me to steal money from another child.
- I wear my bike helmet and follow other bike safety rules.
- I wait for the signal to cross the street and I stay in the cross walk.
- Ask students to describe what would happen if there were no rules or laws at home, in school, in traffic or against stealing, attacking, etc.
- Involve them in making classroom rules. Discuss why rules are important and have them define the consequences if they are broken.
- Ask the students to interview a veteran, immigrant, or person who lived through the Great Depression. Together make a list of questions they could ask such as:
- How do you feel about the United States of America?
- Tell me about your life?
- What was a difficult time for you?
- What does being a U.S. citizen mean to you?
Have the children write about or draw what they discovered, report their findings and post the results on a bulletin board.
- Have the children write a poem, story, play or song about citizenship. Have them perform their creation for others.
- Ask the students to search for local citizens who generously contribute to the good of the community. Thank or honor them in some way.
- Have them read, analyze and debate newspaper articles on various topics concerning civic life.
- Have the children create a video on “American Life” or another related topic.
- Invite speakers to share their knowledge of United States history or portray historical characters.
- Read or have the students read stories about extraordinary Americans and then act out the stories.
- Teach an understanding of the country’s founding documents: Declaration of Independence, U. S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
- With an adult’s assistance have the students take photographs in their community for a book entitled “Our Freedoms,” “Our Citizens” or another related topic.
- Attend city council meetings, school board meetings or court sessions. Visit historical museums, monuments, and/or national parks.
- Teach the children patriotic songs to sing at a parent program, school or community event.
- After researching the significance of American symbols and/or the Pledge of Allegiance, have the children make a bulletin board explaining what they learned.
- Have the students create a presentation to teach younger students about the American Flag, its history, symbolism, care and proper display.
- Discuss taxes and why our local, state and national governments need income for police, firemen, prisons, roads, etc.
- Support a school-wide student council composed of representatives from each classroom.
- Encourage students to participate in community service projects such as recycling, picking up litter, and volunteering for other worthwhile projects.
What other ideas do you have for teaching citizenship to children?
9 Best Infographics for English Teachers
December 11, 2012
Bookmark this blogpost. Print out these infographics. Hang them in your classroom. And call it a day. Below are the 5 best infographics for english teachers:
51 Best Books For Teachers
December 10, 2012
This was taken from an infographic found here. However, we included direct links to Amazon for you, if you’re interested in purchasing a book or two (or three, etc.). Below are the 51 best books for teachers:
1. The First Year Teacher’s Survivor Guide. Offers beginning teachers a wide variety of tested strategies, activities, and tools for creating a positive and dynamic learning environment while meeting the challenges of each school day.
2. Teaching with Fire. A glorious collection of the poetry that has restored the faith of teachers in the highest, most transcendent values of their work with children.
3. The First Days of School. Used by new and veteran teachers, college instructors, and administrators, this is a beautifully designed book on classroom management, student achievement, and teacher effectiveness.
4. Growing Minds. A lively, personal testament of one teacher’s efforts to cultivate the natural vitality of the learning process; it is also a wondefully concrete and practical guide full of stories of individual students and how they were helped to grow through learning.
5. The Teacher’s Book of Wit. A winning collection of quips, quotes, anecdotes and humorous definitions to make learning and teaching more fun. Ideal for the classroom, lectures, homeschooling, workshops, presentations, reports and newsletters.
6. Fred Jones Tools for Teaching. Dr. Jones describes the skills by which exceptional teachers make the classroom a place of success and enjoyment for both themselves and their students. Tools for Teaching integrates the management of discipline, instruction and motivation into a system that allows you to reduce the stress of teaching by preventing most management headaches.
7. The Courage to Teach. This book builds on a simple premise: good teaching cannot be reduced to technique but is rooted in the identity and integrity of the teacher. Good teaching takes myriad forms but good teachers share one trait: they are authentically present in the classroom, in community with their students and their subject. They possess “a capacity for connectedness” and are able to weave a complex web of connections between themselves, their subjects, and their students, helping their students weave a world for themselves.
8. Educating Esme. A must-read for parents, new teachers, and classroom veterans, Educating Esmé is the exuberant diary of Esmé Raji Codell’s first year teaching in a Chicago public school. Fresh-mouthed and free-spirited, the irrepressible Madame Esmé—as she prefers to be called—does the cha-cha during multiplication tables, roller-skates down the hallways, and puts on rousing performances with at-risk students in the library.
9. School. We learn how, in the first quarter of the twentieth century, massive immigration, child labor laws, and the explosive growth of cities fueled school attendance and transformed public education, and how in the 1950s public schools became a major battleground in the fight for equality for minorities and women.
10. The Substitute Teacher’s Organizer. Comprehensive resource for substitute teachers. It has lots of useful pages to copy, ideas for the classroom, tips, pages to photocopy for recordkeeping and activities, and motivational ideas. The pages are also perforated and hole-punched for immediate usefulness.
11. Little Critter: The Best Teacher Ever. This book was written for teachers who teach younger audiences (primarily elementary school teachers). Little Critter has the best teacher around. Miss Kitty even makes math class fun! Join Little Critter as he searches for the perfect gift to show Miss Kitty just how special she is to him!
12. Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teacher Tales. There’s always that one special teacher or student, and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teacher Tales regales all educators with its heartfelt, inspiring, and humorous stories from inside and outside the classroom. Stories from teachers and students about their favorite memories, lasting lessons, and unforgettable moments will uplift and encourage any teacher
13. You Know You’re a Teacher If… That creative side of you recognizes ordinary, everyday objects as extraordinary teaching tools. So roll up your sleeves, open the book, and, along with your students, get ready to laugh, learn, and discover!
14. Growing Mathematical Ideas in Kindergarden. This rich resource recognizes the special set of challenges that kindergarten teachers face. The book provides helpful guidelines for establishing a mathematically nurturing classroom environment, making plans for helping all children learn, choosing appropriate mathematical tasks, and assessing children’s understanding.
15. Social Studies in Elementary Education. The book is organized into three sections—the first orients the reader to the mission of social studies education to the increasingly diverse children we teach, the second concentrates on the curriculum, and the third deals with instruction, how we plan and teach this curriculum. Three central themes continue to pervade the book—democratic citizenship, diversity, and the social sciences—to ultimately encourage teachers to excite their students about closing the gap between social realities and democratic ideals.
16. If You Don’t Feed The Teachers They Eat The Students: Guide To Success for Administrators and Teachers. Packed with words of wisdom and inspiration, this is one book no administrator or teacher should be without. Filled with practical tips to improve school climate, communication skills, and fun, this must-have resource will leave you laughing your way to a more successful school year. 144 pages
17. Why Didn’t I Learn This In College. Even veteran teachers say that they find the ideas and strategies here invaluable. It is based on the construct that the best management program is a good instructional program. If student learning is our goal, we want to shift our focus from control and compliance to creating positive learning-centered environments
18. Teach Like Your Hair’s On Fire: The Methods and Madness Inside Room 56. Perhaps the most famous fifth-grade teacher in America, Rafe Esquith has won numerous awards and even honorary citizenship in the British Empire for his outstandingly successful methods. In his Los Angeles public school classroom, he helps impoverished immigrant children understand Shakespeare, play Vivaldi, and become happy, self-confident people. This bestseller gives any teacher or parent all the techniques, exercises, and innovations that have made its author an educational icon, from personal codes of behavior to tips on tackling literature and algebra.
19. Science Workshop: Reading, Writing, and Thinking Like A Scientist. What does a Science Workshop look like in a real classroom? How do Science Workshop teachers plan? Where does literacy instruction come into play? How do you track children’s learning? This second edition, chock-full of new information and ideas, leaves teachers even more eager to implement an inquiry-based science curriculum.
20. Reluctant Disciplinarian: Advice on Classroom Management From A Softy Who Became (Eventually) A Successful Teacher. Gary Rubinstein relives his own truly disastrous first year of teaching. He begins his teaching career armed only with idealism and romantic visions of teaching—and absolutely no classroom management skills. By his fourth year, he is named “Teacher of the Year.” As Rubinstein details his transformation from incompetent to successful teacher, he shows what works and what doesn’t work when managing a classroom
21. See Me After Class: Advice for Teachers By Teachers. The must-have book for new teachers, giving them survival advice on various topics from classroom management to parental involvement to surviving the teacher’s lounge.
22. Stories From A Teacher. After only four years, Mr. Flores turned in his resignation, and his students all showed up to find out why. But instead of describing a single moment that made him quit, he told them his stories – each one, an insane memory from his teaching career. While he describes how he fell in love with the job as a young teacher, he also describes the harder realities that followed. Each memory offers deeper insight into the teaching life, and the obstacles teachers face from day to day.
23. The Animal School. This book is a timeless fable that contains a powerful, universally understood message: sweeping education reforms that neglect to recognize students as unique individuals and learners will, undoubtedly, set our students up to fail
24. What If There Were No Teachers? Everyone knows that teachers are overworked and underpaid. Too often even the students they teach don’t understand the effort that is put into each class period. What If There Were No Teachers? uses illustrations on the order of Norman Rockwell to let teachers everywhere know that we couldn’t live without them.
25. 101 Great Classroom Games: Easy Ways To Get Your Students Playing, Laughing, And Learning. Created by award-winning educators, these easy-to-learn, giggle-as-you-go games are designed to be both fun and educational. These activities in reading, logic, science, measuring, listening, social studies, and math are the perfect complement to your K-5 curriculum.
26. Tested: One American School School Struggles To Make The Grade. To see if this world is producing better students, Linda Perlstein immersed herself in a suburban Maryland elementary school, once deemed a failure, that is now held up as an example of reform done right. Perlstein explores the rewards and costs of that transformation, and the resulting portrait—detailed, human, and truly thought-provoking—provides the first detailed view of how new education policies are modified by human realities.
27. Teach Like A Champion: 49 Techniques That Put Students On The Path To College. Offers effective teaching techniques to help teachers, especially those in their first few years, become champions in the classroom. These powerful techniques are concrete, specific, and are easy to put into action the very next day. Training activities at the end of each chapter help the reader further their understanding through reflection and application of the ideas to their own practice.
28. Positive Discipline In The Classroom: Developing Mutual Respect, Cooperation, and Responsibility In Your Classroom. Over the years, millions of parents have come to trust the classic Positive Discipline series for its consistent, commmonsense approach to child rearing. Hundreds of schools also use these amazingly effective strategies for restoring order and civility to today’s turbulent classrooms. Now you too can use this philosophy as a foundation for fostering cooperation, problem-solving skills, and mutual respect in children. Imagine, instead of controlling behavior, you can be teaching; instead of confronting apathy, you will enjoy motivated, eager students
29. Teaching Outside The Box: How To Grab Your Students By The Brains. This second edition of the bestselling book includes practical suggestions for arranging your classroom, talking to students, avoiding the misbehavior cycle, and making your school a place where students learn and teachers teach. The book also contains enlivening Q&A from teachers, letters from students, and tips for grading. This new edition has been expanded to include coverage of the following topics: discipline, portfolio assessments, and technology in the classroom.
30. Teachers Jokes Quotes and Anecdotes. Teachers are some of the most beloved people in the world. That’s only one of the reasons why it’s so easy to make fun of them. The witty, amusing, and heartwarming tidbits collected here will charm educators and their fans alike
31. The Art of Teaching. The noted classicist presents his educational methodology, within the context of history, from the Sophists to modern teaching.
32. The New Yorker Book of Teacher Cartoons. A hilarious compilation of cartoons that capture the joy, terror, excitement, anxiety, fun, and bedlam that teachers experience every day, as seen through the eyes of The New Yorker‘s best-loved cartoonists.
33. What Makes A Good Teacher? Here’s What The Kids Say! What Makes a Good Teacher? We went to the experts for the answer. Students from kindergarten through second grade.
34. Among Schoolchildren. For an entire year the author lived among twenty schoolchildren and their indomitable, compassionate teacher — sharings their joys, their catastrophes, and their small but essential triumphs. As a result, he has written a revealing, remarkably poignant account of education in America . . . and his most memorable, emotionally charged, and important book to date.
35. Inside Mrs. B’s Classroom: Courage, Hope, and Learning on Chicago’s South Side. An expert on Chicago’s massive education reform efforts even before she turned in her press credentials, Baldacci adds an informed, intellectual layer to this insightful, engaging work. In an era in which many people talk about wanting to make a difference, Baldacci has done so. Here she shares the whole picture, from the unrealistic expectations to the surprises–good and bad–that make up education today. Above all, she shows how an individual can, did–and continues to–make a difference in the lives of American children.
36. Teaching Stories. A veteran teacher leads the American classroom into the 21st Century. Judy Logan takes the simple human drama of day-to-day classroom life and creates an all-embracing vision of the possibilities of public education in America. She was the subject of Peggy Orenstein’s “Schoolgirls”, the groundbreaking study of adolescent girls in the American classroom.
37. 99 Ways To Get Your Kids To Love Reading: And 100 Books They’ll Love. The author of Parents Who Love Reading, Kids Who Don’t now offers a cornucopia of simple, practical tips that will help children–no matter what their age or level of reading ability–learn to read. A separate section identifies books suited to different kinds of readers, such as girls who love horses, teenagers who like rock bands, and computer lovers
38. The Power of Questions: A Guide To Teacher And Student Research. The Instructor’s Guide provides a suggested framework that outlines each class session, complete with detailed assignments and rubrics for assessment. Teacher research is a tool that can help you continue to learn throughout your career. Pursuing your own questions has the potential to foster genuine understandings of educational methods, re-invigorate your teaching practices, and re-shape your curriculum for the benefit of your students.
39. Conflict Resolution In The High School: 36 Lessons. This comprehensive, sequenced curriculum will help secondary educators address conflict resolution, problem solving, diversity and intergroup relations, social and emotional development, and building community in middle and high school classrooms. Includes sections on implementation, assessment, and infusion of conflict resolution throughout the standard curriculum.
40. The Art of Classroom Inquiry: A Handbook for Teacher-Researchers. The authors give teacher research a human face, from preservice and beginning teachers at work in their classrooms to veterans with suggestions and examples to share. The stories of individual growth demonstrate why and how teacher research is transforming the ways teachers view themselves and their classrooms.
41. 99 Ways To Get Your Kids To Do Their Homework (And Not Hate It). The book shows you how to encourage the student in your household to confront that hated chore as painlessly as possible. The author’s lighthearted but experienced advice will help schoolchildren (and parents!) everywhere develop a healthy attitude about homework and deal with specific homework problems at each level in their education. Effective, succinct, and workable, these practical pointers guide you and your children as they go from the elementary grades to high school
42. A Handbook for Beginning Teachers. This handbook for beginning teachers offers a well-balanced approach to student teaching methods, bridging both the idealism of teaching and the realism of American schools today. The book offers strong historical perspectives while introducing current coverage, such as the use of technology and the Internet in the classroom
43. Why Are All The Good Teachers Crazy? A captivating collection of hilarious stories and unreserved observations from one man’s odyssey in the classroom. With equal parts humanity, insanity, and profanity, Frank Stepnowski, a twenty year veteran of the academic wars, offers unique insight into a world everybody knows about but very few understand. “Step” as he was re-christened by his students, pulls no punches in the classroom, and takes no prisoners in his writing debut.
44. Managing the Adolescent Classroom: Lessons From Outstanding Teachers. Through 14 case studies of exemplary teachers, Crawford showcases classroom management strategies that produced positive results in learning and behavior in adolescents.
45. Parents Who Love Reading, Kids Who Don’t: How It Happens And What You Can Do About It. Virtually all teachers agree: The best students are avid readers. They’re the kids who don’t just do their homework, but pick up books and magazines to read for pleasure. Yet even parents who love to read sometimes find that their kids don’t enjoy books. Now, Mary Leonhardt shows how to awaken, or reawaken, a child to the joy of reading. She even identifies the seven stages that children go through as they develop their reading skills and outlines what parents can do to help them along. Her advice is clear, down-to-earth, and proven effective.
46. Why Johnny Still Can’t Read. The classic book on phonics–the method of teaching recommended by the U.S. Department of Education. Contains complete materials and instructions on teaching children to read at home.
47. The Cooperative Classroom: Empowering Learning. This guide for current teachers and future teachers provides them with the necessary skills to create classrooms where cooperation is a way of helping to empower students and themselves as learners. The book answers the difficult questions that teachers often ask about cooperative learning such as, “Why should I use cooperation?”, and “When, how, and how much should I use cooperation?”. Both pre-service and in-service teachers have extensively field-tested the models, examples, and scenarios featured in this book developed to help them acquire a new understanding and appreciation of the power of working together.
48. How To Teach A Love of Reading Without Getting Fired. An underground book that coaches teachers how to cover required curriculum while keeping their classrooms exciting centers of independent reading and discussion.
49. 99 Ways To Get Your Kids To Love Writing: And 10 Easy Tips For Teaching Them Grammar. Strong writing skills are essential for success in school, college, and on the job. In 99 Ways to Get Kids to Love Writing, educator Mary Leonhardt provides parents with practical, easy-to-follow tips on how to teach their children the fundamentals of writing and make it fun for them at the same time.
50. How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & How To Listen So Kids Will Talk. Here is the bestselling book that will give you the know-how you need to be more effective with your children—and more supportive of yourself. Enthusiastically praised by parents and professionals around the world, the down-to-earth, respectful approach of Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish makes relationships with children of all ages less stressful and more rewarding.
51. Teacher Man: A Memoir. An urgent tribute to teachers everywhere. In bold and spirited prose featuring his irreverent wit and heartbreaking honesty, McCourt records the trials, triumphs and surprises of teaching in public high schools. Teacher Man shows McCourt developing his unparalleled ability to tell a great story as, five days a week, five periods per day, he works to gain the attention and respect of unruly, hormonally charged or indifferent adolescents. Thanks for the tip, Henry!
What other books do you recommend for teachers? Comment below!
8 Best Paper.Li Newspapers for Teachers
December 3, 2012
Why search for information when information can come to you! There is a new trend in ways people gather content online called Paper.Li. Basically, anyone can start an online newspaper where people publish newspapers based on topics they like and treat their readers to fresh news, daily. Below are the 8 best Paper.Li papers for teachers! Enjoy.
1. Laura Conley Ed-Tech Weekly. She publishes a weekly newspaper that talks about Ed-Tech, from a teacher’s perspective. Laura is on top of everything ed-tech, so make sure you subscribe!
2. K-12 Daily Dose by Ernie Delgado. Ernie is a K-12 Technology Planning Expert. He talks about Ed-Tech trends, statistics, and information related to devices in the classroom (BYOD, BYOT, etc)
3. The EdChat Daily. This is one of the most popular Paper.Lis out there! The EdChat daily curates all of the “Ed-Chatter” on the web. Great content. Publishes daily.
4. EdTech News. A technology teacher in Vietnam posts relevant EdTech news daily. He also posts photos, videos, and other news (business and environmental)
5. Ed-Tech Enthusiasts Daily. This paper is for the Ed-Tech LOVERS out there. For the teachers who eat, drink, think, sleep, and dream ed-tech. Enjoy the relevant content.
6. TechEd Buzz. If you are just looking for a weekly newspaper, this is a great newspaper to read. It is designed specifically for teachers.
7. The #NTChat Daily. NT actually stands for “New Teacher.” So, for all you new teachers out there, subscribe to this newspaper and you’ll life will be a lot easier!
8. Rebecca’s #K12 + #EdTech Daily. A great newspaper that combines the best of K-12 news and EdTech news.
It is important to note that you don’t have to subscribe/read all of these newspapers! We made the list to help guide you to find great education content online
5 Best Sites For Teachers Researching Education Technology
November 30, 2012
With all of the information out there on the internet, it can be overwhelming. As a teacher, your time is valuable, so it is important to be efficient. With all of the apps/programs/software out there, Below are the 5 best sites for teachers researching education technology.
1. EdShelf - A directory of websites, mobile apps, and desktop programs that are rated & reviewed by parents & educators, for parents & educators. They help educators find the right educational tools for their specific needs.
2. EdSurge - EdSurge has a great newsletter that you can sign up for by clicking here. They also have a directory of tools that you can find here. EdSurge is an independent information resource and community for everyone involved in education technology. They aim to help educators discover the best products and how to use them and to inspire developers to build what educators and learners need.
3. Appitic - Is a great site with over 1,300 reviews done by Apple and Google Distinguished Educators. These apps have been tested in different grade levels with different instructional strategies.
4. Edudemic – The “go-to” website for cutting edge education news. In our opinion, they produce the best content related to education technology and trends.
5. FreeTech4Teachers - Richard Byrne writes about education technology, reviews products, and is THE thought leader in education technology. It’s a great place to find free technology for teachers.
Eighteen Principles That Every Great Teacher Knows
November 26, 2012
From What Every Great Teacher Knows: Practical Principles for Effective Teaching
by Richard A. Gibboney and Clark D. Webb
Below you will find eighteen principles that every great teacher knows:
Thinking and Experience
The principles in this section are intended to help teachers (and principals) explore the understanding of thinking and experience that underlies thoughtful and democratic teaching.
1. Every great teacher makes the cultivation of thinking in a decent and humane environment the primary goal of teaching. (See page 23)
2. Every great teacher values and encourages student questioning because questions encourage student and teacher thought. (See page 31)
3. Every great teacher understands that he/she cannot afford to underestimate what is involved in “knowing something” well. (See page 43)
4. Every great teacher realizes that productive experience results from doing something with foresight, with a purpose in mind, then reflecting on the consequences. (See page 50)
5. Every great teacher recognizes that thinking is not separated from doing something with a purpose in mind; that mind is in the doing, not outside it. (See page 56)
The principles below apply to the goals for student learning set by administrators, teachers, and students.
6. Every great teacher knows that the learning objectives suggest the kind of environment needed to increase the capacities of the learner. (See page 63)
7. Every great teacher knows that the objectives value both what is to be learned and how it is to be learned. The quality of learning is critically dependent on how the objective is achieved. (See page 66)
8. Every great teacher knows that the immediate classroom objectives are made with larger, overarching aims in mind, that they free the student to attain the larger aims. (See page 72)
9. Every great teacher knows that most teaching objectives ought to make sense to the learner at the time of learning and that future learning is built best on what the student has already learned. (See page 77)
The following principles pertain to the content, the subject matter, considered here apart from method for clarity.
10. Every great teacher knows that essential content is knowledge of general social significance that is relevant to all students whatever their abilities or interests. (See page 79)
11. Every great teacher knows that content must be related to the needs of the local and regional community. It is intended to improve the quality of future living for both the community and the individual. Content must illuminate significant social issues. (See page 79)
12. Every great teacher knows that content does not consist exclusively in information or data readily available in books, computers, or other media. Rather, good content is subject matter that assists learners in their inquiry and their attempt to create meaning. (See page 79)
The principles in this section encourage teachers and principals to consider some generic indicators of quality for professional and thoughtful teaching.
13. Every great teacher recognizes that good methods mean the creation of a total school/classroom environment for learning that cultivates the intelligence and sensitivities of learners, teachers, and administrators. (See page 89)
14. Every great teacher understands that direct attention to results for their own sake through rote learning short-circuits meaningful experience and closes down the growth of intelligence. Neither ends nor means can be hurried if one wishes to provoke thoughtful learning. (See page 89)
15. Every great teacher selects problems for thoughtful and meaningful analysis that are within the experience of the learner at the start of the learning, related to the problems of ordinary life, and require thought or reflection about the consequences of actions taken to solve the problem. (See page 101)
16. Every great teacher allows students to try out ideas from the curriculum in their present experience because, without this “trying out,” ideas do not move from the realm of the abstract or “school” to the students’ personal and community life. (See page 109)
17. Every great teacher knows that individuals must have an opportunity to consider and shape group ends. Learning activities should support educative group work, shared experience, conversation, and individual work. (See page 109)
18. Every great teacher understands where a series of lessons is heading, sees the logical order of the content, and tries to relate that content to the learner’s more fluid, partial view of it. (See page 117)
What are your thoughts? Any additional principles that you believe every great teacher knows?
10 Keys to Educator’s Survival
November 21, 2012
As we approach Thanksgiving, it’s always a good time to reflect. Can you believe that the semester is almost over? School professionals are often blamed for the ills of society. Yet, there are countless administrators, teachers and counselors who challenge and inspire students to do their best and strive for excellence. The following are ideas educators may want to consider as they continue their work. Below are 10 Keys To Educator’s Survival
- Understand that you are only human. You will make mistakes.
- Since you have a distinct personality, do what works best for you and your students.
- Observe children’s work and behavior, notice and acknowledge improvements.
- Plan ahead, but be flexible and accept changes. Know that you cannot accomplish ALL of your goals.
- Understand that children may not show appreciation for your efforts.
- Share your time, ideas and materials with peers. Utilize your network (either virtual or in school)
- Since genuine compliments encourage you as well as others, give them freely.
- Discuss concerns with a peer or mentor. Ask for help when you are overwhelmed
- When you become discouraged, reflect and write down why you chose education as a career and the successes you have had.
- Find enjoyable outlets unrelated to working with students.
For more survival techniques for teachers, read “Coping With Stress – Tips For Educators,”
Reposted with permission from Leah Davies, Kellybear
12 Must Bookmark Sites For Teachers
November 20, 2012
The amount of online tools available can seem overwhelming Below are 8 must bookmark sites for teachers (we did the research, so you can spend more time teaching!):
Common Core Help:
- CommonCore Website - Look up all of the standards, as well as, look at various resources.
- P21 Toolkit - Comprehensive Toolkit to Implement The Standards
- ReadWriteThink - Great resources for lesson plans. Sort by grade/standard
- ShareMyLesson - Free website to share lesson plans
- LessonPlanet - A search engine for lesson plans
Personal Learning Network/Professional Development:
- Twitter (only if you participate in the various Education hashtags)
- Claco – The Premier PD website for Teachers
- Edmodo – There are some great communities on Edmodo to connect with other educators
- EffectiveTeachingPD – Julie Adams writes some great content about teaching/PD. Check out her recommended reading, too!
- ClassTechTips – If you are interested in implementing technology in the classroom, Monica’s got you covered. She writes some great posts.
- Edudemic – A must bookmark for EdTech information for teachers
- Edutopia - A great site for all things education
- WIDA.us – World Class Instructional Design and Assessment. Thank you, Jeff Bello