4.10.2018 Tuesday Tips

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Tip #1 Adobe Launches Spark with Premium Features, Free of Charge for Students!

Adobe Spark is a fun, cloud-based storytelling application that runs in every browser. Students can creatively express themselves using graphics, web stories, and videos. They can log in at any location, any time, making the use of a device a choice! Look for many tutorials and ideas on the following websites:  Adobe Spark for Education and Adobe Educators Exchange

Tip #2 17 Little Known Tips, Tricks, and Hacks for Using Google in the Classroom 

At Spring CUE 2018 Conference in Palm Springs, California sessions touched upon many add-ons, extensions, and hacks for Google Suite. Tools ranged from music to time-saving shortcuts and ways that help struggling students. Click the link above to find out which one could help you!

Tip #3 Junior Historians at Work

Project Based Learning in elementary school should incorporate many different subject areas to complete a real-world experience. This article explains how students explored social studies, math, literacy, and 21st-century skills through this one project.

Tip #4 12 Good Tools for Creating Educational Games

Create your own game or let students collaborate to create their own game. This infographic shows 12 different tools and gives a brief explanation of each one. Check it out!

Tuesday Tips and Innovation in Action

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Innovation at SSEDS Spotlight

Tip #1 Creating Classroom Posters with Adobe Spark Post by Dr. Monica Burns

Have you ever had the need to make a poster? On her blog, ClassTechTips, Monica provides an easy to follow guide on how to use Adobe Spark Post, as well as several possibilities of what you could use it for in the classroom: posters, anchor charts, graphics, etc. 
My second tip of the week comes from Monica’s blog as well. We use the Book Creator App quite a bit at school and this new feature even enhances the possibilities. Make sure to check it out!

Tip #3  G Suite Update: Find Shared Content with New File Organization in Google Drive

You can now see people listed in ‘Shared with Me’ and click on the documents they’ve shared with you. 

Tip #4  Join Dr. Kari Stubbs on Digital Citizenship for our monthly 30 minutes Twitter chat: #ShiftinEdu – Monday, March 12 @8:00 pm EST.

Our monthly Twitter Chat focuses on innovative practices in schools. This week’s moderator is Dr. Kari Stubbs, VP @brainPop, board member @edcampusa, and former @ISTE board member. The topic she will lead is Digital Citizenship: “How might we empower students to be better digital citizens – smark, kind, and secure online?” 

 

2.27.2018 Tuesday Tip

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Tip #1 Loneliness in the Workplace is like Smoking 15 Cigarettes a Day 

So many of you enjoyed Dr. Robert Brooks‘ Keynote during ShiftinEdu. Here is a touching article on loneliness. He discusses the importance of connections, showing empathy, and helping others, not only for our students but for ourselves in the workplace. 
 

Tip #2  Create If-Then Adventures with Google Slides

If-Then stories are a fun way for students to think creatively and strategically. They can brainstorm different ways readers might interact with a story. Below is just one part of the course to show you how easy this can be done! Of course, you are welcome to go through the whole unit!

Tip #3  Create your Own Animated Virtual Reality

Patches is a free online tool to create your own drawn animated virtual reality scenes. Students could use this VR tool to create fiction stories. In Math, this tool can be used to sharpen geometry concepts.

Tip #4  Who’s That Cat in the Hat? – Seesaw Activity 

Kristen Brooks created this easy and fun activity for Seesaw and it’s ready for you to use. You can use the hashtag #DrSeussWeek and #ReadAcrossAmerica.
           

1.30.2018 Tuesday Tips

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Tip #1 Emphasize Words in a Google Document’s Comments 

When I met Tony Vincent, some odd years ago, I quickly realized that with Tony you will always learn something new. Follow Tony’s Learning in Hand on Instagram

George Couros addresses the importance of classroom culture and gives helpful tips on how to improve yours! It is never too late to introduce some of these strategies that can mean the world to our students.

Tip #3  50 Ways to use Book Creator in your Classroom


The Book Creator team shared a free new resource for teachers created, of course, in the Book Creator App. There are ideas for every subject, every grade!

                      
John Spencer shares his insights on the benefits of Project-Based Learning in a colorful way. The video below explains one of the 10 benefits: Learners discover how to engage in meaningful collaboration. John talks about students, and I took the liberty to change the word student to learners. Collaboration should happen through all constituencies in a school and we are all learners!

  

Tip #5  The KidLit Show – A podcast you have to listen to!  

Olivia van Ledtje (@thelivbits) interviews Adam Gidwitz, author of A Tale Dark and Grimm. Adam remakes the classic Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Olivia and Adam explore the world of fairy tales and a folklore. Very entertaining!

1.23.2018 Tuesday Tips

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Tip #1              AutoDraw – Fast Drawing for Everyone 

Want to draw something fast, but you are not really an artist? Artificial intelligence will help you! Google AutoDraw to the rescue!



Tip #2                                     Google Drive Tips  

8 Useful tips for teachers on how to search in Google Drive. Some I use all the time, others a little less. Looking forward to bettering my searching skills in Drive!

Tip #3         12 Apps & Websites for World Read Aloud Day  

On her website Class Tech Tips,  Dr. Monica Burns compiled these read-aloud websites. No excuse not to take part in this event on February 1, 2018!

Tip #4                             Global Math Task

Connect and share learning through these Global Math Tasks. With your Class Twitter account, you can participate! Use the hashtag #gmttc



New Tuesday Tips for Teachers

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January 16, 2018

This Apowersoft Screenshot App for Mac iOS makes it easy to annotate a screenshot. My colleague, Dr. Ashley Cross, uses this all the time when she wants to highlight a particular point in a screenshot. Timesaver! Watch the video below on how to use it.

Insertlearning, Newseumed, and Autodraw are on my list to explore. Check out Jennifer’s article to learn more about her favorite apps in education right now.


This could be an innovative way, to help students with reading comprehension. Simple and effective. New and better!


I loved the title of the article:  GETTING STARTED WITH EDUCATOR TWITTER CHATS FROM A TWITTER SKEPTIC
This will help anyone who is looking to grow their Professional Learning Network. Twitter chats, using Participate, are an easy way to connect with those who share your same interests and passions in education. 

Why Grades Don’t Work

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“I think I deserve better than ‘meet expectations,” commented the STEAM assistant in a follow-up meeting after her review for the year. We were asked to fill out an assistant teacher evaluation for our STEAM assistant in the preschool. This position was new this year got defined as the year progressed. We have two PreK 3 and two PreK 4 classes with a teacher and teacher assistant in each room. The STEAM assistant works with the four teachers, the STEM coach, the math coach, the preschool science teacher, and the innovation team to come up with centers that integrate all these subjects for our preschoolers. Now the year is drawing to an end, and all of us were asked to complete an evaluation. Not a big deal, right? Well…

The innovation team met, we came up with a ‘rating’ system and presented the form to our team member. That’s when it was evident that our rating system did not work. The STEAM assistant is a person who is motivated to grow and learn. She likes to take the initiative and is reliable. We all know there is always room to improve and technologies are changing fast. We went with ‘meet expectations’ because it was her first year and she is learning different tools she can use to incorporate during the STEAM activities. The format was wrong. Together we came up with a goal sheet for next year with measurable and attainable objectives for the next year. That encouraged her. Ding, ding, ding, ding! That’s when it dawned on me what a disservice we are doing our children with grading them. They feel the same way!

Yes, we want to hold our students accountable. Yes, we want to motivate and empower them. Maybe we are going about it in the wrong way. The goal is for students to become happy, self-reliant, confident, and responsible learners who love the process and know how and where to go for resources. There is always room for improvement, right? I think of myself as a lifelong learner. Does an A encourage me, or does it tell me I mastered it and there is no deeper learning possible or necessary? Perhaps short-term goals and narratives would create a lot more lifelong learners. I would love to hear your opinion.

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Day School takes part in the global #HourofCode movement

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The Hour of Code takes place each year during Computer Science Education Week, December 5-11, 2016. The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. For the past three years, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Day School took part in this campaign. This year the Innovation Team stepped up the effort, and we witnessed incredible engagement.
Computational thinking is a fundamental skill, made up of both concepts and approaches in which students learn to think analytically. Equipped with computing devices, students can find solutions that otherwise would not be possible. According to Carnegie Mellon Professor Jeannette Wing, “<Computational Thinking> complements and combines mathematical and engineering thinking” (2006). These computational concepts help how we approach and solve problems, manage our daily lives, and communicate and interact with other people. It helps nurture problem-solving skills, logic,
and creativity. By starting early, students internalize skills for success in a world where exponential growth of technology is happening.
The following video is a snippet of what took place at St. Stephen’s. The goal is to make learning happen with these activities during the regular school year woven throughout our curriculum. This year we used unplugged activities, BeeBots, Ozobots, LED Circuitry, LittleBits circuitry, Dash & Dot Robots, and Code.org throughout the week.
Please enjoy the video! Pre-K and JK are not included in the video but partook in the Hour of Code with unplugged activities in Pre-K and BeeBots in JK.


Wing, J. M. (2006). Computational Thinking (Vol. 49, pp. 33-35).
https://www.cs.cmu.edu/~15110-s13/Wing06-ct.pdf