Saturday, August 28, 2010

Your Contribution ...

This came from one of the wonderful presentations at the Reform Symposium (search for #rscon10 on twitter for more great resources). I can't wait to go back and listen to the presentation by Angela Maiers again. You can find the archive and several of her other presentations on her biography page. I wanted to share this because these simple words had a big impact on me. Think about the impact these words could have on students.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Resources for Using Media in Your Classroom

Welcome to Media 2.0

This Livebinder is full of resources and examples to assist you with using media tools in the classroom.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Quick Tips

I found a blog that (right now) has 22 Promethean Quick Tips for the Promethean ActivBoards. Although many of the first ideas are specifically for ActivBoards, there are some resources towards the end for all interactive whiteboard and just for learning in general. These quick tips can be found on the iLearnTechnology Blog which is focused on integrating technology in the classroom. When Kelly writes each post, she gives a description of the tool or idea she is sharing and then lists several ways it can be used in a classroom.

Here is a list of the Quick Tips on this blog:
1. Making Text Interactive
2. Drag a Copy
3. Downloading Resource Packs
4. Adding Resources to the Resource Library
5. Using Magic Ink
6. Inserting Activity Pages
7. Using Layers
8. Subscribing to ActivTips
9. Adding Popup Labels to Objects
10. Using Wordle
11. Using Drag and Drop Actions.
12. Wallwisher
13. Container-Specific Objects
14. Scribble Maps
15. Containers with Keywords
16. Fotobabble
17. Building Anticipation with the Zimmer Twins
18. Geo Greetings
19. Jeopardy Labs
20.Teacher Led IWB
21. Triptico e-Learning Resources
22. Google Readers

Presentations with a Punch!!

Are you looking for some ways for you and your students to present information? The Livebinder below is full of resources that may be a good match for the project you have in mind. Part of developing, as well as encouraging, critical and creative thinking skills involves helping students choose the best way to represent the knowledge they have gained.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Organization Tips for New Teachers

The topic for the August 11th New Teacher Chat on Twitter (#ntchat) was Organizational Tips-concerns, ideas, strategies. I am not a new teacher and found many of these very helpful, so I thought I would share some with you. A copy of all the tweets that night can be found in the newteacherchat wiki archive.

Tips you might find useful:
  • Put things away don?t just put them down (otherwise clutter!) If you don't use it, remove it from your classroom!
  • Everything in your classroom should have a place (especially great for senior citizens!)
  • Idea of a "teacher tool belt":
  • Have your kids make stuff to put up. Walls are a great blank slate! Build community too!
  • Have a basket, folder, etc. for each day of week and have resources for that day in place. Update 1x/week
  • Keep a folder with all sub info, medical info, class list
  • Once you know your schedule, make a sub plan template for each day of the week, then just fill it in with needed info - great time saver
  • Develop procedures and allow time at end of day for kids to help organize for next day (straighten library, chairs, pencils, etc.)
  • I love binders. Have one for every subj or unit of study and one to keep my lesson plan sheets for each week. LiveBinders works well for this too.
  • We are using google apps as our lessons are digital and delicious to organize research resources
  • Organizing Your Classroom links (love Kim & Zendre sites)
  • Lots of spare lesson plans and activities in the sub folder too
  • Greatest classroom organizer I've come across in last year....@Dropbox
  • Leave classroom each night w/ clean desk, objectives on board, 1st activities ready, etc. It will feel like a gift in the morning
  • I use hanging folders for students to place their work. Each folder tabbed with name & number. Helps correcting when you have 32
  • Assign each student a number. They should put this number on every paper (it makes it easier to see who has not turned in something). Putting numbers on books helps too.
  • I also have two baskets; one for corrected, one for not corrected homework - students place homework there themselves

New Teacher Chat

"The new teacher chat was inspired by the enormous worldwide success and powerful learning and collaboration opportunity that occurs weekly on #edchat which was created by @ShellTerrell and @tomwhitby.

#Ntchat is a weekly chat created by Lisa Dabbs @teachingwthsoul in collaboration with the @Edutopia Team. This chat was created to provide weekly mentoring and focus on the needs of new, new to the profession and pre-service teachers. The goal is for the chat to be supportive and practitioner focused. It occurs on Twitter from 4-5pm PST on Wednesdays.
Use the #ntchat hashtag to post your thoughts.

We are excited and hopeful that many new teachers will choose to collaborate during this chat by sharing ideas and resources as well as concerns they may have as they prepare to enter the profession or are in their first years. Experienced, tenured teachers are encouraged to participate to support and mentor this eager and excited group." from

Twitter Resources for Teachers

This from APWorldGuru Blog:
"How do you use social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter? I'm sure many of you catch up with old college and high school friends by posting status updates, pictures, and personal videos. Others probably play flash games like bejeweled or farmville in between posting funny YouTube videos. Probably the last thing many of you think of when it comes to social networking is professional development and support from teachers all over the world.

Many young and experienced teachers can often feel isolated or without the ability to get new ideas. That is where these new websites come in. Most of you are familiar with Facebook, but are intimidated by Twitter. I won't lie, it has a slightly more difficult learning curve than other social networking sites, but once you learn the secret of hashtags and retweets, you'll be hooked. I have found three fantastic "feeds" on Twitter that have online meetings once a week.

To access these informational treasure chests, you'll need a Twitter account. Simply go to and follow the easy steps to create an account. If you are completely foreign to the concept, I recommend watching a short informational video on youtube. One I recommend is: Once you have mastered the concepts of Tweeting, as an educator you will want to make sure you are connected with teachers from all over the world.

How do I do that? In the search bar on the right side of the screen type in one of the following: #ntchat #edchat or #sschat . The # is a hashtag that lists all posts containing #topic in it. To explain it simply it collects every "tweet" from around the world from people talking about education or social studies. If you want to engage in the discussion write your question, comments, or advice and add #----- at the end of it.

Now you're talking to every single teacher about that topic live from all over the world. Pretty powerful stuff? #ntchat is new teacher chat, but don't be fooled by its name, because it is loaded with seasoned professionals offering all sorts of advice and peripherals you could shake a stick at. #edchat is a general educational chat while #sschat is devoted to social studies topics and discussions. While you can post topics and get responses at almost any hour, usually these "chats" are timed for evening hours so that multiple teachers can attend from all over the United States. So if you are ever looking for a great idea, new resource, or just want to vent to like minded individuals, use the power of Twitter to enhance your classroom. Drop a comment if you have any questions or want to share a positive experience with Twitter and definitely follow me @APWorldGuru. Adios!"

The WSFCS Department of Instructional Technology is on Twitter as well (@WSCFSDIT). We share resources and information about upcoming trainings. I would also be happy to try to help you with any questions (@mwedwards). We also have an online course called Twitter for Teachers that we will be offering the future.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Instructional Resources in Learning Village

Where is the first place you go to look for ideas for a lesson on a certain topic?

We all have our favorite places to go. Some of your commonly used resources may be listed in the image above. Did you (as a WSFCS teacher) know that you can go to one place and be able to access all of the sites listed?

These Instructional Resource for you to search in are all linked to the front page of the WSFCS Learning Village Curriculum Warehouse. I was impressed to be able to find them all in one place, but what even caught my attention more was that if you search for your grade or subject in Learning Village, there are links to specific things in most of these resources.

For example, if you were supposed to teach a 4th grade Science lesson on Rocks and Minerals, in one place in Learning Village, you could find:
  • NC Standard Course of Study Objectives
  • Links to Lessons from LearnNC on this competency goal
  • Links to the Standard Search Site for both Promethean and SMART
  • Links to a variety of Online Resources for this competency goal
  • Learn360 search results for videos on this competency goal
  • Link to netTrekker Search Results on this competency goal
  • and Links to Related Content (which may include some already made lessons complete with Essential Questions and other needed information)
That means you won't have to take time to search the various sites in the image above for the pieces that fit with your curriculum area and Standard Course of Study. Learning Village is not just for Elementary School teachers . . . there is also content available for both Middle and High School subjects.

To get the the WSFCS Learning Village from our New Website home page, look to the left to see Quick Links. Learning Village is the second one there. You can also get to Learning Village by clicking on Employees in the blue channel bar. From the drop down menu, click on Resources. Once you click on Planning, you will see the Learning Village Curriculum Warehouse option!

Here is a Learning Village Quick Reference Guide.
image taken from WSFCS Learning Village