Articulating an Impact on Student Learning by Elizabeth Burns, Assistant Professor, School Library Program, Department of Teaching & Learning, Darden College of Education, Old Dominion University The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), passed in December 2015, positions school librarians as Essential Personnel and provides potential dedicated funding to effective school libraries–IF we make them understand why school librarians matter. ESSA falls short, however, of identifying what characterizes an effective school library program. School systems follow the new norm in education: accountability is standardized in the evaluation process. When we discuss the multiple ways library program is critical to student learning, school librarians should: Looking to ESSA requires us to carefully and intentionally articulate the librarian’s instructional roles and the expertise required in an effective program. Traditional library statistics are one way school librarians can demonstrate an effective school library program. Tags: ESSA
Teaching sustainability cross-curriculum In partnership with the Department of Education's Environment Education Centres we have developed a suite of free teaching resources that address the Sustainability Cross-curriculum Priority and use a student-centred, project based methodology. These resources are linked to the NSW Syllabus and Australian Curriculum and are structured for student group tasks. Learning for sustainability seeks to enable and empower students to make decisions and take actions that contribute to creating a sustainable society and ecosystem. Project based learning allows student to develop knowledge and understanding from multiple subjects and helps them apply this in the context of their school, classroom or local environment. The Sustainability Action Process (SAP) provides this and is a preferred pedagogical approach for teaching sustainability as well as an essential set of knowledge and skills for students to learn. SAP has five steps: Primary years 3 to 6 Secondary years 7 to 10
Blogging for Reluctant Writers: Have students share their ideas using sound and video For students who love to write, composing blog entries is a natural—and effective—way to share their stories and ideas with a wider audience. Reluctant writers can have great ideas, too—they just don’t want to write them down. Fortunately, there’s more than one way to tell a story. Here, we’ll examine some excellent video and audio tools and how they can be used to help students craft dynamic content for classroom blogs. Edited video with SOund Free tool Wideo.co lets you make short, animated videos in your Web browser. Students can make their own audio recordings using SoundCloud. SoundCloud apps come in handy for a variety of projects. Audio slideshows Animoto is of the best-known tools for making audio slideshows and has long been a classroom favorite. Narrable (pictured above), launched earlier this year, is another audio slideshow application. Unedited video Editing video is an important exercise, but don’t overlook the value of raw clips.
4 Ways Technology Can Simplify Learning Your grandma may have told you that she walked to school every day uphill, barefoot and in the snow. But with the way technology has changed education in the last few years, we have a feeling you’ll soon be regaling your students with tales about how tough you had it. It wasn't that long ago, after all, that students had to lug heavy backpacks jammed with textbooks to school every day and teachers had to (gasp!) New technology not only makes lesson planning and teaching easier, it also simplifies learning. 1. By using technology to build interactivity into your lessons, you'll be able to easily track student progress and encourage student growth. 2. It's still amazing to us that a little bitty tablet can hold hundreds of books. 3. It's pretty obvious to anyone who has been in a classroom for more than, say, 10 minutes that students who are engaged behave better. 4. You're teaching 20 different students—each a unique learner with unique skills and talents.
The Top 10 Reasons Students Cannot Cite or Rely On Wikipedia 10. You must never fully rely on any one source for important information. Everyone makes mistakes. All scholarly journals and newspapers contain “corrections” sections in which they acknowledge errors in their prior work. And even the most neutral writer is sometimes guilty of not being fully objective. Thus, you must take a skeptical approach to everything you read. The focus of your search should be on finding accurate information and forming a full picture of an issue, rather than believing the first thing you read. 9. 8. In March 2009, Irish student Shane Fitzgerald, who was conducting research on the Internet and globalization of information, posted a fake quotation on the Wikipedia article about recently deceased French composer Maurice Jarre. Fitzgerald was startled to learn that several major newspapers picked up the quote and published it in obituaries, confirming his suspicions of the questionable ways in which journalists use Web sites, and Wikipedia, as a reliable source.
15 STEM YouTube Channels for Energizing Flipped Learning Flipped learning in the STEM classroom can be fascinating and fun. As you may know, YouTube—a flipped learning marvel in its own right—features many custom user channels designed specifically to cater to the needs of STEM teachers and learners. Below are 15 of the coolest and most popular STEM YouTube channels you’ll find. Have fun exploring, learning, and flipping out over STEM. 1. SciShow SciShow explores the unexpected. 2. Numberphile is a channel that features many creative and interesting videos about the world of numbers, created by Brady Haran. 3. STEM Education is committed to making a difference in the lives of underprivileged children, particularly girls, by empowering them through STEM learning. 4. Unique among STEM YouTube channels, VSauce was created by the entertaining and informative Michael Stevens in the summer of 2010. 5. TED Talks has got it all, including many fascinating videos with a strong STEM focus. 6. 7. 8. Who says science can’t be art? 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.
Creating Classroom Environments: Setting up for the middle school writing workshop. | TWO WRITING TEACHERS Teaching writing workshop at the middle school level can be an extraordinarily satisfying experience: middle schoolers are ready and willing to think deeply about issues, they understand more, they want to examine issues about the world and themselves, and writing workshop gives them the perfect opportunity to stretch and grow as individuals and as writers. But teaching writing workshop at the middle school level can also be an extraordinarily chaotic experience: many of us share spaces with other teachers, sometimes teachers of entirely different subjects (my colleague Jen shares the 7th grade Math classroom, for instance), we must juggle the writing needs of three or four times the number of students our elementary colleagues do, and then there is the fact that most middle schoolers are a hot mess – they are a volatile and puzzling bunch of kids, much as we love and are amused by them. So, what’s a middle school writing teacher to do? Supplies:
Go High-Tech In Your Classroom for Free As much as you'd love to have unlimited funds to buy technology for your classroom (iPads for everyone!)—it's probably not possible in light of recent budget cuts. But that doesn't mean you can't expose your students to cool software, gadgets, games and more. Sign up for free trials. Knowledge Quest | AASL
Using Math Apps to Increase Understanding From content consumption to content creation, there are many ways to use mobile devices with students. They can create how-to videos for authentic audiences, explain their thinking through screencasting, or use scannable technology in the math classroom, for example. Mobile devices can also be used to help students practice foundational math skills and build their math fluency. You might decide to use an app on this list as part of an intervention plan or add it to a newsletter for families. In order for students to tackle the multistep word problems they’ll be asked to solve as early as elementary school, they need to have mastered addition, subtraction, and multiplication facts. Operation Math (iOS $2.99, Android $1.99) This app turns your students into spies who travel around the world on different missions. Sushi Monster (iOS free) Scholastic’s app offers children multiplication and addition problems.
How to Let Student Choice Drive Your Writing Workshop (Even When You Teach the Primary Grades) - Learning at the Primary Pond When I was thinking about choice in my writing workshop, I realized something interesting. At the beginning of the year, writing workshop is the ONLY part of the day where I allow true choice. For independent reading, I put book bins on tables. I don’t allow students to choose books from the library until we’ve gone over expectations and procedures. For centers, I tell students what materials to use and what activities to do. On the other hand, in writing workshop, I have my students choose what they will write (or draw) about from the very first day. Don’t get me wrong – writing workshop certainly isn’t a free-for-all in my classroom. But at the beginning of the year, I intentionally put the responsibility on my students for determining what they will write about and what they will say about that topic. I’ve found that if I start out the year by providing lots of direction, my kids become dependent upon me. I’ve worked with struggling writers. But I’ve given my kids choice in:
20 Simple Ideas for Teaching Math to a Classroom of Multi-Level Kids One of your kids is ready for multiplication and one can't quite count the fingers on one hand. Sound familiar? Kids begin school with a wide range of skills, and that can make it tough to plan lessons that can help every child in your classroom thrive. Here are 20 quick differentiation ideas that we hope will spark a few simple solutions for your classroom. Integrate math into every part of your day.