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Category Archives: Death of worksheets

Social Media and Students

Are you “one of those” with social media?  Do you LOVE it and use it as a tool in school with students?  Or do you LOVE it and still not use with students?

Well I must admit that I am quite a sporadic user of social media.  Partially because of the savings I experience by not having a smart phone and one of those “unlimited” plans.  However, I do sometimes miss very important things because of this cost savings.  (I must admit, I really don’t need to know where you are and who you are with so much; but I do like to know what some of your thoughts are!)

While perusing some educational sites today, I came upon a great post on an educational blog  named “Mind/Shift”.  It speaks to how students are very tech savvy and have great facility for using social media.  I know this too since I see many youth using it through out a day.  The post cautions all of us to remember that students need to also be helped to develop concentration and focus – something the constant use of social media does not develop in a young brain.  Maybe that is the skill the adults attending a recent production at the theater needed so they could skip looking at their social media on their phone during the presentation!

I found this interesting.  According to the research study noted in the blog post, students need to have times when the social media is not available.  Not because it is not good, but because they need to focus on something for a longer period of time.  You might want to check out this blog and the research mentioned.  Do you help students learn “focus” and concentration?  It would be a good idea to do so.  They might thank you later when their boss wants something major created and developed. 

Mr. Goldman, a psychologist, said “It’s about using the devices smartly but having the capacity to concentrate as you need to, when you want to”.

 

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Great idea for a New Year

A great idea for a new year of classroom activities can be found at a blog on We Are Teachers.  Why not check it out.  While you are at the blog site, you could click around to some great ideas and even grant ideas. 

Everyone knows a teacher is always busy with many things but do your self a favor this year and investigate some websites that might spark an idea, brighten your day or lighten your perspective.

Perhaps someone out there has some ideas to share with us.  Go for it!

 

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Let your students learn with a global focus

Let your students learn with a global focus by bringing the world into the classroom.  Any age student will benefit from visiting with and learning from experts around the world or students in a classroom far away or around the corner.  It doesn’t take a field trip to bring adventure and learning from a place away.

As a help to all teachers, SKYPE has provided a resource that you can use.  SKYPE in the classroom provides ideas and a place to learn from others.  Visit the website and see for yourself.  There is a great informational video describing the use of Skype and students visiting with an elephant care taker.  Quite enjoyable and a fun-filled 3 minutes.

Our students need to know about the world and function in a world that is much bigger than their neighborhood or city or country.  Many say the world is becoming “flat” because of our ability to interact with all parts of it through technology and travel.  Our challenge is to spur on their interest and creativity so their learning continues to help them be 21st century citizens and beyond.

Your students will be able to name questions they want to explore with their global partners if you give them a chance.  A few examples on the link include:  do other countries have the tooth fairy, how do potatoes grow, what season is it in your part of the world, etc.

 

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Are there novelists lurking in your classroom?

Are there novelists lurking in your classroom?  Do you think you and they could each create a novel in one month?

Many educators believe that the answer to both questions is YES!  In this Edutopia Blog Laura Bradley, an educator and blogger, explains how her middle school students accomplished this with oodles of excitement among the young writers – they were asking to write.  Those who are teaching Grade 8 students know what a feat this was.

Look at her blog and click on some of the links she used to help the process.  It is all part of a national project that you can learn more about by going to the National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo site.  This is for any age writer so elementary and middle school teachers take heart.  You can download free materials to help in the process.

Share your progress, your success, your challenges as you attempt this project in November!  If you are going to participate, you need to check it out now and plan your classroom activities leading up to the Big Write!

 

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What does a Garden Teach?

There is a wonderful article in the on-line version only of Educational Leadership magazine by ASCD.  In it the author describes and gives pointers on all the benefits of a garden in education.  She traces back to Dewey and his theories.  (Is anyone able to remember those theories of education?  I certainly still do!)

Gardens can be used for science, math, hands-on experience, and reading and language.  There is this video that demonstrates some language learning in a garden.  Perhaps you have your ideas as well.  Share them here. 

Do you have a garden for your school or class?  Perhaps you can at least develop a word garden to begin.

 

 

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Check this out!

Check out this interesting take on education.  It is great food for thought and just what you might need during a little down time.  It is a great video on which to reflect and create your own understandings.  It simply makes you think a little deeper into why we do what we do each day of the school year.

ASCD has an entire express issue that highlights the new paradigms of education.

Enjoy!!  Perhaps you even have some time to share your thoughts.

 

 

Do you have an idea worth sharing?

Do you have a classroom idea worth sharing?  It might just win a grant or prize.  The We are Teachers website offers just that for teachers.  If you let us all know and we like your classroom idea we can cast our vote for you and your project.

This site is great for hands-on teachers who want and need new ideas and the simple technology or supplies to accomplish it.  The grants are not huge, but they might help you get that flip video recorder or a set of e-readers or …..  You need to check often because new grants are always listed.

Do yourself a favor and visit and subscribe to We are Teachers.