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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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Will age based classrooms be a thing of the past?

With all the options for opportunities for student learning, will age based classrooms be dropped or changed?  Some educational professionals look to the future and say yes. 

Jeff Livingston, an executive with McGraw Hill, proposes that age based classrooms are a thing of the past.  In his article he proposes that new methods being employed by teachers allow students to progress at their own rate and not according to age levels.

This is a question for the educators and parents among us.  What do you think, how will our classrooms within a school be set up?  Can you describe your classroom in 2017?  Will yours look just like today?

 

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Service Learning is a part of our school days but are they global?

This is a quick post to highlight another blog by an educator. If you do service activiites in your school or your classroom this post will give you some ideas on connecting it to global learning even if done right in their own back yard.  It also holds some good ideas for the reflection that is so important for service to be learning.

 

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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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It is already the middle of July and ….

It is already the middle of July and for most of you, things are beginning to look forward to the new school year.  No one wants to rush the rest of the summer but here are a few ideas for looking to the beginning. 

The network of teachers on We Are Teachers (WAT) site have put together a set of creative ways to look at that old stand-by of seating charts and classroom organization.  There is always room for one more idea on how to gather students for learning.  Personally I like the idea of giving students an opportunity to use a “gym” ball or exercise ball as a seat.  You do see everyday in a classroom those students who must fidget, well this idea allows that to happen without distraction. 

Enjoy the last weeks of July and begin gathering your enthusiasm for the new school year ahead.

 

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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.