Friday, January 17, 2020

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 1/17/20

Here are some interesting sites that I’ve found this week, thanks to my PLN. As a teacher, I feel we have to keep up to date concerning research in our field and current issues in the education system. I hope some of these inspire you, inform you, and even have you asking questions. Thank you for coming by and visiting!

Note: Each resource is labeled with a level and subject area to make it easier to use.

Levels:  E: Elementary; M: Middle; H: High; G: General, all levels; SN: Special Needs; T: Teachers

Subject Areas: LA: Language Arts, English, Reading, Writing; M: Math; S: Science; Health; SS: Social Studies, Current Events; FA: Fine Arts; Music, Art, Drama; FL: Foreign Language; PE: Physical Ed; C: Career; A: All

Science of NFL Football -  “NBC Learn and NBC Sports, in partnership with the National Science Foundation and the National Football League, unravel the science behind professional football. For lesson plans provided by Lessonopoly, open the video and click on ‘Lessons.’” (L:H;SA:S)

Theme Poems – “In this online tool, elementary students can write poems based on shapes from five different categories: Nature, School, Sports, Celebrations, and Shapes. Within these categories, 32 different shapes are included. By selecting a shape, students are learning how to focus their writing on a particular topic or theme. In addition, as part of the online tool, students are prompted to brainstorm, write, and revise their poems, thus reinforcing elements of the writing process. Students can save their draft poems to revise later.” (L:G;SA:LA)

Math Maps – “Four years ago I created Google Earth resources for the classroom and posted them to the GE Community Forum. Two of them were called Maths in Madrid and Maths in Las Vegas. These were based on the fact that there is maths all around us, every day, everywhere we look. Google Earth (and Maps) gives us a great perspective on it all. It also provides easy access for our students to see rich visual content that depicts everyday maths. I have always loved the idea of children seeing the maths they are working on. The only issue with Google Earth is that it is restrictive in two ways. It is not browser based and it is impossible for me to create a resource for others to collaborate on. Luckily Google Maps has caught up and using the collaborative features I can now invite other teachers and educators to help build on these resources. It is exciting to return to these old ideas and work on them with you all.” (L:G;SA:M)

Storyboards for Beginners – “Storyboards help filmmaking teams visualise a film and how to tell the film’s story through images. In a film, the audience follows a story not just through character's dialogue, but also through their actions. Even objects and settings help tell a story.
You can make decisions about how things will look by creating a storyboard. Each panel in a storyboard represents a camera shot and therefore what the camera will see and show. You do not have to recreate every frame of a film in a storyboard; that would take forever!”  (L:G;SA:A)

WordHippo – “Thesaurus and word tools for your creative needs” (L:G;SA:A)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Tropical Post Card Club

Last weekend we joined the Tropical Postcard Club. What a wonderful group! We met a lot of people who lived quite a distance from the club meeting. For 2 hours they looked, traded, or bought each other’s postcards that were brought and then had a business meeting. They discussed an upcoming postcard show that the club will be hosting in February. The show will be held at the Emma Lou Olson Civic Center in Pompano Beach on February 8.  

At the end of the business meeting, they had “show and tell” which I found very interesting. I can see how this “show and tell” would be extremely useful in the classroom.

One person had a framed exhibit which was wonderful. It was in a poster frame and he used photo corners so the postcards could be changed for a different exhibit. I could see this being done in the classroom. Each student could have their own exhibit and then share it with the class. Or the teacher can gather postcards for a specific topic to enhance the unit lesson.

Another person showed a license plate made from a postcard picture. He had the license plate and the postcard that was used. This would be a fun research project for students. Have the find ways that postcards are used other than for mail.

Someone had a collection of postcards signed by the artist, Ellen Clapsaddle. These are very collectible and expensive. Students could research this artist or find other people important to postcard collectors.

One man had his collection of the SS Eastland disaster that happened on the Chicago River in 1915. 884 people died when the ship rolled completely on its side while docked. This club member shared the postcards he had showing the disaster and the aftermath. There were postcards showing the removal of bodies. It was a very moving display of postcards and made me want to know more about this disaster. Students might enjoy finding historical events that interest them and sharing with the class information they find about the disaster.   

We really enjoyed this meeting and look forward to attending future meetings.

Do you belong to a postcard club? Please share?

Original picture by Pat Hensley

Wednesday, January 15, 2020


In Things unknown from Seth Godin's Blog, Seth Godin asks,

“And, most of all, what do the people you serve truly need and want?”

I believe that it is easy to share what I know with students. It is easy to push information at them but how much will they remember? How many lectures from teachers and professors do I remember? Not many.

I remember projects where I had to research for the information. When I had to look for the information, it stood out and years later, it was easier to recall. When I had to pull the information out rather than having it pushed at me, I remembered things.

The more we let students research and discover information, the more they will retain information. The more we let students investigate, the more knowledge they will gain.
By making students actively participate in their learning, the more they will learn and the more they will retain.

Teachers need to stop standing at the front of the room and acting like they know everything and without that information, students won’t succeed in life. This makes students take a passive role in the educational process.

I need to teach students how to find the information they may need. Students won’t always be in the classroom and have others feed them the information they need and want. What students need and want while in the classroom is to learn how to use the tools they may need after they leave the classroom. They need to learn what resources are available and how to locate the information they need from the appropriate resources.

Buy building a house and giving it to a person does not teach them how to build other houses. They need to learn how to use the tools and then how to make the materials fit together to create something new. This is why we need to teach students how to use tools to get information and then put the information together to move forward. This will help students become more successful in the classroom and then later in life.

Do you feel it is better to push information or pull information? Please share.

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash