Friday, November 30, 2012

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 11/30/12

tools2Here 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

Picture Book Maker - Have students make their own picture books. (L:LA; SA: A)

English Attack! - “Learn with fun, fast-paced exercises based on video clips and photo albums. Practice what you learn with games. Make friends from around the world, and communicate with them in English.” (L:LA ; SA: A )

World of Tales - “Whether a student, a parent or a teacher, here you can take a magical journey, filled with adventure, or just remember what it feels like to be a kid again. There is a little something for everyone among these pages, starting with the classic fairy tale stories by the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen and Charles Perrault, going on to the morally edifying fables of Aesop and Jean de La Fontaine, and ending with the wisdom, gathered by the people: the folktales from different parts of the world.” (L:LA ; SA: A)

Study SC - “a website that provides online content to support South Carolina-specific curriculum standards.  StudySC, created by the South Carolina State Library, makes available a student-friendly environment arranged by grade level and by subject area where students can find the information they need fast. This site is loaded with South Carolina-specific web resources for K-12 homework help, projects, and more. StudySC will also provide teachers with lesson plans and other content to support classroom activities. From artist biographies to Native American tribes and Civil War timelines, get it all at StudySC.” (L:G ; SA:A )

Infrared Zoo - “Infrared light shows us the heat radiated by the world around us. By viewing animals with a thermal infrared camera, we can actually "see" the differences between warm and cold-blooded animals. Infrared also allows us to study how well feathers, fur and blubber insulate animals. As you tour this "Infrared Zoo", see what new information you can gather about the animals here that you would not get from a visible light picture. If you would like to learn more about infrared light and the infrared universe visit Cool Cosmos. Enjoy your tour!”

Original Image: Tools by Pat Hensley

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Fighting the Holiday Doldrums

boredomI loved reading the book The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster to my students. When we got to the section on The Doldrums, my students never heard of this word before. We discussed how the word meant a feeling of boredom or depression and many of my special education students shared that this is how they felt during holiday vacations. Many even confessed to having behavior problems because they were bored.

I began to think about how we can be advocates for these students and also help parents by giving parents suggestions for this time. Here is a list of things I suggest to parents:

1. Have a written schedule for each day even if it is your usual routine. Visual schedules help my students feel grounded.

2. Plan an activity each day for the student to look forward to.

3. Start new traditions during this time and share old memories of holidays

4. Give the students one or two choices to do something so they feel they have some control over their lives.

5. Discuss with the student ways to handle boredom, anger, etc. before it happens. Try to find a signal to let the student recognize that their behavior is escalating.

Some activities could be:

· Drawing paper, crayons or colored paper for art work.

· Use old CDs and make an animal. Check out these examples.

· Bake cookies.

· Bake something to give to the local police dept. or fire dept. to show appreciation.

· Watch a holiday movie together.

· Play a board game together.

· Visit a nursing home to cheer the elderly.

· Volunteer at a soup kitchen.

· Create a story book and illustrate it. Donate it to a children’s center.

· Create an animal using Styrofoam balls, yarn, pipe cleaners, glue, uncooked macaroni.

Do you have any fun activities parents could do with their children during the holidays? Please share.

Image: '2007_088_01'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/65484951@N00/1420461308

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Carnival Dream 11/17/12

020
Last week we went on a cruise to the Eastern Caribbean. Here is a journal of the week:


Day 1 - Embarkation
We spent the night at the Hampton Inn in Cocoa Beach. For $125, we got a night in the hotel (king bed with sofa), free breakfast, free shuttle to and from the port, and free parking. It is a wonderful deal! When I woke up, it was pouring down rain but by the time we finished breakfast, the sun was out and the temperature was wonderful so we walked on the beach. At 10:30, we met in the lobby for the shuttle. When we arrived at the port, we went right in to check in and boarded the ship. By 11am, we were eating lunch on the Lido deck. We walked around and had fun reminiscing about the last time we were on the ship. Our cabin was 7228. Finally we had a bucket of beer and watched people. I tried to switch our dinner time to early seating but the ship is full and the MaĆ®tre’d couldn’t change us so we had dinner at 8:15 in the Scarlet dining room (upper level – table 679). We are at a table for 4 and met a wonderful couple from Louisville, KY. They are about our age and we had so much in common. I’m kind of glad we didn’t change our dinner time now. We laughed most of the dinner. After dinner we walked along the promenade deck and Don bought 4 bottles of Stolichnaya vodka for $40. I tried to talk him into the Grey Goose (in memory of Kay) but he didn’t buy it…yet. Looking forward to our time on this ship because we are already having fun!

Day 2 - Nassau
022After breakfast in the dining room, we decided to walk around Nassau. We had thought about staying on the ship because we had been there so many times, but decided we needed the exercise. We met up with this young couple from another ship who had never been there before and they asked us what they should see. When I told them to go see the Queen’s Staircase, they ended up going with us (safety in numbers I guess) and we enjoyed talking to them along the way. I think we walked about 5-6 miles all day (just guessing). I think we left behind a couple in this port because they kept calling their names and we left 15 minutes later than usual. Before dinner we took a little nap and then had formal night. We really are enjoying our table mates, Lori and Al. Al is from Palestine/Jordan area and Lori is from Kansas. It was interesting to hear Al talk about his culture and religion (Muslim) and how it relates to the Chinese culture. It was about 10pm when we finished dinner so we called it a day.

Day 3 At Sea

105When we weren’t sitting around relaxing, we were sleeping or eating! We did go to the cooking demonstration which I always enjoy. Then we went to the show before dinner and heard Jerome Dabney sing Motown. It was another delightful dinner talking and laughing with Al and Lori. I love learning about another culture and we learned about Muslim death and funerals. Also about how much responsibility the oldest male has if the father is dead. On the way out we met a couple from the UK (Sally and Graham) who lived in Greer but just moved to Tampa. After dinner we went to the comedy show and the comedian was John Wesley Austin who was good but I was up way past my bedtime and was quite tired.

Day 4 St. Thomas

059At 11am, we arrived in St. Thomas. We did a shore excursion to St. John’s and Trunk Bay yesterday ($75 per person). Island time was 1 hr. ahead of ship’s time. This involved about a ½ mile walk to a boat and then a 40 min. boat ride to St. John’s. Then we got on a bus that took us to Trunk Bay. After a 15 minute orientation and rule talk, we had about 90 min. of snorkeling along the underwater trail. After about 30 min., Don had enough snorkeling so we bought a couple of beers and bags of chips. We left there about 3:30 and got back to the boat dock around 3:45 when it started to pour down rain. They made us wait until 4:45 before they left. We got back to St. Thomas about 5:30 (4:30 ship time) so we had 2 hours before we left but we were too tired to do anything else. Since we missed lunch, we were hungry and headed back to the ship. Dinner at night was a wonderful time and we laughed the whole time!

Day 5 St. Maarten

011We spent yesterday at the beach and drank too much beer all day. We found the Caribbean Blend restaurant where we usually hang out. We rented 2 chairs, an umbrella, and 2 floats for $20. A bucket of 5 beers was $10. I didn’t realize that Corona had about an ounce more in the bottle than Carib. Heineken was sold in those small 7 oz. bottles so we avoided them. The water was rougher than usual so we didn’t spend too much time in the water. About 4pm, we were back on the ship. Dinner was another wonderful time and we laughed the entire time!

Day 6 At Sea-Thanksgiving

004We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We spent most of the day being lazy and just hanging out. We did go to the Marriage game where 3 couples (newlyweds, a couple married 25 years, and a couple married 51 years) tried to answer questions and match each other. Most of the day was spent reading, knitting, and eating. They had turkey at Thanksgiving but Don said it wasn’t very good so I’m glad I ordered the filet mignon. After dinner we went to the show and right before the finale they had technical problems and lost power. It took a few minutes to reset everything and finish the show.

Day 7 At Sea

002Most of the day was spent relaxing. I sat on the deck while Don went walking on the track. We went to the dining room around 10am for the Punchliner Brunch so we could use our free drink coupons. It was weird to drink margaritas at 10am (but it had to be 5:00 somewhere!).Don ordered the hen which he said was delicious and I ordered the filet mignon. I expected it to look like a breakfast steak but it was a huge thick piece of steak and it was delicious too! Later we went out to the deck again and enjoy the sun. I was able to finish the heels on my 2 socks and now working on the leg. In the afternoon we packed our suitcases and watched football on TV. We found one of our cabin stewards to ask him to take our luggage in the morning to the new cabin but he said he couldn’t because he was leaving the ship too in the morning. I asked about the other cabin steward and he told us that that guy left the ship in St. Thomas! Then he suggested we put our luggage outside the cabin so it can be taken off the ship and they would bring it back on but we knew that information was wrong. If the luggage was taken off the ship, we would probably never see them again! In the morning we will try to find the new cabin stewards for this cabin and see what we can work out. I finally decided to buy a new bracelet for $25. After dinner we checked to see if the liquor we bought arrived but it hadn’t so we had to track it down. Apparently they hold it until our cruise ends next week but they never told us. That was frustrating.

Debarkation
I was up about 5am and watched us pull into Port Canaveral about 5:30. It was cool to watch the front cam on the TV and the port webcam on the internet to see us pull in. We went for breakfast in the dining room at 7am and had to meet our escort at 9:30am. I was a little stressed out about our luggage though so we went to our new cabin and found the steward to ask if we could bring our suitcases to the cabin. He called his supervisor and said that would be fine so once we got the luggage situated, we were happier. Then we sat in the lobby until after 10am before they finally escorted us off the ship. They didn’t seem to know what they were doing. We ended up at the end of the line at customs (and last time, we went right through in front of everyone). Then they brought us back to the ship.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Recipe for Blogging

tec_cecweb_211x200Teaching Exceptional Children is published by Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and comes out 6 times a year. It is an excellent magazine with great ideas and strategies to use in the classroom. You must be a member of CEC to get this magazine but it is worth the cost of the membership to get such quality publications. If you are not a member, you might ask someone in your special education department if they are a member and see if you can borrow this magazine or you might check with the local library or local university library.

In the November/December 2012 issue, there is an article on “Digital Access - Using Blogs to Support Adolescent Writers with Learning Disabilities” by Sarah R. Jones.

I really liked this article because it was written by a teacher for other teachers. This is a strategy that she has used in the classroom and it was successful. Why reinvent the wheel? If there are teachers out there sharing ideas with others, why not use it! Of course I would tweak this to fit the needs of my classroom but the concepts would definitely work.

Here are some notes that I’ve taken from this article.
1. The author explains blogs and why to use them in the classroom for teachers who don’t understand the concept.
2. The author gives a procedure to follow; a step by step recipe for success.
3. This article is well written and easy to understand.
4. The author doesn’t just stop at the end of the writing process. She explains how commenting is an essential part of blogging.
5. There is also the factor of maintaining a blog.
If you are considering having your class start blogging, this is an excellent article to start with.

Monday, November 26, 2012

From a Teacher's Point of View: Life Lessons One Can Learn from Teaching

learning(Today’s post is written by Aileen Pablo. She is part of the team behind Open Colleges and InformED, one of Australia’s leading providers of Open Learning and distance education. When not working, Aileen blogs about education and career. She is often invited as a speaker in Personality Development Seminars in the Philippines. If you are interested in featuring her works in your blog, you can find her on Google+. )

“Why in the world would you want to be a teacher?”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten questions like that, from friends, family, and strangers alike. Usually they’re not quite as direct and flabbergasted as I’m making them seem in that quote (they have to at least try to be polite), but that’s what they mean when they ask. My answer is always the same: I like learning.

Most people interpret that as my way of saying that I like helping my students to learn things. While that’s certainly true, it isn’t what I mean at all. In teaching, I’ve discovered a profession where I feel like I learn new things about myself and how the world works on an almost daily basis, and that kind of learning is an addiction I just don’t know how I could give up.

Normally I don’t talk a lot about these lessons I’ve learned with people asking that question, because I feel like asking it in the first place makes it unlikely that they’ll really understand what I’m saying. But I always enjoy talking with other teachers about it because they immediately get what I mean. Here are just a few things I’ve learned – and re-learned – about life over the years from teaching.

Parents and culture are oh-so-important. You always hear how parents have to be more involved in their children’s education and so on and so forth, but it doesn’t really hit home until you have a 16-year-old pregnant student ask what’s wrong with you that you don’t already have a baby. After all, her 33-year-old mother is already a grandma because her older sister had her first baby last year and the whole family was so excited. Aren’t babies just the best?

Naturally, my explanation that I’ve been busy with college and a career and finding the right guy didn’t seem to make sense to her. Why would I choose that over having a baby? Clearly, this is something she’s heard quite a bit growing up, but instead of feeling sad for her – she’s quite happy, at least for the moment – I silently thank my own parents for the way they raised me.

I am not nearly as strong as I think I am. When I first got into teaching, I was quite proud of my educational accomplishments. Coming from a poor family, I graduated near the top of my high school class and was the first person to go to college. Then, I graduated early even though I had to work the entire time I was in school.

My first year, I taught a student who was brilliant, but who I often caught sleeping in class. Despite this, he always aced every test and turned in his work on time, but it bothered me so much that I often hounded him because I felt like he was skating by due to his intelligence and not really trying.

One day, I found him in a panic after school and asked what was wrong. After a bit of prodding, he said that his ride bailed on him and he had to get to work, so I offered to take him. When we pulled up to his workplace, I asked if he was going to be able to get a ride home and he said he couldn’t think that far ahead – he was still hoping to get a ride to his next job.

Naturally I was floored. Here was this kid at the top of my class working part time jobs until 2 in the morning and then somehow managing to sit through English Lit and Pre-Calculus. And I had been harassing him.

Worse, I learned over the next few months that he was pretty much doing it all without the help of his parents, who didn’t even seem to know that he was still going to school, much less that he was doing well enough to graduate and have his pick of colleges. All they cared about was that he was working enough to bring in money for the family.

It was at that point that I realized I would never be able to do what he was doing. If I had been forced to essentially work a full-time job at 17, it would have been the end of my school career, because I would have made the “adult” decision to choose my survival over my education. Thankfully, that was never something I had to deal with, but it really opened my eyes to the fact that every kid has a unique story, and you can’t just try to fit them into a box.

Image: 'Student and Teacher'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/71401718@N00/37531816

Friday, November 23, 2012

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 11/23/12

tools1Here 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

Myths and Legends - “This site is for pupils, teachers and all those who enjoy stories and storytelling.” (L: LA; SA: A)

The National Archives Experience - “Find and create interactive learning activities with primary source documents that promote historical thinking skills.”(L:G; SA: A)

Brain Flips - “BrainFlips provides the world's best tools for creating, sharing and studying flashcards! Make flashcards on any subject and share them with your friends and classmates. BrainFlips flashcards can incorporate text, images, audio and video to learn any subject. Use our flashcards to study for:

  • School subjects (vocabulary, math, history, geography, Spanish, French, etc.)
  • Test prep (SAT, LSAT, GRE, GMAT, MCAT)
  • Licensing prep (NCLEX, USMLE, Series 7, Real estate exams)
  • Study flashcards on anything you like!

Flashcards are a time-tested learning tool for studying nearly any subject. BrainFlips flashcards take this model and extend using the latest technology to make learning with flashcards fun and effective. “(L:G ; SA:A )

History Mystery - “How would you like to become a great investigator — of history! I’m Professor Carlotta Facts, and I challenge you to solve the History Mystery! If you figure out the mystery in fewer clues, you earn a higher title as an investigator. So choose a game…and away we play!” (L: SS; SA: E, M)

BugScope - “Bugscope is an educational outreach project that was created in 1999 and continues with support from the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Staff members in the Beckman Institute's multi-user microscopy suite donate their time to run up to 3 live Bugscope sessions a week. Schools apply online and pay nothing to participate. Once an application is accepted, we will arrange to schedule the date and time of the live interactive session.”

Original Image: Tools by Pat Hensley

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

ThanksToday is Thanksgiving Day in the USA and I want to share some of the things I’m thankful for this year.

I’m thankful for:

1. My good health and that I am alive.

2. My wonderful loving husband who is also best friend.

3. My family near and far because family is important.

4. Great friends who make me smile and keep me laughing.

5. Ability to pay our bills.

6. The ability and financial stability to be able to travel.

7. My new spinning wheel which I love using!

8. My car that doesn’t use a lot of fuel.

9. Knitting which is an important part of my everyday life.

10. The desire to try new recipes.

11. The desire to learn new hobbies (archery may be next on our list)

12. The love of the outdoors.

13. Being a volunteer with the Red Cross

14. Being a volunteer as a Master Naturalist.

15. Skype so I can connect with my sister who lives far away as well as friends around the world.

16. The internet.

17. My cell phone.

18. A house that I love living in.

19. Not having to worry about needing food.

20. That I am surrounded by so much love.

What are you thankful for today? Please share!

Image: 'a thankful heart'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/12673610@N04/3914363448

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Connections

connectionsIn I can’t save everyone… from Blogush by Paul Bogush shares,

“I printed off of all of my class rosters and placed a check next to each kid that I “talked to” today.  Go ahead try it.  If you do nothing else today, print off a class list and place a check next to each kid that you talked to today.  Not just a question and answer back and forth, but a few sentences either in or outside of class.  I wonder what that data would show over time.  I bet that the kids who aren’t doing so well would be the same kids missing checks next to their names on more than one occasion.”

I think Paul hit the target on this one. Many times students need that personal connection before they trust someone enough to believe what they say. Learning involves a lot of trust. If a student doesn’t trust a teacher, I don’t believe they will be able to learn and retain that learning for future use. They don’t want me to talk AT them but they want me to talk WITH them. I try to find out something interesting about each student and each day I try to ask them about their interests or comment about something I saw or read about their interest. I like for them to explain more about things they are interested in and sometimes I learn a lot from them. The more I talk and connect with the students, the more I feel connected and invested in their success. It feels as if I try harder and so do my students.

I also think this applies to our colleagues. Too many times I hear teachers complain about their workplace. They complain about the administration and they complain about teachers they need to collaborate with. Maybe if they took time to connect with these people, it might make a difference. I try to learn about their interests and when I see them, I try to ask a question or make a comment about their interests. This takes time and energy to remember things like this. At first, I make a list (yes, I love my lists) of people and beside it I write about their interests. If I know I will meet with someone the next day, I look up their interests and may even look for a news story about their interest or think of a question that I could ask them about it. The more I do this, the less I need my list. Before long we are connecting on a more personal level which helps when we disagree on something. It also makes it more comfortable to share new ideas or make suggestions.

It would be interesting to see data on how this would make a difference in the workplace atmosphere. It would be fun to see how people would rate their workplace comparing those colleagues who connect and those who stay isolated from each other.

I think these connections are important to being successful in the classroom and in life.

Do you connect with your students? Do you connect with colleagues? If so, what are some things that you do? Please share.

Image: 'Pitaya (light green)'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/94805433@N00/45406386

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Silence is Golden

hidingIn The Teacher We Are, The Student We Were from Practical Theory, Chris Lehmann says,

“The teacher we are today is, without question, informed by the student we were. But we have to make sure that we create a vision of our classrooms — and our schools — that include all students in that vision, not just in ways to “make them fit,” but to create spaces where all students can find themselves and find success.”

When I was in school, I was the quiet shy kid. I hated to raise my hand. I hated to be called on. I used to find a desk sitting behind the tallest widest kid I could find. I would hide. I hoped if the teacher couldn’t see me, I could blend in and be forgotten.

When I became a teacher, I sympathized with kids like me. So, I called on the first person to have their hand up. I didn’t call on kids who I noticed were “hiding.” But then I realized that I was doing them a disservice. I guess that is why my teachers didn’t let me “hide” and they knew something I didn’t know. They gave me a chance, even when I didn’t want it. I couldn’t learn if they just let me slide by and hide. It was important for them to assess my understanding of the concepts. It was important that I learn to join the conversation. I believe if I was given more time rather than being put on the spot, I would have been able to answer questions more easily because I needed more time to process questions. I like to mull over questions and “chew” on it for a while before I come up with the best answer. I did well on written tests rather than oral tests for this reason.

So now when I teach, I look for the students who were just like me. Instead of calling on the first person to raise their hand or only the students who want to be noticed, I let there be silence. I inform the class that I will not call on anyone for a few minutes and I want silence so they can process the information. I learned to allow for “wait time.” By allowing silence, I allow all of the students to process the information without the stress of worrying whether I will call on them or not.

Sometimes I meet with the students who do not like to answer questions out loud and explain to them that I need to assess their understanding. We try to think of ways that I can do this without calling on them to answer questions. Here are some strategies that I use in the classroom:

1. If I ask if you understood something, put thumbs up for yes and thumbs down for no.

2. Use a small white board for each student. When I ask a question, have them write the answer down and I walk around to check the answers. If white boards aren’t available, I used scratch paper for each student.

3. Have the students review what they learned and come up with their own questions and answers. I have them use the words: How, What, When, Where, and Why. After approving the questions and answers, I collect them all. Then I use these questions to guide my questioning. It helps the quiet ones because they know what 5 of the questions will be and the answers.

4. Give “wait time” before calling on students. The students, who know the answer, put a thumb up. I wait until all students have a thumb up. If some students are struggling, I prompt them on where to find the answer.

5. I had small square foam blocks for each student. One side was red and one side was green. They turned the green side (meaning OK) up if they knew the answer and the red side (meaning I need help!) up if they didn’t. I went around and helped everyone find the answer until all blocks were green. The more I did this; soon most of the students were able to turn the blocks to green.

How do you help the students who want to stay “hidden?” Please share.

Image: 'peek-a-boo'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/47691273@N06/8185061444

How I Work

070912In I’m Damian Bariexca, and This Is How I Work

from Apace of Change, Damian shares information about himself. Then he asks,

“Who are you, and how do YOU work?”

Here is my information:

  • Name: Pat Hensley
  • Occupation: Retired special ed teacher now teaching teachers on the university level
  • Location: Greenville, SC
  • Current Primary Computer: Toshiba Satellite laptop running Windows 7
  • Current Phone: Droid Incredible with Verizon service
  • I work: daily on my blog, give presentations when asked, and try to learn something new every day!

What apps/tools/software can’t you live without?

Gmail, Google Reader, Plurk, Facebook. These tools keep me connected to the world.

What’s your workspace setup like?

I sit side by side next to my husband while we both work on our laptops. When I need a break, I knit (which is beside my working area) or I spin (my spinning wheel is in my sunroom).

What do you listen to while you work?

I don’t usually listen to anything while I’m writing because it distracts me. Sometimes my husband will turn the TV on to watch the news or the stock market but I usually can tune them out.

What’s your best time-saving trick?

Staying organized. I make lists that are prioritized and then mark each item off as it is done. It makes me feel good when I can mark off everything on the list (or at least most of it).

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?

This is a tie between my phone and my iPad. My phone connects me to family members who live in other states. My parents are in their 90s and this is the main way we stay connected. My iPad has really made traveling so much easier for me. I can look up gas prices, reviews and suggestions for places to eat and even make hotel reservations quickly.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?

I think the best thing I do is have a positive attitude. I consciously make the choice to have a good day. Sometimes I hit some obstacles but at the end of the day I can usually look back and feel like I’ve had a good day. I like to start off the day by saying something positive to others on Twitter, Plurk, and Facebook. I look for good things to happen. If I meet someone that gets on my nerves, I try to find something good about that person. If something gets on my nerves, I either leave it and come back to it or try to find a good reason why I should continue to struggle with it. I try to appreciate each day because I can’t imagine not having it and what I would be missing!

Any other interesting tidbits/hints for your readers?

I am bad about procrastinating! I sometimes lie to myself and say that I work better under pressure but that isn’t true. I work well under pressure because I have no choice. Then I promise that I won’t do this again next time (until next time comes!).

I also like to collect hobbies. I like to read (always have since I learned to read). I’ve done cross-stitch, crocheting, gardening, hiking, camping, backpacking, knitting, and spinning. Now my hubby and I are looking into archery as a new hobby. There are so many neat things to learn and I feel like I don’t have enough time to learn them all! I’m just going to take one hobby at a time.

Now I want to repeat the question to you -  Who are you, and how do YOU work? Please share!

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Monday, November 19, 2012

Self Advocacy in the Classroom

detourIn John: Self-Advocacy Topics and Tips, Part One from CEC Blog , John asks,

“What experience do you have teaching self-advocacy skills? Were you surprised by how little students and parents knew about a disability?”

First let me say, that if you haven’t read his blog, please check it out! Every time he posts something, he really inspires me!

I always believed that self advocacy was vital for my students to face the future. I taught high school so I may have been more candid with my students than teachers of other levels would be. At first, many of my students denied having a disability. They believed they were in my class because they were bad and if they were good, they could go back to general education classes. It was at this point that I explained the whole process of identification and testing. Many parents didn’t even understand this process and believed that their child was just lazy or stupid.

I would start off the year by talking to my students about the word disability. I have mentioned this before but I draw a car driving along a road on the board. Then I erase part of the road and tell the students they are like the car. Due to their disability (whatever kind they have), the road is out and they have to find the detour. They will end up at the destination like other students but the journey may be rough, bumpy, and even take longer. This does not mean there is anything wrong with the car (or the student) and we need to make sure the car stays in good shape for the ride. My job is to help them find the right detour and help them along the way. Students seem to understand this explanation and even feel better about themselves. At the end of the year, I’ve had parents tell me that their child has explained their disability to them and relatives in the same way. By doing this, I’m giving them a tool to help them talk to others about their disability.

Next we look at the individual IEPs. I go over the sections with them and explain the sections. I don’t talk about each person’s specific information. At a later time, I meet with them individually to discuss the IEP and answer any questions they may have. When I have IEP meetings, I want the student to be able to understand what we are talking about and give input if needed. Since this is about that student, I want them to feel like they have some control over decisions that affect them. Giving input is something they are able to control.

Every 4 weeks, I review the IEP and update goals if needed. I review this with the student and send a report home. This helps the student see that this is a working document. If any changes need to be made, they can be done quickly so the student can be helped in the best way possible.

I have had some students even offer to talk to other classes about their disability and how it affects them. We discuss how peers make fun of them out of ignorance and fear. By talking about this, it takes the unknown and fears out of the equation and actually helps others be more tolerant.

At the end of the year, the students run their own annual IEP meeting. A powerpoint presentation is made for each section of the IEP. At first it is scary but we practice a lot in the classroom. They work in teams of 2 when they practice and then practice in front of the class. They don’t have to give the private specific information during these practice sessions. At the beginning of the meeting, the student introduces each participant and then begins the presentation. The student talks about the information given in each section and refers to me when I need to talk about a section. At the end of the presentation, the floor is open for comments and questions. It is amazing how empowering this is for the student!

Image: 'Day 167/365 - The long way "round'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/26104563@N00/5911810875

Friday, November 16, 2012

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 11/16/12

tools2Here 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

Reader’s Theater Script and Plays - “Readers Theater is a dramatic presentation of a written work in a script form.  Readers read from a "script" and reading parts are divided among the readers. No memorization, costumes, blocking, or special lighting is needed. Presentations can easily be done in a k-3 classroom.  Scripts are held by the readers. Lines are not memorized. The focus is on reading the text with expressive voices and gestures. Making comprehending the text meaningful and fun for the student! Once you start Reader's Theater in your classroom you and your students will be loving it!!!” (L: G; SA: LA)

Digital Comics - “We are the best site for downloading FREE public domain Golden Age Comics. All files here have been researched by our staff and users to make sure they are copyright free and in the public domain. To start downloading just register an account and enjoy these great comic books. We do not charge per download and the goal of the project is to archive these comic books online and make them widely available.” (L: G; SA: LA)

Desmos - an online graphing calculator (L: H; SA: M)

BoomWriter - “Get your class, student group, or club using technology to collaboratively write a real book. BoomWriter is totally free, and groups of five children or more can use it to read, write, compete and get published!” (L: G; SA: LA)

World History - “provides a collection of archives that includes historical facts and information about people, places, events and artifacts from historical institutions, Libraries, and resources on the web.” (L: G; SA: SS)

Original Image: Tools by Pat Hensley

Thursday, November 15, 2012

5 Great Reasons to Get a Master’s Degree in Special Education

Teaching(Today’s post is written by Vera Mosley. Vera Mosley is an expert on special education teaching and having worked closely with many Universities to help educate fellow teachers on the methods of effective teaching. She frequently writes on topics surrounding education and the classroom.)

Working with students is a highly rewarding career. Given that teaching is not one of the highest paying professions, most teachers pursue a career in education because they sincerely care about their students and seeing them progress. Special education teachers have a unique role in working with children who have learning disabilities. For current special education teachers, there are still great reasons to pursue a special education master’s degree even in the tough economy.

1. Specialization. Each child with special needs is different, and there are a variety of causes for a special needs diagnosis. Depending on where a special education teacher is placed, the school population may have specific needs. Some special education master’s degree programs allow teachers to specialize in working with a specific student population. Specializations focus on areas such as autism spectrum disorders, deaf and hard of hearing, or curriculum development will better prepare teachers to work with a particular population.

2. Better job placement. In some cases, employers consider a special education master’s degree an indication of seniority in the profession, and may value this education over years of experience. Teachers with a master’s degree have undergone extensive education to better know and serve the student population that they work with. Master’s degree programs often require supervised learning experiences in addition to extensive training in research and effective methods. In this tough economy, a special education master’s degree may be the extra edge necessary to secure a position.

3. Increased pay. Many special education teachers work in public school districts. In such settings, the payment and earning potential is strictly determined according to preset criteria. Holding a special education master’s degree or the number of academic credits that a teacher has pursued in special education are common criteria on the pay scale. A teacher with a special education master’s degree automatically increases their earning potential. For teachers who already possess years of experience, a master’s degree in special education may also increase the amount of earnings.

4. Professional Development. As with most educational fields, there are developments that grow and change over the years. Students who earn a special education master’s degree gain increased knowledge on how to best serve the student population with which they work. Continuing education is important in every field, but particularly in special education in which policies and practice do change according to the current political situation and leadership. Professional development in education is essential to maintaining an effective classroom and staying up to date with the latest educational methods.

5. Degree in another field. Due to the teacher shortage, some teachers with special education or training work with special education students, despite not having the certification to do so. Obtaining a special education masters can be a fast track both to earning certification and an advanced degree. Many schools offer accelerated programs, which allow a person with an undergraduate degree in a field other than special education to advance their studies to the graduate level.
For special education professionals considering a special education master’s degree, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. Special education teachers with a master’s degree are better prepared to work with their target population, have better chances obtaining a position and also earning a better salary.

Image: 'Reading Aloud to Children'
 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/83955435@N00/5484879

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Building Relationships

handshakeWhen I go to a store or restaurant regularly, I learn people’s names. I recognize them and use their names when I interact with them. This is important, to them and to me. It builds a relationship that usually results in better service for me and a returning customer for them. When I go to my pharmacy to refill a prescription, I am greeted by name and it makes me feel good. I think I make them feel good when I compliment them and use their names. When I go to a restaurant and I’m served by someone I don’t know, I learn their name and try to use it when we interact. Again, I think it helps us build a relationship, even though temporary, that will help during my time there.

I think the same thing works in the classroom. Of course when you know the student’s names and they know yours, it will help during the school year. But what other names are important. I always taught my students to recognize (by face and name) the following people: administrators, principal’s secretary, head janitor and the one who cleans our classroom, lunchroom ladies and other important people that cross into their lives. This has them noticed by others (in a positive way) when my students greet them by name or talk to them. By doing this, I’m preparing my students for the workplace where building relationships is important.

I also build relationships with parents. I call them on a regular basis so they know that when I call, it is not always bad news as they have been taught to expect. In fact, I call them so often that I allow them to call me by my first name (even though many won’t do that). This relationship enables parents to come to me when there is a problem before going to the administration. Now I’m not trying to cover up any major problems but I’m talking about the minor ones that the administration would really appreciate now having to deal with. Sometimes it is a simple problem that I am able to resolve. If I can’t resolve it, I’m able to go to the administration or guidance for some help. The parent feels that someone is there to help them if needed. I become one of the team players helping their child succeed rather than an adversary putting up obstacles.

Building relationships is so important for my students to be successful. By doing what I do, I’m being a role model for my students and teaching them to do the same.

How to you teach your students to build relationships? Please share.

Image: 'Panama Business and Investment'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/23065375@N05/2235525962

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Breaking Bad Habits

disciplineIn Kaylie: What To Do When Things Go Wrong from CEC Blog, Kaylie shares about a student’s bad behavior and how she had to handle it. Then she asks,

“Have you had a similar experience? One of your students makes repeated poor choices and you’re left to decide and manage how it’s handled. How did you deal with the situation? What was and wasn’t successful? What do I need to do differently?”

Many of my students make poor choices on a regular basis so it is important to break this cycle. I feel that many times it is more of a habit than a conscious choice. When the student is exhibiting bad behavior, it is not the time to make it a learning experience. The time is before the bad behavior happens, as a way of preparation and prevention rather than a knee jerk reaction.

So, as in any bad habit, it is important for students to recognize what the bad habit is. Over time, many students have gotten used to blaming their behavior on their disability because they have heard others say this. Students are brainwashed to believe that they have no control over their own behavior. When they hear something often enough, they start to believe it, just like they hear adults and peers say they are lazy or bad or dumb. It is important to have students realize that they can control their behavior and it may be hard but it is not impossible. They need to hear this every day, many times a day. It might even be good to write “I can control my own behavior!” on a couple of index cards. One can be taped to the desk and one can be kept in the student’s pocket.

Next, discuss the behaviors the student has exhibited that are unacceptable. Have the student give input on this because the student knows this as well as the teachers. Have the student discuss what happens that causes this behavior. Have the student see that there is a cause and effect process here. As teachers, we tend to assume that the student knows what causes this but unless we teach the student how to recognize this, it doesn’t always happen.

Once the student can identify the behaviors and the causes, it is time to discuss alternate behaviors that are appropriate. Help the student brainstorm ways to act more appropriately in different situations. Help the student make a chart listing the situation on one side and appropriate behaviors on the other.

Now the fun begins. It is time to role play the situations. The more practice the student has doing this; the more comfortable the student will be in a real situation. It is just like practicing a fire drill.

But it doesn’t stop there. Have the students reflect on their behavior either at the end of the school day or the next day. List challenging situations that they faced and how they reacted. (Don’t judge them and allow them to be honest.) Discuss whether their reactions were appropriate or how they might have acted differently (don’t say better because that is a judgment and they will withdraw from the conversation). This reflection is what will help them internalize their behavior and hopefully replace their bad habit.

I’m not saying this will work for all behaviors or take the place of medication but I believe that many times we don’t give students enough credit for controlling their own behavior.

What do you think? How do you handle situations like Kaylie has faced? Please share!

Image: 'Raise Respectful Kids'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/52505823@N05/4926100794

Monday, November 12, 2012

Teacher Feature - Heather Perry

Teacher-FeatureI am featuring a teacher in my blog each month who someone nominates as being a phenomenal teacher. This month’s teacher is Heather Perry! Congratulations Heather for being this month’s featured teacher!

ST: What school do you teach at?

HP: Mauldin Middle School

ST: What subjects/grade levels do you teach?

HP: Learning Disabled Self-Contained Neurological Disorder and SSA/ Autism Resource

ST: How long have you been teaching?

HP: 12 years

ST: What has been the hardest thing for you as a teacher?

HP: Paperwork, Ugh

ST: What do you feel is the best thing about teaching?

HP: Seeing a student finally get what you are trying to teach them

ST: If money was no object, what would you want for your classroom?

HP: Promethean Board

ST: If you could have anybody in the world visit your class, who would it be?

HP: President Obama because he could see how important education to kids with disabilities and how much potential my students have.

ST: Is there something special or unique that you do in your classroom? Is so, please share.

HP: 2 things- We have a Be A Fan Club that teaches acceptance and understanding of students with disabilities. We have already begun to see the changes in the climate at our school. We also attend Special Olympics 4 times a year with 3 times being overnight trips. This builds friendship between students with and without disabilities and builds independence in each of my students.

If you want to nominate a teacher for me to feature in the upcoming months, please email me (successfulteaching at gmail dot com) their name, school, and contact info. Please consider helping me recognize teachers who sometimes don’t get the recognition that they deserve!

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Friday, November 9, 2012

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 11/9/12

tools1Here 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

Investigating the First Thanksgiving - “As you work through this guide, you and your students will use the skills of historians to peel away the layers of myth and misconception surrounding. The First Thanksgiving and discover what might really have happened during the fall of 1621. Along the way, you and your students will explore the differences between history and the past, and challenge your own ideas about history. Be prepared; what you discover may surprise you!” (L: E, M; SA: SS)

One Hundred Free Books - free books for the kindle (L: T ; SA: A )

Cyber Chase Games - by PBS, “Explore this site for ways to help your favorite kids get the most out of math! Designed for kids ages 8 to 12 and packed with mystery, humor, and action” (L:E, M; SA:M)

Digital Dialects - “features free to use online games for learning languages. Language resources include games for learning phrases, numbers, useful words, spelling, verb conjugation and alphabets.”

The 1900 House - transports a modern family back into the 1900s. (L:G; SA:LA, SS, S)

Original Image: Tools by Pat Hensley

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Tech Tools for the Classroom

CEC877avatar

CEC 877’s online meeting is scheduled for:

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 7pm Eastern Time.

Topic: Tech Tools for the Classroom

We will be trying out a new platform for the meeting. No microphones or webcams needed. Only an internet connection required.

Please register for the meeting here: http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=E950DB83834C3B

Everyone is welcome! Please invite any one that you think might be interested. You do not need to be a CEC member to attend!

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Why Do I Continue Teaching?

studentsIn Why I continue teaching…  Paul Bogush shares,

“I see many folks coming into teaching never have experienced that feeling of autonomy, of trust, that feeling that they can create powerful learning experiences for their kids without the district or state giving them plans and telling them exactly what to do.  What I especially see, are teachers who have never experienced excitement in school as a kid.  Test prep is all they have ever known.  Standardization is all they have ever known.  Decisions have always been made for them.”

This was very powerful for me! It made me reflect about my reasons for teaching. Five years ago, I retired from teaching in public school. Now I teach on the university level, give presentations at conferences, and offer professional development seminars at schools. Everyone asks me constantly why I continue teaching since I retired.

I feel the need to share my passion. Teaching was not just a hobby or a career but a dream come true for me. Once I achieved the goal of becoming a teacher, each year as I saw positive changes in my students, they fueled my desire to stay a teacher. Yes, I faced frustration with administration, paperwork, and testing but it was all about the students. They were people and unpredictable. They were also a priority over the administration, paperwork, and testing. Like Paul, I’m not sure the new generation understands this concept. They seem to talk the talk but not necessarily walk the walk and seem to just be giving lip service to the powers that be.

As I was growing up, fairy tales were passed on to children. I remember having people read them to me until I could finally read them to myself. I see movies being made of some of these fairy tales. Unfortunately the joy and passion of teaching feels like it is becoming a fairy tale. I want to make this a reality for the teachers of today. I want them to see beyond the mechanics of teaching and get down to the real life impact they are making. Teachers today are getting too bogged down with the mechanics that they are missing the joy.

That is why I continue to teach. I want to share the passion of teaching. If I can help teachers get below the surface of teaching and get down deep into nitty gritty, they will see the joy. Maybe this will help society keep teachers more than five years. Maybe they will grow deep roots and stick with this honorable profession. I refuse to give up. I refuse to let politics, the burden of heavy paperwork, the ridiculous policies that stifle teacher creativity, and the absurdness of regulations made by people who don’t have a clue, stop me from sharing the joy of teaching.

If you are a teacher, please share why you continue to teach, either in the comment section or in your own blog (just send me the link so I can read it!). Please share.

Image: '9:15 AM-Students Reading and Working on Seatwork'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/83955435@N00/7229079
Found on flickrcc.net

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fiber Arts for the Classroom

002About 5 years ago, I started to crochet which led to knitting and now spinning. Of course, this has resulted in the purchase of an expensive new spinning wheel!

When I was growing up, I remember my mother doing lots of sewing and knitting. Eventually my middle sister became a great seamstress, crocheter, and knitter. I never had an interest in it until five years ago. I didn’t know many people around me who did crochet or knit but when another teacher was making an afghan, I begged her to teach me. I eventually found Ravelry which is a social network for people interested in fiber arts. At first I thought that just meant crocheting and knitting but I’ve found out that fiber arts involves felting, spinning, and a whole range of wonderful things!

Maybe I never noticed before or maybe it is becoming more popular but I’m glad to see this. I was afraid that fiber art might become a lost art.

I’m seeing more Fiber Festivals which is becoming a major money maker in the business world. My husband is amazed when we go to the Southeastern Animal Fiber Festival. There are swarms of people every year that attend. I dream of going to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival and to Rhinebeck for the NYS Sheep and Wool Festival.

I notice that colleges are starting to have knitting groups on campus and I’m glad to see young people becoming involved. Knitting and crocheting are not seen as an old woman’s craft anymore. Some high schools are even starting to have knitting groups. I had a few of my students learn to crochet because they wanted to make baby blankets (for their own children or for friends).

I’m also glad to see more men becoming involved in knitting because history shows that men did a lot of knitting on sailing ships.

I believe that learning a fiber art can be very educational. It involves reading and following directions, math skills (pricing yarn, figuring out the amount of yarn needed, measurement, resizing). Spinning teaches dexterity and motor skills whether learning to use a drop spindle or a spinning wheel. Dyeing yarn would be a great way to teach science.

If you are a fiber artist, consider sharing your art with your students. Let them ask questions. Show them some basics. If they are interested in more, you can add lessons but keep them short and simple because you don’t want to overwhelm them and scare them away.

If you aren’t a fiber artist, invite a speaker to come talk about their art. You can go to a craft store and ask them for suggestions of who to ask. If there is a yarn store nearby, consider asking the owner to come talk to your class. They could talk about yarn or even owning a business.

I think the students would be interested in Fiber Arts but may not know how to ask about it or even know what questions to ask. Bringing Fiber Arts into the classroom would be a chance for students to be successful in something besides academics, yet they would be learning academics without focusing on it.

Do you do some form of fiber arts? Do you share it with your students? Please share!

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Monday, November 5, 2012

2012 SC Ed Tech Conference Day 3

Kid Developers - how kids can develop their own apps - Chris Craft

http://www.christophercraft.com/

http://www.kiddevelopers.com/

001Apple has higher standards than Google Play
Apple developer program is $99 per year
Need screenshots at different resolutions for different devices
Stay away from web based apps
MobiOne - nice drag and drop, not very robust; apps are mobile and not downloadable
BuzzTouch - this is great and free; add values and it generates the code for you; takes the heavy lifting out of code; good tutorials; email Chris for tutoring session ; tell kids they can't create a game; have kids flesh out the concept before starting buzztouch; informational. When done, download the source code, can't upload to the apple store without a Mac, android apps for Pc (lots more devices). Moderately successful. Screenshots - don't need to have device in hand, Chris will publis if it is free. Free accounts is for 3 apps.plugins give you added functionality but may cost. For help, contact Chris.
Apps created -search for crossroads middle school, chosen dance academy, scufc (droid)
What platform can be used? Can use iPads, iPods, as well as laptops.
Can't see app before published - no live preview on buzztouch
Can run on Xcode on Mac and run on simulator
Download into eclipse (free) for PC to make android apps and runs on simulator
No Limit to size but user doesn't like slow
Flipped over Screencasting by Shasta Kelly Looper

Presentation: http://prezi.com/2fpgzeqube93/flipped-over-screencasting/

Show.me and educreations - both are iPad apps
Can be seen on any device that the web can be accessed.
Keep between 6 or 7 min.
Work problems on paper, do problems for homework to turn in the next day.
Differentiated lessons - students use show me or educreations
No lesson has been over 10 or 12 minutes, not sure if there is a time or space limit.
Students pre plan and have a story board.
Easy learning curve, both record voice, and annotations, public/private
Educreations has multiple page, text capability, duplicate pages but student accounts can not create, better for upper grades.
Take screen shots and give instructions.
Can not edit - it is a one shot thing.
Parents and students love this.
ADD kids didn't have to track the teacher around the room.
Huge improvement in MAP scores with all students. Also improvement in engagement.
(Check out cover for iPad - griffin defender or survivor)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Friday, November 2, 2012

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 11/2/12

tools2Here 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

The Global Classroom 2012-2013 - “We invite you to watch, listen, and share as we explore new ways to connect, share, learn, and collaborate globally.” (L:G ; SA: A )

The Why Files - “The mission of The Why Files is to explore the science, math and technology behind the news of the day, and to present those topics in a clear, accessible and accurate manner. We are based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, but The Why Files covers science at all institutions that engage in scientific exploration and discovery. We hope our work will help explain the relationship between science and daily life.The Why Files produces a new story each week, alternating longer features with shorter shorties. We also post a series of interactive science animations, the ever-popular “Cool Science Images,” a series of Teacher Activity Pages linked to the national science teaching standards, The Weather Guys, and Curiosities. Eager to explain the science behind the news, our home page reprises older stories that become relevant to the headlines.” (L: G; SA: S )

Science Net Links - great resource to find science lesson plans (L:T ; SA: S )

Teach Your Monster to Read - “new, free game to practice the first steps of reading.” (L:E; SA: LA)

Symbolab - “is a semantic web search engine for math and science. It allows users to search for equations, formulas and expressions using mathematical symbols and scientific notations as well as full text search.” (L:H ; SA: M, S)

Original Image: Tools by Pat Hensley

Thursday, November 1, 2012

2012 SC Ed Tech Conference Day 2

002Here are my notes from Day 2 of the SC Ed Tech Conference. (It was an awesome conference and I hope to go again!)

Verizon Thinkfinity
Presentation:
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B6b8kmUj0iPjMnlWcUpscnFOSEk/edit
Thinkfinity.org
Power issues - environment and economics
Power up - energy, fossil fuels
Search according to standards and common core
Sophia.org
 
PD with a Twist
Presentation: http://www.slideshare.net/bibliogerman/ed-tech-pd-with-a-twist
Great suggestions for making professional development at your school more interesting and interactive. 

Here's
an app there's an app
https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/15Wpeqq6bC6wPnVpIs1Fi6MHXmN4zOfE3YXnrM_uKfrc/edit#slide=id.p
  1. Edmodo
  2. Skitch
  3. Evernote
  4. Evernote peek
  5. Flipboard
  6. Socrative
  7. Google drive
  8. Roadshow
  9. Lifecards $1.99
  10. Idea sketch
  11. Puppet pals $2.99
  12. Photosynth
  13. Solar walk
  14. Rover
  15. Toontastic
  16. Storybots
  17. Showme
  18. Screen chomp
  19. Dropbox
  20. Songify
  21. Springpad
  22. Classdojo
  23. Doceri
  24. Reflections
  25. Digital journal
50 tools in 50 minutes
Presentation: http://prezi.com/skrfedzgrs5e/sc-edtech-2012-50-tools-in-50-minutes/

Jog the Web: http://www.jogtheweb.com/run/XOIiKUApgqSc/Presentation-50-Tools
  1. Animoto
  2. Big huge lab
  3. Capzle
  4. Build your wild side
  5. Box
  6. Cool text
  7. Comic master
  8. Dipity
  9. Easy bib
  10. Evernote
  11. Flubaroo
  12. GlogsterEDU
  13. Gooru
  14. Hippocampus
  15. Jeopardy labs
  16. Jing
  17. Jog the web
  18. Live binders
  19. Temporary email accounts
  20. Mindmeister
  21. Museum box
  22. Nearpod
  23. Pbworks
  24. Pixlr
  25. Pixton for schools
  26. Portrait illustration maker
  27. Powtoon
  28. Present.me
  29. Prezi
  30. Projeqt
  31. QR stuff
  32. QR voice
  33. Reflection app
  34. Splashtop
  35. Scoop.it!
  36. Screenr
  37. Sidevibe
  38. Sliderocket
  39. Slideshark
  40. S'more
  41. Socrative
  42. Stixy
  43. SugarSync
  44. Sweet search
  45. SymbalooEDU
  46. Time toast
  47. Vokie
  48. Weebly for education
  49. Word clouds and tag clouds
  50. Teach with Web 2.0
Google Apps for Education:maximum Exposure - Tony Thompson

Clean save extension - great way to save web pages in Google Drive instead of bookmarking!

Original photo by Pat Hensley