Thursday, November 8, 2012

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

2012 Election Educates

WOW! I love that my students were so interested in the election today. They had so many questions and we were able to have some great conversations. I believe that learning opporunities like today should not be wasted. While there may not be questions about the Electoral College on the standardized test, it is great way for students to make connections. For example, students can practice addition by adding up the electoral votes each candidate receives. They can then find the difference between the two by subtracting. Students can practice writing by writing a formal letter to the new President addressing their concerns. Reading news articles about the election allow students an opportunity to practice reading comprehension as well as fluency. If you are creative, the election presents many opportunities for students to learn. Students will remember the information that they are learning because they will connect it with a real world experience. It's a win-win for teachers and students!

Tuesday's Technology Tip

Wow! It's already Tuesday again and it's already NOVEMBER! I recently found a fun way to share lots of information with my students at once. The website is called Edcanvas and I LOVE IT! You are able to share YouTube videos, websites, documents, and more in one location. You can then post your "canvas" on a website, social media site, or other learning tool. A couple of the canvases that I have used with my students are attached. If you are using this in your classroom, please let me know and share any great ideas! Election 2012 Edcanvas Famous Structures Edcanvas

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

5 Instructional Shifts to Promote Deep Learning

5 Instructional Shifts to Promote Deep Learning This article is a great explanation of where I think classrooms are headed. If you read it carefully and think about today's students, it just makes sense. Take some time to read this article and focus on your classroom. Could you start slowly and make one of these instructional shifts? I think you will be glad that you did!

Worldly Wednesday - Pyramids of Egypt

We recently traveled to Egypt with Global Encounter and learned about the Pyramids of Giza. I'm not sure what it is but the pyramids are so intriguing for my students. After talking about the location of Giza and what the pyramids were, we talked about how we thought they may have been built. In order to integrate math vocabulary into the lesson, we built pyramids using base ten cubes. We talked about the base of a pyramid being a square and then decided what our base would be. After we decided to have a base of 6x6, we talked about how this looks like a multiplication problem. We then constructed our base and realized that there were 36 squares in our base, the product of 6x6. I then introduced the word array and how this was a multiplication picture. The students discussed how this was an array and what our next arrays needed to be to make the shape of the pyramids. Because this activity was tied to something the students found interesting, they will remember the word array. They made a meaningful connection and it was exciting to watch them learn as they worked. If you would like to know more about Global Encounter and how you can virtually travel the world with your students, please feel free to contact me.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tuesday's Technology Tip

Today's technology tip is a recommendation to a wonderful website. It is called GradeCam and it literally grades papers for you! I can remember when I first started teaching and when I would ask my students to invent something that would be helpful for teachers, it was ALWAYS a machine that would grade our papers for us. Well, my friends, the time has come. This is a DREAM COME TRUE! This type of technology is so beneficial because it allows the teachers to spend their time teaching instead of paperwork. Check it out when you get a chance and let me know what you think. If you have already been using it for some time, share your thoughts as well.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Global Encounter

Global Education has recently become a passion of mine. In an effort to create students that are empathetic, understanding, and curious about the world around them, we have virtualy traveled the world with two world travelers over the last year. We have experienced Egypt, New Zealand, Australia, China, Nepal, Israel, Jordan, and many more far away places. This experience has given my students a new view of the world. If you want to know more about this program, please visit It has had a HUGE impact on my students and their families. Below is a short video from another district about the impact that this program has had on their students.