Saturday, June 17, 2017

Educational Links 6/18/17

8 Expert Tips on Helping Your Child With Dysgraphia

Implicit Bias In the Classroom: Can Video Games Help Combat It?

Respectful Talk

Why Free Play Is the Best Summer School

12 Good Social Studies Apps for Middle School Students

Urgent Plea To School Leaders: Budget for Books

For school leaders across the country who are making plans and drafting budgets for next year, I have a simple but urgent plea for you: prioritize books. Though I know I don't have to convince anyone of how important building students' literacy skills is, I also know that we are not all on the same page about how to invest resources to help students grow as readers. 

Yosemite Trip: No Yogi Bear Or BooBoo But Lots Of Beauty

View from our Yosemite campsite.

We had site #25--near the river and restrooms.
'Welcome,' quoth the raven.

Visiting a National Park is a privilege, powerful and just plain fun.
We had the lovely experience this April to drive up to Yosemite National Park through the Sierras to a very nice campsite, complete with bear-proof food box, fire pit, wildlife and fantastic river running through marvelous trees and mountains.

Onward ho
Abraham Lincoln began the
process of
for Yosemite to become a National Park
--and it is
now also a World Heritage Site.

My daughter and I rented a covered wagon--er-- F150 truck--emulating our pioneer ancestors (like if.) The drive included a spectacular climb through the Sierra elevations to  the Yosemite Valley.

I love that river!
We camped near the Merced River, and at first I thought we heard the thundering waterfalls as we slept--but they are so huge, they seemed close but were actually miles away. It was rapids on the river I heard.

The trees were very tall, healthy, filled with lovely birds and the light through the branches (including the moonlight of a full moon) was transcendent.

Lil ole tree hugger me.

The trees make a person feel like a small child with tall, caring adults surrounding. Yes, I hugged them.

There is also excellent transportation (a fleet of vans) to Yosemite Village and the main sites. If you must have a pizza, civilization isn't far.

A multitude of fearless birds--robins, bluebirds, ducks, and the observant ravens, and so many I cannot tell you who they are. But they were all sassy.

Yosemite provides a healthy habitat for the critters, including squirrels with extraordinarily luxurious tails. Too early and chilly (in the 20s F at night) for butterflies. No bears. I think they were still hibernating.
Fine with me.

Me, taking the pic on the left.

The incredible Yosemite Valley has 360 degree views of mountains, waterfalls and grand vistas. There are no bad shots. The cool fresh air, light breeze and occasional mist--it was like camping in a fantasy story.

Collaborators in fun!
Head 'em up, move 'em out!

We actually left a day early--the weather forecast called for snow, and even if we thought we could get down the mountains okay, we were not too sure about all the other campers driving down the rather skinny mountain roads! So we headed back through Central California--Tulare and Bakersfield and Buttonwillow and the Tehachapi's winding trail (actually a freeway) on our way home. BTW, my daughter is a great driver!

The famous Bridal Veil Falls, Yosemite. 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Educational Links 6/17/17

10 Things Teachers Should Do in the Next 90 Days

A Day in the Life of a Child With Sensory Processing Issues

Why Prosody Matters: The Importance of Reading Aloud with Expression

Teacher Wellness

What’s Next In Language Learning?

300 Ways to Help Your Students Love Writing

Professional Development: Benefits of Social Networking

Social networking is a popular tool that many classroom teachers use today to help them stay connected with their colleagues as well as other professional educators. Today’s technology, meanwhile, allows you to connect with people all over the world. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Educational Links 6/16/17


Five Tips For A More Meaningful Rubic


The Difference Between a School Identification and a Clinical Diagnosis

Get Things Done: 24 Google Doc Tips For Productivity

Technology Doesn’t Drive Blended Learning Success … or Does It?

How Do You Know When A Teaching Strategy Is Most Effective? John Hattie Has An Idea

Untangling education research can often feel overwhelming, which may be why many research-based practices take a long time to show up in real classrooms. It could also be one reason John Hattie’s work and book, Visible Learning, appeals to so many educators. Rather than focusing on one aspect of teaching, Hattie synthesizes education research done all over the world in a variety of settings into meta analyses, trying to understand what works in classrooms.

Summer Activities Collection

Summer Activity: Let's Have a Cookout! 


Summer Activity: Grow Flowers! (Moss Roses) 


Summer Activities: Art 

Summer Activity: Fruitilicious Freezer Jam 


Summer Activity: Everyday Science at Home


Summer Activity: Beauty Tastes Good (Violas) 



Summer Activity: Red, White and Blue Flowers for the Fourth 



Summer Activity: Keeping Butterflies, Bees and Hummingbirds Happy 




Summer Bump Not Slump: Midsummer Shakespeare Festival At Your House

A Midsummer Night's Dream (1999)

Summer's here and the time is right...for a Midsummer Shakespeare Festival at your house.

And maybe you can also go to an outdoor amphitheatre or playhouse if you are very lucky, as I am going to see Othello at the Old Globe in San Diego next week (Another reason to visit San Diego.)



Julius Caesar (1953)




 Romeo and Juliet (1968)






Macbeth (6 Oct. 2010)







The Merchant of Venice (2004) 




  Othello (1995)





Much Ado About Nothing (2012)

Where's Hamlet? Here--with poor Yorick.

Hamlet (2009)

This is also an excellent resource for further insight into Shakespeare that can inspire new Shakespearian thespians.



Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Next Schoolyear...we'll have a healthier classroom

This schoolyear teachers, students, and families are faced with serious communicable health risks to every generation. The first precaution is timely and appropriate vaccinations. Then, teachers (and families) should provide healthy environments and experiences so students and staff are less likely to fall victim to this year's serious round of infectious diseases. Influenza is serious this year. Whooping Cough has made a comeback, with Measles coming right behind. When watching the news, its like a movie and you expect Dustin Hoffman to appear in full hazmat suit, particularly when patient zero spreads measles from Disneyland. What's a teacher to do?

Five Ways to a Cleaner, Healthier Classroom 

Teaching Students Healthy Habits 

Strategies to Keep Schools Clean and Students Healthy 

More Fresh Air in Classrooms Means Fewer Absences

Study: Classroom ventilation affects student performance 

15 houseplants for improving indoor air quality 

Vaccines are Effective 

Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report

Educational Links 6/15/17

36 Twitter Accounts Teachers Should Follow

3 tips for identifying what's useful in ed tech

Playing Outside Makes Kids Happier, Healthier And Smarter (But 7 Minutes A Day Isn't Enough)

The Unlikely Signs of Dyslexia You Should Not Ignore

Individuals with dyslexia do not all read or spell words backward. They don’t fit the stereotype, so parents, teachers, and other loved ones don’t recognize their symptoms until struggles at school or work start to emerge. But the fact is that may telltale signs begin appearing long before.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Educational Links 6/14/17

For Education Interventions, a Little 'Nudge' Can Go a Long Way

How to Create a Student-Centered Environment

Three Ways to Help Young Children Expand Their Vocabulary

Parents want to know their kids’ schools are safe. So why aren’t more schools releasing school climate data?

When to Report a Teacher Colleague to School Admin—And When NOT To

10 Google Chrome Extensions Every Student Needs

Now more than ever, the need for digital literacy is paramount. Our students face a vast technological landscape, and it’s important they develop the skills needed to navigate this ever-advancing world. Google Chrome extensions can help with that.

Next Schoolyear ...we'll have plants in the classroom

Just a little bit more planning and maintenance and your class has fresh oxygen, color, STEM motivation, and a little bit of elegance. Plants in the class!

15 houseplants for improving indoor air quality 

The Best Air-Purifying Plants 

 The 15 easiest indoor house plants that won't die on you

Easy Classroom Houseplants 

  Best Plants for the Classroom

Do You Keep Plants In Your Classroom? 

The Psychology of Nature

Monday, June 12, 2017

Educational Links 6/13/17

Explore Ocean Habitats Virtually

Battling Against Traditional Perceptions of Teaching and Learning

10 Riveting Reads for Spirited Kids

Get the Most Out of Summer

How Schools Use Brain Science To Help Traumatized Kids Heal and Learn


Promises and Pitfalls of Online Education

Online courses have expanded rapidly and have the potential to extend further the educational opportunities of many students, particularly those least well-served by traditional educational institutions. However, in their current design, online courses are difficult, especially for the students who are least prepared. These students’ learning and persistence outcomes are worse when they take online courses than they would have been had these same students taken in-person courses. Continued improvement of online curricula and instruction can strengthen the quality of these courses and hence the educational opportunities for the most in-need populations.

Next Schoolyear...we'll celebrate diversity

Music! Dancing! And don't forget the great Mexican food!

If you teach in a school that is ethnically isolated, by geography or by choice, I suggest finding commonality in sports, for example. Especially in baseball, you can find just about all ethnicities coming together to celebrate a fun time through sports. If you have a favorite team in the MLB, NFL, or NBA--you are celebrating diversity. The same is true of most entertainment and lists of famous inventors, performers of heroics, and remarkable accomplishments.  You can also spotlight through calendar events (St. Patrick's Day, or MLK Day, for example.) Discretion is important if your community is sensitive to discussions of diversity. But it is clear that not only tolerance is mandatory but appreciation of diversity, also. We are America, afterall.

Here are links from Edutopia, TeachThought and Edudemic to get you started on your appreciation of diversity.


Vibrant art! Parades! Learn to use chipsticks!

Culturally Responsive Teaching Starts With Students 

15 Resources: Prepare for Cultural Diversity in Class 

Ballpark saurkraut hotdog!

Here are links for the major self-reported ethnicities in the USA according to census reports. I'm just following the order of the self-reporting. Sounds like fun--music, dance, food, art. Serious thoughts and inspiration. Check out American Rhetoric: The Power of Oratory in the United States  for speeches.

German-American Corner: History and Heritage 

Speeches of JFK .

Irish Contributions to the American Culture 

Cesar Chaves Si Se Puede

National Hispanic Heritage Month and Cinco de Mayo Lesson Plans 

The Pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock.


English Americans 


Little Italy, New York City


Italian Americans 

The Italian Americans PBS 

Steven Spielberg--and don't forget Jurassic World!


The Jewish Americans PBS 



Native American Resources

500 is one of my favorite resources, I have taught the info on the Aztecs to my Mexican-American students. They are also fascinated with the Mayans.
Sequoyah--created Cherokee written language

500 NATIONS a video series 

We Shall Remain--PBS

Celebrate African-American History

 Please don't neglect the arts when enjoying these lessons. And the food, if possible. Mmm, soul food.
MLK--we never needed your influence more than now!