Saturday, August 18, 2018

Educational Links 8/19/18

Dear Teacher: Heartfelt Advice for Teachers from Students


New Google Classroom: Adding Students

Putting the “FUN” in Functional Behavior Assessment

Myth vs. Fact: Bilingual Language Development

More black and Hispanic science teachers could mean more scientists of color

White Teachers Need to See Color. Here’s Why.

The cure for racism in education is not colorblindness. Colorblindness erases the student’s individuality in the educational space. The statement is a microaggression, or a statement with an undercurrent of prejudice, which says that your racial and cultural identity is not a factor. Our students are grappling with their identity and race is a part of that. The way our world is set up, black and brown kids have to be taught self-love on purpose. So, provide opportunities which allow them to broadcast their racial and ethnic identities, and be proud of it! It’s okay to say things like “black is beautiful,” and for a white educator to facilitate a discussion on race. It just has to come from the right place.

Educational Links 8/18/18

The Padagogy Wheel – It’s Not About The Apps, It’s About The Pedagogy

No More Mondays. Colorado School District Moves to 4 Day Weeks

When Higher Functioning Follows Form: Special-Needs Students Flourish in Sensory-Designed Schools


Your Child is Nervous About the New School Year, Which May Be Normal — or Not

Addressing mental health issues critical to boosting academic success

The Most Common Misdiagnoses in Children

Trauma-informed teaching has become a popular concept, feeding into the idea of restorative justice, which seeks to take into consideration all of the things a student experiences before he comes to school each day and anticipate how those factors might impact a student’s preparedness or ability to learn. 

Friday, August 17, 2018

MzTeachuh: Feel Lost At Sea With Ed Tech?

MzTeachuh: Feel Lost At Sea With Ed Tech?: I won't say the 'average' teacher has issues with the rapidly changing ed tech classroom. I would say  'normal' teachers...

MzTeachuh: MzTeachuh's List of the Top Five Educational Websi...

MzTeachuh: MzTeachuh's List of the Top Five Educational Websi...: How wonderful to conveniently learn, comment, and participate with fellow teachers around the world.  Powerful and validating. Here is my...

MzTeachuh: Reading Tips

MzTeachuh: Reading Tips: Reading Tips for Parents (in Multiple Languages) 10...

MzTeachuh: The Digital Classroom--so many resources!

MzTeachuh: The Digital Classroom--so many resources!: Digital Leadership is Not Optional 9 MUST-HAVE APP...

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Educational Links 8/17/18

Don’t Be in Any Doubt – ADHD is an Illness and It Must Be Treated

Learning Is Complex; What Do We Know So Far?

HOA Sued After Barring School Bus For Child With Special Needs

Good grades, bad grades - they both lie about learning

Renowned teacher, author, and international presenter Starr Sackstein says that number grades, percentages, and letter grades lie about student achievement. Both good grades and bad grades lie. Starr thinks schools and colleges should throw out grades. Learn what Sackstein says is the best way to truly assess learning.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Our Five Paragraph Personal Essay 8/15/18

Three Things I Want You To Know About Me
This is the first week of school, and this writing project serves to let the teacher know a little bit about each student, and giving student choice.

The writing strategies for this week include brainstorming, group discussion, outlining, and writing anecdotes.

Tomorrow, on Day 4, when the rough draft checks in as a homework assignment, this rubric will help writing strategies partners make suggestions and corrections. 

One Day 5 the students will write the final draft in class, using notes and rough draft. This will be pencil-written, so the teacher can also check for legibility.

Even though the objective is to write a five paragraph essay, the emphasis this week is less on technicalities and more on flow--the experience of using thought and feeling to bring verbal interactions and then written words in a natural, almost conversational experience. 

Technical corrections can come as a final task. Writing is not a task but an experience.

Educational Links 8/16/18

What Is Bloom's Taxonomy?

How to Build Classroom Culture for the New School Year

How Can White Teachers Do Right by Students of Color?

Increasing Meaningful Access Through Comprehensible Input

Teaching is Both Art and Science. How to Work Toward Improving Your Instructional Practice

Factitious - A Game That Tests Your Ability to Spot Fake News

Factitious is a game for testing your skill at identifying fake and misleading news stories. The game was developed by the American University Game Lab and the American University's School of Communication. I learned about the game last month when Larry Ferlazzo featured it and I have since shared it in a couple of professional development workshops. It was a hit in both workshops in which I shared it with teachers.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Educational Links 8/15/18

Self-Assessment in Middle School
10 Ways To Start Shifting Your Classroom Practices Little By Little


4 Communication Tools to Energize the Parent-Teacher Relationship

A quick trick to lessen anxiety during the first weeks of school

Books on Buses and Book in a Bag: Book Access and Reading

The New Librarian: How to set up a Global Citizens program

Twitter Is Funding Research Into Online Civility. Here’s How One Project Will Work.

Healthy is not a word often used to describe conversations on Twitter and other social-media platforms these days. As technology companies struggle to respond to an increasingly polarized social-media environment, many are wrestling with how to best play a more proactive role in halting the spread of false and intentionally-misleading information spread by groups hoping to shape public perceptions and even the outcome of elections.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Not Homework, but if you wish, check these resources out...

Invite student choice and discussion through offering these resources for perusal. Students may have more buy-in to class activities.

Types of Discussion Techniques


A Poetry Slam Cures the Blahs

10 Fresh Writing Prompts for High School English

Everyone Stand Up: A Lesson on Self-Humor

Poetry Slam

Educational Links 8/14/18

Tips, Tricks and Tools to Build Your Inclusive Classroom Through UDL

Free iPad Apps for Creating Animated Movies

What is Auditory Processing Disorder?

How To Never Run Out Of New Ideas As A Teacher

Reclaiming a Sense of Joy

Why I Redesign My Classroom Curriculum Every Year

Clean, Healthy Classroom Management Techniques

If you want to reduce your chances of getting sick, then it’s important to use classroom management techniques to maintain a clean and healthy classroom environment.
While it may be hard to avoid being exposed to germs and viruses, you can take actions to reduce the chances of you or your students from getting sick. Here are five classroom managementtechniques to bring about a cleaner, healthier classroom.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Educational Links 8/13/18

9 Updates for Google Classroom

The Tech Industry’s War on Kids

A Reminder for Those Tough Moments with Students

60-Second Strategy: Appreciation, Apology, Aha!

Teaching Tolerance 101: More than a Magazine

No, Fortnite Isn't Rotting Kids' Brains. It May Even Be Good for Them

New Consortium May Create Projects, Funding for Autism Research

A newly formed group of leaders from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) is poised to generate funding opportunities for child health research, including autism science.

Types of Discussion Techniques

Bringing All Students Into Discussions

Less Tech, More Talk: Moving To A Discussion-Based Classroom

The Big List of Class Discussion Strategies

Gallery Walk

Basic Structure: Stations or posters are set up around the classroom, on the walls or on tables. Small groups of students travel from station to station together, performing some kind of task or responding to a prompt, either of which will result in a conversation.

Gallery Walk

Philosophical Chairs

Basic Structure: A statement that has two possible responses—agree or disagree—is read out loud. Depending on whether they agree or disagree with this statement, students move to one side of the room or the other. From that spot, students take turns defending their positions.

Series: Reading Like a Historian (also for other classes)

Pinwheel Discussion

Basic Structure: Students are divided into 4 groups. Three of these groups are assigned to represent specific points of view. Members of the fourth group are designated as “provocateurs,” tasked with making sure the discussion keeps going and stays challenging. One person from each group (the “speaker”) sits in a desk facing speakers from the other groups, so they form a square in the center of the room. Behind each speaker, the remaining group members are seated: two right behind the speaker, then three behind them, and so on, forming a kind of triangle. From above, this would look like a pinwheel. The four speakers introduce and discuss questions they prepared ahead of time (this preparation is done with their groups). After some time passes, new students rotate from the seats behind the speaker into the center seats and continue the conversation.

Socratic Seminar

Basic Structure: Students prepare by reading a text or group of texts and writing some higher-order discussion questions about the text. On seminar day, students sit in a circle and an introductory, open-ended question is posed by the teacher or student discussion leader. From there, students continue the conversation, prompting one another to support their claims with textual evidence. There is no particular order to how students speak, but they are encouraged to respectfully share the floor with others. Discussion is meant to happen naturally and students do not need to raise their hands to speak. This overview of Socratic Seminar from the website Facing History and Ourselves provides a list of appropriate questions, plus more information about how to prepare for a seminar.

Socratic Seminar

Affinity Mapping

Basic Structure: Give students a broad question or problem that is likely to result in lots of different ideas, such as “What were the impacts of the Great Depresssion?” or “What literary works should every person read?” Have students generate responses by writing ideas on post-it notes (one idea per note) and placing them in no particular arrangement on a wall, whiteboard, or chart paper. Once lots of ideas have been generated, have students begin grouping them into similar categories, then label the categories and discuss why the ideas fit within them, how the categories relate to one another, and so on.

Instructional Strategy: Affinity Diagram

Concentric Circles

Basic Structure: Students form two circles, one inside circle and one outside circle. Each student on the inside is paired with a student on the outside; they face each other. The teacher poses a question to the whole group and pairs discuss their responses with each other. Then the teacher signals students to rotate: Students on the outside circle move one space to the right so they are standing in front of a new person (or sitting, as they are in the video). Now the teacher poses a new question, and the process is repeated.

Concentric Circles


Basic Structure: Another great idea from Sarah Brown Wessling, this is a small-group discussion strategy that gives students exposure to more of their peers’ ideas and prevents the stagnation that can happen when a group doesn’t happen to have the right chemistry. Students are placed into a few groups of 4-6 students each and are given a discussion question to talk about. After sufficient time has passed for the discussion to develop, one or two students from each group rotate to a different group, while the other group members remain where they are. Once in their new group, they will discuss a different, but related question, and they may also share some of the key points from their last group’s conversation. For the next rotation, students who have not rotated before may be chosen to move, resulting in groups that are continually evolving.

Facilitating Classroom Discussion: Conver-stations


Basic Structure: Two students sit facing each other in the center of the room; the remaining students sit in a circle around them. The two central students have a conversation based on a pre-determined topic and often using specific skills the class is practicing (such as asking follow-up questions, paraphrasing, or elaborating on another person’s point). Students on the outside observe, take notes, or perform some other discussion-related task assigned by the teacher.


Hot Seat

Basic Structure: One student assumes the role of a book character, significant figure in history, or concept (such as a tornado, an animal, or the Titanic). Sitting in front of the rest of the class, the student responds to classmates’ questions while staying in character in that role.

The Hot Seat

Pyramid Discussion (Snowball Discussion)

Basic Structure: Students begin in pairs, responding to a discussion question only with a single partner. After each person has had a chance to share their ideas, the pair joins another pair, creating a group of four. Pairs share their ideas with the pair they just joined. Next, groups of four join together to form groups of eight, and so on, until the whole class is joined up in one large discussion.