Friday, March 27, 2015

Overcoming Writer's Block

Ever struggle with students saying that they don’t know what to write? They know they have the story in their head, but they are struggling to get it down on their google doc. We can debate whether or not "writer's block" is real, but that debate won't change the fact that some of your students are struggling to get started and you really, really want/need them to start writing.

Or maybe they know what they want to write, but the typing process is so painfully slow that they get frustrated and quit? While typing skills are important and should be worked on in context, sometimes you just want all of your students to have their writing to work on so that they can start the real learning of revision, receiving feedback, and more revision.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

iPads as a Teacher Tool


So, you’ve got a brand new iPad...or maybe it’s not brand new, but you’re not sure how you could use it in your classroom. Your iPad can be a transformative tool in your classroom: it can free you from your whiteboard, free you from your laptop during lessons, take pictures of student work and project them instantly and then allow you or a student to annotate the work from anywhere in the room.

iPads a great mobile devices for monitoring notes - not only can you create handwritten notes, but you can add pictures, annotate on the pictures, and quickly send the file to cloud storage such as Evernote, Dropbox, or an email account. The recording features allow you to capture video or audio in your classroom directly, or even create a tutorial video to share with students who are absent. Your iPad combined with a video you’ve created is a great tool to put in front of a group of students that might need to hear a lesson again for reinforcement.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Let's empower APS students to design school & campus public spaces!
I like to tell those close to me how Minecraft empowers people to change the world, which usually leads to eye rolling and the occasional snarky remark to get a life as it's just a video game. In reality though, it is so much more than a video game - I posit that it is a tool to connect people to collaborate and create for fun, but also for positively impacting communities.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Common Core Math Practice by Front Row

As we near 3/14, I was thinking about ways to integrate math and technology.  Click this link for some ideas for celebrating Pi Day from Edutopia. What will you do on 3/14/15 at 9:26:53?

A math program I recently learned about is Front Row. Common Core Math for Teachers by Front Row is an amazing free app. It is a math program written by teachers for teachers. The focus of Front Row is Common Core aligned math practice for K-8.

It includes more than 28,000 math questions aligned to the Common Core that are assigned to students based on their performance on a pre-assessment and that are automatically graded.
The teacher must first create a free account on the app. Then s/he can set up classes, create student log ins, and make assignments. Students may either use the iPad app or log in to the web version in the Chrome browser.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Digital Learning Day: Lesson Plans, Tools & Ideas

What will you do with your students on March 13th?

If you need ideas about how to enhance learning and student engagement by embedding technology into your instruction, take a look at what one of our teachers does with her literacy students. We've also included links to social studies, language arts, STEM lesson plans and tools to help you try something new on Digital Learning Day.