Latest teaching and learning ideas

The Latest in Tech, Tools and Toys for Teachers.  Lesson Plans, Classroom resources and ideas for busy teachers.  iPad Apps and Android Apps for teachers and students.

Lessons to learn from landing on the moon

Today is the anniversary of the 1969 moon landing, one of mankind's greatest achievements.  It is a little disappointing to think nearly fifty years on we would have done a little more in space but I am hopeful that today's students will take us even further in the future if we share the great accomplishments of the past.

Race to the moon is a good resource for students to gain an understanding of the space race in the sixties and places all of the key events in a simple to follow timeline.  Students can learn about the crew and technology that took us to the moon including the Saturn V rocket which to this day is still the most powerful and fastest 'thing' we have ever created.

Liftoff into Space is a lesson plan that explores the space race and space exploration as a whole.

Finally, what the space race can teach us about collaboration is a useful article for older students to explore the unity and understanding of many required to achieve a common goal.  It could lead into a great activity exploring the collaboration required to send a person to Mars

70 Guided reading Activities for individuals and groups

This collection of 70 Guided Reading activities has all your ELA and Common Core needs covered for grades 3 - 6 and has been a top seller since being released in February. Read the feedback for yourself.

Teachers around the globe are adopting this as their ‘Go-to’ resource for reading and writing activities for months on end without repeat. ‘No-prep’ and maximum engagement. All your students need is a book from home or school.

This bundle of beautifully presented literacy tasks will ensure your students are engaged and on task during literacy rotations either working as a group or independently. Every activity has clear instructions and open ended outcomes to meet the needs of all ability ranges.

These activities have been designed by exemplary teachers and run in our classrooms for over two decades. Each activity is designed to run for approximately 40 - 60 minutes in duration and are ‘evergreen’ meaning they can be applied to any student or text.

Overview of activities included (Please note that most tasks have multiple elements.)
40+ Activities requiring students to use a range of different writing styles.
30+ Activities requiring students to use a range of artistic and creative skills.
20+ Activities that utilize popular technology tools and applications.
20+ Dedicated group work based tasks
20+ Tasks requiring further reading, inquiry and exploration of concepts within a text.
40+ Tasks that can be applied to films and graphic novels.
10+ activities involving drama, music or role playing..
15+ Graphic organizers that can be applied to any text or topic.
Plus much more.


I’ve also added a PowerPoint file that includes all tasks as editable slides on top of a downloadable ebook. The purpose of this is to allow you to share the tasks on a large screen, and if you are fluent in PowerPoint you can edit the tasks to further suit your needs.

This highly sought after resource can be accessed here.

Why we cant expect students to be great writers until we model it as teachers

I found this article by David Cutler about the importance of modelling high quality writing for students in more than just a five minute window on the the whiteboard.  It needs to become a meaningful process every time we pick up a pen and engage with students.

This is definitely something I have been guilty of not doing as well as I could when I looked at his six focal points of how teachers should writing effectively.

1 - Teachers need to be effective writers

2 - Teachers need to share their writing

3 - Teachers need to write for their students

4- Teachers need to run writer's workshops

5 - Teachers need to seek feedback.

6- Teachers need to write about the real world.

It is a great article for anyone teaching writing and is available here.  

 

 

Google Classroom just made specialist teaching easier across multiple schools

The ever evolving and ever improving Google Classroom has just released an update that will bring a smile to teachers and schools who share staff or run cross campus teaching groups.

This update allows a teacher to work with a class of students outside of their base school domain.  So for example if you were a specialist language teacher operating across three different schools you can now manage all of your Google Classroom activity from a single account.  The other option I can see here is that teachers could also enrol for professional development run through Google Classroom from an outside provider.

For this to update to apply your Google Apps for Education administrator will need to add any external teachers to their white list to ensure security for students.  Further information can be found here.

Creative book mark craft activity for students

Getting students to read can be a challenge at the best of times, and on occasion you will need a hook to encourage your students to reach for the novel they are supposed to be reading on a daily basis.  

CTBaker has come up with this excellent craft activity that might make that process a little more appealing and at the least will provide your students with a great opportunity to get creative.

Simple follow the instructions which can be found here and enjoy making these crafty book marks.