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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Teaching Languages: Great Tools, Tips and Techniques



Every Classroom Matters episode 216

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

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Carla Arena teaching languages

Carla Arena is an accomplished language teacher from Brazil. As an expert on teaching languages, she shares her tips and tricks for engaging learners in the language classroom. Do you struggle with learners of different ability levels? How about when kids sit in class not understanding and don’t ask questions? Even worse, kids who struggle but choose to disrupt — how do you handle this? Carla has great advice for helping language teachers with all of these struggles. Listen now.

Carla had so many great quotations, that I’m sharing those at the bottom for those of you who like to print out great quotes or share them on social media. I’ll be pinning them to my Pinterest boards for teachers, too. 

Essential Questions: Teaching Languages: Great Tools, Tips and Techniques

  • The technology tools that language teachers love.
  • Carla’s favorite technology for the language classroom.
  • The importance of checkpoints in the language classroom.
  • How Carla creates checkpoints in her classroom.
  • Carla’s words to the frustrated language teacher who is lonely and burning out.

 

Educator Resources from this Episode with Carla Arena

My favorite technology is what students have in their hands.

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The post Teaching Languages: Great Tools, Tips and Techniques appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



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Monday, February 08, 2016

Innovator’s Mindset: Teaching Students to be Problem Finders



Every Classroom Matters Episode 215

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

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George Couros innovators mindset problem finding
Why are we giving kids problems to solve? Why don’t we help them learn to find their own problems? George Couros left an Innovation Day wondering if the kids tried to solve new problems or if they just copied what they saw other kids do. Did the kids see problems and did they see themselves as solvers of those problems?

Listen now.

George Couros is beginning a series of shows on Every Classroom Matters where we talk about the eight characteristics of the Innovator’s Mindset (George’s new book.) This is part 2 of the series. 

Show Notes: Teaching Problem Finding Along with Problem Solving

  • You can focus on curriculum and still have students finding problems.
  • How George had students take the curriculum and align their own work to standards.
  • The problem with being an entertaining teacher.
  • How a shift in mindset from giving students problems to helping them be problem finders will make anyone a better teacher.
  • Ideas for helping kids become problem finders.

Educator Resources from this Episode

  • George Couros @georgecouros
  • The Innovator’s Mindset by George Couros
  • Ewan McIntosh’s TedX talk
  • 8 Ways to Spark Problem Finders: I got so excited about this topic, I jumped into some research and made an infographic with 8 ways you can spark your students to be problem finders. It is included on the bottom of this post! I hope it is helpful! (Scroll down.) 

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8 ways to spark problem finders

The post Innovator’s Mindset: Teaching Students to be Problem Finders appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



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Friday, February 05, 2016

Merging Classrooms: How I Shared My Students with a Class in Egypt



Every Classroom Matters episode 214

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

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Adam Jones merging classrooms

Talking about ISIS and Arab Spring online with kids from the US and Egypt. Did teacher Adam Jones really do that? Yes he did. He merged his classroom with a colleague in Egypt with incredible results. Listen now.

Essential Questions: Merging Classrooms: How I Shared My Students with a Class in Egypt

  • How can you merge your classroom with another one located somewhere else?
  • How do you facilitate conversations on controversial topics in a professional way?
  • What are some guidelines for facilitating global competency and awareness?

Educator Resources from this Episode

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Adam Jones How I merged my classroom with aclassroom in Egypt

The post Merging Classrooms: How I Shared My Students with a Class in Egypt appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



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100+ Great Google Classroom Resources for Educators



The easy tool educators are using every day

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

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100+ Great Google Classroom Resources

Google Classroom allows teachers to easily manage student work and teaching with Google Docs, Google Forms, Google Spreadsheets and anything Google. This handy tool has opened up the doors of blended learning and collaborative classrooms like never before. Teachers wanting to implement Google Classroom can use these resources to get started, level up their learning, or become a pro at all things Google.

But there are so many sites! I’ve spent several weeks combing through resources and have picked some of my favorites. What are yours?

I’ll keep updating this page as I add resources. Please share your lessons, resources, and tips at the bottom of this post in the comments. I only want this to include high quality up-to-date information, so if you think anything needs to be added or changed, leave a comment. 

Updated: February 5, 2016

Google Classroom Resources

Tip: Use the #gafe hashtag for Google Certified innovators and educators (like me). 

Blog Posts

TIP: The Google for Education Blog has the breaking announcements and information on Google Classroom. Just use the GAFE tag on their blog and see all the latest Google Classroom news.

Interviews with Expertsgoogle classroom quote alice keeler

Tools to Help You Work with Google Classroom

Websites

The Google Classroom Help Center has everything you need for getting started. They have tons of resources and how-to’s.
  • A Google Classroom Symbaloo – Share this one with teachers who are getting started. They can make it their startup screen and test one thing a day.
  • Google Apps/ GAFE Tutorials for Teachers – a massive site full of tutorials. Use and email these out as you have specific tasks for teachers to learn. For beginners
  • The Google Gooru – The Gooru has a daily email with Google apps tips and lots of ideas for using Google. They also have tutorials and webinars. The lead GAFE administrators should definitely use this resource.
  • Sue Gorman’s Getting Googley Resource

Assessment

Math

Literature and Composition

Research

Apps

Books

Google Classroom Research and White Papers

Brown, M. E., & Hocutt, D. L. (2015). Learning to use, useful for learning: a usability study of Google apps for education. Journal of Usability Studies,10(4), 160-181.

Dotson, K. B., & Clark, C. (2015). Together we can… Knowledge Quest,44(2), 8.

Izenstark, A., & Leahy, K. L. (2015). Google Classroom for Librarians: Features and Opportunities. Library Hi Tech News, 32(9), 1-3.

Johnson, C. H., Linahan, M., Cuba, A. F., Dickmann, S. R., Hogan, E. B., Karos, D. N., … & Ropinski, B. L. (2016, January). Google Classroom and Open Clusters: An Authentic Science Research Project for High School Students. In American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts (Vol. 227).

Kelly, L. B. (2015). ” You Can’t Just Write an Essay in an Hour”: Supporting Middle Schoolers’ Peer Feedback and Revision Process through Online Writing Groups. Voices From the Middle, 23(2), 81.

Phiri, L., Meinel, C., & Suleman, H. (2016). Streamlined Orchestration: An Orchestration Workbench Framework for Effective Teaching. Computers & Education.

Build Your Google Classroom PLN

Google Classroom Hashtags

  • #gafechat is the first and third Tuesday of each month 8-9 pm CST
  • #gafesummit – This is run by Edtechteam.com but many people share resources to this hashtag

Google Classroom Pinterest Boards

Accounts Who Share About Google Classroom on Twitter

This is hard because there are so many who tweet about #gafe, but here a few.

Graphics

Great Ways to Use Google Drive by Susan Oxnevad (I interviewed Susan here.)

Videos

80+ Google Classroom Tutorials from Richard Byrne

For beginners – a great playlist. Just click on the list and pick the video you need. Richard Byrne is someone I highly recommend!

2015 – New Google Classroom Features

Matt Miller created a fantastic overview of Google Classroom Features in late 2015, but also demonstrates the use of hotlinks in videos. This excellent tutorial is one that lets you just see what you want about recently added Google Classroom Features. Just click the link that interests you and it will take you to the video. (You do have to click play first.)

###Google Classroom Tutorial 2015

Convert an Image to an Editable Doc

Google Docs in the Math Classroom by Daniel Kaufman

What is missing?

Please leave your suggestions in the comments.

The post 100+ Great Google Classroom Resources for Educators appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



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via Vicki Davis at coolcatteacher.com. Please also check out my show for busy teachers, Every Classroom Matters and my Free teaching tutorials on YouTube.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Edusketching: A Tool to Help Students Understand Complex Concepts



Every Classroom Matters Episode 213

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

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Wendy Pillars edusketch expert (2)

Your recall of information is up to 55% greater with the use of a picture linked to the content, according to edusketch expert and National Board Certified Teacher, Wendy Pillars. Wendy coined the term edusketch and authored the book Visual NoteTaking for Educators: A Teacher’s Guide to Student Creativity.

OK, busy teachers, this is something you can do with a marker and a piece of paper. If you will learn this technique, you can help students learn better! No technology required! This is something all of us can do with students of all ages. We can all edusketch.

Listen to the show and then dig deep into edusketching resources at the bottom of this post to get started.

Essential Questions: Edusketching: A Tool to Help Students Understand Complex Concepts

  • What is the difference between visual notetaking and edusketching?
  • Why does Wendy prefer markers and paper over iPads?
  • What if students say they can’t draw or create?
  • What is the neuroscience behind edusketching and memory improvement?
  • Why adults seem to be intimidated more than students by edusketching and how to move past it?
  • How can you handle criticism from colleagues when you try something new?
  • What are some classroom examples of using edusketches with young students?

Educator Resources from this Episode with Wendy Pillars

Other Resources for Visual Notetaking, Notetaking, and Edusketching

edusketching

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The post Edusketching: A Tool to Help Students Understand Complex Concepts appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



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Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Teacher PD Is Still Broken, These 3 Steps Can Fix It



Every Classroom Matters episode 212

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

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Dan Brown Teacher professional development PD

Many teachers feel like teacher professional development is a waste. Dan Brown shares the three research-based ways to make teacher PD better. What is more hypocritical than a lecture on differentiated instruction or project based learning? But there is teacher professional development that DOES impact learning in the classroom. Let’s do that. Listen Now.

The best of teaching should not only be used in our classrooms, it should be used to teach teachers! We can improve professional development for teachers but it will mean redefining the traditional “seat time” approach to professional development. It may also mean redefining what we talk about at professional development experiences. Let’s rise to a higher standard and become inspired to be the model leaders this generation of teachers and students needs to improve education around the world.

Essential Questions: Teacher PD Is Still Broken, These 3 Steps Can Fix It

  • What are the 3 key aspects of excellent PD according to research?
  • How do we improve professional development and make it so it can get approved by regulatory organizations?
  • How teachers can take on hybrid roles and become leaders in professional development?
  • How can we bring student  and school strengths into teacher professional development?
  • How we can get to personalized learning plans for teachers?
  • How can teachers move from martyrs to models?

Educator Resources from this Episode

students need models not martryrs Dan Brown quote

For your next professional learning opportunity, make it a point to discuss what is going well with students and bring student work to catalyze a discussion. Use that as a jumping off point for a conversation about how to help students grow. Dan Brown

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3 Steps to fix teacher professional development

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The post Teacher PD Is Still Broken, These 3 Steps Can Fix It appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



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Top Blog Posts of January 2016



The Cool Cat Teacher Blog

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Wow! January 2016 was an epic month here with a reach of over 200,000 views between this blog, my blogspot blog, and vickidavis.me. Add to it a great month for Every Classroom Matters and all of you who share and reshare on Facebook and Twitter and you’re looking at more than a million educators reached through the network built around this blog.

top blogposts of January 2016

The numbers are staggering, but in the end, it is always about you. It is about you — the individual person who reads this blog and if you find what you read here to be helpful to you in your everyday classroom. Teaching is not easy and we have to share and help each other as we work to level up a little bit every day.

I opened the year in Illinois with a first day back and wow, those educators were awesome! And now, poof! January is gone.

Last night I had the teacher kickoff meeting for Mad about Mattering and wow! Our students are going to be designing apps together using the latest in mobile app development technology and compassion-based engineering concepts from Angela Maiers. What an epic group of teachers.

I hope your January was one where you leveled up and learned. I also hope you’re making progress towards your goals. Teacher, take care of yourself so you can take care of those kids. Get outside, get some exercise. May February be even greater!

Top Blog Posts of January 2016

  1. 10 Ways to Flip a Kid and Turn Their Day Around
  2. 6 Ways to Motivate Teachers: Be the Hope
  3. The 7 Devices of Transformation in Education New in January!
  4. 15 Best Google Drive Add-Ons for Education
  5. Notetaking Skills for 21st Century Students
  6. Epic Effective Classroom Decoration and Design Resources New in January! I am constantly updating this resource guide!
  7. 10 Stress- Busting Secrets of Great Teachers
  8. How to use Padlet: A Fantastic Tool for Teaching
  9. 6 Reading Comprehension Problems and What to Do About Them
  10. What To Do When Someone Hates You
  11. 10 Things Google Classroom Makes Easier with Alice Keeler New in January!
  12. If I’m such a Great Teacher, Why Do I want to Quit
  13. The Top 15 Tweets of 2015 New in January!
  14. Should we be averaging grades? Picture by Thomas Guskey New in January!
  15. Beginning and Ending Class Like a Pro with Brian Szabnik New in January!
  16. 18 Epic Productivity Apps
  17. Would You Want to Be a Student in Your Own Classroom? with George Couros New in January! (This gem has more than 500 tweets already. You can’t see the Twitter count without using Buzz Sumo, but wow! This series with George Couros based on his book The Innovator’s Mindset is likely going to be a top one for February.)
  18. Teaching Pitfalls: Signs That You Are Out of Balance with Alicia Roberts New in January!
  19. Top Tips for Teaching with Robots (using Sphero!)
  20. How to Create Custom Thumbnails for your YouTube Channel

The Top Show on Every Classroom Matters: Primary Sources with Dr. James Beeghley

The top show on Every Classroom Matters this past month was a whopper of a show on using primary sources with Dr. James Beeghley called “How I’m Teaching Beyond the Textbook, Far Beyond…”  Topping more than 6K listens and counting, it is a must share for history teachers and anyone who wants to understand how history instruction is changing.

A Big Thank you to JTouch from InFocus

I want to give a shout out to a new sidekick in my classroom! The Jtouch board from inFocus has replaced my Interactive Whiteboard. I love it! If you want to learn more about how I’m using it in my classroom, listen to the 10 Things Google Classroom Makes Easier episode with Alice Keeler. Interactive White Boards are being replaced by this incredible, massive touch screen device.

The post Top Blog Posts of January 2016 appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



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via Vicki Davis at coolcatteacher.com. Please also check out my show for busy teachers, Every Classroom Matters and my Free teaching tutorials on YouTube.
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