Below are my TOP 10 favorite ideas, quotes, images, or tools that made an impression on me, and that I hope will leave an impression on you as well! These are in no particular order, however, I did put my FAVORITE item next to number one, so be sure to read all the way through. All I have to say about the #1 item on my list is that it could be a game-changer!
Now that I have your attention...let's begin with #10...
10. Ramsey Musallam is a high school chemistry teacher in San Francisco. He's all about student learning, he's a "connected" teacher (uses social media), and he loves to get qualitative data from his students after each semester, plus he's a great speaker making it easy to listen to him at 3:00 PM after a long morning!
He talked about the difference between being an Educator vs. Entertainer. With the technology we have available it's easy to become an entertainer where we spend our day at the front of the room and impress our students with all of the exciting gadgets, tools, and videos. However, the most effective approach to student learning is to let the students construct meaning for themselves through explorations and applications and then provide students with the information. It's also important to build students' curiosity. Ramsey mentioned asking students a question, but not giving them the answer...
Finally, he mentioned the importance of letting students struggle! I'm going to leave you with a quote to think about...
"Difficulty builds mental muscle while ease builds only confidence" - Nate Kornell
8. Throughout the year, send your students a Google Form for them to fill out anonymously that asks them questions about their perspectives of you as a teacher. This a great way for you to collect some qualitative data about you as an educator!
7. "If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door." This quote was shown in context with a slide about global collaboration. We don't often have the resources or knowledge of how to introduce and connect our students with others in the community, however, we have the ability to create that door ourselves! In fact, Google search "Digital Human Library" and you will find a collection of organizations and professionals ready to video conference with your students - FOR FREE!
6. Want to connect your class with other classrooms around the world? Check out Mystery Skype!
5. Projects by Jen - this site is AMAZING! Visit this page to learn about World-Wide projects that your class can be a part of! There are projects happening at all times of the school year, so it's simple - see what project is coming up and decide if you want your class to join!
4. Free writing can be as simple as allowing your students to "Tweet." Maybe not using Twitter, but on a blog, or even on a post-it note, share a "hashtag" with your students and have them "Tweet" based on that hashtag! Here are some hashtag examples...
#ihadthebestday (let students write about their best day ever!)
#allabouttheplanets (students can choose some planets to research and write about)
#uhoh (this can go in so many different directions...)
#canihaveyourautograph (write about someone you would like to meet)
#monkeysaliensandmonstersohmy (let them write creatively!)
3. Every October our students have the chance to be a part of a Global Read Aloud. Check out how we can connect with other classrooms around the world!
2. Support communication, collaboration, and students’ confidence as writers by showing them they have a Personal Learning Network (PLN). Use a Circle Map to help students create their PLN. In the center of the circle students will write Personal Learning Network, and around the circle students will list everyone that they can seek out for guidance in writing. Students can continue to add to their PLNs throughout the year This is a great way to let students know that their PLNs are always growing and more importantly that their parents, teachers, and friends/family are all part of their PLN!
1. You finally made it! Click on this link and make sure to click on "watch this video"...prepare to be AMAZED!