Monthly Archives: March, 2013

More Math Games

My second graders love the website www.coolmathgames4kids.com  It is loaded with fun math games and logic games.  The website has a dark background with bright neon colors.  Very appealing to kids.  The current favorite game of the boys in my class is “Sticky Ninja Academy”.  How can you go wrong with a name like that?

Coolmathgames4kids.com

 

 

25 Terrific Online Games for English Language Learners

25 Terrific Online Games for English Language Learners.

Web and App Resources for Language Arts

A colleague shared this resource with me.  It contains 30 Websites and Apps for Language Arts Classrooms.

http://barretttd.wix.com/languagearts#!home-page/czmf

My New Favorite

Have I mentioned how much I love www.internet4classrooms.com ?!  This is a great place to start when looking for games to play on  your interactive whiteboard or student computers.  Everything is broken down by grade level, skill, or common core standard.  Instead of doing a random internet search, start your search on this website.

50 Indispensable EdTech Tools for 2012

This is a fabulous article with links to many tools that are recommended by other teachers.  I had heard of many of them, but a lot of them are new to me.  Check it out!

50 Indispensable EdTech Tools for 2012.

Common Core

If your school is adopting Common Core Standards, be sure to check out these great resources!

http://www.internet4classrooms.com

I love this website.  There are different categories for grade levels and subject matter.  If you go to the common core section, select your grade and then select the specific standard you are working on.  You will then get a list of several internet games and resources that correlate to the standard.  What a great time saver!

Another fantastic place to look for Common Core resources is www.pinterest.com  Just enter what you are looking for in the search box and you are sure to have several ideas in just a matter of seconds.

www.teacherspayteachers.com is one of my favorite resources.  There are things here for everyone from preschool teachers through high school.  The items are created by teachers.  Many are free and others are offered for a small fee.  Save yourself some time and support your fellow teachers by purchasing their products.  I have never been disappointed after a visit to this website!

 

Mastery Connect has a free common core app that is available in the iTunes store ass well as Android Market and Windows Store.  Their website, www.masteryconnect.com is dedicated to helping teachers with formative common core assessments as well as tracking individual student mastery of standards.

Pandora

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I thought it would be fun to listen to some Irish Music.  This was a last minute idea so I had nothing prepared.  I pulled out my cell phone and went to my Pandora app.  In less than a minute my second graders were dancing to Irish music and having a great time.  If you are ever in need of music in your classroom, don’t forget about Pandora!

Digital Leaners Need Parents and Teachers To Guide Them

Digital Learners Can’t Do It On Own

Barry Joseph Says They Need Adults To Guide Them

By Barry Joseph

Published August 29, 2012, issue of August  31, 2012.

You know me, right? I’m the one you call to fix your computer or set the  clock in your car, the one you can count on to have the latest electronic  gadgets.

But I am coming to you now as an educator with the unique privilege (and  challenge) of working with today’s generation of so-called “digital natives.” I  am here to explain that there is no such thing as a self-directed learner — or,  perhaps more the point, to explain that parents and educators still matter.

My techno-passion was first piqued about 30 years ago, just a few months  before I became a bar mitzvah, when I began learning an arcane language with an  unforgiving syntax: Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code, otherwise  known as BASIC. Yes, at 12 years old, as an upper-middle class kid on Long  Island, I was learning how to program a computer. Those initial classes led me  to join some of the first online communities, and I even engaged in some pretend  hacking of government agencies.

Back then I learned a lot in school, but I was also learning a lot at home,  on my own. Today, as an after school educator training urban youth to use  digital media to address global issues, it is hard to say which shaped my career  path more: my formal education or my informal, interest-driven learning. You  could say that my childhood passions, which once marginalized me as a nerd, have  now gone mainstream. In fact, the computer skills I pursed as a child are now  essential for all young learners, and they are acquired through playing video  games, texting on cell phones, networking on Facebook, sharing videos from  YouTube and more.

I can sympathize with the instinct to critique the time today’s youth devote  to digital media, as well as the instinct to see it as separate from their  education. But all this does is reinforce the gap between school subjects and  students’ real lives. The opposite approach, however, is no better. We shouldn’t  presume that inviting the digital into our learning environments requires us to  fade into the background. Doing so plays into the myth of the self-directed  learner.

What is this myth? I see it in action all the time. Take, for example, the  new video “The Voice of the  Active Learner,” posted on YouTube by Blackboard, an educational technology  company. It paints a portrait of today’s young self-directed learners as  superheroes breaking away from the guidance of an outdated educator.

“Very soon I will be in your classroom,” the young student challenges. “I  will not take out a pencil or open a textbook … To learn I look online because  the classroom is not enough for me … it’s your challenge to keep up with  me.”

The taunts of this ponytailed cartoon character can be a source of deep  anxiety for many educators and parents. But the truth is that there is no need  to worry.

Yes, digital media can support youth to form deep engagement and pursue their  own learning. The danger comes in presuming that if only the well-intentioned  but old-fashioned adults would get out of the way and let the computer work its  magic, a million minds would blossom. But this is not the time for us to admit  defeat. In fact, now is the time for us to claim our unique role in the new  learning ecologies of the digital age.

The MacArthur Foundation, for example, recently switched from over two  decades of funding school-based education reform to what they now call Connected  Learning — promoting changes in how youth learn and how we adults can  support them. Connected Learning, in short, encourages youth to pursue knowledge  or expertise about something that gets them excited while receiving support from  both their peers and the institutions around them. From MacArthur’s perspective,  we have to stop asking, “What is a child learning?” which focuses on the  outcomes, and ask instead, “Is the child engaged?” which focuses on the  experience of learning and creating a need to know.

The myth of the self-directed learner suggests youth can do it on their own.  But, in fact, they need our help to develop that need to know. Sure, we can all  point to an exceptional young person, but most don’t know how to pursue their  own interests. They don’t yet know their own minds. That is where we come  in.

To ignite their “need to know” we need to train young people to learn how to  learn, to be able to navigate the rich “learning ecologies,” or networks, they  will cultivate throughout their lives. We already know how to help them navigate  their identities as they move in and out of Jewish contexts — why should  navigating between their online and offline lives be any different?

The fact is, I may have developed an interest in computers as a teenager, but  I could never have pursued that interest without the active engagement of the  adults around me. My parents introduced me to my first computer class, while my  teacher nurtured within me an aesthetic appreciation of computer code. The  anonymous adults who ran my favorite online bulletin boards counseled me on safe  online practices and provided me with invaluable leadership opportunities that  inform how I teach to this day. The technology might have offered me the  opportunity to pursue my own interests, but thanks to the adults around me I  also learned how to do that.

Will today’s youth receive the support I enjoyed to apply their new skills  and knowledge, learned through digital media use, to better themselves and the  world around them? Or will they be left to fend for themselves?

The choice is not up to them. It’s up to us.

Barry Joseph directs the Online Leadership Program at Global  Kids, Inc., and is writing the first book on seltzer  water.

                       

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        We at the URJ  couldn’t agree more with Barry Joseph. Kids today need both traditional and  online curricula that are integrated and where adults can guide the learning  process using both tools.
        This is the thinking that led us to create  Mitkadem Digital, an online companion to the URJ’s Hebrew curriculum. Not only  is Mitkadem Digital created to appeal to the various learning skills and styles  of students, but it is made to give educators the ability to customize the  program to better suit their needs. The Mitkadem learning management system  allows teachers and educators to track student progress, upload their own  lessons, and manage their classrooms online.
        Online Jewish learning  should not exist in a vacuum, but with the guidance of professional and  inspiring educators.
        Michael Goldberg Publisher &  Editor-in-Chief, URJ Books and Music

        0 replies ·  active  26 weeks ago

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            Read more: http://forward.com/articles/161499/digital-learners-can-t-do-it-on-own/?p=all#ixzz2NNEwvakt

            The Center for Universal Design

            Universal Design is a method for tailoring instruction to meet the individual needs of each student.  Information is presented in a variety of ways, and students are given choices to demonstrate their knowledge of the information.  The curriculum is tailored to the students as opposed to the student trying to fit into the curriculum.  When it comes to education, one size does not fit all!

             

            Check out this website to learn more about Universal Design and how it can help you remove

            barriers to your students’ success.

            http://www.washington.edu/doit/CUDE/

            Presentation Tech Tools For Kids

            Laura Candler is a passionate educator who always had wonderful information to share on he

            logs and has fabulous resources available on www.teacherspayteachers.com

            Check out this great article on her blog about presentation tech tools that are kid friendly!

            http://corkboardconnections.blogspot.com/2013/03/techtools.html