Friday, December 15, 2017

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 12/15/17

Here are some interesting sites that I’ve found this week, thanks to my PLN. As a teacher, I feel we have to keep up to date concerning research in our field and current issues in the education system. I hope some of these inspire you, inform you, and even have you asking questions. Thank you for coming by and visiting!

Note: Each resource is labeled with a level and subject area to make it easier to use.

Levels:  E: Elementary; M: Middle; H: High; G: General, all levels; SN: Special Needs; T: Teachers

Subject Areas: LA: Language Arts, English, Reading, Writing; M: Math; S: Science; Health; SS: Social Studies, Current Events; FA: Fine Arts; Music, Art, Drama; FL: Foreign Language; PE: Physical Ed; C: Career; A: All

Nat Geo Map Maker Kits – “MapMaker Kits offer K-12 students the opportunity to work with key mapping concepts at a variety of scales and to see the world in new ways. Unique large-scale maps allow students to immerse themselves in the exploration of dynamic environmental and cultural aspects of the world. MapMaker Kit activities engage students in the manipulation and analysis of a variety of geographic information sets, helping them build skills in critical thinking, the representation of data, and mental mapping. Each kit enables the user to download, print, and assemble maps of the world, individual continents, and the United States in a variety of sizes. Mega maps occupy a large wall, or can be used on the floor; projector maps give you some flexibility about sizing; the tabletop map is good for small group work, and the one-page outline maps are perfect for individual work.”  (L:T; SA: A)

Nature Sound Map – “A group of professional nature recordists from around the globe have collaborated to develop Nature Soundmap, an enjoyable and interactive way of exploring the natural sounds of our planet. Combining high-quality field recordings with the latest satellite imagery, the project brings together some of nature’s most beautiful, interesting and inspiring sounds.” (L:G; SA:S)

Code Maven  – Lessons in Coding (sorted for different age groups) (L:G; SA: A)

Flip Book – “The Flip Book allows users to type and illustrate tabbed flip books up to ten pages long. Children of all ages can use the flip book for taking notes while reading, making picture books, collecting facts, or creating question and answer booklets.”  (L:G; SA: A)

Rewordify – “ is powerful, free, online software that improves reading, learning, and teaching. This site can: Intelligently simplify difficult English, for faster comprehension, Effectively teach words, for building a better vocabulary, Help teachers save time and produce engaging lessons, Help improve learning outcomes    (L:T; SA: A)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Deadlines Scare Me

“Which type of person are you? Do you thrive on the pressure of a deadline or do you use the deadline to keep you on task?”

I confess to hating deadlines. I know they are a necessary evil but I despise them. A deadline to me is like having the world hanging over my head waiting to crash down on top of me. I’m so afraid that I will miss a deadline and look like an awful person.

If I know something needs to be sent to someone by a certain time, I flag my email. Then I try to send it to them as soon as possible so I don’t forget about it.

I pay all of my bills online and make sure they are submitted a day or two in advance because I’m afraid there will be some glitch and it won’t be recorded on time.

When I taught and had to have a report turned in to my principal, I would plan on having it completed at least a week in advance.

Even with my classroom lessons, I would plan everything a week in advance. Then I would have all my supplies prepared that week in advance. I worried that the copier would break or I wouldn’t remember to bring in all the necessary materials.

I will be speaking at a conference in March and I’m already stressing out about it. I’ve had some rough notes already done and ideas are swarming around my head. I know I need to start on the actual presentation but I haven’t.

So, for me, deadlines are both motivating and stressing. I hate the way they make me feel.

In the past, I have joined knitting contests and scrapbook contests with deadlines. This past year, I only entered one contest that has a monthly deadline and I finish my project in the first week so I don’t have to worry about it all month. This has really made my knitting and scrapbooking much more fun for me.

So, I’ve decided that unless I have a deadline needed for a professional obligation, I am not putting any more deadlines on me. This is a choice I can make. I won’t let guilt or the fear of making someone disappointed cause me to make a commitment that involves deadlines. I realize that deadlines take the fun out of things for me. 

I need to remember that my students may feel the same way that I do. I don’t want to take the fun out of learning but I do think deadlines teach responsibility. When they get out in the real world, there will be deadlines that they will need to meet. But I need to make sure that if they are learning something for fun, I do not take the fun out of their learning.

How do you feel about deadlines? Please share.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Christmas Treats

This is a guest post from Sherry Chen.

On the night of Christmas Eve, Santa and his team of reindeer go door to door and deliver presents to all who have been good this year. It’s the time to leave out cookies and milk for ol’ Saint Nick, but wait! What about the reindeer? Give the reindeer a big thank you for pulling the sleigh with Personal Creations reindeer food recipe and printables.

Using common baking materials, combine oats, sprinkles and a dash of sugar to create a special treat for Rudolf and his team. Have the children sprinkle onto the yard and await the morning for a special surprise: presents under the tree!