Goal Setting and Feedback To Support Learning

Recently a colleague shared with me a couple of articles written by Grant Wiggins on the use of feedback in the classroom. In his posts he highlighted several key strategies for trying to promote and incorporate quality feedback. He defines feedback as being “useful information on one”s effect or results, given a specific measurable goal.” He goes on to state that feedback should be descriptive in nature and free of judgements or praises. This made me think about the way feedback is used in the classroom. It seems that feedback is most often used as a form of assessment, but how effective is it in supporting growth in our learners? Could students benefit more from receiving feedback before a grade is given?

“Whether feedback is just there to be grasped or is provided by another person, helpful feedback is goal-referenced; tangible and transparent; actionable ; user-friendly (specific and personalized); timely; ongoing; and consistent.” stated Wiggins. This statement outlines his essentials for providing feedback, which can lead to great gains for the recipient. He centers helpful feedback around these seven key elements. This led me to reflect on how we use scoring guides in the classroom. It seems as if scoring guides are one way that teachers can guide students in setting goals and producing high quality final products. However, what might be some other ways to use feedback in the classroom?

Here are a few ideas one classroom teacher shared with Wiggins for fostering feedback…

  •  Students are asked to drjeffsklar.com review their finished products. Before they hand them in they must reflect on what they did that was high quality, and one thing they could do differently to increase their quality of work. Students could then implement their own suggestions; revisions, or make adjustments to their products.
  • Students invite peers to provide feedback on what they did well and on what they could do better. Students could then implement their peer’s suggestions, and revise or make adjustments to their product.
  • Students are asked to review their work and share a brief statement explaining the goal behind their final product to the teacher or with a peer. This checks student understanding and their individual commitment to their project.
  • At the start of each class, students’ write down their goal(s) for the day. At the end of class reflect on what they did well and one thing they could have done better to meet their goal(s). Revision of the project can be performed for the next class period.
  • Students self-evaluate and reflect on the week and how they did in meeting their  weekly goal(s) or objective.
  • Teacher records student provided feedback and any additional efforts taken toward meeting their goals. This can be used as part of a whole group discussion to assist students in evaluating and setting future goals.

As educators we want students to self-evaluate and use peer evaluations to support educational growth. However, teaching students how to give feedback that is tangible is a tough task; this requires opportunities for students to work with and create feedback often.  As we go forth into the New Year and the second semester of the school year, what strategies might you use to foster the use of feedback in the classroom?

_____________________

You can read his full article published on ASCD here.  (Seven Keys to Effective Feedback).

 

This post was provided by Amy Blades, an instructional specialist for the eMINTS National Center.  Thank you to Brook Higgins, an eMINTS Instructional Specialist, for sharing this resource with me.

Taking Your Browser With You

During a collaboration session with a colleague, I recently reconnected with Google Chrome. He shared with me how his teachers and students are utilizing their Google account and the Chrome Web Store to install apps and bring new tools into the classroom. I had always used Chrome as a back-up internet browser, but it never occurred to me that it might be a valuable classroom tool. As a life long learner, I had to learn more. I found myself exploring and installing several apps and extentsions (a.k.a plug-ins) in order to locate tools that would enhance classroom instruction.

To get started exploring some of these tools…

  1. Install Google Chrome
  2. Click on settings and log-in to Chrome using a Google account.
  3. Go to Chrome Web Store and begin exploring

During this investigation, I discovered similar apps commonly installed on phones and tablets that could now be accessed from Chrome (Edmodo, Prezi, Voice Thread, Typing Tutor, etc).  Once the applications are installed it creates a collection of icons that launches the website or program right from the browser. After I installed several free educational apps, it was time to sync it to the “cloud”.

To get started syncing your browser settings…

  1. Click on settings  button from within the Chrome Browser
  2. Choose “Advanced Settings” to choose what features of the browser you would like saved.
  3. Click “Ok”.
    **Chrome Sync saves your personalized browser features to the web and allows you to access them from Google Chrome on any computer.

I now understand how students and teachers could benefit from using this feature in the classroom. Below are just a few ideas that might assist with classroom instruction…

  • Chrome can be downloaded and installed on any machine and most devices.
  • Any bookmarking that is done in the classroom can be saved and accessed after school.
  • Students with special needs can click on a resource”s icon instead of typing in the URL
  • Students can easily locate tools to assist them with homework  (ex: Periodic Table, Astrology Charts, Unit Conversions, Create Timelines, edit images, create presentations and more).

While I am still exploring and learning more and more each day, I look forward to hearing how other educators might utilize this tool.

How might students and teachers benefit from using a browser that can sync their settings and allow them twenty-four hour access?

 

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This post was provided by Amy Blades, an instructional specialist for the eMINTS National Center.

Hooked on Edudemic

How do you stay connected to the latest trends in education?

Recently I discovered a resource called Edudemic. It started out as a search for educational apps for my iPad, which lead to my discovery of their website. Instantly I was hooked! As I browsed their list of featured stories, I found myself wanting to read them all. The headlines ranged from ways to use social media in your classroom to information about other countries using technology. I am ashamed to admit it, but I hardly find myself reading the news as much as I read my email. When I discovered that Edudemic would send me an e-newsletter with their daily digest, I just had to subscribe. Now when I am checking my email I am able to scan through their newsletter and read the articles that instantly catch my eye. Plus once it makes its way to my inbox, I can read them at my leisure.

What is Edudemic?  It is “a global community designed to keep educators, administrators, and everyone up to date on what is happening in the world of education and technology. It pulls from more than 100 different online educational resources to inform and connect the

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To get started using Edudemic…

  1. Go to http://edudemic.com/. You do not need to register or subscribe you can start reading directly from their website.
  2. You can follow their posts on Facebook, Google , Twitter, Pinterest, RSS Feed or you can subscribe to their Daily Digest that is delivered to your email.

Here are a few of my favorite articles to get you started:

How might this resource be utilized by students?

_____________
This post was provided by Amy Blades, an instructional specialist for the eMINTS National Center.

 

Sharing and Collaborating with SMART Notebook 11

How can educators access their SMART Notebook Gallery favorites from any computer and share them with their colleagues?

As I begin preparing for a lesson, it always seems like I am on a different computer. This can pose a problem, when you have resources you rely on. I am a cloud-computing addict. Several of my favorites are Google Drive (http://drive.google.com), Evernote (http://www.evernote.com) and Dropbox (http://www.dropbox.com). Dropbox has really opened my world up to being able to access what I want when I want it and from any device. While reading the Classroom21.net blog, I came across a post that inspired me. The title of this post is “Collaborate Using SMART Notebook and Cloud Storage”. Since I am a huge advocate for cloud storage and collaboration tools for personal and classroom use, I was hooked and wanted to know how this could be so. I followed the steps outlined in the post playerpicnic.com and I was up and going. I instantly had a link between my SMART Notebook Gallery favorites and my Dropbox.

This connectivity between my Dropbox and SMART Notebook 11’s Gallery is referred to as “Team Content”.  I now have a folder in my Dropbox that I can store my favorite gallery items in and share with collegues.  Educators could use this feature to eliminate the need to explore all that SMART Notebook gallery has to offer alone.  Simply share or invite colleagues to join your Dropbox folder and start sharing gallery resources.

To take advantage of this great cloud computing/collaboration tool and to get the step-by-step instructions, visit Classroom21.net’s blog post: http://www.chariotgroup.com/blog/index.php/2012/06/27/smart-notebook-and-cloud-storage/#.UGSTzRhqohw

How might you and your fellow staff members utilize this resource?

__________
This post was provided by Amy Blades, an instructional specialist for the eMINTS National Center.

 

eMINTS Weekly Update – 9/18/12

eMINTS Investing in Innovation (i3) Project to be Featured:

We are pleased to report that the eMINTS Investing in Innovation (i3) project awarded in August 2010 will be visited by Tony Miller, Deputy Secretary of the United States Department of Education and Jim Shelton, Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement on Wednesday, September 19, 2012. The day will start with a Round Table including principals and superintendents whose districts are part of the project. The University of Missouri TelePresence system will be used to connect participants in Columbia with those in Kansas City and St. Louis. Following the Round Table, Assistant Deputy Jim Shelton will visit our lead mentor district, New Franklin, to see eMINTS in action. We will share any photos and news stories about the site visit on the eMINTS website.

New & Updated eThemes for the week of September 17, 2012

New eThemes

Author Study: Herman Melville
Learn about Herman Melville and his books. Melville was a prominent novelist, short story writer, and poet of nineteenth century America. Included are links to sites about the writer’s life and the following works: “Bartleby, the Scrivener,” “Moby Dick,” “Billy Budd,” “The Confidence Man,” and “Typee,” as well as his poetry. There are eBooks, a lesson plan, a quiz, and discussion questions.

Updated eThemes

Amish People, Life, and Culture
These sites describe the day-to-day life of the Amish culture. Learn about their history and beliefs. Some sites include recipes or instructions for making crafts. Most sites include images.

Animals: Opossums
Learn about the only marsupial living in North America – the Virginia opossum. Find out what the opossum’s name means. Learn about the animal’s habitats, diet, behavior, reproduction, and predators. Read people’s misconceptions regarding the animal and find out why opossum live only up to three years in wild and eight in captivity. Includes photographs, images of tracks, coloring pages, and video files.

Author Study: Robert Frost and Modern American Poets
These resources are about the poet Robert Frost and his contemporaries. You will find biographical information, full-text poems, audio files, images, and lesson plans. Included are sites about other modern American poets such as Carl Sandburg, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, and William Carlos Williams. Included are three related eThemes resources on poetry.

Career Cluster: Architecture and Construction
Find out what careers are included in the architecture and construction career cluster. Learn about the careers, what kind of training they require, and what the working conditions are for architects and construction workers. Includes links to eThemes on career exploration, career interest assessments, and architecture.

Career Cluster: Arts, A/V Technology, and Communications
Explore these websites to learn what careers are included in the art, audio-video, and communications career path. Includes information about careers in music, writing, fashion design, and more. There are links to eThemes on career exploration and career interest assessments.

Career Cluster: Business, Management, and Administration
Find out how to get involved in business, management, and administration. These websites detail the occupations available and career information such as education needed, salary, and job growth information. Includes links to eThemes on career exploration and career interest assessments.

Career Cluster: Education and Training
These websites are about the career path of education and training. Find out which careers are in the career cluster. Read about the careers and how you can enter them. There are links to eThemes on career exploration and career interest assessments.

Career Cluster: Health Science
Find out about the careers available in the health sciences career cluster. Includes information about education needed, working conditions, salaries, and more. There is a video about the kind of work health care workers do. Includes links to eThemes on career exploration and career interest assessments.

Career Cluster: Hospitality and Tourism
These websites are about the career oppurtunities available in the hospitality and tourism industry. Learn what this career path is about and learn about some of the careers featured. Includes links to eThemes on career exploration and career interest assessments.

Career Cluster: Human Services
Find out about the careers available in the human services career cluster. Includes information about education needed, working conditions, salaries, and more. Includes links to eThemes on career exploration, the psychology of personality development, and career interest assessments.

Career Cluster: Information Technology
These websites are about the occupations in information technology. Many of the careers are computer-related. Read about the various careers and the skills and education required for each career. There are links to eThemes on career exploration and career interest assessments.

Career Cluster: Law, Public Safety, Corrections, and Security
Explore these Web sites to learn what careers are included in the law, public safety, corrections, and security career cluster. Includes information about careers as lawyers, police officers, firefighters, conservation agent, and more. There are links to eThemes on career exploration and career interest assessments.

Career Cluster: Marketing, Sales, and Service
These websites are about careers in marketing and sales. Find out which occupations are included in the career cluster and how you can get started in the industry. Includes links to eThemes on career exploration and career interest assessments.

Career Cluster: Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics
Find out about career opportunities in transportation, distribution, and logistics. Includes information on a variety of careers from taxi cab driver to airplane pilot. There are links to eThemes on career exploration and career interest assessments.

Geography: Middle Atlantic Region
These sites have information about the following Middle Atlantic states: New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland. Learn about each state’s symbols, major industries, history, natural resources, and more. There are links to eThemes Resources on the thirteen colonies and New England.

Literature: “Birchbark House” by Louise Erdrich
These sites are about the book “Birchbark House,” and features a Native American family living on the frontier. The book has been compared to the “Little House” series. The main characters are part of the Ojibwe (also called Chippewa) tribe. Included are a book summary and book talk, and discussion questions. Historical information about the Ojibwe tribe and a brief video on making a birch bark canoe is provided.

Literature: Award Winners
These sites are about children’s and young adult’s literature awards. Includes information about several awards such as the Newbery, Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, Pura Belpre, Michael L. Printz, Best Books for Young Adults, and more. Learn about the history of the awards and see the winners from the current and previous years. eThemes on the Show Me, Building Block, Gateway,Truman and Mark Twain award winners are included.

Missouri: Famous People
Learn about famous Missourians both living and deceased including Laura Ingalls Wilder, Walt Disney, Samuel Clemens, and Daniel Boone. There is a Missouri person WebQuest, a video on Samuel Clemens, and a link to an eThemes Resource on famous Missouri women.

Missouri: Geography and Landforms
These sites are about the different geographical regions and natural resources in Missouri. Learn about the Ozarks, the Ozark border, glaciated plains, Osage plains, and Mississippi lowlands. Includes classroom activities, plus videos from the Missouri Heritage series. There are links to eThemes Resources on Missouri maps, rivers, and regions.

Nevada: State Facts
Learn about the state of Nevada regarding state symbols, wildlife, economics, and history. Find out the history behind the state symbol, myths, and truths about the state. Includes radio clips, illustrations, printable worksheets, games, and a quiz. There is a link to eThemes resource on Nevada state flag.

Olympic Games: Winter 2006
These are sites about the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino (Turin)Italy. Learn about the different sporting events that take place during a Winter Olympiad, read news stories, or athlete’s biographies. There are games, quizzes, videos, and classroom activities. Included are eThemes resources about Olympic history, athletes and records, the 2002 Winter Olympics, and the 2006 host country of Italy.

Parts of a Book: Nonfiction
This resource provides several informational websites related to parts of a nonfiction book. Includes topics such as glossary, index, table of contents, and key words. There are games, exercises, presentations, and lesson plans. Also includes a link to an eThemes resource on writing nonfiction.

Poems and Songs: Rivers and Ponds
These sites are a collection of songs and poems for elementary students. The songs and poems are related to animals living by, habitats in, and activities on rivers and ponds. Lesson plans, samples of songs, and history of river songs are included. There are links to eThemes resources on Habitat: Ponds and Lakes, Poetry: Simile and Figurative Language, Poets and their Poetry, and Writing: Poetry.

Poets and their Poetry
These sites feature authors who write poetry for children. Includes biographies of poets and examples of their work. Learn about Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein, Jack Prelutsky, Sara Holbrook, Edward Lear, and other poets. Included are eThemes Resources on writing poetry, figurative language, and poems and songs about rivers and ponds.

Reading Skills: Following Directions
These sites can help teachers develop lesson plans that incorporate the specific skills of following directions. One site has an interactive game for first graders.

Safety: Winter
These sites provide safety information during winter season. Includes safety tips for winter outdoor activities such as skiing, snowboarding, and bicycling. Also recommended action for hypothermia, frostbite, and snow blindness. There are activities and lesson plans on safe practices and what to do when stuck in the car. There are links to eThemes Resources on Season: Winter and Natural Disasters: Avalanches and Blizzards.

Schools of the Future
What will the school of the future be like? School buildings of the future may look completely different or they may not exist at all. The virtual reality classroom may replace the traditional classroom. Some states already have distance learning for high school students. Is distance learning part of future schools? Included are two links to eThemes resources on schools of the past.

Science: Dinosaurs
Learn more about the types of dinosaurs that roamed the earth years ago. Find out which dinosaurs were in your area, watch videos about these creature, and create your own dinosaur artwork. Includes 3D images, games, and quizzes. There is a link to an eThemes Resource on fossils.

Science: Fossils
These sites focus on fossils and include information about paleontologists, dinosaurs, and petrification. View photographs of actual fossils. Includes a link to an eThemes Resource on dinosaurs.

Science: Oceanography
These sites include information on the topography of the ocean floor and life in the ocean. Sea floor spreading, plate tectonics, and underwater volcanic activity are topics found on several of the sites. Many sites have photographs, maps, and videos. Included are two eThemes resource sites for younger grades, one on the geography of the ocean and the other on creatures of the ocean.

Science: Scientific Classification
Learn about the taxonomy of living things and the seven life processes carried out by living organisms: support, reproduction, digestion, transportation, circulation, excretion, and response. Included are many eThemes resources on microbes, living things, human anatomy, and plants.

U.S. Court of Appeals
These sites contain resources to help students understand how the Court of Appeals System works and how it relates to other types of courts. There are tutorials, basic information about the courts and judges, links to court publications, and databases of statistical information and important court decisions. Includes a link to eTheme resources on the judicial branch of government.

U.S. President: Theodore Roosevelt: Part I
Learn about the 26th American President – Theodore Roosevelt. Discover the president as a son, father, husband, naturalist and conservationist, newyorker, and a war hero. Learn about his hobbies, outdoor adventures, and his nature conservation policies. Includes audio and video clips, timelines, photographs, quizzes, and biographies. There are links to eThemes topics on the President Theodor Roosevelt’s politics, American and foreign policies, Spanish war, and United States presidents.

U.S. President: Theodore Roosevelt: Part II
Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th president and served from 1901 until 1909. Find out about his political views and domestic policies. Learn about the Bull Moose Party and the presidential election campaign of 1912. Includes the presidential inauguration transcript, photographs, audio and video files. There are links to eThemes resources on Theodor Roosevelt’s personal life and nature preservation policies, his foreign policies; and a link to United States Presidents.

Utah: Habitat: Forests
Learn about Utah’s forests and where they can be found. See a map of the various habitats in Utah, watch a video about controlled forest fires, and learn which plants and animals live in Utah’s forests. There are links to related eThemes on trees, forests, and Utah animals.

Teaching Tips: Online Assessments
Teachers can explore these sites for online assessment tools. Some sites are free and some require a payment after a 30 day trial period. Many sites have pre-written assessments that students can take and then data is provided back to the teacher. On other sites teachers can input their own questions and answers, and assessments will be scored and data provided to the teacher. Included is a link to an eThemes resource on writing assessment tools.

Math: Surveys, Tables, and Graphing
These sites have definitions of survey, poll, mean, median, and mode. Find out how to take simple surveys and opinion polls. Includes lesson plans and in-class activities for collecting and organizing numerical and statistical data. There are links to eThemes Resources on how to create and use various types of graphs.

Monica Beglau is the Executive Director of the eMINTS National Center.

To Tweat or Not to Tweat

So Twitter can have value to learning in the classroom, but how?

We’re studying rocketry and just getting started with blogging and tweeting this year.  I wanted to demonstrate how we could reach out to experts.  So, I asked what questions we had for Astronaut Clay Anderson.  A student was curious about what Zero G feels like.  We tweeted and later that day, students were thrilled to see we had received a tweet back.  One simple exchange.  We had just exchanged a message with an astronaut.

It made me wonder, what about other fields? Meteorology. Zoology. Geology.  How would I find these experts?  Then, I came across a list “100 Scientists on Twitter: Organized by Category.”   What if Twitter is not just a tool to connect with other classrooms, but to connect with experts in the field? Powerful.

So, you might be wondering, how do I get started?

Want to have a classroom chat that kids can have individual accounts in a small, classroom environment? Allow kids to start out with a version of Twitter that is only available in your classroom? Try Twiducate.  At the end of the day, ask every student to tweet what they’ve learned.  Twitter allows you to share with the world, Twiducate allows your kids to share with each other.

Want to work with your kids to develop Social Media Norms?  Have a class discussion about what’s appropriate and what’s not appropriate to share.  Build a classroom community where kids support each other.  Whether sending a tweet from a classroom account on Twitter, or an individual account on Twiducate, help students understand that if you wouldn’t shout it in a crowded shopping mall, you shouldn’t share it on social media!  Post the norms.  Watch how kids take ownership in what they’ve decided upon as their norms.

Wondering how you will fit in time to tweet?  You may be thinking, I don’t have time to add one more thing to my classroom.  Ask one kid to take on the role each day or week.  Give him or her a “Media” badge.  Allow him to share what’s happening, 140 at a time.

Thinking about how you will find other classrooms that tweet?  Don’t worry!  I’m building a Twitter list.  Pick one or two to get started with.  You don’t have to follow hundreds of classrooms to get started.  Start small. Chat with a class in Australia or Illinois or your own school.

This is the second in a series of posts on using Twitter in the classroom.  Next up, five ways to use Twitter in the classroom. Our class tweets at @greatdaytolearn. Our Google Doc “Classrooms That Tweet” is growing everyday!  If your class is on Twittter, please add your name! If you’d like to get connected, check out the Twitter list “Classrooms That Tweet!

This post was originally published at Venspired.com September 9, 2012. Blogger and gifted teacher Krissy Venosdale has graciously given permission for us to share her work here on NT&L. Be sure to jump over to Venspired to see what else Krissy is doing with her students.

eMINTS Weekly Update – 9/10/11

Digital Learning Day 2013

Sign Up Now for Digital Learning Day 2013: Save the date – February 6, 2013 – for the second annual Digital Learning Day. DLD is a national advocacy and awareness day to celebrate teachers who successfully use instructional technology in classrooms across the US. There are so many ways to participate and interesting Town Hall Meetings to participate in. There are also interactive lesson plans and other resources. Activities and events will be shared in upcoming Weekly Updates. Check out the first-ever DLD “Back to School Olympics” that started Monday, August 20.

eLearning for Educators

Don’t forget to check out the new eLearning for Educators online professional development courses for fall semester at: http://www.elearningmo.org/register/fall-2012/ eLearning courses are available to educators across Missouri and in all other states. New courses include “Flipped, Upside-down, and Blended Instruction for the K-12 Classroom” and “Going Mobile K-12: Capturing the Power of Smart Phones, Tablets, Apps, and More.” Many of the standard favorites are also available including “Classroom Management,” “Algebraic Thinking in Elementary School,” and “Google Tools for Schools.” Courses cost $150 per person and graduate credit is available for an additional $100 per credit hour. Registration closes on September 19. Courses begin October 3 and conclude by November 20. Start your registration process today! For more information about eLearning for Educators see the website at: http://www.elearningmo.org/

eMINTS Conference 2013

eMINTS Annual Conference Dates Set: Hold the dates for the annual eMINTS Conference set for February 27 through March 1, 2013 in Columbia, MO. The Call for Proposals will be coming out soon so watch for the opportunity to submit a presentation proposal for the Conference. Peruse the presentations and resource materials provided by presenters from the 2012 Conference at: http://www.emints.org/conference-2012/presentation-materials/

Edutopia Features eMINTS

Edutopia: In case you missed it, Hartville Elementary (MO) and eMINTS Comprehensive Professional Development were featured on the Edutopia section called “Schools That Work” at: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/stw-tech-integration-professional-development is still available. The site also includes lesson plans and other resources for teachers, professional development specialists and other to use in the integration of technology into the classroom. The video does an excellent job of explaining eMINTS from the perspective of professional development.

New & Updated eThemes for the week of September 10, 2012

Updated eThemes

Animals: Working Dogs
These sites are about working dogs. There is information about the different kinds of jobs that dogs have. There are printable worksheets, a slideshow, video files, and interviews with people who work with these specially trained dogs. Several eThemes resources are included on dogs, guide dogs, German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Saint Bernard’s, and the Iditarod.

Careers: Non-Traditional
What are non-traditional careers? The answer depends on whether you are a man or a woman. These sites explore non-traditional careers. Included are career lists, movies, audio files, and games. There are two eThemes resources on careers also included.

Country: Estonia
These sites are about Estonia. Learn about the people, history, culture, government, and natural environment of this small Baltic nation. There are facts, maps, and photos. Students can listen to a recording of a native bird’s song, hear the Estonian National Anthem, and watch a short movie about the Setu, an ethnic minority in Estonia. Included is an eTheme about Russia.

Famous Americans: Asian Connections
These sites focus on famous Americans who have Asians connections. Learn about their contributions, achievements, and biographies. Includes photos, interview transcripts, and video clips.

Famous Americans: North American Connections
These websites are about famous people from North America. There are actors, entertainers, scientists, and athletes, as well as general biographical research sources. Included are eThemes resources on famous African Americans and famous Latin Americans.

Famous People: Galileo
Galileo was a scientist and an inventor. He did not invent the telescope but he certainly improved it. Learn who Galileo was and what he invented on these sites. Included are eThemes on the Hubble telescope, inventions, and Copernicus.

Famous People: Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci was an artist, scientist, and inventor. On these sites, you can learn about his life, work, ideas, and the times in which he lived. You can read his biography, see his artwork, sketchbooks, or take a virtual tour of his studio. Included is an eThemes resource on the Renaissance, Artists, and Simple Machines.

Geography: Five Themes of Geography
Developed by the National Council for Geographic Education in 1984, the five themes of geography are Location, Place, Human-Environment Interactions, Movement, and Regions. These websites have definitions of each of the five themes, lesson plan ideas, and resources for exploring individual themes in depth. Includes an eThemes resource on absolute and relative location.

Health: Sexually Transmitted Diseases
These sites are about Sexually Transmitted Diseases. There is information on signs and symptoms of different STDs, how STDs are transmitted from person to person, how to prevent STD transmission, and which diseases are most common. Includes statistics on how many people worldwide are infected and the number of U.S. population diagnosed with the disease. There is also information on prevention and testing. Includes an interactive tutorial, a lesson plan, and a link to an eThemes Resource on AIDS/HIV.

History of Computer Technology and the Internet
These Websites are about the evolution of computer technology and the Internet. Read about the history of computing machines, early programmers, and the origins of information technology. Included are video files, interactive games and quizzes, timelines, exhibits, and more. Included are three related eThemes resources.

History of Spices
These sites focus on the history of spices. There is information on the spice trade route, the discovery of spices, origins of spices, and benefits of spices. Includes a spice encyclopedia, timelines, and lesson plans.

Holiday: Day of the Dead
These websites are about Mexico’s Day of the Dead celebration, a holiday to honor loved ones who have died. Here you can find many craft and activity ideas, informative articles, pictures, and videos about the Day of the Dead. Included are two eThemes resources about Mexico.

Hot Air Balloons
These sites are about hot air balloons. Learn about wind currents and other principles that affect the balloons. Watch a video clip of students making balloons. There is a balloon cam and several hands-on activities.

Library Skills: Wikipedia in Student Research
These websites are about information literacy, with particular emphasis on Wikipedia and its role in student research. There are interactive tutorials, articles, and ideas for class activities.

Literature: “A Jar of Dreams” by Yoshiko Uchida
These sites are about Yoshiko Uchida, her book “A Jar of Dreams,” and the Japanese American internment camps during WWII. Included are eThemes resources on graphic organizers, Japan, and the decade of 1930-1939.

Literature: “So B It” by Sarah Weeks
These sites are about Sarah Weeks and her novel “So B. It.” There is also information on phobias and mental retardation. Included are eThemes resources on genealogy and story elements.

Literature: “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller
These sites for high school students are focused on the Salem witch trials and “The Crucible.” Was Arthur Miller’s play historically accurate? Seventeenth century New England is explored and there are also some sites for teachers. Maps, videos, and audio files are found to explain the happenings at Salem in 1692.

Literature: “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee
These websites are about the book “To Kill a Mockingbird” and author Harper Lee. There are lesson plans, study guides, and vocabulary resources. Learn more about the history of racial discrimination in the United States, Jim Crow laws, and the Great Depression. Includes historical documents, photographs, and video clips. There are links to eTheme resources on the Civil Rights Movement and the 1930′s.

Math: Visual Arts
These websites are about the importance of math to the visual arts. There are many lesson plans and activities where students can create artwork based on mathematical concepts such as pattern, symmetry, geometry, and perspective. Included are eThemes resources on pattern and tessellations.

Matter: Mass and Weight
What is the difference between mass and weight? Find out by using these sites. Includes lesson plans, classroom activities, and animation. There are eThemes resources on metric measurement, gravity, properties of matter, and phases of matter (gas, liquid, and solid).

Middle Ages: A Non-European Perspective
These sites contain information on the societies and cultures that existed outside of Europe during the time period known as the Middle Ages. Students can learn about African Kingdoms such as Ghana and Mali, the Asian Empires of Mongolia and Angkor, the Dynasties of Imperial China, and more. There are timelines, maps, articles, and pictures. Included are eTheme resources for additional information on China and the contemporary societies of North America.

Missouri: Endangered Animals
Learn which species are endangered in Missouri and how they are determined to be endangered. Read descriptions of different species and their environment. Click on a map of Missouri to find endangered animals by county in the state. Includes eThemes resources on endangered species.

Monica Beglau is the Executive Director of the eMINTS National Center.

Sign-up Now for eLearning Fall 2012 Courses

Don’t forget to check out the new eLearning for Educators online professional development courses for fall semester at: http://www.elearningmo.org/register/fall-2012/ eLearning courses are available to educators across Missouri and in all other states.

New courses for this semester include “Flipped, Upside-down, and Blended Instruction for the K-12 Classroom” and “Going Mobile K-12: Capturing the Power of Smart Phones, Tablets, Apps, and More.” Many of the standard favorites are also available including “Classroom Management,” “Algebraic Thinking in Elementary School,” and “Google Tools for Schools.”

Courses cost $150 per person and graduate credit is available for an additional $100 per credit hour. Registration closes on September 19. Courses begin October 3 and conclude by November 20. Start your registration process today! For more information about eLearning for Educators see the website at: http://www.elearningmo.org/

Brought to you by the bloggers for the eMINTS National Center.

I Tweat. Therefore, I Learn

I Tweet.
I tweeted one request, “Please share your location and current outdoor temperature with my class today.”   Throughout the day, the tweets poured in from Australia, Sweden, Spain, New Jersey, Brazil, and the list goes on.  As I shared with students, they looked at the temperatures and their questions reminded me that using Twitter as a connection point with the world has true value for learning.

  • Why are some of the temperatures being reported in Celsius instead of Fahrenheit?
  • How do I convert a Celsius temperature to Fahrenheit? Is there a formula for that?
  • Why is it so cold in Australia right now?
  • What time is it in Sweden?
  • They just said “Morning”, what time is it there?
  • Can we put these on a map so we can see how much of the world we covered?
  • How do I pin something on a Google map?

Time zones. Patterns. Data. Metric System. Weather. Google map creation. Geography. Continents. Temperature conversion. Collaboration. The world.  Learning.  From one tweet.

I’m not saying that tweeting automatically equals learning.  But, look what happens when tweeting (or any tech tool!) is used in the classroom to connect.  Real thinking and learning.  The kind where kids deepen their understand of the world around them.

This is the first in a series of posts.  Next?  The day we tweeted an astronaut and he tweeted us back. For real. Our class tweets at @greatdaytolearn. Our Google Doc “Classrooms That Tweet” is growing everyday!  If your class is on Twittter, please add your name! If you’d like to get connected, check out the Twitter list “Classrooms That Tweet!

This post was originally published at Venspired.com September 8, 2012. Blogger and gifted teacher Krissy Venosdale has graciously given permission for us to share her work here on NT&L. Be sure to jump over to Venspired to see what else Krissy is doing with her students.