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.

eMINTS Weekly Update

eLearning for Educators: Fall Semester Registration Underway: eLearning for Educators fall registration is now open until Wednesday, Sept. 19.The Fall 2012 semester is from Oct. 3 ? Nov. 20, 2012. Register online now. Cost: $150 per course. Graduate Credit (optional): additional fee of $100 per credit hour available through the University of Missouri-Kansas City or University of Missouri-St. Louis. A limited number of scholarships are available. To apply for a scholarship that reduces the cost of an e-Learning course to $75, go to the eLearning Scholarships and Discounts page and fill out the online form. Scholarships are limited to one per applicant. Limit 3 scholarships per one district.

New and Updated eThemes for the week of August 20, 2012

No New eThemes:

  • If there is not currently an eTheme for a topic you need, simply fill out the on-line request form, and it will be created. New eTheme requests are accepted through the on-line requests from all eMINTS teachers as well as all school library media specialists in the state of Missouri.

Updated eThemes for the week of August 20, 2012:

Literature: “Stone Fox” by John Reynolds Gardiner

  • These sites relate to the book Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner. Try the online quizzes. Includes related subjects such as Wyoming, sled dogs, and potato farming.

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

Supporting Thinking Through Cognitive CoachingSM

Welcome Back!  We hope you are off to the start of a wonderful school year!  The eMINTS National Center has been hard at work all summer long preparing learning opportunities for you!

Image used with permission.

We are excited to be hosting another eight day Cognitive CoachingSM Foundations Seminar in St. Louis, Missouri.

The Cognitive CoachingSM  Model helps produce self-directed individuals.  Here is what people have said after attending the Cognitive CoachingSM  Foundations Seminar-

  • “Coming into CC, I thought I would really struggle with the purpose of coaching being to take the coachee where he/she wanted to go… I thought it would be difficult to let go of where I wanted him/her to go.  Throughout the trainings though, my thinking changed with my experiences. The trainings were totally engaging to me and really affected the way I view myself as a leader and even as a conversationalist.  My expectations were more than exceeded!”
  • “Cognitive CoachingSM  has made me a better listener. I have to really practice holding back my own thoughts and opinions during a conversation and remember that the conversation is about helping the other person to think, not about getting my ideas in the air.”
  • “The knowledge and skills that are learned in the 8 day Foundations Seminar can be applied in all aspects of personal and professional life. The tools and experience are worth the time and money spent attending training.”

The dates for the upcoming St. Louis Foundations Seminar are:
September 26 and 27, 2012
October 24 and 25, 2012
November 28 and 29, 2012
January 16 and 17, 2013

The Foundations Seminar is a great professional development opportunity for all instructional coaches, administrators, teachers, and anyone interested in improving their communication skills to support others in planning, reflecting, and problem-resolving. Participants who attend the eight-day seminar will be a certified Cognitive CoachSM.

To learn more and register for the seminar go to http://www.emints.org/professional-development/other-pd/cognitive-coaching/

Space is limited so register today!

Brooke Higgins, Carmen Marty, and Terri Brines are Instructional Specialist, Cognitive CoachingSM Agency Trainers, and bloggers for the eMINTS National Center.

eMINTS Weekly Update

Welcome to the 2012-2013 School Year with eMINTS! The Weekly Update feature resumes beginning today. Updates are published weekly on Mondays except for holidays.

eLearning for Educators: Fall registration is now open until Wednesday, Sept. 19. The Fall 2012 semester is from Oct. 3 – Nov. 20, 2012. Courses cost $150 per course. Optional Graduate Credit is available at an additional fee of $100 per credit hour through the University of Missouri-Kansas City or University of Missouri-St. Louis. A limited number of scholarships are available. You can even apply for a scholarship that reduces the cost of an e-Learning course to $75 by filling out an online form. Scholarships are limited to one per applicant. Limit 3 scholarships per one district. There are three NEW course offerings this semester:

  • Thinking Critically with Data (all)
  • Going Mobile K-12: Capturing the Power of Smart Phones, Tablets, Apps and More (all)
  • Flipped, Upside-down and Blended Instruction for the K-12 Classrooms (all)
  • Some of the additional courses available for the Fall 2012 semester are:
  • Algebraic Thinking in the Elementary School (elementary)
  • Beyond Your Schoolyard:  An Intro to GPS, Geocaching and Google Earth (all)
  • Classroom Management (all)
  • Differentiating Instruction:  Empowering All Learners (all)
  • Early Childhood: Creating a Language-Rich Environment  (early childhood)
  • Google Tools for Schools (all)
  • Heart of Science Instruction (secondary science)
  • Improving Reading and Writing in the Content Areas (secondary)
  • Instructional Approaches for Teachers of English Language Learners (all)
  • Leading Schools in a Web 2.0 World (administrators)
  • Special Students in Regular Classrooms:  Technology, Teaching and Universal Design (all)
  • Teaching Writing in the Elementary Classroom (elementary)

To see the complete list of courses offered this semester, go to: http://www.elearningmo.org/register/fall-2012/.

Share the Good News: Do you have something special to report about your school or classroom? An honor or award that has been presented? Share the good news with your eMINTS colleagues across the US and world by sending details about the good news to emints-info@emints.org.

New eThemes for the Week of August 13, 2012:

  • Africa: National Parks – These sites are about Africa’s National Parks. Learn about the animals, the climate, and the purposes behind why National Parks play an important role in Africa. Includes a link to an eThemes resource on the continent of Africa.
  • Circus Acts and Animals – These sites focus on circus animals, acts, and performers. There is historical information about circuses, plus photographs, audio files, and video clips.
  • Teaching Tips: “7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens” by Sean Covey – These websites are about Sean Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens.” There are summaries of the habits, as well as advice and lesson plans for incorporating the 7 Habits into the daily lives of teens. Includes a link to eThemes resource, Goal Setting.

Updated eThemes for the week of August 13, 2012:

  • Literature: “Dear Mr. Henshaw” by Beverly Cleary -These sites are about the book “Dear Mr. Henshaw” by Beverly Cleary. There are several hands-on classroom activities including how to make a lunch box alarm. Students can take online quizzes over vocabulary and events from the book. Includes eThemes Resources on Beverly Cleary and letter writing.
  • Literature: “The Monkey’s Paw” by W.W. Jacobs – These sites are about the short story “The Monkey’s Paw” by W.W. Jacobs. Includes full text of the story, quizzes, lesson plans, and vocabulary worksheets. There are also links to games about short story elements and a booklist of other horror stories and books. Includes links to eTheme resources on Story Elements and Character Traits.

Become a Blog Contributor: Share your insights and thoughts with eMINTS blog followers and fans. Contribute to the blog and community learning by submitting a blog post, resource link, online tool or teaching tip.

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

Starting the Year with Community

As many of you begin to prepare for the first days of school, you may be pondering ideas for creating a strong sense of community in your classroom.  Educator Chris Biffle shares one holistic approach at his website WholeBrainTeaching.com. He shares ideas for grabbing the students’ attention and directly engaging them throughout the entire instructional process.  His methods assist educators on creating a fun engaging classroom, where even challenging students thrive.  This brain based approach puts the fun back into the classroom for both the teacher and the students.

To view the basics of this approach view this YouTube video:

The BIG 6 of Power teacher are:

  1. Class Yes
  2. The Five Rules
  3. The Scoreboard Game
  4. Hands and Eyes
  5. Teach-OK
  6. The Switch

If I had to choose just a “few” to introduce on the first day, I think it would have to be “Class Yes” and “The Five Rules”.  I think these basic classroom management tools will have your classroom booming with student engagement and strengthen the sense of community from day one.

“Class Yes” is an approach used to focus the classes’ attention. The teacher says “class” and the students say “yes”.  This works because it gives the students something to do immediately and prepares them for the teacher.  Part of this method’s effectiveness is it has the students mirror the tone the teacher uses. For example the teacher could drag out the word and add a funny voice “clllllasssssss”, which the students would respond mirroring the teacher “yeeeeessssss”.

On the first days of school, it is common to start with sharing the classroom rules. In the video you saw a demonstration for “The Five Rules”.  Each rule uses visual, auditory and kinesthetic movement to help students reach a deeper understanding of how the rules relate to the expectations of the teacher and the success of the classroom as a community.  Here is a brief explanation of “The Five Rules”:

  • Follow Directions Quickly (wiggling hand moving forward)
  • Raise Your Hand for permission to speak. (Raise hand, make a talking mouth hand)
  • Raise your hand for permission to leave your seat. (Raise hand, make walking motion with two fingers)
  • Make smart choices (point to brain)
  • Keep your teacher happy! (frame your face, wag head back and forth smiling)

This is just one way to begin building classroom community….

How might you foster and sustain a sense of classroom community during the first days of school?

Amy Blades is an instructional specialist for the eMINTS National Center.

Crazy about QR Codes

QR Code

Those who know me know that I am a little obsessed with QR (quick response) codes.  You know those little boxes of rectangles and squares that are on almost everything now a days.  They really are just about everywhere when you start looking.

Now I am from Sedalia and the biggest thing getting ready to start this Thursday is the Missouri State Fair.  As I was taking routine drive through the fairgrounds to check on the progress of set-up, I suddenly noticed… QR codes.  A sign is in front of the major buildings on the fairgrounds with a QR code boldly printed on it.  Of course I whipped out my phone and scanned and was pleasantly surprised to see a page of historical information about the building.  The fair has embraced a piece of technology and utilizing it to teach history by creating historic-walking-tours with QR codes.  I love it.

This brought back the memory of a recent conference I attended where a group of teachers presented how they use QR codes in their classroom.  Some of the things mentioned for their use were center directions, interactive bulletin boards, information to parents, and links to resources.   With the combination of ideas from the conference and what the fair is doing, my mind hasn’t stopped thinking about how a school or classroom might utilize QR codes.  I think about scavenger hunts, historic background, or even star student information.

So I would like even more ideas and possibilities.  Please share with me how you have used or would like to use QR codes in your school or classroom?

Terri Brines is an eIS and Cognitive CoachingSM Trainer for the eMINTS National Center.

FUNdamentals of Learning: An Intel Webinar

We have often talked about PLN (Personal Learning Networks) in the blog but I thought I might share a specific site that you may want to add to your PLN.  It is the Teachers Engage site from Intel.  This is a community of educators K-12 and the focus is transforming learning with the integration of technology.  It is free to register and provides many helpful ideas and tools to use in the classroom.

There are discussion boards, webinars, unit plans, and various communities you can join to meet your particular interests and needs.  The resources that are provided are excellent and there are so many of them.

I mentioned webinars, an example of one of the webinars you should attend is tonight, Aug. 7th at 6:00 Central time. Doug Caldwell, Debbie Perkins, and Julie Szaj, all eMINTS Instructional Specialist, will be presenting a webinar called The FUNdamentals of Learning.   In this webinar, they “will present on websites that help teachers and students get, become, stay engaged. Focusing on middle school-aged resources, they will show tools and have participants brainstorm classroom uses with an emphasis on back to school planning.”

If you are interested in the Teachers Engage or just want to check out a webinar, come and join them tonight and see if maybe Teachers Engage is a site you might want to add to your PLN.

Terri Brines is an eIS and Cognitive CoachingSM Trainer for the eMINTS National Center.

Access/Share Google Docs in Edmodo & the Power of My PLN

Edmodo and Google Users…

I guess I am a bit behind in the game because I just realized you can access your Google Docs in Edmodo now. This new feature came about in March and allows you to Sync your Google Docs (Drive) with your Edmodo Library. That means you can share documents with your Edmodo groups and students can easily turn-in assignments completed via Google Docs.Find the instructions to do this at the Edomod Help site. FYI all users will need to link their Google Docs account with Edmodo before and sharing of docs with users or groups takes place.

Wondering how I heard about this new feature of Edmodo??? Maybe not but here’s the power of my PLN…

I found this blog (while I was browsing Pinterest one evening). It’s by a Digital Learning Coordinator in the Chicago Public Schools > Teaching like it’s 2999 . I first pinned her idea to my “learn” Pinterest board and then visited her blog and found that what the author, Jennie Magiera, blogged about was so connected to what I do so I added it to my Google Reader.

One day this week Google Reader showed that the author had posted something new to her blog called More Ideas to Googlize Your School. That post linked to a Google Doc that she was going to share at a presentation she was doing with teachers. As I scanned the doc I noticed a reference to “Edmodo’s Google Doc integration” so I did a Google searched for edomodo google docs and came up with the link that I shared with you all above.

Isn’t that so cool…in a nerdy sort of way :) In what ways do you “harvest” great teaching ideas from the web? And a big shout out to Jennie Magiera for sharing her ideas and more with us all.

Brooke Higgins is an instructional specialists, Cognitive CoachingSM Trainer, and sporadic blogger for the eMINTS National Center. This post was originally posted at the Higgins’ Helpful Hints Blog.

Edutopia Hartville Profile: Meet the eIS…Doug Caldwell

Yesterday Edutopia featured an article in their “Schools That Work” Section about the eMINTS implementation in Hartville, Missouri.  Tonya Wilson’s and her 6th grade students were the stars. The article and video both give a glimpse of Tonya’s classroom and how eMINTS has transformed not only her teaching but her own learning as well.

In the video Monica Beglau, Executive Director, and Doug Caldwell, eMINTS Instructional Specialist, share what makes eMINTS successful in both improving teacher effectiveness and raising student achievement. The keys to the success of the program lie in its continued professional development spread throughout the year being relevant to the teaching, connected to the learning, and supported by face-to-face coaching.

Doug Caldwell, the eIS featured in this profile video provides that support and more. The Instructional Specialist at eMINTS take on several roles in the eMINTS organization.

Doug Caldwell, eMINTS Instructional Specialist

Doug lives in Lynchburg, Missouri, (pop. 75). He has been with eMINTS for 12 years and has trained countless teachers. While working at the eMINTS National Center he wears many hats. Not only does he facilitate eMINTS Comprehensive Professional Development sessions he also visits teachers in their classrooms to help them implement what they are learning through coaching, consulting, and collaborating. Doug is a Senior Trainer for the Intel program, presents at local, state, and national conferences, supports district technology staff as part of the eMINTS4Techs program, provides custom PD including training for veteran eMINTS teachers, and serves on various committees. He does all this with his ever present easy going  attitude and smile on his face.

Tell us about your connection with eMINTS. What eMINTS program/s have you participated in? Who is/was your eMINTS Facilitator? What eMINTS accomplishments are you most proud of? And if you haven’t had the opportunity yet to become part of our eMINTS “family”, what might be the most appealing part to you?

The eMINTS National Center is a non-for profit organization that has provided comprehensive research-based professional development services to educators since 1999.