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.

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.