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John Evans

Teaching Middle and High School Students to Evaluate Websites | Edutopia - 0 views

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    "Perceptive adults and savvy students know that saying something doesn't make it a fact, and neither does publishing information on the internet. But how to know which websites are sharing accurate information? As middle and high school students conduct research or access the internet on their own time, they need to be able to determine the accuracy of what they're reading by reviewing websites with a critical eye."
John Evans

Four Simple Ways School Leaders Can Increase Teacher Wellness | Education World - 2 views

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    "Over a rushed lunch period the other day, my colleague took a much-needed breather as she described a pandemic-era staff meeting. "Everyone had masks on," she said, "but their eyes were screaming. I honestly don't know how many people are going to quit before the year is up." As the conversation continued, we discussed the increasing prevalence not just of teacher retention issues, but also of less visible gratitude from those in upper-level positions. Though administrators, department heads and team leaders are doubtless thankful for all teachers do, it doesn't hurt to be a little clearer about how much we wish to support and appreciate one another through these difficult times when everyone is beyond overwhelmed. For school leaders who already have so much on their plates, here are four simple ways to increase an overall sense of wellbeing for teachers without becoming burdened with yet another "one more thing" to do."
John Evans

What Teachers Wish the Public Knew About Their Jobs During COVID-19 | EdSurge News - 3 views

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    "When school buildings across the country closed their doors due to the coronavirus pandemic, many teachers had about a weekend's notice-if that-to gather up their belongings and reimagine their classrooms from their homes. The hurried nature of the move to remote learning meant many educators never got a chance to hug their students one more time, to look them in the eyes and ask if they are OK or to tell them goodbye. Though most teachers are checking in with their students virtually, via Zoom, Google Classroom or some other video-calling mechanism, it's not the same as face-to-face interaction. After going from spending hours a day together to hardly any face-to-face time at all, the reality is teachers really miss their students. That was one of the most emphatic answers teachers gave when EdSurge asked 15 of them, What is one thing about your job you wish the public knew? For many, the "one thing" is that they really love their students, and during this time of isolation and uncertainty, they miss them a lot."
John Evans

The Secret Power of the Children's Picture Book - WSJ - 2 views

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    "Millions of people-perhaps you're one of them-have watched viral videos of a Scottish granny collapsing in laughter while she reads to a baby. Comfortable on a sofa with her grandson, Janice Clark keeps cracking up as she tries to read "The Wonky Donkey" and, in a second video recorded a few months later, "I Need a New Bum." Her raspy burr sounds great, and she's fun to watch, but the real genius of the scene is what's happening to the baby. Tucked beside her, he's totally enthralled by the book in her hands. In the second video especially, because he's older, you can see his eyes tracking the illustrations, widening in amazement each time that she turns the page. He's guileless, unaware of the camera. He has eyes only for the pictures in the book. What's happening to that baby is both obvious and a secret marvel. A grandmother is weeping with laughter as she reads a story, and her grandson is drinking it all in-that's obvious. The marvel is hidden inside the child's developing brain. There, the sound of her voice, the warmth of her nearness and, crucially, the sight of illustrations that stay still and allow him to gaze at will, all have the combined effect of engaging his deep cognitive networks. "
John Evans

Lisa Nielsen: The Innovative Educator: 5 Tech Resources for the Blind or Visually Impaired - 0 views

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    "When thinking of ways to support those who are legally blind, two supports often come to mind. Guide dogs and Braille. It's no wonder. Guide dogs provide their owners with a sense of freedom, an increased level of confidence, and a feeling of safety. Blind people who know Braille and use it find success, independence, productivity, and are more likely to find employment. Surprisingly though, of the 1.3 million people in the United States who are legally blind, only about 2% have guide dogs according to Guiding Eyes for the Blind. Also surprising is that fewer than 10 percent are Braille readers according to a report from the National Federation of the Blind. Unfortunately, these supports are currently generally reserved for the elite in our society because of cost and access. These are unfortunate statistics. Fortunately, there are low-to-no-cost technologies that provide support to the visually impaired and blind population. Five technologies to support the visually impaired and legally blind. "
John Evans

Incorporating Play-Based Learning in the Elementary Grades | Edutopia - 3 views

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    "A few years ago, I began shifting to a play-based approach in my kindergarten classroom. Research extolled the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional benefits of play and called to mind Friedrich Froebel's vision of kindergarten as a place where play and learning go hand in hand.  As I made small changes in my classroom, I began to understand that play is a primary and integral mode through which children make sense of the world, and that it is essential to their development and well-being. In addition, it supports skills like collaboration, communication, and creativity. Offering play can feel challenging when mandated programs and standardized tests are requirements of many school districts, but play-based learning is an effective practice for deepening understanding and engaging children. The key is finding a balance between academic expectations and the developmental needs of young students."
John Evans

Nine Ways To Ensure Your Mindfulness Teaching Practice Is Trauma-Informed | MindShift | KQED News - 1 views

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    "A recent MindShift article highlighted some things teachers should be aware of if they're bringing mindfulness into their classrooms. Students may have experienced trauma that makes sitting silently with their eyes closed feel threatening, and teachers can't assume it will be an easy practice for every child. That awareness is important to create an inclusive environment, but it doesn't mean that teachers shouldn't cultivate their own mindfulness practice or use some techniques with students. Often mindfulness is used as a way to help students build self-regulation skills and learn to calm down when they become frustrated or angry. Cultivating those skills can be powerful for students, but many teachers say mindfulness is crucial for themselves, helping them take an extra moment before reacting to students. "The best way to practice trauma-informed mindfulness is [for teachers] to have their own practice and interpret the behavior of the youth through a trauma-informed lens, even if they never do mindfulness training with the kids," said Sam Himelstein, a clinical psychologist, trainer and author who has spent most of his career working with incarcerated youth. He's received a lot of questions about how to be trauma-informed while still using mindfulness in classrooms since the first article. He suggest nine guidelines for teachers that he uses to make sure mindfulness practice with youth is helping, not hurting."
John Evans

The Future Belongs to the Makers - John Spencer - 0 views

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    "However, the most nerve-wracking moment occurred when I sat in a radio studio recording my script. I would play the giant magnetic tape back and use a razor to cut it and Scotch tape to splice it together. I listened to my voice and hated it. At one point, I threw my hands up in the air. "I'm not doing this," I said. But Mrs. Smoot looked me in the eyes and said, "I'm not going to let you get away with that. Your voice is good. What you say matters. And when you hide your voice, you rob the world of your creativity.""
John Evans

This Teacher Makes Financial Literacy Personal for Students | EdSurge News - 2 views

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    "Jacqueline Prester was a self-proclaimed hustler in middle school. Mowing lawns, babysitting-she took the initiative to earn her own money. But she was also a responsible moneymaker, using the envelope system to budget every cent before she knew it was an actual budgeting strategy. Back then, her friends rolled their eyes when she tried to share her financial savvy. Fast forward two decades and Prester is a popular business and technology teacher at Mansfield High School in Massachusetts, working to give students real-life financial skills. Only this time her audience is keen to learn. (Her Personal Finance classes always reach their 28 student capacity.) Students are learning about personal finance, but not just because that's the name of the class. They're making it personal. Prester's passion is infectious, and the content she chooses-like Pathway To Financial Success created by Discovery Education and Discover-immerses students in authentic lessons with videos, interactive modules and real-world connections. Pathway To Financial Success Video: Being Financially Responsible EdSurge caught up with Prester to find out how she packs her classes with willing learners and to uncover her secret to finding compelling financial literacy content. She also shared how and why she helped pass a new Massachusetts bill focused on financial literacy."
John Evans

How Teachers Are Changing Grading Practices With an Eye on Equity | MindShift | KQED News - 1 views

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    "Nick Sigmon first encountered the idea of "grading for equity" when he attended a mandatory professional development training at San Leandro High School led by Joe Feldman, CEO of the Crescendo Education Group. As a fairly new high school physics teacher, Sigmon says he was open-minded to new ideas, but had thought carefully about his grading system and considered it fair already. Like many teachers, Sigmon had divided his class into different categories (tests, quizzes, classwork, homework, labs, notebook, etc.) and assigned each category a percentage. Then he broke each assignment down and assigned points. A student's final grade was points earned divided by total points possible. He thought it was simple, neat and fair."
John Evans

How to Introduce Engineering Principles Early to Help Inspire Interest in STEM | MindShift | KQED News - 0 views

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    "QUINCY, Wash. - A few years ago, a young female engineer named Isis Anchalee was featured on one of her company's recruiting posters only to be subjected to a barrage of digital feedback questioning whether she was really an engineer. People posting on Facebook and Twitter said Anchalee was too attractive to be an actual software engineer and must be a model. Anchalee responded like the techie she is. She wrote a blog post about her experience and added a photo of herself with the hashtag #ILookLikeAnEngineer. Twitter exploded with selfies of female engineers of all backgrounds and male engineers of color declaring they looked like engineers, too. If she had known about the hashtag campaign and taken a look, Alessandra Gudino Aguilar, age 8, might have seen a grown-up version of herself. Alessandra, a student at Pioneer Elementary School in rural Quincy, Washington, spent part of the fall term in an enrichment class focused on teaching elementary-age students the principles of engineering design through a curriculum designed by educators and scientists at Boston's Museum of Science."
John Evans

10 Tips to Start Teaching With Minecraft | EdSurge News - 1 views

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    "My students come from a small, rural community and lack a broad understanding of the larger world around them. This inspired me to seek out a game, or online environment, that could provide more expansive experiences for them-a place that would allow them to explore, on their own or with others, and where I could embed history content for them to discover. On Twitter I came across an exploratory discussion of Minecraft's potential for school use. I dove in and began a journey that ultimately changed my perception of teaching and how I interact with my students. Minecraft is easy to use and implement in a classroom. It promotes student independence and creativity, but it is also an immensely collaborative tool that I have witnessed being integrated across all grade levels and content areas. Students can apply their understanding in truly unique and often unanticipated ways. Previously, my kids struggled with writing. Today, they are more creative and confident writers. Instead of getting 125 essays written in the exact same style with the same details, I now get unique historical narratives, rich with sensory experiences and observations made with their own eyes."
John Evans

4 Tips for Using Stories in the Early Grades | Edutopia - 4 views

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    "A look at what the research tells us about sharing stories with kids in preschool and kindergarten."
Nigel Coutts

Rethinking Time to see Education as a Lifelong Journey - Lessons from Blueback - The Learner's Way - 1 views

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    Blueback is a beautiful metaphor for life and particularly of the life we live in schools. When looked at close up, with an eye on the details, the experience of school is one of passing and recurring cycles. When looked at from a distance, with an eye on the whole, there are elements of constancy, the throughlines which bring meaning to our experience and which have as their consequence the residuals of education. 
John Evans

Robotics Competition: Hour of Code - TinkeringChild - 3 views

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    "This year we celebrated an Hour of Code (other posts from previous years can be found here and here)with an Interhouse Robotics Competition. Our Coding & Robotics Leader introduced the event and asked all the girls to dance to Code.org Dance Party Challenge as a warm up!"
Nigel Coutts

Why we fear data and how our perception can change. - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    Data occupies a somewhat curious place within education. Mention it to teachers and you tend to get one of two responses. One group will roll their eyes and with great sarcasm how data is "so exciting". The other group responds with something akin to "actually I quite like data" indicating that experience has shown them that they are members of a small group. The question is why do some people find data to be a useful and fascinating tool while others see it as a good method for inducing sleep? 
John Evans

The Seven Habits of Highly Affective Teachers - Educational Leadership - 2 views

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    "Anxious, overconfident, curious, indifferent, angry, amused, lonely, hopeful, embarrassed, empowered, afraid, excited, diminished-teachers have seen all these emotions emerge from students as they engage with classroom content. Emotional responses to lessons often go through students' minds before they even begin to think about the material: This stuff is stupid/awesome/beyond me. I'm not comfortable with this. Finally, something I'm good at. Maybe somebody will notice I can't read. Let's see her find a mistake in that one-it's perfect. Does the teacher know I didn't study this last night? Some of us deny this reality and claim we aren't trained to guide children's emotional health. We think our purpose is to teach content and skills only, not to deal with the touchy-feely stuff. This attitude turns a blind eye to the developmental nature of the students we serve, and it runs afoul of how minds learn. Unless we're the most severe of sociopaths, we all have emotional responses that affect what we do. Adding to the messiness, our individual perspectives and experiences may put us out of sync with others' emotional states, even as the institutional nature of schools demands emotional synchronicity. The resulting miscommunication, blame, anxiety, and frustration are not the best ingredients for a good day at school. Teachers who deny the emotional elements of teaching and learning can become exhausted from ceaseless confrontations with students' emotional states, often blaming their personal stress and students' failure to learn on students' lack of motivation or maturity. They grow disconnected from students, creating an almost adversarial relationship with them: I need to get them to shape up. It's them or me. These students are hopeless; why should I bother? It's the parents who created this situation. This attitude can bleed into daily interactions with students and colleagues. It doesn't have to be this way. We can develop constructive responses to our own
John Evans

A Really Cool Database For Paper Airplanes - - 3 views

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    "When I was a kid, my dad taught me how to make paper airplanes. I remember two designs in particular-a sleek 'jet' plane and a more-square stunt plane. I liked the stunt plane but was fascinated with the power and design of the jet version. It was so simple and pure. I can still remember the feel of the creases beneath my forefinger on my right hand, eyes studying my work closely, making sure the edges lined up just so. If it was off even a little, I had to start again. There's a lot more design that goes into duplicating n existing paper airplane model than you'd think. First and foremost, the aforementioned precision of the folds. If the paper isn't aligned perfectly, it won't fly perfectly-and that sort of linear cause/effect is strangely fulfilling."
John Evans

How do we teach students to identify fake news? | EdCan Network - 4 views

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    "In a "post-truth" era where people are increasingly influenced by their emotions and beliefs over factual information, fact and fiction can be difficult to distinguish, and fake news can spread rapidly through mainstream media sources and social networks. Moreover, fake news is often meant to do harm, by tricking us into believing a lie or unfairly discrediting a person or political movement. Given this malicious intent, students must learn to approach news and information with a critical eye in order to identify intentionally misleading sources (although recent studies confirm that this is an uphill battle for both adults and young people). Teachers therefore play a crucial role in ensuring that their students develop the skills to decipher the many streams of information available to them."
John Evans

CSTA 2018 - Conference Presentations - 1 views

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    "Integrating Computational Thinking in the Primary Grades "
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