Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Leveraging Technology for Collaborative Learning and Teaching

We are back in session! We are hosting 5 sessions this year. Our modules this year will have a focus on technology and we will demonstrate ways to integrate it in the classroom.

Today teachers will learn how to use a cloud-based program to centralize class information and the ability to collaborate with students and other teachers. Teachers can share assignments with students, create spaces for group collaboration, and provide student feedback - all in one place. In addition, I am demonstrating how to use multimedia learning into the curriculum.

To access today’s slides, click HERE.

Get students excited to learn with video! Animoto makes it easy to incorporate multimedia learning into a teacher’s curriculum. 

Animoto takes photographs and allows users to add sound and text, as well as control some editing of the video project, in order to share stories through a short video presentation. Students will find the ability to express themselves through new media tools an attractive aspect of Animoto, and teachers can utilize this tool as a way to bridge curriculum and student engagement or develop digital storytelling projects. For students and teachers tired of PowerPoint presentations, Animoto is just as easy to use and provides a wider multimedia experience.

Getting Started 
Pre-planning is a helpful first step in creating your video project. Gather all images and video clips and save them in a desktop folder. If a particular soundtrack serves the needs of the project, make sure the sound clip or song is in .mp3 format. Finally, on a piece of paper, sketch out the storyboard for the video—in particular the placement of text in the video.
To open a free Animoto account, users can either opt for an individual account or teachers can send an email request for an educator's account. The free individual account restricts users to a 30-sec. video; however, educators who gain access to a limited-time (usually six months to a year) classroom account will be able to enroll students in a more expansive account with the ability to make full-length videos. For both plans, users can make an unlimited amount of videos.

All of your student videos will be completely private. The only way someone can find your students work is if they have the video specific URL website or if the student videos are posted on another website.
You can apply for free Animoto plus account for your classroom by clicking here. You need to use your school email address and give your school website to see if you’re legit.

This is a how to use Animoto video. 

This is a video I created with my classroom. We are currently learning about spiders and practicing oral presentations. 
One of the most popular, free tools used by thousands of schools is a virtual bulletin board called Padlet. It starts as a blank canvas (called a ‘wall’) to which users can add text, video, images, weblinks, and more. It can be accessed via a direct link that is posted or emailed, or an embed in any digital platform that accepts these HTML codes (such as a blog, website, or wiki). It can be managed from the website, a mobile device, or with a Chrome app or extension. Walls can also be emailed, printed, social shared, or saved as an image or PDF file. Individual accounts are free; education accounts are charged per teacher.

Here’s how it works:
1. Set up an account so that you can save and share your walls
2. Quickly and easily create your first wall with a customized background, title, and layout. Backgrounds include lined paper, blueprint, a chalkboard, and more.
3. Once the set-up is completed share the link or embed with students
4. To participate, all students do is tap the screen and add their comment

Tips for the Classroom:
1. Use it as a backchannel during class lessons
2. Thanks to the calendar background, make this a portable, editable class calendar
3. Brainstorm ideas for a project. Use a mindmap background or hand-draw one that students add to.
4. Post ideas and quotes here to be shared with all stakeholders
5. Curate topic-specific links for student use

Sway is a fresh new way to show content. I think of it as a one page website in which you can add a variety of communication modes. When published it can be shared with any device anywhere in the world. As an added bonus it can be embedded into your other sites to become part of a larger presentation or portfolio.

Collaboration is a main rubric among 21st century learning skills. So, teacher can design a collaborative works with Sway inside or outside the classroom. By creating one account of Sway for group of students, teacher can ask students to share the responsibilities among each student and do their own works collaboratively inside or outside the classroom. This is important for anytime anywhere learning.

1. Presentations – Teachers and students can use Sway as a presentation tool for learning
2. eTextbooks – create your own eTextbook with links, information, videos, images and questions. You can then direct students to different website, using Sway as the base learning pathway
3. Picture Books – get students to create a storybook using Sway
4. Experiment and Research Reports – use sway to show research, experiment videos and results. You could even make your next science report using Sway
5. Artwork or Multimedia Portfolio – Use Sway as a product portfolio to show a number of your own creations. Spend some time to explain what your project was, and why you created it.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Empowering English Learners for Academic Success - CTA Summer Institute at UCLA

  All students deserve equal access to content, regardless of language level or ability. As educators, we need to design lessons that will meet the needs of our students but also cover the standards. I have found that prioritizing the CCSS at the beginning of the year and mapping them out helps structure my lessons. I then go back into my map and align the English Language Development standards and goals.
My goals this year is to:
1. To empower ELL students and their families to be active and successful members within our school and the community.

2. To collaborate effectively with grade level teachers to ensure that ELL students and their families receive equitable opportunities and resources.

3. To promote cultural awareness and to cultivate an appreciation of diversity.

Today’s presentation will also focus on some of my strategies that I use in my classroom to provide my students with meaningful ways to engage with their classmates. They are also strategies to give them ample opportunities to practice language throughout the day.

Click here to access today's slides
Websites to Support English-language Learners
  • English Grammar Word Builder offers printable lesson plans, grammar rules, and online exercises.
  • Google Translate is a free text-to-speech translator.
  • 365 ESL Short Stories are texts for intermediate ESL/EFL students.
  • PinkMonkey offers free G-rated literature study guides, with notes and chapter summaries.
  • Casa Notes provides note templates for field trip permissions, student contracts, invitation to parent-teacher conferences, etc. Users are given the option of printing the notes in Spanish or English.
  • Bitesize Literacy: Great activities and games related to basic literacy.

Online Articles Discussing How to Support ELLs

Join the NEA Professional Practice Communities!
What is this?
The NEA Professional Practice Communities, a place where teachers, parents, school support and administration professionals, and community members share ideas and resources to improve student success. It is free and open to all!

Click on the following link to join my online community:
Common Core K-5

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Instructional Leadership Corps - Year 3: Taking Root

This morning I'll be presenting with my fellow ILC team member, David Keys. We prepared a presentation on: 
Fostering “Academic Conversations” in ALL content areas in K-12 Grade Levels Speaking and Listening Across the Common Core

Click here to access today's slides

I prepared terrific freebies for you! Click on the following link to access a bunch of my posters I use to set up collaborative groups and rubrics to measure success.

Rubric for Group Activity or Group Project

You can see a full post I did on this topic by clicking HERE

Join the NEA Professional Practice Communities!

What is this?
The NEA Professional Practice Communities, a place where teachers, parents, school support and administration professionals, and community members share ideas and resources to improve student success. It is free and open to all!

Click on the following link to join my online community:
Common Core K-5