National Kid Inventors Day

Posted by Teresa Marchant on Jan 17, 2017 12:02:00 PM

National Kid Inventors Day is celebrated on January 17 each year. It honors the original kid inventor, Benjamin Franklin, who designed the first swim flippers at only twelve years old! National Kid Inventors Day exists to encourage creativity in our youngest members of society. As anyone knows, kids can come up with the darndest things! Of course, some of it may be outlandish, but children have a unique perspective of not being burdened down with the details that adults can’t help but acknowledge. The best thing about National Kid Inventors Day is that it can be celebrated school-wide. Inventions occur every day. From new building materials to applications, even the sky is no limit! Here are some ways to encourage your students’ creativity:

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Technology, Literacy

Oxford's Storytelling Schools

Posted by Reine L. on Jan 16, 2017 12:17:00 PM

The digital phenomenon and technology has an extraordinary effect on people, but little research has been done in the field of educators that gives an implicit message so that students are able to communicate and relate to other human beings and not just their gadgets. Stories lead to learning, and according to the curators of the Story Museum Storytelling Schools programme, “Storytelling is the ‘something’ I and others have all been looking for, for a long time. It’s good because it’s cross-cultural and it’s accessible; it’s about being human and it’s deep.” The tools we have acquired to enhance teaching are important, but what is even more valuable is teachers who provide literacy education in the classroom that gives each child personal power as we guide, motivate, entertain, educate, inspire and influence others through the artful use of story.

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Literacy

More than a Dream: Using King’s Legacy to Foster Civil Responsibility In Students

Posted by Rashawnda Atkinson on Jan 13, 2017 11:55:00 AM

In just a few days our nation will celebrate Martin Luther King Day, which recognizes the contributions that famed Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. made to advancing racial equality through non-violent means.  Since 1986, the third Monday in every January people take part in various activities--speeches, marches, community service projects, or visiting sites that highlight King's life and legacy.  As educators seeking to create independent, conscious thinkers, how can we get them to use their words and knowledge to affect change in their schools?  As King wrote as a junior at Morehouse College, “...Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction" (as cited in The Seattle Times, n.d.).  I'll share with you some ways to get your students and school to maximize the day's significance.

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Reading Lists, Writing, Literacy

Teach Your Students Cuneiform (and Other Ideas): Primary Sources Across the Curriculum Pt. 3

Posted by Rachel Tapling on Jan 12, 2017 11:43:00 AM

I won’t ever forget watching one of my most struggling students light up when he showed me that he had written a simple story in cuneiform, using the few glyphs that were included in the social studies book. “It's like I’m a time traveler!” he’d said.

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Literacy

Success Story: Flexible Access to Content Across Classrooms and Curriculum

Posted by Big Universe on Jan 12, 2017 11:38:24 AM

Crestwood, KY - Educators at Camden Station Elementary in the Oldham County School District understand the importance of flexibility. “Our student population has shifted and changed over the past five years,” says Library Media Specialist Lauren Rataj. This has brought about many changes, including its classification as a Title I school.

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Topics: Success Stories

10 Amazing Ways to Use Big Universe

Posted by Big Universe on Jan 12, 2017 11:22:49 AM
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Get ideas from other educators for using Big Universe. Read success stories.

  1. Increase Reading and Support Teaching with 10,000+ eBooks
    Students can read like crazy at school, at home or just about anywhere by finding books that appeal to them. Teachers can quickly locate topic specific content for every subject.
  2. Integrate Literacy Across the Curriculum 
    Find authentic texts for every subject and genre to support and enhance your lessons. Stunning photos and illustrations are perfect for display on electronic whiteboards.
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Topics: Big Universe News, Integration Ideas

High Achieving Students

Posted by Teresa Marchant on Jan 11, 2017 11:45:00 AM

If you are like me, you are in the middle of progress monitoring for your end of quarter comparisons. Do you have students that haven’t progressed at all? If you look closely, some of those students are your “bright” students. So what can you do to help those high achieving students to engage in your classroom?

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Writing, Technology, Literacy

Primary Sources in the Science Classroom for Lower Elementary: Primary Sources Across the Curriculum Pt. 2

Posted by Rachel Tapling on Jan 10, 2017 11:47:00 AM

Not everyone thinks about primary sources when planning science lessons for students in lower elementary.

However, teaching students to rely on facts and evidence as close to the reference point as possible is an incredible way to build critical thinking early on.

The good news is that science primary sources are everywhere:

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Writing, Literacy

Autism Memory and Multi-Tasking

Posted by Reine L. on Jan 9, 2017 11:47:00 AM

In an article from Science News, August 15, 2011 entitled Inflexibility May Give Pupils With Autism Problems In Multitasking which discussed primarily deficiencies, namely, how students with autism stick rigidly to tasks in the order they are given to them. According to the research, the students had difficulty with ‘prospective memory’ or remembering to carry out their intentions, thus it was concluded that this attributed to the challenges they face. My mind immediately shifted to what I have observed in schools and which brought me to share a few techniques that may enhance memory and multi-tasking with Autism students. One of the most important aspects of teaching a student who has Autism is the idea of what is going on in their world and how to multi-tasking in order to focus on a variety of tasks throughout the day.

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Literacy

Write About It: Celebrating National Letter Writing Week

Posted by Rashawnda Atkinson on Jan 6, 2017 2:17:50 PM

Every year during the second week of January, our country celebrates National Letter Writing Week. The art of letter writing may seem foreign—or antiquated—to a generation surrounded with instant messaging, texting, and social media platforms that make communicating with people across the world almost instantaneous. Once you review the basic parts of writing—heading, greeting, body, closing, and signature, students can write letters of all kinds to anyone! Check out the ideas we have below as you celebrate National Letter Writing Week!

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Writing, Technology, Literacy

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