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National Mother Goose Day, May 1st

  National Mother Goose Day was founded in 1987 by Gloria T. Delamar, and is observed each year on the first day of May. One example, originally dated in Mother Goose’s Quarto in 1825 is Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater, and adapted version:   Peter, Peter, pumpkin eater,  Had another, and…

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Digital Literacy In Action, 21st Century Skills

Blog_Picture_12.pngAttending primary school in “my generation of learners” included the seventies and finishing both middle and high school in the eighties, literacy and numeracy discussions were summarized as The Three R’s: Reading, (w)Riting, and (a)Rithmetic; however as an educator in the 21st century literacy includes education in media literacy, and having digital literacy skills is essential for learners to participate in a classroom. The education system has completely changed throughout the world, thus literacy has evolved with discussions necessary to make sure that all learners acquire the digital competencies needed to survive in a world evermore connected to this phenomena, not to mention changes required for workplace competency.
Screen Shot 2017-04-22 at 4.25.39 PM.pngDigital literacy is the set of competencies required for full participation in a knowledge society. It includes knowledge, skills, and behaviors involving the effective use of digital devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktop personal computers for purposes of communication, expression, collaboration and advocacy.

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Mobile Learning, M-Learning

Screen Shot 2017-04-16 at 10.56.11 AM.pngWhat is M-Learning? M-learning or mobile learning is defined as learning across multiple contexts, through social and content interactions, using personal electronic devices. A form of distance education, m-learners use mobile device educational technology at their time convenience. The key aspect of mobile learning is using portable computing devices (such as iPads, laptops, table PC’s, PDA’s and smart phones) to extend to spaces beyond the traditional classroom. Teachers access the wireless networks in schools to enable mobility and mobile learning; allowing teaching and learning to extend to spaces beyond the traditional classroom. 

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Autism and STEM Education

Screen Shot 2017-01-08 at 1.49.10 PM.pngIn 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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ESSA Updates

Screen Shot 2017-02-20 at 3.40.28 PM.pngIt has been a year since the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, ESSA, replaced No Child Left Behind, NCLB, as the nation’s new K-12 federal law. States are working to implement their plans so that classroom teachers will be prepared for the changes that will become effective in the 2017-2018 academic school year. In a letter to all state schools, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos provided clarity to ESSA implementation instructing states to continue to move forward and that the Department will work to ensure that state education leaders have the state and local flexibility that Congress intended. States should continue to follow the timeline for developing and submitting their plans for review and approval and those are due on or about March 2017.

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The Flipped Classroom: Benefits Students with Special Needs

Screen Shot 2017-02-20 at 12.08.57 PM.pngHow does Flipped Learning benefit students with special needs? In 2009, Cole and Kritzer wrote an article in Rural Special Education Quarterly, 28 (4), 36-40, titled Strategies for success: Teaching an online course explains that the reason the flipped model is considered a strength amongst educators is that it allows for a more efficient use of class time. “. . . In the flipped classroom, students can get the most out of class time by spending it on practical application, not on inactive lecture.” Cole and Kritzer add that lecture content can be provided through electronic means, and this modality allows teachers to improve the quality of their video lecture or short instruction to a manageable length with an emphasis on important points and less extraneous information. For example, teachers support and enhance lessons by assigning reading selections through an eBook library, such as Big Universe, on specific subject matter content material in areas taught throughout the quarter. In doing so, students read ahead and prepare for active learning in the classroom, whether a writing activity, classroom discussion, or project-based learning, this is just one example of the framework in a flipped classroom model.

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High Museum of Art – Curriculum Connection

Screen Shot 2017-02-19 at 11.52.29 AM.pngStudents who have never been to an art museum may require some background knowledge about fine art and antiquities. Engage students by first assigning Art Museum, found in the Big Universe online library collection, this way students will begin to formulate some idea and begin to ask questions about art, such as: Who are the artists? What part of the world does the artists’ work come from? This nonfiction book has vibrant, full-color photos, and students read it as if experiencing an actual field trip experience!

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Black History Month – Civil Rights

Screen Shot 2017-02-05 at 8.36.19 AM.pngWas John F. Kennedy a civil rights hero, or was it Lyndon Johnson? One of the most important things to communicate to students about the Civil Rights Act is why it was needed. Legislation focusing not only on public acts of discrimination, but also on private prejudice. The comprehensive civil rights bill won the endorsement of House and Senate Screen Shot 2017-02-04 at 10.44.43 AM-1.pngRepublican leaders, but it was not passed; however, before 22 November 1963, when President Kennedy was assassinated. The bill was left in the hands of Lyndon B. Johnson. Before becoming vice president, Johnson had served more than two decades in Congress as a congressman and senator from Texas. He use his connections with southern white congressional leaders, and with the assistance of Robert Kennedy’s Justice Department and the outpouring of emotion after the president’s assassination, the Civil Rights Act was passed as a way to honor President Kennedy.

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Creating A Makerspace Learning Environment

Screen Shot 2017-01-26 at 2.54.10 PM.pngThe Maker Space is a learning environment where children, teens, adults, and families can tinker, design, and create together. Customarily, ideas range from wood working, plaster casting to electronics and 3-D printing, and the movement encourages experimentation, open-ended exploration, and belief that making mistakes is a great way to learn. Over time this new fade is based on the premise that individuals can solve problems when given the opportunity to “tinker.” A maker space challenges and inspires youth to become design thinkers and innovators.

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