I have been a TED-head for many years. "TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less)." I usually watch a TED video at breakfast to get my daily inspiration. I also listen to the TED Radio hour on NPR in my car. A few years ago, TED came out with TED-Ed with the goal of "creating lessons worth spreading." On the site, you will find great educational videos and lessons.
I just read an interesting article from Mind/Shift called "Studying With Quizzes Helps Make Sure the Material Sticks". The article talks about research being done by Roddy Roediger, a psychology professor at Washington University in St. Louis, who runs the school’s Memory Lab. His studies show if you test yourself on an idea or concept, it will help you remember it better. In other words you have to practice "retrieving" information, not just acquiring it in order to slow forgetting and help you remember. That got me thinking about my study skills from when I was a kid. I remember making lots of flashcards. I would make flashcards with vocabulary words, states and capitals, etc.
Now there are a plethora of online flashcard apps. Many make the same flashcards available on the web, iOS, and Android devices, so kids can study on any device they choose.
At Grymes, we typically make the online flashcards for the younger students, but teach our upper school students (grades 5 - 8) how to make their own. One tip - before making flashcards, see if someone has already created the cards you're looking for.
Here is an article from Tech & Learning that lists 15 sites for creating flashcards. I really like Quizlet because it supports audio, images, and Spanish (characters and audio). Besides providing students with standard flashcards, the site also provide other tools - with "Speller", it reads the word to test your spelling; with "Learn", it shows you one side of the flashcard and you have to type the answer; with "Test", it gives you written, match, and multiple choice questions. The students really enjoy the fun games and the fact you can access the flashcards from a PC, iPhone/iPad, or android device.
I used Quizlet to create 3rd grade vocabulary flashcards (Vocabulary in Action Level D). Here's an example of a set of Spanish flashcards I created as a test.
You can make flashcards for spelling words, but many of our teachers use Spelling City. It's easy to set up and use, and the kids really enjoy it. The service is free, but some teachers pay extra, so they can track the students progress online. Before we started using Spelling City, kids would have to wait for their parents (or others) to read them the words to practice their spelling. Now they can go online and practice on their own. They really enjoy the variety of ways they can practice - especially playing the games.
Another way for students to quiz themselves (practice) is with online activities. There are great online activities for every subject imaginable. For example, there are an endless number of math activities. I would recommend you should start with your math curriculum site. We use Investigations in Numbers, Data, and Space. They provided us with two great applications - Shapes for grades K-2 and LogoPaths for grades 3-5. They also provided a list of recommended free online math activities.
At our school, we curate online activities and keep them on this website. We make specific activities available to students at the appropriate time. Here's a link to our online math activities pages. If you want to track your students' progress, you can pay for a service like Arcademics. Their games are free (you only pay if you want administrative reporting) and the students love playing them. They can practice on their own or compete with their friends and others from around the world.
Recently I've come across a number of Dyslexia resources I'd like to share with you:
I hope you find this information helpful! Please feel free to add comments and include other resources on the topic or your experiences.
I attended the Newseum's 5th Annual Teacher Open House yesterday and it was outstanding. I highly recommend teachers attend next year. What a wonderful way to spend a day at the Newseum - learning about the museum and its programs from their experts. And to think, it was all free! The day was filled with a nice selection of sessions which varied from class demos, curatorial sessions, tours, etc. The length and pace of the sessions was perfect. I had time to attend the sessions, see some exhibits, watch the 4D movie, and take some small breaks to eat and rest. They had a teacher's lounge with some complimentary light food and drink in their private dining room which had a lovely private balcony. We were also provided a 15% off coupon for the Wolfgang Puck cafeteria. Many teachers brought their family for a discounted fee. We were also provided with some helpful takeaways including a USB drive loaded with some great resources and primary source posters covering a wide variety of topics (This is War!, Women's Suffrage Movement, Civil Rights Movement, and Election Highlights).
Here is the link to the Newseum Education page which provides a lot of useful information. Here you will find a link on how to book a Field Trip. Many schools in the local Washington DC area can attend field trips for FREE. Unfortunately we are just outside that area (Stafford County, VA is the furthest south) They are trying to negotiate with their sponsors to expand that to include a broader area of Maryland and Virginia, but until then, it costs around $11/student and one free chaperone for every 10 students.
The Learning Center classes are included free with the field trips, but need to be booked in advance. They recommend your students only attend one Learning Center class per trip, but won't stop you if you want to do more (e.g. one in the morning and one in the afternoon). Don't forget, there's a lot to see inside the museum too! The Learning Center classes are focused on First Amendment rights, history, civics, and media literacy. I attended a number of Learning Center classes during the Open House and they are highly engaging and educational. Students will definitely leave having learned some valuable information. These classes are designed for students Grade 3 and up (including college students). The same Learning Center class will be tailored to the age and needs of your class. The classes for younger kids are more hands-on than for the older kids. What makes the classes so good are the instructors. They are extremely knowledgeable and engaging. It is nice to have someone with added credibility reinforce what you are teaching in class. One other thought... you will definitely take away ideas from the Learning Center classes that you can use with students in the future if you aren't able to schedule a field trip.
If you can't bring your class to the Newseum, they have created a portal of Educational Resources you can use in the classroom. called Digital Classroom. The materials are free for teachers. All you have to do is register. It includes primary sources, interactives, videos and lesson plans that bring history, journalism and the First Amendment to life for students. Many of the videos from the Newseum exhibits are available on the site. You can also access all the Today's Front Pages.
A couple of last thoughts. I took the Civil Rights tour and think students would love the fact that it focuses on how important the "students" were to the movement. The exhibit encourages students to "have a voice". I also enjoyed the 4D movie. It was a lot of fun and would really help students understand the history and importance of newscasting over the years. Sometimes newscasting can be characterized as simply sound bites or sensationalizing. This movie reminds you of the sacrifice that so many reporters made (and continue to make) to change our world. It's important for all of us not to forget that.
I've decided to try blogging. The old Home Page is now renamed Interesting Stuff.
- Interesting Stuff
- GMS Tech Ed
- African Safari
- Blabberize Panda
- Book Reviews
- Edit Marks
- File System
- Font Design
- Fun with Fonts
- Greek Gods Lesson Plan
- Haiku Deck Vocabulary
- Mystery Partner Clue Square
- Mystery Partner Letter
- Multiply with PowerPoint
- Personal GPS Mapskills
- Pixie Representations
- Pledge Scramble
- Powerpoint Game >
- PowerPoint Layers
- Science Procedures
- Sort Words Excel
- Spanish Voki
- Star Spangled Banner Scramble
- Word Cloud Study
- The Arts >
- Bully Prevention
- Jr K Activities
- Language Arts >
- Personal Development
- Science >
- Spanish >
- Technology >
A Work in Progress ;-)