Category Archives: teacher resources

2008 Edublog Awards: What Jewels Will Be Found?

     I really enjoy reading blogs of other teachers. There is never enough time to watch our fellow teachers hone their craft. Even the brief time in the lunchroom (and I do mean brief, once you deal with Bobby who lost his lunch money or Shakira who is checking out early) is only spent with the five or so teachers who have the same lunch time as you do.

 

     That is why I am looking forward to seeing the list of best educator blogs after they are published.  I hope someday to be on this list, but that is just a goal at this point.

 

     I must read educator blogs at home with a cup of coffee because our school district’s firewall screens out blogs. That’s unfortunate, because I get SO many excellent ideas for my own classroom from these fine teachers.

 

     I’m going to make it a point to steer some of my readers to the best ideas I’m seeing in other blogs. I’ll try to do a roundup of good posts I read.

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Prudent Classroom’s Collection Plate #1:Classroom ideas that don’t cost a dime…

  • The Two Writing Teachers blog talks about their take on NCTE sesson related to designing effective writing assignments.
  • Need some good handwriting worksheets or explanations for why it’s important?  Look no further:
  • Have you heard of “speed dating?” How  about sparking interest in reading by doing something similar with passing books after a few minutes? Here’s how at teaching tips machine blog.
  • Alan Haskvitz talks about how B is the new C in his article entitled, “The End of the D and F Grade: Welcome to Lake Wobegon” at teachersnet Gazette. Sad but true!
  • What a wonderful quote about NCLB by Doug Noon of Borderlands : “If we’d have used an NCLB-style approach to the Apollo moon mission, President Kennedy would have simply ordered NASA to fly conventional airplanes higher and higher until they fell out of the sky, and then blamed the pilots for lacking the will and the know-how to get the job done. ” Check out his take on how the new administration should approach assessment.

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Free Ivy League Online Video Lectures

My degrees are not from an Ivy League institution, but I “take” Ivy League classes now via free online video classes.  Just for fun, I always intended to sit in on history lectures when I retire. But now with the magic of the Internet, I can do this in my comfy chair and snuggly slippers at home and don’t even have to wait for retirement. 

 

The online universities website has a list of video lectures that are interesting and wonderful for expanding your horizons.  Most of these courses can be downloaded to an mp3 player, so I’ll be happily commuting to my job while listening to lectures. 

 

In addition, I like to listen to lectures while typing my lesson plans.  As I type, I’m listening to a history lecture by a Yale professor about the Hebrew Torah.  One of the advantages of being a person with undiagnosed ADD is that you CAN do several things at the same time. But that’s another post ..

A list of 100 lectures offered in the following areas is posted at the online universities website:

Finances

Science

Health and Medical

History

Political Science

Engineering, Technology and Mathematics

Social Sciences

Literature

The arts

Philosophy and Religion

 

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Educational Video on the Cheap

Let’s face it. Not all our schools have a budget that allows for high-dollar membership in great online teaching resources like United streaming.  What are the rest of us to do?

Well, your school may look at an extremely stripped down version such as learn360 It doesn’t have the lesson plans or full-length videos, but at least it has good short videos that can enhance your teaching and give a visual aspect that kids need to understand concepts they learn on paper.

I’ve been able to supplement with the totally free teachertube.  On the anniversary of September 11th, I found two very moving slideshows that helped kids understand what happened without being so gruesome or scary as to traumatize younger students.

I’ll include links to those teacher-made slideshows soon. Keep tuning in.

Next, The History Channel has wonderful programming for students early in the morning say from 6-8 am EST.  For instance, you cans see all of the excellent episodes of Liberty’s Kids there as well as superior documentaries on most state social studies and history standards.

You can go here to check the History channel schedule:

http://www.history.com/schedule.do

I don’t know the legalities of taping these days so I won’t suggest anything along those lines…

Also at the History channel are short videos you can watch, for instance about Amelia Earhart.  Use these short four or five minute videos as a jump start to your lesson.

I cannot say enough about the math videos at thefutureschannel.  Kids need to see that the daily math they do has real world applications that are interesting. There are resources to go with the videos.

PBS teachers will keep you up to date about what is coming up on programming via email.  This is also a good source of good video and lesson plans and resources for classrooms.

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