Design Thinking is a framework that includes the following phases: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test. Watch the video below and follow this link to discover more about the Design Thinking Process.
Learn ways you can integrate Design Thinking across your curriculum below:
The following are resources and books I have found to be inspiring:
The end of the school year is quickly approaching. Below are three meaningful ways to close out your school year digitally.
School Year Trailer with iMovie: Advertise What Happens in YOUR Class
Have your students work together to create a movie trailer for the incoming class you will meet in the fall. This is an engaging way for students to reflect on all that happened this school year. Have students give a tour of the classroom. Go over daily activities unique to your class. Share favorite projects. Show places around the school. Make a top 10 list.
Welcome Book with Book Creator
Do you like the above idea but feel unsure about creating a movie trailer? Why not create a class welcome book using Book Creator? Your students will still reflect on the year, capture their memories, and kill two birds with one stone by creating something YOU can share with your new class in the fall.
Padlet: Summer Reading Selfies
The summer can feel long for kids. Keep them reading and in touch by creating a class Padlet board for keeping track of what students are reading this summer. Students can take pictures of their book covers and write mini book reviews. Check out this awesome example: Summer Reading Selfies.
Learn how to use iMovie:
Learn how to use Book Creator:
Learn how to use Padlet:
Explore Learning Gizmos are online activities that use manipulatives to teach 3rd - 12th graders math and science concepts. Each activity comes with a teacher guide and a student exploration handout, which students complete using the online Gizmo (manipulatives). View the video below to learn more.
Check out how teachers use Gizmos for whole class and small group instruction by viewing the videos and sample handouts below.
Register your class here.
If you think the only use for Google Slides is presentation creation, you're in for a treat. From virtual museums to interactive notebooks to stop motion videos, the possibilities are endless. Watch the video below to check out some examples in action.
Learn basic and advanced techniques with Google Slides here.
Learn how to hyperlink from one slide to the next here.
Learn how to make a stop motion video using Google Slides here.
Learn tips for creating templates here.
Learn even more here.
Get inspiration from the examples below or consider using one of the following templates with your students. First, share a template with your students. (Learn how to share a template on Google Drive here.) Then, have your students access the shared template by clicking Shared with me in Google Drive.
Templates to Tweak and Examples to Inspire:
Virtual Museum Template
Comic Example 1 and Comic Example 2 (Tip: Have your students download their finished projects as PDFs and print the final copies for publishing.)
Vocabulary Journal Template
Digital Interactive Notebook Template
Fractions Collaboration Template
Landforms - Collaborative Study Guide Example
Homonyms Collaborative Study Guide Example
Collaborative Storytelling Example (Learn how multiple students can work on the same file here.)
Snow Day - Stop Motion Example
Sorting Similes and Metaphors Example
Animal Classification Example
Word Study Sort Example
Have you observed anxiety in any of your students? Do you want your class to be more mindful, focused, and present? Smiling Mind is a non-profit organization with a goal to make mindfulness accessible to all. The Smiling Mind Education Programs have been designed with educators in mind and consist of over 200 lessons for students from primary to secondary school. Discover how just five minutes of mindfulness a day can benefit the overall wellbeing of your students by watching the video below.
What is mindfulness? How does it impact the brain? Learn more by watching the video below.
Get started by adding 5 minutes of mindfulness to your class each day. What about using it to set a daily intention as Morning Meeting is coming to a close? Or what about a five minute post-recess reset? Download the Smiling Mind app or load the web-based program. Have your students lie flat on their backs. Press play, and let the journey to mindfulness begin!
Interested in taking mindfulness to the next level? Consider using these fun cards to do simple yoga poses with your students. Each of the 50 cards includes step-by-step yoga pose instructions.
What is Read2Go and how can it support students? Discover more here:
Learn more about Read2Go features:
Get started! For additional support, check out Bookshare's website below:
In this 2 minute video, you will be introduced to a Google Chrome extension called Read and Write.
Watch the following videos to learn how Google Read and Write can support your students with reading, vocabulary acquisition, speech to text, and more!
Using Google Read and Write with Google Docs
Using Google Read and Write on the Web
Using Google Read and Write for Speech to Text
Discover the many ways this third grade class uses Seesaw to bring learning to life:
Follow this link to explore many other ways to include Seesaw in your classroom.
New to Seesaw? Visit "Seesaw - Digital Portfolios" to learn how to get started.
Are you looking for an engaging and educational app to add to your math rotations and/or a way to inspire your students to practice math concepts? Consider using the app Motion Math. Check out the third graders below to see Motion Math in ACTION!
This tutorial will teach you how to load your student roster, download the games onto your iPads, and use Motion Math's student progress dashboard.
Interested in trying math rotations? Start small. Have math rotations once a week. Design three rotations for your students to move through when instructed. Create an activity/game station (consider trying Motion Math here!), a writing about math (journaling) station, and a station working with you. Be sure to include an extension board with optional activities for students who finish their work and need an extra challenge.
A new year means new beginnings. With each new year, we are given the opportunity to start afresh, think about what's going really well in our classrooms, and consider what we would like to change or improve for the remainder of the school year. If you haven’t made a teaching resolution yet, why not resolve to learn one new educational technology tool a month? One way you can do this is by growing you PLN (Personal or Professional Learning Network). Katie Muhtaris and Kristin Ziemke, authors of Amplify! Digital Teaching and Learning in the K-6 Classroom, refer to their PLN as their tribe. Your tribe might consist of colleagues, teachers from around the world, bloggers, education authors, professional organizations, or even strangers on Twitter. Consider adding the authors of the books below to your tribe - they will inspire you as you resolve to learn one new educational technology tool a month.
"Using technology doesn't mean that we throw out those strategies that we've found to be successful with students," write Katie Muhtaris and Kristin Ziemke. "It's not the tools-it's what we do with them that counts. Katie and Kristin start with our most important educational goals-literacy, independence, and critical thinking-and helps you connect them to the technology available in your classroom or school. You'll help students dig into texts, research their questions, and create powerful learning communities by using digital tools effectively, responsibly, and in combination with trusted artifacts and print resources.
In Innovate with iPad: Lessons to Transform Learning in the Classroom primary teachers Karen Lirenman and Kristen Wideen provide a complete selection of clearly laid out engaging open-ended lessons to change the way you use iPad in the classroom. By simply downloading a few basic, open-ended creation apps, your students will engage in the learning process and demonstrate their newfound knowledge in the way that works best for them. In addition, throughout the book Karen and Kristen provide beginner and advanced lessons and quick tips and practical suggestions to make the integration of iPad go as seamlessly as possible.
Don't fear the devices! In the willing teacher's hands, this is a new and welcome age to harness for exponential learning. It is a frontier where technology equipped teachers learn alongside students and utilize current tools to maximize collaboration, creativity, and communication in relevant ways. Classroom Management in the Digital Age guides and supports established and transitioning device-rich classrooms, providing practical strategy to novice and expert educators K-12.
The use of tablets, digital cameras, webcams, and other technology is the new normal in many classrooms. Teaching in the Digital Age provides teachers and administrators of young children with innovative strategies to embrace and integrate technology in to the classroom. It explores the many ways technology, such as tablet computers, MP3s, videos, photographs, audio recordings, webcams, projectors, and publication and presentation tools can be used to enhance a classroom's complete curriculum and assessment. Tips for using these tools are included, as well as learning activities, worksheets, resources, and a framework to plan, evaluate, and reflect upon the learning experiences. This resource will help early childhood educators not only add technology to the classroom, but also embed it across the curriculum.
Offering the know-how born from years of classroom experience and clear steps for getting started, Connecting Comprehension and Technology provides practical lessons that teach students how to navigate, evaluate, collaborate, and communicate through digital resources. Not limited to specific hardware or software, lessons are designed around technical functions; tools readily accessible to students in their world and easily adopted in your school, whether you are taking your first steps into technology or looking to leverage existing resources.
One tool that has really helped me to grow my PLN is Twitter. I was skeptical at first, but following other talented educators and technology leaders has tremendously helped me remain innovative. Instead of scouring the Internet for new ideas, a quick Twitter search often provides me plenty of fantastic tried-and- true ideas. In the video below, I will teach you how I use Twitter.
Could you still use a little more inspiration? Check out www.edublogawards.com for awesome teacher blogs.
As a teacher, what will you resolve to do in the new year? Whatever you choose, remember that when you feel like giving up, a resolution is about being determined, sticking with it, and having faith in yourself.