Friday, May 5, 2017

Book pairing @

From Richard Byrd's excellent blog

CommonLit is a free service that helps teachers by providing thematic questions for a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction articles. The discussion questions on CommonLit aren't your typical "how does the author use foreshadowing?" kind of questions. Rather the discussion questions deal with larger themes like "how do we define the roles of men and women?" and "why do people follow the crowd?" 

This week CommonLit introduced a new feature that they call Book Pairings. Book Pairings provides teachers with a collection of short articles to supplement the books that their students are reading. The articles and accompanying questions are intended to help students draw connections between the books they're reading and real life events and issues. For example, the pairing for Animal Farm include articles about herd behavior and the Russian Revolution.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Literature Infographics for the English Classroom

A unique way to learn about the characters, themes, authors, and literary devices of your favorite books—visually!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

7 Good Resources for Teaching and Learning About Earth Day - From Richard Byrne

From Richard Byrne's excellent blog
April 22nd, Earth Day is right around the corner...

Each of the last two mornings I've been inundated with spammy press releases pitching all manner of websites and products related to Earth Day. The upside of seeing all of those press releases is that it got me to look for some of the better resources for teaching and learning about Earth Day. Here are seven good ones.

Storyboard That's Earth Day Activities page offers eleven lesson plan ideas appropriate for elementary school and middle school classrooms. Some of the featured plans on Storyboard That's Earth Day Activity page include creating "cool Earth facts" storyboards, creating comics about how to help the Earth, and creating public service announcements about pollution and pollution prevention.

Glacier Works is a non-profit organization studying the shrinking glaciers of the Himalaya and the impact of glacier melt on the people of the region. One of the neat features of the Glacier Works website is the panoramic before and after images. The panoramas show images of the glaciers from the 1920's side-by-side with recent images. You can quickly compare the two views by sliding your cursor across the panoramas.

ARMAP is a comprehensive resource of interactive, online maps of Arctic research. ARMAP's resources include files for use in Google Earth as well as ArcGIS explorer. You can also access 2D maps directly on the ARMAP website. ARMAP provides map layers and placemarks about a wide range of topics related to Arctic research. Before opening the general ARMAP map, visit the map gallery for a primer on the type of resources that can found on ARMAP. You should also check out the links section of ARMAP to visit the sources of much of the ARMAP content.

National Geographic has some other great resources for learning about environmental science and Earth Day. On the National Geographic website students can learn about the Green House Effect through an interactive lesson. After learning about global warming in the Green House Effect interactive lesson, students can learn about alternative energy through the Wind Power interactive lesson.

Breathing Earth is an interactive map demonstrating CO2 emissions, birth rates, and death rates globally and by individual countries. From the moment that you first visit Breathing Earth it starts counting the number of births occurring worldwide. Placing your cursor over any country on the map reveals information about birthrate, death rate, and rate of CO2 emissions. One of the additional resources linked to Breathing Earth is an ecological footprint calculator. Using this calculator students can calculate their personal footprints, take quizzes, and learn about the ecological footprints of various businesses.

Google offers tours in its Explore Climate Change series. The tours explore the actions of organizations to prevent or adapt to climate change in different parts of the world. These tours include the World Wildlife Foundation's efforts in the peatland swamps of Borneo, Greenpeace's actions to prevent deforestation of the Amazon, and Conservation International's efforts to reduce deforestation in Madagascar. The tours can be viewed three ways, in Google Earth, in the Google Browser plug-in, or through YouTube.

My Garbology, produced by Nature Bridge, is an interactive game that teaches students about sorting garbage for recycling, reusing, and composting. Students sort garbage into four bins according to where they think each piece of garbage should go. When a piece of garbage is sorted correctly a series of short animations explains why it should be there. For example, a banana peel should be sorted into the compost bin. When the banana peel is placed into the compost bin students watch and hear a series of animations explaining how composting works.

Monday, April 3, 2017

New Subsription at Profile Media Center

Per staff survey requests, there is a new magazine at the Media Center with the cryptic acronym, FP. This stands for FOREIGN POLICY.

Founded in 1970 by Samuel Huntington and Warren Demian Manshel, Foreign Policy is the premier, award-winning magazine of global politics, economics, and ideas. Serious without being pompous, deep without being self-indulgent, Foreign Policy is an essential modern guide to global politics, economics, and ideas for people who want to know what's really happening in an increasingly complicated world. Foreign Policy both simplifies and clarifies complex topics with crisp, insightful writing and clear design.—Judges' Remarks, 2009 National Magazine Awards. “Equal parts scout and translator, we draw on the world's leading journalists, thinkers, and professionals to analyze the most significant international trends and events of our times, without regard to ideology or political bias. Whether examining who the winners are in Iraq, determining solutions to save the world, or discovering the states that fail us, we strive to combine original thinking with real-world illustrations of ideas in action.”

Reading, Writing, Fighting Fake News at School

Contact your Media Specialist  for  information literacy units embedded in the classroom.

"There's so much fake news out there, they really don't know what's true anymore," Gerard says.That's why educators like her around the world have launched programs to help students navigate this bewildering media landscape.In the Czech Republic, high schools teach teens to identify propaganda from Russia.In Sweden, students as young as 10 are schooled on how to consume news.And in Pennsylvania, a state lawmaker wants mandatory media literacy classes in all public schools."The sophistication in how this false information is disguised and spread can make it very difficult for someone, particularly young people, to determine fact from fiction," says Rep. Tim Briggs."

Thursday, March 30, 2017

PowerSchool Apps for everyone

Students and Parents:
You may receive updates about attendance and grades in real time by downloading the PowerSchool app on your smartphone. It works with Android  (download from Play Store) and iOS (download from App Store).

You may take attendance and enter grades by downloading the PowerTeacher app on your iOS mobile device (iPhone, iPad, iPod). No Android version yet.

PS: You will need the SAU code. You will find it in the desktop version of Powerschool.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Getting ready for Cite This For Me

EasyBib, Refnotes, Citation Machine  and Endnotes will disappear within a year or so.

Here is the free tool that will remain, although they will love you to subscribe to the full version for a fee:
1. Save the url:
2.  Get the App from Chrome web store
3. Create an account
4.Create a bibliography:
Select MLA8
Save 1 web page,
Save 1 article
Save 1 book
Select Copy and Paste
Example of a bibliography
5. Databases process:
  • Gale: no change
  • EBSCO: Export> MLA> Copy directly into your research paper