Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Free Common Core Webinar Series for Educators

ASCD has just announced a new series of free webinars for educators. The three part series will cover topics related to the implementation of the Common Core standards. The first webinar, on November 9, is Common Core 101. The next two in the series will address topics in implementation and school improvement. You can read the full descriptions and find registration links here.

Because some people might be influenced by this information one way or the other, I should point out that the webinar series is being paid for in part by funds from a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Apps for Autism - A 60 Minutes Story

Last night on 60 Minutes Lesley Stahl reported on how iPads are being used by teachers, parents, and therapists to assist students who have Autism. The story is worth thirteen minutes of your time. If you're really interested in learning about iOS apps for students with special needs I recommend reading iPodsibilities and Teaching Learners With Multiple Special Needs. The video from 60 Minutes is embedded below.

Bloomin' Android - Android Apps to Match Bloom's Revised Taxonomy

Last winter (in the Northern Hemisphere) Kathy Schrock published a great interactive display of Google products that can be used to address the targets of Bloom's Revised Taxonomy. Recently, Kathy Schrock applied that same design concept to an interactive display of free Android Apps to target the levels of Bloom's Revised Taxonomy.

Bloomin' Android links to free apps for each level and task type of Bloom's Revised Taxonomy. To navigate the display just click on a level and task type to find a free app that students can use to accomplish a task.

Applications for Education
If your school is using Android tablets, Bloomin' Android could be a great resource to share with your colleagues. Even if your school doesn't have a formal Anroid-based program, Bloomin' Android could be useful for finding apps to recommend to students to use on their own.

Political Cartoons in the Classroom

This morning I am in Fort Myers, Florida for a conference with the National Council for History Education. One of the activities that one of the instructors is facilitating this morning deals with political/ editorial cartoons. The activity reminded me of a couple of political/ editorial cartoon resources that I've reviewed in the past. Those reviews are included below.

Cartoons for the Classroom is a service of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. Cartoons in the Classroom offers more than one hundred lesson plans based on editorial cartoons created by the members of the AAEC. Each lesson plan is available as free pdf download. As you might expect, most of the lessons deal with current political and economic topics, but you will also find some lessons that are not time sensitive.

In addition to lesson plans Cartoons for the Classroom provides links to other cartoon resources. One of those resources is the Opper Project. The Opper Project provides lesson plans for teaching history through editorial cartoons.

If you use primary source documents in your classroom, the Library of Congress Teacher's Page is a site you should check out. A part of the Teacher's Page is the primary source center. The primary source center walks teachers through the process of locating documents on the Library of Congress' site. The primary source center also provides guides for using various types of primary sources including political cartoons, photographs, and oral histories.

All About Pumpkins and Halloween

Halloween is just one week away. This morning on History.com I found a few Halloween-themed resources that you might want to put on your classroom website or share in another manner.

All About the Pumpkin is a short video overview of pumpkin statistics.

Halloween by the Numbers is an infographic of pumpkin and candy statistics.

Looking for some pumpkin carving ideas? Check out this set of carving templates. I like the template for carving Mount Rushmore.

Here are some of my Halloween resources from past years:
Halloween Safety Sites
Mapping Halloween
Halloween History and Games - Reformation Day Too
National Geographic Halloween History and Games
20 Ideas for Academic Halloween Costumes
A GIMP Halloween Project