We would love to have educators join the conversation on Monday, January 8th at 7 PM for the Archdiocese of Baltimore Catholic Schools premiere Twitter edChat. We will be discussing student service learning with guest, Friar Matt Foley! #ShareTheGood #AOBCatholicSchools #RiseAbove
Tag Archives: Student
Join #AOBEDCHAT Premiere January 8th with Guest Fr. Matt Foley
Filed under Curriculum Resources, Twitter edChat
iPad Apps for Creative and Fun Learning Presented by Local Teacher
I was listening to one of my teachers present today to my faculty of 40 and thought that the apps shared were so good that I would share them with our Unlock the Teacher blog readers. I feel blessed to work in a building with such creative energy and passion for teaching and work with a professional development team at Unlock the Teacher LLC that I sometimes have to pause…and remember to whom much is given, much will be expected. Thank you to all the teachers out there who sacrifice and share their time and talent for our children…our future!
Class Dojo: www.classdojo.com (FREE App)
- Great visual for student and teacher; keeps students engaged
- Program has the ability to email parents a graph of behavior data
Showing Student Growth
ThreeRing: www.threering.com (FREE App)
- Capture student work in a virtual portfolio
- Take a picture, audio or video
- Share with parents and peers
- Students can upload various works
Quizlet: www.quizlet.com (FREE App)
- Set up vocabulary flashcards
- Students can access cards from any SMART device
- Do NOT need access to Internet once cards are downloaded
A+Pro: www.A+Pro.com (FREE App)
- Similar to Quizlet
- Flashcard application
- Cards can be placed in groups or topics…great for vocabulary or research papers 🙂
- Cards can be separated into “know”, “unsure” or “don’t know” piles to help with memorization
Educreations: www.educreation.com (FREE App)
- Ability to make presentation videos with voice over…FUN!
- Great to use when student is absent from a class
- Students can create presentations to demonstrate mastery…THINK Bloom’s Taxonomy
If you have some great apps for learning, please share. It is in the collaborative process that we all learn! When we share what we know, the students benefit.
May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,
P.S. Thank you Karina for allowing me to share with our Unlock the Teacher readers. Mucho Gracias!
Filed under IPad Apps for Learning
An Innovative Program for Helping Students Succeed…Sharing the Good in Education
Given that Unlock the Teacher was founded on the principle of sharing the good in education, we look for this good where ever we go. In the grocery store, at Starbuck’s, the local library and most importantly at the schools we are blessed to work in.
We wanted to share a wonderful educational program we are following and hope that it might plant a seed for another school looking to add a resource room to their school.
St. Regis Educare – An Innovative Program for Helping Students Succeed
St. Regis Educare (SRE) is a newly created program serving the students of St. Regis Catholic Elementary and Academy, in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. The SRE program is staffed by three certified teachers who are dedicated to supporting the varied needs of St. Regis students. Based on the premise that each student has unique gifts and talents, with different learning styles and academic abilities, SRE supports teachers in providing differentiated instruction within and outside the classroom. In keeping with the St. Regis mission: Respect, Educate, Give, Inspire, and Support, SRE is dedicated to respecting individual students’ needs and supporting and inspiring them to reach their fullest academic potential.
The service provided in this program is more than a library of resources for teachers and parents. It is more than a place where students can come for help with their homework. It is a professionally staffed center for learning, where students attend workshops, join literature circles, compete in Math competitions, and follow academic plans designed specifically to meet their individual needs.
St. Regis Educare provides three different types of assistance/enrichment for students. They work with individuals and small groups needing assistance or enrichment in academic subject areas. They provide workshops to help students with concepts such as grammar or study skills, and work with individuals and small groups on specific skills such as comprehension strategies or counting money. In order to make the concepts they are enhancing engaging, they integrate technology, and utilize manipulatives, hands-on activities, and use modeling to help students achieve their goals.
With all this, they also provide the following benefits for teachers: assessments, which they will design and/or administer upon request; a central repository for teacher resources and reference books; and documented processes and forms to make using our services less complicated. To help bridge the ever widening need between parent and school, they provide a central repository for parent resources, and are in the process of planning workshops for parents, so they can learn new ways to help their children succeed in school.
Development of the Program
This school year, St. Regis Educare has evolved from an idea and an empty office, into a focal point of learning for students in need of assistance or enrichment, as well as a central location for student, teacher, and parent resources.
Some highlights include:
- A room that is now both inviting and functional for assisting students
- Resource materials, games, technology, and manipulatives that are arranged by subject matter on labeled shelves for easy access
- Documented processes and forms that are based on research of best practices and collaboration with professionals both in and outside the school
- An extensive list of services designed to meet the varied needs of our students
As of this writing, at least one student or group from every grade, is being serviced by SRE, and they have had an abundance of positive comments from students, parents, and teachers who are grateful for the expertise and supportive of this team’s efforts. It is too soon in the development of the program to provide concrete results; however, I plan to monitor this program’s progress …stay tuned!
If your school or community is doing something great to help students, teachers or parents, please share. It is in the collaborative model that we all rise to the level in which we have the potential to be.
May we all continue to seek knowledge in all things~
100 Positive Comments to Utilize when Referencing Student Behavior
100 Positive Student Comments to Utilize with Parents
http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/profdev/profdev148.shtml (Jan. 23, 2012)
Recommended by Jen J., a third grade teacher in Michigan.
- is an enthusiastic learner who seems to enjoy school
- exhibits a positive outlook and attitude in the classroom
- appears well rested and ready for each day’s activities
- shows enthusiasm for classroom activities
- shows initiative and looks for new ways to get involved
- uses instincts to deal with matters independently and in a positive way
- strives to reach his (or her) full potential
- is committed to doing his (or her) best
- seeks new challenges
- takes responsibility for his (or her) learning
- cooperates consistently with the teacher and other students
- transitions easily between classroom activities without distraction
- is courteous and shows good manners in the classroom
- follows classroom rules
- conducts himself (or herself) with maturity
- responds appropriately when corrected
- remains focused on the activity at hand
- resists the urge to be distracted by other students
- is kind and helpful to everyone in the classroom
- sets an example of excellence in behavior and cooperation
- shows respect for teachers and peers
- treats school property and the belongings of others with care and respect
- is honest and trustworthy in dealings with others
- displays good citizenship by assisting other students
- joins in school community projects
- is concerned about the feelings of peers
- faithfully performs classroom tasks
- can be depended on to do what he (or she) is asked to do
- seeks responsibilities and follows through
- is thoughtful in interactions with others
- has a well-developed vocabulary
- chooses words with care
- expresses ideas clearly, both verbally and through writing
- has a vibrant imagination and excels in creative writing
- has found his (or her) voice through poetry writing
- uses vivid language in writing
- writes clearly and with purpose
- writes with depth and insight
- can make a logical and persuasive argument
- listens to the comments and ideas of others without interrupting
- offers constructive suggestions to peers to enhance their work
- accepts the recommendations of peers and acts on them when appropriate
- is sensitive to the thoughts and opinions of others in the group
- takes on various roles in the work group as needed or assigned
- welcomes leadership roles in groups
- shows fairness in distributing group tasks
- plans and carries out group activities carefully
- works democratically with peers
- encourages other members of the group
- helps to keep the work group focused and on task
Interests and Talents
- has a well-developed sense of humor
- holds many varied interests
- has a keen interest that has been shared with the class
- displays and talks about personal items from home when they relate to topics of study
- provides background knowledge about topics of particular interest to him (or her)
- has an impressive understanding and depth of knowledge about his (or her) interests
- seeks additional information independently about classroom topics that pique interest
- reads extensively for enjoyment
- frequently discusses concepts about which he (or she) has read
- is a gifted performer
- is a talented artist
- has a flair for dramatic reading and acting
- enjoys sharing his (or her) musical talent with the class
- listens attentively to the responses of others
- follows directions
- takes an active role in discussions
- enhances group discussion through insightful comments
- shares personal experiences and opinions with peers
- responds to what has been read or discussed in class and as homework
- asks for clarification when needed
- regularly volunteers to assist in classroom activities
- remains an active learner throughout the school day
- makes friends quickly in the classroom
- is well-liked by classmates
- handles disagreements with peers appropriately
- treats other students with fairness and understanding
- is a valued member of the class
- has compassion for peers and others
- seems comfortable in new situations
- enjoys conversation with friends during free periods
- chooses to spend free time with friends
- tackles classroom assignments, tasks, and group work in an organized manner
- uses class time wisely
- arrives on time for school (and/or class) every day
- is well-prepared for class each day
- works at an appropriate pace, neither too quickly or slowly
- completes assignments in the time allotted
- paces work on long-term assignments
- sets achievable goals with respect to time
- completes make-up work in a timely fashion
- is a conscientious, hard-working student
- works independently
- is a self-motivated student
- consistently completes homework assignments
- puts his (or her) best effort into homework assignments
- exceeds expectations with the quality of his (or her) work
- readily grasps new concepts and ideas
- generates neat and careful work
- checks work thoroughly before submitting it
- stays on task with little supervision
- displays self-discipline
- avoids careless errors through attention to detail
- uses free minutes of class time constructively
- creates impressive home projects
Positive words go a long way in educating a child and building relationships. When we create positive school and classroom environments, the learning experience is enhanced.
May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,
Filed under Curriculum Resources
A Glance Back at A Successful School Year
As many of schools are winding down for the school year, student energy is high, teacher energy low, it is important to look back, reflect and make notes on what worked and what did not, while your mind is still in “school” mode.
As an administrator, I find this is a helpful tool not only in regards to the building standard operating procedures, but in what worked in motivating my team or not. It is just important for an administrator to reflect as it is for a teacher, because it is in the exercise of being a reflective practitioner, do we continue to grow and challenge ourselves to higher standards.
When I was in the classroom, I would spend the last week of school with my students and the last week after they were gone, to spend a few minutes each day writing in a journal. I would reflect upon lessons taught, the differentiated tools utilized and next to each reflection, I would put IDEAS on how I could change it up for the following year to ensure more students’ needs were met.
I would spend time thinking about how I felt I impacted my building as a whole…did I contribute to the greater good, was I encouraging to those around me, did I spend most my time picking up versus putting down…This excercise helped me grow as a teacher and an individual.
Although it is easy to get caught up in trying to close down a building and get home to rejuvenate before it all begins again…in a matter of weeks…I encourage you all to pause, reflect and take a good look at how you made a difference this year in the life of a child.
To all the parents, children, teacher and administrators out there, our Unlock the Teacher team would like to say to you…”Job well done!”
May we continue to seek knowledge in all things~
Recommended summer reading:
“Reeasing the Imagination” by Maxine Greene
Filed under Curriculum Resources
Educational Websites to Utilize in the Classroom for Grades 4-12
At a recent principal’s meeting, the Web 2.0 presenter showcased some fabulous online resources that any 21st century educator could utilize to enhance classroom instruction.
This site includes multimedia components and visual displays for presentations. *Very user-friendly.
Present information to students integrating a multimedia format.
Identify real-life connections between words and their use. *This is a great tool…words with videos!
This is a site where students can retell stories to demonstrate an understanding of concepts.
This is an A-M-A-Z-I-N-G site for teachers to utilize really grades 2 on up. Students can create animated cartoon strips by utilizing a combination of drawing, dictating and writing to narrate a single event or several loosely linked events. This site also has a homework component…great vocabulary builder and speaks to the visual learner.
Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings or events in a story or drama. *neat site
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships and nuances in word meanings.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
Great virtual dissects to utilize in class with students.
Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently.
Add drawings to displays and stories.
This is just a few of the many resources available online.
May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,
Wonderful 8th Grade Literature Scrapbooks through the Eyes of the Characters
Recommended Holiday Gifts for Teachers
The time of year is upon us, when we take time out to show the teacher(s) in our lives, just how much we appreciate them and all they do for our children…our future! During the school year, on average a child spend 7+ hours a day with his/her teacher. This is 35 hours+ a week. Once we get our children up, we might have one rushed hour a day before school then maybe (and this is a stretch) we might have three quality hours after school before they go to bed. That is approximately 4 hours a day we have with our children. This is 20 hours during the week from Monday-Friday.
Given all this, it is clear to see the importance of choosing just the right school (because our children spend a lot of time in them) and appreciating the wonderful teachers who give of their time and talent to help prepare our children for the future.
The following are our recommended gift ideas (NOTE: Many are items I received and appreciated over the many years in education.)
- Dry Erase Markers
- Sharpie Pens ~All Colors ~Thin, Regular and Poster Tip (a true treasure)
- A camera donated to the classroom is a gift indeed (*I received this one year and it is a gift that still gives back to education!) Kodak Easy Share is cost effective and reliable.
- Colored Printing Paper
- Target Gift Card (most teachers use for classroom anyway)
- Office Depot Gift Card
- Visa, Mastercard or Amex Gift Cards…gives educators the choice to shop at teacher stores, online etc.
- Barnes and Noble Gift Card~ I have not met one teacher in my years in classroom or now working with many, who do not purchase books for their classroom…Given that we sell our academic eBooks at BarnesandNoble.com, we are bias and LOVE this book store!
- An Electric Pencil Sharpener
- An Assortment of Purple, Red and Green Pens
- An Assortment of Yellow High Lighters
- A Case of Clorox Wipes…no kidding, unless there is a child allergic, teachers LOVE this item…we all want to be germ free!
- A Case of White Printer Paper
- A Packet of Assorted Construction Paper
I hope everyone has a fabulous week!
May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,
Filed under Recommended Teacher Gifts
Professional Development Grants for Educators
Many principals and teachers have been emailing us about our CCSS and Anti-Bullying Workshops. However, many have asked us to help try to find grant funding sources for these given workshops, due to budget cuts.
We have conducted some initial research and here are a few grant sources that any school or teacher can apply for, to use to enrich the professional development for the teachers in your building.
Braitmayer Foundation Grant
Learning and Leadership Grants
The National Education Association (NEA) annually offers grants to both individuals and groups to participate in professional development and carry out study groups, research or mentoring experiences for new faculty. Eligible applicants include PreK-12 public school teachers, public school support professionals, and faculty and staff at public higher education institutions. NEA especially encourages applications from new teachers with less than seven years of experience and education support professionals. Grants are $2,000 for individuals and $5,000 for groups. All professional development must have the goal of improving student education.
Toyota Tapestry Grants
For K-12 science teachers, Toyota Tapestry Grants provide large ($10,000 each) and mini-grants ($2500 each) to improve science education in a particular school or district. Proposals should develop innovative and new ways of teaching science to motivate students. Projects could include creative use of technology, involvement with industry or curriculum development and implementation. In partnership with the National Science Teachers Association, the goal of these grants is to assist teachers to inspire students for lifetime science learning.
We will continue to research more funding sources and post here as we find them. It is only in the collaborative process that we will be able to make a difference for our students…our future!
Filed under Grants and Funding Sources for Educators