So my previous post says it all. The amount of awesomeness that happens in the classrooms around me is mind boggling. I got totally overwhelmed in November and December, and fell behind in writing my MiddSouth Innovates. As always, please remember to check out our #middsouthinnovates hashtag as well as our newly created #middsouthshines. MiddSouth Shines will showcase creative and innovative student work including interviews of the students explaining their learning and creation process. This site will cover as many areas as possible including, but not limited to film, art, poetry, journalism, Science, Business, and Foreign Language. While that will be up and running soon, please enjoy the latest issue of MiddSouth Innovates.
This school year is whizzing by. I can’t believe we are already halfway through November and Winter Break is so close you can see it on the horizon. I have been amazed at how many teachers are taking this year to add technology integration goals into their professional plans and innovating their classroom practices.
In this issue of the MiddSouth Innovates, we take a look at a Math teacher who is looking to integrate more Social Media into her classroom, taking the first steps toward a student-centered learning environment by adding student choice assignments, and our October 3D printing challenge in the Media Center.
While many are lamenting the end of Spring Break, I am excited because that means another issue of the MiddSouth Innovates is ready for your viewing enjoyment!!
This issue is more of a ‘Did You Know?’ type of thing. I was having a conversation with several teachers right before break and I figured this might be something useful to discuss at the start of MP4. In this issue, we talk about Google Extensions like Tab Scissors/Glue, Keyboard shortcuts for desktops and Chromebooks, Brain-based learning strategies like brain breaks and guided-inquiry, and E-waste recycling programs. As always, feedback is appreciated and I hope you enjoy!
I can’t believe it is Spring! Well, the calendar says it is Spring, but we just got 12″ of snow so I am not sure anyone bothered to send Mother Nature a reminder. Speaking of sending people reminders, Issue #10 of the MiddSouth Innovates is here and we are focusing on Remind. Did you like that transition?
Remind is a fantastic messaging app that allows you to keep your class up to date on everything that is happening at a moment’s notice. But, you can do so much more than just send out reminders. We talk about building relationships with parents, Back-to-School Night, sub-plans, and more. We also take a moment to talk about Spider Web Discussions–a spin on the Socratic Method from Alexis Wiggins. She wrote a book titled The Best Class You Never Taught where she explains how Spider Web Discussions gets the students actively involved in a class discussion and moves the teacher to outside observer. As always, I hope you enjoy!
Apparently I forgot to post about Issue #9 of the MiddSouth Innovates so here it is, just a few weeks late.
It is research paper season in our building so our tech integration section focuses on how a pair of teachers are using tech tools (Google Forms, Choice Eliminator, Piktochart) to change how the research paper process looks for the students. Teachers are also getting frustrated with how the students are using their cell phones during the day so we discuss various ways personal devices can be used in the classroom other than to watch videos and play games.
February 22nd is National Digital Learning Day. While the event focuses on the integration of technology into learning, the piece from the site that resonates with me the most is “It emphasizes high-quality instruction…“. As I say often, learning needs to be the focus. After discussing this with our Media Specialist, we both agreed that we wanted to turn the Media Center into a collaborative learning environment for groups of classes to work on innovative projects. The Media Center should not be just for research, but a place where any class, or groups of classes, can come to work on an activity. Since in Middletown we “live digital learning every day” (thank you to my edtech colleague for that quote) we were looking for a little more. Luckily, we have plenty of teachers itching to try something new this year and be a little more innovative.
In this issue, we highlight the work of 3 Biology teachers who developed a collaborative jigsaw activity based around various evolutionary scientists. It involved going paperless, Google Docs, Google Classroom, Google Expeditions, and Flipgrid. Students from different classes and different levels came to the Media Center to participate and it was a great change of pace for everyone. As one teacher said, she has been in the school 13 years and it was the first time she ever brought a class to the library. Now she is looking to see how she can do this type of activity every marking period!
I hope you enjoy MiddSouth Innovates Issue #8!
I had such a great time making Issue #7 of MiddSouth Innovates! I love getting the chance to sit down with passionate educators to talk about learning activities in their classroom. These world-class educators were so excited to talk about their students and their classrooms.
In our tech-related classroom highlight, I talked with a Journalism I class about LucidPress and how it helped them publish their class newspaper. In our non-tech related activity, I talk with an Art teacher about how she is using Perspective art with an Autistic class. Included at the bottom is a feedback form. If you are reading my MiddSouth Innovates, I would greatly appreciate you filling out the form so I can improve. Enjoy!