Teaching Out Loud

Putting something out there, and hoping to get something in return

Join Me on Youtube

Welcome New Visitors!

Welcome to my site! Right now I am in the midst of Sharing A Resource A Day In October (ARADIO). I have been remiss in giving back to my PLN and I am trying to make amends! Please feel free to sift through what I have been sharing (you can find it all on the ARADIO Category Page). Please leave a comment if you have another resource to share, because I am always game for something new.

Duncan says thanks!


ARADIO – Day 20 – Are you a Search Ninja

This Google Search Ninja presentation was shared a couple of years ago (by Derrick Waddell) at a workshop at our board office. While the language is a little to high, and the content a little to dry for the younger grades, the information is important to pass on.

Some of the techniques aren’t that helpful for the younger grades, like the ellipsis search, but my students have found a wonderful power in the hyphen or subtraction searches. I used to use the example of searching for ‘Bieber’, and then showing what the results are for ‘Bieber -Justin’. Unfortunately his latest exploits haven’t been classroom friendly, so I have started to use sports teams. I talk about researching tigers, and then show a search for tigers. The first few results usually end up being for the Detroit Tigers. Then I ask the students to try “tigers -detroit“, and ask what the difference is. It is a great way to enter into the world of advanced searching.

I also have a poster that I put up in class after these lessons.

Here is the presentation:

ARADIO – Day 19 – Adding a Little Drama to Your Day

I had the good fortune to attend a presentation by Jeffrey Wilhelm. He’s been a proponent of inquiry learning and, my personal favourite, getting drama into the other aspects of language. I have bookmarked, dog-eared and almost wrecked my copy of “Deepening Comprehension With Action Strategies”*, and now I want to share it with you.

My personal favourite strategy is the ‘Hot Seat’, where you get the students to adopt a persona of a character of the book, and they must answer questions, in character, that are asked by the rest of the class. Not only do you get at voice and point of view for the student in the hot seat, the rest of class demonstrates their ability to come up with good, deep questions. The talk show atmosphere really piques student interest, and our conversations often take strange and exciting tangents.

*Technically I have “Action Strategies for Deepening Comprehension” from 2002, but that link is to the updated version – it has a CD!

ARADIO – Day 18 – Real Life Online

3 years ago, I decided that I would never take a class back to our local safety village for their presentation on Internet Safety. The presentation came from a place of fear, and the message, while never explicitly stated, was that the Internet was a bad place that students should avoid. I watched as, one-by-one, my students started to tune out. They already were using the internet, and the information was either laughable, or advice that they couldn’t abide by. I believe that the information the police presented came from an honest place, but ended up being a lecture instead of understanding what the students were doing.

That was a really long-winded way of saying that I needed a new resource for applying the concept of citizenship online. I was lucky enough to attend the launch of OPHEA‘s program called ConnectED – Real Life Online. While not perfect, it is a good launching point for realistic discussions of life online. While targeted at the Grade 4-6 demographic, it is can be applied as low as grade three. I know my students have appreciated the little touches, like how the students age from the grade 3 module to the grade 6 module. Each module comes with lesson plans, assignments and assessment tools.

ARADIO – Day 17 – When is a Classroom not in a Classroom?

I’ve started to use Google Classroom, and while not fully featured yet, the integration with our Student’s GAFE account makes this the winner for blending my learning. Setting up the students was a breeze, adding assignments/links/videos are a cinch, and getting the student access is easy, and the students are enjoying the new environment. Giving the students templates to work with is easy when you share documents that are view only. It also creates folders in my own Google Drive so that assignments that are handed in are automatically filed.

What does it need? The stream could be streamlined, and possibly taken out of the middle, or split between my posts, and student posts. That way I could sticky the important information to the top. I would also like the students to have the option to “create” a form, and have the link be the part submitted to me. This would make my data management life much easier! I’m sure there are other features that I haven’t even thought of, but this product is in its infancy, and I am willing to give it time.

ARADIO – Day 16 – GAFE Help

Quick disclaimer – this link has many WRDSB (Waterloo Region District School Board) specific links, but I think there is enough general information to help any GAFE user.

If you need a quick reference to many of the intricacies of the GAFE environment (especially the WRDSB implementation) – head over to the GAFE Help Site set up by @susan_watt. You can get help with most of the basics, and some of the more advanced features for Google Apps for Education Accounts.

ARADIO – Day 15 – THINK about it!

From the People who brought you “Say Hi” day, comes a month of contests and resources. Last year we were introduced to the concept of THINK when interacting online:

This year, the Waterloo Crime Prevention Council is looking for WRDSB and WCDSB students and classes to put forward their best ideas about what THINK means. There are a wealth of resources for bringing accountability to our online presence.

Here is the sneak peak for the 30 Days of THINK:

Fill THINK Poster

THINK Contest

Check out all the THINK details, and look for further contest information coming soon!

ARADIO – Day 14 – Getting Connected a Googly

While not overly difficult, it can be time consuming to go and find all the connections that you want to do around the world, with different classrooms. One way to get connected quickly is to join up with Google’s Connected Classrooms. The site hosts a variety of events, including sharing some excellent digital field trips. Today my class joined in a Hangout with Lemony Snicket. Check it out for yourself, and join in the fun!