Teaching Channel “Reading Like a Historian”

Question mark

Question mark (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This past week our school has been focused on the use of questions in the classroom. As I began looking into the many approaches and types of questions teachers can use effectively in the classroom I came across a great video on the Teaching Channel. This video was titled “Reading like a Historian“. I found this video quite informative and a great starting point for our teachers to begin discussing the use of questioning in the classroom. Take a look and tell me what you think or stories you have of using questioning in the classroom.

Click here to watch the video on the “Teaching Channel”

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5 Teacher Resource Edtech Tools

With the overwhelming amount edtechtools that can be found on the web, this is the first post in a series to highlight some that I

Classroom

Classroom (Photo credit: James F Clay)

have found useful in the classroom and are FREE!!

The focus of this post are some TEACHER Tools that I have found useful to use with my students.

  1. Dropbox:  This storage site has proved to be an extremely useful to store and access my files anywhere on any computer. Also the addon of DropitTo.me has been useful for my student to turn in their work. This is a must look at for all teachers!
  2. Classroom Timers:
     Classroom timers have become a staple in my class and are an excellent way to keep students on task. This website provides a list of different types of timers and all are free to use. online-stopwatch.com
  3. Duplichecker: This is a great plagiarism checker and will also check attached files. This is a free site and a great resource. I also have a list here of other plagiarism checkers.
  4. Testmoz: As they state on their website, ” Testmoz is a test generator that sports 4 question types, automatic grading, a really simple interface and detailed reports.” Have used this many times and found it to be very useful.
  5. QuizSnack: Is an easy way to create polls and surveys and post them to a variety of different websites.
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myHistro: A Great Teaching Timeline Tool

Tallinn, view

Tallinn, view (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the great things that I have enjoyed about blogging is communicating with people all over the world. Recently, I had a message from a reader  Valeria from Tallinn, Estonia who brought to my attention a great website called myHistro. This is a great site that combines maps, timelines, images, video and puts it all together in a presentation format. This is a great tool to teach students about a sequence of events like battles and other historical events.  Click the link below for an example of a basic myHistro presentation on the battles of the Civil War.

Click here to see a good basic example of a myHistro presentation.

This is a great tool to be used in the classroom. Check it out at www.myHistro.com and thanks again to Valeria for bringing it to my attention.

Click here to read about other great timeline tools.

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Videos that Make for Great Teacher Professional Development

education

education (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

While I normality like to post my ideas and thoughts on education and technology. Occasionally, however I come across a post that is just so outstanding and on the mark that I feel it is just too good not to pass on to my readers. “Ten Videos Every Educator Should Watch (and Reflect on)” was written last February and while I have written about and discussed many of the videos contained in this post I really like the fact that they are all placed together for teachers to look at and think about. This is the time of year when many teachers have the time to look at and think about new ideas and teaching strategies. So I encourage any teachers looking to expand their teaching techniques, philosophies and teaching strategies to look through these outstanding videos and reflect on them.

Click here to read Ammar Merhibi’s “Ten Videos Every Educator Should Watch (and Reflect on)”

And Ammar thanks for taking the time to put this post together. To read more from Ammar Merhibi check out his blog “Eductechnalogy

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Spark Student Interest with Time Search

Spark Student Interest with Time Search

Time Search is a great resource that I came across near the end of this past school year. It is a great research tool to assist students looking for information about many different topics in a history course. The timeline approach is one students always seem to appreciate and often captivates their attention. The way that the information is displayed and linked together seemed to really interest students. I found my students often discovered topics that intrigued them and really seemed to captivate their attention. Many of the students who used this began asking me questions about a variety of history topics that we were not covering in class. This lead to a few of my students research and studying different events in history in addition to the topics covered in class. Anytime I find a resource that has this effect on students it is one I bookmark and use in future classes. If you teach history you need to have a look at this site along with their parent site History World. Check them out with the links below.

Click here to check out Time Search.

Click her to check out History World.

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Scholastic: Interactive Whiteboard Activities

Like every teacher I am always excited to find good resources. Over the past week I came across a great resource site for interactive whiteboards. This site contains many resources for Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Math, and others. The activities and media shared on this site are high quality and cover many different areas of study within each subject area. Many of these activities would be a great supplement to any teachers curriculum.

Check out this great resource at: http://teacher.scholastic.com/whiteboards/languagearts.htm

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Don’t Forget You Need a Foundation!

John Wooden at a ceremony on Oct. 14, the coac...

Image via Wikipedia

Education is in a state of flux all across the country. Districts are looking for new ways to improve learning and meet the state and federal guidelines for education. As districts look at these different techniques and technologies, what is often overlooked is the foundation.

There is a great story about the famous basketball coach John Wooden. One of his first lessons that he taught his college players when they came to UCLA was how to put on their socks and shoes. He told them that this game requires you to move and change directions quickly and if your shoes and sock are not on correctly, you could get blisters or your shoe could come untied. In both cases you are then out of the game. If you are out of the game, you cannot be successful.

Today in education teachers are often overlooked as these new approaches and techniques are implemented in their schools. As districts mandate these techniques, they do not consult the fundamental aspect of their educational process, their teachers. Techniques do not teach kids, teachers do and they can often can provide valuable assistance on implementation of these new techniques.  When districts overlook the fundamentals in applying new techniques and programs, they are often met with failure and frustration adding to the dilemma of education today. True change in education today cannot be successful unless it has been built on a good foundation.

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