Archive | March, 2012

Twitter for teaching

27 Mar

I only began tweeting about one year ago.  As the kids tell me now, I thought it was just to say that you were at Shamrock’s having an ice cream cone.  They don’t see the usefulness of it now as I didn’t then.

That changed when I began following teachers and educational technology experts.  I am not very good at keeping up with them, I don’t regularly monitor my account.  When I do check in I always have some great links and programs to check out.

My favorite thing to do with Twitter is the #langchat at 8pm on Thursday nights.  I have missed it the last couple of weeks because of our school play, so I am very excited to return to it this week.  It is so well organized with a topic for the night that the monitors keep us focused on.  The summary email and archive are the true treasures.  They can be found on this wiki.  Besides the Thursday #langchat, I search the hash tag occasionally and see some great resources.

I did learn that it is best to use “Tweet Chat” for the Thursday night chats.  It automatically adds the has tag, which occasionally I would forget in the excitement.  It also makes the chat appear on a larger screen so I can see more of the conversation.

I do give points to my students for tweeting.  It is an option on their homework page for the week.  I just have them use the hash tag #bccsp so I can search for them.

Other useful sites I have found regarding Twitter:

Cyberman’s list of Educational hash tags.

20 hash tags every teacher should know.

Top Hash Tags for Teachers

5 Ways Twitter has changed Education

Why Twitter

5 Essential Safety Tips for Introducing Twitter to Students

Why Educators should blog & tweet

A Spreadsheet of Educators on Twitter

Online Twitter book for Educators

12 Twitter Tips for the Classroom

Twitter 101: Rules for Newbies

Pictures made from various tweets.  Just a fun site.

What else is out there?



Personalization vs Differentiation vs Individualization | Rethinking Learning – Barbara Bray

14 Mar


Personalization vs Differentiation vs Individualization | Rethinking Learning – Barbara Bray.

Includes a great chart telling the difference between the three.

Finding Resources & Lesson Plans Online

3 Mar

I do searches for everything.  When I begin a new Chapter in class, I search to see what I can find.  Like many World Language teachers I am looking for authentic material, audio and video, images, and whatever information I can find.  I have a nice short list of lesson plan sites that I begin with.  There is so much great stuff out there, that it seems silly not look before creating lessons.  Here are my favorite lesson plan search sites:

A couple of summers ago I was hired by the Michigan Department of Education to identify standards for content on the M.O.R.E. site.  M.O.R.E. is a part of the Michigan eLibrary site.  I sure learned the World Language standards inside and out quickly.

The M.O.R.E. site has thousands of lesson plans and resources.  The items are searchable by subject area or standard.  There’s also an advanced search if you want to search by resource type or grade.

I am also a certified Thinkfinity trainer.  Thinkfinity has lesson plans and resources easily searched for by subject, standard, grade level and more.  Thinkfinity focuses on core areas, but us World Language teachers can find something useful in many content areas.

Calper is a database of lesson plans that incorporate technology in World Language classes.  The site also has many other useful resources and publications.  There is a great section o Advocacy, plus links to websites for many FL Associations.

Zachary Jones has a very impressive Skills Planning worksheet to use for lesson planning.  It is a bit overwhelming for me since I am new to high school, but I plan to work through it this summerThe worksheet forces you to think about many aspects of planning including materials, ACTFL standards and 21st century skills.

Google has a site for searching and submitting plans that incorporate Google Tools into your lessons.  The plans are searchable by Google product, subject and/or grade level.

Film Education provides award-winning teaching resources, teacher training and cinema based events which support the use of film within the curriculum.  

These are great sites, and I am sure there are lots more out there.




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