Update for the Week of April 30

I have been trying to improve this blog so that it becomes more than just a communication tool about upcoming events. There are so many resources available to educators today that it is sometimes difficult to keep track of all of them. I am going to try to make some of these available through this device to all of us. To do this, each post will still have the requisite “Dates to Remember” and “Other Stuff” categories. I am planning to add a whole other section that will be broken down by Content Area that will include interesting (I hope!) links to sites offered by organizations such as the Smithsonian, Discovery Network, Teachers Network and more. I hope that you will find this helpful.

Scholastic Books Warehouse Sale

Here is a link to the local Scholastic Books Warehouse Sale and the dates and time for their sale. You can get some pretty amazing deals here and, if you pre-register, you can get a coupon for discounts. You can also volunteer to work at the warehouse during the sale and they will “pay” you at the rate of $10/hour, that you can spend in the warehouse.

Math Instruction and News

This is an article from the Chicago from April 12. The reporter, Stephanie Simon writes that the folks who promote science have lots of sizzle with things like foaming chemical reactions, robots and marshmallow cannons and math has… well, numbers. But she says that schools like UCLA and <IT are trying to change that. In this post Ms. Simon talks about a math online video game that MIT has developed to lure kids to math. Numbers game: America’s struggle to make math fun.

Museum  7th grade of Math

Did you know that there is a Museum of Math? Well, there is and they will be holding their grand opening of their new building in December of 2012. The Museum is dedicated to making math more meaningful for all of us, not that math should need to be made more meaningful! Check out their web site for some very interesting ideas for math and math instruction as well as contests and grant opportunities. Museum of Math.

DUtheMath

Dimension University, or DU to its friends, is sponsoring a free online math competition for students that began on April 13 and runs through May 13th, so we are late in getting into this, but that’s OK because the competitions are rune weekly. If you’re interested you can check out the site here: DUtheMath.

English Language Arts

There has been much discussion here at GMS and at GHS, as well as across the country about the use of Whole Novels. As with any question there are two sides that can make an equally compelling case fro or against the idea of the whole novel approach to literacy instruction. On Ed Weeks Teacher Professional Development blog, Ariel Sacks, a 7th grade English Teacher from Brooklyn, NY, shares her experience with teaching with whole novels. You can view the blog here: Ed Week Teacher PD

The Powerful Learning Practice blog site has been offering lots of different activities for the teaching of language arts. This most recent post deals with the teaching of Poetry in middle grades, but this could be applied to any grade. Just click on the Powerful Learning Practice Link to read about teaching poetry.

Interested in teaching about mysteries and getting kids involved in their own learning? In this entry from the Association of Middle Level Educators Middle Web Blog Essential Learning Products offers The Game is Afoot, by Felicity Chapman where the students become Sherlock Holmes (or some other great detective) and solve the crime. This looks like it could be a fun way to get the kids into mysteries.

Social Studies

Teacher and resource guru Larry Ferlazzo is noted for his “Best of” lists, and his top social studies picks for 2010 are definitely worth a look. They range from the Lottery of Life (see how your life might have looked if you had been born in another country) to The Time Map of World History (“a super-cool interactive and accessible way to learn about…world history. Using a map and accessible text, it starts at 3500 BCE.”)

Science

Terri Dawson sent this site out to me and I am sharing this with you. It is a very short video of how Aaron Sams, a Colorado educator, has “flipped” his classroom and has seen a tremendous gain in student engagement and a huge increase in how he budgets his time with students to get the most out of it. Check out this video

Summary

I could spend every waking moment, and then some,checking out these and the many more resources available. If you happen to come across something that you would like me to share, send it along to me and we’ll add it here.

In the meantime, I hope that this will become a useful tool for all of us.

I am always open to any suggestions for improving this to make it more user friendly, just let me know.

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