Monday, September 4, 2017

Creative Expression Ideas for Writing

Writing doesn't always mean full essays or research papers. In fact, writing should be taking place in all content areas and should surface in many different forms. Here are some fun creative expression ideas students can use to showcase their learning. 

If you have additional ideas, include them in the comments. 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Graphic Organizers with Templates

There are various types of graphic organizers that students can and should be using to process information. The organizer teachers select, or students select themselves, depends on the type of processing expected to take place.  

Here is a non-exhaustive list of different graphic organizer types with templates you can make a copy of and use with students.

Type & Description
Possible uses
Organizer Templates
Brainstorming - processing information prior to or just after learning
  • identify prior knowledge
Cause and Effect -
shows the relationship between two or more ideas, concepts, topics, etc.
  • addressing cause and effect
  • analyze characters or events
  • analyze stories
  • identify the impact on an event or experiment.
Compare/Contrast - identify the similarities and differences between two or more concepts.
  • comparing and contrasting stories, characters, topics, concepts, terms, etc.
Concept Map - central idea with corresponding characteristics.
  • brainstorming
  • identifying relationships
  • making connections
Flow Diagram or Sequence Chart - shows a series of events or steps in an order.
  • outlining key events,
  • procedures
  • timelines

Main Idea and Details - shows relationship between major concept and supporting elements
  • identifying main central idea and supporting details of a reading or movie.
  • summarizing

Semantic - shows relationships between words and meanings - shows relationships between words and meanings
  • identifying meaning of a vocabulary word
  • connecting words, meanings, and visual representations.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Google Drive One-Pagers

Here is a collection of Google Drive one-pagers on Getting Started, Sharing Permissions, Organization, Team Drives, and Tips & Tricks. Feel free to download and share with others.  

Monday, April 17, 2017

Must Have: Web of Trust (WOT) Chrome Extension for Website Reliability

With billions of websites out there it is impossible to know the reliability of a website upon first glance. As educators, it is our responsibility to ensure that students are taking the time to check accuracy of a website and that can be time consuming. 

The Web of Trust (WOT) Chrome Extension does the first steps for us. I stumbled upon it a couple years ago and recommended it to everyone. Then one day it was gone. I have recently discovered it is back and I want to spread the word again. 

The extension allows everyday users to rate websites based on trustworthiness and child safety. Of course, you have to take in people's objectiveness and ability to accurately rate a website, but overall I have been very pleased. A green rating indicates the website is trustworthy, a yellow rating means to be cautious, and a red rating is danger. 

Here is the WOT extension in action after searching for 'Martin Luther King Jr.' You will notice that after the website heading there is a circle that shows you the rating. If you hover over the circle it will give you the rating based on trustworthiness and child safety. 

If you are shocked to see that the website is flagged as dangerous, you are not alone. I have used this website in many professional development sessions to demonstrate that you can't believe everything that you read. When you dig into the owner of the website (Stormfront) you discover that it is authored by a white supremacist (Don Black) whose agenda is to spread lies about Martin Luther King, Jr.

In addition to the search warnings, you are prompted with a pop-up if you go to to a website deemed as 'dangerous.'  The pop-up shows the rating, identified issues with the website, as well as a link to see additional details and comments.

I highly encourage every teacher to share this resource with their students.