Moe's W.O.W.

2016-17

Posted by Monique Agueros on Wednesday, Aug 24th, 2016.
April 5

Wow, there are tons of fantastic things happening in our schools!

Why not share them with, well, everyone?!

The LeadLearner blog began a Love My School Day to give educators a place to create a "new and improved culture of education" with the ultimate goal to change the perception some people have of schools.

Will your school join the world in telling its story? Join us on Tue, April 11 & use the hashtag # LoveMySchoolDay .

Get your invitation here:

ow.ly/KZap309jP5Q

Happy Love My School Day!
March 15

Wow, this week's W.O.W. is better than a pot of gold!

More than a website, here's a free creative app to help you celebrate St. Patrick's Day and have a wee bit 'o fun before Spring Break.

The Leprechaun Me iPad app lets you upload your photo and create fantastic profile photos, memes and game icons.

Decorate your website or newsletter, create writing prompts, have students dress up a report, tell a story, measure accessories, or create a character analysis.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/leprechaun-me-make-leprechaun/id591740170?mt=8

Happy St. Patrick's Day and Happy Spring Break!

March 8

Wow, we survived the severe weather, and it's almost testing time-- time to get happy!

If you're looking for ways to have students review concepts plus brush up on those creative higher-order thinking skills, W.O.W. has a great site (and app) for you.

It's called Plus.HappyNumbers.com : a fantastic web-based tool that provides mind-growing monthly math challenges to unlock your students' higher-order thinking. Plus can be used as an independent math center to provide math enrichment that supplements your curriculum.

It's designed for K-2 students at the moment, but I've heard they plan to expand to upper elementary in the future.

The first challenge has just been released -- so make sure you check out Plus !

Happy Happy Numbers!

March 1
Wow, Dr. Seuss would be 113 years old tomorrow! Oh, the places you'll go-- with websites!
To celebrate his life and of course stories, the Web English Teacher website has several lesson plans and guides related to specific Seuss books, his biography, and even newspaper activities.

https://www.varsitytutors.com/englishteacher/drseuss.html
Wow, this special day deserves another resource:
A Media Specialist's Guide to the Internet also has an abundant list of resources, printables, craft ideas, videos, and more.

http://mediaspecialistsguide.blogspot.com/2014/02/happy-110th-birthday-dr-seuss-updated.html
Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!
February 22

Wow, Digital Learning Day is tomorrow, Read-in Day is coming in March, the weather is amazing for February, and baseball season is around the corner. We're breaking barriers all over! How about breaking barriers with student writing also?

MLB's Breaking Barriers essay contest encourages students from across the country to write about how they are facing or were able to overcome personal obstacles or barriers in their own lives through the example set forth by Jackie Robinson, who became MLB's first African-American player when he started for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947. Breaking Barriers focuses on nine values: courage, teamwork, determination, persistence, integrity, citizenship, justice, commitment and excellence.

This is also the first year entries will be accepted in both English and Spanish.

The Grand Prize winner in grades 4-6 will earn the opportunity to attend and be honored at the 2017 All-Star Game in Miami, and the Grand Prize winner in grades 7-9 will receive the opportunity to attend and be honored at a game during the 113th World Series. Ten students overall will be honored with prizes. In all, two Grand Prize winners, two MVP winners and six All-Star Prize winners will be chosen between the two grade groups.

The deadline for the contest is March 14.

Article with more info here:

http://web.mlbcommunity.org/index.jsp?content=programs&program=breaking_barriers&partnerId=as_kc_20170209_69979066&adbid=829729109316022272&adbpl=tw&adbpr=28603812

Contest entry forms here:

scholastic.com/breakingbarriers


Happy Baseball Season!

February 15
Wow, Digital Learning Day is next week!

Digital learning is any instructional practice that effectively uses technology to strengthen a student's learning experience. It emphasizes high-quality instruction and provides access to challenging content, feedback through formative assessment, opportunities for learning anytime and anywhere, and individualized instruction.

Take some time next Thursday to try out these Interactive Lesson Plans:
http://digitallearningday.org/interactive-lesson-plans/

http://www.techlearning.com/blogentry/11590
Happy Digital Learning Day!
February 8
Wow, Valentine's Day is next week!
Sometimes math gets left out of the love fest of Valentine's Day, but Teq Learning has sites, apps, and activities for a wide range of grade levels for you and your students to share the love of math.
From graphing the inequality of a heart to constructing heart-shaped graphs and heart brain teasers, the site is sure to win your love.

http://www.teq.com/classroom-tools/using-love-math-valentines-day/#.UvvdPfYobgw
Happy Valentine's Day
February 1
Wow, it's Groundhog Day tomorrow!
Instead of yet another site about Phil and his shadow, how about a dodo??

Thanks to a tweet from George Couros, The Dodo is a site with all kinds of fun animal videos-- perfect for writing prompts, research, or just a good laugh.

https://www.thedodo.com/

Happy Groundhog Day!

January 25
Wow, there IS a way to teach students geographical awareness and cultural understanding while connecting classrooms all around the world. Plus, you can "share the love" by connecting on Valentine's Day!

The Global Virtual Valentines Project aims to spread a little happiness to children everywhere while learning something new. This year there are two participation levels: One to share Valentines and one to share as well as use Skype to connect with classrooms. This would be a terrific project for any subject area (art, math, design, culture, geography, language arts, music, pe, foreign language, and more) at any grade level.

There's even a hashtag for you Twitter folks!
#k12valentines

http://virtualvalentines.weebly.com/
Happy Valentine's Day
January 18
Wow, wouldn't it be great to have a day to just play?? The Global School Play Day team thinks so.

The Global School Play Day is a day of promoting the importance of regular, unstructured play for the best development of children. The GSPD team was Inspired to take action by Dr. Peter Gray in his TEDx talk where he argues the case that today's kids do not grow up playing, which has led to an increase in childhood depression, stress related issues, and the highest suicide rates in history. On February 4, 2015, over 65,000 children participated in the first ever Global School Play Day after only four weeks of social media promotion from those six educators.

Then, last year, on Feb. 3, 2016, the second annual Global School Play Day for students went viral. Over 177,000 young people were registered by their administrators or teachers to participate. Schools from around the world stood together to say, "Unstructured play is a vital part of proper child development!"

Global School Play Day is for public schools, private schools, and homeschool families! Many are helping to spread the word about the benefits of play. Why has this movement been so well-received? Because kids have forgotten how to play!
"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."

-Plato

Register for Global School Play Day here:

http://www.globalschoolplayday.com/
Happy Playing!
January 11
Wow, the Missouri Department of Conservation has a way to protect the environment and promote learning at the same time.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American generates about four pounds of trash each day! Students can help fight litter and make a difference by participating in the 2017 "Yes You CAN Make Missouri Litter-Free" trash-can-decorating contest. The annual contest is sponsored by MDC and MoDOT as part of the state's "No MOre Trash!" statewide litter campaign.

First-place winners from each competition category receive $200 awarded to the sponsoring schools. All first-place winners are then eligible for a grand prize of a trophy and $600 awarded to the sponsoring school.

http://www.nomoretrash.org/
Happy Conserving!
January 4
Wow, snow is in the forecast, and we've just returned from winter break, so there's no better time for a classroom snowflake project!
STEAM up your classroom with snow-inspired projects from Education Closet that reinforce skills in photography, math, science, psychology, art, technology and more.

https://educationcloset.com/2016/12/02/steam-classroom-snowflakes/?utm_content=buffer0e986&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer
or try short link: https://goo.gl/cQek9A
Happy Snowflakes!
December 15
Wow, the holidays are fast approaching!
If you are looking for some fun curriculum-focused activities for the next few hectic days, check out the Little Bins for Little Hands site (great for bigger hands, too!).
Little Bins offers lots of ideas for science experiments, crafts, coding, and even Christmas Tree slime!

http://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/christmas-stem-ideas-kids/
November 30
Wow, next week is Computer Science Education Week!

The Tustin Unified School District (TUSD) has teamed up with Power Learning to create a site that has a super introduction to code.org as well as several activities for students in all grade levels with video tutorials.
You and your students can learn about coding, managing Java Script, programming with Python, and even creating apps.
Happy Coding!
November 16
Wow, it's almost Thanksgiving!
If you'd like to get crafty while studying the Thanksgiving holiday this year, here's a site with all kinds of ideas for themed projects with supply lists and detailed instructions.

But wait, there's more! Each project idea has either a math, writing or history connection, too!
In addition to the holiday craft ideas, like a Wampum Array Bracelet, Wigwam Construction, Popsicle Stick Canoes, and Feather Fractions, the We Are Teachers site also has other classroom ideas, free resource downloads, and even a help line.

http://www.weareteachers.com/10-fresh-thanksgiving-crafts-with-history-math-and-writing-connections/?utm_content=1478630693&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter
Happy Thanksgiving!
November 9

Wow, the results are in! No, not those results, STEM activities in the classroom can supercharge your lessons! Careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math have their roots in all the curriculum areas, and learning about the variety of career possibilities is a way to get students thinking about their future.

To get your "ION (the) Future," try the STEM Career exploration game by Change the Equation. "This game-based learning environment of free online games encourages students to explore careers in science, technology, engineering, and math."

Also mentioned in the Tech and Learning monthly magazine.

http://ionfuture.org/

Happy Stemming!

November 1
Wow, the long-awaited elections are next week! Although it's thrilling that the advertisements will finally end, it's also thrilling that there are so many ways to enhance lessons.
Ever wonder what the president's job description is? Check out the Government and Politics "Crash Course" videos!
The Election 2016 site has several lessons available for download with suggestions for nonfiction analysis, writing/discussion prompts, and multimedia projects.
Happy Voting!
October 26

Wow, it's almost Halloween!

Some cheer and some fear this day, so here's a few cool ideas for making the most of teaching 25+ students who have had way too much sugar!

Not just ghosts and goblins, this site also celebrates fall with a site for building your own scarecrow, playing Tackle Math Ball, learning about Thanksgiving, and Ben and Jerry's Flavor Graveyard , which will certainly inspire your students to create their own tombstones of "dead" homework assignments, bad habits, disgusting dinners, and more.

http://www.tcea.org/blog/fall-websites/
And, here's a neat activity for using up some of that candy:

Candy
Happy Halloween!
October 19

Wow, Fall is in the air! Have you ever wondered when fall leaves actually change color in different parts of the nation? How about why some leaves turn orange and others turn red or yellow?

Now your students can take a virtual trip around the states thanks to Richard Byrne who shared this article about an interactive map showing when fall leaves change color:

http://lifehacker.com/this-interactive-fall-foliage-map-shows-you-when-leaves-1786399905

Link to map: https://smokymountains.com/fall-foliage-map/

By the way, if you're looking for more interactive map activities, or you'd like to create your own, come to The Amazing Race workshop tomorrow!

Happy Fall!

October 12
Wow, sometimes organizing volunteers and managing sign up lists can be more work than the original job!

Sometimes we all need a genius.

If you ever need to collect registrations for something, organize an event, schedule parent conferences or other meetings, keep track of t-shirt or fundraiser orders, remember who has what role in a play or function, fill volunteer slots, or keep track of just about anything, you'll want to get a free account at this week's W.O.W.

Described as a "life saver," Sign Up genius lets you "Say goodbye to reply-all emails and paper sign up sheets and coordinate events and people in minutes with online sign ups." You create a sign up and invite a group then you're done-- genius! The site takes care of everything else including sending reminders to your group.

Happy Signing Up!

http://www.signupgenius.com/index.cfm
October 5
Looking for a way to create engaging and interactive lessons while incorporating Google Apps and nurturing a love of nature? Wow, the TES site (Teachers Know Best) provides links to virtual field trips, lesson plan templates, resources, and even a way to share your awesome lessons.
There's even an Arbor Day poster contest opportunity because it's never too early to be thinking of Arbor Day and Earth Day activities!

Start Exploring

2016 marks the United States National Parks Service Centennial. To celebrate, we've launched Hidden Worlds of the National Parks , an interactive, virtual experience designed to bring the parks to everyone. Take your class on a virtual field trip of some of our most breathtaking National Parks using the  Google Arts & Culture web experience or Google Expeditions.

Create Your Own Lesson Plans

We've created lesson plan templates to help you get started. Choose one of the options below to customize your lesson plan.

  • Guide your class through the Hidden Worlds Expedition with this   lesson plan template ,  for use with the Google Expeditions App . Please make a copy of this document to receive edit access to the lesson plan.
  • Immerse your students in 360-degree video tours of the parks on any device or computer with this Hidden Worlds   lesson plan template . Please make a copy of the document to receive edit access to the lesson plan.

Share Your Lesson Plan

Once you've completed your lesson plans, share them with fellow teachers on TES . Here is a video with instructions  on how to upload to TES, and here is a detailed list of instructions .
Link to Google Doc for above: https://docs.google.com/document/u/1/d/1bauOFNGLMxbM2oxKiW6375ZzI2uEOLbevsM7LxmQhBo/mobilebasic?usp=gmail 


Arbor Day poster contest (Sept 6-Dec 3)

http://www.mocommunitytrees.com/arbordaypostercontest/201617guidelines.html

Happy Park Touring!
September 21
Did you know 50.5 million people or 16% of the population are of Hispanic or Latino origin?

Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the cultures and traditions of those who can trace their roots to Spain, Mexico, and the Spanish-speaking countries of Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. The annual celebration is observed from September 15 to October 15.

The study of other cultures can be weaved into every subject area, and Scholastic has una gran cantidad of resources available to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, including book studies for understanding character and culture.

goo.gl/s0WKHd

Fact Monster also has information about Notable Hispanic Americans.
http://www.factmonster.com/hispanic-heritage-month/fun-stuff.html

Feliz lectura!

September 14

Wow, Google really does have everything! Here's a cool competition (even if your students don't enter the actual Google Competition, this would be a terrific PBL opportunity) for your students to learn more about coding as well as get a chance to solve real-world problems.

G oogle Hash Code is a team-based programming competition organized by Google. You pick your team and programming language, we pick a real-life engineering problem to solve. Are you up for the challenge?

https://goo.gl/WEZMNA

Additional Google projects and resources can be found here:

https://www.google.com/edu/resources/programs/

Happy Hashing!

September 7
Wow, school has started, August is gone, and we're in the swing of things now! Time to get funky!

Let your students get funky by making a photo collage about themselves or just about any topic. Be Funky is great tool for students of all ages. Students can choose how many photos they want to add to their collage, and there are a variety of templates to choose from. They can make certain images-those of more importance to them-larger than others. They can add type, free graphics and geometric shapes (all available on the site). To add their own images, they must have them saved on their computer to upload. 

What is fantastic about this collage maker is that students can save their work straight to their desktops without creating a username or password.

https://www.befunky.com/

Happy Getting Funky!
August 31
Wow, the second week of school-- does it feel like a zoo yet? How about turning your classroom into one? Or at least letting your students explore just about any topic of interest?

This week's W.O.W. comes from one of my favorite bloggers, Larry Ferlazzo, and I'm just as surprised as he was that he had not heard of this great resource yet.

Zooniverse is an amazing site where scholars put up projects that require "people-powered research" - for example, attempting to decode formerly secret Civil War telegrams.

It has many projects in multiple subject areas, along with very cool online tools for students to use when doing the research. The site also has lesson plans for teachers to use when introducing students to the site.

A site like this offers real purposes for student learning. I'm amazed that I hadn't heard of it before today when Stephen F. Knott sent the tweet about the Civil War project. Further exploration led me to all the site's other features.

https://www.zooniverse.org/projects
August 24
Wow, school starts tomorrow! Time for another round of the Website of the Week (W.O.W.)

To start you off, here's a site for educators by educators-- let the four o'clock faculty team work after 4 so you don't have to!

It's described as a place for educators looking to improve learning for themselves and their students with tons of suggestions for ways to improve classroom culture, build relationships, manage homework and assignments, communicate effectively, and even how to be brave!

Writing Paper


http://fouroclockfaculty.com/

Happy New School Year!