Friday, February 21, 2014

SVCUE Teach Through Technology is March 8

March is a month packed with ed tech learning opportunities for teachers.  The one we are most closely involved with is Silicon Valley CUE’s Teach Through Technology training event.  There will be great speakers, fantastic learning opportunities, interesting exhibitors, door prizes, and food.  It will take place at the beautiful Harker School in San Jose, on Saturday, March 8.

Hands-on workshops include YouTube, Teaching & Learning on iPad, Digital Feedback, and Gamification in the Classroom.

Presentation sessions include 1:1 Essentials, Blended Learning, Pinspiration, Google Drive, Screencasting, ELLs & the CCSS, and EdTech Info Security.

We are excited to have a collection of new exhibitors this year, a number who are from the current Imagine K-12 cohort.  Included are EDpuzzle and Geddit, two companies recognized in the January issue of Tech& Learning top 100 sites of 2013. 

Also new is OpenEd, a nationally recognized open source lesson plan site highlighted this week in Edsurge’s newsletter.  Be sure to check out Global Imagination, and their dynamic globes and maps.  You may have seen them recently in the NewYork Times’ Science section. 

And there’s so much more.  Pre-event registration ends 3/1.  If you are in the San Jose area, please don't delay - get more info and sign up here. The price is low, and group rates are available.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Integrating STEM with Physical Education

Clemson University recently published a study that illustrated the growing trend of obesity in American adults over the past 25 years.  As you would suspect the future state of health in this country looks dire.

The study outlined how school schedules cannot provide adequate time for the physical activity necessary to help manage weight in children.  Additionally, it found that children prefer more sedentary activities during their short recess breaks.

The Clemson researchers then suggests that combining science with physical education would address a couple important educational concerns – additional physical activity and applying science to real life situations that students enjoy.

There is a natural relationship between the physical activity, science and math.  The researchers presented a collection of lessons that integrate physical education with those disciplines (elementary lessons).  Check out the presentation! The lessons may spark other ideas for you to implement.

Connect a Million Minds has a phenomenal site that ties math, science, engineering and technology to sports.  Current posts about basketball, football, golf and auto racing link educators and parents to a plethora of lessons, activities and other information.

The site also pulls in well-known athletes, like Magic Johnson (above) and Jeff Gordon, to introduce the units.  I presented this site to physical education teachers earlier this week, and they were very impressed by the lessons, videos and resources.

If you know of other sites that tie physical education to core curriculum areas, please let us know!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

African American History Month Top Resources

Here are some excellent resources to support student learning during National African American History Month, also known as Black History month. These resources support Common Core well, as they are primarily focused on non-fiction reading, comprehension skills, writing, as well as use of video and other media to augment learning.
Image of Sojourner Truth from
Sojourner Truth

PBS Learning Media - based upon the highly acclaimed Finding Your Roots 2012 video series, you will find video clips and  high quality lesson plans provided for grades 7-12. Here's a great example with in-depth plans, media, a culminating project and great detail overall called Free But Not Free, Life of Free Blacks Before the Civil War

Readworks - this is a Common Core aligned series of lessons. The (concise) lessons are built around NON FICTION primary sources, and include all you need for grades K-8. Here's a good one for gr. 5 called Fetching Water. The ones I reviewed all had multiple choice and fill in answers to help students practice comprehension for the short passages read. Could also be used as topic starters to begin a unit, or to augment other classroom lessons underway. has an interesting collection of videos, study guides, photos, and a timeline. For instance, check this one on Booker T. Washington.  Lots of classroom discussion starters on this site.

Of course, a list like this would not be complete without a reference to, and they do not disappoint. See their African American History Month page for a nice array of resources, organized by People & Groups, Themes, and Events. Each topic (e.g. "Emancipation Proclamation") includes a good amount of background information, as well as links to related topics, videos (with some ads) photos, and interactives. A good site to get started with, or understand more details about, an important topic.

The federal government has put together a comprehensive resource site called African American History Month . There are some amazing photos here, and a lot more can be found on this site. There are some comprehensive lesson plans, like this one on Civil Rights, in the For Teachers section. Interestingly, Bloom's Taxonomy is referenced for the resourcess, but I didn't see anything that correlates to Common Core... hmmm..

While I do understand some of the criticisms over defining a month to 'celebrate' a particular race, I also see this as an opportunity to educate students about an important part of our multi-faceted society. I hope you are able to take the time to celebrate the many important contributions of African Americans!

Please let us know what awesome resources YOU use!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Math and Sports - Ready for the Olympics?

The union of math and sports is a natural one - the winner usually has a number attached to it - fastest speed, greater point accumulation, some combination of both (I still have no clue how diving is scored). With the Winter Olympics approaching, we have another opportunity to tie math to what's happening in today's world.  Most of my research, though, found a lot of worksheets and more thematic activities. Then I found the University of Cambridge Math and Sports Millennium Math Project.

This site was originally developed to celebrate the London 2012 Summer Olympics, but still is applicable today.  The activities are designed to develop problem solving and mathematical reasoning skills in students age 5 - 18.  The site is designed to meet Britain's standards, but each level notes age level, which will help you navigate (Key Stage 3 is ages 11 - 14). Each Key Stage has at least a dozen activities all centered around Olympic events.

An example for soccer fans. The team has 10 players in a 4-4-2 formation.  What are other ways to arrange the players in three rows? What if there were four rows?  What about only 9 players (oops, someone got a red card)?  How might the formation change?  What might be unrealistic about the new formations?  This activity is simply meant to bring real life context to the concept of making combinations, but imagine the thinking taking place, and the collaboration opportunities as students work together.

Even though the site was developed off of the British academic framework, the activities clearly tie to the Common Core. Students must make sense of the challenge before them, and devise arguments for the conclusions they draw.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Top 5 Posts on for Jan 2014

Here are the long-awaited TOP FIVE posts for January 2014 from Common Core and Ed Tech!

Four great Math video sites

Three Tools for Students to Show What They Know

A Brief List of iPad Creativity Apps

Chromebooks in Education - Awesome Resources!

Keyboarding tools on the web to support CC stds!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Math Web Resources -Superb Lessons, Plus!

National Library of Virtual Manipulatives
Natl Lib of Virtual Manipulatives
Here's a plethora of math web resources sure to provide some assistance to math teachers trying to get your arms around Common Core, engaging lessons, new ways to teach, better plans, and so on.

The National Library of Virtual Manipulatives - alas, does NOT work on Chromebooks... yet. I am hopeful, as this is an awesome resource.

Improving Math Performance with Inside Math (videos and lessons) - The Noyce Foundation created Inside Mathematics to help educators transform their math practices and to help students better understand the meaning behind the math.

Interactivate- Common Core Aligned Lessons  - Interactivate (part of includes activities (online practice) and lessons (a series of well-defined and understandable chunks that do seem to be a complete lesson). Activities and lessons are based upon Common Core, other state standards and NCTM as well.

Learn Zillion - Common Core Aligned Lessons has a growing compilation of Common Core aligned lesson plans and other resources. It appears the lessons start in volume at 3rd grade and up. 

Opus Math Problem Bank - Teachers can search by grade level and subject area, and Opus will produce a series of problem, with the associated Common Core standard.

Eureka Math - Common Core Math Maps - Eureka Math provides a complete map curriculum for grades PK to 12, including lessons, videos and scaffolding. Created for the teachers in New York, these comprehensive math plans are aligned to the Common Core and can supplement whatever math curriculum your school has currently adopted.

Thinking a little ahead, it's tax time! Tax Time Lessons for Junior High - With tax season upon us, many teachers may be looking for financial literacy lessons for students.  Scholastic, Inc., in collaboration with Intuit and Mint, has posted a collection of junior high lessons in tax basics and financial literacy.  They're cross-curricular, too.

What other sites do you rely on that assist you in developing interesting, relevant math lessons?