It seems I am always talking about edTech. Technology and learning was my undergraduate research project, and my minor in grad school; I can’t seem to stop talking about it. My latest article for the Yellin Center is no different. I took some time to brag about some of my favourite edTech companies changing the face of k12 education. They all just happen to me found in my own back yard. If you are a teacher ramping up for the new school year be sure to check out these awesome tools, or if you are a parent looking to help your child skill build in key areas these tools could make all the difference. Happy learning! Continue reading “5 NYC Ed Tech Companies Changing the Face of k12 Education”
Life has been busy. So I apologize for the lull of posts as of late. There are a whole bunch of new projects and opportunities on the horizon that have been occupying my time in a very, very good way. However, I had a few moments to to pen a continuation to my Maker Movement articles for the Yellin Center. I hope you enjoy learning a little more about Design Thinking and how it can impact and enrich the learning process. Happy Making! Continue reading “Maker Movement Con’t: Design Thinking in Schools”
This week I collaborated with the awesome educator behind Poet Prints, Rachel Poetker. She is an awesome, talented, and passionate Canadian elementary school teacher who, like me, loves to share her learning strategies and resources with the greater education world. You can find all her amazing curricular designs on her TeacherspayTeachers store.
As you all know I love collaborating with other bloggers -whether it is swapping resources or contributing posts I always learn something new. This week I shared some of my favourite literacy tools for an inclusive classroom with the readers of Poet Prints. Head over to her blog to check it out and be sure to poke around a bit. She has a lot of great things to share!
I have another article out for the Yellin Center. This time I dig into how to use infographics in the classroom to differentiate your instruction and meet the core mandates of Universal Design for Learning. Below you will find my article where I discuss a few excellent, easy to use resources for making infographics. Happy Learning! Continue reading “Using Infographics in the Classroom to Differentiate Instruction”
As a classroom teacher I fully believed in crafting high quality, experiential learning experiences for my students. I tried my best regardless of the curricular area to get my students outside the four walls of my classroom and exploring their environment. Furthermore, I truly believe in authentic learning experiences where a teacher helps the students connect their textbook learning to its real world applications. It was this ideology that help inspire me to create, Shape Hunt, an interactive math game that gets students out of their seats and hunting for math concepts in their everyday lives.
As you will remember, showcased some other math games from my geometry unit such, Quadrilateral Find Five. and Shape Bingo. I have also shared some of my favourite math apps for building spatial reasoning. Shape Hunt is yet another activity in that same geometry unit on shape identification. In this activity I also review skills from my measurement unit by having students practice finding the area and perimeter of each shape. Therefore, it is a multifaceted activity that infuses geometry, measurement and calculation into one lesson. I have adapted this game for different grades by choosing age-appropriate shapes for my students to find. For example, for the younger grades you could ask them to hunt squares, triangles, circles and rectangles.
Shape Hunt requires students to search their surroundings to locate different and identify shapes, then measure and calculate the area and perimeter. I often assigned this activity in pairs to encourage mathematical talk. If it is a nice day I would take the kids outside to the playground to hunt for shapes. This activity is a break from math drills and work sheets, and allows students to get hands on and engage with the geometric concepts.
A PDF of this game can be downloaded for free at on my Teachers pay Teachers store 🙂 Continue reading “Shape Hunt Math Game and Lesson Plan”
My latest article for the Yellin Center is out. This time I explore NeuroTribes by Steve Silberman which received the Samuel Johnson Prize. Below you will find a copy of my article. Continue reading “Book on Autism wins the Samuel Johnson Prize”
As you may remember we have a bunch of different games and activities for geometry. Shape identification is an important skill acquired in the lower elementary grades. So today’s Freebie Friday is Shape Bingo, which provides a fun, engaging, play-based method to have students practice both the construction of shapes as well as the identification. This activity can be played using two or three dimensional shapes. I have also used it as part of a unit on differentiating quadrilaterals. It is a game that is easily modified to suit a teacher curricular needs, and as such I have found it to be an excellent substitute teacher activity or even a home learning game.
In the classroom, I have used Shape Bingo across the grades by modifying the shapes I ask my students to fill their bingo. For example, for the younger grades will choose squares, triangles, diamonds, squares and rectangles. Furthermore, for primary students I will often model the shapes by drawing each on the board and labeling them and allowing the students to copy them directly. Whereas, for the intermediate and upper grades I will often write only the word on the board (e.g. cube, sphere, cone etc.) and ask my students to draw the shape independently.
In my experience this activity provides excellent repetitive practice in drawing the different shapes. As such, I often will collect the game boards after the activity as a formative assessment measure to see how efficiently my students can compose the different shapes. Continue reading “Freebie Friday: Shape Bingo”
Funny anecdote, when I moved to New York from Canada I thought that overnight I had lost my ability to spell. When I began working as a Learning Specialist here in Manhattan, every report and learning document I created came back hacked up from the editors. I was initially perplexed but began to investigate the differences between American and British spellings. It turns out I can spell, I just wasn’t versed in American Standard English. Therein lies the tricky thing about mastering the English language, not only is it not phonetic, but there are also multiple ways to spell certain words.
You can add the ‘e” in likeable in Canada or the UK, but in America they really would rather you left it likable. You can double consonants in travelled, modelling or counsellor, but on US soil they prefer you if you traveled or took up modeling. If you wish you can accessorize your outfit in L.A. but in Toronto you accessorise. You can head to the London theatre but you will go to a theater in Manhattan. Don’t even get me started on adding or omitting “u” in everything from favourite or colour. Mastering these nuances can be a challenge for any young (or old in my case) learner. Luckily we have some fun ways to learn to spell and build that understanding of English orthographic mechanics. Below you will find my latest article for the Yellin Center Blog.
My latest post is inspired by a dear friend who is an even greater teacher than she is friend (and that is saying something). This isn’t the first time she has inspired me to write, but over the summer, Linh and I began talking about our professional goals as we headed toward the new school year. Hers was to create a paperless classroom leaving me in awe of her passion to tackle just a big feat. If any teacher can do away with pencil and paper Linh surely can. After a little research I discovered there are a variety of tools to ensure her success. You can head over to my article at the Yellin Center for Mind, Brain and Education, or find a copy of it below. Enjoy and good luck to all you tech-saavy educators out there making a difference in children’s lives and diminishing your environmental impact. Keep doing you! Continue reading “Tools for a Paperless Classroom”
Well the start of school is upon us, and your social media accounts are undoubtedly being flooded with adorable, toothless back to school photos from all the proud mamas and papas out there. Teachers, however, are also gearing up to kick off the new school year. This week they will be meeting the newest heard of young people entrusted to their care. As such, I put together a great list of some of my favourite digital tools out there that make a teacher’s life a touch easier. You can head over to my article posted at the Yellin Center for Mind, Brain and Education where you will find my write up accompanied by videos on each of the apps. Below you will also find a copy of my commentary on the merits of each tool. Happy back to school, and an even happier school-year!