27 Fun Ways to Celebrate the End of the School Year — from commonsense.org by Erin Wilkey O.

Excerpt:

This year, things are closer to “normal,” but we can still be creative in recognizing and celebrating students’ accomplishments. Use this list of ideas to help you plan some fun end-of-year activities — we’ve included a special section at the end for celebrating the class of 2022. Many of the ideas here play out in the digital world, but we’ve mixed in some offline options as well.

We hope these activities bring you and your students some much-deserved joy as we close out the 2021–2022 school year.

 
 

Best colouring and painting apps for kids — from educatorstechnology.com

Excerpt:

Below is a collection of some of great painting and colouring apps to help your kids unleash their expressive creativity and develop fine motor skills. These apps, mostly colouring games, provide kids access to a wide variety of colouring pages featuring images covering different topics from animals and mandalas to horoscopes and flowers to colour. Using game-based activities and interactive lessons, these apps offer kids a learning friendly space where they can exercise their painting, and drawing skills, improve their hand-eye coordination, and expand their imagination and creativity.

 
 

How to integrate storytelling as design thinking in your classroom — from bookcreator.com by Michael Hernandez

Excerpt:

I’ve been thinking a lot about the need to prepare my students for their future and how I can help develop the skills and mindset they’ll need to solve some pretty big global challenges we now face.

While I see my STEM and science colleagues integrating skills like creativity, problem-solving and ideation, technology use and innovation, I often wondered how I could integrate these skills into my journalism, film and photography classes.

Until I realized that I already do.

Often thought of as either a frivolous hobby during our downtime, or a one-way fire hydrant of information from textbooks in school, working with student storytellers over the past 23 years has illuminated the idea that, if done right, student-made digital stories can be a powerful learning experience and creative problem solving exercise.

 
 

Why Improving Student Learning is So Hard — from opencontent.org by David Wiley

Excerpt:

2. Student behavior will normally change only in response to changes in faculty behavior – specifically, the assignments faculty give and the support faculty provide.

For many students, the things-they-do-to-learn are all located within the relatively small universe of things their faculty assign them to do – read chapters, complete homework assignments, etc. For a variety of reasons, and many of them perfectly good reasons, “students don’t do optional” – they only do what they’re going to be graded on.

Therefore, students will likely engage in more effective learning behaviors ONLY IF their faculty assign them more effective learning activities. Faculty can further increase the likelihood of students engaging in more effective learning activities if they support them appropriately throughout the process.

From DSC:
I can put an “Amen” to the above excerpt. For years I managed a Teaching & Learning Digital Studio. Most of the students didn’t come into the Studio for help, because most of the faculty members assigned the normal kinds of things (papers, quizzes, and such). Had there been more digitally-created means of showing what students knew, there would have been more usage of the T&L Digital Studio. 

Also, if we want to foster more creativity and innovation — as well as give our learners more choice and more control over their learning — we should occasionally get away from the traditional papers.

Another comment here is that it’s hard to change what faculty members do, when Instructional Designers can’t even get in the car to help faculty members navigate. We need more team-based efforts in designing our learning experiences.

 
 
 

Education Needs a Reset. We Can Start by Listening to Our Teachers. — from edsurge.com by Elissa Vanaver

Excerpts:

What too few politicians and parents are talking about, though, is the dire state of the career pipeline for teachers, the ones we’ll be depending on to lead the post-pandemic learning recovery in our classrooms over the next few years—not to mention for the next generation.

Valuing teachers is the systemic path to centering students. In order to move the needle, we must go beyond what teachers need to do to address root causes that require cultural and systemic change. Here are a few things it will take:

  1. Understanding that teaching and learning are inherently relational and the power relationships have on student and teacher success.
  2. Centering the joy of learning and making classrooms a place students and teachers want to be.
  3. Creating an empowered teaching culture to advocate for children and encouraging creativity that optimizes engagement.
  4. Fostering culturally responsive methods through continuous mentoring by exceptional, experienced educators.
  5. Developing partnerships with quality teacher preparation programs for coherent and supportive career pathways.

From DSC:
When I used to work in customer service and also in technical support at Baxter Healthcare, I always thought that management should be listening closely to those employees who were on the front lines — i.e., those of us who were in regular contact with Baxter’s customers. Similarly, the teachers are on the front lines within education. We need to give them a huge say in what happens in the future of the preK-12 learning ecosystems. We also need the students’ voices to be heard big time.

Also popular last month from edsure.com, see:

 

Supporting Young Students as Writers, Before They Can Write — from edutopia.org by Madeleine Rogin
This activity allows young students to see themselves as storytellers and experience the magic when their classmates act out their stories.

…as the goal of these lessons is not to churn out fluent writers in kindergarten but to allow my students to become playwrights, to see themselves as storytellers, and to experience the magical feeling when their ideas come to life.

 

Beautiful!

 

We need to use more tools — that go beyond screen sharing — where we can collaborate regardless of where we’re at. [Christian]

From DSC:
Seeing the functionality in Freehand — it makes me once again think that we need to use more tools where faculty/staff/students can collaborate with each other REGARDLESS of where they’re coming in to partake in a learning experience (i.e., remotely or physically/locally). This is also true for trainers and employees, teachers and students, as well as in virtual tutoring types of situations. We need tools that offer functionalities that go beyond screen sharing in order to collaborate, design, present, discuss, and create things.  (more…)

 

Podcasts For High School Students — from teachthought.com by Dennis Lee,

Categories covered include:

  • Academic Related Podcasts
  • General and Special Interest Podcasts
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Inspirational & Motivational
 
 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian