Sheila Adams, 7th grade teacher at Rye Junior High School in Rye, New Hampshire, will be celebrating Earth Day in a very unique way. They have been working on a number of things in class, including what ‘gyres’ are which I have been informed are giant masses of garbage made of mainly plastic and caused problems finding the Malaysian plane that disappeared off radar, and will share those things with their community offline and online.
According to Sheila,
My students have been given topics to report, such as fair trade, gyres, history of Earth Day, eating locally, etc. They created essential questions then chose the best tool for presentation. I have some who will do a Prezi, discussion, skit or PowerPoint. It’s been interesting to see what they have come up with. They have also created placemats that I delivered to local restaurants (where 2 of the owners are former students of mine). Feel free to stop by for moment. http://earthbridges.net/live. Kids would love a message in the chat room!
The site they will broadcast from on the internet is http://earthbridges.net/live. There you can view past Earthcast broadcasts of students from different schools around the globe. The schedule for this year can be found here: http://earthbridges.net/Earthcast2014-Schedule.
A VoiceThread was created and the students and participants would love for people to leave a text, audio or voice comment.
Leave a message for the students in the chat room when you stop in to see the students in action! Wonderful learning opportunities for participants of all ages!
Classrooms around the world will be celebrating ‘Earth Day’ in a variety of ways both online and offline. Below are some resources that are part of PBS’ line up of digital media resources from their ‘I <3 Earth from PBS LearningMedia.
The I <3 Earth resources include:
1) The Dirt on Dirt (Sid the Science Kid)
Using this resource group, students learn about what materials make up dirt. Sid and his friends discover that dirt is really important to the Earth because it helps things grow, and it’s also filled with tiny rocks, pieces of leaves, and even living things like bugs and worms! For grades PreK-1
This engaging video collection helps teach elementary students about the art and science of growing food, with an emphasis on biological and environmental concepts. It also addresses topics related to nutrition and economics. For grades 3-5
3) NATURE Collection (WNET)
This collection of science videos and media-enhanced lesson plans draws upon the powerful documentaries of public television’s award-winning natural history series, Nature. Lesson plans incorporate hands-on activities, online resources, and video. For grades 4-12
4) Sink or Swim? (SciGirls)
Plastics are everywhere: from car parts to drinking bottles to sports equipment. Plastics are classified #1 through #7. Students learn that though all plastics with the recycle symbol are recyclable, some recycling centers only accept certain numbers. For grades 5-8
5) Waste Deep (America Revealed)
This video features a landfill in South Jersey and examines the state of food waste in America today. The accompanying lesson plan, “Making Mountains Out of Landfills: Telling a Visual Story of Waste,” prepares students to visually track and document different kinds of trash in their community. For grades 7-13+
From today to May 15th, people can vote for educators in a variety of categories nominated for a Bammy Award. What is a ‘Bammy Award’ you may ask?
The Bammy Awards website describes the awards program as:
Perhaps the greatest threat facing all educators today is the relentless national criticism of America’s public schools. The national narrative that is driving the negative public perception of education is leading to a decrease in public confidence and calls for reduced financial support. Today, educators face intense scrutiny and criticism, while what is right in American education is largely ignored.
The Bammy Awards is a cross-discipline honor that identifies and acknowledges the extraordinary work being done across the entire education field every day– from teachers, principals and superintendents, to school nurses, support staff, advocates, researchers, school custodians, early childhood specialists, education journalists, parents and students. The Bammy Awards were created to help reverse the negative national narrative that dominates the education field.
The Bammy Awards acknowledge that teachers can’t do it alone and don’t do it alone. The Awards aim to recognize the collaborative nature of education, to encourage respect in and across the various domains, to raise the profile and voices of the many undervalued and unrecognized people who are making a difference in the field and to elevate educators, education and the value of life-long learning in the public eye.
Envisioning a world that values education like it values entertainment
The Bammy Awards is a national celebration of the value of education, educators and life-long learning. The honors are presented by the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences International, which includes an eclectic cadre of leading educators, education leaders, education professors, journalists, editors, researchers, commentators, advocates, activists, visionaries and pioneers. The Academy is comprised of a Board of Govenors, a Council of Peers and the executive committee.
This is a fantastic way to give back to the educational community and give recognition to those who work so hard to help students, parents, administrators and other educators in so many different roles whether they work online or offline. I am one of the ones that works online but the time committment and dedication to my profession is the same whether I am teaching 25-30 students in a classroom or facilitating a group of 20 educators in a graduate education course.
“The Bammys do what all of us should: acknowledge teachers and great practice. Awards tell us, the educators, who the leaders are in our profession. They are the signpost that says, “These are the models, and we have much to learn from them.” In addition, these awards say to the public, “There are those in our midst worth appreciating, worth admiring, and worth respecting.” The Bammys so that and more. They acknowledge the difficulty of a challenging profession and those who excel at it, making it their own.”
This month is ‘Mathematics Awareness Month’ and the website http://www.mathaware.org/ has some great ideas to help you celebrate Math Awareness Month with your students. There activities for all ages and videos to show students some really cool math card tricks. The theme this year is “Mathematics, Magic and Mystery”. I highly encourage you to explore the website and plan some really cool things with students. When you do, please take pics and share in the comments section – I would love to celebrate with you and your students!
Join James Patterson and NBA Players Dwayne Wade, LeBron James, Dirk Nowitzki and other players for a webinar emphasizing the importance of reading. James Patterson and Dwayne Wade will host the webinar on Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 1pm EST where the author and NBA players will share how learning to read and being a life long learner and reader has changed their lives. James Patterson is a best-selling author of mystery thrillers for adults but he also has several series for young adult and middle schoolers. Students of all ages will want to participate to see the famous personas represented in the webinar.
To register for this all-star, once in a lifetime event, you can go to: http://www.jamespattersonevents.com/ and sign up. There is no cost to participate and your students will definitely want to watch the NBA players share how reading has helped them and changed their lives personally. Sign up now to reserve your spot!
If you are like me, you like to include cute clip art in blog posts, worksheets, parent letters, workshop handouts, etc. and always on the look out for great, free sites to use. Below are some of my favorite go to sites for stock images or clip art. As with all sites, be sure to check their terms of service in case you have to share a link back to their site Check them and let me know your favorites and what you think of the sites I share below!
FlickrCC (http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/) is a great place to look for photos taken and shared by the community. Creative Commons is divided into several categories about how you can use and share the images at the site.
Pics4Learning (http://pics4learning.com) is another fantastic site for finding photos that are free to use. As with Flickr, you can also contribute to the community and submit your photos for others to use.
Freedigitalphotos (http://freedigitalphotos.net) is a great site to find free stock photos. If you don’t mind downloading a smaller version or with a lower resolution (less pixels/dots per inch – supposedly quality but for my use it is perfectly fine) this is an awesome site to find free stock photos.
Wikimedia Commons (http://commons.wikimedia.org/) is a huge database of all kinds of photos that you can use in a variety of publications. You can also share your photos and upload your images to the wiki as well.
Mycutegraphics.com (http://mycutegraphics.com) is appropriately named! They have some of the cutest clip art images around and it is free for educators to use. There are tons of categories with several images each and all are cute as can be! Be sure to read their terms of service to make sure credit is given back to the site.