Check out Science Friday

ATTENTION ALL SCIENCE TEACHERS

 

Have you heard about the program Science Friday? Did you know their website provides science teachers with an abundance of information and ideas? (http://www.sciencefriday.com/educator).

I had an opportunity to listen to some of the collaborators for this program on the SC NPR radio program. It was exciting to listen to teachers discuss how they are using hands-on STEM activities to enhance their classrooms.

One of the activities on the website is Illustrated Graphs: Using Art To Enliven Scientific Data by Ryan Becker. Another is Hydrophobicity: Will the Drop Stop or Roll by Beth Topinka. There is a myriad of material for Earth Science, Physics, Chemistry, Biology classes and more. You can check out who the collaborators are at http://www.sciencefriday.com/educational-resources/science-fridays-educator-collaborative.

In November, Science Friday will be accepting applications for teachers to become part of the collaborative team. If you are interested in sharing your expertise and would like to apply to become a collaborator, check out the following link http://www.sciencefriday.com/educator-collaborators.

Blended Learning

Blended learning and Flipped classroom are two methods of teaching that many teachers and school districts have embraced. As a former math teacher, I was not ready to jump on the bandwagon when it was first introduced in my school district. I was working as a school counselor and was not convinced that this new method would work for all students, especially students who needed extra help understanding concepts.

I was totally surprised when I watched Alissa Mansolillo instruct students using the blended learning model. One of the first lessons I had the opportunity to sit in on provided instruction to students on how to combine like terms. Students were assigned a video to watch for homework. Ms. Mansolillo encouraged students to have their notebooks open while watching the video to take notes and/or write down any questions they might have while watching the video. In addition, parents/guardians are able to watch the video with their children and offer support as necessary.

When students came to class the following day, Ms. Mansolillo reviewed the video and students then worked in small groups on sample problems. Ms. Mansolillo was able to spend time with students and clarify any questions they had. When I watched this process from start to finish, I realized that fewer students were frustrated with completing the task at hand. Most students, though not all, found it easier to understand the math concept.

By using this method as part of her repertoire, Ms. Mansolillo was able to deliver the curriculum through a myriad of platforms. It is truly a student-driven model. Ms. Mansolillo is part of the teaching staff at the Academic Success Academy in Wakefield, RI.

Click on the link to watch Ms. Masolillo's lesson on Combining Like Terms (Unit 1.1 Lesson 3)

Kahoot!

Are you looking for a different way to get your students engaged in the classroom? Are you willing to try incorporating something fun into your lesson? If the answer to these two questions is yes, then you should check out Kahoot (https://getkahoot.com/) if you have not already checked it out. It is a free learning platform, which you can incorporate in most, if not all, classroom settings.

Kahoot allows the teacher to create something similar to Jeopardy and all of your students have an opportunity to enter a response. The questions can be displayed on an overhead, white board, etc. As students respond, the number of responses for each answer are displayed.

Teachers can use Kahoot to introduce new topics, review for a quiz, discussions, etc. To learn more about this instructional method please visit https://getkahoot.com/.  There are many examples on the Internet of how to use Kahoot. I have selected two examples and listed them below.

A video on understanding Kahoot created by Dan Gibson:

A  video on a Kahoot regarding Hamlet created by Heather Berger:

Welcome to School Counselor Online

This website has been five years in the planning. In my position as a school counselor, I was constantly trying to add more time to the day to ensure I reached all of my students. The reality is there are not enough hours in the day to provide students with as much one-on-one time as they might need. I began to utilize email, Google Docs and other forms of technology to communicate with my students on a variety of topics including college essays, completing the common application, scholarships, etc. This site will provide students with information on many topics.

In addition, I have incorporated a section for parents and one for teachers. The parent portal will provide parents with information to help their children reach their academic success. The portal for teachers is designed to highlight the outstanding accomplishments so many teachers are creating for students across the country.

Finally, the blog section will showcase students who graduated in 2015. Some are enrolled in their first year of college while others chose to take a gap year.

Welcome and I look forward to hearing from you.