Let the Countdown Begin!

Here's Some Extra Inspiration to Get You Through

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How do you end the year?

Now that we are in the throes of SOL testing, are you able to keep your students (and yourself) engaged? Check out the ideas below and let me know if you would like help implementing a new idea!

Need a little inspiration?

The Final Countdown: A Different ‘End of the Year’ Mentality

Teachers are often more excited about the end of the year than the students. Does the end of the year energize you or leave you unmotivated? In this essay from Chuck Poole, he discusses two ways to end the year on a positive note - like a New Year's Eve countdown or like a countdown for a NASA launch. For each of these he offers suggestions as to how to move yourself into summer in a way that will benefit you in the fall. You can read the full post here. Keep looking forward!

PD in Your PJs


Khan Academy free 60-minute training (chance to win a trip to meet the Khan Academy team)

A message from the Khan Academy team:

We hear you loud and clear. That’s why we developed Khan Academy Teacher Training—a free, 60-minute PD featuring practical advice from real teachers who’ve road tested Khan Academy in their classrooms.

Get hands-on tips from teachers like Heather. In the In-class practice Teacher Training video, she and her colleague Amy explain exactly how they use Khan Academy’s comprehensive content and simple, powerful teacher tools to gain insight into student progress, differentiate instruction, and help every student succeed.

After completing the Khan Academy Teacher Training checklist you will be able to:

-get the most out of Khan Academy for differentiation, in-class practice, homework, review, and test prep;

-quickly and easily find standards-aligned content to support your lessons; and

-earn a certificate of completion for Khan Academy for Teachers 101.

To complete your free, 60-minute Khan Academy Teacher Training, simply log in to your account (use your RPS email) and visit your Coach dashboard.

4 Fake Sites to Teach Students Website Evaluation

We want our students to be good digital citizens. That means that we have to teach them how to critically look at what information they find on the internet. The link here has four websites that you could use to challenge your students to evaluate the content of each site. Are they unbiased? Are they up to date? Be sure to check the comments for more websites, too. Use these to help teach your students that not everything they find on the internet is true.

"Control Alt Achieve" by Eric Curtis is an excellent source for information on incorporating technology into teaching. Definitely bookmark this one!


That Image is Not Yours. Do Not Touch.

How careful are you about the images you use in your classroom? Do you hold your students to a higher standard to give authors credit for images that they find and use? Check out this essay by Alice Keeler. Claiming ignorance will not save you from copyright violations. In this article, Ms. Keeler shows you how to search Google to find images that are labeled for reuse and provides you with some sites that will give you images that follow Creative Commons licensing for reuse.

Click here to go to the Google Digital Citizenship and Safety Course. In this Training Center, you can work through lessons on Digital Citizenship that will help you and your students navigate through our digital world.


What’s new with Kahoot?

Did you know that you can assign Kahoot as homework? Students will need to add the Kahoot app to their mobile device. You share the link with them (this will work great with Google Classroom!) and students can work through your activity. For more information on this feature, click here. Then, you get a report that shows you how everyone has done. For more information on the reports, click here.

Flipgrid -using videos in the classroom

Flipgrid lets you and your students make short videos (no more than 90 seconds) that everyone in the class can see and can be used in a variety of ways. You will need a device with a camera - either a laptop, tablet or smart phone. An account is free. You can make as many grids as you want with that one class. Upgrades cost $.

Loom - screen video recorder

Would you like to be able to make videos for your students where you explain how to do something or complete a task? Perhaps talk students through an assignment, explain how to use certain features of a program, navigate through a website, or provide absent students with directions to complete assignments while they are out. With Loom, you can capture anything happening on your computer screen. Sign up using your Google RPS email. It will install a small circular flower on the top right side of your Chrome tool bar just above your bookmarks. Any time you want to record, just click that icon, and follow the prompts to begin recording. Check out the video for more instructions.


TEDEd brings you all the great content of a TED talk, but in under 10 minutes. Each lesson has a great animation, questions (MC & open ended), additional resources to dig deeper, and a topic for discussion. You can build your own lessons, too. Check it out at ed.ted.com and see for yourself how engaging it is.


Google Cultural Institute

Google Cultural Institute - Art, History, world wonders - something for every subject. Go anywhere in the world or explore thousands of resources such as amazing tours, pictures, videos, maps, and museum exhibits embedded with primary source documents and archival footage.

Explore the locations with the 365 degree visuals and create a collection of favorites to quickly access and share.

Learn how to move through the site and use its features in the tutorial below.


Jump in to Twitter

Heard about Twitter but not convinced how it can help you? Use it to create a PLN of educators from around the world OR as the ultimate PD. You never know what great idea someone is going to post that will inspire you to try something new in your classroom.

Creating an account is easy. Just go to Twitter and sign up. Here are a few good resources for you:

The Beginner's Guide to Twitter - a good introduction to the general terms of Twitter - follow, retweet, hashtags, etc.

Twitter for Teachers - LOTS of links and ideas of how to use it not only for PD, but in your classroom, as well.

Twitter in D123
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Green Screen

If you have access to green bulletin board paper, then you have an instant green screen!!! Check out the video below to see what you and your students can do with green screening. Really the only limitation is your imagination. Read "Green Screen in the Classroom: Five easy steps" for some inspiration.