teacher resources

K-8 Keyboard Curriculum

I get a lot of questions from readers about what tech ed resources I use in my classroom so I’m going to take a few days this summer to review them with you. Some are edited and/or written by members of the Ask a Tech Teacher crew. Others, by tech teachers who work with the same publisher I do. All of them, I’ve found well-suited to the task of scaling and differentiating tech skills for age groups, scaffolding learning year-to-year, taking into account the perspectives and norms of all stakeholders, with appropriate metrics to know learning is organic and granular.

Today: K-8 Keyboard Curriculum

Overview

K-8 Keyboard Curriculum (four options plus one)–teacher handbook, student workbooks, companion videos, and help for homeschoolers

2-Volume Ultimate Guide to Keyboardingkeyboarding

K-5 (237 pages) and Middle School (80 pages), 100 images, 7 assessments

K-5–print/digital; Middle School–digital delivery only

Aligned with Student workbooks and student videos (free with licensed set of student workbooks)

Student workbooks and videos sold separately

__________________________________________________________________________

1-Volume Essential Guide to K-8 Keyboarding

120 pages, dozens of images, 6 assessments

Great value!

Delivered print or digital

Doesn’t include: Student workbooks or videos

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Categories: Keyboarding, teacher resources | Leave a comment

Great Summer Activities for Learning

This summer will be different than other summers. COVID has changed how we address summer PD so I’ve collected the most popular AATT articles on how to spend your education time this summer. Pick the ones that suit your purposes:

 

6 Must-reads for This Summer–2020 edition

Summer for me is nonstop reading — in an easy chair, under a tree, lying on the lawn, petting my dog. Nothing distracts me when I’m in the reading zone. What I do worry about is running out of books so this year, I spent the last few months stalking efriends to find out what they recommend to kickstart the 2020-21 school year. And it paid off. I got a list of books that promise to help teachers do their job better, faster, and more effectively but there are too many. Since I covered a mixture of books in a past article, many on pedagogy, this time, I decided to concentrate on content that could facilely move from my reading chair into the classroom.

I came up with six. See what you think:

10 Books You’ll Want to Read This Summer–2019 edition

Summer is a great time to reset your personal pedagogy to an education-friendly mindset and catch up on what’s been changing in the ed world while you were teaching eight ten hours a day. My Twitter friends, folks like @mrhowardedu and @Coachadamspe, gave me great suggestions on books to read that I want to share with you…

5 Favorite Apps for Summer Learning

Summer has a reputation for being nonstop relaxation, never-ending play, and a time when students stay as far from “learning” as they can get. For educators, those long empty weeks result in a phenomenon known as “Summer Slide” — where students start the next academic year behind where they ended the last.

“…on average, students’ achievement scores declined over summer vacation by one month’s worth of school-year learning…” (Brookings)

This doesn’t have to happen. Think about what students don’t like about school. Often, it revolves around repetitive schedules, assigned grades, and/or being forced to take subjects they don’t enjoy. In summer, we can meet students where they want to learn with topics they like by offering a menu of ungraded activities that are self-paced, exciting, energizing, and nothing like school learning. We talk about life-long learners (see my article on life-long learners). This summer, model it by offering educational activities students will choose over watching TV, playing video games, or whatever else they fall into when there’s nothing to do.

Here are favorites that my students love…

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What You Might Have Missed in March

Here are the most-read posts for the month of March:

  1. Tips to avoid plagiarism
  2. College classes in blended learning
  3. New book from Ask a Tech Teacher: Inquiry and PBL
  4. How to Eteach in a COVID-19 Pandemic
  5. 2020 Edtech trends
  6. Why teach poetry?

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End of Year Maintenance: 11 Ways to Update Your Online Presence

This week, I’ll post my updated suggestions for three holiday activities that will get your computers and technology ready for the blitz of teaching that starts after the New Year. Here’s what you’ll get (the links won’t be active until the post goes live):

  1. 11 Ways to Update Your Online Presence
  2. 16 Ways to Speed Up Your Computer
  3. Backup and Image your computer

For regular readers of Ask a Tech Teacher, these are yearly reminders. For new readers, these are like body armor in the tech battle. They allow you to jubilantly overcome rather than dramatically succumb. Your choice.

Today: 11 Ways to Update Your Online Presence

xx

For most teachers I know, life zooms by, filled with lesson planning, teaching, meeting with grade-level teams, chatting with parents, attending conferences (to stay UTD), and thinking. There are few breaks to update/fix/maintain the tech tools that allow us to pursue our trade.

That includes your online presence and all those personal profiles. But, that must happen or they no longer accomplish what we need. If they aren’t updated, we are left wondering why our blog isn’t getting visitors, why our social media Tweeple don’t generate activity, and why you aren’t being contacted for networking. Here’s a short list of items that won’t take long to accomplish:

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Categories: blogging, Digital Citizenship, teacher resources | Tags: ,

Holiday Gifts for Teachers

Holiday gifts for teachers are a challenge. If your child has many teachers, it’s difficult to find a personalized gift for each that is both affordable and valued. For me, as a teacher, I am always happy with a gift certificate that works anywhere but there are time-proven ways to get more creative than a gift that sounds like “money”.

When I chat with teacher friends, here are the most popular gifts they’ve gotten over the years. Many are free and others allow you to spend only what you can afford while still giving a gift the teacher will love.

Most popular gifts

Let’s start by stipulating that what defines a great teacher gift is subjective. It depends upon the teacher’s subject, how long they’ve taught, their personal style, and so much more. The seven suggestions below provide ample ways to provide a gift your child’s teacher will love regardless of how well you know them.

A Helping Hand

Probably the most popular gift with most teachers is the gift of time. Sure, money is nice but when parents are willing to give of themselves to organize class events, chaperone, help out on lesson plans, or any number of other activities, that’s priceless.  As a tech teacher, my ideal is to have two parents for every K-2 class I teach. That’s a lot of helpers and a huge commitment from parents. I rarely found that many so was thrilled whenever parents offered to assist.

Compliments to the Administration

Happy parents often forget to share their joy with the teachers’ administrators. Too often, Principals hear from parents only when they’re angry about the teacher or some class activity. Providing unsolicited good news about the teacher’s effectiveness is a wonderful treat for both the teacher and the school’s administrators.

A Thank You Letter

Handwrite a note to the teacher telling them how much you and your child appreciate what they do. There’s little more valuable to a teacher than the acknowledgment from stakeholders that what they work on nights and weekends is working.

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Categories: holidays, teacher resources

Did You Miss These in November?

Here are the most-read posts for the month of November:

  1. Subscriber Special: November–Discounts on Select Print Books
  2. What is Actively Learn and Why Should I Try it?
  3. Ward’s Science–So Many STEM Resources
  4. Integrate OUR Curricula into Your Kiddom Digital Platform
  5. 16 Sites, 3 Apps, 7 Projects for Thanksgiving
  6. College Credit Class in Digital Citizenship
  7. PleIQ: the interactive smart toy that fosters multiple intelligences through Augmented Reality

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9 Good Collections of Videos for Education

When I started teaching, videos were a rarity. Common practice was to assign a chapter to read in a textbook and then a worksheet to assess student knowledge. This placed the responsibility for learning on the students, using teacher-prescribed methods, even though decades of research screamed that lots of kids perform better with images than pages filled with black-and-white text. But the excuse I used, as did most of my colleagues, was: It takes too much time to find the right videos to support so many different personal demands.

Back then, that was true. It’s not anymore.

Now there are dozens of online free educational videos that address most every academic topic imaginable. And they’re put out by recognized names in education — Khan Academy, BBC, Microsoft, Teacher Tube, as well as textbook providers like Origo. Here are ten of my favorite virtual places to find clear, effective educational videos that not only support teaching but can be used to enrich lessons for students who want more and/or backfill for those who might need a bit more help:

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Categories: teacher resources, Videos

Tech Ed Resources–Lesson Plans

I get a lot of questions from readers about what tech ed resources I use in my classroom so I’m taking a few days this summer to review them with you. Some are from members of the Ask a Tech Teacher crew. Others, from tech teachers who work with the same publisher I do. All of them, I’ve found well-suited to the task of scaling and differentiating tech skills for age groups, scaffolding learning year-to-year, taking into account the perspectives and norms of all stakeholders, with appropriate metrics to know learning is organic and granular.

Today: Lesson Plans

There are lots of bundles of lesson plans available–by theme, by software, by topic, by standard. Let me review a few:

  • bundles of 5 lesson plans–Themed; great when you want to cover a software program, a tool, a grade, or a standard. Each calls out the higher order thinking skill engaged. Pick the one that fits your need. They’re affordable, focused, and often completed in just a few class sessions.lesson plans
  • bundle of bundles–Buy three bundles of five lessons to cover a wide-range of needs.
  • STEM Lesson Plans
  • Coding Lesson Plans
  • By Grade Level
  • 30 K-5 Common Core-aligned lessons–5 per grade level
  • 110 lesson plans–integrate tech into different grades, subjects, by difficulty level, and call out higher-order thinking skills. These cover everything and are discounted this month. Check them out. They could be exactly what you need.
  • singles–for as low as $.99 each. Genius Hour, Google Apps, Khan Academy, Robotics, STEM, Coding, and more.
  • Holiday projects–16 lesson plans themed to holidays and keep students in the spirit while learning new tools.

Who needs this

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Categories: AATT Materials, classroom management, lesson plans, teacher resources | Tags: ,

20 Back-to-School Articles

On everything from get-to-know-you activities to getting yourself ready:

  1. 11+ Back-to-School Night Tips
  2. 11 Back-to-school Activities for the First Month of School
  3. Great Back to School Classroom Activities
  4. Back to School Bundle of Lesson Plans at a Great Price
  5. Plan a Memorable Back to School Night
  6. New School Year? New Tech? I Got You Covered
  7. 5 Top Ways to Integrate Technology into the New School Year
  8. 5 Ways to Involve Parents in Your Class
  9. 3 Organizational Apps to Start the School Year
  10. 6 Tech Best Practices for New Teachers
  11. How to Prepare Students for PARCC Tests
  12. 8 Tech Tools to Get to Know Your Students for Back to School
  13. 5 Tools To Shake up the New Year
  14. 3 Apps to Help Brainstorm Next Year’s Lessons
  15. What Digital Device Should My School Buy?
  16. 4 Options for a Class Internet Start Page
  17. 5 Ways Teachers Can Stay on Top of Technology
  18. Back to School–Tech Makes it Easy to Stay On Top of Everything
  19. Dear Otto: I need year-long assessments
  20. 5 Tech Ed Tools to Use this Fall

For the entire list, click this Back-to-School category tag.

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What You Might Have Missed in August

Here are the top five posts for the month of August:

  1. Basics of internet safety
  2. Why Kindergartners Must Learn Technology
  3. Classroom tech resources
  4. How Behaviorism can turn your classroom around
  5. eSpark–Self-paced Learning for Math and Reading

Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

Categories: teacher resources, teaching

Tech Ed Resources–Certificate/College Credit Classes and Coaching

I get a lot of questions from readers about what tech ed resources I use in my classroom so I’m going to take a few days this summer to review them with you. Some are edited and/or written by members of the Ask a Tech Teacher crew. Others, by tech teachers who work with the same publisher I do. All of them, I’ve found well-suited to the task of scaling and differentiating tech skills for age groups, scaffolding learning year-to-year, taking into account the perspectives and norms of all stakeholders, with appropriate metrics to know learning is organic and granular.

Today: Classes

Ask a Tech Teacher offers a variety of classes throughout the year. These can be taught individually (through coaching or mentoring), in small groups (of at least five), or as school PD. All are online, hands-on, with an authentic use of tools you’ll want for your classroom. Some are for certificates and others for college credit.


online classesThe Tech-infused Teacher

Certificate

Group enrollment

The 21st Century teacher blends technology with teaching to build a collaborative, differentiated, and shared learning environment. In this course, you will use a suite of digital tools while addressing overarching concepts like digital citizenship, internet search and research, authentic assessment, digital publishing, and immersive keyboarding. You will actively collaborate, share knowledge, provide constructive feedback to classmates, publish digitally, and differentiate for unique needs. Classmates will become the core of your ongoing Personal Learning Network.

Assessment is project-based so be prepared to be fully-involved and an eager risk-taker.

Price includes course registration and all necessary materials.

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Categories: AATT Materials, classroom management, online education, teacher resources, Videos | Tags: ,

What You Might Have Missed in July

Here are the most-read posts for the month of July:

  1. Great App for Future Readers: Word Zoo
  2.  Math Webtools to Support Any Curriculum
  3. How to Help Students Find Their Passion
  4. Wonder Workshop’s Amazing Dash
  5. How Tech Enhances Class Performance
  6. How to Do Student-led Conferences
  7. 5 digital tools to enhance the writing skills of your students
  8. 11+ Back-to-School Night Tips

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What You Might Have Missed in June

Here are the most-read posts for the month of June:

  1. 4 Innovative Ways to Co-Author a Book
  2. What’s Changed in Lesson Planning
  3.  What’s all the buzz about Messenger Kids?
  4. 7 Tech Tools for PE Teachers
  5. Smartphones in the classroom
  6. 11 Bits of Wisdom I Learned From a Computer
  7. Digital Citizenship Curriculum
  8. 10 Books You’ll Want to Read This Summer
  9. Looking for Trusted Advisers? Look No Further
  10. Tech Ed Resources–Mentoring and Online Classes
  11. 5 Favorite Apps for Summer Learning

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Last Chance for this College-credit Class

MTI 558: Teach Writing With Tech

Starts Monday, July 8, 2019! This is the last chance to sign up. Click this link; scroll down to MTI 558 and click for more information and to sign up.


Educators participate in this three-week hands-on quasi-writer’s workshop as they learn to use widely-available digital tools to help their students develop their inner writer. Resources include videos, pedagogic articles, lesson plans, projects, and virtual face-to-face meetings to share in a collaborative environment. Strategies introduced range from conventional tools such as quick writes, online websites, and visual writing to unconventional approaches such as Twitter novels, comics, and Google Earth lit trips. These can be adapted to any writing program be it 6+1 Traits, Common Core, or the basic who-what-when-where-why. By the time educators finish this class, they will be ready to implement many new tools in their classroom.

Assessment is project-based so be prepared to be fully-involved and an eager risk-taker. Student joins a Google Classroom-based class and meets weekly with instructor to discuss class activities and assignments.

What You Get

  • 5 weeks
  • 3 college credits
  • Price includes course registration and all necessary materials.

Course Objectives

At the completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Use technology to drive authentic writing activities and project-based learning.
  • Use traditional and non-traditional technology approaches to build an understanding of good writing and nurture a love of the process.
  • Guide students in selecting writing strategies that differentiate for task, purpose and audience
  • Assess student writing without discouraging creativity via easy-to-use tech tools.
  • Provide students with effective feedback in a collaborative, sharing manner.
  • Be prepared for and enthusiastic about using technology tools in the writing class

Who Needs This

This course is designed for educators who:

  • are looking for new ways to help students unlock their inner writer
  • have tried traditional writing methods and need something else
  • need to differentiate for varied needs of their diverse student group
  • want to—once again—make writing fun for students

What Do You Need to Participate

  • Internet connection
  • Accounts for Canvas (free–you’ll get an invite to respond to)
  • Ready and eager to commit 5-10 hours per week for 5 weeks to learning tech
  • Risk-takers attitude, inquiry-driven mentality, passion to optimize learning and differentiate instruction

NOT Included:

  • Standard software assumed part of a typical ed tech set-up
  • Tech networking advice
  • Assistance setting up hardware, networks, infrastructure, servers, internet, headphones, microphones, phone connections, loading software (i.e., Office).

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Here’s a Preview of July

Here’s a preview of what’s coming up on Ask a Tech Teacher in July:

  • Curriculum-based Assessments–a Powerful Diagnostic Tool
  • Innovative Ways to Co-Author a Book
  • Great New Reading App: Word Zoo
  • Upcoming online college-credit classes
  • Constructivism and How it fits your class
  • Tech Tips You Can Use
  • Wonder Workshop–the Amazing Dash
  • How to Help Students Find Their Passion
  • Assessing Student Work with Student-led Conferences
  • Behaviorism and How it Can Turn Your Classroom Around

Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today and TeachHUB, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

Categories: teacher resources

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