Favourite Language Arts Links

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

June count down to Summer!

Happy Canada DayHappy Canada Day (Photo credit: Anirudh Koul)As the lazy days of summer draw near our students may be tiring of school, and want to find innovative ways of being outdoors.  To motivate your students to keep schooling here are some exciting themes to explore educationally.

This June we want to honour, and bless our dads with Father's Day, celebrate Johannes Gutenberg's birthday and the amazing invention of the Printing Press, get our students excited about the Summer Olympics happening in London,  and give you some ideas to share in Canada Day

From the weblinking library Natalie and Pippa share some of their finds!

Father's Day.   Share what makes a dad a great and awesome leader in his family!  Bless all our dads and husbands as they serve their families with reverence! 

Johannes Gutenberg and The Printing Press.
Learn more about the life of Johannes Gutenberg with biographical links as well as the history of this amazing invention.

Summer Olympics.  Educational resources to get your students excited about athletics and our great Canadian team's potential in London 2012.

Canada Day.  Fun activities to celebrate Canada Day with your family.

Keep yourself updated with all things techie, biblical and encouraging in our Current awareness from our June Learning Commons Scoopit newsletter!

E Reading!

If you have not explored an e reader from our learning commons why don't you send an email to Shandra Wiebe  requesting to borrow a Kobo or Sony reader for the summer.  Explore the amazing options with e reading.   Check out some of the newest books here.
Enjoy the sunshine and many blessings for a wonderful and relaxing summer!
Your learning commons team!
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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Techie Site of the Week! edshelf

 Look no further! Your educational technology database edshelf is here,  along with reviews to help you make that yay or nay decision.  Search by grade, platform, device, subject or category to find the perfect tools to teach your students, with reviews or video attached.  In beta stage this database is free right now but down the line could have a cost attached.  Teachers can add their own tools and reviews, once they have created an account.  In this way teachers can recommend tools to other teachers, based on teaching application and engagement.  Big high five to this new techie database!

EIGHT reasons why Book clubs meet 21 Century Learning Outcomes!

This last year we have seen a growth in book clubs at HCOS as we connect in cyberspace; on blogs, wikis and virtual worlds to share literacy objectives,  and in the process meet some 21 century learning outcomes.  Here is my plug for how and why book clubs are meeting 21 century educational principles.

Students love connecting in a classroom environment, where they can meet, share and play with literacy concepts, whilst deconstructing novels.  Research shows that collaboration is the ideal way to create connectedness and a sense of belonging.

New research points to effective online teaching being engaging and dynamic.  Creating relationship with students at the forefront of a classroom environment,  whether formal or informal is imperative for students to feel connected, and have a sense of belonging and accountability.

Creating space and giving voice to our students is empowering, Godly and democratic.  Hearing our teens share the personal impact with character, theme or plot is life giving. Spiritual leadership can encourage voice and social justice in the classroom.

Wrestling with worldview is part of the great debate as we come to terms with the message behind the author's worldview?  Secular, Christian, economic, philosophical... too many to mention?  Then of course there is the product of book clubs, or the source?   Creating is the new buzzword in Bloom's Taxonomy!  Writing reviews on blogs, wiki's, google docs, podcasts, or making video trailers, is par for the course.

As teachers we are 'learning' to love the learning outcomes.  Until we wait for the B.C. ministry to catch up with aligning 21 century outcomes to our  outcomes,  here are the Book club outcomes aligned with language arts and applied skills.  It is amazing how many I could find!!!!!

As we move from 'sage on the stage' to 'guide on the side' book club moderators can enhance student engagement by facilitating as opposed to teaching in the flipped classroom.  Read more on the new vision of teacher as professional role model.

I love the idea that classrooms can be flipped.  Book clubs begin with reading a book, discovering the author's background,  coming prepared for the discussion with questions related to theme, worldview, plot, author etc. The flipped classroom approach is in practice in schools in Canada; an example is Quinn Bareth sharing about his new flipped grade 6 classroom.

As our senior students engaged in book clubs many were excited about leading the sessions.   Our moderators welcomed this step, encouraging them to set the stage after role modeling,  and coaching from the sidelines.  In our younger groups students enjoyed leading in prayer, making decisions about books being read, technology, and analytical questions.  One leadership highlight was seeing my grade 7/8 students create their own forums and polls, using Collaborize Classroom to decide on the next month's read/ or questions related to novels.

Do you have a teaching practice that meets 21 century principles? I would love to hear your comments and ideas?

Blessings to you

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Friday, May 11, 2012

May Delights in the Learning Commons!

Hello friends of the learning commons!Garden with some tulips and narcissus(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Welcome to May and all of the exciting outdoor and indoor activities associated with spring!  God has blessed us with mothers who stretch themselves to home school their students, tidy, feed and nurture their families!  So this Mother's Day let's thank,  honour, love and pamper our mums!

Proverbs 14:1 Homes are made by the wisdom of women.

Other themes this month include historical fiction,  Ebook reading and current awareness for April/May in our newsletter via Scoopit with lots of new and exciting web links, techie tools and educational resources!

jkklglh                                   (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Mother's Day activities and encouragement links.  

Books on Mothers day from our campus library!   If the link does not take you there,  enter the keywords and you will find tons of books. 

Historical Fiction in the campus library! These books will support learning outcomes for both language arts and social studies.

These links will support learning outcomes for Humanities approach grade 7-12.

Grade 7 ideas to support Historical fiction or Humanities in the classroom.

Grade 8  ideas

Grade 9 ideas.

Grade 10-12 ideas

A Picture of a eBook Español: Foto de eBook Бе... (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
E Books in your learning commons!
 E books are an amazing way to get your students excited about literacy from their mobile device. Our learning commons now has Kobo and Sony eReaders to take your students on that adventure, as well as a growing E book  library!  Kobo will only read e Books, but the Sony will allow your student to read or listen to audiobooks.  This review by Read, Write Web will influence your thinking if you have not already purchased or borrowed an eBook reader!  Students can access the E Library with their Encom name as their username and their PO number as the pin number.  Parents will have had their username and passwords for their own accounts sent to them via email a while ago.  Please let me know if you do not know your student or parent information and I will be happy to help?  For more information on how to download the apps please refer to the help page on our website. 

Blessings to you for a beautiful sunshiney weekend!
Pippa, Natalie, Shandra and Eirena.
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Monday, May 7, 2012

Google Search Education!

Google Logo officially released on May 2010Google Logo officially released on May 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)This week Google released it's Search Education pages to help students understand how to search Google effectively.  At my recent library workshop I explained how Google Advanced Search has gone all out to try and capture the library market, to make searching more effective and reliable, using refiners, by age, lexile level, copyright, and Boolean logic.  Now Google Search Education does way more!  Literacy lessons help you meet core U.S standards (not Canadian), broken down into levels of ease, including beginner, intermediate and advanced.  Understanding how to pick the right search terms, analysing search search results and refining searches are all part of excellent library training.  Evaluating your credibility of your sources is also covered! 

Teachers try out the Google A Day challenge and get your students excited about using technology in the classroom.   I am going to spend this week exploring the lesson plans and hopefully you will too:)

Check out this video for more information.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Symposium for 21 Century Christian Educators

Asia Pacific Hall - Morris J Wosk Centre For D...
Asia Pacific Hall - Morris J Wosk Centre For Dialogue (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The last few days at the Christian Educators' Symposium held at the beautiful Wosk Centre at SFU were incredible, inspirational and brain boggling times as Christian educators, met from around the world to share their thoughts on education in 2025.  How would Kindergarten students today, be ready for 2025? The Great Commission mandate of this symposium: to ‘make disciples of the nations,’ was the topic on the table.

 As we contemplated and prepared to share our thoughts, I was reminded of what an honor it was to sit at the table with so many illustrious and innovative leaders.  To listen to what others are doing in the way of missions outreach, biblical balance, and technical accolades encouraged us all to engage and share in the cultural changes which are impacting our students.  Steve Harris shared on his innovative school SCIL in Sydney Australia, along with virtual worlds and redefined learning spaces.  Mark Beadle Director of  Sevenstar and Dr Mosbacker shared on some of the latest and greatest tools in education and how we should be thinking about our student's changing needs.  The keynote speaker Dr Van Den Ark had us questioning our roles as online educators, with principles from his book Getting Smart.

But the main intent of the conference was to draw up a manifesto in three years, which will outline the impacts and influences that Christian educators can make in our global environment. Our visionary leader Greg Bitgood shared the process for devising the manifesto over the next year. 

To summarize our thoughts here is the Storify component (shared by Rita on Twitter:) of our last 3 days.  Ahh.. the beauty of Twitter and Storify which captured the heart of the conference, personal networking, and the beauty of social media used to benefit the kingdom of God. Making new friends from far off lands,  and then connecting on Twitter is the BEST.  Thank you God for a wonderful conference and time to share the Lord's working in our schools.

Blessings and inspirations to you as you prepare your youngsters for the future! How do you think education will change by 2025?  What will change and what will stay the same?  Textbooks, paper, writing, teaching?  Have we really emerged from the industrialized version of education yet?

This video was shared at the end of the conference by ACSI NEXUS.  Goosebumps!!
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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

21 Century Teachers

This last week at our CHEC conference I presented a hands on session on tools for the 21 century teacher.  Here is my slide show albeit without the notes.  If you want the notes please email me and I will send them to you.  My slideshow was too large to add to SlideShare.  I have been so inspired to glean information from the amazing educational leaders, who are sharing at the 21 Century Christian Symposium in Vancouver.  You can catch us at #21stedu on Twitter.  I LOVE learning!  Especially when it pertains to teaching from a biblical standpoint.  I hope to share more with you soooooon:)

Here is the link to my powerpoint.

Blessings to you
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