Monday, September 14, 2009

Pick One and Give it a Shot

For all those teachers with whom I with on a daily basis, you already know that I am a pain in the butt. This used to bother me. There was a time when I would often reflect and ask myself, "why are you such a pain?" Those days are far behind me. I've not only accepted that I am this way, I've embraced it. In fact, I do believe I am one of the top pain in the butt people in the state of Illinois. If you don't believe me, just ask anyone with the last name of McPherson in Genoa, Macomb or Bloomington, IL. I am sure they would be quick to confirm my lofty status.

I am aware that educators are currently inundated with a ton of stuff. And I am aware that more and more is being asked of teachers. And......teachers don't have enough time to do it all. That is why I am asking teachers to pick one, just one, of the following items and try to implement it somehow over the next several weeks. I know it will be difficult for some, but I wouldn't push so hard for this if I wasn't sure that it would have a positive impact on our students. So....pick one and give it a try. And after that, maybe pick another and give that a try.

  • Google Docs-Create a survey on Google docs and ask students to respond. (Gmail account necessary) Great example. This can be a great time saver as the responses are tallied/graded for you.
  • RSS Feed Reader-Have students set up a feed reader for a particular subject. Utilize this as a research tool.
  • Wiki-Create a class-wide reference list for a topic you are studying through wikispaces (free to educators).
Social Studies:
  • Online Map Puzzles. Great for review of states, capitols and/or countries.
  • An example of Youtube videos describing history. This one is on Railroad history. Also, a great blog.
  • Eyewitness accounts to many events in history. Great resource for kids to supplement texts. Maybe use to compare how history is told by different resources?
  • Learn the Periodic Table through Tetris.
  • In addition to other things, Tutor-USA offers math tutorial videos.
  • Need graph paper? Over 40 examples here.
  • Fun math games at all different levels.
The Red Sox have taken a commanding lead in the wildcard. Still very concerned about their pitching, although Dice-K and Bucholtz have looked great lately. I am confident that Jay Cutler will bounce back and lead the Bears to victory this weekend. (Cutler and I are tight, I follow him on Twitter. Pretty sure we're on a first-name basis.)

Tunes to consider: Tiny Dancer, Elton John. (Great clip from the movie Almost Famous.) Get Back, Beatles and Bird Song, Jerry Garcia Band.

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