BrainPop Topic List

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Posted by jenmalonetn | Posted in Back to School, Blogs, Educational Resources, Lesson Planning, Personal Learning Networks (PLNs), Promethean Resources, Technology | Posted on August 30, 2009

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Brain Pop Topics List shows up in the Brain Pop blog.  This teacher prints the topics lists and keeps them in her planning book so they are handy when planning as a team or individually.

Go to Freebie Web Site

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Posted by jenmalonetn | Posted in Back to School, Blogs, Educational Resources, Odds and Ends | Posted on August 24, 2009

freebie

 

GotoFreebie.com web site

Welcome to GotoFreebie GotoFreebie.com makes it easy to find and share the hottest freebies, free stuff and free samples. GotoFreebie offers useful and quality free samples and giveaways on everything from baby and healthcare products to games and music. Gotofreebie is updated frequently and daily with the latest freebies handpicked and posted by GotoDaily’s staff and people like you. Join GotoFreebie to discuss and share your favorite freebies.

Planning for Parent Conferences

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Posted by jenmalonetn | Posted in Back to School, Classroom Management, Important Reminders, Lesson Planning, Odds and Ends, Professional Development | Posted on August 24, 2009

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Planning for Parent Conferences

Tips for Parent Conferences

It’s not too soon to begin thinking about our first round of Parent Conferences on October 1.  This article has helpful hints to get you started.

Are You an Extraordinary Teacher?

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Posted by jenmalonetn | Posted in Back to School, Classroom Management, Odds and Ends, Personal Learning Networks (PLNs), Professional Development | Posted on August 24, 2009

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Take the Extraordinary Teacher Test from the Diane Looman.com site. 

Take the quiz or have students complete the quiz as part of your ongoing professional development.  I tried the quiz from an administrative standpoint and found several areas that call for growth on my part.

Easing Back to School Anxiety – for Students and Teachers

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Posted by jenmalonetn | Posted in Back to School, Blogs, Classroom Management, Odds and Ends, Professional Development | Posted on August 17, 2009

5 Ideas to Ease Back to School Anxiety from the School Psychologist blog offers some great ideas for students. 

 

Successful Teaching Blog ideas to reduce teacher anxiety has great advice for educators.  My favorite — Don’t forget lunch!

Tips for Setting Up Your Classroom

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Posted by jenmalonetn | Posted in Back to School, Classroom Management | Posted on August 12, 2009

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Tips for Setting Up Your Classroom

Dozens of Back to School Ideas

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Posted by jenmalonetn | Posted in Back to School, Classroom Management, Lesson Planning, Odds and Ends, Professional Development | Posted on August 11, 2009

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These links from Education World have hundreds of ideas for starting a new school year.

Education World Ice Breakers for a New Year

Fresh Ideas for Opening Days of School

Back to School for Beginning Teachers

Back to School for Administrators

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Posted by jenmalonetn | Posted in Back to School, Odds and Ends, Professional Development | Posted on August 11, 2009

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Back to School for Administrators is an excellent article from Education World on the ins and outs of starting back from an administrator’s point-of-view.

Getting to Know Kindergarten Students

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Posted by jenmalonetn | Posted in Back to School, Early Learning, Educational Resources, Professional Development | Posted on August 8, 2009

kindergarten

Getting to Know Kindergarten Students is an article with strategies for the first week of school.

Back to School Product Reviews from Wired

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Posted by jenmalonetn | Posted in Back to School, Odds and Ends | Posted on August 8, 2009

Back to School Product Reviews from wired has reviews on everything from backpacks to cameras to computers.

Keep Your Students Engaged — Find Your Purple Cow

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Posted by jenmalonetn | Posted in Back to School, Classroom Management, Educational Resources, Professional Development, Promethean Resources, Technology | Posted on August 8, 2009

purplecow

Promethean Planet Find Your Purple Cow Article describes techniques to keep your students engaged with novelty and the unusual!

Smile and Move Video

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Posted by jenmalonetn | Posted in Back to School, Odds and Ends, Professional Development | Posted on August 5, 2009

An inspirational video to begin a new year — Smile and Move Video

Since YouTube is blocked at school you will either have to watch from home or link to the site. 

Best Ice Breakers for Starting a New Year

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Posted by jenmalonetn | Posted in Back to School, Classroom Management, Lesson Planning, Odds and Ends | Posted on August 5, 2009

new year

Best Ice Breakers for Starting a New Year is on the NEA web site and has a list of 10 ice breakers to help you begin the new school year.

How to Succeed in Teaching by Really Trying

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Posted by jenmalonetn | Posted in Back to School, Blogs, Classroom Management, Professional Development | Posted on August 4, 2009

How to Succeed in Teaching by Really Trying from the Principal with Interest blog is an excellent article for any teacher — new or veteran!

Being a Professional Requires More than a Degree article

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Posted by jenmalonetn | Posted in Back to School, Odds and Ends, Professional Development | Posted on August 4, 2009

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Being a Professional Requires More than a Degree is an Education World article that outlines what “being a professional” means.

No Holidays in August — Make One Up

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Posted by jenmalonetn | Posted in Back to School, Educational Resources, Lesson Planning, Odds and Ends, Reading/Language Arts | Posted on August 4, 2009

back to school

No Holidays in August — Make One Up is a great article from Education World that lends itself to all of us starting back to school in the early days of August.

Procedures for Starting the Year

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Posted by jenmalonetn | Posted in Back to School, Blogs, Odds and Ends, Professional Development | Posted on August 4, 2009

Procedures for Starting a Year from Keeping Kids First Blog

Bulletin Board Displays by Subject & Topic

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Posted by jenmalonetn | Posted in Art, Back to School, Classroom Management, Educational Resources, Odds and Ends | Posted on August 2, 2009

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Bulletin Board Displays

10 Ways to Boost eCommunication from eSchool News

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Posted by jenmalonetn | Posted in Back to School, Blogs, Classroom Management, Educational Resources, Odds and Ends, Professional Development, Technology | Posted on July 28, 2009

Ten tips for boosting eCommunication

Tue, Jul 28, 2009    Send  Print  Reprints  RSS

Ten tips for boosting eCommunication

 

Primary Topic Channel:  Multimedia

 

Ten tips for boosting your eCQ.

One of the great things about working in education is the opportunity to start anew every fall. No matter how tough the previous school year was, we get to go back to school with new school supplies, new students, and new hopes.

After a school year marked by massive budget cuts and teacher layoffs, it’s kind of nice to think about something relatively simple and stress-free, like better school communications. So, with hope springing eternally, here are 10 tips for boosting your eCQ (eCommunications Quotient) during the new school year.

1. Start tweeting. Social media is changing the communications landscape in new and sometimes challenging ways. Now’s the time to start experimenting (responsibly, of course) with Twitter, TeacherTube, and other approved–and not-so-approved–social media sites. Eventually, school districts are going to unleash this new medium and find a way to make it educational. Get ahead of the game by learning how to use these sites now. Many leading universities have Facebook pages, and the president of the United States routinely deploys social media to get his message out. It’s time we got on board.

2. Tell stories. Find ways to tell more stories about the people who make your school or district so compelling. School and district web sites are so packed with information and education jargon that the narrative about what is really going on inside classrooms often gets lost. Educators tend to write at a graduate-school level, yet parents and the public often read comfortably at an eighth grade level. A series of photos with captions highlighting a typical student’s day communicates more than text-heavy and often incomprehensible curriculum guides.

3. Add more people. As Rich Bagin, the executive director for the National School Public Relations Association, likes to point out: “When facts and emotion collide, emotions win.” Stories are emotional; facts are not. Find a way to bring more human dimensions and emotion to your electronic communications by posting digitized video interview clips and testimonials, and adding photos. Photos or video of real kids and teachers are more compelling than stock photographs that are used so often on the web that every school web site starts looking the same.

4. Keep it fresh. I hereby empower all school and district web masters to take down any outdated material posted or created by others without asking permission first. Stale, outdated content defeats one of the web’s primary premises: 24-7 access to timely news and information. Let’s not start another school year with outdated phone numbers, deadlines, staff listings, addresses, welcome pages, and policies. Keep it current, or take it off!

5. Survey your audiences. For less than $50 a year, you can use web-enabled software like SurveyMonkey or Zoomerang to create online surveys to gauge whether your messages are connecting as intended with parents, teachers, students, community members, and other key publics. Research will help you focus your communication efforts more strategically and get better results. It’s not enough to count hits. Find out where people are going on your web site and why, and bring the most frequented sections to the forefront.

6. Use new tools in new ways. It’s always tempting to use new tools in old ways. Don’t. Web sites are meant to serve as interactive communication channels, not as static repositories of outdated information. Build in feedback loops such as surveys, eMails, monitored chat rooms, live web chats and webinars, online quizzes, and other tools that engage site visitors.

7. Start blogging, podcasting, and video streaming. If you’re still asking “Should I bother?” or “What good will it do?,” just remember that people once said the same thing about whether school districts should invest in web sites. What was new and novel just a few years ago is standard now. Get started, or get left behind.

8. Free control of web sites from IT. Now, I say this with all love and respect for my colleagues in information technology. But the fact is that the web is a communications, marketing, and public relations tool. Control over strategy, content, navigation, and branding should rest with communications, not IT. What IT brings is the know-how to make the communications ideas happen. Great eCommunication requires great collaboration and cooperation among a wide variety of school and district departments. Get everyone around the table, and start mapping out sites that serve external customers first rather than internal egos and power struggles.
 
9. Improve site navigation. The good news is that school-related web sites have become much more robust in terms of content and services in recent years. The bad news is that too many are far too difficult to navigate. The most common mistake is to fail to distinguish between various levels of content. When everything on the page receives the same graphic treatment, it makes it harder for site visitors to find what they need. At the very least, incorporate a site search engine tool and spend more time plugging metatags into your HTML, so searchers don’t have to know the exact wording to find key content.

10. Learn from the kids. Kids are natives when it comes to technology. Find out what they’re using and why, and then figure out a way to incorporate it into your classrooms and school communications. The next generation of parents is more tech-savvy than ever before. Growing up with instant messaging, they’re going to expect higher levels of responsiveness from school personnel.

In a Million Words or Less

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Posted by jenmalonetn | Posted in Back to School, Educational Resources, Odds and Ends, Professional Development | Posted on July 28, 2009

In a Million Words or Less — Parent Activity to Begin a New Year

Check out this article in Education World for a wonderful beginning of school activity.  Teachers ask parents to write a 1,000,000 word or LESS essay describing their child.  It give the parents a loud, clear voice and allows the teacher personal insight into a child’s life.  You could make this completely optional and stress that writing ability is not the point — the point is learning the most we can about every child in our building. 

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