assorted color sequins
K-12, Teaching Tools, Websites

March Holidays

With March approaching so, so quickly, I decided to spend some time making my March Wakelet today. It has resources for all kinds of upcoming celebrations, like Mardi Gras/Carnival (March 1, 2022), National Reading Day (March 2, 2022), and more! Pi Day and St. Patrick’s Day already had their own Wakelets, but I linked them in the March collection as well. While I was at it, I was able to add even more (can you believe it?!!!) to the Wordle Variations group when @LeslieFisher shared Star Wars Wordle on Twitter today and some people replying to her linked Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings versions. In the meantime, I’ve been working on polishing up my next online course, Genius Hour: The Quest Begins, which I plan on dropping on March 1st, and refining my upcoming presentation for NEISD Elementary Librarians this Friday on the Visible Thinking Routine, “Main–Side–Hidden.”

So, despite the very strong temptation to snuggle with my canine weighted blanket, Gemma the Giant Great Dane, on this gloomy Wednesday, I feel like I’ve been somewhat productive. Hopefully, some of you will find something that benefits you in what I’ve done!

hello march printed paper on white surface
Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com
Anti-Racism, history, K-12, Motivation, Websites

The Legacy Project

The Legacy Project is a virtual museum from Microsoft that celebrates the Black and African-American people who have made positive contributions to our world historically and through the present. It is an immersive “360 degree” experience with different virtual exhibit halls and multimedia presentations. Here is a brief introductory video:

Of course, I immediately chose to visit the “Young, Gifted, and Black” exhibit because there is nothing that makes me smile more than seeing students who are making a difference.

Sign in Young, Gifted and Black Hall in Microsoft’s Legacy Project

I immediately gravitated toward Bellen Woodard’s portrait. Bellen is titled, “World’s First Crayon Activist” because of the work she did to help people to recognize that “flesh color” is not just one color. You can read more about Bellen and view a video of her explaining how she began her “More Than Peach Project” which includes a book she authored and a new line of crayons that will be for sale later this year.

Bellen Woodard, one of the many inspiring students featured in the Young, Gifted and Black Exhibit

There is a lot more to explore in Microsoft’s virtual museum, and it appears to be an ongoing project. I’ll be adding this to my Anti-Racism Wakelet, where you can now find 70 free resources.

Have a great weekend!

3-12, Games, Math, Websites

A Puzzle A Day

I sing the praises of the Mathigon website quite a bit on this blog, but I know that many of you don’t have the time to dig deep into all that the site has to offer. Here is a really easy way to get started using its Polypad tool, “A Puzzle A Day.” If you happen to have any digital devices with internet access, this would be a good station for your classroom or a fun challenge for early finishers, and the great thing is that you don’t have to do a thing to change the puzzle each day. Players need to place all of the pentomino pieces on the board so the correct date is left visible. It’s good for spatial reasoning (which, as you know, I strongly support) and, of course, students will need to know the date to do it correctly! Here is a link to the instructions, an example, and another puzzle where you can use spinners to randomly generate the date.

You can find more Mathigon Puzzles and Games here, including a digital version of Genius Square, which was one of my Gifts for the Gifted recommendations last year.

I’ll be adding this to my Brainteasers and Puzzles collection. And don’t forget that you can follow all of my collections here.

close up of human hand
Creative Thinking, K-12, Student Products, Websites

An A-Z of Creativity

I know I probably throw around the phrase “treasure trove” quite a bit, but I can’t resist using it for this extraordinary gift that Donna Golightly (@DonnaGolightly1) has painstakingly assembled and shared for all to use. Her Book Creator resource, An A-Z of Creativity is full of free website tools (and one non-web based tool, Toontastic) that can really make creating fun for both teachers and students. I feel like I am pretty knowledgeable about what’s out there, but I definitely found quite a few links that were new to me, and I imagine you will, too. Thanks to Donna for curating these and making them available for everyone! I’ll be adding this to my “Fun Stuff” Wakelet. When I have time. After I experiment with some of the sites…

Anti-Racism, Teaching Tools, Websites

CARE Resource Review Tool

I am absolutely aware that teachers are in survival mode at the moment, and their least precious commodity is time. However, as we all know, there are situations where investing a bit of time at the beginning can result in a much larger return later on — especially when crowdsourcing is involved. If you are feeling a bit helpless when it comes to doing anti-racist work, this is a contribution you can make that will probably take you no more than 15 minutes.

The Care Resource Review Tool is an online tool from the Center for Anti Racist Education. It is meant to be used to analyze educational materials “through an antiracist lens.” After registering (free), reviewers go through a simple process through which they consider a self-selected teaching material based on 5 Principles. After answering 3 questions for each principle, reviewers get an overall score and some recommendation. Below, you can see the one I received after reviewing The Giver, a somewhat tricky book to analyze since its lack of diversity is what makes the fictional community dystopian. The tool is not just for literature, though. It can be used for textbooks, podcasts, non-fiction, or whatever type of resource is being used in the classroom.

CARE is currently gathering information from reviewers, but they intend to make a searchable database once they have gotten enough contributions to make it useful. Once that is up, you will be able to find materials that have already been reviewed and make better decisions about what you should use in your classroom to better serve all students.

I will be adding this post to my Anti-Racism Wakelet, which is a free collection of links to tools and articles about how to be an Anti-Racist educator.

red and orange autumn leaves on the ground and on trees beside body of water
K-12, Teaching Tools, Websites

November Activities For You!

Thank goodness for my blog stats that show me when people are beginning to look for resources for the following month! Otherwise, I probably would be giving you Thanksgiving links the day before the big feast, which would obviously be too late. I know the November Thanksgiving holiday is only in the United States, so I also included a world-wide holiday in this year’s collection — Fibonacci Day, which is on 11/23. Donna Lasher’s excellent holiday page reminded me of that notable event, and I think that this is probably the first year that I’ve ever thought about it in advance. (Thanks, Donna!) She has a great list of fabulous activities for Fibonacci Day here, and I also included it in my Thanksgiving/November Wakelet. For this Wakelet, I used the new column layout, which will hopefully make it easier to find resources.

Now, of course there is another American celebration in the United States in November, Veterans Day on 11/11. Here is my Wakelet for that.

Some holidays during November that are celebrated in many countries are: Dia de Los Muertos, Diwali (November 4th, 2021), and Hanukkah (November 28th, 2021).

I hope to add more to all of these collections, so please let me know if you have a quality free resource/link to contribute! And if you want to see the Wakelet collections that I have so far, you can go here.

dirt road cover by dried leaves
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com