My Favorite Inspirational Videos for Students

UPDATE (6/23/15): You can find an updated version of this post with additional video suggestions here.

I thought this might be a good time of year to summarize and emphasize some of the most valuable resources I have reviewed so far.  Today, I am offering a list of my Favorite Inspirational Videos for Students:

#3:  The Power of Words – I also mentioned this in yesterday’s post of Inspirational Videos for Teachers.  It is good for everyone, in my opinion, to be more thoughtful about what we say.  If our communication is not having the effect we desire, we should reconsider the way we are choosing to deliver our message.

#2:  The Kindness Boomerang – I have never done a post on this one.  I read about it recently on Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day, and knew right away that I would like to add it to my blog.  Although it is somewhat simplistic, it does show how our actions can effect many more people than we will ever know.

#1:  Times of India Tree Ad – This is a powerful video that shows how important one person can be in effecting change.  It says a lot – without any words.

Here are links to my original posts on #3 and #1: The Power of Words and Times of India Tree Ad.

Also, you might want to visit my Pinterest board of Inspirational Videos for Students here.

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My Favorite Inspirational Videos for Teachers

UPDATE 6/24/15: I just added three more videos to this list.  You can find the entire list with the updates here.

I thought this might be a good time of year to summarize and emphasize some of the most valuable resources I have reviewed so far.  Today, I am offering a list of my Favorite Inspirational Videos for Teachers:

#3: The Power of Words – This might also be a good video to show your students.  Its poignant message will hopefully help any viewer to think more carefully about how much word choice can impact what is said and written.

#2: Schools Kill Creativity – One of the many videos on TED that are motivational, this talk, given by Sir Ken Robinson, highlights the need for more imagination in our schools.

#1: What Teachers Make – If you are a teacher in need of a pep talk, this video of a speech by Taylor Mali will get you going.  This isn’t one to show your students; it might be one to e-mail to the next adult who criticizes your job.

Here are the links to my original posts on each of these:  The Power of Words, Schools Kill Creativity, and What Teachers Make.

Also, you might want to visit my Pinterest board of Inspirational Videos for Teachers here.

My Favorite Sites for Educational App Reviews

Did a child in your family get an iDevice for Christmas?  Or, are you a teacher who is desperately trying to find appropriate educational apps for the classroom?  It’s difficult to weed through all of the apps listed as “Educational” in the official iTunes App Store, but there are a few other resources you can use.  Here are my top three Favorite Sites for Educational App Reviews:

#3:  Mindleap – this site, though relatively new, allows you to choose a category or specific grade level to search.

#2:  Famigo – specifically designed for the user to find family-oriented apps, and allows you to search in a variety of ways (free or paid, age level, highest rated, most popular, etc…)

#1:  Appitic – this site, produced by Apple Distinguished Educators, allows you to browse for apps by: Preschool, Themes, Multiple Intelligences, Bloom’s Taxonomy, and Tools.  I love that it offers apps based on MI and Bloom’s, encouraging higher order thinking skills.

For my original posts on each of these sites, and some other suggestions not listed here, you can click here and here.

 

My Favorite Strategy/Problem-Solving Apps

I thought this might be a good time of year to summarize and emphasize some of the most valuable resources I have reviewed so far.  Today, I would like to offer my Favorite Strategy/Problem-Solving Apps:

#3:  Solitaire Chess Free – I reviewed this as a tangible game provided by www.mindware.com, but it is available as a free app as well.  This is a great way for children to learn how the chess pieces move, and to train themselves to think ahead.

#2:  Isle of Tune – You can play this for free on the web, or you can download the app for $2.99.  As it is a music app, you might question why I include this app in the Strategy/Problem-Solving category.  But, I think there is a lot of problem-solving involved in trying to figure out how to use the tools to compose your song.

#1 – Bubble Ball – This is the most requested app during Center Time or indoor recess in my classroom.  It is fun to stand near a small group of students who are playing this app as they discuss the strategies for getting the ball to the flag using the different tools provided at each level.  I still can’t believe this app is free, as it has provided endless engagement for my students at every grade level.  Another thing that I like about the app is that every level has several solutions.

Here are my original posts on each of these:  Solitaire Chess, Isle of Tune, and Bubble Ball.

My Favorite Online Math Sites

Many schools are out for the next two weeks, which gives teachers the opportunity to catch up on their personal lives.  Sometimes, though, teachers like to use this time for planning.  As the number of subscribers to this blog climbs, I am aware that many of you may not have had time to read all of the posts, or might have missed some of the earlier suggestions.  So, I thought this might be a good time of year to summarize and emphasize some of the most valuable resources I have reviewed so far.  Today, I would like to offer my Favorite Online Math Sites:

#3 – Math Pickle – This site has great higher order thinking activities for different grade levels.  Videos and printables are provided.

#2 – Thinking Blocks – I really like how the students can use online manipulatives in order to visualize these math problems.  The only disadvantage of this site is the inability to track the progress of students in your class.

#1 – Manga High– I have been phasing this program in with my gifted students in grades 3-5, and they are really excited about it.  This is a relatively new site, which means that there are features being added on a regular basis.  However, it already has the options for assigning lessons to your students and tracking them.  You can view their progress individually or as a class.  You can even print out progress reports for them.  This is all for free, and allows you to offer some differentiation to your students for the times when you cannot work with them individually.

If you are interested in reading my original posts on each of these resources, please click on the following:  Math Pickle, Thinking Blocks, and Manga High.

My Favorite Online Writing Tools

Many schools are out for the next two weeks, which gives teachers the opportunity to catch up on their personal lives.  Sometimes, though, teachers like to use this time for planning.  As the number of subscribers to this blog climbs, I am aware that many of you may not have had time to read all of the posts, or might have missed some of the earlier suggestions.  So, I thought this might be a good time of year to summarize and emphasize some of the most valuable resources I have reviewed so far.  Today, I would like to offer my Favorite Online Writing Tools:

#3 – Writing Prompts – Luke Neff provides this site with wonderful writing prompts usually accompanied by thought-provoking graphics.

#2 – Read Write Think – The student interactives alone on this site make it well worth a visit.  But it is also rich with lesson planning ideas and other resources for teachers and parents.  It’s one of the many sites tied to Thinkfinity, which I featured as one of my favorite teaching tools.

#1 – Storybird – I cannot say enough good things about this site, which allows students to create stories from sets of illustrations provided on the site.  Students can comment on each other’s work, parents can view the stories online or even purchase published products of their children’s masterpieces.  I have had several students who thoroughly dislike writing suddenly plunge themselves into weaving tales on Storybird.  One of them even wrote a thank you note to me for introducing him to the site.  This is, by far, one of my favorite discoveries this year.

If you are interested in reading my original posts on each of these resources, please click on the following:  Writing Prompts, Read Write Think (part of my post on Thinkfinity), and Storybird.

My Favorite Educational Technology Blogs

Many schools are out for the next two weeks, which gives teachers the opportunity to catch up on their personal lives.  Sometimes, though, teachers like to use this time for planning.

In case you have any time over the next couple of weeks to explore some other blogs, these three have been my favorite “go-to” blogs for finding new technology resources for the classroom over the last year:
#3 – iLearn Technology:  this blog by Kelly Tenkely regularly offers new ideas, and each post has a thorough explanation
#2 – Free Tech 4 Teachers: Richard Byrne is the author of this award-winning blog, which often gives several new links a day, and recommends how each tool can be applied in the education classroom
#1 – KB Connected – There are usually at least two or three resources added by Karen Bolotin per day with short descriptions, allowing me to easily scan the page for something new that I think might engage my students.

Great Minds Don't Think Alike!

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