I’m back online here in Texas after our week of crazy weather. It’s 74 degrees Fahrenheit and sunny today – and I’m perfectly happy for it to stay that way!
My latest blog post for NEO was published last Thursday while my fingers were still too cold to type on a keyboard. “6 Ways to Support Spatial Reasoning Skills Online” emphasizes the importance of offering plenty of opportunities to children to learn and develop aptitude in this area. During my 29 years in the classroom I observed that spatial reasoning was often overlooked, but has many extremely practical applications in our everyday lives. I also saw, and was the casualty of, gender discrimination in this area. Though I think physical practice is the best way to sharpen spatial reasoning, I mention many free digital tools that you can use in the article. In addition, I’ve made this Wakelet of over 40 links to games, toys, articles, and websites that support spatial reasoning.
In my latest blog post for NEO, I give ideas for games to play in class that are based on ones found on some of your favorite talk show. The post, “Let’s Talk a Good Game: Mining Talk Shows for Classroom Engagement Ideas,” includes popular examples from daytime and nighttime hosts like Ellen DeGeneres and Jimmy Fallon. There are suggestions for how to tweak them to use with your curriculum, and they can be adapted for virtual or face to face classes. I even included a Google Slides Template for one of the games. This was a super fun post to write (especially as I hunted for video links to use for reference), and I hope that it will help you to generate some unique ways to introduce, review, and assess learning.
I’ve observed a disconnect between the length of time schools and districts are requiring distance learning teachers to be on screen (many expecting it to be the entire school day) and the number of daily hours that parents and teachers believe to be beneficial to virtual learners (definitely not 6-8 hours). In my latest post for the NEO blog, How to Do More With Less Screen Time, I’ve offered some “workarounds” to avoid or combat screen fatigue. I hope that some of the suggestions are helpful.
One of the messages I hope that gets across with my Neo post (and everything I include on my own blog) is that differentiation should be happening for all students, not just the ones who are struggling. With technology, we can help all students to learn more, and teachers can have more time to give children the personal attention they need.
My latest post for the NEO blog is, Applying Universal Design for Learning in Remote Classrooms. I know that many educators are still concerned about what the beginning of the new school year will bring, but this article will give you many helpful tools regardless of your upcoming situation. Universal Design for Learning is all about creating lessons effectively and efficiently for all students. One of the first videos that I watched when I went to Harvard one summer for UDL training is the Todd Rose TED Talk I’ve embedded below. It embodies the philosophy behind UDL – where we stop designing schools for “average,” and begin designing “to the edges.” Take a look at the video, and then hop on over to my article for specific ways to apply UDL to distance learning.
In my third article for the NEO Blog, which was published today, I give a detailed look at how S.T.E.M./S.T.E.A.M. instruction can be accomplished remotely. The article has links to many resources, so you will likely find at least one new helpful tool somewhere in the post. You can read, “How to S.T.E.A.M. Up Distance Learning” here.
Next month’s article will be, “Applying Universal Design for Learning in Remote Classrooms.” As always, I would love reader input on this topic. If you have any resources or examples that would be helpful, please comment on this post!