Thursday, March 15, 2018

Are you ready for a challenge?

30 Day Doodle Challenge with Peter Reynolds and The KidLit Show from TheLivBits on Vimeo.

A few weeks ago we had the awesome opportunity to meet Liv as she visited a few of our schools. She inspired so many of our kids with her keynote and classroom visits.

Liv shared this video and has a new challenge for us, a 30 day doodle challenge! Check out the padlet and start wondering, what doodles can you share with the world?

This isn't just for kids, teachers why not add yours too!

Note: Scroll down and check out Liv's post on the Padlet page. She lists a few guidelines to help everyone get started. 

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Something like 30%-40% of any school is hallways. How are you using yours?

Inspiration is everywhere. The other day we were at Ikea learning about their culture and something really caught my eye. What if we used our hallway spaces for something like this? What if we used the walls as places to show learning and inspire others?

Ikea Hallway
  • Ikea is just about seventy years old, seventy! Along one of the employee hallways, there is a very long timeline. Each section is dedicated to one year in the life of the company.

School Hallway
  • What if you created something like this? The topic could be a book. Each chapter or section the kids could create something that represented what they just heard or read. Each day or week the timeline grows. 
  • What if you did this with social studies? A science concept? Ways to solve equations?
  • What if you didn't do any of the work at all? What if the kids created every bit of the display?

Missouri History Museum
Last week we saw almost the same idea in a training room at the Missouri History Museum. The timeline was established and events were added as new things were learned. 

These two ideas could be mashed together to serve any number of curriculum ideas in the classroom and creatively displayed in the halls. 

How might you take this idea and grow it?

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Magic of Edcamp (guest post by Allycia)

EdCamp is always a re-juvenating experience for me because it is rare that I have a full day to talk to adults. I spend my day talking to kids, working with kids and intermittently talking to adults about the current day and situation. EdCamp exposes me to a whole new network of colleagues every year. It is a unique opportunity to talk to people doing amazing things in the classroom that I would otherwise never meet. I am never disappointed by my time at EdCamp, whether I get help to discuss or I am helping a new colleague work through a problem. Last year I met a woman who leads the math department at her school, and we are now close friends that observe classrooms and share ideas of what is working and not working in the classroom for math education.

My time this year I focused on computer science in the general education classroom, mindfulness and math workshop ideas at the middle school level. Below I have left a list of resources for anyone who wants to check them out.

I have already started implementing some ideas in my room, and I am enjoying seeing the changes in my kids.

If you have a passion for education and you want to see some different perspectives, join us for a Connected Learning Experience. You will not regret it!

Missed EdCamp, but interested in networking events with other educators? Upcoming Ed Camp Events-

Sites exploring Computer Science in the classroom:

Tara Brach/Jack Kornfield
Calm - also an app - scroll to the bottom and let them know you are an educator!!!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Adding images to your Google Sites page.

You have this sweet Google Site and you need to add some classroom images to it. This is wicked easy as long as you are using Google Photos.

Check out some of our older Google Photos posts.
     Google Photos - Maybe the best photo app of all
     Making Beautiful Art (Summer 2017 class)

Google Photos - First Step
Start by clicking on the images you want to add to your site.

Once all your images have been selected, click the plus symbol in the upper right.

Click Album.

Either add to an existing album or create a new one.

New Album Creation
Name the album.
Click the check to save.

Second Step - Google Sites
Open your Google Site.
Double click on any blank spot.
Click Image.

Click Your albums at the top.
Select the album of images you want to add.

Choose your images.
Click the blue select button at the bottom of the screen.

The images appear right on your Google Site!

Friday, February 23, 2018

edcampstl - PBL! (guest post by Katie)

The first session I attended at Ed Camp this year about Project Based Learning specifically for gifted students. PBL is a way of teaching where students learn by working on a project over time to investigate and respond to real-life problems.

The person leading the session shared an example where his 5th graders build dog houses for the local shelter that was in need. The students researched how big the dogs were, made a plan, built a paper prototype, made a cardboard revised model and then actually build real dog houses out of wood.

Eventually, our conversation shifted to giving all students PBL options. Here are the tips and resources that I took away.

-Collaborate with librarian and other teachers

-Invite community members in to speak about issues in the community

-Prompt the presenter to ask your kids for help

Look at grade level standards and incorporate as many as possible into projects
Questions to start PBL
  • 50 things that elementary students can make 
  • 50 ways students can do community service 
  • 50 things elementary students should have to do that they shouldn’t/what do we ask students to do that we wouldn’t ask adults to do
  • 50 ways students can demonstrate their learning outside the classroom

Thursday, February 22, 2018

A wealth of knowledge (Guest post by Kaye)

Thoughts about EdCamp STL 2018….

There are times when I attend an EdCamp and come away with an idea that I will implement the minute I get back to school. Sometimes I will start extended research the minute I get home so that I don’t forget what I have learned. This year, however, I didn’t come away with that spark of an idea or wealth of knowledge until I began to dig into this website.

The vision of this website is:
is to make scientific research on learning more accessible to students, teachers, and other educators.
We aim to :
  • Motivate students to study
  • Increase the use of effective study and teaching strategies that are backed by research
  • Decrease negative views of testing

Since testing does not seem to be going away, I thought that these strategies were a breath of “Growth Mindset”. They include visuals and videos that help explain each strategy.


Put away your class materials, and write or sketch everything you know. Be as thorough as possible. Then, check your class materials for accuracy and important points you missed.

This is just one example… The website is full of ideas and examples that will help anyone retain information toward successful learning.

Check it out!

Linking your classroom Facebook page to Twitter.

IF there was only a way that when This happened, Then That would trigger.

That is a pretty terrible sentence, but it was attempting to highlight a pretty sweet tool called IFTTT (if this, then that). IFTTT, saying it sounds like gift. When you do one thing, something else automatically happens.

Getting Started
Log into your classroom facebook page.
Log into your twitter account.
Create an account at IFTTT.

Next Steps
Log into IFTTT.
1. Click search.
2. Search - connect facebook page to twitter.
3. Click the icon you see in this image. You may need to scroll down on the page a bit.

Click Connect.

Select your classroom facebook page.

Scroll down until you see Tweet your Facebook status updates. Click on that.

Toggle this on.

Click Ok.

Authorize Twitter.
Add your credentials.
Click Authorize app.

All set and ready to go.

Pro Tips
Sometimes IFTTT stops working. Make sure you are checking maybe once a week to make sure the tweets are showing.
There are days when your tweets take a little time to show up. Trust the system!

Are you ready for a challenge?

30 Day Doodle Challenge with Peter Reynolds and The KidLit Show from TheLivBits on Vimeo . A few weeks ago we had the awesome opportu...