Friday, March 18, 2011

Celebration of Teaching and Learning

I had the wonderful opportunity to attend The Celebration of Teaching and Learning in New York City today.  Thank you Discovery and WNET!  The day started off slowly for me.  Frustrations mounted (found out it is a perigee moon out there).  Cell phone never charged last night.  2 brand new pens, straight of the box wouldn’t write. Any wonder I shop at the dollar stores.  Pay full price… doesn’t work… Pay only a dollar… love them!  Tried to take photographs from the event.  Bad lighting for my camera.  Everything came out all shaky. Attended a session that addressed interactivity but presented static black text on a white background research.  Teach what you preach and preach what you teach!
But the day finally picked up speed for me after lunch.  I attended a great session on using visual news articles for education.  Made some great connections on the exhibitor’s floor.  Skype possibilities opened up.  Great tools to bring back to my colleagues.  Then a wonderful panel discussion hosted by a moderator who seemed to make strategic pointed comments that support teachers and challenged the current frictions we experience in the media.
Despite some earlier frustrations the day was a wonderful experience for me.
Here are just some of the tools I walked away with adding to my personal teacher trainer kit:
Today’s Wonderful Resources:
  • Arkive – Archive of conservation for endangered species (videos, photos, and factual information) Copyright cleared for use in educational projects. (Free)
  • Thinkfinity Community – Take thinkfinity resources and pair them with a forum that can be created (for free) to discuss Thinkfinity Lessons and application. We can set up our own group for teachers in our districts
This is a sample of a group created for New York ( But similar forums can be setup for other groups using the free hosted corner on the Thinkfinity Portal.
  • The.News – Online news articles, videos, and transcripts from MacNeil / Lehrer Productions hosted in the cloud. Created for Middle and High School. But as discussed definite application in 5th grade. (Free)

  • Larry Bell’s 12 Powerful Words – Interesting PD concept. Larry Bell identified 12 powerful words that appear in standardized testing questions. If we implement these now in class instruction students will be better prepared for future standardized test reading.

  • Brainpop For Educators – Join with other teachers using Brainpop resources to collaborate and share ideas. Lesson plans, graphic organizers, quizzes, and more. (Free) Each teacher can sign up for their own account.

I hope they will be issuing archives later of some of these sessions.  Today was just fabulous.  Very tired.  Very inspired.  Very excited for tomorrow (The Celebration of Teaching and Learning Day 2) and tomorrow (our near future in education).