Sunday, October 22, 2017

Writing, What IS a Digital Learner and More Trivia! - October 22, 2017


This week, a handful of teachers from the Lower School attended the Innovative Learning Conference - here are some of their takeaways from ONLY the first half of the first day!

Highlight from Scott Murphy:

  • Learning about scientific word inquiry to teach spelling, vocabulary, and language acquisition in general.

Highlight from Kate Shanahan:
  • Making the classroom more of a democratic space where student voices are heard
Highlight from Karin Foss:
  • Learning that visual spacial reasoning is the greatest predictor of success in mathematics. She wants to explore
Highlight from Lisa D:
  • Importance of allowing elementary students to choose their own script/handwriting and learning that Italic Handwriting is more accessible to students with fine motor skills.
  • Reinforced the paired programming that we employ in our computer science (Prestigious universities are changing their introductory computer science courses to include emphasis on general problem solving and collaboration).
Reach out to one of these teachers to get more information!

Also, did you catch the great collaboration between the Middle School English Department, LID and Office of Communications this week on Twitter? The National Day of Writing was Friday, October 20, and teachers and students were submitting their tweets with the hashtag #WhyIWrite (it was trending on Twitter), and Office of Communications pushed the tweets out via the official Twitter account. What a great collaboration!



We talk a lot about flexible classrooms, furniture and its benefits for students, but what are some small steps you can take to ensure your classroom environment is inspiring?

As I was reading through my blogs and tweets over a hot cup of coffee, I ran into this amazing, sharing educator from Malaysia, Vipula Sharma @vipulasharma1 and she had retweeted a lot of great, quick visuals lately as it relates to innovative teaching, learning and environments. This particaulr tweet was from @intSchools What do you think? Is anything missing? Is it realistic?



EXCELLENT work by Anu Datar who won a coffee delivered to her classroom on Monday morning for answering all the trivia questions correctly from our last blog post! Will YOU be the one to respond most quickly and accurately this week???
  • What does the word "modem" abbreviate?
  • Her name was Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman, and she was a journalist for the New York World. In 1889, under the pen name Nellie Bly, she wrote a news article describing the 72 days she spent doing what?
  • The first successful monorail in the U.S. began running in 1961, and still runs today on a daily basis, in which place?

Fun fact: Check out this primary source manual for teachers from The Blackboard in the Primary School: A Manual for Teachers - the blackboard was lauded as the single most innovative piece of classroom apparatus of all time, which it was indeed. Not until very recent history have we even considered that there may be alternatives. We are truly fortunate to live during such an amazing time in education!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

SIS, Create Your Own Adventure and Trivia - October 9, 2017


  • SIS Meetings Underway - check out the blog to see what different user groups are already requesting and putting on their wish lists!

  • US DVD Players - if you didn't already see the email from Lauri on Tuesday, here are the habits she suggested:

  1. Reserve in advance. Email library assistants and me  Tell us if you need Mac- or PC-compatible, which periods and for which days. Note: none of our machines support BlueRay. We will add you to our calendar and ensure that a device is available for you.
  2. Please do not give a device you’ve checked out to another teacher. Please return it to the library. (This preserves its track-downableness.)
  3. Please don’t ask us who has one checked out. We are always happy to do the legwork and run one down on your behalf. (We library folks are big on privacy.)



  • CHECK THIS OUT! Patricia Burrows in Honors 6th English is having her students create their own adventure using GSuite for Education, Appointment Slots and more! Go to this link to see it in action: Choose Your Own Adventure


  • Trivia!* First respondent that gives all correct answers via email gets a coffee or tea on me! 
    • Who gets credited with finding the first computer bug?
    • Who was the first female to receive her PhD in Computer Science?
    • Explain the relationship between Apple Computers and Apple Corps.

* These trivia questions are easily Google-able this week. They won't always be this way. :)