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More of 2016’s Best Ideas from Teachers

Best Teaching Ideas from PA, NJ and TN

The teachers at The Teacher’s Academy are fortunate to meet hundreds of teachers every week from all over the country.  Our professional development courses emphasize teacher creativity and customized projects so that teachers get a chance to develop something functional. As a result, we are able to see fantastic lesson plans, design projects, video creations, hands-on activities and countless other completed assignments from some extremely talented teachers.  Last month we shared a small sample of these ideas with you.  The response was so overwhelming that we decided to share even more!

Pennsylvania Teachers get Creative with Resume Writing!resume

Writing does not always have to be in the form of an essay or a poem. Some PA teachers found alternative ways to include real-world writing skills in their current curriculum. Drafting a fictional resume has proven to be an engaging activity for students and quite effective in teaching a variety of writing skills, including grammar, spelling and creativity.

Resume Writing Fun!

Procedure:

  1.  Students choose the type of job they would like to have when they grow up.
  2.  Students research the skills and education needed for the job.
  3.  Students create resumes that state their education, experience, skills and interests   to align with the job they have chosen.  

Options for Resume Lesson Plans:

  • Explore the possibilities of different careers.
  • Research jobs within the community and create an actual resume to be used when applying for positions.
  •  Role play an interviewer/job candidate scenario
  • Create beginning-of-the-year resumes for a “getting to know you” activity.
  • Design a resume at the end of the year to highlight  strengths, past experiences, interests, and to help students prepare for future employment.

Not only are resume projects high-interest writing activities, but they also align with Common Core and help prepare students for college and career. CareerKids.com can be a great site to help you get started.  Also, check out our own College and Career Readiness course that highlights this activity and other entrepreneurial activities that teachers can incorporate into their existing curriculum.

New Jersey Teachers Redesign their Classrooms!bean bags

Most teachers strive to create the perfect learning environment for their students.  The layout of the furniture and unique spaces created for learning have a profound effect on the learning process. New Jersey teachers have taken the classroom design idea very seriously and the results are amazing!

Design Ideas for Young Learners!

  • Effectively designed reading nooks, like the ones used in high-tech offices, provide a quiet place for students to zone out with a good book.
  • Modern, sophisticated workstations and time-saving technology centers allow students to flourish in their surroundings and teachers to effectively support diverse learning.
  • Project tables and materials stored in easily accessible shelving keep resources organized and protected for science and math lessons.
  • Design Ideas for Middle / Upper Level Learners!
  • Hands-on project spaces, worktables or even individual student desks can be arranged to promote independence in learning and motivation.
  • Open, comfortable meeting areas and portable laptops allow students to collaborate or work independently.
  • Well-organized, uncluttered classrooms provide students and teachers with a more relaxed, but focused environment.

Customize for your Classroom!

Remember, what works for some teachers may not work for others. Consider your curriculum goals, student population and current classroom set- up. Look for inspiration in high-tech offices as well as your colleagues’ classrooms! New Jersey teachers use a variety of resources to implement change in their classroom.

Here are just a few of them:

Architizer.com, Becuo.com, Pinterest.com, Edutopia.org, K-12 Tech Decisions.com

 

Teachers can earn professional development hours by designing their own classrooms. Inspiring Ideas for the 21st Century Classroom is a course that introduces teachers to different types of educational professionals and learning environments all around the world. After being inspired by a few new ideas, teachers are given resources to design the classroom of their dreams! Check out one of our most popular courses and earn 18 professional development hours for your creative ideas.

Tennessee Teachers Integrate Technology!google drive

The education industry is getting bombarded with all kinds of technology options for the classroom. As a result, choosing the correct technology is one of the more difficult tasks teachers must perform. In Tennessee, teachers are getting smart about finding and using the technology that fits their students’ best interests. Classroom tools and storage options, curriculum-based games and digital resources are what Tennessee teachers are using to enrich their classroom environment.

Techy Tools – Google Drive!

The tool of choice for Tennessee teachers seems to be Google Drive.  This web-based storage program allows users to create, edit and share files from any computer. The files they create can be saved and safely shared among users. There is an unlimited amount of free storage! Here is a snapshot of each program:

  • Google Docs – writing projects
  • Google Slides – presentations
  • Google Sheets – spreadsheets
  •  Google Forms – surveys

Teachers across the country can earn professional development hours while learning to use Google Drive. Just check out our Google Suite of courses: Docs, Sheets, Slides and see if these tools are right for your classroom.

Evaluating online resources:

Google Drive is an indisputably helpful tool.  But, there are lots of other technological resources out there which may be more questionable.  Searching for just the right websites can consume hours of valuable time.  Let the Common Sense Education website help you.  On it, you will find lists of technological resources rated by teachers. It is well-organized and has some great ideas on how to implement technology in the classroom.

The Common Sense Education site has become so useful to us, that we used it to develop our  Web Site Reviews courses. By taking these courses, teachers can earn 3 professional development hours while researching the latest technology resources for their classroom. See! Technology isn’t so scary!

Help us Help you!

The Teacher’s Academy is always looking for creative ideas to develop new courses. Our professional development courses are relevant, affordable and created by teachers like you! Have an idea for a course? Fill out a Contact Form! Or check out our course catalog to find a course that inspires your next great idea!

 

5 Ways Google Apps for Education Increases Productivity in the Classroom

Google Apps for Education (or as the “Tech Teachers” commonly say, GAFE) is used by

over 40 million students and teachers around the world.  GAFE is a service that Google provides as an alternative to traditional office suites.  Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides perform similarly to traditional word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation applications.  However, because GAFE is web based, it offers more flexibility and mobility.  The main difference between Google’s Apps and say, the Microsoft® Office Suite, is the primary focus on peer to peer and teacher to student collaboration. Google’s online platform may seem a little “leaner” than the full Microsoft options (you can’t add reflections, shadows, bevels and several other cool formatting features), but what it lacks in tools, it makes up for in online accessibility. Schools venturing into Flipped Classrooms, Blended Learning and Differentiated Instruction models will love how GAFE projects can be created and accessed from anywhere in the world (that has an Internet connection).

Twenty-first Century Teachers:  Google’s suite is for you!  Before you take the plunge, want to know what other teachers are saying about Google Apps in their classrooms? Read on. Below are five ways you can use GAFE to enhance your teaching tool belt.

  1. Google Classroom- Google Classroom is an app that is free for those with a GAFE account.  It allows students to access assignments and collaborate with their peersand teachers.  For example, if you’re teaching a unit on the water cycle, you may post a video which offers further explanation or an article that might pose a controversial idea about water conservation.  This forum allows students to comment and pose questions to each other. Classroom also helps the teacher generate, administer and even grade tests or other objective- based assignments. (Wait. GAFE can grade tests?) Yes. It can!
  2. Real Time Feedback- One of the many benefits of Google Docs is that it allows more than one user to collaborate on a document at any time.  It can also track whois using the document and identify who is making the changes.  Teachers can use this function to offer feedback in the rough draft phase.  For example, a teacher may instruct a student to “explain this further” or “omit this” by just accessing the document, highlighting information, and making notes in the comment section.  Students don’t need to print their rough drafts, and teachers can simply access the documents from any computer at any time.
  3. Google Play- This online media resource is aimed at providing teachers with arichcatalog of learning content to enhance their lessons.  Teachers can search bycategory, grade level, or recommendations from other educators. Google has partnered with educational outlets such as PBS and NASA to provide educational rich material.  Each piece of content is pre-approved for school-appropriateness, so teachers can present with confidence!
  4. Challenge your Students- We all wish we had extra instructional time to provide more problem-solving opportunities and real-world experiences for students outside of the curriculum.  But between the demands of standardized testing and new Common Core Standards, teachers are left with very little time.  GAFE offers programs such as Made with Code, Doodle 4 Google, and Google Science Fair that students can access in their free time and work on at their own pace to engage in learning they may be passionate about.
  5. Virtual Field Trips with Google Maps– Though not limited to Google for Education subscribers, Google Maps is an often over-looked resource for exploring the Earth.Google Maps allows users to see the “street view” of major historical sites.  Studying the Himalayas?  Google Maps allows users to take an interactive trek through Khumbu, Nepal and even hear folklore and stories from the locals.  Be sure to check out Google’s underwater adventures as well. Google has ventured into the depths of the oceans and started mapping the sea floor. All from the comfort of your laptop!

Still not convinced? Do you want more information on the Google Application Suite? The Teacher’s Academy recently launched the Google Apps Suite courses for professional development. For the most convenient and affordable professional development, you can learn the basics of Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. We have a whole array of technology courses that are ready for your 21st century classroom.

Act 48 Academy / The Teacher’s Academy Recap of PETE & C 2015 Hershey, PA

For those of you who were not lucky enough to attend the Pennsylvania Education, Technology Expo and Conference this year, no worries!  Act 48 Academy spent time learning about new educational technologies, meeting the keynote speakers and gathering some fantastic new ideas from teachers.  Of course, we are happy to share our experiences with you!

Act48/Teachers Academy attends PETE&C 2015Attending PETE & C as a vendor was an incredible experience for Act 48 Academy.  This was the first time we would be able to meet face-to-face with over 1,000 savvy teachers, librarians and technology specialists.  This opportunity allowed us to discuss the needs of 21st century teachers, the direction of education and exactly how technology is being used effectively in the classrooms.   You may be thinking, why would an on-line professional development company get involved with new education technology?  Continue Reading Act 48 Academy / The Teacher’s Academy Recap of PETE & C 2015 Hershey, PA

Google Docs and Google Sheets in Education

Hey Teachers!   Imagine a place on the Internet where you could safely store and share information for free with your coworkers, students or your friends.  This place has programs similar to MS Word, PowerPoint and Excel free of charge!   Even though millions of people have already taken advantage of this great opportunity, there is still plenty of room for you, your school and even your friends, in this place.

Welcome to Google Drive!  This web based storage program allows users to create, edit and share files from any computer, and it is free!  All you need is a Gmail account, which is also free!  Google Drive houses applications (apps) that can be very useful for educators.  Our courses: Google Docs for Educators and Google Sheets for Educators, allow teachers to earn professional development hours while exploring the many uses of these programs.

Continue Reading Google Docs and Google Sheets in Education