Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Brainstorm Plus: Austen's 200th birthday

Bookish Things

Jane Austen fans it is a year to celebrate. Pride and Prejudice turned 200 this week. There are all sorts of Austen events and highlights to be found throughout the coming year. You'll probably see new editions popping up in the bookstores and specials on tv. The Book Riot shares some products both fun and, ok I admit, somewhat ridiculous for the Austen fanatics to aid their bicentennial celebrations.

The Jane Austen Centre has more things for the Austen fan or student from the Jane Austen magazine to collectibles. If you happen to be in Bath, England this coming September you can also participate in their Jane Austen Festival complete with authentic ball...but since school is in session I doubt many of us will make it. Victorian Lit field trip perhaps?

Educational Technology

 logoAre you looking for new ways to present information to your students? Fractus Learning has a great list of 10 Fantastic Educational Podcasts. Topics range from History, to Astronomy, to ESL, Poetry, Chemistry, and Math.

TeachThought recently shared this article on 15 Free Learning Tools You've Probably Never Heard Of. The tools range from online classes to video series on a host of tiopcs. TeachThought also included this nifty graphic to summarize some of them.

Professional Development

Have you heard about PLNs? It is a way to use technology and social media to build yourself professionally. There are so many great educational tools and ideas out there and often the best way to learn about it is through your PLN. TeachThought recently posted this article on 8 Ideas, 10 Guides, and 17 Tools for a Better Professional Larning Network.

All teachers need professional development, and given our limited budgets (or the limited budgets of our schools), FREE professional development is a magical phrase. Teacher Reboot Camp shares a list of 20+ Free Professional Development Opportunities for 2013.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Brainstorm Plus: First edition

Welcome to the brand new Brainstorm Plus!
I find myself scouring the web and coming across all sorts of great resources, but if I tried to share them all with my fellow teachers via email, I would probably find myself blocked, banned, and labelled a menace to society. I've got way more resources than the little ol' Biweekly Brainstorm can handle. So in an effort to satisfy this burning desire to get all of these incredible resources into the hands of my most excellent teacher friends, I've decided to create this blog branch of the Brainstorm. This way those of you just dying to get the latest and greatest from my scavenging forages can check every hour, and those of you who wouldn't mind if a massive EMP wiped out most electronic devices can visit on those rare flood days when you've run out of things to do and prefer some web surfing to braving the actual surf of who knows what floating around your front door. Most posts here will be divided into one of four categories: Educational Technology News & Tools, Education-related Articles, Professional Development Resources, and Book Tidbits.

Book Tidbits

Want to learn more about Ivan?
Click on the book.
The Newbery, Caldecott, Printz and various other 2013 book awards were announced this week. Check out the winners here if you haven't already. You can read the SLJ reviews of the award winners here. I'm quite happy to say I bought a copy of The One and Only Ivan for our school library on Monday before I even found out it had won. (Actually, with the time difference, I don't think it even the winners themselves knew yet.) I've added the Printz award winner, In Darkness, to my to read list, and of course, I'll have to peak at This Is Not My Hat sometime even though I don't get to purchase the picture books for the school.

Educational Articles
Can failure be a good thing?
I came across this interesting article on how sheltering children from making mistakes can actually hurt them in the long run. This was published in The Atlantic. Click here for the article.

Have you ever felt the need to stand on your head to get the class' attention?
How do you keep students engaged? Check out the musings and ideas in this blog: "Everything I know about engagement I learned in Kindergarten."