Archive | May, 2013

Smarter Balanced Practice Test Released

31 May

Click the picture below to visit the practice test site for the Smarter Balanced Assessment.  Available nearly two years before the assessment system is implemented in the 2014-15 school year, the Smarter Balanced Practice Tests allow teachers, students, parents, and other interested parties to experience the features of online testing and gain insight into how Smarter Balanced will assess students’ mastery of the Common Core.

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What do you think?

How does it compare to your current state assessment?

How do you predict your students will do?

Minecraft – Do You Know What It Is?

20 May

20130520-205648.jpgIn order to discover what and how our students think, it is beneficial to look into their interests. Many of our students may spend an inordinate amount of time building various creations on Minecraft. I have just recently begun scratching the surface of this game, and I’ve realized the extent to which this game could be leveraged for educational purposes.

Follow this link to read Ashley MacQuarrie’s brilliant list of ideas in how Minecraft could be, and is in some cases, used in education.


Think You’re a 21st Century Educator?

14 May

Think You're a 21st Century Educator?

This post is from The Committed Sardine Blog via the 21st Century Fluency Project

“Mia MacMeekin has created a wonderful infographic featured below in this Edudemic article by Jeff Dunn. Here are 27 different ways a teacher can develop 21st-century educator skills. Simple but effective is what defines these approaches. Which of these do you use in your classrooms right now, and which ones would you like to try?”

via Edudemic

You can’t swing an iPad in the hallway without hitting someone talking about becoming a 21st century teacher, 21st century student, or something involving the 21st century. While I personally am quite over that term, it fits and makes sense. I guess. (Personally, I think a better term is ‘modern’ teacher or ‘connected’ teacher rather than just stating that someone exists within this century. Kinda vague, no?)

So what does it take to become a 21st century teacher? Quite simply, it’s a little more than integrating the computer lab into the classroom. In fact, classrooms should look nothing like a computer lab that we’ve come to know and instead should resemble a set of grouped students collaborating, learning with each other, and having a ‘guide on the side’ teacher who helps steer the proverbial ship.

Think you got the chops to become a 21st century teacher, a modern teacher, or at least an educator who has a classroom of engaged students? Use this handy chart to find more than two dozen ways to become the teacher you’ve always known you could be. Most of the ways are briefly explained but that’s kinda the beauty of the whole chart. You can take the sentence or two and turn it into a new teaching process that others may not already use. For example, the term ‘collaborate’ (see below) could mean just about anything to a modern teacher. Collaborate via Skype? Collaborate to try out Project-Based Learning? Collaborate to grow your PLN? The sky is the limit! In fact, these days we talk about space so much that the sky is not the limit.

Have I gotten you excited enough to start taking your own great leap into the world of modern education? I hope so. Shoot for the moon, you might hit a star. If not, use this infographic-y visual as a guide to becoming a modern teacher. If you are already one, pass this along to your friends and colleagues to make sure they’re becoming one too.

What ways would you add to this visual? Want a print-friendly PDF? Click here. Also, check out the great blog by Mia MacMeekin who made this chart!

Volunteer Information Survey

10 May

Thank you for volunteering your time!  Once we have an idea of who is available, when, and for what, we will develop a plan and contact you to develop it.

Click this link if you are having a hard time viewing the form in your browser.
Thank You!

What Kind of Teachers Do We Want to Be

10 May

Enjoy this fun (but a little hokey) song from the Teaching Channel.  Two Irish brothers, Owen and Moley O’Suilleabhain, who also happen to be teachers, perform the song.  It celebrates the constant devotion teachers exhibit to educate our children.  Happy Friday!

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May Faculty Meeting Slide Show

9 May

You will have to sign in to your SAU 15 account to view this presentaiton.

Story Corps – Thank a Teacher

8 May

Here’s another: Story Corps is the best.  If you have not spent much time listening on NPR, I highly suggest it.

This one is for you, teachers!

7 May

Being a K-2 school, many of my teachers will appreciate this clip.  This is one of those “think it, don’t say it situations!”  By the way, notice how many students are in this police officer’s kindergarten classroom.

Appreciate Your Teachers!

6 May

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, I thought I’d start the week off by showing a quick video that reminds us of all the reasons teachers are essential in our lives.


Thank you to you all!