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BBC: Magic Key

What it is: The BBC is a constant source of excellent classroom interactives and games.  Today I ran across Magic Key while working on supplementing MacMillan Mcgraw Hill’s Treasures curriculum for first grade.  Magic Key is based on a cartoon in the UK, even if your students aren’t familiar with the cartoon, they are sure to enjoy the website adventures.  Magic Key has fun literacy games for kindergarten and first grade students.  The games help students practice full stops (sentence endings), sentence order, questions, character characteristics, capital letters, seeing patterns, figuring out new words, descriptions, and words that make sounds.  The games are age appropriate, include fun characters, and help students practice and understand important literacy skills.  In each game, students enter an adventure where the goal is to collect the Magic Key. How to integrate BBC: Magic Key into the classroom: The Magic Key games are short and sweet, they give students the opportunity to practice new skills independently.  I like to use games like these as a center activity.  These types of short games make a great center because they provide students with immediate feedback and are self leveling.  Set Magic Key up on your classroom computers as a literacy center for students to visit independently or in small groups.  Don’t forget that the interactive whiteboard or projector connected computer can also be a center station!  These games are a great alternative to the worksheet (you didn’t really want to grade one of those anyway) and will provide your students with an opportunity to practice what they are learning. Tips: Check out the teacher section of Magic Key for a description of each game, the curriculum tie in, and (I hesitate to mention) worksheets. Please leave a comment and share how you are using BBC: Magic Key in your classroom.

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Free worldwide conference: Reform Symposium (#RSCON)

Posted by admin | Posted in Classroom Management, collaboration, education reform, Grade Level, inspiration, professional development, Reform Symposium Conference, Teacher Resources | Posted on 23-09-2013

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Reform Symposium Free Worldwide Conference

In conjunction with Connected Educator Month, I’m excited to share with you all the 4th (!!!) annual Reform Symposium Conference (RSCON).  In case you aren’t familiar with this OUTSTANDING conference, it is a FREE online three-day event that brings together educators, students and innovators from all over the world.  Mark your calendar right now for October 11th to 13th (2013). 

Full disclosure: I’m one of the organizers for the Reform Symposium Conference.  You might call me the very worst organizer. :)  I have been seriously falling down on the job this time around!  I seem to have overly lofty goals for my weeks.  It looks manageable on the calendar and then kids, parents, school must-solve-problems crowd in.

The Reform Symposium Conference is so dear to me and such a big part of my story in starting my own school.  The conference started the year before I left the classroom and has stretched into me starting my own school.  As a result of this conference, I grew in ways I couldn’t imagine.  I made strong connections in my personal learning network and connected with educators around the world.  What better way to celebrate Connected Educator Month?!

The Reform Symposium Conference is a global community initiative to transform teaching and learning.  This is a highly inclusive and engaging online event that will encourage you toward transformative approaches toward teaching and learning.  To attend this year’s conference and keep up with the latest conference news and updates, please join this network.

Exciting news for this year’s conference: 

  • Sugata Mitra is the opening plenary you guys!!  Sugata is the 2013 TED prize winner and instigator of the Hole-in-the-Wall experiment.  You will not want to miss it!
  • Internationally renowned electric violinist Steve Bingham will conduct a live performance.
  • There will be 10+ international keynotes.
  • 4 Panel discussions that feature distinguished experts in education.
  • More than 100 presentations by educators around the world (something for everyone to learn and grow in their practice!)

If you would like to help out with this awesome event, you can volunteer here.

 

I’m honored to have been a part of this incredible conference since year 1.  I hope that you will join us for an incredible weekend of connection, learning, laughing, inspiration and growth!  Sign up now!

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