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MinyanLand: A virtual world for economics and finance

What it is: I love virtual worlds that go beyond just play and incorporate learning opportunities.  MinyanLand is a virtual world where students get to play games and make friends while they learn about earning, saving, spending and giving.  Best of all, it is free to use!  Students begin...

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Literature-Map: Help students find new authors to fall in love with

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Anastasis Academy, History, inspiration, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, web tools, Websites | Posted on 05-01-2017

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Literature Map: Help students find new author to fall in love with

What it is: Literature Map is a literature recommendation system. It is really easy to discover a new author. Start by searching for an author you enjoy, and magically a map of names will appear based on what other readers of that author have read. The closer that two writers are on the map, the more likely it is that you will like both of them. Click on any name on the map to travel further and find more recommendations.

Literature Map- find your next favorite author

How to integrate Literature Map into the classroom: It’s a common problem, a student falls in LOVE with an author and devours everything the author has ever written. Then they come to the end of their journey and a sort of sadness hangs over them, there is nothing more. Enter Literature Map. Students can easily enter the name of the beloved author and discover others they are sure to love, leading them down a rabbit trail of reading utopia! Students can discover new voices, genres, and keep the love of reading alive. Literature Map is a great site to bookmark on classroom computers, in the library, or on student devices.

If your students do an author study, this site could be useful for helping them find related authors and then using Wolfram Alpha to compare the authors they find side by side.

Tips: Hat tip to @michellek107 for sharing this with Anastasis staff this week!

Anatomy of a Learner Profile

Posted by admin | Posted in Anastasis Academy, Character Education, Classroom Management, education reform, inspiration, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, professional development, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources | Posted on 10-06-2016

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At Anastasis Academy, we’ve decided that above all else, we will value the identity of all of our students. Because this is a core value, we’ve built it into our school year. Before our first day of school, we hold two days that we call “Learner Profile Days.” Parents sign their child up for a one hour, one-on-one conference between the student and teacher. During this hour, our teacher’s job is to get to know the student. We ask a host of questions that inevitably come with nuance and supporting stories. Then the kids interact with Learning Genome card sets to identify their learning style preferences, their multiple intelligence strengths, and their brain dominance. The result is a Learner Profile.

Learning Genome Card Set

This profile is our starting point for every decision we make. When you begin the year this way, it is impossible to think of students as data points. When you listen to their stories, you learn their feelings, and experiences, and values, and habits of mind, and gain a picture of who they are.

You can do this, you can make the decision to take time out of your first weeks of school and gain a picture of who your students are. What do you value?

The anatomy of a Learner Profile:

 

Anatomy of a Learner Profile

Student Name- In the whole of history, there has never been another one just like them. With this name comes unique gifts, passions, and a vantage point on the world. With this name comes unique genius all their own. The student name is a bold reminder of the identity.

Interests/Passions- This is where we begin to learn about student passions, their likes and dislikes, their hurts, and the things that make them feel alive. In this one-on-one interview, we hear stories, often these questions will lead students down a thought trail that gives us insight.

Learning Style Preference- Learning Style preferences do not indicate that this is the only modality that the student can learn with; however, when we know the preferences that a student has we can make better decisions about introducing new learning. We discover Learning Style Preferences through the Learning Genome Card Set.

Learning Genome Card Set: Learning Styles

Multiple Intelligence Strengths- Howard Garner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences details eight distinct intelligences. All learners have the capacity to learn and understand in a variety of ways, each learner differs in their strengths of these intelligences. Discovering a students unique mixture of strengths allows us to better direct students in learning and curiosity. We discover Multiple Intelligence Strengths through the Learning Genome Card Set.

Learning Genome Card Set: Multiple Intelligence Strengths

Brain Dominance- Learning about a student’s preference in brain dominance allows us to make better decisions about how we design our classroom, how we design learning experiences, and how students will approach learning and assessment. We discover Brain Dominance through the Learning Genome Card Set.

Learning Genome Card Set: Brain Dominance

 Strengths Finder- This is where we gain insight into our students strengths and the way passion can collide with learning experiences. We use Thrively.

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Save the Words

Posted by admin | Posted in Apply, History, Interactive Whiteboard, Knowledge (remember), Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Spelling, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 03-09-2010

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What it is: Save the Words is a site that celebrates words by “saving” words that are becoming forgotten and left behind in the English language.  I learned about the site today from @BookChook on her wonderful literacy blog.  The site has a simple premise, words are displayed graphically, when your roll your mouse over them they call out to you “pick me”, clicking on a word displays the definition, part of speech, and a contextual example of the word.  Signing up on the site allows you to adopt words.  I love the mission of this site, on the f.a.q. page they state that “Words are the cornerstone of language. The more words we have, the richer our vocabulary. Words allow us to communicate precisely.  Without the right word to describe something, well…we’d be speechless.”  So true, words bring so much color to language, it is a shame to use the same words over and over.  I am certainly guilty of this in my overuse of words like fantastic, outstanding, wonderful, amazing, great, nice, fun, etc.  in blog posts.  Surely there are many more appropriate words that describe the tool I am reviewing more precisely, but we become lazy in language and use words that are easy and we don’t have to think about.

How to integrate Save the Words into your curriculum: Save the Words is a site with a beautiful goal, preserving words to keep language rich and powerful.  Most of the words on the site are new to me, but I was surprised at how many of them I could make an educated guess about  meaning based on what I already know about words.  Use Save the Words in your classroom (at any age) to enrich your students vocabulary, help them identify word patterns and meaning clues, and to help them appreciate words.  Choose a word to adopt each day as a class using a class account (adopting a word requires an email address).  Commit to using the word at some point during the day.  My elementary age students loved learning new words, especially words that they found out parents and other teachers didn’t know.  They become the experts.  In my class, I often had a secret word of the day.  I would casually mention what the secret word was at some point in the morning.  Throughout the day if I needed my student’s attention I would ask for the secret word, immediately students were silent with their hands raised to give me the word.  Save the Words would be the perfect place to draw those secret words from.

Students could also keep a journal or word list of all of the words they have adopted, I could see this being especially popular with the Webkins age group.  The words are often difficult, but I don’t think that is any reason to exclude them from the classroom vocabulary!

Today I adopted the word antipelargy: reciprocal or mutual kindness; love and care of children.

Tips: You can sign up for a word of the day delivered directly to your email on Save the Words.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Save the Words in your classroom!