Venerable Jewish songster Craig Taubman is giving away some more music. You can download his acoustic Shabbat album FREE!
I totally love the Library of Congress! We should – we pay for it… Check out their guide to using Primary Sources. It includes a lovely analysis tool as well.
How would you like Albert Einstein to read to you? REALLY! You can hear Einstein’s 1941 radio address on “The Common Language of Science.”
The Anti-Defamation League just put out an inspirational video “Imagine a World Without Hate.” Do not watch without a box of tissues handy!
Finally, speaking of videos… if you’re looking for a Passover video to liven your holiday preparations, check these out:
The Maccabeats‘ take on Les Mis and Pesach:
Muppets’ Matzah in the House:
And, from Aish – if today’s media told the Passover story:
Chag Pesach Sameach!
PowToon is a great way to create an animation – whether you’re creating one for your class or if you’d like a great web-based tool for your students to create one. Sign up for your free account! Here’s how one teacher used it to introduce a new unit to her class:
I’m a big fan of PBS.org’s website. I especially like their timeline on 200 years of literary history of The American Novel
Isn’t it fascinating how people interact with screens? Think of all the screens we stare at: TV, computer, iPad, iPhone… British artist Robbie Cooper wants to document our faces while immersed in screen interaction. He’s got a new project that he’s trying to get funded (using the awesome crowdfunding resource Kickstarter) called The Immersion Project. It will be easy to participate – agree to have your computer webcam take a photo every couple minutes while you’re playing a game or otherwise entranced by technology. Robbie envisions a website, exhibition, book and documentary on the topic. Can you imagine a display of our students’ faces while they’re engaged in tech?
I know many of you are already using and loving Socrative as a way to have your students electronically answer quizzes. Another resource is InfuseLearning. It’s free and your students can use it with any Internet-connected device. You set up a classroom and your students join – it’s as simple as that! You can run quizzes, have your students complete exit slips, or you can push a web link out to your students’ devices. I love it!
My colleague Carol and Lynn’s discovery projects have sixth graders traveling all over the web to research and present some fascinating information! In particular, some of their students have really fallen in love with Prezi to organize and present their projects. Kids like it cause it’s slick and, since it’s in the cloud, they can work on their presentations at school or at home. I know I’ve mentioned Prezi before, but if you haven’t checked it out in a while, pop over there – they’ve changed the interface quite a bit and made it much easier to use (and now it feels much more like PowerPoint or Keynote, which makes it especially attractive to our students).
Sometimes, especially this time of year, we get so stressed out trying to get so many things accomplished that we forget one of the things we teachers tend to value: creativity. We Are Teachers has a lovely article on 40 ways to integrate creativity into your lessons. Mason jar dioramas – I love it!
Finally…you are aware, aren’t you, that Pesach is just around the corner? Check out a crowdsourced resource on creative seders and other resources that can enrich your Pesach celebration. And feel free to add anything you like to the Google doc!
Check out this Google spreadsheet - lots of apps for Jewish educators. Nicely done!
There are a few good websites to use if you want to create a timeline, but one of the nicest is Preceden. A basic account is free, but you should know that timelines are viewable by the public. Timelines are interactive and can include media.
And now… math in action (literally). Mindshift has a great article about how one fifth grade teacher blended math and dancing to teach about patterns.
Proving that you can find beauty in anything, Professor Gary Greenberg invented high-definition, three-dimensional light microscopes that he uses to take unbelievable photographs of the most mundane of subjects…sand. Viewed – and photographed – through Dr. Greenberg’s invention, sand becomes a real work of art. View his gallery here.
Happy Tu B’shevat! Per the Open Siddur Project, The first ever published seder for Tu Bishvat — Pri Etz Hadar (The Fruit of the Majestic Tree) — can be found in a kabbalistic text, first published as a pamphlet in Venice in 1728. The first three sections have been translated. Go hug a tree!
Mission US, a project supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Endowment of the Humanities, is an immersive multimedia project designed to teach US history. Current missions are focused on the revolutionary war and slavery – more are planned for the coming years. Check it out.
Northern Arizona University has created a nice tool to help teachers figure out how to integrate technology into the curriculum. Start with the level of integration you want to support (entry, adoption, adaptation, infusion or transformation) and click explore the different characteristics available. Sample lessons are available and there are links to common core standards.
Barack Obama’s second inauguration will be Sunday, January 20th. What do you know about all the inaugurations that have taken place throughout US history? The Library of Congress (love that place…) has a nifty website with artifacts from every inauguration in history, including a scan of George Washington’s first inaugural address, pictures from Lincoln’s second inaugural and a photo of the ticket to FDR’s fourth inauguration. Like many of the LOC sites, this one isn’t exactly a stunning interface, but it’s loaded with good stuff (and because it’s the LOC, you can feel free to use any of the images without fear of copyright violation).
Bar mitzvah – keep it or trash it? There was a flurry (and I mean a FLURRY) of posts on the web this week in response to rabbinical student Patrick Aleph’s post at kveller.com. Aleph’s controversial article (Ban the Bar Mitzvah) started quite the discussion. There are over 50 comments on his article on kveller, and numerous bloggers responded as well, including posts at: http://ejewishphilanthropy.com/dont-ban-the-bar-mitzvah-revolutionize-it/, http://ejewishphilanthropy.com/community-counts-the-power-of-becoming-a-bar-or-bat-mitzvah-in-a-communal-setting/, http://thisiswhatarabbilookslike.wordpress.com/2013/01/07/save-the-barbat-mitzvah/, and http://rabbiyair.blogspot.com/2013/01/whither-bar-mitzvah.html. Not only is the question provocative, but the flurry of responses is a really interesting example of how blogging can inspire great conversation. Fascinating!
Here’s an interesting blog post about the things a parent needs to think about when putting a 13-year old on Facebook.
This is so much fun! ReadWriteThink has a trading card maker! Imagine having your students make trading cards for their favorite literary characters (or mathematicians…or biblical characters…).
Next Tuesday, if you’re free between 1:00 and 1:30 pm, check out this free webinar on Common Core standards.
Thought piece of the week: Rabbi David Lehmann, president of Hebrew College, shares his thoughts here about why creativity needs to be a theological goal for Jewish education.
…and finally: How would Rube Goldberg design a machine to light the chanukiah? The folks at the Technion think it would be this way!
Power struggles in the classroom – here’s a thoughtful post on Edutopia about why getting the last work in isn’t always the best policy.
Picmonkey is a nice online resource for editing photos or making collages.
Our school’s Technology Professional Growth cohort had a terrific discussion this week after participants viewed this video. Spend 20 minutes checking it out!
“Wherever you go, there’s always someone Jewish…” (from the song by Larry Milder)… Really? Here’s an interesting article about new maps produced depicting the Jewish population in America. The maps can be downloaded here.
Thinking about creating a classroom newspaper? Here’s a nice blog post about how a third grade teacher used Google Docs to facilitate it.
Ray is a collaborative effort between Qualcomm and Project Ray to create an Android App as part of a trial with Israel’s Central Library for the Blind, Visually Impaired and Handicapped. Read more here.
I’m a huge fan of Will Richardson. He’s written a thought-provoking post for the The New York Times on getting your students to think differently about learning. Would love to hear your responses!
Just how do we SEE light? This YouTube video explains it all… in less than three minutes. This video is created by YouTube user MinutePhysics who has posted over sixty such videos!
If you’re just dragging photos from the Internet you could be guilty of copyright infringement! If you or your students need to add photos to a project, check out this website with more than 250 FREE stock photography sites.
Created by a former Whitney Young High School teacher, noredink is a really interesting concept. Create a free teacher account, create a class, and create a quiz or assignment. Choose the grammar category you want (options currently are commonly confused words, apostrophes, subject/verb agreement, or commas, fragments and run-ons) and noredink will create the quiz or assignment for you. Students log in and take the quiz – and you don’t use any red ink! What’s really cool about noredink is that your students set up profiles and include the things that are important to them – hobbies, TV shows, friends, etc., – and the website creates assignments that relate to them. Once students have completed the assignments, you can log in and manage the class and see where weak areas are. It’s really new, so I’m sure we’ll see some more improvement (and probably a more aggressive pay model) in the future. This one has some real potential!
You might find this article in The Jerusalem Post about Jewish farming interesting. Apparently there’s an educational farm in Maryland that teaches educators how to make pickles with their students. Anyone up for canning?
Quiet time for everyone! Read how one school turned itself around using daily meditation.
If you’ve got an iOS device (like an iPhone, iPad or iPod) or an Android phone, you can now magically transfer photos or contacts using the app Bump. Read more about it here.
Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me Too… Shel Silverstein rocks! Did you know there’s a Shel Silverstein YouTube Channel?
Inspire, improve and innovate – here’s a selection of SlideShares that will get you thinking about what you do and how you do it!
Summer’s coming, and I know my “to read” list is growing and growing. How about you? Is there such a thing as Jewish fiction? Moment Magazine asked a bunch of authors including Geraldine Brooks, A. B. Yehoshua and Shalom Auslander what they thought.