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Celebrating resilience

All educators and policy makers need to watch this TED talk by teacher Clint Smith, a beautiful testament that draws attention to the “false, one-dimensional narratives” so often perpetuated about our students.
“So often we focus so much on the quicksand, that we fail to see what has refused to drown”
“No one can define who we are if WE are the ones holding the dictionary.”

Video

Holiday Haul for the HHS library!

Santa visited the HHS library over break in the form of a friend, librarian, and avid YA enthusiast who donated FIFTEEN boxes of fantastic YA literature! My friend has heard me vent frustration over the years that I don’t really have a library budget (literally, in ten years there has NEVER been a library budget or even a ballpark figure on what funds are available to me on a year-2-year basis. Ordering materials is a shot in the dark, which makes thoughtful planning next to impossible.) So when she was cleaning out her basement library, she decided to share the Reading Wealth!

My students and I can’t thank you enough, Brandi! They will be thrilled to actually get new materials during the school year!

https://www.movenote.com/v/ubgdsjWc_FX8V

I made the above video using the new-to-me tool, MoveNote, in order to advertise to students on the library Facebook page. Give us a like at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Heath-High-School-Library/253490485483

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Best Present Ever? GAFE in August.

Though there are a plethora of individual, interesting, and engaging Web 2.0 tools available to enhance learning, THIS is the suite I crave for our district. My primary goal this summer has been to attempt to convince district officials, through emails, demos, and other means, that it is past time to provide students and staff with at the very least, a domain-based collaboration suite. Add FREE to the mix, and GAFE is a no-brainer! So far there has been no word on whether it will happen. In the meantime, these millions of users can’t be wrong … right?

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Socrative: a simple, yet powerful tool for engagement

This is my first in a series of Must-Have tools teachers should have in their own virtual backpacks when they return to school in August. The tools reviewed here are geared toward those who have traditionally been “tech shy”. They are easy to set up and use, and provide a multitude of advantages for enhancing a learning environment.

First up is Socrative, a Free, easy-to-use student response system that provides numerous options for formative assessment in the classroom. Students can participate using any internet-connected device, and they do not have to register or provide any personal information. Watch the video to learn more!