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Part 2: Computational Thinking: Over 50 Resources To Teach CT Across the Entire Curriculum

Welcome to Part Two on this series based on Computation Thinking. This second post will provide a goldmine of resources to get you started with your students. In the prior post I provided 10 ideas to promote Computational Thinking across the curriculum. You will not want to miss it!  Also, please take a moment to subscribe to this blog by RSS or email and  join me on twitter at mjgormans . I have some great posts coming your way involving PBL, STEM, tech integration, and a continuing series on Professional Learning Communities!  Most of all, thanks for being one of those over 30,000 visitors a month and over 14,000 subscribers. Also, remember that I can come to your conference or school district and provide engaging authentic, practical, and purposeful professional development . Please note I will be at BLC19 in Boston (July) presenting workshops and sessions to support educators and students. See booking info and please contact me anytime at (mjgormans@gmail.com). Thanks so much.  Michael Gorman (21centuryedtech).

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Part 2: Computational Thinking: A Goldmine of Resources – Michael Gorman

The goal of computational thinking is really about getting students to use computer type thinking to solve real world problems. So often we are the users of algorithms, but rarely are we creating them. Facilitating this skill for our students will allow them to innovate,  understand, and find purpose. Most of all they will be equipped to fast a world which is constantly changing.  It is from the book The power of Computational Thinking by Paul Curzon and Peter W McOwan we find the following quote:

“The beauty of Algorithms is that steps can be followed without those involved having any idea of what they are doing and why”

I can personally relate with this quote. I found myself many times in school following algorithms of which I had no idea for their meaning. I did pass the ACT because I had answers for which I had no understanding of. We as educators must go that next step, providing students a way to problem solve and come up with algorithms that provide the solutions.

For this reason I provide to you some resources I hope you will find valuable. Keep in mind that Computational Thinking can use devices, robots, and computers to support learning. It also is valuable to do some “unplugged” activities that allow students to dive deep into their own thinking leaving the digital object to the side. I have tried to provide resources that support both. Last, the ability to understand the workings of a computer is only half of the algorithm. Keep in mind that human element. How do we find a way to use the power and speed of the computer along with the comprehension and meta-cognitive ability of the human mind. Enjoy the quote and resources that follow.

“The computer is incredibly fast, accurate, and stupid. Man is incredibly slow, inaccurate, and brilliant. The marriage of the two is a force beyond calculations” – Leo Cherne

Main Site Computational Thinking Resources:

Puzzles for Computational Thinking

Articles, Information, Ideas

Thank you for joining me and I hope you found this information something you can use in your school and useful to share with other educators.  As always, I invite you to follow me on twitter (mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone who will benefit. To ensure you do not miss a future valuable post or other resource covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, STEM, 21st-century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. Have a great week! – Mike (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. My 2019  calendar is filling fast. In fact, it might be time to begin thinking about the summer  and start of school of 2019! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

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Part 1: Computational Thinking: Ten Ways To Promote CT Across The Entire Curriculum

ct

Welcome to Part One of this series based on Computation Thinking. This first post will provide the “what” and “why”along with some steps to promote this important practice. The second post will provide a goldmine of resources to get you started with your students. You will not want to miss it!  Also, please take a moment to subscribe to this blog by RSS or email and  join me on twitter at mjgormans . I have some great posts coming your way involving PBL, STEM, tech integration, and a continuing series on Professional Learning Communities!  Most of all, thanks for being one of those over 30,000 visitors a month and over 14,000 subscribers. Also, remember that I can come to your conference or school district and provide engaging authentic, practical, and purposeful professional development . Please note I will be at BLC19 in Boston (July) with workshops and sessions. See booking info and please contact me anytime at (mjgormans@gmail.com). Thanks so much.  Michael Gorman (21centuryedtech).

Part 1: Computational Thinking: 10 Ways To Promote – Michael Gorman

As you might know, I believe all transformation must be based in the standards. These standards must include both content and process standards (4C’s). Too often, I see wonderful activities that engages students… but also see important standards that could have been made authentic to students through deliberate meta-cognition engaging the mind and the heart.

In this post, I would like to review a thinking processes that can be applied across the curriculum providing a process for authentic understanding of standards.  The cognitive process I am referring to is Computational Thinking (CT). This type of thinking is important not just in high stake testing, but also success in that world after school. Perhaps you have come across the idea of computational thinking in education.  The best way to describe computational thinking is to look at the way a computer thinks… or at least runs a program. This is actually the most important concept a student learns through coding and developing computer programs. We must keep in mind that it is not the coding that is important… but the thinking process. After all… one can use a computer, but not actually use computational thinking skills.

So, what is this skill set found in Computational Thinking? They are best described as the important steps taken to solve a problem and come up with a solution. As you read these steps think about your own curriculum. Where do you want your students to use computational thinking skills?

  • Decomposition – This involves the ability for students to look at a problem. and through careful observation students break down a problem or system into smaller, more manageable parts.
  • Pattern recognition – Now that the problem is broken down students must look for similarities among and within the problem. What patterns can be seen and what does this mean?
  • Abstraction – At this stage students begin focusing on the valuable information only, ignoring irrelevant detail. It really is time to look at the specific trees while blurring the forest. While determining what is important… how does this relate to a possible solution?
  • Algorithms – At this point students should be able to develop a step-by-step solution to the problem. They maybe able to also identify rules and procedures to solve the problem

As you can see these abilities are an important part of critical thinking. They allow us to use our human ability to go beyond the computer program. We have long used subroutines of thinking in class such as determining reasons for a civilization’s decline, the twists in a story, the answer to a math story problem, or the use of a dichotomous key. In past practice, we as the teacher often provide the steps necessary to find the answer. What would happen if our students created the algorithm itself, at least part of the time? How might we assess them in this style of thinking that provides deeper understanding. What if our hour of code turned into solving a real problem? What if we brought a Makers Culture into the classroom and facilitated and assessed computational thinking while emphasizing authentic and real understanding of the standards?

“We can have facts without thinking but we cannot have thinking without facts” – John Dewey

I believe John Dewey said it best with the above quote. We must provide our students opportunities to critically think. We must assess them, and they must assess themselves.  We must go beyond engaging activities for the sake of engagement. We must engage the mind!  As Dewy reminds us, providing students the opportunity to think about and do something with content is what real learning is all about. Best of all, a new and real understanding will be achieved that no standardized test can stand in the way of.

Ten Ideas to Expand Computational Thinking in your Classroom

  1. Take time to embrace the verbs in the standards… doing is learning.
  2. Facilitate and assess the 4C’s… assessment should be by teacher, peers, self, and mentors.
  3. Encourage meta-cognition and the “Habits of the Mind”. We must have moments that we think about thinking.
  4. Promote and assess collaboration as it expands and enriches the understanding of all involved. Realize that this is a foundation for critical thinking.
  5. Embrace, demand, and facilitate rigorous and continuous inquiry.
  6. Think Webb’s DOK and upper Blooms and make sure it is a part of a high percentage of lessons.
  7. Remind students…. algorithms are steps that anyone can follow, not as many can write one. They must become the creators of algorithms.
  8. Support students making and using computational thinking to expand standards while connecting to real world and other disciplines.
  9. Support standards by aligning and assessing through student making and thinking.
  10. Provide students important content connected with thinking,,,  plus doing and making

In the next post, I will provide you with a Gold Mine of resources to further investigate Computational Thinking. Please take the time to visit and learn.

Thank you for joining me and I hope you found this information something you can use in your school and useful to share with other educators.  As always, I invite you to follow me on twitter (mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone who will benefit. To ensure you do not miss a future valuable post or other resource covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, STEM, 21st-century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. Have a great week! – Mike (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. My 2019  calendar is filling fast. In fact, it might be time to begin thinking about next Summer and the start of school for 2019! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

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FETC Future of Educational Technology… Orlando Florida… Please Join Me!

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First… I hope you enjoyed the over 150 STEM Resources in the last few posts. Thanks for learning with me. I have the URL’s below. I am really hoping you make your way to FETC in Florida this next week. January 27 – 30. I will be providing five workshop and one FETC Featured Presentation. Before reading on,  please take a moment to subscribe by email or RSS and also give me a follow on Twitter at mjgormans.  I promise you will find some great information coming your way …So Sign Up Now and please pass this on with a retweet!   – Mike Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I can provide any of the workshops listed below in your location.  Check out my Booking Page.  My calendar is filling.

Hello from Orlando Florida. I am excited about learning with thousands of other educators at this amazing conference.  If you are deciding at the last minute to attend I highly suggest it. You will be involved  in the opportunity to choose from 600+ learning opportunities that best meet your needs specific to your role in leading the digital transformation — with basic to advanced sessions in 5 program tracks. Check out these possibilities from the links below. In fact you can take a look at the Schedule at a Glance right here.

Most of all I would like to meet you and hope to see you at one of my workshops or session. Remember I can do versions of any of these workshops or sessions at your school,  district, or conference. Check out my Booking Page. In the space below I have posted my contribution to FETC and promise you will walk away with some amazing ideas, resources, strategies, and future collaborators. I also have also provided those over 150 STEM Resources .

$W021 | Making Makers Mainstream … Connecting Curriculum Standards and the 4C’s
Sunday, January 27, 2019 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Venue: Orange County Convention Center
Room: NORTH 220F

The makers movement across education has made a significant impact, allowing students to do and create. Discover ways to establish not just a space but a culture connecting authentic learning and standards to making. Explore ways to bring design, computational thinking, coding, robotics, electronics, engineering, and other elements of making into the regular classroom day in support of academic standards across the school in every subject. You will discover free and inexpensive maker resources to engage students in writing, math, reading. science, social studies, and the fine and applied arts. Discover connections with PBL, STEM, and STEAM from Mike Gorman that will bring your classroom, school, and district makerspaces to the mainstream.

$W071 | Project Based Learning for Your District/Classroom Quickstart
Sunday, January 27, 2019 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Venue: Orange County Convention Center
Room: NORTH 220F

Explore various models of PBL that allow for standards-based learning while facilitating the 4C’s. Understand how PBL can be the process and pedagogy for multiple initiatives, including 1:1, STEM, flipped classrooms, and student-centered learning. Investigate free resources that will help you take those first steps as a classroom teacher, school administrator, department head, or district leader. Walk away with amazing resources, wonderful connections, a wealth of new knowledge, and the desire to learn even more. Most of all, build the knowledge, enthusiasm, and passion necessary for you to take that next step. This could be the very best time you spend at any conference.

$W121 | Beyond PBL, STEM, and STEAM … Dewey Meets Technology and Standards
Monday, January 28, 2019 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Venue: Orange County Convention Center
Room: NORTH 220F

Discover how the process of PBL connects to STEM, how STEM goes beyond the initials of its content, and how the verbs of STEM bring action to the content and standards. Together we will examine these educational movements through ideas from Dewey. Michael, a facilitator at the National STEM Academy in Washington, D.C., a STEM/PBL Facilitator for BIE, and a STEMBL workshop designer for Discovery, will share with you a multitude of Dewey-able ideas! Learn about great resources as you take a tour of websites promoting STEM.

$W158 | Harnessing Technology to Support Standards and Provide Authentic Learning
Monday, January 28, 2019 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Venue: Orange County Convention Center
Room: SOUTH 330B

Are you ready to promote important curriculum standards and 21st century skills while taking your school devices forward and going full throttle? Learn how examining a standard can help promote real learning and go beyond the shine of technology. You will explore a multitude of free and open source content just ready for your students to use. You will also find a multitude of ways to teach and assess 21st century skills while also learning about web resources to expand SAMR, Bloom’s Taxonomy, and Webb’s Deeper Learning. Best of all, you will learn how technology and the important standards and skills can put your students at the center of learning.

$W188 | Taking Students Deeper in Inquiry … Spiraling Questions and Answers
Tuesday, January 29, 2019 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Venue: Orange County Convention Center
Room: SOUTH 331B

Uncovering information through inquiry is essential. Before students perform a search, it is important that they have good questions; after all, it is good questions that lead to answers. Better yet, answers lead to deeper questions. It’s more than a cycle; it’s an inquiry spiral! Learn techniques and employ technology that will engage today’s student to inquire and question with skill, develop and use today’s pre-search technologies, and engage in self-regulated research and evaluation. Best of all, walk away with free resources and tools in order to further sustain the learning process. (Mike was featured regarding informational searches using Google advanced search techniques by Alan November in his latest book, “Who Owns the Learning? Preparing Students for Success in the Digital Age.”)

C094 | Computation Thinking Across the Curriculum: Students Thinking for Solutions
Tuesday, January 29, 2019 1:00 PM – 1:40 PM
Venue: Orange County Convention Center
Room: NORTH 220C

Learn how computational thinking can be part of every subject at every grade level. Discover practical methods and reasons as to why students need to focus on inquiry and employ critical thinking to come up with their own answers while posing new questions. Find out how computational thinking supports the process behind student coding and STEM learning activities. Discover ways that this can facilitate STEAM, PBL, and inquiry-based learning. You will learn about different programs and walk away with resources you can use tomorrow. Best of all you will learn how to engage your students in a style of thinking that promotes deeper, connected, and authentic learning that promotes the necessary 21st century skills.

I am so glad all of you enjoyed my over 150 STEM Resources. Thanks for all of the kind words. Please keep sharing and in case you missed you can check out the resources at the below links:

Science

Technology,

Engineering 

Mathematics

Also check out: STEM being a Verb  a few posts back. 

Thanks for joining me on this wonderful journey of the 21st century (and even before that) learning. Join me in future weeks as together we continue to explore several more posts devoted to the Flipped Classrooms, Project Based Learning, Assessing 21st century skills, technology integration, web resources, and digital literacy.  I enjoy learning from all of you. Also remember to subscribe to this blog by RSS or email and follow me on twitter at mjgormans. I also appreciate your sharing of this post and any retweets. Keep up the amazing work,  have a great week.  Welcome to the Future! – Mike Gorman

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, Makerspace, Inquiry, Computational Thinking, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  My calendar is filling.

 

 

 

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Part 4: Over 150 STEM Resources for PBL and Authentic Learning… Math

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Welcome to number four in a series of four posts bringing you over 150 amazing resources for STEM education. I hope you enjoyed  my thoughts of  STEM being a Verb  a few posts back.  You will also find posts filled with resources including Science, Technology, and Engineering in STEM. Check it out if you have not had a chance! This post is dedicated to Math. I know you will find these over 45 links valuable as you facilitate your students in both designing, innovating, and building. Before investigating these resources,  please take a moment to subscribe by email or RSS and also give me a follow on Twitter at mjgormans.  I promise you will find some great information coming your way …So Sign Up Now and please pass this on with a retweet!   – Mike Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, Makerspace, Inquiry, Computational Thinking, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  My calendar is filling.

FETC 2019 – How does Orlando in January sound for an educational conference? I will be providing workshops and featured sessions on STEM, PBL, Inquiry, Maker Space, and Computational Thinking! Check out this link to see these sessionsDo you want to save some cash? Use Promo Code TW19 & Save an extra 10% *There could be an expiration date on code.

Math STEM Resources

Since there are over 45 amazing resources below I will keep my comments short. While STEM incorporates so many disciplines, I thought you might enjoy looking at some the best sites I could find in the area of Math. As you look through the possibilities, be sure to take some notes. It really is OK to get lost in one or two and leave the rest for later.  Please take a moment to share this post with fellow educators with a tweet. Enjoy your journey and please let me know others I should add.

  • MathSite – You will enjoy this amazing interactive journey in math. The exhibits found at MathSite are intended for people of all ages who are interested in or are curious about mathematics. No specialized mathematical knowledge or special expertise is assumed. You will find it a place to see, hear, and do mathematics.
  • Emergent Math – Looking for ideas that just might spark a PBL math idea? Emergent Math is dedicated to brainstorming interesting and dynamic math problems and projects. The facilitator of the blog is employed by the New Technology Network of Schools. The posts really do allow for real mathspiration (inspirational combined with math). As stated in the blog, “interesting math problem/project can come in the form of a picture, a video, a tweet, something your child says, etc”. This blog really does attempt to use all of the preceding ideas, plus more! The posts generate ideas on how these concepts just might fit in the classroom and/or provide some driving/guiding questions. The best place to begin your exploration is at the first page of the blog and read the index! You will enjoy your immersion in Math!
  • Three Act Math Tasks – This is a wonderful collection of Math Tasks made to help students really understand Math by Dan Meyer and others.
  • Desmos – Their mission is to help every student learn math and love learning math. We accomplish that goal by building products and partnerships.

    Check out a best-in-class HTML5 Desmos graphing calculator, which millions of students around the world use for free, including students who are blind or visually-impaired.  Discover hundreds of digital activities,

  • Exploring Space Through Math – This amazing NASA site promotes inquiry through real world applications. Students assume the role of NASA scientists, engineers and researchers who work in teams to accomplish tasks. These projects promote cooperative learning, problem-solving and the use of technology. The problems in this project follow the 5-E’s Instructional Model with a segment for each phase of instruction – Engage, Explore, Explain, Extend and Evaluate. The projects cover the scope of Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, and Precalculus.
  • Geogebra – Get this free online math tools for graphing, geometry, 3D, and more!
  • Estimation 180 – A site created to build number sense one day at a time. You will find all kinds of ideas and lessons.
  • Annenberg Learner Math Lessons – Annenberg Learner uses media and telecommunications to advance excellent teaching in American schools. This mandate is carried out chiefly by the funding and broad distribution of educational video programs with coordinated Web and print materials for the professional development of K-12 teachers. The math lessons could be a footprint to a PBL unit or scaffolding for an entire PBL. While at the site… take a look at the interactives.
  • Figure This – This wonderful site is the work of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, in cooperation with the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Widmeyer Communications, and the Learning First Alliance.  Its mission is to challenge middle school mathematics and emphasizes the importance of high-quality math education for all students. While it was created to allow for family interaction, it is also figures into the Math PBL classroom. The site allows students to have the opportunity to face some every day real life math challenges.
  • Rich Math Tasks – This site from the UK has some amazing math tasks that will be sure to engage your students and promote math understanding.
  • NZ Math – These rich learning Math ideas come from New Zealand. They represent both the procedural and conceptual approach.
  • Mathematical Moments – Authenticity is important in Math PBL. It seems that Math educators are always looking for ways they can show how math is used in the world around us. Discover a site that will help you achieve this goal of real world application. The site is cleverly titled Mathematical Moments and it is well worth the time! It contains free printable posters that are 8.5″ x 11″ PDF documents. These informational posters are available on many different topics in science, nature, technology, and human culture. As you take a closer look many of these posters note that many have a  link to some short feature podcast interviews with experts in the field. These posters and podcast could spark the idea for a PBL math unit that brings authenticity into your math teaching.
  • MIT Blossoms – All of the lessons in the MIT Blossoms library have been contributed by BLOSSOMS partners from around the world. There is a watch the Teacher’s Guide Video Segment included with each lesson to learn more about it. The final segment of each BLOSSOMS video lesson is a one-on-one conversation between the teacher and the “virtual teacher.” Best of all, these lessons can be part of a PBL unit. The provided link brings you to the Math (English Language) Section.
  • Get The Math – Get the Math is about algebra in the real world. See how professionals use math in music, fashion, video games, restaurants, basketball, and special effects. Then take on interactive challenges related to those careers.
  • Mathalicious – While this is a paid site you will find several free projects on the homepage. Perhaps you will find that the paid lessons are really well worth it!  This site does demonstrate that math is about more than just numbers and equations. Students find that math is a tool to explore the world around us. Mathalicious provides teachers with lessons that help them teach math in a way that engages their students–in a way that helps students understand how the world works. Lessons are aligned to Common Core Standards and explore real life questions.
  • TedEd – The makers of TED… these really are some wonderful flipped lessons with formative tools built in. These are definite lessons worth sharing! You can even make your own.
  • CK12 – Not only are the free flexbooks amazing  you will also find simulations, PLIX, and Adaptive Practice This is an organization raising the bar with interactive learning activities and practice that adapts to individual student performance.
  • How to Smile –  Discover this group of science museums dedicated to bringing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) out of the academic cloister and into the wider world. Find new ways to teach kids about math and science.  Discover activities that meet you where you live, whether your “classroom” is an active volcano, the shark tank at the local aquarium, or your own kitchen table. SMILE is collecting the best educational materials on the web and creating learning activities, tools, and services.
  • Khan Academy – Help every student succeed with personalized practice. 100% free.
    Find standards-aligned content and assign practice exercises, videos and articles
    Track student progress and best of all join millions of teachers and students
  • NRICH – The NRICH Project aims to enrich the mathematical experiences of all learners. To support this aim, members of the NRICH team work in a wide range of capacities, including providing professional development for teachers wishing to embed rich mathematical tasks into everyday classroom practice.
  • Illuminations – Illuminations works to serve you by increasing access to quality standards-based resources for teaching and learning mathematics, including interactive tools for students and instructional support for teachers.
  • PHET – This simulations project at the University of Colorado Boulder creates free interactive math and science simulations. PhET sims are based on extensive education research and engage students through an intuitive, game-like environment where students learn through exploration and discovery
  • CanFigureIt – Created by teachers, this highly interactive tool provides an easy-to-use work space where students can practice proofs while exercising their deductive reasoning muscles.
  • Hub Page – This page contains some great PBL ideas in the area of math. Once you visit be prepared to stay awhile
  • Less Helpful Math – Great blog filled with engaging and real world resources. The author Dan Meyer provides out of the textbook ideas that will make math authentic.
  • Share My Lessons – Welcome to a place where educators come together to create and share their very best teaching resources. It was created by teachers for teachers. It is a free platform giving access to high-quality teaching resources.  It provides an online community where teachers can collaborate with, encourage and inspire each other.
  • PBL Pathways – This is a website dedicated to Math and PBL. In the supplied link you are directed to the PBL Projects. Here you will discover some project ideas covering many areas of advanced math. Each is a complete project that you may wish to include. Please be sure to read their Terms of Copyright Statement when using the materials.
  • Curriki Algebra – This is an Open Education Resource (OER) Algebra course that consists of five units aligned to the Common Core. Each of the units culminates in a project that utilizes mastery of conceptual understanding taught in the individual lessons. These units include:
    • Unit 1: Relationships between Quantities and Reasoning with Equations
    • Unit 2: Linear and Exponential Relationships
    • Unit 3: Descriptive Statistics
    • Unit 4: Expressions and Equations
    • Unit 5: Quadratic Functions and Modeling
  • Math and Sports – What an amazing website from Cambridge University! These free online mathematical resources explore math and science through sports. These resources include activities designed to develop problem-solving and mathematical reasoning skills for students aged 5 to 18. You will also find  articles aimed at older students. Also, be sure to visit  video maths challenges which is produced with input from Cambridge by BBC Two Learning Zone. Another must visit site includes activities on Maths and Football (European style). It is possible to discover articles and activities that are arranged by Key Stage. The site also allows the user to access  tabs at the top of the page, or view content by sport or topic.
  • Plus Magazine – That is right… it is a magazine. Another plus… it is free. Most important it is all about the world of Math. This is a wonderful resource that will bring the authentic world of math to your students. Stories and activities can be a scaffold in a PBL Unit or possibly the catalyst for an entire project. This is one that I could have spent an entire post on.
  • Mathematics, Learning, and Web 2.0 –  “Mathematics, Learning, and Web 2.0” is written by Colleen Young. Her posts provide thoughts and ideas in a very math practical manner. It is a wonderful blog that will allow any math teacher to dream up a new PBL, or scaffold an activity inside an existing project!. Not only that… it is just wonderful reading… so enjoy!
  • SAS Curriculum Pathways Math – While SAS contain free curriculum for many areas be sure to check out some great math possibilities all fro free.
  • Real World Math – Welcome to a collection of free math activities for Google Earth designed for students and educators. Mathematics is much more than a set of problems in a textbook. In the virtual world of Google Earth, concepts and challenges can be presented in a meaningful way that portray the usefulness of the ideas
  • PBS Learning – You will find thousands of multimedia possibilities in the math portion of the PBS site. Get ready to search!
  • NCTM Real World Math – Visit this collection of previously published articles from Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School and Mathematics Teacher that make strong connections between mathematics and other disciplines. The articles contain activities, experiments, investigations, or problems that are appropriate for use with middle school or high school students. Many of the articles can be adapted for use with students at different grade levels or in different kinds of courses.
  • Education World – Check out this article filled with  online collections of real-world math activities, math activities with a specific real-life focus.
  • Graphing Stories – Check out these 15 second videos and then get your students graphing!
  • OER Commons Math – This is a large collection of online resources that are part of the open education resource field.
  • Math Snacks – Smart educational animations, games, and interactive tools that help mid-school learners better understand math concepts.
  • WolframAlpha – This is an amazing search engine based on data and mathematics. If you think the search engine is amazing then check out their educational site. There are some amazing resources.
  • Gap Minder – Explore this amazing world of data. Do you want to use Gapminder tools in your classroom? Check out our resources on this page and the downloads page to get started. You are free to use them today in your classroom!
  • Math Lessons – this site has some great lessons by Robert Kaplinsky. Make your own PrBL with these ideas.
  • CT4Me – This site has some awesome resources to take a look at for teachers of math. You will find all kinds of ideas including thoughts on PBL and Math.
  • Math Hooks – The goal is to introduce challenging, inquiry-based activities to every middle school math classroom in order to foster student participation, enthusiasm and improvement through rigorous discussion.
  • YouCubed – This site from Stanford University has a main goal to is to inspire, educate and empower teachers of mathematics, transforming the latest research on math learning into accessible and practical forms.
  • Week for Inspirational Math – These WIM lessons have been used millions of times, in every state across the US, as well as many other countries in the world. Teachers and students love the activities and mindset videos. In previous years of WIM, 98% of teachers said their students were engaged when working on the lessons and 96% of the students surveyed said they now believe they should keep going even when work is hard and they make mistakes. And that is a wonderful thing!
  • MAISA – Check out this data base from the state of Michigan that provides resources and lesson ideas aligned to standards. You will find rich math possibilities for students.
  • MARS Classroom Challenges are lessons that support teachers in formative assessment. There are 100 lessons in total, 20 at each grade from 6 to 8 and 40 for ‘Career and College Readiness’ at High School Grades 9 and above. Some lessons are focused on developing math concepts, others on solving non-routine problems.

Thanks for joining me on this wonderful journey of the 21st century (and even before that) learning. Join me in future weeks as together we continue to explore several more posts devoted to the Flipped Classrooms, Project Based Learning, Assessing 21st century skills, technology integration, web resources, and digital literacy.  I enjoy learning from all of you. Also remember to subscribe to this blog by RSS or email and follow me on twitter at mjgormans. I also appreciate your sharing of this post and any retweets. Keep up the amazing work,  have a great week.  Welcome to the Future! – Mike Gorman

FETC 2019 – How does Orlando in January sound for an educational conference? I will be providing workshops and featured sessions on STEM, PBL, Inquiry, Maker Space, and Computational Thinking! Check out this link to see these sessionsDo you want to save some cash? Use Promo Code TW19 & Save an extra 10%

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, Makerspace, Inquiry, Computational Thinking, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  My calendar is filling.

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Part 3: Over 150 STEM Resources for PBL and Authentic Learning… Engineering

150a

Welcome to number Three in a series of four posts bringing you over 150 amazing resources for STEM education. I hope you enjoyed  my thoughts of  STEM being a Verb  a few posts back, along with the 40 resources geared toward STEM Science and 35 resources geared toward STEM Technology.  Check them out if you have not had a chance! This post is dedicated to Engineering. I know you will find these links valuable as you facilitate your students in both designing, innovating, and building. Before investigating these resources,  please take a moment to subscribe by email or RSS and also give me a follow on Twitter at mjgormans.  I promise you will find some great information coming your way …So Sign Up Now and please pass this on with a retweet!   – Mike Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, Makerspace, Inquiry, Computational Thinking, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  My calendar is filling.

FETC 2019 – How does Orlando in January sound for an educational conference? I will be providing workshops and featured sessions on STEM, PBL, Inquiry, Maker Space, and Computational Thinking! Check out this link to see these sessionsDo you want to save some cash? Use Promo Code TW19 & Save an extra 10% *There could be an expiration date on code.

Engineering STEM Resources

Since there are a gold mine of resources below I will keep my comments short. While STEM incorporates so many disciplines, I thought you might enjoy looking at some the best sites I could find in the area of Engineering. As you look through 42 possibilities, be sure to take some notes. It really is OK to get lost in one or two and leave the rest for later.  Please take a moment to share this post with fellow educators with a tweet. Enjoy your journey and please let me know others I should add.

  • Design Squad Nation – Another great service from PBS filled with some entertaining and engaging ways to integrate STEM into any classroom. Teachers can explore and use Design Squad Nation activities, animations, video profiles, and episodes in classrooms and after-school programs, in libraries and museums, at events and at home.
  • Engineer Your Life – This engaging website is the centerpiece of a national campaign, and is meant for high school girls and the adults in their lives (parents, counselors, teachers, and other educators) who want to learn more about what life and work are like for engineers. It is a great place to explore outstanding engineering possibilities.
  • Teach Engineering – This is a comprehensive collaborative project between faculty, students, and teachers associated with five founding partner universities, with NSF National Science Foundation funding. This real world collection continues to grow and evolve with new additions submitted from more than 50 additional contributors, a cadre of volunteer teacher and engineer reviewers, and feedback from teachers who use the curricula in their classrooms.
  • Discover Engineering  – This organization coalition of volunteer engineer professionals works together to celebrate engineering and give students hands-on experiences with engineering.
  • eGFI Dream Up The Future – Be ready to discover a variety of tools to boost your students’ math and science skills, enliven the classroom with engineering projects, expand your own professional horizons and stay informed. There is also an amazing free newsletter with updated features that will arrive in your in-box every month. This is a site that is a must visit for any STEM teacher.
  • EIE – Engineering is Elementary supports educators and children with curricula and professional development that develop engineering literacy. EiE serves children and educators in grades K- 8 with research-based, teacher-tested curriculum materials for schools and out-of-school time programs. The program also helps teachers build skills and confidence in teaching engineering and technology in their professional development workshops.
  • The Lemlinson Center -Take a moment to visit this amazing website that showcases the study of invention and innovation. It is part of the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, the center documents, interprets, and disseminates information about invention and innovation; encourages inventive creativity in young people; and fosters an appreciation for the central role that invention and innovation play in the history of the United States.
  • Cooper Hewitt Lesson Plans –  Take a look at the design possibilities covering all subject areas and grade levels. There will surely be something to promote design thinking!
  • Try Engineering – Here a place to visit for the latest information, resources, and research. It will provide numerous ideas to bring engineering to the classroom.
  • The Engineering Place – This might be the right place to get the idea you need. There are wonderful lesson plans for K-8 students.
  • Spark!Lab – Discover the Spark!Lab Process for design which includes, Identify a problem or need (Think It), Conduct Research (Explore It), Make sketches (Sketch It) Build prototypes (Create It),  Test the invention (Try It), Refine the invention (Tweak It), Market the invention (Sell It). You will want to explore the links to these these resources and the amazing Spark Lab Free Design Book.
  • Tinker Ball – This is a great simulation that allows students to see there are multiple iterations and possibilities when designing.
  • Curiosity Machine – Explore this wonderful program that puts an emphasis on artificial intelligence and engineering.
  • UL Explore Labs – Solve real problems through science and engineering and become part of the movement to make the world a safer place.
  • STEM Career – Find your STEM type. Explore different careers and see where you might fit. Your students may find that they are an engineer!
  • Sketch Up Free – One of the easiest ways to draw in 3D. Say hello to SketchUp Free: 3D modeling in a web browser
  • AutoDesk TynkerCad – It is a free, easy-to-use app for 3D design, electronics, and coding. It’s used by teachers, kids, hobbyists, and designers to imagine, design, and make anything!
  • Physics Games – Check out these great Physics games that are all about constructing something.
  • Energy in a Roller Coaster Ride – This interactive roller coaster ride produced by WGBH illustrates the relationship between potential and kinetic energy. As the coaster cars go up and down the hills and around the loop of the track, a pie chart shows how the relative transformation back and forth between gravitational potential energy and kinetic energy.
  • CK12 Roller Coaster – This is a wonderful example of the many simulations that teachers can work with student on at CK12.
  • Engineering For Good –  This is a three-week, project-based learning unit for middle school science classrooms focused on developing solutions for negative impacts of plastics on the environment. In this NGSS-aligned unit, students use the engineering design process to define a problem, brainstorm solutions, develop prototypes and iterate on their designs. The project culminates with students producing videos about their solutions to share with the community.
  • ITE Resources – The activities and presentations in this site are specific to introducing K-12 kids to what ITE does – transportation!
  • Bridge Designer – One of my favorites which had been known as the West Point Bridge Design Program. It teachers physics as students create and test their simulated bridge.
  • Link Engineering – This is a site that connects PK12 engineering to experts and resources for teachers and students.
  • Go Explore – A wonder website on transportation engineering from the people at Iowa State.
  • OK GO Sandbox – Helping students learn through the joy, wonder, and fun of OK Go’s music videos. You will find some real engaging possibilities!
  • Super Bowl Engineering – A great collection of activities, lessons, and videos to help students see the engineering in football.
  • Engineering Americas’ Favorite Past Time – If you liked the above link for football then check out this baseball site.
  • Engineering Education Pod Casts – These are a series of educational podcast to help students understand engineering in the real world.
  • Engineering Video Snippets – Discover this collection of Illuminating short videos that take you inside the elementary engineering classroom.
  • Engineering Map of America – In this interactive map from American Experience, learn about the most challenging and important engineering projects that transformed America. Each project is described with a variety of supporting materials, including archival images and documents as well as videos excerpted from American Experience episodes.
  • NASA: More To Explore – Check out the links at this website to find games to play, videos to watch, things to make and stories to read for students in grades K-4.
  • Big DIY Ideas – Here are 35 fun DIY engineering projects just for kids that you and your students will enjoy. Notice that some are perfect for tiny tots and other projects are terrific for older kids and teens. Use your best judgement and provide adult supervision and guidance when needed.
  • Engineering Projects for Grades 7-9 from NASA – These are all some neat projects from the NASA Summer Innovation Program. There is a lot to pick from.
  • Design Squad Activity Guide – Check out this PDF document that includes the design process along with some great build possibilities. This comes to you from Intel and PBS.
  • Dyson Foundation Challenge Cards –  Are you ready for a challenge. Check out these easy to support ideas for students who want to build it better!
  • NBC Learn Science of Innovation – You will enjoy this great collection of videos that can fit into a lesson based on all types of design and technology principals.
  • US Patent Office For Kids – At the USPTO, they are always thinking of ways to promote innovation. Here are a few fun activities for makers, builder, tinkerers and all to enjoy. Check back for new activities from time to time.
  • NASA Robotics Alliance Project – The Robotics Alliance Project seeks to provide a clearinghouse of robotics-related educational materials. Click on the links provided and below to find lessons, materials, and robotics education discussion forums.
  • PBS Learning Media Engineering and Technology – Discover resources and projects that connect students to engineering design practices and future careers.
  • Atkins STEM School Pack for Engineering – Discover this wonderful PDF booklet filled with great build possibilities for student to explore,
  • Ted-Ed Engineering – Build a lesson around any TED-Ed Animation, TED Talk or YouTube video

Thanks for joining me on this wonderful journey of the 21st century (and even before that) learning. Join me in future weeks as together we continue to explore several more posts devoted to the Flipped Classrooms, Project Based Learning, Assessing 21st century skills, technology integration, web resources, and digital literacy.  I enjoy learning from all of you. Also remember to subscribe to this blog by RSS or email and follow me on twitter at mjgormans. I also appreciate your sharing of this post and any retweets. Keep up the amazing work,  have a great week.  Welcome to the Future! – Mike Gorman

FETC 2019 – How does Orlando in January sound for an educational conference? I will be providing workshops and featured sessions on STEM, PBL, Inquiry, Maker Space, and Computational Thinking! Check out this link to see these sessionsDo you want to save some cash? Use Promo Code TW19 & Save an extra 10%

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, Makerspace, Inquiry, Computational Thinking, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  My calendar is filling.

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Authentic PBL: Santa Believes in Project Based Learning … Do You?

pbl_north_pole

Did you know that Santa believes in Project Based Learning? It’s true… in fact, I have worked quite hard at finding evidence that supports this conclusion.  Upon further reflection, it occurred to me that not only does Santa believe in PBL, he practices many of its positive attributes at his workshop. By now you are thinking… what is this connection? Let me explain my reasoning by giving you an overview some of the essential elements in PBL.  Of course, I will attempt to show you how I believe Santa has put these elements into his practice.  Before continuing, I would appreciate having you take a moment to subscribe to this Blog by RSS or email and follow me at (mjgormans). Taking that moment ensures that we can continue to network, something that is very magical to me. Also, please share this post with others and even provide a re-tweet. Check the provided  BIE link for some great free material on PBL and some awesome PD services offered by BIE … of which I am on the National Faculty. Last, please check my Booking Page to see how I could be part of your school PD or Conference plans.  May your holiday be filled with magic! – Mike Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, Makerspace, Inquiry, Computational Thinking, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  My calendar is filling.

FETC 2019 – How does Orlando in January sound for an educational conference? I will be providing workshops and featured sessions on STEM, PBL, Inquiry, Maker Space, and Computational Thinking! Check out this link to see these sessionsDo you want to save some cash? Use Promo Code TW19 & Save an extra 10% *There could be an expiration date on code

Authentic PBL: Santa Believes in Project Based Learning … Do You? – Mike Gorman  https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com

It all started on a recent visit I had the pleasure of taking to the North Pole.  It was actually a once in a lifetime experience, one that I will always remember. While I promised Santa I would not divulge secrets I discovered, he did hand me a manuscript and gave me a wink. I could see the amazing sparkle in his eyes as he waited for me to discover a power he was already aware of. I looked at the cover of this torn and faded, yet delightful looking, old book.  I could tell it had been constantly used due to the lack of North Pole magical dust on its soon to be engaging pages.  I spent the next few hours looking through a wonderful collection of written journals. This manuscript was entitled “The Santa Projects”.  How did he know my yearning to learn more about projects?  I then remembered that, of course, I was sitting in front of Santa. He probably had quite a database of everything I had ever dreamed of or desired from my very first teddy bear. Here was a compilation of all of the important projects ever done at this amazing place… at the top of the world. Here were the projects that Santa had brought to his entire staff in order to engage, motivate, educate, and provide means of collaboration and communication. The first project caught my eye. I couldn’t help but smile as I read each of Santa’s journal entries. Allow me to share one of his projects with you.

The Santa Projects –

Project Name – Mission Possible…. The Big Delivery

Need To Know – (An outstanding project is based on a student need to know. It is this desire that promotes engagement and excitement in children. It provides the motivation for learning significant content.)  Santa Notes – It will be important to communicate with all of the elves and various staff my desire to travel the world in one night delivering toys to all of the good girls and boys. We will have a meeting, record everything in Santa Docs, based on what we will need to know to make this mission possible. As we answer these important questions I will mark them off our collaborative list. I anticipate a few questions such as,  “Given that the earth is rotating… how many hours do we really have for our trip?”

The Driving Question – (The Driving Question is the key to any effective PBL project.  This question must be direct and open a student-centric understanding of what is to be eventually accomplished and learned. While giving the students a sense of mission, it is proactive and open-ended.)  Santa Notes – After working with various teams we have decided that a good driving question could be as follows: How can we devise a plan to deliver presents to all the good children in the world in one night? I know this will be exciting for the elves and I am sure the reindeer will be clamoring to get their hoofs into it. I am certain our journey to finding this answer will not only raise more questions but will also provide the rigor my staff thrives on.

Voice and Choice – (An effective project must allow for all students to have a voice and a choice. This might allow students to pick an area of study or may give a selection of various final products to demonstrate learning. This voice and choice allow the project to have individual meaning and relevance to each student.) Santa Notes – I must allow all of the workers at the North Pole to participate in a meaningful way while holding them accountable to the Driving Question. Who knows what contribution each group and individual might be able to come up with. In fact, I have already heard that my engineers are drawing a picture of a sleigh. Not sure I know why, but maybe I will learn from them.

21st Century Skills – (Students must be allowed to use skills that are authentic and provide real world opportunities. Teachers must provide learning opportunities and facilitate important skills including collaboration, communication, and critical thinking. It is important to also assess these skills as part of PBL.) Santa Notes – I plan to utilize team building activities to help facilitate project success. At the North Pole, we must realize that in order to pull off this miracle it will involve a collective wisdom from the entire crowd. We will use modern North Pole technology including Santa Docs, Twinkler, and Elfmodo to collaborate. In fact, I noticed the elves are already building a new system “The Magic Net”. It is supposed to connect the North Pole with the entire world of children’s desires. I am not sure why, but I am sure I will learn from them.

Inquiry and Innovation – A good PBL study will allow students to not just come up with answers… but also discover new and amazing questions. This will allow students to think outside the box as they remix, create, and innovate. It assures a final product that shows the learning that was acquired from the initial Driving Question.) Santa Notes – Everyone at the workshop is finding out that there is not an easy answer to our Driving Question. It seems we are getting more questions than answers right now. I have encouraged our staff to use Santapedia and NorthPoleOogle but they say it does not always give the answer… again more questions. I have told everyone to tinker… something they have experience with at the toy shop. They did come up with a new gift they called Tinkertoys which could be a hit. I had to get them back on track. Outside, I have noticed the reindeer jumping from the fir trees and one is even playing with a red light bulb. I know it seems very hectic… but I do feel we might be on to something.

Feedback and Revision – (Students must be allowed to obtain feedback through critiques from their teacher, peers, real world mentors, and themselves. Through this, students must learn to reflect and revise to create a better product as they travel a road of formative assessment.) Santa Notes – I am finding myself encouraging all my workers to reflect and critique themselves and others. This is can be more valuable than always using one of my NPARs (North Pole Assessment Rubrics). In fact, I saw the engineer and elves constantly critiquing each other on what they called OBETB (Operation Big Enough Toy Bag). Perhaps if I do a little check with one of my formative assessment rubrics I will find out what that is all about.

Publicly Present The Product – (Providing students with a public and authentic audience is crucial in the design of a good PBL learning unit. It brings meaning and provides motivation for a final product that represents the quality and rigor that should be expected. This audience can be face to face or could be virtual using the World Wide Web.)  Santa Notes – I am so excited for the workers here at the North Pole. Tomorrow night they will be presenting their plan for Mission Possible…. The Big Delivery to a live audience of the North Pole Geographic  Society, Magic Bag Engineers, Animal Aviator Experts, Portable Light Bulb Innovators, The Association of Sleigh Vehicle Workers, and NEXRAD.  It will all be available on Santa Vision. Having all of these experts in the audience will ensure that all involved will take great pride in their work while demonstrating what they have learned and have now made possible.  I am still puzzled as to why we have invited the Animal Aviator Experts and NEXRAD. Sound like a high flying idea!

Significant Content – (A PBL final outcome should provide evidence that students learned the required content set forth by curricular standards. While the 21st-century skills are important… they should complement and be used as tools for learning this content. The project is the process!) Santa Notes – Wow… while everyone has become better communicators, collaborators, and critical thinkers I see that the important concepts needed to make this project a success have become a reality. All of the workers, elves, and animals understand the important North Pole curricular concepts of magical engineering, animal aviation and linguistics, possibility planning, and bottomless bag technology. Most of all, they have discovered the wonderful skill of miracle manicuring. I really do believe in PBL!

As I was sitting in front of Santa there were two more elements that appeared before me like magic. I read the text as fast as it appeared. He looked at me as he winked and smiled… as if he was about to go up a chimney. I soon realized he had even been aware of some of the new ideas found in the new Gold Standards. Of course, he was aware! I continued to read with delight as I discovered even more amazing magic!

Reflection – (It is this process that demands the important skill of metacognition. It is not until a learner thinks about the learning… that real learning takes place. Educators must allow students time to reflect as they build their own understanding of important content and concepts.)  Santa Notes – I have always enjoyed the work of John Dewey… after-all he was always on my good list. I encourage all the workers at the North Pole to reflect on what they learn while as they build and innovate on all the products at the workshop! It is amazing to see all the learning that takes place as we constantly create a wonderful experience for all the boys and girls throughout the world!

Authenticity – ( It is important that students have an authentic learning experience that is meaningful. Allowing students to make a difference to their surroundings and the world outside the classroom is essential. Education must be real and provide the students that important… so what… to learning.) Santa Notes – Authenticity might be one of the most important qualities we promote. After-all like PBL… the North Pole experience is about making it real!

As I handed this precious manuscript back to Santa,  I thanked him for confirming my belief in how powerful a project can be. Upon my return, I continued to learn more about Project Based Learning and discovered the power it has for providing authentic and powerful learning experiences for students. This knowledge just might be the very best gift I ever received from Santa. I’m still smiling as I recall the other projects I read about in the wonderful book on my very special visit. Projects with names like the ones you find below.

  1. I Can Get Down the Chimney… How Do I Get Up?
  2. The Big Blizzard… Can We Find a Way to Light the Path?
  3. Conquering the 24 Hour Cookies and Milk Dilemma!
  4. Reindeer… Keeping their Minds to the Ground!
  5. Making and Keeping It Real!

I hope you enjoyed this very special message that Santa shared with me. Please take a moment to share this post with other educators across the world.  Please accept my present to you,  which is another year of postings, by subscribing by email or RSS and follow me on Twitter (mjgormans). You will also find a treasure of resources covering 21st-century learning, STEM, PBL, and technology integration for the classroom. Again, take a moment to share this blog and even give it a re-tweet so that other educators can experience the magic of PBL. May you find the peace, joy, blessing, and magic of this very special season… and to all a good night! Mike Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

FETC 2019 – How does Orlando in January sound for an educational conference? I will be providing workshops and featured sessions on STEM, PBL, Inquiry, Maker Space, and Computational Thinking! Check out this link to see these sessionsDo you want to save some cash? Use Promo Code TW19 & Save an extra 10% *There could be an expiration date on code

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now almost booked through April. Perhaps you need to think about summer conference dates or PD needs and it is not too early to think about the 2018/19 school year! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

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A Special Letter From Santa in 2018 … Why Teachers Must Be Magic!

santa

Welcome to a very magical entry for 2018… one that has been a traditional post each holiday season. (For those following my 150 Resource STEM Series it will follow my holiday posts). It is a time of year that I wish to express my gratitude to those wonderful educators that have welcomed me at their schools, webinars, and conferences and also join me at this blog and on twitter throughout the year. I would like to share with all of you a very special letter I found under my Christmas Tree  many Christmas Eves ago. I have made it a practice to put it away, until just a few weeks before Christmas each year, with the idea of sharing it with educators across the world! Please take a moment to read this very special letter from Santa! He takes a moment to describe the magic that you as an educator make happen every day! While you are at it, I would appreciate that you take a moment to subscribe to this Blog  and follow me on Twitter at (mjgormans).  Also, please take just a moment to share this letter by providing a retweet, and feel to copy and distribute (please give the reference).  In this way, you can help spread the magic!  My next seasonal post is… PBL at the North Pole.  May your holidays be filled with magic! – Mike Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, Makerspace, Inquiry, Computational Thinking, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  My calendar is filling.

FETC 2019 – How does Orlando in January sound for an educational conference? I will be providing workshops and featured sessions on STEM, PBL, Inquiry, Maker Space, and Computational Thinking! Check out this link to see these sessionsDo you want to save some cash? Use Promo Code TW19 & Save an extra 10% *There could be an expiration date on code

A Special Letter From Santa … Why Teachers Must Be Magic! …. by  Michael Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com) ….Twitter (mjgormans)

Dear Teachers,

I have been meaning to write this letter for a long time! It is a letter that I feel is long overdue and with the elves getting all ready for my long ride, I finally found the time! I have been watching teachers for many years and I am amazed at the work they do. I have come to a conclusion that the teaching profession, like my own, must be filled with bits of  magic! Please let me provide ten statements of evidence for my belief.

1.  I travel the world one night of the year visiting all the boys and girls of the world. The teaching profession works with every boy and girl all year long. This equates to each teacher fulfilling educational needs for 30 – 200 children each and every school day. Seems like magic to me!

2. I deliver presents to all the boys and girls. From my Toy Repair Shop statistics, I find many of these gifts are broken or no longer garner a child’s interest within months!  Yet teachers find inner gifts in every child. Teachers nurture these inner gifts  until they develop into true presents that will last a lifetime.  These kinds of gifts sure seem like magic to me!

3. I keep my naughty and nice list for every child. Some people believe this job is pretty amazing! Yet when I look at the teaching profession, teachers provide a constant evaluation of all their students! Their list covers all the aspects of developing and learning which they report to children’s parents and to the children themselves! This evaluation is based on a wide variety of observations, data, and student performance.  Teachers will then use this list to help improve each and every student! Wow, keeping track of every student’s ability and prescribing ways to be successful must really be magic!

4. I leave presents to students who are on the nice list and who believe in me. Teachers work with all children because they believe in every student. Teachers continue to do so, even when students stop believing in the educational system’s ability to help them achieve.  That type of persistence has got to be magic!

5. I have operated my workshop using the same technology for hundreds of years and it has worked for me. Then again, I work with children when they are asleep, delivering presents in my own way. Teachers work with children when they are awake and they have spent time learning how to engage children using googles, blogs, phlogs, glogs, prezis, and all these other words I really don’t know! Being able to teach, transform, and accommodate for this new digital generation must really be magic!

6. I have made it a practice to leave coal behind for children who do not make my good list! It seems every year the same children always get the coal. Teachers refuse to leave coal, in fact, they are working hard at leaving no child behind. To work towards a goal of leaving no child behind is a true act of magic!

7. I read the news and I am always so thankful to read all the nice articles about my work. It really does provide me with motivation to keep up my vocation. I read news articles about the education profession and it seems that most articles are unsupportive. Yet, teachers keep working hard at providing success for their students! These teachers must be operating on a little bit of magic!

8. I have thousands of elves, of course, the reindeer, and the  community of the entire North Pole to assist me. Teachers work every day, many times by themselves, as they provide new opportunities for their students! Carrying that load alone must be much heavier than my bag of toys. It must really be magic!

9. I receive many a thank you and millions of pictures of happy faces as children open their presents each year. Teachers don’t always get a thank you, or may never see the present get eventually opened. When they do, appreciation may come from decades later!  A thank you that appears after many years must be the result of pure magic!

10. I discovered a light in Rudolph brightens up a dark, foggy, or snowy night so that I can deliver joy to all the children across the world. Teachers provide the light that brightens our world in both the darkest night and brightest day! It is the light of learning and knowledge!  The ability to keep that light burning  bright  must take a quite a bit of magic!

You see, I have found that magic does not come easily! It is made possible only by those who work hard and keep believing, and seek what they know is possible! As you can see, there must be a great deal of magic in the education profession! Please continue to keep this magic alive and know that you are all on my good list! After all, I had to learn all that I do from somewhere! So from across the years, I know I have many teachers to thank!   Last, to all teachers across the world… I really do believe in you!

Thanks for all the magic,

Santa

I hope you enjoyed this very special message from Santa. Please take a moment to share this letter with other educators across the world. It will truly help bring out the magic in our profession! Please accept my present to you,  which is another year of postings by subscribing  and following me on Twitter (mjgormans). Think about contacting me (Booking Infoto see how I might fit into your conference or school PD plans. (mjgormans@gmail.com)! Again, take a moment to share this blog and even give it a re-tweet so that other educators can experience the magic.  Next post… PBL at the North Pole  (subscribe now) ! May you find the peace, joy, blessing, and magic of this very special season… and to all a good night! – Mike Gorman  (21centuryedtech.wordpress.com)

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