Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Khan Academy and the Common Core

Last week I blogged about the connections being made between the National Common Core State Standards and Khan Academy videos through the Mastery Connect Web site.

The direct link to the correlated Khan Academy videos is

Right now it appears as though connections have been made for Math standards only, which fits because that was really the area that Sal Khan started with in the first place. Khan hasn’t made many videos yet that branch over into the English/Language Arts realm yet, so not many have been connected to that area.  Also, there are very few Khan Academy videos that have been connected to K-2 Common Core standards, a few more are available in Grade 3, and still more become available as you move higher through the grade levels. As an example, here’s a screen shot of a few of the materials available to support Statistics & Probability instruction in a 7th Grade Math classroom:


To get this, I went to the Khan Academy Common Core resources, clicked on the grade level on the left (7th grade in this example), and then chose the Domain I wanted – in this case Statistics & Probability. Now in the main window I see all of the Math Standards notations & descriptions. The blue links in the third column take the user directly to Khan Academy videos to assist students and teachers with explanations of the concepts & skills. In the right-hand column are Khan Academy Exercises to help users practice and hone the skills taught through the standards-correlated videos. The Exercises pose a problem to the student with a box in which to enter their answer. The related standards are all noted for the teacher and student to reference. There is also a “Need a Hint” button, as well as a link back to the video explanation so students can go back through the instructions again to help them figure out the problem.

This is a good start to becoming a really great resource for schools and teachers who are going to be re-vamping their curricula for the implementation of the National Common Core State Standards.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

60 Second Science–Scientific American


Scientific American offers podcasts with lesson ideas and up-to-date news emerging in various fields of science. Take a listen – it’ll only take a minute!

(By the way, you don’t need an iPod or MP3 player to listen to podcasts – most people listen to them through their computer or other web-enabled device.)

Thanks to Free Tech for Teachers for the link to this resource.

Teachers’ Favorite iPad Apps

Are you an iPaddler? Here are some of the favorite iPad apps chosen by teachers in a survey conducted by Kelly Walsh at Emerging Ed Tech:


  • Evernote
  • Dropbox
  • Neu.Notes
  • Screen Chomp
  • TED Videos
  • EduCreations
  • iBooks
  • Skitch
  • Twitter
  • Zite
  • Science360

Read the blog post for descriptions and links, please. Five other Pay-Per-Apps were also included in the survey.  But hey, who doesn’t love FREE?

Finishing the School Year Strong

I was recently reminded of a great article from Larry Ferlazzo on how to motivate students to finish strong each and every school year (as well as how we can motivate ourselves, too!) It’s a good, quick, and timely read for all educators. Check it out!

The article ends with the most powerful paragraph of all:


(Ed Week Teacher, published online May 4, 2011)

Read Larry Ferlazzo’s blog

Follow Larry Ferlazzo on Pinterest

Monday, March 26, 2012

Teaching Channel


The Teaching Channel is a resource I just learned about last week, and I love it! The Teaching Channel not only gives educators great ideas – correlated with the National Common Core State Standards – PLUS it gives video examples of how to pull off those ideas in classrooms, with supporting documentation. There are ideas for classroom management techniques, tips & tricks for the classroom, specific Common Core teaching strategies for various topics, etc. So, if you need a good idea on how to approach a topic for your classroom – CHECK OUT THE TEACHING CHANNEL!

Here are a few examples, from their YouTube Channel:

Notes about the YouTube Channel vs. the Teaching Channel Web site: Most of the YouTube videos that are available now are for K-8, at least at the time of this posting. But don’t despair, High School teachers, there are well over 100 videos for grades 9-12 available on the Teaching Channel Web site. Supporting documents are also not available on the YouTube channel, but all the documents and videos are available through the Teaching Channel Web site. Embedding the videos into this blog post was easier to do through YouTube.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


LucidChart is a free tool for educators that allows the creation of collaborative flow charts and diagrams. This would be a great tool for any language arts, social studies, or other class where writing/pre-writing activities are done in visual form. It would also be helpful to help display events in series, visually map a complex process, etc.

Have a look at the tool in action, as it is used to map the lyrics to The Beatles’ “Hey Jude”:

LucidChart is generally a paid-subscription service. However, LucidChart for Education is offered free-of-charge for teachers and students at this link.

Read more about the tool and an example of its use in an American Government class at TeachingHistory!

Common Core, Khan Academy, & Mastery Connect

Mastery Connect offers handy and free resources on the National Common Core State Standards. If you’ll look to the right, you’ll notice I’ve installed their Common Core app on this website. The app is also available for iOS devices in the App store.

A recent tip from Kleinspiration mentions that Mastery Connect has also paired with Khan Academy to offer even more Common Core resources for educators. According to her post, Erin Klein reports that
“They’ve just completed the integration of over 1,700 Khan Academy videos aligned to the Common Core! These are available to both Free and Premium Users, right now.”
To learn more about Mastery Connect’s connections with Khan videos, read their blog post.

Using Technology To Enable Dreaming

Over the past several years I’ve heard concerns about the death of student creativity due to the use of technology, and how technology isolates children from going outside & exploring The Real World around them. Storyteller and illustrator Shilo Shiv Suleman shows and explains how this is simply not so in the TEDTalk video below. 

TEDTalk: Shilo Shiv Suleman – Using tech to enable dreaming 

Learn more about the writing, illustrations, and tech-enabled dreams of Shilo Shiv Suleman by reading her blog.

Why Videos Go Viral

Ever wonder how your kids learn about all those random videos they’re always talking about in the hallways? In this TEDTalk, Kevin Allocca, YouTube’s trends manager, explains the four main reasons that certain YouTube videos become popular, or “viral,” in today’s popular culture. 

TedTalk – Kevin Allocca: Why Videos Go Viral

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Illinois Edition

imageA new website called Illinois Edition provides more than 10,000 video clips, audio clips, and images free of charge for teachers to use in their classrooms. 

Listen to the WUIS news story for more details. 

“The clips range from ‘Curious George’ to the science program ‘Nova.’ They cover “everything from history and the arts to math and science.” 

At the Illinois Edition website, teachers can access 3 resources right out of the box with no hassle. After that, they are prompted to create a free account. The site is searchable by grade level, subject area, media or resource type.  While the bulk of the resources are available in English, a few are also offered in Spanish.

Several of the videos also link to ready-made lesson plan ideas with supporting documents, which can be tailored to fit individual classroom needs.  Resources for grades K-12 can be found throughout the site, not matter the content area.

…and it’s all FREE!

Many thanks to Rick Lawsha, Galesburg (IL) CUSD #205 District Technology Director for the tip on this resource!

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