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Stop Distracted Learning: Real Tools and Tips to Help Students

Posted by Emily Guthrie on Aug 27, 2016 2:09:00 PM

I can relate to students who find it difficult to avoid the distractions that are ever present with their peers, their devices, and the all the other competing interests in their lives. These distractions are part of the world today and are not going away anytime soon, so I think it behooves teachers and students alike to regularly revisit strategies for improved concentration on important tasks and projects. 

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Topics: Classroom Management, tech, technology, classroom tech

Plickers: Easy and Free Formative Assessment Tech Tool

Posted by Emily Guthrie on Feb 11, 2016 10:53:38 AM

Plickers is such a fun tool with a myriad of uses in the classroom!  If you haven't heard of plickers, they are definitely worth a look!

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Topics: Assessments, Classroom Tech, formative assessment, plickers, tech, technology, tips

5 Healthy Reminders that Technology Can't Replace Teaching

Posted by Emily Guthrie on Dec 10, 2015 10:14:22 AM

Let's get one thing out of the way; I love using technology in my classroom. I use multiple devices, websites, and apps everyday.  However, as edtech becomes more prevalent, I hear a lot of fallacious reasoning around the topic that I think can be damaging to both teachers and students. Here are some of the things I hear:

  • Mrs. X uses technology in her classroom, so she is a great teacher.
  • Because school X is not using a 1 to 1 student device program, the students will not be well prepared for college or careers.
  • Giving  massive technology grants to low performing schools will solve the issues of educational inequity.
  • Computer skills are replacing basic reading and writing skills in the new digital world.
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Topics: Classroom Tech, edtech, tech, technology

Visme: Creating Beautiful Lectures and Handouts

Posted by Emily Guthrie on Nov 10, 2015 10:05:22 PM

Recently, the folks over at Visme.co reached out to us to check out their platform for creating presentations, infographics, and banners. So I went over and played around with the site to see how it could be useful to our teacher community here at Simply Novel, and here is what I found:

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Topics: Classroom Tech, Fun Stuff, infographics, lectures, tech, technology, visme

Fostering Positive Parent-Teacher Interactions

Posted by Emily Guthrie on Sep 26, 2015 12:57:00 AM

Although it is often underestimated and overlooked, parent and teacher collaboration is vitally important to student success.  Some parents have time to be very involved and others have significantly less time and/or resources to dedicate to schooling.  Either way, parents ought to be a respected part of the education equation and positive communication with them should be toward the top of teachers' priorities.  Here are a few tips for keeping parent communication positive:

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Topics: Classroom Management, Classroom Tech, communication, dealing with parents, parents, technology, google forms

A Few of My Favorite (Back to School) Things

Posted by Emily Guthrie on Aug 5, 2015 12:58:55 AM

Move over Von Trapps, it's time for the sound of school:

New sharpened pencils and fresh ink in pens
Bright stadium lights and warm woolen letterman's
Brown paper lunch bags tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite back to school things

With all of the stress, busyness, and seemingly endless meetings that greet teachers at the beginning of each school year, I thought that today would be a good day to reflect on some of my favorite parts of the back to school season.  Feel free to share yours in the comment section below!

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Topics: back to school, Classroom Management, Classroom Tech, Holiday/Seasonal, technology

Teach Students to Organize Research with Scrible

Posted by Emily Guthrie on Apr 29, 2015 12:13:32 AM

I've just finished another round of student research papers and as laborious as the grading can be, the process of curating research is one of the most valuable lessons that I teach students heading into our modern world.  For the rest of their lives at home and work, students will need to solve problems and reach conclusions based on the incredible expanse of information on the internet.  They will need to be able to determine the credibility of sources, understand multiple perspectives, and use resources to form educated responses to their world.  Academic research, including research papers can be one step along the path to digital proficiency. (For tips about research paper assignments, click here.  For more about teaching students to determine source credibility,click here.)

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Topics: Classroom Tech, papers, research, technology, tips, Writing

The Crucible: A Psychology Cross-Curricular Lesson

Posted by Emily Guthrie on Apr 23, 2015 7:01:49 AM

I'm in the midst of teaching Arthur Miller's play, The Crucible, which I absolutely love for the end of the American Lit school year since it so eloquently ties together early and modern America.  We have been doing Streetcar Named Desire for the last few years, but made the switch back to The Crucible this year, so it was time to revamp my curriculum and dust off the cobwebs on my brain!  I've been using the Common Core Aligned Unit from Simply Novel, which has been saving my life (especially since I am almost 8 months pregnant)!  It is chock full of meaningful activities, assessments, and resources for teaching the play.  Today I want to share a supplemental, cross-curricular activity that I tried this year.  Where it works, the English department at my school likes to collaborate with the social science department to enrich both of our curricula and help students make connections.  The most obvious links in my class are between American literature and US History, but this activity links the Arthur Miller play with psychology,  a popular social science elective at my school.

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Topics: Classroom Tech, Drama, literature, technology

Schoology: EdTech in Action

Posted by Emily Guthrie on Oct 7, 2014 7:59:53 AM

Before school started this year, I wrote this blog post about one of my goals for this school year, which is to incorporate more educational social networks into my classroom.  I decided to give the free version of schoology a whirl this year and so far I have been LOVING it! Here are some of the things I've been loving so far:

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Topics: Classroom Tech, edtech, tech, technology

Where to Spend $5 to Get Tough Tasks Off Your Teacher To Do List

Posted by Emily Guthrie on Jul 22, 2014 7:45:44 AM

 It seems like everywhere I turn these days I see a new resource to help students take short cuts around the valuable work we do in our classrooms.  When I was working on a side project recently, I came across fiverr.com, which is a global marketplace offering a variety of services, or gigs, starting at $5 each.  I was disheartened to see sellers offering to do homework or analyze a book, but it did get me thinking about how I could switch the dynamic around to give teachers some much needed shortcuts.  Here are the $5 gigs I found that can take tough tasks off of our teacher to do lists, so we can focus on other important classroom priorities:

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Topics: back to school, fiverr, teaching tips, technology, tips

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As an innovative leader in the field of educational publishing and media, Simply Novel is committed to providing practical ideas, relevant content, and quality resources to support and connect teachers and to inspire better teaching. Simply Novel provides effective and innovative training, coaching, and resources to help teachers feel inspired and connected to each other and their students in order to generate, support, and retain high-quality teachers in the classroom.

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