“rvl.io (pronounced reveal) is an online editor and platform for the popular open-source presentation framework reveal.js. The original framework requires content to be written as HTML but rvl.io aims to simplify that by providing a visual editor.”
To be honest, I don’t really understand all of the above, which is a quote from the rvl.io website. What I do know is that this is my new, favorite presentation tool, it’s extremely easy to use, and the presentations can be viewed on any web browser – even on mobile devices.
I love the simplicity of this tool, and its unique look. Another pro is that, though it requires registration, you can use your Google I.D., which means that you can register without an e-mail address, as long as the site is not blocked.
A creative teacher could find a way to make this into a differentiation tool, adding slides for each level horizontally with vertical slides of activities underneath.
Reveal is currently in beta, so there are a few kinks. One is that, if you choose to upload an image, the image is currently hosted on imgur.com. This was a problem for me since our district blocks imgur. However, I found a workaround by uploading images to my Teacher “Web Locker”, and then loading the images from that URL. Also, I got an instant reply from Hakim, one of the creators of Reveal, who assured me that they are working on a solution to this issue.
Hakim also mentioned that they are planning to add an option for sharing a private link, which is not available right now. This, and the image hosting issue, should be fixed within the next few weeks.
Another problem, which is probably more of a problem on my end than Reveal’s, is that the embed code won’t work on this blog. So, I am going to have to give you a link to my sample presentation on Genius Hour (be sure to watch the arrows in the bottom right; they will show you the directions in which you can navigate the presentation): http://www.rvl.io/teichh/genius-hour
How can you engage your students in a lesson about patterns, while making sure they use the scientific process, graph their data, analyze their data, and make accurate predictions based on that data? By incorporating dance, of course! ”Dance By Number“, a lesson that can be found at Stem4Teachers, is guaranteed to make your classroom noisy and chaotic for a few days – but also guarantees that your students will be active in their own learning. The website has a good video that describes the process and shows it in action. It also provides the lesson plan, student sheets, and teacher tools (which includes rubrics). In addition to the enthusiastic involvement of the students, this lesson makes differentiation easy; students can adjust their own levels of learning by creating patterns that reflect their abilities. It’s been awhile since I’ve mentioned Universal Design for Learning on this blog, but I definitely think this lesson fits the bill.
One of our 1st grade teachers, Mrs. Cunningham, is piloting an unusual classroom at Fox Run Elementary this year. Much of the furniture is on wheels – including tables (instead of desks) and dry erase boards. She has just posted an awesome video on her blog showing the amazing ways this has transformed her room. From the beginning of the day – when the students walk in and immediately begin rolling the tables around to suit their morning routine – to their center activities, the students in Mrs. Cunningham’s video show the versatility such a classroom allows. Two tables easily make a computer pod, a dry erase board becomes a station, students who have demonstrated responsibility roll their tables out into the hallway to work, and anyone who learns best by standing or sitting on the floor is welcome to abandon his or her chair. You will also note that students who are commenting at the end of the video are using the microphones that go with her classroom amplification system – yet another powerful tool.
Our principal, John Hinds, saw a classroom similar to this at a university, and realized its potential. Coupled with a teacher who works tirelessly to provide a differentiated learning environment for her students, this classroom is an ideal example of student-centered learning at its best. Kudos for Mr. Hinds for having the vision (and providing the funding), and to Mrs. Cunningham and her students for being the trailblazers for our campus – and hopefully for many more elementary school classrooms in the near future!
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This post from Edna Sackson at “What Ed Said” succinctly advises on changes that can be made by the teacher to differentiate learning in the classroom. The hardest one for me, but the one that has made the most difference in my years of teaching, has been the first suggestion, “Let go.” I have to say, though, that I tried to pick the most vital advice out of the list of 10, and could not prioritize them. They are all important, in my estimation, for every classroom – even if you are homeschooling a class of one!
I came across this blog post on ScoopIt the other day, and enjoyed the humor in Tamara Fisher’s article called “Two Seconds”. The most important part of the article, however, is near the end. Tamara tells the story of one of her gifted students, whose teacher has a unique approach for differentiating for Spelling. Even the teacher’s plan was not challenging enough for this particular student, however, so the teacher modified it once more to the student’s delight. Tamara concludes by saying, “Some kids will need an alternative alternative!” This is such a true statement, and I love that this child’s teacher recognized how a slight change could make such a difference to this student. To read about the teacher’s idea for Spelling, and how she adjusted to her student’s unique spelling abilities, visit Tamara Fisher’s article. You will enjoy it!
This video, hosted by Edutopia, offers an interesting model for differentiating for students in mathematics – giving the ones who need extra help the opportunity for more time to learn while the students who have mastered a concept can go deeper. This is a fascinating alternative to the “Intervention Time” that many schools have been implementing. With this method, all students have their needs addressed, instead of just the ones who need additional practice.
This idea is one of several provided in an article on Scholastic.com entitled Making Connections/Self-Monitoring: A Differentiated Learning Centers Unit Plan. You may want to check out the entire unit. Or, if you have less time, be sure to visit this section, which gives you suggestions for using the above reproducible to encourage your students to make connections to the text they are reading. The students could use this independently or in a game format in pairs. This lesson is excerpted from Differentiated Literacy Centers by Margo Southall.