Creativity Games is a site that offers a weekly creativity game every Monday. There are also weekly challenges and resources offered. Although it seems to be aimed at an adult audience, I believe many of the ideas could be used with younger students as well. For example, I love the “New World Education Game” that was offered on August 20th. It challenges you to think of a new university course using the 4 words provided. As the “Strategy” paragraph states, our students are entering a new world with different technologies, and we need to come up with novel ideas for preparing them for this. I could see my gifted and talented students loving this idea, and many of the other activities on Creativity Games. This is a great tool for educators.
If you have not heard of Universal Design for Learning, also known as UDL, you might want to check out my post here that gives an introduction. You can also choose Universal Design for Learning from one of the categories on the right for additional posts on this topic.
The UDL Tech Toolkit is a Glog that has links to a variety of technology tools to make learning accessible to all students. Even if you have not heard of UDL, or are not ready to plunge into Universal Design for Learning full speed ahead, you will find that there are many useful resources included in this Glog. I would definitely recommend bookmarking the UDL Tech Toolkit, so that you will have a ready reserve of sites that can help you to engage students with many different abilities.
SOLO stands for “Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes”. I came across this taxonomy when I was researching another resource that I will be offering in tomorrow’s post. I thought it might be helpful to offer this one first just in case you, like me, have never heard of SOLO.
The graphic below, taken from the Otonga Primary School blog, gives an overview of SOLO:
I highly recommend that you visit the Otonga Primary School site, as it gives great examples of each of the thinking stages.
Some of you may note that this looks a bit like Bloom’s Taxonomy. I noticed this, too. So, I dug a bit deeper to try to find the difference, and discovered this page by Pam Hook that outlines what she considers to be the advantages of SOLO over Bloom’s. I am not certain I agree with all of her statements, particularly that Bloom’s Taxonomy is more for teacher use than student use, but this post does help to clarify some of the differences.
I have not had professional development with SOLO, so I cannot speak to its effectiveness, but I do think that it is an interesting concept, and I am particularly intrigued by the Relational stage, which I will discuss more in tomorrow’s post.
Dear Photograph is not an educational site. It is a collection of photographs of pictures. In each photograph, the photographer is holding up a picture from the past in front of a scene from the present. The juxtaposition is striking, and the submissions are accompanied by moving letters to the subjects of the older photos. The emotions that you find on this site are varied and deep, from nostalgia to regret. I like the idea of using this concept in the classroom because I think that it could help students to better understand their families. And if you have some really creative photo editors, they could develop their own versions for historical settings that they are currently studying or for literature. Using Dear Photograph for a project would be a neat way to encourage empathy and perspective.
I Spy a QR Code is a blog post that includes a Prezi by Nina Nichols Peery. I promise that I’m not just recommending this because it includes a link to this blog! The Prezi includes some interesting videos and some unique QR code activities that I think you will like. Be sure to click on this link for downloads for the accompanying worksheets. I think you will enjoy seeing new ideas for using QR codes in your classroom to engage the minds of your students!
In this blog post by Kathleen Perret on “Learning is Growing”, she gives a list of great ideas for informally assessing the learning of your students. These are quick techniques to use at the end of a lesson just to check if your intended message got across. Although I have used some of these, there are a few new ideas that I think would be well-worth trying – such as “Chalkboard Champs” or “Rock, Paper Scissors”.
You Can Do the Rubik’s Cube has a surprising number of resources for using this “toy” for learning. Frustrated by this endless cube of fun? There are downloadable teacher resources that integrate math, as well as solution manuals. There are activities for all ages, including The Candy Game for ages 7-17. In addition to the free materials, there is an education kit available, a t-shirt, and links to competitions for schools and youth groups.
The Drawing Drawer is an idea that will be appealing to teachers of all levels who are familiar with the classic, “What are we supposed to do when we’re done?” Marty Reid has provided a list of fun ideas for kids who finish their work early. They include suggestions like: ”Draw a picture of something you’d like to become better at doing,” or “Draw your greatest fear.” The trick, of course, is balancing the motivational value of this concept with the expectation of quality from the main assignment. However, with a little practice and clear expectations, this could be a great way to add some creativity to the daily routine. While you are visiting Marty’s page, you might also want to check out some of the other great ideas at www.incredibleart.org!
Mind mapping is a great skill for all ages, and this site will show you pretty much all of the ways in which it can be useful. There is even a poster that you can download of the 100 reasons. And, if you are looking for some other free printables, head on over to I.Q. Matrix, where you can download some very creative and elaborate mind maps, such as the “How-to-Mind-Map” mind map!