Showing posts from January, 2017

Sum Dog Online Math Competition (Calhoun County Window)

For math teachers in Calhoun County - (Not an educator in Calhoun County, Michigan? There are local contests at various locations; you can visit the website to view a schedule)

Sumdog's math contest for Calhoun County starts Friday February 10, 2016 and will run until the following Thursday.

Cost: It's free to take part and there are plenty of prizes to be won!

Levels: Suggested grades K-8

When: Students can play online either at school or at home using the website or the app!

In order to join in the fun, teachers can enter their class here:

For any questions, contact

REMC 2017 MI Moot - Call for Presenters!

MI Moot 2017 - Transforming Classrooms We've transformed the MI Moodle Moot conference to better meet the needs of all educators who are committed to implementing effective change within their classrooms. Our vision is to have a variety of sessions focusing on best practices in blended learning using FREE resources such as Moodle, Google for Education, or other tools.

Save the Date We’re pleased to announce that MI Moot 2017 will be held on August 1st and 2nd, 2017 at Lansing Community College West in Lansing, Michigan. The purpose of this event is to bring educators together from K-12 and higher ed, to model how to transform instruction and support teaching and learning. This event is supported by the REMC Association of Michigan and the REMC Instructional Technology Specialists (RITS).

Call for Presenters If you are interested in presenting, please use this form to apply. We encourage you to pass this on to anyone who you think would be interested presenting a great ses…

Digital Resource Center for News Literacy - from Stony Brook University

Stony Brook University's School of Journalism has some great free resources for teachers in the Digital Resource Center around the topic of News Literacy.

There is a "Let's Get Started" area with shared activity/lesson ideas that can be used.

There are also 14 lesson plans that can be used within a course or integrated into your own curriculum -
"The full News Literacy course, developed at Stony Brook University, organizes the material into 8 concepts that are spread amongst our 14 week course that take students from the first information revolution of Johannes Gutenberg's printing press to the Digital Age of Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook. Each lesson stands alone or can easily be integrated into your program.

Below, find a summary of each of those lessons, and a link to the most updated version of the teaching materials for each from our professors at Stony Brook University. Each of the following Course Packs include PowerPoint presentations, associated …

Media Literacy and Fake News - Lesson Idea from C-SPAN Classroom

C-SPAN Classroom has provided a lesson on helping students learn methods for identifying fake news, and the impact fake news can have on society.  Lesson includes several video clips that may be used, along with a worksheet.

Website & Project - Novel Engineering

Novel Engineering looks like a great way to collaboratively teach Literature with Engineering!

From the website:
An integrated approach to teaching Engineering and Literacy "Inspired by kids and grounded in research, Novel Engineering is an innovative approach to integrate engineering and literacy in elementary and middle school.

Students use existing classroom literature - stories, novels, and expository texts - as the basis for engineering design challenges that help them identify problems, design realistic solutions, and engage in the Engineering Design Process while reinforcing their literacy skills....

[S]tudents develop projects based on texts they read in English Language Arts or other content classes, such as history. The characters become their clients and students pull from the text to scope problems and set constraints as they engage in engineering design.

Teachers play a pivotal role in supporting their students' engagement by providing a supportive, responsive en…

Reconstruction Era - Videos & Lessons from Facing History

History teachers that have not checked out the site "Facing History and Ourselves" really should spend a few minutes exploring it.  There are great resources which range from full unit plans, to videos and primary source materials that may be pulled out and used to support existing lessons.

Their stated mission - "Our mission is to engage students of diverse backgrounds in an examination of racism, prejudice, and antisemitism in order to promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry."  Their work began with the holocaust, but has expanded to include a wide range of topics/events designed to make a "connection between history and the moral choices [students] confront in their own lives."

Below is information about their materials that are about the Reconstruction Era after the American Civil war.

From Big House Media:
"Facing History and Ourselves has produced a series of freevideos and accompanyinglessons that introduce a rigorous …

Michigan Reads! Guide for Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum now online

From the Library of Michigan Michigan Reads! program - a great resource for use with preK-2 students.  Check out the Michigan Reads! link at the bottom for connection to past One Book, One Community resources.

The Michigan Reads! Programming and Resource Guide 2017 for Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum is now online!  The guide contains information on early literacy, activities directly related to the 2017 book, templates, coloring, and more!  Written by Meagan K. Shedd, PhD, with contributions by Catherine Lancaster and additional activities by Kris Remenar and Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum author Lisa Wheeler.   Access the Michigan Reads! Programming and Resource Guide 2017 Full Page Spreads here.  Or you may choose to open & print single pagesof the Michigan Reads! Programming and Resource Guide 2017.

Inside the Programming & Resource Guide for Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum you will find:  MI Reads! IntroductionLiteracy DevelopmentResources…More Great Books to Share with ChildrenDigital Resources: …

Google Classroom - Ability to Assign Items to Individual Students

Google just made a BIG jump in personalizing work for students in Classroom!  You can now assign a Question, Assignment or Announcement to as many or as few of your students as you want.  The first time you login and this feature is available to you, you will see the following message:

When you create a new item, you will now see a dropdown that says All students -

The first item is All Students.  This gives a quick way to either select OR deselect all your students -
So, you can either uncheck the students you do not want to get the item, OR you can deselect all students and then check the students you want to get the item -
Once you have the correct students with checks by their names, the dropdown will change to show how many students are going to get the item -

That's it!  It works for all the items you can add in Classroom, too.

Ironically, I just told a teacher yesterday that Classroom would not be the best tool to use in tracking student work for a subset of students.  Toda…

Creating Accessible Documents Help Sheet

We have been spending time combing our website to ensure that it is ADA compliant lately.  One of the biggest issues we have run into is that many of us creating documents for the website did not know that you have to make the document ADA compliant prior to downloading it (in whatever format) and posting it on the website.  Additionally, any pdfs created must not be images - i.e. scans of a document - since screen readers are unable to read those.

Here is a 1-page "cheatsheet" I made to help people create accessible documents.  My encouragement is that all documents should be accessible not just documents for the web, so create documents this way should just become habit.

(If you prefer to view in a separate window or tab, here is a direct link to the document.)

Website & Event - Money Smart Week

Money Smart Week started up in Chicago in 2002, and is now a nationwide event that provides free resources, speakers, and activities.  This year's event is from April 22-29. 

For youth, Michigan libraries can request free copies of the book "A Dollar for Penny" by January 27 to use for activities in their school.  Additional resources are found on the Money Smart Week website.  You can also contact local financial institutions as many are supporting the event in a variety of ways. 

From the Michigan Money Smart Week Chairperson:

Money Smart Week® (MSW) is just around the corner and we have a fabulous opportunity for you to obtain, read and give away free books to children attending a story time at your library! MSW is a public awareness campaign designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances. This is achieved through the collaboration and coordinated effort of hundreds of organizations across the country including financial institutions and other busi…

REMC 12E #CISD Inspire Workshop - Breakout EDU

What’s This Breakout EDU Box Thing?
Breakout EDU - a new fad or a valid method for learning? It’s hard to know until you experience one for yourself.  This workshop will begin by dividing into teams whose challenge is to break into a Breakout EDU box.  It sounds simple, but will require teamwork, creative problem solving, and thinking outside the “box” to accomplish the breakout.
Purposes of the day’s activities - Experience a Breakout EDU Box activity Discuss the impacts of Breakout EDU on educational learning Walk through the setup process and materials needed Create a modified Breakout EDU activity
This session is appropriate for superintendents, principals, all teachers, curriculum & technology personnel.  Breakout EDU boxes can be used with staff for professional development/team building, or in the classroom.
Date: February 3, 2017 Time: 8:30 - 12:00 Where: Calhoun ISD (Marshall) Cost: FREE to REMC 12E educators       $10 for those outside REMC 12E The Morning’s Agenda Please registerh…

MeL Webinar - Digital Discoveries for Black History Month

From Christine Schneider, K-12 Education Specialist with MeL -

Did you miss the webinar?  It was amazing to see the great wealth of Primary Source documents, biographies, Freedman's Bank Records, and articles that can be used in the classroom related to Black History Month.  Luckily it was recorded!

Here is a link to the recorded webinar:

I am pleased to announce a webinar that you won’t want to miss!  On Thursday, January 19th, join myself and trainers from Gale, Britannica, ProQuest (HeritageQuest), and WorldBook to learn about Digital Discoveries for Black History Month with MeL. Find out where to locate material that can be used in the library and classroom during Black History Month.  This webinar is geared toward Media Specialists, teachers, and other K-12 staff.
We are offering two times for this hour-long webinar.  Please be sure to register and save your spot:
Thursday January 19, 2017:  10:00 AM (EST)
Thursday January 19, 2017: 4:00 PM …

Google Drive - Moderated Templates in the Template Gallery

Back in December I blogged about the new Template Gallery in Google Docs, Sheets & Slides.  (By the way, it also works with Google Forms now!)

You may be in an organization that moderates the templates submitted to the gallery - this can be especially helpful in a larger organization where it would get overwhelming quickly if everyone tried to add personal templates (what I consider templates that only the creator would use, not everyone in the organization or even departments within the organization).

If this is the case, when you submit a template you will get the following message:

This will trigger an email to your Google administrators that have access to applications.  Once they approve or deny your request, you will get one of the following emails as confirmation:
 For a decline:
 For an approved request:

If the request was approved, then the template will be available to everyone in your organization going forward. 

If you are an admin, this is the email you will recieved…

Reading Rockets website

Website recommendation from MeL -

Often library staff that are not children’s specialists will need to assist patrons/parents who have children and will be asked for reading tips for their young children. When training or sharing information with other staff members, you might want to recommend the excellent Reading Rockets website. If you are not familiar with Reading Rockets, you might want to spend a little time exploring their site as there is an incredible amount of useful information. Reading Rockets is described as “a national multimedia literacy initiative offering information and resources on how young kids learn to read, why so many struggle, and how caring adults can help.” The following links would be useful for ALL library staff to be aware of, but also the tips could be reproduced on bookmarks to hand out to parents or distribute at programs.  Most importantly the information is given in numerous languages including Spanish, Arabic, Traditional Chinese, Haitian Creole, H…

#REMC12E PD Opportunities -

Here are a couple of FREE professional development opportunities for educators from REMC 12E in the next couple weeks -
eResources to Add to Your Classroom Toolbox We are excited to have Christine Schneider, K-12 Education Specialist for the Michigan eLibrary, leading us in a 2 1/2 hour session on all the changes that have been taking place in MeL!

Date: January 13, 2017
Time: 12:30-3:00pm
Where: Calhoun Intermediate School District (Gifford Schultz Building - Marshall)
Cost: FREE
Register at CISD's Professional Development Registration Portal

Christine will be taking us into:
accessing and using the subscription databases provided by the State of Michigan to all Michigan residents through MeLtargeted preK-5 resources such as Scholastic BookFlix, Britannica School and WorldBook for Kidstargeted grades 6-12 resources that include Research in Context, Gale Virtual Reference Library, and Health & Wellness Center.   She will be covering many of the special features available on the …

Teacher Innovator Awards from The Henry Ford

The Henry Ford and Litton Entertainment are proud to sponsor a third year ofThe Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation Teacher Innovator Awards! Looks like a great opportunity.
From The Henry Ford:
Do you know a teacher who has inspired others to challenge the limits of what’s possible? Who encourages others to create bold solutions?
We are looking for teachers who demonstrate an original and creative approach to teaching, exhibit resourcefulness, engage students, and are making a positive impact on not only their classroom but their community, colleagues, administrators, school, and/or district. We want to know what makes these teachers innovative? How do they define innovation? How do they convey innovation to their students?
Twenty teachers in total will receive prizes, with the top ten grand prize winners receiving a five-day long “Innovation Immersion Experience” at The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan. Winners will be announced in June. 
The awards were created to accompany the n…