Happy New Year Morris Knolls!
Every new year brings a season of contemplation about last year's successes and failures. While it is easy to zero in on our faults, we should always spend time reflecting on all of the positive impacts we have made as teachers. With the new year upon us, goal setting is in full swing throughout our society. Whether you are focused on personal goals or career goals, there are a number of ways to put your goals into action.
One of the more common strategies for student goals is the SMART goals process. This method has caught traction in schools all over the country and a number of our programs use the SMART framework to set achievement goals with students. I have found a couple different formats for SMART, but they all follow a similar line of thinking.
Why set achievement goals?
Implementing learning goals has shown to increase student achievement by an average of 75%. When students set relevant and achievable goals for themselves, opportunities are created to increase buy-in and participation. Goals set a destination for students to work towards and our teacher-created learning tasks will be the guide.
The following document is one template you could use to set a SMART goal in your classroom. The pdf version is printable, but not editable. If you would like to create your own prompts or edit the file, you will need to make a copy of this Google Doc.
Smart goals - pdf template
Google Docs, Sheets, and Drive all provide unique collaborative tools, but sometimes sharing and editing the permissions of documents can be confusing. When it comes to sharing documents securely, it is important to understand the different permissions you are granting to others.
It is important to be sure that you are only providing editing rights when necessary. When you share a document and hand editing rights to another user, you are handing over a large share of rights for someone to make use of the information contained in the document. In addition to editing the document, editors can also add other users and share/print the document. In many classroom settings this is not a problem, but if you are handling sensitive information or only seeking input on a file, I would share a file with View or Comment rights instead of full editing rights.
The PDF below provides detailed instructions for maintaining and securing digital rights within the Google Education Suite. Please feel free to reach out to email@example.com if you have any questions!
As the video below outlines, teachers can search for these materials by book, genre, grade level, literary device, text set, and theme. CommonLit also offers read aloud mode, guided reading questions, annotation tools, and free in-site translation to Spanish features to assist ELL students and teachers. These tools are clearly applicable for English and Social Studies teachers, but I quickly found full sets of Spanish texts, health topics, and readings for Science and Technology courses.
Building DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP is important!
The internet has grown into an incredible resource catalog for teachers and students, but as the internet continues to grow and develop, so does the need to train young learners how to navigate the digital world safely and securely.
Created by Google, Be Internet Awesome is a digital citizenship platform and curriculum. This program is designed to help build responsible young users of the internet and provides some terrific resources for teachers and parents.
"To make the most of the Internet, kids need to be prepared to make smart decisions. Be Internet Awesome teaches kids the fundamentals of digital citizenship and safety so they can explore the online world with confidence."
This digital curriculum contains over 60 pages of activities, educator notes, student goals, scenarios, and discussion topics. It is available for free download HERE. The website also contains an interactive platform/puzzle game called Interland. This game uses puzzles to teach skills and thought processes that should be employed when using the internet safely. I only got to play a few levels, but I was rather impressed with the game. It was far beyond a simple internet game.
If you are interested in learning more ways to integrate digital safety into your curriculum, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With more resources than I can possibly cover in one blog post, BioInteractive is setting the bar very high for free classroom resources. This online platform offers a wealth of science articles, course curriculum, data sets, online labs, and videos. The topic list below just scratches the surface of how robust this resource is, and it is free!
As we continue to look for ways to supplement student learning, it is important for us to provide multiple outlets for students to engage with our content area material. The classroom resources alone make this a must visit for all of our science and statistics teachers, but I also see an opportunity for English teachers to integrate informational text from a different subject area. The video below gives a brief overview of the website structure. Please feel free to reach out if you have any specific questions or need help locating a resource!
The iCoach MK workshop blog catalogs all of our workshop materials and new resources in one location.