Vicki Davis

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Every Classroom Matters: Creative Approaches to Teaching Stem at the Elementary Level.

I had an incredible conversation with Kevin Jarrett and Jeremy Ervin about Kevin’s STEM lab. He’s taken an elementary computer lab and turned in into a STEM classroom where kids from kindergarten up learn Engineering, Math, science, and Technology. It is a fantastic model and I’m so impressed with what he’s doing. Hope you’ll take a listen and share.
RT @Innov8rEduc8r: Tips and strategies a plenty - Fab podcast by the always inspiring @coolcatteacher #edchat #edutweetoz #AussieEd

Tips and strategies a plenty - Fab podcast by…

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Join the elementary art project that will help the world be more grateful #creativitymatters

The EveryArtist Live! Project
EveryArtist Live! November 21. Creativity matters as we focus on the worldwide art project of gratitude. Sign your students up today.
On November 21, 2013, Everyartist Live! will have an exciting project for all elementary students.
Here’s how it works.

Elementary Art Project Theme


How to prepare for this art project:

Visit the website and view videos about the event, creativity, and this year’s theme. Your students don’t need Internet access, but if they have it, they’ll have more places to create.

What will happen:

Teachers, parents, or mentors will upload the gratitude-themed art through the app (to be launched in November) or via the website.

What will happen with the artwork?

Share your artwork with the world on November 21 in the EveryArtist Live! Art Project Photo credit: iStock Photo
Share your artwork with the world on November 21 in the EveryArtist Live! Art Project Photo credit: iStock Photo
The artwork will be displayed in two places: online and at your school as you choose to do it.
Student Art On the Website: The online art work will be displayed for many to see. Student work is only shown by first name last initial (or pseudonym). Adults control the names, so those are set up by the adults uploading the work.
At your school: Display the art as you see fit. Some schools are lining hallways and others are displaying outside. There are so many ways to get creative.

How does this align with what you’re doing in November?

Gratitude fits perfectly with the celebration of the US Holiday of Thanksgiving.
Remember that this is also an important opportunity to help students get creative and be involved with their parents in the conversation about art and gratitude. What a great cross curricular project!

What does this cost?

This project is free for anyone, but you’ll need to sign up at Parents, teachers, and caregivers will be the adults uploading the artwork to protect the privacy of the kids.
(See my previous article Creativity for Kids: November 21 and every day)

Why are they doing this?

Here’s the interesting part of the story. If you want to learn more, you can look at the website, but for me, when I decided to come on board and tell their story was when I read their profile on kickstarter. The profile talks about the founding artist Brendan O’Connell and his story. I’ll quote:
That’s why we call ourselves  We are the story of Brendan O’Connell, Artist – and of Brendan’s vision to democratize that creative experience to kids everywhere.
Brendan is a professional artist.
He believes he was born to make art.
He earns his living as an artist.
Brendan was lucky enough to grow up with a strong support system that helped him develop his creativity into becoming a painter.  That support sustained him as he honed his craft as an artist on the streets of Paris.  Tough times, but Brendan knew art was what he was destined to do.
He became an artist despite being told as a child that art was not something he was good at.
That was misguided advice, and Brendan vowed that someday he would figure out a way to keep that kind of thing from happening to other kids.
Now is that time. 
Along with some like-minded partners, Brendan created is a child focused movement to support the expression of creativity innate in every child.’s purpose is simple … Spark Human Creativity”
The more I dig into this story and what they are doing, the more I just love this project and the purpose of I hope you’ll join in on November 21 and be part of the emphasis to support the creativity of every child.

EveryArtist Live! is an exciting project and with an exciting future and you can join now. Yes, I’m paid for this post, but honestly, it is a post I would have written anyway. As with everything here, I jealously guard your classroom and mine to help you find those new things that are worthwhile additions to your classroom.
I hope you’ll take to email this website to people in your school so they can join in too!

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 10/22/2013

  • Booktrack also has a Halloween writing contest for booktrack as well. This would be a fun creative activity with your students.

    tags: education news writing literacy

  • This is a very cool app. You look at the periodic table and drag elements to mix them together and see what happens in the app. The GoReact app is a “drag and drop” laboratory. If you introduce the periodic table, you’ll want to see this.

    tags: education science scichat news all_teachers

  • Scholastic Book Fairs now have a mobile app that lets you scan the covers and get reading levels and other interesting information about the book. What a useful, cool way to introduce the concept of “augmented reality” to kids. You can put the app on their ipads if you’re 1:1 and let them use it to pick out books.

    tags: education news literacy books augmented reality mlearning tumblr

  • Booktrack gives you a way to read a book while listening to a soundtrack. I mentioned the research study in a previous bookmark / link. This is something librarians and literacy leaders should test and try out for themselves as it is a fascinating tool and potential. There are a thousand questions I have about this but plan to try it for myself. On another note, you can also upload your own personal music and keep it private — to play as you read.

    tags: education news books literacy bestpractices literature

  • Yes, this study was funded by Booktrack (a 2011 study), however, I find that the information is fascinating. By setting sound tracks of different mood music, this study showed: *Virtually all subjects performed moderately to significantly better on information retention tests. * Subjects reported a strong correlation with interacting with the enhanced platform and an ability to focus. There are other results on this, but I find this fascinating and find this a very interesting point to consider as ebooks evolve. Will ebook authors attach music to different pages? Will reading become more cinematic and theatrical? All kinds of interesting thoughts here.

    tags: education ebook news research bestpractices

  • Through the end of the year, Discovery just sent me a note that they are offering these three common core academies at no cost. Here’s the info from Steve Dembo. I’ve done some work with their SIEMENS STEM Academy and am a sTAR Educator and everything they do is top notch. If you can work it out before the end of the year, this is something you’ll want to do. From Steve Dembo: “We know that implementing the Common Core can be an uphill climb. That’s why Discovery Education is proud to partner with educators to offer Common Core Academies in ELA, Math, and Leadership at no cost. From now until the end of the school year, educators across America are invited to sign up for an Academy and receive: practical strategies to implement CCSS reseach-based instructional practices best practices in using digital content resources and digital tools for immediate classroom integration Discovery Education Common Core Academies offer one day of immersive professional development and two follow-up virtual sessions at no cost to support educators and leaders in effectively implementing the Common Core State Standards. Educators may choose from three Academies offering a unique combination that brings together best practices in digital integration with proven research-based instructional practices: Literacy and the Common Core in a Digital World Teaching and Assessing Common Core Math in a Digital World Leadership Strategies to Support Digital Literacy and the Common Core”

    tags: education common core professional development news tumblr edu_news

  • Explain 3D has simulations explaining all kinds of machines and more. This is a 3D simulation built upon the “unity” platform, so you can move around the object in 3D. If you are teaching engineering, run a STEM lab, or work with physics, you’ll want to check out what they’ve done on this site.

    tags: education news engineering tumblr simulations physics

  • This looks like a very cool English game that uses all kinds of shows to teach. Thinking that ESL teachers will want to test this one out. Mau Butler send me this message about this new site: Hello Vicki, I’ve been an ESL teacher for 20 years, in several countries, and a reader of your coolcatteacher blog for a while. Congratulations. You do excellent work. :) For the past 3 years, I’ve been building a very innovative approach to teaching and learning English, which is now ready to use. Considering your work, I thought you’d be interested in trying it out. It’s called Tripppin and I strongly recommend you see it for yourself on but this is us in a nutshell: “Tripppin is an English practice platform, which blends offline and online learning experiences into a game, a music channel, cooking shows, animation, entertaining videos shot around the world, and excellent support for English teachers everywhere.” Hope you can have a look :) Thank you.

    tags: education news esl language_teacher gamification tumblr

  • Happy Digital Citizenship week. As part of connected educators month, this is digital citizenship week. Here is the webpage to help you participate and promote the event.

    tags: education news digitalcitizenship ce13

  • Train your students in CPR. This is a great thing to share with your health classes. The curriculum is here for you. “The easy-to-use CPR in Schools Training Kit is designed just for schools.  It contains everything needed to train 10 students at once in CPR.  Repeat the process to train a class, a grade - or even an entire school! The CPR in Schools Training Kit is portable, allowing for convenient movement from classroom to classroom and easy storage. One CPR in Schools Training Kit can train hundreds of students!”

    tags: education health health_teacher cpr bestpractices edu_news

  • This website is a “reputation builder” for kids of all ages. When a child is in K-12, the parent has their account attached but then, the child can take it public after that point. This is a “reputation builder” for kids. Many students in Florida are already using this with their parents. This may be an option for efolio building where parents are involved. Worth a look for those working with digital citizenship and to share with parents.

    tags: education news digitalcitizenship

  • Some questions about how I engage and grow my professional learning network, why I started blogging, and some background information. Thanks to Mark at My town tutors for sharing my story.

    tags: education news teaching aboutme tumblr

  • Alchemy smartbinder is a new app that lets you create lessons (perfect for flipped classrooms) and measure student engagement with the data. This is something I’ll be testing. It is in BETA but you flipped classroom pioneers out there will definitely want to give this a try.

    tags: education news flipclass flippedclassroom

  • World atlas is a site with simple data about the countries of the world. This from the creator of the site: “World Data Atlas is an ultimate source of world statistics on every country. It includes data on more than 2500 indicators. Topics cover Economics, Demographics, Health, Education, Energy and other socioeconomic information. “

    tags: education news geography

  • Kevin Honeycutt is creating a youtube channel about Geography. Geography teachers might be interested in sharing and following this YouTube channel. Kevin does such a great job on so many things. It is a sock puppet, but you can also use this as a model and have your students do their own sock puppet geography reports in this style. This will protect their privacy and also let them learn about a new location.

    tags: education geography news elementary

  • Students across the country have already started working on their IWitness Challenge project sponsored by the USC Shoah Foundation - The Institute for Visual History and Education, but there’s still time for youngsters in your community to enter this free online program geared to all secondary-school students. The deadline to enter the Challenge is Dec. 2, 2013. The winning student, along with their teacher and a family member will be brought to Los Angeles to showcase their work as part of the 20th anniversary activities for the Shoah Foundation, which was founded by director Steven Spielberg in 1994 after making “Schindler’s List.” Tthe IWitness Challenge ( connects students with the past in a very personal way that spurs them to take action to improve the future. With access to many of the Shoah Foundation’s 52,000 testimonies of survivors, liberators and rescuers, students experience history in a way that hits home. Instead of reading facts from textbooks, students feel the emotions and build relationships with those who lived through seemingly impossible situations. But students do more than watch the testimony. The IWitness Challenge compels them to think, to make smart choices and to create their own project and video from what they’ve learned. By encouraging teachers and students to create their own lesson plans, IWitness allows them to expand on practically any subject they wish to pursue. From civics, government and history to poetry, art and ethics, educators can tailor lessons appropriate for their classrooms. And by using the embedded editor, participants not only learn valuable searching and editing skills, but also how to make ethical editing decisions that ensure their finished assignments are a fair and accurate reflection of what they’ve seen. All work is kept safe inside the IWitness site and not accessible to the public. Using IWitness is free, but teachers or homeschool parents must register at

    tags: history history_teacher education news

  • Just got this note from my friend Jeff Stanzler at U Michigan. This looks very cool and is a website dedicated to flipping physics, algebra, and calculus. Lots of great videos and resources. The note from Jeff to me about this site and his student: ” I wanted to share the work of a former student of mine named Jon Palmer, a Physics teacher who has done some wonderfully creative work “flipping” his classroom. He’s now devoting himself to making videos for free use by Physics teachers everywhere. Knowing you, I figured you might appreciate his work. Here’s an intro video about his vision of the flipped classroom model. Here’s a link to his you tube channel, with more goodies.”

    tags: education news physics science

  • Students and teachers are taking the 4 liter challenge. Here’s the curriculum and information to bring resources and instruction to children of all ages. “To make the 4 Liter Challenge an even more enriching experience, we’ve created a free curriculum that introduces themes of water, poverty and human rights to any 7-12th grade classroom. The 4L Curriculum is multidisciplinary and designed to align with national standards. It’s built on an innovative “See, Judge, Act” model and will greatly enhance your students’ 4L Challenge.”

    tags: education news scichat water science edu_news

  • Yet another reason to use YouTube. PBS Math Club has a Youtube channel with topics such as “Adding Negative Numbers: Mean Girls and Darth Vader” and What is an integer?” It is important to give teachers access to YouTube even if you block it from student use. Think of it as free cable where you determine the time for everything to be shown.

    tags: education news youtube mathchat mathclub

  • PBS Learning media has some cool resources and games for kids including a new PBS Math club to help kids with math. You can sign up for free for these resources. There is a middle school history game and also a virtual underwater tour you can use as well.

    tags: education news mathchat scichat tumblr all_teachers

  • FYI. Microsoft Pulled the Windows 8.1 update after it “bricked” some devices. So, if you’re trying to update Windows, wait a little while longer.

    tags: news education microsoft technology edu_news

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Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 10/17/2013

  • Here comes Windows 8 with a lot of new settings. These are talking about the Windows phone updates but other updates are on the way. “While Windows 8.1 adds a lot of features and improvements across the OS, the built-in apps include some of the biggest changes. Microsoft is detailing a few of the more creative ones ahead of the Windows 8.1 release tomorrow. The photos app in Windows 8 included Facebook and Flickr integration, but the Windows 8.1 version drops that in lieu of some improvements to editing. You can now select auto fix for a selection of different corrections, and there’s also manual cropping, red-eye removal, retouch, and other basic contrast and brightness settings. One of the more interesting features is color enhance that lets you pick an area of a photo to brighten up or darken areas of photos.”

    tags: education windows news microsoft all_teachers

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Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 10/08/2013

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Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 10/06/2013

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Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 10/05/2013

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Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 10/04/2013

  • Most weeknights of Connected Educator month #cem13 there are Connected Cafes with many online leaders in education. They are free and will be great conversations. I’m on October 3 at 7:30 pm and we’re talking about connected leadership with Dean Shareski and moderated by Steve Hargadon. Take a look at the calendar to see more. October 4 is Larry Ferlazzo and Angela Maiers, October 8, Ira Socol and Kathleen Cushman and many more.

    tags: education news cem13

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Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 10/03/2013

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