30+ Holiday Apps for Creativity and Learning
by Shelly Terrell

Recently, I presented a webinar with Simple K12, Holiday Apps for Creating Gifts. Children, adolescents, and teens can create very meaningful gifts for friends and family members using several fun apps. The apps are very easy to use, often free, and have various multimedia options. Many integrate images, audio, text, video and extras. Moreover, students write, read, and present digital stories that tie into their real world experience! Children can also easily send the messages, videos, and cards Christmas morning for parents to wake up and see on their phones. Many of these apps have the ability for users to share their productions through online communities, e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter! Some even allow editing online on a website and embedding options.


The Dangerous Weapons in School, Or When You Remove the Permanent Markers

by Pernille Ripp


Recently, and no I am not making this up, we were asked kindly to confiscate all permanent markers from the students.  It wasn't that there had been a huge problem with students using these to write on things, but there had been a couple of incidents and it was therefore deemed necessary to ban permanent markers in the 5th grade totally.  After all, it is much easier for us to ban things rather than teach appropriate usage.  To say I was perplexed at the approach is an understatement.    


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When an Adult Took Standardized Tests Forced on Kids
By Marion Brady

A longtime friend on the school board of one of the largest school systems in America did something that few public servants are willing to do. He took versions of his state's high-stakes standardized math and reading tests for 10th graders, and said he'd make his scores public.


By any reasonable measure, my friend is a success. His now-grown kids are well-educated. He has a big house in a good part of town. Paid-for condo in the Caribbean. Influential friends. Lots of frequent flyer miles. Enough time of his own to give serious attention to his school board responsibilities. The margins of his electoral wins and his good relationships with administrators and teachers testify to his openness to dialogue and willingness to listen. 


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20 Interactive Whiteboard Resources for Teachers
By Danny Nicholson


The Whiteboard Blog is 4 years old today! So as it gets another year older, so it's time for another review of some of the more popular blog posts of the past year, in case you missed them the first time around.

Here are the top 10 posts on the blog, in terms of hits, since December 2010.


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Motivating Underachieving Students in Math and Science
by David Wetzel

Your students' future and education needs are not like yours and mine. For the most part, we are a product of an education system heavily influenced by the industrial age - lectures and rote memorization. This style of teaching was primarily designed to produce factory and skilled trade workers.

Due to the dynamics of today's world economy, most students no longer have the same types of jobs waiting for them when they graduate. Their future is in the service, health, and technology career fields. However, there is still a demand for skilled trade workers (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010).

Standardization is Stifling
by Joe Bower

Because fair isn't always equal, we can have high standards without standardization. We don't all need to be doing the same thing the same way to be successful. For me, this picture is the definitive reason why it's important to remember that all children have unique needs and thus need to be treated as an individual.


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Want to strengthen your Core?

ESSDACK has been working hard to bring schools the latest in the Common Core.  Our specialists have helped groups at all levels of education unpack the standards documents for both Math and ELA.  Working with superintendents and principals, the focus was on understanding and communicating key changes.  Full day workshops are currently being offered for classroom teachers in order to look at specific changes at each grade level.  We have also worked with entire districts or individual schools onsite.  Key components include an overview of the documents including the appendices, college and career readiness, mathematical practices, and tools for reflection.  Have you strengthened your core yet?  Call us at 620-663-9566 for details on how you can participate in these valuable sessions!

Have you already been in attendance?  Watch next week for information on what the next steps are in Common Core and how your school can make the transition.

My Latest Five iPad Favs

by Glenn Wiebe


glenn's pic for emails

I love my iPad.


I used to love Google. Really love it. A lot.


But I've moved on. It's now all about my iPad.


I truly use it all the time. Reading the paper, checking weather, viewing primary sources, reading email, checking sports scores, Facebook and Plurk updates, RSS feeds, fantasy football, finding great history blogs and articles, watching videos, streaming movies, creating presentations, taking and saving notes and, yes, Shake and Spell.


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How Gaming Is Changing the Classroom
by Liz Dwyer
By the time she's 21 years old, a student will play nearly 10,000 hours of video games. But can kids play their way to learning? An increasing number of educators are recognizing that students aren't responding to old-school lectures, and they're looking to engage the gamer generation by bringing gaming into the classroom. 
5 Best Practices for Educators on Facebook
By Sarah Kessler

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Caveat Viator
by Terri Peckham

My Latin is pretty weak, okay it's non-existent, but Google tells me that caveat viator translates into traveler beware.  Since Rice County will probably never adopt that as their travel and tourism slogan, it falls to me to spread the warning.  If you ever have the misfortune of traveling the unpaved roads in Rice County, be prepared for a flat tire.  If you travel them daily as I do, be prepared for LOTS of flat tires.  Some months John and I have a combined average of as many as two flat tires a week.  This is not an exaggeration.  I have had two flat tires on the same day, and I am on a first name basis with the employees of the automotive department at Sears.  I always buy the road hazard warranty on tires because it will pay for itself three or four times over the life of the tires.


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 Upcoming Workshops 
Apps of the Week!
Kids Write Text Types
Symmetry Shuffle

Dan Meyer on Real-World Math
Dan Meyer on Real-World 

Dan Meyer is coming to ESSDACK 2/6/2011


Reserve your spot now 



"So what is Podstock? 

It's a tech integration conference. 

But it's more 

than a conference.

 It's conversation. It's family." 


  Learn more about Podstock

By the Numbers  -   Traveling Math
By the Numbers - Traveling Math


Black Board Learning 

System & Online 




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Peer Review for Schools on 



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Peer Review for Schools on



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                Michelle Flaming 


Applying the 8 Math Practices

 from the Common Core 3-5 



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Awaken Our Brains and Grow! Creativity in Teaching 


 Ginger Lewman



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The Many Flavors of PBL:
 A Mini Conference



Unpacking the Common Core 


View the schedule of dates


*Call Pam at (620)663-9566 for combo dates & group pricing



Teaching & Learning Apps!



Apps for Teachers



Android Education Apps 


What's New in Children's Literature K-8


Peggy Sharp



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