#techtuesday Custom Google Motivation

Google tries hard to make new tabs useful from the outset but there are some Chrome extensions that can make it work even harder. One of these is Momentum.
Upon opening a new tab, instead of the spartan slate of recent sites and Chrome apps you get Momentum, your personal dashboard presenting a Things to Do list, quote of the day, favourite links and, to top it all off, a beautiful landscape.
It won’t single-handedly change your life, and basic features like cloud-syncing for links and lists can’t come soon enough, but if you spend much of your day with your nose in a browser, Momentum might just be the launch-pad you need.

-Christy Aymami


STEM Teaching Toolkit

The National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future’s (NCTAF) Learning Studios program has produced a toolkit to help K-12 district curriculum coordinators and teacher-leaders improve science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curriculum design through authentic, collaborative, PBL experiences. The toolkit provides a set of design and evaluation tools, protocols, rubrics, and case studies to help education stakeholders improve STEM curriculum and make connections to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in three ways: by engaging outside content experts to bring real-world content, data, and experiences into teaching and learning; by developing cross-curricular teams that explore STEM integration; and by integrating subject areas to strengthen science learning for all students. See http://bit.ly/1FlZYKm

“Freebies for Science Teachers”. NSTA Reports. Summer 2015. Volume 27, No. 1. 

Take Action Project (TAP)

TAP is a project-based learning (PBL) curriculum that guides students through the process of taking informed and effective action on a science-related issue of their choice. Developed by California middle level educators Sue Boudreau and Karen Snielsen and others, the curriculum emphasizes critical-thinking and workplace skills. Students complete their chosen PBL projects within a traditional school schedule, taking about 20 lessons spread over a semester. Boudreau describes how she implements the curriculum in her classroom, providing a useful model for interested educators to follow, in the blog at http://bit.ly/1ICAozK (click on TAP Curriculum in the list of categories).

“Freebies for Science Teachers”. NSTA Reports. Summer 2015. Volume 27, No. 1. 

If anyone checks this out let me know how they are 🙂


As the School Year Comes to a Close…

Summer is just around the corner! This school year ends an eight year stretch of teaching high schools students, and next year brings middle school students! As I pack my classroom, I come across prom pictures, post-it notes from students, pens I borrowed from teachers and never returned (oops!). Memories cannot be trashed. As I pack each box, organized by subject, as with my new adventure, I have no idea what subjects I will be teaching, I look at each item and try and determine it’s usefulness in my future. I have begun the KonMari Method of organizing my home, so as I look at each item, I determine how much joy it brings my life. There are many memories in my current classroom. I cannot keep everything, or that would not leave room for new memories, new adventures. I capture most with pictures, and I realize in true teacher fashion, I just cannot part with all of my books and resources. It is a known fact that as soon as I gift the resource to another teacher, or recycle it, I will need that resource the following year.

I carry home with me over 20 boxes of teacher “stuff”. My husband thinks I am insane (we won’t talk about his boxes of “stuff”), and I know I can’t fit all of this in my new classroom, nor will I need it. This summer will consist of purging the attic of baby stuff, as there is definitely not a need for that anymore, and fill my attic with boxes of the over 10 preps I have taught over these eight years. Some boxes will be useful next year, but many will not.

I will being a new chapter in my career next year, as my Master in Educational Technology Leadership ends, I will be beginning the role of Educational Technology Specialist for part of my day. I will still be in the classroom teaching two classes, but the majority of my day will be helping teachers get the most out of the technology they have, running data reports to determine strengths and weaknesses, and coaching new teachers in whatever needs they may have. It will be a very challenging, yet rewarding position for me, and I look forward to providing you with more updates here, as well, on the journey.

Chemistry Career Videos

These videos from the American Chemical Society, introduce elementary and middle level students to unique careers involving chemistry. In All About Droughts, for example, students meet scientist Collins Balacombe, who works to keep drinking water safe and find new ways to reuse water. And in Transforming Tech Toys, students meet research professor Aydogan Ozcan, who creates mobile chemistry laboratories from cell phones. He’s transformed cell phones into a blood analyzer, a bacteria detector, and a waste tester!

Inquiry Lesson Notes and Videos: K-6

Ask project

In the ASK (Adapting Science for Kids) Project, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, K-6 elementary teachers from rural Missouri and Iowa are creating science inquiry lessons that not only teach science concepts, but also facilitate instruction in other curriculum areas, such as reading, writing, and social studies. Lessons address topics in Life Science, Earth and Space Science, Science Processes, and Physical Sciences. Notes and videos describing how their lessons are adapted are available at www.justaskateacher.com (free registration is required). Teachers can comment on the posted materials, as well as submit their own adapted science lessons to the project.

Hey guys! I have been working on a project for next year for my classroom, which involves using the students smartphones as a formative assessment tool. Problem is…some students cannot afford a smartphone and I do not want them to feel left out. I wrote a DonorsChoose.org grant to help supply my classroom with 5 iPod touches to provide to students in my classroom who cannot afford smartphones. If you are interesting in supporting, please visit. If you cannot contribute, I would appreciate it if you could share this post to see if any of your friends/family would want to contribute. If not…well…thanks for your time 🙂


Do Now Ideas…

iPods as clickers

I am currently knee deep in reading literature for my lit review for one of my graduate classes. I took a quick break to get your feedback on something interesting I ran across:

Colleen Ruggieri, and English teacher at Canfield High School, in Canfield, Ohio, makes use of virtual response systems as part of the assignment that the students see when they enter the classroom, what some of us call a “Do NOW” or “Bell Ringer”. She projects a list of the day’s activities on her interactive whiteboard and has students vote on the day’s first exercise by tapping the screen on their iPod touch. She states that she knows what needs to get done during the class, but this option gives students a say in what they’re going to do.

1) How do you feel about this?
2) Would you be willing to try this in your classrooms?
3) Does this make you nervous? If so…why?

Read the original article here 🙂

Demski, Jennifer. “A Quicker Clicker.” THE Journal 37 (Mar. 2010): Issue 3, P17-18. A Quicker Clicker –. The Journal, 01 Mar. 2010. Web. 10 July 2014.

The 8 Things the Happiest People Do Every Day

What I strive for…


University of California professor Sonja Lyubomirsky details the things research shows the happiest people have in common.

Via The How of Happiness:

  1. They devote a great amount of time to their family and friends, nurturing and enjoying those relationships.
  2. They are comfortable expressing gratitude for all they have.
  3. They are often the first to offer helping hands to coworkers and passersby.
  4. They practice optimism when imagining their futures.
  5. They savor life’s pleasures and try to live in the present moment.
  6. They make physical exercise a weekly and even daily habit.
  7. They are deeply committed to lifelong goals and ambitions (e.g., fighting fraud, building cabinets, or teaching their children their deeply held values).
  8. Last but not least, the happiest people do have their share of stresses, crises, and even tragedies. They may become just as distressed and emotional in such circumstances as you or I, but their secret weapon is…

View original post 2,647 more words

After Aereo: Why Dropbox is safe (but your DVR might not be) and networks need to embrace digital data


The Supreme Court’s decision in ABC v. Aereo is, as my colleague Jeff Roberts explained on Thursday morning, bad for consumers. Looking past the questionable rationale behind the case’s holding, the justices — Antonin Scalia included — left multiple doors open for further litigation.

What’s worse is the fact that the case happened at all shows how unwilling networks are to embrace new forms of distribution, even when they could mean access to valuable audience data not otherwise attainable.

Not all cloud storage is created equal

If there’s a silver lining it’s that in ruling against Aereo, the justices in the majority expressly stated this wasn’t a ruling about cloud storage. To some degree, I think they meant it.

It’s hard to see the Supreme Court ever finding generic cloud-storage companies such as Dropbox or Google (with Drive) liable for infringement — a suggestion that some commentators have made since the Aereo decision…

View original post 860 more words

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