End of the year learning roundup

from Flickr via Creative Commons - http://www.flickr.com/photos/jayneandd/4450623309/

We have reached the finish line for this year! I hope you have enjoyed reading Nurturing Faith. I keep a number of files of ideas to use when writing this blog and I still have a variety of interesting things that I would like to share with you below. Enjoy!

15 provocative things to read

Grand Rapids Christian High did an “old fashioned social network” and found it had unexpected results! Read about their “sharing wall.”

Want better student engagement in your class? See 7 Solutions for Educators Who Want 21st Century Students to Tune In.

The limits of standardized testing are well articulated by this AP student.

With increasing technology use, what is the role of the teacher – are they a dispensable algorithm or indispensable artist?

Helpful summary of how technology impacts the brain.

Can you get kids to talk about what you want them to discuss using backchanneling?

Why persistence and grit matter so much.

What TV and movies are doing to our girls.

Is your kindergarten teacher worth $320,000?

Take this 10 question quiz to see if you are a tech savvy teacher.

McREL says there are 5 things that make the  biggest difference in schools.

What contributes most to an effective middle school?

A great resource site for new teachers divided by levels.

Best sites to check out how to use iPads in education.

Three reports that you should take a look at:

The-Rise-of-K-12-Blended-Learning – produced by Innosight Institute – it has very helpful explanations of blended learning models and gives 40 profiles of schools implementing new models.

The 2011-Horizon-Report-K12 “examines emerging technologies for their potential impact on and use in teaching, learning, and creative expression within the environment of pre-college education.surface significant trends and challenges and to identify a wide array of potential technologies for the report. ”

Draft of Technology in Early Childhood Programs 4-29-2011 – final report to be published this fall – bookmark the NAEYC website.


The Story is a unique chronological version of the Bible written by Max Lucado and produced by Zondervan with a focus on God’s story to his people throughout history. CSI will be making this resource and accompanying materials available to schools – contact Bible specialist Kent Ezell (kezell@csionline.org) at CSI for more info. He has been blogging on this resource here and here.

RADCAB: Your Vehicle for Information Evaluation is a book written by Calvin Christian (Minnesota) teacher Karen Christensson that is designed to help upper elementary and middle school kids think critically about information online. The acronym RADCAB stands for six important concepts for evaluating information.

Book: 21st Century Skills: Rethinking How Students Learn – eds. Bellanca and Brandt, Solution Tree, 2010.

Book: 99 Thoughts for Parents of Teenagers: The Truth on Raising Teenagers from Parents Who Have Been There – the latest from Walt Mueller.

Your continued learning

In my speaking lately I have been encouraging schools to consider the power of PLN’s – Personal Learning Networks. If you are not familiar with the term or want to learn more, I suggest that you start here and here.

If you haven’t checked out Twitter, read why I am excited about it here and then get started!

Have a wonderful summer!

Yours for continued learning,

Dan Beerens



Filed under curriculum, kids/culture, leadership, parenting, resources, staff development

8 responses to “End of the year learning roundup

  1. pete post

    Hello Dan,
    This may have come at the end of ther year but I think it is a wonderful resouce for my pre-service teachers at Trinity to take a look at as we begin our year together. Of course I found the resource for new teachers to be especially helpful. Thanks for providing such valuable information and I look forward to reading nurturingfaith again the year.

  2. Samantha Rowe

    I took the time to read a few of these articles for one of my classes. The one I found to be the most interesting was What TV and Movies Are Doing to Our Girls (The Shame of Family Films). I agree 100% that media especially television and movies effect how young girls think and act these days. A big trend, that thankfully now is fading away, was young girls wanting to dress like Hannah Montanna. There were so many young girls wearing blond wigs, too much makeup, and slightly revealing clothing because Hannah Montanna did. It is sickening what the media is doing to young girls these days. Something needs to be done about it. We need movies and television shows showing girls as real girls, not the Hollywood version of what a girl is. Young girls need to stay young girls and enjoy being young, there is plenty of time to grow up.

  3. Anita Anderson

    I read the article about the “sharing wall” and thought that it was a great idea, and that more schools should embrace that idea. Being a teenager is not always easy with all the pressures society, and school puts on us it can become overwhelming sometimes. This is a great way for students to express those hurt feelings in a healthy way. I especially liked how students comment on other student’s wall posts saying things like “God loves you,” and “I am going through this too,” because it shows that no one is alone. I think students have to know that even though they go through these hard times, God made them perfect in their own way, and everyone is.

  4. Rebecca Calhoun

    I recently read your article recommendation titled The Case for $320,000 Kindergarten Teachers. I love the emphasis this article put on the importance of early childhood education. Many people do not take early childhood education as a staple part of a student`s academic success when it is. I feel that many people viewed this article because for a first time that put a monetary value on the importance of a good educational foundation. Through the studies presented in this article, and through life experiences I see the benefit of an educational foundation and the importance of a good early education teacher.

  5. Stephanie DeBoer

    I read the article about the 7 solutions to get students of the 21st century involved. It was a very interesting article and i agree with what was said. I agree that banning the use of technology in the classroom would not solve any problems. Teachers need to realize that they technology is not the only thing to blame for the lack of participation by students today. A teacher needs to keep with what is going on in the world and that includes using technology to their advantage. I believe that if you want to reach your students you need to show interest into what they are interested in. It is getting harder to get students involved, but part of being a teacher adapting teaching styles to fit your students. These 7 solutions are great and teachers will benefit from reading this.

  6. Brittany Monaco

    I read the article limits of standardized testing and found much of what the student wrote to be true. How many different things do teachers need to cram into students heads so that they can get enough points to pass a test? I don’t remember half of what I have learned through out the years because I crammed for a test, took the test, passed and then forgot what I just crammed into my head. If it were possible for teachers to be able to teach and not have to worry about tons of different tests their students have to do well on, then more students would learn and actually remember those things. The things I remember the most are topics that I was interested in, and topics that the teacher was able to take her time and teach them to use without having to worry how our scores would look.

  7. Nate Hill

    I read the article 7 Solutions for Educators Who Want 21st Century Students to Tune In. I thought it took a very aggressive stance on the use of technology. As I am studying to become a teacher this is a good article to read and use in the future. The generation of students I will be teaching is going to be way different than the generation of students I am a part of. While this generation I teach will be almost completely different than the generation of my parents. The way people learn has changed so much. We have all the information we could ever need at our fingertips. So getting students involved in a boring lecture will be quite difficult. But, if I want to be a successful teacher I will need to heed to some of the advice from this article. Not being afraid to change the system and embrace the technology, because the technology is not going away anytime soon.

  8. bryan engnell

    I read the article 7 solutions for educators who want 21st century students to tune in. After reading this article I completely agree with everything that was said. Being a student that is in somewhat a transition period where we use technology as well as get a good amount of lectures I can relate to both sides. However, some great points brought up such as giving students a link to look up things and putting lectures online are great points. Having taken several online courses putting lectures online gives me the option to utilize the information at any time n not worry about if I can’t read my notes or not. As in the class I am in now where our teacher gives us links such as your blog to read and respond to, this is a great use of incorporating technology and a relavant topic to our class. Technology is taking over and as teachers we need to embrace it or we risk the chance of losing our students.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s