In one of my buildings we are doing a research project about past presidents of the United States of America. The project is being taken on by third through fifth graders. Third graders are sweet and just handle the idea. "We are going to learn about presidents. Ok. Let's go!" In each of the 4th and 5th grade classrooms this project has been presented to so far, we have started off with discussions about respect for the Office of the President of the United States. This discussion has been driven by the fact that they want to argue about whether or not President Trump is a good president. And some of their comments make me hang my head in shame at the thought of what we as adults are modeling for our children.
I am not going to get into a discussion about what I think of our current president. I was told as a child that opinions, like tailbones, are common. Everyone has one and most of the time it should be sat on. I am sitting on my opinion of our current president.
This is, however, what I told my students. Every person who has taken office, I believe (truly), has done so in order to do a good job. Their intent is to make things better and even if you disagree with the manner in which they carry out their job you can learn something from them that will help you make a decision when the next presidential election rolls around. We need to remember that a person is only elected for 4 years, after those four years we have an opportunity to try again to get our preferred person into office. If it doesn't work out, then the person who is re-elected only has four more years and then that person HAS to leave office. We should never give up on a lifelong family member or a friend just because they feel differently about a temporary political policy or a politician.
So where does that leave us as adults when we disagree with our national/state/local leadership? I think it is absolutely appropriate to share who we want as president or senator or delegate (or any other position). In fact, I believe it is important that we do so. I also feel that we base it off of issues that are important to us and leave it at that when we are conversing with our children. It is absolutely appropriate to say that we are voting for John Smith because he is pro-life. We can also say that we are voting for Jo Smith because he is for intelligent gun control laws. What I strongly object to is when we attack the other party, especially in front of our children, by name calling and stereotyping. I also strongly object to lumping all voters who support the other candidate into that same stereotype. Come on now! Not every member of the Democratic party is a baby killer. Not every member of the Republican party is a racist money lover.
We need to do better than this when we are speaking to our children. They pay attention to our actions much more than our words. If I shared even half of the conversations that came out of this research project, we would all hang our heads in shame.
My blog is moving to a new day with a new name. I will still provide just a short list of suggestions but in order to send out one memo all the ITRTs are posting their bog links to the ITRT site and all blogs will be sent to you on Monday. When thinking about a new name for my blog, (I can't be called Five on Friday anymore, now can I?) I thought about a favorite quote of mine from Arthur C. Clark who said, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." This appeals to me since I love fairy tales as well as true stories of our past kings, queens, and courts of old. Hence the name of Magical Mondays. LOL!! I know it's corny!
1. This first site was shared with me by a student. Don't you love when you learn from a child!?! He said that his dad pulled this up and showed him this last week when the entire world was talking about Australia being on fire. Did you know that Australia is almost the same size as the United States? Not sure if I am correct? Use this site to check on me. This is a truly fun site to play on and learn some geography at the same time.
2. This next one is a game changer! I have been researching digital notebooks and came across this add-on for slides called Slip and Slide. I love the name! An add-on is something within a Google app (like Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms) that gives you the ability to do something "more". This add-on allows you to slip slides into presentation. So your students have slide decks as their "notebooks" and you want to add a page. Use this amazing add to do so. Please let me know if you need assistance.
3. I hate recommending something that costs money but this site is too good to just let it pass by without sharing with you. It's called Book Widgets and allows you to create activities that can either be embedded on your website or posted in your Google Classroom. The cost is $49 a year but I hate to say; but, I pay that much at Teachers Pay Teachers about every two-three months. You can save your widgets and use them year after year. Take a peek at just fraction of what they allow you to create.
4. Many of you are now working on Google Certification, Level 1, and have asked me about Google Draw. The resource I am sharing today was created by Gail and has been shared before. These are thinking maps that are all done in Google Drawing. To get to this resource, please click here.
5. Monday Movie!
Happy New Year and Welcome back! Is it bad that we have been back for only a week and I am already wishing for snow? In my defense though, I don't care how much or how little we get. I don't care what day of the week it falls on. And I don't care if we get off a day. I just love snow!!! So I am wishing and hoping and praying a lot!
1. The first resource I want to share is an online community called Teachers First. This is a must see and a definite bookmark site! It is an online community that shares lesson ideas and plans as well as online workshops. It is absolutely free! Check it out.
2. You need to checkout Goose Chase! Goose Chase is a service that allows you to work online to build a scavenger hunt or you can download one from their library and tweak it to fit your needs. Once it is built, take your devices , download the app, and start rocking the fun! This would be a great extend activity for your early finishers. Best of all, it free for educators.
3. Here is an amazing Google Sheet document for teaching fractions. I love this! I did not make this; I found it on one of the blogs I follow called Tech You Can Do. I have linked her site here so you can check out other resources she has. (She also has a really nice checkbook register for keeping up with classroom money.) In order to get your own copy of her fraction document, click the image. When it opens, click the blue box in the upper right corner that says, "Use Template."
4. This week I was in a conversation with a teacher who was excited because she discovered that you can color code your folders in Google Drive. Did you know that you can also label them with emojis? Check this site out for directions!
5. Friday at the Movies - Just some Eddie B to make you smile.
Hi, my name is Melanie Lewis. I am an Instructional Technology Resource Teacher for Amherst County Public Schools, located in the beautiful state of Virginia. I LOVE my job! I get to work on my hobby, anything that has to do with computers. I get to work with teachers and students, and I am definitely a people person. Plus, I DO NOT have to give grades. Wonderful, huh? Let me know how I can help you better integrate technology into your classroom.
ACPS' 1st computers
I know only one thing about the technology that awaits us in the future: We will find ways to tell stories with it. ~Jason Ohler