This Month’s Highlighted Educator: Aaron Middlemiss

April 2018 Hghlighted Educator

Every month, Cube For Teachers highlights an educator that is recognized for their ongoing collaboration, helping other educators by sharing and curating effective teaching resources.

This month’s recognized educator on Cube for Teachers is Aaron Middlemiss (amiddlemiss) who has shared numerous resources on Cube pertaining to coding, computational thinking and robotics.

We asked Aaron a few questions. Here’s what he had to share…

Who is Aaron Middlemiss?

“Let’s see…I am High School English and Drama teacher in Ontario, Canada, with a passion for both the arts and technology. I am currently working as a MakerSpace / Coding / eLearning Technology Innovator for my school board. I have gone from teaching students how to write essays, to helping educators boost their understanding of digital citizenship and modern technology. I am also a writer, occasional podcaster, gamer, pop culture geek, home-cook and father to some really amazing kids!”

When it comes to education, what are you passionate about?

“For me, I am passionate about helping others open their minds to something beyond what is in front of them. Whether I am teaching Drama, or delving into a new coding app, I like to show people that whatever we are working on, those disparate ideas and concepts can connect to something bigger. I love showing teachers how making and coding can be right at home in their own courses or lessons, even if they’re not teaching a tech subject. It opens up a mindset that reveals endless possibilities that can then resonate in their own students. I am also passionate about storytelling, listening to stories, and letting others find their passions in their stories. I find the best lessons, the best outcomes in education, always come from the things the students are passionate about. I always try to let the students’ passions come out in their work, and how emerging technologies and ideas can help them realize their dreams.”

Is there a new frontier in education you are gearing up to explore?

“I want to explore more student centric / alternate styles of education that blend into other curriculums and real world experiences. I learned a lot in school as a kid, but sometimes, some of the most important things I learned were outside the classroom, or following another passion. It’s amazing to see so many opportunities for students to connect their classroom lessons to the world around them. I want to explore more opportunities for students to bring their personal experiences into the classroom.”

What benefit would you bring to another Cube follower?

“I am willing to spitball and share some ideas with you! Also, if you’re looking for makerSpace or coding resources, I have them and I’m always willing to share them with anyone who asks. Beg, borrow, share and share some more! Good teachers, build. Great teachers, share.”

Do you have Cube folders we can share with the global community of educators?

“My MakerSpace Resources (1), MakerSpace Resources (2), MakerSpace Resources (3), my Coding Resources, any and all of them. If anyone needs it, I want them to have it!”

What resources are you currently searching for?

“I’d love to see cross-curriculum resources for coding, making, and anything tech related. I would love to see how some teachers are using their technology and makerspaces in other classes to help students realize their passions.”

Is there anything else you would like us to highlight?

“Just that Free Comic Book day is coming up on Saturday May 5th. Please visit your local comic book shops and drop a couple of bucks to keep these underfunded and under appreciated establishments in business! Comics & graphic novels are books for everyone! Also, here’s a link to a Smore I fashioned on how to get the Maker Movement rolling in your school. https://www.smore.com/4v9d0

Stay connected on Cube for Teachers and be sure to follow Aaron MIddlemiss (amiddlemiss) for additional resources.

On behalf of all educators in search of valuable resources, thank you, Aaron!

Do you know of a Cube user that should be recognized for their ongoing collaboration?

Send us a email and tell us more.

Cube Team

Cube For Teachers: Facebook Pages

To date, Cube has over 50,000 links to education resources that have been shared by educators.  Cube contains links to resources that have either been found or created by educators from around the world.  

The following Facebook pages highlight some of the links to resources you’ll find on Cube for Teachers:

  1. Cube For Teachers (main)
  2. Teaching Strategies
  3. Mathematics Teaching Resources
  4. Science Biology Teaching Resources
  5. English Language Arts Teaching Resources
  6. Kindergarten Teaching Resources
  7. Health and Physical Education Teaching Resources
  8. French Teaching Resources
  9. ELL Teaching Resources
  10. Social Studies Teaching Resources
  11. Geography Teaching Resources
  12. First Day Teaching Resources
  13. Coding Teaching Resources
  14. Science Physics Teaching Resources
  15. Special Education Teaching Resources
  16. 100th Day of School Teaching Resources
  17. Science Chemistry Teaching Resources
  18. Anti-Bullying Teaching Resources
  19. Halloween Teaching Resources

If you are on Twitter, check out Cube’s Twitter page:  @cubeforteachers

Together, we are making better education.

Cube Team

 

Useful Twitter Resources for Educators

Due to a number of requests from our colleagues, we decided to gather up some Twitter web resources that have been recently been share inside Cube for Teachers. This blog contains helpful hints to help all newcomers as well as advanced Twitter users.

Getting Started

Account Setup: Tips for setting up your profile page.
Anatomy of a Tweet: Overview of the components of a Tweet.
What Can I Do with a Tweet
: Now that you’re on Twitter, it’s time to explore the possibilities.
Getting Familiar with Twitter: The four main areas of Twitter.
What Are Replies and Mentions: It’s easy to be a part of the conversation on Twitter by replying to others and mentioning them in your Tweets.
Trending Topics: Twitter Trends are the most interesting topics of discussion that are being tweeted about right now.
Direct Messages: A way to send a private message to one of your followers on Twitter.
Twitter Glossary of Terms: Terms you’ll find on Twitter.

Start Tweeting

How to Tweet: Join the conversation. Sending Tweets on Twitter is easy.
How to Retweet: Retweeting is a way for you to re-post someone else’s Tweet and quickly share it with your followers.
Following on Twitter: How to find, follow and engage with people and organizations.
How to Use Hashtags: What’s a hashtag, and some etiquette for using it.
Insider Tips: Learn the shorthand users have adopted to creatively communicate within the 140 character limit on Twitter.
How to Add Photos, Videos and Links: Twitter offers a fast and effective way to share your photos, videos and links from anywhere.
Create and Use Twitter Lists: Organize Twitter users in groups to see only their Tweets.
How to Use TweetDeck: Track, organize and engage on Twitter with this dashboard tool.
Twitter for Mobile
: With your smartphone or mobile device, you can use Twitter wherever you are.
Use Twitter Search: Find just what you’re looking for with Twitter search.

Account Security

Security Overview: How to keep your account safe.
What to Do If Your Account is Hacked: A step-by-step guide to help fix your account if you’ve been hacked.
Blocking Another User: How to prevent someone from following you or adding you to their lists.
Login Verification: How to add extra security to your account.
Report a Problem: How to file a ticket.
Verification on Twitter: What’s verification, and how it works.

Integrate Twitter

How to Display Tweets and the Twitter Logo: Important rules for showing a Tweet online, offline or in broadcast.
How to Display Vine Videos
: Rules and pointers to share the six-second looping videos.
Embedding a Tweet: Embed Tweets directly on your website.
Twitter Cards: Summarize articles and curate your message to followers by attaching media to Tweets.

Twitter Tips

The Teacher’s Guide to Twitter
Twitter for business: 18 Things You Should NOT Do
7 Steps to Optimize Your Social Media Presence as an Educator
Twitter For Beginners: Basic Guidelines Before You Start
The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter
100 Ways to Use Twitter In Education, by Degree of Difficulty
25 Twitter Tips For Students, Parents and Teachers
My Account has Been Hacked
Troubleshooting: Find Solutions to Common Issues
A Guide to Getting the Most Out of Twitter for Teacher Candidates & New Teachers

Using Twitter in the Classroom

50 Ways to Use Twitter in the Classroom
25 Top Ways Teachers Use Twitter in the Classroom
60 Inspiring Examples of Twitter in the Classroom
30 Innovative Ways to Use Twitter in the Classroom
28 Simple Ways To Use Twitter in The Classroom

Education Chats:

Education Chats

Education Hashtags:

The Complete Guide To Twitter Hashtags For Education
Cybrary Man’s Educational Hashtags

Sample of Ontario Educators/ Sites Sharing On Twitter

Aviva Dunsiger
Camille Rutherford
Cube for Teachers

David Fife
Doug Peterson
Jim Cash

Kyle Pearce
Mario Addesa
Mark Carbone
Michelle Cordy
#ossemooc
Peter Aguiar
Peter Skillen

Tina Zita
Tom D’Amico

Have you registered for Cube for Teachers yet?

Cube for Teachers is a community of thousands of educators sharing, searching and saving their favourite web resources into a free curriculum-aligned database. There are now over 26 000 web resources that have been shared in Cube for Teachers by educators just like you.

If you’re interested in writing for Cube for Teachers or sharing your blog, email us with your ideas.

For additional inquiries, contact Susan Kwiecien, Co-Founder of Cube for Teachers.

 

“First Day” Teaching Resources

As you prepare for a busy and exciting school year ahead, Cube for Teachers wants to help by providing you with useful “first day” teaching resources.

With over 33 000 K-12 web resources shared by a growing number of Ontario teachers, here are a few “first day” activities and strategies to help get you started:

Fun Activities: Get the School Off to a Good Start: Here are 13 activities from Education World to help teachers get to know student strengths, set the classroom tone, observe student interaction, or just provide a little fun.

7 Questions to Ask Parents at the Beginning of the Year:  Seven questions teachers can ask parents at the start of the year with the intention of building a partnership to support their child’s learning.

36 Interesting Ways to Get to Know Your Class:  This Google Slide is a collection of various icebreakers shared by teachers.

7 First Day of School Activities Students Love: Here are a few icebreakers from Teach Hub to try to get the school year off to a great start.

Critical First Week of High School: This resource from Scholastic highlights some strategies for building rapport and setting expectations from day one.

Back to School with iPads: 5 Steps for the First 5 Days: Are you looking to introduce iPads on the first few days of school?  Whether it’s 1:1 or shared devices, this resource from Edutopia highlights a few strategies to get you started.

100 Classroom Organizing Tricks:  This blog from Scholastic includes 100 teacher tips for creating a well-organized and efficient classroom environment.

Back to School: A Surefire Strategy for Building Classroom Community: Blogger Anne Shaw highlights a fun, beginning-of-the-year strategy that includes a roll of toilet paper.

New Teachers: Creating a Shiny, Happy Lesson: Cheryl Mizerny develops a classroom that does not require a system to handle misbehavior because it so rarely occurs. No checkmarks on the board, no list of consequences, no rewards. Just engaged, productive, friendly students.

A Place for Learning: The Physical Environment of Classrooms:  Edutopia blogger Mark Phillips suggests that a critical piece of student learning is the physical environment of the classroom itself. He offers examples of and resources for turning impersonal spaces into student-friendly havens of learning.

For more “first day” and “back to school” resources, check out Cube for Teachers under the topic area “Other Teaching Resources”. All resources found within Cube for Teachers have been shared by teachers throughout Ontario.

Wishing you all the best on your school year startup.

Sincerely,

The Administrative Team
www.cubeforteachers.com

Let’s Connect at Connect 2015: Canada’s Largest Education Technology Conference

Great news!

This year’s Connect conference is expected to have approximately 2500 participants in attendance.

Even greater news!

Connect 2015 has provided Cube for Teachers an opportunity to share a promo code that will save you 20% off the registration fee. Every bit counts!

Simply use the following promo code Cube@Connect when you register.

When at the conference be sure to stop by and say hello to Susan Kwiecien, co-founder of Cube for Teachers.  As Ontario’s free curriculum-aligned bookmarking community for teachers, nearly 27 000 resources have now been shared and searchable to all teachers. There are many new amazing features coming to Cube for Teachers that Susan will be sharing at the conference.

The Connect 2015 conference is a great opportunity to network with educators from across Canada and beyond.

Connect 2015 offers a wide variety of presentations and workshops.  Click on the images below to learn more about a few of the speakers at this year’s conference.

Marc Saltzman      Steven Anderson   Tom Whitby  

Check out who else will be speaking at Connect 2015.

Looking forward to connecting at Connect 2015.

Cube for Teachers
www.cubeforteachers.com

6 Great Apps to Support Pre-Writing

by Rochelle Tkach, OCT

 

Here is an overview of six apps recently shared in Cube for Teachers that support Language Arts Writing (pre-writing/ brainstorming) and potential cross-curricular connections to other subject matter.

Corkulous:

Image result for corkulous

Corkulous, is where your traditional bulletin board meets the digital world!  This virtual bulletin board makes a great digital brainstorming environment for students to throw around ideas, make connections between information, and classify points. Some of the app features include sticky notes, cue cards, label arrows, checklist templates, and more! Students are also able to upload photos to help support their brainstorming ideas and spark inspiration.  Learn more.

MindMeister:Image result for mindmeisterMindMeister provides a more advanced digital platform to brainstorm and even pre-write. One of the best features of MindMeister is how it supports a collaborative network. People can be added to edit and share on a mind map using their email. Through cloud technology, students, teachers, or administrators can edit and share their ideas together around a particular topic. Learn more.

Popplet:

Popplet is another wonderful mind mapping app for students to brainstorm ideas on potential topics or to demonstrate what they have learned. An important feature of Popplet is its’ ability to have students collaborate within the same network. Much like the app, MindMeister, discussed above, students can share their ideas by making comments, uploading pictures, and connecting information. Learn more.

Pic Collage:

Pic Collage provides a unique and more simplified way for students to organize their ideas through pictures. Pic Collage could be used as a way to differentiate the pre-writing stage for students who may struggle to express their thoughts in written form. Pic Collage at least gets the ideas flowing for these students and could help scaffold them towards richer ideas for a story. Learn more.

Stickyboard:

On Stickyboard, students are able to use sticky notes to write their ideas and begin to make connections about a topic. One of the unique features about Stickyboard is its dual function as a white board! Students can then organize their sticky notes through connecting lines, diagrams, columns, or through arrows. Learn more.

Inspiration:

Inspiration allows students to begin pre-writing through mind-maps and further provides many pre-made mind mapping templates in Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, and Math. All of these mind maps have built in graphics and symbols to support the pre-writing or brainstorming process. The app further allows students to record audio within the mind map to explain their thinking and communicating of ideas. Learn more.

Have you registered for Cube for Teachers yet?

Cube for Teachers is a community of thousands of educators sharing, searching and saving their favourite web resources into a free curriculum-aligned database. To date nearly 25 000 web resources have been shared in Cube for Teachers by educators.

If you’re interested in writing for Cube for Teachers, email us with your ideas.

For additional inquiries, contact Susan Kwiecien, Co-Founder of Cube for Teachers.

Gamify & Digitize Math!

by Rochelle Tkach, OCT

 

I recently shared the following Mathematics resources into the Cube for Teachers database under ‘Curriculum Resources’:

1) Prodigy
2) Digitize Math Manipulatives
3) Playpower

Are YOU Ready to Make Math Magical? Try Prodigy!

What student doesn’t like wizards, duels, rewards, and challenges? With over 1.5 million student users and growing, Prodigy has designed an engaging and meaningful way to gamify math for students. While students play Prodigy, they will have to duel against other players (other computer players not other students). The duel means that students are required to solve a math problem. Prodigy has a database of over 300 curriculum aligned math questions that target grades 1 through to 8. Furthermore, teachers can choose specific math questions to include in the game and assess students on these concepts without them even knowing they are being assessed. It all just seems like a game! Prodigy includes other features to differentiate instruction based on individual students, inform teachers based on data driven assessment, provide scaffolding throughout the game, and engage students through fun reward systems. Read the full review of Prodigy on my Teaching with EdTech blog!

Digitize Math Manipulatives!

Why not combine hands-on activities with the digital world? Clarity Innovations has created a set of free high quality math manipulatives for the Math Learning Center. These apps still provide the visual/symbolic representations of math concepts that traditional manipulatives have for years. However, now with the math manipulative apps, educators can support the unique learning needs of students today in the 21st century! Furthermore all of these math manipulatives have a whiteboard feature built in. This means students can not only use the digital manipulatives, but they can further write numbers, equations, or explanations of their thinking as they work with the manipulatives. Read the full review about these high quality math manipulative apps on my Teaching with EdTech blog!

1, 2, 3…BLAST OFF to the Math Planet App by Playpower!

Playpower is an organization that creates many high quality math education apps for grades 1-8. Playpower has really jumped on the trend of gamification in learning to make math more meaningful and fun for students. Math Planet was developed by experts at Carnegie Mellon University and has been tested across hundreds of classrooms to improve and enhance the richness of math learning. It has also won many awards! This app provides a gamified learning environment to learn many math concepts in a virtual outer space. The strands Math Planet focuses on include: Number Sense and Numeration, Geometry, and Measurement! With 9 different games and over 100+ levels, math planet makes a great addition to reinforce important math concepts. Read the full review of Playpower’s Math Planet app on my Teaching with EdTech blog.

Cube for Teachers is a community of thousands of educators sharing, searching and saving their favourite web resources into a free curriculum-aligned database. To date nearly 25 000 web resources have been shared in Cube for Teachers by educators.

If you’re interested in writing for Cube for Teachers, email us with your ideas.

For additional inquiries, contact Susan Kwiecien, Co-Founder of Cube for Teachers.

Reflection: FETC 2015

    By Susan Kwiecien: Co-Founder of Cube for Teachers

The FETC Conference

Recently, I attended one of America’s largest Edtech conferences with colleagues from Ontario.  FETC   (Florida Educational Technology Conference)  is an international conference for the integration of education technology into the K-20 school community that had over 9000 attendees and showcased 480 vendors (video). I was amazed by the number of sessions running throughout the day – people gathering to share their learning in conference rooms, concourse hallways and even on the exhibit floor. There was definitely no shortage of learning going on!

By attending FETC, I was delighted to see that no matter which side of the border educators reside, we all share one goal in common – strategies and resources to best support our precious learners.

Many teachers I met were on a quest to find relevant teaching resources. Sessions that shared resources appeared to be very popular to educators. As these resources were presented, I was simultaneously checking inside Cube for Teachers and saw that the majority had already been shared. It was a testament to teachers using Cube for Teachers, that they have been sharing valuable web resources.

I will be sharing many of these resources in upcoming Cube for Teachers blogs.

Tom Whitby

Tweetups

The FETC experience is not solely an 8am-5pm experience. There are usually PD events that extend into the evening as these events are also about building one’s network and collaborating with peers. As a result, I attended a fantastic ‘tweetup’ and  connected with many people I’ve come to know through my Twitter PLN such as Tom Whitby (@tomwhitby) and Steven Anderson (@web20classroom) who have co-authored a book called, “The Relevant Educator: How Connectedness Empowers Learning” that discusses the importance of connecting with educators online.

A great book…I highly recommend it.

While at the tweetup, I also bumped into Jerry Blumengarten (@cybraryman1), who has compiled an extensive list of subject and topic specific resources on his website (cybraryman.com). If you’ve ever participated in an educational hashtag chat on Twitter, you’ve likely seen him sharing valuable resources with educators. It was great to learn that Cube for Teachers already has a place on Jerry’s Canadian resource page. Thank you Jerry.

Cyrbaryman

Cybraryman - Jerry Blumengarten

In Canada, our next big EdTech conference will be Connect 2015 (@CanConnectEd). It is the Canadian National Conference that connects educators with technology for 21st Century teaching and learning. This year will be The Cube’s 3rd year attending and participating at this event. We look forward to reconnecting with our Canadian and American PLN.

New to The Cube?

Cube for Teachers (@cubeforteachers) is a collaboration portal for educators and contains nearly 25 000 shared web resources and continues to grow on a daily basis as teachers continue to share their most favourite links.

Best regards,

Susan Kwiecien
Co-Founder of Cube for Teachers

New Teachers: How’s Your Ontario Curriculum Content Knowledge?

Blog by Melissa Calder, OISE Graduate

Phew! We survived the seemingly never-ending winter. As gardens bloom and classroom teachers begin end-of-year activities, B.Ed students (teacher candidates) are preparing for convocation. Are you a recent grad, hoping to land a job in teaching? Feeling the crunch of competition for those oh-so-few positions available? I hear you: Me too. I am one of the thousands of newly minted teachers in Ontario.

With the education job market being being what it is in Ontario and the provincial election looming where education remains a hot topic, I am feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the road ahead. Of course we knew upon applying for teacher’s college that landing a job would be an uphill battle, so bemoaning the lack of employment prospects seems redundant and counter-productive.

Sage advice offered by our teaching mentors and professors encourages new grads to keep volunteering, continue to upgrade with AQ’s and of course being available for whatever comes our way. All valid ideas. But what about beefing up our curricular knowledge? Can you honestly say that you truly KNOW the Ontario curriculum? You may have the curriculum documents at the ready on your device or in paper format on a bookshelf, but do you feel confident with your content and subject knowledge? Pop quiz: In which grade do you introduce the concept of solar energy? What about structure and function of the major organs of various human body systems? How about the elements of art? Stumped? I was too until I began using Cube for Teachers.

Cube for Teachers is an ESSENTIAL resource for new and veteran teachers alike. It’s a goldmine of lesson plans connected to specific Ontario curriculum (K-12) documents and strands, a database of resources, a place where you can connect with other educators and ultimately a time-saving platform. Resource links are added to Cube for Teachers by Ontario teachers for Ontario teachers and tied to fields specific to education! Want to find resources for teaching a Grade 1 unit on solar energy that is cross-curricularly connected to math and art? No problem. You will also find resources related to teaching practice, classroom management, professional development and educational technology. The list goes on and on.

I encourage you to explore Cube for Teachers. Learn about curriculum expectations and the related strands. Ultimately, it is our responsibility as teachers to truly know our craft. Knowing, understanding and implementing the rich Ontario curriculum is essential to our future roles as classroom educators. Set yourself apart from the rest of the thousands clamouring to get their dream job – you know how to teach and by joining The Cube, you’ll know what to teach and how to connect lesson plans to curricular expectations. Having solid content knowledge will surely impress hiring committees and panels – and will ultimately make you a better teacher.

Take note:  You’ll want to register before your Faculty email address is discontinued which sometimes takes place upon graduation. Membership is free. Once you have created an account (where you can save unlimited resources and lesson plans), you are able to change your email address to one that you check regularly.

 

Are You An Edublogger?

No doubt, blogging has become a popular way for teachers to share ideas as well as build upon their own professional development through reflection, research, and discussions.

If you are an edublogger, how do you share your work? Perhaps you post it on micro-blogging sites a few times in the hope that it gains traction or gets posted on other websites.

Unfortunately, most other websites will simply post a link to the landing page of your blog site. Those who land on your site still need to locate your blog area and sift through past blog posts. To the busy educator in need of support and ideas, searching for specific topics this way is not practical.

Again without a searchable retrieval of your individual blogs, you are dependent upon the marketing from those who have (1) read your blogs (2) shared your blog links and (3) are fairly connected. Another teacher who may benefit from your reflections, unless part of ones network, may never discover your individual blogs.

Cube for Teachers takes on a different approach to foster effective collaboration.

In Cube for Teachers, edubloggers are able to break down their blogs, link by link and attach searchable information that is now at the fingertips of every teacher within The Cube. Teachers within are not dependent upon ones connectedness to others. When an educator searches, they are automatically connected to every link shared inside Cube for Teachers. Thousands of teachers are now part of the Cube for Teachers community. In fact, we are now seeing hundreds of links added every day inside Cube for Teachers as teachers continue to collaborate – why not include yours?

So, how would we recommend you share your fabulous blogs within Cube for Teachers? It’s easy.

Here’s how…

1) When you add a link in Cube for Teachers, we recommend sharing it in the topic area called “Other Teaching Resources”. Typically this area includes web resources pertaining to teaching strategies, helpful hints, views, tips etc.

 

2) When filling in the fields, be sure to include your name and the word “blog”. This way, someone can search for you by name along with the keyword “blog” and retrieve all of your blog links in one search. They can add additional keywords and refine their search to pinpoint a specific blog of yours.

As well, teachers can also add your link into their favourites or share it with professional learning communities inside Cube for Teachers.

Cube for Teachers is providing teachers with a voice and a choice – redefining the way Ontario educators are connecting and collaborating.  Soon, we’ll be expanding across Canada and beyond.

Share your blogs today and assist teachers who are in need of your reflections and ideas.

Sincerely,

The Administrative Team
www.cubeforteachers.com