Posts categorized "Curriculum" Feed

What Truths Do You Hold to be Self-Evident About Education?

Chris Lehmann: The Great American Teach-In: Listening to Students.

Sam Chaltain: What's Your Declaration of Education?.

What truths do you hold to be self-evident about education? Please join me and many other education stakeholders in exploring the state of US education during the Great American Teach-In (, scheduled to take place on May 10th. 

During this event, we will be examining what it means to be educated in the 21st century and formulating solutions to improve education. I believe that in order to do this thoughtfully, we must look within ourselves to identify and articulate our fundamental beliefs about the purpose of education. Participants will be encouraged to draft their own Declarations of Education in some format and to share these ideas with the world. 

The following questions were developed to help participants reflect and over the next few weeks, I think I'll tackle these in blog posts here in preparation for writing my own Declaration. I see this as sort of an cathartic exercise similar to NPR's This I Believe series. I hope you'll think about these as well and take the time to create your own vision of education.

1. When and where do I learn best?
2. What does an ideal learning environment look like?
3. How closely do our current places of learning resemble our ideal learning environment?
4. What barriers to learning/growth exist within our current environments?
5. What will we do to make our current learning environments more perfect places to work and learn?

I also am thinking about how to involve my own kids, ages 8 and 12, as I think they have opinions on this matter. I'd like to help them better articulate their feelings about school, and to think metacognitively about their learning in order to advocate for themselves. 

Let's change the current tone with education and focus on what works, what needs to change, and how we can do it together. 

Friday 5: 100th Day of School

We're celebrating the 100th day of school at my new school next Monday. I put together a list of resources for our staff and I thought I'd share them here as well.

Work life has been unexpectedly busy and I hope to get around to publishing the Friday 5 more frequently!

Lucy Gray
subscribe to the Friday 5 at:

Education World: Celebrate the 100th Day in 100 Ways

One Hundredth Day of School Activities, Crafts and Printouts from Enchanted Learning
Enchanted Learning has been one of my favorite early childhood sites for many years. They also have some great world languages resources.

ReadWriteThink: February 15, 2008: Celebrate the 100th Day of School!
ReadWriteThink has a calendar linked to various lessons and web-based activities for kids.

Celebrate the 100th Day of School! See What Life Was Like 100 Years Ago! PowerPoint SlideshowThis slideshow includes pictures of commonly known people and objects contrasted between 1908 and 2008 which might foster a great conversation about how things have changed in the course of a century.

100th Day of School Homepage
One stop shopping for all things related to this unofficial school holiday!

Starfall's 100th Day of School
Starfall is a classic site for many interactive reading activities for young children.

This is an interesting  web-based tool that could be used for 100 day activities.

Counting on and back in ones and tens
Another tool to demonstrate counting which could be especially useful for lessons involving interactive white boards or projectors.

SMART - 100 Square - for use with SMARTboards

CanTeach: Songs & Poems - 100th Day of School

100th Day of School Printables from ABC Teach

Friday 5: Special Mystery Guest: ELL

Hi All -

Larry Ferlazzo has put together tremendous resources for teachers and students. He teaches Social Studies and English to English Language Learners and native-English speakers at Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento, CA.  He was named the Grand Prize Winner of the 2007 International Reading Association Presidential Award For Reading and Technology.  He has a website with over 7,000 categorized links accessible to English Language Learners and younger native English speakers at and a blog ( where he daily shares new content added to the website. A few months ago, I shared his student examples page ( l) with Friday 5 readers; it's helpful because I'm always seeking concrete examples of student technology use. Thanks, Larry, for sharing your expertise with us!

Lucy Gray


1) Oxford University Press -- Student   Sites
Hundreds, and probably thousands, of online   English language development activities for all levels.
2) Peace Corps English Teaching Manuals
I think the teaching manuals the Peace Corps   has developed for teaching English as a second language are extraordinarily   helpful to teachers.
3) Starfall
The best online site to teach reading to   beginning English Language Learners or young native speakers to read..
4) Dvolver Moviemaker
A great site for students to develop their   writing skills in a fun and creative way by creating simple movies.
5) Hello World English
A site for beginning English Language Learners   to learn basic "survival" English.
6) English 180
A very good site for both Beginning and   Intermediate English Language Learners with graduated lessons.
7) English Interactive
Another excellent site for both Beginning and   Intermediate English Language Learners with exercises at various levels.
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Friday 5: Math Mania

Hi All -

Just a quick list of some recent math related finds.

Have a great weekend,

Lucy Gray


1. Rainforest Maths

I thought this site was better than typical drill types; nice sets of visuals accompany math problems organized by grade level. The same web author publishes a math dictionary and a writing help site. You can find these links at the bottom of the Rainforest Maths home page.

2. Intermath

This is a project from the state of Georgia that seeks to improve the content knowledge of middle school math teachers. I was struck by the links within lessons to "constructionaries", small web demonstrations of various mathematical principles. The lessons seem to refer in general to many interactive sites including Interactivate, a site dedicated to math and science interactive tools. This page, in particular, has some great tools.

3. That Quiz

Create customized online math quizzes for students and track their progress at this web site.

4. Countdown

This is a video library of math TV shows produced at Loyola University in Chicago. I used to watch this show with my students two schools ago, and I think it's great that the materials are now archived online.

5.'s Homework Help Everyday Math

Everyday Math is a popular math program currently used in my previous and current schools.

6. Everyday Math Resources - Center School District

Find more resources here for using the Everyday Math series.

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Field Trips 2.0 Project

I am part of a group of teachers working on a project that we plan on submitting to the Apple Learning Interchange. Specifically, this project focuses on the idea of reinventing field trips as we traditionally know them. We'd like to show teachers how to plan effectively for mobile learning experiences, what great excursions look like, and help them kick field trips up a notch by taking advantage of collaborative opportunities, digital tools, and web-based resources.

Interested educators are welcome to join our project. There are a couple of ways you and/or your colleagues can help:

1) Add bookmarks to our resource collection in by tagging any great links with the tag: Fieldtrips2.0.

2) Let us link to your educational blogs, blog posts, and Google Earth files that deal with your own field trip experiences. We also would love links to geocaching projects. We will post your name and school along with any links you send.

3) Participate in a group audio and/or video. We want to record a conversation, preferably using iChat AV, between multiple educators on how to make a field trip work, particularly when using Apple stuff and other digital equipment.

Send any of us an email indicating strands of interest if you'd like to participate. Additional details will then follow.

Thanks in advance,

Lucy Gray - University of Chicago Charter School
Judy Beaver - Punahou School
Andrew Gardner - The School at Columbia
Julene Reed - St. George's Independent Schools
Mike Searson - Kean University

Friday 5: TeacherTube

Friday 5 : TeacherTube

Hi All-

TeacherTube  is a new service for educators to upload and view educational content. Here are several videos worth watching!

Have a great weekend,

Lucy Gray


1) Did You Know

2) Pay Attention

3) Why Let Our Students Blog?

4) Riddle iMovie Step 1

5) Homage to Magritte

6) Inspiration Software with Math Instruction

7) Constitution Day 2006

8) Poetry and Multimedia

9) Dinoland

10) Digital Students @ Analog Schools

11) When I Become A Teacher - This is my all-time favorite. I couldn't find it on TeacherTube, but here it is on YouTube.

Google Scavenger Hunt for Middle Schoolers

I'm so excited about a spur of the moment project I started today in my sixth grade computer science class. We just finished group reports in our millennial/computer terms wiki, and our next topic to cover is graphing. For the past two quarters, I've done a rather dry assignment involving temperatures of cities around the world in Google Docs and Spreadsheets. I decided I wanted to explore an Ogle Earth blog posting forwarded by Chris Walsh to the GCT community, and I began by trying out the Google LookUp formula within Google Spreadsheets. Essentially, you enter certain search terms into this formula, data is found by Google, and entered into the specified cell. See this blog posting in the official Google blog for more information and check out the hunt itself. I need to add more complete directions and polish it a bit, but I may post about this over at the Infinite Thinking Machine when the project is finished. So far, my students' reactions have been really positive... they had no idea about the calculator features in Google Search and many said that this alone would help them with their homework. Another thing to note is a suggestion from my colleague, Marty. She thought it would be great to use autofill with this Lookup formula, to say, find statistics for a set of pro baseball players. Unfortunately, autofill doesn't seem to be a feature with Google Spreadsheets yet!

Friday 5: Summer Professional Development

Hi All -

This info is crossposted at the Infinite Thinking Machine blog. Thanks to Laurie Bartels who gave me a good portion of the technology and brain based learning links. If you'd like to contribute to this list, email me and I'll add you as a contributor to the Google Doc version of this list. You'll be able to find any additions if you bookmark this link.

Lucy Gray


Summer Professional Development Opportunities


Learning and the Brain (takes place every November and April)
April 28-30, Cambridge, MA

CAST conference - Universal Design for Learning (applicable to both
technology and the brain)
July 23-26, near Boston, MA

The Brain, Learning & Applications Summer Institute (same as below)
August 2-3, Nashville, TN

The Brain, Learning & Applications Summer Institute
August 21-22, Avon, CT

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain
multiple dates and types of drawing, painting and sketching sessions so
check the site

Schools Attuned -
See this press release:


Authentic Education Summer Institutes

ASCD Summer Conference on Differentiated Instruction
June 30 - July 2  Salt Lake City, Utah


The Library of Congress | The Learning Page | Self-Serve Workshops

Professional Development Listings at the National Council for the Social Studies web site

National Gallery of Art - Teacher Institute 2007

National Geographic School Publishing and Literacy Achievement Research Center's Literacy Institute


Texas Instruments Professional Development

Key Curriculum Press Workshops

Math Forum - Math Education Conferences


Stanford Summer Programs for Teachers
For Bay Area teachers only

International Studies Summer Institute 2007

NCTE - Literacies for All Summer Institute
July 12 - 15 Louisville, KY

Responsive Classroom Institutes

Summer Institute for the Gifted

Phillips Exeter Academy Summer Programs

Chicago Foundation for Education's Fund for Teachers Grant

The application deadline for this has passed, and it's only for Chicago Public School teachers. Keep it in mind for next year!


Pasco Professional Development

Teachers as Investigators

The Keystone Center's Bringing Environmental Issues to the Classroom Program

Teton Science Schools - Teacher Learning Center Programs

Exploratorium: Teacher Institute

Earthwatch Institute


Summercore - "A Unique Five Day Marathon in Hardware, Software and
dates and locations vary so check the site

CAIS 11th Annual Summer Technology Conference
June 18-22, Farmington, CT

Lausanne Collegiate School Laptop Institute
July 15-17, Memphis, TN

Building Learning Communities
pre-conf: July 16-17;  main conf: July 16-17, Boston (Newton, actually), MA

CAST conference - Universal Design for Learning (applicable to both
technology and the brain)
July 23-26, just north of Boston, MA

Teach the Teachers Collaborative

National Educational Computing Conference
June 24-27 Atlanta, Georgia

Logo Summer Institute
July 30 - August 3 New York, New York

The Stonington Retreat
July 31 - August 3 New York, New York

Photography Workshops and Digital Lab Workshops in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Join the Classroom 2.0 Wiki

Link: classroom2dot0 - home . Steve Hargadon, a fellow Infinite Thinking Machine blogger, has started a collaborative document known as a wiki that focuses on using new technologies in the classroom. These web sites and applications are known collectively as Web 2.0 technologies, meaning that they represent the second coming of the Internet. This wave focuses on user generated, collaborative content.  Check out this wiki and think about how you can incorporate things like Google Docs and Spreadsheets, social bookmarking services, and video conferencing into your curricula. This site is definitely worth exploring. Steve has also started a social networking site for Classroom 2.0 stuff at Ning and the link is here. His goal seems to be to bring practical ideas for implementing these interactive and powerful technologies into classrooms, so please consider exploring,and possibly contributing to, his forums for making this happen!

Friday 5: Special Mystery Guest: Astronomy

Greetings -

This week's list comes to us from the one and only Karen Thompson of Springfield, Illinois, another Apple Distinguished Educator. She is a stellar person, no pun intended!

Next week's list will feature summer professional development opportunities... send along any suggestions that you think should be included!


Lucy Gray

The spring equinox is March 21, 2007. I started this list of websites with Stellarium. It offers so many delightful explorations for students!

1)  Stellarium

A free open source planetarium for your computer.

2)   Springfield Public Schools - Stellarium Projects

I’ve listed some of the lessons we’re using with our 6th graders.

3)  Open Astronomy Curriculum

Stellarium is great, and this will get you started in some meaningful explorations.

4)     Bad Astronomy

I know it’s going to come up, so as long as we’re talking about the equinox, let’s not forget about standing eggs on their ends. Don’t miss the Bad Astronomy website and the discussion on the eggs and the equinox.

5)  The Ceres Project

Did you see the recent lunar eclipse? Stellarium makes it very easy to preview these events. If you’re looking at the moon, let’s explore the Birthday Moons!

6) Time Exhibits

And if you’re looking for more information on the change to daylight savings time, check out this site.

Karen Thompson started her teaching career as a middle school science teacher with a slide rule in hand. Currently she is an instructional technology facilitator in Springfield, Illinois and serves as a school board member in the consolidated school district of Tri-City in Buffalo, Illinois. Karen is currently using her vision of educational technology to help guide her district’s 1 to 1 laptop program for 800 6th graders.

Friday 5: Writing

Friday 5: Writing

Hi All –

Writing has been on my mind this week, and so I spent time digging around for fun, interactive web sites geared towards elementary kids. My favorite find was the Student Materials Index at the always fabulous ReadWriteThink site. There’s something for everyone in this short list, and if you can think of any must visit additions, feel free to email me and I’ll publish your suggestions next week!


Lucy Gray
University of Chicago Lab Schools

1)    ReadWriteThink: Student Materials Index

2)    WritingFix: Word and Writing Games for Young Writers

-contains several interactive writing prompts

3)    Teacher Tap: Magnet Poetry, Stores, & Mad Libs: Writing Fun on the Web

-check out various forms of Mad Libs online

4)    Young Writers Workshop

- lots of writing prompts for dictation use can be found here

5)    42 Explore: Writing Pathfinder

- a long list of resources for students of all ages

6)    National Writing Project Interactive

- a free online community

Friday 5: Online Collaboration

This week’s list was inspired by a workshop led by GlobalSchoolNet founders at NECC last summer. While I’ve been aware of this web site for some time, I previously hadn’t taken the time to explore its great resources. I am just now starting to, and in the wake of my recent  Google Earth extravaganzas, students in my afterschool program and I have come up with a project to share. Please feel free to join in any time between now and June.

Clearly, one of the benefits of today’s technologies is the ability to connect and learn from others around the world. Hopefully, you’ll find one project or idea from the following list that will inspire you to reach out!

Stayed tuned in the coming weeks as we will have some special mystery guest authors of the Friday 5... I've invited some friends and acquaintances to share a bit of their interests and expertise with us. If you'd like to participate, shoot me an email!

Lucy Gray

1)    Education World’s Internet Archives – Site Reviews – Collaborative Projects

2)    ED Teacher’s Guide to International Collaboration on the Internet

This list contains many links to established and well regarded programs that promote online educational collaboration.

3)    A Sampler of International Web Projects from Edutopia

4)    Technospud Projects

Check out the calendar page for upcoming projects that seems pretty manageable.

5)    The International Telementor Program

This sounds like a great way to connect students with a virtual mentor. There is a cost involved of $200 per student.

6)    The GLOBE Program

This looks like an amazing science program, and it appears that there needs to be some commitment on the part of participating schools to regarding training.

Friday 5: Europe

September 8, 2006

Hello –

Following my trip to the National Educational Computing Conference this summer, I had the amazing opportunity to also travel to Europe as part of a delegation of Apple Distinguished Educators charged with developing a global awareness curriculum. This curriculum will become publically available at no cost in the Apple Learning Interchange ( sometime in early October.

As an unofficial part of this project, I’ve started an online group to discuss and share anything related to global education. People interested in joining this conversation can email me at and I will send you an invitation with instructions on how to join.
This week’s list is comprised of web sites related to the aforementioned Apple global awareness project and to some of the cities I visited. ADEs toured Berlin and Prague led by EF Education ( ) and afterwards, I headed to Florence and Paris with two other ADEs. I don’t know why I waited so long to travel extensively in Europe. All I can say is that if you haven’t gone abroad yet in your life, do everything in your power to make it happen. The rewards will be numerous.

Take care,

Lucy Gray

Continue reading "Friday 5: Europe" »

Global Education .Mac Group

I'm interested in continuing the conversation about global awareness, and I've taken the liberty of starting a .Mac group on this topic. I've never really taken advantage of .Mac groups before, so this provides an opportunity to explore this tool as well.

My goal is to provide an inclusive forum for ADEs, informal external partners, and other interested educators to discuss and share anything related to global education. Many ADEs who attended this year's institute consulted outside resources in preparation for the trip; this forum may be a way to include these groups. I see this .Mac group as a vehicle for sharing resources, collaborating on projects, and for possibly garnering feedback on our various curriculum projects. I am sure there are other ideas that we can come up with regarding how to best utilize this resource.

If you'd like to join this group, please send me an email at or, and I'll send you an invitation with instructions on how to join. Feel free to pass this on to other people that may be interested as well. Participants do not need an active .Mac account to join, only a .Mac ID.

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