Tag Archives: curriculum

10 Items Every School Website Should Include

school websiteA school website is an ideal tool to communicate with the community. It engages viewers and promotes a strong and readily accessible home/school connection. Students, parents, teachers, administrators, and prospective families use this resource to find and share information. Check this list of ten important items every school website should have in order to enhance communication.

  • Design – The website should have an appealing, welcoming layout that is easy to read and navigate. Create an impression of excellence that exemplifies the school culture.
  • Up to Date – Ensure that the site is current and revised regularly. Frequent changes encourage parents and students to check in frequently to view photos and/or videos.
  • Contact Information – Be sure to list the school postal address, phone, and an email contact. The address and phone number should be in the header, and definitely in the footer – a conventional location for contact information in websites.
  • Staff Directory – Include a current staff list with email contacts to promote communication between teachers, parents, and students.
  • Calendar – Upcoming key dates, school wide special events, and sports schedules are essential.
  • Class Pages – Teachers or subject areas can list assignments, homework, project requirements and due dates. Student work should be regularly showcased to build self-esteem and foster a culture of excellence.
  • Documents – Permission slips, student handbooks, lunch order forms, policy documents such as behavior or internet acceptable use policies in pdf format save time and resources instead of printing and sending them home with students.
  • E-newsletter – Have a list of any current and archived newsletters from parent/teacher organizations, class blogs, or teacher news.
  • Education Philosophy – A short statement of school values helps new families to understand the mission of the school. Curriculum information and extra-curricular activities, a list of courses, school awards, achievements, or grants also help viewers learn about the school.
  • Interaction Opportunities – Integrate with links to other school social media sites, blogs, or discussion forums to provide additional ways to communicate.

school website checklist

Align Common Core with Technology Curriculum. Help Is Here.

Common Core State Standards
TechnoKids Common Core Alignment

The large majority of the states in the US, forty-one as of last count, have committed to implementing the Common Core State Standards.

  • What does this mean for teachers?
  • Will it increase an already onerous workload?
  • Will it improve student readiness for college, the workplace, and life?

These are all critical questions for educators and parents, but the general consensus is that creating a common set of goals and expectations for student success is essential. To have our graduating students compete in the workplace with their peers in America and abroad, benchmarks for competence in English and Mathematics need to be set.

The other fundamental 21st century skill is proficiency in using technology.

All of this seems to add to the burden of the teacher. But it really does not!

TechnoKids Now Aligns with Common Core Standards

TechnoKids Inc. recognizes the value of Common Core standardization. Two new, free correlation documents map out how projects at every grade correlate with the English Language Arts and Mathematics Standards. These documents identify how TechnoKids computer curriculum teaches the skills identified by the Common Core Standards. Teachers can now use the TechnoKids correlation documents to connect each TechnoKids project quickly to the specific learning outcomes of the Common Core Standards.

Correlating the standards with a project is simple: for any TechnoKids computer project, view the TechnoKids Common Core correlation document for that grade level. The specific Common Core standards – English Language Arts or Mathematics – achieved in that particular project are listed by description as well as by code identification.

Project Based Learning Achieves Multiple Goals

The Common Core State Standards Initiative clearly states that the standards do not tell teachers how or what they should teach. The tools, topics, and curriculum materials used to achieve these goals is up to teachers. TechnoKids Computer Curriculum resources are available to:

  • reach Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and/or Mathematics
  • teach computer skills
  • engage students in fun and meaningful real world problem solving

And all of these can be accomplished in one curriculum project!

TechnoKids Common Core Correlation

TechnoKids Computer Curriculum uses the project based learning instructional approach to integrate multiple learning objectives into one unit of study. Computer skills are combined with English Language Arts, Social Science, Science, Art, and/or Mathematics in an interdisciplinary study. As an added bonus, students find that playing the role of a entrepreneur, advertising agent, film producer, marketing manager, stock broker, or any one of the many meaningful simulations in TechnoKids projects is engaging, highly motivating, and fun.

NOTE: TechnoDrama has been a favorite for many years. Unfortunately, it is no longer available. To find other TechnoKids projects related to web design view the Project Matrix or visit the TechnoKids website.

Common Core State Standards are clear, consistent guidelines that will help teachers to ensure that vital critical-thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills are being taught. Now TechnoKids Computer Curriculum helps teachers identify, teach, and track these skills in every project at every grade.

8 Benefits for Students When They Comment on Blogs

The benefits to blogging go beyond writing the posts. There are numerous learning opportunities created by reading and commenting upon blog posts.

This activity allows students to:

  1. Improve reading skills. To comment upon a blog, it must first be read. Blogs expose students to a wide variety of writing styles, purposes, and points of view. Reading the posts require students to apply comprehension strategies to extend their understanding of the text which improves their literacy skills.

  2. Develop responsibility. Comments posted on blog entries are public, which means anyone can read them. Students learn the importance of assuming ownership over the comments they post, as they are a direct reflection upon themselves.

  3. Students become bloggers.

  4. Practice social conventions. Commenting is a new type of social skill. It requires students to phrase their insights, opinions, and feedback thoughtfully. A comment should be constructive, encouraging further improvement. Comments should not be hurtful or defamatory.

  5. Improve writing skills. A comment is typically only one or two sentences. This brevity creates a unique challenge, as a meaningful statement must be written concisely in only a few words.

  6. Foster critical thinking. To respond to a blog article, the reader must analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information in a blog to determine if they agree or disagree with the writer, or if they have any new insights to offer. This process fosters critical thinking.

  7. Actively engage in discussions. Commenting invites a public discussion. When a student posts a comment it becomes an invitation to discuss the ideas presented in the blog with the author and fellow readers.

  8. blogging resources

  9. Collaborate with others. Blogging is not a solitary experience. It involves an active exchange with others. Through reading and commenting upon entries, students are able to share resources, learn new information, gain feedback, and acquire insight.

  10. Mentor peers. Commenting offers students the opportunity to offer advice, encouragement, or pose questions to peers. Being a mentor is a great way to boost confidence, strengthen communication skills, and develop a sense of accomplishment.

comment blog callout

Commenting on blogs has educational value.
Discover the benefits!

12 Benefits for Students When They Become Bloggers

Blogging is a unique literacy activity that has many benefits. The process of writing posts allows student bloggers to:

  1. Become reflective learners. When students use a blog to share their ideas or reflect upon their work, it allows them to develop a deeper understanding of their strengths and weaknesses, values and beliefs, and identifies areas for improvement.

  2. Improve writing skills. Blog writing allows students to enhance their skills as they explore a range of writing styles to suit the purpose of the article.

  3. Reach a genuine audience. Blogging is public. Articles can be read by not only the teacher, but also peers, parents, classes, and people from around the world. This produces an authentic learning experience.

  4. Acknowledge their value. Blogging empowers students to recognize that their experiences have value because they can use them to write articles that inform, instruct, or inspire others.

  5. Blogging transforms students into reflective learners, who are motivated to write about their experiences because they have a genuine audience.

  6. Build self-esteem. Comments from readers allows students to receive positive feedback that improves their self-image.

  7. Highlight individuality. Blogging enables students to share their unique viewpoint, ideas, and interests with others.

  8. Contribute equally. Every learner has a voice when blogging. In a classroom setting, it is difficult to give every student time to share his or her ideas. However, writing blogs and commenting upon entries, grants everyone an equal opportunity to participate.

  9. Actively engage in learning. Blogging transforms students from being consumers of information to producers of information. Instead of reading facts and watching videos posted by others, they are the ones developing unique content for others to consume.

  10. Develop higher-level thinking. The process of blogging requires students to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information. Creative and critical thinking skills are used to write editorials, offer solutions to common problems, debate ideas, justify a position, or recommend a product.

  11. Students become bloggers.

  12. Collaborate with others. The writing process can include a collaborative component. For example, peers can review work and post comments that lead to further revisions or a new post. As well, a class or school blog can be created through joint writing, whereby multiple students cooperate to produce a body of work.

  13. Feel motivated to become writers. Reluctant writers are motivated to blog because there is a genuine audience and the entries are short, which makes the process and time associated with writing less daunting.

  14. Find their inner voice. Blogging gives students the forum to express ideas that may otherwise have remained silent. The writing process becomes a powerful tool to self discovery as students delve deeper into understanding their experiences and ideas.

blogging resources