8 Great Classroom Ideas To Level Up Learning

To help your classroom be engaging and fun, you have to be a lead learner. Here's an assortment of classroom ideas that will get you trying something new. Set a goal to try something new THIS WEEK. Try something new if only to keep you from becoming a stressed, boring minion (see cartoon.) Leveling Up Learning always starts with the lead learner — YOU!  (And for your laugh of the day — enjoy the cartoon: If Teachers Were Minions…)

Classroom Idea #1. Publish a Book: Classroom Authors or DIY

  • Classroom Authors“Students from all over the world can collaborate in their classrooms and at home to create and publish books using Classroom Authors web based publishing application.”Very cool website — this from the publisher “Our software was developed working with Colombia University Teacher's College and over 40 classrooms with the purpose of engaging students in the writing process through collaborative book publishing.”This looks to be a very cool website and another way to have students publish books and have an authentic audience. tags: education news writing bestpractices 
  • 5 Free Easy Ways to Publish eBooks – AJ Juliani shares how you can do it yourself publish ebooks with your students.

Classroom Idea #2. Have Students Create Interactive Images: ThingLink

  • Make Your Images Interactive – ThingLink Thinklink has made some upgrades for teachers. There is an improved student sign up, the ability to organize students by class. You can create image “channels” and interactive albums and you can have a more safe way to find images and use them.Students can log in with Google plus (enable it if you have student apps for education. You'll want to apply for ThingLink Education status which means that you can set students up without emails and as as “profile-less profile” (COPPA Compliant.)For safe status, if students are logged in, they can only see images created by other students, teachers, or created by thinglink staff. Also, if they use Google Video safe search they put the maximum limits on it.I recorded a session on my podcast this week about UDL and Beth Ritter-Guth highly recommends Thinglink to use with students.tags: education news app bestpractices all_teachers udl

Classroom Idea #3. Create Flashcards with Your Friends: CardKiwi

Classroom Idea #4. Make Graph Paper inside Excel

Classroom Idea #5. Find deals and freebie Kindle eBooks

This one is probably more for you, but you can put watches on your favorite children's authors, etc. if you want to download or get deals on their books to share with your classroom.

  • eReaderIQ | The Easier, Faster, Smarter Way to Kindle!This website tracks deals and freebies for Kindle books. You can also upload your Wish list and it will tell you when the price drops or it goes free. It is really one of the easiest websites for tracking and finding good reading deals (that are worth your time.) Very cool site.tags: news education ebook

Classroom Idea #6. Learn How to Make a Screencast

  • How to Screencast in 3 Simple Steps. Using screencastomatic, you can make your first, simple, free screencast. It isn't hard and you don't need a lot of fancy, expensive software.

Classroom Idea #7: Learn How To Turn Your Google Search Box Into a Timer

Classroom Idea #8: Find Something Else Cool

IF none of these interest you, try these other resource and idea lists.

New year thought: I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand is in what direction we are moving.

I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand is in what direction we are moving. What direction are you moving in your classroom?

A little poem to get you started

Yes, you have a curriculum and things to do, but try to bring in something new.

Excite your students, wow your friends, show kids that learning never ends.

You're not too old, you're not a dud, take the time to help learning bud.

Life is short, but a teacher's influence is long, when you're always learning you can't go wrong!


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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Dean February 26, 2014 - 6:33 am

Some great ideas here! I love the classroom authors publishing app. Thanks for posting this. Have a great day. Dean

coolcatteacher February 26, 2014 - 3:03 pm

Thanks for sharing it with your PLN!Vicki Davis

Meghan Whitlock March 24, 2014 - 5:46 pm

This is great! I love the idea of sharing flashcards with other students, especially to study vocabulary. My freshmen and sophomore vocabulary books are quite challenging this year, so extra practice would be beneficial for them! I love the link you posted about Lessons and Humor for English teachers, I can definitely incorporate some of those ideas into my classroom!

coolcatteacher March 25, 2014 - 6:02 am

Thanks Meghan. Let me know how it goes.

buddybowtie March 25, 2014 - 2:11 pm

The greatest teachers out there are the ones that think outside the box. The ones that do not follow copied instructions on the palm of their hands of what to do every class.
In order to keep students active and focused on topics is to find new ways to exert that knowledge.
There are many tools available for teachers in all levels of education up to university.

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