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10 Jun, 2022

Best Coins For Mining in 2022

If you are someone who has gained recent interest in getting into cryptocurrency, this article is meant for you. Most cryptocurrency experts unanimously agree that one should try to know the ins and outs of the mining apparatus before deciding to mine any coin.
01 Jun, 2022

07 Countries That Are Crypto Friendly

It has been quite some time since the inception of cryptocurrency. People are seeing its potential and have started to invest in it in the hope of making a fortune out of it. While there has been no shortage of successful venturers, many could not go far due to legal hindrances imposed by government entities.
13 May, 2022

How to Create Your Own Crypto Mining System?

Cryptocurrency has been taking the world by storm in recent times. As a result, many people want to try and dip their feet into cryptocurrency. And one of the best ways to do that is crypto mining. However, many people interested in getting into the crypto business themselves wonder, "How do you create your own crypto mining system?”
07 Apr, 2022

CryptoCurrency Exchanges Overview

Cryptocurrency and bitcoin exchanges let the users on their platform change their digital currency into traditional money or other forms of cryptocurrency. Crypto token holders can also trade for other blockchain assets if the platform permits. However, the number of these platforms is increasing every day. But which one is trustworthy?
11 Mar, 2022

HIA-LI Reporter CEO Profile Interview

TELL US ABOUT HOW YOU/YOUR COMPANY STARTED. The Corporate Source was founded in 1996 as a way to help people with disabilities lead lives with independence and fulfillment that’s derived through the world of work. In the past, people...
09 Mar, 2022

Cross-chain Market Making: Everything There is to Know

From the very beginning of Crypto, the major challenge was the lack of interoperability. As crypto is getting more and more widespread and mainstream, this limitation is becoming more and more clear. This article will talk about breakthroughs in crypto market making that address this specific issue.
03 Nov, 2021

Teaching with Primary Sources

Primary sources are first-hand and original accounts, records, or evidence. They are raw pieces of data without a given interpretation. Examples of primary sources are photographs, maps, manuscripts (journals, telegrams, diaries, etc.), newspapers, oral histories, radio programs, speeches, political cartoons, legal briefs, and official government correspondence. In comparison, textbooks are secondary sources that have been derived from primary sources. Political commentary, newspaper editorials, journal articles, magazines, and many books are also examples of secondary sources. The weakness of secondary sources is that they are accounts or interpretations created by someone without first-hand experience. Teachers of all levels can incorporate primary sources into their learning activities. Primary sources can be used in any subject area, but they are particularly useful for teachers of history, social studies, geography, english, writing, civics, cultural studies, and political science. Advantages of Using Primary Sources 1. Incorporating primary sources drives up student engagement and promotes active learning. Reading a summary of historical events in a textbook can be boring and dry for students. On the other hand, getting historical information from primary source documents such as maps, telegrams, and oral histories gives students the opportunity to be investigators as they sift through historical data to learn the facts, which they can then piece together to form an understanding of an event, time period, person, or place. This type of learning is active rather than passive. 2. Using primary sources teaches critical thinking, deductive reasoning, and problem-solving skills. When students read a curated account of events in a textbook, there’s not much room for thought. It’s easy for students to simply see the content as something they just have to memorize and then repeat in order to pass a test. However, if students are asked to learn about a topic through primary sources, they have no choice but to think critically about the information being presented because they have to use deductive reasoning to form their own interpretation of the source document being studied. Primary sources necessarily require students to develop skills of analysis, which benefits them across the curriculum. 3. In an increasingly polarized world, teaching with primary sources creates a more culturally diverse, inclusive, and equitable learning environment. When we talk about political or historical events in our classrooms, inevitably our instruction will contain some of our personal bias. We may even subconsciously choose to teach events that are relevant to our own cultural perspective, but that leave out other cultural perspectives. Using primary source documents can get around our own cultural biases by expanding our own cultural horizons as well as those of our students. Additionally, using primary sources makes the classroom inclusive because these types of teaching materials can appeal to all learning styles. For example, photographs and maps will speak to visual learners while oral histories will engage auditory learners. Ways to Use Primary Sources in the Classroom For elementary school students, primary sources can be used to encourage deeper learning about the world around them. For example, elementary school teachers might use photographs of their city or town in the past and present to teach skills of observation. When shown a historical photograph, what do students see? What in the photograph is the same as modern-day life? What is different? What conclusions can they draw as a result of observing these differences? Elementary students could then write simple sentences describing the differences they see between the historical and modern photographs. For all age groups, primary sources can be used to teach students how to synthesize and summarize information, a necessary skill for all subjects. Writing teachers might use primary source activities to give students an opportunity to learn about proper techniques for paraphrasing and quoting. For middle school through college, primary sources are fantastic references for students writing research papers or argumentative essays. A side benefit is that using primary sources can reduce plagiarism because students are using first-hand documents to draw their own conclusions rather than regurgitating the inferences others have already drawn. Websites to Source Primary Documents With the increasing popularity of primary source teaching, many online resources are available to help teachers easily locate first-hand sources. Some even include helpful lesson plans or activity guides to accompany the primary source sets. Digital Public Libraries of America Historical Scene Investigation DocsTeach Zoom in on US History Primary sources can help our students see things from multiple perspectives, which is perhaps one of the most critical skills in today’s divided world. Using primary sources creates a rich, active learning experience where students are in the driver’s seat and are empowered to engage with the world around them to collect information in order to form their own interpretations. This can also help students begin to grasp their own biases and can better prepare them to be informed global citizens with an understanding of perspectives other than their own.
03 Nov, 2021

Three Strategies to Teach Gratitude

Have you ever read a book and exclaimed, "I am so happy!"? Have your best memories been made through gratitude? The feeling of being thankful can have many benefits on people's mental health. It is no different with children - they need that message too to grow into successful adults who will someday go out into the world as our leaders or co-workers. Teaching gratitude in the classroom is a valuable and meaningful experience that will be one of the most memorable lessons of your students' academic careers. It fosters a grateful mindset in students, which can lead to more positive attitudes and higher self-esteem. In addition, it creates a culture of gratefulness through actions both inside and outside the classroom. Teach your students how great life really looks from inside this perspective with three simple ways to infuse more gratitude into your classroom environment every day. 1. Start a Gratitude Journal. Spending a few minutes during each school day leading up to Thanksgiving, have students complete the sentence, “I am thankful for…” or “I feel thankful because…” Their entries can be simple drawings or sentences using vocabulary or complete thoughts depending on grade level. This journal would be a great gift to send home for parents to read over Thanksgiving Break. 2. Model Gratefulness. Your students look up to you and notice everything you do. Be sure to thank students and explain why you are grateful for them. Even the most difficult student needs to know you appreciate them trying their best. Your attitude of gratitude will set the tone of the classroom and what better time to show it than during this month of Thankfulness. 3. Start a Daily/Weekly Gratitude Chat. A quick class discussion or circle time activity have students share one thing they liked about the day/week. This could also include something they did not like as well as something they are looking forward to. You can start the conversation by sharing a grateful action that you witnessed that other students may have missed. Teaching is a difficult job. It's regularly exhausting, and we frequently feel like we're getting nowhere. But despite all the obstacles, there are still so many things to be grateful for: students who love learning and try their best, colleagues who show kindness and respect, communities that support us as educators. We hope you'll take this opportunity to reflect on what's going right in your classroom, and how gratefulness can be a powerful force for good. The next time things don't go as planned or when times get tough, try adopting an attitude of gratitude--it will show the students that even difficult situations deserve a thankful outlook. Remembering all the amazing moments we've shared with our students is one way to foster more of these positive events into the future.
11 Oct, 2021

Blended Learning in Special Education

Many educators are looking at blended learning in special education. It involves the practice of using both online (a student is offered supplemental lessons through online multimedia coursework) and in-person learning experiences when teaching our students.
08 Sep, 2021

Of Course, You Can Take Your Child to a Restaurant

Many parents deny their family the enjoyment of eating in a restaurant as they fear their child with a developmental disability might "act out," have a temper tantrum, or have behaviors that may result in a problem.
30 Aug, 2021

Meltdowns, Behaviors, Your Child with Disabilities and School

If your child accepts and has adjusted to the fact that the school bell will be ringing soon, you are very fortunate.
16 Aug, 2021

Food for Thought, a Discussion of School Lunches

The advent of the novel coronavirus produced a lot of big changes in the education sector. Most notably, of course, was the shift to various forms of virtual learning but another big change was the availability of free lunch for all students. Many schools were offering free lunch to everyone and were able to do so because of emergency governmental funds. In the next several months and even years school lunch as an idea is likely to be thrust back into the public consciousness. School lunch, surprisingly, has been a controversial topic over the last decade or so. To most teachers it seems obvious that meals should be provided to students and that cost should not be an issue. It is perhaps the clearest fact of human existence that food scarcity has a negative impact on students and their growth as learners and as people. You can’t reach those upper levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs on an empty stomach. Despite the push by many in education to feed as many students as possible there are critics of free school lunch programs. There appear to be two major sticking points: (1) How healthy are these meals anyway? (2) Who is going to pay for this? This article will address each of these questions, but let's start with a little history. School lunch has existed in the United States going back to as early as the late 19th century but didn’t see governmental involvement until the Great Depression. A New Deal policy for school lunches made it possible to provide jobs to out-of-work Americans, food to hungry children, and payment for farmers who were facing collapse. Over the years increases and decreases have occurred to the national budget for feeding school children - notably Reagan’s administration cut the school lunch budget in 1981 by $1.5 billion - but there has not been a time where school lunch was freely available to every student regardless of income. For the next 30 years or so school lunches became more privatized and, in general, less healthy. An attempt was made to improve this by congress in 2010 when they passed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act and it appears to have had a positive impact on student nutrition over time. This leads us into first question people ask when talking about school lunches: (1) How healthy are these meals anyway? A recent study published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) looked at diet quality among children and adults in the US between 2003 and 2018. That study found that “by 2017-2018, foods consumed at schools provided the best mean quality of major food sources, without disparities…” Obviously healthier options can be found than some school lunches, in general they do a relatively good job of providing essential nutrients to our students. It’s a well-established observable fact that people in poverty struggle to afford healthier foods and often end up saddled with the negative nutritional impacts of eating what they can afford, but there is demonstrable evidence that school lunches help combat this trend. But, honestly, even if the meals weren’t that healthy, it would still be better than starving, so while the issue of nutrition is an important one, it isn’t a solid reason to deny food to students. The second question, though, that people ask tends to be the more popular critique of these programs: (2) Who is going to pay for this? Personally, this author thinks that this question is an irrelevant one. It has been this author’s experience that anyone using this question as a reason not to do something rather than a hurdle to overcome doesn’t want it to succeed in the first place. It almost doesn’t matter how this is paid for so long as it is paid for. Students need to eat and eat well. School lunch, like public education in general, should not be viewed as a source of revenue but as an opportunity to better the lives of all Americans. There is no justification for preventing students from eating full, nutritious meals regardless of whether they can afford it. If we as a nation prioritized the health of our students, we could easily find the means to pay for them to get a good meal. For further reading, check out the links below that served as sources for this article as well as a few others related to the topic. Sources: An Abbreviated History of School Lunches (Time Magazine): https://time.com/4496771/school-lunch-history/ JAMA Study on Nutrition in School Lunches: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2778453?utm_source=For_The_Media&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=ftm_links&utm_term=040921 Further Reading: School Meal Trends and Stats: https://schoolnutrition.org/aboutschoolmeals/schoolmealtrendsstats/ US Department of Agriculture Study on School Nutrition and Meal Cost: https://fns-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/resource-files/SNMCS_Summary-Findings.pdf
28 Jul, 2021

New Teacher Tips and Tricks

New to the classroom? No need to stress! While it can be an overwhelming time for most, it doesn’t have to be. If you’ve just got assigned your first teaching gig, read on to gain some tips and tricks to ensure your room setup is a success and your first year goes smoothly! Less is More Because so many new teachers are excited to decorate their very own classroom, they tend to go overboard with “stuff.” A calming and cute environment is far better than an overstimulated, accessorized room. Use bulletin boards only and try not to post too many stray items on walls. A nice area rug goes a long way, as students can sit comfortably as you read to them or teach small groups, and curtains and small lamps make a room more cheerful and inviting! Organize, Organize, Organize Organization is key for a successful first year. Create a file folder for all of your topics being taught and place them in filing cabinets in alphabetical order so you can quickly access anything. Create a portfolio for each student as well, so you have a place to store their work over time, as well as standardized test scores, writing samples, notes from parents, and other important documentation you can use for conferences or when requested by an administrator. It’s also important to start a binder of parent communication-be it emails or phone logs, to keep these records all in one place. Establish a Classroom Management System Your management system will set the tone for your year, from day one. Whether you choose to set up a stop light method (green, to warning yellow, to stop red), or a clipboard system for demerits; there are tons of effective ways to manage behavior and monitor social and emotional well-being. Use Best Practices Right From the Get Go Don’t be afraid to create a space that encourages collaboration among students. Many new teachers shy away from clustering students' desks together, giving each child their own seat and placement. However, when students are grouped together, you can implore plenty of discussion and teamwork, which is on the best practice list. Put students in groups of 6-8 in your room, and you’ll be amazed at how much more space you have in your classroom too. Also, think back to different educational theorists you have learned about in your teaching courses and consider different instructional methods and approaches you can take when designing lessons, setting up centers, and asking questions as you teach. Develop a Teaching Philosophy Students, parents, and administrators need to know where you stand in regard to your teaching philosophy. A firm, fair, yet friendly approach helps establish a respectable rapport with all, and helps you make decisions and design your behavior management system. Create Opportunities for Communication Parents like to feel involved in their child’s education. No one likes being left in the dark. Consider sending home a weekly email, updating parents about their child’s week or the week ahead. Create a newsletter, or even sign up for a free messaging system, like Class Dojo; where you can give points for good behavior, send instant messages that go straight to parents’ phones, and allow you to post pictures of kids in action! Truth be told, it can take some time to get into a rhythm and flow when you get your own classroom. Oftentimes, each day is a learning opportunity and will help you grow as an individual and an educator. Be patient, stay excited, and open yourself up to advice, tips, and tricks from seasoned teachers to help your first year be enjoyable and memorable for all!
12 May, 2021

Camps, Cruises, and Travel Programs for the DIsabled

Parents of children with special needs often wish their child could enjoy a camping experience or a travel program to provide something new, exciting, and different in their life. Perhaps you are not aware there are programs available to serve many different travel needs of disabilities ranging from Asperger's, heart disease, social skills, and ADHD to physical disabilities, vision impairments, learning disabilities, and dozens of others. Where there is a need, there is often a program to fit those needs. You will be amazed at the number of camps available. For example, there are 314 camps dedicated to people with developmental disabilities. You can find an answer to most of your questions by visiting veryspecialcamps.com. Camping Can be a Wonderful Experience Most of these camps offer programs lasting for one or two weeks up to the entire summer. Some of these are day camps where the camper attends during day hours and then returns home. For example, the Summer Sensations Camp is a full-day licensed youth camp. They serve children with sensory processing differences and special needs. The camp offers occupational, speech, music therapy and art, bike riding instruction, social skills, and self-regulation programs. Camp Kodiak is another camp that offers integrated camping for children and teens with or without learning disabilities. They provide an academic and social skills program with more than 50 activities. They have a 2:1 camper-to-staff ratio. Located in the Adirondack Mountains, Camp Reece serves disabled campers ages 10-17. They empower campers with new skills, self-confidence, self-esteem, and social-emotional growth, with "fun" being their emphasis. Sending your child to appreciate a camping experience or arranging for them to enjoy a unique travel program can be overwhelming for some parents. It is a big step to take. It also brings with it a considerable amount of worry and stress. Every parent should determine why they want their child to participate, how they will prepare their child for a program, and then try to relax, which is easier said than done. To help you relax, try to understand that professional, trained staff will accept the child into the program -they are trained to help your child enjoy each day's experience. Before your child leaves home, you should understand what the program will do if there should be a medical emergency. You should provide a list of your child's medications from their doctor. Pack all of the medicines in clear plastic bags. You should also contact your insurance company to see if there is coverage when traveling out of the provider network area. You might also consider anything and everything else that might affect your child's camping or travel experience just like you would if your child was spending a week with a relative. Just remember that planning is critical. Travel programs are available for children and adults. (Please visit http://sath.org/disability-travel-websites for information.) One thing to know is that safety is the top priority with tour companies. Most tours visit fun places such as Disneyland, dude ranches, movie studios, baseball spring training camps, Hawaii, and many other sites. Cruises are also available. Some travel companies offer scholarships to apply toward the total cost of a trip. Travel for special needs can be quite costly as there is a need for specialized staff, and more chaperones are needed to make sure everything runs smoothly. Travel to Most Any Place in the World One company, known as New Directions Travel, offers a four-day Disneyland and California adventure for $1675. The cost covers all expenses, including staying in a luxury resort. The first day the travelers settle in. Then chaperones take them swimming, spend time in a hot tub, or enjoy some shopping. The second day is enjoyed at Disneyland where they can enjoy all of the rides as well as many other activities offered at the park. The next day is spent at the new California Adventure, where the group enjoys Cars Land, Golden State, Hollywood Pictures Backlot, and Paradise Pier. On the last day, the children pack their bags to return home after enjoying one last brunch with their new friends. The Frontier Travel Camp is a luxury special needs tour operator. They cater to people with autism, Asperger's, developmental disabilities, and other special needs. They offer the experience of independence to improve social skills and increase self-esteem in a secure environment. They believe that everyone needs the opportunity to see the world, make friends, and live life. They offer several tours. Their 15-day Northeast USA tour begins in New York and meanders throughout the northeast (with one of the adventures being spending time at the Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory). The cost of the tour is $9,950. Frontier also offers a 7-day cruise beginning in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, with visits to Mexico and Honduras at the cost of $3,100. Travel programs are ranging from snow to sand vacation resorts. There are year-round recreational programs available to everyone. There are some programs, such as cruises, that are designed for the entire family to enjoy. It is a big step for parents to allow their child to become completely independent from them for an entire week - that is understandable.
05 May, 2021

Are eLearning and Nano Learning the Same?

Today, students have to switch back and forth from a variety of tasks. With the advent of digital and the IT revolution, students now have the opportunity to avail a wide range of tools. Smart academic institutes understand that using eLearning and nano learning tactics will improve the workflow and lead to a more innovative learning environment. eLearning Vs. Nano Learning In layman’s terms, eLearning refers to learning through digital tools and resources. It allows users to learn more information without geographical and time constraints. With fewer restrictions, the eLearning model has become transformative for the education sector and even became a savior amidst pandemic crisis. On the other hand, nano learning is part of the eLearning process. But Gen Z is far highly responsive to nano learning than any other type of learning. For instance, Gen Z continues to consume more information from YouTube and Tik Tok through smartphones. It is a new wave of learning that may come across as unrecognizable to previous generations. It is a balanced approach that allows learners to be efficient and extract entertainment from the information. Not to mention this type of learning holds the extended attention of learners. At its core, Nanolearning is not so different from micro learning. However, it is more of a concentrated version of micro learning. For instance, a young individual who views a minute and a half video about demand and supply would retain information with a better experience. What Makes Nano Learning So Ideal? Effective Transfer of Knowledge Whether it’s eLearning or nano learning, both offer an effective transfer of knowledge to students. For instance, eLearning is more ideal to achieve performance-based goals. In fact, you’d be surprised how much a student can learn in a 5-10 minute eLearning session. One of the best aspects of nano learning is that it doesn’t highlight key points of the concept like a traditional course. Instead, it reinforces and supports the concepts through visual parameters that capture the interest of the learner. In a way, nano learning simplifies the information for the convenience of the learner. And when students start to learn in a flow, it leads to a higher retention rate. Perfect for Modern Learners On average, modern learners spare 1% of their time to learn and develop skills. And this is where nano learning comes into the picture. It is ideal for busy modern learners who don’t want to dedicate hours after hours to continuous learning. Nano learning is an efficient and strategic form of eLearning that allows learners to consume information in small pieces through mobile devices. eLearning and Nano Learning: What Lies Ahead? After the pandemic crisis, most educational institutes across the globe want to incorporate eLearning and nano learning models. It would serve as a future-proof mechanism to eliminate inconsistencies throughout the learning process. In hindsight, nano learning boils down to the consumption of general knowledge at a fast pace. The objective of teachers is to make the information more accessible to young learners. With the extent of available online information, teachers will continue to play a crucial role to help the new generation and schools transition. After all, it takes a professional teaching narrative and expertise to implement nano learning. Sum Up In the age of uncertainty, eLearning and nano learning have become options for educational institutes to thwart miscommunication and learning gaps. Nano learning allows students to adapt, evolve, and evaluate information at a much faster pace. In essence, nano learning caters to the fast-paced social needs of young learners. REFERENCES: https://playxlpro.com/is-microlearning-and-nanolearning-same-or-different/ https://blog.commlabindia.com/elearning-design/microlearning-nanolearning-corporate-training https://blog.commlabindia.com/elearning-design/microlearning-nanolearning-differences-infographic https://elearningindustry.com/9-benefits-of-elearning-for-students#:~:text=The%20Most%20Important%20Benefits%20Of,their%20own%20comfort%20and%20requirement. https://elearningindustry.com/elearning-in-the-modern-world-significance https://www.digitalclassworld.com/blog/importance-of-elearning-in-education/ https://trainingindustry.com/articles/e-learning/nanolearning-the-future-of-learning/
05 May, 2021

Kids Say The Darndest Things: Hilarious Quotes From Elementary Students

Elementary kids are notorious for saying whatever is on their mind with exactly zero filter. Teachers who do classes like music or art have a unique opportunity to see multiple grade levels…...and to get the BEST stories. Here are some excellent quotes from an elementary music classroom. Teacher: *greeting students at the door* 1st grader: *making a weird face as she walks to hear seat* Teacher, I’m a hippopotamus! Teacher: Neat! 1st grader: *clomps to seat* Kindergartner: Teacher, did you sleep well last night? Teacher: …...yes….yes I did. Kindergartner: Good, me too! *goes to seat* Teacher: *sitting at desk while students work quietly* 1st grader: *walks up to desk with paper* Teacher, you know how my last name is “dunn?” Teacher: Yep, what can I help you with? 1st grader: Well I’m..*slams paper down on desk triumphantly* DUNN with my paper. *walks back to seat proudly* Teacher: *turns off lights to show a video* 1st grader: ooooooo, I LIKE the darkness. Other 1st grader: ME TOO! Teacher: Today we’re going to be learning about OPPOSITES *writes the word “opposites” on the board* Kindergartner: *full of concern in her second music class ever* UM TEACHER, WE DON’T KNOW HOW TO READ!!! Teacher: *opens door after having the students wait a couple of extra minutes in the hallway* 1st grader: Teacher, that took long enough for a banana to peel itself. Class: *waiting in line to go to the bathroom* Kindergartner: Teacher, did you know I was born smart? Teacher: Today we’re talking about percussion instruments. Almost anything can be a percussion instrument so long as you can hit it and it makes a sound. 2nd grader: Is a cat an instrument? Teacher: *torn between answering “yes” on the technicality and “no” because of the implications* Maybe don’t hit cats. Teacher: *greeting students at the door as they enter* Kindergartner: Teacher, look! I can make myself into a letter “L” *stands up straight and sticks one arm up to look like a lowercase “L”* Teacher: Thats awesome buddy! Now go find your seat Kindergartner: *takes a few steps* OH! I can als do “r” *makes the same body motion but bends his arm* Teacher: Amazing!
14 Apr, 2021

4 Tips for a Successful Self-Contained Classroom

Co-teachers in a special education classroom focus on building a community of learners with a focus on real-world skills.
29 Mar, 2021

Genius Hour What it is and How to Implement It

Genius Hour is a relatively new phenomenon that is taking off like wildfire across the nation’s schools. Whether you work in an elementary, middle, or high school setting, you can certainly enjoy all the benefits of this awesome educational opportunity that puts students in the driver’s seat and helps them learn in a hands on, authentic, and meaningful way. Genius Hour is a concept that originated from big tech company, Google. This global giant believes that their employees should be operating on an 80/20 rule. This means that their employees work 80% of the time completing their assigned roles and and responsibilities; and 20% of the time on passion projects. Hugely successful (this is how Gmail was born), the concept has trickled down into classrooms across the country. While you don’t need to dedicate an actual “hour” to the program, educators who do implement a modified version of this approach have watched students learn, grow, attend school more frequently, and also have a more positive attitude toward learning in general. Who wouldn’t want that? The 6 P’s of Genius Hour Genius Hour operates on the 6 P’s: Passion Pitch Plan Project Product Presentation There are also three key rules that students, regardless of their age or background must follow as a guideline, in order for them to be successful. Students have to ask an essential question (that cannot be answered with a simple internet inquiry). Students must use websites, resources, and interviews (among other things) to work toward getting an answer to their posed question. Students must create something as a result of what they have learned. Some sample essential questions that range from age and stage for these passion projects are: How many phone numbers can the average person memorize? How do you make a hair bow? How does technology affect the human body? How can I design a birdhouse? What is the most comfortable face mask? Tips to Help Genius Hour Run Smoothly If you want your Genius Hour to run smoothly, consider posting visuals of the steps. You can also provide students with an outline of the framework of these steps to help them structure their thoughts and ideas, using one of many free printable templates online. You may also wish to consider designating the same day each week as time to work on their project. For example, if students show mastery on their Monday through Thursday work, time can be set aside on Friday to devote to research and creation of content. Students can also keep a binder to help them organize their steps, planning, and projects. The binder should be kept in a spot that is easily accessible at any point in the day. Additional Things to Consider Things will get a bit nosier during Genius Hour. Students will be active and engaged, but also talking to their peers about their ideas and findings. This is wonderful and is desired-back off on the reins and let students go for it. Younger students will need assistance with their first projects, especially if they are using technology, so consider asking parent volunteers to come in and assist, or schedule students’ Genius Hour during their computer lab time, which requires collaboration with the tech teacher. Invite other classes to view the final presentations and projects. Who knows? Maybe you will inspire other teachers in your building to tackle this hands on learning approach! In conclusion, spending time working on a passion project really helps to create lifelong learners, as well as develop relationships with others, and teach 21st century skills. Whether you have 20 minutes a week, or even an hour to dedicate to this new strategy, one thing’s for sure-your students will shine!
02 Mar, 2021

The Potential Impact of Gen Z on SEO

Gen Z (or Zoomers, if you prefer) already makes up the largest generational cohort of America's population. How do they interact with search, and what does that mean for the future of SEO?
01 Mar, 2021

The State of Local SEO: Experts Weigh in on Industry-Specific Tactics

We asked five local SEO experts to zero in on the trends and tactics businesses across five industries should focus on to get ahead — and stay ahead — during this time.
23 Feb, 2021

How To Make Your LGBTQ+ Students Feel Safe In Your Classroom

In our current political climate issues surrounding LGBTQ+ people are at the forefront of discussion. Many of these discussions and policy decisions made by our government directly impact our students and it's not the kind of thing we can ignore or fail to address. Regardless of how you personally feel about the LGBT+ community and the various governmental policies being discussed and signed into law, we as teachers have a responsibility to think about the educational and emotional needs of all of our students. We have gay students in our classes, we have trans students in our classes, we have students who are questioning their own sexuality and gender in our classes and we are the adults in the room. Teachers play an important role in the social and emotional development of our students and the decisions we make can have a significant impact on our students’ overall wellbeing. Don’t Assume. There are some very simple things we can do as teachers to make our LGBT+ students feel as safe and cared for as everyone else. The first is to assume nothing about them. While you may feel like you have a good read of your students you can not assume anything about a person’s sexuality or gender identity simply by looking at their clothes or mannerisms. The reality is that many junior high and high school students don’t know their own sexuality or gender identity so it is even less likely that their classroom teacher is going to know better. Know the language. Language grows and changes fast but it's important to know the kinds of words you may hear thrown around, particularly if those words are going to be used in a derogatory manner. “Queer,” for instance, is a word that was used by many as a pejorative but has since been reclaimed by the LGBT+ community. Academia centered around LGBT+ topics often gets referred to as “Queer Studies” or “Queer Theory” so hearing the word itself doesn’t mean a student is using it as an insult. In fact, many people prefer using the term “queer” as a stand in for “LGBT+” because it feels more general. A couple of other examples are the terms “cis” and “trans.” Generally a trans person is someone who does not identify with the gender they were assigned at birth whereas a cis person does identify with the gender they were assigned at birth. So, a cis man is a person who was assigned male at birth and later affirmed that identity. A trans man is someone who was not assigned male at birth but identifies as male. Neither are pejorative and are meant only to describe someone’s state of being. Seek out information on terms so you know how your students are likely to use them. Let Them Tell You Your students may not be comfortable sharing information about their gender or sexuality particularly if they are afraid that their peers are likely to make fun of them for it. Don’t pry information out of your students. Instead, provide them opportunities to share with you if they feel comfortable. This is particularly important with your transgender students. One fantastic strategy you can use is to have every student fill out an “Interest Inventory” at the beginning of the year that includes their interests, hobbies, and favorite subjects. On that Interest Inventory ask the students the pronoun they would like you to use in class, the pronoun they would like you to use around their parents, the name they would like you to use in class and the name they would like you to use around their parents. This gives those students control of how that personal information is distributed but also gives them the opportunity to be accepted and acknowledged by you. Their parents may not be supportive of their gender identity so asking them what they would like to be called around their parents protects them from being accidentally outed by a well-meaning teacher. It will be much harder for you students to bully a trans kid if they see a teacher affirming that identity openly in class. It's a small form of support that goes a long way. Make The Effort When dealing with LGTB+ issues in your classroom there is a distinct likelihood you will make some mistakes and that is ok. The most important thing is to make the effort to take care of your students even if you don’t understand or are confused by what they are asking of you. At the end of the day, regardless of how you feel about LGBT+ topics, these are your students and your responsibility to care for while they are in your classroom. It is a tragic statistic that there is a much higher suicide rate among trans youth. A 2018 study performed by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that female to male students had a 50.8% suicide attempt rate, nonbinary students had a 41.8% rate, male to female had a 29.9% rate, and students who were questioning had a 27.9% rate. This is compared to their cis peers who had a 17.6% suicide attempt rate for female and a 9.8% rate for male. LGBT+ students are, at minimum, twice as likely to attempt suicide between the ages of 11 and 19 and, in the case of trans students, three to four times more likely. Making an effort to understand and support your LGBT+ student population is a powerful form of suicide prevention.
19 Jan, 2021

Tips for Increasing Classroom Community During Hybrid Learning

Hybrid learning has certainly thrown everyone for a loop this past year! Now that both teachers and students have gotten the hang of this in person/online weekly routine; educators can start to focus on not just posting and teaching content, but truly making all students feel as though they are a part of the classroom community, whether they are in person on any given day, or online. Bringing together the gang can be a challenging feat-especially on days when learners are listening in at home. Here are some tips and tricks for increasing classroom community during hybrid learning in order to make sure all students feel part of the class and are more inclined to cooperate and participate. Tip #1-Throw in An Element of Surprise When reading a certain story or studying a specific theme; dress the part! Your students will get a chuckle if they see you wearing a pair of overalls and a farmer’s hat if you’re doing an, “On the Farm” thematic unit, or if wearing a pair of butterfly wings for an Earth Day study. You can leave your students wondering what you’ll have up your sleeve each day or week, and this will make them more likely to come to class online during their at home days, but also make in person students feel like there’s a sense of normalcy with their in person learning. Invite students to also dress up on special days to feel as though they are a part of the lesson regardless of their learning location. Tip #2-Utilize Slides Sometimes, due to time constraints, or technology issues, it is nearly impossible to call on and hear from each and every student who wants to share their thoughts or provide an answer to a question you pose. Consider using a Google slide, which can be shared and edited by everyone, in order for all students to be “heard” and participate. Each day or week, post a question that pertains to what you’re learning about so all students can be a part of the classroom community. This is also a wonderful way to informally assess which students are understanding a skill based on what they post on slides. Tip #3-Make Time for Presentations Just as you would in class, continue to hold presentations. If students have completed a writing or research assignment, call on a few students each day to share their work. They will feel recognized, accountable, and will be able to learn from their classmates, based on their responses and experiences. Tip #4-Offer Opportunities for Hands on Learning At Home Learning about Native Americans and want to have your students design their own longhouses? While you may begin this activity on a Monday and finish on a Tuesday, your Thursday/Friday kids will be left without constructing these figures. You can certainly ensure all students have the opportunity to be hands on, even while at home. It may just take some more planning and preparation on your end. You can post directions for students to follow along at home and contact parents ahead of time to make sure they have supplies set up and ready to go. You can even offer take home kits, which can be picked up at school or sent home with students on the day they are physically in school. This way, no one feels left out and all students have the ability to enjoy hands-on learning in a socially distanced, safe way. Tip #5-Offer Participation Incentives If participation and attendance is lacking among your students during their at home days, consider having a participation incentive. Each student, in person or online, can earn a point just for coming to school, a point for participating at least once during class, and a point for turning their work in on time. At the end of each week, raffle off some prizes that have been donated by the community or that you have picked up, to reward students for their efforts. Tip #6-Recognize Hard Work Hybrid learning is not easy for any party involved. It’s nice to recognize hard work, responsibility, respectful behavior, and personal discipline; just as you normally would if all students were participating in in-person learning. You can recognize hard work by continuing the Student of the Month award or by doing a random shout out during a live online session. You can mail letters home as a surprise for students and parents in an effort to make their day and let them know that their efforts aren’t going unnoticed. These little boosts are important for building respect and rapport between yourself and your students, as well as with peers. These six tips and tricks are easy ways to ensure all students feel present in a classroom, even when they physically aren’t. Consider giving some a try to promote a heightened sense of classroom community for all learners involved.
12 Jan, 2021

7 Best E-commerce Marketing Strategy to Boost your Sales

SEO and content marketing can get people to visit your website, but they won’t necessarily buy. In fact, most of them won’t. 99% of first-time visitors to a site won’t buy or purchase. This means you’ll need to continue points of contact to encourage non-buyers into customers — and customers into brand loyalists.
03 Sep, 2019

Go Mobile

Today one-third of the world’s population communicates via cellphones. One-third out of the cellphone users browse the net using their cellphones. It is estimated that in two more years, this cellphone browsing users’ population would have increased by two and a half times. Taking the current population of the earth as 2.4 billion
29 May, 2019

Long Island Business News – “How Do You Wish to be Remembered”

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance, honoring our heroes who nobly died for our country. On this holiday of reflection and tribute, how do YOU wish to be remembered one day? Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel became enormously wealthy...
19 Mar, 2019

Getting Creative With Your Routine

One of the primary reasons for loss of creativity and its partner, inspiration, is boredom. Establishing a solid routine can be key for students in maintaining discipline, but sometimes it can turn into a grind. Students need to approach their work with a fresh mind and a state of alertness.

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