Posted:10/08/2010 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 2 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]

Summary

-- Phase 1 of a platform migration. ~25% complete. --
 
-- Calendar page --
a) cleaner layout
b) easier to find teammates & shared materials
c) new week-month view toggle link
d) standards report will now show weekly or monthly standards-alignment
e) added user "What's New" wall
f) added user-status message -- useful to request or offer help & materials
 
-- Improved lesson print & email layout to be easier to read; eliminate unnecessary labels to conserve paper & printer-ink --
 
-- User preferences --
a) user can set Team sharing options, i.e. elect to share lessons and/or files with teammates
b) new "Standards Settings" menu allows user to hide unneeded subjects, and choose a default -- this is particularly useful to subscribers who may have many additional subjects available
c) separated "Login Settings" to a new page
 
-- Resources --
a) improved file uploader
b) resource files will now be shared with Teammates (only if user allows it in his/her preferences)
c) rss feeds added to various educational news and lesson-planning resource sites
 
-- Grade book --
a) students will now be assigned a username as well as a password
b) student/parent login will now direct to teachers' class website, and they can access grades from there
c) redesigned Assignment page more closely resembles the lesson-planner
d) grading assignments is now faster due to improved layout
e) ajax method eliminates the need to save grades
f) misc. minor enhancements
 
-- Curriculum mapping --
a) clearer organization puts date-range at the top of each unit
b) layout emphasizes a more "start with standards" approach to curriculum mapping
c) curriculum maps now pull lesson data directly and automatically (subscriber schools/districts)
d) two new "Auto-Map" wizards introduced: "auto-map based on standards" and "auto-map based on lessons"
 
-- Network "What's New" wall now includes shared-lesson event --
 
-- Administrator module --
a) improved c-maps outlined above
b) new "A-B report" offers side-by-side comparison of various data for up to 5 teachers at once
c) Monthly Report now has a selector to show current year or previous years' standards-alignment
 
-- Lesson Planners --
a) minimal changes, mainly some cosmetic adjustments to the Box Planner
 
Stay tuned for more upgrades (and tutorials) coming soon!
Posted:10/06/2010 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 4 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]

 The Common Core standards are available now.

Note these are currently available for Mathematics and English Language Arts, only.

Summary:

-- Individual lesson title fields added to the weekly planner. Click the arrow icon next to "Lesson" in each title bar. Auto-titles will still be assigned if user does not create a specific title.
 
-- Class-periods manager usability upgrade: now user can delete all Week-tab class periods and still have lessons display on the Box Planner.
 
-- List-format printing is more compact: slight layout changes improve printing from the calendar page, weekly planner, x-planner, and my-lessons.
 
-- Restored some features to My Lessons page: Subject filter, Units filter, and user-defined order numbering for print/email/export.

Summary:

 
-- Rebranded the new weekly planner to "Box Planner"
 
-- Made the old "Classic" Weekly Planner more apparent and easy to access.
 
-- Patch to fix a couple of browser-compatibility issues.

Revised Colorado standards updated.

 UK standards are available now.

 DoDEA standards available now.

Category: Books

Great book of quotations and wisdom for just about anyone, in any circumstance: "Good Advice," by William Safire and Leonard Safir (brothers). This is from the preface....

 
"It is the duty, and ought to be the pleasure, of age and experience to warn and instruct youth and to come to the aid of experience. When sailors have discovered rocks or breakers, and have had the good luck to escape with life from amidst them, they, unless they be pirates or barbarians as well as sailors, point out the spots for the placing of buoys and of lights, in order that others may not be exposed to the danger which they have so narrowly escaped. What man of common humanity, having by good luck, missed being engulfed in a quagmire or quicksand, will withhold from his neighbors a knowledge of the peril without which the dangerous spots are not to be approached?"
 
William Cobbett,
"Advice to Young Men And (incidentally) To Young Women In The Middle and Higher Ranks Of Life." 1829
Category: General

In a nutshell... have recess BEFORE lunch. No good reason not to...

Category: Elementary Ed

 Why is it that females are often less mathematically-inclined than males? According to a one-year study at the University of Chicago (Beilock, et al), the discrepancy could largely be related to their early-childhood teachers’ attitude towards the subject.

 
The study found that female elementary teachers can subconsciously demonstrate anxiety about math and pass that on to their female students, since girls’ attitudes about math are formed at a young age and are heavily influenced by the attitudes of the women who instruct them. The study showed that boys were not similarly influenced by their female teachers’ unspoken preferences.
 
Since nine out of ten U.S. elementary school teachers are female, the authors recommend that elementary teachers undergo greater mathematics preparation in order to feel more comfortable with the subject. Female teachers’ subject-area confidence would presumably then be passed on to female students.
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