Curriculum: Week of December 16, 2012

What’s Happening:

  • AIS Tech Coaches are out and about instituting large-scale, scaffolded professional development in support of integrating iPads into teaching and learning. Be sure to check out the schedule of tech integration professional development opportunities, in addition to on-demand access to some of their previous presentations.
  • Student literacy is being supported through the teaching of contextual vocabulary and the use of the Cornell note-taking system which helps students to synthesize and apply learned knowledge. Each of these initiatives supports the development of two traits of writing: Word Choice and Ideas respectively.
  • A tool to help teachers evaluate and create quality MYP unit planners in Atlas has been launched and introduced to many teachers during collaborative planning time.
  • NESA Spring Educators Conference! It’s time to start planning to attend the NESA Spring Educators Conference in Bangkok, Thailand. The conference takes place (April 5 – 8, 2013) during AIS’ Spring Break (April 5 –  13). This is a great opportunity to do some professional development and get some rest and relaxation by the pool or on a beach. The early bird registration deadline is March 1, 2013.

Share what is happening in your classroom! How are you using iPads to extend learning in your classroom? How are you making curriculum come alive for your students? Please let me know so that I can share what is happening and provide you the support you need for success.

Guest authors are encouraged to submit their thoughts and ideas for Curriculum Weekley to me via email (

21st Century Thought of the Week:

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We are confronted on a daily basis with all kinds of information. Some of it is random. Some of it is trivial. Some of it is bogus. Some of it is of little interest/use. But some of it is vital to growing on a professional and/or personal level, to supporting the inquiry of students in our classrooms, and to feeding our own human curiosity. Much of what we (and our students) tend to do when searching for information online is to:

  1. Open a browser.
  2. Point to Google.
  3. Enter a few words to describe what we want to know more about.
  4. Follow one or two of the first links on the first page that Google offers up.
  5. Read and believe.

When confronted with the amount of information that our students are on a daily basis, it is imperative that they learn how to weed, cull, curate, and make sense of information. In his blog post Become a Google Apps Ninja, Jeff Utecht confirms the issue we, as educators, are faced with in educating learners in the 21st century.

It’s about searching and finding information

Below is a series of grade appropriate lessons created by Jeff Utecht to teach students good information searching techniques. Lessons include such skills as introducing students to Google and simple search syntax, ad placement, authenticating resources, finding resources at appropriate reading levels, and finding current research.

At AIS we are working to help students to make sense of the plethora of information at their fingertips. The use of Cornell Notes in various classrooms is intended to help students drill down through mountains of information to get at the most important ideas. The beauty of the Cornell note taking system is that an entire column of space is reserved for students to inquire about, and make sense of, key concepts. The obvious benefit of the Cornell note taking system is that it sets students up to be able to synthesize information and then to apply newly found knowledge.

Article(s) of the Week:

Infographics are a powerful new tool to use for teaching and learning. Infographics allow students to comprehend, interpret, and analyze complex information in a quick and clear manner. Infographics are not just for consumption though, teachers and students can also challenge the learning process by creating original graphics for themselves. Knowledge is power, but infographics make knowledge powerful!

App of the Week:

Explain Everything

  • What does it do? Explain Everything is a screencasting application that records on-screen drawing, annotation, object movement and captures audio via the iPad microphone. Import Photos, PDF, PPT, and Keynote from Dropbox, Evernote, Email, iPad photo roll and iPad2 camera. Export MP4 movie files, PNG image files, and share the .XPL project file with others for collaboration.
  • How can it be used to support learning? Explain Everything can be used to create tutorials or how-to clips for staff or students. Students could demonstrate their understanding by producing procedural texts using Explain Everything. Professional, interactive presentations can be created right on the iPad, by simply taking a series of screen shots, ordering the images and including any necessary written instructions. When the the visuals are ready, simply hit the little red record button and add your voice-over to the presentation.

Video of the Week:

Blog* of the Week:’s Infographics in Educational Settings  page shares numerous resources to support the creation and use of infographics in educational settings. Infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly.They can improve cognition by utilizing graphics to enhance the human visual system’s ability to see patterns and trends.

* is not exactly a blog, it’s more of a content curation site. 🙂

Book of the Week:

mindsetMindset: How You Can Fulfill Your Potential by Carol S. Dweck reveals a truly groundbreaking idea-the power of our mindset. Dweck explains why it’s not just our abilities and talent that bring us success-but whether we approach them with a fixed or growth mindset. She makes clear why praising intelligence and ability doesn’t foster self-esteem and lead to accomplishment, but may actually jeopardize success. With the right mindset, we can motivate our kids and help them to raise their grades, as well as reach our own goals-personal and professional. Dweck reveals what all great parents, teachers, CEOs, and athletes already know: how a simple idea about the brain can create a love of learning and a resilience that is the basis of great accomplishment in every area.