Must-Have Tech Tools for Remote Learning

I’ve seen, quite literally, hundreds of tech tools & curation lists & book lists & calendars & read alouds &… (exhausted, yet?) being discussed to prepare our students for remote learning through the coming weeks.

Can I just be real for a minute?

I’m overwhelmed.

If you are too, here’s a list (yes, another…) of my must-have tech tools for remote learning. I truly believe that if we’ve got these tools in place, our students can blow our minds with what they create and share with the world during the foreseeable future, even from home.

RemoteLearning COVID19 by Alicia Ray (2)

 

To access links, click here: RemoteLearning COVID19 by Alicia Ray

*Note: Some of the literacy links are specific to my school/state. Passwords to these cannot be shared with general public.

One section in particular that I hope will spur some thoughts is the section about virtual trips. It’s important that our students see the world during this time where so many things around them are shutting down. I hope it will allow our students the opportunity to get “out” of their homes while still being safely distanced from this strand of the coronavirus. The empathy we have the ability to foster in students right now is unbelievable. There are not many times in our history that we have joined together as a global people to combat something bigger than us. Just a few months ago, COVID-19 seemed so far away and now it’s on our door steps. Let’s use this opportunity to do some good and shower one another with love, grace, forgiveness, and inspire hope in others.

Remember, as overwhelmed as we may be feeling, our students likely feel that overwhelm exponentially.

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For more ideas on digital learning, I recommend checking out these books:

Tech with Heart by Stacey Roshan

Ditch that Textbook by Matt Miller

Ditch that Homework by Matt Miller & Alice Keeler

50 Things You Can Do With Google Classroom by Alice Keeler & Libbi Miller, Ed.D.

50 Things To Go Further With Google Classroom by Alice Keeler & Libbi Miller, Ed.D.

Shake Up Learning by Kasey Bell

and for the love of all, please check out Master the Media by Julie Smith!

 

 

 

Multicultural Children’s Book Day

I was super fortunate to be gifted several books from Carole P Roman for Multicultural Children’s Book Day (more info below)! I received three of the books from the If You Were Me and Live In… series and a book from the Captain No Beard series!

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The If You Were Me and Lived In… books are a terrific way to introduction a variety of cultures from throughout the world! I received the Mayan Empire, Greece, and Kenya books! I loved how they follow the same format in each, so it makes the comparing and contrasting of various cultures much easier for young children. She uses language that is understandable and relatable to children, even sharing what Mom, Dad, and grandparents are called in the culture/country highlighted in the book. Even my middle schoolers easily benefit from these books as Carole gives a brief overview of historical events and their significance. I truly believe this series would be valuable in any classroom!

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Carole was super gracious in also sending me a book that had me hooked from the cover itself! The Treasure of Snake Island is a Captain No Beard Story. In these books, a group of young friends use their imagination to go on voyages as pirates, led by Captain No Beard! The treasure of Snake Island is one of the greatest treasures of all… BOOKS!!! This would be a terrific book for any library to use to open the school year for students! I love the creative way Carole shares her love of literacy!

I read all four of these books to both of my daughters, ages 10 and 6, and they both learned so much and connected with the characters. I’m excited to read more from this author and find it very easy to see how these books have won multiple awards!

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Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2020 (1/31/20) is in its 7th year! This non-profit children’s literacy initiative was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen; two diverse book-loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors on the market while also working to get those book into the hands of young readers and educators.  

Seven years in, MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves continues.

MCBD 2020  is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board:

Super Platinum

Make A Way Media/ Deirdre “DeeDee” Cummings, 

Platinum

Language Lizard, Pack-N-Go Girls

Gold

Audrey Press, Lerner Publishing Group, KidLit TV, ABDO BOOKS : A Family of Educational Publishers, PragmaticMom & Sumo Jo, Candlewick Press,

Silver

 Author Charlotte Riggle, Capstone Publishing, Guba Publishing, Melissa Munro Boyd & B is for Breathe,

Bronze

Author Carole P. Roman, Snowflake Stories/Jill Barletti, Vivian Kirkfield & Making Their Voices Heard. Barnes Brothers BooksTimTimTom, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee & Low Books,  Charlesbridge Publishing, Barefoot Books Talegari Tales

Author Sponsor Link Cloud

Jerry Craft, A.R. Bey and Adventures in Boogieland, Eugina Chu & Brandon goes to Beijing, Kenneth Braswell & Fathers Incorporated, Maritza M. Mejia & Luz del mes_Mejia, Kathleen Burkinshaw & The Last Cherry Blossom, SISSY GOES TINY by Rebecca Flansburg and B.A. Norrgard, Josh Funk and HOW TO CODE A ROLLERCOASTER, Maya/Neel Adventures with Culture GrooveLauren Ranalli, The Little Green Monster: Cancer Magic! By Dr. Sharon Chappell, Phe Lang and Me On The Page, Afsaneh Moradian and Jamie is Jamie, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, TUMBLE CREEK PRESS, Nancy Tupper Ling, Author Gwen Jackson, Angeliki Pedersen & The Secrets Hidden Beneath the Palm Tree, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 by Mia Wenjen, Susan Schaefer Bernardo & Illustrator Courtenay Fletcher (Founders of Inner Flower Child Books), Ann Morris & Do It Again!/¡Otra Vez!, Janet Balletta and Mermaids on a Mission to Save the Ocean, Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo & Bruna Bailando por el Mundo\ Dancing Around the World, Shoumi Sen & From The Toddler Diaries, Sarah Jamila Stevenson, Tonya Duncan and the Sophie Washington Book Series, Teresa Robeson  & The Queen of Physics, Nadishka Aloysius and Roo The Little Red TukTuk, Girlfriends Book Club Baltimore & Stories by the Girlfriends Book Club, Finding My Way Books, Diana Huang & Intrepids, Five Enchanted Mermaids, Elizabeth Godley and Ribbon’s Traveling Castle, Anna Olswanger and Greenhorn, Danielle Wallace & My Big Brother Troy, Jocelyn Francisco and Little Yellow Jeepney, Mariana Llanos & Kutu, the Tiny Inca Princess/La Ñusta Diminuta, Sara Arnold & The Big Buna Bash, Roddie Simmons & Race 2 Rio, DuEwa Frazier & Alice’s Musical Debut, Veronica Appleton & the Journey to Appleville book series  Green Kids Club, Inc.

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

Co-Hosts and Global Co-Hosts

A Crafty Arab, Afsaneh Moradian, Agatha Rodi Books, All Done Monkey, Barefoot Mommy, Bethany Edward & Biracial Bookworms, Michelle Goetzl & Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms Share, Colours of Us, Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes, Educators Spin on it, Shauna Hibbitts-creator of eNannylink, Growing Book by Book, Here Wee Read, Joel Leonidas & Descendant of Poseidon Reads {Philippines}, Imagination Soup, Kid World Citizen, Kristi’s Book Nook, The Logonauts, Mama Smiles, Miss Panda Chinese, Multicultural Kid Blogs, Serge Smagarinsky {Australia}, Shoumi Sen, Jennifer Brunk & Spanish Playground, Katie Meadows and Youth Lit Reviews

FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day

TWITTER PARTY! Register here!

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

#DBCBookBlogs: TeamMakers

When is the last time you worked with others as a team to achieve a goal? How far back to you have to think? Are you lucky enough to be part of a terrific team right now?

I love the focus of the 81st book in the Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc line! TeamMakers: Positively Impacting the Lives of Children through District-Wide Dreaming, Collaborating, and Change is written by Laura Robb and Evan Robb. There is a clear emphasis on creating sustainable change as a district. I’m blown away by the way Laura & Evan take on this topic, which has the potential to create scapegoats for educators on every level. They address each level head on – central office administration, building administration, and teachers – and share how each of us as a role to play in the betterment of our schools for students.

TeamMakers

Some of the quotes that really resonated with me are:

“…in many classrooms technology is simply an ornament. How students learn hasn’t changed.”

“…when staff and administrators share with students dreams and personal stories about their teaching and learning lives, students feel safe to share theirs. Sharing dreams and stories builds positive relationships.”

“…risk-taking can initially raise fear and uncertainty but ultimately produce enthusiasm and courage.”

“…no one role is more valuable than another.” -Marc Ferris, EdD

I also truly enjoyed Chapter 8: Mentors and Coaches! The interludes from current educators at various levels was enlightening and terrific examples how it looks when true teamwork is happening everywhere in a district. There is so much to take away from this book, and it presents the perfect literature to create a district-wide book study! The whole idea is that we can’t make it happen unless we are willing to put in the work and create a team that has one another’s backs. We must all share a vision and a mission to move education forward in a system.

I am so blessed to work in a school system where this idea of TeamMakers is a reality. There is always room for improvement, but my school system is frequently leading the way and as a whole, we function as a pretty impressive team.

Implementation

Valuing the work of every individual in a system is vital to a team achieving its goals.

My oldest daughter plays softball, and she has played right field in every season. After playing softball for many years myself, I knew what playing “right field” meant – or so I thought I did. I jokingly said something to one of her coaches about Bailey playing right field because she was still learning and had a l.o.n.g. way to go in coordination, speed, processing the play of the game, etc. He (rightfully) put me in my place by telling me she’s in right field because we can count on her to always back up the play on first base. She’s in right field because she’s got a decent arm on her. She’s in right field because when a ball gets by her, she’ll go chase it down. Every position on the softball field is important because every position has their own role to making sure the team achieves success.

My implementation is to make sure that every person I come in contact with feels valued. Sometimes our custodians, nutrition workers, nurses, front office staff, assistants, etc feel as though they aren’t as important as the classroom teachers. In education, the focus, unfortunately, is on test scores – so unless someone is a classroom teacher in a tested subject area, it can be easy to overlook their importance to the team. Every person in the building has a purpose and a value to the overall dream. I have no idea what this will look like, but I’m going to come up with some way to help others feel valued, and continue to feel valued throughout the year.

Check out the Sneak Peek video from the authors (link here)! You can also get a free preview by visiting this website (scroll to the bottom)!

Follow along with the conversation using #TeamMakers and be sure to pick up your copy of Laura & Evan‘s book! I believe you’ll enjoy it & it will help you look at each role with a new lens.