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I consider Twitter a large piece of my learning ...

But I did not always feel that way …

When people tried to encourage me to create a Twitter account, I resisted saying that I did not need one more thing to check and to try to keep up with …

The first time I attended NCTIES, we were challenged to choose three things we had learned and focus on those …

I, somewhat reluctantly, put Twitter on my list of three things …

Now, I feel that was a great thing for me to do!

Did you know that you can search twitter without creating a twitter account?

Did you know that even if you have a twitter account, you can learn from people you do not follow?

(This was a big hit with the people I talked to about creating PLNs last week)

If you go to twitter.com/search, you can search without even signing in!

You can type in words you want to search for and even names …

But hashtags (aka the number sign #) will give you better results …

Steven W. Anderson has a great post about hashtags: http://blog.web20classroom.org/2011/11/its-all-about-hashtag.html

That is the way tweets can be tagged and if you search for a hashtag, you will see the things that are tagged with it even if you don’t follow the people who share that information …

And you don’t have to know are even guess at the education hashtags that have been created …

Cybraryman has a list … http://www.cybraryman.com/edhashtags.html

Many (if not most) of these hashtags result from an educational twitter chat where people get together on twitter to share information and respond to question using the same hashtag ..

But they can also be used when that chat is not happening in order to share things that relate to the topic ….

Looking at certain hashtags and who shares valuable information can also be a good way to find people to follow on twitter if you have an account …

So I challenge you to look at Cybraryman’s list and find a hashtag that appeals to you and then go do a search for it …

I bet you learn something!

And I would love to know what it is …

Since we all can learn from each other!


Kandi.jpgYou begin to string words together like beads to tell a story. … to communicate, to edify or entertain, to preserve moments of grace. … to make real or imagined events come alive. But you cannot will this to happen. It is a matter of persistence and faith and hard work.—Anne Lamott


When content area teachers hear that their already full curriculum load will now include ELA standards in writing, many express doubt about their ability to tackle the challenge. When looking at the new Common Core State Standards for writing along with the new requirements to incorporate history, social studies, science and technical subjects, as well as nonfiction literature, such angst is understandable.blog-logo-banner-smler.jpg


Basically what this means is that teachers of all disciplines as well as ELA teachers will need to teach writing frequently. Although the standards include some examples of performance tasks in writing, there essentially are no road maps. So how do teachers get there?


Tips to adapt current curriculum

One way to include more writing in the curriculum is to examine multiple choice tests and look for questions that can be developed into open-ended questions. Develop short answer questions. Ask the student to explain, analyze, compare, conclude, and synthesize using questions that are more cognitively demanding. These short writing activities prepare students for more complex writing later.


For vocational classes, teachers might begin with process writing. For instance, if students will be building a book shelf, have them write out the steps that will be required to create and assemble the shelves. This type of writing requires students to evaluate and organize the information and to determine what details are important to include. Once the book shelf is completed, instruct students to write a reflective piece about the building process: what worked, what didn't, and what steps to remember in order be successful in future projects. To add elements of argument, let students compose an advertisement for the shelf modeled on real advertisements for book shelves or other wood projects. Have them analyze persuasive techniques such as loaded language or emotional appeal, then write out their own advertisement. Here too, we see short writing that could develop into larger pieces such as research papers.


Practice reading and writing together

Reading and writing coexist. As students break down a complex texts, they are simultaneously moving into the writing process. Read and write the lessons you teach. Begin the process with a quick read of the text, then create the writing task that will go with the text. Read a short story and ask students to write about how the author uses conflict to reveal the theme. This provides a purpose for the reading. As students read the text, they will look for examples of conflict. They might write out quotes that show conflict on sticky notes, or get into groups and write out conflict quotes and explanations on a large poster. Have them look at their examples and determine a theme. Such short writings will become a piece of a larger essay.


Teachers model as writers

Teachers provide samples of their own writing for the lessons they assign in order to gain a better understanding of the writing process. They become aware of the challenges students face firsthand. Through writing a response, they can determine if the writing task is clear and discover strategies to help students with their structure and organization. For teachers who may not be confident in teaching writing, this process hones writing skills. Writing is challenging! Model for students the time it requires and a willingness to take risks.


Revise, revise, revise!

Most teachers observe the classic writing format: read the writing task; brainstorm ideas; write an outline; compose a first draft; then type a final draft (which is usually just another version of the rough draft with spell check). However, in reality that final draft is typically when students should just be getting started. Authentic writers and journalist revise numerous times. For years I would get frustrated at my students for making the same mistakes in writing. After that "final draft," I provided no opportunity for revision.


Now, when my students have the opportunity to revise, they begin to see patterns in their writing. Do they continuously shift tense? Is structure an issue? I provide writing comments on these early drafts without grading the piece. In this way, students don't give up. Small writing groups are a good way to make revisions; students exchange papers and discuss their work. By reading their drafts out loud, most students can immediately spot problems that exist.


Adding more writing to content area curricula does not have to be daunting. As CCSS has teachers incorporating writing into their current curriculum, teachers can simultaneously provide students more cognitively complex lessons. This is not only good for teachers, it is what matters to students in school and beyond.



Kandi Maxwell teaches English at Modoc High School in Alturas, California. A teacher-writing consultant for the Northern California Writing Project, she has presented at teacher training workshops throughout Northern California. Kandi has worked in Indian Education for the past 15 years and is currently the vice-chair of the parent board for Resources for Indian Student Education. Her essays have been published in The Teacher’s Voice and California English.

New digital devices are out, just in time for holiday shopping.  Dell has introduced the new Venue 8 Pro, which would be a great tool for students since it comes with MS Windows 8.1 and the MS Office Suite.  At a price of $299 it will be an affordable option for many. However, there are still many who are unable to afford a tablet or a phone.  Once they do purchase one, they may not be able to afford having Internet access in their homes. Internet Access for All: A New Program Targets Low-Income Students addresses this issue and has a welcome solution.

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) continues to grow in popularity although folks are still concerned about how educators will monitor their classrooms and make certain students are engaged in learning for the desired outcome.  In fact, in the blog post What Can We Learn From the Global Effort Around Mobile Learning?
we read that
, “Many parents and teachers still think mobile learning and technology is not part of education,” said Vosloo. “[They think] they are more for distracting or disrupting, anything but learning. UNESCO is working hard to change that perception and to help education departments to see mobile learning as an opportunity, not a threat."

Cybersafety is on everyone's mind and schools around the globe are trying to find ways to incorporate lessons into an already packed curriculum.  As more students have access to an 'encyclopedia set in their pocket,' educators will be working on ways to harness the learning potential of mobile devices. There is a need for students to learn how to manage their time, distinguish fact versus fiction, and understand their digital footprint. Check out the
5 Excellent Twitter Hashtags to Learn More about Cybersafety.


Blog post author, Liz Logan, in 5 ways tech has changed professional development suggests that educators are using Web collaborative tools to share their knowledge. Educators are finding social media sites to be a great addition to their PLN, personal learning networks. Educators are writing blogs, using Twitter, and joining online communities to find resources and to share with others. Mobile Learning | A reflective journal on learning all the time, everywhere includes a post on the use of Twitter in the classroom.


Holiday Challenge

Posted by pterry Nov 13, 2013



The holidays are upon us and it’s a great time for engaging students in creative writing and problem solving. We’re sure that you have designed some great activities to take advantage of your students’ enthusiasm and excitement for this time of year…so join in and share them with us. We’ll feature some of the best within the community.


Here’s what to do:


  • If you have designed a creative writing or language arts activity, join the Reading and Language Arts group and then describe your activity in detail within the discussion topic located there called, Holiday Challenge.
  • If you have designed a math activity, join the Learning Math group and then describe your activity in detail within the discussion topic located there called, Holiday Challenge.
  • If you have thought of an interesting activity involving Google Drive, join the Everything Google group and then describe your activity in detail within the discussion topic located there called, Holiday Challenge.


Don't miss your November Newsletter on Mobile Learning,


Learning is the KEY!

Posted by mwedwards Nov 12, 2013

Do you have a Personal (and/or Professional) Learning Network?


Having a PLN is all about relationships and questions ....


I like many of the ideas this video presents to get you considering the possibilities of creating your own PLN ...



So what ideas can you share to help someone else learn?


And what can you learn?


I learn a lot from the things that I share and the interactions I have resulting from sharing ....


Many may think that a PLN is tied to social media ...


But it doesn't have to be!


What are three things you are interested in and/or have questions about?


When you have questions or want to learn more about those things, do you have people to ask and places to look to help you?


Are you the person someone turns to when they have a question about a certain topic?


That is YOUR PLN!!!


And everyone's PLN is different ...


That is what makes them so special!


Maybe the P in PLN should be a Personalized Learning Network ...


We all learn in different ways from various resources about all kinds of topics ....


And even though it is not the same ...


is what we do ...


Next week I am going to share a way to use Twitter for Learning ... even without a Twitter account!


Spotlighting Kevin Anderle, 6th Grade Science Teacher

Riverside Middle School, New Castle, CO

"The way I teach today didn't exist when I was in college.
I hope I am preparing my students for a job that exists in their future."



During my junior year of college, a professor told me that I was training for a job that didn't exist yet. It was hard for me, at the time, to believe him. I was training to become a teacher. Teaching is a job that has been in existence for hundreds of years. Surely it would continue to be a job for hundreds more. In the middle of my fifth year of teaching, however, his statement has proven to be true.



I remember playing Oregon Trail on ancient Macintosh computers when I was in grade school. I used a floppy disk to save essays in high school. When I was student teaching, I used PowerPoint on a desktop computer to teach history lessons. My first few years of teaching I was fortunate to be able to use a mobile laptop cart a few times a month. Every year, technology was playing a larger role in my daily life and job. The iPad arrived on the scene during my third year of teaching...my classroom was in for a big change.





I currently share a class set of iPads with my teaching partner. My students have an iPad in their hands whenever possible. The majority of that time is spent on Edmodo and Discovery Education Science Techbooks. Students in my class also use Doceri to create screen-casts in order to show their understanding of a concept.




Edmodo provides a clear and safe format to communicate with my students and parents. I can direct students quickly and accurately through the web. I also can send groups of parents emails and text messages regarding classroom activities.



Edmodo allows students to collaborate with peers from other classes in a safe, teacher-controlled environment. We recently finished a research project in which students compiled and evaluated information with partners in multiple classes.







Our Science Techbook features standard aligned content that is current and interactive, as well as engaging. Student assessments are graded instantly and provide clear feedback to the students and to me. Students and parents can access the techbooks 24 hours a day with any device connected to the Internet. In addition, I am able to adjust assignments for individual students needing enrichment opportunities, extra practice, or struggling with a language barrier.








In past years, students took mostly paper/pencil assessments in my class. However, with Doceri, students are able to create screen-casts instead. My students using Doceri were much more engaged and showed a deeper understanding of the material. The seventh grade teachers told me that the students even remembered some of the information the next year! Any middle school teacher will tell you that this rarely happens.








Technology hasn't changed the content of what I teach. It hasn't changed necessary components like collaboration, research, peer review, assessments, textbooks, make-up work, and differentiation. These have been part of teaching long before Edmodo and iPads. Technology has changed how I teach, how I communicate with my students, and how my students communicate with their peers and me.





Student Product: Student demonstrates understanding of biomes and ecosystems by creating Doceri screen-casts.



Every time my students use their iPads, I think back to what my professor said. He was right; the way I teach today didn't exist when I was in college. His statement holds true, even more so, for my students. I hope that their time in my classroom is a positive step in preparation for any job that exists in their futures.


So Thankful!

Posted by aruddteacher100 Nov 12, 2013

Wow, the "wonders" never cease here at Thinkfinity!  As I was browsing for a lesson via ReadWriteThink.org, I found another amazing tool!  Enter--The Acrostic Interactive!  Woo-hoo!

acrostic interactive screen.jpg

You may be wondering what is an acrostic poem?  Well, wonder no longer.  It's a poem that has one word (theorists recommend starting with children's names to introduce this concept) with the letters of that word or name down the left side of a page...and then let the brainstorming begin!

brainstormed list.jpg

For example, I created an acrostic to honor you, the Thinkfinity Community, by letting you know how thankful I am for your lessons and learning on a regular basis, especially as we approach Thanksgiving in just a few weeks!  I'm so thankful for you...and here are all of the words that come to mind as I reflect on joining this Community since July 2013!

rom here, I refined the brainstormed list of words and began to apply them to the "Thankful" acrostic!

screen shot of Acrostic.jpg

And Viola!  the "Thankful" acrostic was born which could now be printed, saved, and shared!  What an easy to use, fun, interactive tool this turned out to be!

Thanks to Renee Goularte for designing the accompanying lesson on how to use the interactive tool (here).  And as we head into the season of Thankfulness--please know I am thankful for you and the wonderful tools the Community provides!  What are you thankful for?

revised thankful acrostic.jpg

OctNewletter_capture_200x343.pngThinkfinity's Common Core group has something for everyone, rather you are a teacher, an administrator, or a parent. You can learn more about the Common Core Standards, discover how their adoption is making changes in classroom practices across the country, and find answers to many of the questions being asked about their implementation and assessment.

  • Denise Tuck offers you guidance on locating various resources, throughout Thinkfinity, on the unpacking, implementation, and assessment of Common Core Standards. Don't miss this feature article!
  • Visit with Alexia Forhan, Science Teacher, Tech Coach, and our Spotlighted Member of the Month.
  • Don't miss Doug Buehl's Meeting the Demands of the Common Core, an archived ISTE webinar to help you engage your students in reading technical texts.
  • Join Trending Conversations in the Thinkfinity Community.
  • Increase your learning network by joining our Featured Groups of the month to share ideas with colleagues and our Content Partner experts.
  • Experience new Classroom Materials developed by our Content Partners.
  • Read Education News and Insights blogs to explore current topics and new ideas.
  • Learn about the Verizon Foundation App Challenge and how you can be a part of this year's challenge.

Yes, by popular demand, Verizon Foundation and staff have created a Thinkfinity Newsletter for your use...it is designed to point you to interest ideas and make good use of your limited time.

If you did not receive your copy by email, you can subscribe to the Newsletter on the Thinkfinity homepage, at the top of the right column, or locate the archived copies listed on the Thinkfinity Newsletters Index.  This index also is located in the Community Hub at the top of the page.

The Internet changed our professional development opportunities as educators hesitantly moved from face2face workshops to online courses. As mobile technologies continue to explode (handheld to wearables, 3D to 4D, QR to Augmentented Reality) so will our opportunities for just-in-time, just-what-I-need, just-for-me professional development.  Are you interested? Are you ready?

We'd love to hear where you are on the spectrum of elearning vs mobile learning.

Q 1 of 4 on elearning vs mobile learning  - Have you taken an online course?

Q2 of 4 on elearning vs mobile learning  - If you have taken an online course, were you completely happy with it?

Q3 of 4 on elearning vs mobile learning  - Rather you were happy with your online course or not, will you take another online course?

Q4 of 4 on elearning vs mobile learning  - Would you be interested in taking a professional development course on your smartphone?

Thinking ahead: How do you envision mobile learning will be different from taking a course online where you are working from you computer.


batmoon_200x172.pngThose silent creatures that fly in the night and scare us as bloodthirsty vampires in creepy Halloween movies do not represent the real bat story.


This past summer I discovered scat on my front porch. Thinking we had field mice and not wanting them in the house, I set traps. No success and a little investigation suggested no rodents. I searched on the Internet and compared the scat I saw on the porch with online photos. Yes, we had bats. Bat scat is called guano.


I read everything I could find on bats:

  • Because they are the only mammals that developed true flight, bats have their own scientific order: Chiroptera (hand-wing, because their wings are shaped like the human hand).
  • Nocturnal animals, bats "see" to fly in the night using echolocation.
  • There are 1200 different species of bats, 45 of these species live in the United States and Canada, and 18 species live in Colorado.
  • Bats live in dead trees, caves, human buildings, rock crevices, and the underside of bridges.
  • Bats have one pup each year, so I wanted to remove them while they were few in number.
  • One brown bat can eat 1000 insects per hour.
  • Bats drop 20 pieces of guano every night (yep, I used my math to determine how many bats we had visiting us).
  • Nectar-feeding bats help pollinate plants and gruit-eating bats spread seeds.
  • Bat guano is sold as high-quality plant fertilizer.
  • I learned how to remove a bat from the house with a shoe box and a sheet of cardboard, just in case.
  • We are waiting for winter and will seal all crevices in the siding, because bats can enter a crevice no larger than 1/2 inch.

I'll let you know next summer if we have been successful at stopping our late night visitors. In the meantime, Thinkfinity can help you share bat facts with your students.

  1. Bioblitz 2012 Intro Video with Bob Hirshon
    Science NetLinks | Blog | K-12
    Bob participated in the 2012 National Park Service Bioblitz held in Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Park, CO.
  2. Common Bats Suddenly Endangered
    Science Netlinks | Science Fact | K-12

    Students learn how little brown bats have become endangered in the last six years.
  3. Do Bats Need Maps?
    Wonderopolis | Video/Activity | K-12

    Students learn if bats need maps, if bats are blind, and what echolocation is.
  4. Bats and dolphins Evolved Echolocation in Same Way
    Science/AAAS | News Article | K-12
    Students learn how bats and dolphins use echo to “see” in the dark.
  5. Stellaluna author Janell Cannon was born November 3,  1957.
    ReadWriteThink | Calendar Event | 1-5

    Stellaluna, the story of a baby bath that learns to live with birds, is a must-read when students begin a study of bats. Additional classroom activities are also given.
  6. Exploring Caves
    Science NetLinks | Tool | 5-12
    Exploring Cave, an online book divided into five chapters, is an interdisciplinary set of materials on caves with accompanying materials and lessons. 
  7. In 1847, Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula was born.
    ReadWriteThink |Calendar Event | 5-12

    Students brainstorm superstitions they know and small groups research one of the superstitions to determine its origin and meaning or purpose. Students can write about the superstition using the Mystery Cube interactive.
  8. Examining Convergent Evolution
    National Geographic Education|Sctivity | 9-12
    Students examine animals that are examples of convergent evolution. They then analyze wings of bats, birds, and pterosaurs to see why these animals are not closely related.


Now, let your youngest students get a little batty with this fun Echolocation Activity for K-12:

Objective: Students will be able to explain how to use an echo to "see."

Materials: Blind Fold and Picture of a Bat


Students gather in a circle for group time.

  • Teacher shows picture of a bat and asks, "What do you know about bats?"
  • A student is blindfolded.
  • The teacher moves to a different area in the classroom and claps her hands.
  • The teacher then asks the blindfolded child to point to where she is.
  • The teacher continues to blindfold different children and repeat the activity.
  • After each student has been blindfolded and experienced the activity, the teacher asks the class, "How were you able to know where I was standing in the classroom?" Possible answer: We heard where the sound was coming from and pointed to where you were standing.
  • The teacher asks the class, "How were you able to see me?" Possible answer: We used our ears to see.
  • The teacher explains to the class that when you can't see you have to use one of your other senses to "see" and today we used our ears to "see".


Bats can be far less scare if students have studied them. I know that after learning more about bats, I am not as concerned about our summer night visitors.  Well, less scared.


What special topics do you cover with your students in October?

TFCMobileApp_200x133.jpgBy 2016 one billion global users of smartphones and tablets will have mobile power in their hands. WiFi availability is exploding. The convenience of finding information in ones' moment of need drives mobile traffic and will create a big shift in engagement. How are you preparing for this future?


At least 70% of educators are buying their own smartphones, tablets, and access plans. Yes, these reasonably priced, mobile devices are so valuable at school that administrators, educators, and students are buying their own devices and bringing them to school. Is you school ready for this influx of use?


How can Thinkfinity help?

  • Thinkfinity has long provided educators with over ten thousand free, high-quality resources. Using mobile technology, educators can now access these resources whenever and where ever they have a need for these lessons, activities, features, interactives, podcasts, videos, collections, articles, calendar events, and more.
  • Thinkfinity and our Content Partners, more recently, are providing educators with many, free high-quality, educational apps.
  • Equally important is how educators are engaging in educational discussions with our Content Partner experts and colleagues throughout the United States and around the world. Of special value is this connection by rural educators who have a special need to connect with others in their teaching field.


Various free educational apps, developed by our Content Partners, and the Thinkfinity app for accessing the Thinkfinity Community can be found and downloaded in the document, Mobile Apps for Education.


I'm just beginning to learn about mobile technology.  Can Thinkfinity help me?


Discover our free webinars, view these videos, and learn to use your iPad.

  1. IPad for Beginners
  2. iPad for Intermediate/Advanced Users

Each of these webinars was presented by Chris O'Neal. (He helped me get started!)


But wait, there is more.  Thinkfinity can continue to guide you as you bring mobile learning to your classroom.  Check out additional free webinars in our Professional Development community. Learn strategies and resources specific to your subject.


You can be engaged in Thinkfinity when you are away from your computer. Mobile Learning is your future. Let Thinkfinity help prepare you and your students for a mobile future.

With the beginning of our next First Grade Unit on Animals and Pets, I was excited to find the latest lesson from Thinkfinity’s ReadWriteThink found here!  As soon as I reviewed the lesson, I thought of the many books I have that I could use to make the concept work.  Pairing a fiction book about an animal with a non-fiction book about the same animal seems like a great combination.  Here is a collection of some of them on ants, bats, chicks and frogs:

Collage print of fiction to fact.jpg

I started with planning the lesson…I used my district’s lesson template to plan for my first text set on Ants (see the attachment).  Thankfully, I had a willing volunteer who lent me her first grade class (thanks Mrs. S.!) with whom to try it out.  I used the graphic organizer that goes with the lesson (here) but students in older grades could use the online organizer to record research about their animals.

fiction to fact graphic organizer.jpg


We started by reading the story Hey Little Ant by Phillip and Hannah Hoose.  The students noticed that the ant looked small, it ate pie crumbs and lived in the crack in the sidewalk.  I used the shoulder buddy-turn and talk routine developed by Linda Hoyt to have everyone engaged with the thinking before having a volunteer share an answer with the whole group as we read through the story.  The allotted time for this lesson set calls for about 5 days of instruction.  I agree with that pacing.  After our Hey Little Ant, I next read Ants! by Melissa Stewart.  The students noted many more details that we could record in our graphic organizers.  The favorite noted detail by far was when we discovered that the ants like to hangout near gardens that have plants with aphids on them.  The ants take care of the aphids.  “Aphids are small insects.  They make sugary poop that ants like to eat. Mmmm!  Yummy!”!  As soon as the kids heard this part of the story, they were grossed out but excited to share that they heard something the ants liked to eat.  In the words of Linda Hoyt, we were definitely able to “float the learning on the sea of talk”!  Several passersby heard all the ruckus and wondered what we were reading and learning about...

ants and aphids.JPG

Due to the nature of my schedule and floating among multiple buildings, I was not able to get back to the writing piece with the students until the end of the week.  However, when it came time to recall the facts, the students had no difficulty what so ever.  They were able to recall the details from both stories and I believe that part of recipe for success was through the use of the turn and talk technique.  We recorded information on the graphic organizer in the form of phrases using interactive writing.


We also watched the amateur video I made when I discovered some ants attacking a french fry at the local Target.  The students were grossed out by this as well.  They remembered to add it to the part of the graphic organizer list of things ants eat.  So much fun while learning too!



As I think through finishing the lesson, I know the students have learned interesting facts to share about the ants.  I look forward to taking the learning we recorded as a group and having them write their thinking in paragraph form.  I hope to share some additional pictures of their final drafts of writing as I finish with them this coming week!  I could hardly wait to share this lesson with all of you!!!! 


How will you take Fiction to Fact into practice with your students?  What books will you use?  Add your bright ideas!


Do You Haiku?

Posted by wford Oct 8, 2013

In the latest update to my continuing series on the inside scoop of what's going on at ReadWriteThink, I give some information about our up-coming interactive/app project, a haiku poetry writing guide.


For the whole story--including a sneak peek at the concept art--check out the full blog post.


I'm hoping some of the teachers out there can give me a hand with an issue I'm having on haiku writing instruction.


Or to put it another way:


Seeking some experts

On proper haiku techniques

--Wes doesn't have a clue


Hope you can help me out!


Wes Ford

Associate Editor, ReadWriteThink.org

award_tf.gifFor several months in 2013, many discussions and blogs in the Community Hub, Professional Development, and Thinkfinity Community--Featured Groups have displayed a little cup graphic that meant you could win a prize.


Each time you found the cup and responded to the discussion or wrote a comment to the blog, then your name was automatically entered into a drawing for a Thinkfinity gift box, awarded each month.  Your name could be entered multiple times as you posted to discussions and/or blogs that contained the graphic. However, your posts had to contain new information rather than a simple, "I agree."


Congratulations to cmuller for winning the September challenge.  Christine is a very active Community member, having joined more than a year ago.  With experience in PreK-12, she teaches in the areas of reading and language arts, literacy, and foreign language.  Also Christine enjoys reading professional books and magazines and especially likes Laura Alden's mystery series.


We thank all those who entered the monthly challenges by responding to the discussions and blogs with the cup graphic.  Stay tuned for new challenges in the future.

Previous winners:

March - lmcshane

April - Jofish

May - Stacy Hayes

June - Holly Mena Casa

July - Rene Palafox

August - Kingston Blessing



The good news is you are all back to school and very busy organizing your classroom activities. We know teachers have little spare time, so let us help you with new ideas to extend your professional learning network and enhance your students' learning.


  • Karen Richardson offers you strategies for Taking Technology Back to School that she has advocated in her work with our Verizon Innovative Schools program. Don't miss this feature article!
  • Visit with Amy Rudd, our Spotlighted Member of the Month.
  • Join Trending Conversations in the Thinkfinity Community.
  • Increase your learning network by joining our Featured Groups of the month to share ideas with colleagues and our Content Partner experts.
  • Experience new Classroom Materials developed by our Content Partners.
  • Read Education News and Insights blogs to stay current with technology and new ideas.
  • Learn about the Verizon Foundation App Challenge and how you can be a part of this year's challenge.

Yes, by popular demand, Verizon Foundation and staff have created a Thinkfinity Newsletter for your use...it is designed to point you to valuable ideas and make good use of your limited time.

If you did not receive your copy by email, you can subscribe to the Newsletter on the Thinkfinity homepage, at the top of the right column, or locate the archived copies listed on the Thinkfinity Newsletters Index.  This index also is located in the Community Hub at the top of the page.

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