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Winter 2015 Newsletter

We wanted to take a few moments to let you know what's been happening at your K-12 Instructional Resource Center.

Spring Vacation Backyard Adventures

Spring vacations are around the corner. We've assembled project ideas you can pass on to keep your students busy and engaged over the break. Everything from a nature color hunt to making bouncy balls to a model roller coaster or a pizza box solar oven for older students. You might also find a great idea for that afternoon before Spring vacation. learn more...

Hands On Learning

The Maker Movement (and the term hacker-space) is relatively new. In a nutshell, it gives students a space and tools to be creative. Results include Paper Roller Coasters (a great class challenge) to stop motion animation videos to a real engagement in STEM. This concept will gain traction as educators and parents realize the incredible energy it can bring to the school environment. We have also compiled information on 3-D printers, and inexpensive tools and resources you can use in the classroom. learn more...

Video Resources

We continue to index on-line video resources as well as web pages, and now have over 110 annotated videos. Topics range from "The Bully Report" (a school play) to Teaching Students to Work Together to When Water Flows Uphill to How To Escape Education's Death Valley. We have a searchable web page listing all the videos. New videos are being added every week. learn more...

Common Core Update

Doing a web search on Common Core can bring up more opinion than facts. Despite all of the controversy, Common Core State Standards have been adopted by 43 of the 50 states, with Minnesota adopting the ELA section only. We've found resources that identify key issues, including a lack of engagement by those supporting Common Core and teacher concerns that the standards implementation has been disorganized and they will be blamed if student test scores implode. learn more...

A New Way To Get Your Information On-Line

Over the last few years, the landscape of the Internet has changed. Smart phones and tablets have become ubiquitous, and now account for more Internet traffic than PCs and Macs. Many (most?) of your students, and their parents, are now connected 24x7. You should probably be on-line too.

One popular method is using what was once "just" blogging software to connect with students, parents and peers. WordPress has been getting a lot of attention and now includes a multitude of features and add-ons that create a compelling free/low-cost option. learn more...

Over 2,200 Resources

In addition to these new additions, we continue to update our regular sections, including Lesson Plans & Standards, Curriculum Resource Treasures and Professional Development.

Our goal is to save you time by assembling best-of-breed resources. We now have over 2,200 annotated web and video resources available, with additions and updates each week. Check it out. learn more...


Thank you for reading our newsletter. Your feedback will help us build a better resource for you and your colleagues. You can use the Comments link found at the bottom of every resource page, or simply e-mail us at webmaster@k12irc.org.

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