The Bedley Bros #EdChat Ep 34: David Theriault & Sean Ziebarth


Sean Ziebarth and David Theriault are high school teachers on a mission. They are connected to other educators on social media and believe in engaging their students in outside the box activities. Tune in to this special Halloween episode as David, Sean, Scott and I discuss topics like blogging, music, and student centered education. This is probably our zaniest show yet. Enjoy!

Show Notes

Movember

Follow Sean on Twitter

Follow David on Twitter

David’s Blog

Engage NY Common Core Materials

The Bedley Bros #EdChat Ep. 28: Vicki Davis


Vicki Davis has so many ideas for the classroom, it will make your head spin! In this episode of the Bedley Bros EdChat, Scott and I are caught in a whirlwind of amazing teaching tips provided by the Cool Cat Teacher. Vicki is a tech teacher in Georgia who is on the cutting edge of effective classroom pedagogy. She is the co-founder of the Flat Classroom and an award-winning blogger. So what did we talk to Vicki about? Whew! Where to start? Just be ready to take some notes.

Show Notes

Follow Vicki on Twitter

Visit Vicki’s Website

Read Vicki’s blog post “10 Ways to be a Terrible Teacher”

Noodle Tools

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The Bedley Bros #EdChat Ep 24: Susan Cain


Join my brother Scott and me as we speak with author Susan Cain. Susan shares how educators and parents can impact their classrooms for those students who may be introverted. Susan talks about best practices that you may want to consider offering as you plan for your school year. Listen to this powerful discussion about introversion in the classroom on The Bedley Brothers EdChat episode 24.

Show Notes

Watch Susan’s TED Talk

Visit Susan’s website

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The Bedley Bros. #EdChat Ep. 14: Dr. Brian O’Connor



Scott and I interview Dr. Brian O’Connor, expert in Lesson Study, a professional development program that actually changes classroom practice. Scott shares his tip on using Buzz Mob to communicate with parents. I talk about Google Apps (Google Drive) as an easy and free way to do word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, and drawings. Enjoy!

Show Notes

Lesson Study Search

Buzz Mob Website

Sign up for Google Apps

Video: Using Google Apps to Monitor Student Writing

What is a Maker Faire?



Everyone I ask in my neck of the woods, Southern California, has never heard of Maker Faire. On the weekend of May 18-19, my brother Scott and I took a trip to the San Francisco Bay area to visit our very first Maker Faire. We were told that over 150,000 other people would visit the two-day event as well. Hmmmm. So I guess it’s not as big of a secret as many would think!

What we saw blew our minds. What is a Maker Faire? “Maker Faire is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth—a family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement,” says the Maker Faire website. But after seeing it for myself, it’s not something that can be described in words. One must experience it to understand it.

Scott and I, the Bedley Bros., shot a bit of video while at Maker Faire because we love to learn and love to share. So check out our interviews with some of the coolest makers at the faire. In the first video, we talk with Eric Stackpole who created on open source underwater ROV, Shane (high schooler) with First Robotics Competition, David Baszucki of Roblox, Legoscope, and More. The second video features Jay Silver, who created the Makey-Makey, and Andrew H. Petersen of the Drone Dudes.

The Bedley Bros. #EdChat Ep. 9: Interview with Alex Kajitani



Watch Alex’s engaging discussion with Tim and Scott on the latest episode of The Bedley Bros. EdChat. Alex, the 2009 California Teacher of the Year, shares ideas from his new book Teacher of the Year Handbook. Both of the Bedley Bros. also share a quick tip for teachers. Whether or not you are in the running for Teacher of the Year, educators will benefit from this lively interview with the Rappin’ Mathematician.

Show Notes

Teacher of the Year Handbook

Rappin’ Mathematician

Alex on Twitter

FaceTime for Absent Students



Last week, Jordan, one of my fifth grade girls, was caught doing something without permission! AND I LOVED IT!

Jordan’s classmate, Koral, was on a trip out of town to attend a funeral. During our book clubs (literature circles), I noticed that Jordan had propped her iPad up in front of her and was talking to Koral on FaceTime. Jordan knew that our class was a safe place to try something new. She also knew that I would approve of anything she did that enriched her education or that of a classmate. So here is Jordan reading Chomp to Koral, separated by a measly 1000 miles.

The Bedley Bros. #Edchat Ep. 6 – Bye Bye Letter Grades?



In episode 6 of the Bedley Bros, Tim describes how 2/3 of his students and their parents opted out of letter grades this year. He addresses the obstacles and shares the triumphs of de-grading his class.

Show links: Class Dojo, Three Ring Digital Portfolios, Game Buzzers Free App

16 Tips for Clean Slide Presentations

By Tim Bedley


One AWFUL slide!
One AWFUL slide!

 

I have been assigning slide presentations to my elementary students for many years. I found myself repeating the same critiques to group after group. Now, I don’t leave “PowerPoint” style to chance. Here are a few of the tips I give my students.

 

 

Text Tips

  1. Use VERY small amount of text. A few words that give the main idea for each slide is good. The big NO-NO: Reading your slides to your audience.
  2. Choose one font style for the main points and one for the sub-points. Use these styles throughout your entire presentation. This includes font name, color, and size.
  3. Be careful with overlap. Text that is barely touching a photo is awkward. Text that sits right next to the edge of the slide is awkward.
  4. Dark text on light background or light text on dark background. Contrast! Make it POP!
  5. No bullet points. Duplicate your slides and put your sub-points on separate slides.

Graphics Tips

  1. Try to fill your slide with one large image.
  2. Faces are better. We all like to see closeups of the human face.
  3. Be careful not to distort your pictures. Grab the photo in the corner, not the edge, to change the size.
  4. Be careful with image size. If you use a small image and resize it to make it large, the image gets very blurry.
  5. Photos are better than clipart. Better yet, make your own pictures by taking photos or drawing pictures.
  6. Cite your source. Always give credit for the images you use.

Overall Design Tips

  1. Avoid using templates. They are cheesy and show little creativity.
  2. Avoid slide transitions. You want your audience focused on the slides, not the switching between slides. NO transition is wonderful!
  3. Simple! Keep your slides clutter free. A nice big clear picture with 3 words to focus the audience is great!
  4. Avoid creating a “The End” slide. If you have a conclusion, great. Otherwise, just make a main topic slide as your last slide. Don’t make a slide that says, “Thanks for watching,” or something similar.
  5. Advanced Tip: Use the rule of thirds. Draw a tic-tac-toe board on your slide. Place items where the lines cross. It’s a bit more complicated than this, but the main thing: try to avoid centering things on the slide.

Note: These tips definitely limit creativity, but my purpose is to teach my students to first create a good clean slide show. Once that is accomplished, then I encourage the students to break the rules…with purpose. It’s similar to learning a new instrument. We first need to learn our scales and copy the masters. Later, we develop our own style and can artfully break the rules.

Screencast Instructional Video: 12 PowerPoint Tips for Kids

Watch here if you are blocked from YouTube

My Unusual Elementary Classroom

By Tim Bedley


In 2007, I set out to transform my classroom into something special.

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Tim Bedley teaches 4th/5th GATE students in Southern California.

No more butcher paper covering the walls.

No more cold hard desks and plastic chairs.

I wanted my classroom to be more like Starbucks than a hospital;

more like a model home than a waiting room.

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So first I painted the walls dark blue and red.
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I painted white ceiling tiles all black.
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At Back-to-School Night I asked if any parents could paint murals.
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One parent was a high school art teacher.
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The finished mural is stunning!

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Another parent was just plain artistic. [White House]
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A third parent was an art major in college. [Capitol Building]

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Capitol almost finished. The detail is amazing.
The artists worked for many hours after school to complete the murals.
The artists worked for many hours after school to complete the murals.
Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty
MtRushmore
Mt. Rushmore
The parents stayed after I left one evening and I returned to a mural of me on the wall. Ugh! I painted over it, but it was a funny stunt.
The parents stayed after I left one evening and I returned to a mural of me on the wall. Ugh! I painted over it, but it was a funny stunt.
The crown of the room contains the words to the Preamble to the Constitution.
The crown of the room contains the words to the Preamble to the Constitution. Framed student artwork adorns the room.
The results: A warm, professional, friendly environment with very few distractions.
The results: A warm, professional, welcoming environment with very few distractions.
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Slowly but surely, I received couch donations to replace the desks.

Students work on their binders while sitting on the comfy couches. Student personal items are stored in plastic drawers purchased from Wal-mart.
Students work on their binders while sitting on the comfy couches. Student personal items are stored in plastic drawers purchased from Wal-mart.

 

A short video walking through my classroom.

I welcome your questions and comments.