Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Mentoring Minds - instructional materials to develop critical thinking skills

Mentoring Minds is an educational publishing company that develops K-12 instructional materials to help students develop critical thinking and problem solving skills. Experienced educators create the materials based on research and cover topics such as critical thinking, differentiated learning, instructional strategies, classroom management and more.

The company's main goal is to provide materials that help students increase their critical analysis and reasoning skills, along with problem solving skills. The curriculum does this through research based lessons and real-world connections.

Products include ELA, Math and Vocabulary curriculum programs, Professional Development tools, Critical Thinking programs, Assessments, RTI and more. The products combine print and online resources, as well as teacher editions and resources. You can take a guided tour of their products here:

Pricing is very reasonable and all of their resources qualify for Title I, III, and V Part D Funding. They will even help you find ways to fund your purchase.

Each state has a consultant that would work with you to provide the solution that best fits your needs.

Total Motivation Reading is one of their more popular products. It integrates critical thinking with ELA support and is aligned with the Common Core Standards. It unpacks each CCS so that teachers can find the gaps in student learning and fill them in.

Mentoring Minds bases all of their products on research to make sure that the resources will be effective in the classroom. You can read about their research here.

They also have a section call Thought Leadership, where they share free tips, research, articles and resources that help teachers improve teaching and learning.

These products can be very useful in helping struggling students, as well as helping all students learn critical thinking and problem solving - skills that all students need for the future.

Disclaimer - this article is a paid sponsored post by Mentoring Minds.


Important Skills Students Need for the Future


PowerUp WHAT WORKS - free resources for struggling students and those with disabilities

PowerUp WHAT WORKS is a free resource to help teachers help struggling students and those with disabilities. It is part of the OpenEd collection. PowerUp WHAT WORKS ( provides customizable materials, lesson plans, instructional strategies, videos and more to enhance learning for students with diverse needs, and to personalize learning with technology and Universal Design for Learning (UDL). OpenEd ( is the creator of the world’s largest online collection of standards-aligned resources.

PowerUp allows teachers to access training and resources to allow them to enhance learning for students with disabilities, personalize learning with technology. It is evidence-based, standards-aligned, and technology-focused.

The sites has tips and resources for teachers, administrators and more, with lesson plans, assessments, videos, playlists, ideas for integrating technology, professional development, and much more.

It is easy to search and find resources and there are some great things. You can also browse all resources or click on each menu item above for more information and resources.

Take a look.


Monday, May 18, 2015

More Than a Tech - blog about leading a successful technology department in a public school district

I just found out about a new blog out there, More Than a Tech. The blog is about EdTech but especially about leading and managing an IT department in a public school district.

Topics being covered include EdTech Resources, Customer service, Ticket prioritization, Navigating the political landscape of a school district, Budgeting, Planning for the future and other topics.

I'm adding this to my Feedly account to follow along.

Check it out.


The Future of Libraries - what does it look like?

Libraries, like schools, are changing with technology. The typical library full of books will be going away and be replaced with a space for accessing digital resources and getting help finding resources. Many libraries are struggling to change and even attract visitors.

Here is an infographic with some interesting details about the library of the future:

Future of Libraries

Here is an article with more about this.


Keyboard Shortcuts for Google Docs

Just like most software, Google Docs has keyboard shortcuts available. Google has a great support article with all of the Google Docs keyboard shortcuts, by OS, listed.

It lists the shortcuts for PC, Mac, Chrome OS, Android and iOS.

Keyboard shortcuts are great productivity tools that help speed up what you are doing. Everyone should know the basic, like cut, copy, paste, but you should also learn others for functions you use a lot.



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