Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Pinterest Email Addthis

These are challenging times for all of us. Both teachers and parents are (or soon will be) stumped as to how to make the best educational use of this unbelievable situation. Given that, I have taken some time to scour the Internet for a variety of resources that you can recommend to your protogees to use themselves or for them to let parents and caretakers know about them. (From what I hear parents would be most appreciative!) You will find links (in red) and brief comments about the five resources I selected below. 

12 Famous Museums With Virtual Tours
Since we can’t go visit the fantastic museums right now, we should be sure to take these virtual tours with the youngsters in our lives.You could create a museum contest by establishing criteria and scoring each museum as you take the tour. Don’t forget to use an atlas to identify the locations you visit.

12 Historic Sites You Can Virtually Tour
Yellowstone National Park, The Great Wall of China, Yosemite National Park, San Diego Zoo, Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Sistine Chapel, and more tours are included. This history teacher can’t wait to watch these: I think I will start with The Great Wall of China.  Once again, do not forget the geography component perhaps even sketch a world map that displays the site locations. Or, you might select one or two to investigate more.

Storyline Online
The SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) Foundation’s award-winning children’s literacy website, Storyline Online, streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. Readers include Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Costner, Annette Bening, James Earl Jones, Betty White and dozens more. Thank goodness teacher and parent activity guides are included. Storyline Online receives over 100 million views annually from children all over the world.  

63 Easy Science Experiments for Kids Using Household Stuff
A fun list to share with families. I know my sons and “Grands” would have loved  them! Be sure to scroll down past the ads to find this amazing of science experiments  (many with links to more detailed directions).

Scholastic Learn at Home
These resources are organized by grade bands (K-6). Four creative and interactive activities are included for each day. Students can easily complete these activities independently without adult guidance. Do be sure to ask to see their creations after they finish.

Kudos to Zoom, Comcast, and T-Mobile
The Just ASK team wants to express our appreciation as educators and parents to Eric Yuan, founder of Zoom, for making that video conferencing platform available with no cost to schools. If students do not have a computer at home, they can call in on their phones to access the conference auditorially. (By the way, Zoom is very highly rated by PC Magazine and is quickly become very popular in education and other business circles.) Additionally we want to recognize Comcast and T-Mobile for providing complimentary availability of Internet connectivity and/or hot spots for low-income families for 60 days.

 42 No Cost Online Resources for Schools During School Closures
My search also uncovered this almost overwhelming list of online resources that educators an access at no cost while schools are closed. I am not familiar with many of them, but you might want to take a look. 

We Saved the Best for Last!
Shilpa Shah, Just ASK’s graphic designer and webmaster, this week started a virtual school for her second grade son and some of his classmates during his kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade years. Inspired by a Washington Post article, the first class featured a virtual trip to the Cincinnati Zoo where students learned tons about porcupines. She set up a private YouTube channel where students are posting their creative responses to what they learned. One student created a porcupine out of an apple and toothpicks, another researched more facts about porcupines and made one out of an orange. Want to hear a delightful story titled “The Destructive Porcupine” read by the student author? You will find Vihaan’s YouTube video below.

I wonder which of the cool tools explored here they will use in the near future. I hear that they are setting up Zoom today as they focus on the life cycle of plants and that these 2nd graders might be designing a survey to determine favorite spring flowers of friends and families. No worksheets are used in this school!


Take care of yourself. We can make it through this!



The March Mentoring Calendar

Each issue of The Mentoring Memo features the mentoring calendar for the current time of the year. The March calendar is now available. These calendars, excerpted and updated from The 21st Century Mentor’s Handbook, offer suggestions for mentoring actions to support novice teachers and teachers new to the district. When you take a look at them, you will quickly see how useful they are. Be sure to forward them to your mentoring colleagues. Post them or a link to them on your district/school website.

Download the March Calendar



Hundreds of FREE Mentoring Resources!

Click on the icons below to access amazing free mentoring resources





 Just ASK Mentoring Statistics



Just ASK is pleased to announce the publication of EmpowerED 3.2.1 an ongoing series of brief commentaries authored by Marcia Baldanza. Each issue of EmpowerED 3.2.1 features 3 Big Ideas2 Quotes, and 1 Question with lots of links to resources from different perspectives such as business and industry, medicine, athletics, economics, recreation, and parenting as well as music and the arts. The goals of Marcia’s brief commentaries are to introduce us to multiple voices we might not otherwise hear and  to advance our thinking about how this wide array of information connects with and supports our work as not only administrators but teacher leaders as well.  The response to the first issues “Hard Conversations” and “Building Relationships Based on Trust and Integrity Matters” has been phenomenal. 
We don’t think you can find a short read like this anywhere else.