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The Connected Classroom

Information On and From EducationPlus' LearningLab

Category Archives: VLC Programs

Opera Theatre logoFor Teachers of Math, Technology, Gifted, Theater, Drama and Music:

What happens when you combine a partnership with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis with the concepts of Common Core Math, Project-Based Learning, WebQuests, and the Performance Character principles of cooperation, interdependent learning, leadership expectations, meaningful work, presentation, and the ability to learn from experts?

Put another way….

Q: When does Common Core Math & Character become your ticket to the world of the stage? 
A: When students in grades 3-12 team up to create a Set Design Proposal that includes a “to-scale model” and their logic-based reasons why their design is the best choice for the children’s opera, The Very Last Green Thing.  Student teams will present their work for professional review at the STAGE RIGHT EXHIBITION on Saturday, October 19 at Touhill Performing Arts Center from 1-3 p.m. Their work will be on display during the run of The Very Last Green Thing from Oct. 21-26.

How does it work?  Teachers and advisors go to WebQuest Set Design at

They will find a WebQuest that includes the project description, leadership roles and resources for each member of the student teams, lesson plans and the entry form.  Explore it and determine if and how it might become part of your Fall curriculum.  Keep these key dates in mind.

Sep. 20            Deadline for Entry Form.  No student team can present without confirmed receipt of the Entry Form.

Oct. 14            Deadline for completion of the Set Design Proposal, including to scale rendering, model and 5- minute oral presentation

Oct. 19AM:      Delivery of set design models to Touhill Performing Arts Center

Oct. 19PM:      Showing and Review of the Set Designs by teams of Theater Professionals  1 – 3 PM

Call or email Diane Stirling with any questions after you’ve reviewed the WebQuest site.  Phone: 314.303.6815  Email:

We’re excited to share this new professional development opportunity with you, coming up next week-  Grading Digital Work. What does good feedback look like? How does one provide proper feedback on student created multi-media projects? How do you create formative and summative assessments for use in today’s classrooms?

In this workshop, come learn how to create rubrics, scoring guides, checklists, and other forms of assessments for and of learning that truly measure what students have learned. With the digital technologies that we have available, it opens up a wealth of new ways for students to show their learning. Many of these tools also make it easy for students to work collaboratively. We will take a look at how these assessments differentiate instruction and how they allow for student creativity. Models will be shown, and online access to information and examples will be given. You’ll have an opportunity to explore grading tools like RubiStar, Google Forms, Flubaroo, and DE Quiz Builder.

We will also show tips & tricks for providing feedback on digital work through commenting by text and voice. Come with an open mind and discover new, flexible feedback and evaluation methods. This full-day workshop is July 25 from  8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The cost is  $110 for a CSD member and $140 for a non-member. In addition, 1 graduate credit is available for this workshop. Find online registration at this link.

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Today in her Using Digital Portfolios to Collect & Evaluate Student Work workshop, Stephanie Madlinger connected briefly via Skype to high school English teacher Nicholas Provenzano, who holds a Masters Degree in Educational Technology from Central Michigan University. He discussed with the St. Louis participants at Cooperating School Districts how he uses Web 2.0 to encourage student writing- citing Google Apps, Blogger and Evernote as his favorites. Visit Flickr to see more shots from the full-day workshop.

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Cooperating School Districts‘ tele has workshops through the end of July this summer on Using Digital Portfolios to Collect & Evaluate Student Work, Digital CitizenshipUsing Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works, plus more. CSD members only pay $110 for each 1-day workshop. Our PD is also bring your own device friendly, so you can bring your own laptop, smartphone, tablet or iPad.

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Hard to believe June has nearly passed us by! Don’t worry, though, there are still plenty of professional development opportunities for you to take part in before school starts up again. We cut prices for the summer, and graduate credit is still available, so sign up today! Visit

The Virtual Learning Center of Cooperating School Districts has two more workshops this summer on your Promethean ActivBoard. Take both, or just select the single session that best suits your needs! Each session runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and is $110 for a CSD member and $149 for a non-member. For Level 2 and 3, one graduate credit is available for each workshop (at an additional cost). To register, click here. If you’d like to get a little taste as to what this kind of professional development offers you as an educator, take a some time to view this archived webinar offered by the VLC earlier in the 2011-2012 school year.

Creating ActivBoard Lessons to Engage and Motivate Students (Level 2) Learn the advanced features of the ActivInspire and create flipcharts; develop lesson activities that organize lesson resources, make use of sound and images to motivate students and create a story or problem where your students demonstrate knowledge or creativity in a fun way. You’ll be able to create your own usable flipchart, either from scratch or by tweaking a downloaded lesson. PREREQUISITE: Level 1 training or equivalent; not a workshop for beginners. This workshop is Monday, July 2.

Best Practices in ActivBoard Flipchart Lessons (Level 3) Available for teachers with intermediate or advanced skills in ActivInspire software, this workshop will teach you how to create interactive lesson activities based on curriculum standards & best practices scoring guides. You’ll also collaborate with others to design & build lessons. Lessons created during class will then shared with other teachers through Promethean Planet. PREREQUISITE: Level 2 training or equivalent; not a workshop for beginners; You will be sent a survey of their skills before enrolling. This workshop is Monday, July 9. 

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