4 new ways teachers can use Storia

1) Lesson Plans: I am a great fan of searching pinterest and pinning ideas on my Pinterest Board for my class. However, that’s about where it stops for me. It’s the end of the school year now, and what I do (and I know a lot of my other teacher-friends do) is organize a bit before checking out for summer vacation. That means going back through our lesson plans and making notes on activities and ideas that worked, need expanded upon, or need modified for the next year. We do this while the previous year is still fresh in our minds, and also because it means less work in August, which is always crazy busy with other back-to-school madness. With Storia, you can put your lesson plans in a Story Folder. From there you can make a story post based on that lesson, which for me means a brief description prep for that lesson, organizing the lesson/activity, and feedback on how the lesson went. I can go back and add/edit as much as I need, throughout the year. I can easily add more websites, images, ideas, whatever as needed. Here is an example of how I write a lesson plan using a parachute for my toddler Mommy and Me class.

I can keep this story private, or I can keep it public and connect with other educators on Storia. They can offer support or comments if I keep the settings public.

2) Class newsletters or bulletins are a great way to keep students and parents informed and active regarding what's going on in your class or school. This can be a space where you put homework assignments, feature student's work, leave announcements, and in general just organize a bit of the massive amount of school correspondence that we have to engage in throughout the school year. You can also put extra activities here, feature projects, or anything relevant to your class you want to share with your wider classroom community.

3) A student-led blog! There are so many things you can do with this section. It's a perfect way to let student's have their say, but in a way that is still monitored, constructive, and educational. How? Check it out.

You can create a Story Folder for each class, and assign a blog post to each individual student, or make it a group project. The post below is the start of a blog I assigned to a group of ESL high school students. The topic I assigned was to write a blog post to help incoming freshmen adjust to life at our boarding school.

Obviously, you don't have to be so specific in giving a topic to your students. Depending on their age, the lesson, and events, this section holds a lot of possibilities. I recommend keeping the story folder private until the blog has been edited and graded. I also recommend giving a lesson on online bullying, as well as how to give and receive online constructive criticism before the blog story goes live. Keep an eye on the comment section after the blogs go up, and you should be all set.

4) Organization. I LOVE the way I can organize all of my different classes and needs right here on Storia. See the above picture? That's how a part of my account looks. It's like an easy, visual, filing system where I can not only keep track of my lessons, but also show and send stuff to parents as well. Depending on the class, you can also create separate Storia accounts for each class, and then link the Story Folders to your own account by simply co-authoring each Story Folder. That way everything is linked. Think of it as like a filing cabinet (your main account) with each drawer being a classroom account. So organized and efficient!

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