Increase Parent Involvement

March 31, 2018

Effective Organization of Content Helps Family Engagement Initiatives

At LiveBinders, we are lucky to be exposed to so many great resources and to hear from our users about the work they do to elevate student learning.  Last month I saw binders by our members Evelyn Azbell and Fred Cochran, who both happened to be coordinating Family engagement projects. I was impressed with how they organized their binders – the time they took to get it ‘right’. It occurred to me that part of the reason we should take the time to organize our content is to make sure our readers are engaged.  After all, everything we do is to make sure our audience ‘gets it’. Evelyn and Fred’s carefully curated binders not only caught my attention, but I learned something new upon examination of their binders. Here are some of my observations on what I found so intriguing.

Evelyn Azbell of @cesa9_families and @parenteducatorconnection is a Family Engagement Coordinator in Northern Wisconsin.  Her binders provide direct access to hard-to-find resources such as grant schedules, program documentation, and other important information.  The resources have always been available for anyone to access, but Evelyn has put her own curated guidance on those resources.

evelyn azbell_Cesa9binder

I like the use of the subtle dark grey sub tabs between the red main tabs and the black base tabs that stay consistent with CESA9 colors – also gotta love that red!

In her WSPEI binder below, Evelyn takes advantage of 3rd party web applications to make her binders more inclusive for her viewers. There is more than one way to get access to her documents. If you are responsive to the infographic model, you can click on resources laid out on a Padlet page she has added to the main tab of her binder. Or you can grab the same resources from a Google folder she has linked inside of the binder in a tile format.  In addition, if you prefer the tab layout, each resource is also provided in its own tab or sub tabs of the binder. In other words, her audience will be able to find what they need in their preferred viewing format.

evelyn azbell_wisconsinSPEI-pdlet

Using Padlets as an additional visual map to resources is a fun way to make your binder interactive for your audiences’ diverse range of skill sets.

Fred Cochran @cochran_fred  is a Coordinator for San Joaquin County Office of Education and an instructor for Teachers College San Joaquin @TeachCollegeSJ. He has been providing training resources to help schools in his district start their own Family Engagement programs.  What struck me initially was the order in which he shares his resources, making it easy for his busy team to find what they need quickly. Anything new that is added to the binder can be found in the Newly Added Resource tab.

RSDSS Region 6 Family engagement

Fred carefully chooses his tab linear layout to keep his busy staff up-to-date on resources to share

It later occurred to Fred that he could create a template binder that other school districts could use to start their own Family Engagement initiative. In the example below, he has created placeholders for a district’s documentation, including any resources that are in Spanish.  For each main tab, he carefully crafted headers in a colorful image format with explanations of what each section is about.

Family engagement template_headers

In Fred’s Sample Parent Ambassador binder, he provides headers like this one in each main section to help guide the new Parent Ambassador. He also added placeholder sub tabs for Spanish version documents

If you are sharing resources across your state, feel free to review these binders as a model for your own design. Thank you Evelyn and Fred for sharing your hard work with us!

cesa9

CESA9 Family Engagement Binder 

wspei2017-2018

WSPEI 2017-2018 

Family binder icon

RSDSS Region 6 Family

Family binder icon

Sample Parent Ambassador Toolkit

 


Nominate a binder for the 2013 Top 10 Contest!

May 31, 2013

It’s that time of year again when you get to share with us a binder that you found really helpful or influential to you or your class. For the nominating process, first you share with us those helpful binders and then we will have a short voting period. When you nominate a binder, please describe why you are nominating the binder and we will add that to the voting binder for people to view.

Winners will receive a Top 10 label on their binder, have their binder posted on the Top 10 shelf, and receive bookmarks featuring their binder with a QR code for sharing. We would also like to give our winners an opportunity to share their insights and motivations for their binder when we make the announcement this year.

We look forward to seeing all the great LiveBinders you’ve used this year.

To make your nomination, please click on this Nomination binder:

Nominate your favorite binder for Top 10 2013

Feel free to enter any number of binders from different categories (educational or other) – just be sure to share with us why you are nominating the binders.

Let the praise begin!


And the winners are…

June 27, 2011

First, congratulations to all of the 29 LiveBinder entries – out of over 100,000 binders, your binders were selected as a Top 10 Contender and that’s worth mentioning!  And to our Top 10 Favorite LiveBinder winners – double Congratulations are in order!!

For Barbara and I, it was so much fun to see the good sportsmanship carried out on twitter as all of you tried to engage people to participate.  We both had a good laugh when @mfisher1000 decided to take on the 3rd graders in @mthornton’s class. Who thought it would get that heated?

I think the main point to take a way from all of this is how useful your binders have been to people.  In this day and age where the internet is getting overwhelmingly bombarded with information – its nice to have people you trust and respect sort through content in a meaningful way.  We love the polished way in which these binders were carefully created. 

To honor all of the 2011 Top 10 binders, we’ve provided badges for your home pages and mini-badges that will appear next to your binder icons on your shelves and will also appear within your binders. We will email you your website badges shortly and your mini-badges should start showing up on your shelves and binders immediately.  Below are the Top 10 Favorite Binders – Congratulations everyone! 

Tina and Barbara

The LiveBinders community recently nominated and voted for their top ten LiveBinders. Here are the winners:

1. Michael Thornton’s

Student Digital “Textbooks”

2. KB Konnected’s

Amazing Animal Webcams

3. Mike Fisher’s

iPads in Schools

4. Steven Anderson’s

An Educators Guide To Twitter

5. Christopher Stefanski’s

Free Online Resources

6. Michelle Green’s

12 Ways to eLearning

7. Marianne Griffith’s

Art Education ACING

8. Ann Marie Kennedy’s

Fun Math Resources

9. Toby Price’s

MAPS FOR STUDENTS and PARENTS

10. Steven Anderson’s

QR Codes In Education

Some of Our Favorite Binder Builders

August 2, 2010

Every day we enjoy going to the LiveBinders site too see what people have created.  More and more we are seeing great binder authors who have created entire libraries of incredibly useful content.  I wanted to take just a minute to draw your attention to some of these amazing educators:

xmath – xmath has created some amazing binders on everything from on-line calculators to binders on different holidays (including pi day!)

joquetta – joquetta is a library media specialist who has created some fabulous binders for her students, including putting her Library Media Center up there.  But her binder on Google is also one of the most popular.

robertson8686 – Another great binder builder who has created everything from math binders on the Pythagorean Theorem to Presentation tools.

kellyhines – kellyhines has created some really interesting binders including the use of Skype in schools and a binder on hurricanes.

2sparkley – 2parkley has some fabulous resources on creative commons, great blogs, presentation resources, and the list goes on and on!

mwedwards – Sometimes known as the “Livebinder Queen” because she is such an authority on LiveBinders, Melissa’s shelf includes binders on presentation resources, a binder on Google Earth, and Media 2.0.

dmantz – Dean not only has great binders, but has also done a couple of podcasts with us.  Great binders on Digital Storytelling, Website Creation, and Virtual Connections.

mikefisher821 – Mike has created some wonderful binders including a Virtual Summer Camp for educators and Evidence of Learning.  But every time we go to his shelf we see something new and fascinating.

TheresaMcGee – Theresa has created some great art binders.  Her Online Art Games binder is one of the most popular, but she has also created resources on Leonardo da Vinci and Jacob Lawrence.

loakvik – loakvik has created one of the most popular binders in the past month – Mobile Apps for Education but her binder on Student Motivation Research is also worth checking out.

sroseman – sroseman’s great library includes in-depth teacher resources on twitter and the best of ISTE10.

teachagiftedkid – teachagiftedkid has created some great resources on math for elementary grade students, but her binders extend well beyond math.

librarybecky – librarybecky only has a few binders, but they are amazing resources on Civil War Biographies and Web 2.0 projects created by her students.

dj345 – dj345 created a great binder this summer on summer reading.  But she also has binders on Earth Day, reindeer, and snow!

scheeler – scheeler has created couple of great binders including his incredibly popular Ed Tech Tools, but also one of my favorites – Edgar Allan Poe.

s1mpl1fy – These are some amazing math binders on everything from Writing Equations to Polygons, to Solving Systems by Graphing.

vmizner – It is amazing when someone builds a many great binders all in one day.  These are some great high-school chemistry resources.

swimtchr – swimtchr has created a diverse set of binders with everything from Note Taking Tools to Principal Leadership.

lthurber@mac.com – With over 31 public binders, it is hard to know where to start.  You might find some of her more unusual binders most interesting including Robot Research, Renewable Energy, and Great Apes, but she also has some great history binders on Ancient Rome and Japan.

colleen young – Colleen has some impressive binders on Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy, Equations, and Wordle

evmaiden – evmaiden has a very complete SMART resources binder as well a great binder on Promethean Resources.

ezzellk – For younger grade teachers, ezzellk has a binder on Pre-K resources and one on Iceland.

Lesley – Lesley’s Web 2.0 Tools binder is very popular, but she also has great binders on Reference Sites and History Topics

chanbliss – Here are some wonderful binders in the art discipline including Art Edu Sites and a really interesting binder on a Fifth Grade Quilting project.

There are so many more great authors, we will have to do several more posts to cover them all.  If you discover one you like, just click on their name in LiveBinders to see their public shelf.  Then add it to the comments on this post so that everyone can see their great binders.


10 More Great ways Educators are using LiveBinders

July 25, 2010

Everyday Barbara and I enjoy checking out the ‘recent’ Featured shelf on our website and continue to find so many interesting and creative ways in which educators are organizing their resources.  We thought it was time to highlight another 10 great binders for you to enjoy.

Virtual Summer Camp

User ‘mikefisher821’ – created the Virtual Summer Camp binder for teachers who are looking to improve their Web 2.0 skills, and look for inspiring online lectures and resources for teaching.  He also created a comprehensive web 2.0 resource binder called ‘Evidence of Learning 2.0’.  It is a fabulous collection of web 2.o applications broken down by category.

Virtual Summer Camp

Mrs. Knight’s English Binder

Our user ‘bknight’ created a 9th grade English class binder for both students and parents.  She uses googledocs to create a syllabus and surveys.  When she updates her googledocs syllabus, it will automatically update in her livebinder.  The combination of googledocs with livebinders provides flexibility for the teacher who wants a collection of documents organized by context, and yet accessible anytime for editing without having to worry about re-uploading documents.

Mrs. Knight~S9GS

Sailing Camp LiveBinder

User ‘rlaffey’ put a complete course of information for his summer camp sailing program.  Students are able to access information online at anytime during the course instruction.  ‘Rlaffey’ organized videos and handouts throughout the binder.

AYC Sail Camp

MCA Orientation Binder

Our user ‘mcalibrary’ created an excellent resource binder for staff members who are relocating to Taiwan.  They put together a comprehensive resource on local transportation, english language support networks, television stations, tourist sites, language resources and a history of Taiwan.

MCA – Orientation Binder
Learning History by creating a Travel Binder
Speaking of travel guide, teacher ‘MrsB’ created a fantastic binder course for 1st – 5th graders where they were to team up with partners and plan a trip to a particular country.  The idea is to get them to create a scenario where they have to travel to this country and then document what they visited.  In her binder below, she provided guidelines, handouts and resources that help the students with their projects.  I’ve included her binder below plus one of the student example binders.
Book_a_Trip_Reading_Passport
Travel to India

Conference Presentation Binder

‘Dmantz7’ used livebinders as a way to present conference material in an organized format in the binder.  He addresses unique 21st century issues with examples of tools that teachers can use for their classroom.  He also provides guidelines on how to use some of the web 2.0 tools he highlights.  Its a great resource for teachers and also another example of how to use livebinders as a presentation tool.

iCiL 2010 “Simplify Virtually” preso

Everyday Barbara and I enjoy checking out the ‘recent’ Featured livebinders shelf on our website and continue to find so many interesting and creative ways in which educators are organizing their resources.  We thought it was time to highlight some of those binders to you.

User mikefisher821 – created the Virtual Summer Camp binder for teachers who are looking to improve their Web 2.0 skills, look for online lectures and resources for teaching. He’s collected a great number of video resources, online lectures and websites that caters to teachers wanting to freshen up on their skills.  It is basically a virtual summer camp at your fingertips.

Virtual Summer Camp
<div style=”width:75px;height:78px;background-image:url(‘http://www.livebinders.com/images/binder_straightened.gif&#8217;);border:0;margin-top:4px;background-repeat:no-repeat;”>    <a href=”http://livebinders.com/play/play_or_edit?id=17616″>    <img src=”http://open.thumbshots.org/image.pxf?url=http://livebinders.com/media/get/MTIzMDY5&#8243; style=”width:60px;height:60px;border:0;margin:14px 0 0 11px;padding:0;” />    </a>    </div>    <div><a href=”http://livebinders.com/play/play_or_edit?id=17616″>Virtual Summer Camp</a><br /></div>

Mrs.Knight’s English Binder

Our user ‘bknight’ created a 9th grade English class binder for both students and parents.  What I like about her binder is that she incorporates the flexibility of googledocs into her binders in appropriate ways.  For example, she has a welcome letter drafted to both the parents and students as well as a tab for a google doc survey.  The nice thing about using google docs and livebinders together is that you can edit your google docs remotely so that the latest updates or edits can appear on the document even though it is already linked in the binder.  It provides great flexibility for the teacher who wants everything organized in appropriate tabs, but also allows her to update her google docs from within the binder.
Mike’s Evidence of Learning 2.0

Shelf of 2sparkley

MCA Orientation Binder

Dean Mantz’s iCiL 2010 “Simplify Virtually” presontation –
<div style=”width:75px;height:78px;background-image:url(‘http://www.livebinders.com/images/binder_straightened.gif&#8217;);border:0;margin-top:4px;background-repeat:no-repeat;”>    <a href=”http://livebinders.com/play/play_or_edit?id=16713″>    <img src=”http://open.thumbshots.org/image.pxf?url=http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AYJccUMtDzncZGZ2OHgyYl8yMzJmbWd4cjdjYw&amp;hl=en&#8221; style=”width:60px;height:60px;border:0;margin:14px 0 0 11px;padding:0;” />    </a>    </div>    <div><a href=”http://livebinders.com/play/play_or_edit?id=16713″&gt; iCiL 2010 “Simplify Virtually” preso</a><br /></div>

Sailing binder

Science Links

‘Jmayo’ put together a great collection of science virtual worlds and interactive online programs in the subject of live sciences.  There are some very fun and immersive environments that students will enjoy exploring and coming away learning something about the world they live in.

Science Links

Poetry Pathfinders

User ‘arosheim’ created a lovely binder for kindergarten to 5th grade students to learn more about poetry.   Each tab is organized by grades and includes sub-tabs with links to poetry examples and exercises that are grade appropriate.

Poetry Pathfinders

LiveBinder Shelf of 2sparkley

User ‘2sparkley’ has created an enormous resource of  great information for teachers in all subject areas.  Instead of focusing on one binder, we are sharing her entire library of public binders in this link to her livebinder public shelf.  Resources include useful links to math and english subjects, safety on the web, word clouds and virtual worlds.

http://www.livebinders.com/shelf/search?search=&terms=2sparkley&type=1

Here are some more examples.


A Teacher’s Use of Binders

June 10, 2009

Ms. Kellogg has created a binder full of interesting sites for her 2nd grade students to explore over the summer. She put the binder up on her wonderful website. (When you look at her website, be sure to check out the great “how to” videos that her students created at the bottom of her site.)

Here is her binder:

Websites to Try this Summer

Better Spelling Tips

March 30, 2009

Sometimes it just takes a little guidance to help a poor speller become a great speller.  In this livebinder are a few really good websites that break down spelling tips in a way that can help a young child develop good spelling habits.  This is not only useful for your 2nd grader, but your 5th grader, as well.  There is even an online free interactive game that your kids can play that will help them practice random spelling.  The game is located in the last tab of the binder below.

Click on this link to open the binder.

Become a Better Speller