Our Search Toolbar

Search Toolbar

Last week we unveiled our new search toolbar, and we have received great feedback. The search toolbar is now also available on our homepage, and as you can see, you can apply filters to search thousands of resources by resource type (eBook, video, vocabulary set, etc.), language, grade, creator, and subject.

Here is a video to help show how the toolbar works:

Search Toolbar

Once you click “Search,” you will see your search results, as well as a “Share Search Results” button. When you click that button, you will see the URL has been copied, allowing you to share that URL with others.

Finding the Content You Need

Now teachers will be able to find supplemental content to help them achieve their goals. You can find math, language arts, and science content for grades PreK to 12th, in English and Spanish.

 

The search toolbar is very user-friendly.  For example, when I searched for ninth grade math content in English, here is what I would find: https://www.geniusplaza.com/bank?rtf=&lf=1&cf=3&gf=16

 

Tell Us What You Think!

We will continue to find ways to optimize the platform, and invite you to share feedback via chat, or email me at monica@geniusplaza.com.


Preparing High School Students for Careers of the Future

Recently, Education Week published an article written by A.M. Hangan titled, “How Do I Prepare My Students for Jobs That May Soon Disappear?” A.M. Hangan has been teaching high school for twenty years, and in this article, he addresses how the number of jobs available to high school graduates is decreasing steadily due to the automation of several different types of jobs. At first glance, this may seem like something straight out of a sci-fi film, but these are legitimate concerns that are worth talking about with our students. Hangan is right; as educators, we are “ethically obligated to explain the challenges they may face in being gainfully employed.”

In some cases, the odds are already against some of our students with the most potential. Despite the innate talent a student may have, there may be an extreme lack of resources in their school districts or homes, making it very difficult for them to graduate school, let alone find a job post-graduation. According to Hangan, the trend of automation has really accelerated over the past year. He states, “According to a 2015 study from Citi Research and the Oxford Martin School in 2015, up to 47 percent of current U.S. employment is at risk of being automated.” These two factors combined seem to predict a bleak outlook for students.

Fortunately, though, not all hope is lost! Hangan also cites some brighter statistics in his article: “According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for high school graduates declined from 11 percent in 2009 to 7.7 percent in January of this year.” This helps show that our students are more than capable of rising to this new challenge. The question that we now need to ask is, “How do we inspire our students to overcome this adversity?”

Showcasing Careers of the Future

Careers of the Future

Genius Plaza features many Learning Champions who have faced challenges as and more difficult than the ones facing our students today! Take, for example, a man named Victor Santiago. Growing up in Caguas, Puerto Rico, Santiago always knew he wanted to have a career in television, despite several people telling him “no” at different stages of his life: his mother wanted him to be an engineer, his guidance counselor did not believe he should attend college in the United States, and because he did not know much English, it was very difficult for him to get into the specific program he wanted to study in college. Santiago rose above these challenges to attend school in Florida, become fluent in English, and work through the ranks at Univision to become a TV producer. In fact, he is so well-known at Univision now that when he gives presentations, he is introduced as “the intern who became an executive”!

If our Learning Champions are used in the classroom, it serves two purposes, the first of these being they help students achieve the Common Core College and Career Readiness standards. In this particular instance, if teachers use two Champions to teach a lesson about persevering against the challenges life presents us, it would cover CCRA.R.9: “Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.” Our Learning Champions come from all walks of life and have each been challenged in their own ways, and it’d be great for students to compare how the Champions got to their current positions in life.

Ensuring Students See Themselves 

This leads me to the second purpose our Champions can serve in a classroom. Our Champions are very honest about the struggles they have faced in life, and how difficult it was for them to persevere, even when the cards were stacked against them. With students now facing the loss of potential jobs due to the automation of factories – amongst other things – it simply isn’t enough to tell them they can be successful if they try hard enough. Students need to be given real-life, relatable examples to prove success is attainable.

There is definitely a Champion for each student to relate to: along with Victor Santiago, we also have microbiologists, dentists, doctors, venture capitalists, and regulatory affairs associates! Once students finish learning about the Champions, they can create their own eBooks and videos about their personal challenges using our “Re-Teach” function. This not only inspires them, but also gives them the chance to inspire other students who are going through similar struggles.

High School – A Life-Changing Time Period

High school is possibly the most life-changing time period a student goes through. This is when students begin to make decisions that will impact the rest of their lives, and as young adults, they deserve to not only be educated about the challenges and obstacles they will face, but also about how they can overcome those obstacles and persevere. As educators, this is a topic that we need to face head-on in order to give our students the most opportunities possible.


Happy World Teachers’ Day – Teaching in Freedom, Empowering Teacher

World Teachers’ Day

 

At Genius Plaza, we celebrate teachers every day, but today is even more special because we are celebrating World Teachers’ Day.

The History of World Teachers’ Day

According to UNESCO, World Teachers’ Day has been held annually on October 5th since 1994 to commemorate the anniversary of the signing of the 1966 UNESCO/ILO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers.

This year, the theme followed the “adoption of the new Sustainable Development Goals in September 2015, when teacher empowerment was reaffirmed as a top priority in all education and development strategies.”

Teacher

Celebrating Teachers

For us, it is another opportunity for us to say thank you to teachers – and this year we are doing it with eBooks.

This eBook by a future scientist includes quotes about education from “very famous people.”  This eBook by a future doctor speaks about the importance of teachers.  This one is in Spanish and is titled “The Teacher and his/her students.”  This one is one of my favorites, and is titled “The Teacher Who Taught Me To Read Books.”

Join us in thanking teachers by sharing memories or creating your own eBook at Genius Plaza, or by downloading our app on iOS, Google Play or Amazon. #WorldTeachersDay

 teacher


Our New Search Function

At Genius Plaza, we value the relationships we have with teachers, parents, administrators, and students.  We strive to constantly improve our offerings based on feedback we receive.  Our CEO likes to quote Epictetus, reminding us, “We have two ears and one mouth, so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”  We are very proud of our new search function, which reflects much of that feedback.

New Search Function

As our users know, at Genius Plaza we offer thousands of videos, eBooks, games, comprehension exercises, worksheets, and more in English and Spanish.  Users now can explore these by filtering subject – math, language arts, and science, and for grades Pre-K to 12th.  Users are also able to filter by creator – teacher, student, and parent – and by grade level. Click here to watch this video to learn more.

Genius Plaza search

Teacher Wish List

We reached out to teachers to see what content they needed.

  • We heard from one teacher who wanted content for her kindergarten focused on the letter B.  See what we shared with her here: Video, eBook, and exercise.
  • We heard from another teacher looking for Hispanic Heritage content.  Here are some of our STEAM Learning Champion resources, which can be used as non-fiction content, and for teaching character traits.  
  • We also heard from several teachers looking for place value content.  Here you can find some of the resources we shared.

 

Leaderboard Content

Each week, we are highlighting some of the resources requested on our leaderboard, sharing content created by teachers, students, and about our Champions.  Visit us each week to find new content. https://www.geniusplaza.com/en/leaderboard

 

Leaderboard

 

Join us as a Beta Tester

As I mentioned earlier, we want to learn from you!  If you are interested in becoming a beta tester, email me at monica@geniusplaza.com.

 


Celebrate World Teachers’ Day and Enter to Win!

Join us as we celebrate World Teachers Day by writing an eBook about your favorite teacher. We will select and profile the best eBooks on our newsletter and Leaderboard, and select one teacher to sponsor at an upcoming conference.

How to Win & Celebrate World Teachers’ Day!

  • Go to GeniusPlaza.com or download our Genius Plaza app.
  • Create an eBook about a teacher who made a big impact in your life.  
  1. What made them a great teacher?
  2. What do/did you like the most about him/her?
  3. What was the best activity you did or lesson you learned from them?
  • Submissions close on Friday, October 6th.
  • Winners will be announced the week of October 16.
  • If you have questions, email me at monica@geniusplaza.com

You can use our new Genius Plaza app!

As we continue our mission to ignite the genius in every child, we are excited to unveil our new Genius Plaza app. You can access thousands of free education resources in English and Spanish for math, language arts, and science. Plus, you can create your own content. You can find videos, eBooks, virtual reality content, printables, exercises, and vocabulary sets. Join a global classroom and access re-teachings by teachers, students, and parents for grades PreK to 12th. Download the free app on Amazon, iOS, and Google Play.

Genius Plaza App
The best part? You can now create your own content! Yes, teachers can upload their lessons and have students create content to reteach what they have learned, bringing the #studentvoice to life.

Join us in saying THANK YOU to the countless of teachers who inspire us.
World Teachers' Day


Matemáticas en high school

Importancia de las Matemáticas

Las matemáticas son una de las asignaturas menos populares entre nuestros hijos. Es cierto que hay algunos niños que no presentan demasiados problemas a la hora de su aprendizaje, pero por regla general suele ser una de esas materias que les cuesta más asimilar. Tanto maestros como padres les hemos escuchado infinidad de veces decir: “Pero esto, ¿para qué sirve?, ¡esto no lo uso nunca!”. Obviamente se equivocan, ya que las matemáticas están ocultas en nuestro día a día. Sin ellas no tendríamos cosas como Internet, los celulares, los ordenadores…, pero ellos no lo saben aún.

A medida que avanzan los grados en su etapa académica la dificultad va subiendo, y por lo tanto tienen que esforzarse más para poder superar esta materia. En High School los estudiantes tienen que asimilar de una manera más profunda los conceptos que ya aprendieron anteriormente, y adquirir otros nuevos. La organización de esta esta etapa es diferente a la de cursos anteriores, donde eran una serie de conceptos organizados  por grados. Aquí la organización cambia, y se estructura en una serie bloques fundamentales, que son álgebra, cálculo, geometría, funciones, probabilidad…

Cómo Ayudar a los Estudiantes

¿Qué podemos hacer nosotros como padres para ayudar a nuestros hijos en esta nueva etapa? Lo primero de todo es animarles a que sigan adelante, a que se les quite ese miedo que tienen muchas veces a nuevos conceptos, nuevas metodologías; eso debería de ser retante para ellos, y así se lo debemos presentar, como una oportunidad de superación personal. Si en algún punto de su aprendizaje en esta etapa encuentra una piedra en el camino debemos animarle a que pregunte a su maestro en clase, que resuelva sus dudas y se esfuerce por practicar aquellos conceptos que se le dan peor.

Métodos de Refuerzo

Nosotros también podemos ayudarle en casa, pero muchas veces por falta de tiempo o porque las matemáticas no son nuestro fuerte, no podemos hacerlo. En esos casos, y cuando ya veamos que no es suficiente con las consultas al maestro y su esfuerzo, podemos recurrir a un apoyo extra con clases de refuerzo fuera de la escuela.

 reenseñanza

Hay muchos métodos de refuerzo en estos casos, pero sin lugar a dudas lo más efectivo es la reenseñanza. Cuando un niño aprende un concepto y es capaz de reenseñárselo a otro es cuando la magia fluye; ve que está ayudando y colaborando con sus amigos mejorando sus habilidades, en este caso matemáticas, y eso le hace sentirse genial consigo mismo y con su grupo de amigos y compañeros de escuela. Sobre todo en esos grados altos donde se complican los conceptos que aprenden, la reenseñanza funciona como nunca. Yo comencé a aplicar este método con mi hija mayor, que comenzó en High School el curso pasado. Me di cuenta de que, aunque siempre se le habían dado bien las matemáticas, ese curso sin embargo la notaba sin ánimo en esta asignatura, y sus calificaciones cayeron en picado. Fue entonces cuando establecimos una rutina que resultó muy satisfactoria: semanalmente ella me tenía que explicar a través de un video casero, que ella misma tomaba con su celular, el concepto que esa semana aprendieron en la clase. Cuando le sugerí utilizar su celular para estudiar los conceptos aprendidos se sorprendió mucho, yo siempre estoy muy pendiente de que se exceda en la utilización de su celular, pero sabía que esto iba a resultar, y así fue. Todas las semanas repasábamos un concepto nuevo. Le gustó tanto que en alguno de estos videos involucró a sus amigos de clase para que la ayudasen a cumplir con el objetivo.

Les aconsejo a todos los padres que necesitan ayudar a sus hijos en alguna materia de la escuela que apliquen este método. Ahora lo pueden hacer si cabe más divertido para ellos, porque con la plataforma de Genius Plaza (www.geniusplaza.com) todo es mucho más sencillo. La cocreación y reenseñanza son mucho más fáciles con esta plataforma educativa que yo misma he comenzado a usar con mi hija este curso.  Aquí les comparto este ejemplo: https://www.geniusplaza.com/es/resources?type=video&id=15217

Las matemáticas en High School pueden ser más complicadas, pero con nuestra ayuda, su esfuerzo y la utilización de los recursos y herramientas de Genius Plaza, el camino hacia la meta será coser y cantar.

 


Teachers coming together in a time of need – guest post by Brianne Walterhouse

We have been following and sharing updates about the great effort by Hurricane Harvey Teachers in Need (who have now also created Hurricane Irma Teachers in Need) and the leadership of these inspiring teachers wanting to help others impacted by the recent storms. We decided to reach out to Brianne Walterhouse, who has been at the forefront of this effort with other teachers to share how this came about. We are grateful that in the middle of organizing this initiative, she took the time to write this piece.

Teachers for Teachers

by Brianne Walterhouse

Instagram: @hooorayforteaching  and Twitter: @HoooRayforTeach

I have had many people over the past couple of weeks ask me why I would take on the task of helping get teachers adopted in Texas when I have so much going on at home.  It’s the beginning of a new school year and there has been a TON going on in my personal life.  So they always say, “Why would you add this to your plate?”  The answer is simple.  It’s who I am.  It’s second nature.  It’s how I was raised.  In 1991, I lost my home in the Oakland Hills Firestorm.  I remember the days after the fire even now.  Going down to our church hall to pick out a new backpack, supplies, and clothing that had been donated.  I saw for the first time what it meant to really come together in a time of need. Every year since then, our family has adopted a family for Christmas.

Teaching Kindness and Service

As an adult, and a teacher, I teach my students what kindness and service is about.  Whether it’s collecting toys for our local fire department, or doing drives for local fire victims, I want my students to see that they are making a difference.  

Teachers Coming Together

When I heard about the devastation that Hurricane Harvey caused to the Houston area, I knew immediately that I needed to do something.  I reached out on Instagram and with three other AMAZING teachers, got an adoption list going.  Kristi Stanfa from Hooray for Third Grade and Allie McMillen from Third Grade Parade and I worked through Instagram Messenger to come up with a plan.  With the help of Kori Markussen from True Tales of a Teacher , we were able to create a Facebook Group that gave both people in need of support and those wanting to support a central place to gather.  Even now, we have new members joining and we are still getting classrooms adopted.  We have had 289 teachers in need and I know there will be more!

Much Work to Be Done

We aren’t done, either.  Hurricane Irma has taken a beating on Florida and the Caribbean.  I know we will continue to come together and support classrooms, teachers, and their students through this difficult time!  It has been amazing to see what our teacher community has done, and my heart is so full to see us come together to help those in need!

 

 


Weekly news recap – Friday, September 15

This week, we continue to focus on the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, and now of Irma, too.  According to a story from the Wall Street Journal, Florida schools are still struggling.

 

We also continue to monitor DACA, with many new headlines this week, including a potential extension to the deadline, and this poll showing that most people support Dreamers.  

Some other headlines that caught our eye – the story from IBM regarding Watson, this story on bilingual education, and this piece our Chief Academic Officer shared regarding the eight essential digital literacy skills that students need.  Speaking of IBM, we found this piece fascinating, about how Watson was front and center at the U.S. Open.

We also loved seeing some positive stories and profiles in the news – including this story about the Columbia student who reunited with the teacher who turned his life around, and this heartwarming story about a beautiful friendship.  We now have new #friendshipgoals.

 

On our end, the team at Genius Plaza unveiled free teaching resources focused on Hispanic Heritage Month, which starts today.  You can read more on our blog from earlier this week.  In addition, we unveiled the Learning Champion profile on beloved Hispanic television legend, Don Francisco.  You can watch the video here in English and in Spanish.

 

We are continuing to share free teaching resources; two popular ones are this game on place value, this video from legendary TV Host Don Francisco and this Johnny Appleseed video, because it’s all about apples!

 

Finally, we loved reading “Diversifying The Technology Ecosystem With The Kapor Center’s Cliff Worley” which mentions our CEO.

 

What caught your attention this week?


Education-related News Updates and Resources September 8, 2017

One of the top education stories this week was about the administration’s decision regarding DACA.  Here you will find some information on what it currently means for Dreamers.  The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials is providing real-time bilingual (English and Spanish) information by calling a free hotline 844-411-DACA (3222).  There has been bipartisan support for Dreamers, including five former secretaries of education and extensive coverage on the issue, and this teacher-focused story. Our CEO issued a statement earlier this week.

This hurricane season is also driving the headlines, with ongoing coverage about Harvey’s impact.  We shared some free teaching resources on our blog yesterday.  We continued seeing stories regarding the impact of Harvey.  Some schools in South Florida closed Thursday and Friday, but stayed open in Central Florida.

We followed other stories related to EdTech, teaching methods, and education in general.  Our didactic teaching method ensures students become protagonists of their own learning; we found this story very interesting.

This week on our blog, we had our first guest blogger, Gianny Liranzo.  The post, which is in Spanish, posed the question, “Is intelligence what is most important to achieve success?” Read it here

One of our favorite stories this week was this one from The Orange County Register: “70 migrant farmworkers earn high school certificates in Cal State Fullerton program.”

What stories in this space are you following?


Teaching Resources About Hurricanes

Recently, we wrote about Hurricane Harvey, and as Florida and other parts of the country brace for Irma, some of our educators and students have begun working on resources to teach about hurricanes.

 

Jacki Schenk, who leads our science efforts, worked with our Learning Success Associate Lita Benson to create this video to discuss hurricanes.

 

We had some students create content like this video in English and Spanish, this vocabulary set, this hangman game and this eBook.

 

We found some helpful resources, including this from Save the Children, and this from the CDC in Spanish.  We also had shared this from the New York Times.

 

How do you engage and talk to students about current events and natural disasters?  We would love to hear.

 

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Recursos para Maestros Sobre Huracanes

Recientemente hemos escrito sobre Harvey, y cómo Florida y otras partes del país se preparan para Irma, algunos de nuestros educadores y estudiantes comenzaron a trabajar en recursos para enseñar sobre los huracanes.

 

Jacki Schenk, quien dirige nuestros esfuerzos científicos, trabajó con nuestra asociada de éxito del aprendizaje Lita Benson, para crear este video que habla de los huracanes.

 

Tuvimos algunos estudiantes creando contenido , como este video en inglés y español, este set de vocabulario y este libro electrónico.

 

También encontramos algunos recursos útiles, incluyendo este de Save the Children en inglés y este del Centro de Enfermedades Contagiosas (Communicable Disease Center, CDC por sus siglas en inglés). También ya hemos compartido esto desde el New York Times.

 

¿Cómo se involucran y hablan con los estudiantes sobre sucesos actuales y desastres naturales? Nos encantaría escuchar.