MAT Blog

October is Principal Appreciation Month. We'll Help You Celebrate

Posted by Marygrove MAT on Oct 21, 2013 2:52:00 PM

Most of us would agree that we are indebted to some of the most overworked and underappreciated people on the planet: our teachers. Less often, though, do we consider how overworked and underappreciated our principals are.

In case it slipped your mind, October is National Principals Month and we want to help you celebrate it!

Our newest download will help you create a thank-you book for your principal. All you need to do is print out the pages and have your students fill out the two writing prompts. Once they finish, combine the class pages into a booklet, attach the cover sheet and present to your favorite underappreciated principal!

Click here or on the icon below to download our free Principal Appreciation Project.

Principal Appreciation

Tags: principal appreciation, download, Classroom Community, downloads, community

Check out episode II of Book Talk: Trackers by Patrick Carman

Posted by Marygrove MAT on Sep 20, 2013 4:36:00 PM

describe the imageWe’re on a mission to find books that your students will love—and once we find these books, you can hear all about them in our ongoing podcast series, Booktalk. This month, we’re talking about the first book in Patrick Carman’s acclaimed series, Trackers.

In Trackers we get to know Adam, Finn, Emily, and Lewis, a group of teenage tech-prodigies called the Trackers who find themselves lured into a dangerous web of blackmail and deceit by a hacker named Lasko. But this is no ordinary book. Trackers is actually a “vook,” a new kind of book that combines traditional print with online videos and interactive digital media!

To listen in on what we have to say about Patrick Carman’s “vook,” click here.


Tags: Book Talk, download, reading instruction, reading strategy, downloads, Reading

Need help with technology in the classroom? We have apps for that!

Posted by Karen Cameron on May 24, 2013 9:40:00 AM

Whether you’re a veteran teacher or a new teacher, we know you share something in common: you are busy. In addition to this, you can never have too many ideas for increasing student engagement, as well as improving reading and writing skills.

That’s why we are offering our FREE downloadable guide, Surfing for Substance II, a compilation of 50 User-friendly websites and apps for teachers.

You may be a “tech-head” already, but you don’t have to be to make any of these 50 user-friendly websites and apps a part of your everyday life. Our descriptions of each resource are brief and lighthearted—and hopefully, substantive enough to give you a sense for whether or not they will fit your students’ and your needs.

Inside you'll find apps for the following:

-Classroom Management
-Reading and Literacy
-Images and more!

Amaze your class with your technology "know-how" and have fun too!

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Tags: Educational Technology, Educational Technology Programs, classroom management, download, apps for teachers, free guide, downloads, classroom technology, technology in the classroom

In December we challenged teachers. You responded. See the results!

Posted by Marygrove MAT on Mar 23, 2013 6:00:00 PM

lesson plan contestBack in December we challenged teachers to enter our lesson plan contest for a chance to win a classroom party paid for entirely by the Marygrove MAT program.

We were impressed with the winning lesson plan—so impressed, in fact, that we are offering Mrs. Blackburn’s Operation Global Connection lesson plan as a free downloadable!

We want to thank everyone who entered our contest for inspiring us and sharing your passion and creativity!

What is Operation Global Connection and how did it begin?  
When Mrs. Blackburn’s eighth grade social studies students trickled into class in late November, something was different: The desks were arranged in a circle and the classroom more closely resembled a “town meeting hall” than the traditional space they were used to.

As they settled into their new arrangement, Mrs. Blackburn briefed her students on their forthcoming project—one that they would be responsible for designing, implementing and publishing. Students were free to take the project in any direction they wished as long as it met Rhode Island’s GSE HP2, an academic standard that asks students to connect the past with the present.

Everything they did—whether it was researching historical photos, snapping new ones, writing essays or interviewing international students—would be guided by two essential questions:

  • “Why does what happened in the past matter to me today?”
  • “How will it affect my future?”

What did students do?
As a collective, the students decided to research how the history of their state, city, school and classroom communities have changed over time, and then make predictions about how they may change in the future. Students also thought it was worth considering how the values, history, and life in Cranston compared to life elsewhere. To find out, they used technology to connect with students in Greece, Russia, China, Kansas and Connecticut.

How were students assessed?
Although the project had a floating agenda that was set at the beginning of each class, students were regularly assessed through “exit slips” and mini-projects they submitted through Google Docs.

Exit slips asked students two questions: “What did you accomplish today?” and “How can I (Mrs. Blackburn) help you as we move forward? These had to be filled out and submitted at the end of every class.

Mini-projects included:

  • Writing short essays that required students to use research to respond to project-related writing prompts
  • Filming video documentaries to catalogue the project’s development
  • Creating online polls and questionnaires and compiling the results
  • Using Padlet to discuss articles and better understand the lives of their global partners
  • Using various online platforms like Wordle to brainstorm

At the end of three weeks, the project culminated in a nine minute video.

We hope that you and your students find the lesson plan to be helpful! You can download it by clicking here or on the icon below.


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Tags: Marygrove MAT, free guide, Master in the Art of Teaching Degree, downloads, lesson plan contest

Hang onto your powdered wig! We've got 10 President's Day Activities

Posted by Marygrove MAT on Feb 13, 2013 3:09:00 PM

Presidents Day ActivitiesFebruary is a hectic month…we know. Not only is it Black History Month, there’s also Valentine’s Day, Abraham Lincoln’s birthday (only recognized in certain states), Washington’s Birthday, and President’s Day!

If you need a little help cramming it all in, keep your powdered wigs and stovepipe hats on! We’re here to help by sharing 10 of our favorite Lincoln and Washington-inspired projects with you.

Maybe you’re looking to satisfy your students’ sweet tooth. No problem, we’ve got three recipesfruit cookies, Shrewsbury cakes and strawberry punch—that are not only delicious, but happen to be forefather favorites.

We’ll also help your students dress for the occasion by offering instructions for creating their own stovepipe hat, powdered wig and other Lincoln and Washington-inspired projects.


Presidents Day Craft Guide



Tags: President's Day, download, downloads

10 Hearty Valentine's Day Projects for Teachers

Posted by Marygrove MAT on Feb 1, 2013 4:59:00 PM

valentine's day for teachersEvery February 14, people around the world declare and reaffirm their affection for one another. Others simply use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to stuff themselves with chocolate, break out their art supplies and get “crafty.”

Call us saps, but we’re Valentine’s Day fanatics and we know that deep down you and your students are, too.

To help you celebrate, we’ve put together a free downloadable guide, 10 Hearty Valentine's Day Projects for Teachers. Inside you’ll find instructions for creating your own:

  • Hershey Kisses Mouse
  • Valentine’s Day Mailbox
  • Cupid Arrow
  • Crayon Shaving Hearts
  • Scratch-Off Valentines
  • Votive Candle Holders

And more!

It is our goal to supply teachers with engaging resources that you and your students love—so be sure to stop by our blog and browse our resource library as well!


Download our new guide,  10 Hearty Valentine's Day Projects

Tags: holiday activities, valentines day projects, downloads

Marygrove College's most popular resources of 2012!

Posted by Marygrove MAT on Jan 18, 2013 11:58:00 AM

Best of 2012Before we officially shift our gaze towards 2013, we thought we’d celebrate the New Year by compiling some of Marygrove College’s most popular resources of 2012.

Now you can take them with you and access them whenever and wherever you are! Inside our Best of 2012 you’ll find:

  • 10 things you should know for the first day of school
  • Ways to reinvent elementary geometry and make it fun
  • Literacy tools that nurture independent reading
  • Ways to teach grammar…without teaching grammar
  • Classroom management tips
  • Simple and practical ways to enhance your curriculum with free technology

    And more!

These are only a few of the resources you’ll find inside our Best of 2012—and if you don’t find what you’re looking for, be sure to browse our blog and resource library as well!

On behalf of Marygrove College’s Master in the Art of Teaching program, we want to wish you a healthy and successful New Year.

-The MAT Team


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Tags: classroom management, download, apps for educators, apps for teachers, downloads, math literacy, Literacy, Math, geometry, Best of 2012

10 Cheap, Quick and Easy Holiday Crafts for Teachers!

Posted by Marygrove MAT on Dec 14, 2012 3:49:00 PM

holiday_craft_ideasThe holidays are as exciting as they are hectic—especially when you’re a teacher. Not only do you have to plan out celebrations for your family, you’ve also got a classroom (or classrooms) full of students to think about!

If you’re running behind this year, or simply looking for a few new holiday crafts to supplement the tried and true, look no further: We put together a FREE downloadable guide that contains 10 of our favorite cheap, quick and easy holiday craft ideas. Feel free to take it with you and share it with your friends and colleagues!

Inside you’ll find holiday crafts like:

· Reindeer puzzle piece ornaments
· Pine cone snowmen
· Gumdrop Trees
· Candy cane reindeer
· Hershey Kiss mice
· Handprint menorahs and more!

On behalf of Marygrove College’s Master in the Art of Teaching program, we would like to wish you a happy and safe holiday season.


Download our holiday craft guide for teachers!

Tags: holiday activities, download, downloads

5 Apps to Boost Collaborative Learning

Posted by Marygrove MAT on Dec 8, 2012 6:00:00 AM

collaborative learningWhy do our students come to school? Yes, yes, of course because they have to, but why else? Is it because of you? Is it because of the mind-bending textbooks?

If you asked Michael Kahn (see his article, “The Seminar”) these questions, he’d tell you that there’s nothing intrinsically special about us or the textbooks.

No, what makes coming to school “worth it” is the collaborative learning experience—or in his words, the “opportunity to engage in a fantastic dialogue, trialogue, multilogue with a fantastically varied assortment of consciousnesses.” Indeed, the teacher facilitates and instructs and the books are the springboard from which conversations and teachable moments are launched. But Kahn believes classrooms become magical because of the relationships we nurture and the conversations we have.

To enhance or reinvent your students’ collaborative learning experience and use technology to do it, we thought we’d offer 5 apps to get you started!

5 Apps to Boost Collaborative Learning

Corkboard Me. If Google Calendar and Pinterest had a child, the result would be Corkboard Me. It's a pragmatic way to keep everyone on the same page in terms of who is doing what and when. Students can create "post it notes," keep track of the project's timeline and leave messages to each other on an online cork board. Nobody has the excuse they didn't get a message or didn't know what they were supposed to do because it's all on the group's cork board. Once the students are ready to work, is a one-stop-shop where students can work on the same document, at the same time, in real time. Different colored highlights are assigned to each student. It eliminates the need for cutting/pasting, or attaching documents back and forth, with different versions of the same thing floating out in cyberspace. Students can check out previous histories and collaborators can chat in real time while the document is being created. These are just a few of the perks of using

MixedInk. Similar to, MixedInk is another collaborative learning platform that allows students to work on one document at the same time. This one’s quite user-friendly and more geared toward teacher/student/classroom learning. Perks include the ability for students to give a star-rating to certain ideas, passages, or versions of the document so they can decide as a group which one should be the final product. It's completely free and can be as professional, creative, or fun as the collaborators want to make it.

LiveBinders. Email, Facebook, Twitter, and texting can all be used to send information to individuals or groups. You can embed URLs on a website or blog. But after enough links/sites come your way, it can be hard to keep track of them. LiveBinders created a way to organize resources and information in one location - which is put together like a traditional 3-Ring binder using tabs and sub-tabs. Ideas:

  • Teachers can embed a LiveBinder link on their website which houses PowerPoint lectures, YouTube Videos, and recommended websites for student/parent viewing.
  • Parents can use it to keep track of safe websites for their kids, or to help them find online resources for their student's project.
  • Collaborative learning groups can use LiveBinder to keep all of their group project resources and information in one organized place.

Realtime Board. This online app combines the best features from multiple apps. It's a collaborative, creative, organizational Realtime Board, based on the idea of a whiteboard, which allows groups to create presentations, infographics, papers and more. It's a little more high-tech so older students will benefit the most from this one. One of the bonuses is that when a document is pinned to the board, you can still work within it - scrolling between pages, or editing it, and then save the changes back to the original file on your computer.

Students, of course, aren’t the only ones who benefit from collaborative learning. We were lucky enough to stumble upon a recent Education Week article featuring Keith Pomeroy, an Ohio-based director of technology, who exposed us to collaborative-learning websites like Edmodo and Schoology. If you’re ever looking for lesson-plan ideas or new resources, we recommend that you check both of these sites out!

Also check out our free download, Surfing for Substance: 50 No-Nonsense, No-Fluff Websites and Apps for Teachers, to learn about some helpful websites and apps that can streamline your curriculum, keep you organized, and engage your students.

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Tags: curriculum design, download, apps for educators, downloads, Collaboration

Download our free guide: 50 Apps for Teachers

Posted by Marygrove MAT on Oct 2, 2012 1:32:00 PM

surfing for substanceMaybe you’re a veteran teacher. You have a robust arsenal of lesson ideas; you’ve gone through the trial and error period of keeping great assignments, tweaking mediocre ones and scrapping others that didn’t work at all.

Or maybe you are a new teacher and only beginning to build your repertoire. As a result, you may be spending long days (and nights) not only juggling lesson planning, but grading and attending to all of the other administrative responsibilities that come with the territory.

Either way, both new and veteran teachers share something in common: They are busy. In addition to this, they can never have too many ideas for increasing student engagement, streamlining curriculum and staying organized.

That’s why we are offering our FREE downloadable guide, Surfing for Substance, a compilation of 50 User-friendly websites and apps for teachers.

You may be a “tech-head” already, but you don’t have to be to make any of these 50 user-friendly websites and apps a part of your everyday life. Our descriptions of each resource are brief and lighthearted—and hopefully, substantive enough to give you a sense for whether or not they will fit your students’ and your needs.

Inside you'll find apps for keeping you

  • Organized
  • Connected with Social Media
  • Enhancing Your Curriculum

    Download our FREE guide: 50 Apps for Teachers!

Tags: curriculum design, apps for educators, apps for teachers, downloads, technology in the classroom

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