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We have a number of exciting events coming up this fall, including Twitter chats, fall webinars, and upcoming conferences! Here they are all in one place.

TWITTER CHATS

  • Monday, Sept 16th, join us for #sschat at 7PM EDT/4PM PDT where we will be chatting about “Active Listening & Civic Engagement.”

  • Monday, Oct 7th we will be hosting #ellchat on “Podcasting with English Learners.” Mark your calendars for at 9PM EDT/6PM PDT.

Please help us spread the word on Twitter and share with your PLN! 

FREE WEBINARS (register at the links below)

CONFERENCES

Let us know @listenwiselearn if you’ll be attending any of these events. We hope to see you in person!

We’ve been hearing from Google Classroom teachers that you want more integrations with Listenwise, and we’ve been listening! Last year we offered Google single sign-on, sharing assignments to Google Classroom, and Google Classroom roster import. We are thrilled to announce our newest integration: sending quiz scores to Google Classroom!

It’s now easier than ever to assign a quiz, as well as share the quiz assignment to Google Classroom AND send scores to Google Classroom. It just takes a few clicks!

Step 1: Find a Story with Quiz and Choose a Class

We have over 300 quizzes and counting on Listenwise! Once you find a story with a quiz that you want to assign, click the “Assign Quiz” button in the upper right-hand corner of the story.

Choose a class and pick a due date — no changes here! If you select a class that was imported from Google Classroom, then you will automatically see the new gradebook integration options.

Step 2: Select Google Classroom Options and Click “Assign”

You have two options: “Share Quiz with Google Classroom” and “Send Scores to Google Classroom.” 

If you want to send quiz scores to Google Classroom, you must share the quiz to Google Classroom. But you can share the quiz to Google Classroom without sending quiz scores. See the video below for more:

Note: If you want to share the quiz with students in Google Classroom without importing the class roster, click the Google Classroom icon on the Quiz Report page. 

Step 3: Listenwise Quiz is in Google Classroom!

If you opt to share the quiz and send scores to Google Classroom, the Listenwise quiz will automatically be added to your Google Classroom Stream, Classwork, and Grades tabs. Quiz scores will be added to your Grades as students submit Listenwise quizzes.

For more details and step-by-step instructions on all integrations, check out the Listenwise + Google Classroom Guide.

As you head into this school year, you may be asking yourself, “What can I do to help my students feel safe, and how do I ensure that my classroom is a place that de-escalates hatred and fear?”

There have been many tragic incidents in the news this summer, and a rise in documented incidents of hate in schools across the last couple of years. More than ever, this raises the importance of teachers creating a safe and nurturing environment for every one of their students. We believe it’s important that all students feel safe in school, valued by teachers and peers, and able to fully be themselves in the classroom.

In a recent #sschat, Facing History and Ourselves hosted a conversation about being an “upstander.” FHO defines an upstander as “a person who speaks or acts in support of an individual or cause, particularly someone who intervenes on behalf of a person being attacked or bullied.” Read the archived chat to see how teachers are promoting upstanding behaviour in their classrooms.

This summer, hate has been in the headlines in our local communities and around the world. For example, recent Listenwise current events include stories about hateful manifestos and videos posted on the internet or about the dangers facing Central American migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. Below, we offer some helpful resources to help educators bring up current events in their classrooms and offer sensitive entry points to confront troubling violence and injustice, including terrorism, genocide, and attacks on human rights. 

In this 30-minute webinar Listenwise hosted with Facing History and Ourselves, we discuss how the power of storytelling can bring social-emotional learning to the classroom and help students understand the experiences of others and empathize with them. 

On September 12, 2019 Facing History is hosting another webinar to share strategies for teaching current events.
You can register here.

Here are some more high-quality resources from Facing History and Ourselves on Addressing Hate, Violence, Injustice. Facing History has also created a great back-to-school toolkit to help teachers create a supportive and inclusive classroom community. These lessons address how to effectively establish classroom norms that support students in learning to value differing perspectives, question assumptions, and actively listen to others. 

Colorin Colorado has bilingual resources to facilitate talking with students about tragic events. Here are their 15 Tips for Talking with Children About Violence. This page is regularly updated with additional links to help teachers talk to students about the issues facing their communities and the world around them. 

“Our classrooms cannot cocoon our students from the real world. We can begin talking through not only the recent violence in our country, but broader instances of systemic oppression related to white supremacy, anti-immigration sentiment, racism, and LGBTQ discrimination.” (source Urgent Need for AntiRacist Education)


Read our previous blog post that includes further resource links to Facing History, Edutopia, NY Times, and other sources to help teachers set the scene and create a safe space for talking about news and current events, even when they are difficult to discuss.

This blog post is in collaboration with Jeff Bradbury of TeacherCast. Read more on his blog.

How can you bring podcasting into your classroom? Start with selecting a purpose that aligns with your curriculum. Will students create podcasts that inform, persuade, analyze, reflect, tell a story, or some combination? Once you have defined a task, you can select the appropriate production format for your students’ podcasts. Will podcasts be commentary by a single speaker? Will they be interviews or conversations? Will they be investigative reports involving multiple perspectives on an issue or topic? 

Here are some easy podcast project ideas to help you get started:

  1. Book Reviews.  Podcasts offer a great way for students to talk about books they have read. Here is one example of a 10th grade English class podcasting in various styles for their book reviews

  1. Field Trip Reports. Wherever your class is traveling and whatever they are learning, they can podcast about it! Check out this great blog post about how one social studies class podcasted during their Washington D.C. monument tour, using guiding questions to focus student reports from the field. To hear a more professional example, listen to this high-quality NHPR radio field trip.

  2. News Stories. Engage your students in authentic journalism. KQED has some great samples so that your students can listen to high-quality finished projects before they create their own. Listen to this example from a youth reporter. 

  3. Interview a Community Member. Podcasting projects can explore family histories, job roles and responsibilities, or perspectives on current issues within the community. First, have students explore what makes a good interview and prepare well before recording in person. See these great tips from NPR.

  4. Personal Essays. This is a simple way to get your students comfortable speaking and recording with audio. After they write a personal essay, they can read it aloud in their own voice and submit the audio file as a podcast. 

  5. Audio Diaries. Students can reflect on a topic of personal interest via audio and send in their submissions to a google voicemail number that you set up (Here’s a quick how-to), or record via their smartphones and upload to a Google Drive folder. 

  6. Dramatic Read-Alouds. Teach your students how to deliver prose with expression and emphasize the important parts of stories. Dramatic readings of passages can build fluency and comprehension. Remember that the Iliad and the Odyssey were passed down orally, and Shakespeare’s plays were meant to be heard and seen. 

  7. Speeches. Students can practice oration in a low-stakes environment. Whether they write the speeches themselves or practice emulating famous speeches, audio recording can be less intimidating than speaking in front of an audience. It also allows students to listen to themselves, assess how they sound, and re-record themselves as many times as it takes to achieve their oratory goals.

These are just some ideas, and there are many more ways to integrate podcasting into the curriculum.

Whatever you decide, do not let technology hinder you from podcasting! All you need is an iPhone or laptop to record audio, and you can use a variety of tools to edit (e.g., Audacity, GarageBand, or SoundTrap.) Even if you are not fully comfortable with the technology, your students probably will be. 

If you would like to delve deeper into learning about podcasting in the classroom, see below for more resources. 

Are you interested in learning more about how you can integrate podcasting into your curriculum?

Listen to this TeacherCast podcast episode highlighting our CEO, Monica Brady-Myerov.  

You can also find more podcasting lesson ideas by listening to the Student Podcast PODCAST. No matter what grade you teach, your students can podcast. One upcoming episode features kindergarten podcasters!

Find other great resources to support your podcasting projects on the NYTimes Learning Network

If you are interested in professional development for classroom podcasting, learn more here and fill out this interest form to find out more about an online personalized 3-month PD module co-hosted by Listenwise and Soundtrap. 

Are you looking for some new ways to use Listenwise with your students this Fall? You’re in luck! We’ve put together some ideas to inspire your next listening activity. They have different instructional goals and involve varying levels of digital access, so there is something for everyone.

If you’re looking for more ideas, check out the Teacher Support Center and reach out to other Listenwise users on the Listenwise Educator Community Facebook group.


Week 1: Listen & Discuss Together

  1. Find 3 stories that students would find interesting and let the class choose which story to listen to together. Use this as a guide to find your listening style. You have the option to use the Teacher’s Guide tab on Lessons to support purposeful listening.  
  2. Use the story’s Comprehension Questions and Discussion Themes (under the “Assignment Resources” tab) to guide a classroom discussion.


Week 2: Quizzes

  1. Choose 1 story that has a quiz related to what you’re teaching (you can search by standards, too!) Don’t forget that many of our current events now have quizzes as well!
  2. Listen together once and have a discussion to check comprehension (questions under the “Assignment Resources” tab) 
  3. Have students listen on their own and take the quiz (with the option to use the interactive transcript, slower audio and texthelp toolbar)


Week 3: Debate Friday!

  1. Find a story from our weekly debate stories and listen together as a class
  2. Divide into “pro” and “con” teams and allow them to brainstorm and research evidence
  3. Hold a debate! Learn more about facilitating listening debates here.


Week 4: Current Events Homework

  1. Assign 2 current event stories for the week, create assignments for each, and assign them to students to complete independently. (*remember that every current event story posted on Wednesdays have quizzes!)
    OR
  2. Have students choose and listen to 4 current event stories independently during the week. Have students summarize each story using the 5 Ws, provide a writing prompt or have a class discussion about what they listened to.

This blog post was updated from August 2018.

The Listenwise team has been busy preparing for another successful year of listening, and we can’t wait to share what we’ve been up to with you. To make things easier, we’ve created a checklist of tasks for Listenwise Premium teachers to do before your students start listening. 

 

  Delete Old Classes: Clean up last year to make space for new students! From the Classes tab, click on the class name you want to remove, and click the red “Delete Class” at the bottom of the page. See the video below for step-by-step instructions.

 

   

Create New Classes: On the Classes tab, you can import your Google Classroom rosters or manually create each new class in Listenwise. Either way, it only takes a minute to set things up!  Check out this video tutorial for full details. 

If you use Google Classroom, we’ve created a Listenwise + Google Classroom Guide to give you step-by-step instructions for all of our integrations including Single Sign-On, Roster Import, and Assignment Sharing.

 

Enroll Students: We’ve posted a Getting Started as a Student page in our Teacher Support Center to make it easier to get students up and running. We have step-by-step instructions for students, depending on whether you imported Google Classroom rosters or manually created classes. 

    • We also have a 3-minute video that walks students through account sign-up to completing assignments. Send students to this link for a Listenwise introduction.

 

Discover New Content: We now have over 1,800 stories on Listenwise and over 300 quizzes! Here are some highlights among our recently added lessons:

 

Plan Listening Lessons: Think about your instructional goals for the year, and choose a few new ways to use Listenwise this year that align with those goals. Check out some integration strategy ideas for inspiration and use the Listenwise Lesson Planning Worksheet to prepare your lesson.

    • Don’t forget about our listening supports! We updated the Texthelp toolbar to make it easier for students to use in their assignments. It now appears as a blue toolbar at the top of the page, with the option that students can drag it around if needed. The functionality remains the same: students can highlight text and choose read-aloud, definitions, a picture dictionary, or Spanish translation. See the video below for a quick demo.

 

   

Explore our *UPDATED* Teacher Support Center: We have redesigned our Teacher Support Center, so it’s easier than ever to find the resources and inspiration you need to teach listening and critical thinking! We now have a Hot Topics section with a collection of resources on popular topics such as Media Literacy and Student Podcasting.

Summer is a great time for PD! While the sun is out, let’s dive into one of the hottest trending topics in education, PODCASTING! Here are some quick ideas.

If you have 5 minutes…

1. Watch the Soundtrap for Storytellers Crash Course from our partners at Soundtrap. This video is great for first time podcasters looking for the tools to get started.

If you have 10 minutes…

2. Listen to an episode of the Student Podcast PODCAST to hear examples of student podcasts, with reflections from their teachers on the project, hosted by former public radio reporter and Listenwise CEO, Monica Brady-Myerov. Tip: You can even do this one on the beach!

If you have 20 minutes…

3. Watch our webinar How to Teach and Assess Listening and learn how you can use podcasts to engage students and assess listening progress. 

If you have 30 minutes…

4. Download the Teacher’s Guide to Podcasting in the Classroom, with step-by-step guidelines for podcasting in class.

Teachers_Guide_to_Podcasting

5. Watch our 30 minute webinar Creating Podcasts in Class with K-12 administrator Mike Godsey. This webinar will show you how to create a podcast makerspace in your classroom.

For more in-depth podcasting professional development, we are offering a new PD opportunity in partnership with Soundtrap, delivered by experts in podcasting and public radio with flexible online sessions and personalized coaching for a teacher cohort. If you want to learn more or are interested, fill out this form.

Listening and Podcast Creation Tools for the Classroom

Learn how to use technology to better support your students as they build the skills they need for future success. Modern learners need to be able to think critically, collaborate effectively, communicate clearly, solve complex problems, and continue to learn independently throughout their lives. What better way to build all these skills, than through podcasting?

Podcasting can hit your learning objectives, increase student engagement, and easily be integrated into your instruction.

We are excited to share that we are offering a new Professional Development offering in partnership with Soundtrap.


Learn how to create thought-provoking podcasts with Soundtrap’s easy-to-use audio and podcast creation platform and our step-by-step professional development, delivered by experts in podcasting and public radio! With our guidance, teachers will design and implement their own student podcasting projects. Teachers will get 1:1 coaching from podcast experts, project lesson templates, instructional materials and assessment rubrics. Professional Development will also include three months of free access to Soundtrap and Listenwise.


P.S. Looking for more bite-sized PD options? Check out the Student Podcast PODCAST! You’ll hear directly from teachers who have done podcasts with their students, with examples of their students’ work.

As the school year winds down, we are looking ahead to our summer plans. Are you as well? If you have the bandwidth to think about it, now is a great time to reflect on what went well this year while it’s still fresh in your mind. The end of the year is a great time for reflection whether you are a teacher, student, staff, or administrator.

ISTE 2019 presentation

Here is a great document that educator Catlin Tucker created, “Things to Revamp for Next Year,” to help educators organize and reflect on the year and brainstorm new strategies, routines, and lesson and project ideas to build into their classroom practice next year.

Speaking of project ideas, if you haven’t already, you should consider podcasting with your students next school year!

We launched the Student Podcast PODCAST as a way to highlight student voices and provide easy tips and tricks to help educators start podcasting with their students or build on podcasting projects they have already tried in their classrooms. This podcast offers an easy summer listen, with each episode lasting around 10 minutes.

You can start by listening to one of our favorite episodes, highlighting how an ELA teacher incorporated the “Serial” podcast into his curriculum.

If you are headed to the ISTE conference, we have two speaking sessions on podcasting this year, and you can also catch us in the Startup Pavilion. Let’s chat podcasting, and *hint hint* we might be offering some project-based PD with an exciting partner! Stay tuned!

We hope to see you in Philly! If you can’t attend, we’ll be sure to share our session content on our social channels. Feel free to reach out to info@listenwise.com for these session slides after June if you can’t find them on our other channels. We are happy to share.

Have a great summer, and we hope you try podcasting as summer PD!

P.S  Here’s a quick podcast to listen to from educators, called Virtual Leadership Academy, “Summer is Coming! 3 Ways to Get the Most Out Of Summer As An Eduleader.”

One thing we consistently hear from teachers who use Listenwise is how much they like our current events. These stories, published every weekday during the school year, are focused on topics currently in the news. They cover recent events, such as the Fire at Notre Dame Cathedral, seasonal topics such as the start of Ramadan, and updates to ongoing issues like Unrest in Venezuela. Listening to current event stories helps students connect to the world around them. They expose students to topics they might not otherwise encounter and can be used in different classroom settings and subject areas. For strategy ideas, check out our post on 5 Ways to Integrate Current Events into Instruction.

We also have weekly debate stories which are released each Friday, where students can dig into questions like, “Is encouraging people to speak only English unAmerican?” These topics can also be used as prompts for teaching written argument.

We love hearing from teachers about how they use current events in their classrooms. Read how educators are using Listenwise current events to engage their students in developing their listening comprehension and other literacy skills, while building their knowledge about important real world issues and events.

This website exposes students to current events and is great for bringing discussion into the classroom. I use this website for my advisory class. I also have them write a reflection to help improve their writing skills.

– High School Math Teacher in California

My students use it weekly and I find that it helps with their reading and writing skills overall. I use the current events because most of my students are not aware of the world and ongoing news and information.

– Middle School ELA and Social Studies Teacher in Massachusetts

I think it’s a great way for students to access filtered and appropriate current events. I love being able to search for articles that tie into the curriculum.

– Elementary School ELA and Social Studies Teacher in California

I believe every year students are getting progressively worse at listening comprehension. Also, I truly love all of the NPR/KCRW current events listening passages. Listenwise increases their scores in listening as well as informs them on so much that is going on in the world.

– Elementary School ELA and Social Studies, and Reading Teacher in California

We have found Listenwise to be one of the most accessible and engaging platforms offered to our students. Our teachers, who use numerous current event platforms, have commented on the more nuanced and critical view of the issues available for exploration in Listenwise.

– Middle School ELA and ESL Teacher in Georgia

I like the current events, and we write journals on a daily basis, so having updated news and topics is important and at the click of a button.

– High School Business/Career Planning Instructor in California

The program is an excellent way to practice listening skills as well as teach students to understand current events. Also, the lesson plans, scaffolding tools, and customizing features are user friendly and very accessible to my ELD students.

– Middle School ELA and ESL Teacher in California

Listenwise is perfect for helping our students with their close listening skills. I love the availability of current events and easily accessible quizzes. There is a large variety of content and many high-interest topics, as well as topics that fit directly with my curriculum.

– Middle SChool ELA and Social Studies Teacher in Wisconsin