A web tool that projects selected tweets in the form of an interactive presentation. Real-time tweets can be displayed via hashtag, topic or a Twitter feed. A great way to visually engage an audience!
You need some luck? Then all you gotta do is snag a copy of my St. Patrick’s Day Magnetic Poetry activity!
Here it is: A recently updated Google Slides activity containing 60+ words and phrases that can be manipulated into a fun-filled holiday poem, story, etc.
As with my other creations, the word boxes are actually images and cannot be edited; however, they can be deleted. Plus, additional words can be generated by creating a new text box and filling it with a white background.
Before you get started on your March adventure, here are a few additional items worth knowing:
» The background on the Google Slide is locked so students can avoid accidentally moving it, but it can still be changed if you wish to allow them to do so. Just right-click on the slide and select the “Change background…” option.
» Some teachers have requested that I provide a word list for each activity so I have created additional slides that include this info.
Check out a sneak preview below!
Click here to access the template. You will be prompted to download your very own copy of the original and save it to your Google Drive. It can then be shared with your students.
The St. Patrick’s Day Magnetic Poetry template can be used in a variety of ways as either an independent or collaborative writing activity. Utilize the “magnets” included and/or add your own text boxes to extend the activity—although I think part of the challenge is to use the words provided.
A huge shout out to Alex, one of my Tech Club kids, for helping to create this activity! ♥
A neat web tool that allows users to make robotic dancers move and groove to the music by editing variables in the coding.
If you haven’t already done so, you really need to join the latest craze that combines logic, problem solving skills and teamwork with an engaging series of challenges, riddles and mysteries in a quest to beat the clock—all in an effort to…..Breakout!
Similar to an Escape Room, a set of real life games where individuals follow clues to solve puzzles in order to get out of a area before time runs out, Breakout EDU is the educational version in which students work collaboratively to solve a series of problems to open a locked box (or a series of them)—or in the case of Digital Breakout EDU, a Google form.
Still not sure what this concept is all about? Then check out this video overview created by Breakout EDU co-founder James Sanders…
As Sanders points out, every classroom needs a Breakout EDU kit. Here’s why this challenging yet fun hands-on approach to learning should be utilized in education…
Be sure to dial up the Breakout EDU site to locate all of the info and resources needed to become a breakout junkie—kits, 250+ games, tutorials, facilitation tools, timers, signs and more! There’s even a place for teachers and students to design and post their own games using a template that is provided.
And remember: Although the official Breakout EDU kits are super cool, educators do not have to purchase them from the site. In fact, there are numerous online resources where users can find, build or purchase equipment to create their own experiences. There are also tons of expert educators on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest who share a wealth of ideas.
Moving Forward with Breakout EDU
Last week I introduced the Breakout EDU concept to the middle school faculty in my district. Following an overview, teachers worked in small groups to experience the concept firsthand. As previously mentioned, there is also a digitized version of Breakout EDU involving the use of Google Sites, locked Google Forms and other web tools to solve various challenges.
With time left on the clock, all groups escaped—and they had fun doing so!
If you looking to kickstart Breakout EDU activities in your school, the digital versions are a great place to begin. Check out the site here to locate featured games, a sandbox filled with community-created games and tons of resources to assist you with designing your own game.
The Breakout EDU concept incorporates critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration and inquiry-based learning into the educational setting. It can be used to used to introduce a new lesson, reinforce a concept and/or to bring closure to a lesson taught—all in a meaningful and engaging way. This tool can be integrated into any curricular area, for any grade level.
As co-founder James Sanders said, “On the surface, it is a simple box. But when combined with the power of imagination and creativity, the possibilities are endless.”
It really is time for something different. Get ready to unleash your students’ inner Sherlock Holmes. It’s time to breakout!
On a side note, I had the opportunity to visit an Escape Room while in Hershey, PA last weekend. It was a most excellent adventure, one I will definitely schedule again. It’s a must-have addition for every bucket list!
Ever wish you could take a really cool image, infographic or flyer and transform it into a classroom poster? If so, you’re about to meet your new tech crush! Check out Block Posters, a free web-based tool, educators (and students) can utilize to create huge personalized posters using a standard inkjet or laser printer.
Here’s how the magic happens: Upload an image to the Block Posters interface (jpg or gif format only), determine the desired printing preferences (number of pages, paper size, orientation), click the “Create My Poster!” button and voila! You’re ready to download the file containing your poster. All that’s left to do is print the file and assemble a giant poster that will rock your classroom! It’s that simple! No kidding!
Check out the example I created using the SAMR Model Apps graphic shown below.
This poster could be used to ensure that apps are being used in the classroom to transform teaching and learning.
Whenever you’re in need of a poster—as an instructional tool, to promote school services or events, to create displays of student projects or maybe to add some “eye candy” to your classroom—Block Posters is the perfect solution for you!
This tool could also be used to create a giant jigsaw puzzle. How cool is that?
Google Apps for Education, the best collection of educational tools on the planet, just added another awesome feature to Google Slides, the ability to create gradient backgrounds. This sweet new addition can also be applied to shapes and is now available in Docs and Drawings as well.
OK, so maybe it’s not anything very revolutionary, but if you’re a design guru, you’ll love this new way of pimping out your slides. And gradients also create a really great background for animated gifs too!
The G Suite… It just keeps getting better and better!
An online animator that is simple and fun to use. Draw a frame, choose next canvas and repeat! Then run the show to animate and share with others!
Welcome to the Valentine’s Day edition of “Tech It Up Tuesday”, a weekly series in which I share an edtech tool, app, site or other resource that can be utilized in the educational setting, then you’re going to love this week’s resource!
This week’s edition is live from the Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo and Conference (PETE&C) in Hershey, PA, the sweetest place on earth, and it goes something like this…
Forget boring vocabulary activities! InsideStory Flashcards bring the English language to life through engaging photos and matching definitions to provide students with a total visual experience. In addition to the simple but attractive pictures, users can click on a speaker for the correct pronunciation of words which are categorized into four levels: Basic/Kids & ESL (i.e. elephant, button, toothbrush), Easy/Vocabulary Builder (i.e. rant, apparel, stagnant), Medium/SAT Vocabulary (i.e. imposing, ominous, ambidextrous) and Hard/GRE & Beyond (i.e. dishabille, boreal, prescience).
InsideStory Flashcards can be downloaded, printed and/or users can simply improve their vocabulary by utilizing the online tool. Although the site is free to use, flashcards sets are also available for purchase via the InsideStory Flashcards online store.
Spend a few minutes on this site and you will not only get the idea that learning words can be a lot of fun, but you’ll also see why the creators of InsideStory Flashcards dub their product “the world’s most interesting way to learn words”. Check out an InsideStory Flashcards example is shown below.
Since images used to supplement learning can help to present and define information in a more meaningful context, InsideStory Flashcards are a great addition to any classroom! Not only is this tool an excellent resource for visual learners, but these flashcards provide a fun and engaging way to learn new words and/or practice vocabulary terms.
Give some of these ideas a try:
» Project the site to a screen or interactive whiteboard and utilize the flashcards as the “Word of the Day”. Challenge students to use the word in an assignment and/or conversation.
» Divide students into pairs or small groups to see which team can create the most original sentence using a new vocabulary word.
» Use the flashcards as a creative writing prompt.
» Print the flashcards and use them in a writing inspiration station/center.
» Practice SAT vocabulary.
» Assist ESL students with learning the English language.
So, these vocabulary words don’t pertain to your content area? No worries! Use the InsideStory Flashcards concept and have students create their own vocabulary projects using the Motivational Poster or Trading Card utilities in Big Huge Labs—one of my most favorite web tools of all time! These activities will enable your students to learn, understand and utilize vocabulary in a more meaningful way. A sixth grade example is shown below.
For more information about the value of using images in your classroom, check out my “Big Huge Labs: Using Images to Enhance Reading, Writing & Thinking Skills” wiki page here.
Happy Valentine’s Day! Here’s to spending it with the people that mean the most to you! ♥
An interactive web site that offers “grammar instruction with attitude.” Covering terms and usage through exercises, handouts, presentations and YouTube videos, this resource teaches grammar in engaging and unique ways!
If you’re ready for the next edition of “Tech It Up Tuesday”, a weekly series in which I share an edtech tool, app, site or other resource that can be utilized in the educational setting, then you’re going to love this week’s resource!
It’s one I snagged from the archives, but definitely one worth a look—especially if it’s not already part of your tech toolbox.
Automotivator is an online poster generator that allows users to create super cool motivational posters. Besides being free (although there is an option to professionally print your final product), users do not need to register for an account to utilize this edtech favorite.
The process of creating a poster is a fairly simple one. Users can upload an image from their computer or another web site, select the font style and color, and then type the motivational message. Once completed, posters can be saved, printed and/or uploaded to other online spaces (i.e. blogs, wikis, Flickr, social media, etc.).
Check out a student example shown below:
If you’re looking for a simple yet effective way to integrate technology into a lesson, then Automotivator is just the tool for you! This nifty application can be integrated with various instructional strategies at any grade level and in any content area—particularly with bellringers and exit tickets, especially if the activity is designed to review a concept, skill or vocabulary learned in a lesson, chapter or unit.
Another idea: Instead of creating posters with the latest music or sports stars on them, photograph students from your class to create motivational posters with “real people” in them. This would be a great way to promote classroom and/or school rules, slogans and mottoes.
Whatever the nature of the actual assignment, once students submit their individual projects, a visual dictionary for the class can be created and shared.
Even though the Automotivator site does not allow for much student creativity, the task of actually locating or taking a photo that matches a concept and then summarizing thoughts on the image can help to sharpen critical thinking skills.