Edutech for Teachers

Cool Tools for the 21st Century Classroom

April Fool’s Day Resources: Part III

March28

April Fool’s Day is probably one of those classroom holidays you can’t escape—no matter how hard you try. So why not embrace it and teach your students a few things at the same time!

Yes—this means you quite possibly will have to endure some of those harmless pranks and hoaxes associated with this day—spiders in your desk, a plastic snake on your chair, or some mystery student messing with your computer mouse via a USB remote. Of course, I’m speaking from experience.

That said, if you’re one of those educators who enjoys having a little bit of fun with your students, then check out the recently updated list of resources below.

» Busy Teacher: Foolproof Fun Lesson Activities for April Fool’s Day—Reading activities, writing ideas, games and Just for Laughs videos

» Control Alt Achieve: The Best Google April Fools Videos—A collection of prank videos produced by Google which poke fun at current trends, technology and even Google itself

» Education World: Happy April Fool’s Day— Book suggestions, articles, fun facts and a WebQuest

» Teacher Planet: April Fool’s—You can also take advantage of their April Fool’s Day lesson plans, worksheets, clip art and English as a Second Language Resources

» Edutopia: April Fool’s Day in the Classroom: 8 Resources for Teachers—A ton of teaching ideas for bring this day into the classroom, including strategies for for engaging students with humor.

» A to Z Teacher Stuff: April Fool’s Day—Printables, scavenger hunts, worksheets, activities, puzzles and more!

» April Fool’s Day Teaching Ideas—A Pinterest board filled with resources galore!

» April Fool’s Day Lessons & Activities—Another Pinterest board jam packed with creative lessons, activities and crafts.

» Enchanted Learning—All kinds of crafts, riddles, reproducibles related to April Fool’s Day live here!

Check out the video clips below explaining how and why the tradition of playing tricks on people began on April 1.

A shout out to Richard Byrne, author of Free Technology for Teachers, for sharing these cool videos!

Classroom Connection:

Use these resources to teach students about the history behind April Fools Day. And while you’re at it, add some comedy to your day by having some harmless foolproof fun with your students and colleagues.

As Charles Dickens once said, “There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.”

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Get Your 2017 On!

January1

Live once again from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware—my sand art capital of the world…

Here’s wishing you and yours a very happy, sparkly, shiny, brand spankin’ new year from Edutech for Teachers!

And here’s my annual reminder encouraging you to take advantage of the opportunity you have to enjoy 12 months of happiness, 52 weeks of laughter, 365 days of love, 8,760 hours of success and 51,536,000 seconds of learning that can be used to inspire others in your sphere of influence!

Regardless of where your personal and professional journey takes you, I hope it’s one of the best ever!

Live, love and laughter… Namaste! ♥

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Tech Up Your Classroom: Thanksgiving Style

November17

thinglink-logoWhether you’re looking for some neat themed lesson plans and activities to incorporate into your classroom to celebrate Thanksgiving, or maybe you’re just in search of some tech-based Thanksgiving games to keep your students engaged before the upcoming vacation… Either way, Edutech for Teachers has got you covered!

Hover over the interactive image to find tons of Thanksgiving-themed games and interactive learning activities for students and/or skip past the graphic to find additional/updated materials for teaching and learning about this popular holiday.

Check out the full screen version of this image here.

Additional Teaching & Learning Resources:

» New! Kids Discover Colonial America: A unit that focuses on the founding of major settlements and daily life in Colonial America. It describes everything from the Pilgrims’ landing to the colonies’ later growth and business activities.

» New! Kids Discover Native America: A unit that focuses on the most fascinating details of the history and culture of Native Americans. From their spiritual beliefs, artwork, and legends to harrowing accounts of the unfair policies, diseases, and battles that nearly wiped out Native Americans.

» New! Eight Great Ways to Be Thankful: A printable infographic to get students thinking about what they are grateful for this season… Perfect for all ages!

8-great-ways-to-be-thankful-kids-discover

Click here for a free download from Kids Discover.

» Multimedia Thanksgiving Turkeys: Learn more from Free Technology for Teachers about how students can create an interactive thankful poster utilizing ThingLink.  

» Scholastic News: A comprehensive site containing various resources for elementary students and teachers to learn about how the pilgrims reached America and celebrated the first Thanksgiving. Sections include The Mayflower, Daily Life, The Feast, Historical Letters, and Videos and Photos.

» Education World: Thanksgiving in the classroom doesn’t have to be limited to those lesson on turkeys. Instead celebrate this special season with some creative ideas via articles, lesson plans, site reviews, books, crafts, clipart and much more—all to help you meet all of your holiday needs. 

» TIME Magazine: An interesting article regarding “The Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Thanksgiving”.

» Teachers Love SMART Boards: A list of Thanksgiving-related activities that can be utilized with an interactive whiteboard.

» abcteach: Games, puzzles and coloring pages designed for elementary students.

» The Best Websites To Learn About Thanksgiving: From audio and video to engaging reading activities, Larry Ferlazzo’s comprehensive list of Thanksgiving web sites includes something for everyone!

» The History Channel: Tons of videos related to the origins, history and traditions related to Thanksgiving. A few noteworthy videos include The History of Thanksgiving and the Mayflower Deconstructed.

» National Geographic for Kids: Contains a funny fill-in turkey story/Mad Lib that can be used as for a writing activity.

» Thanksgiving Web Quest: Visit Web sites about the Pilgrims, the Wampanoag and the famous harvest feast and learn new facts along the way!

» 10 Thanksgiving Myths Dispelled: A cool infographic created by Misconception Junction.

» The Pilgrims and the First Thanksgiving: A web adventure in which students have to answer questions along the way.

» Thanksgiving Trivia: The Huffington Post challenges you to take the ultimate quiz about Turkey Day.

» Thanksgiving Quiz: Another fun holiday quiz created by Funnel Brain.

» How Thanksgiving Works: A variety of Thanksgiving related articles and videos about the History of Thanksgiving as well as related customs, traditions and more from the creators of How Stuff Works.

» What Really Happened? Comparing Stories of the First Thanksgiving: A great feature from the New York Times Learning Network that also contains links to other useful resources.

Classroom Connection:

Use the resources and materials listed above to teach students about the Thanksgiving holiday.

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Tech It Up with Thanksgiving Magnetic Poetry

November16

happy turkey dayBack by popular demand… It’s Thanksgiving Magnetic Poetry, a Google Slides activity containing about 80 words that can be creatively manipulated into a holiday themed poem, story, etc. Check it out below!

Thanksgiving Magnet Poetry

Click here to make your very own copy of the template. Then have at it!

FYI: 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.

Here are a few of my students from last year working their Thanksgiving Magnetic Poetry magic during a 5th grade computers class…

IMG_3117

Classroom Connection:

The Thanksgiving 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 fun/challenge is to just use the words provided.

A shout out to edtech guru and Kasey Bell for the inspiration needed to develop this resource!

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A Veterans Day Video Tribute: BASD Honors All Who Have Served

November9

img_92161In the words of Elmer Davis, “This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”

These words could not be more true—which is why my Tech Club/SWAT Team students and I decided to produce a video that honors the Americans who serve(d) in our Armed Forces, one that was broadcast today via our morning announcements program in both the middle and high schools.

Check it out below…

A shout out to Kermit and Bailey for working very diligently to generate a worthwhile project for our teachers, student body—and beyond!

Classroom Connection:

Use the video to remind students of the importance of honoring and remembering our nation’s veterans.

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Teaching & Learning about American Heroes

November6

veterans-dayVeterans Day is an official United States holiday honoring the men and women who have served in our military forces. Whether you choose to focus on this event for one class period, or maybe you’re planning to incorporate a special project in honor of our American heroes—either way, utilize the resources located within the recently updated interactive image shown below to teach students about the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much for our freedoms.

Be sure to hover over the image created with ThingLink to reveal a variety of “hotspots” containing Veterans Day lesson plans and activities.

Click here to access a full-screen version of this image.

Classroom Connection:

Use the resources and materials listed above to teach students about the importance of honoring the men and women who have served and/or continue to serve in our nation’s armed forces.

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Trick or Tweet: Spook-tacular Halloween Resources for the Classroom

October31

jack-o-lanternLooking for some fun activities to celebrate Halloween in your classroom? Then look no further! Listed below are some really spook-tacular collections of educational Halloween resources that are sure to creep out your students—in a good way, of course!

Whether it’s writing prompts, science experiments, Halloween candy math, Edgar Allan Poe videos or haunted vocabulary, there’s something ghostly awaiting you below:

» It’s Halloween!

A Pinterest board containing 90+ Halloween sites to celebrate Halloween by Edutopia.

A collection of all things Halloween by Larry Ferlazzo—A visual history, slideshows, vocabulary and spelling games, cloze activities, Halloween Around the World and Mia Cadaver’s Tombstone Timeout, one of the most favorite games found on the BBC site and more!

» Halloween Activities

A variety of educational sites for Halloween by 19 Pencils.

Classroom Connection:

Use these resources to teach and learn about Halloween.

A special trick or treat shout out from the Caribbean queen, a shark and a pinata… Otherwise known as my furbag Halloween train wreck! ♥

img_9028
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Get Your Spooky on with Halloween Magnetic Poetry

October16

jack-o-lantern

Back by popular demand… It’s Edutech for Teachers’ version of Halloween Magnetic Poetry, a Google Drawings activity containing nearly 100 words, or “magnets”, that can be rearranged to compose all types of writing samples.

So, if you’re ready to combine a little bit of holiday fun with Google Apps, then be sure to check out this must-try activity for you and your class! Here’s how it works…

The students start out with a creepy palette that looks something like this:

halloween magnetic poetry

And end up transforming it into something spook-tacular like this:

halloween magnetic poetry2

Last year I actually incorporated this activity into my fifth grade Computers class. Besides allowing the students to have some Halloween fun with related words and images, it was a great opportunity for them to become more familiar with copying a template into their Google Drive account and utilizing Google Drawings.

Here they are getting all creepy with it!

Halloween collage

Classroom Connection:

The Halloween 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.

Click here to make your very own copy of the template.

A huge shout out to edtech guru Kasey Bell for creating and sharing this super cool idea!

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Go Green with Earth Day Resources

April21

earth dayEarth Day—a yearly event in which educators can take the opportunity to teach their students about our environment and how to preserve our planet—is being recognized on April 22.

Use the following collections of resources, lessons and references to make the most out of the Earth Day phenomenon that is celebrated in 180+ countries around the world!

» Education World: Check out a variety of lesson plans, projects, activities and a web quest for celebrating Earth Day.

» Scholastic Teachers: Promote environmental awareness with teaching ideas, lesson plans, and student activities.

» Edutopia: There’s a bit of everything here—lesson plans, tools, resources, student reading lists and other ideas for incorporating Earth Day into the curriculum.

» NEA (National Education Association): Explore new and review familiar ways to live responsibly with lessons, projects, activities, and games.

» Teacher Vision: Review a variety of cross-curricular Earth Day resources to enhance the K-12 curriculum. Info about global warming, recycling, and pollution will help teachers explore this important topic.

» HotChalk: Contains all kinds of lesson plans designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s environment.

» Earth Day Teaching Resources: A Pinterest board filled with all sort of ideas and activities for teaching and learning about Earth Day.

If you do an Earth Day search on YouTube, you will find several videos about this topic, including the following…

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April Fool’s Day Resources: Part II

March30

April-Fools-Day-2016Well, you can’t get to May and June without going through April, which means yes—you’ll most likey have to endure some of those harmless pranks and hoaxes associated with April Fool’s Day—spiders in your desk, a plastic snake on your chair, or some mystery student messing with your computer mouse via a USB remote. Um, yep—I’m speaking from experience. So, if you’re one of those educators who enjoys having a little bit of fun with your students, then check out the updated list of resources below.

» Edutopia: April Fool’s Day in the Classroom: 8 Resources for Teachers—A ton of teaching ideas for bring this day into the classroom, including strategies for for engaging students with humor.

» A to Z Teacher Stuff: April Fool’s Day—Printables, scavenger hunts, worksheets, activities, puzzles and more!

» April Fool’s Day Teaching Ideas—A Pinterest board filled with resources galore!

» April Fool’s Day Lessons & Activities—Another Pinterest board jam packed with creative lessons, activities and crafts.

» Enchanted Learning—All kinds of crafts, riddles, reproducibles related to April Fool’s Day live here!

Check out the video clips below explaining how and why the tradition of playing tricks on people began on April 1.

A shout out to Richard Byrne, author of the Free Technology for Teachers blog, for sharing these cool videos!

Classroom Connection:

Use these resources to teach students about the history behind April Fools Day. And while you’re at it, add some comedy to your day by having some harmless foolproof fun with your students and colleagues.

As Charles Dickens once said, “There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.”

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