Edutech for Teachers

Cool Tools for the 21st Century Classroom

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! ♥

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

October13

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! ♥

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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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The Google Easter Egg-stravaganza

March27

eastereggs1If you’re a fan of Easter egg hunts, then you won’t want to miss out on the hidden “Easter eggs”, tricks and games the programmers at Google have tucked away in their search engine for your entertainment.

How in the world do you find these super cool nerdy treasures, you ask? Well, give some of these search tips a try and see what pranks you can locate!

Just open Google in your favorite browser and search…

  • Do a Barrel Roll—See the results page roll over.
  • Super Mario Brothers—Be prepared for a flashback to the 90s!
  • Festivus—Adds a Festivus pole to the left side of the screen. If you don’t know what that means, you must not be a Seinfeld fan so do a regular Google search for more info.
  • I’m feeling curious or fun fact—Snag random trivia and the chance to get additional fun factoids. Warning: This can be the beginning of an addiction!
  • Tilt or askew—The results appear slightly tilted to the right.
  • Google in 1998—The page will look like it did about 18 years ago.
  • Super Mario Bros—View an info card to the right with details about the game. Added bonus: Click the coin block to collect coins and earn a 1up.
  • Zerg Rush—Watch your search results get attacked by the Google Os, which you can defeat by clicking on them.
  • Flip a coin—Prompts a card with an animated coin flip.
  • Roll a die—Prompts a card that randomly rolls a standard six-sided die.
  • Atari Breakout—Get your big hair on and play a version of the hit game Breakout from the 80s.
  • Play dreidel—Enjoy ten seconds of an interactive dreidel-spinning game.
  • Webdriver torso—Transforms the Google logo into a series of blinking blocks.
  • Anagram—Triggers a response asking, “Did you mean: Nag A Ram.” (Get it? Ha, ha!)

And my all-time favorite:

And there you have it: A few of the thousands of lines of code hidden in popular software around the web. For more of this geeky goodness, just… Yep, you guessed it: Google it. You’ll probably be pretty amazed at how many of these secret gems are waiting to be discovered!

In the meantime, Happy Easter! Have a blessed day with those that mean the most to you! ♥

he_is_risen-238725

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The Easter Resources Collection: Part V

March21

peepsIt’s just me and my peeps rolling out an updated collection of Easter resources that can be utilized to bring some holiday learning and fun into your classroom. So, whether you’re in need of some lessons that contain a spiritual theme, or maybe you’re just looking for some seasonal fun, there’s a little something, something for everyone. Enjoy!

» Do you and your students have spring fever? Then be sure to hop on over to TeachersFirst and check out these resources about Easter. Here you will find a variety of activities to incorporate into your math classes, social studies lessons, writing workshops, and more!

» Need some secular and/or Easter activities and teaching ideas? A to Z Teacher Stuff has you covered!

» Lots of Easter games, puzzles, stories, crafts, poetry and more live here: Apples4theTeacher.com.

» The Busy Teacher provides educators with 64 Easter-related worksheets that can be incorporated into classroom lessons.

» Easter Teaching Resources is a Pinterest board filled with arts and crafts ideas, educational activities, and printables to help you celebrate Easter in the classroom.

» The abcteach Easter category page features hundreds of fun, educational activities for classroom or home use, including coloring pages, crafts, board games, readings, puzzles, interactives, and much more!

» Teaching Ideas offers an extensive range of ideas and resources to teach and learn about Easter—poems, stories, puzzles, curricular activities, images, banners, fonts, videos and Easter Egg Hunts.

» Poetry activities, interactive games, scavenger hunts, sequencing cards, puzzles, a variety templates and more await you on TES Connect—the largest teacher network in the world.

» Larry Ferlazzo’s Web Site of the Day is another site packed with online resources for teaching and learning about Easter and Passover. A few that stood out for me include a variety of Easter videos and articles from the History Channel, the Easter Bunny Rap, How Easter Works and Easter by the Numbers—a fun infographic about this holiday.

» Education World contains resources for teaching science, graphing and creative writing that fit perfectly for Easter fun and learning.

The Activity Village: Easter Activities has a huge selection of Easter activities to explore with elementary students, including coloring pages, printables, jokes, crafts, puzzles and more!

Brought to you by About Education: Easter Resources, this collection of 25 quick and easy Easter resources are sure to keep you and your students busy throughout this spring holiday!

» Harry Kindergarten: Check out this video entitled “The Bunny Goes Hop”, an Easter pattern song for kids, produced by my colleague, Pete Harry. (For additional educational videos and songs, visit the Harry Kindergarten YouTube channel and/or website.)

» And my favorite resource to date? A recipe for creating a really cool and yummy dessert with one of the best holiday treats money can buy! Check out Easter Peeps Casserole here. Your students (and family) will just love, love it! ♥

Easter-Peeps-Casserole

Classroom Connection:

Use these themed lesson plans, activities and materials to teach students about Easter and Passover.

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Become a Green Screen Wizard with the Do Ink App

February15

do ink appIf you want to create amazing student-driven, directed and edited videos placing them anywhere in the world and/or with anyone or anything imaginable, then learning how to produce videos using a green screen is a must!

Of course, in addition to the actual green screen, teachers need to select a piece of software or app to get the job done. My personal preference: the Do Ink app.

So, with all kinds of resources available, why did I choose this particular tool? Well, my rationale can be summed up in a few words: simple, unique, fun, versatile, powerful and kids can tell a story, explain an idea, demonstrate a concept and/or express themselves in a one-of-a-kind way.

That said, I presented green screening with the Do Ink app a few weeks ago during a cool tools workshop I facilitated for teachers in my district. Since then one of them has gone app-solutely crazy with creating some super cool videos with her first graders—and her colleagues. President’s Day 2016—her latest masterpiece commemorating today’s federal holiday—is highlighted below. Be sure to check it out!

A huge shout out to my friend Kyley Longo-McGarvey for tech-ing her skills and her students’ learning to the next level! Your vids are the bomb diggity!

In addition to the Do Ink app, Kyley also utilized the Intro Designer app, iMovie and PowerPoint—making her video quite the app smash sensation!

Classroom Connection:

Use the Do Ink app to leverage green screen technology in your space. Not only can teachers bring learning to life, but providing students with the opportunity to generate this type of video project allows them to demonstrate knowledge and creativity in a fun, meaningful and engaging way.

Stay tuned for additional green screen videos from our teachers and students…

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Valentine’s Day Magnetic Poetry Wrap-up

February11

happy heartEarlier this week I shared a Valentine’s Day Magnetic Poetry template containing 60+ words and discussed ways it could be utilized in the classroom, especially in conjunction with Google Apps for Education.

When students initially access this Google Slides template, it looks something like this:

Valentine's Day Magnetic Poetry

Until they use their creativity to transform it into something that looks like this:

Valentine's Day Magnetic Poetry - Maliah Hassler

Once again, I incorporated this activity into my Grade 5 Computers class. Besides allowing the students to have some holiday fun with related words and images, it was another opportunity for them to become more familiar with both accessing and submitting assignments via Google Classroom.

Here they are getting their Valentine’s Day happy faces on!

Valentine's Day Magnetic Poetry Collage

Stay tuned for another Magnetic Poetry template coming to your Google Drive in the very near future…

In the meantime, enjoy your Valentine’s Day weekend with those that mean the most to you! ♥

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Hey, edu-tech gurus!

Looking for some technology integration ideas to enhance your classroom lessons? Then be sure to check out my "Tech Tips" for the latest and greatest Web 2.0 tools, applications and web sites that can be incorporated into activities and/or projects. Although some posts may not be applicable to your content area or grade level, be sure to check back often as I will be varying ideas in order to provide resources across the K-12 curriculum.

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