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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Spring into Magnetic Poetry Activities

March27

sunLooking for a super cool and useful spring-time activity to utilize in your classroom? Then all you gotta do is snag a copy of my Spring Magnetic Poetry template!

This Google Slides resource contains 75+ words and phrases that can be manipulated into a fun-filled poem, story, etc. for you and your students.

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 adventure, here are a few additional items worth mentioning:

» The background on the Google Slide is locked so students can avoid accidentally moving it. However, 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 includes 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 to save to your Google Drive. It can then be shared with your students in a variety of ways—with Google Classroom being the easiest and slickest.

Classroom Connection:

The Spring Magnetic Poetry template can be utilized as 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.

Have fun… And be sure to share your own classroom creations with us!

Spring is a time when you find out who you are and where you’re going… So hold on and enjoy the ride! ♥

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Hope Changes Everything!

March21

In the event that you don’t tune in to my YouTube channel or social media pages, I didn’t want you to miss a super cool video a few of my Tech Club kids produced earlier in the year—one that contains a positive message from our middle and high school teachers to the student body.

Plus, it’s just that time of year… I’m sure you know exactly what I mean—that long stretch between winter and spring breaks when we’re all waiting for the sun to shine again. That time when the natives become restless. And so do we! So now is as good of a time as any to send some positive vibes your way in the form of a B-A Hope video.

Use it for some inspiration… To get your mojo rolling again… To smile because there’s always hope… Or maybe it will move you to generate a similar video for your own space… Whatever the case may be, enjoy the view!

We hope… You are inspired. You feel appreciated. You realize your potential. You thrive! At school—and beyond!

A high five to Aubree, Quintin, Tina, Adisyn and Kermit for joining forces to create a very motivational video! ♥

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iPadpalooza: Ready… Set… Learning on the Go!

March14

Greetings and Congratulations! This e-mail pertains to your 2017 iPadpalooza proposal:

Project iLearn: Our Ed-venture from No Tech to Anytime Tech

We are very excited to invite you to present at iPadpalooza 2017 this coming June in Austin. We received more than 200 outstanding proposals so being selected for the event means that your idea was one of the best of the best. Congrats and thanks for putting together such an outstanding proposal! With your session, iPadpalooza will continue to be an engaging and innovative learning festival!

This the message I received the other day from Carl Hooker, Director of Innovation & Digital Learning in the Eanes Independent School District as well as the founder of iPadpalooza, a three-day event slated for June 5-8 at the Westlake High School in Austin, TX.

Of course, I’m beyond ecstatic to have the opportunity to speak and learn at a national conference—a very first for this geeky girl. Besides that, I’m looking forward to reconnecting with Tim Yenca, my district’s Apple Professional Learning Specialist, in his workplace. What’s more—I’ll finally get the chance to get up close and personal with some of his colleagues, a group of super cool edtech gurus I’ve only known to date via social media—Lisa Johnson (The Tech Chef) and Cathy Yenca (Mathy Cathy). I’m also pumped about participating in the App-mazing Race, tuning into the live music and eating at the food trucks as well!

With the focus on creativity, social collaboration, engagement and the compelling ways schools have integrated mobile learning into their classrooms, an app-solutely awesome ed-venture awaits me as I journey to the Lone Star state in a few months!

But wait… There’s more! You can be a part of this 6th annual event too! Check out additional details—schedule, registration and travel info—by clicking here.

iPadpalooza… It’s not a conference, it’s a learning festival!

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The New Periodic Table of iPad Apps for Primary Aged Pupils

March11

This just in… An updated list of some pretty amazing apps for enhancing teaching and learning. Yep, ICT Evangelist Mark Anderson is back with another Periodic Table of iPad Apps—this one focusing on tools to support younger learners.

The must-see infographic includes a variety of resources that can be used to provide students with the opportunity to become producers of technology, to creatively express themselves and to share and publish their work for a wider audience. The apps are grouped in the following categories: creativity, demonstrating, learning, workflow, teaching, collaboration, numeracy and literacy.

As you take a look at this super cool resource, remember… It’s never just about the apps. Instead effective technology integration is all about how tools support curricular goals in a meaningful, relevant, student-centered manner. 

Click here to view and/or download a high resolution file of this image.

Classroom Connection:

Use this collection of tried and tested educational apps to help you determine which ones might be the most beneficial for you and your students.

H-appy exploring!

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B-A Tech Club Students Rock the PA Computer Fair… Again!

March4

What: The Regional Pennsylvania High School Computer Fair, an annual event that highlights students’ application skills and computer knowledge.

Where: Greater Johnstown Career and Technology Center

When: March 1, 2017

Who: Six of my Tech Club students

Why: To provide students with the opportunity to unleash their creativity via the development of various projects and then use these finished products to compete against other high school students.

The Outcome: A lot of learning and some way cool bling: Two gold & one bronze medal!

The Media: All images and videos shown below tell the rest of the story. ♥

» Jasmine, Alivia & Kiley: Computer Fair Logo—1st Place (see graphic at top of post and top right image in collage)

These seniors rallied from a second place finish a year ago to capture top honors in the logo category. Their unique design also included a QR code linking their logo to the PA Computer Fair web site.


» Quintin: Animation—1st Place (middle right image in collage)

This sophomore spent close to 30 hours creating this stop motion animation using legos. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, Quintin also creatively embedded a message of hope and perseverance into his video.

» Aubree, Karson & Alana: Computer Fair—3rd Place (bottom right image in collage)

These girls worked collaboratively to generate a pretty neat logo incorporating technology and the symbol of our state. This was their first appearance at the Computer Fair.

Because of their first place finishes at the regional competition, Alivia, Jasmine and Quintin earned the chance to attend the state-wide competition being held at Dickinson College on May 23.

A huge shout out to these students for representing our district at this year’s competition. We are B-A proud of you!

And props to one of my most favorite edtech mentors, Jim Gates of Gates Ideas, for sponsoring this event so that students from all across our Commonwealth have the opportunity to showcase their digital talents! ♥

For more info about the Pennsylvania Computer Fair, click here.

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Get Lucky with Some St. Patrick’s Day Magnetic Poetry

March3

lucky-st-patrick-dayYou 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!

St.PatricksDayMagneticPoetry

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.

Classroom Connection:

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! ♥

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50 Fabulous EdTech Blogs to Follow

February20

Edutech for Teachers is once again humbled to learn that we have been added to another list of recommended blogs to check out. This time we’ve been included on Eric Curts’ list of 50 Fabulous EdTech Blogs to Follow!

According to Curts, author of the popular Control Alt Achieve blog, “One of my main sources for new educational technology ideas, tools, and resources is reading blogs. Every day is an adventure to see what new technology integration ideas I can learn, explore, and share with others.”

That said—if you’re interested in building your PLN, then be sure to take a look at these sites. There’s always something new and innovative to learn from these edtech peeps!

Thank you, Eric, for including my space on your collection of learning resources!

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Snow, it’s me: Teacher’s Adele Parody Goes Viral

February9

snow dayOne week ago the most famous groundhog in Pennsylvania saw his shadow. According to legend, that means we will be experiencing six more week of winter in our part of the world. Well, unfortunately (for me anyway), it looks like furry Phil’s prediction just might be accurate as those of us living Central PA got blasted with our biggest snowfall of the season late last night.

As you can imagine, kids throughout our entire region are rejoicing after receiving the news of two hour delays and cancellations. But they’re not the only individuals doing a happy dance.

Meet Mary Morris, a third-grade teacher at Rush Strong School in Strawberry Plains, Tennessee… I think she’s the only educator who wishes for snow days more than me! In fact, she really, really, really wants not one, but two or maybe 23 snow days so she made a major plea for some of the white stuff by producing a high quality video parody set to Adele’s smash hit Hello—one that has become an Internet sensation since being released last year.

With lines like “If it’s got to be so cold, the least that it could do is snow” or “If I have to keep my students inside one more time, for recess, I’m gonna lose my mind”, it’s no wonder this masterpiece has already been viewed over 4 million times (and counting).

Whether you’re a teacher or not, maybe this video captures how all of us feel on any given work day! Check it out below… It’s definitely worth the next six minutes of your life! And if you’ve never wished for a snow day before, I guarantee that you will now!

Two thumbs up for Mary Morris, a very talented and creative teacher. Thanks for the laughs! I truly hope your wish (and mine) comes true! ♥

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Love Me Some Valentine’s Day Magnetic Poetry

February2

chalkboard heartAll you need is love… And a copy of my Valentine’s Day Magnetic Poetry activity!

So, here it is: Another 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 February adventure, here are a few additional items worth mentioning:

» 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!

ValentinesDayMagneticPoetry

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.

Here’s an example of what students can create using the template:

Valentine's Day Magnetic Poetry - Maliah Hassler

Here’s a mashup of fifth grade students working on the activity:

Valentine's Day Magnetic Poetry Collage

Classroom Connection:

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

A high five to Alex, one of my Tech Club kids, for helping to create the word boxes for the slide! ♥

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

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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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