Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Max is worn out by Thanksgiving.
Good evening from Orange, Connecticut where I'm spending time with family friends after Thanksgiving. If you celebrated Thanksgiving this week, I hope that it was fun and restful time for you.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. 3 Good Tools for Creating Rubrics
2. 11 TED-Ed Videos on How the Human Body Works
3. How to Use Weebly & YouTube to Create a Video Blog Series
4. Three Ways to Share Bundles of Links With Students
5. Create Motivational Posters and Cards on Big Huge Labs
6. Print Posters With Almost Any Printer
7. Explore Petra in Google Maps

Would you like to have me speak at your school or conference?
Click here to learn about my professional development services. 

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
BoomWriter provides a fantastic tool for creating writing lessons. 
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards and cartoon stories.
AlfaTyping offers great, free typing lessons for kids. 
MasteryConnect offers a series of apps for identifying standards. 
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
PrepFactory offers a great place for students to prepare for SAT and ACT tests.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers graduate programs for teachers.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
EdTechTeacher is hosting host workshops in six cities in the U.S. in the summer.
SeeSaw is a great iPad app for creating digital portfolios.
Lesley University offers online education programs for teachers. 
Southeastern University offers online M.Ed programs.

An Overlooked YouTube Feature

YouTube contains many useful features that are frequently overlooked. One of those features is using your YouTube channel to store videos even if you don't make them public. Another overlooked aspect of YouTube is that it can serve as a file conversion tool for some video formats.

When you upload videos to YouTube you don't have to make them public. Since YouTube doesn't limit how many files you can upload, you can use your YouTube channel to simply store your video files for free. When you need the files, you can download them at anytime.

Occasionally, you may have a video file that you need converted to MP4. In that case, upload it to your YouTube channel. Once it has been uploaded and processed, you should be able to download it as an MP4. I recently did this with an AVI file.

Check out the screenshots below to see how to download your files from YouTube. (This only works with videos that you own and are in your YouTube account).
Click image for full size.
Click image for full size. 

I'll be sharing many more tips and tricks like this one in my upcoming workshop at the Ed Tech Teacher Google Jamboree in Medfield, Massachusetts. Please join us, it is going to be fun!

Winter Around the World - A Collaborative Student Project

As we head into winter in the northern hemisphere, Shannon Miller has a launched a global, collaborative project for students. Winter Around the World is an effort to collect stories, pictures, poems, and songs about winter. The submissions will be organized into a Google Slides presentation and then assembled into an ebook. The project is open students of all ages.

Applications for Education
Winter Around the World could provide a great way for students to see a different perspective on winter. My students associate snow and cold with winter while other students might not ever see snow during their winter seasons. Beyond the visual differences, students participating in Winter Around the World could learn about the activities that are popular during winters in different parts of the world.

The deadline for submissions to Winter Around the World is December 1st. If that deadline is too tight for your classroom, consider creating your winter around the world project with the teachers you are connected to through social media.

Friday, November 27, 2015

A Fun App for Learning to Identify Plants and Animals

Earlier this week I shared a couple of apps designed to help you get your students involved in learning about nature by going outside and documenting their observations. It's not always practical to get outside. Your geography will also limit the number of plants and animals students can see on a walking tour of your school grounds and their neighborhoods. Therefore, I want to introduce another app for learning about nature.

Classify It! is a free iPad app designed to help elementary school and middle school students learn to classify plants and animals. In the app students are given a question and shown a selection of plants and animals. Respond to the question students have to correctly identify the plants and animals that answer the question. For example, on the second level of the game students are asked to identify the animals that are mammals and they then have to select the mammals from a gallery of pictures. If students need help understanding the question or prompt on a level, they can tap the question mark icon to receive a bit of clarification.

Creature Cards provide an incentive to students to complete each level of Classify It! with 100% accuracy. When students complete a level with 100% accuracy they receive Creature Cards. Creature Cards are essentially trading cards that feature a plant or animal picture along with some information about it. Students can make as many attempts as they need in order to complete a level with 100% accuracy.

25 Guides to Teaching U.S. History

Disclosure: Storyboard That is an advertiser on

Over the last couple of years Storyboard That has been steadily expanding their product offerings and their free teacher guides. The teacher guides have been developed by classroom teachers using the Storyboard That services.

The latest set of Storyboard That teacher guides are about U.S. History. A total of 25 U.S. History teacher guides are now available on Storyboard That. The guides are broken into four main eras; pre-Colonial - 1776, Independence to Civil War, Reconstruction to WWII, and post-WWII. You will find units for major events and themes within each era.

Applications for Education
The Storyboard That U.S. History teacher guides make use of the free and premium aspects of Storyboard That. Even if you don't have access to the premium features, you can still glean some good ideas from these guides. For example, the guide to teaching Federalism includes some excellent visuals that could be the basis for creating your own comparison charts. The visuals on the Constitutional Convention provide a good summary of the proposed plans of governance. The essential questions listed with each guide are excellent for facilitating classroom conversations.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...