Thursday, October 27, 2016

How to Add Sticky Notes To Webpages

Note Anywhere is a Chrome extension that lets you add a sticky note to just about any webpage that you have open in your browser. With the extension installed you can simply click its icon in your browser and start writing notes on the page. As I demonstrate in the video embedded below, Note Anywhere could be a good tool to use to remind yourself of things that you want to say to students when you share a webpage with them.

H/T to Lifehacker.

OpenEd Helps You Find Resources to Share In Your LMS

OpenEd (formerly known as offers a huge index of educational games, videos, practice assessments, tutorials, and more. One of the strengths of OpenEd is that you can search for resources according to Common Core Standards and Next Generation Science Standards. Another of OpenEd's strengths is its integration with multiple learning management systems including Google Classroom, Otus, and Schoology.

Within the Otus learning management system you can use OpenEd to search for materials to share with students through your online bookshelf of resources.

From the OpenEd catalog you can share resources to your Google Classroom classrooms. Watch the short video embedded below to learn how to do that.

Schoology also has options for sharing OpenEd resources. I don't personally use Schoology so I haven't tried it. But judging by OpenEd's demonstration video it takes a little more time to set up than it does in Google Classroom or Otus. The video is embedded below.

One More Halloween-themed Lesson - 4 Fun Facts About Ravens

A couple of weeks ago I shared four Halloween-themed video lessons from SciShow Kids. This morning I discovered another SciShow Kids video that falls into the same category. In 4 Things You Didn't Know About Ravens students can learn that crows and ravens are not the same bird and how to tell the difference. The video also teaches students about the different eating habits of ravens. Finally, students can learn about the signs of a raven's intelligence and how they mimic sounds. Students can get the details on all of these facts by watching the video as embedded below.

The beginning of the video covers all of the ways that you can tell the difference between a raven and a crow. A good follow-up lesson would be to display pictures of both to your students and ask them to identify each bird.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Choosito & Quick Key Partner to Provide Resource Suggestions Based on Assessment Results

Choosito is a neat search engine for students and teachers to use to find websites based on reading level. It also includes a number of filtering options that let teachers do things like eliminate search results from Wikipedia or message board communities. See how it works here.

Quick Key is a popular app that lets teachers quickly score formative assessments. Teachers using Quick Key grade paper-based quizzes by scanning the paper with the free Quick Key app. But teachers can also use Quick Key to create online assessments that are automatically scored too. Get more details here.

Earlier this week Choosito and Quick Key announced a partnership in which teachers who use Quick Key to score formative assessments will be able to quickly find educational resource suggestions based on assessment scores. The idea is that once Quick Key helps teachers identify a student's area of weakness, Choosito will use that data to make resource suggestions. In the announcement Quick Key and Choosito promised that student data is kept anonymous between the two services.

Quick Key and Choosito are not the first companies to do something like this. MasteryConnect and Otus offer somewhat similar services. In all cases, the final determination of whether or not the service is useful to teachers and students is made by the teachers and students who utilize the suggested resources.

Disclosure: Quick Key is currently an advertiser on

Try Flippity's Mix & Match Template to Generate Random Story Starters

Flippity is a great website that provides templates for creating games, quizzes, and flashcards in Google Sheets. Recently, Flippity published a new template that could be great for creating random story starters.

The latest Flippity template is called Mix & Match. Mix & Match lets you create an online grid that features random bits of information or random phrases that you write into your spreadsheet. You enter the information that students see into a spreadsheet arranged in columns with headings of your choosing. When students view your Mix & Match page they can then hide parts of the page's display to create sentences. See the demo here or look at the screenshot below for a visual.

Applications for Education
There are lots of ways that you could use Flippity's Mix & Match template in your classroom. These are some of the ways that immediately came to my mind when I tried it out:

  1. Create "Mad Libs" style story starters. 
  2. Create a matching activity in which students match event names to details. 
  3. Create a matching activity in which students match place names and locations. 
  4. Create a random story generator on which students select a topic, character, action, and first sentence of a story.