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Sunday, August 9, 2015

Hemingway Editor Updated in Time for the New School Year

Last year I featured the Hemingway App Editor as a good tool to help students analyze their own writing. Hemingway is a free tool designed to help you analyze your writing. Hemingway offers a bunch of information about the passage you've written or copied and pasted into the site. Hemingway highlights the parts of your writing that use passive voice, adverbs, and overly complex sentences. All of those factors are accounted for in generating a general readability score for your passage.

This summer the Hemingway Editor was updated to offer a few more features. The Hemingway Editor now provides tools for formatting the text that you write in the web version of Hemingway. You can now create bullet lists, change font size and style, write numbered lists, and indent paragraphs.

Applications for Education
Hemingway is the kind of tool that I like to have students use before exchanging papers with classmates for peer editing. Hemingway acts as a kind of "virtual peer" before the peer editing process. I would also have students use Hemingway before turning in their final drafts for a grade.

StoryToolz offers a tool similar to Hemingway that you may also want to check out.

5 Things Students Can Blog About to Start the School Year

One of the challenges of starting a new classroom blog is generating enough content for your students to read and to comment on. If you can get students blogging early in the year, you can build momentum for the rest of the school year. Here are five things that you could have students blog about in the first week of school.



  1. Three favorite moments from the last school year. 
  2. Favorite part of summer vacation. 
  3. All-time best moment in school. 
  4. Three questions they want to find the answers to this year. 
  5. Favorite book or movie and why. 

Free SAT & ACT Prep Exercises

Disclosure: PrepFactory is currently an advertiser on FreeTech4Teachers.com.

As we head into the fall many students will be preparing to take the SAT or ACT. PrepFactory is a free service for high school students can use to prepare for those tests. PrepFactory offers students a series of tutorial videos and written tips to help them prepare for both tests. After completing a tutorial students can test themselves in a series of practice questions. Each question set is timed and and limited to chunks of ten questions at a time. Students can earn badges for completing tutorials or question sets.

To get started on PrepFactory students choose the test that they are preparing to take (they can change their choices at any time) then take a short guided tour of the service. After taking the tour students complete a ten question quiz intended to give them a sense of what they need to work on. Upon completion of their first quiz students can choose to review their answers with the help of PrepFactory, take another quiz, or watch a video about test-taking skills.

For the fall PrepFactory has introduced SAT Wordplay, a head-to-head vocabulary game between two players. SAT Wordplay randomly matches players in a game to answer vocabulary questions as quickly and accurately as possible.

In the video embedded below I provide an overview of PrepFactory's features.