Thursday, August 25, 2016

4 Ways to Create Image-based Quizzes

Whether it is a graph for a math class, a diagram for a science class, or a map for a geography class there are plenty of times when an image provides a better question prompt than just words. Likewise, there are times when images provide better answer choices than words provide. Here are four free tools that you can use to create image-based quizzes.

In Google Forms you can now use images as answer choices to questions. You can also use images as question prompts in Google Forms. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to use images as answer choices in Google Forms.

Wizer is a neat tool for creating a variety of interactive assignments including writing assignments, multiple choice quizzes, and labeling assignments. You can distribute your Wizer activities to your students through Google Classroom or through the use of a link and pin system. In the video embedded below I provide a demonstration of how to create an assignment in Wizer, how to distribute it, and how to view your students' responses to an assignment.

Thinglink Classroom combined with Thinglink's remix function can provide you with a nice way to build image-based review activities. One example of this is taking an image of a map and inserting questions on top of it. After building your questions on top of the image share it with your students and have them remix it to answer your questions. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to go about creating a map-based review activity in Thinglink.

Formative offers an nice way to create image-based quizzes. The image-based quizzes that you create in Formative can be embedded into your classroom blog where your students can then answer the questions in the quiz. In my video embedded below I demonstrate how to create the quiz, how to embed it into your blog, and I show you a student's perspective of the quiz as embedded into a blog.

5 Tools to Help Keep Your Students and Yourself Active & Healthy

The new school year always feels like a new calendar year to me as many students and teachers have "resolutions" for the new school year. If one of your resolutions for the new school year is to keep yourself or your students active and healthy, the following free resources are for you.

GoNoodle is a free service that is designed to promote physical fitness in a fun environment. GoNoodle features tons of free videos that lead students in short, 2-5 minutes, exercises. These are fun exercises like dancing that can be done in your classroom or at home with parents. GoNoodle provides an online environment in which students track the minutes that they spend exercising. Students choose avatars to represent themselves in the GoNoodle environment. New avatars are available once a student completes enough activity time to reach a new level.

Sworkit Kids is a similar app (Android versioniOS version) that will also help you get your students moving for short exercise breaks. Sworkit Kids doesn't have animated videos like GoNoodle does. Sworkit Kids simply features short video demonstrations of a movement like diagonal hopping accompanied by a countdown timer.

One of the simple improvements that I made to my diet a couple of years ago was cutting out sugar from my morning coffee (I never used cream). The CDC's Rethink Your Drink helped me understand how many extra calories I was taking in through sugar. Rethink Your Drink provides a chart of sugar content and calories found in popular beverages. The PDF also contains a chart of suggested alternatives to drinking sugary beverages. In addition to the charts Rethink Your Drink provides suggestions on ways to cut sugar calories safely while not sacrificing nutrients.

Space Chef is a free iPad app from the Lawrence Hall of Science. The purpose of the app is to introduce students to healthy foods and recipes that they may not have ever tried or even heard about. Space Chef features a fast-paced game in which students have to quickly grab the ingredients for a recipe. The ingredients scroll past them in three streams or flight paths. Students are shown a recipe at the top of the screen and they must grab the appropriate ingredients as they stream across the screen.

Arthur Family Health is a free resource from PBS Kids. Arthur Family Health is designed to help parents, teachers, and students learn about common health challenges children face. Through videos, games (online and offline), and data sheets visitors to Arthur Family Health can learn about asthma, allergies, nutrition, fitness, and resilience (dealing with tragedies).

Wonderville - Science and Technology Games for Kids

Wonderville is a great website for kids on which students can find games, videos, comics, and hands-on activities for learning about science and technology. The gallery of activities, games, videos, and comics is divided into three categories; fun science, awesome tech, and cool jobs.

A couple of the Wonderville games that I like are Reaction Action and Medieval Levers. In Medieval Levers students watch a short animated video about the physics of levers before trying to build their own catapults to use to attack the castle. In Reaction Action students learn about combustible gasses. The object of the game is to collect combustible gasses that can be used to create energy.

Applications for Education
Wonderville's games, comics, and videos can be used by elementary and middle school students on their own. The hands-on activities could be used by teachers as the basis for an elementary school science lesson plan. The hands-on activities include experiments in which students need to record observations.