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Friday, February 24, 2017

Quill Connect Helps Students Understand Sentence Structure

Quill Connect is a new feature on the Quill writing lesson platform. Quill Connect presents to students a collection of short sentences that they then have to combine to create a new sentence with the same meaning. Quill Connect also gives students run-on sentences that they need to correct. Students receive immediate feedback upon completion of each Quill Connect activity. Try a Quill Connect activity here.

A short demonstration of the Quill Connect feature is included in the video embedded below.


There are three other activity categories within Quill. Those activities are Quill Proofreader, Quill Grammar, and Quill Writer. In Quill Proofreader students are shown students passages that have grammatical errors placed in them. Students have to identify and correct the errors in the passages that they read. Quill Grammar requires students to complete short exercises in which they finish the construction of sentences by inserting the correct words and or punctuation marks. In Quill Writer activities students work together to construct sentences from a shared word bank.

Two More ClassTools Templates for Showing Content Connections

Last week I shared the Hexagon Learning Template offered by ClassTools.net. That template is great for helping students make connections between topics in a subject area. The Hexagon template is not the only one of that style that you'll find on ClassTools.net. The Diamond 9 template and the Jigsaw template will also help students make connections between topics.

The Diamond 9 template has students write text into nine boxes that form a diamond shape. Students have to sort the boxes into order of importance and connection to ideas in other boxes. A space is provided for students to write a justification for placement of each box.

The Jigsaw template has students write keywords or phrases into jigsaw pieces. Students then arrange the pieces to show the connections between the keywords in the those pieces. Students can color code each piece in their puzzles.

Applications for Education
The Hexagon, Diamond 9, and Jigsaw templates on ClassTools.net all provide excellent formats for students to use to illustrate their understandings of how topics are connected within a subject area. All of these templates can be saved online so that students can revisit and revise them as needed.

TinyTap Handbook - Tutorials for Making Interactive iPad Activities

TinyTap is a great tool for creating interactive, educational activities that your students can play on their iPads, on their Android tablets, or on their laptops. I have recommended TinyTap to at least five people in the last week. If you're looking for a way to create iPad games, TinyTap is the first tool that I'd try. To get started, take a look at the videos in the TinyTap handbook to learn all of the formats in which you can create activities for your students. The TinyTap handbook playlist is embedded below.