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Friday, February 9, 2018

Newspaper Templates for Google Docs & Word

This morning I answered an email from a reader who was looking for suggestions on tools that his students can use to collaboratively create a newspaper. My first suggestion was to try LucidPress. My second thought was to try using some Google Docs templates.

I didn't have any Google Docs templates of my own so I did a quick Google search for "newspaper templates Google Docs" and I found this collection put together by students at Westlake Girls High School in Auckland, New Zealand. There are ten newspaper templates in the collection. You can make your own copy of the templates by opening them and then selecting, "file" and "make a copy" in Google Docs.

If you're a Microsoft Word user, you can try these templates to create newsletters and newspapers. Word Online is free and supports collaborative writing too.

Applications for Education
The person who emailed me this morning was going to use the newspaper templates in a history class to have students write articles as news reports about historical events. I thought that was a great idea. Of course, you could use these templates for almost any purpose including creating a school newspaper.

Use Google Sheets to Create Online Bingo Boards With Pictures

Flippity is one of my favorite Google Sheets Add-ons because it gives you direct access to sixteen templates that you can use to create games, progress trackers, and random name selectors. One of Flippity's most popular templates, the Bingo template, was recently updated to allow you to include pictures in your Bingo games.

Flippity's Bingo template is easy to follow. Just the complete the steps listed here and you're ready to publish your game. You can print game cards to distribute to your students or you can have them play online.

It is important to note that in order to use images in the Flippity Bingo template the images must be hosted online and publicly accessible. A host like Flickr is ideal for this purpose. Google Drive doesn't work for this purpose. Likewise, any site that blocks hotlinking will not work for this purpose.

Create Valentine's Day Cards on Canva

Valentine's Day is five days away. In elementary school it can be fun to make and distribute innocuous little greeting cards. (Middle and high school turns into a day of drama). Last week I shared directions for creating Valentine's Day cards on Storyboard That. Another option is to use the free card templates that are available on Canva.

Canva offers design templates for almost every card-giving occasion. That includes offering Valentine's Day card designs. In the video below I demonstrate how to use Canva to design cards.



If you're wondering if you can use Canva with students under the age of 13, please read this statement from Canva's CEO Cliff Obrecht.

Fun, Hands-on Science Lessons

Science Snacks is a resource that I referenced in my list of ten blog post topics for your school blog. Science Snacks is a resource that provides ideas and directions for hands-on science lessons.

Science Snacks features activities that can be conducted with inexpensive and readily available materials. Each Science Snack comes with a materials list and step-by-step directions. Science Snacks are also accompanied by a written explanation of the science at work in the activity. Many Science Snacks, like Penny Battery, include video demonstrations and explanations.

You can search for Science Snacks alphabetically or you can search by subject. The subject search is the best way to search if you are looking for an activity to match a lesson plan or curriculum standard that you already have in mind.

Applications for Education
While originally designed for middle school and high school students, many of the Science Snacks could be altered to fit in an elementary school setting.

Many of the Science Snacks activities could be conducted by middle school and high school students at home with the help/ supervision of parents. Using the Science Snacks in that way could be a good alternative to typical homework assignments. Have students do one of the activities for homework and report their observations in Google Documents or as comments in Google Classroom.

5 Good Resources for Health Teachers

Yesterday afternoon I ran into one of my old colleagues who asked me for some recommendations for tech tools that she could use in her health classes. One of the suggestions that I made was to try the Cardio VR app. I also promised to come up with some other suggestions. In this video I feature five good resources for health teachers.