Monday, September 16, 2013

Class Charts Adds Handy New Features

Class Charts, a free service for creating online seating charts and behavior charts and reports, has recently added some handy new features. As before you can create charts in a "seating" format that shows seat placement or you can use a list view. You can use students' real pictures in your charts or you can use one of the avatar images in your charts. Now you can flip the charts to display the students' perspective on a whiteboard.

Class Charts already allowed sharing of attendance and behavior data with parents and students, now you can share your narrative comments too.

The last update is an option to select all students with one click and assign attendance date to all with one click. This means that if all students are present, you don't have to individually mark them present because you can do it in bulk.

You can read more about Class Charts here.

Disclosure: Class Charts is advertising on Free Technology for Teachers this month. 

NASA Explains the Harvest Moon

In the northern hemisphere the Harvest Moon will appear later this week. This is the full moon that is closest to the northern autumnal equinox. In the short video below the team at NASA ScienceCasts explains why it is called the Harvest Moon and why other moons have names too. It's fair season here in Maine so harvesting is on a lot of people's minds, I found the video interesting, and I hope that you and your students do too.

A Glossary of Poetry Terms for Students

The Poetry Foundation offers some helpful resources for teachers and students. One of the resources that immediately jumped out at me when I visited the Poetry Foundation's Learning Lab was the glossary of poetry terms. Students can search the glossary alphabetically, by form & type of poem, by rhyme & meter, by schools & projects, by technique, and by theory or criticism.

The Poetry Foundation offers a free mobile app for iOS and Android. The app allows users to search for poems, save poems, and share favorite poems with their friends. You can search for poems by poet, by title, or by entering a line or two of a favorite poem.

Applications for Education
The Poetry Foundation's glossary and mobile apps could be helpful study and review resources for high school and college students. You could design a lesson around the glossary in which you ask students to find poems that exemplify various terms from the glossary.

How Lasers Work - A Short Explanation

Laser pointers, I've confiscated them from students and I'm sure that some of you have too. Some students love to play with them. But do they know how they work? Minute Physics offers a short explanation in the video that is embedded below.

Applications for Education
I know more than a few teachers who might make students watch a video like this one and have students create a short report about lasers after confiscating laser pointers from them.