Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Choosito & Quick Key Partner to Provide Resource Suggestions Based on Assessment Results

Choosito is a neat search engine for students and teachers to use to find websites based on reading level. It also includes a number of filtering options that let teachers do things like eliminate search results from Wikipedia or message board communities. See how it works here.

Quick Key is a popular app that lets teachers quickly score formative assessments. Teachers using Quick Key grade paper-based quizzes by scanning the paper with the free Quick Key app. But teachers can also use Quick Key to create online assessments that are automatically scored too. Get more details here.

Earlier this week Choosito and Quick Key announced a partnership in which teachers who use Quick Key to score formative assessments will be able to quickly find educational resource suggestions based on assessment scores. The idea is that once Quick Key helps teachers identify a student's area of weakness, Choosito will use that data to make resource suggestions. In the announcement Quick Key and Choosito promised that student data is kept anonymous between the two services.

Quick Key and Choosito are not the first companies to do something like this. MasteryConnect and Otus offer somewhat similar services. In all cases, the final determination of whether or not the service is useful to teachers and students is made by the teachers and students who utilize the suggested resources.

Disclosure: Quick Key is currently an advertiser on

Try Flippity's Mix & Match Template to Generate Random Story Starters

Flippity is a great website that provides templates for creating games, quizzes, and flashcards in Google Sheets. Recently, Flippity published a new template that could be great for creating random story starters.

The latest Flippity template is called Mix & Match. Mix & Match lets you create an online grid that features random bits of information or random phrases that you write into your spreadsheet. You enter the information that students see into a spreadsheet arranged in columns with headings of your choosing. When students view your Mix & Match page they can then hide parts of the page's display to create sentences. See the demo here or look at the screenshot below for a visual.

Applications for Education
There are lots of ways that you could use Flippity's Mix & Match template in your classroom. These are some of the ways that immediately came to my mind when I tried it out:

  1. Create "Mad Libs" style story starters. 
  2. Create a matching activity in which students match event names to details. 
  3. Create a matching activity in which students match place names and locations. 
  4. Create a random story generator on which students select a topic, character, action, and first sentence of a story. 

7 Halloween Lesson Activities for Elementary School Students

Halloween is less than one week away. Some communities, like mine, are having Halloween festivities this weekend. If you're in need of some educational activities with a Halloween-theme, take a look at the resources summarized below. All of these resources have appeared in individual posts in the past.

On Storyboard That you can now turn your storyboards into Halloween cards. In the Storyboard That creator you can use the myths and mystical scenes and characters to create your Halloween story. Once your storyboard is saved you can choose to print it with Halloween borders. The print-out includes lines for cutting and folding your cards. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to create Halloween cards on Storyboard That.

The Pit and the Pendulum is available as an interactive comic book created by Poe in the Pit. If you view the comic book online you can click symbols within it to open videos, additional images, and additional background and analysis of Poe's work. If you choose to print the comic book you can us the QR codes embedded within it to access the videos, images, and additional info on your mobile device.

Number Chase - Math vs. Zombies is a free iPad game with a Halloween theme. The game is has three virtual worlds each containing ten levels of basic math problems. The object of the game is to correctly solve as many math problems as possible before the zombies catch you. The math of the game is basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Scholastic offers a variety of Halloween-themed activities for elementary school students. The Halloween Tooth: Max's Math Adventure is a math activity for K-2 students. In the activity students read and listen to a poem about Halloween candy then complete a set of activities in which they make patterns and count candy. Halloween Web Hunt is a simple web quest for students in grades three through five. The activity has students visit a virtual museum and online libraries to answer questions about mummies, bats, and Halloween history. Writing Mysteries provides a template and walks elementary school students through the process of writing mystery stories.

Halloween Magazine offers a safety game for students. The game is designed to teach students to recognize safe and unsafe situations while they're out trick 'o treating.

Smarty Games offers Halloween Math. In Halloween Math students move a ghost to catch the answers to addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems.

Kids love playing Kahoot quiz games. In Kahoot's gallery of publicly shared quiz games you will find lots of quizzes about Halloween and Halloween safety. Playing those quizzes could be a great way to review Halloween safety with kids before they head out to trick o' trick. To learn how to use publicly shared Kahoot quizzes watch the video that is embedded below.

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