Showing posts with label Language Arts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Language Arts. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Activities for National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month. I forgot all about it until this morning when I looked at my video about using Google Jamboard to create magnetic poetry activities. That's just one of many resources for National Poetry Month that I have in my archive of resources. Here's a handful of my favorite activities and resources for National Poetry Month. 

Verse by Verse is an experimental AI project from Google. Verse by Verse lets you compose poems by combining lines from the works of famous poets. In other words, it's a poetry remix tool. To use it you simply visit the site and select three poets to inspire you. Then you write your own first line of a poem. Once you've written a line of your own Verse by Verse will suggest three lines from each of the three poets you originally selected. You can then include those lines in your new poem. Finished poems can be downloaded as text overlaid on an background image. 

Read Write Think used to host a great, interactive template to help students create theme poems. Unfortunately, that template was Flash-based and it no longer works. That said, the page it was hosted on still offers more than a dozen poetry lesson for use in K-8 classrooms

Make Beliefs Comix offers more than 700 writing prompt pages. All of the pages are designed to be printed and given to students to write on. Within that collection you will find a small collection of poetry pages. All the the printable poetry prompt pages include artwork designed to spark a student's imagination. Some of the artwork is in color and some is in black and white. A bonus of the black and white artwork is that you're essentially getting a coloring page and a poetry prompt in one package.

Poetry 180 is a Library of Congress project that was created when Billy Collins was the U.S. Poet Laureate. The purpose of the project is to provide high school teachers with poems for their students to read or hear throughout the school year. Collins selected the poems for Poetry 180 with high school students in mind. I didn't look at every poem in the list, but of dozen or so that I looked at, none would take more than a few minutes to read in a classroom. Speaking of reading in class, Collins encourages teachers to read the poems aloud or have students read the poems aloud. To that end, here's his advice on how to read a poem out loud.

There's a Poem for That is a series of twelve TED-Ed lessons featuring six famous works. The lessons include poems from from Frost, Shakespeare, Yeats, O'Keefe, Gibson, and Elhillo.


This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that regularly steal my (Richard Byrne's) work include CloudComputin , 711Web, and Today Headline.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Wordtune - A Quick Way to Get Wording Suggestions

Wordtune is a Chrome extension that provides suggestions on ways to rewrite sentences in your Google Documents, in your email (Gmail and Outlook), and in some social media accounts. 

Once you have Wordtune installed in Chrome you can simply highlight any sentence that you have written and click the Wordtune extension to have a list of alternate wordings suggested to you. The suggested alternatives appear as a list directly below your original sentence. You can replace your original sentence with a suggested alternative by simply clicking on the suggestion that you like. 

Wordtune is available in a free version and in a paid version. The free version does exactly what is outlined above and nothing else. The paid version offers additional features including a "word finder" which is basically a thesaurus and a "formality controller" which makes suggestions related to the tone of your writing. 

Applications for Education
Wordtune could be a good Chrome extension for students to use to help them avoid using the same phrases and or sentence structures too often in a document. 

So far I've tested Wordtune in Google Documents where it worked well. I also attempted to use it in the online version of Microsoft Word. Unfortunately, it didn't work in the online version of Word. 

On a related note, here's what I look for when testing a new Chrome extension

Friday, March 5, 2021

27 Videos That Can Help Students Improve Their Writing

The Writer's Workshop is a playlist of twenty-seven TED-Ed video lessons about writing. The The Writer's Workshop contains lessons on basic topics like how to use punctuation and point of view. It also offers videos about more difficult topics like how to make your writing humorous.

A few of the videos from The Writer's Workshop playlist are embedded below.

First, Second, and Third Person


When to Use Apostrophes


How to Make Your Writing Funnier




Applications for Education
TED-Ed's The Writer's Workshop is a good place for students to find some quick lessons on punctuation and grammar. Students who are ready to take their writing to a new level could benefit from the TED-Ed videos on irony, introductions, and building fictional worlds.

Friday, February 5, 2021

Magnetic Poetry With Google Jamboard and Google Classroom

Earlier this week a reader emailed me looking for an alternative to Read Write Think's old Word Mover activity which is no longer available because of the deprecation of Flash. Word Mover was essentially an online version of the old refrigerator word magnets that were popular in the 90's. While the producers of Magnetic Poetry do offer an online version, it's not well-suited to classroom use. My suggestion is to try using Google Jamboard and Google Classroom to create a "magnetic poetry" for your students. 

On Google Jamboard you can create a set of sticky notes with words on them. You could color code the sticky notes to make verbs one color, adjectives another color, and nouns a third color. Once you've made your word bank you can then divide the Jamboard and add directions for writing a poem with the words in the word bank. Finally, share your Jamboard as an assignment in Google Classroom. When you share it in Google Classroom make sure that you choose the option of "make a copy for each student" so that students have their own copies to work on without having to manually make copies for themselves. 

In this short video I explain how to use Google Jamboard and Google Classroom to create online magnetic poetry assignments for your students. 

Monday, January 4, 2021

Boomwriter's Writing Bee - A Unique Creative Writing Contest for Kids

Disclosure: Boomwriter is currently an advertiser on my blog. 

Boomwriter’s Writing Bee is a free event that takes a unique approach to inspiring elementary and middle school students to participate in a creative writing project. 

A traditional student writing contest basically gives students a prompt and tells them to “go write” and then months later a few students find out that they’ve won. Boomwriter’s Writing Bee is not a traditional writing contest at all. Boomwriter’s Writing Bee provides opportunities for students to get feedback throughout the writing process and it provides you with lesson plans to support your students’ involvement in the Writing Bee.

Who Can Participate
Boomwriter’s Writing Bee starts now and runs through May. It’s open to all third through eighth grade classrooms who are registered by their teachers. To register your classroom simply head to the 2021 Writing Bee webpage and click “Create my Class Writing Bee.” You’ll find that button centered between images of Jeff Kinney and Jerry Craft.

How it Works
The Writing Bee asks students to write their own middle and end chapters to complete a story that was started by Jeff Kinney (the author of the Wimpy Kid series) or by Jerry Craft (author of the Newbery Medal-winning New Kid). Students read the story starter provided by Kinney or Craft inside of their Boomwriter online classroom, watch a short video introduction, and then start writing.

Boomwriter’s writing platform provides you with a place to see all of your students’ stories in progress and give them feedback. What’s unique about Boomwriter is that when students have finished writing their stories those stories can be read by their classmates without knowing who wrote which story. Students can read small batches of their classmates’ stories then vote for their favorite story. In the Writing Bee there is a winner for the favorite middle chapter and favorite ending chapter in each classroom. The winning authors from each classroom are then invited to the online Writing Bee finals that will take place in May 2021.

Key Points to Consider
Any third through eighth grade classroom can participate in Boomwriter’s Writing Bee. Boomwriter provides free access to their platform for the entirety of your classroom’s participation in the Writing Bee.

The Writing Bee is completely online so you can use it whether your classroom is online, in-person, or hybrid of both.

Boomwriter provides supporting materials for you to use throughout the Writing Bee. These materials include vocabulary activities, graphic organizers to help students organize their story ideas, and lesson guides. You can also check out my YouTube channel for a video overview of how the Boomwriter Writing Bee platform looks from a teacher’s perspective and from a student’s perspective.

Finally, Boomwriter provides an option for you to have your students’ writing printed as a softcover book. That’s available whether your students win the whole Writing Bee or not.


Sign-up and get your class started on the Writing Bee today. 

Thursday, December 24, 2020

How to Create Crossword Puzzles With Google Sheets

My grandmother was a middle school and high school language arts teacher for decades. She loved crossword puzzles. I know that many other teachers still like to use them in one way or another too. If you would like to create your own crossword puzzles for your students or you want them to create crossword puzzles, Flippity has a free Google Sheets template for that purpose. In the following video I demonstrate how to make a crossword puzzle with Flippity's Google Sheets template. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Future Me - A Good End of 2020 Activity

The end of the year is near and, if my scrolls through social media are an indicator, many of people are ready to put 2020 in the rearview mirror. Before kissing 2020 goodbye consider taking a few moments to write out what you want to accomplish in 2021. Of course, you could have your students do the same. FutureMe is a service designed to get people to write down what they want to do and where they see themselves in a year, three years, or five years from now. 

FutureMe is a free service that anyone who has an email address can use to write a letter to their future selves. When you write the letter you can pick a delivery date in the future. Then on that date you’ll get an email on that date with the letter you wrote to your future self. 

Letters that you write in FutureMe can be completely private or you can choose to have them added to a gallery of public, but anonymous letters. My choice is to keep them private. 

Applications for Education
Generally speaking, 80% of New Year’s Resolutions are abandoned by the end of January. Using FutureMe could be one way to help yourself and your students stick to a New Year’s resolution goal. Since most students change teachers between spring and fall, I’d have students in my classroom now write letters to be delivered at the end of the spring.

FutureMe could easily be replicated by using the scheduled send feature that is built into Gmail/ G Suite email. That feature is demonstrated in the video below.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

How to Share Books in Google Classroom and Google Sites

One of my favorite features of Google Books is the option to clip sections of free ebooks to share with students. It's also possible to share with your students an entire ebook from Google Books. You can then use those clips or full books to spark discussions in Google Classroom. Another way to use the clipping and embedding feature of Google Books is to create a digital bookshelf of public domain works in a Google Site. Both of those things are demonstrated in this new video that I recorded yesterday afternoon. 




Watch this short video for a general overview of how to search in Google Books.

Monday, December 7, 2020

Five Key Features of Making Comics in Canva

Last week Canva introduced new comic strip creation templates. There has long been tools for making comics in Canva, but now Canva is offering templates specifically for making comics. Canva's comic gallery contains templates for making comics in a variety of layouts and formats. All of the templates can be customized to your heart's content. 

If you are a current Canva for Education user, you may already know that your students can now collaborate online on any graphics. That's just one of the many good features available when making comics in Canva. In this video I demonstrate how to create comics in Canva and outline five key features of creating comics in Canva. 

Five Key Features of Making Comics in Canva

  • Online, real-time collaboration on comic strips. 
  • Customize hundreds of pieces of artwork/ drawings/ clip art. 
  • Customize the size, spacing, and number of frames per comic. 
  • Publish comics as stand-alone websites. 
  • Publish comics as PDFs and images. 


Applications for Education
In my Practical Ed Tech Newsletter I outlined five ideas for incorporating comic strip creation into your classroom. Those ideas included illustrating vocabulary words, illustrating favorite stories, creating timelines, making digital greeting cards, and illustrating original writing. 

Friday, December 4, 2020

Another Good Word Cloud Generator

A couple of weeks ago I shared an overview of seven good tools for creating word clouds. This week a new word cloud tool was launched on Product Hunt so I gave it a try. The new tool is called Free Word Cloud Generator and it's exactly that, a free word cloud generator. 

Using Free Word Cloud Generator is easy. You simply go to the site, paste in a chunk of text, and then click "visualize." Your word cloud can be downloaded as a PNG or JPEG file. There are options to exclude numbers and special characters from your word cloud. You can also change the font type, color, and display density. 



Applications for Education
Free Word Cloud Generator doesn't require users to register. In fact, there doesn't appear to be an option to register. That should make the tool a little easier for some students to use compared to other word cloud tools. In general, word cloud tools like Free Word Cloud Generator are good for helping students identify the most frequently used words in passages of text they are reading and or writing. In the context of analyzing their own writing word clouds can help students identify words or phrases that they might be using a little too often.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Good Places to Make and Find Story Starters

For some students the hardest part of a creative writing assignment is developing an idea to write about. Fortunately, there are many good tools and websites that teachers can use to generate writing prompts. Likewise, there are lots of good websites that offer creative writing prompts for students. Here's an updated list of some of my favorite tools for creating story starters and favorite sites for finding story starters.

Flippity Templates X3
Flippity is a great place to find Google Sheets templates to create all kinds of things including random story starters, random name/ word pickers, and Mad Libs-style stories.
Flippity Mad Libs template.



Flippity Randomizer template.



While it was designed to randomly select a student's name from a list, you can use Flippity's random name picker template to create story starters. Instead of listing names you could list story prompts in a Google Sheet and have it display a random story prompt every time the picker is shuffled. Here's a video about how it works.


Make Beliefs Comix
Make Beliefs Comix is a creative writing platform that I have recommended for years. The core of Make Beliefs Comix is a free set of tools that students can use to create their own comics in multiple languages. Here's a video overview of how it works. In addition to the comic strip creation tools, Make Beliefs Comix hosts free ebooks that you can use online or download for free. All of ebooks are designed as fillable PDFs that your students can write in. The ebooks are intended to inspire students to write about a variety of topics around the ideas of kindness, courage, hopes, and dreams. 



500 Prompts on The Most Dangerous Writing App

The Most Dangerous Writing App is a website that provides a blank canvas to write on for a minimum time of your choosing. The catch is that if you stop writing before the time is up, you lose your work. 500 writing prompts are provided for those who need a little inspiration to get started. In the following video I demonstrate how to use The Most Dangerous Writing App.



Writing Sparks

Writing Sparks offers timed writing prompts to share with your elementary school students. Students can respond to the prompts by writing on paper, in a word processing document like MS Word, or by writing on the Writing Sparks website. The Writing Sparks website provides students with templates to complete as they respond to each writing prompt. In the video that is embedded below I provide a demonstration of how to use the free Writing Sparks service.



Scholastic Story Starters
Scholastic Story Starters is a great tool that students will enjoy using to create short, creative fiction stories. Scholastic Story Starters offers four story themes; fantasy, adventure, sci-fi, and scrambler. To create a story on Story Starters a students picks a theme, enter his or her name, chooses his or her grade, and spins the big wheels of prompts. The student can spin the wheels until he or she finds a prompt he or she likes. After the prompt is selected the student can write his or her story using the letter, postcard, notebook, or newspaper format provided by Scholastic Story Starters. When the story is finished it can be printed.

Friday, November 20, 2020

A 15 Second Video Contest for Students

The New York Times is hosting a video contest called the 15 Second Vocabulary Video Challenge. The contest is open to middle school and high school students. The contest asks students to produce a fifteen second video about one of the words from The New York Times Learning Network's word-of-the-day list (link opens a PDF). The video should define or teach the meaning of one of the words in fifteen seconds or less. 

Entries into the 15 Second Vocabulary Video Challenge have to be uploaded to YouTube and listed as public or unlisted videos. Teachers and or parents can upload submissions on behalf of their students. Directions for making submissions are available here. Students can work individually or in groups, but can only make one submission in total. The deadline for submissions is December 15th. Complete rules can be found here.

One of the rules of the contest is that any background music or sound effects music must be licensed for re-use and credited. Mixkit, which I reviewed earlier this year, is a good place to find music and sound effects that are labeled for re-use. More good sources of free music and sound effects are listed in the free Practical Ed Tech Handbook

Have your students take a look at the winners of last year's 15 Second Vocabulary Video Challenge to get some inspiration to participate in this year's contest. 



H/T to Larry Ferlazzo.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

DIY Smithsonian Mini Exhibits

The Smithsonian Learning Lab is an excellent resource for social studies and language arts teachers. I've been using and recommending it for years. One of its many features is an option to create and share collections of artifacts from the Smithsonian and external sources. And every month the Smithsonian Learning Lab sends out an email with ideas for activities for students. This month's email featured Mini Exhibits about household items.

The idea behind Mini Exhibits of household items is to get people to create little exhibits that showcase the household items that are important to them and or tell a story. For example, I could tell lots of little stories about the tools and fasteners that I found in the barn when I bought my 165 year old house a few years ago.

Applications for Education
Creating a mini exhibit of household items could be a great way to get students to introduce themselves to you and to their classmates at the beginning of the new school year. You could do this with the Smithsonian Learning Lab's collections tools or just have students put together a slideshow of artifacts. 

Watch this playlist of videos from the Smithsonian Learning Lab to learn more about all of the tools and features offered.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

5 Alternatives to Traditional Book Report Projects

I've been revisiting some of my favorite books this summer. Doing that has reminded me of some ideas that I've shared in the past and also sparked some new ideas. One of those ideas is using multimedia creation tools to create alternatives to traditional book reports. Here's a handful of ideas for alternatives to traditional book report projects.

Create a Game
Have students design and publish their own online board games based on the plot and characters of a book. Flippity recently published a new template that students can modify to create their own online board games.



Create a Virtual Tour
Students can use Google Earth or Google's VR Tour Creator to create virtual tour based on locations featured in a book. Students using the web browser version of Google Earth can include videos in the placemarkers in their tours. Students who use Google Earth Pro can record audio narration for their entire tours. And with the VR Tour Creator students can include audio narration within each scene of their tours.




Create a Book Trailer Video
This now classic alternative to a book report asks students to make a short video to promote a book. Students can summarize key points in the book and try to entice viewers to read the book. Adobe Spark is a great tool for making book trailer videos.



Write Alternate Endings to Stories
Consider using the choose-your-own-adventure model and have students write some alternate endings to a story. They can do this in Google Slides. Here's a video about the process.



Create a Multimedia Timeline Based on a Story
This is a great option for students who have read historical fiction or non-fiction books. They can summarize key points of the book in a multimedia timeline made with Timeline JS. The example that I often give is a timeline that I built based on the book Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Five Comic and Storyboard Activities With Pixton EDU

Disclosure: Pixton EDU is currently an advertiser on FreeTech4Teachers.com

Online comic creation tools like Pixton EDU make it possible for almost anyone to create great-looking comics and storyboards without having to be a master artist. Creating comics and storyboards with online tools like Pixton EDU is a good way for students to share creative ideas, to illustrate concepts, and to show their understanding of events. Those are just a few of the ways that students can use Pixton EDU. As we head into the summer (in the northern hemisphere) and as we get requests from parents for at-home learning activities, here are five ideas to consider sharing.

Create Your Own Coloring Pages
Use the premade settings, objects, and characters to design scenes in Pixton EDU. When you’re done you can use them with the standard color schemes. But if you want to make coloring pages from your story’s scenes, you can print the scenes as black and white outlines to be colored by hand. Pixton EDU has a feature that lets you remove the colors and leave just the outline.

Create Your Own Digital Greeting Cards
We’re coming up on graduation season and Father’s Day. Many kids find enjoyment in making their own cards instead of just affixing their signatures to a store-bought card. Utilize some of the content packs in Pixton EDU to create a digital card. There’s even a content pack for Father’s Day.

Develop Fan Fiction
Rather than writing another book report, have students write an alternate ending to a favorite book. Pixton EDU has some content packs about books that are commonly taught in elementary school and middle school. But you don’t have to limit your students to those books as the tools in Pixton EDU could be used to create a fan fiction piece for just about any story.

Make Animal Stories
My kids, like many kids their age, love to watch baby animals. And now that spring is here (for those of us north of the equator) baby animals like ducklings, goslings, calves, and fawns may be spotted by curious kids. Capitalize on that curiosity and encourage kids to create stories about the animals they see. Pixton EDU has some animal content packs that can help students develop those stories.

Pitch a Product
Do you have a middle school or high school student who enjoys watching Shark Tank or Dragons’ Den? If so, encourage them to craft a pitch for their own products or services. Pixton EDU has presentation content packs. Utilize the idea of Dan Roam’s Back of the Napkin books and have students create simple storyboards to explain their products or services. It just might be what launches the next million dollar app or at least a kid’s summer job.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Create Random Story Starters With Google Sheets

There are lots of neat things that you can do with Google Sheets if you know how to get started. Getting started is often the hardest part. Fortunately, there are sites like Flippity that offer great Google Sheets templates that are easy to follow. The latest template added to Flippity is a random story starter. Simply called Randomizer, Flippity's latest template can be used for story starters and random name selections for groupings.

If you just looked at Flippity's sample of the Randomizer template you would think that you can only add words to it. But when you watch my new video that is embedded below you will see that you can include pictures in the Randomizer template.



Applications for Education
Flippity's Randomizer template could be great for randomly generating writing creative writing prompts. The template could also be used to randomly generating groupings of students.

On a related note, Flippity does offer a random name picker template. A demonstration of how to use that template is included below.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Five Elementary Lessons You Can Do With Pixton EDU

Disclosure: Pixton is currently an advertiser on this blog. 

For many years I’ve promoted the idea of using comics as a way to get students to develop fiction and nonfiction stories. In fact, I’ve hosted webinars in which I explained how I’ve used comics as the basis for getting students interested in telling history stories. For more than a decade Pixton has been one of the tools that I’ve used to help students develop fiction and nonfiction stories in comic form.

One of the things that drew me to Pixton many years ago was the wide variety of artwork that students can use to develop their stories. Even people like me who are not good at drawing can create great comics by using Pixton’s backgrounds, characters, and speech bubbles. Pixton EDU bundles many of those elements into thematic content packs. Those content packs can provide inspiration for stories while also giving students a variety of artwork with which to craft their stories. Let’s take a look at five elementary school lessons inspired by the content packs available in Pixton EDU.

Real World Mathematics
Pixton EDU offers a content pack called Math Shopping. In that pack are customizable backgrounds, characters, and prop items that can be used to tell stories of using mathematics concepts to make good choices while shopping. My thought was to have a little fun with this and have students illustrate examples of “bad math in the real world.” For example, I might tell the story of the time my local McDonald’s was advertising apple pies for .49/each or $1.00 for two.

Digital Citizenship
It is never too early for students to start learning and developing good digital citizenship habits. One way to help students recognize good and bad digital citizenship is to share some stories as examples. Pixton EDU offers a content pack about bullying that could be used in telling stories of good and bad digital citizenship habits.

Solar System
Use the Pixton EDU Solar System content pack to write a little solar system travel narrative. That narrative could be based on facts like the first moon landing or first Canadian to stay in the ISS. Students could also create a narrative that combines facts like distances between planets with fiction elements like putting themselves in a lunar building.

Spelling
Learning to spell is full of tricky little rules to learn. It’s also full of handy rules of thumb like “I before E except after C.” Using the framework of a comic and the tools in Pixton EDU is a good way to have students illustrate those rules. Or use those same tools to create little stories in the style of “A is for Apple.”

Social Norms and Manners
There is a lot that kids learn in school that never appears in a grade. Many of those things could be classified as social norms or manners. You can use many of the content packs or just use the blank templates in Pixton EDU to illustrate some of those norms and manners. Better yet, have students use those packs to create a story to illustrate using good manners.

How to Get Started With Pixton EDU

You can register on Pixton EDU by using your G Suite account, your Microsoft account, or by using any email address and selecting a password. Once you’ve registered as a teacher you can create classrooms on Pixton EDU. Your classroom will be assigned its own unique URL that you can direct your students to in order to join your class. Students can join with G Suite accounts, Microsoft accounts, or by directly registering on Pixton EDU.

The advantage of having students join your Pixton EDU classroom is that you can see all of their work in one place. Additionally, you can send students feedback directly from your Pixton EDU classroom.

The best way to get familiar with using the Pixton EDU creation tools is to jump in and start customizing your avatar. Fortunately, Pixton EDU walks you through that process as soon as you register on the site. Likewise, your students will be guided through customizing their own avatars when they join your classroom.

After you’ve gotten the hang of customizing your avatar, you’ll be able to quickly customize characters as you make comics in Pixton EDU. Then you’ll be ready to start working with and customizing elements of any content packs. The Truth or Lie content pack is a free and fun one to use before moving into some of the project ideas that were suggested in the first half of this article.

Friday, March 13, 2020

MonkeyLearn - A Neat Word Cloud Generator

MonkeyLearn is a new tool for creating word clouds from text that you supply. As you can see in my video that is embedded below, MonkeyLearn lets you customize the display of your word clouds before you download them as PNG files. MonkeyLearn does more than just make word clouds. You can use it to extract keyword from a document. You can also use it to analyze the sentiment of a document.


Applications for Education
MonkeyLearn, like other word cloud generators, could be useful in providing students with a nice way to visualize the most frequently used words in passages of text they are reading and or writing. In the context of analyzing their own writing word clouds can help students identify words or phrases that they might be using a little too often.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Quillionz - Quiz and Discussion Questions Automatically Generated from Documents

Quillionz is a neat service that uses AI to automatically generate questions from documents that you provide. Enter a block of text of at least 300 words up to 3,000 words and Quillionz will create quiz questions based on the key elements of that text. When I first tried Quillionz last summer it only generated multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank questions with corresponding answers. Today, Quillionz will also create open-ended discussion questions and supply some suggested responses to those questions. Quillionz calls these open-ended questions "interpretive" questions.

To use Quillionz sign up for a free account and then in your Quillionz dashboard click "new content." To the "new content" you can add text by typing or pasting in a passage of text. Your passage must be at least 300 words and no more than 3,000 words. After your text is in place Quillionz give your document a title and select a "domain" for it. "Domain" is the term that Quillionz uses for what most of us would call a subject or topic. The option to enter a custom domain is a new feature since the last time that I wrote about Quillionz. After you have done that, Quillionz will generate a set of keywords or tags that you can select as focus terms for your questions.

Based the text that you supplied, the keywords you've chosen, and the domain/ subject you've chosen Quillionz will generate a set of fill-in-the-blank, multiple choice, and discussion questions for you. You can approve, delete, or edit any of the suggested questions. When you're happy with the list of questions you can save them as a text document, print them, or export them to Quillionz's companion service Quilli Quiz. Quilli Quiz is a flashcard service.

Here's the video that I published last year to demonstrate how to use Quillionz.



Disclosure: Quillionz is currently running a banner advertising campaign on FreeTech4Teachers.com

Monday, February 3, 2020

Word Webs - Quickly Create Webs of Related Words

Word Webs is a free site that generates connected webs based on the words you enter and select. Generate a web simply head to the site and enter a word. A web of six related words will be generated on the screen. Click on any of those six words to have another connected web created.

Word Webs also has a random word option. Select "random" from the drop-down menu at the top of the page and web will be created for a randomly chosen word. You can then click on the words in that web to generate more connected word webs.

Applications for Education
Word Webs could be a handy tool to use to generate some story starters. It might also be useful to help students come up with some different words to try in their Google or Bing searches.