Showing posts with label new school year. Show all posts
Showing posts with label new school year. Show all posts

Thursday, July 16, 2020

500+ Icebreaker Questions

Believe it or not we're closer to the start of the new school year than we are to the end of the last one. Whether we're going back into our physical classrooms or staying in an online environment, we're going to need to get to know our new students and they need to get to know each other. One way to do this is through asking fun icebreaker questions. If you've run through all of your common icebreaker questions and want some new ones to try, take a look at offers lists of icebreaker questions. The questions are arranged in categories for small groups, for introverts, for adults, for work, and for fun. Coming soon they'll have lists specifically for school settings. All of the questions can be viewed individually and copied. You can also download the lists of questions in convenient PDFs.

Applications for Education
I looked through the lists on and found plenty that I would feel comfortable posing to students in my classroom, in a Zoom meeting, or in Google Classroom to start a discussion. I'm looking forward to seeing the school questions list that is building.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Three Ways You Could Get Free Stuff for Your Classroom

As the new school year starts many teachers will look around their classrooms and compile lists of things that they need or would like to have. Many teachers will end up cracking into their personal bank accounts to get those things. Before you run off to Walmart, do a little research and you just mind find that you can get some of the things you need without spending your own money. Here are three online resources you can try to get supplies for your classroom this year.

Donors Choose is a non-profit organization with a mission of helping under-funded schools. Donors Choose uses the term "citizen philanthropy" to describe its program. Donors Choose essentially solicits funding from private citizens (and some corporations) which get to choose the projects they wish to fund. Donors can donate as much as they like to one or more projects. Donors Choose provides potential donors with information about the projects that need funding and the financial situation of the schools submitting requests. (Donations made through Donors Choose are tax deductible, but as always, check with your tax professional).

Giving Getting is a website whose goal is to help people exchange free material gifts. The process for using Giving Getting seems straight-forward. If you're in need of something, register and request it. Giving Getting will then try to match you with a donor that has that item to give.

Classwish is a service through which teachers can find people willing to help purchase supplies for their classrooms. Classwish operates in a very similar manner to Donors Choose. On Classwish, teachers can create a wish list of supplies that they need for classrooms that aren't provided in their school budgets. People looking to help teachers can purchase products on a teacher's list and receive a tax deduction for their purchase.

Monday, August 12, 2013

What Would You Do If You Knew You Could Not Fail?

What would you do if you knew you could not fail? That is the question posed in a doodle/ poster that was featured on Richard Branson's blog today. The image is posted below and you watch the accompanying video on Branson's blog. With the exception of one line that may not be appropriate for students below high school / college, the poster provides some good thoughts about leveraging failure.

Applications for Education
As we start the new school year this is good time to think about how we can take risks and how we can encourage students to take risks. Without taking a risk and being willing to fail and move forward, we can't move forward in our teaching and learning. To tie this to educational technology, one of the patterns that I see in schools is teachers who try to use technology once and it doesn't go as they hoped so they default back to the safe and old methods. Use opportunities like that to enlist the help of students and or colleagues and learn together to make the experience better the next time around.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

How to Add Attachments to Google Calendar Events

On Monday I suggested some widgets to add to your classroom blog for the new school year. One of those suggestions was to add a public Google Calendar. One of the nice things about Google Calendar is that you can add links and attachments to your calendar events. This can be a great way to distribute materials to students and their parents. In the video below I demonstrate a couple of ways that you can do this. (Click here if you cannot see the video).

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Lots of Free Icebreaker and Team Builder Games

My friend Adam Bellow at EduTecher recently highlighted a great resource to have in your bookmarks at the beginning of a new semester or school year. is an online catalog of dozens of fun icebreaker and team builder activities. The activities are categorized by group size and activity type. To find an activity appropriate for your group just select your group's size then use the activity type key to find "get-to-know-you games," "team building games," or "active (break a sweat) games."

Applications for Education
In two weeks I'll be getting a new group of students in my global studies course, I'll be looking through to find a nice large group activity to help us all get to know each other.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

How's Your New School Year Going?

In late August 140 of you shared the new things that you planned to try this year. I'm curious, how are you doing with the new things you're trying this year? Leave a comment and let us all know.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
11 Techy Things for Teachers to Try This Year
How To Do 11 Techy Things In the New School Year
Free 33 Page Guide - Google for Teachers

Friday, September 3, 2010

131 Tips for New Teachers

On Sunday I asked you to share your best advice for new teachers. In total, after removing the spam submissions, there were 131 submissions. As I promised, I've compiled all of the tips into a Google presentation. When it was listed, I linked to the Twitter account or blog of the person submitting a tip. Thank you to everyone that took the time to submit their best advice for new teachers.

Disclaimer: Publication of the tips in the slides does not mean that they are all endorsed by myself or by the advertisers on Free Technology for Teachers.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
140 New Things Being Tried In Classroom This Fall
How To Do 11 Techy Things In the New School Year
11 Techy Things for Teachers to Try This Year

Monday, August 23, 2010

140 New Things Being Tried In Classrooms This Fall

Last Thursday I posted a survey and asked readers to share the new things they're trying in their classrooms this fall. In 72 hours there were 140 genuine responses (I filtered out the spam submissions). To make the survey results a little easier to read than a spreadsheet, I created a Google Presentation of the results. I linked to those people who submitted their Twitter IDs or blog URLs. Thank you to everyone that took the time to write a submission.

As for myself, this year I plan to try using mobile apps more effectively in my classroom. In particular, I'm excited to use Google's Android App developer.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
11 Techy Things for Teachers to Try This Year
How To Do 11 Techy Things In the New School Year
Free 33 Page Guide - Google for Teachers

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Survey - What New Thing Will You Do This Year?

The new school year is here (or will be very soon). This is the time of year when I think about the new things that I want to do in my classroom. Rather than just sharing what I'm going to do this year, I thought it would be good if many of us could share with each other. Therefore, I created a simple survey form on which you can post your new thing(s) for the new school year.

I will leave the survey open through the weekend and post all of the responses in an easy-to-read presentation on Monday. Please include your name, blog url, or Twitter name if you would like me to link to you.

Survey closed 8/23/2010 with 143 responses.