Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Scholastic Word Wizard - Vocab Quiz Creator

Creating vocabulary quizzes is one of the necessary, yet tedious tasks that most teachers have to do. Fortunately, Scholastic has created a free program that will make creating vocabulary quizzes quicker and easier. The Scholastic Word Wizard Vocab Quiz Maker does everything for you except select the words for your quiz. To use the word wizard simply enter into the quiz maker a list of up to twenty-five words. The quiz maker will then, if necessary, ask you to specify the form of the word(s) you've entered. After that the quiz maker generates a vocabulary quiz for you complete with a word bank on one side of the page and questions on the other side.

Applications for Education
The Scholastic Vocab Quiz Maker can be used to generate vocabulary quizzes for any grade level.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:

Create a Homepage With Scholastic Homepage Builder
Construct a Word - Build Vocabulary and Spelling Skills
Ten Spelling Games and Lessons

Video - You Don't Know How to Email

Today, while looking for a sample of an Ignite presentation (yes, I could have used Chris Lehmann's, but I wanted something a little lighter) to show to some students and colleagues, I came across this video of an Ignite presentation in Boise, Idaho. The presenter in the video, Erik Goodlad, reminds us that while most people know how to perform the task of emailing, many people don't know how to email. Erik, a tele-commuter, somewhat humorously provides tips for improving email communications.

Below the video I've listed some email guidelines that I have for my students and I'd love to read your additions to the list in the comments.

My guidelines for student to teacher email communications:

1. Always include a subject. "Hi," "hey," and "hello" don't count. Similarly, simply using "homework" or "hw" doesn't count as a suitable subject. Give me an idea of what your email is about.

2. Much like subject lines, don't start your email to me with "hey" or a similar greeting. Call me old-fashioned, but I think students should address their teachers as Mr. Ms. Mrs. or Miss.

3. If you're mad when you're writing your email, wait an hour then re-read your email before you press send.

How a Bill Becomes Law Interactive Flowchart

In my quest to find appropriate materials for the US Civics course that I'm teaching this semester, I recently came across this interactive flowchart on the Lexis Nexis website. The chart has a very Web 1.0 look, but don't be fooled, it has a lot of detailed information. Click on any element in the chart to find reveal detailed information about that step in the legislative process. An image of the chart can be seen below.

Applications for Education
Despite it's rather basic look, I used this interactive chart with my students last week and found it to be a much better resource than the standard textbook charts. What I particularly liked about using the chart was that my students could about the nuances of the legislative process while still looking at the original chart (I had them open two tabs so technically it wasn't the exact same time but it was better than page flipping in a book).

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
US Government Studies Games
Budget Cuts and Taxes - Lesson Plans
The Inauguration in 60 Seconds

A Vision of Students Today

Something I read on Robert Scoble's blog last weekend reminded me of this video posted on YouTube more than a year ago by Professor Michael Wesch. The video has now been viewed nearly four million times on YouTube. So chances are good that you've seen it. If you haven't seen it, take four minutes to watch it now.

From the video: "When I graduate I will have a job that doesn't exist today."
That statement applies not only to college students but to all students. What are we doing as educators to prepare students for jobs whose descriptions do not yet exist?

"This year I will read 8 books, 2300 webpages, and 1281 Facebook Profiles."
What are we doing as educators to engage students in learning through the use of current technologies?

Get Body Smart - Interactive Tutorials and Quizzes

Get Body Smart has number of tutorials and quizzes divided into eight categories of anatomy and physiology. Each category is divided into subcategories where visitors will find quizzes for each topic. The tutorials and quizzes are best suited to use in advanced high school anatomy and physiology courses.

Applications for Education
Get Body Smart could be a very useful study tool for students taking a human anatomy course or an advanced biology course.
I wish this site had been available when I was slogging through a semester of Human Anatomy and Physiology.