Sunday, February 23, 2014

Glove and Boots Fix Your Grammar

Thanks to Denise Blain I have been sucked into the web series Glove and Boots. The video that Denise shared with me is all about grammar. In the video below Glove and Boots use fun examples from the the web to tackle the differences between "its" and "it's," "your" and "you're," and the proper uses of "there," "they're," and "their." Glove and Boots also teach you when it is appropriate to use "literally." The video is appropriate for high school audiences.


Group Reading With Google Documents

Using the commenting feature of Google Documents is a good way to create a record of classroom conversations about an article that you have shared with your students. Using the commenting feature is also a good way to have the conversation about an article occur entirely online. In the video below I give a demonstration of how to do this.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Week In Review - Signs of Spring

Good morning from Maine where one of my favorite signs of spring has returned, the Tim Hortons Roll Up the Rim to Win contest. This annual event adds a little fun to my coffee routine from late winter into early spring. Like the beginning of every baseball season, hope springs eternal with each cup of coffee.

Another sign of spring for me is an increase in my travel schedule. Over the next few weeks I'll be speaking at events in four cities. Next week I'll be in Little Rock, Arkansas and Toronto. The following week I'll be in Raleigh, North Carolina. And the week after that I'll be speaking in Salt Lake City. If you're attending any of these conferences, please say hello.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. How to Use Google Slides to Organize Research
2. Rubrics for Blogging and Multimedia Projects
3. Kids Can Create Alphabet Books With Alphabet Organizer
4. Browse Hundreds of Old Newspapers in the Google News Newspaper Archive
5. Students Will Enjoy Creating Fiction Stories With These Story Starters
6. StoryToolz - Writing Prompts and More
7. Design an Olympic Diet

Would you like to come learn with me in Maine this summer?
Click here to learn more about the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp.

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
IXL offers a huge assortment of mathematics lesson activities.
Typing Club offers free typing lessons for students.
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
MasteryConnect provides a network for teachers to share and discover Common Core assessments.
ABCya.com is a provider of free educational games for K-5.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers graduate programs for teachers.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
EdTechTeacher is offers professional development workshops in Boston and Chicago.
Classmint offers a nice multimedia flashcard service.
StoryBoard That is a great tool for creating comics and more.
Fresno Pacific University offers a wide variety of technology courses for teachers.

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Friday, February 21, 2014

How to Add 450+ Fonts to Your Google Documents & Slides

Earlier today I posted the picture you see to the left on my Google+ page with the comment "I decided to play with some new fonts found in Google Drive." A couple of people asked how I added new fonts.

To access and add custom fonts to your Google Drive Documents and Slides select "add fonts" from the bottom of the font selection menu that you've always used in Google Drive. Selecting "add fonts" will open up a new menu in which you can mix and match fonts to your heart's content. The screenshots below provide visual directions.
Click image to view full size. 
Click image to view full size. 

Online and Offline Fun With the Science of Pickles

Exploratorium is one of my favorite places to look for interesting science lessons, activities, and iPad apps. If you head to the Explore section of Exploratorium you will find a great mix of online and offline activities that students can do to learn about the science that is around them in their daily lives. Two of the activities that I like that are currently featured on Exploratorium's Explore section are Pickle Lab and Kosher Dill Current.

Pickle Lab is an online activity in which students experiment with the quantity of salt, temperature of their pickling solutions, and length of time to make pickles. In each round of the activity students get feedback on whether or not their chosen combinations of variables will or will not produce a quality pickle.

Kosher Dill Current is a hands-on activity in which students create a electric circuit using a pickle and some other fairly common household goods (the alligator clips and buzzer are the only things you might not have at home, but can get cheaply at Radio Shack). The purpose of the activity is to help students see how two metals suspended in an ion-rich liquid or paste separate electric charge and create an electrical current around a circuit.