Monday, July 14, 2014

Storyboard That Releases New Teacher Guides

Disclosure: Storyboard That is an advertiser on this blog.

Storyboard That provides templates in which you can create your stories in a comic strip style. To help you create your story Storyboard That provides dozens of scenes, characters, and text bubbles to fill your storyboard's frames. Each element that you drag into your storyboard's frames can be re-sized, rotated, and re-positioned to your heart's content. Your completed storyboard can be saved as a comic strip, saved as a set of images (one image for each frame), or saved as a set of PPTX slides.

This week Storyboard That added three new guides for teaching classic literature with storyboards. The new guides provide great ideas for teaching Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet, and The Great Gatsby with storyboards. Each of the guides include a set of essential questions, alignment to Common Core standards, and templates for character analysis. The templates also include ideas for using comics in which students analyze the elements of plot in each story.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Plastic Bags and the Environment - A Mockumentary

The Majestic Plastic Bag is a mockumentary video produced by Heal the Bay. The video chronicles the journey of a plastic shopping bag from a store, through a park, and to the ocean. Watch the video below.

Applications for Education
The video is intended to raise awareness of the impact of plastic shopping bags on the environment. Perhaps after watching this video in your classroom you could challenge students to think of alternatives to plastic bags or ask them to develop ideas for reusing and recycling plastic bags. You could also have students further study the impact of plastic bags on the environment. To demonstrate the information they find, have them create real documentaries about the impact of plastic bags on the environment. WeVideo is a good tool for creating documentary videos. 

This Timer is Three Timers In One

Online Egg Timer is a simple website offering three countdown timers on one screen. You can set just one timer or run all three at the same time with different settings. No registration is required in order to use Online Egg Timer. Just go to the site, set the countdown timer(s) using the up and down arrows, then click "start timers."

Applications for Education
I have used timers for a bunch of purposes in my classroom over the years. I have used them while playing review games like Jeopardy. I have used them to keep a class moving from task to task on schedule. And I've used them to make sure that I don't go off on too many tangents when delivering a short lecture to students.

Create Molecular Model Simulations With the Molecular Workbench

The Molecular Workbench is an excellent site produced by the Concord Consortium with funding from the National Science Foundation. On the Molecular Workbench you can find dozens of interactive models, simulations, and lessons in biology, chemistry, and physics. Each of the lessons walk students through a concept or series of concepts using a set of models and simulations. For example, the Cellular Respiration activity is actually a series of nine lessons using simulations of the process.

In addition to the pre-made models, simulations, and lessons users can create their own using the tools provided by the Molecular Workbench.

Applications for Education
The Molecular Workbench could be a great resource for science students and teachers. The pre-made activities alone could be great supplemental materials for a science class. The option to create their own models allows students to get some hands-on practice using knowledge they've gained in their science classes.

The Week In Review - Preparing for Camp

Good evening from Woodstock, Maine where I'm taking care of the final details before the start of the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp on Monday morning. In addition to preparing for the camp I spent the week doing a lot of writing. Most of that writing appeared here and some appeared on my other blogs iPad Apps 4 School and Android 4 Schools.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Made From History is a Must-bookmark for History Teachers and Students
2. How to Use PicCollage - And Five Ideas for Using It In Your Classroom
3. Odyssey.js - A New Way to Create Mapped Stories
4. 100+ eBooks On Everything You Might Want to Know About Microsoft Products
5. An Interactive Look at the History and Distribution of Baby Names in the U.S.
6. How to Use Padlet Mini
7. How to Measure Distances in Google Maps

Would you like to have me speak at your school or conference? Click here to learn about my keynote and workshop offerings. 

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. 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.
StoryBoard That is a great tool for creating comics and more.

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