Monday, July 14, 2014

This Interactive Will Show You If You and Your Students Are Getting Enough Sleep

We all know that sleep is important and that there is a correlation between the amount of sleep students get and how the perform in the classroom, but what about us? Are we, as teachers, getting enough sleep? National Geographic has a quiz to help us answer that question. The Secrets of Sleep quiz asks ten questions related to your sleeping habits. The quiz uses your responses to tell you if you're getting enough sleep and, if necessary, what you can do to improve your sleeping habits.

Applications for Education
The Secrets of Sleep quiz could be used by teachers themselves and by students. Health teachers could have students take the quiz to see first-hand how much sleep they should be getting and how they can go about improving their sleeping habits.

Turn Your Blog Into a Book

BlogBooker is a free service that allows you to turn your the contents of your Blogger blog into a PDF. Using BlogBooker is a fairly straight-forward process. BlogBooker walks you through each step of the process except for the very first step which might sound a little too "techy" for some Blogger users, but it's actually quite easy. The first step in using BlogBooker is to export the contents of your blog as an XML file. This is actually easy to do in Blogger. Step one is to open the "settings" menu of your Blogger blog. Step two is to select "export blog" under "basic" menu. Step three is to click "download." Don't worry, exporting the contents of your blog will not remove any content from your blog. After you've completed the export process, jump over to BlogBooker and follow their directions for completing the transition from XML file to PDF.

Applications for Education
Turning a classroom blog into a book is a great way to show students and their parents how much they have written in a semester.

Padlet Adds a New Layout Option

Today, during the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp I discovered a new layout option in Padlet. In addition to the free form and stream layouts there is now a grid layout option. Selecting the grid option in the "modify wall" menu will snap your free form notes into a grid.

Applications for Education
Padlet (formerly known as Wall Wisher) is a tool that has been used by teachers in a variety of ways for years now. I've often used as a collaborative know-want-learn chart and as an exit ticket tool. Padlet works on interactive whiteboards, on iPads and Android tablets, and in the web browser on your laptop.

In the guide embedded below I provide step-by-step directions for using Padlet in your classroom. The guide also includes ideas and directions for using Socrative and TodaysMeet. You can download the guide here and view it as embedded below.

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.