Monday, December 1, 2014

50 Interactive Activities to Embed Into Elementary School Blogs

Gynzy is a service that offers pre-made activities for interactive whiteboards and websites. Much of their content is only available through a subscription, but they do offer a collection of 50 free activities that anyone can access. The free activities are appropriate as supplements to elementary school math, science, social studies, and language arts lessons. Each of the 50 free activities can be used on the Gynzy site or embedded into your classroom blog or website. One of the activities from the math section of Gynzy is embedded below.


Applications for Education
As mentioned above, these activities on their own are not enough to create a lesson plan. They could be good supplementary material to add to your classroom blog for students to use at home with their parents.

The Stanford University Spatial History Project - a new view of history

This is a guest post from Jennifer Carey (@TeacherJenCarey) of EdTechTeacher - an advertiser on this site.

Stanford University’s Spatial History Project is a community that combines humanities research with “spatial, textual and visual analysis.” On their about page, they explain that as scholars, they realize the significance and importance of displaying information within a spatial context. Too often, history is presented chronologically but a visual can provide learners with valuable context to help them make connections to a broader context.

The Spatial History Project is an amazing collection of interactive maps that explore ancient and modern societies, cultural practices, expansion, environmental impact, and more. Students could delve into topics in the Holocaust Geographies Collaborative, view changing population densities in America from 1790-2000, or explore the history of Chinese American Railroad Workers as shown below.


The site is an excellent repository of robust, interactive tools for students to explore various themes in the humanities. This is an active project, so be sure to check in often.

For more ideas about incorporating technology into History and Social Studies curricula, visit the Center for Teaching History with Technology as well as Best of History Web Sites.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

A Book and A Hug - Read and Share Children's Literature Reviews

A Book and a Hug is a book recommendation site that I initially explored a few years ago. This evening I revisited the site and found a couple of new-to-me things worth sharing. First, there is now a ten question quiz that students can complete to find out what kind of reading "superheroes" they are. The quiz is designed to help students determine the type of books they might be interested in reading. Second, the site now has a book review form that your students can complete to submit their own book reviews.

As it has for years, A Book and A Hug hosts reviews of thousands of books for young readers. You can search for books by keywords, age of the reader, genre, geographical setting of a book, and reading level.

Applications for Education
Finding books that are appropriate for and engaging to young readers can be a challenge. A Book and a Hug could be a tremendous aid in your search and your students' searches for their next favorite book.

In addition to finding reviews your students can contribute their own book reviews to A Book and a Hug. Email addresses are not required in order for students to submit their reviews.

5 Activities to Kick-start Brainstorming Sessions

On Saturday I shared a chart comparing 11 free mind mapping tools. Those tools are great when you have ideas to map. Sometimes we need a little help getting those mind maps started. In those cases, try one of the five activities outlined in the following presentation from design firm Ethos3.

View more presentations from Ethos3

The Month in Review - November's Most Popular Posts

Max and Morrison wait to
help clean Thanksgiving plates.
Good evening from Woodstock, Maine where the snow banks along my driveway and cold air remove all doubt that December is just a few hours away. In November I had the privilege of speaking at events in Ontario, Illinois, Boston, and North Carolina. Thank you to everyone who came out to one those events. Meeting many of you who read my blog is one of my favorite parts of speaking at conferences.  I hope that I get to meet even more of you in December and in 2015.


Here are the most popular posts of the month:
1. How to Create a Jeopardy-style Game in Google Spreadsheets
2. Nine Popular Student Response Tools Compared In One Chart
3. Two Browser-based Noise Meters That Show Students How Loudly They Speak
4. Three Google Drive Updates You Might Have Missed This Week
5. Candy Crime Scene - A Science Lesson
6. 5 Ways to Collect Digital Exit Tickets
7. Block Posters - Use Standard Printers to Print Posters
8. Putting Art On the Map - A Google Maps and Earth Activity
9. How to Use Padlet to Manage Tasks
10. Three Places to Find and Download Public Domain Video Footage

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.
ClassCharts provides a great way to record student behavior data.
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.
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, Chicago, and Atlanta.
StoryBoard That is a great tool for creating comics and more.
BoomWriter and WordWriter are fantastic tools that help students develop their writing skills.

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