Sunday, February 8, 2015

Connect Fours - A Fun, New Review Game from @RusselTarr

My friend Russel Tarr, who recently took me to a party with Sophie Ellis-Bextor, sent me Twitter DM earlier today about his new review game called Connect Fours. Connect Fours is based on the concept of the connect wall in the BBC gameshow Only Connect. The idea is that you have to create four sets of four related terms from sixteen terms displayed on the board. For example, I created a game about the four major professional sports leagues in the United States. Sixteen team names are displayed on the board and players have to arrange the teams according to the leagues that they belong to.

Applications for Education
Playing a Connect Fours game could be a good way for students to review big concepts from a unit of study. One of the sample games that Russel offers is all about World War I. Sixteen terms related to WWI are displayed and students have to sort them into four themes about WWI.

To create your own Connect Fours game head to the game page and select "create new game." On the next screen enter the terms that you want displayed on your game along with the title for the groupings of terms (see my screenshot below for clarification). Your game will be assigned its own URL that you can distribute however you see fit.

The Pre-Conference

On Saturday morning I posted a fun thread for sharing "welcome to teaching moments." There are some good stories on that thread. This video that Ken Haynes at BoomWriter sent to me isn't exactly a "welcome to teaching moment," but it is a fun video that most of us can relate to.


Disclosure: BoomWriter is an advertiser on this blog.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

A Good Facebook Group for AP US History Teachers

Ken Hall, author of the US History Teachers Blog, sent me an email last night about a Facebook group that one of his colleagues has created for AP US History teachers. The group currently has more than 1,700 people sharing resources with each other. You do have to request access to join the group.

As I said to Ken last night, this AP US History Teachers Group another great example of teachers connecting online to help each other help their students. Anyone teaching AP US History should ask to join and explore the resources being shared in the group.

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Dan Ryder kicking-off
EdCamp Western Maine.
Good morning from Mt. Blue High School in Farmington, Maine where EdCamp Western Maine is about to get started. EdCamps provide a fun and informal way for teachers to get together and share ideas. At this point there have been EdCamps hosted in hundreds of cities around the world. If you haven't been to an EdCamp, I recommend finding one in your area to attend. And if you want to organize your own EdCamp, you can find directions on how to do it on the EdCamp Foundation's website.


Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. CK-12 Launches a New Collection of Elementary School Math Resources
2. Ideas for Productively Using Cell Phones in Your Classroom
3. How to Create Online Collaborative Whiteboards
4. 60 Videos of Practical Ed Tech Tips
5. Google Earth Pro is Now Free for Everyone
6. 5 Ways to Create Mapped Stories
7. How to Create Flashcards from a Google Spreadsheet

Would you like to have me speak at your school or conference this year? Click here to learn more about professional development services.

Tomorrow I will be opening registration for spring and summer sections of my popular online courses Getting Going With GAFE and Blogs & Social Media for Teachers and School Leaders. Graduate credits will be available for the courses. People who are subscribed to the PracticalEdTech.com newsletter will receive a discount on registration.

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
Versal is a great tool for building interactive online course components.
MidWest Teachers Institute offers online graduate courses for teachers.
PresentationTube provides a good way to use PowerPoint to create flipped lessons.
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 hosting iPad Summit San Diego in February.

Weekend Fun Thread - Share Your "Welcome to Teaching Moment"

Over the years I've written about and spoken about using Padlet as a collaborative blogging tool. To demonstrate how this could work, I've created a Padlet wall to share "welcome to teaching moments." I'm thinking about the fun, cute, or "whoa" moments that most of us had early in our careers that let us know that now were really teachers with our own classrooms. I've started the thread with my story. The wall is open now and I'll keep it open for the weekend. To post your story just double-click on the wall and start writing.




If you haven't used Padlet before, I have a video here that demonstrates how to get started with it. And for experienced Padlet users I have a video here about creating custom columns on Padlet.