Sunday, February 21, 2016

Elementary School Lessons About Fossils and Rocks

The American Geosciences Institute produces K-5 GeoSource which is a site that hosts lesson plans and other educational resources for teachers. K-5 GeoSource has a very Web 1.0 look to it, but if you do a little digging you'll find some helpful materials. A few of the resources that I looked at were this free chart about types of rocks (link opens PDF), a science fair project guide, and a short Earth scientist career guide.

Applications for Education
As I mentioned above, K-5 GeoSource isn't the fanciest site you'll find on the web and it lacks any kind of interactive element for students. If you just need to find some ideas to use in your classroom, K-5 GeoSource could be worth bookmarking. The most useful aspect of the site might be the science fair project guide that you and your students could work through to plan a hands-on Earth science project.

Summarize the Day With Pic Collage

Creating collages can be a good way for students to organize their thoughts in a visual manner. In creating their collages they are organizing images that may later become writing prompts for them. I've had students create collages as a way to summarize field trips. Pic Collage is the app that I like for doing that activity. Pic Collage is a free app available for Android and iOS devices. The collage you see above is a very basic use of the app on my Android phone.

After creating a collage students can add interactive elements to it by using Thinglink. Watch the two videos that I made and embedded below to learn how to use Pic-Collage and ThingLink to create interactive collages.


Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Week in Review - Thinking About Summer on the Coldest Day of Winter

Skiing across Moosehead Lake.
Good morning from Maine where the snow flurries are reminding us that winter is still here. Last Sunday we had the coldest day of the year at -17F! It was on that day that I announced that there will be two Practical Ed Tech Summer Camps this year. There will be one tailored to schools that have 1:1 Chromebook programs and one for everyone else. Both Practical Ed Tech Summer Camps will be held in July. You can learn more about them here. Discounted early registration is available now. The Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp has sold out every year for the last three years.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. 7 Tools for Creating Multimedia Quizzes Compared in One Chart
2. Quizalize - Create Interactive Review Games to Play Synchronously or Asynchronously
3. 3D Printers in Elementary School
4. PicLits - Inspire Creative Stories Through Pictures
5. 7 Blogging Platforms for Teachers Compared and Ranked
6. How to Create Video-based Quizzes on Blubbr
7. How to Use Find & Replace in Google Docs

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

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
BoomWriter provides a fantastic tool for creating writing lessons. 
SlideModel offers great PowerPoint templates for teachers. 
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards and cartoon stories.
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
PrepFactory offers a great place for students to prepare for SAT and ACT tests.
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 host workshops in six cities in the U.S. in the summer.

35 Permission Slip Templates

If you have ever organized a field trip, you have probably had to gather permission slips signed by your students' parents. Your school might have a standardized template for permission slips or it might not. Should you find yourself having to create your own permission slips and field trip letters, take a look at the templates available on Template Lab.

On Template Lab you will find 35 permission slip and field trip letter templates. All of the templates are available to download for free. The downloads are Word files that you can edit to meet your specific needs.

Before you start writing a permission slip or field trip letter from scratch, take a look at Template Lab.

A Crash Course on Philosophy

Last fall I shared more than 100 animated lessons about philosophy. This week, through Open Culture, I learned about a new Crash Course in philosophy. The new video course stars Hank Green talking about the origins of philosophical thinking. As I've come to expect with Hank and John Green there is a fair amount of sarcasm in the videos. So far two segments of the course have been published. Both segments are included in the playlist embedded below.


H/T to Open Culture.