Friday, June 17, 2016

Qualities of an Epic Hero - A Visual Character Guide

Qualities of an Epic Hero is a free classroom poster available from Storyboard That. The poster outlines the seven traits that make a character in a story an epic hero. Those traits are being a cultural legend, being a vast traveler, battling supernatural foes, being of noble birth, showing humility, and having superhuman capabilities. The poster provides a bit more detail on each of those traits along with symbols or icons to represent the traits of an epic hero.

You can download a high resolution copy of the Epic Hero poster for free on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Disclosure: Storyboard That is an advertiser on

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Homework Reminder Service What's Due is Closing Down, Slowly

What's Due is a free homework reminder service that I like a lot and have recommended a handful of times over the last couple of years. Unfortunately, What's Due sent me an email earlier this week that announced their pending closure. The email didn't say they were closing immediately rather it said that they wouldn't be supporting the apps any longer.

Some other ways that you can send assignment reminders to students and parents include using Remind,, or the Google Sheet's Add-on called Add Reminders which you can learn how to use in the video in this post.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A New Version of Google Sites is Coming

Google Sites is flexible tool for creating school websites, classroom blogs, wikis, and digital portfolios. For years it has remained unchanged except for the addition of page-level permissions a few years ago. Today, Google announced that a new version of Google Sites will be rolling out over the next year. The new version of Google Sites promises a new drag-and-drop editing platform, enhanced collaboration features, and new responsive design templates.

The new version will first be available to Google Apps for Business users, but should eventually appear in Google Apps for Edu too. I own a Google Apps for Business domain and I have applied for early adopter status to test the new Google Sites as soon as possible. When I have access I will be sure to post a video about the new version of Google Sites here.

Thanks to Beth Still for heads-up about the new Google Sites.

A TED-Ed Lesson on the Bill of Rights

The latest lesson published by TED-Ed explains to students why the Bill of Rights was added to the US Constitution. In the lesson students learn about the positions of Federalists and Anti-Federalists, which states pushed for a Bill of Rights, and why the Bill of Rights was added as a set of amendments to the Constitution rather than rewriting the Constitution.

Why Wasn't the Bill of Rights Originally in the Constitution? is concise and covers the basics of the arguments of Federalists and Anti-Federalists. The video is a good introduction to those arguments, but a little too basic for a high school classroom.

A Week of Presentations - A Slide of Slides

Over the last week I gave presentations and facilitated workshops Texas, Arizona, Kansas, and Missouri. Many people asked for copies of the slides that I used (slides were not used in every workshop). I put links to all of my slides on one slide that is embedded below.