Monday, July 11, 2016

Character Scrapbook - A Template for Reflecting on Stories

Scholastic's Character Scrapbook provides a nice template that elementary school students can use to write about and reflect on the characters in their favorite stories. The template is quite simple to use. Students enter the name of a story and the name of their favorite character on the first page. On the next pages students list ten attributes of the character. The Character Scrapbook also allows students to create pictures of their favorite characters.

As you can see in the image above, Scholastic's Character Scrapbook doesn't limit students to human characters. Students can write about and create images of animal characters too.

Applications for Education
Scholastic's Character Scrapbook could be a great tool for getting students to think about their favorite stories. The Character Scrapbook has an easy print option so that you can print and display all of your students' works in your classroom.

Splash - Create Event and RSVP Pages

Splash is a service that you can use to create great-looking event announcements and collect RSVPs.

Using Splash you can create a one page announcement of your event. To your Splash page you can add all of the important information that attendees need to know about your event. You can customize your page with your images or use the Splash stock images for your page. Attendees can RSVP through your Splash page. If you choose, you can create an auto-responder and send information directly to an attendees's email address after they RSVP.

Applications for Education
Splash could be a good way to advertise an event at your school. The RSVP option makes it easy to keep track of how many attendees to expect at your next school event.

7 Free Timeline Tools Compared In One Chart

Earlier this year I published a chart in which I compared the core features of six online timeline creation tools. The History Project is a new tool that I've featured twice in the last week so I updated my comparison chart to include it. My complete chart of comparisons of seven timeline creation tools for students is embedded below. You can also get the Google Docs version here.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

How Playing Sports Benefits the Brain and Body

How Playing Sports Benefits Your Body and Your Brain is the title of a recently released TED-Ed lesson. The video in the lesson teaches viewers about the psychology benefits of teamwork and overcoming defeat. Students watching the video can also learn how playing sports can help a person avoid or overcome feelings of depression. The complete lesson can be found here.


My one complaint about this lesson is that it does put a heavy emphasis on team sports. I wish that it would have included more references to participating in individual sports that can be pursued without the need to find a team.

How to Create a KWL Chart in Padlet

One of my favorite ways to use Padlet is to have students collaboratively create multimedia KWL (Know, Want, Learn) charts. To provide students with guidance on where to place their notes, I use a custom background on Padlet. The background is a just a screenshot of a three column page that I make in Google Documents (any other document program will work just as well) that is uploaded to Padlet. Eighteen months ago I published a video about how to do this, but since Padlet changed their user interface last month I have made a new video on how to create KWL charts in Padlet. The new video is embedded below.