Friday, December 2, 2016

How to Distribute Digital Stickers Through Flubaroo

Earlier this week a new digital sticker option was added to Flubaroo. This option lets you apply a digital sticker to the grade reports that you send to your students through email or Google Drive. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how easy it is to use the new stickers option in Flubaroo.

To learn more about Flubaroo, watch my tutorials in the playlist below.

Showing Learning at a Higher Level Through Vocabulary

This is a guest post from Rushton Hurley, founder of Next Vista for Learning.

Can exploring a single vocabulary word show learning at a higher level?

One teacher in California decided to have students try focusing on a single idea from her English course, and one student decided to work with how language develops:

A key to deeper learning is getting students to go beyond simply identifying a term by showing its connections to larger themes. When the student can articulate more complex ideas within the story ("If this informal usage of the word didn't drive lexicologists made enough…"), the resulting video can set the bar for others.

You can have students choose videos from the set of finalists from the 90-second video contests at to come up with ideas for how they can show their learning in new ways.

Editor's Note:
Rushton Hurley is the founder of the fantastic educational video sharing site Next Vista for Learning. Rushton and I have spoken at the same conferences and shared meals many times over the years. If you get a chance to see him speak, do it!

Add Text Labels to Drawings & Pictures in SeeSaw Portfolios

In the two years since its initial launch SeeSaw has become one of my most frequently recommended digital portfolio tools. The team at SeeSaw is continuously developing new features to make it a better tool for students and teachers. The latest enhancement to SeeSaw comes in the form of a new labeling option in the SeeSaw iPad app.

SeeSaw now lets you apply text labels to the pictures and drawings that you or your students add to digital portfolios. This is in addition to the existing feature for drawing on top of images that you add to your portfolio. Watch the video below to see how the new text labeling feature works. Then check out SeeSaw's list of ten ways to use the labels.

Currently, the text labeling option is only available in the iOS version of SeeSaw. The feature will be available in the Android and web apps soon.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

What Are Owl Pellets? - Learn by Watching and Doing

One of the cool things about living where I do, essentially the middle of nowhere by most standards, is getting to see lots of cool wildlife on a regular basis. That includes occasionally seeing owls when I'm walking my dogs at dawn and dusk. With owls come owl pellets that are fun to pick up and dissect. What is an owl pellet? That is the topic of the latest SciShow Kids video embedded below.

Unfortunately, most students don't get the experience of walking in the woods and finding owl pellets. You can order owl pellets from a science lab supply company or you could have your students virtually dissect an owl pellet. Kid Wings is a website all about birds. The site includes a virtual owl pellet dissection activity. In the virtual owl pellet dissection students pick apart an owl pellet, examine the bones inside it, then match those bones to the skeleton outline they've been provided. The names of the bones are read aloud to students when they click on the bones in the virtual activity.

What You Looked for Last Month

At the end of every month I take a look at two statistics for this blog. First, I look to see which posts were visited the most. I published that list yesterday. Second, I take a look at the terms people enter into the search box on this blog. During the last month the most frequently searched terms were "sushi," "word cloud," and "random name picker." Here's a bit of information related to those terms.

Sushi Monster is a free iPad game from Scholastic that helps kids practice their addition and multiplication skills. This is the premise of Sushi Monster; students feed their Sushi Monsters by correctly choosing two numbers that when added or multiplied result in the number that the monster wants to eat. When the monster has been fully fed students move on to feeding a new monster. 

Vocab Sushi is designed to help students prepare for standardized tests such as the SAT, ACT, GRE, LSAT, and more. When you register for an account, Vocab Sushi will ask you which test you are preparing to take. Based upon the test for which you're preparing, Vocab Sushi will give you a short quiz to evaluate your current skills. Then based on your score, Vocab Sushi will generate a list of words for you to learn. To help you learn the words in your study list(s) Vocab Sushi uses a combination of audio, visual, and text resources. Vocab Sushi provides games for practicing your vocabulary skills.

Word Cloud
ABCya’s Word Clouds iPad app makes it easy to quickly create word clouds on your iPad. To create a word cloud with Word Clouds by ABCya just type or paste text into the text field. After entering your text Word Clouds by ABCya will generate a visual representation of the most common words in your passage of text. You can customize the generated word cloud by choosing different fonts, different color schemes, and by excluding words from the word cloud. Your word clouds can be saved directly to your iPad’s camera roll.

In my video embedded below I demonstrate the features of

Watch my video embedded below to learn how to make word clouds in Google Documents.

Random Name Picker
On Russel Tarr's you can find lots of great tools for your classroom. The Random Name Picker and the Fruit Machine are two of those tools that can be used in almost every classroom setting. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to use both of those tools.