Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Phrasal Verbs Friends - Fun Phrasal Verb Videos

One of the challenges that ELL students face is understanding the meanings of phrasal verbs. In the past I have featured a couple of apps that are designed to help students understand phrasal verbs. A newer resource worth bookmarking is the YouTube channel Phrasal Verbs Friends.

Phrasal Verbs Friends videos are cartoons featuring cats explaining the various meanings of common phrasal verbs.

How to Add a QR Code to a Google Document

Earlier this morning someone sent me a direct message on Twitter to ask me how to add a QR code to a Google Document. This is a process that is easier to understand if you see it in action. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to insert a QR code into a Google Document. In my example the QR code contains contact information.

How to Collect Files Through Google Forms

One of the many updates that was made to Google Forms this summer was the option to accept file uploads from people who are not a part of your G Suite for Education domain. This means that you can now create a Google Form through which parents can submit files like a signed copy of a permission slip. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to collect files through Google Forms.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

5 Topics to Cover Early This Year On Your Classroom Blog

The new school year is here and you might be trying to get a new classroom blog rolling or get your old one going again. Either way, one of the best ways to get parents to read your classroom blog early and often is to give them the information they need at the beginning of the school year. I'm not talking about things like "who do I call for early dismissal?" but the kind of information they might not even know they want. Here are five topics that fit that description.

1. How to supervise your child's web use at home.

2. Privacy settings on school-provided laptops/ Chromebooks/ iPads/ tablets. Consider adding screenshots or a screencast video illustrating those settings. Screencast-o-matic.com and Nimbus Screenshot are great tools for making screencast videos.

3. Tasty and healthy snacks to send to school with your child (Pinterest is a great source for ideas, just make sure you give proper attribution).

4. How to talk to kids about bullying. You might consider linking to some of these resources from Common Sense Media.

5. A glossary of Tween/ teen slang vocabulary. Consider posting this as a Google Doc that automatically updates as you update it throughout the school year (we all know how quickly Tween/teen slang evolves).

Need help developing more blog post topics? Take a look at my secret method for developing blog post topics. 

Making Connections - Free Webinar Next Monday

Too often our students look at the subjects they study in school as isolated sets of facts to be learned. This is due in part to the traditional formatting of textbooks. It's partly due to the nature of all print resources. That's why tools like Kids Discover Online's Discover Maps were created.

Next Monday at 4pm EST I am hosting a free webinar during which we will look at using Kids Discover Online and sound research strategies to help students see the connections between topics across multiple subject areas. The webinar is designed with elementary and middle school students in mind.

Register for the webinar here

The webinar will be recorded for those who cannot attend the live session.