Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Create Random Seating Assignments With Mega Seating Plan

On Sunday evening I shared the Mega Report Writer for streamlining the process of writing narrative reports. The same teacher who developed that tool also developed Mega Seating Plan. Mega Seating Plan is a free tool designed to help you create seating charts from a spreadsheet of names or from an imported Google Classroom roster.

To create a seating chart in Mega Seating Plan simply import a spreadsheet of names or import a Google Classroom roster, indicate where seats will be placed in your classroom, and then let Mega Seating Plan randomly assign students to seats. You can quickly alter the seating chart by dragging and dropping names on the chart.

Mega Seating Plan also has a random name selector tool built into it. To use that tool just pick a class list then click the center of your browser window to have a name randomly selected from the list.

Applications for Education
Mega Seating Plan could provide you with a quick way to shuffle the seating plans in your classroom. You might also use it to randomly create working groups in your classroom. To do that just arrange seats in groups then use the random assignment function to put students into working groups.

5 Tips for New Google Calendar Users

On Monday morning I shared a few tips for new Google Docs users. This morning I have tips for those who are new to using Google Calendar. If your school has made the switch to G Suite for Education, these tips are for you.

In the above video you will learn:
  • How to create an event.
  • How to set calendar reminders.
  • How to color code icons/events.
  • How to use the agenda view.
  • How to print your calendar. 

The Library of Congress Puts Hamilton's Papers Online

The Library of Congress has put their collection of Alexander Hamilton's papers online for the public. The collection of papers includes some of Hamilton's letters to family and friends, a draft of Washington's farewell address, and documents from Hamilton's law practice. Additionally, the Library of Congress has put together a simple timeline of Hamilton's life. These papers are available to view online and or download as PDFs to print and read offline.

Applications for Education
The Library of Congress has included some of Hamilton's papers in their primary sources sets for teaching about the Constitution. Included in those sets you will find analysis guides for students.

I am inclined to use Docs Teach to create analysis activities based on Hamilton's papers. In particular, I would use some of his papers on the creation of a mint and a national bank as part of lessons about the formation of early economic policies of the United States. Docs Teach lets you upload files to use in an interactive analysis activity that your students complete online.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Front Row Offers New Science Units for the New School Year

Earlier this summer I featured Front Row's updated social studies units that complemented their existing language arts units. Over the summer Front Row expanded their offerings to include ten science units. Like all Front Row offerings within the new science units you will find multiple versions of the same article to distribute to your students. You can give the same version of an article to all students or give different versions to individual students in your classroom.

Front Row's ten new science units are designed for elementary school and middle school students. The ten new Front Row science units are:
  • Weather and Climate (K-2)
  • Ecosystems (K-2)
  • Forces and Motion (2-5)
  • Energy (3-5)
  • Space (3-5)
  • Structure and Properties of Matter (3-5)
  • Chemical Reactions (6-8)
  • Earth Systems (6-8)
  • Evolution (6-8)
  • Structure and Functions of Cells (6-8)
Applications for Education
Within each of the new science units you will find detailed lesson plans that include materials lists when necessary, videos, and articles to distribute to your students. 

Front Row has a short diagnostic test for your students to take when they join your Front Row classroom. The results of that diagnostic test can help you identify which version of each article to give to your students.

Three Google Docs Features New Users Often Ask About

If your school is making the switch to G Suite for Education this year, you probably have a question or two about how Google Docs works. In the short video that is embedded below I cover three features that new Google Docs users often ask me about.