Tuesday, June 5, 2018

PBS Kids Summer Adventure Math Lessons

Summer is here (in the Northern Hemisphere) but that doesn't mean that the learning has to stop. PBS Learning Media recently published set of resources designed to help you help the learning going throughout the summer.

PBS Kids Summer Adventure is a set of eight online and interactive activities designed to help kids ages 4-8 acquire and practice new math skills. Each activity should take roughly an hour to complete. All activities are aligned to national math standards as listed here.

PBS Kids Summer Adventure activities include online activities and hands-on physical activities. For example, the Sid the Science Kid Outdoor Adventure includes video segments for students to watch to learn about measurement as well as plans for taking kids outside to measure plants. The Wild Kratts Outdoor Adventure has students watch a couple of videos about animal habitats before making wildlife journals of their own.

If you're looking for more outdoor learning activities, take a look at my on-demand webinar titled 5 Ways to Blend Technology Into Outdoor Lessons

Theme Poem Lesson Plans and Interactive Module

Read Write Think is one of my all-time favorite resources for free language arts lesson plans and interactive activities. I've written about and published videos about many of RWT's interactive tools over the years. But somehow the Theme Poems interactive has escaped my attention until now.

RWT's Theme Poems interactive provides students with 32 pictures to use as the basis for writing short poems. To write a poem students launch the interactive then choose a theme. Within each of the five themes students will find related images. Once they choose an image students are prompted to write the words that come to mind as they look at the image. Students then create poems from those words. The finished product can be saved as a PDF and or emailed to a teacher from the RWT site.

Applications for Education
As mentioned above, every RWT interactive has related lesson plans. Visit the RWT Theme Poems interactive page to find a handful of lesson plans appropriate for use in K-5.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Five Things You and Your Students Can Make With Canva

During the weekend I received an email from a reader who was looking for advice on host to make a logo or graphic for her class and to use on social media. My recommendation was to try using Canva. I'm never going to be mistaken as a graphic design artist and even I can make a decent graphic on Canva. I've been using it for years in the web browser on my laptop and iPad. Recently, I started using Canva's Android app too.

Five Things You and Your Students can Make With Canva
  1. Logos and icons. Canva has a huge gallery of free templates for making logos and icons to use online and in print. Have a classroom mascot? Make a logo that includes that mascot and post it on your classroom website to add a little customization and familiarity to your site. Or add it to your header in your Google Classroom.
  2. Infographics. Having them represent data in a clear infographic can be a good way to make students analyze that data in order to best present it to others. Take a look through the infographic templates in Canva and you'll see that infographics are more than just pie charts and bar graphs.
  3. Slides. Use the slide design tools in Canva to break out of the rut of standard templates found in PowerPoint, Keynote, and Google Slides.
  4. Greeting cards. Have your students use the card templates to design greeting cards. After designing the cards your students can print them and write in them. Watch this video to learn how make greeting cards in Canva.
  5. Simple webpages. Many of Canva's templates, particularly the presentation templates, can be published online as simple stand-alone webpages. Click here to watch my tutorial on how to do that. 

Can I use Canva with students under 13?
Yes, you can. I reached out directly to Canva's CEO with the question of use by students under age 13. You can read his response right here.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Forms, Augmented Reality, and Games - The Week in Review

Good morning from hot and humid South Paris, Maine. The warmth and rain have made our flowers bloom which is a nice sight to see to after a long winter. My toddling daughter is certainly happy about this weather as it she loves to play outside and sniff the flowers. And that's what we're going to do right after breakfast. Wherever you are this weekend, I hope that you have time for fun in the sun too.

Before my kids start stirring I have this week's list of the most popular posts to share with you. By the way, you can get this list emailed to you on Sunday as part of my Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week newsletter.

These were the most popular posts of the week:
1. Using Google Forms to Track Professional Development
2. Five Options for Creating Animated Videos on Your Chromebook
3. Three Google Sheets Add-ons That Can Help You Get Things Done
4. Google Expeditions Updated With New Augmented Reality Content
5. Purpose Games - Create and Play Educational Games
6. Try These Google Forms Options to Organize Responses
7. Play Code Fred to Learn About Circulation and Respiration

Bring Me to Your School
I have three openings left in my summer schedule for on-site professional development workshops. I can provide professional development workshops on G Suite for Education, Teaching History With Technology, and many other topicsClick here to learn more or send an email to richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com to book me today.

Book Me for Your Conference
I’ve given keynotes at conferences from Australia to Alaska for groups of all sizes from 50 to 2,000+. My keynotes focus on providing teachers and school administrators with practical ways to use technology to create better learning experiences for all students. I like to shine the light on others and so I often share examples of great work done by others as well as my own. Send an email to richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com book me today.

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards.
MySimpleShow offers a great way to create animated videos for free.
University of Maryland Baltimore County offers a great program on instructional design.
PrepFactory offers a great place for students to prepare for SAT and ACT tests.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Now You Can Duplicate Your Sites in New Google Sites

The "new" version of Google Sites (it has been out for two years now) has seen a steady increase in features over the last six months. Many of those features are things that existed in the old version of Google Sites and are now available in the new version. The latest feature it make it over from the old Google Sites to the new version is the option to duplicate a site.

Duplicating a Google Site will let you make an exact copy of an existing site and have it reside at a new URL. To do this just open the "more" menu (the little menu just to the left of the publish button) and click "duplicate." You can then change the name of the duplicated site. Your duplicated site won't be live on the web until you click the publish button on it.

Applications for Education
Duplicating a site could be a convenient option to use at the beginning of a school year. If you spent the previous school year maintaining a site and you're happy with the look and content, you could re-use it by duplicating it and then just updating parts of it through the year.

Duplicate sites could also be helpful for testing a new design or new feature without impacting your primary site. In other words, you can use the duplicate as a test site.