Sunday, March 10, 2019

More Than 3500 Free Civics Lessons

60 Second Civics has long been one of my go-to resources for lessons on U.S. civics and government. 60 Second Civics is a daily podcast produced by the Center for Civic Education. Each 60 Second Civics episode offers a short lesson about US Civics. Along with each episode is a one question quiz about that day's episode. As of today there are 3,550 episodes.

You can find 60 Second Civics on the Center for Civic Education's website, on Stitcher, or you can subscribe to it on iTunes.

Applications for Education
Playing 60 Second Civics could be a good "starter activity" at the beginning of a US History or Civics class. You might consider combining and or alternating the use of 60 Second Civics with a resource like CNN 10, PBS Newshour Extra, or one of the other news sites I featured here.

A Lesson About Milk

With two growing toddlers we go through a lot of milk at my house. Whole milk for my daughters and 1% or skim for me. That's my lead in to a little lesson that students can take with them to the grocery store. That lesson is the differences in the types of milk that they find in the dairy case. In the video below Brain Stuff explains the differences between skim, 1%, 2%, and whole milk. The process of creating skim milk is also included in the video.



Applications for Education
After watching the Brain Stuff video on the different types of milk, consider continuing your nutrition lessons with one of the resources from Nourish Interactive.

Nourish Interactive is a site for elementary school health and nutrition teachers. On the site you will find lesson plans, printable guides and forms, resources for parents, and games for students.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

News and Add-ons - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where it's not quite as frosty as it has been the last few weeks. According to the calendar spring is only a couple of weeks away. The many feet of snow in my backyard disguise that fact. I'm ready for spring which is why this week I tied a bunch of flies that I plan to use for spring fishing. I hope that you had time for your hobbies this week too.

We're a third of the way through the month so it is a good time to remind you that there are just 21 days left to get early registration discounts for the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. 5 Favorite Google Slides Add-ons
2. My 5 Favorite Google Docs Add-ons
3. Five Good Places to Find Current Events Stories for Kids
4. Six New G Suite Features for Teachers and Students
5. Get a Copy of My Jeopardy Gameboard Google Slides Template
6. 5 Good Chrome Extensions for Teachers and Students
7. My 5 Favorite Google Forms Add-ons


The Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp is happening on July 15th and 16th. I've secured a beautiful location for it that offers lots of activities for the whole family within walking distance. Register in March and save $50! Registration is now open here.

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
TypingClub offers more than 600 typing lessons for kids.
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards.
University of Maryland Baltimore County offers a great program on instructional design.

Tynker Offers a Good Way to Introduce Students to Programming

Tynker is a service that provides activities to help students developing coding skills. I first tried Tynker years ago and have watched it grow from a simple app to a full-blown coding curriculum for elementary and middle school use. The Tynker coding environment makes learning to code fun and immediately accessible to students in elementary school and middle school. Of course, older kids can use it too.

Getting Started With Tynker in Your Classroom
Register as a teacher at Tynker.com to start using it in your classroom. Registration is easy because you can sign-up by using your Microsoft account, by using your Google account, by using Clever, or by entering your email address and picking a password. One of the benefits of registering with your Google or Clever account is that you can instantly import a roster from those services into your Tynker account. Otherwise, you can manually a roster and accounts for your students to use on Tynker. Either way, Tynker provides a convenient PDF of your students’ username and passwords.

Once you have set-up your account, you can begin assigning courses and lessons to your students. Tynker provides three free courses to pick from (nine additional courses are available in a premium account).Within your Tynker account you can track your students’ progress through each lesson.

Tynker provides detailed teaching guides for each course. The guides include suggested time frames, questions to ask students, standards alignment, and screenshots of what students will see when they’re trying to complete an activity in Tynker. And if you need more support, Tynker has an extensive help center, a community forum, and on-demand professional development webinars that you can access at any time.

What Tynker Looks Like to Students
At its core Tynker gives students a block-based programming interface. Students drag and drop code blocks into place to create a program. The introductory lessons have kids making animations while more advanced lessons have students programming music videos and games. And when students are ready for the hardest challenges they can use Tynker on their own to create Minecraft mods, to control connected robots, build web apps, and create mobile games for use on Android and iOS.

Want to learn more about how you can introduce programming and coding in your classroom? Register for the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp

The Spanish-American War Animated

This post is a long overdue shout-out to MrBettsClass. Mr. Betts produces engaging animated history videos for students. In contrast to the deep-dives that Tom Richey does for AP history students, the videos on MrBettsClass are more general overviews of topics in U.S. History. Take a look at the recent Spanish-American War animated video from MrBettsClass to get a good idea of what the channel is all about.