Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Find Halloween ELA Articles on ReadWorks

Last week I shared a Halloween-themed physical education lesson and instructions on how to find and modify Kahoot games about Halloween. Those of you who are looking for Halloween-themed stories to use in ELA lessons could do well to turn to this collection on ReadWorks.

The bulk of the Halloween collection on ReadWorks features articles for a  K-8 audience with a few 9-12 articles mixed in. The articles covered topics like the history of Halloween, pumpkin farms, and the history of ghost stories. Like all ReadWorks articles, you'll find comprehension questions and vocabulary sets to accompany the articles. A read aloud feature is also available in ReadWorks.

Of course, now that ReadWorks allows students to choose their own articles to read, you could just let your students pick a Halloween article on their own.

More Halloween resources can be found in the following articles:

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Learn Javascript Fundamentals and More With Google's Grasshopper

About eighteen months ago Google published a mobile app called Grasshopper. Grasshopper was created as an app for students to use to learn to code on their Android phones or iPhones. Today, Google announced that you can now use Grasshopper in the web browser on your laptop or desktop computer.

Whether you use Grasshopper on a phone, tablet, or laptop each lesson starts with an introduction to the basic vocabulary of coding before moving into the coding lessons. You have to pass the vocabulary quiz before your can jump into the lessons. Each lesson has a tutorial, a practice activity, and a quiz. You have to successfully complete each lesson before progressing to the next one. Grasshopper will save your work in progress.

Applications for Education
I tried the Grasshopper app when it first came out and found it intuitive and easy to use. As I wrote then, I can see middle school and high school students following the tutorials with little or no intervention from their teachers. In fact, I'm going to have my 9th grade students try Grasshopper next week when I'm away for the day and a substitute teacher will be with them.

VidReader - Create Searchable Transcripts of YouTube Videos

A couple of weeks ago I published a blog post and a video about a neat service called SnackVids. SnackVids has since been rebranded as VidReader. With its new name VidReader does the same thing that SnackVids did. That thing is create a searchable transcript of any YouTube video that is narrated in English. As you'll see in the video, the transcript is not only searchable but all of the keywords are hyperlinked to timestamps in the video.


Applications for Education
After I published the above video a couple of weeks ago, a lot of people commented to me that SnackVids, now VidReader, could be a good tool to provide assistance to students who need to or want to read along with a video.

More Than 18,000 Teachers Get Their Ed Tech Tips This Way

Five years ago I started the Practical Ed Tech Newsletter as an alternative to the daily email digest that is automatically generated from Free Technology for Teachers. The Practical Ed Tech Newsletter is not automatically generated. It's something that I write every weekend and send on Sunday evenings. In the newsletter I share my tip of the week and a list of the most popular posts of the week from Free Technology for Teachers. As of this morning 18,019 people are subscribed to the Practical Ed Tech Newsletter. You can join them by signing up here.

If you are currently receiving the daily emails from Free Technology for Teachers and you register for the Practical Ed Tech Newsletter, you won't be unsubscribed from the daily email list unless you click the unsubscribe link that is in the footer of the daily email.

Monday, October 7, 2019

5 Handy Google Slides Features You Might Be Overlooking

Like any good presentation tool Google Slides has lots of little features that often go overlooked even by students who have used it for a long time. I was reminded of this today while helping students in one of my classes put some finishing touches on presentations that they're going to give later this week. On that note, here are five helpful Google Slides features that you might be overlooking.

1. Custom sizing
2. Slide navigation options
3. Hiding speaker notes
4. Enabling rulers and guides
5. Automatic slide numbering

You can see all of these features in action in the following video.