Thursday, December 24, 2020

How to Create Crossword Puzzles With Google Sheets

My grandmother was a middle school and high school language arts teacher for decades. She loved crossword puzzles. I know that many other teachers still like to use them in one way or another too. If you would like to create your own crossword puzzles for your students or you want them to create crossword puzzles, Flippity has a free Google Sheets template for that purpose. In the following video I demonstrate how to make a crossword puzzle with Flippity's Google Sheets template. 

How to Quickly Create a Transcript of a Google Meet Meeting

CaptionSaver Pro for Google Meet is a free Chrome extension that anyone can use to save a transcript of what is said during a Google Meet meeting. When the extension is installed it will automatically enable captioning of your meeting and it will automatically generate a transcript of those captions. It's easy to install and use. I made this short video to demonstrate how it works

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Fun Facts About Reindeer

My daughters are at the age that they believe in Santa Claus. For weeks they've been talking about snacks for Santa and his reindeer. They're a little too young for this SciShow Kids video about reindeer, but if you have kids who are in elementary school you might want to show them 4 Facts to Know About Reindeer. 

4 Facts to Know About Reindeer explains why reindeer are called caribou in North America. The lesson also teaches students how reindeer have adapted to find food and stay warm in cold weather. The video concludes with an explanation of why reindeer migrate.


Older kids and adults who want to learn a bit more about reindeer should watch this clip from BBC Earth. The video explains how reindeer stay warm in the coldest of conditions. 

How to Remake and Reuse a Padlet Wall

Padlet has been one of my go-to multimedia tools for more than a decade. I've used it for everything from discussion prompts and backchannels to digital portfolios and image galleries. This week a reader sent me a question about reusing Padlet walls. Like a lot of questions, the answer is easier to explain in a screencast video than it is in text. That's why I created this new video about how to remake and reuse Padlet walls. 

The "remake" feature in Padlet lets you copy everything from one Padlet wall and reuse it on another with just one click. The remake feature can also be used to copy just the layout and color scheme of an existing Padlet wall without copying the notes that are on the wall. In this video I demonstrate how to use the remake feature in Padlet so that you can reuse a wall in its entirety. 


Applications for Education
The example that I gave in the video is remaking a wall of discussion prompts to use the same prompts for two different sections of class. 

If you're new to Padlet, you can learn more about all of its features in this playlist of Padlet tutorial videos. One of my favorite features is the option to create multimedia maps as is demonstrated here

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Get the Wiggles Out With Sworkit Kids

Sworkit Kids is a free app that I've been using and recommending for a few years. It provides prompts for one to five minute physical activities that kids can do in their classrooms or at home relatively small spaces. These activities are great for short brain breaks or to "get the wiggles out" during a long class. Recently, I discovered that you can use Sworkit Kids without installing the app on your phone

Whether you use Sworkit on your phone or in your web browser at https://app.sworkit.com/collections/kids-workouts the content is the same. You can choose from nineteen categories of activities. The categories are arranged by age group and activity type. After you've selected a category you can then choose the length of the activity. Once you've made those two selections Sworkit will show a demonstration of the physical movement to be done and set a countdown timer for doing the activity. If you've chosen an activity length of more than a minute you'll be shown a few different physical movements to complete. 


Applications for Education
The activities in Sworkit Kids are great for students of all ages, but are particularly good to use with elementary school students who need a break during a Zoom session. Consider using a Sworkit activity as the transition between two topics or tasks during a Zoom session.