Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Activities for National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month. I forgot all about it until this morning when I looked at my video about using Google Jamboard to create magnetic poetry activities. That's just one of many resources for National Poetry Month that I have in my archive of resources. Here's a handful of my favorite activities and resources for National Poetry Month. 

Verse by Verse is an experimental AI project from Google. Verse by Verse lets you compose poems by combining lines from the works of famous poets. In other words, it's a poetry remix tool. To use it you simply visit the site and select three poets to inspire you. Then you write your own first line of a poem. Once you've written a line of your own Verse by Verse will suggest three lines from each of the three poets you originally selected. You can then include those lines in your new poem. Finished poems can be downloaded as text overlaid on an background image. 

Read Write Think used to host a great, interactive template to help students create theme poems. Unfortunately, that template was Flash-based and it no longer works. That said, the page it was hosted on still offers more than a dozen poetry lesson for use in K-8 classrooms

Make Beliefs Comix offers more than 700 writing prompt pages. All of the pages are designed to be printed and given to students to write on. Within that collection you will find a small collection of poetry pages. All the the printable poetry prompt pages include artwork designed to spark a student's imagination. Some of the artwork is in color and some is in black and white. A bonus of the black and white artwork is that you're essentially getting a coloring page and a poetry prompt in one package.

Poetry 180 is a Library of Congress project that was created when Billy Collins was the U.S. Poet Laureate. The purpose of the project is to provide high school teachers with poems for their students to read or hear throughout the school year. Collins selected the poems for Poetry 180 with high school students in mind. I didn't look at every poem in the list, but of dozen or so that I looked at, none would take more than a few minutes to read in a classroom. Speaking of reading in class, Collins encourages teachers to read the poems aloud or have students read the poems aloud. To that end, here's his advice on how to read a poem out loud.

There's a Poem for That is a series of twelve TED-Ed lessons featuring six famous works. The lessons include poems from from Frost, Shakespeare, Yeats, O'Keefe, Gibson, and Elhillo.


This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that regularly steal my (Richard Byrne's) work include CloudComputin , 711Web, and Today Headline.

Handy Microsoft Forms Settings for Teachers

On Monday I shared a video that demonstrated how to use videos in quizzes created with Microsoft Forms. That video is one of four that I recently created to provide teachers with a comprehensive overview of how to create quizzes in Microsoft Forms and how students view quizzes in Microsoft Forms. The shortest video in that series is this one in which I provide an overview of sharing settings and question sequence settings in Microsoft Forms. 

Handy Microsoft Forms Settings for Teachers shows the following:

  • How to automatically collect student names.
    • Why you might not want to automatically collect student names. 
  • How to limit quiz attempts.
  • How to automatically shuffle question order. 
  • How to hide quiz results. 
  • How to customize quiz completion messages. 


Applications for Education
In case you didn't watch the video, the reason that I give for possibly not automatically collecting student names is to honor students' name preferences. For example, I have a student whose given name is a traditionally female name but prefers to be referred to with a traditionally male name. The school's student information system lists the student's given name and that is what would be automatically collected by the Microsoft Form if I used the automatic name collection option. 

This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my (Richard Byrne's) work include CloudComputin , 711Web, and Today Headline.

A Handful of Jamboard Tutorial Videos

Last week I posted a video that contained a quick overview of five Jamboard features that are helpful to teachers and students. That was just the latest in a series of videos that I have made about Jamboard over the last couple of years. To learn more about Jamboard and how you might use it in your classroom, take a look at the following videos. 

I made this video a couple of years ago when many people thought that you had to own one of Google's physical Jamboard interactive whiteboards in order to use Jamboard.Google.com


How to Use Jambord & Screencastify to Make Whiteboard Videos



How to Make Whiteboard Videos With Loom & Jamboard



How to Use Jamboard in Google Meet
You can use Jamboard in Google Meet without having to share your whole screen. 



Making Magnetic Poetry With Jamboard and Google Classroom


This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my (Richard Byrne's) work include CloudComputin, Today Headline, and 711Web.

Monday, April 5, 2021

How to Use Videos in Microsoft Forms Quizzes

Microsoft Forms has improved a lot over the last few years. In fact, there are some things about it that I prefer over Google Forms. One of those things is the way in which you can use videos as question prompts. 

In Microsoft Forms you can include a video as a part of question instead of having it be its own stand-alone item as Google Forms makes you do. In Google Forms you insert a video then write a question directly below it. The flaw with that system is that it's easy to accidentally move the video away from its corresponding question(s). In Microsoft Forms the video is actually a part of the question prompt so that the video and its corresponding question are always connected. 

In this video I demonstrate how to use video in Microsoft Forms. The video is part of a series of Microsoft Forms tutorials available on my YouTube channel and here on Practical Ed Tech



Applications for Education
Using short video clips in a quiz or review activity is something that I do fairly regularly. I use short, often silent, clips to have students make observations about network activity then answer a few questions. The advantage of Microsoft Forms is that when I use the "shuffle questions" option the videos are still connected to the questions unlike in Google Forms where the videos aren't always connected to the questions after using the shuffle option.

This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my (Richard Byrne's) work include CloudComputin , 711Web, and Today Headline.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Hybrid Instruction, Boxes, and Tires - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where the sun is rising and it's going to be a nice spring day. That doesn't mean we don't still have some snow lingering in the yard. My dogs are grateful for the few remaining piles of snow that we have. My daughters will be happy that tomorrow's Easter egg hunt won't require them to wear snowsuits and boots like last year. 

This week I'm taking a slightly different approach to my week-in-review list. Usually, I just list the seven most popular posts that appeared on Free Technology for Teachers during the week. This week I'm including a few posts from the other sites that I maintain. 

These were my most popular posts of the week:
1. Three Areas That Can Help Teachers Improve Hybrid Learning for All Students
2. How to Make and Share Google Jamboard Templates
3. A Fun and Educational Use of Cardboard Boxes
4. How to Record Voice Notes in Gmail, Google Classroom, Google Slides, and Google Docs
5. A Great Series of Videos for Those Who Have I.T. Career Questions
6. Google Meet Transcripts Automatically Saved as New Google Docs
7. How to Fix a Flat Bike Tire

On-demand Professional Development
Other Places to Follow Me:
  • The Practical Ed Tech Newsletter comes out every Sunday evening/ Monday morning. It features my favorite tip of the week and the week's most popular posts from Free Technology for Teachers.
  • My YouTube channel has more than 34,000 subscribers watching my short tutorial videos on a wide array of educational technology tools. 
  • I've been Tweeting as @rmbyrne for fourteen years. 
  • The Free Technology for Teachers Facebook page features new and old posts from this blog throughout the week. 
  • And if you're curious about my life outside of education, you can follow me on Instagram or Strava.
This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my (Richard Byrne's) work include CloudComputin and 711Web.