Friday, January 14, 2022

Create an Alphabet Book on ReadWriteThink

This week Larry Ferlazzo shared the exciting news that ReadWriteThink relaunched all of their popular interactive student writing templates. The templates now work without Flash. One of my favorite templates that has been relaunched by RWT is the Alphabet Organizer template. 

Alphabet Organizer is a great little tool from Read Write Think that students can use to create alphabet charts and books. The idea behind Alphabet Organizer is to help students make visual connections between letters of the alphabet and the first letter of common words. In this short video I demonstrate how to use this tool.

Anesthesia and Tonsils

One of my daughters had a tonsillectomy this week. Prior to the surgery we talked with her about what was going to happen that day and why she was going to get so much ice cream afterwards. She's too young to really understand the science of how anesthesia works, but she did understand the idea of tonsils and why they were being removed. The preparation for tonsillectomy day reminded me of a TED-Ed lesson and a SciShow Kids lesson that I shared years ago. 

How Does Anesthesia Work? is a TED-Ed lesson that provides a five minute overview of the history of anesthesia and painkillers used during surgeries. The second half of the video explains the basics of the physiology of how anesthesia works. The lesson is appropriate for high school students taking an anatomy and physiology course.



Meet Your Tonsils! is a SciShow Kids lesson that explains what tonsils are, what they do, and how a doctor checks them. It's a lesson that is appropriate for elementary school students.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Make Math Flashcards on Canva

Canva is my go-to recommendation whenever someone asks me for help with anything requiring a bit of an eye for design. So on Wednesday when a reader asked me for a tool to create printable flashcards Canva was my recommendation. There are more than 300 flashcard templates in Canva's design gallery. In that gallery you'll find templates for making flashcards for math, spelling, geography, and more. And all of the templates can be modified to fit your needs. 

In this short video I demonstrate how to use Canva to create printable math flashcards. While watching the video pay attention to my trick for making all of the cutting lines exactly the same. 



Applications for Education
There is still a time and place for offline flashcards. The reader who emailed me this week wanted to make flashcards that her students could use at home with their parents in a screen-free environment. Canva provides a good way to make those flashcards to distribute to students and parents. Of course, students can also use Canva to create their own printable flashcards.

Wind Chill and Our Perception of Cold

As I mentioned earlier this week, we've had a couple of exceptionally cold days here in Maine this week. One town near me recorded a wind chill of -36F on Tuesday. This weekend is supposed to be just as cold.  I've gone ice fishing in similar conditions without moaning about it (at least that's how I remember it). The cold got me wondering, "am I being a wimp about the cold or has my perception of cold changed?" At that line of thinking brought me back to an older Minute Earth video about perceptions of extreme weather. 

The psychology of extreme weather
Is the weather really "extreme" or is that just our impression of it? The following Minute Earth video takes on the topic of how extreme weather affects our thinking about weather patterns in general. I found the video to be interesting from a psychology perspective. The video is embedded below.



How wind chill is calculated
As I mentioned above, the wind chill was -36F earlier this week in a town near mine. Wind chill or not, that's cold! The following video explains how wind chill is calculated. The video comes from Presh Talwalkar.


Wednesday, January 12, 2022

How to Enable Spell Check in Blogger

Yesterday afternoon I answered an email from an old colleague who needed a little help with a frustrating little setting in Blogger. She wanted her students to be able to spell check their weekly reflection blog posts before they published them. Her frustration was caused by the fact that Blogger doesn't have a built-in spell check setting. 

At one point Blogger had spell check built into it. Then at some point over the last five or so years it disappeared from all of the settings menus that are built into Blogger. Today, if you want to use a spell check in Blogger you have to enable spell check in your Chrome browser settings. When you've done that you'll then have a spell check function in the blog post editor in Blogger. 

Watch this short video to see how to enable a spell check option for Blogger