Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Five Helpful WriteReader Features for Teachers and Students

Disclosure: WriteReader is currently an advertiser on

WriteReader is a great platform for online creative writing projects. It has many features that make it great for elementary school use. Some of those features include how students access it, the library of artwork, and audio support for students. 

In this new video I demonstrate how to use WriteReader for creative writing assignments. Along the way I highlight my five favorite features of WriteReader. In the video you'll see me:

  • Add students to my free WriteReader account. 
  • Demonstrate how students join WriteReader without an email address. 
  • Browse through the huge image library. 
  • Record audio in WriteReader. 
  • Create a template in WriteReader.
  • Demonstrate how students can create books in WriteReader. 
  • Demonstrate how to give students constructive feedback on their writing. 

Social Studies Teachers! One Month Left to Apply for an Awesome Fellowship

I shared this news back in January, but that feels like so long ago now that some tulips are starting to poke out of the ground in my yard. This summer C-SPAN Classroom is hosting their annual teacher fellowship program in a virtual format

C-SPAN's Summer Fellowship program is now open for applications. Those who are accepted into the program will spend a few weeks working remotely with C-SPAN's education team. Participants receive a $1,000 stipend for their participation in the program. More details about the summer fellowship program are available here. Applications are due by May 6, 2022.

Every summer C-SPAN Classroom also hosts a conference for social studies teachers. A friend of mine participated in it a few years ago and he said it was an amazing experience. C-SPAN hasn't announced dates for this year's summer conference, but it does appear that it will be virtual. Check this page later this spring for dates and information about C-SPAN Classroom's summer conference. 

The Math and Science of Baseball

Tomorrow is the opening day of the 2022 Major League Baseball season. I'm excited to watch the Red Sox beat the Yankees tomorrow afternoon! If you have students who are as excited as I am about the start of the baseball season, try to capitalize on that enthusiasm with one of the following educational resources.

The Baseball Hall of Fame (which I'll be visiting this summer) offers fifteen free lesson plans that are aligned with the Common Core Standards for Math and English Language Arts. There are lessons for math, social studies, science, the arts, and character education.

Exploratorium's the Science of Baseball has some nice resources that can help students understand how a bit of science and mathematics is involved in every baseball game. The Science of Baseball includes video and audio clips of baseball players and scientists explaining how the weather affects the flight of the ball, the physics of various pitches, and reaction times to thrown and batted baseballs.

The Physics of Baseball is a PBS Learning Media lesson for students in high school. Learn about motion, energy, aerodynamics, and vibration.

Perfect Pitch is a nice little game produced by the Kennedy Center's Arts Edge. Perfect Pitch uses the backdrop of a baseball diamond to teach students about the instruments in an orchestra through a baseball game setting. The game introduces students to four eras of orchestral music and the instruments used in each. Students can create their own small orchestras and virtually play each instrument to hear how it sounds. After building an orchestra students then test their knowledge in short quizzes about the instruments and their sounds.

And if you're looking for an explanation of the fundamental rules of baseball, this video provides a fairly concise explanation. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Using Branching Logic in Microsoft Forms to Provide Directions

Branching logic is a great feature in Microsoft Forms that can be used to direct people to specific questions or further information based on how they answer an initial question. I've used branching logic to differentiate quizzes that I've created. I've also used it to create self-guided help resources for students. In this new video I demonstrate how to use branching logic in Microsoft Forms to give information to parents based on how they answered an initial question. 

Learn more about how to use Microsoft Forms in the following videos and blog posts:

Free Webinar This Thursday!

This Thursday at 4pm ET/ 1pm PT Rushton Hurley and I will resume our Two EdTech Guys Take Questions webinar series. It's free and open to anyone who would like to join us. You can ask us questions live or send them in advance. Don't have any questions? That's okay, just come and find out what other teachers are wondering about. 

We'd love to have you join us! You can register for the session right here.

Do you want to see what this series is all about before registering? You can watch all of the previous Two EdTech Guys webinars on this Next Vista for Learning page