Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Halloween-themed Physical Education Lesson Plans

Halloween is less than two weeks away. I don't know about your students and children, but mine are very excited about it! That's why I was excited to get an email from OPEN Phys Ed earlier this week that linked to more than a dozen Halloween-themed lesson plans for physical education classes. The collection is titled Pumpkin Patch Games and you can access all of them as PDFs and or Word files. 

Like all of the OPEN Phys Ed resources that I've reviewed over the last few years, the Pumpkin Patch Games are designed to be as inclusive as possible. The games aren't your "traditional" ball-sports type of games that make some kids loathe physical education classes. A few of the games students might enjoy include Silly Spooky Storytime (my older daughter would love that one), Monster Mash, and Pickles in the Pumpkin Patch

In addition to directions for each of the dozen+ games in Pumpkin Patch Games, OPEN provides music playlists that you might want to use while kids are playing the various games in your gym. 

For even more OPEN Phys Ed resources take a look at the following links:

How to Play GeoGeek AR

Last week I wrote a brief overview of a fun geography app called GeoGeek AR. The "AR" in the app's name stands for augmented reality. The use of AR makes it possible to put a digital globe right into your classroom or anywhere else that your students are standing when holding an iPad or Android tablet. Yesterday, a reader emailed me for an explanation of how to use the app. Like most things, it's easier to show it in a screencast than it is to write out directions. So I made this short demo video. Watch it to the end for a special guest appearance by one of my dogs. 



Applications for Education
As I wrote last week, GeoGeek AR doesn't require you to register in order to play. That can make it a good option for use on shared classroom iPads. Overall, it's a fun little game for practicing place identification. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Five Google Workspace Tips That Can Make Your Day Better

The best part of a being a teacher is making connections with kids. Making those connections takes time. Unfortunately, teaching also comes with a lot of procedural and administrative tasks that take away from the time that can be used to build those connections with students. But you can get some of that time back when you use helpful systems to streamline administrative tasks. In this new video I highlight five Google Workspace tips that can make your day a little better by streamlining some routine tasks. 


Watch the video above to learn about:
  • Creating email templates.
  • Using an email schedule.
  • Streamlining meeting scheduling. 
  • Creating unforgettable reminders. 
  • Quickly creating helpful things with Google Sheets templates. 

Making and Teaching With Animated Explanations - A New Practical Ed Tech Course

At the end of this week’s Practical Ed Tech newsletter I teased a new online course that I’ve been developing. That course is Animated Explanations. It will begin on November 1st.

In Animated Explanations you’ll learn why creating animations is a great teaching and learning activity in elementary school, middle school, and high school classrooms. Of course, you’ll also learn how you and your students can create animated explanations of a wide range of topics and concepts.

This course is going to be delivered in a little different manner than other courses that I’ve hosted in the past. Rather than being a series of live webinars or being a big dump of materials all at once, this course will be delivered via email. Every week, beginning on November 1st, you’ll receive an email that contains a written lesson, video tutorials, and handouts that you can use in your classroom. In total you’ll receive five lessons that all together should take you about five hours to complete.

As this course will be delivered via email, you’ll be able to ask questions by simply hitting reply at the end of each lesson.

Be a part of the inaugural class!
I’ve offered Animated Explanations in the past as an in-person workshop. This is the first time that I’m presenting it in an online format. I’ll be looking for your feedback throughout the course. And because it’s the first time I’m offering this course in this manner, I’m pricing it much lower than other five-week courses that I’ve hosted in the past.

Sign-up for the course today and you’ll receive a welcome email from me within minutes of your registration. Then on November 1st at 6am ET the first lesson will arrive in your inbox.

Course Outline
The course will be delivered in five parts through weekly emails throughout November. The lesson titles are as follows:
  • Big Picture(s)
  • Creating from Drawings
  • Stills to Animations
  • Narrated Animations
  • Programmed Animations
Questions?
If you want to know more about the course or just make sure that it’s right for you, send me an email at richard (at) byrne.media and I’ll be happy to answer any and all questions that you have.

Sign-up for the course today and you’ll receive a welcome email from me within minutes of your registration. Then on November 1st at 6am ET the first lesson will arrive in your inbox.

A note about registration fees: Registration fees from my Practical Ed Tech courses are what help to keep Free Technology for Teachers going. Without them this blog would have ended years ago. Thank you to all who have supported it over the years. 

C-SPAN Offers a Free Electoral College Poster

C-SPAN Classroom is one of my go-to sources of ideas for lessons on current events related to U.S. government and politics. Membership in C-SPAN Classroom is free and provides members with lots of digital and physical resources. One of the resources C-SPAN Classroom is currently offering to members is a poster about the Electoral College. This is an update to the one that they offered back in 2016. You can request a printed, full-size copy of the poster right here and get a smaller JPG version of it here

C-SPAN's 2024 Electoral College Map shows the number of Electoral votes each state has in 2024. The poster also includes the Electoral vote and popular vote tallies of the every election dating back to 1900. 

Applications for Education
The poster on its own is nice, but students will need some guidance in understanding what all of the information really means. To that end C-SPAN Classroom offers free lesson plans about the Electoral College including this one titled The Electoral College and the Constitution