Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Get ready to fight

Online, that is.  Code Warriors helps student (grades 4-12) learn JavaScript. This might be something to set up as a station for your students. Now this might appear as a gaming site (it works at home).

For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Coding Resources

CodeHow is a YouTube playlist with a wide variety of coding resources.  This site is geared to high school students.

For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Coding for the high school folks

FreeCodeCamp provides a variety of self paced classes. And you can practice by helping nonprofits with real world projects.

For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Looking for the main ideas?

I saw this Black Out text  (for improved reading comprehension) last night on Facebook- and it is wonderful!

Eric Curts’ post has many great tips in creating  information text documents for your students- and then having them delete the unneeded details . This will help them with reading comprehension and provide a tool to help them focus on the main ideas.  As Eric says, you could do this with paper and a black marker, but I think his tech solution is even better!

As a variation on a theme, consider having your students create Black Out poetry.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Google Templates Have Moved!

Using Google Templates can be a quick way to jumpstart a document or a time-saving device (when you are using the same format again and again). While templates used to have their own location, they have now moved!  I’ve created a video to show you how to find them.  For additional information, please see Richard Byrne’s (from Free Technology for Teachers) post here.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Google Earth

Have you ever explored Google Earth?  Here’s a great tutorial from Richard Byrne Free Technology for Teachers.  Google Earth doesn’t work on Chromebooks- so you will have ;to use a machine running Windows/IOS.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Side by Side

Alice Keeler shared her Chrome Extension in a recent blog post.  It will allow you to open two windows side by side- in the example, you can see Google classroom as well as a student document. Please read her post here for all the details.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Make your slides interactive! (Choose your own adventure!)

Alice Keeler (in her blog post today) reminded me of the possibilities with making non-linear slide presentations.  I use them frequently in training (so I can quickly move around the presentation without going sequentially) but the examples she shared included the ever popular Choose your own adventure genre.

In her post, she included superb resources from Eric Curts.  Please click here  to access his webinar recording and resources.  Here is a brief overview of the project.

I would like to explore this technique with a class- please contact me if you are interested.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Poetry in Storybird

While working with Chris Testa’s class on Storybird today, Chris had a chance to explore the poetry feature.  It provides a single image with words for you to arrange over the picture.  You can reset both the image and the word.  As with all Storybird projects, the images are engaging. She emailed her work to me:

This might be a fun group activity on a smartboard. You could collect the images in a slide presentation. If you are in district and want to try Storybird, here are the directions.

Adding your voice to slide presentations

Many folks have complained (myself included) that there is not an easy way to add voice to Google slides. The Learnia may offer a solution.  You can upload your slides (after you download them to powerpoint) and then add up to 15 minutes of narration.

Here’s a sample I created on signing into your school Google account.  The site is designed for flipped classroom lessons, but I know you could create any type of tutorial you wanted.  You can email the presentation or embed it.

For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here.

Monday, November 21, 2016

The History Project- tell your story

Want to share someone’s life story?  Check out The History Project.  You can can create a timeline or a slideshow.  Geared for older students ( emails or Google sign in- I would think middle - high school), you can view publically shared stories or create your own.

For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here.

Sunday, November 20, 2016


Here’s a site that shows the connection between math, science, and music.  Geared for all ages, there are a variety of activities for all types of learners (and learnings).

For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

So how did America volunteer during WWI?

 Here’s a free set of lesson plans covering these topics:

1| U.S. American Volunteers in World War I, 1914-1917
2| U.S. American Women’s Volunteerism and Suffrage in World War I
3| Diversity and Debate on the U.S. Home Front During the “European War”
4| Lost Generation Artists and Writers as World War I Volunteers
5| Humanitarian International Relief: A Legacy of Great War Volunteerism
6| Young People, Volunteerism, and Global Citizenship: From World War I to the Present
I’m not sure if I would do all 22 lessons, but I think it is worth a look for integration with your lessons.  

For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Snowball fight!

Maria Vella shared this short video of her students using one of their favorite Spotlight on Strategies- the snowball  fight!  Check out Discovery Education for a constantly updated source of technology integration ideas.
Since we have a subscription, sign into your account, go to Professional Learning, then select Strategies and Resources.  Scroll down to see Spotlight on Strategies.

Not a subscriber?  Visit the Discovery Education blog here - then search for SOS!

Sharks on TED-Ed

Who doesn’t love sharks?  Or are at least a litle curious about them.  Here’s a lesson from TED-Ed that might be of interest to your students.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Thanksgiving from Discovery Education

Need a few Thanksgiving resources?  Check out the offerings from Discovery Education here. Resources are divided by grade level and include a Spotlight on Strategies.

Thanksgiving and SBT

Thanksgiving is just around the corner- and here are some suggestions from Storyboardthat for your Thanksgiving lessons.  If your students create any- please think about sharing them with me.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Pilgrims arrive

If you are looking for short videos for Thanksgiving?  You might want to look at the American Experience and their series on the Pilgrims.   These PBS resources  include handouts, vocabulary, and suggested lessons.

Finding that Google Classroom

Here’s a good suggestion from Alice Keeler on the easiest way to locate your Google Classroom from the dashboard.  It all has to do with numbering and the search feature.  For the complete post, please click here.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Paper slides from the colonies

Tracey Paul invited me to her class to assist with paper slide filming.  Her class worked in groups and produced paper slides on the New England, Middle, and Southern colonies.  Here are two samples.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Free Virtual Field Trips

Learn Around the World has just released their last set of fall field trips.  These include:
1- Wildlife of Maine :

GEOshow Nov. 28 @ 1:00 PM EST
GEOshow Jr. Nov. 29 @ 12:00 PM EST
GEOshow Nov. 30 @ 11:30 AM EST
GEOshow Jr. Dec. 1 @ 10:30 AM EST
GEOshow Jr. Dec. 2 @ 10:00 AM EST

2- Wright Brothers - First in Flight :

GEOshow Jr. Dec. 5 @ 1:30 AM EST
GEOshow Dec. 6 @ 11:30 AM EST
GEOshow Jr. Dec. 7 @ 12:00 PM EST
GEOshow Dec. 8 @ 1:00 PM EST
GEOshow Jr. Dec. 9 @ 10:00 AM EST

Total VFTS open for registration
Week 10 - Pilgrims of Plymouth  (week of 11/14)

The GEO Shows are geared to grades 5-8 with the Jr  show for grades K-4. To register and for more information, please visit their site here.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Visit the polar bears

Please click here to register for Discovery Education virtual field trips for your students.  They will be live from Churchill, Manitoba with 3 trips (please read the descriptions for the grade levels).  I realize this is a tough month (given our school schedule) but I would encourage you to try and join one of the trips.

TED-Ed: The afterlife of an Egyptian

I love the TED-Ed talks- the brief (under 5 minute videos) along with a series of multiple choice questions, additional resources, and then guided discussion questions.  Here’s the lesson on
The Egyptian Book of the Dead: A guidebook for the underworld - I’ve embedded the video below.  

Looking to learn with primary resources?

In this blog post from Richard Byrne, he walks you through a lesson on using primary resources with high school history students using a Google doc.  I think you could modify the lesson for younger children as well.

Friday, November 11, 2016

More from Quizizz!

Quizizz is one of my favorite tools for formative assessment. Now they have added some updates including:
  • Add Quizzes to collections and get things better organized.
  • Like your favorite Quizzes.
  • Discover quizzes based on popularity, recency and more

Here’s their story:

Introducing the all new Quizizz!

The new school year is in full swing! We know it’s always exciting to come back — A fresh start, new class, new students and even a new school for a few of us. This time of the year has always been special for us at Quizizz too. Last year, during this period, we released reports and homework features. We were ecstatic to see the impact of these features and heard many wonderful stories from you on this.
This year we are all set to release our new set of features again. The team has worked hard during this summer to add more awesomeness to Quizizz. The result? The new Quizizz is now faster, more secure and finding content has never been easier. We have significantly improved our search and added features to keep you better organized.

  • Discovery: We have significantly improved our search algorithm, the new search automatically surfaces the trending quizzes to the top. In this release, you can filter your searches on grade levels and easily discover quizzes based on popularity, recency etc.
  • Collections: The new “collection” feature not only allows you to easily organize the quizzes you created, but also gives you the power to bookmark any public Quiz to “My Quizizz” section. Learn more.
  • Remove a Player: This was one of the top requested feature from last year, Now you can remove a player from the reports section as well as in the live dashboard of your Quizizz game. This saves us all from the embarrassment caused by some of the over creative students.
  • Faster Quizizz: Quizizz game has been redesigned to make it work even on low bandwidth networks. Up for a challenge? Our previous record boasts of 2500 users in a single session but we want you to test the limits of our new system.
  • HTTPS support: Now all the communication between your browser and Quizizz servers will be through a 256 bit encrypted SSL channel. This feature will add security measures and make it harder for others to sniff on our conversations.
  • Like your Favorite Quiz: Do you like a particular quiz? With this feature you can show all the love to your favorite quiz by liking it.
  • Rename a Report: This allows you to change the name of your reports and keep a better track of your quizizz games.

We hope these new features make your Quizizz experience even better. We invite you to experience the new Quizizz and share your ❤️ like always. Until then #HappyQuizizzing!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


Do your high school students need step by step help for their research?  You might want to check out  R4S Research for Success.  Its modules will help students understand all aspects of the research process from development a good question to reflection . For the complete post, please see TeachersFirst.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Paper Slides from Rome

Well, not really from Rome- more of a timeline from the Roman Empire.  Steve Gluchowski  (from the high school) shared some of his students’ recent work- I’ve selected two to show here.  Paper slides is an easy (requires paper and crayons and then one camera) way to showcase your students’ learning.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Google Classroom

Getting started in Google Classroom?  Alice Keeler provides her method in this blog post.  It is probably not what you think- I was surprised when I read it.

Primary versus Secondary

Viewing this video should help your middle and high school students determine the difference in sources.  For the complete post, please see TeachersFirst.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Primary Sources

The Library of Congress has collected some of its primary resources into Primary Source Sets.  The topics range from Lincoln, the Dust Bowl, Immigration, and more.  There are even lesson plans and suggestions for classroom applications. For more, please see the post from TeachersFirst.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Newspaper online

For those who think online newspapers are a recent event, check out Chronicling America a site from the Library of Congress.  You can search by topic or by state, language, and more. There are historical sources as well as current publications.  For more, please see the post from TeachersFirst.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Want to read the founding (fathers and mothers)?

Then check out Founders Online- search by writer, time period, and more.  Challenge your students to use these primary resources to add to their understanding of these founders of our democracy. For more information, please see the post from TeachersFirst.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Writing a research paper

This week TeachersFirst has a wealth of primary resource sites including this one - A Research for Students. It has everything a student could need- from how to find resources, citing  questions, formatting suggestions and more.  Take a look at this site (geared for grades 6-12)- it might be something you might want to share with your students.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Haloween SOS

Looking to add mix it up using Spotlight on Strategies?  Check out these Halloween mashups- basically two SOS used together.  Click here to read all the suggestions. New to Spotlight on Strategies (or S.O.S.)- sign into your Discovery Education account and search.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Need a quick update on Discovery Education tools?

Just log into your Discovery Education account and then click here.  You will find a DE Board Builder that highlights changes and updates in the product.  Trouble accessing your account?  Just remember to access via