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Showing posts from November, 2015

Improve Student Writing Skills one Quill at a Time

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Writing is an essential skill for ALL students to develop to effectively communicate inside the classroom, outside the classroom, and in future careers. In the era of electronic communication, it is important for students to learn important communication skills. Modern academic standards also emphasize the importance of developing student writing skills. Quill.org is a free tool, which can be used with students to pinpoint areas of strength and weakness in the writing process. What is Quill?  Quill .org engages students in the writing process through web-based learning activities that teach valuable grammar, vocabulary, and writing skills. It is very similar to NoRedInk and Edmodo's Snapshot feature because you can each activity addresses, measures, and provides feedback on how students met or did not meet specific Common Core State Standards. Why Quill?  Quill is a non-profit organization, which has designed over 150 activities for elementary, middle, high school, and

Fabulous Photos with Fotor

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We all know that pictures are a powerful medium to tell a story or communicate a message. It's what has made sites like Instagram, Facebook, and even Twitter flourish. After you take the picture, how can you increase your picture's impact? Why not try a photo editor? Some of my favorites are: Pic Monkey Snapseed   I recently was made aware of another amazing and free editing program called Fotor, which recently underwent a major redesign. This redesign has made the user interface and experience much easier! I love it's basic editing features like, 1-tap enhance along with your basic rotate, crop, and resize. Fotor also has many cool photo effects such as Cool Effects, Lomo Effects, and Funky Effects! Really want to impress your audience? Check out its graphic design features, where you can make Facebook covers, YouTube channel art, Twitter Covers, and even a photo montage! Fotor can create impressive HDR photos from its impressive HDR algorithm. Upload 3 p

3 Ways to Make Maps Come Alive in Your Classroom

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Have you ever thought about the power of a map and the story it tells? Instead of having your students write a five paragraph essay, why not have them add their paragraph to the description of points on a map? Planning a field trip? Why not have your students locate the best route? Here are three ways to make your maps come alive! # 1: Google My Maps I am a big fan of Google My Maps , which works with your Google account and even saves on Google Drive! This is perfect if you are a Google Apps for Education School and for students under the age of 13. Students can collaborate, share, add pictures, videos, and text descriptions to illustrate the significance of a location. Need to see if Greenland is bigger than Africa? My Map's polygon tools will help you determine the square mileage. # 2: Map Me I was recently made aware of another free website called MapMe , which has a high school and college age feel. This useful tool for older students requires linking to a Faceb

Macbook Problem: Can't See Pictures Sent to You in Messages?

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I have noticed that I cannot send or receive pictures in Messages on my Macbook Air since I upgraded to the Yosemite OS several months ago. I was seeing this instead: I thought that upgrading to El Capitan would potentially take care of the problem. Unfortunately it did not. After doing a little research, I was able to find a solution on Apple's website! Here's how to fix your problem: 1. Find and open your Library Folder 2. Open your Messages folder. 3. You will see a file named Attachments with 0 bytes. Delete this folder. 4. Create a new folder called Attachments (make sure that this is in your Messages folder) This will take care of your problem! Now you are able to see pictures in Messages. November is Click's for a Cause Month! For the past three years, November has been "Clicks for a Cause" month. Every time that you visit my blog during the month of November, I will contribute a penny towards the medical fund of a child in need. 

First Graders Explain Everything with Explain Everything

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I never realized how much of an art of summarizing a story. Today I had the privilege of working with a group of first graders on this important skill. Their teacher and I used iPads and the Explain Everything App to do it. If you are not familiar with this App, it is an interactive whiteboard app that can be used to teach concepts, retell stories and even flip your classroom. Step 1: Template Retelling a story can be a difficult concept for any student; therefore, it is important to have a structured way of having students practice. First, we used a template from Tech with Jen to help students gather their ideas and use the proper terms (first, next, then, finally). Students took a picture of this template, so that it would appear in their Camera Roll. Step 2: Story Pics Then students used their iPads to take pictures of the illustrations in their book. We made sure that we took 4 pictures to help tell the story in terms of first, then, next, and finally. We made sure that

Gamify Assessment with Quizizz

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Recently I posted about Quizalize , which  has the entertainment factor of Kahoot with the student paced questioning methods of Socrative. Just like Kahoot, it can be accessed on any device via your browser.   +Kevin O'Donnell  recommended that I take a look at Quizizz, which I instantly liked! This is another assessment tool that can be added into your arsenal of assessment tools.  Quizizz is an awesome way to help enhance learning, while gamifying your classroom. Why do I like it? Although there is a timer function built in, students can still answer questions at their own pace.  You can play live or as a homework session!  You can jumble up the question order, so that students can't cheat!  You can turn a leader board on or off. One of the biggest disadvantages of Kahoot, is that students care more about how quickly they answer questions (and get points). With Quizizz, you can turn this feature off! It is device agnostic and can be used in any environment. 

You've Heard of Kahoot and Socrative, But Do You Quizalize?

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There are so many options when it comes to assessing students with technology in the classroom. Some of my favorites are a part of the fabric of almost every classroom I visit: Socrative NearPod   Plickers Kahoot I have to ask, do you Quizalize ? If you aren't, you may want to consider using great way to assess students. It has the entertainment factor of Kahoot with the student paced questioning methods of Socrative. Just like Kahoot, it can be accessed on any device via your browser.  What I Like: Students can work at their own pace. When they answer a question, they get immediate feedback to help them understand whether they got the answer right or wrong. Want to give a homework assignment? As long as students have the access code, they can take the quiz when it works for them.  Tools like Socrative and Nearpod provide spreadsheets to analyze individual and group performance, but Quizalize analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of students in realtime. A rea

7 Reasons Why SeeSaw is The Perfect Tool for All Learners

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Are you using See Saw in the classroom? This is an excellent way to have students create a portfolio of learning experience artifacts. It is available as an App or as a web-based program. I have to admit, I had very little experience with it until my teachers introduced it to me.  Why do we like it so much? #1 - Clear Goal and Flexible Means  SeeSaw provides the perfect blend of tools to allow students express their knowledge and demonstrate their understanding. Students can show what they know in the way that works best for them through writing, drawing, recording, and importing projects from other applications. Students can actually see their growth through their contributions over time. # 2 - A Great Way to Virtually Connect with Parents  I am learning that my teacher's are masters of connecting parents and kids. They have found that SeeSaw is a great way to connect home and learning because parents can see what their child is creating and even comment on it! # 3 -