Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Great Find ~ Classroomscreen.com

When a friend shared Classroomscreen.com I knew a teacher had to create it.  I checked the info button on the site and found a teacher from the Netherlands, Laurens Koppers, developed the one-stop teacher tool that housed her favorite digiboard widgets for the classroom. 
The tool is free, and you do not need an account.
What does it include?

  • multiple languages
  • different backgrounds
  • a random name generator
  • a sound level monitor
  • a QR code for the page
  • a full screen drawing whiteboard
  • a small drawing palette
  • text box addition
  • a traffic light
  • a timer
  • a clock
  • work symbols

I think it is worth a look!  Do you have any free, online tools that our teachers need to see?  Leave us a comment below with the link.  There's power in collaboration!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

WriMo Wednesday ~ NaNoWriMo is Upon Us! Is Your Classroom Ready?

Are you excited?  How about your students?  Have you caught the NaNo bug, yet?  If not, read back through the last several Wednesday posts or click on NaNoWriMo in the Word Cloud over there in the right-hand column.  I hope you and your students are counting down the days to next Wednesday and the official kick-off.
Why am I so passionate about this?  Great question, and I think Chris Young voiced the thoughts I have rolling around in my head quite eloquently in his blog post - Packaging Content: Moving Past the 'What'.  
We have got to do a better job of creating an atmosphere where students want to learn.  If I may borrow from Dave Burgess... would your students be willing to pay to get into your classroom?  Do you create such intrigue around content and sound pedagogy that they just won't stay away?  If not, what are you doing about it?  These are all questions I asked myself in the classroom and continue to ask myself today, and I have to tell you I came up short a lot of the time!  I keep running the race, though.  We've got to... our students deserve it.  Learning must have purpose and meaning for them.  NaNoWriMo is just one tool we can use to get our students excited about writing and involved in learning.

So, are you brave enough to accept the NaNo challenge with your class?  Ask them if they are brave enough.  You might be surprised!

For those of you who already have your classroom set up on the Young Writer's Program, I wanted to make sure you know about the Teacher's Lounge where you can ask questions and get help from your peers.

A month of writing takes guts, fortitude, and a touch of craziness.  Now might be the perfect time to introduce Canva to your students if you have never used the graphic design app.  Have them make motivational posters for the classroom.  

(It's great for vocabulary posters, too.)  
Then when all the editing is done on their awesome novels/nonfiction books, they can use Canva to create the cover!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Weekly TNT ~ Lock an iPad into One App for Students

I am all about teaching students how to access and use technology in the classroom without me needing to drive, but there are often circumstances where we need to do some of the driving to help students get to their destinations.  Some examples include young students who have difficulties finding and using the correct apps, emerging readers who don't need to try to search or spell specific apps, students who need assistance in focusing on one app at a time, etc.  I am sure you can think of other times you wished you could lock your iPad into one app.

You can!  
This week's tutorial shows you how to use a setting under Accessibility that will allow you to drive!

What technology integration needs do you have?  I am always looking for new ideas for our Weekly TNT videos.  Left a comment below to suggest future videos.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

WriMo Wednesday ~ Get Your Classroom Ready for NaNoWriMo!

Almost Wednesday, anyway... I wanted to get these links out to you a day early in case you wanted to join the webcast on Friday.

We are almost ready for Blastoff!  This year's NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is just around the corner, and I have some more great resources for you from the Young Writer's Program.  This Friday, October 20th, 2017, Newbery Award-winning author Jack Gantos is teaming up with NaNoWriMo to share his new writing guide, WRITING RADAR.

Scroll down the NaNo Resources page to RSVP for Jack's NaNo Prep Webcast and send in some questions your class has for him.  He might just answer them on air!

Would you like to hear more from Jack Gantos?

I hope you are building excitement in your classroom in preparation for NaNo Blastoff!  

Share what you're doing in the comments below.  If you're struggling with ideas, post that, too.  We are a teaching community, and we can lift each other with a helping hand!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Google 101 Quick Tip #3 ~ Add Images in Google Forms

We are back for another quick tip for our new Google users.  This tutorial will show you how to add images as answer choices in Google Forms!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

WriMo Wednesday ~ Have a Write-in for NaNoWriMo!

I checked in with Vanessa Hartel, manager of the Young Adults Department for the Stephens Central Library in San Angelo. I am excited to pass on what she said about NaNoWriMo at the library!

The Teen Republic will be hosting “Wednesday Write-ins.” On these days, we’ll encourage our teens to work on NaNoWriMo projects, including writing, workshopping, proofing, reading etc. While we hope the kiddos will work on their project throughout the month (and they’d need to in order to meet that word count!), on these Wednesdays it’s our goal that the teens will come together, work on their projects, and share with their peers, to create a network of young writers. The Teen Republic is for patrons in grades 6-12, and homeschoolers age 11-18. We are located on the second floor of the library.

What kind of write-ins are you planning? Share your ideas with us in the comments below!

Still unsure what this looks like in your classroom? Check out 5 Tips for Educators Using NaNoWriMo in the Classroom,