When surfing the Internet do you ever come across articles or videos you wish you could save to read later? Enter Pocket! Simply open a free account and install the Pocket Widget to your browser. Then, with the click of a mouse, websites, videos, and images are saved in your personal queue for access any time. Saved items sync automatically to all mobile devices with the handy app. Editable tags and labels make searching and favoriting items in your queue seamless. There are even options to share items you've saved to your favorite social media sites. Pocket is a great way to save the things you find while you surf and to find them again when you have more time to devote to reading.
My brother lives in Anchorage, Alaska. While speaking to one another he told me it is warmer where he is than in Pennsylvania! Wanting to prove him wrong I took advantage of a neat little Google Tip for searching the weather. I simply typed "weather anchorage AK" in the Google search bar and up popped an informational weather box with the high and low temperatures for the next week. I am sorry to say I couldn't prove him wrong. We will only reach a high temperature of 32°today while he is basking in the mid forties. The Google weather feature comes in handy if you are heading to another city or making plans for a vacation to someplace warmer. Try it out the next time you need to know the weather where you are headed!
Have you tried Google Voice Search? It is the latest, best way to search for an answer without having to do any typing. The app is available for Apple and Android. When you need a question answered, simply tap or click the microphone on the Google search bar, speak clearly and ask your question! Want to know if there are pizza restaurants in the area? Just ask! Want to know how tall the Sears Building is in Chicago? Just ask! Want to know what a llama eats? Just ask! Google will answer you back and direct you to related sites that will further help you with your search. Finding an answer to what you need to know has never been easier!
Are you looking for a great source for writing prompts and inspiration? Head to Always Write by Corbett Harrison. Formerly housed at Writing Fix, the Daily Writing Prompt Generator is there for you when your own creative juices aren't flowing. Each and every time you click for a writing prompt a new choice appears in the window. If students have access to their own devices with web-browsing capability, they can head to the web site and click the prompt for themselves! Whether writing in an actual notebook or digitially, your students are never at a loss for a new writing idea!
In addition to the prompt generator Always Write is full of ideas for the writing classroom. Everything a teacher needs to get started using writing workshop, writing notebooks, reading workshop, and mentor texts in their own classroom is available. Samples of the author's own notebooks and writing are there for inspiration and clarification. If you have not checked out Always Write you should head there and give it a try. You won't be sorry!
Where is the first place students will head when they are assigned a project that involves research? I am willing to bet that you answered, "Google!" The ability to quickly find information pertaining to a topic is one reason Google is so popular. Students know they can search for just about any topic by simply typing in a few words. It doesn't even have to be spelled correctly! However, as soon as the hits appear problems can begin. In terms of readability for the student, the initial list of links can be fairly hit or miss. If a link has too many words or not enough pictures and interaction, they'll quickly close them and try others. Sites that are difficult to read quickly cause frustation and lead to hands in the air and cries of "I can't find anything." There is a simple way students can narrow their choices down, however, so they view only sites and articles that are closer to their own reading level.
After completing the initial search, by choosing <search tools>, <all results>, and <reading level>, a graphic appears showing the percentage of hits that are written at a basic, intermediate, or advanced reading level. Clicking on the word for the desired level eliminates all other articles that are too easy or too hard for the student to read.
Changing the Reading Level still won't make researching a completely independent exercise, but it will allow for differentiation during the process and further aid the students in being successful. Give it a try next you assign a research project in class!
It has been a long week here in Pennsylvania. We missed school on Monday due to snow. Tuesday night we had a horrendous ice storm and schools were closed again Wednesday and Thursday. Today we are operating on a delay with five of our thirteen school operating on generators. Generators mean no phone service and no Wifi. What is a technology teacher to do?
Today will be the perfect day for discussion. Talking about how we can accomplish tasks such as communicating with classmates and conducting research without the use of phones or computers. This is the perfect opportunity to break into groups to create lists of alternatives to using technology and fostering teamwork. It should be fun as most of my students were born with iPads and iPhones in their hands. If I light some candles and break out the ink pots we could really take a trip back in time! I will update later with some photos of the results!
Lesson Corner is an online site that houses hundreds of lesson plans and worksheets for educators. Search their vast database by grade level from K-12 or by discipline for top-notch lesson plans, worksheets, and ideas for use in the classroom or at home.
Lesson plans are written and submitted by real teachers in real classrooms. Lesson layouts include state and common core standards, necessary background knowledge, objectives, materials, procedures and assessment. A talented team of programmers, marketers, testers, and advocates review, approve, and post each lesson to ensure everything needed to complete the lesson successfully is at your fingertips. Lesson Corner works quickly using any browser and creating an account is quick and easy. Free and pro versions available.
Learn long division easily by dropping and dragging digits where they need to go. Drag decimals into place. Lessons include long division basics, zero on top, remainders, decimals, repeating decimals, and decimals in the divisor. Rated 4+. Free for iPad and iPad.
5 Dice: Order of Operations is a wonderful math app that uses higher level thinking skills to review the order of operations while playing a game. Using the bluetooth feature on an iPad or iPhone, two students or an entire class can compete to see who can answer questions correctly first! Progress is monitored and feedback is immediate. Free for iPad & iPhone. Rated 4+.