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Capzles Interactive Timeline Tutorial

Capzles is a site that I have written about and recommended many times (you can read one of my original posts about it below).  I am currently working with a school that has zero technology.  When I say zero, I mean they don’t even have over head projectors.  This is a NO tech school.  They...

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Unitag: Custom QR Code Generator

Posted by admin | Posted in Art, Create, Evaluate, Foreign Language, Geography, Government, History, inspiration, Knowledge (remember), Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Music, PE, Phonics, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), web tools, Websites | Posted on 06-12-2012

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What it is: QR codes are becoming more and more prevalent in education and everywhere else (advertisements, TV, your bag of chips, soda, etc.).  These codes are easy to make and can lead to some fun learning opportunities.  Unitag is a QR code generator that lets you customize the look of the QR code.  First, choose a type of QR code to generate.  This can be a weblink, text, a business card, an email, a geolocation, a text message, a phone number, a calendar date, a wifi network, or a mobile page.  Next, you can customize the QR code with pre-made templates, personalized color palette, a special look, a logo or picture, “eye” colors, and more.  When you are finished, the QR code can be downloaded or shared on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest.  This process could take seconds (it is SO fast to create) or several minutes depending on how fancy you like to get with your customizations.

How to integrate Unitag into the classroom: So, what in the heck can you use those codes for?  A lot!  Use Unitag to create customized codes for back to school night; instead of sending parents with stacks of papers, offer a QR code by the door where they can snap a picture that takes them to your expectations/important dates/syllabus/special projects.  Include QR codes next to parent teacher conference signups so that parents can instantly upload the date to the calendar on their phone.  A QR code linked to your business card helps parents and students know what office hours you keep and how to keep in touch.

For older students (who have a phone) offer QR codes to help them remember important dates, homework, special projects, etc.  This could be posted next to the door so that on their way in or out they can instantly snap a picture and have all of the upcoming assignments in their calendar.

QR codes can be used by students to create choose your own adventure type stories.  The codes can link to different twists and turns within the story.  This would be fantastic for student created fiction but could also make a really cool book report.  Students could write one version summarizing the story as it was, a QR code could lead to an alternate ending that they created themselves.

When studying history, QR codes could be used to show different angles of the same event, different outcomes depending on population…and how cool would it be if those QR codes were included on a map where the events took place?!  Students can link the QR codes to different views of the same event.  For example, one from the viewpoint of explorer Christopher Columbus and another from the point of view of Native Americans.  A QR code classroom timeline would also be very neat.  Students can create reports/content that is linked to a QR code that gets placed on a giant timeline.  Customize the code with images that are related to the event or colors that represent the event in some way.

Create a bulletin board with a map of the world.  Place QR codes over different places for an interactive board.  Students can use the QR codes to reveal the name/capital/key features of the place.

Have a secret clue or math problem each day that students can reveal using a QR code.  It sounds so simple, but honestly, students love the mystery and hidden challenge!

In science, QR codes can be used at different stations to reveal the steps that students should follow for an experiment.  How about a periodic table of QR codes that reveal what each element does or a video that shows the element in action?

At the beginning of last year, we created a school wide school scavenger hunt that used QR codes to help students learn where different classrooms/resources could be found.  It was great fun!

Anytime you have a center activity, include a QR code that links to instructions, supplementary videos or websites.  This saves students from having to spend learning time typing in URLs or looking for directions that the last group wrote on or piled things on (or does that only happen to us?).

Do your students create a LOT of digital work like ours do?  One of the challenges we face at Anastasis is the lack of worksheets going home.  I know…it doesn’t seem like that would be a challenge, but it is.  Parents aren’t quite sure where to look for their child’s work since it is all digital.  QR codes could go home in lieu of a Friday folder that link to student work.

This time of year, it would be really neat to create a QR code advent calendar where students reveal some new piece of learning every day.

Tips: I hope that your mind is racing with the possibilities these little codes offer.  There is something to the mystery of them that appeals to students, they are like unveiling a surprise.  Don’t keep all the fun of creating them to yourself, students can easily create these and use them within their work.  I honestly can’t think of a subject or discipline that these wouldn’t be useful in.

Art: Share some art history or steps to an art project through a QR code.

Foreign Language: Create a word bank wall that has QR codes that reveal the translation of the word.

Geography: Create a map with QR codes that reveals additional information about the place.

Government: QR codes that lead students to political cartoons and related learning.

History: Exploring multiple points of view within a historical event.

Language Arts: Choose your own adventure story creation.

Math: Problem of the day.  Multiple methods for solving a problem.  Instructions for a math center activity.

Music: An exploration of world music through QR code link/videos.

PE: Links to examples of different exercises/warm ups.

Phonics: Video library of phonemes through QR code.

Science: Periodic table of QR codes with links to element information or videos.

Apps for scanning QR Codes: QR Reader, Qrafter, QR Scanner, Scan, Red Laser, Quick Scan Pro, Quick Scan, ATT code scanner.  There are hundreds of these, search your app store for “QR code” and find the one that best fits your needs and device.

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  Unitag in your classroom.

A Periodic Table of Visualization Methods

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Art, Classroom Management, collaboration, Create, Evaluate, Interactive Whiteboard, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 16-06-2011

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What it is: The Periodic Table of Visualization Methods is a brilliant collection of visualization methods for displaying, understanding and using information.  The periodic table is broken down into data visualization, information visualization, concept visualization, strategy visualization, metaphor visualization, and compound visualization.  Each “element” of the table includes information about the element such as if it is a process visualization or a structure visualization.  Each “element” also includes cues about what kind of thinking the visualization requires (divergent or convergent).  As you move your mouse over the table, an example of the “element” pops up.  As I said, brilliant!  The Periodic Table of Visualization is an excellent way to help students (and teachers) understand and explore visual literacy.

How to integrate A Periodic Table of Visualization Methods into the classroom: A Periodic Table of Visualization is a great place to start helping your students understand how to decode visual information as well as how to create visual representations of information.  I’m a HUGE fan of infographics, graphic organizers, charts, graphs, mind maps, etc.- definitely a visual learner!  Students often come across visual information graphics in their reading for the classroom.  Unfortunately, we don’t always spend time helping students understand that visual information because we are SO focused on the text.  The Periodic Table of Visualization gives you a one-stop-shop to discuss the different kinds of visual data, helping students understand how to “read” and decode that information.  These are great critical thinking activities because they ask students to process information in a different way.  Use the Periodic Table with an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer to expose students to examples of different types of visual information.  Talk about each one and how information is being conveyed.  If you have interactive whiteboard software, use the annotation feature to “stamp” or keep track of the different kinds of visual data students come across during the year in their reading.  Make it a year-long goal to find an example of each type of visualization.  This will keep your students looking for and engaging with visual literacy.

Take it a step further and encourage your students to create their own information graphics and visualizations.  After some learning that was completed, ask students to choose one of the “elements” from the table of visualization and create their own graphic or table.

I love the way that a Periodic Table collects and organizes information.  Currently I am working on the first unit of inquiry for students at Anastasis Academy.  From first through eighth grade, all of the units are focused around community.  I thought it might be fun to create our own periodic table of community.  Each student can add an “element” that makes up community.  Instead of just pictures popping up on our periodic table, I thought students could add video, photos, text, or audio.  Each student will add to the community periodic table and we will use this as part of our school code of conduct.  Here is what I am thinking: Each student will learn about community and choose a method of sharing what they learned (video, audio, text, photo).  They will create their “element” using their iPad and add it to their online portfolio at edu 2.0.  I can easily access all files from one place (edu 2.0) and add the projects to a periodic table of elements that I create on Wix.com.  I’ll link from the Table to the student projects and voila, a Periodic Table of Community.  I’ll let you know how it works in practice :)

Another related idea: create a Periodic Table of Students during the first weeks of schools.  Add each student’s picture to the periodic table along with their class room number and initials as their Element information.  This can be printed out and turned into a bulletin board for the classroom or shared on an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer with parents at back to school night.  If you have “star” students in your classroom (or VIP) you might add the student picture to the periodic table when it is their week to share and shine.

Tips: Thank you to my friend @artysteph26 for sharing this awesome resource on Twitter yesterday.  Thanks Steph!  **Reminder: if you don’t have a personal learning network on Twitter, I highly recommend spending some time on that this summer.  That small time investment is worth it’s weight in gold I tell ya!

Please leave a comment and share how you are using  A Periodic Table of Visualization Methods in your classroom!

LiveBinders: Chemistry!

Posted by admin | Posted in Apply, Create, Knowledge (remember), Middle/High School, Science, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), video, web tools, Websites | Posted on 27-12-2010

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What it is: LiveBinders is one of my favorite ways to quickly gather and share information with others.  Whenever someone asks me for a collection of resources, I immediately start gathering them in a LiveBinder.  I have written about LiveBinders in the past, you can read those posts here and here for ideas of how to use LiveBinders in your classroom.  A few days ago a friend asked if I had any good Chemistry websites I could recommend.  I had a few but thought I would call on my Twitter network for their favorites.  This Chemistry LiveBinder is the result.  Thank you PLN for all of your help and recommendations, as usual they were spot on!

How to integrate LiveBinders: Chemistry into your curriculum: If you teach Chemistry (or have a friend who teaches Chemistry) this binder is a great one to pursue! I separated resources into videos, periodic table, games, simulations, and websites.

Don’t teach chemistry but are interested in using LiveBinders?  Here are some ideas for using LiveBinders in your classroom:

Live Binders can be used as online digital portfolios for students.  Any Word or PDF documents that they create can be added to a binder along with any web content that they create.  The binders are easy to keep track of and share.  Each tab can represent a year in school and each subtab can represent a subject within the school year.  The Live Binder can easily be used from year to year creating a digital portfolio. Live Binders can be placed on desktops so that students don’t have to type in long URL’s to access a website.  Everything can be organized and easily updated in a Live Binder for students to access the web through.  This is a great time saver for the computer lab or classroom computers.   Create your own ‘textbooks’ for students to access as a Live Binder.  You can easily add content to it and students can access the materials from any Internet connected computer.  Create an assignment Live Binder with all worksheets and classroom materials.  Students can access any classroom materials from home, no more lost papers!  Students can create Live Binders to keep themselves organized as they complete research projects.  Students could turn in a final project as a Live Binder that includes all of their web research, notes, and final written work.  Live Binders would be a great way to go paperless at your school.  Create a binder with important school information, meeting notes, calendars, etc. for school staff to access.

Tips: Educators are making some really fantastic LiveBinder collections, if you are looking for a specific subject or topic, search LiveBinders, someone may have already created the perfect go to guide!

Yep, that is my smiling face you see in the banner at the top of LiveBinders, I am going to be joining LiveBinders and Dean Mantz on January 12 on learncenteral.org for a live podcast.  I hope you will join us too!

Please leave a comment and share how you are using  LiveBinders: Chemistry in your classroom!

Image Chef

Posted by admin | Posted in Character Education, Fun & Games, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Phonics, Primary Elementary, Science, Spelling, web tools, Websites | Posted on 21-07-2009

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Image Chef

What it is: Image Chef is a great little web tool that takes words and transforms them into a graphical image.  Image Chef is similar in look to Wordle but works a little differently.  In Wordle, the size of the word changes based on how frequently the word was used in the text.  In Image Chef, the word size doesn’t change based on how frequently it is used in the text.  Image Chef takes the words typed in a text box, and displays them in a word mosaic.  Image Chef has a variety of shapes and symbols to choose from.  Any text entered will be displayed in the shape selected.  Registered users can also create their own shapes to display text graphically.  Image Chef has the added bonus of graphically displaying text inside letters.  The look of the image can be changed by adjusting font, text color, background color, and symbol or initial.  Individual words can be highlighted by changing the color and clicking on a word in the mosaic.  Word mosaics can be shared on blogs, emailed, printed, or saved on Image Chef.

How to integrate Image Chef into the classroom: Image Chef is a fun web tool for displaying words in new and interesting ways.  My favorite feature of Image Chef is the ability to create word mosaics inside letters.  This feature would be a good way for students to practice phonics.  For example, students could create a letter “a” word mosaic filled with short a words (see my example above).  Students could type blends inside of the blend letters, long and short vowel words, r-conrolled words, etc.  These word mosaics could be printed out and bound into a phonics booklet for students, or displayed on a word wall.  Image Chef mosaics would also be a great way for students to explore synonyms.  Students can type synonyms into the text box and find or create an appropriate symbol to represent the words.  Image Chef would make for a fun first week of school activity.  Students could type in their initials as the shape for the word mosaic.  In the text field, they can type in words that represent them.  Print these out and display on a bulletin board next to student pictures.  For older students, Image Chef could be used to create a large periodic table of elements.  Choose the initials that represent the element on the periodic table and type the name of the element in the text box to fill the initials.  Create a large periodic table for the classroom with the printed elements.

Tips: I learned about this awesome web tool from a tweet by @njtechteacher, definitely a teacher to follow this #teachertuesday!  When you click on the Image Chef Link you will be taken to the Image Chef homepage (the site contains much more than just the word mosaic)  To create a word mosaic click on “Word Mosaic” under “Create” in the left column of the website.

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Image Chef in your classroom.

The Hobby Shop

Posted by admin | Posted in Fun & Games, inspiration, Interactive Whiteboard, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 08-05-2009

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What it is:  The Hobby Shop is an amazing interactive site where students can learn about science.  Students can learn about a compound microscope, dissecting microscope, catapults, chemistry, and rockets.  Each section of the hobby shop is completely interactive and has students discovering learning through virtual experimentation.  Students can look through microscopes, each step of the way they are taught how to do things like prepare petri dishes, and clean up properly afterward.  In the chemistry lab students can create an ingredient found in chalk, make a chemical used in photography, make liquids change colors, or test chemicals for electrical conductivity.  Students are led through each step of an experiment just as they would do it in an actual lab.  There is an interactive periodic table of elements that students can use to learn about different elements.  Students can create their own rocket in the rocket lab choosing the body, nose cone, and fins of a rocket and then test it out.  Students can also test out catapults with water balloons.

How to integrate Hobby Shop into the classroom: Hobby Shop is a wonderful place for students to experiment and interact with science in preparation for doing the experiment in class.  It is interactive enough to take the place of experiments where the science budget doesn’t allow for a class set of materials.  I am SO impressed with the way that this site leads students through each step of the process to complete an experiment.  Use this site with the whole class using an interactive whiteboard, invite students to come up to the board and conduct the experiment.  This site is also perfect for use as a science center in the one or two computer classroom or for individual use in a computer lab environment.  

 

Tips:  Check out the Teacher Resources for standard alingment, correlating worksheets, and other pdf files.

 

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using The Hobby Shop in your classroom.

The Periodic Table of Videos

Posted by admin | Posted in Interactive Whiteboard, Middle/High School, Science, Teacher Resources, Video Tutorials, Websites | Posted on 27-01-2009

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So today is going to be another whirl wind of posts day.  I am cleaning out my Google Notebook saved sites, hopefully you will find one of these awesome resources helpful for your classroom!

What it is: If I had access to the Periodic Table of Videos when I was going through chemistry, my understanding would have exponentially increased!  This site literally looks like a periodic table, when a student clicks on one of the elements, a video opens up that explains the element.  So neat!  The site was created by the University of Nottingham, who is continually updating the videos with the latest and greatest experiments and explanations.  There is a section with extra videos, a collection of science bloopers that are entertaining.

 

How to integrate The Periodic Table of Videos into the classroom: The Periodic Table of Videos is a great way to introduce the elements to students.  I remember spending hours memorizing the Periodic Table but never really understood the properties of the elements.  This site will help your students get a grasp on exactly what the different elements do.  This is also a great way to bring those elements into your room that aren’t practical or readily available. Use this with your chemistry classes in the computer lab setting or with a projector.

 

Tips:  The Features section has some extra videos on topics such as experiments and noble gases.

 

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using The Periodic Table of Videos in your classroom.