Saturday, January 4, 2020

PDF Candy - everything you've wanted to do with a PDF

PDF Candy is a collection of absolutely free online and offline tools for working with PDF files (converting, splitting, merging, rotating, etc ). You can use this tool on the web or download the app for your Windows computer.

All tools are very easy to use. You can always upload files from Dropbox, Google Drive or simply by drag and dropping them. Each tool can be added to 'Favorites' for faster access from the index page of the PDF Candy website.  It looks like almost everything you can do with Adobe Acrobat you can do with PDF Candy, but you don't have to pay for a new program.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Turn any video into an assignment

Edpuzzle is a website that you can use to take any video and turn it into an assignment.  This is especially useful if you are using the flipped classroom model.  In a nutshell, Edpuzzle lets you embed questions, audio and notes into the video.  You then assign the video to your class and you get a ton of analytics such as who watched the video and who struggled or did well.  Students can re-watch the video as many times as they need at their own pace, while you can easily check their progress from your account.

Edpuzzle offers free online courses to not only help you understand how to best use Edpuzzle in your classroom, but also includes topics such as the flipped classroom, gamification, project based learning, twenty-first century learning and much more.  What's even better is that they are offered on the Edpuzzle platform so you can experience what your students will. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

How to play Quizlet Live

Quizlet Live launched several years ago, but it's still one of my favorite games to play with my students.  Basically it takes a Quizlet set and turns it into a collaborative game.  Once you open the set that you want to use and select the live option a website and code are presented to students.  Students are assigned to teams and then they they need to work together to answer the questions.  Each student will have a possible response on his/her device, but only one person on the team will have the correct answer.  This means that students need to talk with one another to make sure that the wrong answer isn't selected.  If it is, the team's score resets itself.

When I really want to challenge my students, I don't let them sit with their teams.  This means they really need to know their stuff as they won't be able to talk with their team.  Students run the risk of having the correct answer, but not knowing it or thinking they know the answer when it's actually wrong.

What are some of your favorite review games?

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Ozobot - the cutest robots that your kids will love

I was so excited when Ozobot reached out to me asking if I wanted to receive one of their little robots to review.  I immediately said yes and was so excited when it came.  If you aren't familiar with Ozobot, it is a small robot that either be programmed with a block based code or can read colored codes on paper to direct the robot.

I work with ninth graders so I figured that we would use the the block based coding program as that would be more of a challenge for them.  The program has a teacher section with lesson plans so I picked one that I thought would be a good one for my students.  It was called Slot Car Race and directed students to code the bot to go around a track 5 times with the light on the top being a different color each time.  It seems easy, but students needed to add in some logic and repeat blocks.  The first time I did this, it went well but it's a challenge when I only had one bot.  My students and I loved the Ozobot so much that I immediately started looking for a way to get a classroom set.  As luck would have it my local utilities company offered a STEM grant.  I applied and was one of the recipients.  I was able to get a classroom set of 12!

Now that it's a new school year I can't wait to expand the use of these bots in my classroom.  I have seen so many things on Instagram on how to use them and I just need to find the time to look through it all (story of a teacher's life right?).  I also started a robotics club this year and I hope that this will be a great introduction for my students and get them interested in joining the club to expand their knowledge of robots.

What type of robots do you use in your classroom or what would you like to get? 

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Customize your textbook

I have not found a textbook that includes all of the information that I want and leaves out the information that I don't.  I started using CK12 Flexbooks a while ago and love it because I can make the textbook my own.  Plus there are videos that can be added in,  Take a look at the video below on how to customize these online textbooks.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Asteroid Blasting Review Game

Kupiter is a study website that looks like fun for your students.  It's great to review vocabulary and other content.  Students shoot at letter to spell the word to complete the sentence or match the definition. Students get points based on how accurately and quickly questions are answered.  One of the things I like most is that it works on all devices, so students don't need to download an app.  You can create a class so that there is a leaderboard.  This, along with the explosions and powerups, can really be a motivator for students.

You can create your own game on Kupiter by writing questions from scratch or by importing them from Quizlet or an Excel spreadsheet. Game links can be shared via social media and Google Classroom.

Watch the short video below for a demonstration of how the game is played.

What review games do you use in your classroom? 

Thursday, October 3, 2019

My favorite free online test, quiz and worksheet generator

Take a look at this walk through of Problem - Attic and how to use it.  You will find banks of questions from many state assessments as well as national tests.