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Wow, the weather is finally starting to feel like Spring (for now!), so time to start thinking of your garden-- Answer Garden, that is. Do you sometimes find it difficult to have every student participate in discussions? Do brainstorming sessions sometimes fall flat or get off topic? The Answer Garden can help you and your students cultivate high quality responses to a prompt you set. Use it for an anticipatory set, pre/post assessment, discussions, polls, surveys, feedback, or just about anything. A nice feature is the "growing word." If there are several responses with the same words or phrases, the image of all of the responses shows that word a bit larger than the rest (similar to Wordle). Answer gardeners do not need to create an account or use a login or password unless they wish to edit their garden later. Superduper new is Moderator Mode: a mode that redirects each answer to the AntiGarden (the shady side of your AnswerGarden, see an example). Via the admin panel you can approve only those answers you find appropriate. You do need a password for this option, which you should add when you create your AnswerGarden. Happy Gardening!
Posted by moagueros  On Apr 12, 2018 at 9:50 AM 19 Comments
Wow, it's testing time already! If you and your students need a brain break from all of the test prep, head on over to the Zoopz site for a little guilt-free fun. Play is an important part of learning, and the games at Zoopz are designed to be both fun and educational; several challenges require recollection and application of problem-solving skills such as sequencing and analysis, and all require strategy, planning and goal setting. Happy Zoopzing!
Posted by moagueros  On Apr 05, 2018 at 1:21 PM 40 Comments
Wow, it's Opening Day! The Royals have been kicking up their heels for 50 years-- if you'd like to kick it up a notch with virtual assignments complete with progress monitoring and custom feedback, this week's site is for you. Classkick is an online portal and mobile device app that allows you to personalize your lessons and monitor student work in real time to "kickstart student learning." The Classkick community is supportive with a comprehensive help center, ready-made lessons, resource handouts, and, of course, sticker templates. Happy Kicking and Go Royals!
Posted by moagueros  On Mar 29, 2018 at 10:13 AM 44 Comments
Wow, what a Genius! Stephen Hawking has passed, but his legacy certainly lives on. Last year, PBS aired a special series called GENIUS. Commissioned by PBS with National Geographic as its international broadcast partner, the series was presented and narrated by Hawking. In each episode, a different group of ordinary people were challenged to think like the greatest scientific minds in history in order to solve some of humanity’s most enduring questions. The GPB Media blog has lesson ideas to go with each episode as well as lesson plans to learn more about Hawking's life and achievements. Even if you do not have the DVD, here are several previews and resources to promote thinking and discussions: Happy Pi Day, and RIP Stephen Hawking!
Posted by moagueros  On Mar 14, 2018 at 2:55 PM 24 Comments
Wow, it's almost March! Time for March Madness with Math! There are several math practice sites and programs available, but some do not include diagnostics, some do not offer leveled assessments, some do not provide activities for differentiation, and some are extremely pricy. Prodigy includes a diagnostic test to place students in an appropriate level, teacher reports, and embedded assessments. Students move through levels in a game-like atmosphere and advance only when skills have been mastered. If more practice is required, students receive additional activities to help them "level up." And, Prodigy is free. Teachers do need to set up an account, but that's free, too, and there is an option to sign in with Google also. A UCM student says the game is so engaging, her students even ask to play it during recess! Happy (almost) March!
Posted by moagueros  On Feb 28, 2018 at 6:06 PM 30 Comments
Wow, tomorrow is Digital Learning Day! What's Digital Learning, and why is there a day for it, you ask? From the Digital Learning Day site: "Digital learning is any instructional practice that effectively uses technology to strengthen a student’s learning experience. It emphasizes high-quality instruction and provides access to challenging content, feedback through formative assessment, opportunities for learning anytime and anywhere, and individualized instruction to ensure all students reach their full potential to succeed in college and a career." So basically, it's a day for you to share the awesomeness in your classrooms! The site also has lots of videos demonstrating how technology can improve student learning, a more detailed definition of digital learning, highlights from previous events, and practical tips for connected classrooms. There's even a Twitter and Instagram hashtag for you to follow and add your own activities. #DLDay And, there's a webinar with panelists from the Alliance for Excellent Education. Happy Digital Learning!
Posted by moagueros  On Feb 21, 2018 at 10:26 AM 49 Comments
Wow, it's Valentine's Day, and it's Black History Month, and American Heart Month, and Dental Health Month, and Digital Learning Day, and President's Day is celebrated, and Chinese New Year is Friday, and the Olympics have started! Whew! Time to Insert Learning. InsertLearning is a Chrome extension that lets you turn websites into interactive lessons. You can even insert YouTube videos and share directly to Google Classroom. If you sign up for the newsletter also, you'll be notified of monthly challenges as well as tips and tricks for using the extension. February Lesson Challenges includes challenges for Black History Month and the Olympics with these sites: Bonus: For more February events, check out this link: Happy Valentine's Day and Happy Learning!
Posted by moagueros  On Feb 14, 2018 at 8:58 AM 7 Comments
Wow, it's a Day of Play! Why not play with geometry? The Common Sense site has information about a fun and challenging app called Choreo Graph, a free app that allows students to animate images by rotating angles and translating objects. These moves can even be set to music! The app's companion site includes ready-made lessons to make the most of the app's features. You can open a geometry unit with the Create a Dance Move lesson, launching students into tangible (and entertaining) practice with angle measurement, angle rotation, and using coordinate pairs to describe the position and translation of objects. Happy Choreographing!
Posted by moagueros  On Feb 07, 2018 at 8:51 AM 13 Comments
Wow, tomorrow is World Read Aloud Day! Lit World's mission is: Strengthening kids and communities through the power of their own stories. Together, authoring a bold new world of equity and opportunity. Their site offers several ways you can celebrate reading and writing and even create your own read aloud moment, complete with stickers, reading crowns, social media graphics, read aloud guides, and Skype an Author lists. #WorldReadAloudDay Happy Reading!
Posted by moagueros  On Jan 31, 2018 at 2:03 PM 13 Comments
If you aspire to the accretion of an avant-garde lexicon, you'll relish this allotment of the Website of the Week. Wow, that was a mouthful! Let's reword. If you'd like to increase vocabulary, you'll like this week's W.O.W. Have you ever come across a website or reading passage that was just too jumbled and confusing? How about very useful articles that are just a bit above your students' reading level? Rewordify "intelligently simplifies difficult English" and can aid in comprehension, vocabulary building, and even lesson planning. Enter hard sentences, chapters, or a website url into the yellow box at the top of the page. Click Rewordify text and you'll instantly see an easier version, for fast understanding. The reworded words are highlighted, so you can click them to hear and learn the original harder word. There's even a collection of classic literature and public documents that has been reworded to make it easier to read-- don't worry, though, the beautiful original wording is still available. Also from the site: Do you dislike dictionaries because they're confusing and unhelpful? You'll love's clear, easy-to-understand definitions—they change to match the original word or phrase's part of speech, verb tense, and singular/plural form, so they make sense. Our amazing Rewordifying Engine is what makes it all possible, and no other web site has it. Happy Wording!
Posted by moagueros  On Jan 24, 2018 at 7:53 PM 138 Comments
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