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Showing posts from March, 2016

Blackout Poetry for National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month. I use to love teaching about poetry but like most teachers I typically covered the same types of poems all the time. A few years ago I ran into a "new" (to me) type of poetry called Blackout Poetry created by Austin Kleon (there are several videos of him creating poems on YouTube) and I wanted to give it a try. The idea is to "find" words within other peoples writing and create a poem using the words that are already on the paper (and blacking out the words you don't need). If you do a Google search most people use newspapers (and we did too).  As a class we had created "found" poems using cut outs from magazines so I thought this would be a nice, and different, extension of that activity. I was wrong. :) It didn't go as planned.  In hindsight what I thought was going to be easy was a little to abstract for children (fourth graders). On the plus side they took the project to mean summarize the

Quizlet - New Game

Quizlet is beta testing a new game feature called Quizlet Live. For those unfamiliar with quizlet it is  a free website that allows you to create word decks that you can turn into flashcards and then play with them in various game modes.  You can search for existing word decks or create your own. Quizlet Live (their newest game) is an in-class, team-based learning game based on any Quizlet study set. Students are randomly paired into teams of 3-4 students to race against other tea ms. Each team must work together to clear their boards, but wrong answers reset progress to zero. the first team to match all 12 terms correctly in a row wins. I have used this in several classrooms and different training environments and everyone (students and teachers) have enjoyed the group gaming element and folks get really competitive.  Since it is in beta testing mode you have to request access by emailing - . You need to indicate what your quizlet username is so they can giv

Google Chrome Extension for QR Codes

Google Chrome extensions have become a hot topic in our district...mainly because we have had some students using certain extensions to try and get around our servers :). We shut off access to the google web store for students but we are promoting the use for teachers.  Quite possibly my favorite extension is the the URL Shortener. The extension becomes added to your Google Chrome task bar and when you click it you can immediately get a shortened URL and a QR code. It is quick and easy and makes making a QR code for a specific site so much easier.  The two pictures above show what it looks like on your task bar (picture #1) and how to install it (picture #2).