3-12, Bloom's Taxonomy, Books, Language Arts, Teaching Tools

A Journey Through Lumio with Bloom’s Taxonomy

This post is sponsored by Lumio. All opinions are my own.

The best educational technology tools out there are: easy-to-use, engaging, empowering, and elastic. By “elastic” I mean that they have flexibility, which applies not only to the devices on which they can be used but the settings in which teachers would like to use them. Many programs out there, for example, can be great for checking student memory retention with multiple choice questions, but they won’t work for activities that address the higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy such as, “Evaluate,” or “Create.” On the other extreme, you may have an educational technology tool that has an endless number of applications, but it’s incredibly time-consuming to learn how to use it – so it becomes another wasted resource. Lumio, however, separates itself from these polar opposites because it fulfills all four of the essential criteria.

You may recall my initial post, “5 Smart Ways to Engage Your Students with Lumio,” in which I described the versatility of this free digital learning tool suitable for any classroom with student devices. In that article, I wanted to give you an overview of some of Lumio’s features. Today, I’d like to do a deeper dive into Lumio by giving you some concrete examples of how it is: easy-to-use, engaging, empowering, and elastic. To do this, I’d like to demonstrate how simple it is to address any level of Bloom’s Taxonomy with Lumio.

Let’s imagine, for a moment, that you are a teacher who has just finished reading the novel, Tuck Everlasting, with your students.

Once you’ve finished reading the book, you want to get an up-to-date snapshot of how the students are doing when it comes to remembering the important story details, so you quickly whip up a Monster Quiz because you know it will give you good information and your students thrive on friendly competition.

Using Monster Quiz to “Remember” Tuck Everlasting details.

Following completion of the online quiz, you decide to gather even more information with another quick formative assessment so you can hit the “Understand” level of Bloom’s. You move to the next slide in your presentation, and students are greeted by a Sorting Activity with one container for Angus Tuck and one for The Man in the Yellow Suit. Students show both their understanding of the novel and these two main characters by dragging quotes you’ve selected to the correct options.

“Understand” Tuck Everlasting with the Sorting Activity from Lumio

After students reflect on how they did on these activities, you are ready to make a plan to continue reviewing with students who may need it, while others can advance through some of the higher levels of Blooms. They can work at their own pace either independently or in groups as they perform Lumio’s Matching Activity to apply what they know and have inferred about the characters. You assign them to match characters from the novel to how they would react in completely different 21st century situations. Which character would most likely spread fake news on social media? Who would be the first volunteer to start a colony on Mars? 

“Apply” what you learned from Tuck Everlasting with Lumio’s Sorting Activity

So far, these have all been activities where you might expect certain answers, and Lumio’s tools will check them for you and provide results. With the interest of introducing more rigor, you want to design some higher order thinking activities that are more open-ended. You decide to have students discuss and analyze in collaborative groups by providing them the Venn Diagram from Lumio’s set of graphic organizers to compare/contrast two of the characters. Though could be done on paper, having it in Lumio makes it easy to display responses to the whole class so they can debate the responses while using supporting evidence from the novel. You also have a digital record you can refer to later to look for misunderstandings or learning growth.

“Analyze” the characters of Tuck Everlasting with the Venn Diagram Template in Lumio’s library.

When you feel like students are prepared to advance to the Bloom’s Level, “Evaluate,” the Lumio Ranking Tool is perfect. One feature of this “elastic” tool is that you can select, “Don’t Check,” when setting up the activity, and you definitely expect and hope for different responses as you ask your students to rank the characters in Tuck Everlasting from the least to most courageous. This will generate enthusiastic discussions in your class as the students defend their choices with examples from the story. 

“Evaluate” the courage of the characters in Tuck Everlasting with Lumio’s Ranking Activity

Finally, your students are ready to create. You elect to give them several choices using the Tic-Tac-Toe Board Template in Lumio, including both physical and digital options. Ones that they could do within a self-paced Lumio activity might be: creating Black-Out Poetry with a PDF of a page from the novel you’ve uploaded, creating an advertisment the Man in the Yellow Suit might design for his magical water, or making a scrapbook page for one of the characters using images the students upload with Lumio’s safe-search tool.

“Create” with this Tic-Tac-Toe template from Lumio.

As you can see from these examples, Lumio is a robust collaborative learning tool product that allows both teachers and students to work at different levels. From designing the lesson to implementing it and revising as you go along, teachers can set themselves and their students up for success.

Want to begin using Lumio today? It’s free. Click here to get started!

map atlas south america
Games, K-12, Teaching Tools

Earth Day and Upcoming May Holidays

Earth Day is celebrated on April 22, and I’ve added some new resources to my Earth Day Wakelet collection, including a link to some Lumio templates you may want to try. (Read my post on Lumio from last week if you’d like to learn more about this free tool.)

In addition, I’ve tried to get a jump on May, which has a dizzying number of observances and celebrations, from Eid Al Fitr to U.S. Memorial Day. Here is that Wakelet, and please let me know if you have a resource that I should add. You’ll find some of favorite Mother’s Day lessons in there as well as Teacher Appreciation and Star Wars Day (May the 4th).

With testing season here, you may want some brain breaks, so I just want to remind you that I have a Fun Stuff collection, Brainteasers and Puzzles, and Wordle Variations (to which I just added my new favorite, Hurdle)

To see my entire set of Wakelet collections, which are listed in alphabetical order, you can visit this page, and follow me for updates.

person holding world globe facing mountain
Photo by Porapak Apichodilok on Pexels.com
Games, Student Response, Teaching Tools, Universal Design for Learning

5 SMART Ways to Engage Your Students with Lumio

5 SMART Ways to Engage Your Students with Lumio

By Terri Eichholz

This post is sponsored by Lumio. All opinions are my own.

One lesson my students learned when presenting their Genius Hour projects was that getting their audience involved in some way improved their interest in what was being taught. The experience also helped the students to understand that planning for that interactivity takes more thought than just reading from bullet points on a slide, so many of them developed an appreciation for the efforts teachers make who go above and beyond a standard lecture. After all, the students were spending the equivalent of 6-12 hours preparing each of their presentations, and that time commitment isn’t very practical for full-time teachers.

What if teachers have help, though? This is an area where educational technology can be transformative, but piecing together products from different companies to pull together an engaging lesson is time-consuming, too – unless you make the choice to use Lumio. With Lumio, students can brainstorm, play games, use a collaborative whiteboard, practice lessons, and get assessed – all in one tool. And the best part is that you can deliver a Lumio lesson with as little or as much preparation as you would like.

A product from SMART Technologies that requires student devices without the necessity of an interactive display, Lumio is free for educators and amazingly easy to use. Its simplicity is almost deceptive when you begin to realize all of the ways you can use it. Like a few other ed tech products you may have seen or used, Lumio lessons consist of slides you present to students either as a teacher-led activity or student-paced. You can import slides from other software, such as PowerPoint, use your existing SMART Notebook files, or create something from scratch. If you choose to integrate Lumio with your Google Drive, you can directly import content from there. Even PDF’s can be directly added to the lesson. There is also a growing library of resources you can choose from, so you can duplicate or customize to your needs. This may sound familiar, but as you begin to customize a lesson, you will discover how Lumio separates itself from the pack. Here are some of the ways you can use it to engage your students.

1. Maybe your students enjoy playing online quizzes, but you’ve noticed that their enthusiasm begins to fizzle when you use the same format and platform every time. This is not an issue with Lumio. There are twelve Game-Based Activity templates to choose from, with multiple themes for each activity. Game Show and Monster Quiz are two popular ones that are sure to generate some smiles with their entertaining graphics, but you shouldn’t limit yourself to those. The Rank-Order tool has the potential to generate some insightful classroom discussions, and the Word Search activity can give the illusion of “just having fun” while secretly promoting some higher order thinking skills.

2. Another way to keep your students involved in their learning is that you can present slides as a digital handout (to be worked on individually), a group workspace (where Lumio will automatically create groups of students to collaborate), or a whole class activity. And you can change this “on the fly” as you present with two clicks. This flexibility gives you the power to get a sense for what might work best and make last-minute decisions.

Convert pages in your lesson while editing or presenting with Lumio

3. As we know from Universal Design for Learning, engaging a class of students with different abilities means accommodating for as many of those differences as you can within your lesson design. With Lumio, you can add audio to your slides so your students can hear instructions, or you can turn on the Immersive Reader tool for them.

Embed accommodations for different ability levels

4. Whether you are doing a Design Thinking project and want students to generate ideas, or just want to find out what they already know about a topic, you can use the “Shout it Out” Activity. A couple of neat tweaks that you can make to this are that you can quickly turn on/off names to show on the screen as students contribute and you can also determine the maximum number of responses from each student. 

Add a “Shout it Out” activity for brainstorming

5. You can’t keep your class engaged if the material is too repetitive or too complicated. Formative assessments with Lumio give you the information you need to pivot if necessary. At the beginning, middle, or end of your lesson, pop in the teacher-led Response tool to get real-time feedback without skipping a beat. 

Activate prior knowledge, find out what’s puzzling your students, or design an Exit Ticket with Lumio’s Response tool

As you can see, Lumio combines all of the best features of other digital learning tools in one package, as well as adding quite a few extras that you won’t find anywhere else. Combined with the fact that it’s free, super user-friendly, and offers lots of opportunities to motivate and engage students, can you think of any reason not to click on this link and sign up right now? 

black and white laptop
K-12, Teaching Tools

Mattergrams: Canva Templates Shared by Angela Maiers

There are so many things that I love about this idea, “Mattergrams,” from Angela Maiers that it’s hard to think of where to begin!

Last week, I had lunch with a friend, and confessed that I hadn’t been feeling very “useful” as a person lately. A few days later, I received a beautiful card in my mailbox that, basically, reminded me that I matter. It made my day, and I have a feeling that I’m not the only person who could use this kind of pick-me-up — especially lately.

I’ve been a fan of Angela Maiers for many years (here is the first post in 2012 of several that I published on this blog about her). You can visit her website, Choose 2 Matter, to find out more about her mission. When I saw a recent Twitter post from her regarding “Mattergrams,” I had to click on the link to see what it was all about. After receiving my card from my friend a couple of days ago, I was reminded of the importance of telling people that they matter to you, and Angela Maiers has given everyone a simple way to do this. She offers 16 “Mattergram” templates that you can click on, edit, and share with the person whose day you want to brighten.

This is a wonderful concept, making it simple to take a few minutes to let someone know how important they are. But I was also fascinated by her method of delivery — using Canva in a way I hadn’t considered. I knew that you could publish a Canva creation to the web, and I knew that you could share Canva templates, but I never thought of combining those ideas in the way that her “Mattergrams” page does. This is the kind of content that makes so much sense to busy educators who want to give students choice without overwhelming them with options.

Educators and students get Canva free, though there are some Pro features they can’t use. However, as far as I know those subscriptions do give them the option to share template links and as websites, along with all of the other sharing options. So, as a teacher, you can find a few templates for something (like brainstorming templates, which abound on Canva), make links for them, add them to one page, and publish it as a web page. (Click on “Share” on top right, then “more” if you don’t see the options you want in the drop-down.) Share that web page link with your students, and they have choices without having to spend valuable class time hunting for them.

Canva Sharing Options

I know that sounds like it would be time-consuming, but Canva’s numerous templates and multiple sharing options really do make it easier than designing something from scratch. In the meantime, if you have a moment, send a “Mattergram” to someone out there. I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t need a boost right now!

For more ideas of how to create with Canva for your classroom, check out this post!

Social Studies, spatial reasoning, Teaching Tools

Ukrainian Easter Eggs and Other Cultural Wonders

With all of the heartbreak that accompanies current events also comes the opportunity to understand and honor the brave people of Ukraine. One company, Grabarchuk Puzzles, is doing so by creating visual brainteasers that each give a glimpse of Ukraine’s colorful and magnificent culture. The Grabarchuk family is originally from Ukraine, and hope to garner support for their native country through their unique challenges. You can read more, and see 6 of the challenges selected from their website archive here.

One of the puzzles I found on the main site for Grabarchuk is a Pysanka Puzzle. Pysanky (plural form) are Ukrainian Easter Eggs, and they are quite beautiful. You can see a lesson that integrates a book by Patricia Polacco here. For more detailed information and an art lesson with downloadable templates, you can go here. The site also includes links to galleries of Pysanky and other sources for learning about Ukrainian culture.

Image by Alisa Mizikar from Pixabay
K-12, Teaching Tools

Genius Hour Course Bundle Now Available!

I posted my third Genius Hour course, Genius Hour: The Quest, on Friday. The course is $58, and you can earn 2 CPE credits for completion. The best deal, of course, is to sign up for the course bundle, which is all three of my courses, for $87. For that you will receive: An Introduction to Genius Hour, Genius Hour: The Quest Begins, and Genius Hour: The Quest, a total of 4 CPE credits, free templates and links to resources, and time to plan out how you would like Genius Hour to go in your classroom. This is not just for GT teachers, but certainly fits very well into pull-out programs. However, I think many teachers are concerned that Genius Hour can’t work in other contexts, and I address how GH can work in regular classrooms from K-12, or as an elective, too.

I do not like asking teachers to pay for things out of their own pockets, so there is also a link at the top of the course page for administrators, regional/area directors, and others to request information for Purchase Orders and bulk discounts. Also, if you ever want me to present “live”, don’t forget to check out my PD page, and please know that I love customizing workshops for your audience!

If you’re interested in more news, including special coupons and discounts, feel free to sign up for my weekly newsletter below!