photo of planner and writing materials
Anti-Racism, Teaching Tools

Stories for All Diversity and Inclusion Calendar

The Stories for All project is based on the premise that it is “crucial for all children to have access to books that serve as both windows and mirrors.” On the page that features books in many categories that serve this purpose, you can also find some free downloads. One of them is the Diversity and Inclusion Calendar, which is a wonderful way to keep track of celebrations across multiple cultures and remind us of what we can do to include those who are too often marginalized. It denotes special months, such as National Bullying Prevention Month in October and Jewish American Heritage Month, as well as days that have been set aside to honor groups, people, and events like Ada Lovelace Day or Marcus Garvey Day. This calendar would make an excellent planner for teachers to remind them of ways to make time and space for all of the diversity in their students.

I will be adding this my Wakelet of Anti-Racism resources as I reflect with sadness on the anniversary of Emmet Till’s horrific murder on August 28th. We can and must do better in this country, and education and celebration of our differences are two of the many ways we can make sure such tragedies do not happen again.

inspirational quotes on a planner
Photo by Bich Tran on
Art, Creative Thinking, Education, Fun Friday, K-12, Music, Videos

You Can Have Your Legos – and Eat Them, Too!

What can’t be done with Legos? I wish I had recognized the potential of this versatile toy when I was a kid!  Legos appear quite a bit on this blog because I am regularly astonished by how creative people can be with them, and certainly not because they pay me any money – which they absolutely don’t.  For today’s Phun Phriday post, I offer you links that show Legos making music, Legos keeping track of appointments, and Legos that will make your mouth water!

See the first ever Lego band play a Depeche Mode song here!
See the first ever Lego band play a Depeche Mode song in this post from The Creators Project!

Not only is this calendar made of Legos, but it digitally syncs!  Find out more in this article by Core77!
Not only is this calendar made of Legos, but it digitally syncs! Find out more in this article by Core77!

Nothing would actually be built with these in my house because we would be too busy eating them!  Find out more at Neatorama!
Nothing would actually be built with these in my house because we would be too busy eating them! Find out more at Neatorama!

Apps, Augmented Reality, Education, K-12, Teaching Tools

Augmented Calendars

October Mystery Calendar

If you have not used Aurasma before, you might want to visit the Aurasma Tutorials page of Two Guys and Some iPads.  Also, you might want to visit my Flipboard magazine on Augmented Reality in Education or these other posts I have done in the past.

One thing that I have been meaning to do is to take advantage of the “Time Restrictions” setting in Aurasma Studio.  When creating an aura, you can set when the aura goes “live” and when the aura will no longer work.  I thought it would be fun to create a calendar that uses that feature. (Yes, I am fully aware that I have an odd idea of “fun.”)

I made a “Mystery Calendar” for October.  I found a list of historical people and events from October here, and chose 4 of them.  Then, I used iMovie to create short videos that gave clues about each one.  Because I have a Mac at home, I had a bit of trouble finding a good calendar template for the iWorks suite, but I finally landed on a good template for Numbers here.

Then, I searched for clip art on Pixabay.  Because I knew that I would be printing the calendars in black and white, I looked for symbols rather than color pictures.  This is where trial and error really came into play.  I finally found that the best trigger images included the number from the calendar cell.  So, I would insert an image in a cell, take a screen shot of the cell (command+shift+4 on a Mac), and use the screen shot as my trigger image in Aurasma Studio.

Once I had the trigger images and overlays uploaded, I added the auras.  You can see from the screen shot below that there is a “Time Restrictions” setting that is optional.

Aurasma Studio Time Restriction

Once you click on the arrow in that box, you can then set the aura to begin on a certain date and time, as well as to end on a certain date and time.  Both are optional.  I set each aura to start on the day that it is placed on the calendar, and did not set an end time.

Aurasma Time Restrictions

What are some other ways that you can use the Time Restrictions setting?  If you are using Aurasma for center directions that might change weekly, you can set a trigger image to have different overlays for each week of the year, if you like.  Or, you might be like me and have different grade levels each day of the week, so I can set my auras according to the day of the week.   If your students are making a holiday gift for their parents, they could set a photo to trigger an overlay beginning only on that special day. Or, how about making a countdown calendar (similar to the QR code one that I posted) that only needs one image – which changes overlays every day?  Schools could have one trigger image that parents scan every month when they enter building (or even from home) that offers new information each month.

I would love to hear any other ideas you may have.  In the meantime, here is the PDF of my October Mystery Calendar.  Be sure you are following the Hidden Forest Elementary channel if you decide to use it.  (The answers are:  Poe, Sullivan, Edison, and Houdini.)

UPDATE:  If you test your auras when creating them, they will be cached in your account.  This means that the time restrictions will not work on any device logged into the account you used to test them.  If you are a teacher, I recommend using a different account on your student devices than the one you use for Aurasma studio.  They can all follow the same channel, just not be logged into the same account.

Apps, Art, Behavior, Creative Thinking, K-5, Motivation, Parenting, Teaching Tools, Websites

Countdown Calendars Continued

The past few days have included posts of various different QR Countdowns that I’ve created.  One of my favorite bloggers has collected probably the largest amount of technology-related Advent links that I have ever seen at iLearnTechnology.  They include his own Web 2.0 calendar as well as an Appvent Calendar.  The one linked to the image above will take you to the National Museum of Liverpool calendar, which will reveal a piece of art from the museum each day.  I recommend that you check out his links if you plan to do any kind of counting down in December!  I will be eager to see what his Web 2.0 calendar reveals…