Tag Archives: teaching tools

10 Common Phrases Teachers Should Never Say to Students

A few years ago, I posted, “Actually, There is Such a Thing as a Stupid Question,” which listed some of the ridiculous questions I’ve asked  my students in the past.  In my latest post for Fusion, “10 Common Phrases Teachers Should Never Say to Students,” I’ve added to my inventory of transgressions.  I confess that I’ve said all of the listed phrases (except for #8), and most of them were stated more than once.  In fact, #3 and #9 are still pretty difficult for me to suppress on a daily basis…

image source
image source

For my previous articles for Fusion, check out the links below:

6 Chrome Extensions I’m Lovin’ Right Now

When using the Chrome browser, it’s nice to snag a few free “Extensions” from the Chrome store to make life easier.  When you add them, they appear on the top right of your browser window.  Any time you want to disable an extension or find details about it, you click on the “hamburger” (3 horizontal lines) on the top right,  choose “Settings” and then “Extensions.”

I have multiple personalities on Chrome, so the extensions I use vary with which identity I happen to be claiming at the time.  Some extensions (like “Share to Google Classroom”) are better suited for School Terri.  And some (like “Pin It”) get utilized more by Home Terri.  Here are some that I’ve been using lately that you might want to try out:

  • “Save to Pocket” – Used by every part of my schizophrenic self on every device I have, Pocket is my favorite bookmarking tool.  On my school and home computers, I can instantly add and tag any website link I like so I can look for it later. (You can find out more about Pocket in my digital curation posts from earlier this summer.)
  • “goo.gl URL Shortener” – Instantly shorten and create a QR code for any site.  Great for use on Twitter, sharing URL’s in e-mails, etc…
  • “Tab Cloud” – By the end of every day, my Chrome Browser has so many open tabs that I start hyperventilating.  Some of those tabs need to stay open because they have to do with something I may be planning to blog, or they might all be sites I’m using with my students that day – or every day.  You can instantly save your tab collection by clicking on the Tab Cloud Extension.  Give it a name and any time you want to access it, just click the extension to find your tab group.
  • “Share to Classroom” – This is a relatively new extension that allows you to instantly share a website link to all of your students in any of your Google classrooms.
  • “Page Eraser” – This one is kind of fun.  Let’s say you want to show your students an article on a website, but the site has some distracting ads – or maybe you want them to figure something out so you want to take off some of the items on the page.  With Page Eraser on, you click on pieces of the page and they will disappear.  I will caution you, however, that one of my colleagues tried this on a page she uses a lot, and then couldn’t get the items to reappear.  I’m guessing this had something to do with a cookie trail, as restarting the browser solved the problem.
  • “CraftyText” – This may be my new favorite.  Ever wanted to share something, like a link or a group code, while on a website – but the text is too small?  This extension puts a text box right on top of the website that you can add text to.  Need students to join Google Classroom?  Just stick that group code in your CraftyText box so all can see it! You can see an example below.  (First, I used goo.gl URL shortener, then clicked CraftyText and pasted into the box.  Then I hit enter so it would appear larger than life.)  When you are done using it, just click on the extension again to make it disappear.
CraftyText used with goo.gl URL Shortener
CraftyText used with goo.gl URL Shortener

So, do you have any favorite extensions?  Share them in the comments below!

Creativity Games

from http://creativitygames.net/

Creativity Games is a site that offers a weekly creativity game every Monday.  There are also weekly challenges and resources offered.  Although it seems to be aimed at an adult audience, I believe many of the ideas could be used with younger students as well.  For example, I love the “New World Education Game” that was offered on August 20th.  It challenges you to think of a new university course using the 4 words provided.  As the “Strategy” paragraph states, our students are entering a new world with different technologies, and we need to come up with novel ideas for preparing them for this.  I could see my gifted and talented students loving this idea, and many of the other activities on Creativity Games.  This is a great tool for educators.

UDL Tech Toolkit

If you have not heard of Universal Design for Learning, also known as UDL, you might want to check out my post here that gives an introduction.  You can also choose Universal Design for Learning from one of the categories on the right for additional posts on this topic.

The UDL Tech Toolkit is a Glog that has links to a variety of technology tools to make learning accessible to all students.  Even if you have not heard of UDL, or are not ready to plunge into Universal Design for Learning full speed ahead, you will find that there are many useful resources included in this Glog.  I would definitely recommend bookmarking the UDL Tech Toolkit, so that you will have a ready reserve of sites that can help you to engage students with many different abilities.

SOLO Taxonomy

SOLO stands for “Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes”.  I came across this taxonomy when I was researching another resource that I will be offering in tomorrow’s post.  I thought it might be helpful to offer this one first just in case you, like me, have never heard of SOLO.

The graphic below, taken from the Otonga Primary School blog, gives an overview of SOLO:

 

I highly recommend that you visit the Otonga Primary School site, as it gives great examples of each of the thinking stages.

Some of you may note that this looks a bit like Bloom’s Taxonomy.  I noticed this, too.  So, I dug a bit deeper to try to find the difference, and discovered this page by Pam Hook that outlines what she considers to be the advantages of SOLO over Bloom’s.  I am not certain I agree with all of her statements, particularly that Bloom’s Taxonomy is more for teacher use than student use, but this post does help to clarify some of the differences.

I have not had professional development with SOLO, so I cannot speak to its effectiveness, but I do think that it is an interesting concept, and I am particularly intrigued by the Relational stage, which I will discuss more in tomorrow’s post.

 

Dear Photograph

Dear Photograph is not an educational site.  It is a collection of photographs of pictures.  In each photograph, the photographer is holding up a picture from the past in front of a scene from the present.  The juxtaposition is striking, and the submissions are accompanied by moving letters to the subjects of the older photos.  The emotions that you find on this site are varied and deep, from nostalgia to regret.  I like the idea of using this concept in the classroom because I think that it could help students to better understand their families.  And if you have some really creative photo editors, they could develop their own versions for historical settings that they are currently studying or for literature.  Using Dear Photograph for a project would be a neat way to encourage empathy and perspective.

I Spy a QR Code

image credit: Nina Nichols Peery

I Spy a QR Code is a blog post that includes a Prezi by Nina Nichols Peery.  I promise that I’m not just recommending this because it includes a link to this blog!  The Prezi includes some interesting videos and some unique QR code activities that I think you will like.  Be sure to click on this link for downloads for the accompanying worksheets.  I think you will enjoy seeing new ideas for using QR codes in your classroom to engage the minds of your students!