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Tuesday Tech Tips!

Below is a compilation of the 2015-16 Tuesday Tech Tips.  If you have any questions about any of these tools or other technology related topics, please contact Carrie Banovz or Allison Owen.

Assessment Tools RubricMakers Mathematics
Reading/English/Language Arts/Grammar Interactive Lesson Creators Learning Management Systems
Keyboarding Instruction
& Practice
General Tools & Applications Google Tools
Pictures Microsoft Word Tools People to Follow

Assessment Tools

PLICKERS

www.PLICKERS.com

This is a great FREE tool that allows you to collect real-time formative assessment data with only one device – no need for student devices!  Mr. Scott Peterson agrees it's worth sharing with you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJgpVrA_cEo 

Mastery Connect

www.masteryconnect.com

Mastery Connect could be a great tool for grade level teams to help with data tracking and common assessments.    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWBW9z0kD0s

Socrative

www.socrative.com

Socrative can be used for formative assessments, quizzes, review games and such and it's appropriate for all grade levels.  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wkDwbWM_YQ

KAHOOT - www.getkahoot.com

This is a great website that I used the first week of school.  If you are not opposed to students using their personal electronic devices in your room, you may want to check this out.  Kahoot is an interactive way to make quizzes, discussions, or surveys and collect the data from students' smart devices.  They could also "play" on the computer if you had access to a lab.  I used it to create a quiz about my classroom rules and then we played it the day after I had gone over my syllabus.  The 12th graders loved it - seriously.  When playing the "quiz" game, students get to submit a nickname and depending on whether they answer a question correctly and how quickly they do so, determines their placement on the leaderboard.  After every question, Kahoot shows on the teacher's screen (which is projecting the quiz questions to the group) the top 5 overall scores.  My students were so excited to see their names move up the board as the quiz went on.  Afterward, I had the results available through my kahoot account and I can download them or save them to google drive.  They have several public kahoots you can try out to see if you like it.  Once you've selected a public Kahoot or created your own, you will launch it from your computer.  Students go online to http://kahoot.it and join your game using the game-pin that was assigned.  Once all the students have joined, you start the quiz and that's it.  Would be great for a fun review game or for gathering formative assessment data at the end of a lesson or unit.
ZIP GRADE - www.zipgrade.com

This is a great app that I just tried out this morning.  If you have lost your love for the scantron machine and/or your clickers are on the fritz, this is the app for you.

What it does is grade your multiple choice tests using your smartphone or tablet camera.  As I said, I tried it this morning and it worked great.  I have graded the pretests and printed a list of names and scores (much like from CPS with the clickers) without having to leave my room.  Also, students can use either pencil or pen and the camera still picks it up.

It's FREE for the first 100 tests and they have downloadable answer sheets in 3 varieties:  20 question, 50 question, and 100 question sets.  The website has a video demo but if you'd like to know more, feel free to send me a message.

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Rubric Makers

FOR ALL RUBRICS
www.forallrubrics.com
Allows you to create a class, customize rubrics, score the students in your class, and even assign badges.  
RUBISTAR
http://rubistar.4teachers.org
/index.php
Includes several templates you can use or customize.
iRUBRIC
http://www.rcampus.com
/indexrubric.cfm
 
Is a comprehensive rubric development, assessment, and sharing tool.
TEACHNOLOGY
http://www.teach-nology.com/web_tools/rubrics
/general/
Is incredibly easy to use and produces a rubric with a clean look.
ESSAY TAGGER
http://www.essaytagger.com
/commoncore
Is a service that allows teachers to simply and easily create rubrics based on Statewide Common Core Standards.

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Mathematics

Prodigy Game

www.prodigygame.com

Prodigy is a math game appropriate for grades 1-8.  Again – it's free.  If you teach math, check it out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMItCXfMXP0

PHOTOMATH
 photomath.net
This app is a smart camera calculator.  It will calculate just about any math question and give you the answer as well as show you the solution in a step by step format.  Check out the video on their website.  It is a free app and it's available for smartphones and tablets as well as multiple operating systems.  

Numberock - https://www.youtube.com/channel
/UCt9SZgFExNwWTH5T_JnyF-A

Numberock is a  YouTube channel that features quick music videos that teach and or reinforce elementary school math lessons.

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Reading/English/Language Arts/Grammar

Grammarly

www.grammarly.com

This is a free grammar and spelling checker that can help you and/or your students.  It claims to find and fix 10X more errors than MS Word.  It can be used online or you can add it to the Chrome browser as an extension.  There is also a premium version for around $12 per month that adds in vocabulary enhancement and a Plagiarism feature to be sure you aren't using someone else's work

NEWSELA
www.newsela.com

Check out this free site/tool for teachers and students.  You can access text sets and articles that can be tailored to a specific reading  level of your choice.  Great for differentiation.  Additional teaching resources can be found on the Learning and Support page.

VOCABULIST
https://vocabulist.com

Free site allows students to upload or type in a list of vocabulary terms and it will fill in the definitions.  Then a PDF can be downloaded and printed.

HSTRY - https://www.hstry.co/blog
/teaching-vocabulary-on-hstry

HSTRY’s mission is to captivate students.  The above link gives many ways to creatively teach vocabulary to your students. HSTRY is also a multimedia timeline creation tool that will work on your laptop, Chromebook, iPad, or tablet.

Other Applications for Education
There are two features of HSTRY that make it stand-out from the crowd.  First, as a teacher you can create an online classroom in which you can view all of your students’ timelines.  Second, as a teacher you can build questions into timelines that you share with your students.  You can even build-in explanations of the answers to your question.  HSTRY is free to use to create and share timelines.  They do offer some pre-made timelines for sale.

Scholastic Book Wizard   http://bookwizard.scholastic.com
/bookwizard/

Find and level books with Book Wizard. Plus, get booktalks, lesson plans, author studies, videos, and discussion guides.  In addition, this site has links to so much more!! Some other links are....

  • Resources and Tools
  • Strategies and Ideas
  • Student Activities

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Interactive Lesson/Video Creators

EDpuzzle 
https://edpuzzle.com/
EDpuzzle has an iOS app, a Chrome app, and a YouTube extension.  The Android app is coming soon
TEDed
ed.ted.com

Use the TED talks to create interactive lessons for your students.

OfficeMix for teachers  
ttp://www.mixforteachers.com/
https://mix.office.com/en-us/Home

This is a PowerPoint add-in

Screencast-O-Matic
https://screencast-o-matic.com/home

Offers a screen and webcam recorder

ShowMe
http://www.showme.com/

(iOS and Android app)

BLENDSPACE
www.tes.com/lessons
 

Today's tip is a website designed to help you create digital lessons.   
It's easy and free and the best part is you don't have to recreate the wheel - they have a gallery that you can search to find blends that have already been created on a variety of topics.  When you go to the  
website, just click the Gallery link at the top of the page to see  several examples.  Or, check out the following video for more information.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3SIsMKbVG8

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Learning Management Systems

SCHOOLOGY
www.schoology.com

 

Schoology is a learning management system. The basic version is free. It’s very similar to Edmodo which Carrie shared in a previous tip. I currently use it in two of my classes. Once a class is created, a code is generated that you give to your students and then they join your class using that code and an email address to create their own profile. I post assignments there and students submit their work right in schoology. You can also use it for your own personal learning network. I have joined several groups in schoology and on my home feed I see posts from teachers across the country sharing resources and ideas. Check out the youtube video for an overview.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqc1xE2H9Wg

Edmodo - www.edmodo.com  (there is also a mobile app for both iOS and Android)

I have used Edmodo for several years (at least 5!) at both the Jr High and HS.  Edmodo (not to be confused with Animoto) looks like Facebook with some school-safe features:

  • Students cannot post a message to an individual; they can only post for the whole class to see or to the teacher (as teacher, you can choose to approve postings (by individual or the whole class))
  • Only students enrolled in that class can see the messages (when you create a class, there will be a group code that students must enter.  You can lock the code after all students have joined).
  • There is a parent code for each student.  You can invite parents to join so that they can see assignments and what their child has turned in.

Reasons I like it (besides what is listed above):

  • It is super easy to set up and very intuitive.
  • The students figure it out very quickly.
  • I can post messages from anywhere (desktop, laptop, or mobile app) and check students’ postings and questions if I have a sub.
  • I can set up assignments and quizzes and the students submit their assignments to me via Edmodo (using less paper).
  • I can attach files or links if there is something I want the student to see or read.
  • Students do not have to enter an email address.
  • There are many professional groups that you can join for awesome networking! (For example, a few of the groups I belong to are Teacher Librarians of Edmodo, Computer Technology, ISTE, and Common Sense Media).

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Keyboarding Instruction and Practice

Typing.com
www.typing.com
Alpha Typing
http://www.alfatyping.com/
PowerTyping http://www.powertyping.com/

ZTyping
http://phoboslab.org/ztype/

ABCYa
http://www.abcya.com/
(select Skills)

DanceMatTyping http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/z3c6tfr

Typing Club
https://www.typingclub.com/

 

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General Tools/Applications

ANSWER GARDEN
answergarden.ch
Answer Garden is an online brainstorming tool. It can also be used to gather feedback from students. When you create an answer garden, you enter a topic or specific question for students to respond to. There are various settings you can change as you create your garden, such as duration of the garden, whether it’s a brainstorm or classroom garden, how long student responses can be, etc. After it’s created, you give the url for your garden to students so they can begin responding. The result ends up being a word cloud which you can share or export as an image.

COPYPASTECHARACTER - www.copypastecharacter.com

Ever need/want a special character like ✉or ✎but can't remember the key combination or where to find it in your program?  Don't worry - just go to the COPYPASTECHARACTER website and you will probably find what you are looking for.  Simply click on the character you want (single left click - no need to double-click or right click) and it's copied to your clipboard.  Then, go to whatever document you are working with and paste either by clicking the paste button, right clicking and choosing paste, or pressing Ctrl+V.  If you don't see the character you want, select the pull-down menu in the middle at the top and select a different set of characters or search for a specific character.

Amendment:  When I just tested the COPYPASTECHARACTER link in the message it didn't work unless I first clicked on the graphic at the top of the webpage.  When you click on a character it should highlight in yellow so you know that it copied to the clipboard.

PRINT ONTO POST IT NOTES

Using PowerPoint or Google Slides, you can print onto 3x3 sticky notes.

Create a new presentation and edit the page setup so that your slides are 7.5" x 7.5".  Next, key whatever information you'd like to have printed on the sticky note.  It could be a checklist for students, a scoring guide, anything you want really.  Include any design templates or images/clip art you may want.  Once you have your slide the way you want it - duplicate it three times so you have four total slides.  Next, print the presentation as Handouts with 4 slides to a page - make sure that the Frame Slides box is checked.  Also, if you added a background template you need to check the High Quality box too.  Once you have your initial printout - "load" the boxes with your blank post-it notes.  Print again and this time your sticky notes will be printed on.  It is recommended that you use high quality sticky notes - generics might get stuck in your printer and we don't want that!  I have done it successfully with regular Post-It notes and Super Sticky Post-Its.

WOLFRAM ALPHA - http://www.wolframalpha.com

We usually go to Google when we need to find information but Wolfram Alpha is a tool that might better serve some of our needs.  It is a computational knowledge engine.  Instead of giving us websites, it gives us facts and answers.  

For example:  

Enter a city, state, like Bogue Kansas.  You will see population and location on a map.  In addition, when you scroll down you'lI also see a local map, the current time, the current weather, the economic properties, the geographic properties, nearby cities, and the county.

Other searches to try:

  • Enter Kansas and Texas and it will build a table to compare the two states.
  • Enter your birthdate to find out: what day of the week you were born; how old you are in years, weeks, and days; and famous people who share your birthday.
  • Enter a food (apple, donut, Big Mac) to see the number of calories and the nutritional value.
  • Enter your height and weight to see your body mass index, fat mass, lean body mass, and ideal body weight.
  • Enter any number to see it written as a roman numeral and in binary form (along with lots of other info).

IFAKETEXT
www.ifaketext.com

This site is a great example of  a simple tool that can allow your students to show what they know in a unique or novel way by emulating a text message conversation on an iPhone.  You could also use it as a way to grab your students' attention.  I'm thinking I might use it to give some basic directions and put it at the top of an assignment - maybe then they'll read them  ;-).  Once you've used the emulator (following the instructions on the website), you can share the image on social media sites, get direct links to add to websites.
Windows Snipping Tool
(Windows 7)

Use the Windows Snipping Tool to create a JPEG or other image file of the fake screenshot.  The Windows Snipping Tool can be found from your Start Menu through the Accessories folder.  It's a very easy way to capture something on your screen and then save it as an image file.  It's even better than using Ctrl+PrintScreen to take a screen shot because you can pinpoint a specific portion of your screen or get the whole thing, either way.   

CLEANPRINT
http://www.formatdynamics.com
/cleanprint-4-0/

Monty Tyner, one of our high school English teachers, shared this with me so I'm passing it on.   Clean Print is a free browser add-on for Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Safari (including Safari on the iPad). The purpose of Clean Print is to help you save ink and paper when printing articles from the Internet. Clean Print allows you to remove images and advertisements from pages before printing an article and it also gives you the option to increase or decrease font size before printing.  Check out the following video to learn more:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3rIa9mZECc.

If you like the idea of saving paper but don't want to download the browser add-on, select just the text on a website that you'd like to print.  Either right click the selection to print, press Ctrl+P, or go to your print command (steps depend on your browser), and in the settings/options choose "Selection Only" to get just what you highlighted.  I use Chrome and when I highlight text on a website and then right-click to print, it automatically knows to just print the selection - saves a lot of paper.

REMIND
www.remind.com
Remind is an app/website that lets you send out text messages to anyone who subscribes to your class.  This could be a great way to send out important announcements or reminders to your students or their parents.  And the best thing is . . . . they cannot reply to your message.  In fact, they don't even end up with your cell number.  The message is generated by Remind and you don't even have to use your phone if you don't want.  It can all be done from a computer
FatURL
www.faturl.com

Do you have several links that you would like to share with your colleagues?  FatURL is the tool for you!  To share a group of links through FatURL, just copy and paste or type URLs into the bundle box.  You can add comments to each link.  After creating your bundle, hit the share button to send it.

TeAchnology 
http://www.teach-nology.com/printables/

There are over 9,000 free printables on this site, in addition to links to various worksheet creators.  They also offer worksheets, teacher timesavers, rubrics, and lesson plans! 

Saved by Stickies
http://ctl.byu.edu/tip/saved-stickies

A virtual sticky note program, available for both PC and Mac. 
Flashcards+ by Chegg A free app for both iPhone and iPad. You can put text, images, or both on the flashcards.
Cram.com Flashcards. For Android users.  You can put text, images, or both on the flashcards.
Wordmark.it
http://wordmark.it/
This is a fun little site that lets you choose the ideal typeface for what you are trying to communicate.  Wordmark.it helps you select which font to use by quickly displaying previews of any word or phrase in each of the fonts installed on your computer!  You and your students can save time when creating documents, presentations, and/or graphics by using Wordmark.it to preview exactly what your words will look like when using certain fonts.

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Pictures

Pics4Learning
http://pics4learning.com/

Copyright free pictures that you can use on your website, in your newsletters, or in your lessons!

3D Toad
http://www.3dtoad.com
/index.php

An awesome site that has interactive 360-degree rotatable images, including skeletons, fossils, coral, dissections, etc.

School Clip-Art
http://www.school-clip-art.com/

Free school clip art images.

Visual Dictionary Online
http://visual.merriam-webster.com/

A great place to find educational photos, descriptions, and more.

FreeFoto               http://www.freefoto.com
/index.jsp

FreeFotobank       http://www.freephotobank.org
/main.php

Both of these are sites with free stock photos.

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Google Tools

Google Drawings ~Ten Reasons Google Drawings Should Be on Your Classroom Radar, by Chantell Manahan

http://laughinglearningleading.
blogspot.com/

Chantell Manahan, a freshman English teacher in Angola, IN, has put together a wonderful list of reasons and uses for Google Drawings.

Instead of retyping her list, I’ve posted the link above.

Like other Google Apps, Google Drawings is a collaborative product; several people can work on the same drawing!

Teacher’s Guide on How to Create Forms Using the New Google Forms

http://www.educatorstechnology.com
/2015/09/teachers-guide-on-how
-to-use-new-google-forms.html

Sent to us by Mary Beer, CHS Special Education teacher.

If you haven’t used Google Forms yet, you need to try them out!!  They are great for gathering student information, classroom planning (send a form home to parents), surveys, quizzes, etc.  Forms are easy to use and can be easily emailed or linked to your website!

Google Keep https://keep.google.com/ Google Keep is a great app for creating to-do lists and reminders.  Google Keep lets users share notes just like sharing Google Documents.  In that regard it’s great for keeping track of to-do lists in team projects

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MS Office Tips

MS Excel 

for Attendance Records

I (Ms. Owen) have recently created a new template in Excel that I am using for a seating chart/attendance record.  I have attached it to this message in case you might also like to use it.  What I do is write the date that the student is absent in a box under their name – then I highlight with different colors if it's excused, unexcused, tardy, ACR, field trip, etc.   While I do submit attendance through Skyward, I also like to have a hard copy record myself

MS Excel

Easily create a numbered list using the fill down series command.  Choose a cell and type the number 1.  Then, highlight that cell and as many rows down as you'd like to have numbers.  Go to the "editing" section of the home tab and click on the arrow next to Fill and select Series.  When the dialog box pops up, make sure the step value is 1 and click ok.  

MS Word Create customized bullets by using the pull-down bullet menu on the home tab. Choose define new bullet and select symbol. Change the font to webdings or wingdings to get unique images you can use for bullets
MS Word

Some keyboard shortcuts you might want to know about:
Ctrl-X to cut
Ctrl-C to copy
Ctrl-V to paste
Ctrl-1 to single space
Ctrl-2 to double space
Ctrl-A to select all
Ctrl-Z to Undo
Ctrl-Y to Redo
Ctrl-P to Print
Shift-Arrow to highlight one letter at a time

Browser Shortcuts
Ctrl-Plus to Zoom in
Ctrl-Minus to Zoom out
Ctrl-T to open a new tab

MS Word

To quickly select an entire line of text in a word document, move your mouse out into the left margin until it points to the right instead of to the left.  With the arrow pointing right, click once to select the entire line.  Click and drag down to select multiple lines of text.

To quickly insert a page break, press Ctrl+Enter.

ALL

 

Paste Special and Tabs:  If you've ever cut or copied something and then when you went to paste it, it didn't look right or moved other things around, you should try this tip.  Instead of just right-clicking to paste, pressing Ctrl+V, or clicking on the Paste button on the home tab of your ribbon, click on the arrow below the Paste button to get additional options.  Choose Paste Special and then you will have a list of available options - from this list choose Unformatted Text.  It should help with the problem.  If you have trouble lining things up, use Tabs.  Tabs can be set in multiple ways.  One is to go to the Tabs button found at the bottom of the Paragraph dialog box.  Another is to go the View tab and place a check mark next to Ruler.  Once your ruler is visible, you can click anywhere on the ruler to add a tab.  The default is to set a left tab but tabs can also be set to be right-aligned, center-aligned, or decimal-aligned.  Use the icon in the upper left hand corner of the ruler area to change between types of tabs.

ALL

Format Painter  You can find this tool in multiple Microsoft programs, including MS Word and MS Outlook.  The Format Painter allows you to quickly apply an already used format to other text.For example, if you have set a certain format like New Format (font, bold, color) and you want to apply that same format to other text, you simply . . 

1.  select any part of the text with the desired format

2.  click the Format Painter icon

3.  and then brush over the new text that you want to also have that format.

The new text will now have the same format as the format you selected.  If you double-click the Format Painter icon, you can apply the format multiple times.  Then click the Format Painter icon again to return to deselect it.

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People to Follow

Richard Byrne
http://www.freetech4teachers.com/
Tammy Worcester
http://tammyworcester.com/

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PH: 618-985-4826Fax: 618-985-2041

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