Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Revision History, Quill, Beautiful Words, Search, Harmful Apps, Google Sheets Add-ons, Legendary Instruction, Blogging with Students, Phonics App, PD, Gifathon, What to Buy in February, Defrost Your Window, Milkshake Lightsabers

Did you know?
6 uses for the Revision History tool in Google - (for docs, sheets, slides and drawings) Take a quick look at Eric Curts article on how this tool works and on these 6 uses for educators:
  • Track improvements
  • Restore previous versions (the ultimate “Undo” tool)
  • View the work process
  • Evaluate group work
  • Detect plagiarism or cheating
  • Investigate harassment or inappropriate use
For a video showing the Revision History tool, this segment is a nice one...skip ahead to 37:10 into this webinar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qk-RYhyuO7M … and stay with it to see the Draftback extension...it can be quite helpful, too! The “Addressing Student Cheating in Google Apps” webinar is a little over an hour in total length, but you can take a quick quiz at the end and get a certificate for that hour in PD credit. He has some great suggestions for how teachers can structure their assignments and assessments to try to keep things above board. The information is meant to be shared with students...not to be a “gotcha!”. I think this is a good one, well worth watching. http://ti.apps.sparcc.org/videopd/20160119-cheating

What if?
Quill - a free website with 3 ELA tools you can use with students. These could be a great warm-up as each section has quick activities. This is easy to set up and start using. The quickest way is to sign up is by using your Google login. There are tasks for Elementary, Middle and High School. It is aligned with Common Core standards, but could be used with Texas TEKS as well. Thank you +Richard Byrne  https://www.quill.org
The 3 types of activities are:
Quill Proofreader - students identify and correct errors in passages
Quill Grammar - students finish the construction of sentences
Quill Writer - students work together, using a word bank to write sentences

Something to think about…
Helping Students Write Beautiful Words or "How I Fell in Love in a Graveyard." by +Cool Cat Teacher makes you think about how we’re teaching students to write. For ELA teachers, agree or disagree ... this might be a good, quick read! http://www.coolcatteacher.com/helping-kids-love-to-write-beautiful-words/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CoolCatTeacherBlog+%28Cool+Cat+Teacher+Blog%29

6 Steps to Teaching Students to Search from +Alice Keeler Teacher your students better ways to search and do research is a long lasting gift you can give them in a short period of time. Alice covers keywords, using quotations and teaching them to question URL’s…”Which are credible, why?”, Control Click, F and W … “These suggestions are not intended to be done in a single day unless this is the content you are teaching. Instead, this can be used as a warm up or break. Each step may be practiced over multiple days before moving onto the next technique.” http://www.alicekeeler.com/teachertech/2015/06/08/6-steps-to-teaching-students-to-search/

Apps that are harmful for tweens and teens - an article that was sent to me by +TCEA (Texas Computer Education Association) with some good information to be aware of. Be sure to scroll all the way down, there are more than just 5. Keeping in mind that some of these apps can used in harmless ways. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jenx/2016/01/top-5-risky-apps-for-teenagers.html

2 add-ons for Google Sheets from @thegooglegooru
Turn Your Spreadsheet into a Sudoku Puzzle - Sodoku Sheets
and Add a 3rd Dimension to Your Charts - 3D Charts

12 Free Add-Ons That Take Docs & Sheets to the Next Level - Another good post from @thegooglegooru with add-ons for:
  • faxing
  • entering your autograph
  • finding the right image in clip art
  • Rosetta Stone
  • helping Excel and Google Sheets play well together
  • using spreadsheet data to create custom maps
  • personalized emails en masse
  • plus 5 more

10 Shortcuts to Legendary Instruction - an insightful article by Todd Finley @finleyt with quick ideas/thoughts to help you reflect. He came up with these after watching 100 hours of new teacher’s instruction and noting their strengths and weaknesses. He’s hoping these will give other teachers a sort of fast track to reaching mastery of their craft. http://www.todd-finley.com/2016/01/10/a-wrinkle-in-teaching-10-shortcuts-to-legendary-instruction/

Free course on blogging with students by The Edublogger - This is part of their 30 day Teacher Challenge Series and is supposed to cover:
  • Setting up class and student blogs
  • Teaching quality comments and posts
  • Working with widgets
  • Images, copyright, and creative commons
  • Connecting with other classes
You can sign up any time. The emails for each step of the course are sent in order from the date you sign up.http://www.theedublogger.com/2016/01/20/student-blogging-course/?utm_source=Edublogs&utm_campaign=db7868be6b-Edublogs_Weekly_01_21_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0417f70ab4-db7868be6b-97990005 They’ll have a Student Blogging Challenge coming up in March.

Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read – First Grade Consonant Blends and Two-Syllable Words - Free iPad app to reinforce children’s understanding of blends & digraphs. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hooked-on-phonics-learn-to/id1038969524?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Upcoming Opportunities in the Area, PD & otherwise:
  • Keller ISD - Yakfest - Saturday, January 30th from 9-5, free
  • TWU - TXEDUCAMP: Edcamp - a free unconference for educators
    • Free
    • Saturday February 13th, 2016 from 8:30 to 3:30
    • See  http://txeducamp.com/ for more info and to register
  • Northwest ISD - TechnoExpo student showcase event on February 25 at Northwest High School from 5:30-8:00. All are invited. https://sites.google.com/a/nisdtx.org/techno-expo/
  • Grand Prairie ISD - STEaMposium is Saturday, April 2nd at Grand Prairie HS. It includes our Digital Media Showcase. The STEaMposium event also includes a Robotics Competition and an Instant Challenge.
  • Frisco ISD - TXGOO16 - a Google For Education Summit, May 14, 2016 at Reedy High School
  • ESC Region 11 - ElementaryCon - 2 day elementary education conference at the ESC Region 11 facility in White Settlement. See the site for upcoming ESC 11 events: http://dlupdate.weebly.com/
    • June 23-24 Thursday and Friday
    • Angela Maiers will be the keynote
    • Numerous Teachers of the Year from area will be presenting
    • Proposals being accepted
    • Date has changed & is now after summer school & last STAAR testing dates
    • Elementary focus
    • For each 4 teachers attending, 1 administrator can come for free
    • Admin strand
    • Instructional technology strand
    • $75 for in region registration and $100 for outside of ESC 11
  • Frisco ISD - Edcamp Library - Tuesday, June 28th - Reedy HS in Frisco - Free + 6 hours of PD Register beginning February 1st - http://edcamplibrary.weebly.com/

For Fun…
“NYC Gifathon” by James Curran - fun with such talent! “Fun compilation by London-based animator James Curran. Inspired by a month-long trip to NYC back in November where he animated one gif per day.”  thank you SwissMiss https://vimeo.com/151850021 To take a look at his other work go to http://www.slimjimstudios.com/


The Best and Worst Things to Buy in February:
Good: Electronics, HDTVs, outerwear, exercise equipment, indoor furniture
Bad: Valentine's Day-themed items (unless it's right after St. Valentine's Day), smartphones


Defrost Your Car in Record Time With These Tips - for the science behind it and more details and tricks go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCmgWiEEZwA


Milkshake Straw Lightsabers - DIY and less than $1 per lightsaber, by Eric Mason