Tag Archives: lesson plans

The Flipped Classroom – Infographic

The Flipped Classroom

You may have heard the term “flipped classroom”, but do you really know what it means?  Simply put, it’s flipping the roles of the teacher and student in the process of learning, but it’s really much more than that.  Traditional classrooms still have the teacher at the head of the class, delivering instruction or lecture, then assigning homework and projects based off of that.  In a flipped classroom, however, the students take a much more active role in the class, while the teacher acts as facilitator, arbiter, and expert in the instruction.  This idea ties in very nicely with the increased use of technology in the classroom and while it takes practice, it can be a very useful (and less stressful) environment for teachers and students alike. [VIA]

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Posted by on September 17, 2013 in Infographics, Tips & Tricks


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The iPad as the Teacher’s Pet – Infographic

The iPad as Teacher’s Pet

Having an iPad in your classroom can be one of the most tools in your arsenal as it’s a veritable Swiss Army Knife of technology.  Today’s infographic takes you through the many ways you can use this great device, even if you only have one for yourself.  Explore different ways to use the iPad as well as useful apps (many of which are free) that can help you use this technology in your classroom immediately! [VIA – Learning in Hand with Tony Vincent]

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Posted by on July 12, 2013 in Infographics


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FutureMe — Time Travel Through e-mail

Dear Future Me,

What would you tell the future you if you had a chance?  Is there something you need to remember?  Some sage advice you might have? Do you want to be nostalgic?  What do you think your students would say? If you have ever wanted to do this but never had the chance, or if you’re looking for a fun, quick creative activity with your students, try FutureMe.

All you need to take advantage of FutureMe is access to the Internet and a valid e-mail address that you have now and will keep long enough to get your letter.  Have students write something to themselves at some future date – maybe freshman writing to themselves as seniors or graduating seniors writing to their future selves going to a five year reunion – the possibilities are endless!  What would they write?

With FutureMe, you can sample the students’ writing before they send it, and tailor it to be a reflective, persuasive, or creative piece.  You can even gauge the reaction of students to their letters if they were to send it to themselves while still in school.  Simply collaborate with a future teacher and have students write a response or reaction to their past selves letters.

FutureMe can be a fantastic tool for gauging student growth, both personally and academically and they will love the quasi time-travel aspect of the project (no TARDIS required).

Heads-up:  There is an option that letters can be shared publicly (but anonymously) and these appear in a sidebar on the right of the window.  Some may contain language inappropriate for school so determine whether or not your students can handle this (or preview the site the day you plan on using it).

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Posted by on February 14, 2013 in Tips & Tricks, Websites


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myHistro — Interactive Timelines & Maps


I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting presentation and storytelling tools, and myHistro definitely fits the bill for today!  With myHistro, you are able to create interactive timelines of any event in history, both major events and personal!

Create myHistro stories that integrate text, photos, video, and Google Maps to take students on a journey through the actual events of history on a virtual fieldtrip through the places that influenced the events.  These presentations can be left to play on their own or can be manipulated by the viewer as well.  If you don’t have the inclination or time to create your own, then you can choose from hundreds of already made myHistro timelines that cover almost every time period in history.

Another benefit of myHistro is that with creating your own timeline, you could have students build their own personal histories or stories, pinning actual locations on a map to correspond with the events in their timeline.  This is a perfect way to work in a cross-curricular setting, either having students research historical figures from other disciplines, creating their own life story, or writing creatively about a person’s life.  Integrating the writing component while using myHistro to organize and bring actual geography into the story can address several needs and standards at the same time.

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Posted by on February 12, 2013 in Tips & Tricks, Websites


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A+ Click Math & Logic Problems

A+ Click Math & Logic Problems

A+ Click Math & Logic Problems

If you are in need of some technology and an interactive, customizable component to your math lessons, you might be interested in A+ Click’s Math and Logic Problems.

A+ Click’s problems run the gamut of difficulty and complexity from the 1st to the 12th grades and cover a myriad of other subjects from Arithmetic and Geometry through Everyday Applications, Sports, Logic, and Funny problems.

There are two ways that you could possibly use A+ Click:

  • It could be used as a quick gauge of student’s skills as each grade level allows the student to take 20 questions in their “quiz” and then, if they score high enough, they can advance to the next level – almost as though leveling up in their favorite video game.  They’ll love seeing how far they can get, and you will like seeing the statistics provided by A+ Click that assess the skill areas they are having difficulty in.
  • Alternately, you can pick and choose individual questions from any of the grade levels or subjects on A+ Click.  Use these as pre-made warm up activities or exit tickets.  Instant feedback is provided and the site lends itself to both projectors & white boards or to your chalkboard.

As with any interactive site, A+ Click Math and Logic Problems relies heavily on browser plug-ins – in this case Adobe Flash.  Make sure you test the site on the machine you want to use in school first to check compatibility.


Posted by on February 11, 2013 in Tips & Tricks, Websites


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Biology in Motion — Interactive Lectures and Labs

Biology in Motion

Biology in Motion

Another in a series of fantastic interactive and multimedia lesson sites that are out there, Biology in Motion helps to teach students about the basic concepts of biology in a very entertaining, yet informative way.

Each of the activities and exhibits on Biology in Motion allow students to view, manipulate, or experiment with various biological concepts from simple mini-lectures and vocabulary to a complete evolution lab.  The modules available on Biology in Motion are:

  • Evolution Lab
  • ATP and Energy Storage
  • Fat Digestion and Bile
  • Thyroid Gland and Negative Feedback
  • The Cardiovascular System
  • Cell Division
  • Urine Concentration

The modules and activities on Biology in Motion, outside of the general lectures and vocabulary, skew toward anatomy and physiology but information found is extremely valuable, engaging, and well worth the trip!

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Posted by on February 8, 2013 in Websites


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Teachable Moment — Free Current Events Lessons

Teachable Moment

Teachable Moment

Working with current events can sometimes be a daunting thing for teachers.  The news is constantly changing and active and when do we find the time to scour the news, find good materials then develop the lesson plans around it?  Teachable Moment might be the solution for you.

Run by the Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility, the Teachable Moment is a series of content and lesson plans, complete with discussion questions and activities for you to use in the classroom.  You can choose from three areas on Teachable Moment that you would like to address:  Current Events, Social and Emotional Learning, or Classroom Resources and Ideas.  Within each, you can narrow the subject of the lessons to specific events or broader topics that you would like to discuss in class.  All of the Teachable Moment lessons are free to use in class and are available for general Elementary, Middle, and High School levels.

Teachable Moment is definitely worth a look if your students are interested in current events, or if you are in need of quick and easy lessons to address specific issues in your class or school.  Most of the lessons are geared to teaching social responsibility and character development as well, so there is a definite added bonus when you need to integrate these components into lessons.

Make sure you bookmark Teachable Moment and check back often as new lessons are added almost daily as world events change and new materials become available.  As we are all aware – you never know when that Teachable Moment may strike!

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Posted by on February 5, 2013 in Tips & Tricks, Websites


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DNA Extraction Virtual Lab — Interactive Lesson

DNA Extraction Virtual Lab

DNA Extraction Virtual Lab

Everyone knows the power of DNA as not only one of the building blocks of life, but also from the reliance of DNA evidence in modern forensics.  Just how do scientists and crime scene investigators pull the famous double helix out of our cells or off a cotton swab though?  Help your students understand the process by using the University of Utah’s DNA Extraction Virtual Lab.

The DNA Extraction Virtual Lab walks students through background information on the uses of DNA in research and forensics, where it is found and how it is obtained. They then have the ability to perform a virtual cheek swab to find cells to then burst, separate DNA from other proteins, and then isolate the concentrated DNA for analysis. The Virtual Lab also introduces students to the various processes involved as well as the equipment used to perform the DNA extraction.

This is a fantastic lab to use not only in biology and genetics lessons where actual DNA extraction is not feasible, but also in forensics classes as students learn the process of gathering DNA evidence.  The DNA Extraction Virtual Lab is an excellent stand-alone activity or as an introduction to a broader study of genetics or DNA analysis.

Also of interest:  Check out the website on how to Extract DNA From Any Living Thing to use as a lab or home activity to learn how to isolate the DNA from your veggies!

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Posted by on January 29, 2013 in Websites


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MathTV — Quick Video Lessons

Math TV

So you’ve tried and tried to explain a mathematical concept to a student in several different ways and using several different methods, but he or she still doesn’t quite get it.  Instead of banging your head off that math book, why not direct them toward MathTV?

MathTV is a series of video tutorials that cover just about every concept from basic arithmetic and place values all the way up to complex calculus.  Each major subject (Basic Mathematics, Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, and Calculus) is further subdivided by specific concepts and functions.  What MathTV does is offer you a series of sample problems that illustrate each concept, and in many cases, this same concept is presented by up to four different instructors with some even available in Spanish.  This use of multiple instructors for each concept helps to strengthen MathTV’s presentation because while the rules and functions of the math remain the same, each instructor will approach the problem, and present their solution, in slightly different ways.  Imagine having four other teachers in the room with that hard to reach student – one of them will find the right way in!

MathTV will not be able to replace your instruction, but rather should be used as a compliment to it.  I would suggest trying these videos with a student struggling with a concept or perhaps helping a student on homebound instruction or who has been out of school for an extended period of time.  I know that for me sometimes seeing a slightly different presentation or wording of a topic or concept suddenly makes it click.  Hopefully MathTV can do the same for your students.

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Posted by on January 24, 2013 in Tips & Tricks, Websites


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America in the 1930s — Interactive History & Culture

America in the 1930s

Whether you are teaching a history class covering this time period, a literature or art class covering the same, or even a media class where you might want to teach film or radio, America in the 1930s from the University of Virginia is for you.

America in the 1930s is a project that seeks to immerse you in the media and art of the 1930s.  The site is fully interactive and seeks to teach the history and popular culture of America in the 1930s through the following areas:

  • On film – The 1930s marked the beginning of the sound era in film and movies used as both escape and social commentary.  Various documentaries are available to illustrate this.
  • In Print – Look at the people, news, books, comics, and advertising of the 1930s.
  • On Display – Examines the artwork of the 1930s and how artists contrasted the depths of the Great Depression with the coming of the machine age.
  • On the Air – Learn how radio became the most popular form of entertainment and information in the Great Depression.  You can listen to old broadcasts, ads, music or sports as well as examine the celebrity associated with this new medium.
  • Timeline – An interactive look at each year of the decade in the areas of politics and society, science and technology, arts and culture, and world events.

America in the 1930s is meticulously maintained and is a great source of multimedia supplements to lessons and can provide ideas for your own projects for teaching this era.  Even if you are not looking purely at the history of the 1930s, showing students the perseverance and outlook of Americans in the midst of the Great Depression is an interesting and inspiring study.  Make sure to check out the downloads section of America in the 1930s to have all your plug-ins current and don’t forget to book mark it – you’ll be back again and again!

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Posted by on January 23, 2013 in Websites


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