Tag Archives: nonlinguistic

things 1-10 capstone

I decided to create an infographic for my capstone. If you click on the image, you will be taken to the Piktochart site where you can view it with the embedded video too. And if you click on the presentation mode button it looks even better!

Infographics are really useful tools that I can see using frequently in my blended class. They are a great way to present information in an easy to follow, easy to understand format. I foresee using these alongside videos, and perhaps even replacing many of my slideshows with these. They are time consuming to create, but I think they are worth the extra effort. I can also see having my students create infographics for projects to assess their understanding and their ability to make connections between current units of study and previous concepts.

things 1-10 capstone, infographic on unemployment


thing 10 – digital images

Edited Image Using Picasa

 Before:entrepreneurship  After (cropping, warmifying, cross processing, and adding text, all with a few mouse clicks!):entrepreneurship

I have students use images when creating projects for the class, so I can have them find images on creative commons and edit them for their final products. I also use Picasa for creating end of the season cross country yearbooks. I get images from parents and then create collage pages for each of the meets with all of our athletes on them.

Slideshow using PhotoPeach

For some reason the embed code from PhotoPeach wouldn’t work on my blog, so here is a screenshot of what I made.

thing 10 - photopeach

PhotoPeach is a neat tool that makes for a fun and more creative slide show. I think it would be a good tool to use to ask students to be a bit more creative. Instead of just writing and explaining their ideas in text, they have to use images to express their understanding. The music adds a nice touch too!

Shared Photo from Snapfish


thing 8 – visual learning

Graphic Organizers

 Popplet  bubbl.us
 thing 8 - popplet  thing 8 - bubbl.us

I like both of these tools to make graphic organizers. Both are really easy to use, and bubbl.us makes a pretty straightforward concept map. I love Popplet, though, because you can add videos and images to explain concepts. I can see using this with students and having them create and share their own Popplets with one another as an early activity in a new unit or when learning a new concept. I can also see using this as a review activity for students before an assessment or as an assessment activity to see what kinds of connections students have made with the material. I checked out MindMeister too and I really like the collaborative feature. I can see using this when having students work together to analyze a text they read.

Word Clouds

runasone final  runwithheart

I made the above images using Tagxedo for my cross country runners before the state meet. I’ve never actually used it for teaching; I always saw it as more of an English Language Arts type tool. However, I can see using this (or Wordle) as students read a section or a chaper out of the textbook. I could have them use it to see the main themes of the section they read and then create a shape that represents the main ideas.

QR Codes
QR Code
This contains the link to my classroom website. I will likely use QR codes for sharing links and other useful information with my students. I will also put a QR code on my syllabus for students to use so they can easily scan it to get to the class website.

thing 3 – collaboration tools

Google Templates

I found the following budget spreadsheet template and it would be super useful for the personal finance unit I do with my students. Part of the unit includes creating a detailed budget based on the starting salary of the job they hope to get once they graduate college or trade school. I would make some modifications to this template, but I think it would be more useful than having students do this portion in the word document I share with them. The most useful part is that students can enter in their numbers and it gives them totals in the spreadsheet so they don’t have to do it by hand!

thing 3 - budget template

Google Docs and Doodle

Here is a presentation I use for my students that I made in Google Docs on Demand Elasticity. I had Dan make some comments in it as well of things I could improve with it.

thing 3 - google comment

And here is a Doodle I made with Dan. I’ve used Doodle for several years now and I really like it. It’s such a simple way to see when people are free and to schedule a meeting or plan an event. We use it with friends and with colleagues since it’s such a useful tool!

thing 3 - doodle

Student Usage: I use Google Docs quite often with students. I often create spreadsheets for students to post links to share their work and I encourage them to use Google tools to work together on their assignments. For example, when students create their budgets, they work together for one section of it and so I have them use Google docs to share their work and collaborate in real time instead of sharing files back and forth. I also have them create websites together and presentations about econ concepts together.

Trello and Lino

Below is an image of a Trello I made for home/personal use. We have an old house that needs some updating, so I made this to start organizing the projects and to create checklists for them. I can also see using this tool in my classroom to organize the lessons I need to create or update for units of study. (I’d probably give each unit it’s own board with it’s own set of checklists). This tool definitely beats using sticky notes because all the information is in one place instead of on several notes!

thing 3 - trello

While I didn’t create a new board on Lino, I did brainstorm a bunch of things I’m excited to do with it. I’ve used a similar tool in the past called Padlet (it used to be called Wall Wisher) and it’s a fun, easy tool to use. I think Lino might be even easier though! I plan on having students use it to:

  • read articles and post their summaries and their responses to questions about those articles. I would put students into groups and each group would respond on their assigned board.
  • create boards to present to the class on an assigned topic
  • create boards to organize group projects in class and list out what they are each going to contribute and post links and images to share with their group members
  • build a wiki-type page that is much more aesthetically pleasing (and easier to use) than an actual wiki

I think I could also use it to post lists of resources for each unit of study as well. I have a class website with that information on it, but maybe I will experiment with creating a Lino page and seeing if students like viewing the information in that format better. I can put the links and images and assignments I use all on a Lino page and link to it from my website so students have everything all on one screen.

thing 2 – face of my classroom

How I use my classroom website

thing 2 - class website

I have had a classroom website for several years. It’s an invaluable tool for communicating with students and parents, posting assignments, posting due dates and information about upcoming assessments, and to have a class presence that students can access at any time and any place.

I have recently updated my class website; I originally had it hosted on my own domain, but since I didn’t teach this year and I may not go back next year, I decided not to continue paying for the domain name. So, I migrated everything into WordPress instead (which was easy since I had WordPress installed on my other domain!). When I migrated over, some of the links to the videos I use as well as the links to assignments that I share with students via my dropbox, were disabled. I re-enabled a few of the video links and the first assignment link on this page so you can get an idea of what I share with students.

When students go to my site, they will see the weekly assignments and due dates as well as the learning objectives for each day’s lesson. When they click on a unit page, they will find video resources and links to assignments. If they ever forget what they are supposed to do for the class, it’s all on the website! They can also find links to note-taking tools and reading guides. I rely so heavily on my class website that I can’t imagine teaching without it. It’s where I put ALL of my classroom materials and supporting tools so that students can access the class all of the time.

In addition to the class site, I use Moodle as a place for students to upload assignments and to complete formative and summative assessments. Using Moodle has enabled me to give students almost immediate feedback, and because of that, I have more time to give students to re-take assessments in order to master the material. If you’d like guest access to my Moodle class, let me know and I’d be happy to let you take a look around!

thing 20 – online video + audio resources

Below is the video version of my written post that I made using Camtasia Studio:

Part 1 – Video Resources

I searched on YouTube and on PBS LearningMedia for videos. Both sources are easy to search, and with PBS, especially, you know you are getting quality, relevant material. On the PBS site, I found a lesson plan with a video about where your money goes when you pay taxes, which would be a great resource for when I teach my unit on taxes and government spending.

On YouTube, I subscribe to a channel belonging to a college economics teacher. All of the videos are 3-8 minutes long and they are each about different economics concepts. They are really useful for reinforcing concepts I have taught in class, especially when students are in the blended class and aren’t in the classroom on a given day.

Part 2 – Audio Resources

I have used numerous audio news clips in my lessons from NPR to add real world relevance to the concepts I’m teaching. It’s helpful to teach a subject that is in the news so often. 🙂 However, I’ve never really explored the world of podcasts before. I searched and found the podcasts from APM Marketplace. (I love listening to this on the radio, so I figured the podcasts would be great too!) These could be super useful and add some fun, interesting information to the topics I teach. The podcasts give real world examples of economics principles that are in current news. They might be a bit long (25-26 minutes each) to hold high school students’ attention, but I could assign students to listen to one that I felt was particularly relevant and complete an assignment on it. Or, I could find the sections of the episodes that are relevant to the concepts we are covering and have them listen to just those sections. I can definitely see using these in the future and posting links to the ones that are relevant to the concepts we’re covering on my classroom website!

Strengths and Weaknesses of Video

Strengths of video are that they use both visual and audio senses to capture students’ attention and engage them in the topic, students can see real world demonstration of concepts, and it can be self-paced so students can pause and replay sections as needed.

Weaknesses of video are that it may not be good quality, searching for an appropriate video takes some time and concentrated effort, and sometimes students can get distracted by the visual details in a video if it’s not modern (for example, they may get distracted by the clothing or hairstyle of the people in the video and miss the concepts the video is trying to teach.)

Strengths and Weaknesses of Audio

Strengths of the audio resources I chose are that they are all very relevant to what is happening in the world right now. As students listen, they can write down connections to material they have learned in class and they don’t have to worry about missing something visual on a screen. Audio resources are also a little more portable. Students can listen to an assigned podcast as they walk, drive, or ride the bus home from school. It’s a little more difficult to do that with a video.

Weaknesses of audio are that there are no pictures accompanying it, so students can’t see a visual example of what is being discussed. It might be easier to form a misconception of a topic if you can’t see it being discussed. Students may also get distracted doing something else and stop engaging with an audio resource because there isn’t an accompanying visual to grab their attention.

thing 19 – digital storytelling

Below is my digital story:

And here is my storyboard: thing 19 – digital story storyboard

Ways Digital Storytelling Can be Used in My Classroom

One way I can use digital storytelling is to have students create short stories about concepts we have covered to make sure they can explain it in their own words, and that they can do so in a creative way, which really shows they have a solid working knowledge of the material. I can see doing this towards the end of a unit before I do a summative assessment (and let students watch each others’ work as a sort of review) or even after teaching a complex concept that I want to make sure everyone understands. Some ideas would include having students create stories to teach one another, stories that are more skit-like in nature, and stories that are like commercials and public service announcements that explain ideas.

Another way I can use digital stories is to have students do a one minute self reflection on their understanding of the material from class. I envision this being more of single words in their stories that are up for a couple seconds at a time and maybe some short video of them explaining their understanding. I would probably do this at the end of a unit, around parent teacher conference time to have students’ feedback to share with parents (and I could share the videos too!), and at the end of the semester.

Feedback and Suggestions for Improvement

I had my husband give me feedback and suggestions on my digital story and here is what he wrote:

Well I sure liked it! It’s pretty great that you captured “fire-mens”, guitar playing, and a day without pants. If you need actual critique, I guess I’d turn up the intro track a bit. I really liked all of the cuts.

He might be a little biased since the story is about our son, but I agree that the intro music could be a little louder. Other than that, I like my finished product! It was really fun to make, especially since I really like the subject. 😉

thing 13: interactive tools

Part 1: Google Earth/Google Maps

Here is a screenshot of my house on Google Maps.  We will be removing the bushes this spring, as the previous owners (not the same people who owned this house when the photo was taken) never cut them and they were 6-7 feet high when we moved in. Crazy. We cut them back and they look pretty shabby, so we’re just going to remove them and have a bigger yard.

thing 13 - google map house

Part 2: Quizlet

Here is a screenshot of my first ever Quizlet! I love that the definitions are pre-populated with other user’s input!  It made it a snap to create a set of flashcards for students to access. I will definitely use this in the future and will probably have students create their own sets so they can apply course vocabulary to the content we’re covering and relate it to their daily lives. Click on the image below to see the whole set!

thing 13 - quizlet

Part 3: Interactives for Classroom Content

I checked out NuSkool and PBS Learning Media and found two different lessons I could use parts or all of to teach different concepts in Economics. With the NuSkool site, I searched Pop Culture and Economics and found a lesson that uses Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory as a way to demonstrate the concepts of supply and demand. While I already have a similar lesson, using the video is a great reinforcement tool!

On the PBS site, I found a lesson on where your tax money goes.  I have a unit on taxes and government spending and the lesson I found gives students a very practical and useful look at how much of their paychecks will go to taxes and what that money will be used for.  I wish I would have done a lesson like this before getting my first job!

thing 13 - nuskool thing 13 - pbsmedia

Part 4: Interactives for Classroom Content Reflection 

I found three interactive tools that I haven’t used before (I think I have used PBS before, but it’s been a loooong time) that I can definitely incorporate into my teaching.

Quizlet is a great tool to help students review key vocab terms from each unit, and I plan on adding sets to my class website for students to access during each unit. It is a great study/review tool before quizzes and to use throughout the unit to reinforce the new terms. I will also have students create their own sets, as I mentioned above, where they will use the terms in their own words and create sentences/scenarios that use the terms and show students’ understanding and application.

NuSkool is fun because it adds recent and relevant media to lessons that students can relate to. I can definitely see using this in the future to supplement my lessons and to give students some more real world scenarios.

Like NuSkool, PBS Learning Media has recent news and media that I can use with students.  I’m really excited about the tax lesson I found because I find that unit (Taxes and Government Spending) particularly challenging to make interesting and engaging.  I have picked up some ideas here and there, but video and practical application will make the content so much more interesting!