Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Featured 4-30-2014: Math & Movement

A kinesthetic, multi-sensory approach to teaching math, Math & Movement incorporates physical exercise, stretching, cross-body movements, yoga, and visually-pleasing floor mats designed to encourage students to practice math.
Students physically hop, walk, crawl, dance, or touch the mats and banners as they learn, thereby using visual, auditory, motor, and kinesthetic learning processes.
Math 1
Math & Movement takes advantage of children's natural inclination for movement and creative imagination to master basic math. The floor mats and banners cover the concepts of addition, subtraction, telling time, skip-counting, multiplication, division, fractions, factoring, positive/negative numbers, Cartesian coordinates, money, unit circle, place value, decimals, percents, rounding, and probability.
The movements are divided into six categories:
  • Active Math: Whisper/Loud Movements - Designed to give your students physical exercise while simultaneously enhancing math and reading ability.
  • Active Math: Skip Counting Movements - Designed to provide additional physical exercise while learning the multiples.
  • Sit-Down Math Activities - Designed for quiet time and involve stretching.
  • Tapping at the Table Activities - Designed to be used in between other activities, while students sit at their desks.
  • Hallway Math Activities - Designed to be used walking in the hallway to and from lunch, PE, art, music, computer or library.
  • Math 'n Yoga Activities - Incorporate math practice into popular yoga moves.
The Math & Movement program is based on research that suggests that moving during learning facilitates muscle memory, an important factor with younger children whose abstract thinking skills are not fully developed. It also draws on research suggesting that cross-body movements integrate the left and right hemisphere of the brain, waking up a sleepy brain and helping to establish newly learned material in memory.
Math 2
 Watch a Math & Movement demo video
While developing their math skills, Math & Movement lets students simultaneously experience an overall sense of well-being. Using these activities during the day, before testing, or during transitions, allows teachers and students to feel energized, focused, calm, and prepared to learn.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Featured 4-29-2014: Literacy Design Collaborative

Literacy Design Collaborative
Literacy Design Collaborative is a community of educators providing a teacher-designed and research-proven framework, online tools, and resources for creating literacy-rich assignments and courses.

Literacy Design Collaborative 1
The mission of Literacy Design Collaborative is "to ensure that every student in America graduates from high school with the Common Core literacy skills necessary for success in college and career.” In the furtherance of this goal, LDC strives to provide continuous, reflective professional development; to integrate literacy and content in K-12 instruction; and to help educators succeed in implementing the high expectations of the Common Core Standards.
Core Principles of Literacy Design Collaborative:
  • Align with the Common Core State Standards.
  • Promote the distribution of reading and writing instruction among all teachers.
  • Make tasks central with clear goals.
  • Connects reading and writing instruction.
  • Use back mapping to identify the specific literacy skills students need if they are to succeed on a task.
  • Foster a responsive system that encourages teachers to adjust their instruction in response to the formative information they gather on student performance.
  • Encourage local choice with a balanced focus on results as well as means.
  • Be teacher-friendly.
LDC offers educators an instructional system for developing students’ literacy skills in preparation for the demands of college and careers. LDC does not provide off-the-shelf curriculum units or lesson plans. Rather, LDC encourages teachers to build students’ literacy skills and understanding of science, history, and other content through meaningful, CCSS-aligned reading and writing assignments.

 Visit the Literacy Design Collaborative YouTube channel
Literacy Design Collaborative, as a dynamic community of teachers, is rapidly expanding its library of exemplary instructional modules, effective mini-tasks, and tools and resources for supporting teachers’ efforts to engage students in rigorous, CCSS-aligned learning.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Featured 4-28-2014: Scrawlar

Scrawlar offers schools free cloud-based collaborative word processing that works on any smartphone, tablet, or computer.
Use Scrawlar to create, edit, share, and save documents on any web-connected device. No app, installation, or plugin is needed.
Scrawlar 1
After creating and saving a document, students have the option to share with any classmates. They can also choose whether other people can edit or just view the original document.
As a teacher, create an account for any class. Add your students to your network, each student is assigned a password. Students login using the class code you provide and their unique passwords. No student signup or email is required.
Teachers can leave feedback right on documents, and parents can follow along in real-time from anywhere.
Scrawlar also offers an easy-to-use whiteboard interface that includes basic drawing tools and text.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Rearview Mirror 4-19-2014

For those of you who may have missed an EDge21 featured post or who didn't have the opportunity to look at some of them during this past week, here's a second chance.



Quizdini allows you to create fast, customized, entertaining activities that will help your students learn more while having fun with bright colors and a playful feel.


21Things4Teachers is a free web-based professional development resource to educate teachers in the use of technology


Facing History and Ourselves encourage teachers and students to think critically about history and to understand the consequences of choices.


Operation LAPIS is a two-year game-based introductory course in Latin and in Roman culture. It may be used on its own, or as a supplement to other materials.



REMINDER: EDge21 will be on Spring Break until April 28th.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured 4-17-2014: Operation LAPIS

Operation LAPIS is a two-year game-based introductory course in Latin and in Roman culture. It may be used on its own, or as a supplement to other materials.
Over the course of this two-year epic adventure to find and to interpret the LAPIS SAECULORUM, students will learn to read Latin with fluency and understanding. They will also discover why their learning was important, and how they can use it.
Operation LAPIS covers the same content to be found in a very wide variety of Latin textbooks, for example the Cambridge Latin Course, the Oxford Latin Course, and Ecce RomaniOperation LAPIS can take the place of a traditional textbook, or serve as a supplementary set of materials, to help students reach the learning objectives that are standard in first and second year Latin at both the high-school and the college levels:
  • Read and write Latin
  • Identify key products, practices, and perspectives of Roman culture
  • Summarize key events of Roman history
Google Drive and Edmodo support most of the activity in Operation LAPIS. All the story elements take place on the Edmodo platform, which serves as the bulletin board. Use Google Drive to share your students’ Operative Dossiers as well as a few other documents, like worksheets and character descriptions. All participants are required to create free accounts on both of these platforms in order to access and utilize the materials.

What the #@*% is a Ditto Machine?

In the 1984 film Teachers, Royal Dano played a teacher named Ditto Stiles. Ditto was known for having virtually no interactions with his students. He had established a system by which students automatically distributed "ditto" worksheets that would be collected at the end of the class by other students. Throughout the class, Ditto would hide behind a newspaper. Ultimately, Ditto dies in the classroom, but isn't discovered until the end of the day as his students continue to follow the standard routine. In the following clip, Ditto gets into a confrontation with the school psychologist over the use of the Ditto machine.

If you are an educator of a certain age (as am I), you likely have many memories, both good and maybe not so good, of the “Ditto machine."
In North America, "Ditto" is a brand name which was commonly used for a spirit duplicator (referred to as a Banda machine in the UK, a Roneo in France and Australia). Spirit duplicating is a printing method invented in 1923, by Wilhelm Ritzerfeld and commonly used for much of the rest of the 20th century. The term "spirit" refers to the alcohols which were a principal ingredient in the solvents used as inks in these machines.
Ditto machine
The spirit duplicator is sometimes incorrectly referred to as a "mimeograph," which was a different, but not dissimilar process. Mimeograph machines predated the spirit duplicator. Despite lower cost per copy and better print quality, they fell out of favor because they required the handling of messy ink.
Because of the limited number of copies that could be made from an original (usually 500 or fewer), spirit duplicators were most often used by schools, churches, clubs, and other small organizations that didn't require mass printings. The initial cost of the machine was relatively high (between two and three thousand current dollars), but the relatively low per copy cost of spirit duplicating offset the fairly poor quality of the output.
Introduced by 3M in the late 1960s, the thermofax machine could generate a spirit master from an ordinary printed, typed, or handwritten sheet. Not withstanding the horrible print quality, the machines were still popular because of their convenience.
Ditto ad
The usual print color, purple, provided good contrast, but masters were also available in red, green, blue, black, and a few other colors. Spirit duplicators had the useful ability to print multiple colors in a single pass. In my first year of teaching, I astounded several colleagues by printing sheets with multi-colored diagrams!
Spirit duplicator use began to wain starting with the availability of low-cost, high-volume xerographic copiers in the 1970s. The use of spirit duplicators today is very rare. They do remain useful where electrical power is unreliable.
Spirit duplicators owed most of their popularity to their relative ease of use. Even the least technically-minded teachers could make use of them.
The dominant manufacturer of spirit duplicators in the US and the world was Ditto Corporation of Illinois, while copiers available in the UK were commonly manufactured by the Block & Anderson company, under their "Banda" brand.
More Ditto in Pop Culture
The aroma of pages fresh off the spirit duplicator is a memorable feature of school life in an earlier era. A scene referencing the smell can be found in the 1982 film Fast Times At Ridgemont High. At one point a teacher distributes duplicated copies, and every student immediately lifts it to his/her nose and inhales deeply. It was a common myth among students that inhaling the distinctive vapors given off by fresh spirit duplicator copies could provide a “high."
The song "School Teacher's Blues,” by blues band Saffire-The Uppity Blues Women includes the lines:
     My fingers have turned purple,
     My master's like I chewed it,
     My mind is getting warped,
     From inhaling Ditto fluid.

April 17, 2014

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured 4-16-2014: Facing History and Ourselves

Facing History
Facing History and Ourselves encourage teachers and students to think critically about history and to understand the consequences of choices.

Facing History 1
Facing History and Ourselves provides ideas, methods, and tools in support of educators who share the goal of creating a better informed and more understanding society.
The goal of Facing History and Ourselves is to counter "racism, antisemitism, and prejudice and nurture[s] democracy through education programs worldwide.” With the aim of inspiring and innovating, Facing History and Ourselves works with educators around the world throughout their careers to improve their effectiveness in the classroom and their students’ academic performance, historical understanding, and civic learning.
Educator Resources
Facing History and Ourselves offers educators resources, training opportunities, and professional coaching, and guidance for administrators. These resources include Holocaust and Human Behavior, Race and Membership in American History, Elie Wiesel's Night Study Guide, and Choices in Little Rock.
Founded in 1976, by educators who wanted to develop a more effective way to engage students, Facing History and Ourselves has grown from a single innovative course to an organization reaching classrooms across the US and around the world.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Featured 4-15-2014: 21Things4Teachers

21Things4Teachers is a free web-based professional development resource to educate teachers in the use of technology
The intention of 21Things4Teachers is to provide Just-in-Time training for K-12 educators through an online interface based on the ISTE Standards for Teachers, the basic technology skills every educator should possess.
21things4teachers 1
21Things4Teachers covers a large variety of digital applications in the context of different educational practices, issues, considerations, and environments. The 21 modules, or things, include such topics as Cloud Initiation, Collaboration Tools, Visual Learning, Copyright and Creative Commons, Differentiated Instruction, and Flipping the Classroom.
With learning activities structured around the NETS•T, the modules provide an opportunity for participants to learn how to use various technology tools and how technology can support an educator’s professional development. Participants will broaden their own skills and discover what students need in order to meet the ISTE Standards for Students.
21Things4Teachers began in 2008, with four friends who were instructional technology specialists looking for a way to train teachers on technology in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Featured 4-14-2014: Quizdini

Quizdini allows you to create fast, customized, entertaining activities that will help your students learn more while having fun with bright colors and a playful feel.
Quizdini was created by teachers for teachers to be an alternative to the costly and restrictive choices that currently exist in the online educational game market. Quizdini is a still evolving tool designed to allow you to create the material your students will use.
Quizdini 1
The games are referred to as quizzes. There are two multiple-choice game types, Quizdini and Vocabulary, question and explanation boxes in the multiple-choice games support the use of HTML, and as such, support links to online content.
Quizdini 2
Another game lets students drag-and-drop matching tiles together, an activity nicely suited to interactive whiteboards.
Quizzes can be shared with colleagues or students by copying and sharing the game's unique URL from your browser's address bar.

 Go to the Quizdini YouTube channel
Quizdini doesn't advertise or store sensitive information on your students. They have committed to providing teachers with a simple easy-to-use, easy-to-control system that helps students.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Rearview Mirror 4-12-2014

For those of you who may have missed an EDge21 featured post or who didn't have the opportunity to look at some of them during this past week, here's a second chance.


Geddit is a free iOS app that enables students to give instant private feedback about their understanding in real-time in the 1:1 classroom. It also works on any web-enabled device.


Mobento is a video learning platform that features a “spoken word” search. They believe they have invented a better, faster way to search.


The National Archives has released their first mobile application called Today’s Document based on the Today’s Document website from the US National Archives.


Slidedoc is a visual document, developed in presentation software, that is intended to be read and referenced by individuals rather than projected on a screen before a group.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Extra 4-11-2014: ReferenceMe


ReferenceME is a free mobile app that makes managing and organizing research simple.
Use the ReferenceME app to scan book or journal barcodes to create and manage references for your essay or research report. You can alternatively enter the ISBN, ISSN, DOI, or website URL into the ReferenceME search field and the reference will be created.
ReferenceME creates references in Harvard, Chicago, Vancouver, MHRA, MLA, Oxford, APA, and Turabian formats. You can request custom styles at the online platform.
ReferenceME 1
ReferenceME syncs with the ReferenceME web platform or you can save your references to Evernote to organise your research.
ReferenceME for iOS is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch and requires iOS 7.0 or later. The Android app requires Android 4.0 and up.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Featured 4-10-2014: Slidedocs

Slidedocs 1

Slidedoc is a visual document, developed in presentation software, that is intended to be read and referenced by individuals rather than projected on a screen before a group.

Slidedocs 2
Slidedocs combine visual communications with short nuggets of written text. This results in a product that can be digested more easily and quickly than either a standard document or a full scale presentation.
Slidedocs are intended to be distributed and read on screens or printed for individual use without a presenter and as such could be very useful in a flipped classroom. Their easily browsable nature makes them useful as pre-read, reference, and leave-behind materials.
Your ideas can be easily integrated into other uses because of the modular design of a Slidedoc.

 View the Guide to Slidedocs which is itself a Slidedoc
Free templates will give you a headstart creating Slidedocs. Included with the download of the Slidedocs file are two PowerPoint-ready Slidedoc templates featuring easy-to-use master templates; simple, intuitive layouts; and beautiful, professional design.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Featured 4-9-2014: Today’s Document Mobile App

ITunes 1

The National Archives has released their first mobile application called Today’s Document  based on the Today’s Document website from the US National Archives.

Mobile App
The Today’s Document app (available for both Android and iOS) is an interactive gallery that allows you to explore the holdings of the  National Archives through a collection of 365 documents and photographs from throughout history. Find out what significant event happened on any date, search the documents by keyword, or browse the full collection.
Featured documents have included popular documents like the Declaration of Independence and Emancipation Proclamation as well as lesser known documents like the Zimmerman Telegram, President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s 1961 Farewell address, and a handwritten draft of President John F. Kennedy’s 1961 Inaugural Address.
You can zoom in on the high resolution images to get a closer look, use the calendar feature to select a specific date, or select 'Surprise Me' to show a document at random. Learn more by tapping the Info icon to get background information on the document and links to related websites. Share documents by email, Facebook, and Twitter. Add documents to your list of favorites.

 See a demonstration of Today’s Document
The Today’s Document mobile app is currently available free in the Android Marketplace and the Apple iTunes Store.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Featured: 4-8-2014 Mobento


Mobento is a video learning platform that features a “spoken word” search. They believe they have invented a better, faster way to search.
A keyword search in Mobento will yield videos in which those keywords were spoken as well as the frequency of the words and the the precise location of the words in the video.
School Account
Mobento wants to help you manage the wealth of educational content and technology that can be overwhelming without proper tools. School Accounts are quick, easy, and affordable to set up. Intuitive and simple to use, School Accounts enable you to organize and secure video and other digital assets and deliver education that is efficiently used without online distraction.
Benefits for teachers:
  • Powerful and flexible video learning system
  • Simple to administer
  • Manage users
  • Easily create digital courses
  • Build secure public/private libraries
  • Attach documents and links to videos
  • Control content and assure security
Students who have been raised on online video get a fast, engaging user experience. They can download or stream content and make Inline notes while viewing.
 Mobento offers free mobile apps for both Android and iOS that allow streaming and downloading, note-taking, favorites, watch lists, and device synching.

 Watch a video overview of Mobento
Mobento launched with only 200 videos, but that number has grown to well over 4000 currently, sourced from speakers at Stanford, Yale, Khan Academy, TED, and more.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Featured 4-7-2014: Geddit


Geddit is a free iOS app that enables students to give instant private feedback about their understanding in real-time in the 1:1 classroom. It also works on any web-enabled device.

Geddit 2
Designed to be used with any lesson, you don't have to change anything to use Geddit.  Start collecting real-time, personal student feedback as they participate in your lesson.
You can get insights into your students’ confidence and understanding in context. Geddit includes several built-in question-and-answer features. Multiple choice and short answer responses let you immediately check for evidence of understanding. 
Geddit 3
Students can develop metacognitive skills using Geddit. They are able to develop a realistic understanding of their own learning, at the same time you can identify individual student needs on the fly with Instant, real-time feedback facilitating better differentiation.
Geddit supports differentiation by helping you: 
  • Respond to needs and effectively direct your attention
  • Form collaborative groups based on ability
  • Facilitate peer-to-peer coaching

Geddit for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch is available free from the iTunes Store and requires iOS 5 or later.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Rearview Mirror 4-5-2014

For those of you who may have missed an EDge21 featured post or who didn't have the opportunity to look at some of them during this past week, here's a second chance.



Through a collaborative, state-led process, new K–12 science standards, Next Generation Science Standards for Today’s Students and Tomorrow’s Workforce, have been developed.

Tuesday is an international portal to museums worldwide, collecting information and presenting it to the public in a searchable format.


Doing Science: The Process of Scientific Inquiry is a creative, inquiry-based instruction program designed to promote active learning and stimulate student interest in medical topics.


Coggle is a free, easy-to-use web application for creating beautiful informative diagrams.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Featured 4-3-2014: Coggle


Coggle is a free, easy-to-use web application for creating beautiful informative diagrams.

Coggle 1
Coggle users can quickly and easily produce attractive diagrams and share them with others to enhance collaboration. Classmates can work on diagrams simultaneously.
Key features of Coggle:
  • Drag-and-drop images from your desktop into your diagrams.
  • No limit to the number of images you can add.
  • History mode lets you go back to an earlier version.
  • Track who made what changes to shared documents.
Coggle 2
The mission of Coggle is to "change the way that people work and collaborate forever, to make you more productive, and to make it easier to share information with others, and to do it in a way that's beautiful, and a pleasure to use."

 Watch a video introducing you to the basic controls for using Coggle
Coggle is free and promises that it always will be.


All comments to this blog are reviewed before being published. The chances of you getting a comment including ridiculously obvious "hidden" hyperlinks to porn sites or other spam published is virtually zero. So, save your time as well as mine, and take your tawdry business elsewhere.