January Tech Tip: Tech-based Gamification in the Classroom

Which tech game is right for me and my students? Click here to explore and learn various tech games for the classroom and see which one fits your needs best. If you would like to learn how I created this webpage in Canva, let me know!

Tech Tip for November: Clever ways to have your students engage with the content

Tweet It

Student create their own tweet with this tweet generator.  They can create their own made-up tweet to showcase their learning on the topic.  For example- this student-created fake tweet is from George Washington and the student also created responses to that tweet.

What would Yoda Say?

Click here for a forced copy of a Peardeck enabled slide-deck with Yoda templates.  Students can type in their response as to what Yoda would say about the learning and then all student responses can be shared with the class anonymously.

Create a GIF or a Meme

Students can create their own GIFS or Memes by using this website https://imgflip.com/.  Check out the American Revolution example to the left.

OR students could also use Canva as a resource to create a meme or GIF.  Click here to the blog post about how to set up a free Canva for Education account.

Fake Text Generator

Have students create a text message conversation to show what they know in a creative way.  Click here for a fake text message generator. 

Here’s a couple history examples…

Netflix Template

Using Netflix template is another creative way for students to show what they know.  They imagine a Netflix show related to your content/lesson and then create the overview, episodes, etc… that you would see if you were exploring that show .  Click here for a copy of the template.

New Phone… Who dis?

Have students design what a character or historical figure’s phone would look like?  What images would they have?  What music?  What text messages?  Who would be in their contacts?  What reminders, notes, notifications would they have? Click here for a copy of slide deck template of this activity.

Design a T-shirt, Bumper Sticker, a tattoo, or Cake Writing

Have students show what they know by creating a design to demonstrate their learning. Make it stronger by asking them to explain/support their design with evidence. Some examples could be a t-shirt design, bumper sticker, tattoo design, or writing on a cake. Check out the Donner Party tshirt design from a student of mine in the past (I also made them include important details on this exit ticket).

October Standards Updates

Check out the October, 2022 standards update from the Wyoming Department of Education. This issue contains:

  • Information on performance standards for Math, Science, and Computer Science.
  • Assessment Authoring Tools guides and webinar recordings.
  • Dates and updates on the PAEMST award cycle, the Native American Education Conference, and the 2023 U.s. Senate Youth Program.
  • STEM updates include: 2nd annual teacher hackathon, a new graduate program, and numerous resource.
  • CTE updates about the national conference and other professional learning opportunities.
  • Nomination information for the Carol Mead Leader in Literacy Award.
  • Fine & Performing Arts grants.
  • Scholarship to attend the National Council for History Education Conference free online courses from the Buffalo Bill Center of the West Plains Indian Museum for Social Studies.

Tech Tip of the Week!

Sick of students creating powerpoint after powerpoint in your class?  Want to provide them another avenue to create and express themselves and/or show what they know? 

This week’s tech tip is a Thinglink about Thinglink.  It is a creation tool that you and/or your students can use to show what they know, share information, etc… in a different way. 

Check out the Thinglink below that will explain everything about Thinglink.  Also, highlighted in this Thinglink are two CCSD1 teachers who have tried Thinglink in their classrooms this year!  One is a step-by-step project, created in Rebecca Elliott’s 7th grade ELA classroom, that has students edit an already created thinglink to showcase their understanding of the novel, Heat.  The other one is a Happiness choice board project created in Melina Foster’s ELA classroom at the HS. 

Also included in this thinglink is a “student and teacher how-to-guide” to get you started (you can download it right from the thinglink).  Or you can always shoot me an email and I can help you learn the tech tool, create and integrate it into a lesson, and even come to your classroom and teach the tech tool to your students! 

Gamification Strategy to boost engagement: Search and Destroy

A great way to boost engagement in your classroom is with academic gamification strategies.  There are lots of tech options out there, but an “oldie but a goodie” non-tech game is search and destroy which is essentially an academic battleship game.

Here is a pdf copy (of the above image) as well as the gameboard template.

Tech Tip Tuesday- Blabberize

 Blabberize is a free online tool that allows you to quickly create talking images, providing some great opportunities to foster student engagement and collaboration. 

“Tech gives the quietest student a voice.”

Jerry Blumengarten

Ideas on how you can use Blabberize in your classroom?

  • Have a piece of student writing plus their drawing?  Take a pic of the image, add it to Blabberize and have your students make their writing come alive by making their drawing “say” what they wrote!  (Instant engagement)  See this example.
  • Students could show what they know by making historical figures defend their decisions, explain their actions, etc… in short videos; use it as a quick formative check or as part of a longer project.  See student example here about Sam Houston or check out this humorous one about George Custer.
  • ELA connections: Students could put words to novel characters or a talking poetry activity.
  • Foreign language:  Have students record their voices practicing Spanish set to an image or a picture.  See this example.   

See video tutorial below on how to make a blabber.  Note:  create an account in order to save your blabber. 

5/3/22- Tech Tip Tuesday (FutureMe)

Want an idea for a unique writing assignment?  Check out FutureMe.  You can have your students write a letter to themselves and this website will send it to them at the date you choose.  You can choose 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, or a custom date (perhaps HS graduation?).    Need ideas for writing stems to help students get started writing a letter to themselves?  Check out this  Future Me Stems handout.   

Canvas Studio

Hello Educators!

Do you want to show your students a video (from YouTube, TedEd, etc… or a video you created yourself) and want to embed questions in the video for students to answer?  Similar to Edpuzzle if any of you have used that, but unlimited video and questions.  Canvas is letting us try out a feature for a couple months called Canvas Studio.  It allows you to create a video (can video yourself and/or your screen), or upload a YouTube link or any video you have previously created, and then embed questions for students to answer as they watch the video.   The questions are then automatically graded for you in Canvas.  You can also add annotations to the video like “Pay attention to this!” or point out important elements.  After you have your video set up how you want it, you can then add it to your modules as an external tool and it is ready to be used with students.

Reach out if you would like help implementing this in your classroom!

Tech Tip Tuesday (Canva for Education)

Canva is an amazing online graphic design tool.

  • You or your students, can create posters, flyers, social media, projects, resumes, infographics, edit photos/videos, presentation slides, talking presentations, video edits and transitions, text animations, background remover, graphic organizers, schedules, essay plans, comic designs, virtual backgrounds, book reports, lesson plans, worksheets, etc… 
  • It has millions of premium templates, photos, fonts, icons, videos, or you can start from scratch! 
  • All the premium features can be used by teachers free when you sign up for Canva for Education.  When you sign your students up (create a class; send them the invitation link), they also get all the premium features for free.
  •  Students can collaborate on the same project.
  • Projects can be downloaded in a variety of ways; all projects are also stored on the Canva website.


Featured Website of the Week!

What is wordwall.net? It is an online platform in which teachers can create interactive activities by utilizing a variety of templates or use pre-made ones that fit their content area and learning intention. Teachers can then embed those activities into Canvas or share the assignment link.

Benefits: Save teacher prep time; make your lessons more interactive and engaging; and get away from paper worksheets! Allow students to practice at their own pace and try again if they need more practice. Teachers can also track student performance! There are many choices of interchangeable exercises!