What the Tech?

Let's have some fun...

This time of year can be tough and I always like to add a little something different to my routine to change it up a bit in the new year, to give me new motivation. So, I thought I would share some engaging apps and websites that you can use to chase away those winter blues and keep students excited about learning.

Take a Brain Break

Incorporate brain breaks into your classroom. GoNoodle.com has a wide variety of engaging activities that take 5 minutes or less and can be used to either get your kids moving, destress, stretch, or just take a minute to breathe. It's free and easy to sign up.

  • Have students meditate before tests
  • Get up and move after a long activity
  • Stretch to transition to a new subject
  • Energize to start their day

To try it and/or sign up, go here: https://www.gonoodle.com/

Create Some Word Cloud Art

We've all used word clouds before, especially at the start of the year. Tagul is my favorite word cloud site because it allows for a lot of customization. For the middle of the year, students can create a word clouds to:

  • Brainstorm
  • Assess prior knowledge
  • Improve their vocabulary
  • Reflect
  • Get to know one another
  • Generate poetry ideas
  • Analyze character traits
  • Share story elements

Tagul is also completely free to use. Go here to try it out: https://tagul.com/

Play Some Music

This is a great site for playing music in the classroom. You can pick between genre, mood, era—or another category that suits the activity—and easily play music that soothes, motivates, excites, or calms. It’s also free and ad-free. The more you use it, the better it gets at predicting your interest.

With Songza's Concierge service, you can create a personalized playlist of music that fits your student group. It has options like SFW—Safe for Work—and “No Lyrics” mode.

Try it here: http://songza.com/

Introduce Genius Hour

Genius hour can happen whenever you find time. It might be something you regularly schedule, or something you decide to experiment with and try on a half day or a Friday afternoon. Basically, it is a time for students of all levels to explore their own interests. Take a look at the video below to get an idea of what it is all about.
What is Genius Hour? - Introduction to Genius Hour in the Classroom

Other ways to create new energy

  • Create a classroom blog
  • Start a classroom challenge
  • Use cool tech tools for choosing random students or creating groups
  • Use a new exit ticket or assessment tool such as Plickers or Kahoot
  • Let students post content in Google Classroom for their classmates
  • Celebrate work in a new way
  • Let the students be the experts

Hope to see you in the morning! Devices are optional.