All posts by edtechmrbrown

PDF Resources

How do I…. with a PDF is a question I often get. Here are some great tools for completing nearly any PDF related task.

Smallpdf logo

https://smallpdf.com/

You can use this tool to annotate, or add text /images to a pdf. You could also have students use this tool to complete a PDF assignment with the pencil tool, for example have them circle the correct answers. You won’t get submissions graded automatically but there might be instances where this is useful. Like for labeling a map or analyzing a chart or graph. This tool even walks you through using Google Translate to convert a PDF into other languages.

PDF to JPG converter - pdf2jpg.net
PDF to PNG

Need to convert a pdf to an image file to complete some important task. Here is a great free tool for that.

https://pdf2jpg.net/

https://pdf2png.com/

iLovePDF

https://www.ilovepdf.com/

This is another do all pdf tool that is great for merging multiple pdf documents into one or doing the opposite and splitting a pdf into smaller pieces, maybe you just want one page from a packet to use. This tool lets you add a watermark to a pdf file, rearrange the pages of a pdf and of course convert other office files to pdfs.

PDFCandy

Another PDF multitool that gives you free options to do the usual as well as cool things like extract an image from a PDF, as well as crop, rotate, and resize pages in a PDF. You can also use this tool to add a header or footer to a PDF.

https://pdf.online/

Another option for you which works smoothly with Google Drive.

Google Classroom schedule ahead assignment for multiple classes

Ok, ok, As of right now there still is no built in 100% perfect way to just do this. However I did come across this workaround which might be of some value. I think it would be a little faster than reusing a post from the first class.

I did some research at the request of a teacher and tried to find an extension that would accomplish this but had no luck with that. If anyone ever finds one please let us know.

https://support.google.com/edu/classroom/thread/40309188/how-do-i-schedule-for-more-than-one-class?hl=en

Google Chrome quick add to favorites bar

Here is a super simple tip that you and your students can use to quickly get back to a website. Did you know you can simply click and drag the little lock next to a web address onto your favorites bar to quickly bookmark something. I will use this trick often with a website I will be using a lot temporarily. I want it right there to get back to constantly and quickly. When I am done using it I right click on the link and delete it. You can of course also keep the shortcut if you need it.

Quilgo

https://quilgo.com/

Quilgo lets you put a timer on a Google Form as well as limit the time the form is available to be completed, for FREE. You can have up to 100 tests under the free account.

A paid account throws in the ability to access and monitor the testers web cam to verify who is staking the test and can also screen record the tester to ensure test security.


Best of all I tested this and it actually works. When the timer ran out on my “test” it closed out on me. Keep in mind that does mean if it is not completed and submitted with in the allotted time the work will be lost. If web camera is enabled it won’t let the tester access the test without a webcam, which school chromebooks do have.

Native American Heritage Day

Native American Heritage Day is a good opportunity to learn about other cultures and reinforce TEKS. There are quite a few TEKS that cover native American tribes, economics, beliefs, government, and more. TEKS from not just social studies but also fine arts and science.

ASTR.4A Research and describe the use of astronomy in ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians, Mayans, Aztecs, Europeans, and the native Americans.

FA.M.4.b.5A perform a varied repertoire of songs, movement, and musical games representative of diverse cultures such as historical folk songs of Texas and Hispanic and American Indian cultures in Texas.

TXH4.1 The student understands the origins, similarities, and differences of American Indian groups in Texas before European exploration. The student is expected to:

TXH 4.1A Explain the possible origins of American Indian groups in Texas.

TXH4.1B Identify and compare the ways of life of American Indian groups in Texas before European exploration such as the Lipan Apaches, Karankawas, Caddos, and Jumanos.

TXH4.1C Describe the cultural regions in which American Indians lived such as Gulf, Plains, Puebloan, and Southeastern.

TXH 4.1D Locate American Indian groups remaining in Texas such as the Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo, Alabama-Coushatta, and Kickapoo.

TXH 4.3D Describe the successes, problems, and organizations of the Republic of Texas such as the establishment of a constitution, economic struggles, relations with American Indians, and the Texas Rangers.

TXH 4.4D Explain the effects on American Indian life brought about by the Red River War, building of U.S. forts and railroads, and loss of buffalo.

TXH4.9A Explain the economic activities various early American Indian groups in Texas used to meet their needs and wants such as farming, trading, and hunting.

TXH 4.12A Compare how various American Indian groups such as the Caddo and the Comanche governed themselves.

USH5.2A Analyze the causes and effects of events prior to and during the American Revolution including the taxation resulting from the French and Indian War and the colonist response to taxation such as the Boston Tea Party.

USH5.4F Identify the challenges, opportunities, and contributions of people from various American Indian and immigrant groups such as the settlement of the frontier and building of the Transcontinental Railroad.

TXH7.2A Compare the cultures of American Indians in Texas prior to European colonization such as Gulf, Plains, Puebloan, and Southeastern.

TXH7.6A Identify significant individuals, events, and issues, including the factors leading to the expansion of the Texas frontier, the effects of westward expansion on American Indians, the buffalo soldiers, and Quanah Parker.

USH8.4A Analyze causes of the American Revolution, including the Proclamation of 1763, the Intolerable Acts, the Stamp Act, mercantilism, lack of representation in Parliament, and British economic policies following the French and Indian War.

USH8.5G Analyze the reasons for the removal and resettlement of Cherokee Indians during the Jacksonian era, including the Indian Removal Act, Worcester v. Georgia, and the Trail of Tears.

WH.15B Analyze the influence of human and physical geographic factors on major events in world history such as the development of river valley civilizations, trade in the Indian Ocean, and the opening of the Panama and Suez canals.

US.3A Analyze political issues such as Indian policies, the growth of political machines, and civil service reform.

US.9C Describe the roles of political organizations that promote African American, Chicano, American Indian, and women’s civil rights.

US.22B Evaluate various means of achieving equality of political rights, including the 19th, 24th, and 26th amendments and congressional acts such as the American Indian Citizenship Act of 1924.

US.25B Describe the Americanization movement to assimilate immigrants and American Indians into American culture.

SOC.11D Analyze the varying treatment patterns of minority groups such as African American, Asian American, Hispanic American, and American Indian.

Here is an activity about the connections between Mythology and Astronomy in Native American cultures.


Here is an Edpuzzle activity about Comanche music.


An interesting reading article for secondary in Google Docs which could be pushed out through Google Classroom. You could follow this with a class discussion or a writing activity.


Here is an lesson set from the National Parks Service about the Trail of Tears


Learn about traditions of the Caddo tribe from a Caddo girl named Olivia.


Learn about the Tigua Tribe.


Learn about the Caddo tribe.


Learn about the Kickapoo tribe.

Dallas Zoo Virtual Scavenger Hunt

I am excited about this new activity that I think your students will really enjoy completing.

This is a really fun opportunity for your students to virtually explore the Dallas Zoo through their website while practicing essential skills and developing knowledge. This activity has 4 sections. There is a math section that deals with admission ticket prices. There is a social studies skills section that involves analyzing the zoo map. There is a science section that explores the biology of the animals at the zoo. There is also an ELAR section that asks students to answer an open ended question about a trip to the Dallas Zoo.

This activity is made in Google Forms and can easily be assigned in Google Classroom. This activity also automatically grades itself and will give you and your students the results.

Online News Resources

Tween Tribune or TTribune from Smithsonian is a free resource for digital news articles that are curated especially for students. Articles are available in multiple Lexile level versions each. Articles come with quizzes students can complete to check for understanding. News articles come from the Associated Press so there is a vast library of articles available which increases every day. TTribune also includes lesson plans and activities for teachers.


Dogonews.com is another website that uses news and current events to engage students in reading. Dogo also incorporates books and ebooks with accompanying quizzes and student written reviews.

Here are some fascinating articles I found:

https://www.dogonews.com/2021/11/3/rare-tardigrade-fossil-found-trapped-in-amber

It doesn’t look like you get too much for free though. Unlike TTribune.


CNN10.com produces a very good daily student news program. Even if you typically don’t care for CNN this student news program does a good job of avoiding bias.

I always loved using CNN10 in class. Today’s news is tomorrow’s history. Here comes Carl Azuz and a segment of puns.

If you did discover some bias in a story, identifying and analyzing that bias would be a great and practical lesson.


ReadWorks offers thousands of reading passages that you can use to support your curriculum and incorporate cross curricular ideas. Reading passages come with adjustable question sets


Newsela Inc Vector Logo - (.SVG + .PNG) - GetVectorLogo.Com

Looks expensive for pro features but should have current events articles for free. After some difficult research it look like students can access current events articles but teachers can’t see their data or connect them to a class without a paid account. This is all via 3rd party websites though. I am least impressed with this option. Have you had great experiences with Newsela? Please let me know if you have.

Badge Update 5 Nov 2021

This is the first year we have seen such strong representation by secondary campuses in the top 5. I am very excited to see that.

via GIPHY

Numerous badges for Mrs. H and Mrs. Neal solidified Southard’s lead at the top of the badge chart.

via GIPHY

The next 5 campuses are all very close to each other with only a badge or three separating them.

via GIPHY

We know from years past that Lacy and Lowe can bring the badges when motivated so I don’t expect this ranking to be the same next month.

via GIPHY

I’ll be coming around with badges and prizes today!

via GIPHY

Veterans Day Activities

Veterans Day Activities

Follow the link above to reach a website based lesson I created for Veterans Day. This lesson includes 5 activities starting with creating posters for an Honor Wall in your school.

There are 4 other web quest type activities that cover the history and purpose behind Veterans Day; Veterans of the American Revolution; WWII veterans; as well as stories from Afghan war veterans. Each of those four sections is also accompanied by a YouTube video.

Student responses to the Google Forms on the webpage will come to me but students will get an email confirmation of their submissions and scores if you find it necessary to take a grade on the activities.  ​

​Please notice the strategy I used to create this activity of embedding the Google Form directly in the web page.  That is a good idea to use with your own lessons.  That can be easily achieved with Google Sites.

These activities, I think, do a good job of educating students about veterans and veterans day as well as using skills students need to be successful including reading for understanding, multi-item select questions, analyzing graphs and charts, and exploring primary resources.

The honor wall posters are also available below. Please email me photos of your Honor Wall and share them on social media to honor those local veterans. Making our Honor Wall was something my students and I always loved doing.

I have also added a printable packet of all the questions from the embedded Google ​Form if you would prefer to use that and have something for your students to turn in.  

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1StFnR0Lb6JXNcLgYdcPiPZATst_PY-wLPRQSYGnjWDg/edit?usp=sharing

Here are copies of the Google Form Files if you want to be able to assign them in Google Classroom.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/14Fq2oXYcdcDleyxeg-ta9vfmpdSMEiVKXUvLcPVUa4s/copy

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/10eni2aQiHsE6-yqJi5safuFJDv-d7O480887YU1hFXU/copy
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/12351eOiBzjRkNCuTIfx1Wi75TYJU6bnE92TdaBQx62U/copy

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1_eAfarQPNVuVw8ath2H4ahC1g-ce_fA2GkVTbJPrWnU/copy

I just completed and added a Google Doc activity about the veterans onboard the USS Indianapolis during WWII. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bhOuENHi6lm82MhTnMALAeJHlK2BWC1yVhjPRTuAa0c/copy

Gatorland Math Activity

Now you have probably heard of or been to Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World, and even Legoland, but have you ever been to Gatorland!? It doesn’t get more “Florida Man” than Gatorland. GatorLand is Central Florida fun at it’s best. Where else in the world can you see giant 14 foot long alligators launch themselves from the murky swamp into the air to snag a raw chicken?

Use this activity to explore a little of the history and facts about Gatorland while applying math skills in a “mostly” practical and relevant way. This activity is made in Google Slides and designed to be assigned in Google Classroom. There is an answer key included.

Math Skills include: Rate, speed, distance, chronological/number order, addition, multiplication, percent and fractions, average, dimensions, pricing with sales tax.

You can even follow one of America’s favorite YouTube families through Gatorland with this YouTube video.

Math Facts Websites

https://www.coolmath4kids.com/quizzes

This website lets you choose between addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division. You can have 10, 20, 0r 30 questions in your quiz. Time options range from 5 seconds per question to unlimited time.

https://www.multiplication.com/quiz/multiplication-self-correcting-quizzes

I took the Post-Test on this website which covered it all 1-10 times tables. There were 40 questions. It told me the total time it took me to complete it as well as my score and which ones I got right and wrong. This option has a large onscreen key pad for answering which would be great for a touch screen.

https://www.mathmammoth.com/practice/multiplication

This option lets you set it to a one minute time limit so you can challenge your students to answer as many as they can in the one minute. If you are trying to get your students to complete 25 questions in one minute this might be your best option. Students can even email you their results straight from the website.

Pixton Comic Creator

This tool is an absolute blast to use. We all made our Pixton Avatars around the office and created a class photo. We made practice cartoons as well. You could use this tool in so many ways with your students.

They have built in lessons and plenty of ideas to get you started if you aren’t already bouncing around 1000 ideas in your head like I am.

Mote Voice Recorder

Here is a fantastic little Chrome extension that helps you to record feedback into a Google Doc, add narration to a Google Slide, Record directions in Google Classroom, and even record an audio message in a Gmail.

Textfree by Pinger

Here is a tool that you can use to send text messages to parents without using your personal cell phone number. You can use Pinger Text Free to send text messages from your web browser or via the app on your phone. Pro-Tip when making your list of numbers for a group message be sure to include a comma after each number before copy pasting the numbers into the to line. Also I didn’t find a BCC way to send to a group.