Thursday, December 22, 2016

Cooking with the Klumper's: "The Perfect Pancake"

It seems that on any social media I may find myself on, there are these recipe videos everywhere! I love watching them. It makes whatever food item being shown look so easy to do. I watch one and find myself thinking, "Yeah! I could do that!" So what draws people to these videos? What makes them so popular? Why is a recipe delivered in this format better than a simple list of ingredients with text description? It's all about the visuals. People can SEE what is happening or what should happen or how it should look. SEEING is powerful. The whole process is laid out for you in a few minutes in a visual way. That is what makes these videos so popular and helpful!  

I decided to make my own video and get in on the craze. The next step would be: How can we use this video concept in education? What does it look like or how could it look in the social studies world? Science? Math? So many possibilities. I'm sure you will think of something.  

Enjoy the Perfect Pancake! 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Powerful Video. Powerful Message.

This can't be viewed or shared or thought about enough. As much as technology helps us and as much as I love it, this video offers perspective that is much needed in our world today, myself included. Don't be surprised if you watch this video and find tears welling in your eyes.  Don't be surprised if you watch this video and decide to make a change in your technology habits. Don't be surprised if this video makes you stop scrolling through feeds and pages and posts and images. Don't be surprised if you watch this video twice. Don't be surprised if you find yourself thinking about the message, long after the video ends. Don't be surprised if you suddenly feel this urge to live more with your eyes open, head up and phone resting on the counter or table or inside your top dresser drawer. Don't be surprised if you suddenly feel anxiety thinking about all the time spent looking down, rather than up and realize that time is not guaranteed or plentiful.   

Gary Turk sums it up beautifully: "Give people your love, not your like." 

Monday, December 19, 2016

A Commercial that Bothers Me

Perhaps you have seen this commercial. It's for the Toyota Tundra. Watch the video above to see what happens. The basic gist is this: a high school football team loses the game at the end because the receiver was out of bounds when he caught the would-be game-winning touchdown. Everyone is devastated at losing the "big game." Then, on their way home, a family of the losing team sees the referee who called the catch out of bounds standing next to his broken down vehicle. The driver rolls down the window and after a moment of hesitation and thought, gives the referee a ride.

Here is what bothers me about this commercial: Toyota is making a big deal out of the fact that even though the referee made the call to end the game, the family of the losing team gave the referee a ride home in the rain. That's what SHOULD happen. It's just a high school football game. The commercial makes it look like this tremendous act of compassion because they were just devastated at losing the big game, yet they dug down deep into their soul and found the courage and compassion to help out the referee who was standing in the rain with a broken down vehicle. A high school football game and referee's call (correct call, btw) was almost the reason why they didn't pick up the referee? Ridiculous. It wasn't an act of compassion. It was the obvious thing to do.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Merge Multiple Google Forms into One

There actually is no merge tool out there that can take multiple Google Forms and merge them into one. So if you have multiple Google Forms and you want them to be all in ONE Google Form, you have to copy and paste everything. HOWEVER. There is a trick or work-around to solve this problem. 
Application to Education: Let's say you have given five short 'exit ticket' formative assessments throughout the month, semester, etc. At the end, you want the students to answer those same questions to see how much they have improved, or just as a study guide/review tool. Rather than posting all five links and having the results go to five different places, you can set it up to make one Google Form and have all the results go to the same spreadsheet. 

Open the Google Forms that you want to use and make copies of them all so you get fresh data. 

Choose what Google Form will be the first one. 
For the second google Form you want to use, get the "share link" and paste it in the first google form in presentation when you are able to determine what it says for the student after they hit submit. In other words, after the student hits submit for the first Google Form, they will be given the link to the second google form. 
Repeat this process until you have all five google forms linked together. 

*Results all in one place: Create a spreadsheet for results for the first Google Form that you used. For the other Google Forms, rather than creating a new spreadsheet, set it so the results go to a tab in an existing spreadsheet, which should be set to the first Google Form spreadsheet. 

Check out the tutorial to see it in action! 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Social Injustice Project. Fight It. End It.

In my opinion, there are few things in life that can have an impact like reading a book. Recently, my students and I read social injustice novels. Being aware of our world and the injustices that are happening is important because we need that awareness before we can take action. But what is that action? It's a daunting question. It's an overwhelming problem. How do we stop human trafficking? How do we stop genocide? It's almost a feeling of impossibility. Like, no matter what we do, we can't stop it or even help! So what do we do? I don't' know. I guess we can start by getting educated. By becoming aware and spreading that awareness. I think reading about social injustice and learning about it and spreading the awareness of it helps us become more compassionate. It helps us take less for granted and be more appreciative of what we have. If we talk about it enough and read about it enough, perhaps a student will go out into the teeth of the injustice and do something to stop it.  Maybe we all will. 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Copy Entire Folders in Google Drive

Have you ever wanted to copy an entire Google Drive folder but found that when you right click on the Folder, it does not give you a "copy" option? There is a solution to that problem. It is a spreadsheet add-on and it allows you to copy entire folders. It's simply called "Copy Folder" and you get it through Google Sheets - add ons.  For example, let's say you have a bunch of resources in a Google Drive folder and you want to share that folder with a colleague or you are leaving a position and want to give that folder to the new person, but you want to hang on to your folder for the future. Use the add-on so you each have your own individual folder (of the same contents). The video does a good job showing how to use this add-on. 
*Note: You can not copy a folder that is shared. 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The Popcorn App and other Amazing Apps

Did you know that there is an amazing app out there? It's great. Especially for those who live a lifestyle of "always on the go." It is an app that pops popcorn for you! It's simple: You open the app on your smartphone,  wait a bit for the "burners" to heat up your screen, then simply place the popcorn kernels on the screen and soon, "POP!" you will hear and see the unmistakable sign of popcorn popping. Hungry after a long day at work and don't have time for a healthy snack? Well with this app, pop some popcorn while you drive home and crush those hunger pains. Watching a movie and don't want to stop to go pop popcorn in the microwave? Just pull those kernels from your pocket and pop them right there on the couch!  This truly transformative app might cause you to rethink your entire life. 
*Other uses: over-easy eggs, pancakes, and waffles. (In waffle mode, the screen actually raises to create the 'waffle press' look to your waffles. 

The app 'iInflate' is another great app from the apple app store. With this app, no more hyperventilating and passing out. Simply open the app, put the open end of the balloon on the charging port and hit "start." Soon, you will have an inflated balloon and no headache! 

P.S. Oh, and by the way. These apps don't exist. (But wouldn't it be cool if it did??) Watch out for fake news! 

Friday, December 2, 2016


iCivics "is a free web-based resource that brings interactive and engaging Civics content to classrooms in the form of games, lesson plans and other digital content." There is a tab for students to play different games such as "Win the White House," "Do I have a right?" and "Immigration Nation." There is also a tab for teachers with links to curriculum units, lesson plans, more games and even WebQuests. This website would be a supplementary tool to use in the classroom. We are always talking about getting students away from how we learned when we were in school when we would read out of a textbook and be expected to automatically absorb all of that knowledge. This website would give students an interactive opportunity to explore the world of civics and to help them better understand what civics even is! Just like when we were talking about adaptive learning programs in math methods, you want the tools to help the students feel like they aren't being forced to learn because instead they are playing interactive games that are exciting and engaging. I think this tech tool allows students to see civics in a way they wouldn't normally be able to. When I hear the word civics I am a little scared to be honest. But this website and the games it has puts concepts involved in civics into a visual form that students can learn from and understand, rather than just reading out of their textbook about what civics is and looks like. If you told me I had to teach a lesson on civics, I would have no idea where to start, but this website would definitely be something I would use to help me build a lesson or unit. -Samantha

Thursday, December 1, 2016


GoNoodle is a website that has hundreds of video that allow your students to get out of their chairs and be active in the classroom. Often times students get antsy and have a hard time paying attention when they have been stagnant for too long.Unfortunately many classrooms are in a way where students are expected to sit still and silent, yet focused and engaged for long periods of time. A great strategy to get student engaged, energized, and ready to learn is to make time in your day for what people call, "brain breaks". Personally, I like to call them "brain bursts" because we don't want students turning off their brain, rather we want students gaining energy so they can be engage in the classroom. By designating a few minutes through the day to implement brain bursts, students are able to get the ants our of their pants, wake up, and focus on the next task. -Megan H.