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Showing posts from February, 2016

Organize Email with Folders

Teachers love folders - color coordinated, labeled and organized! Did you know that the same thing can be done with email?

One way to keep your Inbox neat and clean is to use the following method:
> ​After you read an email, if you don't need it, delete it.
> If you need to keep it, move it to a folder for storage.
> If you need to do something with it, keep it in your inbox until the task is complete, then move the email to a folder for storage.

The benefit to this method is that your inbox only contains items to do. Completed emails are sorted and filed. It's similar to how most of us process snail mail, unless you have a large stack of unread letters and bills sitting inside the front door!

Microsoft has a great Office Training Article that describes how to setup and manage email folders. And don't worry about losing items that have been filed away. The search bar can locate emails with keywords in any folder you create.

Visually Share Web Links with Symbaloo

SymbalooEDUis an easy way to visually organize and share web links. Accounts are free but a premium package is available for those who want more. I have used the free version in class quite successfully.

Each page of links (or tiles) is called a webmix and users can organize links in any way they want. Each webmix can also be grouped using colored markers. Backgrounds can also be changed for easy identification of each webmix.

I appreciate how easily webmixes can be shared or embedded on another site. Previously I created individual links to web games for students but now each grade level has its own webmix.

Adding a new tile, or web link is easy. Default images may appear for the sites added or you can select an icon. I prefer to screen capture an engaging image from the target web page and use it to attract attention to each link. I've found that students often remember the images better than the game name or target address.

As with any collection, it's possible to have so m…

Prince of Egypt Minecraft Style

Students explore a Minecraft Egyptian village to learn about ancient culture and society.

Last Friday I ran six sessions of Minecraft for fifth grade students in language arts. They had been reading a book that referenced several key elements from ancient Egypt. So their teacher decided a short side trip would help them better understand.

In class they studied hieroglyphics and class structure and learned about various Egyptian artifacts. Then to top it all off, they spent two class periods exploring a small village and role playing different aspects of ancient life.

This was the first academic Minecraft experience for these students. Regular gamer types were disappointed that PvP, mining and chat were turned off. But everyone quickly began the task of exploring. I had added Mo's Creatures so the elephants, snakes and crocodiles added plenty of peril. After awhile, some students realized how little food was available in a dessert!

Their teacher circulated the room while I played …