Inspire with Poetry! 10+ Ideas & Resources

science haiku tweet“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.” – Robert Frost

April is National Poetry month and the perfect excuse to inspire your students with poetry no matter what subject you teach. Try posting a short poem on the board related to the topic of the day, such as the science haikus found @Sciencehaiku. Then give your students the mission to create their own poems that explore the topic more deeply. For example, they can create descriptive poems about animals and challenge their peers to guess the animal. They can create shape poems that explore science or math such as Bob Grumman’s long division poem. Start of with haikus or shorter poems that are easier for all students to create. Get them excited about animating their poems with digital tools and apps. See the slide presentation and bookmarks below for more ideas and resources.

Lesson Ideas

Here are a few lesson ideas I talked about during my presentation. Students can:

Resources

Here are a few more resources:

More Resources and Lesson Plans

Find many more ideas in my Pearltree bookmarks below. Click on the circle to make that resource appear.

Teaching Poetry in Vday Resources / Holidays & Events / ELT 2 / English Language Teaching

Cultivate your interests with Pearltrees for Android

Challenge:

Try one of these tools or apps to get students interested in creating their own poems.

If you enjoyed these ideas, you may want to get your copy of The 30 Goals for Teachers or my $5.99 ebook, Learning to Go, which has digital/mobile activities for any device and editable/printable handouts and rubrics.

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Digital Notetaking to Stimulate Their Minds

Included in the Digital Ideas Advent Calendar with a new idea each day!

I am not a teacher, but an awakener. – Robert Frost

Many students take notes, because the teacher requires it, but many do not know how to take notes effectively. Students also don’t know how to preserve paper notes well. The ink gets smeared, the paper gets tattered, and their isn’t a quick and easy way to categorize or search paper notes. With digital tools and apps, students can create beautifully illustrated notes that support their cognitive development and stimulate their minds. The right tools and apps make research quick, engaging, and interactive by allowing students to bookmark, curate, tag, categorize, and annotate. One of the reflection activities in my new book, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, is to visually map an idea. Visual mapping, or sketch noting, is similar to mindmapping/concept mapping. At the center of these notes students highlight a concept then draw branches that provide information about the concept. Students do not have to be artists. Instead, they are encouraged to be creative and allow their minds to explore the concept through different branches. With digital tools and apps, students can choose the font, color, or background. They can include stickers, images, links, videos, drawings, and documents. My students are required to include research (links, videos, etc.) and examples of how the concept impacts them. They can keep these notes in the cloud so they can access them anywhere or on the go and they can also share them with others or create notes collaboratively with their peers. See examples in the slide share below and find the resources, web tools, and apps in the bookmarks at the end of this post.

Free Brainstorming Apps

Below are some great apps and tools for digital note-taking. Keep scrolling to find the bookmarks with the rest of the  resources.

  • Linoit web/iOS/Android App- Online sticky note board. Include links, images, video, and audio as well as change the size and color of your fonts. Has various background options and other attractive options. It’s embeddable as well. More stable than Padlet.
  • Padlet web/iOS/Android- Online sticky note board with beautiful templates and backgrounds.  Include links, images, video, text (160 characters) and audio as well as change the size and color of your fonts. Has various background options and other attractive options. It’s embeddable as well. Drag and drop files. Print as pdf and offline.
  • Popplet web/iOS App- The browser tool provides collaborative mindmapping. Students can support text with images from Flickr or Youtube videos. They can upload their own images or draw on their iPads. Embeddable.
  • Google Drive for all devices- I can document all events offline and it automatically updates when I get an Internet connection. Integrate with apps to do more. Test out the Research tool that shows students different resources with the MLA, APA, or Chicago citation.
  • Evernote web/iOS/Android- take notes, draw, add audio and tag, categorize, and search your notes. Use the app offline and it will update the notes when you get an Internet connection. With Postach.io you can automatically publish the notes you add to a specified folder as a blog.
  • Skitch iOS- annotate images and websites with capturing and doodle and text tools.
  • Diigo web/iOS/Android- bookmark, categorize, join groups, bookmark on other social networks using hashtags, annotate websites, add sticky notes and highlight text.
  • Lucid Chart web/iPad app- Collaborate with others and create flow charts, concept maps, and more. Drag and drop options. Add text. Send as a pdf or image.
  • Inkflow iOS app- Sketch & write ideas then move them around and organize them.
  • PenUltimate iPad app- Draw & write on notebook paper on your iPad. The writing becomes searchable, stored, and categorized with Evernote.
  • EduCreations web/iPad app- Interactive whiteboard and screen recording app. Ability to include images taken and from the web and narrate with audio. Create a 9 minute video that can be edited and embedded. Students can record their note-taking to playback later in case they want to revisit ideas they voiced.

Challenge:

Get students to create visual notes for a test or essay.

If you enjoyed these ideas, you may want to get your copy of The 30 Goals for Teachers or my $5.99 ebook, Learning to Go, which has digital/mobile activities for any device and editable/printable handouts and rubrics. Subscribe for FREE to receive regular updates!

Bookmarks
Notetaking, by shellyterrell
Included in the Digital Ideas Advent Calendar! Scroll the image below and each day discover free web tools, apps, and resources.

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Use Humor to Inspire Learning

Included in the Digital Ideas Advent Calendar with a new idea each day!

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living. – Dr. Seuss

Often, you will see me include pictures of my pug in my webinars, keynotes, or profile pictures. I had few people question if this is professional. When I conduct classes- online and offline- I am more concerned with building relationships with my students and getting them to warm up to me. I find that laughter helps students get to know me and relaxes them when heavy duty learning that is stressful is involved. My classes are challenging and I require a lot of effort but I also need my students to be open to the content and motivated to learn. Humor also has helped ease my stress. It’s always a great teaching day when I get to laugh with my students. Recently, I published an article in the GO Teach magazine, LOL! Teacher! Using Humor to Enhance Student Learning. Click the link for a free digital version of the article. Below, find a slide presentation you can download with ideas included in the article, such as introducing a subject with jokes, using memes, choosing humorous content and more! Scroll to find a list of humorous apps for learning.

Teaching with Jokes Webinar Recording

Favorite Apps and Web Tools

Challenge:

Create a great learning atmosphere or interrupt the monotony by using humor effectively.

If you enjoyed these ideas, you may want to get your copy of The 30 Goals for Teachers or my $5.99 ebook, Learning to Go, which has digital/mobile activities for any device and editable/printable handouts and rubrics. Subscribe for FREE to receive regular updates!

Bookmarks
Humor & Learning, by shellyterrell
Included in the Digital Ideas Advent Calendar! Scroll the image below and each day discover free web tools, apps, and resources.

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Teach Them Kindness

Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 4.48.17 AM

Included in the Digital Ideas Advent Calendar with a new idea each day!

Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change. – Bob Kerrey

Teaching citizenship isn’t an additional part of the curriculum. A good lesson plan or project will get students to learn how to be kind, generous, problem-solving, caring, compassionate, imaginative, creative, emphatic, and/or helpful while also getting them to learn. The goal is to get students to take what they are learning and use the knowledge and skills to somehow improve their current lives or improve the lives of others. These skills are important for their development and necessary to be successful in life. I am sharing activities, resources, tips, web tools and mobile apps that help students learn to be good people and also get them reading, writing, and more.

Ideas and Activities

  • The slideshow below provides students ideas on how to be kind in small quick ways. Get them to brainstorm the digital equivelant of each act like maybe smiling at someone by adding an emoji or sticker.


Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad

  • Make an advent calendar in which everyday you suggest a small way for your students to be kind. Here’s a post and template on how to make an advent calendar with Google Docs and ThingLink.
  • Here’s an online Acts of Kindness advent calendar that emails you suggestions or take ideas from a previous version.
  • Better yet, have your students create their own calendars in which they commit to showing kindness for a week. After they complete the act, they should write a short reflection and post a link to it on their Thinglink advent calendar.
  • Here is a lesson plan I created to get your students to keep a Random Acts of Kindness journal that they later pass on to another student. They also give a presentation on the experience.
  • Inspire them with this 6 minute 40 second presentation (Pecha Kucha) about Kindness. A business student shares how performing random acts of kindness transformed her life.
  • You could get students to post videos, images, audio, or posts that exemplify kindness on a sticky wall like Padlet or LinoIt.
  • Show them any of these videos of kids performing acts of kindness and have them brainstorm ways they can be kind to others. They can add these ideas to a class cognitive map with Popplet. Popplet also has a free IOS app.
  • Have students create a school campaign to inspire others to spread kindness. They can create multimedia posters with Buncee, TackkSmore, Thinglink, Pic-CollageCanva, and Biteslide.
  • They can create a podcast about various acts of kindness. They can invite people around the school to share an anecdote then piece these clips together with an audio editor like Garage Band or Audacity. Find lesson templates and more information in this presentation about podcasting.
  • Read to them a story about kindness and have them share when someone was kind to them or when they witnessed kind acts. They can share these stories on Voicethread.
  • If you teach older students, have them adopt a younger class. They can pair up with the younger kids and teach them something new, read them books, or play games with them.
  • Students can create coupons that help the recipient in some way, such as help a peer study for a test, make lunch for someone, or do a chore.

Other Resources

Challenge:

Inspire your students to perform at least 5 simple acts of kindness and reflect on the experience.

If you enjoyed these ideas, you may want to get your copy of The 30 Goals for Teachers or my $5.99 ebook, Learning to Go, which has digital/mobile activities for any device and editable/printable handouts and rubrics. Subscribe for FREE to receive regular updates!

Bookmarks
Digital storytelling, by shellyterrell
Included in the Digital Ideas Advent Calendar! Scroll the image below and each day discover free web tools, apps, and resources.

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Spice Up That Lecture! 20+ Ideas & Resources

Included in the Digital Ideas Advent Calendar with a new idea each day!

Undergraduate students taught by lectures are 1.5 times more likely to fail than those involved in active learning. – Bajak, A. (2014)

In my new book, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, I talk about how even the best lectures aren’t fair for the majority of students in our classes. They simply aren’t brain-friendly if the lectures are over 10 minutes and students are not actively involved either by taking notes, using a backchannel, etc. It’s actually natural for us to want to share what we learned the last 4 or more years in college with our new audience of learner, especially if we are inspired. I’ve lectured before and felt I inspired people. However, I’ve been trying to make even my keynotes and presentations more interactive with demonstrations, backchanneling, and a few activities. The idea is to change things up at least every 10 minutes so that you can awaken your learners’ brains. My art history teacher was a master at this. She’d throw in a funny image to make us laugh, then we’d move on. Try any of the ideas listed below to spice up your lectures and if you find them interesting then share them with your colleagues who lecture. Feel free to download the slide presentation below with ideas, examples, resources, and web tools. Keep scrolling to find the bookmarks with free apps, tools, and ideas.

Ideas

Find the presentation ideas listed below:

Challenge: Use one of these ideas or resources to spice up your lecture!

If you enjoyed these ideas, you may want to get your copy of The 30 Goals for Teachers or my $5.99 ebook, Learning to Go, which has digital/mobile activities for any device and editable/printable handouts and rubrics. Subscribe for FREE to receive regular updates!

Bookmarks

Included in the Digital Ideas Advent Calendar! Scroll the image below and each day discover free web tools, apps, and resources.

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