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Here are some resources that have been shared with me by some of my colleagues. I'm so thankful when others share with me.

#1 Abbie shared - - her students used this site to create word clouds. A really nice feature of Worditout is that a student doesn't need an account to make and save a word cloud. There are many settings to choose from. I made this word cloud by entering the URL of this blog.




#2 Catherine shared - -  use this site to create a poster, collage, calendar or card.  Catherine gave her students choice of which tool they wanted to use to create posters for an assignment and she really liked the options this site offered. This site can also be used without creating an account.

I created this poster in just a few minutes

#3 Pat wants to use MindMapMaker with his students.  This site is great for making a mind map and is also a nice way for students to take notes.  I created a mindmap with images to show as an example.  MindMapMaker can be linked to your Google Drive for easy sharing. 



I highly recommend giving any of these three sites a try.


Flip Snack

Posted by deb_norton Sep 25, 2014

Flip Snack for Creating Flip Books





Flip Snack is a free site to quickly and easily create an online flip book from any pdf or collection of jpeg images.

Click here to read the full blog post and to see examples of Flip Snack books.

Pear Deck, which was released earlier this month, is a great way to interact with your students during a lesson and also a way to assess student learning.

Watch this Chat with Deb video to see how Pear Deck works.

Here is a video explaining how to view student responses after a session.

I highly recommend giving Pear Deck a try!

Thank you to Intel's Teachers Engage for sponsoring this Chat with Deb.

App Smashing on International Dot Day - September 15th

Click here for the Google Presentation

Watch this Chat with Deb video to see the first activity using Lucidchart Diagrams, the Quick Research extension, the Lucidchart Add-on and Google Docs

Blogging example:

Give students a chance to begin showcasing their work and projects with a simple blogging platform.


  • Students will make an account on and name and create a blog.
  • Students will make an account on Evernote
  • Connect the Evernote account in under the sources tab.

  • Students will install the Evernote Web Clipper Extension from the Chrome Web Store.
  • Whenever students create content on the web or have a picture of something they have done saved in Evernote, they can click on the Evernote Web Clipper Extension and the site or picture will be posted onto their blog.
  • Students can use Doppleme to create an avatar to represent themselves in a private and secure way. There is no account necessary and the avatar can be saved directly to Evernote using the Evernote Web Clipper!!!

I love the idea of starting a blog on International Dot Day to help students to begin to "make a mark" and

create a digital portfolio of their work in the blogging platform.

Profile Example:  Students will showcase who they are and who they want to someday become through this activity.

  • Students will get the My World app from the Chrome Web Store.
  • Students will use the My World app to choose images that represent who they are and who they someday want to become.

  • When students are finished, the My World app will analyze their profile based on the images they have chosen.

  • Next, students will download the My World results (downloads as a jpeg image)
  • Students will either insert the My World image into a Google Site or a Google Presentation or site of their choice.
  • Students will go to the Vocaroo site, and will record an audio message telling about the visual representation of themselves.
  • Students can share the link or get a QR code for the Vocaroo recording to display with the My World image on their site.


Google Site Example:

Google Presentation Example:


Having students share a visual and audio representation of themselves builds self awareness and pride among their peers. This is a great way to have students "make their mark" on International Dot Day.

Thank you to Intel's Teachers Engage for sponsoring this Chat with Deb.

The Maker Movement is the newest “it” thing in education, and often are driven by the technology adopters. One of the biggest complaints I have seen is that teachers feel that they can’t Make with their students because it doesn’t address Common Core Standards. I would like to counter that with this post. I think the Maker Movement has a place in education, and that it can address Common Core Math and ELA standards, if structured in the right way. First, let’s examine some of the Math standards:


Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice

CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP1 Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.

Mathematically proficient students start by explaining to themselves the meaning of a problem and looking for entry points to its solution. They analyze givens, constraints, relationships, and goals. They make conjectures about the form and meaning of the solution and plan a solution pathway rather than simply jumping into a solution attempt. They consider analogous problems, and try special cases and simpler forms of the original problem in order to gain insight into its solution. They monitor and evaluate their progress and change course if necessary. ...Mathematically proficient students check their answers to problems using a different method, and they continually ask themselves, "Does this make sense?" They can understand the approaches of others to solving complex problems and identify correspondences between different approaches.

Depending on how you structure your Maker activities, you can easily address this math standard by posing problems for your students to solve utilizing the materials available. This one seems like a no-brainer.

CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP3 Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.

Mathematically proficient students understand and use stated assumptions, definitions, and previously established results in constructing arguments. They make conjectures and build a logical progression of statements to explore the truth of their conjectures. They are able to analyze situations by breaking them into cases, and can recognize and use counterexamples. They justify their conclusions, communicate them to others, and respond to the arguments of others. They reason inductively about data, making plausible arguments that take into account the context from which the data arose. Mathematically proficient students are also able to compare the effectiveness of two plausible arguments, distinguish correct logic or reasoning from that which is flawed, and—if there is a flaw in an argument—explain what it is ... Students at all grades can listen or read the arguments of others, decide whether they make sense, and ask useful questions to clarify or improve the arguments.

To better meet this standard, you can ask students to reflect on what they have created, and defend to classmates why their solution is the best one to solve the problem (see also, addressing ELA standards below). Have then critique the approach and solutions of others in the class.

CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP4 Model with mathematics.

Mathematically proficient students can apply the mathematics they know to solve problems arising in everyday life, society, and the workplace. In early grades, this might be as simple as writing an addition equation to describe a situation. In middle grades, a student might apply proportional reasoning to plan a school event or analyze a problem in the community. By high school, a student might use geometry to solve a design problem or use a function to describe how one quantity of interest depends on another. Mathematically proficient students who can apply what they know are comfortable making assumptions and approximations to simplify a complicated situation, realizing that these may need revision later. They are able to identify important quantities in a practical situation and map their relationships using such tools as diagrams, two-way tables, graphs, flowcharts and formulas. They can analyze those relationships mathematically to draw conclusions. They routinely interpret their mathematical results in the context of the situation and reflect on whether the results make sense, possibly improving the model if it has not served its purpose.

Here is where I think Maker Spaces fit most in the mathematics standards, giving students real life problems to solve (which also ties in the MP1 above). Give them something real to solve, ask them to examine their solution for flaws, and revise as necessary. They can use charts, spreadsheets and diagrams in building and testing their solution.


One really simple ways to combine math and the Maker Movement are to have student redesign spaces: your classroom, the library, the cafeteria, a courtyard, the playground etc. They will have to use math skills to measure the spaces and objects they currently contain, and make reasonable judgements about what they would like them to contain.


Here are a few technology tools I think fit in to the Maker Movement:

LucidChart or Cacoo to create flow charts, diagrams and plans for solving problems presented.

Google Sketch Up - Make allows students to create vivid virtual 3D models of objects. This can be used in the initial stages of the project to plan, or can be the end product of what students are creating. And if you have a 3D printer, students can print 3D models of their work.

Blender is a free, open source product that also allows users to create and animate 3D objects, and allows you to create video games or short animated films.

Scratch allows users to learn computer programing to create stories, games and animations. Also check out for tons of resources for teaching student computer programming.


How else could the Maker Movement fit with the Common Core? Have students communicate about the experience and their projects. They can create presentations, write blog posts, or create videos to address ELA standards for writing.


Common Core Anchor Standards for ELA

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

Have students explain the process they went through when Making. How did they reason through the problem? What solution did they come up with? How does their solution address the problem?

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences.

What were the steps involved? How did they arrive at their solution?

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

Ask students to examine their writing to be sure it makes sense and communicates their ideas effectively.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.5 Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.

Be sure to have students revise their work before posting.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.

Here is where the fun part comes. Give your students a global space to share what they have created. Create a class blog, wiki or website to share student projects and their analysis and explanations. Or, have students work together in shared planning spaces to solve the problems you present. (See Cut to the Core: Tech Solutions for Common Core - Start the Year off right with a Global Audience for tools to accomplish these goals)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.

Having your students experience Making and write about it gives them something fresh and exciting to do. It is a new task, a new purpose, and a new audience for your classroom.


I see the Maker Movement as a powerful way to build problems solving and communication skills with students, and most certainly, it fits with the Common Core Standards. The Standards are not meant to be a prescribed curriculum, they are meant to be a set of standards that students can meet at the end of each year. How they meet them is up to you to decide.


How do you see the Common Core Standards and the Maker Movement aligning? What other technology tools are available for the Maker Movement?



It's September already! In the United States, school has started and creative projects are underway. Around the globe, teachers and students are creatively using technology to collaborate across time zones and geography. Exciting opportunities abound.


This September, Teachers Engage is focused on the theme of creativity. We're interested in helping educators foster creativity in students, to collaborate creatively with peers, and to explore how powerful student and teacher driven ideas and innovation create positive impact. Our content area focus for the month is Art Education, specifically how it blends with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math for STEAM-powered design. This month there will be a specific focus on the Maker Movement and Maker Faires, and how these opportunities fuel exciting teaching and learning opportunities.


Around the community this month, you most certainly want to participate in the current Learning Pathway on Creativity and International Dot Day. Also, don't forget to register for the September Intel Teach Live webinar, which will explore all things creativity, Maker Movement, and STEAM on September 30. You also shouldn't miss the Intel Teach Elements webinar featuring the new Creativity in the Mobile Classroom course on September 18. And finally, always remember to keep an eye on the Featured Content space in the left hand column on the homepage to stay up to date on the latest trending content. It's shaping up to be a great month - see you online!


To engage with others around our theme and content focus:

Be sure to follow Engage to see what's happening around these special dates this month:

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