Friday, November 27, 2015

Getting Kids Ready to Search the Net

How to Help Elementary Students with Internet Research - Tips from Raki's Rad Resources

When you are creating an internet research project for elementary students, you need to do two important things.

#1 Create guiding questions to help students know what to look for. For example, if you ask your students find information about Thomas Jefferson, they are likely to find a lot information that is not relevant to what you are studying, like stories of his childhood or the number of children he had. However if you tell students that you want them to find out how long Thomas Jefferson was president and 4 important things he did while he was president, then they have a direction to guide their research.

#2 Find quality websites for your students to use a springboard. Younger students are generally not equipped to use only search engines when they are doing research. However, they can learn to maneuver around provided websites to find the information they need. I suggest not providing websites to students by listing them on the board or on a piece of paper, but often web addresses are long and cumbersome and you will have a lot of transferring errors. Instead, have the websites available in on e-format by posting them on Edmodo, e-mailing them to students or providing QR codes.  

If you don’t want to spend all of the time doing these two things, you might consider using my internet scavenger hunts. Each of these were created for students I taught at different times during my career. There are 48 different internet scavenger hunts available for you at my Teachers Pay Teachers store. So, before you start recreating the wheel, stop by and see if I have something that will suit your students needs. Here are a few of the ones available:

Make internet research easy for elementary students with internet scavenger hunts. This one covers American Holidays.

Make internet research easy for elementary students with internet scavenger hunts. This one covers Creek & Cherokee native americans. Make internet research easy for elementary students with internet scavenger hunts. This one covers Ancient Greece.

Make internet research easy for elementary students with internet scavenger hunts. This one covers the principles of heat.

 Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources

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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Technology Vocabulary Word Wall Cards

Technology Vocabulary Cards for your word wall When I was a technology teacher, nothing frustrated me more than hearing someone say “Mash that button there.” instead of “Press the enter key.” Technology vocabulary is very important for students to learn and use. These Technology Vocabulary Cards can be put on a bulletin board or an O-ring to help students know exactly which word to use when asking you about something technology related. Encourage students to use academic language when dealing with technology by requiring them to use these words. You can purchase these technology cards at my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A 2fer: Forms of Energy

Since both of my schools were studying the forms of energy, I thought why not put both of their project ideas together in one post.

Bam! A 2fer! What a Deal!

3rd grade students at one school, downloaded four examples of forms of energy from Dropbox and utilizing the TypeDrawing app, wrote characteristics for each one. Then the four pictures were uploaded to the Strip Design app. (Direct Link)
My other school utilized the apps, Wordfoto and Tellegami for their forms of energy project. Students created a Wordfoto brainstorming at least 5 characteristics of their form of energy. Using the Wordfoto as the background for their Tellegami presentation, they recorded what their form of energy was, how is it used and what would happen if they did not have that specific energy.


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Saturday, October 24, 2015

Free Plans for Technology Integration

Integration, integration, integration. It’s more than just a hot term for staff meetings, integration makes it easier for teachers to cover all of their standards and makes it easier for students to make connections. Technology standards are a great place to integrate. Teach technology skills with your content! Here are two plans to help you with this. Plan one helps you integrate writing with your technology. Plan two helps you integrate math with your technology. Both are designed for K – 5, as they were created when I was a computer lab teacher at a K-5 school, and both are available at my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

Writing and technology integration matrix - free download from Raki's Rad Resources

Math and technology integration matrix - free download from Raki's Rad Resources. 

Happy teaching and happy integrating!

Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Google Tone

Last week I learned about a Chrome Extension called Google Tone. This one is a life changer my friends!!

As a tech teacher, I often have limited time with students, and need to get them links and resources quickly. Especially for my younger kiddos, typing in a URL can take several minutes. Enter Google Tone!!
So here's how it works in my tech lab:
1) I installed Google Tone on Chrome on my laptop and on Chrome on all the laptops in my lab. {I made sure there was no one signed into Chrome when I installed on the laptops.}

2) I go to a URL on my computer I want the students to get.

3) Press the Google Tone icon.

4) Students get a popup message that looks like this:

5) Students click on the message and are taken to the website.

BOOM! Done!! 

I just tried it with a class of first graders and it was <<SO fast and easy>>. And when things are easy, its a beautiful feeling :-)

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Formative Assessment with Pic Collage? Sure....Why Not?

4th graders went on a scavenger hunt throughout the school taking pictures of different type of resources to depict their understanding of Renewable and Nonrenewable Resources. Below is their final product created with the free app, Pic Collage for Kids.

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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Setting Up Your Computer Center for the Year

A new school year has begun and it’s time to set up a computer center in your classroom. You will need to have expectations for what students should do at the computer center, some websites ready for the kids and some way of organizing websites so the students know where to go. Here are a few posts I have written on my blog which might help you get started:


Top 10 Math Websites for Elementary Classrooms

Top 10 Math Websites


Top 10 Reading Websites for Elementary Classrooms

Top 10 Reading Websites


Top 10 Writing Websites for Elementary Classrooms

Top 10 Writing Websites


Top 10 Science Websites for Elementary Classrooms

Top 10 Science Websites


Top 10 Social Studies Websites for Elementary Classrooms

Top 10 Social Studies Websites


Websites to Use for Teaching Typing Skills



Websites that Will Help You Organize Websites for Your Students

Organizing websites


Have a wonderful school year!

Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources

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Friday, August 7, 2015

Suggestions Needed: Your Favorite Apps

Happy Friday Everyone!! I hope you have had a great week. It is back to school for many of you and I wish you a wonderful school year.

I am working on revising two of my courses that I teach and I would love your input.

1. What are your favorite apps or technology resources for Staying       
Productive and Organized?

2. What are your favorite apps or technology resources for Collaborating and     Connecting with Students?

You can respond to this post by commenting below or by filling out the google form:

Thank you in advance and please know that I appreciate any feedback you can give me.

Special Shout Out to Mike Lee at EdShelf for tweeting the above out for me. I greatly appreciate each of you. You can find the tweet at:

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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Active Learning Using Padlet

Learning Activity with Assessment Worksheet

Learning Objective(s)

  • TLW be able to assess prior knowledge using the course and tools within Moodle
  • TLW be able to develop active learning activities based on Bloom's Taxonomy using Padlet

Learning Activity

The learners will first navigate to the Padlet widget set up in the Moodle course and complete the activity. Then, they will be required to post a sample active learning activity that they can use in their classroom. The active learning activity will need to be specific to the content in which they teach. Next the learners will list (in parenthesis) what level of Bloom’s Taxonomy that the activity meets.

Example: 3-2-1 Atoms and Molecules (Comprehension)

Learners should develop activities that are not directly discussed within the course (discussions, choice, feedback, videos) and apply their content to the activity. In order for a learner to receive exemplar in creativity, learners should create activities that are available on the “Sample Activities” pdf (available in the Moodle course) or from outside resources. Learners can receive developed in creativity if they use an activity within the course (discussions, choice, feedback, videos), but change the activity so that it is not exactly the same as the ones posted.

This activity is the foundation to the project the learners will complete in week 4 of the course.

The web 2.0 tool Padlet has been set up for groups in Moodle. The learners will only see the Padlet that represents the cohort group they are in. The purpose of this is to make the posts easier to read and pull ideas from. The Bloom’s Taxonomy levels pdf is available to the learners in the Moodle course.
All learners will have access to each cohort groups Padlet after the closing of the assignment.

Appropriateness for Learners and Objectives: The activity allows users to develop and create active learning activities that they can apply in their own classroom. The main focus of this activity is for the learners to use prior knowledge, content, Bloom’s Taxonomy, and creativity to create their activities. The visual representation of Padlet is like a corkboard where learners can post ideas. The learners are using what they have acquired in the course to complete this activity.

Appropriateness for the technology: Padlet is a web 2.0 tools that is web based and can be accessed through or embedded in an LMS.
The initial demonstration of the tool (Padlet) will be available as a “how to” guide and video for learners who are not familiar with the tool.
After the closing of the activity, the Padlets will be made available to all learners within the course (pdf).
Padlet meets the ISTE standard “Facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity”, where teachers use their knowledge of subject matter, teaching and learning, and technology to facilitate experiences that advance student learning, creativity, and innovation in both face-to-face and virtual environments.

The web 2.0 activity Padlet:
a. Promote, support, and model creative and innovative thinking and inventiveness
b. Engage students in exploring real-world issues and solving authentic problems using digital tools and resources
c. Promote student reflection using collaborative tools to reveal and clarify students’ conceptual understanding and thinking, planning, and creative processes

The tool used for this activity, could be used for face to face, online, hybrid, or flipped classroom environments.

Other uses of the tool in this assessment are:
Padlet offers an exceptional opportunity for learners to brainstorm, collaborate, and group ideas.  Learners can use Padlet to brainstorm ideas for writing, explore lines of inquiry, collect research, for grouping ideas, and collaborating on group projects.

The Learning Activity padlet can be found by going to:

Assessment Tool and Procedure

Learners will be assessed using a rubric which focuses on Text Communication, Completion, Creativity and Overall Quality. Learners can receive Exemplar, Developed, and Limited in four areas depending on the depth of the assignment created.

Rubric for Padlet Active Learning Activity




Text Communication

(active learning example with integrated content – how it will be used in your course)

text VERY clearly and effectively communicates and explains the activity

text SOMEWHAT clearly and effectively communicates and explains the activity

text DOES NOT clearly and effectively communicate and explain the activity


(active learning example with integrated content; followed by level of Bloom’s taxonomy in parenthesis behind activity title)

3-2-1 Atoms and Molecules (Comprehension)

Activity was completed as instructed

Activity was partially completed as instructed

Activity was not completed as instructed


Completely unique and one of a kind with content included
(created an active learning activity not listed in the course)

Somewhat unique with content included
(used an active learning activity in the course)

Not unique no content included or did not complete
(used an active learning activity in the course, but did not include how it could be used in their content area)

Overall Quality

Highest Quality – Could be used as a class example

Good Quality – Could use revisions and more creativity

Inadequate – Needs to be revisited and redone to meet the requirements for the assignment

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Friday, June 19, 2015

Active Learning - The Face to Face and Online Classroom

As many know I am a very big proponent for Active Learning in the classroom as I believe it builds life long learners and students who truly feel a sense of community in their classroom.

I am working on a Lunch and Learn Online series at LSU in which one of the courses is Active Learning Activities in the Classroom. I am very excited about this new endeavor and how it will impact instruction in the Higher Education setting.

I wanted to share a great Active Learning activity that can used in a face to face and online classroom. I have built this activity into the Online course I am creating.
You can use it in a database, discussion forum or have the students submit as an assignment.

As a database entry or discussion it reads like this:
CASH Out requires students to reflect on a reading passage, article, video, presentation, module (week of study) using four guiding questions:
1.     What did you learn about the topic? (Cognitive)
2.     How did you react to the topic? (Affective)
3.     What surprised you about the topic? (Surprise)
4.     What idea or topic was helpful to you? (Help)

I have linked the Cash Out document (I turned it into a fillable form). This document can be filled out by the student and submitted as an assignment or filled out and attached to a post in a discussion form.

This can be used in a face to face classroom as an Exit Slip to leave class.

Below are some images from the Online class in Moodle I am creating as part of my OLC (Online Teaching Certification).

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