National Poetry Month 2015

National Poetry Month 2015


Sunday Sit, Sip, and “Sync” ~ March 29, 2015
Recess Rewind

“Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.”
  ~~Walt Whitman

We first featured National Poetry Month in a March 24, 2013 post titled “April is for Poets”.
We are featuring it again this Sunday with new links updating it to this year’s celebration.
With so many new friends finding their way to our blog, we decided that it was time to occasionally do a “Recess Rewind” with some “classic” TEC tips.


There is still time to plan for April and the National Poetry Month 2015.

National Poetry Month 2015

With the iPad and web tools, technology can take motivation and ideas to a whole new level.
To start, know that you can order a free copy of their annual poster for National Poetry Month 2015 from The Academy of American Poets.

Although posters are not guaranteed to arrive before April, it is a place to begin, and for $5, you can order past posters. The academy also offers a “Dear Poet Project” for upper grades on their website: Included are four activities aligned to the Common Core Standards for grades 7-10.

Scholastic has a website to encourage writing poetry with published authors. Along with activities, students have the opportunity to “publish” their poems online to share with friends and family.

Another resource is from with online interactive poetry writing sites for students grades K-12.

Finally, a British website for “young writers” offers a list of different types of poetry with several examples of each. It is an excellent resource for student poetry anthologies. Students could choose their favorite types of poems to include in their personally created collection, or you could filter their choice depending on your students’ levels and abilities.

We hope this offers both you and your students some fresh ideas to motivate you as we enter the last months of our school year.

Enjoy your weekend! It’s chilly here, but the sun is shining and the crocuses are blooming. We are all looking forward to some April showers and more spring flowers!

[Tweet “Recess TEC offers resources for educators to launch April’s National Poetry Month 2015”]

Google Add-On Lab Scheduler

Google Add-On Lab Scheduler

Google tips

 Sunday Sit, Sip, and “Sync” ~ March 1, 2015

Here is another tip we picked up at METC 2015 in the session, “Become a Google Ninja” presented by Michael McCann and Greg Lawrence. “Lab Scheduler” is a Google add-on that enables school personnel to schedule devices, resource rooms, computer labs, or resource personnel. We see “Lab Scheduler” offering far more uses than just device “sign-outs”. For visiting support personnel, training, special events at school when classrooms need to schedule special visitors, and anything that is tied into blocks of time/periods, this add-on will simplify the set up and keep it current.

Lab Scheduler


Lab Scheduler Overview

The video below from Greg Lawrence’s YouTube Channel explains how best to add and set up the “Lab Scheduler” add-on, and when I previewed the app itself, I was impressed with how slick it worked. This is a great little management tool for anyone trying to manage schedules in middle schools and high schools.

March made its entrance as the proverbial lion, and with nine inches of fresh snow on the ground,
I’m headed out to catch some snow shots this first day of March.
Stay warm and safe!

[Tweet “This tip from an #METC15 session: The Google add-on “Lab Scheduler” will simplify block /period scheduling management.”]

Google Cultural Institute

Google Cultural Institute

Google tips

Sunday Sit, Sip, and “Sync” ~ 11-23-2014

We promised to share from IETC (Illinois Education & Technology Conference), and this is another gem we picked up from one of our attendees. Natalie Young, an instructor from Northern Illinois University, sat with us all day in our “Google for Education” session, and approached us as we were packing up. She had a few questions, but most of all, Ms. Young wanted to ask us if we knew anything about the “Google Cultural Institute”. As she described it, we realized that this was new to us. Once again, it reinforced that we “don’t know what we don’t know.”

I started my teaching career as an art teacher, and Natalie had me with “galleries”. Google Cultural Institute has “partnered with hundreds of museums, cultural institutions, and archives to host the world’s cultural treasures online.” You can learn about this project on the “About Page” for the Google Cultural Institute. And of course, they have a channel on YouTube. We invite you to watch this video to see the powerful potential this project possesses to add dynamic “multimedia” to the lessons you bring to your students.

You can take your students on a virtual tour of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, or The Art Institute of Chicago.

Google Cultural Institute 2

Google Cultural Institute 1

Once you have signed into your Google account, you and your students can personalize your own gallery. Collections of relative resources, including videos, documents, art pieces, and artifacts, can be grouped to use with specific lessons, or your students can collect what they need for research projects.

Google Cultural Institute 3

One you have added “pieces” to your collection, you can add personal notes as captions, or a YouTube video.

Google Cultural Institute 5

So on this rainy day, take some time to visit the Google Cultural Institute and browse through the museums and galleries.

New York Metropolitan Museum of Art

[Tweet “Learn how to build personal collections with hundreds of rich cultural resources using Google Cultural Institute.”]

Another Great Writing Resource…

tips writing

Monday Morning Message ~ 8-22-2011

Last week I shared two websites that are great resources for teachers who teach writing.

Before the school year slips into “high gear”, I want to share one more that was brought to my attention.

 “Writing Fun” by Jenny Eather offers step-by-step guidance for students writing:

1. informational reports

2. procedures

3. recounts

4. explanations

5. persuasions

6. discussions

7. narratives

8. responses

9. descriptions

10. poetry

Each genre includes student examples, step-by-step guidance, and finally a page for students to enter their own work and print it. The Poetry Page includes an explanation and examples for 14 different types of poetic writing.

There is also a “subsection” on “everyday texts” giving attention to emails, news articles, letters, and invitations. One hint that might be helpful is that with all of the information that is loaded on each page and link, the easiest way to navigate through this site is by using the “Menu” tab located on the right side of each page that will take you back to the “Home Page”.

Please take a moment to visit this site and test it out. I think you will find it an excellent alternative writing resource.

Next week I’ll share a few more “keystroke” shortcuts that will help save precious time.

Enjoy what, for many of you, will be your first full week back to school.

Make every minute count, and make every student feel as though they matter.