Brain Breaks in the Classroom
By Kathy Mendiola
Brain Breaks are short breaks taken at regular intervals during instruction aimed at either re-energizing or helping students regain focus. Justin Rhodes, associate professor of psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, explains the science behind exercise and improved cognition in an article featured in Scientific American stating “Research shows that when we exercise, blood pressure and blood flow increase everywhere in the body, including the brain. More blood means more energy and oxygen, which makes our brain perform better.”
Whether your students need a pick me up, a way to let the wiggles out or a way to regain their focus, there is an appropriate brain break. Here are a few great resources to help get you started.
Go Noodle offers a variety of videos aimed at PK-Grade 5 students. To sign up for your free account visit www.gonoodle.com.
Minds in Bloom, a resource for teachers offers a great list of 20 Three-Minute Brain Breaks on their website www.minds-in-bloom.com. The direct link to the list of brain break activities can be found at http://minds-in-bloom.com/20-three-minute-brain-breaks/.
Edutopia has a great article about brain breaks and lists multiple activities to try with your students at https://www.edutopia.org/blog/brain-breaks-focused-attention-practices-lori-desautels.
Energizing Brain Breaks is a great blog written by Illinois teacher, Dave Sladkey and can be found by visiting http://brainbreaks.blogspot.com/.
by mary cavazos
- Speak into your device and Google will recognize as much text as possible
- Google will then convert the spoken word to text
- You can then show translation in over 70 languages and hear translation in over 60 languages
- Google translate also supports handwriting and Photo text identification of 30 languages
My Hour of Code at TCEA
By Rene V. Pantoja
Coding is emerging as the leading skill elementary, middle school and high schools should include in their curriculum. Coding is a language with instructions that computers can understand.
The website considered to be the best place to start learning about coding is code.org. This website has an easy to follow menu and is perfect for students of all ages who want to learn how to code.
Code.org is free and has helpful videos for teachers who may need more information on how to offer a coding class.
Computer programming is an empowering skill to learn. Learning to code and its implications on careers of the future is far more reaching than educators are prepared for, so begin with these easy to follow sites.
A great option . . . learn to code and help nonprofits.
Enjoyed the hour of code but want more? Learn basic computer science with a suite of classroom-ready courses for different ages (even kindergarten).
by brandey addison
I'm always looking for ways to pull a "fixer upper" on the professional learning sessions I plan. I try to make them engaging, interactive and relevant.
Maybe you are looking for a few ways to pull a "fixer upper" on your faculty meetings or classroom lessons...
One of my favorite sessions (and there were some really good ones!) at TCEA was "STAFF MEETING FIXER UPPER." Janet Corder and Joan Gore engaged their audience using...
By roxanna Guerrero
What is it?
Kahoot is a Game-like Formative Assessment Tool that brings quiz questions to your students. This game can be played individually or with team members. Teachers can choose from content questions sets already created or they can choose to create their own. Kahoot will give real-time reports on students’ progress. Students enjoy the competition, background music, and colorful visual of the game.
Recently, Kahoot has added an option called Jumble. Students are challenged to rearrange the answer tiles in the correct order instead of only choosing one correct answer. This option calls for ordering items such as smallest to largest numbers, earliest to latest events, chronological order of wars or presidents, planet order, or four part set of steps. Jumble takes the question to a higher level requiring students to have a fuller understanding of their content.
Blogging in the Classroom
By Irma Muñiz
"Blogging in the Classroom" is the title of a session that presented strategies for teaching writing by having students create blogs. Mrs. Buttler, 7th grade English teacher in Austin, Texas, has students use Edublogs to write about a variety of topics and publish them in blogs. As a result, their writing skills improve. Students care more about correct spelling and grammar when they know that their work will be published for the world to see.
One challenge is for students to feel that their writing is worthy of publishing. Buttler constantly provides encouragement, teaching students that a blog is one way of showing who they are. They eventually learn to express themselves, and hope that the public will comment on their posts.
To read education blogs of 7th grade students blogs, go to
Feel free to leave a comment on her students' blogs.
By Melissa L. Gonzalez
Enhance learning with EDpuzzle
What is EDpuzzle?
It is a free, web-based resource, which allows you to transform online videos from passive into interactive events by:
- Adding audio and text comments to a video
- Adding open-ended questions
- Adding multiple-choice questions
- Replace the existing audio track with your own voice to customize the learning experience
It is a great tool for flipping content with videos. Embed quizzes in already existing videos from Youtube, Khan Academy, Crash Course, etc. or upload your own. Enable self-paced learning with interactive lessons, add your voice and questions along the video.
Helps teachers customize video content for their lessons. When students log in and watch the videos on EdPuzzle, you can then see their progress. Did they watch the video? How did they perform with the questions? (Note: You may add feedback to the questions as well.) It’s perfect for flipped and blended learning.