Home Chromebooks Tips, Tricks, and Tech Tidbits: Science, Assessment, Math, and More

Tips, Tricks, and Tech Tidbits: Science, Assessment, Math, and More

by Lori Gracey

I’m back with more interesting tidbits that I’ve picked up around the web and through emails and conversations with dedicated educators. I hope that you find some useful nuggets to use! (By the way, you can find the previous goodies here, here, here, and here.)

Science Journal for Kids and Teens

If you’re looking for non-fiction articles that are scholarly but also appropriate for students, take a look at the free Science Journal for Kids and Teens. The website includes hundreds of articles approved by scientists written for kids. While most of the articles I found were best suited for secondary students, there are a few for elementary. The site also offers a very nice filtering system, allowing you to search by reading level, scientific field, scientific methodology (a world of learning there for high school students), and more. There are even a few articles written in languages other than English.

Seven Little Words Strategy

Educator Erica Ramirez provides a powerful formative or summative assessment of student learning using Google’s Jamboard and the Seven Little Words strategy.

A Simpler Wikipedia

If you or your students are using Wikipedia as a starting point for research on complicated topics, there is a way to get a simpler version of most of their content. This link (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_mechanics) provides their normal article on quantum mechanics, definitely a tough topic to get through. But by just replacing the “en” with the word “simple” in the URL, you get a much easier to read and understand article (https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_mechanics). This works for almost all of their topics and would be a good trick to teach your high school students.

How to Have a Trouble Huddle with Students

It’s easy to get so bogged down in all that we have to accomplish in the classroom each day that we don’t really see the students. One technique that can help with that when problems arise is a trouble huddle, explained very clearly in this blog.

Using Google Slides in Virtual Math Classes

Personally, it would take a lot to make math interesting to me. I just never grasped all of its basic points. But I might have learned more about it if my teachers had access to Google Slides and these ideas for virtual learning. The article offers “five ways to teach mathematics online with Google Slides while promoting student collaboration and maintaining the integrity of effective mathematics instruction.”

An Alternative to the Bitmoji Classroom

High school teacher Emily Huff didn’t want to do the “cutesy” Bitmoji classroom for her older students. So she created a Netflix-like landing page for her Spanish class. She downloaded the original template from this blog and then changed it up to better fit what her students are familiar with.

Zoom Games

If you’re looking for a quick brain break for your students to help combat “Zoom fatigue,” try one of these 20 fun (and fast) games. Ranging from short movement breaks to fun learning activities to silly games versus the teacher, these can be done in any virtual learning platform and are sure to bring a smile.


Wouldn’t it be great for your students to collaborate with students around the world to “Code the World You Wish to See?” You can by joining in this free event that starts October 1, 2020. Students use Scratch as a platform for creative expression, #TeachSDGs for inspiration, and #DigCit to respectfully collaborate. You can register here or learn more about it here.

Online Whiteboards

This article offers three free online whiteboards that you can use with your students or in professional development that is held either face-to-face or virtually. All three offer great collaboration opportunities.

I hope that you find that these tips and tricks can help you in your daily journey to be the best educator you can be. Let me know in the comments below if these are “spot on” or if there are other topics that I need to be researching.

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