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Lori Harting

STEM Support

Posted by Lori Harting Apr 20, 2019

@I love teaching with using an integrated curriculum approach utilizing STEM.  Please join me is discussing different ways you integrate curriculum to keep students engaged in what would otherwise seem like a boring topic.  


Canvas Calendar

Posted by JUNAN YU Mar 31, 2019

If I click on the button to calendar, the app will be crashed on the phone and exits automatically. How to solve this problem? I have tried to uninstall it and install it for many times. But it stills does not work. 

What are the best ways to implement the mobile app in rural school areas, where the poverty level is high?

Closing out this month's National Poetry Month theme, we thought we'd conclude by highlighting vocabulary quizzes. What budding poet wouldn't want to take the time to learn more words, right?! Check out these shared K12 resources below.


More Than Words


Search the term 'vocabulary' and you'll discover many publicly-shared resources in Commons - from quizzes that increase topical understanding (i.e., Genetics quiz) to general language-building (i.e., English, Spanish quizzes). For K12 students, new words is just part of their on-going language development during these critical learning years.


We found suffix and prefix quizzes ("Vocab List #3 Suffixes" shared by Alexandra Kent, Penn Harris Madison Schools; "Prefix 'Bi' Vocabulary Quiz" shared by Kristina Swift, Lexington City Schools). Among some of the harder vocabulary quizzes was Hohl Aaron's "Vocab Quiz #14" which included words like 'opprobrium' (stumping even us)! And of course, the must-haves in poetic writing, the synonyms and antonyms quizzes (i.e., "Antonyms and Synonyms" shared by Lisa Rice, Jenks Public Schools).


Best part about importing these quizzes is the mixing-and-matching of a variety of questions!


Question Type Preferences


What's your preferred question type for vocabulary quizzes? Matching? Multiple-choice? Fill-in-the-blank? And why? Most of the quizzes we discovered were primary designed using multiple choice questions (although Amanda Shirk, Lexington City Schools, had a great matching example in her shared resource "Vocab Quiz 11"). Sure, a blend of different question types is ideal, but what tips can you provide in the design of vocabulary quizzes?


Post your thoughts in the comments below!


Want to import or download these resources from Commons?

Do a keyword search in Commons public: vocabulary, vocab, or any of the author names mentioned in this blog.

Let's take a bit of a departure from our monthly theme of 'poetry' and focus on Earth Day (which is April 22, 2016). If you're looking for ways to leverage Earth Day activities in your courses or just want to get inspired by photos of our beautiful, green earth, then this post is for you!


Pollution Awareness

If you're looking for an activity on the effects of pollution, look no further. Tyson McClain from State of Mississippi RCU created a quiz (26 questions) called "The Ecosystem/Pollution" emphasizing nature's harmful surroundings. Designed for 6th graders, but can easily be modified for younger and older grades, as well.



Solar Energy

Want an entire course that examines the basic principles that are employed when designing a building to make maximum use of solar energy for heating and cooling without adding any mechanical, ducting or other energy demanding features to the building? We thought you might Robert Caldwell from NC School of Science and Math shared his course "Passive Solar Design".


Earth and its Beauty

Our very own Scott Dennis, Director of Community at Instructure, uploaded amazing stock photos of the beautiful scenery in Utah. If you're ever looking to add flavor to your 'green' assignments, you may want to leverage one of his photos!


Want to import or download these resources from Commons?

Do a keyword search in Commons public: earth, environment, or any of the author names mentioned in this blog.

In continuing the spirit of National Poetry Month, we wanted to dedicate this week's blog post to love. Many times, poetry is written as a means to demonstrate and describe feelings of love. Well, there's certainly no shortage of love in Commons public.


Classic Love Sonnets

A sonnet is a poem made up of 14 lines of iambic pentameter. And who's better at iambic pentameter than William Shakespeare, right? In searching our resources for the famous love story of Romeo and Juliet, we found many assignments, quizzes and modules worth importing (Thanks to: Jennifer Murray, Joseph Wolf, Dawn Nummer, and Corie McAbee). We found Lori Campbell's (from Kern High School District) module "Romeo and Juliet" to be quite comprehensive. While there are a few parts in the module that require permission to access a Google Doc, the rest of the module is chalk-full of great ideas worth importing and remixing to meet your classroom's needs. We thought the study guide files (which can easily be translated to Canvas page) for each act were great in helping students break things down into 4 awareness areas.



Analyzing Love Poems

Bethany Weinzetl from District School Board of Pasco County shared a high school assignment called "Love Poem Analysis" where students are asked to analyze a love poem using the SOAPS-tone method, then submit the analysis through Canvas. This is a great example of an assignment that can easily be adapted to any literary analysis.


Say Hi to Haikus

Haikus may not always be about love, but they are certainly lovely, don't you think?! Donna L Rushing shares the same resource on haikus twice, first as a Canvas page and also as Word doc file. Import into your course or download to your computer and leverage some of these resources for courses!



Do you have any poetry resources you've shared to Commons? Tell us about it!


Want to import or download these resources from Commons?

Do a keyword search in Commons public: poems, love, romeo and juliet, Shakespeare

Poetic Commons

Posted by Apr 7, 2016

April is National Poetry Month, so we thought it would be 'poetic' to feature Commons resources that align with this theme. From rhyme to rhythm, here were the resources that stood out.

Poetry Literary Devices

If you're looking for a simple pop quiz to post in your high-school writing class this month, look to Rosa Gaskins. She has created the perfect resource for you. Check out her quiz "Poetry Literary Devices" and import this short 10-question quiz into your course today. (We must admit, we took the quiz and it was painfully easy - how's that for an oxymoron! Ha!)


I've Got Rhythm...

For a more comprehensive resource, check out the module entitled "Reading Review with Rhyme and Rhythm" by Mary Weir, from Charlottesville City Schools. This lesson breaks down poetry elements into different 'activity stations' (aka pages), which could be great for 7, 8 graders. Students watch videos at each station to learn about tone, mood, figurative language, inferences, and more! Each station are links to Youtube videos and discussion prompts. There are some stand-alone aspects of this module that one could import and re-mix (or fold) into a greater lesson. Or, keep the module as a whole. Overall, great way to deliver this topic.

Not Poetry, but a Classic

So, in our search for poetic resources, we found this gem: "The Three Little Pigs and Point of View" document shared by Mary Gensel from Elkhart Community Schools. This activity is designed so "students are able to analyze how the choice of language and evidence help the writer express their point of view." With 9 outcomes associated with this resource, a K-12 teacher could leverage this assignment in their classrooms and modify it as they see fit.


Do you have a resource you want to share? Or, did you discover something in Commons unique to this month's poetry theme? We'd love to hear about it!



Want to import or download these resources from Commons?

Do a keyword search in Commons public: poems, poetry, rhythm, rhyme

If you search Commons (public) for Canvas training materials, you'll get a solid array of resources! Whether it's Mark James's "Professor-TA Training Course" or Kelley L. Meeusen's "Advanced Canvas Training Course" or Stefanie Sanders' "Canvas' Best-Kept Secrets" (inspired by Re: Your ideas of Canvas' best kept secrets), most of these resources are chalk-full of tips to help acclimate faculty to Canvas and enhance the training experience.


But then we find a gem that makes us smile, knowing there are so many teachers out there being creative with their trainings. This month, we discovered Erin L. Baker's interactive course "Gamified, Self-paced, Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Training for Faculty". We couldn't help but import the course and check out the adventure for ourselves!


Gamification of Canvas courses comes in many forms, of course (if you haven't imported Jared Ward's "Badges for Learning" course, you should). But Baker does a great job by creating a sequence of activities with a classic form of in-page navigation. Nice!!


Do you have a fun way of designing courses? Share it to Commons!

Have you discovered something in Commons that people should know about? Oooh, tell us?


Want to import these resources?

Do a keyword search in Commons public: badges, gamify, gamification, canvas training, or any of the author names mentioned in the post.

Snow Day Fun!

Posted by Mar 21, 2016

When winter storms start rolling in, we all know that could lead to SNOW DAY!! Missing school due to weather can put a halt to learning or even slow down the momentum of a lesson or unit. While it may be snowing outside, it's not snowing in Canvas. So, it might be worth checking out a few wonderful resources that have been publicly shared in Commons just in case you're snowed in.


Amanda Whigham, from Hall County Schools, shared the assignment Snow Day Assignment #1 which finds environmental science in the movies. Complete with thorough prompts and rubric, this could be a great assignment to import and modify (as needed) into any 9th grade (or any high school-level) science class.


If your snow days are dragging on, Sarah Hamby might have the perfect assignment to keep your spirits up. She shared Snow Day 3: SNOWFLAKE FUN in which students can complete an easy snow day math activity by taking a picture in the snow where arms display any type of angle (right angle, acute angle, obtuse angle). How fun is that?! Perfect for elementary school students!


Want a lesson on Arctic Habitats? Beth Ann Sleeth created a page called "Snow Day Science Lesson" with instructions on how to access BrainPop (3rd party app) for brrr-science fun, complete with link to a video and quiz to share with your homeroom teacher!


Whether you're creating your own snow day activity or leveraging one from Commons, you best check out Jake McBee's photo Snowy Day and Dog. It's a great visual addition to any assignment, quiz or lesson for your snowy-day activities.


Have a snow day activity? Share it in Commons public!


Want to import these resources?

Do a keyword search in Commons Public: snow, snow day, snowflake, snowy, winter, arctic, cold

February is dedicated to a month-long learning about the African American icons, leaders, activists, and inventors who have made significant impacts on American history. And what better way to integrate these topics into Canvas courses than importing just-in-time resources from Commons public.


For starters, a handful of resources exist about Martin Luther King Jr. Import a content page with an activity and his speech (by Sarah Larrison), start a discussion about the impact of “I have a Dream” (by Sara Atkins), or download a complete module that includes a look at Aristotle's Appeals, The Emancipation Proclamation, and other Civil Rights Issues (by Sarah McCain). From discussions about slavery and John Henry (thanks to Michelle Adgate) to Black History Month Essay Contest (by Rachel Clark McCabe), there is something for all grade levels. Oh, and don’t forget about the amazing influences on jazz music by checking out “New Orleans: Where it all began” (by Mrs. Jehl).


If you have a timely resource to share, tag it with “Black History Month”!


Want to import these resources?

Do a keyword search in Commons Public: martin luther king, black history, jazz, slavery

Ever thought of making your Canvas courses more festive for the holidays? Sarah Pratt, a Customer Success Manager for Instructure and former K-12 teacher of 8+ years, shares several holiday modules which include ‘Holiday Food Trivia’ quiz and the ‘The Night Before Christmas’ sign-language activity.


Lauren Boucher shares her holiday module entitled “Hunting for the Holidays”, a scavenger hunt to learn about winter holidays around the world.


These resources are available in Commons. These are great reminders that anyone can leverage Commons to find just-in-time resources that make any Canvas course festive for the holidays!


Want to import these resources?

Do a keyword search in Commons Public: holiday, sarat pratt, lauren boucher, scavenger hunt

If you’ve taken a course on the Canvas Network, then you know about their stellar catalog of innovative topics. And now some of these amazing resources are being shared into Commons public!


“The Canvas Network team wants to do everything we can to promote openness in education,” says Katie Bradford, Sr. Manager, Partners and Programs. “We are thrilled that so many of our partners are willing to share the quality content they have produced.” From entire courses, such as, Parenting in the Digital Age and Teaching Flipped, to individual modules related to ‘personalized learning’ and ‘information ethics’, teachers and course designers can now leverage premium resources from Canvas Network via Commons. “We hope to educate as many people as possible,” says Bradford, “and now we can reach even more students by sharing content through Commons.”



Want to import these resources?

Do a keyword search in Commons Public: canvas network

The beginning of the school year marks many students’ first time using Canvas. Sometimes including a Canvas F.A.Q. page or Canvas orientation module in your courses can prove helpful to on-boarding students (and teachers) at the start of a semester. Fortunately, there are handful of 'orientation' courses and modules that have been shared to Commons Public by fellow course designers and teachers from a wide range of schools and institutions. Definitely worth checking them out!


Want to import these resources?

Do a keyword search in Commons Public: canvas, orientation

Are you stuck trying to come up with new and creative ice breaker ideas to help students get to know each other in an online course? You can check out Re: Icebreaker sessions for students or Re: Does anyone have any experience/suggestions for interactive icebreakers in Canvas for an online course? for some insights. But you can also check out those resources in Commons that have actually been created and deployed in other Canvas online courses!


There are some great discussion prompts from Robert Caldwell and Susan Nugent to help jump-start your semester. Sometimes you just need something new and different to keep your intros fresh.


Want to import these resources?

Do a keyword search in Commons Public: introductions, ice breakers, introductory assignment, getting-to-know-you, first day of school