Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Tech Tuesday: How to Add Music to Your Google Slides

Last week I showed you how to add extra time to your Google Slides animations.  This week I'll show you a simple trick for adding background music.

Google currently doesn't have an "Add  Audio" feature for Google Slides.  What it does have, though, is an "Add Video" feature.  So I pull up a song I want for background music off of YouTube. You probably are aware already, but if not, you can find all sorts of background music to match whatever mood you wish to establish.

OK, so when I made a Slides presentation on Norse Ragnarok for my mythology class, I wanted to tell the story of Odin's fight with Fenrir.  So I found a great image to post on the screen and I wanted some cool music in the background while I'm in story-telling mode.  After a search on YouTube (and getting way too sidetracked on listening to several different awesome background songs), I found one and copied the URL.  Then I hit the INSERT option at the top of my Google Slides and chose VIDEO.  You can search YouTube right there on Google Slides, but I prefer to find it on YouTube, catch the URL and then stick that into the URL search.


However, when I place it in the slide, it is way too big.  That's OK.  We will take care of it in a minute.

Now, we want the music to start automatically, so we need to click on the video, select FORMAT, and then FORMAT OPTIONS.  

Under the FORMAT OPTIONS tab, click VIDEO PLAYBACK.  Notice that here you can choose a time in the video for your song to start or you can just start it from the beginning.


Now you need to click the AUTOPLAY WHEN PRESENTING box and it will start immediately.

Extreme Pro Tip - It is a good idea to select the AUTOPLAY option when presenting and slide that has a video.  It makes for a smoother presentation.

Now we need to get the video out of sight.  So we will now shrink the box down and move it to a corner.


It will not be completely out of sight, but when the slide presents, it will be virtually unnoticeable and, at the very least, unobtrusive to those that do notice it.

This is what your audience sees.


Now all that is left is for you to drop a link for the music in the notes section of your slides right under your image attribution.

Extreme Pro Tip - Each semester, before presenting the slide, do a quick run through to make sure your songs are still active on YouTube.  Sometimes people's accounts go down or they didn't have permission to host that song and the link is now dead.  Of course, it is a good idea to do this anytime you have a video, for viewing or for listening, in your presentation.


Have a cool tip?  Share it!  Have a different way of putting music on the slides?  Share it!  Found it useful?  Let me know!




Monday, April 27, 2020

The Empty Throne


Here is a quick lesson for you to use.  It is a reading excerpt from Bernard Cornwell's book, The Empty Throne.  Cornwell is known for his historical fiction and this book is from the series dealing with Uthred, made famous in the Netflix series.



This particular excerpt has him talking about Beowulf from a contemporary perspective.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1VcWNWW_vGvA8kzuUTaNQzPfAmQJLCIzIMZbuBjUqE3w/edit


Use this for test prep or if you just need some more at home work during this shut down. 

If you are into all that Anglo-Saxon jazz, I highly recommend this series.  Pick up the first book, The Last Kingodm, and read it here: https://www.amazon.com/Last-Kingdom-Saxon-Chronicles/dp/0060887184

Or watch The Last Kingdom series on Netflix.  It is not a completely spot on retelling, but it is still a good one. 

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Shakespeare at Home - A free lesson to use during shut down

So frequent readers know that I am teaching seniors and my school system has already passed them, but we are still required to give them work.  That is a hard sell for my non-honors group.  I am sure many of you are in similar situations.

I am lucky if I can get them to read emails right now, much less do an actual lesson.  One lesson that I felt went very well was an email protocol lesson that will go up on the Extreme English Teacher Store next week, but today's lesson was a quick and dirty take on Shakespeare.

I am going to provide the link for you to use.  Just make a copy of it and change up what you want of it.

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/11JmlH00QkqY5yRJg9UF_zZif9P4UQyCuiK7PTkZnq2Q/edit#slide=id.g35f391192_00



Students will need to put this in present mode.

There are three parts to it.  We were just about to start on Othello in class before the shut down came along and ruined that, so I thought I would start with a summary form.  I was daring (well, we can't call ourselves extreme if we play it too safe) and went with Thug Notes for my summary.


I love Thug Notes, but the language and drug/alcohol references usually make me a bit wary about including them in the regular classroom setting.  I watched several other video summaries and they all put me to sleep.  

The note at the bottom of this slide is an inside joke for my students. We read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time recently and they loved reading Mrs. Shears lines aloud.

The next section was to give them a glimpse of how complex and awesome Shakespeare's writing is.  I chose to do Macbeth for this.  All they will get from Macbeth are two lines, but I chose it for the witches' famous line "Double, double, toil and trouble / Fire burn and cauldron bubble."  Students will read these lines aloud with a parent or sibling.  Then the focus on how they read it in a sing/songy fashion due to Shakespeare's control of language.  It is just a sliver of what I would do in class, but hopefully this imparts a little of his wonder to them.


I am particularly proud of the countdown I finagled with the Google Slides animations.

After that, I follow it up with a short video that shows the first scene in three different settings.  This is a hit in the classroom; I hope it translates well at home.



The third and final part is the traditional Shakespearean insults page.  I bet you have one in your classroom file cabinet (those of your old enough to have a hard copy filing cabinet).  


This idea is certainly not mine, but there are so many versions out there, I gave up trying to give proper credit for it.  I know Scholastic has a version of it, but that was different from this one.

The reason I put this here was because I wrap it up with a chance for them to earn pyramid points (part of a class game) by sending me an insult.  This way I know if they looked at the presentation or not.

So I provide this to you, fellow extreme teacher, to modify to fit your needs or to use as is.  Let me know if you found it useful!







Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Tech Tuesday: How to Add a Pause to Your Google Slides Animation

Adding animation to presentations can be a fun way to keep your lessons dynamic.  Having to click the screen or mouse every time you want the next animation to begin is annoying, though, and makes you look less than extreme when standing in front of the class waiting for the animation to begin (especially after you just clicked to change to a new slide).

Google Slides does have the ability to make your animations start by click, with the previous animation (or slide change), or after the previous animation.


My problem came in that I wanted, for this particular presentation, a cloud with words or an image to float by, pause for the student to read it, then automatically move on off the screen without anyone having to click anything.

I could easily make it move in with an animation and then I could easily make it move out with an animation set to AFTER PREVIOUS.  The problem was I could not make it pause long enough for the students to read it. 

My solution was to add a transparent  image and give it animation.  I set my transparent image to move as slow as I thought I needed. Here is the set up:

Cloud Image - Flies in from left (after  previous)
Transparent Image - Flies in from left (after previous)
Cloud Image - Flies out to right (after previous)

I set the transparent image animation to slow (5 seconds).  For text that I thought students needed more time to read, I just added a second transparent image animation for another up to 5 seconds.

This way, several bits of information and images flow across the screen and move on in the time span I want without having to constantly click the screen. 

This is useful for students doing work at their own pace or at home.  It is also useful for having images come up when you want them to while giving a lecture.  You just have to time your lecture right.

Or sometimes it is just more aesthetically pleasing to have a little bit more time between movements on screen.

You can use my transparent image.  It is centered below.  Just hover over it, right click it and save.



Next week's tip - adding music to your Google Slides.

So, what tips or tricks have you used to make your Slides better?

Monday, April 20, 2020

Memes for Monday

So this year I teach seniors.  Our state has decided that seniors have passed the course if their grade is 60 or above as of March 13th.  The only grades we could give were makeup assignments given prior to March 13th.

Now as we move forward, we are expected to give seniors more assignments.  However, these assignments will not be graded.  We will give feedback, but they can in no way help a senior improve their GPA (passing is passing whether the student had a 65 or 95) or cause them to lose their passing status.

The people way above teachers in the education hierarchy said that students will want to continue their education for learning sake. 

Of course, we are teachers!  We will deal with this extra obstacle and move forward.  LIKE WE ALWAYS DO.  We teach students despite the good intentions of politicians.  However, this new - give-them-them-work-but-do-not-grade-it has inspired me to make a meme or two (or several) to encapsulate it.





















All in jest, of course.  

All memes made with: https://imgflip.com/memegenerator

Friday, April 17, 2020

Break Out Your Classroom (or home office...)

I got this from my librarian today and thought I would check it out:



breakoutedu.com/live

So I tried it - and it  was fun!  The way this works is you are given a random puzzle in four parts.  You have a very limited time to answer it.  The puzzle I tried was on authors (lucky break!) and it would give all sorts of images and I had to put in the name of the author of the book that these images represented.  One person who gets all four puzzles finished gets a prize.  The whole thing took less than ten minutes.

The prize the person gets is a home breakout puzzle that you can do with your family and a breakout kit you can add to your collection or your library's collection.  We have some in our library, but they are worn out, so I am going to try and win one to replace some of the broken ones.

Will I use this in my class?  I think I will, especially in this time of online learning.  I can pick a day and say whoever can send me the answers to the four questions will get some sort of prize or recognition as smartest student or something. 

When students win, they get the home kits for themselves and the teacher gets the school kit.




They also have many breakout puzzles to pick from on their website.  Some are locked (I assume because I do not have a paid account, but I should check to see if my library does) and some need a kit, but there are a few that are digital only.  I started on this one about King Lear:


If I found one on a book or concept we were studying in class, I would use this as some sort of competition assignment.  I am hoping I'll find some mythology related ones to use in my class.

I'm curious to hear if any of you are using this or plan to try the daily puzzle.









Tuesday, April 14, 2020

The Movie Report



In an effort to come up with assignments that can be done at home, I created a movie report.  Now, there's nothing unique about creating a book report for other media, but I just wanted one that suited my needs.

One thing almost all students have access to is TV and streaming media.  For my assignment, I allowed students to choose the movie, as long as parents approved.  Some students picked high brow movies, some pop culture, and a few picked Disney cartoons.  To me, the level of the movie did not matter as much as the student's response to it.

In my version, I had students tell the plot summary, identify the protagonists and antagonists, and find two different literary terms used in the movie.  That's pretty standard stuff.  I also had them tell me if it would be a good movie for me.  This allows them to practice audience awareness.  I also had them analyze the movie poster for a little author's purpose.  I followed it up with a walk-through on how to write an MLA citation in a step-by-step guide.

It's an easy assignment to grade and not too taxing on the student while still giving them something of value. Plus, for a student who is not motivated to read on their own, this assignment is great for getting them to think out literary concepts. 



On my TPT store, I put up a copy of this.  With it, I put a variation of it that pairs the movie to the book it is depicting.  The concept is similar and has the MLA ending, but a few of the  questions are changed to get the  student thinking about what was different and more importantly, why did the director make the change.  This gets them thinking about author's purpose.  Also, by giving a student who struggles at reading a chance to watch the movie version, you give that student not a shortcut int he reading process, but rather a visual that they can build off of.  I have found that many of my students who watch the movie version of a book we are reading in class will come up to me before or after class to discuss what was different.  These kids are more active in the reading.

If you want the pre-made copies (they are Google Docs so that you can easily edit them for your needs), you can find them on my store page at: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/EET-The-Movie-Report-5452641.  I found it useful for an activity to give while my students are stuck at home and will likely continue to use it for supplemental assignments for struggling readers in future years.

If you have similar type assignments in your class, share the types of questions you like to put in to get kids thinking about literature.


Monday, April 6, 2020

There Art Thou Happy

One of my least favorite Shakespeare plays is Romeo and Juliet.  The last year that I taught the play I swore that the next time I did, I was going to start in Act V with Romeo stepping over Paris's body and reaching for the poison.

However, a former colleague of mine had a killer lesson idea for Act III scene iii.  Romeo is whining about how awful his life is and the Friar, speaking for us, I guess, has had enough of it.  He lists off a few things that Romeo should be grateful for and ends with this line:

A pack of blessings lights upon thy back: Happiness courts thee in her best array; but, like a misbehav'd and sullen wench, thou pout'st upon they fortune and thy love.  Take heed, for such die miserable.
 Not wanting her students to "die miserable", she has them as a homework assignment, list out their "pack of blessings".  Puts a bit of a positive spin to her class.



This is also a an easy lesson to adapt in these times of Stay at Home orders.  In fact, I think this lesson is more needed than ever.  If you use this lesson, either through remote learning or not, let me know how it worked for you!

For that matter, this doesn't have to be a Romeo and Juliet exclusive idea.  If you have other texts that this would work with, let us know that too!