Mr. Zirkle

Free Stock Photos

I remember a time when free stock images were hard to find. The ones I did find did not always have the best quality and were difficult to give attribution to. Now there are websites that provide users with free high-quality stock photos that do not require attribution. If you decide to give attribution, they have provided a very easy way to accomplish that.

There are two that I use at the moment. I am looking for more sites. If you know of any, please let me know. I use Unsplash and Pexels. These two sites have provided me with all of the images I have been using to create curriculum based Google sites. There is another feature that I love about these sites. You can become a contributor. I have contributed to Unspalsh. I plan on adding more to Unsplash and some to Pexels. It’s a great way to give back to such a valuable resource. I have several photos in mind that I would like to share. Pexels also has free stock videos. I do not use stock videos but have entertained the thought of contributing some. I think Pexels may be a great resource for a student wanting to learn how to edit. They could get footage from Pexels to use as practice material.

My last thought would be to have a contest that requires users to make a 1-minute video using stock video from Pexels. The challenge is that the video must tell a story. Does anyone want to play?

List of sites that offer free stock images and/or video.






Digital Portfolios

Link to Slide Show
A portfolio is a showcase of work samples and artifacts. You would use a portfolio to help you get a job, get into college, or get an internship. A portfolio would contain a wide variety of artifacts that demonstrate your skills and abilities. A digital portfolio is in a digital format and includes reflections about your artifacts. Here is an excellent example of a college student’s portfolio.

All student Portfolios will require the following components:

You will create a page for each class – English, Math, Health/PE, Arts, Extra Curricular, etc
Types of Learning (Artifacts)
Variety of photos of work, audio clips, videos, embedded documents (essays, presentations)
Describing your artifacts, discussing your accomplishments, your challenges, your learning
Formal Document ( High School)
A cover letter and resume

Sample Digital Portfolios and Evaluation Activity
Here are several digital portfolios. Take a look at some of these samples and evaluate them using the provided rubric.

Start Your Digital Portfolio
1. Write your Bio
2. Create a Weebly or Google Site.Sign in with your student log in.
4. Add your bio to your home page
5. Begin adding artifacts and reflections
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Exploring How Matter Changes

There are several ways to incorporate pre-recorded lessons. The blended learning model is my favorite. The students consume the instruction on their own personal device, at their own pace. The teacher is free to work with students individually or in small groups. The following video is a perfect example of how an instructional video can be used for blended learning. For example, all of the students could watch and listen to this video on their own personal devices. The video prompts the students to pause the video, in between each station. During this time, student complete activities and resume the video when they are ready for the next video segment. This allows students to work at their own pace and the instruction is free to assist students instead of presenting the lesson to the entire class. Pre-recorded lessons also benefit students that were absent.

At Your Fingertips

Here are a couple of samples of “At Your Fingertips” resources. These resources can serve a wide variety of functions, contain an array of content, and be housed in many different formats. The purpose of an “At Your Fingertips” resources is to provide staff members with everything they will need for a particular unit of study, lesson, or job function.

1. Math 7 & 7 Plus Course Content

2. Unit Content for 6th Grade EL

3. University of South Florida Technology Integration Matrix

4. Google File Job Aid


Science Myth Podcasts

Ms. Connor’s science class has been working on creating podcasts about Greek myths that explain the weather. They are currently studying weather and are discussing how the weather was originally explained through myths. They looking at the scientific explanations of weather but having fun with producing podcasts about mythologies explanations about the weather.
Group 1: Faith, Dabney, Dulaney, Aya, & Zoe

Group 2: Tamara & Aron

Group 3: Cooper & Justin

Group 4: Sean & Ananiah

The Hour of Code

We are participating in the Hour of Code on December 5th. We will mostly all be participating in the “Hour of Code” website activities, but there are many other coding activities students can participate in. Here are several they can choose from. Open this post to read more.

Hour of Code Activities–These activities will help introduce you to coding and computer science.  Play around with them until you find something that interests you! Happy Coding. (a lot of great coding activities for students to choose from independently)  (in depth coding lessons with detailed activities–teacher directed)  (athletics based coding activities)  (resources about coding, videos, posters, etc…)  (easy coding activity, no sign in required)  (computer science fundamentals for all ages, not login required)  (simple computer activities for younger students, additional coding activities available that require free trial) (basic, step by step coding activity, no sign-up required)  (popular coding program, no sign-up required) (students use scratch to create a musical card) (for you math folks out there…coding activities that deal with algebra)  (coding activities that do not require devices)  (requires free trial sign up) (Khan Academy resources on the Hour of Code)

Persephone & Demeter

I enjoy working with students that want to go above and beyond what is required of them. These students were originally assigned to record a podcast episode. They wrote their own script and recorded their podcast, but they wanted to take it a step further. These students wanted to perform their script and have it recorded. They created their own props and prepared for their performance. Here is their video.

Cross Platform Matrix

Welcome to Convergence. Today we will work together to collaboratively create a matrix that will help teachers know the various platforms that digital tools are compatible with. For example, digital tools that use flash will not work on certain platforms. I have create the matrix and entered in several digital tools and the platforms they are compatible with. The majority of today’s session will be spent on us working collaboratively to add more digital tools to the matrix.

Here is the link to the cross platform matrix.