Shanna Martin 0:20
Thanks for listening to the Tech Tools for Teachers Podcast where each week we talk about a free piece of technology that you can use in your classroom. I’m your host, Shanna Martin. I’m a middle school teacher, technology coach and personalized learning coordinator for my district.
Fuzz Martin 0:34
And I’m her husband, Fuzz.
Shanna Martin 0:38
Fuzz Martin 0:40
Hello. How are you? I’m well how are you doing?
Shanna Martin 0:43
It’s very January ish.
Fuzz Martin 0:45
It is. Here we have snow on the ground.
Shanna Martin 0:48
It snowed yesterday. It did but it look it’s warm ish. So you can plow in the roads are clear.
Fuzz Martin 0:54
It’s 35 degrees warmish? Yeah.
Shanna Martin 0:57
So depending on where you’re listening for some of you that’s cold. And for some of you
Fuzz Martin 1:02
60 is cold. 35 here is like five degrees away from shorts, weather for me.
Shanna Martin 1:10
shorts and a hoodie. And it’s pleasant still to walk out. sighs Do you like the pretty snow to look at but like the sidewalks are clear by the end of the day. Yeah. So
Fuzz Martin 1:22
like I took the pup for a mile long walk this
Shanna Martin 1:25
morning this morning. So I took her for an evening watching her her paws were
Fuzz Martin 1:29
caked with snow when I got back. But now, our sidewalk is like bone dry. So yeah,
Shanna Martin 1:37
there you go. So when I take it for a walk tomorrow morning, hopefully will be.
Fuzz Martin 1:41
Oh, yes, that’s right. Tomorrow’s my or this this evening is my sleeping time. Once a week, I get a day to sleep. I appreciate it greatly.
Shanna Martin 1:51
So our new pump also snore like the old pump doesn’t know the old pump does or
Fuzz Martin 1:59
doesn’t sleep at all.
Shanna Martin 2:03
Like Snoring Dog Media
Fuzz Martin 2:05
doesn’t leave their eyes open. stereos not barking constantly.
Shanna Martin 2:09
Yeah, we’d love to get a recording on the podcast at some point.
Fuzz Martin 2:13
I’d love to get the part where because her name is ru and when you when she first wakes up? She does. I’m not gonna jinx it. But when you wake up in the morning, and grab her out of her crate. She went she on she goes rue. And it’s the cutest thing ever. Because it sounds like she’s saying her name.
Shanna Martin 2:32
We’re so focused on schoolwork this week. All right,
Fuzz Martin 2:37
I’ll write a story about her. You could do a creative writing project.
Shanna Martin 2:42
I bet we have a tech tool for that. You don’t say Creative Writing tech tools?
Fuzz Martin 2:50
Who wouldn’t? Who would have thought?
Shanna Martin 2:53
So Episode 78! With all our prep here is all about Creative Writing Tools.
Fuzz Martin 3:02
78’s a good number.
Shanna Martin 3:02
Is that a football number from high school?
Fuzz Martin 3:04
That’s the year I was born.
Shanna Martin 3:08
So we are talking about Creative Writing Tools this week. And I have two of them. I actually stuck to the description that I talked about at the beginning of every podcast where it’s a piece of tech tool or two. Yeah, we’re doing two instead of seven, wow, or five or
Fuzz Martin 3:25
that makes my makes my Sunday night easier. Because that means I don’t have to do as much.
Shanna Martin 3:33
So the tech tools actually the reason why I’m only talking about two edtech tools is because the one tool has so many tools in it that I
Fuzz Martin 3:43
One tool that’s 40 minutes worth of content.
Shanna Martin 3:47
So Creative Writing Tools. With all of us doing what we do and teaching being kind of wonky for everybody this year. I know some schools are starting to go back face to face I’ve been face to face the whole time. We’re always looking for like new and, and fun ways to keep our students engaged. And there’s some creative writing units that are coming up with the language arts teachers at my school. Yep. And so I’ve been kind of digging around and finding some resources for them. And there’s some cool things I started playing around with. So I figured I should share this with everybody. So our first tool, it’s called, it’s like a collection of tools. So this is like, Hey, I’m gonna teach a creative writing unit. You go this website and then hey, there’s like everything you do. Every day, there’s a new thing to do. So it’s called languageisavirus.com which may not be the maybe
Fuzz Martin 4:42
perhaps when they named this, that was fun. And then a pandemic hit. And maybe not anymore.
Shanna Martin 4:51
So but it’s catchy and you’ll remember it. So languages have virus.com is the website. And it’s kind of cool because it starts with it like every day it on the page, the web page is a writing prompts like a writing prompt for January 17 2021. So like they have a writing prompt that comes every like every day, there’s a new one. And if you don’t like that one, you click a little red button and says generate new prompt and it gives you another one describe an event that made you very happy. So it’s cool. There’s a daily writing prompts on there every single day. And then if you scroll down, like they have all kinds of cool pieces of work from classic writers. They also have new stuff they have, I’ll go through some of the tools, but I want to read the description on the bottom of the very bottom of their homepage. It says like languageisavirus.com exists to cure writer’s block and inspire creativity. You can choose from a multitude of writing games, gizmos, generators, writing prompts and exercises, tips, experiments and manifestos from infamous avant garde writers and how to articles on fiction writing and poetry like it has everything you possibly could need. Yeah. Which is fantastic. So across the top of the website, in like, towards the right hand side, there’s games, exercises, techniques, and then poetry. So if you just click on the games, it’s not going to be your usual. Like, here’s floating around, it’s not actually like playing games, it’s manipulating text in various different formats. So they have like word medley. And then they give you the directions like how’s it work, you enter your text, you enter the words you enter, like, text to and then text three, and then you click Generate, and that comes up with like, different variations of your writing. And it places things in different like it mixes up the words that you’ve already written. They have visual poetry, and they guide you through that. They have like a text mixer, where you can put in your text and then jumbles up your things like swap up your poem. It has like a text Weaver. It has interactive text, a square poem machine. So all of these things, they they just take text you’ve written, or you can find text that you’ve read, possibly, and then it will manipulate it in a variety of different ways. So there’s different types of writing games that way. And then they have a bunch of different haiku generators as well. So the Haiku generators they have like Haiku, Mad Libs, and they have haiku-a-tron and then haiku turbo generator. So there’s different ways to like manipulate haiku poetry, which is kind of cool. The Mad Libs one takes your you add like Haiku of your own or your own words. And then they plug it into a, like a very classic haiku poem. Kind of matchers with a classic one. There’s just for me, it’s a great way to get kind of older kids doing vocabulary vocab and doing well, yeah, some vocabulary work, but creative writing, and it doesn’t feel
Fuzz Martin 8:03
Yeah, like help loosen them up a bit.
Shanna Martin 8:07
Yeah, like making it interactive and kind of fun without saying like, Oh, everybody take out, you know, your markers. And let’s write a poem. It just, I don’t know, I liked that. It’s not super showy. It’s not all kinds of stuff. Like there’s just gonna be a couple ads here and there on the sides. And then they have like a poem engine, and they have like Jabberwocky gibberish generator. And that’s like, so they have writing games and haiku generators and text me a little bit manipulation on the left hand side. And then text generators with like wordplay, and dictionary cut up. And then interactive poetry generator. These are on the right hand side and the name generators, like Creative Writing Tools. That’s just all in the games page. Like there’s so many things that you can pick and choose from Sure. And then they have exercises which are the you can find some of those down the center, then if you click on the exercises button, then it goes on like the center of your screen with all the games and activities on the size of it. So again, there’s not a ton of graphics, and there’s kind of ads in there, but there’s so many options. For older students, I would say like fifth grade and up, even fourth grade nap. And then it’s kind of cool too, because they have the history then behind different types of writing. So you can pick like surrealism, and then if you click on that, it talks about like how it’s applied to creative writing, and it gives you some background and some history and just some interesting tidbits of information. So if you are starting a creative unit, and you’re just looking to engage some older kids and also in general, just if you want to mix up whatever lesson you’re doing, you can incorporate You’d have writing into any content area, you know, using specific content vocabulary or like a little brain break and just let them create. They have a whole rhyming dictionary. They have Twitter, poetry, there’s just again, there’s so many options. I can’t. I mean, I could sit here and
Fuzz Martin 10:17
Iambic pentameter. I haven’t said that word. That phrase. Probably since school back in at least college. Yeah, that’s very good. Yeah. So fun little tidbit. It just an anecdote. At work, you know, every so often we do kind of fun contests and things. And have you ever heard the phrase The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog? Yes. And what’s significant? You know, what’s significant about that, is that that sentence uses all of the all 26 letters in the alphabet in one sentence. So when you’re looking at fonts, usually it will have that sentence because you can see all of the letters at once. So we have a contest going on at the office to whoever can come up with a phrase that uses all the letters of the alphabet, they use all the letters of the alphabet to describe our company. Nice. The one 100 bucks.
Shanna Martin 11:22
Wow. Have you thought of one yet? I have been working on it
Fuzz Martin 11:32
typically, as one of the partners, I tend to stay out of the contest, because I don’t want to feel like but
Shanna Martin 11:36
I feel like that would be one that you would want to enter?
Fuzz Martin 11:40
Well, yes. But I’d prefer like one of the like, younger employees wins or something. So
Shanna Martin 11:45
so then they can have that title and be that cool person. Yeah. Nice.
Fuzz Martin 11:50
So that’s buddy, I just, that website reminded me of this.
Shanna Martin 11:55
Hey, maybe you could put in the letters and see what it cranks up for
Fuzz Martin 11:58
you to actually there was one person who had put it into a What’s the anagram generator that helped, like, sort out the words. So it’s pretty cool. Yeah. So hopefully, we’ll have some cool ideas. I’m sure for $100. We’ll get we’ll get a good number from our
Shanna Martin 12:25
if any of you have any ideas Feel free.
Fuzz Martin 12:31
Please help us win.
Shanna Martin 12:34
Yeah, so yeah, but yeah, so languageisavirus.com has so many different, cool creative writing resources and activities. And, but also technique and just practice using various types of language, I think is it’s kind of cool. And
Fuzz Martin 12:51
I think a good writing for kids would be to come up with a different name than languages virus.
Shanna Martin 12:58
Gives them a it’s been around for a while. So I’m guessing that
Fuzz Martin 13:02
Oh, yeah. I’m sure yeah. It is a fun, fun kind of name. Even. given the fact that there’s a global pandemic now. But it’s still fun, like, yeah, yeah. Maybe it’s even better now.
Shanna Martin 13:17
Yeah, it’s gonna be like people remember it more. Oh, yeah.
Fuzz Martin 13:22
Shanna Martin 13:24
So cool. Our second website? Yes. And creative writing. It’s called blackoutpoetry.glitch.me.
Fuzz Martin 13:38
Shanna Martin 13:42
So on that note, so this is a Blackout Poetry Maker. Yeah. And are you familiar with blackout poetry?
Fuzz Martin 13:49
No, but it looks kind of like a It’s so cool. Have you ever heard of the Frankenstein veto? No, no. Where are they? A bill gets passed to a governor. And then the Governor vetoes only select words out of the or letters out of the bill in order to make it say something completely different.
Shanna Martin 14:14
So that would be exactly what this Yeah, except for its poetry. But yes. So what you do is, this one is pretty straightforward for everyone who’s familiar with like our poetry, where you have your piece of text, and you can choose your own text, or you can copy and paste a chunk of text into their, in their little custom text box on the left hand side, and you enter your text in and it what’s kind of cool is they give you a little extra. So you can choose your font, they have a few choices, you can choose your letter size, and then once you hit Enter, it shows up in the bigger screen on the right. And then you have it you just click on the words do you want to keep and you can do it at random or you can be very specific to create the poem that you want. And then you click the magic black Out button. And then just the words that you want to stay for your poem remain in the text. And there you have it, your blackout poem, you can choose if you want it to square or if you want it full text. And you can, you can render the square or render the full text, and then you have it there. If you want to take a screenshot of it, you can, and you are able to then have your snazzy little piece of blackout poetry, folks, it is that simple. It is, again, a very straightforward and easy to use. It’s kind of like, the goal of the day, there’s not a lot of jazz with the sites we’re talking about. But they are really cool for creative writing. So they give you a couple of sample texts to to play around with like the Alice in Wonderland Pride and Prejudice, or darkness like they’re there to play around with. But if you just put your own text into the right hand side, and the or sorry, left hand side, and then click on what you want, I was pulled up just a little bit of a like a summary of Harry Potter. And then I blacked it out and because they said like magic in school is kind of fun. And yeah, the poem had nothing to do with Harry Potter, but was using Harry Potter text.
Fuzz Martin 16:18
And it looks like you can only black out words and now like letters, right? Correct.
Shanna Martin 16:23
This one’s just words. Yeah. So
Fuzz Martin 16:25
you don’t have to worry too much about kids getting to, you know, out of bounds with
Shanna Martin 16:31
it well, and usually like with like our poetry, you give them kind of the setup of it and the background of how it works. Yeah, but yeah, so it’ll be full words. And then he’s black it out. And then it’s all set and ready to go. So it’s really what I like is this could be a great warm up for a poetry unit without being overwhelming. And I think it
Fuzz Martin 16:53
looks cool. Yeah, it does look cool. And getting people getting kids to, or people in general to look at things differently. And like, get their mind
Shanna Martin 17:02
thinking it makes you think like for your
Fuzz Martin 17:05
removing words instead of adding words. And
Shanna Martin 17:11
here’s a chunk of text that news pulling words out,
Fuzz Martin 17:13
just having helped me know how likely write it and stuff specific words can change a sentence and you got completely different meanings. Yeah,
Shanna Martin 17:21
I’ve had some kids in the past create really cool blackout poetry, where we haven’t done it digitally, really the physically like Sharpie it all out, and it makes the room smell. But I just I saw this when I was running through things again, when I was supporting my staff as like that is super cool. And it’s really fast. And the kids can play around with it a lot or a little depending on how much time you have in the day. And it’s kind of cool.
Fuzz Martin 17:46
Perty neat! So what’s the website again?
Shanna Martin 17:50
So that one is blackoutpoetry.glitch.me
Fuzz Martin 17:59
All right. Rolls right off the tongue.
Shanna Martin 18:03
Really easy to remember. The blackout poetry part is just the dot glitch dot me. Kind of you got it.
Fuzz Martin 18:10
There’s a memory link on smartinwi.com There sure is go to this episode’s link or go to the EdTech directory where you can find
Shanna Martin 18:19
everything person. We are there now. Have you checked lately?
Fuzz Martin 18:24
I have not checked but I know we’re well over 100 Actually, I really I can probably tell you I can probably pull that up. While we’re talking about this. Let’s
Shanna Martin 18:32
me. Let’s go. How fast is our internet working?
Fuzz Martin 18:36
Internet’s fast. My fingers are what’s perhaps not as fast let’s see smart in w yahoo.com. Let me go to our Tech Tools link. There are 244 if you include these tool
Shanna Martin 18:54
244 Check them all out
Fuzz Martin 18:56
244 pieces of tools. share them with others that you can use in your classroom. I’m your host Shanna Martin. After 78 episodes gonna start to remember a little bit.
Shanna Martin 19:10
Thanks for tuning in. This has been the Tech Tools For Teachers Podcast if you ever have any questions you can find me on Twitter at @smartinwi if you want to get more information on the links to the technology deaths in the (wow) to the technology discussed in this episode. You can visit smartinwi.com New episodes each week. Thanks for listening, go educate and innovate.
Fuzz Martin 19:32
The ideas and opinions expressed in this podcast and the smart wi website are those of the author Shanna Martin and none of her employer prior to using any of the technologies discussed on this podcast? Please consult with your employer regulations. This podcast offers no guarantee that these tools will work for you as we’ve described, but we hope they do and we’ll talk to you next week on the Tech Tools for Teachers Podcast.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai