Friday, October 23, 2015

Focus Friday

Although I have no scientific evidence, I've recently tried two music web-based resources that have helped with my productivity.  In addition, the focus tracks seemed to help my little ones while doing homework.  

A Few Educational Implications:

- Play while students work independently
- Play during tutoring sessions
- Play as students brainstorm and write

Brain Shift Radio is a subscription-based music resource to help you sleep better, focus better, get more energy, etc.  The user selects a category from brain boost, energy, meditation, uplift, calm, focus, and sleep.

The user plays the rhythmic music to reach their intended goal.  Volume level is dependent on the selected category, instrumentation, tempo, intensity level, and brain type. More information on volume selection can be found here.  A free two week trial account is available for evaluation.  The subscription cost is either $9.99 per month or $59 per year.  Read more here or follow the Brain Shift Radio blog.

Focus At Will also specializes in music that will keep you focused.  Like Brain Shift Radio, Focus At Will offers a free two week trial account.  Click the FREE TRIAL button, fill in the form, and click the GET ME FOCUSED button.  The main categories include:
The LABS category displays the beta categories that Focus At Will introduces each month.
Read more here.  View pricing information.

Other Related Articles

How Music Can Inspire Strong Student Writing and Discussion
How Repetition in Music Affects Your Thinking

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Writing Resources is a safe place for students to publish their writing with an authentic audience.  Teachers can set up groups that are closed or open to the public.  Student identity is protected while their writing can be published.  Write About provides hundreds of thought-provoking images that inspire writing.  The free account allows teachers to create 40 student users with up to 5 posts. Find pricing information here.  With the limited free account, the visual prompts could be used with other online tools for writing.

Ginger offers several writing tools, yet the grammar checker is my favorite.  I installed the Chrome extension and use it while composing emails, filling in forms, writing documents, etc.  Ginger highlights my incorrect sentences in blue and when I hover over the highlighted portion, suggestions pop out above the sentence.

StoryToolz offers many resources including a story idea generator, random conflicts, word count meters, readability analytics, a half title generator, and a cliche buster.

Hemingway Editor analyzes writing for readability and style.  The tool focuses on making your writing "bold and clear."  Read more here.