Friday, October 2, 2009 Google Search, but different

A new search engine that searches the words and subjects you or your students normally search, but when it displays the results, it displays them in a color-coded method that shows how difficult each website is to read. If you have a wide range of readers, this search site might be one to try.

Scribble Maps is fun....and educational!

Yet another google feature. This site uses Google Maps and then seems to mix in a version of "Paint" to let you draw on the map. Playing around with it, I noticed you can add flags, pushpins, or different icons to mark locations. Students could make an interactive map of Carlisle, Iowa, any state, or a certain country. Can you imagine how kids could use this to do a report on a state or country with all the shapes, colors, and notes they can make right on this site? And they can print or save their maps as well. Very cool stuff!

Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day!

This is a great blog to subscribe to in your google reader. If you don't use Google Reader, this is a good site to add to your favorites and check periodically. Although his focus is ESL and ELL, his many sites that he posts daily (sometimes multiple per day) all seem to have a spot in education somewhere. His "Best of" lists are particularly useful. Enjoy!

How to follow blogs and find cool sites?

Another cool Google application that I started using this summer and have enjoyed very much. If you find yourself reading online material or blogs, but can't find them every time or forget to look for them, using Google reader can help. This program lets you "subscribe" to blogs and the blogs get sent directly to your reader program and stored. Then, you simply need to only log into your google reader whenever you want and catch up on your favorite blogs. In other words, Google Reader is more or less a mailbox that collects the "mail" (blogs) you want. You can also star, rate, and note which entries in your google reader mailbox you like best and want to keep. If you ever wondered where I find most of my websites that I share with staff, they come from a blog that gets sent directly to my Google Reader daily.

Donors Choose

This site is for any teacher/staff member. Katie Petty is a HS teacher who has used this site before to get some supplies for her new kitchen. As an educator, you can both donate to the site to support other teachers'/schools' projects or you can request funding for your own project. The best thing to do is to go to the site and experiment around and get a feel for it. Should you want to proceed by requesting funding, talk with Ben Barry as he has some contacts that have done this before and could give you some advice or tips.

Spelling City

This site can be used in any subject area, but obviously is designed for Reading, language, and spelling classes and assignments. Even more specifically, spelling! Some of the cool things it can do:

*quiz students on their current spelling list
*say sentences with the vocab word used in the sentence
*correct quizzes
*create game with spelling words or vocab words.
*Many other features!