Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sites for Social Studies Teachers

Thanks again to Richard Byrne and his Free Technology for Teachers, here is a list of 12 sites every social studies teacher should know about. If you don't follow Byrne's blog, you need to. If you don't read blogs or follow blogs at all, then start with his and go from there. This blog entry is just one example of the many helpful resources he has found and shared with everyone else. If you teach social studies, give this list a review over break and try a few of them and see how you might use them in your class. Happy Holidays!

ZooBurst Making Some "Best" Lists

Catching up on some blog reading and research, I have found that ZooBurst has made some people's "Best of 2010" lists. I took a quick look to see what it was all about and did find it interesting and fun. I did not try to make my own pop-up book, but it appears to be fairly easy. The downside is how you would use it in class and have upwards of 150 students make a pop-up book. I could see students making pop-up books to explain science or social studies to a younger student. We did similar things at the high school level where students made little kid books for elementary kids and explained science content to them along the way. I think you could do this or even re-create/summarize a book from reading class. The question is how to do all this easily and for free. Students might have to register for the site using an email so they can store their own pop-up book. Other than that, this site looks pretty fun and right up middle school kids' alleys. Give it a look and make sure to view a book or two already made in their gallery.

NY Times Maps Census County By County, City by City

One quick note however, this does not apparently use the 2010 Census data, but a combination of census data from 2005-2009. But I realize some social studies classes may be talking about the 2010 Census data and trying to help students understand how a census can be important and provide key information, so I figured this site might get the students exploring. I put in Carlisle's zipcode and was able to see some interesting things about Carlisle. When comparing to Des Moines or New York City, I could see ideas such as diversity, population density, and education jump out at me. Fun site to explore a little and possibly useful in class as well. Have fun!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Best of 2010 By Subject

As always, a huge Thank you to Larry Ferlazzo and his Websites of the Day. As 2010 winds down, he has published blog entries that are basically one-stop shopping for certain subjects. Want some good tools or websites for teaching science and science activities? Got it. Looking for more health resources? Yep, it's here too. I will post the links to his blog entries by subjects below. Use what you can and make sure to follow Larry and his blog as it always has some great stuff and updates daily, many times multiple times a day! As more pop up, I will edit this entry and post the new ones.

2010....A Year in Review

Well, the end of the year is here and thanks to Larry Ferlazzo and his Websites of the Day, here is a blog entry of his that puts several "2010 Year in Review" websites in one source. One reason I am posting it is simple: I need to print some of these for my time capsule for Quinn who was born in 2010. But I also know that some teachers like to use these type of year in review sites for different purposes. Whatever the reason, read and enjoy! Also, check out Larry Ferlazzo's blog, an award-winning blog that I follow daily!

IPhone App....I Wonder How We Could Get This in our School?

Maybe the coolest educational app ever and can you imagine how useful it could be in schools? Instead of typing and talking about it, just watch the video. Could we get an Iphone to some of our students? How long until it becomes and IPad App and could we get that? Interesting....

100 Best Youtube Videos....for a Teacher

Thanks to Dave the "Educational Technology Guy" and his blog, I can now pass along the top 100 Youtube videos for teachers or classrooms. This site breaks them down by topics like history, science, and the arts. There are also videos for technology, classroom management, and just plain humorous videos. With our laptops allowing Youtube, there might be some videos on here that you can use to further educate yourself or that you can show to your students. Give the website a try, likely some good stuff in there!

Google "Earth" for the Human Body?!

Something for biology and health/wellness teachers to keep an eye on: Google is making a Google Earth tool for the human body. Not sure if it is available yet, but for now, I will direct you to Hack Education's blog entry about it. The blog has a video that shows Google Human Body ("Body Browser") in action. Looks pretty neat and makes looking at the human body in a textbook kind of boring and uninformative. This is another tool that makes me think how cool education could be if all students had a laptop or tablet to view the human body in an interactive and manipulative setting. So, if you teach these things, read this blog entry and watch the video....this tool is going to be very cool!

Animoto has Possibilities

I received some Animoto Christmas cards as well as saw some Animoto videos posted on Facebook, so I did a little more reserach. Plus, I read a Cool Cat Teacher Blog about the top school Animoto video. After all of this, I had to try to make my own. The short/free version is likely too short to do much with, but I wonder if they sell site licenses or something like that. If they did, would be a nice addition to our curriculum as the possibilities are endless. Students could explain a variety of things by putting pictures, videos, and texts into their Animoto presentation and then present it to the class. If you have not used or seen Animoto stuff before, take a look at my video. This video was made in under 6 minutes, so it was very easy to use.

My quick Holiday Animoto

Google EBooks is Now Live and Ready to Use!

Alert!! Google Ebooks is now live and can be used by students, teachers, or whoever wants to use them. The best part? You don't have to pay for some books. The classics like "Pride and Prejudice" and "Great Expectations" are free and ready to read. Not sure how teachers could use all of this free material without laptops or tablet computers in class, but might be good to look at some in the computer lab and maybe encourage students to read more on their "own devices" when away from school. I am sure more books will be added in the future and in the future, if we have devices for student use, who knows....they might be reading this way in class!

Check out Google Ebooks at www.google.com/ebooks

UPDATE: I can't get the link to work above possibly because I am logged into my Google account. Either way, you might just google "Google books" and see what you can find. It is really neat to see how many fre books are available.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Ultimate Source for Technology Tools

Thank you to many of the great teachers and educators who use technology and blog about it, because they put together a little book called "The Super Book of Web Tools for Educators". It is pretty short, but packed full of resources that anyone can use and refer to from time to time. Not saying you have to read it all now, but you might want to check it out over break and see if there is anything in there that you can use during the 2nd semester!

I Testing a Poll/Quiz Site...and I Liked It!

If you want to create a quick poll for the next time you are in the computer lab, I have a site for you! Why would you create a poll? Well, you could start your computer lab session with a poll where the option are questions or concerns student might have. They all log in, go to your poll, and answer the question. Boom! You have your answer as to what the students are worried about. Or, you do the poll at the end and have the options be what did the students like about the class that day. Boom! You have your answer! Either way, some good possibilities and it was very easy to do. Go to my "other blog" to see my poll that I created in under 4 minutes and posted to my blog. Go here to actually get to the polling site.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

HistoryWorld....Kind of a Neat Site

I just played around with this site for a little bit, but it looks kind of fun and interesting. If nothing else, it might be a site for history and social studies teachers to bookmark for students to use as a research tool. It appears to have some quiz functions as well. But the best part is how you can do a quick search on a topic and search it throughout time. The results pop up in a timeline form where you can move forward or back through time. I liked searching certain topics in my birth year just for fun. If you teach social studies, check this site out and play around with it!

Family Meals Fight Obesity....a SNAGlearning Film

A good video for wellness and health teachers, but also a heads up that Snaglearning continues to add good films/videos for educators. This video is 19 minutes and brings up some interesting ideas and good points. If you teach Wellness or health, check it out. If you teach at all, give this site a try.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Booklet Making Site....Another One

I have blogged about booklet making sites before, but this is another one that might be a good tool for students or teachers to try to use in class. I liked this booklet site because you can add video, pictures, text, etc. into the booklet. So this got me thinking that this could be a cool and technological way for students to make a booklet about something. Similar to the CUBE activity they did for me earlier in the year, this could be a booklet about their life. Or, they could make a booklet about a topic, a unit idea, a book review, etc. Lots of options to try. If you try this site for your own use or for your classroom, leave a comment as to how it works.

Several Sites Where Teachers can Make Games

Thank you to Richard Byrne and his Free Technology for Teachers for a new blog entry that has links to several great "make-your-own-educational-game" sites. I especially liked it because one game linked to a Jeopardy game making site. I haven't tested out the games, but there are several options to play around with.

RePrint Me...Not Sure How It is Interesting, but I Like It

I don't really get why this site is geared for the misprint papers, because you could really print anything on those, not just calendars, but this site says those misprint sheets are perfect to be recycled into calendars. I don't get why they are great for calendars, but either way, I like their templates and plan to print some out. They will work great for my counseling/teaching/coaching/parenting/etc.!!! If you want calendar templates, especially an hour-by-hour calendar template, this site is a great one to bookmark.

Schools That Use Social Media...and How.

Thank you to the blog Dangerously Irrelevant by Dr. Scott McLeod (click here to read a bio about Scott) for a great post about schools who do use social media and schools who do not. More and more schools are beginning to use social media for communication in and out of the classroom and across the community. But it is quite and a leap and one that needs studied by each school before they start using social media in their district. This blog entry is great, but the comments could be even better. I especially liked clicking on the some the school links in the comments to see how schools were using these social networking tools. Give this short blog a quick read and see what you think!

When Will Schools Begin Using Social Media?

TenMarks Math, another online Math Practice Source

TenMarks is a math tutoring and help site where students can practice more problems and teachers can create class lists and assign problems. We already use a program similar to this at Carlisle, but the basic version of TenMarks is free and has different options for parents, students, staff, and even home school students. I tested a few parts out and the problems are pretty good. I don't know if this site will or could replace what we use, but it is at least another option and an option students could use from home.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

RollerCoaster Game is Not Too Bad....

Another science link for teachers who are looking for Physics and RollerCoaster games. This one isn't too bad. I think it could be better, but might be fun for science students to play around with. It would be good to have students talk the language of science while they played these levels and do some homework along with the games, as I think just playing the games might not be enough for students to think and get the science and physics concepts. However, if you have students who are struggling or students who earn privileges, maybe this game might be a good extra activity.

ScienceFix, a blog by a MS Science Teacher, One to Follow

I don't think it is just the fact that I used to teach science, but also the fact that I really appreciate good blogs by good teachers who are willing to share what they do. In this case, this science teacher posts video of his experiments to his blog. You can also find book recommendations (I still want to read the Disappearing Spoon book!), other blog entries, and a way to communicate with this science teacher. If you teach MS or HS science (or even elementary science), I suggest you start following this blog and see how much you can learn!

Cool YouTube Extra Functions!

This post entry calls these functions "hacks", but I call them simply cool tools to use in class. I have used the Youtube Dragontape and used the Youcube. I have also used the Youtube Chop function. All of them were very useful and could be used in class. If nothing else, they are fun and easy to use functions to do more with Youtube videos. The part I like is that they can make showing videos from Youtube in class safer, easier, and work as a way to get around the fact that Youtube may get blocked or the site may be slow. Give them a try over break and see if you can use them in the classroom!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Teacher's Guide to Facebook: How to Use...and Not Use

I think this blog entry says it all, so I am just going to link to it. I want to explore how to make a classroom page and use social networking more with a school system and my counseling program, but I still have a lot to learn. Although long, this blog entry was fairly easy to read and understand and put things in nice bullet point and chart forms. I love the "do's" and "don'ts" that this post lists. Lots of good stuff for us all to think about and maybe later discuss....

(Thank you Edudemic for this great resource!)

Skype in the Classroom

Just a quick post to alert you that Skype is soon making it easier to partner up with another teacher from somewhere around the country or world or simply search educators and classrooms anywhere you want to in order to communicate back and forth with them. In other words, why read about Mexico, California, or New York City when you could Skype a teacher in that area and with a webcam get a view of their classroom, students, and culture. An interesting idea, but likely not an idea anyone in our district has tried. Might be a good project for someone to try. You could use donorschoose or write a grant for a webcam (or buy one) and set up your own video conference with another classroom within weeks!

Click here for more on Skype in the Classroom

Best Web 2.0 Sites and Tools of 2010

Thank you to Larry Ferlazzo and his Websites of the Day blog, here is a list of the best 20 sites to help you in the classroom this year and beyond. One of his most popular posts each year, I think there is something for everyone to try somewhere on his list. I have used a few including Webklipper and Simple Booklet. You might consider testing some of these out on Thanksgiving or Christmas Break as they could be a nice addition to your curriculum.

Click here for his blog entry about the best sites!

LiveBinders....I'm Thinking the Possibilities are Endless!

Seems like I always find the best sites late at night and I've done it again. I love the idea of LiveBinders. Basically, it is a "3-ring binder" online. You can make your own binder over a unit you teach complete with videos online, websites you use, documents you hand out, and your own notes. You can make a binder over a certain subject or topic or news event. Or better yet...you can have the students make a binder over an animal, an historical event, or a story they read. They would search the web for sites, videos, information, and documents to fill their binder so they could show you what they learned. Very interesting stuff....give it a try! I plan to try making some binders starting this week!

Discovery Education Tools: 25 of Them!

If you use Discovery Education (and many of you do), I am directing you to a blog by Educational Technology Guy (a great blog to follow by the way) and his post about Web 2.0 Technologies. The part I think you will like is the middle part of the blog where he highlights 10 of the best 25 tools that Discovery Education makes. He has listed other online tools and things you can use, but I thought the Discovery Education items might affect us the most. Give some of these a try and report back as to how it works.

Click here for his blog entry on Discovery Education

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Another Tool for Printing Internet Pages

Just another tool you can use to print webpages without all the junk like ads and boxes, etc. I haven't tried it yet, but apparently it does not print the Internet ads that might be beside or around the article that you want printed. If you try printing a website and just can't get what you want, try Joliprint and see if it works. Let me know what you think!

Type Notes on a Webpage to Help Students or Parents See Key Items!

Another great tool that I found.....Webklipper. Using this site, you can put your comments on any webpage or highlight any material and then save it. Your new webpage will look the same as the original, only now it will have your comments and highlights saved on it. This would be great for students to show you what they learned: they can highlight the online article they are reading. Or maybe they can put sticky notes on the website to show you what they have learned. Can you imagine putting an animal picture on there and having students label the parts? So many uses, it boggles my mind! Anyway, here is the site where you can get started, very simple! After the site, I placed another link which is where I sticky-noted and highlighted my blog site just to show you how you could use this Webklipper tool.

Five Minute Videos That Teach Us How to Use Technology in the Classroom

Teachers: Heads Up! Here is a site that attempts to teach us all how to use all sorts of technology and computer tools in the classroom. The best part is that the videos are all about 5 minutes or shorter! I haven't watched them all, but this might be a nice bookmark in case you are attempting to use some of this technology in the classroom.

click here:

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Resume Maker Online

Quick post for any teachers or students who want to make their resume and need help getting started. Might be useful in a Careers Class or something similar.

Put Powerpoints Online

I recently used SlideShare to put a presentation for my Dad's retirement online. Pretty cool. Didn't have to worry about saving it, about if the presentation computer was compatible with my format, etc. Just post it online and present at my Dad's retirement party (but you have to have Internet). Once online, many of these sites let you add your own audio and voice. Basically, you can record your notes to your presentation and hit play....maybe a great idea if you are gone and a sub is in charge? Other than that, this is another place where students can put their powerpoints and share with others. I am going to have my students put their Inspirational Person powerpoints online for all to see and for me to grade.

Thanks to Larry Ferlazzo and his Websites of the Day for this monster list of websites where you can post powerpoint presentations online.

Make a Booklet Online....or Other Items!

I have only played around with this site a little bit this morning, but I can definitely see some value for projects. You could have the students make a children's book, have them make an informational booklet, or simply a pamphlet. Pretty easy to use once you get the hang of it and I had some fun trying some things out. When all was said and done, I only produced what you see below. Work to do, so I didn't play around with it much, but would love to try it more. If any of you try it out, let me know what you think!

Culture and Diversity Sites

More for Kim and I than anybody, but thanks to Larry Ferlazzo and his Websites of the Day, here is a great list of web resources and sites that would be useful in studying, learning, or talking about world cultures.

Click here for his blog entry.

DragONTape Getting Better

For teachers who like to show lots of Youtube Clips quickly and easily, again, I recommend DragonTape as a site to use. You go out and find the videos and paste them to this site. This site places all the videos in one continuous stream and plays them back to back to back, etc. No need searching for videos or having multiple windows open to show the videos. Use this site and put all your videos into one long video chain. The update to this site is that you can now post your video chain to a blog or Facebook. Cool!

Click here to make your own mixed tape.

Here is a simple sample that I made. Took me literally 2 minutes.

Humorous Differentiation Video

Not for sure if you are familiar with these type of videos, but they are videos made from people typing in text and having the "computer voices" voice the characters. Adds a little "bizarrenous" to the content, and in the case of these videos....the content is already pretty funny and bizarre. I think all educators can see the humor in these videos. I loved the first one (but it does contain a brief swearword at the end)!! Thanks to Larry Ferlazzo for posting these videos

New Flashcard Site for Students and Teachers

Just a quick post to alert you about a new flashcard site where teachers or students can make their own flashcards or browse pre-made sets to see if they match what you are learning currently. This site is a good one because it offers different ways to study your flashcards and even play some games with them. Kids sometimes forget how good of a method flashcard making and studying is, but this site might remind them and help them have some fun along the way.

Simple to Use Bookmark Allows you to Write on Webpages to Help Students

Couldn't figure this site out at first and then I realized that you don't use the site....you use it as a bookmark tool. Once you have bookmarked the tool, you can use the tool anytime you are on the Internet. The bookmark will show up in the top right corner and allow you to draw, cut, make shapes, and write text on a webpage. Working in the computer lab or showing something from your computer up on the wall and want ALL students to know where you are on the webpage? Use this bookmark and draw a box around what you want the students to see. Lots of fun and lots of uses....go to this site and drag the bookmark "thingy" to your bookmark bar and you are done. Use it as little or as much as you want from there!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Periodic Table Sites

Thanks again to Richard Byrne of Free Technology for Teachers for giving us 5 great resources for learning and using the Periodic Table. As a former science teacher, I always loved online periodic table sites. The more interactive, the better. And these are definitely interactive. The Comic book one might be great for kids who aren't too interested in science or the Periodic Table, but love Comic books and Superheroes! If you teach science, give these sites a look!

Useful Videos on Youtube....Easy to Find!

By clicking on this link that I received from Free Technology for Teachers, you will be directed to a list of the top 100 Youtube "channels" for education. Many of these channels have tons of videos to choose from. No more endless searching for just the right video as now you can start here and find a channel that might have information on your topic and see if it does. Great resource to bookmark!

The Ultimate List of Resources

Well, here it is, short and sweet: The top 100 tools for e-learning. Twitter was #1. If you are wondering why, then maybe we all need to explore its possible uses more. Wallwisher, a site I just posted about, cracked the top 30 in its first shot at the top 100. But the list is an amazing resource of 100 awesome resources. Don't try to use all 100, but pick a few and do some google searches to see how educators are using these sites. You might have a lot of fun trying some things out! Good luck!

WallWisher: Could We Use This For Student Questions?

I have seen multiple blog posts and comments about how Wallwisher can be used and am fascinated by the many possibilities. Before I get to my idea, Wallwisher is a website that you can title a blank wall and than give that URL to a class and have them post 160 character or less thoughts on your topic by typing a virtual sticky note and posting it on the wall. So, here is my idea:

Could you make a wall for students when you are in the computer lab and use the projector and project your wall onto the screen at the front of the room. As you circulate and help students, students would also be free to post questions on the wall for all to see. You could check the wall and answer the questions or read the comments so all can hear what people are thinking and struggling with. An idea to consider anyway. Other ideas would be to post your topic and have students write questions they have about that topic, things they know about that topic, or what they want to learn about that topic. I have placed a few other links below where you can find more ideas on how to use WallWisher. I would be interested to see if some of our staff try it out and what they think of it.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A List of Possibly the Best Social Studies Sites of 2010

Thanks to Larry Ferlazzo and his blog "Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day", he has posted another great list. This time it is the "best social studies sites of 2010". I haven't tried any of these, but in order to make the "best of" list, they are usually pretty good. If you teach social studies, you will likely want to bookmark his post and bookmark the sites because you will be able to use some of them I am sure! Have fun and thanks Larry!

World Demographics A-Plenty! Fun to Use!

Social Studies teachers....heads up! A new world maps site is up and running and when you click on a certain demographic (GDP, Islam, HIV rate, etc.), the countries will change size based on what percent of the world's demographic category they account for. Very interesting and a very quick way to see what countries have what demographics. The site is adding more demographics as it goes, so the site is getting better and better! I could see having students play around with it and write some of the more interesting things they find or learn. Give it a try!

Typing Websites for Practice and More

Trying to get caught up on my blog and blog reading, I came across a great resource for Richard Byrne at Free Technology for Teachers. This blog entry gives us 5 websites where kids can practice typing or play typing games. Some of the comments left in the comments section give us even more web resources and sites. One commenter even wonder if typing practice and keyboarding practice is even needed. In my personal opinion, I teach 330 middle school kids each week and I have yet to find any that type as fast as I do and well over half are still 1-finger typers or very, very slow at typing and this hurts their grade and speed/performance on assignments. So yes, I believe typing practice is a necessity. They might be able to type with their thumbs, but most projects and assignments still need them to be able to type with all 10 fingers on a large keyboard.

To view the 5 websites for typing, click on the link listed in the paragraph above.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Braingle...Just for Fun!

Braingle is a monsterous site full of brain teasers, logic problems, quizzes, and games. Students or you would have to register for a free account, but a benefit of doing that is that it does track some of your vocab learning and progress. I did not register for an account, but saw this site on Free Technology for Teachers, so I thought I would pass it along....

Just Paste It! Many Options for Teachers

I think if I sat down and thought about the many ways JustPasteIt could help an educator, I would end up with quite a list. I recently had students go to some websites that I wanted them to try. This involved them going to the Internet, going to my blog, and clicking on my links. Problem? Even my blog web address is about 30 characters long. The alternative was going to the school site, then finding my page, then finding my class, then finding my links, then clicking on the correct link. So....it didn't go as well as hoped.
Solution? JustPasteIt. This site allows you to paste notes, documents in a way, pictures, or just about anything and hit publish. Once you publish, your information becomes a website with a web address that is about 10 characters long. MUCH SIMPLER!!!! If you want students to do something in the computer lab, feel free to paste the instructions, websites, or materials they need onto this site and publish it. Copy the web address onto the board and just have students use that as a starting place for their web journey or project that day! I have published a sample note below for you to see what it can look like. After that, is a link for the site to make your own note and publish.

Here is my sample note.

Click here to make your own note

Book Report Alternatives

I have posted a blog or two before about some book report alternatives in the past, so this is more of a recent update. Richard Byrne of Free Technology for Teachers just posted a one-stop shopping blog post for some of these ideas. I really like the idea of creating the "book trailer" but that could be just because I love movies and movie trailers. And anytime you can use Google Maps in a creative way, it is worth a try and one of the five alternatives uses Google Maps. For any language teacher who wants to try a "paperless" book report or a book report using technology, give one of these a try and drop a review in the comment section below so others know what you think.

Phonics Site is Free and Could Be Useful at Middle School

This site is geared for young learners who are learning to read, so at first glance, it is useful for only early elementary students. But as we all know, we get students at the middle school all the time who struggle reading even above the 1st or 2nd grade level. So, this site might be good for those students or special education teachers. If nothing else, many teachers have their own children and we are always looking for ways to teach them for free or give them enrichment activities for free. So....give this site a try. I tried the sample book and plan on registering for this site this week and downloading some stuff for my kids. I hope it helps wherever you need it to help.

Deviant Art a Site to Play With....if You Like Art

Since I am not much of an artist, I have not tried this site very much, but any online art and drawing sites are worth posting to our collecting of websites. I am interested in seeing if our art students try this and what they think of it. Post any comments below as to what your thoughts are after trying it out.

Iowa School Uses Cell Phones....A lot!

I was intrigued by this very brief blog. Part because I am always interested in schools who are successfully and bravely trying to use more technology such as cell phones in the classroom and part because the highlighted school is from Iowa! Cell phones in the classroom, or any personal device for that matter, is only a matter of time and something I believe my 6th graders will be using by their senior year. More and more schools are testing these ideas out and this is one Iowa school that we might learn from in the near future. The blog is only 3 paragraphs long, but the idea and discussion will be much longer I assume.....

Read the very brief blog here.

Go Paperless for a Day....or More!

We are living in a "green" world now and education is quickly (or slowly?) becoming more and more online and delivered using technology, so here is a chance to mix the two ideas together. Take a look at Richard Byrne's blog about Paperless Day. Doing activities online, grading them online, taking a walk in nature and having students verbalize or email their findings, etc. Any way you can design it, you can save paper and have students learning along the way. Have fun making a plan for a day or for several days and you will also have fun saving the Earth one lesson at a time!

Read the blog here.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Cube Can Describe You

Okay, I admit, I love this site and I WILL USE it in my Life Skills class. I made a cube about me in just a few minutes and I think I did a pretty good job. The basic idea is to pick 6 video clips, sound clips, pictures, works of arts, books, etc. that represent you best. Then the cube can rotate and play these videos or sounds. Very cool idea and amazes me how neat the final product is. I plan to use it in class and see what the students think. I think I will also have the students present their cube and describe it.

Activities to View On-line and then Try Yourself

An interesting idea for students who want to do arts and crafts. But how can a school or teacher use this? They have science activities, projects, and experiments on here too where a student could watch and repeat on their own for credit or extra credit. Or a class could watch and then discuss or try on their own. Lots to explore here..give it a try!

One Principal Bans Facebook? Here's a Response.

Hitting the news recently was a principal who sent a letter home to parents speaking of the evils of Facebook and encouraging them to ban Facebook at home. In a state such as Iowa which is emphasizing 21st Century Skills, it is ironic that a principal or school would consider banning what could be one of the biggest skill of the 21st Century. Take a look at this Youtube video for a response to this principal's morning show appearance. It makes you wonder....what if we took time to teach digital citizenship or digital responsibility and how to use these tools for the better? Hmmmm........

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ways to Get Free Stuff!

If you have the time and energy and you want free stuff (who doesn't right?!), here is a great blog from Richard Byrne's blog Free Technology for Teachers titled "10 Ways to Get Free Money and Classroom Supplies". Donorschoose.org is one I highly recommend, but I am sure trying the others would work as well. Also, pay attention to any comments added to his blog entry as they may give you more ideas on how to use these or which ones teachers have used. Enjoy! (Click the title of the blog to view his blog entry)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Can't Use Youtube? Try these other 47 Sites

Thank you again to Richard Byrne and his blog Free Technology for Teachers, we can now all try the many options when Youtube is blocked, doesn't work, or does not cooperate. In a recent blog, he lays out 47 options to Youtube. I have used some before and they do work well. However, with Youtube not blocked on our laptops and the ability to use another site to cut clips or show just the video and not the ads and comments to the side, I still prefer Youtube. Click below to see the 47 other video sites or click on the other parts to view past blogs of mine that show you how to use Youtube better.

Want to show just the video on Youtube and not the junk around the sides? Click here!

Want to show only a portion of a Youtube video? Splice the play the part you want....click here to learn more

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Plagiarism Sources for Teachers...and Students

Free Technology for Students (notice I am linking directly to it now) has a great post with several sources teachers and students can use to evaluate their papers to see if it has been plagiarized. I have heard of some of these sites for teachers, but I did not know there were sites where students could see how "plagiarized" their papers are. It is always good to discuss this issue with students, but it is also good for them to know that teachers are checking their work as well. (By the way, click the link at the start of this paragraph to see the 7 sources for detecting or preventing plagiarism)

See History Animated Battle by Battle

Not sure where or exactly how this could all be useful, but I am sure you could play it on days where you talk about famous wars or famous battles in wars. Seems to be very detailed when I sampled some of it. Animations are just showing where the forces are moving to and where they fought, but with the added sound affects, it might be enough to make the students see the battles come to life a little more than a textbook could. If your class talks wars or battles, take a look at this site and see if it can help. Click this website: History Animated

Students Blogging Update....

An update to an earlier post about blogging and student blogging as now any student can blog, even those without an email address. Read the announcement from Edublogs (a great site for professional teachers!) about their recent change here. Blogging can be a great way to get any students to write as some students seem to see blogging differently than writing, yet it is basically the same thing. Some blogs like wordpress will even put all of a student's blog into a book (see my blog post about it)

Snagfilms is a Source of Documentary Films for Class.

Another source of high quality videos that you don't have to order through the AEA and wait for delivery. Many of the videos are from PBS, Explore, or National Geographic, but they do get videos from other channels or sources as well. The videos play direct from the site and it appears to have a wide selection of videos. Another nice feature is that you can search videos by grade level. Give this site a try.....click here. (Snagfilms)

Hear from a School Where They Use Phones in Class!

I am always fascinated by schools who realize that it is possible to allow students to use their phones in class for a good purpose. Teaching the students digital citizenship and how to use technology in a proper way instead of filling up the office and detention rooms with cell phone violators. Anyway, here is one school and principal who is doing just this. While I don't think this idea would work in a middle school, more and more high schools are adopting ideas and plans like this school and early signs show that it is working. No matter what, technology is changing quickly and it will be interesting to see what schools are like in 10 years. Will they have changed in order to keep up?

Click here to read the article.

Monday, August 23, 2010

FRONTLINE through PBS is a Great Tool

I have used some FRONTLINE videos in class and watched some online or on TV simply because they are so good. Now, they have a teacher part of their site which gives you all sorts of lesson plans and activities to go along with their award-winning video series. If you have never watched their videos, I can recommend some to start with: A Class Divided, Growing Up Online, Harvest of Fear, and Medicating Kids (these could be my favorites due to me being a counselor and former science teacher, but they are still very good!). If you are looking for a good video with activities done by PBS, check out this site

Whole Math Curriculum Online....and Free!

I am a big follower of TED talks (see earlier blog post) and a huge fan of anything free, so this post on Free Technology for Teachers by Richard Byrne fascinated me right away. I recommend you watch Dan Meyer's TED talk first as he makes several good points about the way we learn math (and science as I realized during the video). After watching his video, take a look at his curriculum that he put online for free. I think our future is a future of free textbooks and curriculum online by teachers, schools, and companies and Dan Meyer could be just part of the first group. I hope his ideas catch on as I think he is on to something great. If you teach it math, check it out!

Moodle Resources and Help

Just a quick post for anyone who uses Moodle and wants help using some of its features. The first link is a Moodle-operated site with self-help videos, tutorials, etc. on how to use Moodle and its various features. The 2nd link is a link to Cat's Pyjamas blog where Joyce Seitzinger has a 1-page quick guide to your Moodle use and questions. Both are worth a quick look if you use Moodle and ever have questions:

140 Things We Are Trying This Year!

Well, not we as in Carlisle teachers, but we as in educators. Actually, I am just excited to have a working computer again after being without for 3 days!! Anyway, take a look at this blog entry at Free Technology for Teachers and the powerpoint that goes with it. This is a powerpoint made up of 140 ideas educators submitted when asked the question "What new things will you try this year?" If you are wondering, my idea is slide #60: Use my student/parent blog more, make and send more newsletters, and keep this blogsite going by posting lots of useful ideas related to technology and education. One thing I found in this slide show that was interesting was the web addresses of all of these educators. It might be valuable to view their site or Twitter account, just as much as reading what they said. Some teach the same things we do! Slides go quickly, but there are some good things mentioned. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Possible Learning Community for Educators

A site called Nuvvo is a possible learning community for our staff or any educator. Actually, even for non-educators, if you have an interest in a topic, you might find that topic on this site and could join that learning community and share information, knowledge, activities, and questions back and forth. I searched for "counseling" but did not find a community for that. They suggest I start one and invite other people to join. Think of it like a social network for certain topics. Want to learn more about Science teaching? Join that community and you have "science teaching friends" all over the country/world to talk to and bounce questions off of. Good idea, but I have not tested it on this site. If someone tries it, let me know. Leave a comment and tell us your experience.

NumberNut.com is a Good Math Activities Site

After catching it on the blog "Free Technology for Teachers", I tried a multiplication activity on this numbernut site and I thought it was pretty good. The unique thing is that you can choose word problems, not just flashcards with the problem on it. I actually had to read a sentence or two and find out what I was multiplying. I only tried the one game, but I assume many of the others are just as good. I did not see much algebra or upper-level items, but to help kids with basic math, this site would be great. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Good Place to Find A Blog to Follow

Edublogs has long been a great source for educational blogs, including student blogs, but now they have a very nice and easy directory to browse by subject you are interested in or teach. Just click on the link below, pick an area to search, and see a list of blogs including their last 3 blog post titles. Looking at the titles will give you an idea of what they blog about and how often. If you like the blogs, subscribe to it or place it in your "reader" (I use Google reader at www.google.com/reader). I may add a screencast on how to find a blog and add it to a reader if you are not sure how to do this. Either way, if you have a goal to follow some educational blogs this year (besides this one!), this is a good place to start.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What Could You Do With Your Own Business Card? What Could Students Do With Their Own Card?

The reason I ask is that every once in awhile I am reminded about how cool of a company and website "Vistaprint" is. I used to have business cards from Vistaprint and will likely order some this year. But after reading a counseling blog today, I started to wonder....how many ways could we use business cards? Maybe a teacher makes business cards with his/her website, email address, and hours available and hands them out to students or at conferences? Maybe, a teacher makes a business card more like a "reminder card" with things students need to know for class every week (one card could work for the whole year by having information like "Quizzes every Friday, spelling lists due every Tuesday, did you do your weekly spelling practice?" This could then be stapled into their planner or moved from week to week. Maybe you have students make business cards for someone famous, a historical figure, or make a card of what they learned about a project. I don't think you would have to even order them officially, you could just look at their creations and grade them. If you want to order, Vistaprint has a wide range of "free" products including a variety of business card designs to choose from. All you do is pay Shipping and Handling. The ideas are endless, let me know if you try one!

link to blog about using VistaPrint:

They even have a facebook page with more deals!

Monday, August 9, 2010

ESPN's Sports Science

Quick post to alert you to a new site by ESPN called "Sport Science". I used to use some ESPN videos from the 1990's that explained the science behind sports and they were good, but kind of cheesy. I am not sure what all this site has to offer, but I watch the HR trajectory video on TV during the All-Star HR Derby contest and even I learned some things about science that I didn't know, so it has to be good stuff right?! Appears to be basically videos for right now, but there might be something a science teacher could use for students who really get into sports.

Google Docs can Translate to Over 50 Languages

Sometimes I don't know why I don't use sites like this more often. I should have used this site so many times last year, but sadly, I did not. Anyway, they have made some improvements and changes that have helped make the translator even better. But the gist of this tool is that you can upload any saved document to Google Docs and then go to "tools" and click translate and pick a language. I picked Spanish and very quickly had translated several documents to Spanish. You can then translate it back to English to see how well it got translated back and forth, but from reviews I have heard, when you translate it to Spanish, it makes pretty good sense. It is not perfect, but it would get your point across I assume. If you have students in your class that speak another language, you might consider using this site a lot! I have attached the blog from Free Technology for Teachers (Thank you Richard Byrne!) so you can see what he says about the tool. The link to Google Docs is in his blog. Enjoy!

Health Hut: Good blog for Health and Wellness

Just a quick post to alert health, wellness, and PE teachers to a blog called "Health Hut". There are not a ton of blogposts on this site and new posts are not added very frequently, but the posts that are on there are very good and usually have links to many other posts and websites with even more information. If you teach anything about health, nutrition, or general wellness, this might be a site to check every now and then.

If your Students Blog, They Could be Writing a Book

Can you imagine telling the students that they will write a novel this year? A book? Or a 30-chapter story about themselves? They would likely freak out! But, if you have them blog weekly using Wordpress (a format I have used in the past), they could easily write a book over the course of the year and Wordpress has the ability to have them turn it into an ebook or a printable book! If you use the link below (thanks to Free Tech. for Teachers, again!), and have the students blog using Wordpress, they can click, drag, rearrange, add chapters and titles, and eventually organize all of their blogs into a book. As someone who has always wanted to write a book, I hope their is a way to do this with blogger, the format I use. I wish stuff like this was around when I was young as I wrote enough to make a book, but never had a way to put it all together very easily. Very cool stuff...give it a try!

KidsTube: A Place to Post Student Videos Safely

Youtube is a great site, but it is public worldwide and some pretty crazy stuff gets on there. And who knows who looks at what on there and how it could come back to hurt you in some way if you post items to it. Maybe this is where KidsTube comes in. When I read their "About Us" portion of their website, I knew I could recommend this site to teachers. If you have students who want to videotape a project or something they do and post it, this might be a good place to post it. They can get good, constructive feedback and it is much safer. I don't know how exactly teachers could use this as I doubt teachers video many projects and later post them to a video site, but might just be a good site to recommend to students. They have weekly contests where students can make and upload videos to attempt to win prizes. Kind of a neat site, give it a look!

Let the Kids Use Facebook....for Historical Figures!

As I do this blog, I am always amazed at what a teacher could do with students, but overwhelmed by all of it. I think I found something very cool for students to do and very easy for the teacher to implement. I can just imagine how neat the students will think this idea is. I learned of a site (thanks Free Tech. for Teachers!) where students can make a fake FACEBOOK page for a historical figure (or even a current one I suppose). It is a template on Google docs where students just put in the information like their profile picture, who their friends would be, what some sample wall posts might be, their achievements, etc. HOW COOL IS THAT!! Can you imagine your students making a page for George Washington? JFK? Martin Luther King? This is a must idea somewhere in a curriculum and one the students will be talking about!

Just Looking to try Something New This Year?

I have placed all sorts of links and my thoughts on this blog, but as the school year approaches, it is crunch time and you might be looking to just try one or two new things this year when it comes to technology. Thanks to Free Technology for Teachers, a nice list of "11 Techy Things for Teachers to Try This Year" has just been published. I really like the idea of trying a class blog to get information out to parents. I also like the many things you can do with Google and Google Maps. Having the students tie a map with notes typed right onto the map to go along with whatever their project is sounds like something simple to do. If you are unsure of what you want to try this year, give this link a quick read and see what sounds interesting or possible. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Printing From the Web...Without all the Junk!

I have not "field-tested" this site yet, but I plan to later this week. But if it goes well, I will edit my post to tell you my results. Apparently, by using this site, you can put in the address from a website you want to print from and select just the areas you want to print. And when it prints, you will not get the ads, the weird boxes, pictures, or other things that seem to waste paper and take up extra space that you did not want. Like I said, I have not tried this site yet, but I print a lot of articles from the web for class use or to put up on the walls, so if it works, I know I will find huge value out of it.

What Will You do on the First Day of School?

Whether you are a new teacher or veteran teacher, the first day of school is always nerve-wracking. You always want to be your best and do something that sets the tone or that the student remembers. If you are in need of ideas, please check out Larry Ferlazzo's blog post where he talks about his ideas and has readers submit theirs. I did a quick read and skim and found some good stuff. In fact, I may consider doing what "Dave" does when he talks about the "most valuable item" in the room. Cool stuff and some great ideas. Give it a read before Day 1 is here...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Learning Portal for Educators

Not sure how to describe this site except by saying if you have a topic about education that you are thinking of or researching and want to see what educational organizations and groups are saying about it, check here. From PBIS to bullying to behaviors to families, virtually every topic is on here somewhere. From NEA to state groups to research groups to administrator groups are linked on here. And when you find an article, you can click to read more or go to that group's website to learn more. Interesting stuff, especially if you are doing some research.

Dragontape.com Can Be Useful in Classrooms

I didn't play around with this site too much, but I did see it's possibilities. If you are showing 2-4 short clips from Youtube (and maybe any online video site), you can find them and paste them into a chain and then play the chain of videos. That way, you don't have to load up each individual video or go searching for each one while students wait. All the videos you want to show from your computer are right there in one continuous video. If this site allows videos from outside Youtube, then it can be extremely useful. Also, if this helps teachers get around Youtube being blocked by their school by creating the chain of videos at home (then becomes it's own URL...so not through Youtube), then it will be useful for those teachers. Give it a try!

Thanks to Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day for alerting me about this site!

Interesting Ways to.....

Thanks to Larry Ferlazzo and his Websites of the Day (http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/), I started looking through the website that contains "Interesting Ways" to do many things in the classroom. I had actually looked through this site awhile ago when I stumbled upon it, but looked at it more and looked at some of the newer entries this time around. It is a great site to look at every now and then as it has many ways to use different pieces of technology in your classroom. Since the school year is almost ready to start, feel free to start with the "Interesting Ways to Get to Know your Class"

Should Teachers Blog? Could We Blog?

Now that I have been working on this blog for awhile, I continue to see major advantages to blogging. The only issue is time, but I think more and more, time may not be an issue if done right. Once the blogsite is set up and parents and other educators are notified about the site, you can get lots of information out to these people quickly and you can communicate back and forth through this same blog site. Obviously not everyone has Internet capabilities and not everyone will check your blog, but getting the information out is still very valuable, especially to some. (Side note....setting up a class page on Facebook, not "friending" your students and parents but setting up an information page, can also be a great classroom tool to use!) So...what is the hold up? Well, if you are like me, it was simply not knowing what a blog is or how to set one up? This brings me to my next informational link...Commoncraft videos. I am not embedding these videos or showing them to my class as you will learn even though they are free on the site and on Youtube, they do request you sign up for a license if you are using these for profit, using these for large group educational purposes, or using these in a training. Maybe not all are on Youtube and those on Youtube are free, I don't know, but either way, I think the link I have below is a great 3 minute plus video that makes blogs simple. I also recommend watching the short video about "RSS feeds" made simple. Long story short: Consider doing a class/teacher blog this year and see if it can add to your class.

CommonCraft site: http://www.commoncraft.com/

Making "Book Trailers" as Option to Book Reviews

I am a huge fan of movie trailers (you know, the previews of upcoming movies before the real movie starts??). In fact, I often watch movie trailers online the day or week they come out and by the time I go to a real movie (not often with kids at home!), I have often seen all the movie trailers already online. But I still love watching them again. When Free Technology for Teachers alerted me of a site where you can watch and post "book trailers", I was intrigued. Not only did I enjoy watching a few, I agree with the idea that this could be something fun for students to do and make as well. I am not really sure how to make these book trailers, but I am sure there are multiple methods and I am sure it is similar to the way students videotape and post to Youtube as well. So, if you are teaching reading or language or just love books, take a look at this site and have some fun!

My Wonderful World is Wonderful for Social Studies

After reading about My Wonderful World website on Free Technology for Teachers, I gave it a try. I'm not a social studies teacher, but it is one of my favorite subjects. The main page has lots of information and interesting facts, as well as ways to navigate to areas for teachers, students, and parents. I tried one of the geography games (didn't do well, but it was a good game) and clicked on some of the links. Eventually, you find yourself on other National Geographic sites as this site is just an offshoot of National Geographic. Having the backing of National Geographic makes this even a better site. I don't think you could ever see everything on this site and it appears to change stories and information often, but I am sure you could find some items useful to students and your class, or at least to you as you teach. Have fun!

Search Engines for Students

I'm posting a link to a great resource from the blog "Free Technology for Teachers" by Richard Byrne. He has posted 7 different search engines that are safe and likely better for kids in our school to use when searching for factual and age-appropriate information. Feel free to try some of these. I have used the Sweet Search and the Wolfram Alpha searches before and had good successes in finding what I was looking for.

Link to Richard Byrne's blog:

Wiglington & Wenks: Interesting...Explore More

I made up an account on this site (very easy!) and explored around more. I have a feeling that this is a site students may use easier than adults. It is a mix of a virtual world/social networking and a variety of field trips and learning experiences. Granted, I only played around with it a little bit, but when I clicked on items within my view I would learn what they were and why they were important in history. From reading about this site, apparently, you can go on quests where you learn about history and places in our world while playing educational games. I would love to have some teachers try this out and report back or even have some students give it a try as a social studies extra project or extra credit. Could be kind of fun...maybe the students could show the teachers how it works! Either way, consider giving it a try as it looks like it could be fun and useful!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Clicker is a good spot for Finding Videos

You may find that you like this site already and didn't even think about using it for school, but it can be. In my former life as a science teacher, I was always looking for videos. Well, Clicker houses thousands of videos from major movies to major TV show series to science videos. If you want to show a NOVA video, look for it here...it may be free! Same with other Discovery shows. Or maybe you want to use a piece of a movie or a show that the kids know...well it may be free or at least available to download for a price and now you can show it. I think this site is similar to Hulu.com, so you might try both. I just happened to notice the large amounts of free science shows from TV on this site first. Enjoy!

also might try: http://www.hulu.com/

Sunday, August 1, 2010

BigHugeLabs is a fun place to Use Pictures

A fellow teacher (Thanks Erin!) helped me find this site and after I played around with it for fun and used my own kids' pictures, I realized that it could be good for teams and students as well. I think you could make the motivational photos of students when they do something good or just for fun. You might even be able to have students make educational picture things with the site. Take a look at the site and take a look at my sample pictures and then try some yourself. Note...I did not order my pictures, but wonder if I could print my motivational pictures off on photo paper and frame them? Hmmmm......


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Shmoop: A Growing Study Guide Site

Thanks to Free Technology for Teachers, I have come across a site called "Shmoop". Currently, it has a lot of study guides that may be useful to language arts and writing/reading teachers, and maybe some for social studies as well, but as it grows, you should find some materials for science and math as well. I did some exploring and you can find a ton of information on topics like Shakespeare works, poetry, supply and demand economics, and much, much more! If you want students to have some extra information on a topic, this might be for them. The downside I can see is that the guides almost work like Cliff Notes at times and students may try to just read the study guides instead of the actual book. Anyway, a great site to at least look at. Who knows...maybe a great site for teachers to brush up on before they teach a topic and never tell the students about it!!

Screenr can Help You Show Students Around the Web!

Or maybe even parents?!! I have placed a link to a Screenr screencast that I made to show you how it can helpful. In my screencast, I show parents a little bit about our school website and how to navigate around it. Some of our teachers used websites like this last year to make screencasts for students. Oh wait...what is a screencast? Well, my way of describing it is basically a way to record what websites you are on and how you are navigating them as well as being able to put your voice to your video so you can walk someone through what you are doing. I guess the best way to understand it to watch mine and then practice making your own.

Side note...I also used this site to record a screencast that showed my Mom how to use all the features of Facebook. :)

my screencast: http://screenr.com/2KX (you may have to copy/paste this into your browser...it is not linking for me!)

website to try your own: http://screenr.com/

Thank you to Free Technology for Teachers for alerting me about this site!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Website that Reviews Educational Apps

Do you have an Ipod Touch, IPad, or Iphone? Do any of your students? This website find and reviews all sorts of educational apps and they do it in great detail! They even give grades on how well they function, how useful they are, etc. I even found a couple that I put on my ITouch after reading their reviews. If interested, give it a look.

As always, thank you to Richard Byrne and his website Free Technology for Teachers for alerting me about this site and making me want to explore more!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

View Pure makes your Youtube Video Play without the Background Clutter

I like to play several Youtube videos in class, but my students seem to always be trying to find out what "related videos" they can watch or what ads are being shown. Usually not a bad thing, but sometimes bad videos or ads or comments are visible and this is not a good thing. Well, View Pure fixes this because it lets you play the same Youtube video with a white background. Here is the same video (one of my favorites with the educational moral being "doesn't matter how hard you work if you are not working on the correct problem".) both through Youtube and through Youtube View Pure. See the difference? Enjoy!

original video:

View Pure video:

View Pure website where you enter your copied website link into the box and hit "purify":

Science Games Galore!

Periodic Table Tetris alone made me want to explore these games more. Upon further exploration, I learned Tetris isn't always available on the one site, but I did play a Sheep launching game based on vectors that was rather fun. Plus, this link contains 9 other sites that contain science games that are geared towards various levels, abilities, and topics. I tried a few and thought they were pretty good. If you teach science, you might want to try a few as well! Thank you to Free Technology for Teachers for the link!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Monthly Math Posters for Free!

Thanks again to Free Technology for Teachers for alerting me of this opportunity and website. If you go to the website, you can print any of their posters of the month from 2005 to 2011. Each poster has a math problem/logic problem that can challenge students and make them think. There is also some math games on this site too I think. Enjoy!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Word Games for Language or Keyboarding Activities

Need more fun ways to practice keyboarding or typing? Or need fun word games to have students test or try when they are done with their language project for the day? Give this mega-site a try. It has tons of word games and keyboarding games for students to try and test their skills. Maybe a little more educational than miniclip games!!

Thanks to Free Tech for Teachers for the link!

How Can Google Earth be Useful? Teach Yourself How!

I am not a Google Earth expert, but I have found it amazing that CNN, Fox News, our local news stations, and many other sources now show maps that are from Google Earth. That tells me two things: I need to know how to use Google Earth and so do my students. Apparently this 9-part tutorial made by none other than the Google people themselves, walks you through everything you can do with Google Earth 5.0, does it in a fun and informative way, and quizzes you after each section to show how well you learned. This is now on my summer list of things to do. That list is getting quite long and the summer as you can see from the post date above is getting quite short....

Thanks to Free Technology for Teachers for the link!

Another Math Resource: Games!

From Free Technology for Teachers comes a list of 5 top sites/sources for math games online. I haven't looked at any of the games, but being a "top 5" list from an award-winning blog researcher, I assume they can be useful. Best way of finding out? Have game day with your math students and have them play and rate which games they feel they learned from the most and liked the best. Enjoy!

Math Dictionary....AMAZING SITE FOR MATH!

The power of the Internet never ceases to amaze me sometimes. Where was the internet and a math site like this when I was young! Over 600 math words, some good for 1st graders and some for seniors in high school are explained in full detail with pictures and some animations. Wow! I can see teachers using this site in class, teachers having students use this site while they work on homework, and parents using this site with their kids. As you can see, I am excited about this site, but I am interested in what math teachers say. Enjoy and thanks to Jenny Eather (site creator) and Free Technology for Teachers for directing me to this site!

Site with Riddles, Brain Teasers, Etc.

Looking for some brain teasers for STAR time? Need some riddles to start or end class? Mind Cipher (thanks to Free Tech for Teachers for link) is a site that catalogs these items into 10 categories, allows you to open both the solution and the explanation when ready, write or read comments, and even help rate them on how hard or easy they are. You might even find you like this site to test your own brain. Have fun!

While Searching for Other Educational Blogs, I Found the 2009 Award Winner!

Wow....I now subscribe to this blog and will post some of the best stuff right here in our blog. It's title alone makes it stand out: "Free Technology for Teachers". The title says it all. In the few minutes I have searched the site, I have found numerous sites and technology tips that could help our teachers. I will likely be re-posting some of the best stuff I find while routinely copy/pasting their link to this blog since it is such a great source. Have fun exploring this blog and if you know how to subscribe to a blog or have a google reader account (highly suggest you set up a google reader account!), put this blog in it. Enjoy and thank you to Richard Byrnes, the author of the blog Free Technology for Teachers

Website about the Ocean

A real quick link to a great site about the Ocean, maybe the best one-stop shopping site for ocean information. With the recent oil spill, I wonder how many teachers will be talking about the ocean's importance to even the people of Iowa, so that is the purpose of posting this site....a site where any teacher can start finding information about our oceans. Enjoy!

MovieClips can be Educational too!

When I was still teaching science, I used to add clips of Hollywood films into my powerpoint notes if I could find clips that showed a science principle, talked about science in the conversation or plot, or was simply a funny clip that got the kids going for the day. MovieClips is a site where I found a lot of these and now the site is rapidly updating their collection of clips plus allowing for you to make "mashups". Maybe you aren't so sure about how to do all of this....well, have your students play around with it and make a mashup of clips about a topic. I am unsure if this site works while at school though and unsure if all clips are "student-appropriate", but I do know a teacher could use some of these clips to introduce ideas or topics in class in a fun and interesting way. Have fun! (even if it is simply searching for your favorite movie clips and watching them in your free time!)

Timeline and Map of the World

Ever wonder what the world looked like at different points/times in history? Ever wonder what was happening at those times? This cool site may be a great site for you to explore and for other students to explore. Lots to look at with tons of extra information to explore. I played around with it some and quickly found out that there is way more than I could ever find time to look at....so good luck to the social studies teachers finding all the fun stuff!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Cool Earth Infographic!

Pretty simple here, but very neat and includes new information incorporating deep ocean oil drilling, specifically the Horizon Oil Rig in the Gulf. Shows key points from the highest earth point to the deepest point in the ocean and cool items in between. Might be something fun for science or social studies.

I Spot a Story....possibly a place for articles in your class?

As a teacher, you could use this site to put an article into one spot and assign all students to read it and write a comment. The students could then see what other students were saying. They could also see what other students from around the country or world are saying if those students see your article and comment on it as well. Or maybe you simply want students to find a story/article on this site, read it, and leave a comment in order to broaden their minds and have them interact with other commenters. Either way, this site could have several different possibilities. Enjoy!

Online Children's Books with Audio

Not many books on this site yet, but if you have a student who is struggling to read, this site might be a good site to use. Students can highlight certain words to hear them read aloud. Would be a great book for any of our ELL students. There are other sites out there that are similar, including our subscription-based Scholastic site, but this site is a good one as well. Give it a try!

Do you Want Students to Evaluate You? Your Class?

Evaluation by students can be a valuable and enlightening tool to use. However, it can be difficult to hear what the students have to say from time to time. But as professionals, we likely still need to get their feedback, good, bad, or otherwise. Larry Ferlazzo is a big believer in class and teacher evaluations. I looked at some of the evaluation tools/templates he uses and liked them a lot. However, since they are attachments, I figured I would just place the link to his blog on teacher/class evaluations and let you read it and click on the evaluation tool to see a sample. Use it or something like it if you would like to try evaluations in your class.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

History Games

A site packed full of games about history and social studies topics. Maybe have a class of students "test" the games out and tell you the best or write a review....that could even be cross-curricular! Either way, I am sure some of the games on here are really good and some not so good. Have fun trying some of them out!

National Geographic Map Machine

I didn't play around with this site much, but it appears to be a quick and easy way to get a map of basically any area, country, city in the world. Might be useful for social studies or any other class that is studying a region or area. Enjoy!

"Moms With Apps" a good source of Apps for our students

Mom's with Apps is simply a blog that introduces all of us to many "apps" (applications...aka...programs or games) that are family-friendly and good for kids who have IPhones, and ITouch, or a phone or device that can download apps. Obviously, not all of our students have these devices, but more and more do every year. The ITouch was the most requested gift this past year by my 6th and 8th graders with over 50 of them asking for it for Christmas. Many of the apps that are blogged about on this site are educational and could be useful for extra practice or enrichment activities. Might take some time to find ones you like, but it is worth the exploration. And if you are like me and have a device that can download apps and have kids at home....this site is even better!

Monday, June 7, 2010

One for the Counselors: Self-control

Okay, sure all teachers could use some of these sites, but this link is mainly for the counselors in your building. Several sites about helping students (and teachers?) maintain their self-control. Also, some links and sites for anger management and motivational strategies. Enjoy!

Want to make Timelines Online? Here you go....

No matter what subject you teach, timelines can be useful. If you want a way to make timelines using computers and the internet, here are some sites for you. I have placed a link to Larry Ferlazzo's blog where he talks about the best online sites to make a timeline. Quick and free to use....2 keys for teachers and students. Enjoy and thank you Larry!

ASCD Publications now online!

ASCD (formerly the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development) has now archived its publications online. They put out a monthly publication that contains articles on where the education profession is, was, and might be going next. It has articles on classroom management, how to be a better educator, and how to make schools better. Not saying you need to sit down and read each one, but this site might be a good site to check monthly and skim the article titles to see if one of the articles can help you or your school. Give it a look!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Online Method of Showing Student Work

A site named "Runt.ly" allows students to write information, add weblinks, add pictures or video, etc. No need to register (material is erased after 30 days if you don't register), so might be a fun way for students to create something online and a teacher to look at by simply clicking to their link. Possibly even parents, community, or other students to take a look to during the 30 days the material is up online. Lots of possibilities....

Making maps online

Here is a list of map-making sites online per Larry Ferlazzo's site. Some require registration, but several do not. Scribblemaps is in here again, but I have posted on that one separately. Have fun!

Classroom management Stuff!

I ran across a couple classroom management things of interest on Larry Ferazzo's website. First one is a blog with some great information, tips, and advice. Kind of long, but has some great stuff:

The 2nd thing I ran across was several people recommending the book: "What Great Teachers Do Differently: 14 Things that Matter". I have not read this book, but am interested in reading it as the amount of "experts" recommending it seems to be numerous. Enjoy!

Origami fun!

A great site for Origami. Not sure where it fits educationally, but a lot of students like to do these in their free time. It does take patience, is a great way to learn to follow directions, and takes precision. Any teacher could use this to teach some of those skills in a fun way. Enjoy!

TED Talks....Can You use Them in Class?

TED Talks are something I am just learning about and starting to listen to. I just posted one by Daniel Pink. It got me thinking...are there others that teachers could use or students could listen too? Then, I came across a blog by Larry Ferlazzo with some TED Talk tools. I have listed some of these below along with a brief description of what each site does for the TED Talks.

(By the way....here is what TED Talks are: “TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader.

The annual conference now brings together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes).

This site makes the best talks and performances from TED and partners available to the world, for free. More than 400 TEDTalks are now available, with more added each week. All of the talks feature closed captions in English, and many feature subtitles in various languages. These videos are released under a Creative Commons license, so they can be freely shared and reposted.”)

http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/2009/12/23/the-best-ted-talks-well-really-the-ones-i-use-with-my-classes/ Ferlazzo's best TED Talks for schools/students/teachers

http://www.historyteachersattic.com/2009/06/ted-talks-demystified-for-teachers/ This site categorizes all of the TED talks into categories. Makes it easy to see which ones might work for your class. Love this site!

http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pjGlYH-8AK8ffDa6o2bYlXg List of all TED talks with title, brief summary and who is giving the talk.

And for teachers, administrators, etc.... http://dangerouslyirrelevant.org/2009/05/top20tedtalks.html

This link is a link to the top 20 TED Talks for busy administrators. But I think teachers can be just as busy and be interested in this stuff too, so I post it for all. Enjoy!