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: (you may have to copy/paste this into your is not linking for me!)

website to try your own:

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 good luck to the social studies teachers finding all the fun stuff!