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Posted by Monique Agueros on Wednesday, Aug 24th, 2016.
April 5
Wow, there are tons of fantastic things happening in our schools!
Why not share them with, well, everyone?!
The LeadLearner blog began a Love My School Day to give educators a place to create a "new and improved culture of education" with the ultimate goal to change the perception some people have of schools.
Will your school join the world in telling its story? Join us on Tue, April 11 & use the hashtag # LoveMySchoolDay .
Get your invitation here:
Happy Love My School Day!
March 15
Wow, this week's W.O.W. is better than a pot of gold!
More than a website, here's a free creative app to help you celebrate St. Patrick's Day and have a wee bit 'o fun before Spring Break.
The Leprechaun Me iPad app lets you upload your photo and create fantastic profile photos, memes and game icons.
Decorate your website or newsletter, create writing prompts, have students dress up a report, tell a story, measure accessories, or create a character analysis.
Happy St. Patrick's Day and Happy Spring Break!

March 8
Wow, we survived the severe weather, and it's almost testing time-- time to get happy!
If you're looking for ways to have students review concepts plus brush up on those creative higher-order thinking skills, W.O.W. has a great site (and app) for you.
It's called Plus.HappyNumbers.com : a fantastic web-based tool that provides mind-growing monthly math challenges to unlock your students' higher-order thinking. Plus can be used as an independent math center to provide math enrichment that supplements your curriculum.
It's designed for K-2 students at the moment, but I've heard they plan to expand to upper elementary in the future.
The first challenge has just been released -- so make sure you check out Plus !
Happy Happy Numbers!
March 1
Wow, Dr. Seuss would be 113 years old tomorrow! Oh, the places you'll go-- with websites!
To celebrate his life and of course stories, the Web English Teacher website has several lesson plans and guides related to specific Seuss books, his biography, and even newspaper activities.

Wow, this special day deserves another resource:
A Media Specialist's Guide to the Internet also has an abundant list of resources, printables, craft ideas, videos, and more.

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!
February 22
Wow, Digital Learning Day is tomorrow, Read-in Day is coming in March, the weather is amazing for February, and baseball season is around the corner. We're breaking barriers all over! How about breaking barriers with student writing also?
MLB's Breaking Barriers essay contest encourages students from across the country to write about how they are facing or were able to overcome personal obstacles or barriers in their own lives through the example set forth by Jackie Robinson, who became MLB's first African-American player when he started for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947. Breaking Barriers focuses on nine values: courage, teamwork, determination, persistence, integrity, citizenship, justice, commitment and excellence.
This is also the first year entries will be accepted in both English and Spanish.
The Grand Prize winner in grades 4-6 will earn the opportunity to attend and be honored at the 2017 All-Star Game in Miami, and the Grand Prize winner in grades 7-9 will receive the opportunity to attend and be honored at a game during the 113th World Series. Ten students overall will be honored with prizes. In all, two Grand Prize winners, two MVP winners and six All-Star Prize winners will be chosen between the two grade groups.
The deadline for the contest is March 14.
Article with more info here:
Contest entry forms here:

Happy Baseball Season!
February 15
Wow, Digital Learning Day is next week!

Digital learning is any instructional practice that effectively uses technology to strengthen a student's learning experience. It emphasizes high-quality instruction and provides access to challenging content, feedback through formative assessment, opportunities for learning anytime and anywhere, and individualized instruction.

Take some time next Thursday to try out these Interactive Lesson Plans:

Happy Digital Learning Day!
February 8
Wow, Valentine's Day is next week!
Sometimes math gets left out of the love fest of Valentine's Day, but Teq Learning has sites, apps, and activities for a wide range of grade levels for you and your students to share the love of math.
From graphing the inequality of a heart to constructing heart-shaped graphs and heart brain teasers, the site is sure to win your love.

Happy Valentine's Day
February 1
Wow, it's Groundhog Day tomorrow!
Instead of yet another site about Phil and his shadow, how about a dodo??
Thanks to a tweet from George Couros, The Dodo is a site with all kinds of fun animal videos-- perfect for writing prompts, research, or just a good laugh.
Happy Groundhog Day!
January 25
Wow, there IS a way to teach students geographical awareness and cultural understanding while connecting classrooms all around the world. Plus, you can "share the love" by connecting on Valentine's Day!

The Global Virtual Valentines Project aims to spread a little happiness to children everywhere while learning something new. This year there are two participation levels: One to share Valentines and one to share as well as use Skype to connect with classrooms. This would be a terrific project for any subject area (art, math, design, culture, geography, language arts, music, pe, foreign language, and more) at any grade level.

There's even a hashtag for you Twitter folks!

Happy Valentine's Day
January 18
Wow, wouldn't it be great to have a day to just play?? The Global School Play Day team thinks so.

The Global School Play Day is a day of promoting the importance of regular, unstructured play for the best development of children. The GSPD team was Inspired to take action by Dr. Peter Gray in his TEDx talk where he argues the case that today's kids do not grow up playing, which has led to an increase in childhood depression, stress related issues, and the highest suicide rates in history. On February 4, 2015, over 65,000 children participated in the first ever Global School Play Day after only four weeks of social media promotion from those six educators.

Then, last year, on Feb. 3, 2016, the second annual Global School Play Day for students went viral. Over 177,000 young people were registered by their administrators or teachers to participate. Schools from around the world stood together to say, "Unstructured play is a vital part of proper child development!"

Global School Play Day is for public schools, private schools, and homeschool families! Many are helping to spread the word about the benefits of play. Why has this movement been so well-received? Because kids have forgotten how to play!

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."


Register for Global School Play Day here:

Happy Playing!
January 11
Wow, the Missouri Department of Conservation has a way to protect the environment and promote learning at the same time.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American generates about four pounds of trash each day! Students can help fight litter and make a difference by participating in the 2017 "Yes You CAN Make Missouri Litter-Free" trash-can-decorating contest. The annual contest is sponsored by MDC and MoDOT as part of the state's "No MOre Trash!" statewide litter campaign.

First-place winners from each competition category receive $200 awarded to the sponsoring schools. All first-place winners are then eligible for a grand prize of a trophy and $600 awarded to the sponsoring school.

Happy Conserving!
January 4
Wow, snow is in the forecast, and we've just returned from winter break, so there's no better time for a classroom snowflake project!
STEAM up your classroom with snow-inspired projects from Education Closet that reinforce skills in photography, math, science, psychology, art, technology and more.

or try short link: https://goo.gl/cQek9A
Happy Snowflakes!
December 15
Wow, the holidays are fast approaching!
If you are looking for some fun curriculum-focused activities for the next few hectic days, check out the Little Bins for Little Hands site (great for bigger hands, too!).
Little Bins offers lots of ideas for science experiments, crafts, coding, and even Christmas Tree slime!

November 30

Wow, next week is Computer Science Education Week!

The Tustin Unified School District (TUSD) has teamed up with Power Learning to create a site that has a super introduction to code.org as well as several activities for students in all grade levels with video tutorials.
You and your students can learn about coding, managing Java Script, programming with Python, and even creating apps.

Happy Coding!
November 16
Wow, it's almost Thanksgiving!
If you'd like to get crafty while studying the Thanksgiving holiday this year, here's a site with all kinds of ideas for themed projects with supply lists and detailed instructions.

But wait, there's more! Each project idea has either a math, writing or history connection, too!
In addition to the holiday craft ideas, like a Wampum Array Bracelet, Wigwam Construction, Popsicle Stick Canoes, and Feather Fractions, the We Are Teachers site also has other classroom ideas, free resource downloads, and even a help line.

Happy Thanksgiving!
November 9
Wow, the results are in! No, not those results, STEM activities in the classroom can supercharge your lessons! Careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math have their roots in all the curriculum areas, and learning about the variety of career possibilities is a way to get students thinking about their future.
To get your "ION (the) Future," try the STEM Career exploration game by Change the Equation. "This game-based learning environment of free online games encourages students to explore careers in science, technology, engineering, and math."
Also mentioned in the Tech and Learning monthly magazine.
Happy Stemming!
November 1

Wow, the long-awaited elections are next week! Although it's thrilling that the advertisements will finally end, it's also thrilling that there are so many ways to enhance lessons.
Ever wonder what the president's job description is? Check out the Government and Politics "Crash Course" videos!
The Election 2016 site has several lessons available for download with suggestions for nonfiction analysis, writing/discussion prompts, and multimedia projects.

Happy Voting!
October 26
Wow, it's almost Halloween!

Some cheer and some fear this day, so here's a few cool ideas for making the most of teaching 25+ students who have had way too much sugar!

Not just ghosts and goblins, this site also celebrates fall with a site for building your own scarecrow, playing Tackle Math Ball, learning about Thanksgiving, and Ben and Jerry's Flavor Graveyard , which will certainly inspire your students to create their own tombstones of "dead" homework assignments, bad habits, disgusting dinners, and more.
And, here's a neat activity for using up some of that candy:

Happy Halloween!
October 19
Wow, Fall is in the air! Have you ever wondered when fall leaves actually change color in different parts of the nation? How about why some leaves turn orange and others turn red or yellow?
Now your students can take a virtual trip around the states thanks to Richard Byrne who shared this article about an interactive map showing when fall leaves change color:
Link to map: https://smokymountains.com/fall-foliage-map/
By the way, if you're looking for more interactive map activities, or you'd like to create your own, come to The Amazing Race workshop tomorrow!
Happy Fall!
October 12

Wow, sometimes organizing volunteers and managing sign up lists can be more work than the original job!

Sometimes we all need a genius.

If you ever need to collect registrations for something, organize an event, schedule parent conferences or other meetings, keep track of t-shirt or fundraiser orders, remember who has what role in a play or function, fill volunteer slots, or keep track of just about anything, you'll want to get a free account at this week's W.O.W.

Described as a "life saver," Sign Up genius lets you "Say goodbye to reply-all emails and paper sign up sheets and coordinate events and people in minutes with online sign ups." You create a sign up and invite a group then you're done-- genius! The site takes care of everything else including sending reminders to your group.

Happy Signing Up!

October 5
Looking for a way to create engaging and interactive lessons while incorporating Google Apps and nurturing a love of nature? Wow, the TES site (Teachers Know Best) provides links to virtual field trips, lesson plan templates, resources, and even a way to share your awesome lessons.
There's even an Arbor Day poster contest opportunity because it's never too early to be thinking of Arbor Day and Earth Day activities!

Start Exploring
2016 marks the United States National Parks Service Centennial. To celebrate, we've launched Hidden Worlds of the National Parks , an interactive, virtual experience designed to bring the parks to everyone. Take your class on a virtual field trip of some of our most breathtaking National Parks using the  Google Arts & Culture web experience or Google Expeditions.
Create Your Own Lesson Plans
We've created lesson plan templates to help you get started. Choose one of the options below to customize your lesson plan.
•    Guide your class through the Hidden Worlds Expedition with this   lesson plan template ,  for use with the Google Expeditions App . Please make a copy of this document to receive edit access to the lesson plan.  
•    Immerse your students in 360-degree video tours of the parks on any device or computer  with this Hidden Worlds   lesson plan template . Please make a copy of the document to receive edit access to the lesson plan.
Share Your Lesson Plan
Once you've completed your lesson plans, share them with fellow teachers on TES . Here is a video with instructions  on how to upload to TES, and here is a detailed list of instructions .
Link to Google Doc for above: https://docs.google.com/document/u/1/d/1bauOFNGLMxbM2oxKiW6375ZzI2uEOLbevsM7LxmQhBo/mobilebasic?usp=gmail  

Arbor Day poster contest (Sept 6-Dec 3)
Happy Park Touring!
September 21
Did you know 50.5 million people or 16% of the population are of Hispanic or Latino origin?

Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the cultures and traditions of those who can trace their roots to Spain, Mexico, and the Spanish-speaking countries of Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. The annual celebration is observed from September 15 to October 15.

The study of other cultures can be weaved into every subject area, and Scholastic has una gran cantidad of resources available to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, including book studies for understanding character and culture.

Fact Monster also has information about Notable Hispanic Americans.

Feliz lectura!

September 14

Wow, Google really does have everything! Here's a cool competition (even if your students don't enter the actual Google Competition, this would be a terrific PBL opportunity) for your students to learn more about coding as well as get a chance to solve real-world problems.
G oogle Hash Code is a team-based programming competition organized by Google. You pick your team and programming language, we pick a real-life engineering problem to solve. Are you up for the challenge?

Additional Google projects and resources can be found here:
Happy Hashing!
September 7
Wow, school has started, August is gone, and we're in the swing of things now! Time to get funky!
Let your students get funky by making a photo collage about themselves or just about any topic. ​ Be Funky  is great tool for students of all ages. Students can choose how many photos they want to add to their collage​, and there are a variety of templates to choose from. ​They can make certain images-those of more importance to them-larger than others. They can add type, free graphics and geometric shapes (all available on the site). To add their own images, they must have them saved on their computer to upload.

What is fantastic about this collage maker is that students can save their work straight to their desktops without creating a username or password.

Happy Getting Funky!
August 31
Wow, the second week of school-- does it feel like a zoo yet? How about turning your classroom into one? Or at least letting your students explore just about any topic of interest?
This week's W.O.W. comes from one of my favorite bloggers, Larry Ferlazzo, and I'm just as surprised as he was that he had not heard of this great resource yet.
Zooniverse is an amazing site where scholars put up projects that require "people-powered research" - for example, attempting to decode formerly secret Civil War telegrams.
It has many projects in multiple subject areas, along with very cool online tools for students to use when doing the research. The site also has lesson plans for teachers to use when introducing students to the site.
A site like this offers real purposes for student learning. I'm amazed that I hadn't heard of it before today when Stephen F. Knott sent the tweet about the Civil War project. Further exploration led me to all the site's other features.
August 24
Wow, school starts tomorrow! Time for another round of the Website of the Week (W.O.W.)

To start you off, here's a site for educators by educators-- let the four o'clock faculty team work after 4 so you don't have to!

It's described as a place for educators looking to improve learning for themselves and their students with tons of suggestions for ways to improve classroom culture, build relationships, manage homework and assignments, communicate effectively, and even how to be brave!

Happy New School Year!

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Posted by Monique Agueros on Wednesday, Aug 12th, 2015.
August 12, 2015
W.O.W., school starts tomorrow! Time for the Website of the Week to get back into the swing of things!

Several of you have been setting up Google Classroom, yet another cool Google tool that we have access to as a Google Apps for Education school. Even if you are not getting into Google Classroom (because you're quite busy setting up your own classroom!), this week's website allows you to take advantage of the automatic Google Drive folder Google Classroom provides for you (or any doc in your Google Drive) and add voice comments and feedback to Google docs.


Special thanks to TEQ for Learning's eBook All Things Google

Special note: For those of you new to the district, an archive of W.O.W.'s previous postings can be found here: http://www.warrensburgr6.org/tech

Happy Commenting and Happy First Day!
August 19, 2015
Wow, it's the first full week of school, so time for data!
This week's W.O.W. puts a unique twist on data collecting and displaying by using infographics. Of course there are lots of websites available for viewing and creating charts, but a UCM student had this to say about Piktochart:
"What I like about Piktochart is it has a lot of examples of what infographs look like, and this is a type of writing that not a lot of students have had exposure to,  but  I think will become increasing popular."
Piktochart does require a sign in, but accounts are free, and several templates are available for creating your own infographics. 
*Note: Piktochart also provides examples of infographics created by others, but this gallery is public and not moderated, so it may be a good idea to preview before sharing with students. 

Happy Charting!
August 26, 2015
Think you need a computer for computer science skills? Think computer science is just about computer programming?
Think again!
This week's W.O.W. emphasizes the importance of including problem solving and critical thinking skills in all kinds of lessons.
From the website: CS Unplugged is a collection of free learning activities that teach Computer Science through engaging games and puzzles that use cards, string, crayons and lots of running around. We originally developed this so that young students could dive head-first into computer science, experiencing the kinds of questions and challenges that computer scientists experience, but without having to learn programming first.
The collection was originally intended as a resource for outreach and extension, but with the adoption of computing and computational thinking into many classrooms around the world, it is now widely used for teaching.
From ISTE member Karen North: "It makes no difference what career you go into, you will need computer science skills… the goal is to become more aware of what steps are needed to solve a problem and to apply that skill across disciplines."
Happy Unplugging!
September 2, 2015
What's Going On?
No, W.O.W. is not doing a tribute to Marvin Gaye (although that would be good idea for the future!); this week's site takes the old saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words" to the max.
Every Monday,The Learning Network-- Teaching and Learning with The New York Times posts an interesting photo with a few thinking questions and invites viewers to post a comment with their answers. Their collaborator, Visual Thinking Strategies, will facilitate a discussion from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Eastern time by paraphrasing comments and linking to responses to help students' understanding go deeper.
Then, on Tuesday, they will reveal more information at the bottom of the post about the photo with this question, "How does reading the caption and learning its back story help you see the image differently?"
Although you'll want to screen the comments before showing to students, the WGOITP (What's Going On In This Picture) is a great thinking activity to use in the classroom to practice reading skills and strategies.
Happy Picturing!
September 9, 2015
Wow, we're almost to the 21st day of school! Time for 21 Things.

What does it mean to be digitally literate? It seems like so many skills are deemed necessary, so where can we begin?

The REMC of Michigan has compiled a site with resources and tutorials which meets the international educational technology standards. Including topics such as Effective Search Strategies and Powerful Presentations to Differentiated Instruction and Dig the Date, 21 Things 4 Teachers will get you up to speed and up to date with digital tools.
Other REMC projects include a 21 Things 4 Students, Blended Learning, and Streaming Video projects. They even have an online community and you can follow them on Twitter with the hashtag #21things4.

Happy Learning Digitally!
September 16, 2015
W.O.W., tomorrow is Constitution Day! You can make the Constitution come alive with an interactive version including an interactive Bill of Rights. Learn which documents and ideas influenced the Founding Fathers when drafting the Bill of Rights, and how those rights have been expressed throughout the world.
The Constitution Day site also boasts a live blog featuring experts who will be available for a live chat session to answer any questions.


For additional resources, check out the Our Courts website sponsored by the Sandra Day O'Connor Foundation and have students review what they learned by playing the Do I have a Right? game, or choose from several other fun activities.

Happy Constitution Day!
September 23, 2015
Wow, Google has a new logo! I know, they will probably have another new one next week, but have you ever wondered how they come up with these?
This week's W.O.W. includes not only the story behind Google's logo, but also over 50 quick tips for using Google in the classroom (not to mention Google Classroom itself!).

Logo link: http://goo.gl/RfzB5O

Did you know there was a research tool built right in to Google Docs? Or that you can insert a video right into a quiz or survey?

Check out the tips link: https://goo.gl/gnbbab
Happy Googling!
September 29, 2015
W.O.W., it's not even Wednesday, but it is National Coffee Day!
While this may not seem like a big deal to some, it does open up several ideas for brewing up interesting ways to visually share (and get) information. CNN has a nifty infographic along with their article about National Coffee Day and how it's celebrated around the world.

Plus, it's always fun to research the origins of products we use every day (like chocolate, but that's another W.O.W.!) as well as compare and critique information found online.
October 8, 2015
W.O.W., it's playoff time!

If you're looking for a way to incorporate timely themes into your lessons, Education World provides "Great Sites for Teaching," with weekly highlights of themed websites. Can you guess what theme is highlighted with this collection?
Of course it's baseball! This collection includes something for everyone such as a link to a baseball almanac, ideas for incorporating baseball into math lessons, a baseball reference site with statistics as well as folklore, information about the Negro leagues, and "This Day in Baseball History."

Go Royals!
October 15, 2015

W.O.W., it's almost the end of first quarter!
Here's a neat site not only to get you through Parent Conferences next week, but also to provide some inspiration for you and your students each day. Created by Nikon, "Feel This Day" is a nice multimedia interactive showing what events have happened on each day in history.

The description from the Instructify blog explains it quite well:
A beautifully rendered look into historical events that happened in the past on the day you visit the site. With a lush background soundtrack (that can be turned off), and an automatic timeline that shifts backwards, the site transports you back in time to key events in history.

What I like here Is the simplicity of the design - the black background, the historical images and a short bit of text about that day in history. The site also offers an option of a screensaver and a desktop gadget. This Day might be useful as something for the whiteboard at the start of the day, as students mill into the room to get ready for learning. Or during units around time lines. On the day I watched, I learned about the Wright Brothers, the Tokyo Train Station in Japan, the first transatlantic radio transmission by Marconi, the rise of Nero, and more.
Thanks, too, to Larry Ferlazzo for the tip!
Happy Time Traveling!
And, yes, Go Royals!
October 21, 2015
W.O.W., the future is here!
Today is one of the most famous days in time travel-- when Marty McFly went Back to the Future!

If you've ever wondered how to incorporate iconic movies into your lessons, check out the Teach with Movies site. From articles and awards to movie worksheets and TV show lesson plans, this site will give you ideas to "teach with the best of Hollywood."

And, if you've ever wondered how much power a Time Flux Capacitor needs in order to operate, check out the Physics Buzz blog:


Happy Back to the Future Day!

October 28, 2015
W.O.W., the Royals are here in the World Series, and National Chocolate Day is here-- what could be better?!
You can be "here" too! The You Are Here site produced by the Federal Trade Commission uses interactive games and activities to teach students key consumer concepts. Animated guides help navigate a virtual mall and interact with shopkeepers and customers.
Students can design and print advertisements for stores, uncover suspicious clains in an ad, and guess the retail price of various candies based on supply, demand, and production costs. The Parents and Teachers page has fact sheets (in pdf format) that include discussion prompts and activities that complement each educational topic.
Happy Chocolate Day and Go Royals!
November 3, 2015
W.O.W., the Royals are champions! Let the celebrations begin! And, let the doodling begin! Your students can be winners, too, by participating in the annual Doodle for Google contest.
This year's theme is "What Makes Me...Me" - a modern twist on the self-portrait, challenging students to submit a doodle that shows the world what makes them unique. Students can use any materials they want for their doodle-from ink to clay. The winner receives a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 Google for Education tech grant for their school.
For classroom activities, lesson plans, creative ideas, and links to additional information, check out the following links:

Congrats Royals and Happy Doodling!
November 11, 2015
W.O.W., Larry Ferlazzo has done it again! Within his amazing collection of websites, he's included a variety of websites about Veterans' Day. You and your students can view several slideshows and videos as well as discover a variety of lessons.
And, as a great follow up to this special day, check out the Veterans History Project of the Library of Congress American Folklife Center. Primarily an oral history program that collects and preserves the firsthand interviews of America's wartime veterans, VHP relies on volunteers, both individuals and organizations, throughout the nation to contribute veterans' stories to VHP. In addition to audio- and video-recorded interviews, VHP accepts memoirs and collections of original photographs, letters, diaries, maps and other historical documents from World War I through current conflicts.
Happy Veterans' Day!
November 19, 2015
 Wow, next week is Thanksgiving already! Several of us travel during the holidays so W.O.W., with the help of Richard Byrne's blog, found an interesting site all about traveling-- traveling through history that is.
 America on the Move is a great online exhibit produced and hosted by the  Smithsonian National Museum of American History .  America on the Move showcases the evolution of transportation in the United States.  America on the Move is divided into three main sections;  Exhibition ,  Collection , and  Themes .

The  exhibition section is essentially a timeline tour through American history. The  exhibition section begins with the construction of the first National Road and chronicles each phase of transportation development through the 21st Century.

The  collection section of  America on the Move features images of artifacts related to various forms of transportation used throughout US History. Visitors to the site can browse the collection or search by era, region, or form of transportation.

The  themes section of  America on the Move arranges artifacts and stories into eight different themes. Each theme contains narratives related to various eras in the transportation history of the United States.

Applications for Education
In addition to the great online exhibits  America on the Move offers three well-designed  educational games for students . Each of the  games is requires students to analyze and process information about the history of transportation. In the first game,  Where's Everyone Going? students match vehicles to their proper era to learn about transportation in that era. In the second game,  Drive Through Time , students spin a clock to select a year. Then they select a scenario and mode of transportation appropriate for that scenario's era. In the third game, B e a Movie Director , students select a storyline and the modes of transportation necessary for the storyline. At the end the students will see the movie they created.

 America on the Move also offers teachers some  free classroom guides to use while students explore the exhibits.
Happy Travels and Happy Thanksgiving!
December 2, 2015

'Tis the season for Christmas music!
Wouldn't it be great if you could use those terrific songs (or better yet, create your own with free programs such as Audacity) to make an instant movie?
By using the Tunes to Tube tool, you can upload an .mp3 audio file, upload an imageand create an HD video to save to your YouTube channel.
Don't have a YouTube channel yet? No worries! With your Google Apps for Education account, you already have a YouTube account, so click on the menu button (the three little lines to the left of the YouTube logo) and Add/Create Channel.
Tunes to Tube is free, but of course there's an upgrade option to purchase additional features.

Happy Music Making and Happy Holidays!
December 9, 2015

Christmas is right around the corner, so it's a good time to see how this and other holidays are celebrated around the world. WhyChristmas.com not only has a list of celebrations by country, there's an interactive map and an activities page also.
Even if not studying social studies, religion, or the like, visitors can learn about history and customs as well as find out why some people have Christmas Trees or send Christmas Cards. Read the Christmas Story or watch an animated version of it, and join in the Christmas fun with Christmas Jokes, Recipes and Puzzles.
Merry Christmas!

December 16, 2015
Holiday time is movie time, and if you love the classics, you'll love The Peanuts Movie. And, if you love the Peanuts characters, you'll love to "peanutize" yourself-- make your own avatar based on your favorite Peanuts Character!

Special thanks to MS, MW, and MG Library Media Specialists for the discovery!
Happy Peanutizing and Happy Break!
January 7, 2016
Happy New Year!
If one of your New Year's Resolutions is to incorporate current events into your classroom, listen up!
Listen Current makes it easy to bring authentic voices and compelling nonfiction stories to the classroom. The website curates the best of public radio to keep teaching connected to the real world and build students' listening skills at the same time. Listen Current offers three- to five-minute video clips along with a full set of lesson plans and worksheets, all at no charge. The premium version provides in-depth lesson plans for current events, science, social studies, and English language arts and includes a listening guide with transcripts, vocabulary, class activities, and additional resources. The premium version offers ELL support for many lessons, including close listening strategies, Tier 2 vocabulary, and a speakers' guide.

Happy Listening!
January 13, 2016

What's in a name? Or should we ask what's in a noun? A rose by any other name is still a rose-- unless it's a picture!
If you're looking for clip art to use for student projects, reports, flyers, newsletters, websites, flash cards, or just about anything else, without having to worry about copyright issues or Google image search results, check out the Noun Project site.
There are several categories ranging from Origami, office supplies, and faces to haircuts, wild life, and chess pieces. Oodles of copyright-free icons, shapes, etc. for inserting into docs, projects, websites, etc.
Happy searching!
January 20, 2016
Do you have a way with words? Do you want to?

This week's site is much more than a language arts tool. With a designated "girl's room" and "boy's room," A Way with Words includes high-interest stories and selections of poetry, prose, drama, and non-fiction with a specialized glossary for each area with tips about how to use glossaries.

The site also has interactive games and activities as well as Think About It sections for extending knowledge.
Note: Some of the character games are flash based, so they will not work on an iPad.

http://www.channel4learning.com/sites/waywithwords/environmentbase.swf http://www.channel4learning.com/sites/waywithwords/environmentbase.swf
There's even a Teachers' Guide and outline here:
Happy Wording!
February 3, 2016

It's time! According to the groundhog, it's almost time for Spring. So, it's also a good time for timetoast.
As Spring approaches, so does testing, book reports, research papers, and all kinds of other classroom activities and projects. Wouldn't it be great to create or have students create interactive timelines to demonstrate knowledge, organize notes, and/or retell a story plus have the ability to add descriptions, pictures, and videos?
You can even make your timelines available to the public for a collaborative project, and by utilizing the comment feature, visiting the site would be a great way to practice digital citizenship. There are several pre-made timelines perfect for research projects, too.

Happy Toasting!
February 10, 2016
This week's W.O.W. comes from a UCM student:

Dirk's Media Library is, at its core, an enormous digital library collection of music, PowerPoints, TV clips, Film clips, Lecture clips, and tools to enable Economics teachers in their never-ending quest to make the subject interesting to students.

Dirk's Media Library is a fantastic tool that far more than just Economics teachers can benefit through their usage of the tool.

In addition, his methods can easily be adapted to any other subject out there.  With television shows like Big Bang Theory and Doctor Who actively incorporating real-world examples of various topics like biology, chemistry, physics, and even social studies/geography ("Fun with Flags" by Sheldon Cooper, for example), teachers can utilize Dirk's ideas to incorporate more pop culture references into their teaching thereby ensuring more students are interested and even learning.

Teachers of all stripes can browse through the vast repertoire of digital media to help enhance their lessons.  From his teacher help to student help to topics and beyond, Dirk Mateer goes above and beyond to enable all instructors to teach and engage with students throughout the learning process.


Happy Learning!
February 17, 2016
And it starts... We are well into the presidential election activities now, and if your students find themselves confused about the candidates, the process, the debates, the issues, or anything else, show them what they really ought to know.
Thanks to a Google newsletter tip,  C.G.P. Grey is a YouTube channel that discusses politics, history, geography and more to give every student a rundown of "some of the things we all really ought to know." There's also several podcasts available and a place to sign up for email updates.
Happy Knowing!

February 29, 2016
Leap years have given us some more days in February, so how about S'More ideas for creating flyers, posters, infographics, and even websites?
The smore website provides several templates and images to create professional-looking electronic newsletters. The free version is limited, but smore offers a special educator price for even more features.
Much more than another online poster creator,Smore flyers are interactive and include options to embed pictures, videos, audio, forms, and more.
Happy making Smores!
March 9, 2016
Spring is almost here, so time to get moving!
Digital Storytelling is awesome, and students love making movies, but sometimes all you need is to add audio to an existing presentation. This is where Movenote comes in handy.
Movenote (once you click out of the ads, but hey, it's free!) will allow you to upload a PowerPoint or Google Slides presentation then add a voice recording to the slides. Or, you can record a "video selfie!" You can even add a personal touch by turning on the camera function and recording yourself or students talking. Don't worry, for you camera shy people, you can disable the camera/video feature.
Movenote is available online as well as in the Google Play store (Chrome users, you already have access to this), the Android App Store, and iTunes.

You will be prompted often to upgrade to a paid version to remove the ads, but the free version will continue to work. Students should not click on the link to upgrade because their username will be added to the last slide of the Movenote.

Happy Moving!
March 16, 2016

W.O.W., daylight savings time was Sunday, and tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day, so take advantage of time to go green-- with paperless story publishing, that is!
Reviewed by commonsensemedia.org, Tikatok is a great website to excite your students about writing.  With Tikatok each of your students can become a published author, create, share, and gain an authentic audience for their writing and illustrations, and receive writing support through the StorySparks system.  
StorySparks are a framework that gives students prompts at the bottom of their screen as they are writing their story.  They are tips such as "the beginning of the story is where we define a setting, where does your story take place?"  StorySparks come in different levels depending on your student ability.  Using Tikatok, students can build literacy skills such as: writing, story structure, reading, comprehension, imagination, creativity, character development, story development, critical thinking, organization, drafting, and technology skills (typing, uploading pictures, saving, collaboration, and communication).  
Students also have options when creating a story; they can choose a topic and idea to start a story or they can start from scratch with a blank story.  The first option allows students to get help with the hardest part of story creation, thinking of an idea and beginning a story.  Students fill in blanks about their story and get a basic story that they can embellish and add to.  In the second option, students create a story from scratch.  Teachers can register classes and keep track of the stories their students are creating.  Teachers can also send students messages and comment on stories.  There is also an option for students to work collaboratively on a story.  When students are finished, their story can be viewed online, printed out from a PDF file, or published and purchased for $15-20.
The ability for students to use story starters is outstanding for those kiddos who are forever saying "I don't know what to write about."They absolutely won't be able to use that excuse here!  Even if you don't have the ability for all of your students to write stories on Tikatok because of limited computer access, use the story idea starters using a projector as students write in journals.
Tips:  Tikatok has the ability to upload student illustrations, if you don't have a scanner at your school, students artwork can be sent to Tikatok and will be uploaded within 24 hours.  You can even use a computer-based drawing tool like Skitch for illustrations.

March 30, 2016

Wanna get away?
I know we just got back from Spring Break, but wouldn't it be great to visit exotic places, or even make your own virtual tour of a book's setting, a historical spot, a potential college visit, or even your school. With You Visit, you can do all of this and more without ever leaving your classroom-- W.O.W.
The site has an explore feature so visitors can choose a place or event to view with virtual reality (like Google Cardboard) or view in a 360° experience with an audio tour guide.
After setting up an account, you can also craft your own interactive virtual reality experience. There's a tutorial available, too, that explains how to create "stops" to organize media and guide viewers.
Thanks to a student in our 21stCentury Class for the tip.


Happy Visiting!
April 6, 2015
W.O.W., the Internet is amazing!

Have you ever felt like it's tough to keep up with all of the amazing digital resources that are available for teachers and students?

Do you find yourself wondering how in the world you can engage students with technology?

This week's W.O.W. focuses on several resources designed to help you and your students move from using the Internet simply for consumption to using collaborative and creative tools.

Happy Collaborating!
April 13, 2016
W.O.W., take note of this site!
 As the school year draws to a close, many may be viewing and creating videos, so why not add to the learning while watching?

Thanks to a UCM student:
Videnot.es is a website that allows you to upload videos (YouTube, Coursera, etc.) and add notes to them. While you can take notes about any video with pen and paper, Videonot.es has a few cool tricks up its (proverbial) sleeve. Your notes sync with the video as you type them. If you click back on an area of notes to review, the video goes back to that point as well. That way you get a reminder not only of what you write, but was was being said/done in the video as well. This is great for checking for consistency.  In addition, videonot.es links with your Google Drive account ! It automatically creates a folder in your drive when you link your account. The last (and one of the best) attributes is that you can share your notes, just like any Google Doc. This is great because it allows you or your students to collaborate on the same video. 
One excellent use for this is if you record your lesson. It allows students to go over the lecture as many times as needed to get the notes. You could also reverse the process by having students record themselves. You could then write down notes/critiques after uploading the video that would allow them to see exactly what you meant at the time. It would be an excellent tool for feedback in that regard. 
Happy Video Noting!
April 20, 2016
W.O.W., almost the end of school-- just breathe!
Earth Day is Friday, and this site from Free Technology for Teachers has a cool interactive "breathable" map:
In addition, the BBC has an excellent feature about global warming and sea level change.  Rising Sea Levels: A Tale of Two Cities compares the responses of two coastal cities to changes and future changes to sea levels.  Rising Sea Levels compares  Rotterdam and  Maputo . In the feature, readers will learn about the causes of sea level change and unique challenges facing each city because of sea level change. In addition to text, the feature includes an " in pictures " section in which you can see sketches of Rotterdam's potential responses to rising sea levels.

And, thanks to the High School Tech Aide, here's some Earth Day lessons specifically for the iPad:
Happy Earth Day!
April 27, 2016
With just three more W.O.W.'s, left in this school year, here's the scoop:
In between field days and field trips, how about a field museum?
The Brainscoopprovides videos for students to learn about the earth and natural history. Emily, the Chief Curiosity Correspondent of The Field Museum in Chicago, showcases some of the amazing things in their collection such as the taxonomy of candy and magic beans!
link to museum: https://www.fieldmuseum.org/topic/brain-scoop
link to blog: https://www.fieldmuseum.org/science/blog/brain-scoop
Happy Scooping!
May 4, 2016
 W.O.W., it's Star Wars Day! What better way to celebrate than by studying Force and Motion?

 Science Online is a site that contains lesson plans, interactive activities, worksheets and links for K-8 science. The resources are sorted by grade level and topics, such as Force and Motion, Energy, Living Things, Cells, and many more.

The site can also be used by 9-12 teachers for inspiration, other resources, and remedial work. It is also a good place to get work for students having trouble with different concepts.

And, just for fun, thanks to the WHS Tech Aide... Dress like a Wookiee, host a trivia bash, queue up the movies-May the 4th is all about celebrating our love of Star Wars. To top off your fun, we're offering a fantastic array of games, apps, and In-App Purchases at limited-time prices. Through May 6 , you can get discounts on everything from unforgettable role-playing games to a magical trading-card app. Plus, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is now available to rent-watch it for the second time, or more likely, the 11th!

Happy Star Wars Day and May the 4th Be With You!
May 12, 2016

W.O.W., one more week of school left!

How would you like to be "less busy" the last week of school?
How about a way to prevent students from slacking off?
Or find a way to keep discussions relevant to classroom activities as well as save project files, documents, plans, pictures, etc.?
Slack lets you do all of this and more. Users can set up public or private channels for messaging, create discussion boards, and share files from Google Drive and other services.
The Slack site also has a terrific help center with welcome guides and tips.

Happy Slacking!

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Posted by Monique Agueros on Wednesday, Aug 13th, 2014.
August 13, 2014

Wow, it's Wednesday!

Wow, another school year begins in the very near future (as in tomorrow!).
It's W.O.W. time!

Lots of websites exist with back-to-school activity ideas, ice breakers, organizational ideas, etc. This week's W.O.W. doesn't include any of those. Instead, we're going back to the future for back to school.
Future me is an excellent teaching tool and simple to use.
Step 1: Type your email address.
Step 2: Write a note to your future self.
Step 3: Choose a date to send your message.
That's it!
Here are just a few uses for Future me in the classroom.
•    Ask students what their goals are for the school year and maybe even for your class.  Have them write a message to themselves at the beginning of the last quarter for self-evaluation.
•    Teachers can use future me for self-reflection and evaluation-great for professional development.  Teachers could post date the e-mails for once a quarter as a reminder to pause and reflect on their professional progress.
•    For English as a second language students future me is excellent for pronunciation.  When students learn new vocabulary and the pronunciation thereof they can type up that list and send it to themselves a week or two later.  Then, students can check to see how well they remember to pronounce the words.  Students will need to have a teacher or a recording of the proper pronunciation of the words in order to check.  It would be great to use before a test or a presentation.
Here's additional info and another idea from Kevin Hodgson's blog:
At the end of our school year, one of my colleagues teaching sixth grade has all of her students write a letter to themselves in the future. She dutifully puts the letters away until the students' senior year of high school, when she puts a stamp on each of them and mails them to her all-grown-up former students. I always loved that idea of a student writing to themselves in the future. FutureMe gives that idea a 21st century twist by setting up a system for sending an email to yourself at a specified time in the future. You provide the email address, add a subject line, write a note to your future self, and then choose when it should get delivered. You may designate your emails private or public, and there is a gallery of interesting public emails (I did not find anything inappropriate, but you would be wise to check the gallery out before bringing students to the site).
A great time to use FutureMe would be at the start of the school year, as students begin to lay out their plans for the coming year. What if they sent themselves an email about their goals and then received that email at the end of the year? It might spark some interesting reflections.
As a classroom tool, FutureMe works through verified email addresses, so a teacher might need to set up a classroom email account for the site, and then let students use that account to send an email either to a home email address or back to the classroom account. 
What would you say to your future self?
Happy 1st Day of School!
Happy future days of school, too!
August 20, 2014
W.O.W., it's Wednesday again!
W.O.W., there's a lot of resources out there on the World Wide Web!
This week's W.O.W. may help you find exactly what you need when you need it-- finding great resources is like opening a present!
OpenEd is a fantastic site/catalog for finding educational resources such as educational games, links, and videos.  What makes OpenEd so great is that a user can search for resources by Common Standard or by keyword.  Also, each resource is rated on a 5 star scale.

Thanks to the Technology Tidbits blog for recommending this site
Happy Opening!
August 27, 2014
After almost two weeks of school, do you feel smart yet? Do you want to?
This week's W.O.W.  is all about the human body.
Get Body Smart has number of tutorials and quizzes divided into eight categories of anatomy and physiology. Each category is divided into subcategories where visitors will find quizzes for each topic. The tutorials and quizzes are best suited to use in advanced high school anatomy and physiology courses, but the diagrams and videos could be suitable for younger students, too.
Happy Getting Smart!
September 3, 2014
W.O.W.-- Read all about it!
Finding informational text for the many and varied levels of student reading abilities in any classroom can be a challenge. Having a source that allows teachers to track student progress by  Common Core Standards is even more difficult to find.
That's where  Newsela comes in.  

 Newsela is a website that offers students in grades 3-12 access to informational text taken from reputable news sources but rewritten and  Lexile leveled so students (or teacher) can choose the version best for them.  Thanks to the Teq Blog, here are a few steps to getting started using this great resource.
Happy Reading!
September 10, 2014
W.O.W., almost a whole month of school done! You've probably gathered quite a few resources to use in your classroom by now, and you may find it's tough to keep track of them. Or, if trying to get students to narrow the 50 billion or so results they get from a Google search has been utterly exhausting, you might like the site mentioned in the Technology Tidbits blog.
Been for Education is an easy-to-use Web 2.0 site for collaborative browsing and bookmarking the web in a safe environment.  The way this works is educators create, manage, and monitor the student accounts while they "guide" learning by browsing the web and collaborating in real-time.  This is all done through an easy to use interface and browser extension and is ideal for researching/introducing a topic, guided learning, and much more.
Happy "Been"ing!
September 19, 2014
W.O.W., it's Friday already!

Looking for something with all the answers? This week's website of the week and app of the week are a package deal. The Answer Pad website and apps can "Add a Little Spontaneity to your Class!" Similar to the Nearpod concept, teachers can design lessons, administer quizzes, and engage students with The Answer Pad. Students can receive immediate feedback and learn independently with the Tap It app.
Happy Answering and 'Appy Friday!
September 24, 2014
Hope there's no "Bats at the Ballgame" for the Royals as they close in on the Hunt for Blue October!

Speaking of close...

Exactly what do the Common Core standards mean by close reading? And what principles and practices should guide us as we implement close reading in the classroom?
This week's W.O.W. is from Edutopia (a great site on its own) and includes videos with tips for modeling close reading such as A Close Interactive Reading of "Bats at the Ballgame," How to Do a Close Read, How to Annotate Text, etc.

Thanks to Russell for the find!
Happy Reading and Go Royals!
October 1, 2014
W.O.W. it's Wednesday, W.O.W. Royals made history! W.O.W. what if they go all the way?!
Speaking of history, and what-if scenarios (perfect for not only social studies lessons, but also for writing, computing, discussing, and much more), this week's Website of the Week includes several ideas for "possibilism" lessons.
Thanks again to fabulous blogger Larry Ferlazzo, check out the "What If" history projects (follow the links under the short NPR article, too), and have your students make their own history.
Happy History Making!
October 10, 2014
Weather got you down? Go underground!

This week's Web/App of the Week is great for not only checking forecasts and watching radar, but also studying patterns, geographic regions, comparisons, etc.

 WunderMap® is an interactive weather map from Weather Underground that allows users to choose from different weather layers plotted on top of an interactive setting. Check out the settings wheel, too, to completely customize your experience!


Yes, there's an app for that, too!
'Appy Rainy Friday!
Go Royals!
October 15, 2014
 Wow, the Royals win again! Can these boys be tamed?? Not at all! But this week's W.O.W. can help you and your students tame words.

 Word Tamer is a neat site for learning the process of developing characters, settings, and plots in creative writing. Word Tamer is set up as an interactive journey through a carnival of literary devices. As students move through the carnival they develop characters, develop a setting, and develop a plot for their stories. At each stop in the Word Tamer carnival students can print out the words they have written. Along the way there are videos to help students understand the roles of characters, settings, and plot development in crafting a good story.

This is a very robust site with lots of animation and video, so it may work better as a whole-class activity using the teacher computer to display the site on the projector rather than a computer lab activity.


Happy Taming! and Keep Going Royals!
October 22, 2014
W.O.W., it's almost Halloween, and although Game One of the World Series didn't turn out as Royals fans would have hoped, we're confident that they can invoke fear into the Giants! If you'd like to invoke fear into your students (in a good way!) and get them into the spirit of Halloween (or reading just about anything) using sound, check out Booktrack.

Booktrack is a new way for students to read stories and texts accompanied by a movie-style soundtrack. Teachers and students can also create Booktracks using their own writing or works being studied in school.

Booktrack Classroom also has a lesson plan section (see attached for a spooky sample) and provides ideas and examples for:
•    Narrative Writing - Students add music and audio to their original stories.
•    Informative and Explanatory Writing - Students compose essays and articles selecting suitable audio to accompany their text.
•    Literature Study - Students gain insight and increased understanding of the text by creating their own soundtracks for novels, stories, and plays they are reading in class.
•    Read-Alouds - Teacher- and student-led read-alouds are enhanced through the addition of sound and music to the chapter or act being presented.
As described on the website, Booktrack Classroom achieves multiple learning objectives, while simultaneously promoting digital literacy and creative thinking among students. It can be used on both an individual basis as well as in group learning exercises.
Note: Several books already posted to the Booktrack site may not be suitable for all age levels, so teachers should preview works before displaying.
Thanks to the Technology Tidbits blog for the find:

Additional tips for using BookTrack can be found here:

Happy Tracking and Go Royals!
October 29, 2014
W.O.W., the Royals are out of this world right now and ready to take the World Series!
Google's going out of this world, too. The Google Play for Education team has worked with teachers to create  lesson plans and activities related to the new movie Interstellar which explores topics from climate change to space travel to the theory of relativity.
Check out the Space Hunt for daily discoveries:

Happy Space Travels and Go Royals!
November 5, 2014
W.O.W., baseball season is officially over-- what a good run! Now it's time for football, so this week's W.O.W. is a Technology Tailgate party-- This blog was created with a vision for teachers to collaborate, share ideas and demonstrate real ways technology is being used in the classroom. You'll find tons of resources for using web tools in the classroom, including mobile device apps, interactive white board tips, and tech tutorials.
Special thanks to Tracy from Maple Grove for sharing!
Happy Tailgating!
November 12, 2014
W.O.W., it's almost Thanksgiving! Of course, there are about as many sites with Thanksgiving activities and History of the First Thanksgiving stories as there are holiday meal leftovers. So, instead of rehashing the history of the holiday, this week's W.O.W. will let you take a look at your own history.
As a member of MOREnet, our district has free in-district access to Heritage Quest Online-- a fabulous resource for using primary documents. Visitors to the site have access to books, historical references, census information, PERCI archives, information about the Revolutionary War and Freedman's Bank, and several genealogy resources. Plus, you can search memorials, petitions, and private relief actions of the US Congress. Terrific resources for all kinds of lessons!


Happy Searching!
November 19, 2014
Wow, the Tiger's Den is officially open, it's really cold outside, and the holidays are right around the corner... in this time of giving, W.O.W. found a website with several additional service learning project ideas for all ages.
The GenerationOn site catalogs service learning and character education projects (for early elementary, too) including lesson plans, learning guides, training, and club memberships.
Currently, the featured project is the Joy Maker Challenge-- each time you "spread joy," Hasbro will donate a toy or game to Toys for Tots. Also this month is Family Volunteer Day (November 22) and Postcards for Soldiers.
Happy Serving!
December 5, 2014
Ever feel like there's not a reason to smile on a dreary, rainy day (or when you don't get your Website of the Week email on Wednesday)?
Have no fear, there's an app (and a website) for that!

http://howtosmile.org/ is an awesome website with science, math, and thinking activities that meet you where you live, whether your "classroom" is an active volcano, the shark tank at the local aquarium, or your own kitchen table?
Smile with a group of science museums dedicated to bringing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) out of the academic cloister and into the wider world. The site includes resource hubs for educational programs that involve people of all ages and backgrounds. "Together we're gathering the best STEM education materials from the web, and encouraging educators to both use and contribute to the growing collection."

Happy smiling and 'Appy Friday!
December 10, 2014
Wow, 'Tis the Season for Christmas cookies, which are really delicious.
Speaking of  deliciousness... A super website (with less calories!) is called Mathalicious-- a database of lessons that teach math through real-world topics. Examples include lessons called, "Out Of Left Field" to calculate which ballpark is the hardest to hit a home run, "About Time" to calculate time between major events using absolute value and operations on integers, and "Coupon Clipping" to decide if coupons are a good deal.
Happy Deliciousness!
December 17, 2014
Wow, it's the last Wednesday of the semester-- just in time for a website you may have forgotten all about, and just in time to give you something to do over break!
Did you know, in addition to tech tips, instructional videos, and oodles of resources, the Technology Home Page also offers online tech training modules? These modules are designed to help you master a concept and discover ideas for integrating technology all from the comfort of your own home. Recently updated, the page includes modules about topics such as Podcasting in the Classroom, Get Organized on your Computer, Creating Photobooks, and Learning with SketchUp. More modules are added periodically, so check back often for more learning opportunities!
Happy Moduling!
And, for another holiday iPad app, check out MyFlake, where you can create virtual snowflakes and save them to your Camera Roll.

'Appy Holidays!
January 7, 2015
W.O.W., it's cold! Time for some Frostbite Theater, but don't worry, it won't make you colder, and there's chocolate involved!
From Jefferson Lab's YouTube channel, the Frostbite Theater playlist includes over 60 videos about various chemistry and physics topics. Even if it's not practical (or too cold!) to actually conduct some of the experiments in the classroom, the videos do a great job of explaining concepts.

Here's a sample video which shows how to Measure the Speed of Light with Chocolate:

Thanks to Richard Byrne's blog for the mention.

Happy New Year!
January 14, 2015
W.O.W., Does data make you shudder? It doesn't have to! Ever wonder how to use data to promote lively discussions in the classroom? Go to Worldometers for real data in real time.
Worldometers come in a variety of forms and factoids, clicking off rapid fire statistics from teen pregnancies, health info, and tobacco and alcohol consumption, to year-to-date microdata like dollars spent on weight loss in the USA juxtaposed with people going hungry right this minute.
Energy and oil consumption; auto and bicycle production…the Worldometers.info site gauges off your own computer clock so you can reset your system time to say 2040 and go Back to the Future in a time travel moment to project how life might be when YOUR children are adults.
More info and other lively discussion topic ideas can be found here:
Happy Discussing!
January 21, 2015
W.O.W., it's Wednesday, W.O.W., it almost feels like Spring! From now until Earth Day, which is in the spring, W.O.W. would like to challenge you and your students to see how many trees you can plant-- no digging required!
Thanks to a Middle School Science teacher, this week's Website of the Week is actually a search engine that saves trees! Also a firefox addon, each time you search using Ecosia, the Nature Conservancy uses their profits to plant trees. Use Ecosia to help the environment just by searching the web. Give it a try!
(you can also get Google results, too).
Happy Planting!
January 30, 2015
 W.O.W., this week's Website of the Week and App of the Week is a perfect 10!
 Ten Marks , an online mathematics tutoring service, recently launched a  free program for teachers . Ten Marks provides educators with an online forum in which they can assign mathematics practice problems to students and track their students' progress. If a student gets stuck on a problem, he or she can open a tutorial to help him or her through the problem. Ten Marks provides teachers with the option to copy parents on the assignments sent to students. The online curriculum provided by Ten Marks can be aligned to the state standards a teacher chooses.
Plus, coming soon, March Math Madness contest!
Happy Marking and 'Appy Friday!
February 6, 2015
Have you ever found just the right video to enhance one of your lessons only to discover a small portion of the video is unusable or inappropriate? Ever wish you could just zap a piece of the video plus make sure your students are actually learning from the video rather than passively viewing?

Thanks to a high school math teacher, the website Zaption, similar to EdPuzzle, allows users to search for and upload a video, then trim portions of the video, mute the soundtrack/narration, upload subtitles, add text and image slides, and insert interactive elements such as drawings and response questions directly to the video. But wait, there's more! You can even add more than one video to your "tour" and give others editing rights to add their own elements to the tour-- it's like sharing a Google doc but better!


And, of course, there's an app for that! Download the mobile player for Zaption here:

Happy Zapping and 'Appy Friday!
February 11, 2015
Ever wish you could incorporate more primary documents within your lessons but can't really travel to the National Archives? W.O.W., several historical collections are available online! Using primary sources can really make any lesson in just about any subject area really come alive. According to the MakeUseOf website, seeing these collections up close and personal enables you to take a peek inside a person's life and mind, and see their thoughts and reasoning. It can be a fascinating process.

Plus, just in time for Darwin Day (tomorrow), one of the collections includes the scientific papers of Charles Darwin now available as high resolution images.

Happy Viewing!
February 20, 2015
This year is the "Back to the Future" anniversary, and I'm sure several of us at one point have wished we could go back or forward in time. While no time machine, this week's App and W.O.W. can let you and your students study places and events in a whole new way.
Thanks to our Instructional Technology Specialist, What Was There lets you "put history in its place" by pinpointing locations on a map showing historical photos. You can even use the iPhone's or iPad's camera for an augmented reality experience of the history that surrounds you.
Of course, this app and website has numerous uses in the social studies classroom, but it would be quite useful for language arts and reading to describe settings or give prompts for writing as well as in science to compare landscapes and math to measure distances.
Note: For now, this app is an iPhone only app, so to install the app on an iPad, enter your search term in the App Store as usual, then, in the upper left corner of the search results, use the drop down under "iPad Only" to select "iPhone Only."
Happy Time Traveling and 'Appy Friday!

February 25, 2015
Wow, two big days to celebrate that it's almost Spring.

The Royals officially begin Spring Training today, so here's a nifty classroom activity suitable for all subject areas and grade levels to review material and add some healthy competition to the classroom.


Monday is Dr. Seuss' birthday, and while a Google search gives several results, this site not only offers information about Theodor Geisel's life, it also describes a unique national memorial. You can take your students on a virtual tour of The Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden in Dr. Seuss' home town of Springfield, Massachusetts.

Happy (almost) Spring, Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss, and Play Ball!
March 11, 2015
Wow, the time has changed, and so has standardized testing. Thanks to resources from our library media specialists, you won't have to lose any sleep over how to prepare students for the upcoming tests.

Pearl Trees, a free site for collecting, organizing, and sharing resources, contains a collection from a librarian in Ohio of web sites and tools that students in elementary through high school can use to practice the different tech skills they will need for both math and ELA.

In addition, That Quiz provides practice for technology skills and actual learning skills students will need for tests. Teachers can sign up for a free account and create custom quizzes.  A tutorial is also available with tips about how to use the site:  http://commoncore.tcoe.org/tech/tech-connect/tech-connect/2014/01/16/preparing-for-smarter-balanced-assessments


Does all this talk about testing make you sad? Turn that frown upside down with Happy Numbers. This app allows teachers to assign K-2 math standards to those who need extra time practicing. The teacher is able to group students and assign each group a set of standards or have all standards available for all students. Easy for little ones to navigate, Happy Numbers can also read the directions to non readers with just a tap of the finger.
Happy Spring Break and Happy Testing!
March 25, 2015
WOW, today is Waffle Day! Time to use that waffle-looking icon to access your Google Drive and turn a Google Spreadsheet into a set of flash cards!
Make a copy of the template on the Flippity website, enter your text, then publish and share a link to your flashcards-- that's it! Easy as making waffles!
Thanks again to MW Media Specialist for the resource!
 Happy Flipping and Happy Waffle Day!
April 1, 2015
Let the games begin-- baseball games that is! With Opening Day just around the corner, it's time to discover how to use digital learning games to enhance teaching and learning.
The EdGames site provides several free game templates for teachers (and students) to create games using your own class content. Some of the more popular games include Guess Louie, Sunken Treasure, and Beach Rally. There are even games using Word and Excel.
Using a game-based structure is a great way to review material as well as introduce new concepts in an engaging way. Plus, when students create their own games, they are applying what they've learned and gaining problem-solving skills.
 Happy Playing!
April 15, 2014
Wow, what happened to Spring? On such a dreary day, how about adding some color to your brainstorming activities?
Here's a simple to use resource from a UCM student that can be incorporated in just about any classroom :
Lino is a virtual sticky note/corkboard website with a tag line of "Colorful Collaboration." Lino is very similar to  Padlet but with a more streamlined presentation of the collaboration space along with simpler navigation.
Lino's sticky notes resemble traditional sticky notes, an aesthetic that means a great deal to some. It could be used by cooperative groups to brainstorm together, and another benefit for Lino being a digital tool is how collaborators are able to access the board from a distance which obviously can't happen with a tactile board and stickies. You might even enjoy rotating the sticky notes much like they would appear with analog supplies.
Happy Sticking!
April 22, 2015
 Wow, it's Earth Day! 
 While the WHS Greenhouse is having its annual sale, and several kiddos are out planting trees and flowers, and the university is hosting activities, here's a site that brings the Earth's news to you.
 Our Little Earth is a nice site that provides bi-weekly summaries of the world's biggest news stories. The summaries are written for students. Each edition includes video clips along with the stories. In each edition you'll find stories appropriate for use in social studies, math, and science lessons. You may also find stories about the arts, entertainment, and popular culture. A few "did you know" questions appear in each issue as well. An archive containing every edition going back to 2007 is available too.

Applications for Education
 Our Little Earth could be a good little resource on which you can base some quick lessons about a variety of topics. For a donation of one dollar (or more if you're so inclined) you can subscribe to some extra questions and accompanying activities for each edition. Or you could just create your own discussion questions. Either way all of the articles and "did you know" questions mentioned above are free.
Happy Earth Day!
April 28, 2015
W.O.W., a day early-- the spirit of Earth Day continues for Arbor Day!

The National Building Museum hosts a Green Community section with information about a wide range of "green" topics such as using public transportation, the benefits of walking, and whether tap water is really bad for you.

You can even send ecards with environmental messages which can then be posted on a teacher/student website or blog.

Happy Arbor Day!
May 6, 2015
W.O.W., isn't Google great?!

By now, the majority of us have been using Google Drive for communication, collaboration, cloud storage, and well, just about everything. While Google is great and convenient (not to mention free), there's still some hesitation with having all of your eggs in one basket so to speak. What if you wanted to access your files but you do not have access to a reliable internet connection? What if someone shared something with you and will longer have an account? What if you just want some peace of mind that you really do have access to all of your stuff?

No worries-- check out Google Takeout to transfer ownership of files to another account, save your contacts and messages, manage your group lists for emails, save your photos, calendar events, videos saved in your YouTube channel, and much more.

And, for a video tutorial, see this link:
Happy Taking and Saving!
May 13, 2015

Searching for ways to make your lessons more authentic? Are you on a hunt for a wider audience for your students' work?

W.O.W., look no further! Achieve your reading and writing objectives with a fun place for classes to collaborate and publish books.

But wait, there's more! Student Treasures also provides information about book challenges and grant opportunities, too. Plus, there are several resources for encouraging summer reading.


Happy Hunting!
May 20, 2015
W.O.W., it's almost the last day of school!
The textbooks have been returned, most of the iPads have been reset, the computer labs are probably shut down, what to do?
Get the newspaper!
From a former student (who is now a grad student!),  Newspapermap.com is used to compare stories going on in current events from differing points of view. This site is awesome! How often can you compare the NY times (New York) to the Times of Oman (Oman) or The People's Daily (China) about the same story? Immerse your students in the culture of another country by seeing things through their eyes. This site offers translations too, so you can easily translate from the paper's original language to that which you speak.
Happy Last Day!

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August 15, 2013
Here it is-- today-- Wow, first day of school already! Time for a new W.O.W.!
 Here is today is an interesting little web app that helps students visualize time in a new way.  Students start out by seeing a square and a title that says "here is today" with the current date.  When students click "okay" at the bottom, they are taken to a visual of the next step in.  Students can see where the day is falling within the month, the year, the century, the millennium, the epoch, the period, the era, the eon, the earth, life, oxidation, fish, insects, reptiles, mammals, birds, humans, and the universe.  Each stage of the graphic has an arrow pointing out how today (whatever day that happens to be) compares in the grander scheme of things.  Pretty cool!
How to integrate  Here is Today into the classroom:    Here is Today is an outstanding way to help students understand where they are in place in time.  They can see where they are and then compare it to the larger history of the world and universe.  Obviously, this is a natural fit into a history or biology class.  Here is Today would also make a great object lesson in math and be great for studying comparison and scale.  It would also make for a great philosophical discussion as we realize just how minute the moment we are living in really is.
 Here is Today is a great site for students to explore and inquire about independently.  What questions arise as they explore the site?  After students have investigated and come up with their own lines of inquiry, gather back as a classroom community and discuss those lines of inquiry and the thinking that led to them.  If you happen to follow the IB Primary Years Program, this fits in great to "Where are we in place and time" inquiry.
 Here is Today would also be a useful visual on an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer where a class can observe and explore together during discussion.  The way that the site compares time is seriously smart.
 Here is Today could launch an interesting creative writing assignment.  Invite each student to explore the site and to choose a view.  The story could be written based on the point of view and time that they chose.  This could be a new way to explore setting, time and theme.

Happy First Day!
August 21, 2013
This week's Website of the Week will make you happier than a camel on Wednesday!
Everyone needs to just smile every once in a while, and who doesn't love baby animals? ZooBorns brings you the newest and cutest exotic animal babies from zoos and aquariums around the world. 
"More than just a furry face," though, Zooborns includes awesome photos (perfect for spicing up any presentation), amazing videos (great for habitat research), and unique facts and conservation information (terrific for any kind of report).
Site visitors can search and sort by a specific animal, and there's more than just lions, tigers, and bears, oh, my! You can find tons of info about kudos, bonobos, okapis (gotta love the okapi!!), and yes, camels. What a way to be able to visit zoos across the country without ever leaving the classroom.
Happy Hump Day!

August 28, 2013
Do you miss paper?
With so many awesome technology tools, more teachers are "going paperless." Sometimes, though, an activity calls for good, old-fashioned, paper!
But wait... if you have a projector in your classroom, or a document manager page on your website, you could display paper online! How cool is that? Plus, if you have some sort of interactive whiteboard, you could even write and draw on the digital paper-- Wow!
With Paperkit you can easily generate the exact type of graph/grid paper that you need, on the spot, for free.
The Paperkit toolbar allows you to fully customize the settings for your specific needs. You have control over:
•    spacing between grid lines
•    margin size
•    stroke color and width
•    paper size.
There are five paper formats available: letter, legal, tabloid, A4, and A3. You can choose either inches or millimeters. A live preview will help you visualize your design.
Once you have completed the design of your paper, the paper will open in a new browser window and you can print the graph paper immediately or save it as a PDF.
Paperkit has the tools to make custom grid paper, dotted paper, and lined paper that you can print and use right away or save for later.

Happy (virtual) Printing!
September 4, 2013
I know, this week's Website of the Week is a little late, but here's a site that will make everything OK:

Thanks again to a special Sterling teacher for sending it over-- I'm OK, you're OK!
If still not OK for you, try this:
At Teaching Children Philosophy you'll find:
•    Book modules for a range of children's books that include short introductions to the philosophical issues raised by each book and discussion-starter questions to ask children.
•    More resources about having a philosophical discussion with young children, including links to pages for educators, parents, and kids, an interview with Tom Wartenberg, and news about his recent books.
The Sample Courses page can help you set up your own eight week philosophy course using the book modules. Three sample syllabi are presented: a general introduction to philosophy, one focused on ethics, and one that includes books that address issues about knowledge and reality.
From: http://cffmv.blogspot.com/2013/07/featured-7-22-2013-teaching-children.html
Happy being OK!
September 9, 2013
 With Patriot Day this week, the Website of the Week has an interesting site to take a look a historical events from a different perspective.

 Who Am I? A History Mystery is a fun and challenging activity from the Smithsonian's  The Price of Freedom online exhibit. Who Am I? presents players with six historical characters that they have to identify using the text and image clues provided. To solve the mystery, players have to match the visual artifacts to each character.
Applications for Education
 Who Am I? A History Mystery could be a good way for history students to practice using evidence to create a hypothesis. Who Am I? is part of a larger online Smithsonian exhibit called  The Price of Freedom .  The Price of Freedom offers a series of detailed lesson plans and videos for six major events and eras in US History. Those events and eras are War of Independence, Wars of Expansion, The Civil War, World War II, Cold War/ Vietnam, and September 11.
 In Remembrance.
September 20, 2013
W.O.W., did you miss it this week? Have no fear-- all of your weekly stuff is right here-- here's this week's Website of the Week and App of the Week in a nutshell.
Planet Nutshell is a small motion graphics outfit that produces animated educational and explanatory videos for public institutions and commercial clients. So, if you are looking for creative ways to explore topics, enhance flipped classrooms, or just cool explanations and examples of how to explain things, visit Planet Nutshell.
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Then, once you've seen how it's done, you can explain it yourself (or have your students explain a concept, describe a procedure, tell a story, etc.). Explain Everything is an easy-to-use design tool that lets you annotate, animate, and narrate explanations and presentations. This app is not a freebie, but $2.99 is a small price to pay for everything!


Happy Explaining and 'Appy Friday!
September 25, 2013
Do you like Pinterest but not all of the non-educational categories? Described as, "what teachers want Pinterest to be," eduClipper is a different social bookmarking platform that allows teachers and students to explore, share and contribute to a library of educational content. There's a bookmarklet for Firefox browsers, as well as an Android app, and teachers can collect several clippings for a particular theme and share those resources with their classes. Plus, eduClipper seamlessly integrates with Edmodo.

According to the awesome ed tech blogger Richard Byrne, eduClipper is much more than a visual bookmarking service. You can add PowerPoint, PDF, and image files to your boards. You can also add links to videos to your boards. You can play the videos without leaving your eduClipper board. And those of us who have Google Drive embedded into our professional lives will be happy to know that we can add Google Drive files to our eduClipper boards.

But wait, there's more! eduClipper now has a feature allowing students to create digital portfolios.

Happy Clipping!
October 4, 2013
W.O.W., it's Friday!
It's almost the end of the quarter, so if you are looking for additional resources to help students brainstorm, create, and study-- no problem!
 Problem Attic is a free service that allows users to quickly create practice tests and flashcards for social studies, language arts, mathematics, and science.

Recent updates to the interface ensures that problem cards will always fit on the size screen that you're using, and  Problem Attic plans to add more services including support for free-response math questions aligned to Common Core standards.
Do you want your students to easily visualize a concept and turn it in to an outline? How about take an outline and/or notes and quickly turn it into a graphic organizer? Again, no problem!

Idea Sketch is a free app which lets you easily draw a diagram - mind map, concept map, or flow chart - and convert it to a text outline, and vice versa. You can use Idea Sketch for anything, such as brainstorming new ideas, illustrating concepts, making lists and outlines, planning presentations, creating organizational charts, and more.
'Appy Friday!
October 11, 2013
Why are bacteria bad at math?
Because they multiply by dividing!
Want more riddles? Check out the Inference Riddle Game on Phil Tulga's website to have some fun making inferences and predictions.
Thanks to a friendly media specialist, this week's App of the Week is called Shadow Puppet.  It is similar to Explain Everything where students can record their voices while explaining what they see in a picture, but instead of drawing tools they just touch on the screen and a little yellow sparkle appears where they point.  They can create a slide show and narrate several pictures at once.
 The pros: It's free, it's easy, and it allows the user to use a picture from the iPad's camera roll as well as take a new picture.
The cons: Puppets (narrated slideshows) are not saved to the device's camera roll-- Puppets must be emailed to someone and viewed on a desktop computer. Although, from the website, an embed code is offered, allowing teachers to embed the Puppets on their websites; Shadow Puppet requires users to set up an account before emailing Puppets.
Happy Riddling and 'Appy Friday!
October 18, 2013
Ever wish you could stand up and be counted? You can sit down if you want, though-- with Census at School, you and your students have an opportunity to count and be counted as well as compile meaningful data and practice problem-solving skills.

Thanks to a former art teacher for sharing this website, Census at School is an international classroom project that engages students in grades 4-12 in statistical problem solving. Students complete a brief online survey, analyze their class census results, and compare their class with random samples of students in the United States and other countries. Real time, real data, real world!


Back to the world of Warrensburg-- Thanks to Mary Castro and Scott Patrick for sharing, this week's app is designed to provide easy access to school and district information including calendars, lunch menus, sports schedules (and scores), notifications, social media and more. And this is just the beginning. Based on your feedback we envision continuing to build out the app to meet future needs.


Happy Counting and 'Appy Friday!
October 21, 2013
The hour is upon us... No, not parent conferences, The Hour of Code.
To celebrate  Computer Science Education Week (Dec. 9-15), Code.org with the support of Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, the Boys & Girls Clubs, the College Board, the NSTA, NCTM, and dozens of other partners are organizing the largest initiative of its kind: a campaign to get 10 million students of all ages to try computer science for one hour.
For all ages, all grade levels, and all experienced or unexperienced-- there's even prizes!

Happy Coding!
October 30, 2013
W.O.W., it's Halloween!

Have you ever wanted to make your own slime? How about glowing beverages? Or the ultimate in spooky fun-- a screaming cup!

Thanks to Larry Gerlazzo's awesome blog chock full of awesome websites, you can learn how to conduct all kinds of experiments with Science Bob. Even if you do not have access to some of the supplies needed for the experiments, you can still visit the site to watch a few cool videos. Plus, even if you're not a science teacher, you can still have some Language Arts fun by describing the supplies or predicting the results. Math students can make estimates of the supplies needed or figure the odds. Ferlazzo also has a few sites related to the history of Halloween and the Day of the Dead for Social Studies and Foreign Language teachers also.

What would Halloween be without the candy? Here's some candy-nomics for you:
Happy Halloween!
November 4, 2013
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, W.O.W. once again turned to Richard Byrne's great website for a unique approach to studying historical events-- using maps to analyze data and identify patterns in history.
Mapping History, produced by the University of Oregon, features lots of animated maps illustrating problems, patterns, and events throughout history.  Mapping History is essentially a digital atlas of American, European, Latin American, and African history. Each section is divided into modules based on historical themes and eras.
In addition to using thematic maps to illustrate patterns in history, some of the maps will also be useful as question prompts. 
For the iPad users out there, thanks to a Sterling 3rd grade teacher, here's a fun yet challenging app as you prepare for writing all of those historical/holiday poems:
Rhymes & 'Nyms™- Where Rhymes, Antonyms, Synonyms and Homonyms meet
Happy Mapping and 'Appy Monday!
November 13, 2013
Sometimes Thanksgiving is associated with eating (I can almost smell the pies now!), but with "giving" in the name, it's also a time for sharing and helping. This week's Website of the Week gives a whole new meaning to giving.
We Give Books is a new digital initiative that enables anyone with access to the Internet to put books in the hands of children who don't have them, simply by reading online.
"Combining the joy of reading with the power of helping others."

Thanks to a Middle School teacher for giving.

Happy Reading and Happy Giving!
November 20, 2013
This week marks the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination. While there are numerous sites about his life and presidency, few sites attempt to delve deeper. One site from ABC News asks readers to discuss what might have been.

From the site:
"For the last 50 years, writers and scholars have penned "alternate histories," dreaming up a world in which the 35th president survived the attempt on his life.
"If we ask the right questions about what might have been, we can learn important lessons -- not only how 'contingent' history is, but also what kind of qualities we want and need in the leaders we choose," political analyst Jeff Greenfield, himself an author of one of those parallel universe books, recently wrote in The Dallas Morning News."
To see the five samples, click thesymbol
Seems like an interesting way to look at history from a different perspective by creating "What If" headlines.
Thanks to Larry Ferlazzo's awesome blog for the resource.
Happy Headlining!
November 25, 2013
A Thanksgiving for the Birds-- no, not Angry Birds-- Among the flock of Thanksgiving resources available on the web is a fun Mad-Lib- style game to tell a story about how you spend Thanksgiving Day.

You can also Quiz Your Noodle on this site!

For even more fun, Map Your Recipe is a neat use of Google Maps that allows you to enter a recipe and find out where the vegetables in that recipe were first domesticated. According to the creator of the site the purpose of doing this is to show how few truly local ingredients go into many of our favorite meals. You can try Map Your Recipe with one of the sample recipes or you can enter a recipe of your own. Map Your Recipe could be a fun tool to have students use to see where their favorite Thanksgiving foods originally came from.


Thanks to Larry Ferlazzo's Best Of... series and Richard Byrne's blog for the resources.
Happy Thanksgiving!
December 4, 2013
Wow, the weather is changing, the street decorations are up, lights are coming on all over the neighborhoods, the Capitol's tree goes up today, elves are appearing on shelves everywhere, so time for some Holiday Cheer websites!
From Technology Rocks, here are lots of sites to virtually decorate trees (stretchy garland and everything!), play Santa games, learn about geography, practice math facts, and more.
Happy Decorating!
December 12, 2013
We've all heard the expression, "There's an app for that," but did you know you could write your own?

To wrap up Computer Science Education Week, thanks to a Middle School teacher for sharing this "honestly bananas" site suitable for ages 6-106 with easy-to-use tutorials for basic computer programming.

And, create games, puzzles, and apps using code with this site:

For even more resources about computer science lessons for any classroom:
Happy Computer Science Week and 'Appy almost Friday!
December 18, 2013
Wow-- as if a piano playing by itself was not amazing enough, W.O.W. and Larry Ferlazzo spread some holiday cheer with a thinking piano, too!

Happy Holidays!
January 6, 2014
Besides snow and ads for diets, January usually brings a host of "Year in Review" types of sites. While creating timelines can be quite useful, W.O.W. found a different spin on the Through the Years type of activities-- Let's call it Through the Words!

From the Oxford dictionaries site:

Do you know which words entered the English language around the same time you entered the world? Use our OED birthday word generator to find out! We've scoured the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) to find words with a first known usage for each year from 1900 to 2004.

Happy New Year!
January 13, 2014
Next Monday is designated as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and while there are several websites devoted to learning about King (see one of the best collections by Larry Ferlazzo: http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/2008/12/21/the-best-websites-about-martin-luther-king/), W.O.W. thought it would be interesting to investigate a related topic and site.
Did you know King was one of the youngest recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize? Did you also know that The Nobel Prize website has an  educational games section?
 This section is designed to help students learn about subjects in the areas of Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Literature, Peace, and Economics. Each of the science-related games and the economics game is based upon the research of Nobel Prize winners. The literature and peace games are based upon concepts central to the work of Nobel Prize winners in those fields.
Thanks to Richard Byrne for sharing the site.
Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!
January 21, 2014
In all of the Martin Luther King, Jr. resources available all month, at least a few of them have been primary documents. W.O.W. found a way to enrich other lessons by using primary documents and other resources focusing on childhood and history. The Edge21 blog describes an interesting project with teaching modules using primary sources in the classroom.

Children and Youth in History helps teachers and students by providing access to information about the experiences of children and youth from multiple perspectives as well as changing notions about childhood and adolescence in past cultures and civilizations.

The free website addresses questions such as: What was it like to be a youth throughout history? How has childhood changed and how has it remained the same? What factors have shaped childhood? How did children shape history, society, and culture?

Key features:
•    A Primary Source Database with guidance on how to use those sources critically and tools for annotating and organizing the sources
•    Website Reviews that focus on online resources for studying and teaching the history of childhood and youth in world history
•    Eleven Teaching Modules that provide historical context, teaching tools, and strategies for teaching with sets of primary sources
•    Teaching Case Studies that model strategies for using primary sources to teach the history of childhood and youth
Happy Teaching!
January 27, 2014
What a concept!

Concept maps, also known as cluster maps, mind maps, and probably a host of other names, are great for brainstorming, creating timelines, or organizing notes. The ability to add images and even video make these maps even more useful.

Thanks to the Technology Tidbits blog, you can create these types of concept maps with Edynco. This map-making site stands out from others because it allows educators to create a multimedia presentation that is "zoomable," similar to Prezi.

These Learning Maps can contain all types of media (audio, video, images) and are ideal for "flipping" a classroom or Guided Learning.  Best of all, a finished Map can be shared via a URL or embedded into a site/blog.


Happy Mapping!
February 11, 2014
W.O.W., we've had a lot of snow days! Because it would be a bit difficult to journey outside, and because tomorrow is Darwin Day, how about a virtual voyage?
Again, thanks to Larry Ferlazzo's blog and "The Best..." lists, here's a game called Darwin's footsteps (does take a while to load):

For other resources, check out the rest of Ferlazzo's list:
And, for more information, essays, and events related to Darwin Day:
Happy Darwin Day!
February 18, 2014
The Winter Olympics is coming to a close, so time to Go for the Gold with some ready-to-use lesson plans from the Teq Blog.

Sponsored by the National Science Foundation and NBC learn, most lessons are science related and targeted at the middle-school level, but they easily could be modified for just about any grade level, and you'll find details on how to integrate each lesson with other curricular areas, too, including History, Physical Education, and yes, even the all-important Common Core ELA.

Happy Winter!
February 24, 2014
For the last week of Black History Month, W.O.W. found a worthy resource from Smithsonian Education.
In addition to resources, lesson plans, and online events, the Black History section of the Smithsonian education site includes portraits of artists, authors, and aviators, as well as educators, musicians, and historians. Visitors to the site can even take virtual tours of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Whether you're looking for supplemental information, lesson plans, additional resources, interesting pictures for discussion starters, or just about anything else, the Smithsonian has something for everyone.

Happy Black History Month!
March 10, 2014
Like pie? W.O.W. does, too, but not rhubarb, and, on March 14, W.O.W. prefers another kind-- Pi.
You can celebrate Pi day at the Exploratorium site where you'll find tons of activities, photos, and events, as well as a history of Pi Day. You can even help celebrate Einstein's birthday, too.


Don't like pie? How about some Grok?
In the words of InstaGrok's founders, their platform is more than a Google Search. With dynamic visual results, a grok gives a student a great visual representation of the topic they are searching. This supports visual learners and makes content much more appealing than simply looking through text.

InstaGrok gives you a direct link to the source of everything it finds for you. Even better is that an evaluation of web resources is built right into your Grok. This prompts students to check the credibility of the source and make sure it is appropriate for their research.

Happy Pi Day!
March 26, 2014
Spring is here even though it still feels like the cool, minty fresh of winter, so W.O.W. (with the help of Free Technology for Teachers) found a different kind of mint-- Classmint-- for a refreshing twist on the classic flash card.
Classmint is a free online flashcard service. Like other services similar to it, Classmint can be used to create and share sets of flashcards. A couple of aspects of Classmint make it different from some other flashcard services. First, Classmint will read your flashcards to you. Second, in addition to supporting the use of images, Classmint allows you to annotate those images on your flashcards. It's like Spring for your notes!
Happy Spring!
April 2, 2014
W.O.W., it's baseball season! Time to slide into home with a new presentation site!

Biteslide slidebooks are "an amazing form of self-expression using images, videos, text and much more." This is a very user friendly drag-n-drop site that has students creating presentations, slideshows, posters, portfolios, etc. by adding any type of media.  In addition, users have access to a handy browser plugin that can be installed to easily save and access images from across the web. Educators can add, track, and monitor students, too.
A free demo is available, but the website insists teacher accounts will be "free forever" and include:
•    1 teacher
•    30 students
•    1 project
•    Unlimited slidebooks
•    Self-register students
•    Copy slidebooks
•    Feature control
Happy Sliding!
April 11, 2014
Flipping your classroom-- is that idea puzzling to you?

Check out EDpuzzle, one of the favorite free sites mentioned on the Technology Tidbidts blog. The way the site works is by taking a video and turning it into a digital lesson by cropping, recording audio, and adding questions to any video.  This is perfect for assessing students and allowing them to learn at home while guiding instruction in the classroom.  Also, this is a great way for teachers to track student's progress on a lesson and differentiate instruction to help them learn more effectively.


Have an iPad? You'll flip for this week's app:

If you're looking for an easier way to create multimedia slideshows on your iPad, SlideIdea may well be the perfect solution. It's even cheaper than the iOS version of Apple's Keynote - cheaper as in free! SlideIdea allows users to create, share, and export slideshow presentations to other applications. This iPad-exclusive app also allows you to share slideshows online, as well as incorporating online polls for audience responses.

Speaking of flipping... Would you like to learn more strategies for flipping your classroom and receive graduate credit at the same time? Sign up for next year's 21st Century Teaching course, "On the Flip Side."

Happy Flipping and 'Appy Friday!
April 22, 2014
 This is a short week, but a longer W.O.W.

 First, today is Earth Day, so as a twist to traditional Earth Day celebrations (or as an extension), Our Little Earth is a nice site that provides bi-weekly summaries of the world's biggest news stories written especially for students. Each edition includes video clips along with the stories. In each edition you'll find stories appropriate for use in social studies, math, and science lessons. You may also find stories about the arts, entertainment, and popular culture. A few "did you know" questions appear in each issue as well. An archive containing every edition going back to 2007 is available too.
For a donation of one dollar (or more if you're so inclined) you can subscribe to some extra questions and accompanying activities for each edition. Or you could just create your own discussion questions. Either way all of the articles and "did you know" questions mentioned above are free.
Speaking of special days and news-worthy events, Wednesday, April 23rd is the 450th birthday of  William Shakespeare . His works have made him one of the most studied, researched, and popular writers, so in honor of his special day the Teq blog created its own version of an English Sonnet to introduce you to a great resource on the web for accessing his works for use in your classroom.
Ode to Shakespeare's Birthday
In celebration of Shakespeare's Birthday
Teq has found a great resource for you.
A resource we use constantly that is here to stay.
A resource that will help you Differentiate Instruction, too.
If you use  www.archive.org you may find
Endless resources far and wide.
"Won't you tell us you ask and be so kind."
"I will. This is a resource I am NOT trying to hide"
There is a place to download audio and text of William Shakespeare
Has his complete works for all to download and hear!
 Internet Archive is a site where you can get the entire works of William Shakespeare in PDF format to use for individual or shared reading. In addition, you can listen to a Shakespearean trained actor reading a sonnet or play via the .mp3 format.
Happy Earth Day and Happy Birthday!
April 28, 2014
Arbor Day is Tree-mendous!

To celebrate, you and your students can take part in a Tree Challenge to learn more about trees in the community with a Community Tree Contest.
•    Learn techniques used by professionals to measure champion trees
•    Practice tree identification
•    Incorporate math skills
This activity is a great follow-up to a tree identification unit or lead-in for an Arbor Day celebration.
Happy Arbor Day!
May 5, 2014
Last week's App of the Week and this week's W.O.W. are one and the same in response to the question Why is it so difficult to create an awesome presentation?
From easy-to-use tools to a huge gallery of copyright-free, beautiful images, Haiku Deck makes it "simple and fun" to create inspiring presentations.
Here's part of their story:
Deep down, we believe that presenting your company, or your story, or your idea should be a fun, creative experience, but for nearly everybody we talked to, it was the opposite. We've all been using pretty much the same tools, in the same way, for years--using lame templates, fiddling with the space between our bullets, and wrestling with bulky file attachments--despite the fact that we hate doing those things and we're spending an increasing amount of time on connected, mobile devices.
We decided it was high time to reinvent presentations for how we work, communicate, and create now. With Haiku Deck, anyone can easily create a flawless presentation that can be easily projected, shared, posted, embedded on a website or blog, or viewed on any web-enabled device.
Also an iPad app available for free from iTunes:
'Appy Presenting!
May 23, 2014
With the end of the year approaching quickly, some of you may find that students are a bit more energetic than usual-- maybe we all need a brain break!

Thanks to a Ridgeview teacher for sharing the Go Noodle website. There's a short brain break activity for every part of the day. Calm the classroom or energize your students depending on the time of day.

Maybe you need to channel some energy into a productive learning activity. Thanks to Richard Byrne, there's an app for that, too!

Fetch! Lunch Rush! is a neat use of augmented reality to create a mathematics lesson for younger students. The free iPhone app (which also works on an iPad) was developed by PBS Kids. The purpose of the app is to get kids moving about a room in search of numbers that are the correct answer to the questions posed to them on the app. Students read the arithmetic problem on the app then search out the correct answer. When they think they have found the correct answer they scan it with their iPhone or iPad to find out if they are correct or not.

To have your students play Fetch! Lunch Rush! you do have to download and print some game pieces to distribute around your classroom. After you have done that you're ready to let your students play the game. The app allows up to four players to use the same device.

Happy Brain Breaking, and 'Appy Friday!
May 30, 2014

Like the concept of Student Response Systems (clickers), but can't get access to them? Clickers can be a great tool for prompting on-topic classroom discussions, gathering survey or poll data quickly, and many other class activities to engage students (especially useful at the end of the year!). If you have a phone or iPad, though, you can capture the power of clickers with an iPhone app called Plickers.

Just give each student a card (a "paper clicker"), and use your smartphone to scan them to do instant checks-for-understanding, exit tickets, and impromptu polls. Students choose A, B, C, or D by rotating their cards, and you can scan multiple students at once. Best of all, your data is automatically saved, student-by-student, at plickers.com.
Here's how it works as described in a review:
1.    Each student gets a unique barcode - a paper clicker.
2.    Students answer questions by showing their barcodes to the teacher's smartphone.
3.    The teacher gets a real-time bar graph and the data is stored individually by student.

And for all of you Edmodo users out there, Edmodo announced an updated iPad app as well as a free virtual conference coming up:
Happy Plicking, Happy Summer, and 'Appy Friday!

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Posted by Monique Agueros on Thursday, Aug 9th, 2012.
August 13, 2012
Hello and Welcome Back from the Technology Center! It's W.O.W. time again-- so here's the first Website of the Week for the new school year. Share my Lesson is an online community for teachers to find and share free educational resources. This is a great place for educators to collaborate as well as find resources for common core standards. Besides a resource bank where users can upload and download lessons, with a free login, teachers can also work on curriculum, view games and puzzles, prepare test reviews, take video tours of sites, and review behavior management tips.
Happy New School Year!
P.S. The W.O.W. archives can be found here: http://www.warrensburgr6.org/WOW
August 20, 2012
Like blogger Rebecca Haines, I have a love-hate relationship with Wal-Mart. Shopping there can be unpleasant, as I always seem to forget when UCM's moving day is; however, I still shop there because I know I can find just about anything I want. Well, 4teachers.org is like the Wal-Mart of classroom technology resources, but better. You can find it all under one roof, AND you won't spend hours stuck in line or circling the parking lot.
 4teachers.org has a plethora of tools that teachers can use to make their lives easier. CasaNotes generates simple form letters that you can edit and print in English and Spanish. It offers some of the basics you might not want to recreate like progress reports, field trip permission slips, and parent-conference notices. The PBL Checklist section not only gives you information on the basics of PBL, but also provides customizable checklists for typical projects at various grade levels. Finally, the Teacher Tacklebox will allow you to search the best of the resources found on 4teachers.org. You can input a subject (such as Math), a theme (such as Basic Math), and a topic (such as Place Value), and it will come up with lesson ideas. TrackStar tracks links to help you differentiate your instruction and integrate technology.
 There are many more useful tools on 4teachers.org, so, please browse the "aisles" on your own. You're guaranteed to find something you can use right away in your classroom, and you won't have to dodge wayward carts.
Thanks to Rebecca Haines for sharing!
Happy Shopping!

August 27, 2012
Next Monday is Labor Day, and for many students, all that means is a 3-day weekend! If you'd like students to understand a bit more about why workers organized unions during the nineteenth century to fight for higher pay and better working conditions, the econedlink site may be a good resource to include in economics, finance, business, social studies, math, or communication arts classes. This particular lesson includes an opener for introducing the lesson, resources and links to enrich the topic, a copy of a story for students to read/discuss, and an extension activity. A link to a student version of the lesson is also included on the website.


For more games, activities, lessons, and free PowerPoint presentations (for other holidays, too!) check out Mr. Donn:


Happy Labor Day!
September 4, 2012
A while back, W.O.W. shared a resource for teachers called Pinterest. While there are LOTS of great links suitable for education here, there's also not-so-great content; therefore, the site is not accessible at school, so W.O.W. found a few alternatives. List.ly is a site that is great for curating the web into a list and then voting/commenting on each item.  This makes lists very interactive and a nice alternative to Pinterest.  Also, List.ly is very easy to use and great for sharing content. Portions of the site will still be blocked, such as ad boxes and Facebook links, but the information should be accessible. As with any site, it's recommended that content be screened before sharing with students!


And, thanks to the Educational Technology Guy's blog, here are several more:

·  Bag the Web - Bag the Web is a great site for curating the web into "bags".  With their educational portal, teachers and students can share resources, collect information for assignments, embed them into a site, and more.

·  MentorMob - A site that has been getting quite a bit of press on Twitter lately, is one of the best around for curating the web into "playlists." These playlists can contain different types of media such as: video, articles, pictures etc.  Once these playlists are created they can be rated and shared w/ others.

·  Middlespot - Is a unique site that allows a user to browse the web and stick sites onto their "dashboard"  These dashboards can be edited and shared w/ others.  More features are available for a paid account.

·  Paper.li - A very popular site among bloggers and educators for creating an online newspaper out of their web content.  Best of all, once a "newspaper" is created Paper.li automatically updates the paper by monitoring news content.

·  Bundlr - A great way to organize the web into "bundles".  These bundles can contain all sorts of media and then be shared w/ others in a grid or timeline view.

·  Scoop.it - A nice site for turning one's social media into a stunning looking digital magazine.  A very popular resource among educators on Twitter.

·  Searcheeze - Another fun site for curating web content (text, video, images, articles) and turning it into a digital magazine that can be shared w/ others.

·  Themeefy - A cool way to curate web content and then publish it to a digital magazine.

·  Storify - A great site for telling social stories by curating web content through video, photos, and text.

Happy Listing!
September 10, 2012
There are numerous websites about 9/11, and of course a Google search will bring even more lesson ideas; some of those lessons may incorporate Google maps to show views of New York City.
The Educational Technology Guy has found an interesting article explaining just how Google makes maps:
"This is a great resource to use to show students how ingenuity and creativity are important and how technology can be helpful, related to something that they have all used before or at least have heard about."
In addition, the blog post includes related links featuring virtual tours and historical photos linked to Google maps.
In remembrance.
September 19, 2012
Sometimes it's tough to get students to watch the news (and, yes, sometimes we don't even want to!), but keeping up with current events is a great way to make connections in learning, so how about making your own news?
 Know the News on Link TV allows students to create their own short news clips. On Know the News students can access Link TV's library of news and mix them together to create a unique news show. Link TV's news library contains segments from major news outlets around the world. The process of creating a news video is fairly straight-forward. Watch and select video clips to place on a timeline, organize the clips through a drag and drop feature, then add text narrations using the video text editor. After previewing the video it can be published on the  Know the News network.

Applications for Education
 Know the News provides teachers with a good tool for teaching lessons about media bias, accuracy in news reporting, and global perspectives of an event.The terms of service for Link TV's  Know the News video editor require users to be at least thirteen years old; therefore, this is probably a tool best reserved for upper-level students, but teachers can create their own account and make remixes or share specific clips. There are also games and tools at knowthenews.tv that will "let you know TV news in a new way and compare news coverage from around the world, test your knowledge of how news is shaped, and shape some yourself!"

Happy Mixing!
October 1, 2012
I know it's officially Fall and with Halloween right around the corner, W.O.W. should be mentioning great Halloween stories, fun Fall activities, and such, but it's early yet, and this site was just too cool to pass up!

TryEngineering is a great site about, well, engineering. It has information on engineering careers, what engineers do, engineering colleges and more.

There are resources for students, teachers, counselors and parents about engineering careers, how to prepare, colleges and more. Students can explore what it takes to become an engineer, find a college, ask questions and get answers from engineers and engineering students, get news about engineering and technology and more. Students of all ages will have a blast viewing (and trying) hands-on demonstrations, and teachers will love the wide range of ready-made lesson plans for teaching about electricity and magnetism, the human body, light and heat, energy, properties of materials, simple machines, weather, technology, and much more.

The coolest part of the site though is the "Games" section. In this section, students can select from 27 different resources where they can design, model, and test products and solutions to problems, simulate engineering projects, answer engineering trivia questions and more. Projects include bionic arms, parachutes, solar cars, roller coasters, bridges and more. Some are hosted/created by TryEngineering and others are links to other sites. There are links to more information about each topic also. Some of the games are Flash Based, some Shockwave based, others are HTML.

These "games" and simulations are a great way for students to learn about engineering and apply math, science, and problem solving skills to an authentic problem.


Happy Engineering!
October 8, 2012
One week left to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month!

As the weather turns a bit chilly, it's time to spice things up with activities from some of the top educational websites.

For educational resources and even a virtual tour of Hispanic Heritage events around the nation, check out Smithsonian Education:

For facts, figures, and lessons by subject area, the Education World site provides lots of fun classroom activities:

As always, Scholastic offers terrific research resources, biographies of famous Latinos, and even a piñataconcentration game:

Feliz Celebración !
October 15, 2012
With the upcoming election, W.O.W. thought it would be interesting to take a look at Congressional Districts. Every 10 years after the U.S. census is taken, the seats in the House of Representatives are reapportioned among the states based on population. Using 2010 Census data, Dave's Redistricting app allows you to view maps and even draw congressional, legislative and county council districts the way you think they should be.


Would you like to use real data and primary sources all the time, not just election time?

World History Sources is dedicated to helping students and teachers better use primary documents and historical evidence in the classroom.  There are several guides and case studies with strategies for interpreting particular types of primary sources (music, images, objects, maps, newspapers, travel narratives, official documents, personal accounts) and placing them in historical context.


And, Today's Document offers a source every day corresponding to an event that happened that day-- kind of like "Quote of the Day meets This Day in History."


Happy Sourcing!

October 22
Ever wonder what singing fish can reveal about speech and hearing? How about how the brain recognizes faces? Can having friends make pain less painful?

Well, thanks to the great Larry Ferlazzo, now you'll know the answers to those questions and a whole lot more.

On his terrific blog, Ferlazzo shared BrainFacts.org, which is a project of the Kavli Foundation, the Gatsy Charitable Foundation, and the Society for Neuroscience. It aspires to be a comprehensive, authoritative site for information about "all things related to gray matter." There's something for everyone on this site, from brain basics such as brain development and cell communication, to the science of concussions and social issues, such as the stigma of mental illness and how people make decisions.

Educators might be particularly interested in these sections of the site:

Learning and Memory


Resources For Educators


Happy Brain Use!

October 29, 2012
Yes, it's Halloween time, but don't get scared! W.O.W. has some great treats to use in your classroom. Internet 4 Classrooms has sites with collaborative projects (like the Monster Project and Pumpkin Seed Project), stories, songs, crafts, interactive activities (perfect for the SmartBoard or Mimio), and much more. You can even visit a site to create your own virtual Halloween post card!


You can also celebrate Halloween at Read, Write, Think with lesson ideas for teaching with ghost stories and collaborating on class stories.


Happy Halloween!
November 5, 2012
Yes, it's election day tomorrow, and while many will be pleased that the ads will stop, several will be excited and willing to discuss related topics. Edmodo has dedicated an entire Community/Group to the election process including activities, infographics, lesson plans, and more. Remember, too that your school is already set up within the Warrensburg district domain in Edmodo. All you'll need to do is visit http://warrensburgr6.edmodo.com/
to create your free account (you'll need a school code, so send me an email when you're ready), then you'll have access to everything Edmodo has to offer!
Here are a few discussion questions posted on Edmodo-- designed to foster discussion before and after the last debate, but could be great discussion starters as election results are coming in, too.
Sample Discussion Questions
1.    What was your favorite moment in the presidential debate?
2.    Which candidate seemed the most prepared to answer questions?
3.    Do you think that two minutes is long enough to answer a debate question?
4.    Why would a candidate choose to present his opening statement first, if he won the coin toss?
5.    What would be the advantage in having the last word in a presidential debate?
6.    When one candidate is talking, what types of facial expressions and body language did each candidate use and why?
7.    Which candidate seemed to deliver his answers with more emotion?
8.    Did any candidate tell a story about a person impacted by a particular campaign issue? Was that story meaningful to you?
9.    Did the incumbent (candidate currently in office) seem more or less confident during the debate and why?
10.    Did anything said by either candidate change your mind on a particular issue?
11.    Do you think each candidate was respectful of his opponent, the moderator and the audience? Why or why not?
12.    What would be challenging about airing a presidential debate on live television?
Happy Election!
November 12, 2012
Infographics are all over the web these days. Some infographics are excellent and some are not, but even the bad ones seem to get passed around.  Visual.ly is a website that catalogs infographics from across the web.  Visual.ly has more than 5,000 infographics arranged in twenty-one categories. Some of the infographics are useful displays of information and others are just for fun.
Applications for Education from Richard Byrne:
If you're looking for a nice infographic to spark a conversation with your students or to use as a model for your students when they create infographics, check out  Visual.ly . One thing to keep in mind, I probably wouldn't send students to site on their own because there are some infographics that are not appropriate for public school settings. And if you find an infographic that you want to embed into your blog or website, try using  Zoom.it to make it fit correctly in your display area.


Happy Visualizing!
November 19, 2012
Thanksgiving time is a great time for story time!

Education World has some great scripts and resources for Readers' Theatre complete with props needed, additional resources, additional storytelling ideas, and vocabulary lessons, too.

For additional lessons, including several for higher grades, see the "Other" category on Hot Chalk's page:
Your students could create a unique Thankfulness chart, view videos, and even take a virtual voyage on the Mayflower.

And, just for fun, here's a collection of silly turkey games, like Turkey Tic-Tac-Toe, Turkey Bowl, Turkey To Go, and many more.

Happy Turkey Day!
November 26, 2012
Hope everyone had a fantastic break-- now it's back to work, but don't worry, W.O.W. can make you smile!

From David Andrade's blog,  How To Smile is a collection of math and science resources for teachers and students. There are activities that help teachers connect science and math to pretty much anything, including things in the students' homes.

The site is hosted by a group of science museums and collects STEM education materials from the web, as well as from educators.

The site is searchable, has tons of activities organized by topic and searchable, comments and sharing, and much more. There is a newsletter to keep up to date on changes to the site, as well as a mobile app.


Happy Smiling!
December 3, 2012
Everyone's all-a-twitter as we get closer to the holidays (even the Pope is tweeting now!!), so how about an interesting classroom activity that incorporates students' enthusiasm for social media with all kinds of subject areas?
Thank you to history teacher  Ken Halla for sharing this tool on his blog.  A colleague of his set up an assignment on a Google Doc   here (http://goo.gl/Wzka5) (complete with a link to a video tutorial) using  Fake Tweet Builder, asking his students what Stalin and Hitler would tweet to each other if Twitter existed back then.  You don't have to be a history teacher to take advantage of this terrific tool, though. For example, language arts teachers could use  Fake Tweet Builder when students discuss various authors or characters, science and math teachers could create "accounts" from the perspective of famous scientists (would Darwin have tweeted about the voyage of the Beagle?) or mathematicians (would Newton have tweeted how he solved the Delian cube-doubling problem?). FACS students could share recipes, PE/Health students could share fitness tips, andmusic and art students could "follow" famous composers and artists like Beethoven and VanGogh.
Portions of this post first appeared on the blog " A Media Specialist's Guide to the Internet ."
Happy Tweeting!
December 10, 2012
 Thinking Blocks is a nice site for elementary and middle school mathematics teachers. Thinking Blocks provides interactive templates in which students use brightly colored blocks to model and solve problems. As students work through the problems they are provided with feedback as to whether or not they are using the correct sequence to solve each problem. There are templates and problems for addition, multiplication, fractions, and ratios. You can also develop your own problems using the modeling tool.

Happy Solving!
December 17, 2012
A little elf mentioned that a school was having a Gingerbread Man Day, so in the spirit of holiday-themed learning activities, W.O.W. would like to share a collection of interactive sites just in time for the holidays.

From making a snowman and creating your own snowflake (yes, this one makes a repeat appearance!), to visiting Santa's workshop and building a Gingerbread house (perfect to hide that Gingerbread man!), "yule" be sure to find an engaging learning activity for your students.


Happy Holidays!
January 7, 2013
Happy New Year in words!
If you are having a hard time learning a word, than GraphWords is a website you might want to check out. It allows you to examine a meaning visually. Instead of reading a dictionary and simply defining a word, GraphWords shows you the word visually as well as lines connecting the word with other words of similar meaning.
You can also see how a word fits in with other words. For example, if you type "use" into the draw box you would see words like usage, consumption, purpose and manipulate. You can mouse over the word to see the meaning of each word, which will help you understand how it connects to "use."
If you'd like to save the graph of the word you are examining, you can save it as an image simply by clicking the "Save as Image" button at the top of the screen.
•    Massive database of English words.
•    Connect a word with other similar words visually.
•    Save output as an image for future reference.
•    Define each outputted word by simply mousing over.
•    Similar tools: SnappyWords , Shahi , Lexipedia and VisuWords .
Thanks again to Richard Byrne for blogging about this neat website useful for vocabulary in any subject area.

Happy Word Year!
January 14, 2013
It's back...
Doodle 4 Google is an annual program that invites K-12 students in the United States to use their artistic talents to think big and redesign the Google homepage logo for millions to see.
This year's theme is "My Best Day Ever…" One talented student artist will see their artwork appear on the Google homepage, receive a $30,000 college scholarship, and a $50,000 technology grant for their school along with some other cool prizes!
All entries must be received by March 22, 2013.
Did you know that Google has created over 1500 Doodles? Check out the Doodle History link and find out how the Doodles are much more than doodling!


Happy Doodling!
January 22, 2013
If you missed duck season, no worries-- math season is all year long!
From one of the best resource hunters out there, Larry Ferlazzo, Math Hunt comes from Scholastic, and consists of many science and social studies related math problems.
Users connect math to issues like sports, natural disasters, and ancient civilizations, and "hunt" for math answers among various resources. There are lots of opportunities for language-development in the process, too, and its accessible to Intermediate English Language Learners.
Looks like a neat way to combine social studies, science, and finance. Plus, because it's from Scholastic, there are teachers' guides and additional lesson plans available.

Happy Hunting!
January 28, 2013
This weekend will be super! With a big football game and big weather prediction coming up, head on over to the Teachers' Corner.

From Helmet Head Trivia and fun facts to Google Earth Touchdowns and Super Commercials, the Super Bowl section of Teachers' Corner is packed with resources and lesson ideas.


Within the February events section, you can Phil your day with Phun with lots of books, songs, facts, and websites all about Groundhog Day.


Happy Super Bowl!
Happy Groundhog Day!
February 4, 2013
Darwin Day is next week, so W.O.W. has a few sites with ideas for celebrating the famous scientist's birthday, Feb. 12, 1809 (yes, the same day as Abe Lincoln, but that's a separate email).
Rich Benz, biology teacher from Wickliffe High School, shares videos, posters, and field bag ideas perfect for explorers of any age:
The eHow site also has some reading and science activities about studying fossils and investigating bird life:

And, for "everything Darwin," visit the official Darwin Day website:

Happy Darwin Day!
February 11, 2013
Wow-- what a full February! With Groundhog Day, SuperBowl, Black History Month, Mardi Gras, Valentine's Day, Presidents' Day, Dickens Day, Darwin Day, and probably something else, there's just too much for one website! So, W.O.W. has compiled a few websites with several resources for celebrating whichever February event you'd like.
For Presidents' Day- Lots of trivia:
For Black History Month- Original view of the 15th Amendment as well as several other primary documents:
and lots of links from Larry Ferlazzo:
A sweet Valentine game-- great for the SmartBoard, too:
Celebrate Mardi Gras-- more from Larry Ferlazzo:

Happy February!
March 4, 2012
Wow, what a lot of snow! The Website of the Week has a 3-in-1 special to make up for missing days...

The holidays may be gone, but the snow isn't, so W.O.W. would like to share a just-for-fun link to see your house in a snow globe:

Even if you were snowed in March 2, you can still celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday with these great resources compliments of Richard Byrne:
The  Seussville Playground  has fun online games that kids can play and printable resources for offline use. The games and the printable resources are designed with themes to match various Dr. Seuss books. The Seussville Playground also offers a  calendar of Dr. Seuss activities  that teachers can use throughout the year.
The  Seussville Story Maker helps kids write a Dr. Seuss style story by choosing a background and characters.
Read Write Think has a  good lesson plan  based on the book Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? The lesson plan is designed for K-2 students to practice observing sounds and creating words from what they hear.


Dr. Seuss quotes: http://edudemic.com/2012/12/30-dr-seuss-quotes-you-should-never-forget/

March 4 is National Grammar Day, and blogger Kevin Hodgson offers a unique resource which combines comics with grammar:
It's probably fair to say that "grammar" and "comics" are not often words spoken together in a typical classroom. Comics still get a pretty bum rap these days, even though more and more educators are seeing the value in alternative literacies such as graphic novels and comics. To understand the wealth of thinking that goes into a comic (both as a writer and as a reader), Blambot has created a chart of " Comics Grammar ."
While the site frames the discussion around fonts and design, there is plenty to learn from here about how to read comics. You learn about balloon tails, double dashes, emanating dialogue, and more. What emerges is the use of the visual in connection with the written word, and the combination of these forms almost a literacy of its own when it comes to comics and graphic novels.
This site could be a valuable resource around reading skills that are not traditionally taught, and I bet that your students would have fun with it, too. Keep an eye out for the annual Free Comic Day each May, and head down to the local comic book shop to grab free comics that you can use in the classroom. Analyzing comics as text and visual information can be a way to engage non-traditional readers and learners in a new way, and making literacy visible is always a rewarding experience.
Comic Book Grammar and Tradition via Blambot Comic Fonts and Lettering
Happy Snow Days, Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss, and Happy Grammar Day!
March 11, 2013
Sunday is the "Wearin' O' the Green" for St. Patrick's Day, so the W.O.W. leprechauns decided to leave a huge pot of gold for you-- a grand collection of online tools for your classroom.
Special thanks to Jill at the High School for sharing this wiki:


Speaking of green, and to get ready for Earth Day next month, you and your students could take this Green IQ quiz.
Happy St. Patrick's Day and Happy Spring Break!
March 25, 2013
Welcome back! Hope everyone had a terrific Spring Break even though the weather doesn't really feel like Spring!

This week's W.O.W. is out of this world and a neat way to celebrate Women's History Month, too.
NASA Explorer Schools invests in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) educators to inspire and engage future scientists, engineers and technicians that NASA needs to continue its journey.

NES gives educators of grades 4-12 access to NASA's people, missions, research and facilities. They have assembled a comprehensive set of NASA's free classroom materials to help teach dozens of STEM concepts.

To access the Virtual Campus you must register to become a NASA Explorer School participant.
In addition,  Aspire 2 Inspire is a part of the Women at NASA site and includes resources to help encourage girls to get interested in STEM careers. There are videos and stories about women in different science, engineering and technology careers as well as career information for students.
Happy Exploring!
April 1, 2013
Finally-- Opening Day! Maybe the start of baseball season will bring on some real Springtime weather.
Thanks to Richard Byrne for sharing the Exploratorium site which has a nice little resource called the  Science of Baseball .  To help fans understand how a bit of science and mathematics is involved in the game, The Science of Baseball includes video and audio clips of baseball players and scientists explaining how the weather affects the flight of the ball, the physics of various pitches, and reaction times to thrown and batted baseballs.

Applications for Education
The  Science of Baseball has five suggested hands-on activities that you can do with your students after they have gone through the online resources. These activities could be a good way to get some of the Little Leaguers in your classroom excited about a science and mathematics lesson.

Play Ball!
April 8, 2013
Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day, so W.O.W. turned to one of the best bloggers around to find unique and age-appropriate resources-- Larry Ferlazzo.

The Guardian recently published Stories from Terezín: the Nazi transit camp with a musical legacy - interactive. Here's how they describe it:
During the second world war, great composers were imprisoned at the Terezín concentration camp near Prague. They were permitted to perform and compose music - before being sent to their deaths in the gas chambers at Auschwitz. Their efforts were exploited by the Nazis for propaganda purposes, but the legacy of the compositions created and played at Terezín lives on. As London's Nash Ensemble prepares to take a performance of the Czech composers' work home to Prague, Ed Vulliamy has spoken to some of the camp's survivors.
Use the navigation arrows and the menu at the bottom of the interactive to read their stories, watch videos and hear some of the music composed by the people of Terezín.
Additional resources can be found at Mr. Ferlazzo's The Best Sites For Learning About The Holocaust.
In Remembrance.
April 15, 2013
April is national poetry month, so W.O.W. would like to share an interesting site that combines poetry, music, and language across the curriculum.
With special thanks to Nik's Learning Technology blog, you can turn your text into music!
P22 Music Text Composition Generator is a really interesting site inspired by the late great John Cage designed to convert a written text into musical notation with a midi music file to play the notation.
It's quite simple to do. You just copy and paste your text into the field, give it a file name (with no spaces or punctuation) choose the speed and instrumentation, then just click to generate the notation and midi file.
Then you get a printable copy of your notation and a midi music file that you can download and play (and add to your Music Aiding Text Memory resources).
How to use this with students:
  * You could produce a music file to play as background while students read the text used to create it. This could build up associations between the music and text and might help them to revise and review elements of the text. You just play the music file a week or so later and see what they can remember from the text (vocabulary, main points).
  * It could also be interesting to build up a music text library and see if your students can remember which text went with each composition. Just play a music file and see which text they think it is.
  * Students could produce musical versions of dialogues and see if listening to the music can help them to remember the dialogue.
  * You can produce the musical accompaniment to stories or plays and use it as background to reading the words.
  * Get your students to play with the speed and instrumentation and produce the best accompaniment to a text. They could listen to each other's composition and choose the most appropriate one and try to explain why it works best for that text.
  * For students who like creative writing such as stories or poems it might be nice for them to also have their own musical version of the text.
  * You or your students could create short musical versions of example sentences that show how vocabulary or grammar points are used.
  * Students could write a text about themselves and then generate their own personal music.
  * If you have any musical students you get them to try to play the notation.

For more information, visit Nik's blog:


Happy Composing!
April 22, 2013
I know the weather doesn't seem to be cooperating with the calendar, but it is Earth Day, so W.O.W. would like to adopt the "No Child Left Inside Theme" and share some Earth-friendly sites.

Resources from Scholastic include Explorations, Tree-Free eCards, student activities, and book suggestions. Students can even submit an Environmental Report Card.


Global Green USA and Starbucks created a Planet Green Game. As players travel through the game in their chosen mode of transportation they will learn about the environmental effects of their mode of transportation. Throughout the game players have opportunities to learn about methods of reducing pollution.


Also cause for celebration (although not celebrated at the same time as Earth Day) is National Earth Science Week. With previous themes such as, "No Child Left Inside," and "Mapping Our World," participants will  have fun discovering why Earth Science is important to society.

Happy Earth Day!
April 29, 2013
Thanks to the Talking SmartBoards blog,
there are two wonderful sites from the University of Illinois with great resources to celebrate Arbor Day.  The first is called  Dr. Arbor Talks Trees, and this site offers interactive activities to learn about the basics of trees.  In their own words, this site "focuses on tree anatomy and physiology. Students will learn some of the basic inner workings, chemical principles, and fun ways to get to know trees better." There is even a state tree glossary where visitors can explore and learn about the state tree from each state. You can receive a freeposter about Dr. Abor Talks Trees by completing the online form.
The second site is Exploring the Secret Life of Trees (which can be viewed in either English and Spanish). In their own words-this site "is designed to help 3rd - 5th grade students gain an appreciation of trees, observe trees in their everyday lives, and develop an interest in discovering more about trees." You can receive a free poster about Exploring the Secret Life of Trees by completing the online form.
Both of these sites present well using the SMART Board and have audio components-- the audio DOES play as soon as link opens, though.
For more tree beauty, check out Larry Ferlazzo's page and the world's most amazing trees photo gallery:

Happy Arbor Day!
May 6, 2013
As field trip time and other end-of-the-year events approach, many of you will be taking lots of pictures. Besides (of course) displaying them on your SchoolCenter website, here's a site shared by a Sterling teacher to add cool effects to your photos as well as create banners and collages.


 Happy Picturing!
May 13, 2013
As the school year winds down, are your students winding up? Do you sometimes feel like you're on a Mission from Mars? How about sending your students (their writing, that is!) to Mars?

Maybe your students created fabulous Haiku poems during Poetry Month in April. Or maybe they are wrapping up some planet or space research. Maybe they just need some cross-curricular activities. Whatever the case, you and your students can have some fun with NASA.

NASA's MAVEN mission will launch later this year. Earlier this year NASA hosted a student art contest through which students could have their work sent to Mars. Last week NASA opened a MAVEN Haiku contest. The contest will select three Haikus to send on the MAVEN mission.

Teachers or parents are able to send a submission for students who are under 18 years old.


Happy Space Writing!

May 20, 2013
Happy last full week of classes!
Summer's almost here, so what better way to celebrate than to write stories?! The iLearn Technology blog mentioned a cool site for writing that is appropriate for any subject area and especially useful for end-of-the-year activities for students to be creative and shape the future.
Inklewriter is a great digital tool that lets students (and teachers if you are so inclined) write and publish interactive stories.  Inklewriter lets students create choose-your-own-adventure type stories, story lines can come with choices and then be linked back together.  Inklewriter makes this process easier by keeping track of which story paths have been finished and which still need work.  There is no set-up required, no programming language to learn, and no diagrams.  Inklewriter is free to use and easy to share with the world when it is published.  When a story is finished, it can even be converted to Kindle format!
How to integrate Inklewriter into the classroom:  Inklewriter is a great digital tool for creative writing.  Students can explore multiple plot lines and what-if scenarios in their fictional writing. Inklewriter could even be used to ask kids to explore the "what-ifs" in history.  What if we lost/won this war/battle?  What if the other guy (or girl) had been elected president?  What if the Berlin wall hadn't come down?   These types of stories are fantastic opportunities for students to explore their curiosities and, in the process, learn more about the event they are exploring.  After all, you have to know something about how an event actually went in order to write alternate endings.
Inklewriter would be a fun way for students to come up with alternate endings to a novel they are reading or write about summer plans and future career options.
In science, students could use Inklewriter as a tool to record their hypothesis. Students can write out the objective and steps in their experiment and make a new "alternate ending" for their various hypothesis.
In math, students could create story problems where they lead others down the path to discover the correct answer.
Happy Summer Writing!
May 28, 2013
W.O.W.-- what a deal! Just as they have for the last few summers, bowling centers around the U.S. and Canada are offering students two free games every day. To bowl for free students (or their parents) need to register on  Kids Bowl Free . On  Kids Bowl Free you can find the bowling alley closest to you.

Plus... Kids Bowl Free is awarding 80 $200 grants for classroom supplies to teachers every month through July 2013. http://www.kidsbowlfree.com/grants/index.html
Happy Summer!

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August 22, 2011
Ever feel like you are 1 in a million?
Actually, you are 1 in 6.7 billion and counting!
To find out just how many people there are on earth right now, check out the World Population Counter from Super Teacher Tools (http://www.superteachertools.com/classroom-tools/popclock/). It uses live data from the US Census Bureau to update a counter with the current population. It's pretty neat to see an update every ten seconds or so!
Speaking of Super Teacher Tools-- The Website of the Week (W.O.W.) welcomes you back with weekly postings of all kinds of free resources you can use as you bring the power of the World Wide Web to your classroom lessons and activities. This week's site has a variety of flash-based tools to create class lists, seating charts and class groups, as well as look up random facts, play hangman, use a random name and number generator, timer tools, and even game templates such as Jeopardy and Who Wants to Be A Millionaire.
Check out all of the super tools here:
Happy Back to School!
August 29, 2011

Many beginning-of-the-year/get-to-know-you type of activities include interviews-of parents, grandparents, other students, teachers, and more. Sometimes, though, it may be tough to come up with enough intriguing questions to create a meaningful story. That's where Story Corps comes in handy. Not only does this site have awesome animated short stories to view, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 35,000 interviews from more than 70,000 participants. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to share, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind, and millions listen to broadcasts on their Listen page as well as on public radio.
In addition to sharing great stories, Story Corps also provides tips for creating your own great stories. The Great Questions Lists and Great Questions Generator provide you with excellent questions that you can use when interviewing people about their lives or about the lives' of others. The Great Questions Lists is just a list of questions that you can select on your own. The Great Questions Generator will help you select the best questions for the person or people you're planning to interview.
For a list of great questions by category, visit:
For an interactive question generator based on your interview situation, visit:

Happy Storytelling!
September 6, 2011

It's hard to believe, but this Sunday marks the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 World Trade Center and Pentagon tragedy. Some students may have little or no recollection of these events, and some students may not have been born yet! So, how can teachers approach a sensitive subject that invokes so much emotion, yet, for some, is not a current event anymore-- it's history? Larry Ferlazzo, one of the best bloggers around, has added to his wonderful "The Best Sites for Teaching About..." series to assist teachers who would like to include Teaching About 9/11 in their curriculum.

Included in his list are interactive graphics from the Wall Street Journal, "Exploring Ground Zero Ten Years Later," with panoramic photos as well as clickable points on images and maps and a site called "Finding the Right Words," a place where visitors can choose from a list of words to submit their feelings by completing fill-in-the-blank sentences. Several sites on Mr. Ferlazzo's list also include videos (which may not be appropriate for younger students), slideshows, newspaper front pages, stories, and even images of how pieces of the World Trade Center are being used in memorials around the country.

Thank you Mr. Ferlazzo, for once again sharing your great resources.


In Remembrance...
September 12, 2011
Facebook , the third most populated country in the world, is a huge part of many students' lives. Students do a lot of reading, writing, and communicating on Facebook. To leverage students' familiarity with Facebook for a history lesson, blogger Derrick Waddell created a Facebook template for historical figures . This template , available through the Google Docs public template gallery , asks students to complete a Facebook profile for famous people throughout history. The template has a place for pictures, an "about me" section, a friends column, and a map to plot the travels of historical figures.
Here's a shortcut to the Google Doc template:
*Note: This template will NOT result in an actual Facebook account being created!
*Another note: It seems this template will only work in certain browsers, so if you are not having any luck opening it in Firefox, try Safari (or vice versa).
Richard Byrne, on his blog Free Technology for Teachers, has also mentioned different ways to "Fakebook" and has found other free tools allowing teachers to take advantage of the popularity of Facebook. Check out his blog post here:
My Fake Wall is another tool for creating a fake Facebook wall for a fictitious or historical character. To create a Fake Wall you do need to register for a My Fake Wall account. Then you can upload images, write wall posts, even create "likes" and comments on fake posts.
Applications for Education
Creating a mock Facebook profile for a historical figure could be a fun way for students to organize and record some basic information that they know or find about a famous person. Students could create a profile then work together to figure out the connections between each historical figure. For example, Byrne has his US History students create profiles of the delegates to the Second Continental Congress then, as a group, determine the connections between the delegates. Students could also create fake Facebook pages about characters in the novels they read, or even describe their favorite pet!
Special thanks to bloggers/tweeters Bill Gaskins, Derrick Waddell, and Richard Byrne for their unending supply of great resources for the classroom!
Happy Fakebooking!
September 19, 2011

Have you ever searched the internet and found just the right picture to use, only to lose it again in cyberspace?
The World Wide Web is so packed with information, especially images, that it may be tough to find (and keep) all of those treasures. What if you could create something like a virtual bulletin board to "pin" up your pictures?
Pinterest is a virtual pinboard to save images from the web that you find interesting.  Images link back to the original source (website, blogpost, etc.), enabling you to explore further.  You can even create categories for your pins to keep them organized, such as photography, style, education, quotes, etc.
Pinterest also has an optional social component, allowing you to follow other pinboards and to allow other Pinterest users to follow you.  You can explore Pinterest (and even "repin" items others have found) by using the search option or simply clicking "Everything." * Caution: By "Everything" they really mean everything, and you just may find "everything" you really don't want to see! Searching by relevant categories and uploading your own pictures you've already found usually produces better results.
Be sure to search for educational-related terms; there are plenty of pins that will lead you to resources for your classroom!  There's lot of great websites, printables, and more from pinboards that have been created by other teachers. You can even save all of those wonderful Websites of the Week! :)

Happy Pinning!
September 26, 2011

Today is National Good Neighbor Day, so, like a good neighbor, W.O.W. is here with a helpful site featuring lessons, interactives, tips, videos, and much more, covering a wide range of topics-- there's something for everybody at GCF Learn Free!
GCFLearnFree.org is a website supported by the Goodwill Community Foundation, Inc. that offers free tutorials and activities in the categories of technology, literacy, and math . The Computers section is fabulous for learning about any of the Microsoft Office products, as well as computer and internet basics.  The Reading and Math sections offer tutorials and activities as well, and many work great on a SMART Board (although you don't need one to make use of the site). Lots of fill-in-the-blank activities can be found in the Literacy section, users can explore career opportunities and practice resume writing in the Career section, and the Everyday Life area includes various activities such as word matches as well as lessons about counting change, using an ATM, and even how microwaves work.

Special thanks to Amber Coggin, author of the great blog SMARTBoard Goodies:

Be a good neighbor, and spread the goodwill!

Happy Learning!
October 3, 2011
World Teachers' Day has been held annually on October 5th since 1994. It was created by UNESCO and celebrates teachers worldwide.
Your friend and mine (and my go-to guy for awesome resources), Larry Ferlazzo, has updated and revised The Best Resources To Learn About World Teachers Day , which includes sites with holiday lessons, data about teacher salaries, and some history of schooling and education.
Want to thank a teacher on World Teachers' Day, or any day?
The website www.thanksforteaching.us lets us thank our teachers publicly. Even if your students don't write on this page, just a glimpse of some of the messages makes it known that there are GREAT teachers out there... tons of them. Here are a few samples:
"Thank you for dedicating your life to this hard profession and managing to make it look simple."

"...thanks for reading my reflection papers word per word. You're the only person who spent time to figure out what was wrong with me during those years."

"Dear Prev,
Thanks for Being the Man (Or Mentor, if you want to get Classical) You inspired me to interact with others as a human being, wielding charisma and humility in equal, devastating measure."
Thanks for all the times you made me understand, and not memorize. You inspired me to learn more about not only the world, but the people in it."

"Mrs McGrath,
Thanks for caring so much about your students. You are the reason that kids grow up to be successful, caring and well-rounded. Thank you for your hard work…it is definitely noticed. You inspired me to be more thoughtful and think of the good things in life."

What if all of us took time to thank a teacher? Thank you Cool Cat Teacher for your inspiring blog posts!
Happy World Teachers Day!

October 10, 2011

As a tribute to Steve Jobs who passed away this week, several websites and blogs have mentioned numerous inspiring and amazing aspects of the former Apple CEO's life and career. W.O.W. thought it fitting to take a look at several jobs that, whether impacted by technology or not, all require the same kind of dedication, genius, and leadership that Steve Jobs possessed.

The Atlantic has a great article titled What People Don't Get About My Job .The article is comprised of 26 contributions from readers explaining what most people don't understand about their jobs. There is one job for every letter of the alphabet. In the article you will find jobs like Kindergarten Teacher, IRS employee, zookeeper, and even the unemployed.


Also found on Richard Byrne's blog, a good companion site to the above article is iCould. The stories on this site show people in all types and all phases of their careers; one of the the main purposes of iCould is to expose viewers to what different types of jobs really entail.


For more inspiration, take a look at Steve Jobs' Stanford Commencement Address:

Special thanks to Richard Byrne for re-posting the video as well as consistently posting amazing resources.

Thanks Richard!

Thanks Steve!
October 17, 2011

Ever wondered what 10,000 young people could do to solve some of the world's greatest problems?

The iLearn Technology blog shared information from Ewan McIntosh about "an incredible opportunity for involving students in solving real world problems."

This "once-in-a-lifetime real world project-based learning opportunity, that ties into most teachers' curriculum at any given point in the year," offers an authentic audience for students as they apply their knowledge and think about potential solutions to alleviate poverty and hunger, improve education for all, address gender inequality, make sure everyone has access to health care, protect our environment, make disabled people's lives easier, or close the gap between the developed and developing world.

For more information, visit the iLearn Technology blog post:


To sign up your class and begin viewing and sharing ideas, visit:

Happy Problem Solving!
October 24, 2011

October is Agriculture Month, yet a large number of children may be unaware of the agricultural process and how food is processed. To help teachers better explain the process to students is a web service called My American Farm.
My American Farm is a web service that provides 'funducational' games to help children learn about agriculture and food processing. Thirteen different games are featured on the site and correspond to various aspects of agriculture: mathematical, scientific, and social. Children can play these games and learn about the concepts addressed in them while having fun, and teachers can better understand the games by accessing the list of standards published on the site as well as view additional resources.
Also offered by the site are fun family activities in the form of activity sheets, take-home activities, and book suggestions.
•    A user-friendly web service.
•    Helps teach students about agriculture.
•    Teaches concepts through games.
•    Games address math, science, and social science aspects of agriculture.
Check out My American Farm http://www.myamericanfarm.org (By Umar from AllThatIsApple ).
Happy Agriculture Month!
October 31, 2011
Just for fun-- send a spooky greeting!
Every year Oddcast unveils a slightly different and spookier web tool that lets you create a scary Halloween card. You can send the greeting to a friend and post on your website, too. Check out the Halloween Card Creator hosted on the Family Dollar website-- It has a nice text-to-speech option also.

Thanks once again to Larry Ferlazzo! Check out his other resources for learning about Halloween:


Happy Spookiness!
November 7, 2011
I know it, you know it, kids know it, Amy knows it, so- let's let everyone know where to find great lesson plans that incorporate technology across the curriculum.
Special thanks to Amy at Sterling for sharing the Digital Wish site, a place for giving and getting! In addition to the section about grant resources, where you can sign up your classroom to potentially receive some cool stuff, there's also a section with loads of lesson plans in just about every subject area, from Journalism to Drama, Geometry to Calculus, Civics to Social Skills, and Science, Service Learning, PE, Music, Art, and much more. Plus, you can submit one of your own lesson plans to qualify to win over 40 grants.
iKnow That is a excellent site for educational games for grade K-6.  These games cover every subject in a totally a safe environment, and the games are aligned with state standards. Parents and/or teachers will need to register for an account first to create a login, but registration is free.
Kids Know It is a new site that is a "complete" learning network for kids.  What that means is that you can find educational links, games, quotes, activities, educational music, comics, movies, interactive activities, and more.
If you have any other gems to share for the Website of the Week, feel free to send them my way!
Happy Knowing!
November 14, 2011

With this year's Veteran's Day activities behind us, and Thanksgiving Day activities ahead of us, what better way to combine service and skills by writing letters? A Million Thanks website organizes donations and support to show appreciation for our troops. So far, they have delivered 5,200,000 letters! This is a year-round campaign, so letters do not necessarily have to be for a particular holiday, but the site does ask that schools or organizations send multiple letters in the same envelope or box. Check out sample letters and drop-off locations here:

Happy Thanking!
November 21, 2011
Food, Fun, and Data-- yes, those three words can go together!
Rather than the traditional sites about Pilgrims and Indians, this week's W.O.W. includes sites with a Thanksgiving twist. Check out primary sources about which day to celebrate Thanksgiving, view data sets about where a typical Thanksgiving meal comes from, and, of course, have a little fun.
  The Year We Had Two Thanksgivings  tells the story of Thanksgiving 1939. In that year, Thanksgiving was going to fall on the last day of November, which caused merchants to be worried about a shortened shopping season. In response to this concern President Roosevelt proclaimed that Thanksgiving would be moved up one week. Some states chose to ignore this proclamation and celebrate Thanksgiving on the last day of the month anyway. The conflict was finally resolved in 1941 when Congress passed a law stating that Thanksgiving would always be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month.  The Year We Had Two Thanksgivings  is supported by ten primary source documents. Included in those documents are letters from merchants appealing to FDR to change the day of Thanksgiving and letters opposing the change.
Where Does Thanksgiving Grow? is a neat data set produced by Linda Zellmer at Western Illinois State University. The data sets contain information about where the main ingredients in a Thanksgiving meal come from. The data sets are displayed on maps showing which states produce the most and least of each ingredient. For example, click on the turkey production data set and you will see that in 2007 Minnesota and North Carolina were the leading producers of turkeys. You can access the data sets individually or as a comprehensive PDF poster .
If you're looking for a writing activity to do with the students in advance of Thanksgiving, National Geographic Kids offers a Mad Libs-like story writing activity. Funny Fill-In generates a funny Thanksgiving story based on the words that kids write in response to Thanksgiving prompts. Quiz Your Noodle is another fun Thanksgiving game available on National Geographic Kids.

Happy Thanksgiving!

December 5, 2011
Here's a hug to make up for WOW's week off last week-- A Book and A Hug, that is. This site currently hosts reviews of more than 6,000 titles for student readers. You can search for books by keywords, age of the reader, genre, geographical setting of a book, and reading level. In addition to finding reviews your students can contribute their own book reviews to A Book and a Hug. Email addresses are not required in order for students to submit their reviews.

Finding books that are appropriate for and engaging to young readers can be a challenge. A Book and a Hug could be a tremendous aid in your search and your students' searches for their next favorite book.

eBook 'Em Danno! Find free online books at several sites such as the Google Book Project, the Gutenberg Project, and Internet Archives. Check out the Technology Tip below:

Find .pdf files online, too:

Happy Booking!
December 12, 2011
The holiday season is a wonderful time, so give some wonderful learning gifts for all ages.

Wonderopolis is a site dedicated to sparking the mind and imagination of children; it answers that age-old question, "What do you wonder about?" Described as "a special place found in a curious question or an everyday adventure... Just let wonderment be your guide," the site also has a great section called "Wonder of the Day" which is a great learning moment for students.


From the eMINTS collection: Science Experiments-- Christmas Science<http://ethemes.missouri.edu/themes/1173>
These sites provide ideas for science experiments and science games to go along with the Christmas holiday. Includes experiments on ornaments, Christmas lights, snow making, snow globes, Christmas trees, and more.

For math wonders: Last week Google announced that you can now search for a mathematical function and have an interactive graph generated at the top of your search results. You can zoom in on the graph and explore each function in detail.


Wonder for the little ones:  Kidopo is an online coloring application where kids can color online coloring books-- a great way to help primary students practice mouse manipulation.  The application simulates a real coloring experience (in other words you can color outside the lines and the more you color over a spot, the darker it gets). There are a lot of coloring pages to choose from with categories like animals, cars and transportation, cartoons, food, toys, holidays, learning, circus, sports, music, nature, occupation, seasons, and more.  Kidopo also has fun printables for the classroom as well as a collection of flash games and a place to practice typing.


Enjoy the wonder!
December 19, 2011
Here's a Christmas quiz for you: 

When did the first Christmas tree appear?

If you answered "on the Charlie Brown Christmas Special" then you need to brush up on your tree trivia. Thanks to Jeff Dunn, editor of the Edudemic blog, you can do just that. Here's an excerpt from his post about the history of the Christmas tree:

The first Christmas tree appeared in the 15th century in Latvia.There was singing…dancing…and then they LIT THE TREE ON FIRE! Kinda gives a whole new visual to the idea of people relaxing around a fire, no?

Lucky for you, that and many more tidbits are available in a new infographic from ChristmasTreeMarket.com. This one creates a visual timeline of the major milestones for the Christmas Tree mostly focused on the last 100 years.


And, of course, learning about the holidays would not be complete without Larry Ferlazzo's awesome "The Best of..." collections, including sites to send fun holiday ecards:


Happy Holidays!
January 3, 2012
Welcome Back and Happy New Year!

Rather than another website about the history of a particular holiday, this week's W.O.W. features all the days of the year!

There are plenty of websites that will deliver an interesting "this day in history" fact to you everyday. There are even gadgets for your iGoogle homepage that will inform you of significant events every day of the year. Yet there are few sites that will geolocate "this day in history" facts for you. That is exactly what One Day In does.

One Day In places "this day in history" trivia facts on a Google Map in the place where each event happened. You can find facts through searching by date or by simply clicking placemarks on the map.

Applications for Education from Richard Byrne:
I know some teachers like to include a little "trivia for the day" element in their classrooms. One Day In is one way to provide students with a little geographic context for those bits of trivia.

One thing to note about One Day In is that the content is crowd-sourced so use your best judgment in determining the validity of all information on the site.


Check out Apples 4 the Teacher also to find out all about Bird Day, January 5. The site includes several short stories, poems, activities, interesting facts, and more.


Happy Days!
January 9, 2012
Want to make history? Go Digital and join the first ever Digital Learning Day!

The Alliance for Excellent Education invites you to join the more than 200,000 students and thousands of educators participating in the first-ever Digital Learning Day-- a national awareness campaign to celebrate innovative teachers and instructional strategies--  on Wednesday, February 1, 2012. Visit http://www.digitallearningday.org/sign-up to stay connected, get updates, and receive exclusive information on what you can do to support this effort by taking less than five minutes to sign up and join the wave of innovation and momentum that is building for this groundbreaking event. This national awareness campaign is designed to celebrate innovative teachers and highlight instructional practices that strengthen and personalize learning for all students. The Digital Learning Day campaign explores how digital learning can provide teachers and students with the opportunities they deserve in an effort to build or become part of a workforce that is ready to succeed in college, a career, and life.

Toolkits, resources, contests, and more:

Happy Digital Day!
January 17, 2012
I'm sure one of the most popular search phrases used yesterday was Martin Luther King, Jr. or I Have a Dream, as many were celebrating the life and times of this great leader. Have you ever wondered, though, what other search terms were popular throughout the year? Thanks again to Richard Byrne's Free Technology for Teachers blog, we no longer need to wonder.

Google's 2011 Zeitgeist features a menu of the most-searched terms of 2011. You can view the overall picture or use the menus to see the most searched terms according to region, country, and theme. The menus are nice and they reveal some interesting patterns, but the real highlight of Google Zeitgeist 2011 is the year in review video. Like other year in review videos, Google's year in review video (on YouTube) features a lot of short video clips and pictures of the year's biggest stories. The video includes both serious news topics and lighter stories from the world of entertainment.

Applications for Education
Before showing the video to students ask them what they think were the most searched terms of the year. Then show the video and see which stories they missed. That activity could spark a good conversation about news cycles and why some stories stick in our heads while others are quickly forgotten. You could also ask students what stories or images they would include if they were creating their own "Year in Review" story or video.


Happy Reviewing!
January 23, 2012
Phooey! I just learned that one of my favorite digital image editing sites, Picnik.com, is closing :(
In my opinion, this was one of the best sites out there because it was fun, easy to use, and (best of all) free! There are so many ways you can use a digital camera in the classroom, and being able to edit pictures in unique ways adds to the flexibility of lessons and activities. So, time to search for a new favorite image editing site. For this week's WOW, I decided to share two potential replacements: Phixr and FotoFlexer.

Phixr allows users to upload photos from a computer or other sources such as Flickr, Photobucket, and Picasa, and includes a range of editing buttons similar to a PhotoShop toolbar. Once a photo is uploaded, you can create greeting cards, add frames, fix red-eye, crop, and even create a collage of photos. Saving options include email, download (available in five different formats), upload to other services, or create and purchase gifts such as t-shirts, coffee mugs, etc.


FotoFlexer also allows users to upload an image from a computer and outside sources as well as "grab from the web." Effects include a heart shape, comic, and neon look, and there are several borders and frames to add. There's even a sticker section and glitter text option, plus a "wrinkle cream" feature! Finished photos can be saved to the computer, emailed, sent to outside sources (such as Flickr and Smugmug), or shared with a link.


I will still miss Picnik, but these two sites seem like a good starting point.

Happy Editing!
January 30, 2012
Papers, Reviews, and Presentations, Oh, My!
If you ever have your students write any kind of report, then you know one of the toughest parts of any research project is keeping track of all the information obtained. In this information age, there are more articles, photos, sound bites, videos, and notes involved and it can be next to impossible to keep them in order. Shelfster is a free program designed to fix that problem.
Shelfster looks like Evernote, but it's more specifically geared towards keeping track of different types of information. It organizes everything into projects, so it's easy to separate the information for each article and paper you are currently working on.
Called "the best online platform for writers," Shelfster has tools for web browsers and for computers (Mac and PC). They also have tools for iPhone and iPad. If you don't want to install anything, you can just use it right from your web browser. Basically, no matter what kind of computer you have, there is a way to put Shelfster to work for you. Sign up requires an email address and password, but it is free.
•    Organizes all kinds of information for whatever project you are working on.
•    Tools for browsers, iPhone, iPad, Mac and PC.
•    Export to Word, Google Docs and popular eBook formats.
•    Publish to WordPress, Facebook and Twitter.
•    Similar tools: Memonic .
Happy Researching!
February 6, 2012
It's Google Mania for this week's W.O.W.!
The Google in Education website has been revamped, and it includes a lot of great resources for teachers including educator guides for Google products, and other "magical tools." Check out the lesson plan search page and educator resources page for some ideas on how to use Google tools in your classroom.
Plus, your friend and mine, Richard Byrne, has several useful tutorials for implementing Google tools in your classroom-- Thanks, Richard!
And….Do you students like to doodle? Have them put their doodles to good use by entering the annual Doodle for Google contest! Your students have a chance to win scholarships and have their doodle on Google's home page. The doodle deadline is March 23.

Happy Googling!
February 14, 2012
Love is in the air! Or is that just clouds?
Digital storytelling is a powerful way for teachers and students to share the love and "show what they know" about any content area, and there are several websites that make digital storytelling fun, easy, and engaging.
Tumble Cloud is an excellent new site for collaborative digital storytelling.  This site allows users to upload digital content such as photos, videos, notes, etc. to create a stunning story. Users can invite collaborators to work on their stories, then share their stories,  plus there are lots of effects and transition options. You do need to request an invite to get login information, but you can also try the demo workbench without registration.

Additional sites are available on the Technology Tidbits blog:
Happy Valentine's Day!
February 21, 2012
Hope you enjoyed the Presidents' Day holiday!

Perhaps the day got you thinking about the election process or planning election resource kits for the classroom. If so, Richard Byrne has a great blog post describing a few helpful sites.  Running for Office displays a large online exhibit of political cartoons and cartoons about, well, running for office. Several of the cartoons can be downloaded for free, and the site does a good job of explaining the meaning and historical context of the cartoons.

The Living Room Candidate is another resource for teaching about advertising in political campaigns including videos and national archive documents.


Also, if you'd like to continue Presidents' Day lessons, Larry Ferlazzo has shared a site from Sean Banville called Lessons On American Presidents. There are lots of Ready-To-Print Handouts, MP3s & Online Quizzes as well as multiple interactive exercises on every president.


Happy Presidents' Day!

February 27, 2012
Ever wish you had an extra day to get things done? You do this year!

Leap into lots of teaching resources to learn about Leap Year, including famous leapers, Leap Year rhymes, your age in leap years, trick questions, math issues, and more with the Teachers Page site:

You can also find additional lesson ideas and writing prompts, learn about the history of Leap Day, and discover scavenger hunts all related to Leap Day from the Really Good Stuff blog:

Scholastic, as usual, provides lots of activities including math quizzes and, of course, frog studies:

Happy Leaping!
March 5, 2012
It's National Grammar Day! To celebrate, W.O.W. is sharing several sites for learning about grammar and writing tips.

Tom March has designed the ElectraGuide, A Tool to Assist Students with a Thesis, which takes students through the process of building a thesis and making an online outline for their project. The instructions are simple; the student fills in 6 answers to the questions and then clicks "Build a Thesis." If they are content with the thesis statement, they click "Make an Online Outline" to continue.


For more writing help, including lessons, worksheets, student writing examples, grammar lists, rubrics, and more, check out the Helping With Writing site:


Free Grammar Worksheets are available from the Have Fun Teaching site for the younger students, too. These English Grammar Worksheets are great for learning the parts of speech and language skills, including common and proper nouns, irregular verbs, and "popping" adjectives.


Want more? (Of course you do, because who can't get enough grammar?!) The Instructify blog shares a post about apostophes as well as links to help with using quotation marks correctly. You can even meet GrammarMan!


If you'd rather listen to grammar tips, you can subscribe to the Grammar Girl podcast series for usage tips about a wide range of grammar-related topics such as Affect Versus Effect, Who Versus Whom, Lay Versus Lie, Ending a Sentence With a Preposition, and I.e. Versus E.g. Her witty style and relevant examples are sure to please all who listen!


Happy National Grammar Day!

March 12, 2012
This Wednesday is Pi Day, so have some fun celebrating math!

There are several sites with Pi activities, but for a one-stop-shopping place, check out Teach Pi. Here you'll find lessons, memory games, books, posters, songs, raps, and many more celebration ideas.


Not much for pie? How about a pickle?

Math Pickle is a site for "mathematics inspiration" featuring mathematics videos with real students engaging in inspiring math problems and puzzles.  The videos often speak to unsolved math problems throughout history that students work to solve.  In the unsolved problem, students must use developmental level appropriate math to work out the problem.  Math Pickle is the brain child of Dr. Gordon Hamilton who wants to abolish elementary mathematics as a subject and push the idea that problem solving is at the very heart of mathematics. The Inspired page of Math Pickle is a must see.  Students can take a look at what mathematicians do in real life and learn about the source of Math Pickle problems.

(Note: Some of the videos may need to be viewed outside of the district.)


Happy Pi Day!
March 19, 2012
It's almost Spring! A time for enjoying the weather (OK, maybe not so much this week, but it's better than 20 degrees!), enjoying the flowers, and enjoying Spring Break. If your plans during break include planting, or your plans after break include taking your students to an outdoor classroom, you may also enjoy this site shared by Richard Byrne and Mark Dunk:

The Science of Gardening is a superb collection of interactive graphics and videos about gardening. Produced by Exploratorium, Science of Gardening has three basic categories; Feed, Control, and Bloom. In each category there are multiple videos and interactive graphics for students to explore.

In the Feed category students learn about dirt, compost, and seeds. The "garden variety" interactive reveals to student the origins of some common plants like corn, squash, onions, and carrots. Students can also take a video tour of a garden and learn what it takes to create good soil.

In the Control category of Science of Gardening students learn about like hybridizing plants, biodiversity, growing plants in a greenhouse, and take a look at a giant pumpkin competition.

Finally, in the Bloom category students explore pollination, the attraction of flowers, and see that a garden can grow just about anywhere when it is properly cared for.


Happy Spring!
March 26
You inspire so many people every day!

Sometimes, though, we all could use a little help finding inspiration (especially after a break, or when the weather is beautiful outside!); that's where this week's website comes in.
Inspire My Kids is a neat site featuring stories designed to inspire kids to take positive action. Inspire My Kids uses videos, pictures, audio, and text to tell the stories of inspiring people and groups of people. You can find stories on Inspire My Kids by browsing through the list of values and topics including:
•    caring
•    fairness
•    perseverance
•    responsibility
•    sportsmanship
You can also refine your story search by age appropriateness and subject area. These stories could be a great way to spark some good discussions within the classroom. Each topic, such as inventions, health, music, human rights, environment (and many more), includes a description, relevant events and videos, additional links and resources, as well as a "Teacher Feature" section with topics for discussion, worksheets, and activity ideas.

Thanks again to Richard Byrne for the tip!
Happy Inspiring!
April 2, 2012
If Spring Fever has hit, and you'd rather be sailing, try this Website of Week to sail through some great educational resources!
SAILOn (Subject Area Interactive Lessons Online) as featured on David Andrade's blog , is a site with resources for Primary, Intermediate, and High School grade levels.  As the site mentions, "Our goal is to help classroom teachers integrate technology into their curriculum by identifying and providing interactive Internet resources addressing specific objectives." Sites with lessons can be searched for by grade level and subject and include games, activities, stories, math practice, music examples and instruction, artwork, and more. Sure, you can search on your own for these sites, but it's very handy to have a directory with recommended sites at your fingertips! Plus, you can even submit your own site and resources.
Happy Sailing!
April 10, 2012
April is National Poetry Month-- A great time to share and study poems, write your own, or just take a fun break to read. W.O.W. found a few sites (although there are tons more!) with ways to celebrate poetry in any classroom.

Global Poetry is a wiki created by an English class to help log favorite poetry from all over the world. The pages are organized by country, so classes can add their own favorites, too. To add a country that is not listed, join the Wiki and follow the directions to add a new page.


Want to make your own poem? Check out the Acrostic poem maker:


Having trouble finding rhyming words? Check out RhymeBrain from the MakeUseOf site:

Finding rhymes for words can be quite tricky. If you are writing a poem or song and have already used up all the rhymes you could think of, it is best consult other rhyming sources for new ideas. One such source is RhymeBrain.

RhymeBrain is a free to use website that indexes rhyming words in the English language. The site has a basic interface which visitors will immensely like. You enter an English field in the main text bar on the homepage and quickly all rhymes related rhyming words are shown. Even if you enter a word that is not a part of English, RhymeBrain uses advanced artificial intelligence techniques to figure out how the word should be pronounced; it then compares it to the 260,000 words in its database and finds words that sound similar to the entered word; the best matches are shown on top.


And for the little ones:

GameGoo is a series of educational games for your young learners. These Flash-based games are fun for anyone, but geared specifically for the kinder-crowd. With fun names like "Squanky the Tooth Taker," "Quiet Quest for Opposites," and "Wizards and Pigs Poetry Pickle," your elementary students can have as much offbeat fun as they can stand while learning a variety of subjects.


Happy Poetry Month!
April 16, 2012
Sunday, April 22 is Earth Day-- a perfect time to learn about energy, environmental issues, animals and habitats, and even create your very own Google Green scrapbook. W.O.W. found a few sites that may be helpful:

Energy Kids is a free resource site from the US Energy Information Administration that contains resources on energy, energy sources, saving energy, history of energy, energy calculator, games and more.

A teachers' guide with lesson plans, resources, games, etc. is also available and teachers can upload their own lesson plans to share with others.


The National Zoo and Fuji Film have partnered to develop a nice interactive application, Habitat Adventure: Panda Adventure, that encourages students to use their critical thinking skills to solve some issues relating to conservation. Students are taken on a journey to China to help conserve the temperate forest and save the Pandas. When students reach their destination they are given a choice of four scenarios: set up a core area for endangered animals, choose the best habitat corridor, look for carnivores, and help find alternative sources of income for community loggers. Students collect data from plant samples, photos, tracks, and sound recordings to identify plants and animals using the field guide. Students will use binoculars, field guides, a camera, and other tools, as well as talk to local people to help make the best decisions. Lots of interactivity and lots of sound, so let us know if you need to borrow a pair of speakers or a headset.


No list would be complete without something from Google! Using Google Green you can build a "green search scrapbook." The scrapbook highlights the most searched environmentally-themed searches. You can build your own scrapbook by responding to seven prompts by selecting a search topic from the list of options presented to you. For example, the first prompt is, "I would have never guessed that..." to which you respond by selecting one of ten search topics. When you make a selection you will learn a little bit of information about that topic.


Happy Earth Day!
April 23, 2012

Reach for the stars!

April 28 is Astronomy Day, so you can use the Astronomy Picture of the Day website to discover the cosmos! "Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer."  Sponsored by NASA, the site also has an index page with links to more information about stars, clusters of galaxies, astronauts, scientists, and space technology. There's even an archive of previous pictures of the day.


Happy Stargazing!
May 2, 2012
Next week is Teacher Appreciation Week, so W.O.W. has a special gift just for you.

Curriki is a social network and resource site for educators. It is a free platform where educators can share resources and teaching ideas-- kind of like Pinterest for education! There are over 250,000 members and over 40,000 learning resources available. 

Sign up is free, and you can connect with other educators to collaborate and share feedback on teaching practices, curricula, and lesson ideas. Resources are searchable by subject, search term, and standards. Resources include links, lesson plans, animations, activities, and much more.

 Want to win cash prizes, too? Tell Your Story!

From the submission page: "Tell us about your experience with Curriki and how it's made a difference in what you do. A panel of Curriki judges will select our 10 favorite entrants, who will each receive a Curriki t-shirt. For the stories that best capture our hearts, we'll recognize you with either a $100 or $200 award. With your permission, we'll publish your story and feature it (and you!) on Curriki.org, as well as with the media. (Wow, fame and fortune!)"


Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!
May 7, 2012
May is National Physical Fitness Month

With so many fitness programs available, it is not easy to find workouts that exactly meet your needs. WithFit, however, can be of tremendous help in finding the right workout. Not only can you find workouts by specifying the type such as aerobic, body weight and power, but you can also search for workouts based on specific muscle and body parts.

Once you know which workout you want, you can also use the "log" feature and keep track of your daily workout activity. If a customized workout is not your thing, browse through hundreds of professionally created fitness plans and start following them.

You can instantly add any plan to your online calendar and even receive workouts by email. Another great feature at WithFit is a list of exercises with detailed instructions.


Find the right workout based on your needs.
Browse through hundreds of fitness plans.
Learn about different exercises.
Ask questions and read/post comments about different workouts.
Receive workout details through email.
Similar tools: SimpleFit, CrossFit and Walker Tracker.


Kids Health in the Classroom is a great place to find lesson plans, videos, and games for teaching personal health topics to students of all ages. For teachers the biggest feature of Kids Health in the Classroom is the large set of teacher's guides containing lesson plans, activities, and worksheets available as free PDF downloads. The teacher's guides are divided into five grade level categories from pre-K through high school. Above the pre-K level the guides are divided into three categories; human body, health problems, and personal health.

Kids Health in the Classroom also hosts The Game Closet containing games, movies, quizzes, and activities for learning about topics in health. The contents of The Game Closet has a section for teenagers and a section for younger students.

Applications for Education
If teaching personal health lessons is a part of your teaching responsibilities, Kids Health in the Classroom could be a great resource for you to bookmark. The Game Closet could provide some individual activities that your students can do to reinforce the ideas that you teach in your classroom.


Happy National Health Month!
May 14, 2012
Summer's coming! You know what that means... the Summer Olympics (you thought I was going to say no more school, didn't you?). Thanks to Richard Byrne, here's a fun way to learn about the summer games and challenge your students during the last 2 weeks of school (or help with planning for summer school activities):

Olympic Challenge 2012 - Olympics-inspired Lessons

Through a Tweet from Jen Deyenberg earlier this week I learned about a neat collaborative project started by Chris Leach. Olympic Challenge 2012 is a series of academic challenges based upon Summer Olympic events. Right now there are twenty-two challenges proposed. Teachers can sign-up to have their students "challenge" other classrooms. Or you could simply have your students try the challenges without challenging another classroom. Here's one of the fun challenges in the list; Tennis: draw faces on tennis balls and then animate them to tell a story.

Thank you, Mr. Byrne!

View the Google Doc listing the various challenges here:

Sign up to compete against other classrooms here:

Let the Games Begin!
It's almost summer! Time for some cool pool safety games (and frogs)!
The first one is The Adventures of Splish and Splash with three different games that focus on swimming and pool safety. Another game has children point out the unsafe behavior. The last one is also really neat-- click on the kid before he dives into the shallow end, then click to make him dive.

If you don't like swimming, how about pictures?
3D Toad is a great site for free interactive images for educators and students.  You can zoom in and rotate the image for a more engaging experience.  Also, these images cover a wide variety of subjects such as: History, Science, Music, and more.

Happy Summer!

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Posted by Monique Agueros on Tuesday, Oct 19th, 2010.
August 23, 2010

W.O.W., it's another school year-- Welcome Back!

The Website of the Week (W.O.W.) is back, too, with some awesome resources to help you enhance your curriculum with technology.

Want a new twist on a "get-to-know-your-students" activity? Try the dictionary form!

Students (and teachers) can choose a word that describes them, then add their own "definitions," from their favorite things and hobbies, to family and/or pet info to create an image of their very own dictionary entry-- a digital picture can be uploaded also! The finished entry can be downloaded (perfect for displaying on your SchoolCenter website!) or added to the online gallery.

Want to have Einstein or even Uncle Sam introduce your lesson topic? The Dynamic Images site can do that, too! It takes a bit of formatting finesse, but you can insert your own text on Einstein's chalkboard or Uncle Sam's poster.


* Note: The Dynamic Images website does NOT moderate entries, so teachers should carefully monitor students when viewing the gallery.

Can't get to the computer lab? No problem! Have students take turns taking pictures (or take the snapshots yourself) and collect the students' images on an SD card or flash drive and upload them all at once to the site.

Don't have a digital camera? No problem! The Instructional Technology Team at the Tech Center has a few digital cameras available for checkout-- call Stan or Monique to reserve yours today!

Remember, the Instructional Technology Team is here to help you implement technology-infused lessons, so if you need to brainstorm ideas during a plan time, or would like one of us to visit your classroom to make sure your student activity goes smoothly, or you need additional support in the computer lab, don't hesitate to give us a call.

Happy Back to School!

August 30, 2010

W.O.W., the first full week of school!

The beginning of the school year is when many students (and some teachers) make the resolution to improve their organization skills. The web is full of tools that can help people organize and keep track of the important things that they need to get done. Many thanks to Richard Byrne from the awesome site, Free Tech 4 Teachers, here are seven tools that might help students in their quests to keep track of the things they need to get done this year.

43 Things is an interesting way to track goals and achievements. 43 Things is not a personal organizer, it's a goal tracker. The service is simple, users enter a list of things that they want to accomplish and other users can "cheer" them on until the goal is reached.

Ta-da List is a simple to-do list creation tool built by 37 Signals. Ta-da List allows to you to create a to-do list in 30 seconds. Just sign-up and start building lists. Your lists will be hosted at a unique url assigned just to you. Direct your browser to that url to check-off items on your lists or to create a new list.

Squareleaf is a simple system for creating and managing online sticky notes. To use Squareleaf just register for an account and begin creating notes. Your notes are displayed on an online "whiteboard." On your Squareleaf whiteboard you can arrange your sticky notes in any pattern that you like. The size and color of the sticky notes can also be adjusted.

Soshiku is a free personal planner designed for upper level students. Soshiku lets students organize their assignments by course, add assignments, and receive text message and or email reminders before each assignment is due. Students can add assignments to their calendars directly on the Soshiku website or via text message. Registering and getting started with Soshiku is quick and the user interface is very intuitive and easy to learn.

Remember the Milk is a free personal organization tool that works online and with mobile phones. Many students are carrying cell phones with them so capitalize on that and talk to parents and students about using a cell phone to get organized. Remember the Milk allows students to add assignment due dates to their to-do lists via text, email, or directly on their account homepage. A word of caution, while this web service is free, students could incur a lot of charges from text and data communication on their mobile phones so be sure to discuss these options with parents before having students use phones for the text/ data tools.

Track Class offers all of the features that we have come to expect in online student organizers. Through Track Class students can keep a schedule of courses, track assignment dates, write and save notes, and maintain a calendar of events. Inside Track Class students can also save files such as essays they've written and slideshow presentations they've created.

Happy Organizing!

September 7, 2010

A picture's worth a thousand words...

How about having students use words and pictures to represent themselves-- or a unit of study?

At What Makes Me, students can create a “cube” using photos, text, video, and audio (you can use the site's search function to find google images, or upload your own images under 4MB). Your creation is supposed to be a representation of “you.”

This website from the Australia Council For The Arts invites users to "review the importance art has on your life."

No registration is required, other than your email to save your cube.


Happy Cubing!

September 13, 2010

"Great art speaks powerfully, inspires fresh thinking, and connects us to our past."

Picturing America is a project of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association. Picturing America is an interactive gallery of artwork related to events, people, and themes in American history. You can browse the gallery chronologically or by theme. Click on any image in the gallery to learn about the artist and the artwork itself. Along with the background information for each image, Picturing America provides links to additional resources for learning about the artwork and artists-- a neat way to combine using primary documents across the curriculum.

Picturing America's Educators Resource page contains a resource book that you can download for free. The resource book contains printable background sheets about each piece of art in the Picturing America gallery. The resource book includes questions and activity suggestions for using each piece of art in elementary school, middle school, and high school classrooms. The resource book can be downloaded as one file or you can download chapters individually.



Happy Picturing!

September 21, 2010

Studying cultures? Studying languages? Studying math and science applications? How would you like to make classroom connections around the world?

More than just pen pals, ePals is called the world's largest learning network and offers authentic projects, collaboration activities, photo sharing, and much more!

During this month, you can even enter a contest to win free classroom supplies.

Classrooms from Australia and Iceland to China and Belize are making connections with student exploration projects about natural disasters, maps, biodiversity, efilms, storytelling, and just about any other idea that students and teachers share.

Check it out at http://www.epals.com

Happy Connecting!

September 27, 2010
Only two weeks left to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month!

At Fact Monster, you can learn about famous people, such as athletes, film, television, and theater personalities, leaders and activists, musicians and visual artists, scientists, and writers.

There's even a section to compare information about common words, population and economic statistics, Hispanics in Congress and notable books by Hispanic authors.

Of course, the site also includes links to quizzes, crosswords, and other fun stuff appropriate for all ages and all subjects.

Keep Fact Monster in mind even after Hispanic Heritage Month to study math flash cards, the tallest buildings in the world, disaster survival guides, color psychology, books, mythology, and much more.


Aprendizaje feliz!

October 4, 2010
It's October, so let the creepiness begin!

Actually, this site's not really as creepy as it sounds, but it could be a good resource for creative projects.

Even though Morgue File sounds like a website that would feature weird photos and images, it's just an odd name for a good website that provides free photos. The Morgue File photo collection contains thousands of images that anyone can use for free in academic or commercial presentations. The image collection can be searched by subject category, image size, color, or rating.

Morgue File is more than just a source for free images because it also features a "classroom" where visitors can learn photography techniques and get tips about image editing.

Applications for Education
Finding free images that students can use in their digital presentations can be a time consuming and occasionally frustrating experience. Morgue File makes it easy to find good free images for students to use in their digital presentations.


Thanks to the Free Technology for Teachers blog for writing about this (and many others) great resource.

Happy Presenting!

October 11, 2010
Change the world, one map at a time!

Once again, thanks to the Free Technology 4 Teachers post about this interactive site perfect for visual learners.

Show World is an interactive mapping website that takes demographic, economic, environmental, and political data sets and creates maps based on those data. This can be done with Google Earth and Google Maps, but Show World is slightly different. Each time you select a different data set, the size of each country increases or decreases in comparison to other countries. For example, if you select the data set about steel production, the size of China is huge relative to African countries. On the other hand, if you select the data set for students not in school, the African countries swell while China decreases in size.

The maps generated by Show World can be downloaded. You can also embed the animated maps into your blog or website, but to get the embed code you do have to submit your email address.

Applications for Education
Show World is a great way for students to visually interpret data sets. Having students explore the data sets and watch the size of the countries change could be a good discussion starting activity. Exploring the data sets on Show World could also be the starting point for research about the economic and social conditions of countries around the world. In addition, Show World accepts suggestions for maps-- just submit a subject, data, and source url and see your research come alive!


Happy Mapping!

October 18, 2010

Let the creepiness continue-- with a little help from Larry Ferlazzo.

Spelloween, a spooky spelling game from the British Council, displays two words at a time-- one spelled correctly-- and users need to choose the correct spelling before time runs out. May want to consider using headphones while having students play, as some creepy noises are heard when you choose the incorrect word!


Mia Cadaver’s Tombstone Timeout is very similar to another BBC game that is a favorite of Ferlazzo's students called Gut Instinct (http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/ks2bitesize/games/gut_instinct/), which is ranked very high on The Best Online Learning Games.

Both of these games ask questions related to Math, Science and English, and you can choose which subject you want to use. One of the improvements that Mia Cadaver has over Gut Instinct, though, is that Math and Science are divided into levels of difficulty. That makes it more accessible to a larger number of students.

But the big selling point for both of these games is that, within seconds, you can create a private “virtual room” where only your students compete against each other. Everybody just types in the name you’ve given the room, and the questions begin. After each question is answered the screen shows the overall ranking of everybody in the room. Students love it!


As always, Larry Ferlazzo has tons of additional resources, such as interesting facts, interactive books, "spot the difference" pictures, and much more, in his "The Best Of..." series on his blog.


Happy Spooking!

October 25, 2010

Make your own creepiness!!

Grabba Beast will be a big winner in any class as it lets you build your own beast from a library of body types and parts-- some scary, some creepy, some cute, some ridiculous! Students can easily and quickly create their own unique monster/creature and then share it several ways. If they choose the eCard version, they can name and describe their beast and get a unique url address or embed code to post. Wallpaper downloads and print options are also available.

Registration is not required to create and send beasts, but it is free and necessary to save and edit the creatures as well as purchase some of the products like posters, t-shirts, and toys.


Happy Halloween!

November 1, 2010

Science teachers-- this site is for you!
Non-science teachers-- this site is for you!

"Helping you use the Internet effectively," Internet 4 Classrooms offers standards-based links and grade-level skillbuilders as well as on-line practice modules and assessment assistance.

In addition to numerous resources for teachers, students, and parents, there's a section with several resources to get your "Daily Dose of the Web" including Brain teasers, a Question of the Day, daily sites for the subject you teach, quotations to use in your classroom, and interesting trivia sites for your class activities.

i4C is a free web portal designed to assist anyone who wants to find high-quality, free Internet resources to use in classroom instruction, developing project ideas, reinforcing specific subject matter areas, both in the class and at home, and even for online technology tutorials.


Thanks to a friend at Sterling for the tip!

Happy Searching!

November 8, 2010

Thank you. No, thank YOU!

Do you have one of those classes that skipped some lessons on manners, like saying please and thank you? Do you have language learners who need to increase their vocabulary for social conversation? Is your class stuck in the blahs before the holidays? Looking for a fun (and nice!) way to incorporate graphs and date into your curriculum? How about a way to have your students create projects online?

You can meet these needs and more at Thanks-o-meter, a site that lets you write thank-you notes either free-style, or using the word choices they give you. That’s the creation part. Thanks-o-meter then takes the words picked and adds them to a graph showing how frequently others have used the words you picked. In addition, you can send the thank-you to your recipient as an email. Another plus, they are really trying to keep it school- and kid-friendly, giving rules for the road, and the ability to flag inappropriate content. So recognize others, teach manners, and teach vocabulary at Thanks-o-meter. -ALICE MERCER
from Instructify's blog: http://blogs.learnnc.org/instructify/2009/03/04/thank-you-no-thank-you-thanks-o-meter/


Happy Giving Thanks!

November 15, 2010

Separating fact from myth, analyzing primary sources, considering multiple points of view-- all are important skills for students, especially in the age of Google.

You Are the Historian is a site that teaches all of these and more using both classroom and online activities. According to the intro, you and your students will use the skills of historians to peel away the layers of myth and misconception surrounding “The First Thanksgiving” and discover what might really have happened during the fall of 1621. Along the way, you and your students will explore the differences between history and the past, and challenge your own ideas about history. Be prepared; what you discover may surprise you!


Thanks to the Murray Girl blog. For even more Thanksgiving resources, visit her list of bookmarks:


Happy Thanksgiving!

November 22, 2010

What are unhappy cranberries called?

Why couldn't the turkey be in the band?

Don't know? Check out these fun interactive lessons using a SmartBoard for ready-made word searches and other puzzle Notebook files:


Don't have a SmartBoard? Don't worry-- the answers are at the end of this message!
And... you can still have some fun with turkey mad libs and lots of printable puzzles:




Happy Turkey Day!


What are unhappy cranberries called?

Why couldn't the turkey be in the band?
He lost his drumsticks!

November 29, 2010

W.O.W. is Counting Down to Christmas!

From November 30 to December 21, try out Web 2.0 tools and other technology activities from "What Child is This" using Build Your Wild Self and Wee World websites and "Reindeer Games" like Bingo and online Jigsaw Puzzles, to "Deck the Halls" which is jam-packed with lots of online poster-makers and image editors and "Do You Hear What I Hear" stockings stuffed with podcasts and math snacks.

This wiki was created last year, but the sites are still active plus you'll also have access to the comments from other teachers who have tried out some of the lessons, sites, and activities in their own classrooms. You can even contribute to the discussion, too!


Happy Holidays!

December 6, 2010

"It's lovely weather for a train ride together..."

I know that's not how the song goes, but the coolness of this site makes it OK to change the lyrics-- and you don't have to go outside!

There are tons of hidden gems to explore on The Polar Express website, from a snowflake maker to screen savers and wallpapers-- even a build your own snowman page.

Beautiful graphics and even clips from the movie make the site an enjoyable activity in itself, but there’s also a free downloadable activity book with crossword puzzles, word jumbles, and mazes.

Visitors really need to be mouse-savvy as there are lots of places to explore that you can only see by hovering your mouse around different areas of the screen. This would be a great way to get your students excited about either reading the book or watching the movie, or just the spirit of the holidays!

All aboard The Polar Express!


Happy Exploring!

December 13, 2010

It's a small world after all-- especially on the internet where it's now possible to create and send unique messages to just about anyone anywhere.

Check out the Tech Center's greeting here:


If you liked it, find out how easy it is to make your own with Message Hop.

Message Hop lets you create wild-looking messages with photos and text, or just text. No registration is needed, and you are given a unique url address for your creation. You can email the link or copy and paste it onto your website, or even send your message to Message Hop's public directory.


If you and your students want to get even fancier with your greetings, get a little bit of help from Disney and make A “Joy To My Small World” video.

Disneyland offers you the opportunity to create your own virtual dolls by designing costumes and features, then and placing them in a music video with your own personal messages. You can then email the link or embed it in a blog or website.


Thanks once again to the great Larry Ferlazzo for sharing these sites.

Happy Greetings!

December 20, 2010

Scholastic offers a very nice interactive activity that highlights the three Holidays of winter- Christmas, Kwanzaa and Hanukkah. Click on one of the scrapbooks to enter/view the information for each holiday. Once you enter each scrapbook you can click on the various items to learn more about each holiday and traditions.


Now, go make some reindeer sing! (Or look through the rest of the collection as well for other fun Christmas cards.)


Or make your own Snowman:


January 10, 2011

Welcome Back to the first full week of the new semester!
Hope everyone had a very enjoyable holiday break.

This week's W.O.W. comes from our very own awesome district-- Tammy Howard's 8th grade Computer Applications classes created their own student businesses. The student-made sites include everything a business needs-- from a company logo, business cards and letters, memos and flyers, to brochures, sample gift certificates, and even a commercial video. The students even had to design a building for their business using Google Sketch-Up!

Company designs, business policy, great lessons-- all student-made-- all amazing! Check out the students' hard work by visiting Mrs. Howard's home page and clicking on the Student Business link:


Want your students to be able to create their own web pages, too? Come to the SCU-Student Websites workshop offered Tuesday, January 25 at the Technology Center!

Have a fabulous website or student project you'd like to share? Feature it on W.O.W. by emailing the link and brief description to moagueros@warrensburg.k12.mo.us

Happy Viewing!

January 18, 2011

Teachers love music, students really love music-- ever wish you could incorporate music into your curriculum to motivate your students? Have you been thinking of a collaborative project but still think you don't have the time, patience, or resources to get started?

Well, Rock On!

The fabulous iLearnTechology blog (http://ilearntechnology.com/?p=3502) has shared a way for you to rock your students' world!

What it is: Rock Our World has one goal, to give students authentic global collaboration opportunities by connecting them with music. Students and teachers collaborate in composing original music, sharing cultural stories, making movies, and meeting each other online. Here's how it works: Each country creates a 30 second drum beat. Every Friday, the drum created rotates to another country, where the bass guitar is added. It gets passed from country to country with another instrument added at each stop. When it gets back to the original country, it is an original piece of music that has been created with the help of kids around the world.

While the music is being passed from country to country, students have opportunities to meet and discuss various topics of curriculum either in live video chats or blogging. Incredible companies have been involved in this project including Apple, Fablevision, Discovery, American Film Institute, Smart Technologies, NASA, Visual Learning Company, Lintor Publishing, Mariner Software, actor Will Smith and more. Pretty impressive!

Applications for Rock Our World will be accepted for pre-kindergarten through university this month.

How to integrate Rock Our World into the classroom: This is an incredible opportunity for your students to work and collaborate with other students around the world. Not only will your students be learning and interacting with new cultures, they will also be learning more about music. Your students will be a part of creating a unique song by adding their piece to it. At the end, each country will have a song touched by students around the world. How cool is that?!

It would be really neat at the end of the project to create an iMovie of the final song that includes the globe animation zooming into each country as their bit of the song is played and including a slideshow of students from each country.


Happy Rocking!

January 24, 2011

It's that time of year again when the major media outlets begin to run "year in review" stories. One year in review that you might like to share with students comes from the Guardian. The Guardian's 2010 Year in Review is an interactive collage of images from the year. Click on any image in the collage to learn about the event(s) of that day.

You can also build your own year in review collage using the tools provided by the Guardian. Your 2010 allows you to build a collage of your own by selecting one story for each month of the year. You can then share your collage with others by sending them the unique url assigned to your collage.

Jeffrey Hill's "The English Blog" shares some interesting Applications for Education (http://jeffreyhill.typepad.com/english/2010/12/interactive-graphic-2010the-year-in-review.html):

The Guardian's Your 2010 could be a good tool to have students use to build their own year in review collages. Have students work through the stories from each month and select the one's they think are the most important. Then have them share their collages with you and each other or have them present their collages to the class with an explanation of why they picked each event.


Happy Reviewing!

January 31, 2011

Don't you just love all of those cool logos on Google's home page?

Those creative "doodles" use fabulous artwork to revamp the Google logo to celebrate holidays and honor famous people, and now your students can take part in the decorating with a unique contest.

Doodle 4 Google is back!

The theme this year is "What I'd Like to do Some Day...." Registration closes March 2nd, and entries must be postmarked by March 15th. The winner will appear on the Google homepage on May 20th (one of last year’s winners is from El Dorado Springs, MO).

The winner will receive a $15,000 scholarship, and their school will win a $25,000 technology grant. There are some new rules and options this year however:
• Parents Can Register Their Kids: Now, in addition to schools, parents and legal guardians can directly register their K-12 students in the contest and submit their doodles. Check with your child’s school or After School Programs first to see if they are participating, since we only allow one entry per student. As always, public, private and home schools can register on behalf of their students.
• After School Programs: We are working with two After School Programs: Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Girl Scouts of the USA to register students.
• No Cap On Doodles Per School: There is no cap on how many doodles each school, After School Program, or family can send in. Just remember, only one doodle per child.
• A Variety Of Guest Judges: This year, a group of guest judges, including Whoopi Goldberg, Actress/Comedian/TV Talk Show Host, Jim Davis, Creator of "Garfield", and Evan Lysacek, Gold Medalist for Ice Skating, and several other well known cartoonists, animators and illustrators will help judge the contest and attend the final awards ceremony to personally congratulate our winners.

Not just for art, either! History teachers can have their students depict a historical event, Communication Arts teachers can have students design a logo based on an essay written about the contest theme, math and science teachers can have students represent a unique career or invention; doodles are fun for everyone!


Good luck and Happy Doodling!

February 7, 2011

Two great historical figures (both with equally great beards) were born on February 12th, 1809. One of them was a well-known “Honest” politician from Illinois named Abe. The other was a British scientist named Charles Darwin, whose theory of natural selection changed our understanding of every living creature on the planet.

Check out this interesting article:

Want to get a glimpse of his famous journey? Darwin, A Naturalist's Voyage is an outstanding virtual tour of Charles Darwin's nearly five year journey on the Beagle. Darwin, A Naturalist's Voyage has fourteen segments chronicling Darwin's voyage from start to finish. Through the tour viewers will see sketches from the journey, hear readings from Darwin's journals, and learn about the journey as a whole. You can even listen to the Galapagos Rap!

Happy Selecting!

February 14, 2011

Love is in the air... love of math, that is!

World Math's Day is just around the corner on March 1st. A great collaborative emphasis on math, World Math's Day is full of games, matching math skills against other students. This year's goal is to beat the Guinness World Record and answer 1 billion questions. Join the fun on March 1st (but sign up now and schedule your time in the computer lab!)


And for those who love games, John-Paul Bennett's article in Learning and Leading with Technology mentions a digital math game as part of an online learning project from Maryland Public Television: “There is a quiet river that flows from the game to your curriculum.”
The Lure of the Labyrinth helps students build pre-algebra skills and encourages open-ended conversations about strategies to help students “think like mathematicians.” Educator support materials are included with clear step-by-step process for classroom integration.


Share the love with the little ones, too with Computer Capers. A small part of the free and amazing Buddy Project which focuses on using technology to enhance learning.

Basically, Computer Capers is an enormous, easily searchable collection of cross-curricular lessons. The heart of the system is the database search function. You can browse the collection by month and year, or, search by keyword, grade & topic. You can join their free monthly mailing list too.

Check out one of the great examples: “Crack the Code Valentines.” Simple, straightforward and engaging, this lesson uses a spreadsheet to encourage the kids to develop their own cipher and encode a secret Valentine message. Along the way, kids are learning basic spreadsheet formatting and data entry skills, in addition to being provided a great context to discuss patterns and ciphers in general.


Happy Solving!

February 22, 2011

Today is World Thinking Day, so to get you thinking about (and making sense of) the tremendous amount of information available on the internet, here are two great sites.

WiseGeek allows you to search over 120,000 articles in 27 categories for answers to your questions. The Technology and Gadgets section (3,065 articles) has a HUGE two-column list of questions, such as "What is a megapixel?" "What is a digital notepad?" and "How do I recycle a cell phone?" Other categories include The United States, History and Government, Finance and Investing and The World. There is also a blog as well as widgets you can put on your website. Thanks to the blog "A Media Specialist's Guide to the Internet" for a very helpful site.


hip2b2 (hip to be squared) is a new website with an interesting purpose. The site is designed with activities and information to help teach students critical thinking, problem solving and to get them to love learning.

Some of the articles include optical illusions, the chemistry of love, how to avoid red eye in photos (and what causes it), future devices and inventions, and much more. Everything is geared towards making learning fun.

The site has activities and links that show students that those subjects typically thought of as "hard" can be fun and are also very important in life. In addition to the website, an informative magazine and a TV show with engaging and fun activities are also available.


Happy Thinking!

February 28, 2011

Do you ever wonder whether to use who or whom in a sentence? Or even which whether to weather? Do commas and contractions confound your brain? Get ready to "splice" things up Friday, March 4 by celebrating National Grammar Day.

TES English provides and publishes printable and editable teaching and interactive resources, worksheets, games, MP3 audio files, lesson plans and schemes of work for teachers of English at the secondary level. All materials are developed and produced by practicing subject specialists and, as an online resource, TES English's collection of teaching resources and materials is ever-expanding. Check out their current most popular posts for Of Mice and Men online worksheets and How Writers Achieve Effects.


Copy and paste your paper to Paper Rater to receive detailed reports of word choice, grammar, spelling errors, and more. No sign up is necessary and it will be "graded" in real time.


For the younger ones (and young at heart!) The Adjective Detective is a fun way for your students to learn more about adjectives, superlative adjectives, and comparative adjectives. This interactive learning module, game, and quiz comes from the Children’s University of Manchester site and offers students in-depth, interactive mini lessons. After students work their way through the lessons, they can play an adjective game as a detective. They must hunt down adjectives in the sentence by clicking on it with their magnifying glass. Students receive immediate feedback on their answer, and when they are finished playing the game, they can answer multiple choice questions about adjectives in an online quiz.

How to integrate Adjective Detective into the classroom: Use the Adjective Detective mini-lessons to teach your whole class about adjectives. Put the site up on your interactive whiteboard or projector and discuss the different kinds of adjectives with your students. The site could also be used for self-guided learning as a computer center in the classroom or individually in the lab setting. After students complete the mini lessons, encourage them to play the adjective detective game.


Grammaropolis is a fun find that helps students learn the parts of speech. In Grammaropolis, all of the characters are a different part of speech. Students will “meet” Adverb, Linking Verb, Pronoun, Adjective, Preposition, Slang, Noun, Conjunction, Interjection, and Action Verb. Each character is personified with personalities inspired by their grammatical roles in a sentence. The characters interact with each other the same way that parts of speech interact in a sentence, brilliant! Each character has a character card that tells a story about them. Students can watch short Grammaropolis videos starring the characters (parts of speech) that live there. Students can take Grammaropolis quizzes, complete word sorts, and color the characters of Grammaropolis in an online coloring book in the games section. Students will enjoy the fun Grammaropolis song featuring all the characters.


Happy National Grammar Day!

March 7, 2011

Did your Spring Break plans change? Have no fear-- you can make and take your own trip online!

Tripline is a website that allows users to create a trip using photos, links, music, and stories. Students could create their own stories using pictures they find from the web, or take themselves. With Tripline users also have the ability to explore previously created trips as well.

Tripline could be used in the Geography classroom for students to create a project where they explore a country by having a virtual trip explain the various cities and cultures within the country. In history or science classes, it could be used as a way to recreate travels of famous explorers, or the movement of armies in a war.
Here's an example of a Lewis and Clark trip:
Literature classes could use Tripline to "travel" through a book, and math/economics classes could practice problem solving by planning a dream vacation.

The possibilities are only limited by your imagination!


Happy Traveling!

March 14, 2011

To celebrate Pi Day, W.O.W. is offering a big slice of math with several tools, an online calculator, and a cool problem-solving site.

LOTS of Math tools from Richard Byrne:


Really BIG online calculator:


Crypto Kids is a website created by the National Security Agency all about creating and breaking codes. This is a fantastic critical thinking website that also taps into math, linguistics, engineering, and analyzing skills.

Students learn all about cryptology, the National Security Agency, and ciphers. Students get the chance to meet the characters of Crypto Kids which include: Crypto Cat, Decipher Dog, Rosetta Stone, Slate, Joules, T. Top, and the leader, CSS Sam. Students can play logic games to test out their code breaking skills. There are three levels of game play beginner, intermediate, and advanced. As students play games, they will learn Morse Code, complete brainteasers that involve math and logic, create their own cipher machines, crack Yardleygrams and cryptograms, and learn some words in different languages. Students can then learn more about careers that use cryptograms and code breaking at the National Security Agency.

How to integrate Crypto Kids into the classroom: Crypto Kids is packed full of thinking and logic games and activities, many of which involve mathematical problem solving. Crypto Kids games and activities are a great way to get your students thinking critically before math class. Put one of the brain teasers up on the projector or interactive whiteboard for students to solve as a warm up activity. Crypto Kids games are short enough that they could be used as a math center activity on classroom computers. Students can visit the center in pairs or small groups and work on solving cryptograms together.


For more information and activities, you can also visit the "official" pi site:


Happy Pi Day!

March 21, 2011

The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, the trees are budding, the birds are singing-- Yay, it's Spring! That makes me want to sing, too, but I will spare you the agony and use a site called Let Them Sing It For You instead.

You may have heard about text-to-speech programs, but how about text-to-song? Let Them Sing It For You is a site that turns user text into a song montage. Sure, it’s odd and entertaining, but this site may provide another way to get students excited about poetry and writing. Just copy or write a poem or short story into the box and let the site do its work. Then, play your words as a song (and see if you can guess the artists you hear singing your words).

I can’t say exactly how the site works, but it appears to match up words with lyrics in popular songs, pulling out snippets of pop songs (In my sample, I think I heard Lady GaGa, Chris Brown and even Chris Isaak). The result is an amusing musical mash-up. The site allows you to listen and then send a link via email.

Special thanks to the Instructify blog by Kevin Hodgson.

Let Them Sing It For You

History and Science classes can incorporate song, too, with these sites:

History for Music Lovers teaches historical events in song

Scientific lectures + music + Auto-Tune = The Symphony of Science

Happy Singing!

March 28, 2011

Need some "comfort food" after this weekend's winter-like weather?? Grab your nachos, because the following site is rather cheesy...

Another tasty find from Richard Byrne, Toasted Cheese is a daily writing prompt site that publishes prompts on a monthly calendar. The whole month is laid out for you with a different prompt each day. Don't see anything you like on the current calendar? That's okay, click through the previous months to find old prompts. Periodically, Toasted Cheese holds writing contests, based on one or more of the prompts from the calendar, which you can learn about by clicking on the links on the calendar.


Note for teachers: Toasted Cheese is a literary journal, and some of the prompts and links from the calendar site could include references not suitable for younger students, so rather than dishing out the website's address for your classroom, view it on your own, then pick and choose what you feel is appropriate for your students.

Happy Eating!

April 4, 2011

April showers bring... poems!

April is National Poetry Month, and the Poetry Idea Machine is sure to help you infuse your classroom with some inspired poetry writing. Students learn about different kinds of poetry by selecting from Haiku, Limerick, Cinquain, or Free Verse, then takes students through the steps of making each type of poetry.
The Poetry Idea Machine also features poems by Jack Prelutsky, Karla Kuskin, and Jean Marzollo for inspiration. Students could read the examples and determine which type of poem each is based on what they have learned.


For the little poets...

Inkless Tales is a neat literacy website with a great mission statement: “You can do anything. Try, try again. Don’t give up. Experiment. Write, draw, explore, and more!” Inkless tales has features that will infuse your literacy classroom with life including: an animated alphabet, coloring pages (for print or online), online games, offline fun (finger puppets, downloads, crafts), Mother Goose rhymes and riddles, online stories to read, poetry to read, poetry to listen to, poetry to write, Inkless tunes, tongue twisters, and a place to learn science. Inkless Tales is an absolute treasure trove for the primary classroom.

Not enough? Mrs. Smoke's "Making Teachers Nerdy" blog has a HUGE list of poetry sites and poem generators.


Happy National Poetry Month!

April 11, 2011

Earth Day is coming up next week, so to save energy and resources, W.O.W. is turning to the best of the best-- Larry Ferlazzo has updated the section of his blog which includes The Best Earth Day sites.

In addition to curriculum ideas, talking stories, and an interactive sequencing activity, you can also view other "The Best" lists for fabulous resources, such as The Best Sites To Introduce Environmental Issues Into The Classroom, The Best Online Carbon Calculators, and The Best Sites To Learn About Climate Change.


With gas prices skyrocketing, any Social Studies/Current Events and/or Science classes discussing the hot topic of alternative fuels? From the eMINTS National Center, these websites deal with ethanol as an alternative fuel. Learn the history of ethanol, how it works, what it is used for, how it is produced. Discover more about ethanol produced in Missouri, specifically. There are also links to eThemes Resources on Energy: Renewable and Non-renewable Graphic Approach and Energy: Renewable and Non-renewable.


Happy Earth Day!

April 18, 2011

Along with April showers and flowers, Spring is often research paper time, but with so much information available, making sense of it all can be overwhelming. Many Eyes is a site developed by IBM Research and allows users to explore data using their eyes. The site is set up to allow the entire internet community to upload data, visualize it, and talk about their discoveries with other people.

Beyond bar graphs, this site displays all kinds of data sets, from life expectancy statistics and infant death rates, to the top 5 scholastic states, to football scores and coffee consumption in the US. The visualizations of the data sets are as varied as the data topics themselves-- you can view data as a tag cloud, word tree, bubble charts, scatterplots, matrix charts, world, state, and county maps, and much more-- you’ve never seen numbers like this!


And, your friend and mine, Richard Byrne, has shared a video tutorial for Many Eyes on his Free Technology for Teachers blog.


Finished researching? Want to check a paper? Richard Byrne's 7 Resources for Detecting Plagiarism is reprinted at the site below and also includes a link to The Paper Rater.

Happy Researching!

April 25, 2011

Whether you’re looking for a new way to excite your students or just a great way to start your day, get a Google a day.

There is a new daily trivia game by Google that actually encourages you to use the Internet to find answers to pretty tough questions. Here’s how it works:
Traditional trivia games have a rule that you can’t cheat—you can’t look things up in books, you can’t ask your friends / classmates and you certainly can’t ask Google. But what if there were a trivia game where you could not only ask Google, but were encouraged to do so? Imagine how difficult the questions would need to be with the power of the world’s information at your fingertips.

Break Out The Boolean Search Strings

A Google a Day is a new daily puzzle that can be solved using your creativity and clever search skills on Google. Questions will be posted every day on agoogleaday.com and printed on weekdays above the New York Times crossword puzzle. Google will reveal each puzzle’s answer the next day in the Times and on agoogleaday.com, along with (here's the best part!) the search tips and features used to find it. And... you can also view archived questions with answers (just in case your students figure out today's question in record time).

Just like traditional crossword puzzles, the difficulty of the questions increases over the course of the week, so by Thursday or Friday, even the most seasoned searcher may be stumped.

To prevent spoilers from appearing as you search the web, look for the answers on agoogleaday.com instead of regular google.com—Google has made a special version of Google that excludes real-time updates and other things that are likely to include spoilers as people post the answers to the puzzle online.

As the world of information continues to explode, A Google a Day will trigger your imagination and help you discover all the types of questions you can ask Google-- and get an answer.


Happy Googling!

May 2, 2011

May is National Museum Month.

For those of you who won't be able to take your class on a museum field trip, how about bringing the museum to your students?

Culture NOW is a New York City-based organization that works to promote diversity through arts education and cultural tourism. One of Culture NOW's efforts toward that goal is the creation of a Google Map featuring museums and culturally significant sites across North America. The Museum Without Walls map features thousands of placemarks representing museums. Click on a placemark to learn a little about a museum, get a link to that museum, and in some cases listen to a podcast about that museum and its collections.


Speaking of culture (and May), here's a site to learn about the Mexican holiday, Cinco de Mayo, with downloadable PowerPoint presentations, lesson plans, games, art activities, and a script for an in-class play.


Happy May!

May 9, 2011

No more freezing temperatures! It's May and also a great time to celebrate Health and Fitness Month. If you can't get moving outside just yet, it's also a great time to check out these cool sites.

Developed by a physical education teacher, Anatomy Arcade is a collection of games about human body systems. The collection is categorized by both body system and game type. The games most frequently appearing in the Anatomy Arcade are jigsaw puzzles, matching games, and crossword puzzles. There are also a few interactive games.


Not quite time for Olympics, but I just couldn't resist this unique take on the standard Career Interest Inventory-type surveys-- an Olympics quiz from CNN. This quiz asks questions about your personality and preferences then tells you the Olympic sport for which you're best suited.

Applications for Education
For physical education teachers or health teachers that are trying to get students to try an athletic or aerobic activity this quiz could be useful and expose students to sports that they've never tried before.


Happy Moving!

May 16, 2011

So, it's the last full week of school, the weather is nice (sort of!), seniors are gone, finals are approaching... You need a fast and fun class activity!

Phrays is a simple site that publishes a new word of the day everyday. Each word is published with its definition and part of speech. Visitors to the site are encouraged to write and submit a sentence using that word. Registered users can read the sentences submitted by others and vote for their favorite sentences.

If you're in need of a quick writing prompt or vocabulary challenge word for your students, Phrays could be a handy resource for your to bookmark or add to your RSS reader.


Now, who goes first in Phrays or other review activities?

The Random Name Selector is a simple tool for picking names from a list you've created. To use the selector just type in or copy a list of names then hit "go." Once a name is selected you have the option of launching a two minute or seven minute countdown timer. You also have the option to remove a name from the list after it has been selected.


Happy Selecting!

May 23, 2011

Think Icebreaker activities are just for the beginning of the year? Think again! Icebreakers are a great way to wrap up a unit, provide closure to an earlier activity, engage students during the last week of school, and even help study for finals.

SimpleK12, along with Collaborize Classroom, a free online learning platform, created a free download with 8 great icebreaker activities.


Education World also has several icebreaker activities, and if not used now, you can always get a head start on an opening activity for next year.


Happy End of the Year!

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Posted by Monique Agueros on Tuesday, Oct 19th, 2010.
August 17, 2009

WOW, summer's nearly over,
WOW, school starts tomorrow,
WOW, here's some resources for you!

The Website of the Week (W.O.W.) welcomes you back with some back-to-school activities, tips, and helpful resources for incorporating technology within your classroom.

The first site is Inspiring Teachers and offers sections including word of the day, quotes, articles, columns, as well as book and product reviews and professional development opportunities. There are links for beginning teachers, veteran teachers, mentors, substitute teachers, and student teachers.

The Teacher's Toolbox section includes a featured article-- this month's is "How to Involve and Engage Students," and a featured inspiration-- this month's is all about heroes.

Looks like a great site to bookmark and refer to often!


The second site is Teampedia, a wiki of team-building games, getting-to-know-you- and ice-breaker activities, including a Mnemonic Name Game. On Teampedia you can find games and activities for groups of all sizes and ages, and because Teampedia is a wiki, you can interact with the site and even add your own suggestions to Teampeida.


Welcome Back and Happy Monday!

* Archived W.O.W.'s can be found on the Essential Web Resources page, ePals, and Moodle:

http://sites.epals.com/moagueros/ http://paam.warrensburg.k12.mo.us:8080/moodle/)

August 24, 2009

We know it takes a village to raise a child, but did you know "It takes a thousand voices to tell a single story"?(Native American saying)
"Stories are the creative conversion of life itself into a more powerful, clearer, more meaningful experience. They are the currency of human contact." — Robert McKee

You can bring the power of stories into your classroom with The Story Home, a collection of classic and original children’s audio stories. Every other week a new story is added by storyteller Alan. All audio stories are FREE!! The stories can be listened to right from The Story Home website or by subscribing to The Story Home on iTunes.

Here you will find original and classic children's audio stories from Fairy Tale Classics and Animal Stories, to Holiday Stories and Famous Re-Tellings. Every other week, The Story Home will offer a brand new story read to you by a very special storyteller named Alan, for FREE!

How to integrate The Story Home into the classroom: Students will love listening to audio stories on The Story Home. Set up a listening center in your classroom where students can listen to stories. As they listen to stories, students can practice comprehension strategies like visualization. Find stories that correspond with your classroom curriculum and introduce new concepts with an audio story. Use The Story Home to teach students Story Telling strategies.


Can't find what you need at The Story Home? Or looking for more information-- especially for older students? A new Google feature lets you browse books online.

If the book is out of copyright, or the publisher has given Google permission, you'll be able to see a preview of the book, and in some cases the entire text. If it's in the public domain, you're free to download a PDF copy.

They've created reference pages for every book so you can quickly find all kinds of relevant information: book cover art, book reviews, web references, maps, and more.

There's also a section where you can buy the book ... or borrow it from the library.


Happy Storytelling!

August 31, 2009

Now that you've welcomed your students back to school, welcome them to the web!

Welcome to the Web is a series of lessons for teaching young students how to navigate the Internet. There are seven lessons in the series, although the first lesson is really just an introduction to the site. The other lessons in the series teach kids the basic vocabulary of the web, online safety, and search techniques. The series concludes with a challenge exercise in which students test their new knowledge and skills. Every lesson in the series comes with an optional worksheet in PDF form. Welcome to the Web provides a clear, easy-to-navigate format that students can use to get acquainted with the basics of Internet use.


Need more resources?

Curriculumbits.com is a great site offering free online access to interactive multimedia elearning resources. The online resource library contains games, quizzes, animations and videos in a variety of subjects for middle and high school students. The resources are available to access online, completely free of charge in the library (they no longer offer the option to download resources). Simply click the PLAY button. You do not need to register to access the resources. Many of these resources will work well with a projector and/or SMART Board, too.


Happy Searching!

September 7, 2009

The Library of Congress Teacher Resources section has songs, images and historical perspectives on Labor Day, including the history of workers through historic films and photographs, as well as other holidays celebrated in America.

The Library of Congress also makes teachers' work a bit easier by offering themed lesson plans about a host of other subjects, such as Music and Dance, Civil Rights, Advertising, Elections, Geography, Literature and Poetry, Nature and the Environment, and much, more more-- something for everyone in every class-- using primary sources, from documents and films, to current events and new articles, the Library of Congress offers a way to organize the wealth of information available online into powerful, thematic lessons.


Happy Labor Day!

September 14, 2009

Did you hear about the little boy after his first day of school?
His mother asks, "What did you learn today?"
The boy replies, "Not enough. I have to go back tomorrow."

Have you ever told a joke or funny story to your class, and instead of roaring laughter, there's just silence?

Or perhaps the only sound is the sound of a cricket?

If so, the Museum of Humor is for you!

Humor can be a powerful teaching tool, and one aspect of the Museum of Humor is a large collection of lesson plans for teaching with humor. In this collection there are links to fun and humorous lesson plans for every content area and grade level. In addition to the lesson plans, you will find links to printable fun activities. If you're looking for a fun way to introduce a new topic or review before an assessment, check out the Museum of Humor's lesson plan database. There's news (including stupid criminal stories!), tools, resources, cartoons, cliches, anecdotes, and much more!

NOTE: Some categories within the topics listed on the home page are links to other sites outside of the museum, and may contain adult material, so the museum should be considered a teacher resource rather than a student search engine!


Happy Laughing!

September 21, 2009
Is your field trip budget a little short this year?
Or, are you looking for ways to give your students an authentic audience for video projects?

Meet Me at the Corner is a site that can help with both.

Meet Me at the Corner is an inventive site that seeks to take students on virtual field trips through videos created by students. The site started with video podcasts of the history and people of New York City. As the site grows through student submissions, people and events of other towns, cities, and nations will be highlighted. Currently there are video podcasts from Colorado, California, North Carolina, Texas, and Maryland. Through the Meet Me at the Corner videos, students can learn about people, jobs, and places around the country and soon around the world. Students can also submit videos from their corner of the world. Meet Me at the Corner also has video book reviews that can motivate students to read books they may not have considered.

How to integrate Meet Me at the Corner into the classroom: Meet Me at the Corner is a great new resource for introducing your students to the wider world. Students can take a virtual field trip to different states through videos, learning about people, their jobs, and where they live. These videos give your students a better understanding of the world they live in. Meet Me at the Corner encourages student video submissions. Consider creating a class video about your city/state/school to submit to Meet Me at the Corner. It would be great for students to get a first-hand look at schools and students from around the world.

Tips: Meet Me at the Corner has a contest section with contests that students can take part in. These contests are updated regularly so be sure to check them out.


Happy visiting and videotaping!

September 28, 2009

So many words... so little time!

Words are everywhere-- textbooks, novels, essays, math problems, street signs, directions, vocabulary, research, websites-- you name it, there's a word for it!

Here's a few ideas for working with words in just about any lesson in any subject area:

Visuwords uses a web design to show users the definitions of words and the connections between words. To use Visuwords just type a word into the search box and Visuwords will generate a web of related words. Place your cursor over any of the words and the definition appears. Use the color-coded key to understand the connections between the words in any web.
Visuwords gives students an easy-to-use tool for exploring definitions and alternative word choices.


Wordle makes cool word clouds from sample text you enter, and, hey, there's a Wordle workshop next week!


One Word- lots of writing: The premise is simple– when you click the go button one word will appear on the screen and you have 60 seconds to write about the word. This would be a very nice, fun, engaging activity to motivate students to practice writing skills. As the site states “Don’t think. Just write.”


OneLook’s reverse dictionary lets you describe a concept and get back a list of words and phrases related to that concept. Your description can be a few words, a sentence, a question, or even just a single word. Just type it into the box above and hit the “Find words” button. Keep it short to get the best results. In most cases you’ll get back a list of related terms with the best matches shown first.


Save The Words-- Chose a word to “adopt” and ultimately “save." You click on one of the words that appears on the screen and anther text box will appear with its definition, a sentence using the word and the option for you to adopt the word. Very clever! One teacher visits this site once a week with her classes to help increase their vocabulary awareness. She assigns extra credit if students actually adopt words and incorporate these words into their writing assignments.


Happy Using Your Words!"

October 5, 2009

Ah, Fall... the perfect picture taking time!

Kodak has been a household name for over one hundred years, but when most people hear the name Kodak they think "camera" not "lesson plans." A little-known aspect of Kodak's website offers lesson plans for every grade level in twelve subject areas including math, music, history, languages, science, career education, and special education.

These are not skeleton lesson plans, either; the Kodak lesson plans have very detailed directions for classroom implementation. All of the lesson plans include the use of photographs and or cameras.

The Kodak Lesson Plans site provides good ideas for integrating art and photography into just about any subject area as well as lots of project ideas in the Tips & Project Center area.

Don't have a camera? Don't worry! The Technology Center has a few for checkout-- just give us a call to reserve one.

Don't know how to use a camera? Don't worry! Kodak's lesson plan area also includes Teaching Guides.


Happy Picture Taking!

October 12, 2009

Happy Columbus Day!

As you incorporate studying about famous people or famous inventions within your curriculum, wouldn't it be great to be able to include some awesome visuals?

Designs for Democracy is an online exhibit created by the National Archives and Records Administration. The exhibit features drawings, sketches, and pictures that demonstrate the creativity and ingenuity of Americans through history. The exhibit is divided into three sections tracing the development of the United States from its early beginnings through the 20th Century. Each of the three sections contains images in the categories of symbolism, improvements, science and technology, and artistic expression.

Designs for Democracy is a good place to find images that can be used as the basis for classroom conversations or even VoiceThread projects. As just one example, you could use the drawings from a sewing machine patent application to start a conversation about the Industrial Revolution.


Happy Designing!

October 19, 2009

Super Science!

While the content of interactive educational resources is growing on the Internet, very rarely do you find websites that allow you (and provide assistance) for downloading the content to your own computer.

Freezeray is a one of those few places where teachers can find and download interactive resources for Science investigations. In fact, these resources were developed specifically for Interactive Whiteboards.

The site organizes resources into various categories including Physics, Biology, Technology, and Chemistry. They even have a fun place to practice Science-related literacy. The resources here include a hangman-type game and various key-idea interactive resources.

The interactive resources are downloadable and can be used freely for non-commercial purposes. The really good thing about these resources is that they are flash-based and can be imported into your Smart Notebook files.

Even if you don't have a SmartBoard or projector, or don't want to download anything, the activities are still great for a visit to the computer lab!


While the site has instructions for downloading the resources by searching your Temporary Files folder, there is an easier way, especially if you have the Firefox web browser. Here's a link to a short video that shows how to save the flash-based (swf) version of these activities to your computer using the Firefox browser and import the file into Notebook. (This video is even iPhone compatible.)


Happy Investigating!

October 26, 2009

For anyone who has required students to conduct any kind of research (that's probably everyone!) you know it can be difficult to keep students focused on their topics-- they may type an address incorrectly, or they may visit sites they shouldn't. If you ever need students to visit several websites, Linklist Is A Winner!

Linklist lets you make lists of links with no registration required. You can decide on your topic, write a short description, and then develop an ordered or non-ordered list. After you’re done, you’re given an embed code and url address for it-- one click and all your resources are organized together!

You can create linklists to share, and students can create their own linklists that are kept private. You do not need to register, but if you do register, you'll be able to update and edit your linklists.

Larry Ferlazzo, ELL teacher and fabulous blogger, said, "What’s really neat about it, though, is that once you paste a url address into your list, the name of the link actually shows up as an active link. For example, as I was creating a list of my favorite books, all I did was search for them on Amazon, paste the url addresses of each book on the list, and the link that showed up was the name and author of the book. This kind of ease makes it very easy for students to use."

Linklist would also really be great for teaching media literacy skills. Students could write additional descriptions next to each list item, then the list could be used more effectively for higher-order thinking skills like categorization or comparing information from different sources.


Happy Linking!

November 2, 2009
Does Daylight Savings Time really save energy? Can corn and soybeans really replace gasoline?

If you've been pondering these types of questions (especially after changing the clocks again), or if you've been wondering how to incorporate energy-related themes in your classroom, a visit to Powering the Nation is well worth the time.

“Powering A Nation” is an impressive online multimedia feature on various aspects of energy use and production-- lots of resources suitable for any subject area-- Here, you can "explore America’s energy stories, meet the people behind the debate and join the conversation about our future."

Videos, stories, debates, and blogs featuring current events about how energy affects us all are displayed on this easy-to-navigate site. Discover how people in Alaska are coping with losing their homes to rising waters due to climate changes, or find out why fossil fuels matter to food. You can even use tools to chart your energy use and take the "Power Down" challenge.


Happy Energizing!

November 9, 2009

Veteran's Day, November 11, is a time to honor those who serve or have served our country, and as you can imagine, there's a wide variety of web resources about this day appropriate for all grade levels.

Pete's PowerPoint Station has a variety of ready-made PowerPoint templates that you can use to explain Veteran's Day, as well as puzzles and quizzes.


VA Kids has a nice word jumble game. This works well on the SMARTBoard, too, since you click and drag the letters to complete the game.


Education World has webquests available for download. One is about Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It asks students to explore the Unknown Soldier website and then answer 5 questions.



The History Channel offers a video on the History of Veteran’s Day (3:32 minutes).Plays well in full screen mode on the SMARTBoard. There are several other videos in the playlist that discuss various aspects of Veterans.


There also is an interesting “Did You Know” page that offers interesting facts regarding Veterans.


EL Civics has a very nice short explanation of the history and origin of Veterans Day, complete with pictures, a crossword puzzle, and a military uniforms worksheet.


Larry Ferlazzo also has an excellent resource page, listing several sources to find information on Veterans Day.


Happy Veteran's Day!

November 16, 2009

"Location, Location, Location..."

November 15-21 is Geography Awareness Week, and to help celebrate, the Free Technology for Teachers site has a list of five interactive sites with geography activities, ranging from interactive maps and puzzles, country and region questions from Lizard Point, to Traveler IQ challenges.


For the younger crowd, there's GeoNet, a geography quiz game from Houghton Mifflin that offers students more than just the state or country identification questions typical of geography games. GeoNet has a category of games based on a world map and games based on a map of the United States. Within each category are six types of quiz game questions. A fun and engaging way to learn!


You can also join bloggers around the Web for the 2009 Geography Awareness Week Blog-a-thon, hosted by National Geographic’s My Wonderful World Campaign.
Tune in to the My Wonderful World Blog November 15-21 for a daily dose of geographic news and jottings, photos, calls to action, a mystery location quiz, and more…



This week is also American Education Week, so here's a teacher resource treat for you:

Teacher Linx is a newer website that is trying to harness the power of a networked crowd to generate useful content for teachers.

Teacher Linx is a place where teachers can create lesson plans and share lesson plans with each other. Teacher Linx provides a platform on which teachers can find lesson plans for a variety of content areas and grade levels.


Happy Mapping, Happy Blogging, Happy American Education Week!

November 23, 2009

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, this may be a great time to check out the World Hunger site.

The United Nations' World Food Program's website has excellent resources for learning about world hunger and fighting world hunger. On the website teachers can download lesson plans with a mix of online and offline activity.

The lesson plan that teaches students what it's like to live on less than two dollars per day seems like a potentially powerful lesson for some students. Before using the lesson plans, you may want to have students review Hunger 101 on the WFP's website. In Hunger 101 students will learn basic world hunger statistics and vocabulary.


In addition to lesson plans, site offers students a large selection of educational online games and activities. The games are categorized by age group. Some of the games, like Food Force, are about world hunger while other games are more general in nature.


For the younger crowd, check out Kids Around the World - Culture Lessons for K-5


Happy Thanksgiving!

November 30, 2009

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Sometimes it seems when the holidays roll around, we need a few extra activities on hand to keep students focused.

That's where Game Goo comes in!

This site offers a plethora of free, engaging, fun educational games addressing early reading and language skills. GameGoo is developed by Earobics, a language and literacy software company. Click on the Kids box to bring you to the GAME GOO section where you will find the games arranged from beginners (bottom) to advanced (top). When you scroll your mouse over the various game icons a decsription of the game will appear in the upper right corner of the game section.

Even though the site was designed with elementary students in mind, several activities could be enjoyed by students of all ages-- and, could even be valuable resources for those students who are creating lessons or activities for class visits, peer modeling, students as teachers, etc.

Many of the games work well on the SMARTBoard, and the Fearless Freida games present well on the SMARTBoard, but they do require keyboarding. And don’t forget to check out the FUN GOO section where they provide even more options such as wallpaper goo, coloring goo, etc.


Happy Goo-ing!

December 7, 2009

Today in History... Pearl Harbor Day

It may be difficult for some students to relate to a day of "remembrance" for an event that happened 68 years ago, but a quote used by The Discovery Channel's Peter Hankoff may lead to interesting discussions:
"I don't remember Pearl Harbor for the betrayal or the murder or the lack of preparation. I remember it because in spite of those things we regrouped and rose to the occasion and refitted, rebuilt and resurrected our Armed Forces. I remember Pearl Harbor because ash and blood were turned into steel and resolve and, ultimately, forgiveness and generosity. I remember Pearl Harbor because it gives me faith that the best in people can overcome the worst... And I have not forgotten that hope forever renews Americans and everyone else in the world."

Larry Ferlazzo, author of "The Best Sites for..." lists has also compiled a list for The Best Sites to Learn About Pearl Harbor:

EL Civics has A Pearl Harbor Day Lesson, including online resources and reproducible hand-outs.

Holt, Rinehart & Winston have a Pearl Harbor interactive map.

National Geographic has its well-known Remembering Pearl Harbor site.

This is a very accessible Thinkquest site developed by students about Pearl Harbor, including and introduction and events leading up to war.

The National Park Service has many good photos of the Arizona Memorial and ones that were taken on the day of the attack.

TIME Magazine has a photographic timeline of the event.

You can find the transcript and audio, along with a photo slide show, of President Roosevelt’s “Infamy” speech at the History Place.

December 15, 2009

Come fly with me...

No, it's not Santa and his sleigh-- Thursday, December 17 is the anniversary of the Wright Brothers first flight.

Check out these sites for some interactive activities for learning about the Wright Brothers and the first flight:

Explore the Wright shed at Kitty Hawk, take a virtual flight, and relive the Wright Brothers’ flight through narrated interactive and photo slide shows:


Wright Brothers Game. Visit the museum room to read and learn about the Wright Brothers and their achievements. Then head to the dunes of Kitty Hawk to answer questions about what you have learned:


The inspiration- The Wright Brothers first became interested in flight when they were young and their father brought home a toy helicopter. Find out more here, including instructions on how to make a similar heliocopter:


When Pigs Fly (US mint.gov activity). Learn about how planes fly and practice your skills in a virtual flight game:


Happy Flying!

December 21, 2009

'Twas the first day of winter, and all through the Tech Center not a snowflake was falling-- except on the Website of the Week...

The Snowflake Workshop site lets kids of all ages unleash their creative side while learning a brief history of how snowflakes have been studied. The Snowflake Workshop is perfect for a whole class computer lab activity, a teacher demonstration, or an interactive SMARTBoard activity as the students simply drag/click the objects (pencil, scissors, etc.) to create snowflakes. Once created, students can complete a card to send their snowflake to someone. A unique URL is also created, and students have the option to display their flakes in the workshop gallery.


Happy Holidays!

January 4, 2010

So the New Year is here and if you're feeling the pressure to make a resolution, but you just don't know what it should be, try the New Year's Resolution Generator.

If you're thinking of using New Year's resolutions as writing prompts, journal ideas, or discussion starters, consider having the New Year's Resolution Generator available to those students who are struggling for ideas.

Click the "Gimme More" button on the New Year's Resolution Generator and you'll be given a resolution idea.


Happy New Year!

January 11, 2010

Adding humor to your lessons can be one way to motivate students, and using political cartoons is a great way to incorporate history across the curriculum.

A great blog, Free Technology for Teachers, has found a site with several lesson plan ideas using cartoons in the classroom:

Cartoons for the Classroom is a service of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. Cartoons in the Classroom offers more than one hundred lesson plans based on editorial cartoons created by the members of the AAEC. Each lesson plan is available as free pdf download. As you might expect, most of the lessons deal with current political and economic topics, but you will also find some lessons that are not time sensitive.


In addition to lesson plans Cartoons for the Classroom provides links to other cartoon resources. One of those resources is the Opper Project. The Opper Project provides lesson plans for teaching history through editorial cartoons.


Applications for Education:
Editorial cartoons can make some of the most complex topics accessible to all learners. On the topic of accessibility, Cartoons for the Classroom is currently running a cartoon caption contest that is open to all US students. The contest asks students to develop a caption for a cartoon posted by Cartoons for the Classroom. The creator of the winning caption and his or her teacher will receive a copy of May it Amuse the Court, a collection of editorial cartoons about the Supreme Court and the Constitution.


Happy Learning and Laughing!

January 19, 2010

If you are considering any kind of lesson about the 2010 census or even working with data from charts and graphs, Larry Ferlazzo has found another gem of a site!

The Flowing Data blog has created an incredible infographic on world demographics. It’s designed to be a poster for sale, but there’s an online zoomable version. This is their simple description:

"In whole, the report tells a story of how we live and die, and the stuff in between. "

In Larry's words, "Though it’s 'busy-looking,' I haven’t seen any other kind of graphical representation of this amount of data..."

UNdata provides a catalog of 27 United Nations statistical databases and 60 million records about the past, present, and future state of the world. Topics include demographics, life expectancy, labor levels, poverty, and a lot more.


Happy Graphing!

January 25, 2010

Do you need additional ideas for using primary documents in your classroom?

How about transforming your classroom into a CSI lab??

With HSI (Historical Scene Investigations), you can explore "case files" about Children in Civil War, When Elvis Met Nixon, The Boston Massacre, and many, many more historical events.

The site states that it meets a classroom standard "to consult documents, journals, diaries, artifacts, historic sites, works of art, quantitative data, and other evidence from the past, and to do so imaginatively--taking into account the historical context in which these records were created and comparing the multiple points of view of those on the scene at the time." What a neat way to study history across the curriculum!

HSI (Historical Scene Investigation)—VERY Cool!

Through a partnership between the College of William & Mary School of Education, the University of Kentucky College of Education, and the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Program, another site also offers documentary kits including documents, images, audio and visual files about a host of topics, including Women's Suffrage, Presidential Speeches, The Great Depression, the Civil Rights Movement, and many more.


Happy Investigating!

February 1, 2010

It's February now, and that means there's six more weeks of winter-- or is there?

Tomorrow is Groundhog Day, and one of my favorite bloggers, Larry Ferlazzo, has once again compiled a host of great resources including a short explanation of the holiday, a civics lesson, videos, articles, and quizzes.


If you don't care too much for rodents, February is Black History Month, and, you guessed it, Ferlazzo has a variety of resources for this topic also-- he even includes sites with some helpful hints about teaching tolerance.

“The Best Websites To Teach & Learn About African-American History”


"The Do’s and Don’ts of Teaching Black History is a good guide. I’m adding it to The Best Websites To Teach & Learn About African-American History."


Happy February!

February 8, 2010

All this snow reminds me of... log cabins.

Actually, Presidents' Day is coming up, and the National Parks Service has created an excellent set of resources teachers and students can use to explore four presidential log cabins. Log on and learn about the cabins occupied by Washington, Lincoln, Grant, and Roosevelt. In addition to information about the presidents and national parks, Discover Presidential Log Cabins contains virtual tours and lesson plans based on those tours as well as information about log cabin restoration and the Valley Forge Archeological dig.

Discover Presidential Log Cabins could be a good resource for US History, math, writing, even construction! The lessons seem to be appropriate for middle school level, but could be adapted for other grade levels.

Happy Presidents' Day!

February 15, 2010

History, science, math, language, health, sports, technology, and a bit of snow-- where can you find all of these together? The Winter Olympics, of course! From videos of the opening ceremonies, trivia about the history of the games, calculating medal counts and predictions, to interactive games and even a Web Quest, the internet has a host of helpful resources to add to your classroom discussions and/or lessons about the Olympics.

First, a bit of history from the Enchanted Learning site:


Then, Winter Olympics: Sport By Sport is a feature from ESPN. It provides a short, accessible slideshow and description for each sport played at the Olympic games-- there's even a section with Winter Sports headlines.


You can follow the "Path of an Athlete" by playing an interactive game on the Canadian Schools site, plus view an archive of Olympian stories.


How about some cool visuals??

Deconstructing The Games is an extraordinary collection of sixteen infographics on each of the Winter Olympics events in Vancouver. They’re created by the Vancouver Sun newspaper, and here is how they describe them:

“Each page provides a graphic illustration, athletes to watch, trivia, information about the venue and the schedule. Collect them all here, put them together and the number 2010 can be seen in the background.”


Of course, there are as many websites about the Olympics as there are events, and of course, your friend and mine, Larry Ferlazzo, has compiled several on his blog:


Happy Gaming!

February 22, 2010
Facts about the number 6, a "Narcissistic" and "Evil" number:

The smallest perfect number.
The largest square-free factorial.
The only even perfect pronic number.
The number of snow days we've had this year!

How do I know this? A bit of gossip (and the school calendar)!

Number Gossip is very cool site which acts like a search engine for numbers. All you have to do is type in any number (the date, your birthday, the speed limit, your age, your weight-- or not-- an answer to a problem, any number at all) to get a variety of information such as the origin, rare properties, common properties, factors, and much more-- some numbers even have their very own web page.

"Everything you wanted to know about a number but were afraid to ask."


Happy Gossiping!

March 1, 2010
This week, W.O.W. is offering a two-for-one special!

Hadn't planned on another Olympics resource, but this site is just too cool to pass up!

The individual Speedskating silver medalist who came closest to gold was Annette Gerritsen of the Netherlands, in the women’s 1,000-meter speedskating race. She lost by .02 of a second, about the time it takes a hummingbird to flap its wings.

When we learn about medalists winning by two-hundredths of a second, is may be difficult to understand-- just how long or short IS that? Fractions of a Second, by the New York times, lets you HEAR the difference.


Website #2:

Celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday on March 2, with all kinds of activities, from crossword puzzles to reader's theatre scripts.


Happy Fraction Listening!

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

March 1, 2010
But wait, there's more... An expanded Website of Week...

Another resource for Dr. Seuss' birthday, March 2:
PBS has a nice website that looks at the Political side of Dr. Seuss and his books. Great lessons and activities for older students.


AND... Did you know March 4 is National Grammar Day?

Language is something to be celebrated, and March 4 is the perfect day to do it. It's not only a date, it's an imperative: March forth on March 4 to speak well, write well, and help others do the same!


Happy Celebrating!
March 8, 2010

March is Women’s History Month in the United States.

The New York Times has created an interactive of “reader submitted photographs from around the world that illustrate the importance of educating girls and empowering women.”


Women’s History Month Across the Curriculum comes from the New York Times Learning Network, and when they say, "Across the Curriculum," they are not kidding! Lesson Plan Categories include not only American History, Civics, and Current Events, but also Fine Arts, Economics, Mathematics, Journalism, Health, Science, Technology, and many more.
In addition to lesson plans, the site also offers articles, historical front pages, crosswords, and surveys.


Happy March!

March 22, 2010

It's Spring! According to the calendar anyway! Even if we can't see the signs of Spring yet, we can hear them.

Wild Music is a fun and educational website on which students can learn about sounds commonly heard in nature. On Wild Music students can listen to the sounds of nature and explore what creates those sounds. Some of the activities students will find include a game of animal audio memory in which students hear sounds and have to match them to each other. Students can find activities such as The Mosquito in which they compare their hearing to the hearing of various animals.

Applications for Education
Wild Music is a resource that could be used across the curriculum, especially science teachers and music teachers. Science teachers can use Wild Music as an exploration of the sounds animals make and why they make those sounds. Music teachers can use Wild Music to explore how the sounds of nature influence musicians.


Happy Spring!

March 29, 2010

Earth Day is coming up, and Mr. Byrne's Free Technology for Teachers blog has some neat ideas to encourage teachers to "Go Paperless" for Earth Day.

1. Get your students using Google Docs to write their essays. Students can share essays with you and you can grade them without printing.

2. Try using the Drop.io upload widget to collect your students' work online. -OR- create a custom form in SchoolCenter to make a "digital drop box."

3. Compare the articles in your textbooks with articles on Wikipedia about the same topic. Similarly, get your students started building a wiki of reliable articles that can replace your older textbooks and periodicals.

4. If you're in the habit of sending newsletters home, start an email list or better yet a blog to replace that newsletter.

5. If you're teaching in a 1:1 environment or using a computer lab for a specific assignment, stop printing assignments and just post them online.

Another site challenges teachers to pledge to go paperless on Earth Day. To date, more than 750 teachers have signed up and pledged to go paperless on Earth Day. Read more about the Earth Day Paperless Classroom Pledge on Shelly Blake-Plock's blog, Teach Paperless.

Not quite ready to make a pledge? Visit the Earth Day network to find more free and easy ways to help:

Happy Earth Day!

April 5, 2010

Think documentaries are boring? Think baseball has no place in the classroom? Think again!

PBS has an awesome series of documentary films and lesson plans with activities all about "the great American pastime." By studying the history of baseball, students gain an understanding for the struggles and triumphs of our country throughout the past 150 years of American history.

The activities on this site were designed to allow teachers to draw on the many lessons of the game in a variety of disciplines including social studies, mathematics, history and language arts/literature and make the fun and excitement of baseball part of a dynamic learning experience.

How about using the game to review classroom concepts?

Lesson Planet has over 300 lessons incorporating baseball within all curriculum areas, including geometry, science, and literature.

There's even a lesson for music class!

Happy Opening Day!

April 12, 2010

Sunday, April 11, 2010 was Holocaust Remembrance Day--

The United States Congress established the Days of Remembrance as the nation’s annual commemoration of the Holocaust and created the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum as a permanent living memorial to the victims. In commemoration of the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Nazi concentration camps, the Museum has designated "Stories of Freedom: What You Do Matters" as the theme for the 2010 Days of Remembrance, April 11 – April 18. Here, students can read survival stories, learn about events relating to World War II, and even discover ways to stand up and speak out when they hear an inappropriate, hateful remark.

Additional resources, once again thanks to Larry Ferlazzo, include:

A horse-chestnut tree in Amsterdam was a source of joy and inspiration to Anne Frank. There is an online Anne Frank Tree project where students can easily leave a virtual leaf sharing their thoughts on freedom, courage and giving.

The Story Of Anne Frank, is a “talking book” created by students.

Famous People Lessons (a fabulous resource for learning about all kinds of people and events!) includes a site about Anne Frank.

Scholastic has a useful Internet Scavenger Hunt.

Or, students can try this Anne Frank “Webquest”

Here’s a short, simple biography of Anne Frank.

Anne Frank: Lessons in human rights and dignity is an incredible resource from Newspapers In Education.

In addition, visitors to the PBS site will be able to view a new Masterpiece Theatre version of The Diary of Anne Frank movie for free online between April 12 – May 11, 2010.
(*Note: The streaming video clips are lengthy and may not be appropriate for younger students, so you will need to preview them outside the district and download the chapters you'd like to use in the classroom-- let us know if you need assistance with this!)

The site also offers an impressive Teacher’s Guide with lots of good ideas on how to teach about Anne Frank — with or without the movie.

In Remembrance--

April 19, 2010

Go Green for Earth Day-- April 22-- with sites that make it easy to incorporate conservation topics within any curriculum area.

Teaching ecology and environmental conservation principles from the classroom can be a tough job. It’s a subject that really requires that hands-on, in-the-field type of involvement to really engage the student and provide tangible educational concepts for reflection. Conservation Maven can help with this.

Every day Conservation Maven posts educational and research items about all things conservation. You can keep track of ongoing conservation studies being done in the field. These provide a valuable in-the-field look into the science and practices of conservation principles in real-world situations. The site has multimedia resources as well, which can provide some visual appeal to your lessons.


Classroom Earth is a dynamic website that synthesizes materials from numerous sources into a virtual cornucopia of useful environmental information.

Are you an environmental news junkie and not getting what you need from the mainstream news media? The In the News section should be your first stop to see real-life stories of how the environment is affecting us all. Recent stories include how students in LA can attend environmentally themed classes and a look at America’s 10 most-endangered species.

For students, the Resource Library is a truly interactive experience that allows targeted searches broken down by grade, topic, and level and type of source material. Think of the gas money they will save (and how much the environment will appreciate it) as they conduct research on pollution, agriculture, and numerous other topics from this one site.

How about a little extra cash in your pocket to help your environmental mission? The Grants and Funding page suggests numerous funding opportunities for those environmentally minded go-getters. Current funding opportunities include developing greenway spaces near your school and several water-quality projects that benefit the local community.


Happy Earth Day!

April 26, 2010

Ah, Spring-- the season that inspires writing! April is National Poetry Month, and lots of websites are available to help students read and create poems. Have writer's block? There's a site for that, too!

Getting students interested in writing poems can be a difficult task. The Shape Poem generator provides a nice selection of templates that may pique students' interest in writing poetry.

Shape Poems is a simple poem generation template hosted by Read Write Think. Shape Poems provides a template for writing poems in the shape of an object, about that object. Shape templates can be selected from one of four themes including sports, school, nature, and celebrations. Students then select a shape and identify words that they associate with their chosen shape. When completed, students can hear their poems read to them and/or print their poems.


Magnetic Poetry is a wonderful resource for teachers.
Choose from three categories: Genius, Office Romance, and the Poet.
Once you are there, drag words to make your poem! It is that simple. If you have a Smartboard, even better, students don’t have to use a mouse and can touch/feel the words. It's also a great tool for showing students sentence structure-- just put a pile of words on the open area and get students to produce sentences from them. Or even better, put up unfinished sentences which the students can then finish.

Songwriters and poets often encounter writer’s dead ends when they cannot find the perfect rhyme for a particular word. While the rhyming word might be in the writer’s mind, it is probably in the subconscious. Transferring that rhyme from the subconscious to the conscious is what RhymeIt does.

RhymeIt is a simple online dictionary of rhyming words that takes an English word and provides us with words that rhyme. The rhyming is done based on the number and type of syllables in our entered word. With the Rhymes all present in front of the writer it becomes a lot easier to decide which one will go best with the word in mind. This website is a must-bookmark tool for all poets or songwriters who want to prevent writer’s block resulting from lack of rhymes.

And for the little ones, in honor of National Poetry Month, Kenn Nesbitt is offering his book “My Hippo Has the Hiccups” as a free ebook. Nesbitt's poems are funny and engaging for readers of all ages. The ebook is available to view online or to download.

This ebook is a winner no matter what age group you teach. You can read the poems as a class using an interactive whiteboard or a projector-connected computer. Because you can download the ebook, it would also be a wonderful addition to your classroom library on the classroom computers. Students can visit classroom computers with My Hippo Has the Hiccups as a poetry inspiration station. Invite your students to create their own silly Kenn Nesbitt inspired poetry. Make a class book of the silly poems and post them as a class ebook on Issuu.
Tips: You have to have the Zino Reader installed to view this ebook, it is a simple click and download.

Happy Poetry Month!

May 10, 2010

May is a time for reflection, appreciation, review, finals, graduation-- beginnings and endings all rolled into one. As this school year comes to an end, you may find it interesting to see what lessons your students and others consider memorable and important.

EducoPark lets you write about a “life lesson” you learned and how you learned it, as well as begin an online discussion on challenges and how to face them. Users can leave comments on these lessons, and vote on which ones were most helpful.

You can view comments, quotes, stories, speeches, songs, lectures, and even videos without setting up an account, but you do need to login to post your own lesson and vote for others' lessons. Educopark is a neat way to have students reflect on a variety of topics and could be quite useful for discussion starters and writing prompts.


Happy Learning!

May 17, 2010
Looking for last-minute reviews or educational activities to keep kids focused during these last days? How about for those times when students have finished a project early, are waiting for their turn at a center, or have a few minutes before it is time to pack up for the day and go home… in these instances it is nice to have a game that is fun, keeps students thinking, and is quick to complete. Moppet Games are fun, quick games that students will enjoy.

Students can play a photo hunt where they discover differences between two sets of pictures (like the picture hunts in Highlights magazine), memory with shapes, hangman, word search, or math worm. The math worm game is one that students will enjoy for practicing their math facts. In the game, students play a worm who must keep from getting eaten by a bird. To move the worm, students must quickly answer simple addition and subtraction problems. As they are working, the bird gets ominously closer, they have to be quick with that fact recall! There are two game levels for math worm: easy and hard. The easy version quizzes on facts less than 10 and the bird moves slowly. In the hard version, the facts are a little more challenging and the bird moves much more quickly toward the worm.

If you have access to an interactive whiteboard, make the math worm game into a whole class relay. Line up students at the board, each student completes a problem and then passes the pen to the next student in line. See if your class can outsmart that hungry bird! Use the other games as a fun incentive to line up quietly. Put one of the activities up on the interactive whiteboard and call students who are quiet and ready to line up to come up and solve part of the puzzle. By the time the puzzle has been completed the class will be lined up and ready to go. The students who miss out on helping to solve the puzzle are those who weren’t following directions or chatting when they shouldn’t be. This has been a great classroom management incentive in many classrooms, because all of the students want to be involved in the game.


Happy almost last week of school!

May 24, 2010
As you wind down this school year, I know many of you are already looking toward next year, so this week's site contains a plethora of resources you can use for all sort of lesson ideas and planning.

The Essential Web Resources page includes sites for using Google Maps in the classroom, as well as multimedia project ideas, creative PowerPoint activities, interactive websites, SmartBoard resources, video sharing sites, clip art and digital image resources, sites for creating online storybooks, and even grant writing resources-- a one-stop idea center that would be a great addition to your summer reading list!


Happy Summer!

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August 11, 2008

Welcome Back! Let the classes begin!

This Website of the Week is loaded with free lesson plans for just about every subject you can think of (with an easy search function), as well as interactives, games, puzzles, etc. It even has featured articles like this week's Let the Games Begin:
which gives background information about the Olympic games, a map of China, and even the technology of swimsuits!

Thinkfinity's educator resources also includes free professional development training sessions.

Worth exploring, using, and adding to your bookmarks!


Happy Teaching!

August 18, 2008
Got Milk?

Are you a list lover? (Or a list loser?)

Do I dare bring up task management so early in the year?

Why not? "Remember The Milk reinvents the to-do list," says PCWorld-- here you can manage tasks, create lists, receive reminders, share your lists with others to collaborate to get things done, even see your tasks on a map! The ultimate task management system!

More than just an online planner, Remember the Milk allows you to categorize any task or item by a specific topic (say, a particular class subject or lesson), add a note (like lesson plan details, perhaps), send yourself (or a student) an email reminder, create a task list for all students involved in a group project, and display an item with a corresponding location on a map. Cool!

Just like your to-do list, the lesson possibilities are endless! Take a tour of the site, and I'm sure you'll come up with lots of ideas!


Happy Organizing!

August 25, 2008
Oh, what to do with all those summer reading books? Once you've read and enjoyed them, do they end up on the bookshelf collecting dust? How about sending them on a journey?

Register your books at:
Then, you can follow your book on its journey and discuss authors and stories with others.

BookCrossing is earth-friendly, and gives you a way to share your books, clear your shelves, and conserve precious resources at the same time. Through a unique method of recycling reads, BookCrossers give life to books. A book registered on BookCrossing is ready for adventure.

Leave it on a park bench, a coffee shop, an airplane, a doctor's office, at a hotel on vacation. Share it with a friend or tuck it onto a bookshelf at the gym -- anywhere it might find a new reader! What happens next is up to fate, and we never know where our books might travel. Track the book's journey around the world as it is passed on from person to person.

Happy traveling!

September 1, 2008

The test of a good teacher is not how many questions he can ask his pupils that they will answer readily, but how many questions he inspires them to ask him which he finds it hard to answer.
--Alice Wellington Rollins

Looking for more inspiration? Want to give your students something to think about? Need a writing prompt? Introducing a famous person? Studying a particular time period? You can wow your students with a different quote every day!

The Big List includes tons of quote categories including educational, business, philosophical, and "brainy." The site even has a movie quote database as well as a quotation resources, links and research section.


Looking for even more??

"The Quote Garden: A Harvest of Quotes for Word Lovers" compiles quotes to inspire, quotes to motivate, quotes for teens, even quotes for holidays!


Happy Quoting!

September 8, 2008

Go Paperless? Never! Well, maybe...

Free Printable Paper has hundreds of papers you can download as .pdf files and print for free-- graph paper, lined paper, financial paper, music paper, even bowling sheets.

No printer? No problem!
Once the .pdf file has been downloaded (and it really is free, no sign up required, no account needed, no attachments) you can add a text annotation right on your computer screen, or use your projector to display the .pdf paper on the white board or a poster board taped to the wall, then write or draw as you please.

Have a SMARTBoard or Airliner? Even better! Display the .pdf paper and write or make notations or solve graph equations directly on the interactive screen.


(Printable Paper has been featured by LifeHacker, Kim Komando, Woman's World magazine, and elsewhere.)

Happy Printing!

September 15, 2008

September 17 is Constitution Day!

You can help your class celebrate the birthday of our government. The Constitution Center, in partnership with USA Today, has provided a site with over 200 activities, resources, lessons, and even videos. There's even a place where you can purchase Pocket Constitutions! the link below will take you to a complete list, but feel free to explore the other educator and student resources, and, if you have a great idea, there's a place to share and collaborate.


Have a handheld?

Download these FREE curriculum resources about the U.S. Constitution. This curriculum unit includes an interactive ebook with questions built right into the book. These resources can be used on Palm and Windows Mobile handhelds, as well as laptop and desktop computers.


(you will need to scroll down a bit to see the Constitution activities)

You will be able to download a zip file with all the resources or download the resources individually:

* Making of the Constitution interactive ebook (in Mobipocket)*
* Annotated text of the Constitution and its amendments (in Mobipocket)*
* Web resources about the Constitution, including the Constitution in Spanish and French (in Plucker)
* Recordings of the Constitution and its amendments
(MP3 file, can be listened to in RealPlayer or Windows Media Player Mobile)
* Quiz about the Constitution (in Quizzler)*

If you need the programs to view these resources, the site provides links to download the programs, too.

* Mobipocket (Palm, PPC, Windows)
* Plucker (Palm, PPC, Windows, Macintosh)
* RealPlayer (Palm)
* Quizzler (Palm, PPC, Windows)
(also includes activity ideas using these resources)
Happy Birthday, Government!

September 22, 2008

Ever wonder where all your money goes?? Want to teach your students how to manage accounts? Money Trackin' can help! This free online site offers a place for you to list income and expenses, view transactions in a pie chart or graph, add tags to your expenses to keep them organized, and even get money-saving tips.

Simple to set up and use, Money Trackin' is great for just about any classroom project-- from setting up a budget in FACS, to creating stock reports in math, to balancing a checkbook in Social Studies, even making a fictional character profile in Comm Arts.

Even without lots of money, there are lots of possibilities!


Happy Trackin'!

September 29, 2008

It's here.......

Where can you find the best-looking school website around?
Where can you get information about school events and activities with just a click of a button?
Where can you find homework announcements, class information, district policies, useful links, student pictures, technology tools, foundation grant applications, and much more all in one place?

What is this place where every teacher has an individual class website to showcase class events and student work, provide homework announcements and handouts, even facilitate discussions and online journals?

SchoolCenter, that's where!

An awesome place! Check it out!


Happy Webmastering!

October 7, 2008

I'm the Website of the Week, and I approve this message...

There's 27 days left before the election-- I know this because I found a countdown clock here:


So, want to take advantage of some teachable moments? Need help setting up a mock election? How about holding a class debate?

The GROWING VOTERS – YOUR VOTE MATTERS project provides loads of lesson plans, activities, resources, civics activities, from a Civics Lemonade Stand, Election Predictions, Mock Elections, Debates, Electoral College Concept Map, to many more active hands-on and student-centered lessons.

The project includes a free Web-based list of Internet links that any student can use. This hot-list of election Web sites is vetted by Lesley faculty and graduate students, nearly all of whom are experienced teachers. With this pre-selected list of links, teachers may have more confidence using the Internet as a tool for student-centered exploration and research in their classrooms and feel safer in allowing students independent use of the Web knowing the sites have been screened by a reliable source.


Here's some more online election resources from Webware.com:

"The U.S. presidential race is in full swing, and as usual it has captured the attention of the news media. But where can you go to dig deeper than the headlines? Obviously there are a million news resources, like CBSNews.com, where you can go to find news stories, but the Web offers more specialized Web sites that can give you even more insight.

Some give you predictions, so you can see who's ahead, others give you facts and figures, so you can check who's doing what, especially regarding money. Still others dig into the beliefs and histories of the candidates so you can gain insight into how they think."


Check out http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/

The number spelled out in the URL refers to the number of voting members in the U.S. electoral college, the 18th-century institution that actually elects the president. The site is run by a couple of admitted Chicago Democrats who endeavor to provide an impartial look at the surveys being done across the country.

By weighting the history of the poll along with some other statistical analysis, the pair provides projections on how each candidate is doing in the different states and how many electoral votes they seem to have at the moment.

Facts and figures


is dedicated to educating the public about campaign finance. You can read up on lobbyists, check to see how the fund-raising is going for the candidates, and even look up who gave how much money to whom in your local ZIP code.


is another resource for funding info.

Of course, all this research is more fun on a map!


provides a Google Map where you can browse around the country and see which regions are supporting which candidates.

How the candidates think


attempts to arm voters with a "self-defense manual," which provides the facts about every candidate.

The League of Women Voters provides similar candidate information, as well as more practical stuff like polling places and dates, all of which is available at


And (finally)


is one of many Web sites that asks your opinions on the issues and then shows you how they compare to the candidates' views.

Yes, there are a lot of Web sites to slog through, but hey, nobody said Democracy was easy. In any case, you can now be the most educated voter on your block. Use your vote wisely. But DO vote.

(Source: Webware.com, August/September 2008)

Happy Electing!

October 13, 2008

Get Ready for Earth Science Week!

The theme of this year's Earth Science Week (Oct. 12-18) is "No Child Left Inside." Earth Science Week is sponsored by the American Geological Institute. Objectives include:
* To engage students in discovering the Earth sciences.
* To remind people that Earth science is all around us.
* To encourage Earth stewardship through understanding.
* To motivate geoscientists to share their knowledge and enthusiasm about the Earth.

The "for teachers" page of the Earth Science Week website has some good lesson plan resources, but you may want to look at some other resources for getting kids outside and learning about Earth Science.


The Global Environmental and Outdoor Education Council also has lesson plans that are appropriate for students in grades K through 12. Some of these lessons will get kids outside.


The Science Spot offers lesson plans that will get kids outdoors. Some of the lesson plans on the Science Spot were designed with a specific geographical area in mind, so you may need to adapt the lesson to meet your local geography.


So, turn off the TV, shut down the computer (after reading the Website of the Week, of course), and go outside!

Happy Outdoors!

October 20, 2008

Toon In!

Editorial cartoons can make some of the most complex topics accessible to all learners. For example, the lesson about the world's current credit crisis, Tooning Into the Banking Crisis, is a lesson that can be used to discuss some of the deeper implications of the credit crisis and perhaps bring out some Questions to Ponder.

Cartoons for the Classroom is a great resource discovered on Jeffrey Hill's blog. A service of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists, Cartoons in the Classroom offers more than one hundred lesson plans based on editorial cartoons created by the members of the AAEC. Each lesson plan is available as a free pdf download. As you might expect, most of the lessons deal with current political and economic topics, but you will also find some lessons that are not time sensitive.

In addition to lesson plans, Cartoons for the Classroom provides links to other cartoon resources. One of those resources is the Opper Project, which provides lesson plans for teaching history through editorial cartoons.


Also see a professional cartoon index with lesson plans for all grade levels here:


Happy Tooning!

October 27, 2008
It takes a village... to raise food!

Where Did Your Last Meal Come From? - Farming History

Harvest of History is a website produced by the Farmers' Museum in Cooperstown, New York (also the site of the Baseball Hall of Fame-- just had to throw that in during World Series time!).

Harvest of History is designed to help students and teachers explore the origins and development of modern farming practices. The basis for Harvest of History is to explore the question, "where did your last meal come from?"

There's a place to watch and create videos, and users can even browse Primary Sources by subject, theme, and geography.

Even though Harvest of History is designed with elementary school students in mind (the teachers' page provides 16 lesson plans for use with students of fourth grade age), the question, "Where did your last meal come from?" and some of the content of Harvest of History could also be used with older students to spark discussion about the development of modern agriculture.


Happy Harvesting!

October 28, 2008

Are politics driving you crazy? Me, too! I know, I already sent out a Website of the Week this week, but this one was just too good to pass up, especially with one more week until the election!

By the way, did you know that Missouri has correctly predicted the president in all but one election??

Electoral Insanity at USDemocrazy.net from EdTech blog:

By now, I assume that many of your students are interested in an upcoming event involving two major political parties and several men named Joe (Biden, Six-Pack, The Plumber). I also gather that this country called America is divided into 50 territories, known as “states.” It would appear that these “states” have something to do with determining the outcome of next week’s big event, which is why USDemocrazy.net is so extraordinarily useful.

Developed by the political cartoonist for The Economist and students at the University of Maryland, USDemocrazy.net provides an informative and entertaining look at state politics. The main page of the site is a humorous map of the United States, displaying amusing, alternate names for each state. For example, Wisconsin is called “Cheesehead,” California is renamed “Dude,” and our great state of North Carolina is referred to as “North Barbecue.” Clicking on a particular state will reveal relevant state facts, such as the percentage of votes cast for or against George W. Bush in the prior two elections, famous and infamous natives, as well as the state’s overall political climate. Each state is also rated on a scale of one to five for political craziness.

Whether shedding more light on the intricacies of the Electoral College or highlighting distinctions among neighbors, USDemocrazy.net is a valuable resource for teachers. And even if you’re not crazy about the American political process, don't ignore a site as witty and unique as USDemocrazy.net. –JIMI RADABAUGH


Happy electing!

November 3, 2008

Researching or presenting a new topic? Go straight to the source!

Nancy Bosch's blog, A Very Old Place, is a compilation of primary sources and ideas about how to use them in the classroom.

A great way to inspire critical thinking in your students, this blog will offer you quick access to primary source documents, books, photos, oral histories, films, websites and more for K-12 educators. She finds and shares terrific primary source resources in all kinds of categories ranging from specific events, like the Civil War, World War II, and the Titanic, to general subject areas, such as problem-solving, science, math, and novel studies-- and she includes examples of actual classroom teacher projects.


Her other sites include A Different Place (math / science / language arts / technology & more), and A Really Different Place (EL blog), her ‘regular’ classroom blog, featuring, among other things, a service learning project called CSI: Cemetery Scene Investigation, an especially fun and original, hands-on exploration she led with students!

While visiting, also check out the Image Detective http://www.edc.org/CCT/PMA/image_detective
which allows students to analyze historical documents by viewing an image, posing a question, gathering clues and background information, then drawing a conclusion.

Now, how about having students apply what they've learned? PrimaryAccess is a web-based tool that offers teachers and students frictionless access to digital images and materials that enable them to construct compelling personal narratives. A historical narrative is a short digital movie that explores some facet of history. It is typically 1-3 minutes in length, contains a montage of images, text or movies accompanied by a narration done in the students own voice. The act of producing the narrative provides a strong active learning experience, in which the learner must research the topic, actively construct meaning from the primary documents available, craft a written story that conveys that understanding to others, and finally, create a movie that uses the documents to accompany the narration in a visually compelling manner.


Happy Sourcing!

November 10, 2008

Learn World Geography and Help the World!

Remember Free Rice??

Free Poverty is a game similar in concept to the popular Free Rice game. In Free Rice you test your vocabulary and donate rice to charity, in Free Poverty you test your Geography knowledge and donate water to charity.

Here is how Free Poverty works: Players are given a city and country to locate on a map by clicking their mouse on the appropriate location. If you place your mouse on the exact location, Free Poverty donates 10 cups of water to places in need of clean, portable water. If you don't get the answer exactly correct then Free Poverty donates up to nine cups of water depending on the relative accuracy of your answer. Play a game and feed the hungry-- amazing!


Happy Donating!

This week, November 16-22, is Geography Awareness Week.

For more than a century, the National Geographic Society has fostered awareness of the world’s diverse cultures and environments. The tradition continues with Geography Action!, an annual awareness program that helps educators promote geographic fluency in schools and communities across the United States and Canada. In preparation for Geography Awareness Week, National Geographic has published a good list of free lesson plans and activities.


In addition, the GAW (Geography Awareness Week) site includes resources and activities by categories: Human Geography/Cultures, Physical Geography/Environment, Geo Technologies, Global Hotspots, and Careers.


The lesson plans are categorized according to grade level. One of the activities that sounds fun and a great way to get a lot of students involved in Geography Awareness week is to create a wall-sized map of the Americas.


Speaking of maps, SHOW/WORLD teaches old maps new tricks

Blogger Jim Radabaugh wrote, "I don’t envy you geography teachers. Ever since Pangaea split apart over 100 million years ago you’ve been stuck dealing with the same seven shapes. Sure, every once in a while a landmass changes names because of a change in ownership, but you have to admit that an awful lot of maps look the same."

Not so with SHOW/WORLD, which bills itself as “a new way to look at the world.” The premise is simple; you select a topic, such as population or CO2 emissions, and the traditional map transforms into a new map based on the data for that topic. For example, China appears larger on the population map, as it represents 19 percent of the world’s total population. The United States looks enormous on the armed forces spending map, as it accounts for 45 percent of what the world invests in the military. Topics range from education to energy, technology to tourism, and many other points in between.

While it’s true that this site is quite similar to Worldmapper, SHOW/WORLD has more to offer. In addition to maps that are re-sized in relation to a given topic, SHOW/WORLD provides percentages and overall rankings for individual countries compared to the rest of the world. There’s also a space for recommended reading, as well as a comments section. In short, SHOW/WORLD is a great resource for geography teachers searching for new variations on the same old world map. -JIMI RADABAUGH


Happy GAW!

November 24, 2008

What really happened at the first Thanksgiving?

At "You are the Historian," you can find out!

There are five interactive modules embedded in this site-- one example module includes a copy of a letter- the only eyewitness account of the first Thanksgiving. Students can choose to listen to the audio version of the letter, complete with an accent! However, students may struggle to understand the language of the letter. In that case, the student can “pick up” the magnifying glass and hover over each section of the letter to see a modern-day English version of the text. In addition, pictures related to each section of the letter will appear as visual representations.
There are embedded resources in the site, including a printable glossary and “visit the expert” which includes audio narrated text from an historian. There is also a fantastic teacher’s guide for the entire site.


This blog entry pretty much sums up my feelings, too!

Want to see more adventures? Follow people on their adventures—- listen to podcasts, read blogs, and watch videos at:


Want to go beyond investigating? You and your students have a chance to "Tell us, what is it really like to live where you live?" with the Life Round Here digital storytelling project.

Students have a chance to tell their stories and answer such questions as:
* How does importing products affect culture?
* How do other countries affect the USA's culture?
* How does tourism affect your region's culture?
* How does television affect your region's culture?
* How does immigrations/migrations affect your region's culture?
* How does the Internet affect your region's culture?
* How do mobile phones affect your region's culture?

Wow! Learn about culture, tell your story, make a movie, and have a potential world-wide audience!


Happy Thanksgiving!

December 1, 2008

Color your world-- even if you aren't an art teacher!

A Lifetime of Color offers 4 comprehensive areas to explore and use- lessons plans, activities, study, play,and a teacher’s lounge.

The Artists link gives a brief overview of 35 artists- most giving examples of their artwork and ideas for creative projects. There's also a graphing section and a comprehensive glossary section providing a wealth of information relating to art lingo.

And, of course, there's a place to play! Art EdVentures offers some fun interactive games using lines and shapes, architecture, and landscapes.


Happy Coloring!

December 8, 2008

Economy got you down? Wondering how to keep spirits up? Write a letter! That's what several students did during the Great Depression.

At Dear Mrs. Roosevelt you’ll find the requests that Depression-era children (and some adults) made of the first lady and, when available, the responses from the White House. These are real pleas for bailout from the residents of Main Street, if you will, and are certain to stir up some passionate discussions in your classrooms. How does someone in a public position respond to requests for personal favors? How does a bad economy affect the children of a country? If you were to write to Laura Bush or Michelle Obama, what would you say? This site, which also includes general information about the Depression and some lesson plan ideas, could be a great tool for making history come alive for your students. -MARIELLE PRINCE

Dear Mrs. Roosevelt

Related Stuff:
Papa’s Got a Brand New Deal

Happy Writing!

December 15, 2008

'Twas the week before Christmas, and the students were restless in school. The teachers were dashing to find lessons thought cool...

The holidays are fast approaching, so you may be looking for some great activities to keep students focused as the semester comes to an end. Have no fear, Larry Ferlazzo has lots of sites for "The Best Places To Learn About Christmas, Hanukkah, & Kwanzaa" (as well as some just for fun!) listed on his blog:

Many are listed as ESL resources, but are quite adaptable for all classrooms. The links include Preparations around the World, beautiful slide shows from the NY Times, talking stories, sequencing activities, making and describing snowflakes, holiday history and much, much more.


To hit the jackpot in interactive Christmas games, visit http://www.merry-christmas.com/games/games.htm#
There are themed Christmas mini quizzes, decorate the Christmas tree activities, tic tac toe, Santa puzzles, etc.

Want more? How about build your own Snowman?


And, if those aren't enough, how about making music with reindeer? Perfect for the SmartBoard (although still neat on computer and/or projector screen), visitors to this site can squish reindeer's noses to hear different notes-- put the notes together (squish in tempo!) and you get a nice holiday song!


Happy Holidays!

January 5, 2009

Welcome Back and Happy New Year!

If you're looking for ways to motivate students after the break, here's a few creative ways to work with words and pictures suitable for all classes and all grades.

AutoMotivator is an online application that has been designed so that anyone can use an image to quickly and easily create a simple poster. You can upload an image from your computer, import one from elsewhere on the internet, or use an image that AutoMotivator makes available. You then have the opportunity to give the poster a title and to add a block of text. You also have the option of adjusting colors.

Although formatting options are limited, the user interface couldn’t be easier, and registration is not required. Once you’ve created a poster, you can save it to your computer, or to your Flickr or ImageShack account.


Glogster EDU!

Glogster for Education is a site that lets students combine graphics, photos, videos, music, and text into a great web 2.0 online poster. Glogs are an outstanding way to enhance learning, wikis, and blogs. Glogster EDU offers support and help with creating school accounts and keeping Glogs private.

How to integrate Glogster EDU into the classroom: Glogster is a creative way for your students to display knowledge. Students can create Glogs for absolutely any subject. Glogster is wonderful for book reports, history, math concepts, science, and literature. The ability to embed Glogs into wikis and blogs is outstanding and makes Glogs even more versatile.


And another picture with words site to create neat stuff:
“Inspired Picture Writing”

http://www.piclits.com/ is the creation of Terry Freidlander, a California-based entrepreneur and true child of the 60s. His site is a super simple, visually powerful, completely free tool that lets you combine beautiful photographs with text, creating amazing personal art.

How about having the words themselves tell a story? Wordle is cool concept that makes a design out of any block of text-- from a poem, from a story, from a report, from a description, anything you can think of, then creates a "cloud tag" containing all the words-- the results look really cool!


Happy Motivating!

January 12, 2009
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is celebrated next Monday, January 19.

The ReadWriteThink site has posted a unique MLK activity: In this lesson plan, students explore the powerful words of one of the world's most passionate speakers, Martin Luther King, Jr. and in the process they have the opportunity both to investigate the deep meanings of King's words and to choose words that they find powerful themselves as they compose their own poems in response to King's "I Have a Dream" speech. Although geared toward the Language Arts areas, the list of resources at the end of the lesson would fit into any curriculum and are certainly worth exploring and discussing.


For teachers and students who are interested in the history of the American Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 60s, the Instructify blog has highlighted an outstanding resource, The Civil Rights Digital Library. The site “promotes an enhanced understanding of the movement by helping users discover primary sources and other educational materials from libraries, archives, museums, public broadcasters, and others on a national scale.” Quite simply, there is a wealth of information here for educators. The bulk of the site’s content is divided into four categories: events, places, people, and topics. The information is also organized by media type, covering everything from pamphlets to slide shows. There is an impressive list of the various institutions that contributed to the Civil Rights Digital Library, as well as an alphabetical list of featured collections. Most importantly, the educator resources section is extensive, and includes learning modules, lesson plans, slide shows, teaching guides, study guides, time lines, worksheets, and annotated bibliographies.

In short, The Civil Rights Digital Library boasts a collection of resources as numerous and remarkable as the massive list of people who have fought for racial equality. –JIMI RADABAUGH

The Civil Rights Digital Library

Happy Birthday MLK!

January 19, 2009

History in the making...

Tuesday will be an exciting day-- with the inauguration of a new president, the nation will be buzzing with dreams, visions, inspiration, and hope. That's a hard act to follow!

Can we capture the excitement of that day within our classrooms? Yes, we can!

These following sites offer several ways to extend the excitement and relate the historical day to a variety of subject areas.

Inaugural Words: 1789 to the Present-- A look at the language of presidential inaugural addresses with “word clouds” highlighting the most-used words in each inaugural address (and how they are used in a sentence).

A recap of previous ceremonies, beautiful images, and a map of the parade route:

Poems read at ceremonies as well as a poetry lesson plan suitable for any content area:

Create your own speech (then compare it with Obama's) with a mad-lib-like speech generator.

LOTS of lesson plans, including a comparison of two Illinois presidents, history of the address, Obama's address, 2009 events, and "Beyond the Inauguration" activity ideas:

Happy history-making!

January 26, 2009


As the weather turns frosty outside, the internet offers some great opportunities for learning more about wintry weather, snowflakes, hot and cold temperatures, and the science behind winter fun from snowballs to ice hockey.

The National Center for Atmospheric Research & the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research Office of Programs presents Web Weather for Kids, which includes a section on Blizzards and Winter Weather where students can learn how blizzards and winter storms form, read a story about a winter storm, learn about winter storm safety, and find instructions for in-class science activities that allow them to experiment with air pressure, build a barometer or build an aneroid barometer.


Science NetLinks, a part of the Thinkfinity partnership between the Verizon Foundation and eight educational organizations, provides K-2 lesson plans on water and ice that allow students to experiment with how water can change between liquid and solid forms. Additional lesson plans on the weather can extend students’ understanding of winter weather conditions.


Frosted Flakes: The Science of Snowflakes is the result of a scientific and educational partnership between elementary and middle school students, Dr. Keith Andrew of Western Kentucky University, and Argonne National Laboratory studying snowflakes. You can view beautiful images of snowflakes, learn more about the project, and try your hand at cutting out a paper snowflake using an interactive online application.


Find out whether hot and cold water will mix with The Amazing Water Trick from the Science Explorer: An Exploratorium At Home Book from Exploratorium: The Museum of Science, Art and Human Perception in San Francisco.

For winter sports fans, the Exploratorium also offers The Science of Hockey where you can learn everything from why ice is slippery to how you can measure your reaction time.


Happy Winter!

February 2, 2009
And in other news...

While the front pages of today's newspapers may be covered with football and groundhogs, wouldn't it be neat to see what's making news all over the world?

The Newseum gives you just that-- front page news. You can see what's making headlines all over the world. The section called Today's Front Pages displays a map and visitors to the site can just put their mouse on a city anywhere in the world and the newspaper headlines pop up... Double click and the page gets larger.

There's also a list view as well as a gallery view, and you can even browse the archives of front pages from different days. In the classroom, this site could be used for an interesting lesson opener, writing prompt, discussion starter, current events comparison... the ideas are endless because the topics are endless!


Happy News-Making!

(Oh, yeah, and Happy Groundhog Day, too!)

February 9, 2009

February is Black History Month, and the net has tons of resources to explore covering all subject areas.

Remember those Choose Your Own Adventure books? The folks who created National Geographic’s Underground Railroad site sure do. It’s a historical game where you assume the role of a runaway slave, following Harriet Tubman’s lead as you try to make the right decisions that will lead you to Canada and freedom.
Looks like a useful way to introduce young learners to the concept of slavery and the Underground Railroad. Your students should pick up enough information to make them want to learn more.


The global community ePals also provides LOTS of resources as well as a great collaborative project idea-- Encourage your classroom to contribute to the “Living Memory Storybook”, the latest Students Speak! project commemorating great strides in Black History and capturing our hopes for the future. This fun ePals community project invites students to tell us their stories and envision a brighter future for a world free of racism. Submissions will be accepted beginning February 11 through the end of February.

Another unique resource brings scholarly research and primary sources on many different migrations together, creating exciting possibilities for student research on both individual topics and comparative themes.

In Motion: The African American Migration Experience

Each section of the website includes a detailed historical overview of a specific migration, interspersed with primary sources that the reader can explore in detail. For example, in the section entitled Runaway Journeys, you will find paintings, engravings and photographs of enslaved people, interviews with former slaves, maps, newspaper advertisements for runaways, photographs of the shackles and collars used to restrain slaves, letters, personal narratives of escape, writings from slave holders, secondary accounts from historians, and much more. In all, the website brings together more than 16,500 pages of text and 8,300 illustrations to create an incredibly rich archive for historical research. There's also an Educational Materials section that provides lesson plans for using these resources that go well beyond history and into other curriculum areas, including economics, mathematics, language arts, performing arts, and world religions.

Larry Ferlazzo, an ESL teacher, has also compiled several resources on one of his "The Best of..." lists.

Happy Exploring!

February 16, 2009

February is a month chock full of history!

To help learn about important people associated with important events, the Famous People Lesson Plans site offers plans about well, famous people (yes, including presidents) with listening activities, comprehension activities, word scrambles, phrase matches, synonym matches, and sequencing.

Many lessons are geared toward ESL strategies, but the variety of activities and biographical profiles available (from congressmen, scientists and mathematicians, singers, poets, baseball players, to actors, ballerinas, world leaders, and Nobel prize winners) would be a nice addition to any curriculum.


And to help students process all that information, the Reading Quest site offers a host of reading strategies, of course with lesson ideas about how to use them.


Happy People-Watching!

February 23, 2009

Have you ever thought of creating a digital product for your classroom, or better yet, having your students create digital stories? If you have, you've probably also wondered how to get started, or where you can find resources.

Look no further!

Kitzu is a resource for copyright-friendly digital resources that students can use to create digital projects. Kitzu provides "kits" of images, videos, documents, and audio clips organized thematically. You can browse the Kitzu kits by subject (English-Language Arts, Mathematics, History-Social Science, Science, Dance, Music, Theatre, Visual Arts) and by grade level (K-12).

(Note: The downloadable kits are .zip files, so you may need to download and unzip them outside of school, then save the folder to a CD or flash drive.)

Kitzu offers nice collections of digital resources for students (and teachers!) to use in the creation of presentations. Some of the Kitzu kits also contain resources that teachers will find useful when creating lesson plans and activities for students.


Happy Creating!

March 2, 2009

105 years ago, a creative genius was born!

Here's a few sites to learn about Dr. Seuss and his works, as well as several creative activities to help celebrate his birthday March 2.

About.com, in addition to providing craft ideas for a wide range of themes and holidays, has instructions for creating your own Cat in the Hat headband, Horton Hears a Who story sacks, or a Green Eggs and Ham placemat, as well as lots of printable mazes and color sheets. http://familycrafts.about.com/cs/marchholidays/l/blmar2nd.htm

The Random House site for kids includes interactive games, contests, and information on Seuss and his works.

The A-Z Teacher Stuff site also has several thematic units for a wide range of subjects and provides cross-curricular activities for several Dr. Seuss books as well as instructions for creating Venn Diagrams, recipes, discussion topics, etc.

Speaking of books... the LookyBook site "Picture books you can discover, share, and talk about" provides a great visual for hundreds of picture books-- perfect for read-alouds and a projector!

Happy Celebrating!

March 9, 2009

Did you know that March is National Women’s History Month?

As you would expect, the web has a host of resources about famous women in our history.

The California Museum has a Remarkable Women Trail feature on its website. A display of a map of California shows images of remarkable women. Click on one of them, and you get an accessible biography, images, and videos.

Visitors to the site can also submit information about other women they think should be included.

(It appears that this might be the first in a series of these kinds of “trails” the museum might create.)


National Women’s History Month’s roots go back to March 8, 1857, when women from New York City factories staged a protest over working conditions. International Women’s Day was first observed in 1909, but it wasn’t until 1981 that Congress established National Women’s History Week to be commemorated the second week of March. In 1987, Congress expanded the week to a month. Every year since, Congress has passed a resolution for Women’s History Month, and the president has issued a proclamation.

Fast Facts has even more stats about the female population culled from the U.S. Census to celebrate Women’s History Month.
Source: U.S. Census

Scholastic has a good compilation of teaching resources for Women's History Month. Scholastic features profiles of famous women and some not-so-famous, but equally notable female scientists and the work they do. The student reporter page of Scholastic currently features an interview of Nancy Pelosi written by Chelsea Lollar.

FREE (Federal Resources for Educational Excellence) has links to three categories of resources for Women's History Month. FREE links to the National Park Service's website about women's contributions to the park service. FREE also links to NASA's website, Female Frontiers, about women in the space program. Finally, FREE links to the website about women's history built by the Library of Congress. On the LOC's website you can find audio, video, and text resources as well as lesson plans based on documents and art work.

The History Channel has a site dedicated to Women's History Month where you can find videos and timelines related to women's history.

Happy Trails!

March 23, 2009
by Admin User - Monday, 23 March 2009, 09:38 AM

Spring into 4th Quarter with lots of free classroom resources!

For busy teachers who want to find and use digital resources in their classrooms, it doesn’t get much better than this.

Topmarks bills itself as an “Educational Search Engine.” It is certainly that and more! It is a site where you search from pre-selected resources that are some of the best available on the web. Topmarks claims that “All of the content on Topmarks is carefully reviewed by qualified teachers and regularly re-checked because of the changing nature of the web.”

You can do a general search of the Topmarks site. For example, if you enter “number line,” the search returns 30 activities that use the number line to help learn mathematical concepts. The majority of these are high quality flash activities that lend themselves to use on an individual computer or on an interactive white board. The targeted learning level is suggested for each activity.

Or, you can search for learning activities by subject area and by age level. The list of subjects is extensive, and the age range extends from early years through higher education.

Topmarks has also recently added a special place dedicated specifically to helping teachers find resources that work well on an interactive whiteboard.


Happy Spring!

March 30, 2009

What can you do when the weather does not cooperate with the calendar?? How about entertain your brain?!

Shmoop is a neat website that has a lot of potential as a study resource for students of literature and US History. On the literature front, Shmoop provides condensed summaries of novels, short stories, and poetry. Included in some novel summaries are artists' renderings of the main characters and, in some cases, maps of the story's setting.

The US History part of Shmoop is divided into themes and major events in US History. Everything appears chronologically in Shmoop's US History study guide. If a student is not sure which theme or event to look in for a particular term, they can use the Shmoop search box to find it.

Shmoop offers more than just summaries of information. If students create an account and log-in, they can use the integrated dictionary to find the meaning of any word in the content they're reading. Students can also create folders where they can store sticky notes of information they record while reading a Shmoop article. There is also a discussion feature, a special area just for teachers, and even a book club.

Shmoop could be a good reference to supplement the reading that students do for your courses (the summaries are not nearly long enough to be a replacement!). As a frame of reference, Shmoop's summaries are far shorter than those found in Cliffs Notes or Spark Notes, but could be a good discussion opener, introduction, or comparison (and their name is just too cool!).

From the Shmoop site: "Our mission: To make learning and writing more fun and relevant for students in the digital age... See many sides to the argument. Find your writing groove. Understand how lit and history are relevant today. We want to show your brain a good time."


Happy Shmooping!

April 6, 2009

April is National Poetry Month!

As you would expect, the Scholastic website has a plethora of poetry resources, from online poetry writing workshops, lesson plans, publishing and contest opportunities, to ways to integrate poetry into any subject, and even an interactive poetry-making machine!

An ELA Teacher shared a very interesting and innovative poetry site called Poetry Visualized- The Visual Poetry Network. It is a compilation of poetry that combines motion graphics (video or film), music and poems. A creative way to present and introduce the art of poetry.
There are several selections, some original and others classics. Anyone may submit, so it would be a good idea to preview before showing to students, but viewing these hopefully will inspire students to create their own “Poetry Visualized.” http://www.poetryvisualized.com/

Want to listen?? Learn out Loud has several audio files to download-- you need to pay for most, but under the "Free Stuff" tab is a list of resources for free audio and video—can download as mp3, audio books, etc.

Lit 2 Go is a part of Florida's Educational Technology Clearinghouse. Lit 2 Go offers a large selection of fiction stories and poems available as free downloads. The collection can also be searched by author or title and provides a nice collection of audio books and poems that teachers can use to accompany in-classroom reading.

For more audio resources:

Open Culture - "The best free cultural & educational media on the web"

And for the young ones...

Speakaboos - Fables, Nursery Rhymes, and More

Happy Reading, Writing, and Listening!

April 13, 2009

A word is worth a thousand pictures!

At BrainyFlix, you'll see the flip side of vocabulary-- pictures and movies used to define words.

From Joe Brennan's blog (http://blog.discoveryeducation.com/digital_storytelling):

"Though I’m sorry if you might find yourself in a rather impecunious state or feel that your students are obstreperous and loquacious having just come back from spring break with only the end of the school year on their minds, I can’t do much for you except help define those words. Actually, the students who participated in the BrainyFlix challenge to bring any of the words on this ACT/SAT vocabulary list to life on screen did the defining. And you can add your seal of approval by voting for the video definitions that you feel evince the meaning of a word. Do not be swayed by those with a preponderance of votes. Many with but a paucity of support are also worth your consideration. Just click on the little yellow box after watching a video to add your vote. How about trying this with some of the vocabulary for your class? What a fun way for students to dig a little deeper to plant a definition or concept!"

If your students could read and understand the above paragraph, then delete this message!

If not, it might be worth a visit to BrainyFlix!


Happy Defining!

April 20, 2009

Well, the weather is finally cooperating with the calendar-- time to get out there and save the planet!!

This week is National Environmental Education Week, and Wednesday is Earth Day. The National Environmental Education Foundation has put together some resources for K-12 classroom use. The resources include "nature bee" quizzes as well as ideas for service learning projects.

Larry Ferlazzo's blog also mentions sites to learn about global warming and ways to "Think Green":

What Is Global Warming is a simple and accessible interactive graphic explaining…global warming.


Think Green Classroom is a science site focused on environmental issues-- powered by Discovery Education and part of a larger site for Waste Management, a huge company. As long as you, and your students, stay on the “Classroom” section, I think you’ll be pleased with what you find. (The rest of the site is an infomercial for the company, including how wonderful their landfills are!)


And, of course, celebrating Earth Day would not be complete without a community connection-- ePals.com offers several ways to get involved and collaborate with others with a wide range of projects.

Explore Planet Earth and its amazing variety of life with ePals Biodiversity Focus Area. Through definitions, websites, videos, community discussions, students and educators alike will begin to understand about Earth's diverse ecosystems and why biodiversity is important to the preservation of a green and healthy planet. Students experience hands-on learning through ePals Field Trip series, in which classrooms create and share videos about the biodiversity and culture in their own local areas.

You can even keep track of the Great Turtle Race!


To celebrate Earth Day, ePals is launching the Earth Day Film Festival. The centerpiece of the film series is a video created by an ePals classroom. In this video, the first of ePals Field Trip series, New Zealand students give you a tour of their ecosystem, and how they explore it in their daily lives.

The Film Festival also features professional documentary films which address biodiversity on planet Earth, including how humans can help protect animal, plants and ecosytems. ePals has added great content: thought-provoking questions, user comments and a rating system. All you need to add are students!

Happy Earth Day!

April 27, 2009
Where were you when man walked on the moon? How about during 9/11? Or, more recently, when the Phillies won the World Series?

These "Where were you" type of questions have always been popular-- now, you can record your moment memories as well as learn where others were-- a great way to study the impact of current events!

From Larry Ferlazzo's blog post about The Best Places Where Students Can Write For An Authentic Audience:

"Sometimes I’m just amazed at both the creativity some people have to develop these web applications, plus the technical knowledge to actually make it happen. I felt that way after I saw Moment Tracker."

Moment Tracker lists key events in modern history. You pick one, and you’re shown a map that indicates the key event and what happened. On the same map, you see other pins indicating where other people where at that moment. Click on the pins, and you can read where they were and what they were feeling at that moment. You, too, can write about your own experience.


Happy finding your moment!

May 4, 2009

This week is Physical Education Week, and to celebrate, PE Zone offers lesson plans, slideshows, videos, and podcasts-- even games and activities for teachers to use in their courses. The lessons are divided by activity and age group.

PE Zone also offers a list of blogs and RSS feeds to help teachers find even more resources for physical education.


Want more inspiration?

This short audio slide show might inspire a student to try an activity, like hiking, that they can do for life.


and... very cool lessons all about climbing Mt. Everest:


Happy Getting Active!

May 18, 2009

Another school year is winding down, but perhaps your students are winding up!
Here's a few ways to keep them focused during these last days:

Discovery's Cash Cab game show is a favorite of many. Although most students will never take more than one or two New York City cab rides in their lives (some not even one), but that doesn't mean they can't play the Cash Cab quizzes.

The Discovery Channel website lets you test your trivia knowledge while playing the same quizzes the contestants on Cash Cab play. Play the Cash Cab quiz game and earn fictitious money for every question you answer correctly. Answer three questions incorrectly and the game is over.


How about taking a poll to see what other students around the world are doing during their last days of school?

Kevin Hodgson has just posted about a neat site called Ask 500 People. Basically you ask a yes/no question (you have to register to ask the question) and then people answer it. You don’t have to sign-up to answer, and you see a world map with “pushpins” showing from where people voted.

Kevin shares ways this can be used with students, and you can see an example on his blog.


Remember Free Rice?

Free Rice is a super-popular vocabulary game that donates rice for every correct answer. They've added a bunch of new categories. You can now play the game with vocabulary terms and identification questions from the areas of art, chemistry, foreign languages, math, and geography.

Great way to review for finals, challenge other classes, or learn something-- even in "down" time!


Happy Last Week!
Happy Summer!

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January 7, 2008
Practice your vocabulary and feed the hungry at the same time! Sound too good to be true? It isn't-- just click on the answer that best defines the listed word. * If you get it right, you get a harder word. If wrong, you get an easier word. * For each word you get right, 20 grains of rice are donated to the United Nations World Food Program. WARNING: This game may make you smarter. It may improve your speaking, writing, thinking, grades, job performance, etc.! Check it out at http://freerice.com/ Play a vocabulary game, and feed the hungry-- awesome!
January 14, 2008
"Wanna get away???" Take your class on an expedition, discover new worlds, experience fractured fairy tales and stories, conduct experiments, tour a music shop, and more-- without ever leaving your classroom! Virtual tours, available for all subject areas, allow you to supplement your lessons with unique online adventures! http://www.uen.org/utahlink/tours/fieldtrips2.htm Other teacher-created tours and lesson plans available at The Teacher's Guide page: http://www.theteachersguide.com/virtualtours.html
January 21, 2008
Having a hard time finding quality ready-made clip art? Want to have your students enhance presentations? Looking for more PowerPoint templates? Here you go-- This clip art site has loads of artwork in lots of categories, and check out the link at the bottom to Pete's PowerPoint Station for templates. http://www.phillipmartin.info/clipart/homepage.htm Happy Designing!
Jan. 28, 2008 Of course, we know the internet is great, but sometimes those addresses are incredible! Have you ever found a really awesome site you'd like your students to use, but the address looks like this:
http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?ovi=1&mqma p.x=300&mqmap.y=75&mapdata=%252bKZmeiIh6N%252bI gpXRP3bylMaN0O4z8OOUkZWYe7NRH6ldDN96YFTIUmSH3Q6 OzE5XVqcuc5zb%252fY5wy1MZwTnT2pu%252bNMjOjsHjvN lygTRMzqazPStrN%252f1YzA0oWEWLwkHdhVHeG9sG6cMrf XNJKHY6fML4o6Nb0SeQm75ET9jAjKelrmqBCNta%252bsKC 9n8jslz%252fo188N4g3BvAJYuzx8J8r%252f1fPFWkPYg% 252bT9Su5KoQ9YpNSj%252bmo0h0aEK%252bofj3f6vCP ?
Yikes! You can change that monstrous address to something shorter and easier to remember (and easier for students to type!) by copying and pasting into Tiny URL. This site will transform your long url into something more manageable. http://tinyurl.com/ Happy surfing!
February 4, 2008
"The easiest fundraising program ever!" How often do you search on the internet? Probably every day, right? How would you like to turn your searches into cash for your school? You can with Search and Give. Internet searches performed by school supporters who sign in to Microsoft's Live Search will generate a Microsoft donation to the school's account-- it's that simple! Find out more at: http://club.live.com/searchandgive.aspx Happy Fundraising!
February 11, 2008
Did you know... February is Chocolate Lover's Month? And, did you know February is also National Dental Month? Hmmm...... This week's Website of the Week is a two-for-one special! First, to find out special holidays, historical events, astronomical events, timelines, and more, visit the Virtual Middle School's Calendar Guide at http://www.sldirectory.com/cal.html And, for great bell work activities, including a Daily Almanac, Puzzle of the Day, Word of the Day, This Day in History, Famous Birthdays, and other fun facts, visit: http://www.infoplease.com/ Happy "dating"!
February 19, 2008
Ever wonder what's in your water??? Want to participate in a collaborative project with classrooms from all over the world?? If you answered yes to either of these questions, check out Bucket Buddies! http://www.k12science.org/curriculum/bucketproj/ Not just for science classes, students around the United States and other countries will collect samples from local ponds to answer the question: Are the organisms found in pond water the same all over the world? A great cross-curricular activity to study the environment including a discussion area, teacher guides, references, and a link to additional collaborative projects. Happy Collecting!
February 25, 2008
Did you ever want to be a storm tracker but thought it was too dangerous? Through the JASON Project, you and your students can fly through the eye of a hurricane or chase tornadoes through Tornado Alley through the comfort and safety of your computer! Called the "Gateway to Adventure," the JASON Project connects students with great explorers and great events-- including online resources, a digital library, and "missions" to join-- your students can explore, discover, and learn! http://www.jason.org/public/home.aspx Happy tracking!
March 3, 2008
Read Across America! "You're never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child." --Dr. Seuss Yesterday was Dr. Seuss' birthday, and several sites are celebrating with a Read Across America initiative-- pick a time to Stop, Drop, and Read! The Seussville site has a biography page, lots of activities, quotes, printable sheets, and even a virtual playground! http://www.seussville.com/main For activities related to 15 Seuss favorites, including Horton Hears a Who, Green Eggs and Ham, The Lorax, and, of cours, The Cat in the Hat, check out http://www.atozteacherstuff.com/pages/250.shtml Happy Reading!
March 7, 2008
I know it's not Monday, but here's a cool site to check out: Show your students that learning CAN be fun! If knowledge is power, then playing is power, too! Play, learn, AND raise money-- amazing! with Club Live (more Search and Give links). http://club.live.com/games Now that you're a member, you ARE a member, right?!, (remember the Website of the Week from Feb. 4, 2008 which, by the way, you can access by visiting the Moodle Website of the Week course, or the Instructional Technology blog at sites.epals.com/moagueros) you can earn even more tickets to support your school by playing games-- yes, they are educational-- and what's more, each correct answer is cited with a Live Search website, AND you can even receive clues to answers by improving your searching skills! Here's just a few of many: Clink is great for idioms units, Crosswire is awesome for reviewing social studies facts, and Dingbats helps spelling and boosts trivia knowledge. Enjoy your break, have some fun, go play, make money! Happy Playing!
Mar. 17, 2008
Did you know: There are two days each year when the daytime and nighttime hours are approximately equal -- each being 12 hours long. One occurs between March 19 and 21 and is called the Spring or Vernal Equinox. The other happens in September. These dates have strong ties to religious celebrations, both ancient and modern. The Spring Equinox is associated with, or known as: Alban Eilir, Eostar, Eostre, Feast of Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Festival of Trees, Lady Day, NawRuz, No Ruz, Ostara, Ostra, Rites of Spring, and the Vernal Equinox. Find out more about why Easter is early this year, and if we will see another Easter Sunday this early in our lifetimes. http://bitsandpieces.us/?p=838 And, for other holiday info (including St. Paddy's Day), check this out: http://www.holidays.net/dates.htm Happy Holidays!
March 24, 2008
MAP testing is just around the corner! Need a quickie quiz for a review? Want to make a puzzle for practice? The Quiz Center at the Discovery Education site could be just what you need! Lesson plan ideas, Brain Booster activities, quizzes you make and they score, and a Puzzlemaker-- even a link to Kathy Schrock's amazing site-- Wow! http://school.discoveryeducation.com/quizcenter/info/about.html Happy MAPing!
March 31, 2008
What's a blog, you ask?? Well... Blogging is a way of collecting links to webpages and sharing thoughts and ideas with people online. Blogs (or Weblogs) are basically online journals or diaries which are great for sharing information and ideas. Blogger.com says: "A blog is a personal diary. A daily pulpit. A collaborative space. A political soapbox. A breaking-news outlet. A collection of links. Your own private thoughts. Memos to the world." As well as text, blogs often contain audio, music, images and video. They're also really easy to make, so you can have one even if you aren't very technical. Anything can be posted instantly to a blog. Why Blog Surfing's no fun if you can't tell people what you've found! Wouldn't it be good to get your own web page where you could publish comments, the links you find, and turn it into a daily journal of thoughts and ideas and make the whole thing available to the world? You can, and if you do, you'll be joining the phenomenon that has become 'blogging'. Set up your own, keep in touch with others, make a statement, connect with your students, consult with other teachers, the list goes on! David Warlick's Class Blogmeister was developed for classroom use. It is free, no advertising, teachers have control of the postings, etc. This is a great tool for teachers who want to use blogs in the classroom. http://classblogmeister.com/ And... ePals (you know, the site where every district student and teacher has their own email account) has set up blog pages for each teacher-- all you have to do is add your stuff, and we can help!! http://www.epals.com/products/esb/ Happy Blogging!
April 7, 2008
April is Poetry Month, and these sites will help to get those creative juices flowing! Ever get stuck writing a poem because you just can't find the right word? No more! With the Rhyme Zone, you can type in a word and immediately get LOTS of rhymes for it. You can even have your results organized by syllables (perfect for those Haiku poems!) or letters, AND results include other works and quotations using your word. Cool! But, no, sorry, still no perfect rhyme for orange. http://www.rhymezone.com/ For instant poetry, try http://ettcweb.lr.k12.nj.us/forms/newpoem.htm to select a form of poetry and fill in the blanks! Happy Rhyming!
April 14, 2008
A bird's eye view... Think you know world landmarks? This site provides satellite images of famous landmarks and you have to "Guess the Spot." Perfect for studying geography (of course) or famous mathematicians and architects, popular novel settings, environmental issues, or use as an addition to a Google Maps "My Maps" project-- or just anytime you'd like to put things in perspective. http://www.guessthespot.com/index.php?cat_id=3 Happy Guessing!
April 21, 2008
Useful online tools, unique plans, captivating activities, ready-made lab lessons, fun educational games, printable worksheets, and much more-- think you need to visit lots of websites to find all of this? Think again! This week's tip came from Tammy's Technology Tips for Teachers (http://www.tammyworcester.com/Tips/Tammys_Technology_Tips_for_Teachers.html) and features a website that has been around for awhile, but is still somewhat "undiscovered" in the education world. The Read, Write, Think website contains over 50 interactive tools that provide an opportunity for students to use technology while developing literacy skills. Read, Write, Think http://readwritethink.org/ To find the tools: 1. Click the "Student Materials" tab. 2. Choose the desired activity. After you choose an activity, you can: 1.Read the overview of the tool. 2.Browse a list of optional lessons that utilize the tool. 3.Click the link to visit and use the tool. Happy Finding!
April 28, 2008
Time to get your groove on! This week's site features music, music, and more music! Did you ever find that putting something to music helps you remember it?? Songs for Teaching, "The Definitive Source for Educational Music," includes a wide variety of songs created to assist with teaching subjects across the curriculum, such as Environment and Nature, Food and Nutrition, Writing Skills, Reading Comprehension, Numbers, Math Concepts, Geography, US Presidents, and much more! This site contains thousands of pages for you to peruse -- many with lyrics, sound clips, and teaching suggestions. Songs are categorized by subject and topic, and, of course, CDs are available to purchase, and there is a fee to download, BUT... the majority of the songs listed include printable lyrics as well as a FREE preview. Many also include an instrumental sing-along track and sheet music. There's even a FREE download of the month! Check it out-- there's something for everyone (whether you can sing or not!) http://www.songsforteaching.com/ Happy Singing!
May 5, 2008
Happy Cinco De Mayo! What? Don't know what that means? Well, you can translate words, phrases, passages, even web sites here: http://babelfish.altavista.com/ Now that you know what it means, want to find out more about it? Check out Wikipedia-- the free encyclopedia complete with references as well as discussions. True, the information found on Wikipedia comes from several sources, and users with an account can freely update information, but by clicking on the history tab, you can see all of the updates and comments, so it becomes a great way to learn how to evaluate and compare information. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinco_de_Mayo El traducir feliz!
May 12, 2008
Are you counting down the days? Looking for some great educational activities to keep your students focused? How about a cool class timer that plays the Mission Impossible theme as it's counting down?? Look no further! This site lets you create free educational games, activities and diagrams in a Flash! You can even host them on your own blog or website! Loads of ready-made graphic organizers are also available, or you can create your own! http://www.classtools.net/ Happy Counting!
May 19, 2008
Hope you are enjoying your last full week and are able to take care of all those last minute things! Speaking of last-minute, Disney's site has a feature called Last-Minute book reports-- hilarious podcasts of summaries of classic books! They're fast, they're funny, they'll make you smile!! Perfect for that last-minute lesson! http://disney.go.com/music/podcasts/today/index.html Happy Listening!
May 27, 2008
Whew! Last Day with students!! As you get ready for that fabulous summer trip, even if it's a trip to the back yard, you will most likely take lots of pictures. Ever wonder what to do with all of them? How about creating fancy borders? Or sharing them electronically with friends and family? You can even make an online scrapbook! Just like your adventures, the possibilities are endless! Check out these sites for easy photo editing: http://pikifx.com/ http://www.picnik.com/ or this one for creating interesting keepsakes: http://scrapblog.com/ or even animate yourself! http://www.gizmoz.com/ Happy Summer!
June 5, 2008
OK, I know I said the Website of the Week would be back in August, but I found this cool place! I came across this the same way I happen to stumble upon many great finds-- quite by accident, while I was looking for something else! Anyway, a podcaster, Kevin Cummings, has compiled a few of his short essays. I find them witty, funny, and somewhat inspiring. I hope you find them good stress relievers smile http://www.shortcummingsaudio.com/

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