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Wow, MAP testing is done and school is almost done. Time to think about summer travels! Or at least about the places we'd like to visit or even learn more about our own place.

 MapMaker Interactive is a hands-on learning site developed by National Geographic to help your visitors embrace geography and understand how people move and interact, how the landscape can shape behavior and social structures, and how the world we live in today came to be.

MapMaker Interactive creates powerful customization tools that educators can mark, label, bookmark, and save maps that are custom-built to match lesson plans. 

Additional features include:

  • Country Facts and Flags: This allows students to absorb basic national facts while also customizing border colors to make a unique, personal map layer.
  • Custom Text, Photos, Videos: Students can use a vast array of markers and shapes to tell stories or display layers of data.
  • Saving Custom Maps: You must provide an email address to save a map and generate a link to edit and share it.
  • Pins, Markers, and Custom Drawings: Maps can be edited and adjusted in a number of ways with self-made labels, markers, lines, boxes, and more.
  • Pre-Made Layers: Want to see the population density of Denmark? A map of big cat territory around the world? An overlay of the African American population in 1960? MapMaker comes with all that and more. You can even adjust the opacity of these layers.

https://mapmaker.nationalgeographic.org/

Happy Mapping!

Posted by Guest  On May 22, 2019 at 10:32 AM
  
Wow, it's the middle of May!
As the school year winds down, most teachers go through some sort of check-out procedure for their physical classrooms, making sure everything is properly organized or put away for the summer. In much the same way, you may want to do some clean-up and close-out steps for your digital classroom ... Google Classroom.
The Control-Alt-Achieve blog, in addition to providing terrific resources for all throughout the school year, has shared some "clean-up tips" for Classroom and Drive, complete with videos and a podcast.
Happy Cleaning!
Posted by Guest  On May 15, 2019 at 3:11 PM
  
Wow, it's May!
Are your students itching for the end of the year? Have them scratch that itch with a creative coding activity!
Celebrate Scratch Day with CS First
May 11 is Scratch Day, an international day to celebrate coding on Scratch's free, block-based coding platform. Join a community of computer science educators all over the world in completing a CS First activity to celebrate. Share your students’ work on social using #CSFirst and #ScratchDay.



Happy Scratching!

Posted by Guest  On May 08, 2019 at 11:24 AM
  

Wow, it's almost testing time!


For those who still may have difficulty reading and interpreting graphs and charts, here's a neat thinking activity shared by Alice Keeler.


Each week the New York Times creates an activity for students and teachers using one of the graphs from their newspaper, without including the article. Students are able to participate in a moderated online discussion about the graph framed by the following questions:

• What do you notice?
• What do you wonder?
• What might be going on in this infographic?

On Thursdays, the Times publishes more information about the graph and encourages students to post follow up comments based on what they learned.

They have also published an introductory guide, and info for teachers, which includes a schedule of the posts. They are posted most Wednesdays during the school year.

https://www.nytimes.com/column/whats-going-on-in-this-graph?mc_cid=33b200bdd8&mc_eid=8f2413e84b

Bonus: For more WOW, try creating (or having your students create!) your own infographic:

https://www.creativebloq.com/infographic/tools-2131971

Happy Graphing!

Posted by Guest  On Apr 03, 2019 at 1:44 PM
  
Wow, Spring is finally here, tomorrow is Opening Day, and Music in our Schools Months is wrapping up.
How about a resource (or two) that celebrates all three?
From Apple, iTunes, and the Apple Teacher Program: Bring music to your classroom with GarageBand and the Everyone Can Create Music guide. We designed this guide to encourage students to create songs, find their voices, and bring ideas to life through sound. The Teacher Guide includes lesson ideas for integrating music into subjects like math, science, literature, social studies, and history.
So you and your students can make a lively Spring song, your own rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," or build your own beat.
Happy Creating and Go Royals!
Posted by Guest  On Mar 27, 2019 at 3:56 PM
  
Wow, it's Pi day tomorrow!
If you're looking for some last minute activities or just slices of information to share, check out the Exploratorium site.
In addition to activities and history related to Pi day, the site has a huge selection of experiments, virtual tours, optical illusions, and more designed to "spark curiosity, exploration, and understanding."

From dinner party fix its and using tire pressure to measure the weight of a car to learning about language families, read alouds, and understanding how the brain works, there's something for everyone-- including pie lovers.

https://www.exploratorium.edu/pi/

Happy Pi Day, and Happy Exploring!

Posted by Guest  On Mar 13, 2019 at 12:56 PM
  
Wow, what a winter!
If you're feeling the winter blahs, and your students are having a tough time getting back in the swing of things since winter break, check out some of these awesome resources shared by Deanna at Sterling.
Teaching 21st has a wide variety of resources related to all subject areas as well as digital literacy, internet safety, virtual reality, and much more. There's even an area to share your own resources.
Happy Teaching!
Posted by Guest  On Feb 13, 2019 at 8:34 AM
  
Wow, can you believe it's almost the 100th day of school?

Are you curious about the type of activities you can do in your classroom? Do is George-- Curious George, that is!

"The 100th day of school is a fun milestone to celebrate in classrooms and is a wonderful opportunity for exploring counting, sorting, patterns, and other math concepts."

The CuriousGeorge.com site has several printables, lesson plans and activity ideas to help celebrate the 100th day of school.

http://www.curiousgeorge.com/teachers-resources/100-day-of-school?elq_extcampid=7015A000001qQTrQAM&utm_source=WF756581&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=7015A000001qQTrQAM

For older students, Education World has a list of 100 ways to celebrate the 100th day of school which could be modified for just about any grade level and any subject area, even if just for interesting writing prompts or research topics.


Happy 100th Day!
Posted by Guest  On Jan 23, 2019 at 9:06 AM
  
Wow, it's almost officially winter! 
If you were looking to warm up over the break, Alice Keeler and friends put together a few fun tech challenges so you can "get Googley," enjoy some free eBooks and videos, and even Conquer Your Fear of Fractions!
Happy Winter, Happy Break!

Posted by Guest  On Dec 19, 2018 at 9:28 AM
  
Wow, it's almost holiday break!
Looking for a way to engage students, communicate with parents, and have some fun? Still haven't tried Flipgrid yet? (It's free now!)
How about having students share some holiday wishes, traditions, activities, etc., and invite others-- parents, guest speakers, other students, practically anyone-- to view their awesomeness?
Flipgrid recently introduced Guest Mode, a whole new way to interact while still maintaining student privacy. Here's a blog post by the ultimate interACTIVE educators Kristen and Joe Merrill:
Happy Flipping and Happy Holidays!
Posted by Guest  On Dec 12, 2018 at 11:32 AM
  
Wow, a W.O.W. one day early!
This year's Hour of Code is all week long, so here are a couple of sites to spark some ideas for your classroom activities.
An ISTE member shared a Choice Board with fun and thoughtful activities:
One-hour tutorials in several languages are provided here:
Happy Coding!
Posted by Guest  On Dec 04, 2018 at 9:42 AM
  

W.O.W., another Halloween post!

If you love weird stuff, you need to check out Oddee, one of the web's largest and most popular blogs featuring the craziest, strangest and most bizarre content you probably won't find anywhere else.

Most posts are numbered lists, complete with lots of photos and videos for you to look at. Categories include art, signs, places, objects, ads, science, medicine, home design, names, people, gifts, stories, tech and more.

But beware... there are ads and links to unrelated articles that may not be the most appropriate for students, so search on your own and share the cool info, not the site!

Here's a link to one post with interesting facts about Halloween:
https://www.oddee.com/31-halloween-fun-facts-need-october-31st/
Speaking of Halloween, have we got a treat for you! But you have to wait!
Coming soon to a computer screen near you:
dice
Happy Halloween!
Posted by Guest  On Oct 24, 2018 at 9:22 AM
  
W.O.W., it's almost Halloween!
Time to put a charge in your lessons and make some spooky activities to keep students' circuits connected!
Maker-type projects and other STEM/STEAM activities have weaved their way into numerous classrooms because they're fun, mostly inexpensive, and focus on creating, collaborating, learning and sharing.
The best part about Makerspaces is you don't need a huge amount of supplies or money or time just to get started. Here's a few free templates available for download from Makerspaces.com just in time for Halloween. Also on the site are several resources, other project ideas, eBooks, supply lists and more.
Happy Halloween and Happy Making!
Posted by Guest  On Oct 17, 2018 at 9:43 AM
  
Dear User,
Your colleague has shared a very important document with you. Please download the attachment to view. You will also need to install 7 browser extensions and click on every ad that pops up.

Sincerely,
Microsoft Corp.
W.O.W., someone's "phishing" for information in the above message!
You have probably seen several of these types of scams-- many of which are not so obvious. We know by now not to download attachments we were not expecting, or not to click on links that have a weird address, and not to share credit card or other secure information through email, but some of those messages look legit. How do we know if it's a scam or not?
For National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, phishing.org and MORENet have compiled several resources including curriculum additions, Brain Pop videos, examples of potential scams, ransomware, and other threats with suggestions for what to do if you have been scammed. There's also an area to report malicious messages.
Happy National Cybersecurity Awareness Month!
Posted by Guest  On Oct 10, 2018 at 10:34 AM
  

W.O.W., it's almost the end of first quarter!


You probably have lots of students work, important class information, notes for parents, and all kinds of stuff to share. while your class website is a perfect place to share these things, sometimes you may want to design a simple newsletter.


PeachJar is a website that educators can use to create digital flyers, or e-flyers, and send them straight to their recipients through e-mail. It is free to use for educators and families of the students. Using PeachJar eliminates time and money wasted on printing flyers on paper and then distributing them. To create a flyer educators upload what information they want included on their flyer, a flyer is then created through the website, and then distributed to the recipients. Parents do not have to have an account to view flyers sent through PeachJar. Once the flyer is approved by the district, the flyer will automatically be sent. Educators can use the PeachJar website to track who the flyers were sent to and how many times it was opened. If a teacher would like to make sure that their flyer has been sent out, then the teacher must include their e-mail to view the flyer once it has been sent. Flyers can also be posted to websites for viewing.

PeachJar: www.peachjar.com

Happy Peaching!

Posted by Guest  On Oct 03, 2018 at 2:59 PM
  

Wow, it's Fall!

Time for cooler weather, Fall festivals (remember the carnival ride, the Scrambler?!), and spooky stories-- the perfect time for Scholastic Story Scramblers.

 

Scholastic Story Starters Scrambler provides writing prompts for students that are adjusted to be appropriate for each grade level group. It provides the type of writing to be done, an adjective to describe the main character, the main character, and an event to occur in the story. 

 

The format of the story can be written in an online notebook, letter, newspaper, or postcard. Students may then create an illustration for their story, and print a final copy. 

 

A teacher stated, "My 4th grade students find this resource to be extremely engaging and beg to use it during their free time. This site helps students set up their story elements and encourages them to write."

 

Scholastic Story Starters Scrambler 

 

http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/story-starters/writing-prompts/


Happy Scrambling!

Posted by Guest  On Sep 26, 2018 at 2:35 PM
  
W.O.W., not only is it a camel's favorite day, but today is a pirate's favorite day, too.
Aye, it's National Talk Like A Pirate Day!
The teachstarter website has a variety of activities to celebrate Pirate Day including STEM lessons, scripts for Reader's Theater, printables, and craft ideas.
Ahoy, matey, there's a bonus W.O.W.! Matt Miller, author of Ditch That Textbook has curated resources to let you TECH Like a Pirate-- based on the book Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess, Miller infuses classroom hooks with a technology twist. You can see his presentation and get a free copy of his Digital PIRATE eBook here:
Happy Pirate Day!
Posted by Guest  On Sep 19, 2018 at 8:14 AM
  
W.O.W., were you curious yesterday about where the Website of the Week was?
Well, Curiosity Day is coming up September 15!
Curiosity Day is a celebration of curiosity and the love of learning. Bookstores, libraries, and schools across the country are getting ready to celebrate, and what better way to celebrate than with Curious George?!
From a Deluxe Party Kit and activity guides to downloadable games and color sheets, the Curiosity Day Resources page has everything you need to spark some curiosity in your classroom.
Happy Curiosity Day!
Posted by Guest  On Sep 13, 2018 at 8:38 AM
  
W.O.W., there's a lot of resources online-- it's enough to make one "bounce off the walls."

Wouldn't it be nice if we could save a website as a picture? Wouldn't it be even nicer if we could also make notes on that image and share it with others?
You don't have to bounce off the walls! You can review, notate, and share any web page with Bounceapp. Just paste a web page address (or upload a picture), click anywhere on the picture to get a text box, and you have an instant interactive screenshot where you can jot ideas, notes, comments, etc..
Happy Bouncing!
Posted by Guest  On Sep 05, 2018 at 12:31 PM
  
How would you like to engage your students, include voice and choice in your lessons, and experience the magic of technology all for free?
Now you can!
You may have heard of the fabulous tool Flipgrid (over one million teachers and students have caught the #FlipgridFever!), but did you know it is completely free for all educators now? Did you also know you can "go global" and connect with classrooms around the world safely? Did you know there's a resource center with grid templates and tried and true lesson plans? And did I mention it's completely free?
Even if you did know all of this, the Flipgrid Team spent the summer upgrading their app, website, and blog. Check out the new "magical" stuff here:
Happy Flipping!
Posted by Guest  On Aug 29, 2018 at 7:56 AM
  
W.O.W., it's a new school year already!
As you are getting to know your students, how about getting to know teachers, too?
Connecting with other teachers is a great way to get inspired, get ideas, and even get motivated!
Teachers2Teachers has put together a new spin on the classic K-W-L chart and invites teachers to share with each other what they Know, what they Want to learn, and what they Love about teaching. You can even make your own graphic to print and share online as well (Twitter, anyone??)
Happy Sharing!
Posted by Guest  On Aug 22, 2018 at 10:44 AM
  

Wow, it's the last W.O.W. this year!

Let's pair up with Ditch That Textbook and Google Tools to rock the end of the year.

Matt Miller agrees that the end of a school year is unique:

 

  • State tests are behind us.
  • Many students are working on big projects or papers.
  • It can be a great time of reflection on how far students have come.
  • It’s review time.
He's compiled 10 ways Google tools can help you wrap up the year in awesomeness.

http://ditchthattextbook.com/2018/04/18/10-ways-google-tools-can-make-the-end-of-the-year-rock/

Happy Googling and Happy Summer!

Posted by Guest  On May 16, 2018 at 1:47 PM
  
Wow, the school year is winding down!

If you're a Google Classroom user, you may be wondering what happens to your classes when the school year is over.

No worries-- the lovely ladies from Edison Public School District have developed a handy guide to help you close out your Google Classrooms. From unenrolling students to archiving classes, and saving posts to reuse later, this brief guide will help with a smooth and organized end of year as well as a transition to next year's set up.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9FPgWu3se0UTkN1YTZoc2NoT28/view

Happy Classrooms!
Posted by Guest  On May 10, 2018 at 9:15 AM
  
Wow, it's Harry Potter Day! (The anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts.)

This week's Website of the Week can help you Bring the Magic of Harry Potter Right to your Classroom.

Google Arts & Culture has partnered with the British Library to create an online version of a Harry Potter exhibit which includes the series’ original illustrations, a history of witchcraft and wizardry, fantastical beasts, and much more. You can view over 190 items and 10 exhibits right on the Google Arts & Culture site.

Step aboard the Hogwarts Express here.

Happy Wizarding!
Posted by Guest  On May 02, 2018 at 10:35 AM
  
Wow, it's almost the Global Day of Design! May the 4th be with you!

If you and your students participated in the Worldwide Day of Play (or even if you didn't!) and enjoyed the creative expressions and problem-solving opportunities that came about during that event, you'll love the Global Day of Design-- a chance for students to tinker and build things.
From the authors of LAUNCH: The Global Day of Design is one-day event that focuses on using the Design Thinking process in school. Our goal for the Global Day of Design is to inspire a transformation in schools around the world to incorporate design into an every day practice with our students.

In the past two years over 100,000 students from 950 schools (and four continents) have participated. We are hoping to grow even more this year!

For more information, or to sign up, or to download a free toolkit, visit http://globaldayofdesign.com/

On a totally unrelated note, today is also World Penguin Day. Hear from Ecologist Michelle LaRue here: http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/q-and-a/2018/04/on-world-penguin-day-an-expert-discusses-antarcticas-best-dressed-species

And, just for fun, here's a link to the Penguin Cam from KC Zoo: https://www.kansascityzoo.org/animal-cams/penguin-cam/
Happy Tinkering (just not with penguins)!
Posted by Guest  On Apr 25, 2018 at 6:53 PM
  
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