Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Good afternoon all...I'm enjoying a peaceful night with the boys. One of my favorite hobbies is photography. I love to take pictures and I am always up to playing with new photo editing tools. While sitting on the sofa laughing at some recent pictures of their sport activitie, I googled photo imaging/editing and came across Flauntr.com. If you like to edit/crop/frame pictures/create slides/create ecards, this site is definitely worth a look!
Flauntr.com allows you to easily create professional-looking photos by adding frames and styles, cool effects, text, and even resize your pictures. The user interface is Click, drag, drop, done. LOVE IT!


ENGAGE08 was a huge success...GREAT JOB GUYS!


Shidonni is an innovative startup, developing the next generation of creative worlds for kids. Shidonni is providing a virtual universe where kids and their parents can creative their own imaginary worlds and animals, play games and interact with friends.

I discovered Shidonni by researching Virtual Worlds. This site is a great entry-level for third graders. In Shidonni, students draw their animal (which becomes their avatar). Students can then add a background, food, etc..to their drawing. Oh, did I mention that once the avatar have been created, it is animated. Once students finish their complete drawing they can add buddies from the classroom and invite their avatar to appear on their screen. Teachers can teach the importance of having a buddy they know...not everyone on the web is a buddy.

UDL Book Builder

Welcome to the CAST Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Book Builder! Use this site to create, read, and share engaging digital books that build reading skills for students. Your universally designed books will engage and support diverse learners according to their individual needs, interests, and skills. You will need to create a login and password.

Friday, September 26, 2008


I have just trained teachers on how to embed a Glogster into their wiki site. I came across this video and thought it was pretty good to show teachers. Teachers love this because glogster is an all in one way of creating a "fluffy/cute" page in wiki. You can create links, embed movies, upload pictures, create your own background and add your own graphic. I create an "All About Me" with glogster....check in out.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Excellence Driven Education

I have been preparing for a Saturday Technology Retreat for my two Elementary Schools. Our Keynote Speaker will be Vicki Davis. She will be talking about how to use technology to construct the class framework and tools for excellence in the classroom with a heavy emphasis on differentiating with technology.Presentations will be posted at http://engage08.wiki.hoover.k12.al.us.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


We are headed back to Alabama....on the way we will do a little GEOCACHING. If you have not tried this, it is a great reacreational sport. I will be starting this with my fifth graders soon. It is a great way of teaching math, map skills, and using a compass. Annette Lamb (Eduscapes) has a great site...check it out.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Cost of Life

This was part of my fifth grade lesson....if you have
not tried this game, check it out. My students loved it.

Ayiti: the Cost of Life - You control the activities of a Haitian family trying to get by, the experience is like Oregon Trail. Health, education, community service and just making ends add up to a compelling strategy game thats easy to play but hard to beat.

If you live poor everyone gets sick quickly, preventing them from working and incurring health costs to get well, which effectively spirals the family into a negative feedback loop that kills everyone. You need to keep the living rates at a decent level to keep the health profile going, but that alone isn't enough. If you help build up the local community center (run by Unicef, which also had a hand in producing the game) you'll get health and educational benefits more frequently. Volunteering also increases education for free, as opposed to paying for school in addition to not earning money.

Students have to think about math, education, working, health, happiness....character and balance. It takes time to manage but they eventually begin understanding the process.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Technology Initiative

The Hoover City School District just provide each classroom with the following: 2 Dell Tablet Laptops, 2 iPods, Lightsmith, video camera, digital camera, equipment cart, and speakers. In addition we added webcams, microphones, an iPod Touch, and GPS units. WOW.....talk about 21st Century Learning. Please visit this blog as I post the exciting things we are doing in the classroom with our new equipment and Web 2.o Tools.

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