Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Everyone always wants to know where to get "cute" fonts and text for logos. Below are a few links I use:
Spell with Flicker -
Wordle -

Monday, November 9, 2009

Learn Direct

Learn Direct allows students to type in their name and be a character in the book. On each page there are options for customizing the story. Students can adjust pictures and certain sentences in throughout the story. After students have customized the book it can be read online, saved as a pdf or printed out. Learn Direct also features a fun little virtual world where students can play word and reading games. Students have to solve word puzzles to navigate through the world.
Save as a PDF and upload to your wiki.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Math Sites

Johnnie's Math Page - Links to interactive math tools and activities.
Splat Square is a 100 grid that starts out blank. There are different "splat" colors on the right side of the screen. Choose a color and then click on the square, the number is revealed with a splatter of colored paint (Counting by 2s, 5s, 10s etc)

Math Doodles is a set of interactive math games that encourage students to think/interact with math. Students playi games like Connect the Sums, Number Jump, Polyomino Shift, Double Traits, Sums Stacker, Hydro Maze, Time Shuffle, and Angel Fish (coming soon).

Make 5 is a fun interactive tic-tac-toe type game (it actually reminds me of Connect 4). This game is a great way for students to practice math facts and to recognize relationships between numbers. Students are given a target number, they choose an equation on the grid that equals the target number. The goal of the game is to get 5 squares on the grid in a row in the least number of tries. The game has several play options; students can play the game with one or two players, set up the game to get 5 or 3 in a row, and can play to practice addition, subtraction, or multiplication.

If You Give a Teacher a Mouse....

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Can't Wait....

I am going back to the classroom to teach a unit on ELECTRICTY. I am so excited...will post my electricity wiki for a resource at a later date.
The Blobz Guide to Electric Circuits is a fun, interactive website where individuals or groups of students can learn about circuits. There are 5 sections to the Blobz Guide to Electric Circuits. Section 1 teaches students about what makes circuits work, section 2 teaches about conductors and insulators, section 3 teaches about switches, section 4 teaches about changing circuits, and section 5 teaches about circuit diagrams. This site is a fun way to teach students about circuits, conductors, insulators, switches, and diagrams. Students could work on this website individually, in small groups as a center activity during an electric circuits unit, or as a whole class using an interactive whiteboard.


Ekoloko is a virtual world for kids. In Ekoloko students discover the world, both real and virtual, through fun games and quests. As they play in Ekoloko, students learn and build values, character qualities, knowledge and skills that help them become more responsible and involved individuals. Students learn to respect each other and the environment in the safe online community. This safe virtual world is a great place for students to practice their netiquette in a controlled environment. This is a great way for students to learn how to be good online (and offline) citizens. Along the way, students can also practice being good stewards of the environment. Great site to introduce to students in preparation for Earth Day.


Illuminations Resources for Teaching Math has over 100 interactive math activities for teaching and practicing math in k-12. This site is ideal for use with an interactive whiteboard/lightsmith in the math classroom.

Math Apprentice

Math Apprentice is a site that shows kids how math is used in the real world, with real world jobs. Students can explore math through games that feature bicycle designers, biologists, artists, mechanics, inventors, doctors, engineers, astronomers, game designers, programmers, chefs, veterinarians, sportscasters, and meteorologists. Students can explore the math of these jobs as a math apprentice by selecting a character and cruising around a virtual world where they can visit places of business where math happens. The character describes how they use math and provides a fun interactive activity that gives students a chance to practice using the math.

Read, Read, Read - LEADERSHIP

Adding new books to my bookshelf!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Motivational Poster Makers

Idea: Take pictures of you class reading, writing, doing math etc....create posters and hang them in your room.

I like BigHugeLabs and AutoMotivate.


ABCya is a great site for interactive games and basic computer skills.

I have played on just about every site during my class tonight. Enjoy!

Create a Banner for your Blog/Wiki

Check out this link.

Word/Tag Clouds

Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends.
1. Poetry
2. Capturing keypoints
3. Spelling lists
4. Introducing new vocabulary
5. Reflections
6. Mother’s Day/Father’s Day
7. Famous speeches
8. Class rules
9. Ways to say things differently
10. Characters in a book (describing)
11. Artwork reflection – student reflections on a piece of artwork
12. State Reports
13. Classroom Lessons (grammar lessons)
14. Tell me About…
15. Guess the book
16. Book Review
17. Review a Historical Document
18. Information Review
19. Reflect on a holiday or special event

Tagul clouds are not toys and designed to be used on blogs, web pages or any kind of sites as a replacement of ordinary tag clouds. Each tag in Tagul cloud is linked with an URL and is “clickable” that enables visitors to use it for navigation. I can see this being a WAY COOL navigation tool on classroom wikis and blogs.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Just Me...

I love to learn! Nothing beats a group of teachers collaborating and discussing best practices. This past pweek, I have seen the following:

1. I have just watched the best math/technology integration EVER! The teacher addresses his students with a simple math question/number talk. The students are very involved in the lesson and all anxious to share their strategies. However, while students are solving their problem and getting ready to share their strategy, I notice one student get up and go to the computer. Yes, I had to follow. OMW...he had a digital math toolbox (on his website and his ipods). The student knew what strategy he wanted to use but just lacked the confidence to put it all together. I have seen students get up to move, look at other's work, or go get manipulatives BUT never go to a digital math toolbox. This is a man that is using technology tools to the fullest. He records one math discussion/number talk with his students per week and groups them accordingly. How, you ask? Simple use of a document camera/lightsmith. That is not all...with each lesson, he has math games listed along with internet links and activities. PLUS.....some orginal work from the students (mathcasts). Way to go SCOTT! Excellent math and school-t0-home connections. Great integration of technology with your math lesson.
LESSON - if you have new technology and STILL doing the same thing, then why are we buying these tools if we (teachers) are not going to use them to the fullest potiental?

2. Technology has the biggest AUDIENCE. Why are we not using it? Look at the tools...Blogs, disccussion tabs in a Wiki, and the one I have started using some with my personal children..THE NATIONAL GALLERY of WRITING. It is about the creative process not the tool. Saying I have a blog is saying I have a tool BUT what are you and your students doing with that tool?

3. Students have to POWERDOWN to come to school. Why? Teachers are still afraid of technology. Students are not afraid of technology. These tools are everywhere. My personal son came home with a 50 page booklet for robotics. He went straight to the internet to learn about robotics (YOUTUBE). Students want to learn in the NOW, not in the LATER. They know how to quickly access tools and find the information needed with visuals that we could only dream about receiving years ago.

4. There is NO limit on learning. It is an open highway. Where do you stand?
5. So when asked what technology skills do teachers need to have...ask yourself, what skills do your students have. Let them teach you. Turn them lose and give them a choice. They are not afraid to CLICK. It is their world.
6. Have you ever thought about the functions in the LEARNING PROCESS? The student has the ability to RECEIVE information, the student has the ability to PROCESS information, and the student has the ability to USE/EXPRESS information. How do you meet the expressive needs (oral expression, written expression, spelling, speaking, writing, encoding, doing, applying, demonstration, and understanding) of the learning process? Think about all the ways technology can enhance your curriculum in this area.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Networked Teacher

(Picture credits from Twitter...not sure of the orginal owner)

Technology Standards for teachers include 21st century skills such as finding and managing resources, publishing on the web, and connecting with colleagues, students, parents, and local and global communities. Teachers must be proficient in these skills in order to model good practices for their students and to help students include these skills for learning.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

More on Literacy

Discovered this site while in Leadership class. I forgot to post earlier. Topic of discussion...How GRAMMAR should look in the elementary classrooms. Our assignment deals curriculum issues. I am in a group of four focusing on Language Arts. I am sure I will be posting more on this.

E-Learning Interactives

This is a nice site for interactive courses. Check it out...e-learning for kids.

Lab Time!!

This video reminds me of how students act in computer lab. They are ready to go as soon as you walk in. Their little fingers can not say NO to that keyboard and mouse. The computer is the marshmellow. Try walking out for just 20 secs and see what they do. They click the mouse, type on the keyboard, and go to internet sites and will minimize the screen when you walk in.

Don't be afraid of is our open highway with NO Limits of knowledge (Yes, I believe is Intenet Safety and teaching students the correct way to search etc...)

What I want to do in this post is give a few suggestions on how teachers can best utilize their computer lab time with little frustration.

1. Manage your students with Netsupport. If you are not sure how to do this, see your tech coach. Using Netsupport, you can send and receive files to/from your students, communicate with them, and send appropriate links for research. I do not recommend using the logging in/logging out control with upper grades. They need to learn how to do this on their own. However, it is a grade tool for kindergarten (for the first month or so or unitl they learn their login/password).

2. Have a place where students go to receive their computer assignments (Computer page on a blog or wiki). We (teachers) waste too much time trying to get them to an internet site. Your students will quickly pick up on going to the computer page, reading the assignment and clicking on the link. Upper grades should be able to type an URL in the address bar without wasting a lot of time.

3. I do think games can help teach, however, I am not a big believer in having games each lab time. I believe students should be creating, mixing, and researching. The diagram below best explains where I would want my students to be.

4. Technology is NOT an isolated subject. It is to be integrated into different subject areas. Know your curriculum and where you can integrate technology in your classroom. Web2.0 Tools are perfect for digital media/photo/paint projects. Science just lends itself to technology research, presentations, and movies.

5. Students love animation and cartoons...integrate this with your writing.

6. Blogging...perfect for reading and writing.

7. Establish your rules/expectations early.

8. Never start something you can't finish.

9. When a project is finished, post it for the world. Students are proud of their work.

10. Know the site and how it works before you assign an assignment from that page.

11. Let your students help you....let them problem solve if you are not sure of something.

12. Make internet safety a topic of conversation with students. There are many sites that help teach this and have games for students to play.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Halloween Site...

Try this site with your students in lab. Make sure you take a picture of them ahead of time. Enjoy!

Got Grammar?

Writing, spelling, and grammar are interrelated components of the language arts. Writing, spelling, and reading are highly related, especially in the beginning stage of learning to read. First, writing is the process of composing and expressing ideas. Second, writing is a support process of reading, word recognition, and spelling.

In the beginning stages of reading, writing plays an important role in developing concepts of print, phonemic awareness, and letter-sound associations. Writing is also related to teaching children to spell and use the grammar of the English language. Given the strength of the relationships between reading, writing, and spelling, spelling should be taught as an integrated part of the literacy program. Most children need systematic, direct spelling instruction. The more closely connected this instruction is to the teaching of letter- sound associations that are used in reading, the better it is likely to be for the learner. At the beginning stages of learning to deal with letter-sound associations, children use a process known as invented spelling; this is the process of trying to spell a word using the letter-sound knowledge an individual has
when the correct spelling is not known. Use of invented spelling is a normal and productive stage for a beginning reader and writer to go through. In fact, use of invented spelling is very effective in helping children refine and extend phonemic awareness and letter-sound associations. However, as children develop in reading and writing, they must also be taught to spell words correctly.

Research reports strongly discourage the teaching of grammar as an isolated subject. Grammar, however, should be taught. This instruction should be provided in close connection with students’ writing.

Links can be found at Interactives.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

ToonDoo Spaces

Toondoo - the place where you can create your own comic strip - now offers Toondoo Spaces!

"This is where you can create a private virtual ToonDoo space for your educational institution, business organization, community or group. Publish, share and discuss your comic strips with your group members in a secure and private environment!"
Toondoo Spaces


**Easy way to podcast, record voice, voice memos, and reading recordings.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Photovisi is a free tool that will transform your pictures into works of art. This is similiar to some of the photo collages I have shared in the past.

As always make sure you organize your photos throughout the year in appropriate folders and PLEASE rename your pictures. Photovisi does not require a user account so your kids can start uploading and creating right away.

Photovisi could easily be used throughout the school year on a variety of projects across the curriuclum. Perfect for our PHOTOLAB.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

School Time Games

My boys love this site....a lot of great games!


BeFunky has a new look with new tools....try creating a personal Uvatar. Enjoy!


Atmosphir is a free video game development tool for Mac -and- PC that allows students to design complete, immersive environments with complex challenges, objectives and interrelationships.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Do you TEACH or do you EDUCATE?


Animoto added an image collection! This means you can now combine your cool stylized pics made via Cameroid, Be Funky, Dumpr, etc. (All of the ones we have used in lab or ones listed on this blog).

Animoto is free for educators, right?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Museum Box

This site provides the tools for you to build an argument or description of an event, person or historical period by placing items in a virtual box. What items, for example, would you put in a box to describe your life; the life of a Victorian Servant or Roman soldier; or to show that slavery was wrong and unnecessary? You can display anything from a text file to a movie. I really like this site, especially with 3rd - 5th graders. Enjoy!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Historic Tale

Historical Tale Construction is the perfect site for kids to create a Historical/Ancient/Indian Tale. Check it out and upload a story to your wiki for fun. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Lego My Office

If you have visited my office lately, you have probably seen the mess in the corner. My boys love building with legos both in my office and online. What a neat way to learn. Check out teacherstone as a lego piece...we had fun creating our lego people! You can even buy them online.

Newspaper Generator

What a cool widget!!! It is very quick and easy to use. Have your students create a newspaper story on a science experiment, historical event, a famous person, events around school...just about anything you would want them to write about. After they write their article, just download and you can embed your image into your wiki. Have fun!

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Dimdim Open Source Web Conferencing

We’ve all been in the situation where we are in an online meeting and we want to share something with the other participants and couldn’t. (Actually, I have been looking at Elluminate software to use with my teachers for webinars....). I came across Dimdim surfing the web and I am going to test run it with a few colleagues. I will let you know the results soon...please feel free to comment.
Dimdim is a service that lets everyone everywhere communicate using rich media in real time. 20 particiapants for free. Dimdim’s mission is “to enable web collaboration for everyone. We believe that we can improve the world by providing easy, open and affordable collaboration software that anyone can use.”

FETC 2009

Getting ready for FETC 2009. This year I was able to bring along 7 teachers from my two elementary schools... more will be posted here soon. Teachers will be using a shared Google Docs....all notes will be posted for you guys. Click here to read about our trip.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Grammar Ninja

I came across this site in my Diigo Groups...thanks to Pat Hensley!

Grammar Ninja is really simple. Choose a level (there are 3 different levels) of difficulty and then start answering questions!

Grammar Ninja can be used as a quick assessment tool...a score is given at the end of each mission. This would also be a perfect whole group lesson on the Smartboard (in the lab or using your Lightsmith) before you begin your next step. Enjoy?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Picture Trail

Picture Trail is a lot like Today, we created some nice slideshows. Actually, I think I like picture trail better than Picture trail has a lot more in the slideshow gallery.

Technology being used to foster the love of READING or READING fostering online communities?

" Information Literacy and Visual Literacy"

The 39 Clues, is a series of books published by Scholastic that combines a cool adventure story with an amazing interactive website and more.
Create an account, answer some questions to determine your ‘family’ to play the game. Your family is chosen based on your answers. You have to read the books to find clues and solve the puzzle, using your reasoning and resarching skills the entire time. My son just started book one....we will see how it goes from here. Feel free to test this site and let me know how it works for you.


I have not actually played with Vimeo but I saw some student created movies on one of my teachers' wiki. Just thought this would be another option.


Add your voice to photos of your family and friends, politicians, celebrities, animals... whatever! Just choose a mouth, record your voice, and you're done! We created a few of these today....check-out StoryBlender and see what you think.


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