Sunday, February 28, 2010

SmartBoard Resources

Thanks to  Melissa Edwards and her blog Technology: Figuring Out How The Pieces Fit for finding this resource and sharing it. Thanks Melissa!

Here is a link to some great SmartBoard resources. This is for all grades and covers the ranges of subjects. If you are having trouble finding sites to use on your SmartBoard that will keep your students involved in the lesson. Take a look around these different pages and pick out what you like.

P.S. Livebinders is really awesome and I use it in my classes. The kids like having the information in one place. Check out this post if you are curious about Livebinders.

- Give it a try!

United States Constitution Wordle

This is pretty cool. What words stand out most? Check Wordle for some fun pictures.

Wordle: US Constitution

Common PowerPoint Mistakes

Thanks to Tech 221 for the find and the share.

Life After Death PowerPoint from EMT Media on Vimeo.

This is too funny. How many students or teachers do you know that do some of these things. 

Tweet This!

I've posted a few thing about Twitter before and have had a few people that seemed to be interested in looking a little into it. I really think this is great for all teachers to use and I have found it very helpful every single day. I'm not exaggerating when I say that. These amazing sites that I post come from following amazing teachers on Twitter and my Google Reader. I'm hovering around 600 followers and the information exchange has been non-stop since January.

Being apart of this PLN I have put together was simple and rewarding. If this is something that you think you want to be apart of, please email me by clicking here. If we get enough people, we can use some PLC time and I can show you the full force of the PLN. I'm also wil be in my room working on various things on the Tuesday of MME testing. If you have questions about the blog, Twitter, Smartboards, etc., please feel free to swing by room and I'll help you out.

Please do not hesitate to drop me an email with any other ideas or suggestions that other teachers might find helpful. I'm always looking for good ideas to share and write about. I hope all of you have a great week.

- Give it a try!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Some Diamonds In The Rough

Here are some great sits I found searching around the Internet. Take a look at some of these things and let me know if you found them helpful at all. Feel free to forward on to other teachers if you think they might like it. It's all about the sharing people. :-)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Prezi and Gatsby Together At Last

Here is a Prezi I put together about the themes, symbols and characters of The Great Gatsby. The kids liked the presentation format and it was a nice change of pace from the standard PowerPoint and SMART Notebook software. Take a look and tell me what you think. I think I will do one for each chapter of the book.

Here is a Prezi for Chapter 1. This does not contain all of the information for Chapter 1, but they are great starting points for conversations.

Give it a try at!

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Couple of Sites to Check Out

Nothing to big the Tech Tuesday after break. I would like to welcome Dee to the blogging world with her Social Studies Blog. I'm sure we will share sites back and forth and I'm glad to have a partner in crime with the blog. The more the merrier!

Biology in Motion - This a great interactive site for Science teachers. There is a great little piece on Intestinal Gas I found interesting. It is a cartoon mini-lecture that has a picture and a description of what Intestinal Gas is and how it affects the body. It's something that can be added to a lesson or posted on a website for students who want a little extra help. Another neat looking part of this site is the Evolution Lab. I'm not a science guy and I'm not really sure what many of the different words mean, but the whole concept of showing what happens with evolution under certain conditions seemed interesting. I'll probably bug Adams to have him explain it to me.

Algebasics is another math help site. This one deals with many of the different aspects of Algebra. What I noticed that really separates it from the other math help sites is the addition of audio. The problem that is being solved has step by step narration. Sometimes just watching the problem being solved is not enough. Students need to be told how it is being solved as it is being solved. Here is how you break down the root of 24. This could be another helpful tool students could use to help fill in the gaps they missed in class. Any extra help is good help. is just a great site that offers many great articles and ideas regarding public education. I follow them on Twitter and they always have something interesting to say. I highly recommend that you take a minute and go over the site and/or follow them on Twitter. Take a minute and view their articles. Again, you will not be disappointed.

- Give it a try!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Wikis in Education

Here is a great Prezi on how and why to use Wiki's in the classroom.

Math Help!

As a person who has struggled with Math his entire life, I can appreciate the frustration some students have as they try and grasp the math. I remember Math Blaster being very helpful as I struggled with all sorts of math problems and it made Math fun and interesting. I moved away from using the computer as a means to help e with my Math and I'm not sure why. There are many great sites out there that students can use to help them with their Math skills. One great site that does more than just provide answers to students is

WebMath is part of Discovery Education which offers help for many disciplines. According to WebMath,

"Webmath is not a database of questions and answers, or an online math testing site. Webmath is a math-help web site that generates answers to specific math questions, as entered by a user of the site, at any particular moment."

Answers to problems are given in real time. The steps used to solve the problem are also given to show students how the answer was reached. The process is important to solving the problem and the website makes sure the students sees the process when it provides the answer. 

WebMath offers Math help on many different parts of the Math world.

WebMath also offers a quick pull down menu so students can jump to specific content area they are having trouble understanding. 

The slide down menu offers help for graphing, fractions, calculus, geometry, radicals, ratios, and all other things Math related. 

I'm sure many teachers out there think that students will just use this to get the answers without doing the work. Well, that might be the case for some students. However, even those students will be practicing the process as they copy down the steps to the answers. So even if they are just copying, they are seeing the process over and over again. That type of practice can lead to learning even if they realize it or not. Also, other students will use the site to help them learn how to solve the problems instead of just looking for the answer. 

This is a site you can share with your entire class or just a few of your struggling learners to help them work on Math when they are at home and have nowhere else to turn. 

- Give it a try!

99 Polls

99Polls is a quick and easy way to get information. In under five minutes I was able to create and post a poll to my blog about Twitter and Teachers. You sign up for free and get started. Your homepage collects all of the data from your poll. This is great if you have polls set up on your blog, school homepage and any other locations. I love to get feedback from my students about lessons that I have taught, but I always feel they hold back because they do not want to offend me. It is really important to assess your own lessons, but feedback from the students is something teachers should not shy away from. The harshest criticism can help create the best lessons.

Try using this simple site to gauge the learning of a particular lesson one day. You might be interested is the response you get from your students. This is just another great and easy way to make the classroom a better place.

- Give it a try!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Digital Natives

Digital Natives are people that have grown up their entire life with with 21st Century Technology. Digital Immigrants grew up in a time before 21st Century Technology and are learning to use it now. Here is an interesting slide show that explains Digital Natives. As teachers, these are the students that are in our classroom. If you are a Digital Immigrant, how are you trying to reach the Natives.

Digital Natives

View more presentations from Nick Skytland.

Thanks to Kathleen McGeady for sharing this slide show.

Friday, February 12, 2010

60Second Recap

I found this site today and I have to share it with everyone. As an English teacher, it is tough to get students to read "Classics". They complain about the language and want to know how this will ever be important. I spend countless hours coming up with lessons to intorduce the novel in a fun way in the hopes to hook some of the reluctant readers. 60Second Recap is a great site to use to really help students get a handle on what the story is about.

Here is their Mission Statement:

"60second Recap™ wants to make the great works of literature accessible, relevant, and, frankly, irresistible to today's teens. Through 60second Recap™ video albums, we seek to help teens engage with the best books out there ... not just to help them get better grades, but to help them build better lives."

I love this mission statement. It really expresses the goal of all literature teachers. I watched the first video on Hamlet, my favorite Shakespeare play, and was very happy with what I saw. Hamlet, played by Jenny, is taking an online quiz, "Are you Mad?" It gives a nice bit of information about different aspects of the play. There are videos on Motif, Theme, Plot, Symbols, and the Characters in the play. It was a very well put together piece.

60Second Recap currently offers recaps of some great pieces of Literature. Here are just a few:

Animal Farm
Brave New World
Fahrenheit 451 (On my Top 5 All Time List)
The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn
Catcher in the Rye (On my Top 5 All Time List)
The Great Gatsby (On my Top 5 All Time List)

There are many more great pieces of Literature that get the 60Second Recap treatment. I strongly encourage all Literature teachers to give this site a look over and use them with your students.

-Give it a try!

Why Teachers Should Tweet

I've been asked by a few teacher why I use Twitter. If they would have asked me the week I started, I would have told them it was something fun to play around with this summer. Now, I feel I would be lost without my Teacher Tweeps. The connections I have made with other teachers from around the world has made me a better teacher. We share ideas, pass links, discuss ed topics and tech topics. There is no limit to what we can discuss. The question I have for people now is, "Why are you NOT on Twitter?"

Below are a few links that can answer some questions about Twitter that you might have.

Richard Byrne has a great blog called Free Technology For Teachers and it is a great source of information. This post will show you how to find other teachers with shared interests on Twitter. You can follow him on Twitter by clicking the Twitter link on his blog.

Laura Walker has a great site that offers wonderful tips. This post gives 9 great reasons Teachers should be on Twitter. You can follow her at @mrswalker

Twitter for Teachers is a site for teachers and it's about Twitter. It has endless resources on Twitter and other great tech tools for the class. Don't skip this site!

Another great site that offers comments on technology, thought on education policy and movementsm, and shares terrific links from other teachers is The Nerdy Teacher. @TheNerdyTeacher

Lastly, you should try to follow the people you know. Friends, famliy and other teachers in the building and district is a great way to get comfortable before you start connecting with the rest of the world. Twitter is where the information is being shared by educators. It's important to keep up or you might be left behind.

- Give it a try!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Abstract Art Without The Mess

I learned about this site from @Ktenkely on her website iLearntechnology. It's an interacitve site that allows you to create Jackson Pollock style paintings without any of the mess. This is great fun on the Smartboard. By clicking the mouse you change to a random color and splashes of paint appear as you move the mouse across the screen. is a wonderful site that art teachers can use that will save you a big cleanup in the future.

-Give it a try!

Tech Integration For Teachers

Tech Integration for Teachers is a great site for teachers that want to start including different types of technology into their classroom. Do not feel overwhelmed by all of the information. Scan through the different parts and pick and choose the tools that interest you most. You never know what you might find.

The page is for all skill levels, so even the techies will find something they never thought of using in the classroom. This site is just one of many out there designed to help teachers get comfortable integrating different forms of tech into their lessons.

-Give it a try!

See The World From Your Classroom

Here is a great site teachers can use to explore different parts of the world. Here are some of the places you can go:

Explore the Taj Mahal
Mount St. Helens

The Supreme Court

US Capitol Virtual Tour
Just click on this link and you will have access to 100 Great Trips you can take your students on.
Give it a Try!

SmartBoard Math Tools

Here is a link to Vanessa Cassie's website. She blogs about great uses for the SmartBoard and here is one the Math Teachers should love. It's a tool bar for Math Teachers. Take a look at her blog and explore the different things you can do with a SmartBoard and the software. She's also on Twitter. @VanessaCassie Follow her and you can have some great conversations and learn some cool tips.

Give it a try!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Pictures Galore

Here is a great site for teachers to use and share with their students. National Geographic has put many of their great photographs online. These can be a great resource in Social Studies classes. Take a look around and see how you might use these images in your class. Maybe they can add a little spice to your powerPoint Presentation you have been using for a few years. Take a look around here.

Give it a try!

Math + Jeopardy = Awesomeness!

Here is a link that will take you to a site that has a Jeopardy game set up for you. You can decided on how many teams and the difficulty level. It can go up to 8th grade, but I'm sure some HS students could use the refresher on certain aspects of Math. I think we all could. This would work well with the Smartboard in your room. See how it works in your class.

Give it a try!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Posterize Yourself

Thank to Dee for sharing this cool site. :-) was sent to me by a fellow teacher and it looks like a winner. It's a very simple 3 step process.

1. Upload the image of your choice.

2. Decide how big you want the poster to be.

3. Download your poster as a PDF.

The website chops up the picture into seperate pages that you can print our and assemble yourself. Student projects or class rules could be turned into larger posters you can hang in your room. Have a look around and let me know what you think.

- Give it a try.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

iNudge - Make Beautiful Music

  • * Select 1 of 8 different Sound Patterns from the small Matrixes icons on the right.
    * Use your mouse to draw notes on each 16 Step Matrix.
    * For each Pattern, adjust Volume, Mute, Clear, or set Audio Pan from Left to Right.
    * Click on the Tempo numbers and click up or down to change the overall Tempo.
    * Get & Share allows you to Send Mail, Get Link, Get Embed code or Spread in communities.
    * Use the Feedback Forum to tell us what you think, leave your comments or make suggestions.
This could be a fun site to have music students play with or little children to use to learn about notes. Play around with it and see what you can so with it.

-Give it a try!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Math Teachers Unite!

It was brought to my attention that it is World Math Day on March 3rd by Kelly Tenkely and her iLearn Technology blog post. I thought this would be a fun site to share with the Math teachers in the district. It's a free site for students 5-18 years old and they can practice Math with various games leading up to the main event on March 3rd. The main event is a competition that involves 60 second games and points are awarded to the student for every correct answer. The goal for a students is receive the most points and enter the Hall of Fame. It looks like a nice way to change up the pace for a day and really let kids have a chance to use their math and take some pride in their skills. Plus, wouldn't you want to brag if your students made the Hall of Fame? You know I would. :-) Check out the World Math Day site or iLearn Technology for more details.

-Give it a try!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Helpful Science Websites

Posted from Diigo.

Side Bar - Another cool thing about using Diigo is that these links were posted on my blog from the site. All I needed to do was add a few comments at the top and the post is good to go. Diigo Rules.

-Give it a try!

Typing Practice

iLearn Technology posted a few thoughts and links about two cool typing sites. I wish I had these instead of dying of dysentary on the Oregon Trail. @KTenkely does a marvelous job explaining the sites. One is based on Rock Band where kids have to hit they keys to keep up with the music and the other focuses spelling words as they float across the screen. See if it can be helpful in your class.

Typing Practice

Give it a try!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Stats For The World - Gapminder

Here is a site that D. Nardone passed on to me so that I could share it with the wonderful teachers at South. The website Gapminder is a site that focuses on statistics on the world. This page will take youto different graphs they have put together. They have graphs for the oil production of different countries from around the world. There is a graph on the life expectancy of people in other countries. There is even a graph on dental care of the people of other countries! This looks like it could be a very useful tool in Social Studies and possibly Math. Thanks again Dee for the share.

-Give it a try!

Document Camera Tips

I found this great blog post and I wanted to share it with all of the teachers out there that have document cameras. It's a blog my Melissa Edwards (@mwedwards) called "Technology: Figuring Out How The Pieces Fit" This is a wonderful blog that offers great tips and links to very helpful sites. Read her post and look at the many different ways you can use the document camera in class.

Give it a try!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Touchy Software Upgrade For SmartBoards

Mrs. Nardone sent information out about our Smartboards responsing to touch sensitivity. What this means is that you can be holding the pen and erase or move things with the other hand. It's nice because you do not have to set the pen down or select the eraser if you want to get rid of something. Depending on how hard you push and how much of your hand you use, you can activate the pointer or the eraser.

Here is a powerpoint that will explain how to turn it on for your Smartboard. If you have any questions, drop me a line and I will help.

Touch Recognition PowerPoint

-Give it a try!

RSS Feeds You Information

Have you ever found a website that you really liked, but don't always have the time to go back and check to see if there are any new articles? Do you visit a website that seems to post new stuff at random intervals? An RSS(Real Simple Syndication ) Feed can save you the time. By setting up a RSS Feed (I use Google) all of my favorite websites are scanned for new articles and stored in a folder. I can now access that information when I have time. It's a great time saver! I found a couple of links that will walk you through how to set up your reader.

Newbie's Guide to Google Reader by Josh Lowensohn is a nice article explaining the wonderful uses of Google Reader.

Google Reader Tour - This is the link to Google's walkthrough.

I like using the RSS Feed because it can help me organize my websites by content (Brit Lit, American Lit, Sports, World News, etc.) and I can look at them when I have time. If you have a smart phone, you can access your feed on the phone and read the articles from anywhere. This is just another tool to add to the box to help keep yourself organized and up-to-date on the latest information.

After setting up your reader, just click on the RSS Feed button on your favorite website, andit will send you the newest articles. Try following your favorite tech teacher.

-Give it a try!