Tuesday, April 27, 2010


PaperRater.com is a free site that allows students to upload a paper they have written and site will check the paper for grammar issues, word choice, spelling and possible plagiarism. This is a great way for students to check their work before they submit it to the teacher or Turnitin.com. Many students will proofread their paper for common spelling mistakes, but they often overlook the grammar mistakes they make. This site will identify the grammar problem in the paper and help them correct the problem. The site also lets students see the types of words they commonly use in their essay and can offer alternatives for over used words. This is a great way for students with a limited vocabulary to grow as they write papers. Any site that can help a students with their vocabulary and grammar is a must for the classroom. 
This would be great to use in the computer lab the day or two before a paper is due. It would allow all students to see how the site works and the benefits of using it with their paper. If students are given a chance to see these helpful tools, many of them will start to use them on their own and learn from the mistakes the website identifies.

- Give it a try!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Free Stuff!

Since it is Report Card time, I thought I would just give one little bit of tech info to the masses this week. @2sparkley has put together a great collection of Creative Commons Resources. It has links to free use videos, images and sound files. Too often students just take images from Google Pics that are not free to use without permission. These links will take you to a host of resources where students can use pictures, sounds and movies as long as they attribute the source. As students head into college, they need to be careful as they start to put together multimedia presentations about where they take images and other things from the Internet. These sources are also great for teachers that are looking for pictures for certain lessons they are teaching. It has everything you need in one spot. Take a look around and share what you find with others.

- Give it a try!

Sunday, April 11, 2010


The example I posted might have trouble loading on the school computer. Maybe it's just slow today. Check it out at home if the computer is taking too long to load it.

Blabberize is a very fun site that could be used in a single class period in the computer lab. It's an online computer tool that allows you to add your voice to a picture of your choosing. The cool part of this is that you can select the area over the images mouth and the mouth will open and close while it plays the recorded message.

The message can be recorded via microphone, audio file or your cell phone. The cell phone option is really neat if you do not have a microphone on your computer at home. It gives you a number to call and a 4 digit pass code and the site will record your voice and save it to the picture you have selected.

You could use this as a fun option for students to find characters from a novel and record their favorite line or lines from the story that best suit them. At the end of the class period, you could play a selection for the class. If you are a History, you could use the site to have kids record parts of speeches for historical figures.

This site might not revolutionize education as we know it, but it is a nice tool to have in your drawer if you decide to do something a little different with your students. If you are not sure how to use it in class, just show the students and I'm sure they can come up with some fun ideas for class projects.

Here is my goofy example. It only took me 5 minutest to put together.

Try having some fun with Blabberize and see the silly thing you can do with it. You might just want to create a few fun pictures and place them in a Power Point or on your class website. Give it a try!

A Great Collection of Misc Sites

Here is a great collection of sites for various subjects and grade levels. Take a look around and see if there is anything you might use in your class.

The Ultimate Writing Style Guide List

Here is a great collection of sites to help students and teachers make sure they are using correct citations as they work on papers for class. I used this site to figure out how to do APA Style research for my Masters Class. I had never used it before and this site was very helpful in pointing me in the right direction for correct APA Style. Share it with your friends and the students in class that claim to have no idea how to properly cite information.

Cool Periodic Table for Science Class

Here is just another visual aid for students in Chemistry Class. It has visual representations of the elements on the chart. It could be very helpful for some students that are more visually driven in their learning. Take a look and print a few copies out for students that might be interested in using them to study for exams.

The Science Cheerleader

Here is a great site for Science teachers. This one link will take you to some Physics songs. Yes, you read that right, Physics Songs. School House Rocks still works to this day for students who need help remembering their Grammar rules and these songs might be able to help some of those students remember important Physics information. Maybe you can have kids memorize and perform them to the class for extra credit. Take a look at this page and some of the other information on The Science Cheerleader.

Fun Interactive Sites for Kids

Here is a great collection of sites for students to use at home or in the classroom. There are great spelling sites and drawing sites that really allows students to get hands on with their spelling and art. This would work great on the Smartboard as a class activity. Take a look at this page, and some of the other collections from Digital Tools for Teachers

Facebook Template for Class Projects

This is such a  great template that can be used in any subject out there.  I would use this in my Lit Classes and have student create a Facebook page for characters in a story. Imagine what Romeo and Juliet would post on their pages after a wonderful evening on the balcony. What might Tybalt post on Mercutio's wall after a exchange of harsh words in town?

You could create Facebook profiles for famous men and women in history. What might Winston Churchill place on FDR's wall? What does Cleopatra do with here constant relationship status changes? The possibilities are endless and could lead to some great projects as students research the type of music that these men and women might have listened to or they type of plays the preferred to watch. This is a template I has placed on my Diggo account and shared with my students when they worked on their Gatsby projects. Here is what JFK's Facebook page might look like.

Science Class could be a blast as students create profiles for animals or even elements on the periodic table. Oxygen is in a relationship with Hydrogen. :-) Other bonds could be created and broken and students could find pictures that represent the elements they have chosen. Allowing students to explore different connections with the elements might help them remember these concepts for an exam.

There are many different ways that this template can be used in the classroom to allow students to explore a different way of learning. Students can have a better experience with the material if their are allowed to "play" with it. Let them create with the information you provide in class and they will have an easier time recalling it later in class.

I hope you enjoyed the different sites I pulled together over break. I want to give a shout out to my PLN for sharing these great resources with me and the world. You make all of us better teachers by sharing. Please feel free to leave me a comment or suggest a helpful site you want others to see.

Give it a try!