I am so excited to welcome everybody back to school today. I hope everyone had a relaxing summer vacation and are ready to jump back in and show everyone which district has the best teachers and students.
These next couple of days will be filled with PD, so I hope that everyone takes the time to try something new and learn a few tricks with Notebook software, Clickers and other tech that might be new to you. I have a collection of helpful sites that you should take a look at and see how they might help you in the classroom this year.
SMART Notebook Software from Vanessa Cassie
As more teachers get used to using Smart products in the building, they will want to work with the software at home. This link will show teachers how to download the software to your computer at home. It is a free download, so put you credit card away. Once it is downloaded, you will need to get the activation key (Product Key) from an email sent out by Steve Woloszyn today (Tuesday). This will allow you full access to the software to create lessons from home and use them at school. (Side Note: Vanessa has tons of great Smartboard resources on her site. Check out the different sites and lessons that could be great for your class. She is great at responding to questions if you have any. You can follow here on Twitter @VanessaSCassie.)
Critical Past - A Must See Site For ALL Social Studies Teachers
Critical Past is a site that has collected over 57,000 historic videos and over 7 million photographs. Here is a clip of an instructional video from 1943. It is a video on how to fly the P-47 Thunderbolt Aircraft. If a teacher wants, they can purchase different videos for download. Otherwise, viewing the videos are completely free.
A site like this is perfect for Social Studies classes. With the enormous amount of pictures available, teachers can use them as part of their lectures or important examples of how people lived during specific time periods. As a History nerd, I found myself lost in the site for almost 30 minutes watching one video after the other. Kids could get just as lost with different assignments that could have them explore the archives and uncover something interesting to them. Please take a look around this site, it is too good to pass up.
Spell With Flickr
This is just a fun little site that takes letters from pictures found on Flickr and uses them to spell out whatever you want. Once the picture is created, you can copy the code from the site and place the pic wherever you want. Here is one of Grosse Pointe South High School. It can also be helful if you need to create a ransom notes. :-P JK.
I'm just getting warmed up...
Print What You Like
I have to thank Kelly Tenkely and her site, iLearnTechnology, for pointing me to Print What You Like. This site allows the user to print what they need from a web page instead of the entire page. This is a great way to save on paper and ink as schools look to save money. The site is very easy to navigate and should be looked at by anyone that prints from websites. I know I will be showing this to my students during our Research Paper Unit. All too often I see mounds of paper in the Library that kids discard because it wasn't what they wanted. Imagine how much money could be saved if students and staff use this site when printing. Try this site out.
This is a very simple and free site that offers coloring and handwriting practice worksheets for teachers. You can search various topics to find specific worksheets for your students. Sometimes it is hard to find a specific sheet for your class. Twisty Noodle can help you solve that problem.
7 Technology Alternatives to Standard Homework Assignments
The Pursuit of Technology Integration Happiness is a wonderful site I have blogged about in the past. Mr. Zimmer offers great resources and ideas for tech integration. In this post, he provides 7 typical assignments a teacher might give in various subjects and offers a tech alternative. Check out his site to how you might be able to add a little tech spice to your homework assignments.
Bloom's Taxonomy for Web 2.0 Tools
Kelly has done it again. She has created an amazing, and simple, post explaining how the different web tools apply to the different levels of Bloom's Taxonomy. Not only that, but she uses a picture of a peacock to demonstrate it! Check out the site and see how you might be able to incorporate the different tools on Bloom's lists to better help the students in your class.
I could go on, but I need to save some good stuff for next week. :-) Please take a look at the different sites here and in previous posts. Try to take it one step at a time, but please give it a try!