Monday, December 12, 2011

The Kitchen Pantry Scientist

The Kitchen Pantry Scientist is a great site for quick and easy science experiments. The site is created by Liz Heinecke. The Kitchen Pantry Scientist offers experiments covering biology, chemistry, food, and even physics. Along with the experiment instructions, a video or pictures are included to help explain how the experiment works. The Kitchen Pantry Scientist posted an experiment on how to make film cannister rockets. Not only are detailed instructions offered but the following video accompanies the instructions:

The Kitchen Pantry Scientist not only offers fun, simple experiment ideas, but hot topics of science in the news is also an option on this site, along with the "The World Around Us", and a video library.

The Kitchen Pantry Scientist has been created for teaching kids about science with simple easy things we have around our households. The Kitchen Pantry Scientist would be a fabulous resource for the elementary science class. A special thanks to Larry Ferlazzo for introducing me to this site.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Youngzine is an online source of news, sports and entertainment for elementary age kids. Students will find stories that interest them, as well as videos to watch. The news stories provided by Youngzine contain a Google map that placemarks where the story is taking place so that students can place visually place a story on a map. Youngzine offers students the chance to read about current events and news shaping stories written specifically with young kids in mind. The Youngzine material is engaging and interactive.

Youngzine not only offers articles on world and current events but you can also find articles on science, technology, earth, society, and art. Youngzine also offers a students a fun place to play games, watch videos and read funny, engaging comic strips.

Teachers are can register their classes with Youngzine. With class registration not only are students reading the material but they can begin to interact with the materials as well. Students can post comments on articles, rate articles, and participate in class discussions online created by the teacher.

Youngzine is a safe site. The creators work hard to maintian that safe reputation by keeping the material appropriate and on age level. Youngzine can be a great resource to compliment the academic material that you are presenting in your class. It is definitely worth checking out.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

WatchKnowLearn - Free Videos

WatchKnowLearn is a great site with thousands and thousands of free videos organized into a directory categorized into subject areas. All videos included in this directory were based on teacher suggestions. All videos include titles, descriptions, age level suggestions, and ratings. WatchKnowLearn resources include videos from YouTube, Google, Hulu, National Geographic, and various other sites.

WatchKnowLearn offers high quality videos that are kid safe. The videos cover all subject areas covering grades PreK to 12. WatchKnowLearn requires no registration and is free to teachers for classroom use and to students for home use.

WatchKnowLearn is definitively worth spending time and finding the perfect videos.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Pics4Learning offers copyright friendly images for educational use. Pics4Learning allows teachers and students to use images found on its site for any type of multimedia projects for educational purposes.

Pics4Learning has thousands of images that have been indexed and sorted for more efficient use. Each image from Pics4Learning contains all the information needed for appropriate citation as well. All the photographers, while retaining the rights to their work, have allowed the use of their photos through this collection. Pics4Learning is definitely a resource to have for you classroom.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Starfall is a wonderful website for young and/or struggling readers. Starfall is free and promotes reading with phonics and phonemic awareness. This site is designed for students in Pre-K through second grades, as well as students in special education and English language learners.

Starfall begins with the basics of letters and their sounds. Starfall names the letters and their sounds so that beginner readers can see and hear the letter. Starfall then associates the letter with a word that begins with the letter. Students are able to practice hearing and reading words with the letter sounds they are working on. The practice is fun for the kids and Starfall provides positive feedback for the readers!

Starfall then moves on to making words to match prictures, reading sentences, and short stories all the while engaging the reader with bright and fun images and providing positive feedback. Starfall is self-directed so that students are able to move at their own pace. Starfall also offers printable materials to help practice writing letters and to reinforce letters that readers are currently learning.

Starfall is definitely a site worth checking out.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

How Many Words Do You Know?

How many words do you know? Would you like to find out? Then Word Dynamo is for you!

Word Dynamo is an excellent game site from . Word Dynamo is a fun way to enhance vocabulary skills. First, Word Dynamo has the user answer 10 questions to obtain a word score, and then the fun begins!

If an account is created in Word Dynamo then the user receives a customized homepage so that personal progress can be tracked. Word Dynamo covers words from all subject areas including SAT and ACT words. This sites offers challenges appropriate for all ages. In the word challenge games are designed specifically for the users skill level and as levels are mastered then new challenges are unlocked. Word Dynamo allows users to practice vocabulary skills with activities offered that include matching, crossword puzzle, writing, listening, and flashcards.
In Word Dynamo you can create an account, then receive a customized homepage that tracts your progress.

I learned about Word Dynamo from Kelly Tenkely's blog iLearn Technology. I highly recommend Word Dynamo and iLearn Technology and find out what you have been missing.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cloud Computing...

A couple of weeks ago a colleague asked me to explain cloud computing...with a job title of Technology Integration Specialist, it is something she expected me to know. So I answered her question with, "you know it's when you create and save work online." After that conversation I decided I probably needed to at least learn the basics of cloud computing.

After a lot of searching and watching video after video, I began to feel I would never understand cloud computing and therefore would remain inadequate to answer any further questions. Then I came across this video: Cloud Computing - How it all Works. This video offers a nice, simple explanation about cloud computing.

Nice and simple seem to work for me...I now feel like I know something about how it works and can now at least offer an explanation to my colleagues.

Monday, November 7, 2011

PLNs - a Sketchy Explanation

While working on a presentation over PLNs, I came across this video describing how to start building your PLN. It is really a great little video that mentions various ways in which you can start your PLN and the tools that are most helpful in accomplishing the goal. I believe everyone should be activity involved in their own PLN. In effect, a nurtured PLN will grow and produce resources and experiences that will make us better teachers.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Color Me Happy...

I was introduced to Color Scheme Designer during the Super ActivBowl presented by Promethean during the TCEA 2011 conference last February. I fell in love (if you can love an app) immediately. Color Scheme Designer is an app that provides a color wheel which displays complementary colors that can be added to web pages and presentations to give your work "a little something extra". Appropriate colors help alleviate distractions and redirect attention to content to you want highlighted.

Color Scheme Designer is a fun tool that provides a appropriate colors for your work. It is definitely worth checking out. Have fun and color yourself happy with Color Scheme Designer.

Bloomin' Google

If you are concerned about how using Google Apps will address the higher levels of Bloom's Taxonomy then Bloomin' Google is for you. Bloomin' Google is a fabulous tool created by Kathy Schrock. Bloomin' Google is a Google form which includes an interactive map that indicates where each Google App falls in Bloom's hierarchy. The interactive map allows you to visit the many different Google Apps by clicking on the icon in the map. Bloomin' Google helps you determine how to address Bloom's using Google Apps.

At the bottom of the Bloomin' Google form is the link to the Google spreadsheet which has many, many suggested uses of Google Apps by other educators. You may also fill out the Bloomin' Google form to share ways that you are using Google Apps to support Bloom's in your classroom.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Meet Me at Midnight - Dare You Enter?

Smithsonian American Art Museum offers an online, interactive adventure, Meet Me at Midnight, for kids ages 8 to 10 years old. Meet Me at Midnight introduces students to American art and the artists. This is done using the collections that exists in the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The goal of Meet Me at Midnight is to teach art terms and concepts through game-based play.

Meet Me at Midnight challenges kids to undo the chaos that has been created by the Root Monster, a piece of art work. Students must do this with the help of a character that has been removed from its own artwork. Throughout the adventure, Meet Me at Midnight, adds factual information about the art and the artists who created the works. It is a fun way to learn about art design and concepts.

One fault that I find with Meet Me at Midnight is the fact that there is no audio to go along with the text. Younger students might get lost in the reading and older students might bored with the reading thinking the game is a more work than fun. However I would recommend Meet Me at Midnight. A great tool to learn about American artists and theirs works.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Resources for the 21st Century Classroom

Yesterday, my fellow TIS colleagues and I offered training covering The Three Tiers of Technology Integration and the 21st Century Learner. The Tiers of Technology Integration is a product of Texas Steps Up initiative. This training was initially presented to the district's Technology Integration Specialists by TCEA's Monica Martinez with the intention of bringing the information back to the school district and sharing with other educators.

Tier 3 of Technology Integration seems quite overwhelming. Tier Three promotes the student-centered classroom which seems to contradict all the mandates involving curriculum, discipline, and state assessments teachers are required to incorporate into their classrooms. As daunting as the task seems to be, most of the teachers I know are willing to try new things, however, they feel there are a lack of resources to support the changes they would like to make.

In an effort to support the teachers' needs, Michael Gorman's blog, 21st Century Educational Technology and Learning was discovered.

A few weeks ago, Gorman, created a post entitled Connecting PBL and STEM.

In this posting, Gorman has compiled an extensive list of resources for teachers to incorporate into the classroom. Connecting PBL and STEM supports PBL and STEM based projects was well as incorporating those 21st century learning skills we are diligently trying to support in our classrooms.

Connecting PBL and STEM is a great resource for any classroom. While it seems like a list of resources for older students, I suggest spending some time with the resources because all grade levels are represented. I hope that you find this resource useful and please let me know if I can help!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Recently I posted an interactive lesson covering idioms from Verizon and Thinkfinity's ReadWriteThink. After answering several questions about where I found the resource I decided it would be a good thing to share ReadWriteThink. ReadWriteThink offers many free educational resources for the K-12 classrooms. The goal of ReadWriteThink is to provide educators and parents with access to quality resources focusing on Reading and Language Arts.

ReadWriteThink partners with the International Reading Association and the National Council Of English Teachers.

I believe this is a must have resource for the classroom. Take some to check out ReadWriteThink.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Eye on Idioms

Eye on Idioms is a great interactive activity to reinforce idioms. Eye on Idioms offers seven different idioms which gives students the opportunity to choose a correct idiom, give the definition, and then use the idiom in a sentence. This activity can be used as a whole group activity, or Eye on Idioms offers the opportunity to print each idiom so that a hard copy may be produced.

Eye on Idioms is created by Read, Write, Think. Eye on Idioms is a great tool for the the elementary language arts classroom and I highly recommend checking it out, along with Read, Write, Think

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Scribble Maps

Scribble Maps is a great tool for the classroom. Scribble Maps allows users to manipulate maps by drawing shapes, adding markers, images and text. Once maps have been created then students are able to save maps and share them with teachers and classmates. Scribble Maps also creates code that maps can be embedded into blogs and sites. Below is a quick map that I created marking the Capitol of Texas:

Scribble Maps is quick and easy to use, however, Scribble Maps also offers video tutorials that students and teachers can access for further instruction.

I learned about Scribble Maps from my friend and colleague, Twyla Felty's blog, Technology Tidbits. This is a site worth checking out!

Pinterest anyone?

Pinterest is not a site I can recommend for educational reasons, but I can recommend it for FUN! Pinterest is basically a pin board. Pinterest gives you a fun venue to organize fun and beautiful things that interested you. Pinterest has a "pin it" button that allows you to pin items to Pinterest while searching the while you are searching and you come across something you like then just "pin it". Pinterest is a fun way to organize ideas you may have on how you would like to redecorate your home, find a style that you feel suits you, pin up things that inspire you, and even plan a wedding; You can save pattern ideas, pictures of furniture, fashion ideas, the list could be endless. You can even create a Pinterest board for your classroom ideas. This board could possibly contain favorite sites, ways to decorate, inspirational quotes, and many other things. One of the best things is that you can browse other boards and re-pin things that interest you.

Pinterest is just a place of fun. Take some time to find the fun!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Word It Out

Word It Out gives students a way to turn any written assignment into a fun word cloud. Word It Out is a word cloud which allows the creator to customize many of the settings such as the type of text, the colors of the text and background, margins, size, and even text and characters to appear or ignore.

Word clouds can be created from sentences, whole documents, web address, or tables. Word It Out allows the creator to decide how to filter the text and adjust the importance of words fairly easily. When you have your word cloud adjusted they way you want then Word It Out allows you to share your word cloud or not, embed it on your website, download a copy, or even get the word cloud printed on various mediums that can be used as gifts.

Word It Out is another fun way to create word clouds it if free and does not require the user to create an account. Word It Out does however require an email address to save the word cloud which sends you a link to access your saved product. Word It Out definitely worth trying out.

Word cloud made with WordItOut

Friday, October 7, 2011

Guess the Wordle

Guess The Wordle is a fun, educational use of a Wordle. Guess The Wordle is designed so that students read a daily Wordle and using the clues must guess the subject of the Wordle. Guess The Wordle is a challenge for students to use internet tools to determine the subject. Each day Guess The Wordle will post a new Wordle for students and their teachers to view.

Guess The Wordle will post a new Wordles in a pattern each week. Monday and Wednesday will be similar with Monday's the easiest and Wednesday's Wordle being a bit more difficult. Tuesday's Guess The Wordle will be based on the scientific classification of animals; Thursday's Wordle will have a language arts theme (books, poems, fables, etc.); and Friday's Wordle will be a famous location.

What makes Guess The Wordle so much fun is that when you think you know the answer, all you have to do is hover over the Wordle and the correct answer will be revealed.

Guess The Wordle is a project created and hosted by Projects by Jen. Projects by Jen is created by Jennifer Wagner. Jennifer has created various online projects which can be found at Projects by Jen. Jennifer encourages participation in online projects and works to provide opportunities for you to participate in various projects.

I highly recommend Guess The Wordle and Projects by Jen to all classrooms. Take the time to check it out.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Iggey and Rasper - Internet Safety Game

Iggey and Rasper's Internet Safety Game is an internet safety quiz hosted by KidsCom Jr. Iggey and Rasper's Internet Safety Game offers tips on internet safety.

Iggey and Rasper's Internet Safety Quiz is a simple reinforcement of good internet safety tips and internet etiquette rules. Iggey and Rasper's Internet Safety Game is a quick resource to reinforce internet safety being taught in your class. This site would be a nice addition to other resources you are using to teach internet safety.

My American Farm

My American Farm is a fun, kid friendly site that teaches kids about farming and agriculture in the United States. My American Farm is a product of the American Farm Bureau, Foundation for Agriculture. Its goal is to teach agricultural literacy to the public. My American Farm teaches where food comes from and how produce gets from the farm to the table.

My American Farm has fun, interactive games, that as players successfully progress they are given facts about farming and agriculture in the U.S. The games offered by My American Farm reinforce skills in math, science, geography, social students and language arts.

My American Farm not only offers games for the kids but the site also offers resources for educators and activities for families to participate in together. My American Farm invites everyone to participate in the journey they are offering to learn more about farming and agriculture in the United States.

My American Farm is a fun educational site. I believe it will be a great resource for the elementary classroom. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My Botanic Planet

My Botanic Planet is a site dedicated to teaching kids about the plant world around us. TruGreen created My Botanic Planet with U.S. national standardized lesson plans and interactive games to explore basic botany. My Botanic Planet's goal is to help students, grades K-5, learn about plants, the environment in which they are found, and to develop an appreciation of the natural world. My Botanic Planet has a teacher's resource page that offers lesson plans, photo gallery, and other resources.

My Botanic Planet does a great job of supporting science and geography and creates an exciting environment for learning. This is a site worth checking out. I learned about My Botanic Planet from the blog, Educational Technology Guy. The Educational Technology Guy blog is a great resource for the classroom as well.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Loop Scoops....Videos About Life

Loop Scoops are short, animated videos to get kids (and adults) to thinking about the "stuff" that goes into our lives. Loop Scoops not only focuses on the "stuff" in our lives but how our "stuff" affects the environment. Each Scoop is a video that talks about things we see or use everyday...garbage, electronics, and velcro, as well as other topics.

Loop Scoops hopes that the videos will get kids to thinking about how the things we use in our everyday lives affects the environment we live in. Loop Scoops not only wants kids to think,but it wants kids to question: What is this made of? Where did it come from? What happens when i throw it away?

If you want kids to learn about helping the environment then check out Loop Scoops. Loop Scoops is a part of PBS Kids Go. Loop Scoops is a site worth checking out.

Discovery Box

Discovery Box is a fun tool in which students can create virtual, visual representations of people or events, as well as building a representation to support an argument. Discovery Box would also be a wonderful tool for students to create autobiographies. Discovery Box is a virtual box in which you choose the items you want to represent your subject. Discovery Box can be used to complete assignments in any content area.

Discovery Box allows you to upload and display text files, images, and videos. Students make their own choices on what items they would use to represent their subject.

In order for students to save their Discovery Box, they must register and create an account. If this is creates a problem for you, remember you have the option to Piggy-Back onto an existing email. This eliminates the need for each student to have an email account of their own.

Discovery Box is definitely a site worth checking out.

Go Wild...Smithsonian Wild!

Smithsonian Wild presents a collection of photographs of animals in the wild. Smithsonian Wild uses the photographs to show the diversity of different animals and their existence in a range of habitats all over the world. Scientists are able to use the photographs from the motion-triggered camera to study and answer questions concerning conservation and ecology. These cameras are posted on trees, along trails, and various other places within the animal's habitat. Smithsonian Wild hopes that these photographs will grab your attention and encourage you to learn about the animals, their habitats, and the steps to conservation.

Smithsonian Wild offers a searchable index of photographs, as well as a list of ongoing projects. Smithsonian Wild would be a welcome addition into a science classroom. I suggest checking it out, I believe the images on the home page will draw you in and you will spend time learning about the various animals that have been photographed by Smithsonian Wild.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Knoword - Can Your Vocabulary Take The Challenge?

Knoword is a fun vocabulary challenge. Knoword requires the participant to be a quick thinker as random dictionary definitions are displayed along with the first letter of the word to be guessed. Once you choose the option to begin the game is timed. You must fill in the rest of the word that corresponds with the first letter of the word and the definition. With each correct word you gain points and an added timed bonus. If you come across a word you just can't answer then you have the option to skip and new definition will present itself.

Knoword is fun and challenging. I think is is a site worth checking out.

Welcome to the Web

Welcome to the Web is an interactive teaching site to help kids learn about the internet. Welcome to the Web offers a sequence of lessons designed to explain the web starting with basic concepts of internet, staying safe, browser use, and online searching. Welcome to the Web also offers the tricks that involve printing, the find tool, and copying and pasting. Lessons concerning copyright and the importance of siting sources so others receive credit for their work as well. A great feature offered by Welcome to the Web is an audio feature. Students are able to choose the option to listen to the text as they are reading.

After students have completed the sequence of lesson to learn about the internet Welcome to the Web offers a challenge in which students incorporate all their new internet skills. The challenge is a fun activity in which students capture the creator of a computer virus. After completing the challenge then personalized certificates are offered. Welcome to the Web is a fun way for kids to learn about the interent.

Welcome to the Web can easily be used in the classroom or computer class and students explore at their own pace. Welcome to the Web is a site worth checking out.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Free For Teachers - Written Decor

Written Decor is a site I learned about from Twitter. Written Decor believes that the power of words can impact the lives of people, especially teachers and students. Because the people of Written Decor believes this, they have begun a campaign to put positive words in the lives of children.

Written Decor will make a one-time $50 donation of Written Decor lettering to every teacher to be used in their classroom. Written Decor also provides teachers with a "teacher discount" of 50% on future lettering.

The Written Decor site offers a quote library and an idea gallery that allows teachers to shop. Written Decor also offers the options to build your own saying. This gives teachers the opportunity to choose their words, style, and size; along with a preview window so you will know what the text will look like.

To claim your discount just following the simple instructions at Written Decor website. This is a site worth checking out.

Movies and Math

Mathematics in Movies is a collection of movie clips in which math concepts are presented or highlighted. The math concepts are not taught but it is a fun way to to highlight math in lessons that are taught.

Mathematics in Movies hosts different genres of movies and the math concepts seems to be relevant for the higher level maths ( the kinds of math that scare me a little bit) :-). The movies are relevant to higher level science classes as well. The movies are available in two formats - flash and quicktime (for viewing on iPads and iPods).

This collection has been put together and maintained by Oliver Knill at the Department of Mathematics at Harvard University. It is a site worth checking out!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Get to Know Your New Class

It is that time a year...the time when teachers all across the country will be meeting a classroom full of new students. As a classroom teacher, meeting my new class was always exciting. I loved the anticipation of the first day of school, however, I would find myself sometimes anxious deciding what to do with my new students. I wanted to set a positive tone which I hoped would carry through the school year.

Tom Barrett has created a Google Presentation to help all teachers get to know their students. This presentation offers 29 ideas to help make your first days with your students more exciting.

29 Interesting Ways to Get to Know Your Class

The presentation offers ideas such as: creating a Coat of Arms that encourages your students to share their favorite subjects, sports, hobbies, and families; Post-it Power is an activity in which students write one fact on each post-it, stick it to their bodies, and then walk around and meet each other; and sharing a Get-To-Know-You Google form that allows students to answer questions about themselves. The presentation contains 26 other ideas that can easily be used in the classroom.

29 Interesting Ways to Get to Know Your New Class is a collaborative work which Mr. Barrett encourages you to participate if you have ideas that would you like to share. This is definitely a worth checking into.

Many other Interesting Ways presentations can be found on Mr. Barrett's blog, EDTE.CH. The EDTE.CH Blog hosts a page named Interesting Ways. I also encourage you to take the time to visit Mr. Barrett's blog.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Save the Words

I think I am in love with Save the Words, if for no other reason than to hear the words beg to be chosen! Save the Words is a fun twist to the dictionary. This site is so encouraging, literally, that you just want to keep adopting words. However if you do not like the distraction of the talking words then you can turn the voices off. The purpose of Save the Words seems to be to encourage us to increase our word power and language skills.

The Save the Words site is jammed packed with every word imaginable from the fun, the weird, and the unusual. These are not words you see on an everyday basis. The site gives a preview window which you move around the screen and then select one of the words. After selecting a word, a pop-up window appears that gives you the definition of the word and an example of how to use the word in a sentence.

Inside the preview window, you are offered the opportunity to "adopt" the word. After chosing to adopt the word then Save the Words cheers for you and for the word you have chosen.

You are then sent a certificate of adaoption for your part in saving the words. An email is sent reminding you of your promise to "..use the word in conversation and correspondence, as frequently as possible to the very best of my ability." Word adoption is taken very seriously! :-)

Save the Words is a seriously cute site. I suggest trying in out. Would be a great word of the day for Language Arts classes to encourage the vocabulary development.

Study Jams

Study Jams is a product of Scholastic and is an inventive site for teaching science and math. Study Jams offers over 200 jams teaching topics and skills relevant in the elementary classroom.

Study Jams offers science jams in the form of videos to teach topics such as volcanoes, water cycle, photosynthesis, and the universe. The videos present vocabulary and facts on each topic. Study Jams also offers math jams in the form of videos covering topics such as multiplication, order of operations, and creating equations from word problems. Each jam offers a quiz so that students can test what they have learned.

Study Jams also offers karaoke songs on most topics. The songs present information in fun, upbeat tunes.

I learned about Study Jams from the blog Technology Tidbits: Thoughts of a Cyber Hero.

Juxio - Interactive Posters

Juxio is an interactive poster maker. I learned about Juxio from one of my favorite blogs,The Digital Goonies. Juxio is a fun way for students to create assignments in any subject area.

Students first create posters by using a template or creating their own form. Second, students include content by adding text, images, video, and audio. Events and captions can be added as well. Posters can be created in any content area for example: biographies, scientific processes, subject area tutorials, geography reports, and even physical education posters including exercise and nutrition. Juxio then allows students to share their posters by printing, sharing on social networks, or even emailed.

Juxio has a free component for education, however, Juxio hopes that you will plan on buying one of their professional prints that you create and the are so stinkin' cute you will be tempted to buy. I believe that it is a site worth checking out and including in your digital toolbox. I hope that you enjoy it.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Awesome Library

Awesome Library is great resource site. The site contains an extensive web collection of reviewed resources from the web, including educational resources. The image below indicate how the resources are organized into categories.

The Awesome Library also organizes based on topic importance or "hot topics". Awesome Library covers topics relevant to older students such as conflicts in the middle east to world peace. Awesome Library also caters to younger students with topics such as child heroes and bullying. This site could be a fabulous resource for any classroom and I recommend giving it a try.

Thank a Teacher

Each day teachers play the role of mother, father, mentor, nurse, and counselor and still find time to inspire change and encourage students to believe in their own abilities.  I work with an amazing group of teachers and I am in awe of the things they are able to accomplish each day, so I post this video in honor of them and in honor of the many teachers who inspire their students to greatness!  Thank you for all you do. 

Thanks to Greg Swanson for posting on his blog EdTech Toolbox.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Bubbabrain hosts lots of educational games. Games can be accessed on the homepage or teachers can set up an account and create new games for students to access.

The games on Bubbabrain are categorized into grade levels and then in subject areas such as math, english, science and history as well as various miscellaneous games. Once the games are categorized into subjects then games on many topics in each subject area can be accessed. If Bubbabrain doesn't have a game to support a skill that you want to reinforce with your students then you can create a new game to support what you are teaching your students. After games have been created then students input a teachers number to access games that have been created. This allows students to work on specific skills.

Bubbabrain would be a great tool to use with interactive whiteboard for whole class instruction, small group, or even individual instruction. Bubbabrain would be a great tool for any classroom. Games can be created for any subject and any grade level. This site is fun and simple.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Isle of Tune

Isle of Tune is so much fun! I best time playing with this site. I learned about Isle of Tune from Kelly Tenkely's blog, iLearn Technology.

Isle of Tune is an amazing site because it encourages creation. Students create musical journeys based on street layouts. Students create "islands" by creating a street layout and then adding objects such as cars, flowers, trees and houses. As the street layouts are created students add road objects. When the street intersects, then students decide directions of the cars. Each item added plays a different sound. After adding objects, then student use the object control panel to adjust the sound and the volume of the sounds.

Getting started with Isle of Tune is fairly easy just by following the illustrated directions on the home page of the site.

Students just have to click "create a new island" and then off they go. Creation begins with the naming of their island. Students are able to name their island anything. Isle of Tune also gives students the option to save their island and then return to it at a later time.

Isle of Tune has great potential across the curriculum. Isle of Tune would be such a fun site for students to learn about maps and directions. Isle of Tune could be sued to to teach math concepts. Used with an interactive white board, students could tools to find measurement, area, and perimeter. Students would have a great time focusing on the music they could create. After initial instructions students could be turned loose to create maps of their own communities. Not only is a student's academic needs met but their artistic needs are met as well.

The site appears to be geared toward younger students but Isle of Tune will capture students of all ages. I had a load of fun playing with it! Thanks again Kelly.

Kideos: Videos for Kids

Kideos, created by Earlier Media, is a site for kids to safely watch videos online. Kideos breaks the videos up into age categories, with subjects ranging from Grover and Elmo to silly commercials. Kideos also displays the videos in categories such as featured videos, featured channels, and popular videos.

Kideos hosts a feature channel for educational videos as well. The educational videos include all subject areas and also include School House Rock videos, PBS videos, and National Geographic videos.

Kideos is geared toward younger children ages birth to 10. It is a site worth checking out and adding to your online resource sites.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Library of Congress - America's Story

America's Story is hosted by the Library of Congress for Kids and Family. America's Story was designed with kids in mind. America's Story is appealing and easily navigated so that kids won't "get lost". I believe that kids will find America's Story entertaining and fun.

America's Story is going to introduce kids to amazing people such as Wild Bill Cody and Thomas Edison, along with his many inventions.America's Story will travel back in time and introduce kids to the first settlers in the United States. Kids can also explore the states and learn fun facts and interesting stories about all the states. America's Story also has many other topics for kids to explore. Kids will have the opportunity to learn how our great nation was formed and get to know the people who had a hand in the development.

The goal of America's Story is for kids to have fun while learning and I believe their goal has been accomplished. This is a great resource for the elementary classroom. America's Story is worth checking out. I hope you enjoy it.

Snag Learning

Snag Learning is a site that presents documentary films covering almost every subject area. Snag Learning is a educational tool that can be used to provoke meaningful discussions within the learning circle of the classroom. Snag Learning can be a wonderful supplemental resource for teachers to enhance lessons for their students or even for students to research to enrich their own learning.

Snag Learning offers over 1,600 documentary films that are geared toward middle school and high school students. Snag Learning has made an effort to gear their site to cater to the needs of teachers and students. Snag Films are produced by well-know educational sources such as PBS and National Geographic.

Snag Learning adds new films every week so you should make an effort to check back on a regular basis.

Watch more free documentaries

Animal Facts from National Geographic

Animal Facts from National Geographic is a site I learned about from David Andrade's blog, Educational Technology Guy, who is a great resource for all educators.

National Geographic is a fabulous resource for any classroom and it hosts a great site filled with animal facts. Animal Facts is basically a collection of facts and information on just about every animal imaginable. Animal Facts is arranged by animal type (ex: birds, fish, amphibians, and mammals). Animals are conveniently listed in alphabetical order with a quick find option on the page as well.

Each animal fact page is accompanied by not only facts about the animal, but also a picture of the animal and a map that indicates where the animal is found. Animal Facts also allows users to share via Facebook, Twitter, Buzz, Stumble upon, Digg, and email which allow students to share with teachers or their peers; or teachers can share with students.

Animal Facts is a fabulous tool for the classroom. Hope that you find it useful as well.

It's a great resource for teachers and students.