Thursday, April 28, 2011

Live Binders

Live Binders is a site that I learned at about during TCEA 2011. Since that time, I have had many of the people in my PLN mention how much they enjoy the website so I started playing around with it. Live Binders is currently one of my favorite web-based organizers.

Live Binders is "three-ringed binder" for the web. It says so right on the website. Live Binders is incredibly easy to use and it has sharing capabilities so that once you have created a binder you can share with anyone. This site allows you to collect your resources and organize them and in any way that you choose. Resources can includes pdf files, webpages, images, and even videos.

Live Binders can be used in many different ways: classroom instruction; professional development presentations; grade level resource sharing; and even personal resource organization.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Twitter: Connect by Microblogging

Do you want to expand your personal learning beyond what your school district offers? Do want to share ideas with other educators outside your school? Well Twitter could very likely be the solution, but you are concerned because you do not really know much about Twitter. Well then Twitter: Connect by Micro-blogging is definitely the answer for you!

Twitter: Connect by Micro-blogging shared by Shelly Terrell is a Wiki beginning Twitter users. Twitter: Connect by Micro-blogging wiki has videos, lists, links, suggested uses and a beginners guide.

The videos include helpful hints on making connections using Twitter and building your own Personal Learning Network.

Links include Twitter for Teachers, Twitter for the classroom, and How to Make Twitter Work for You, along with various other useful links for teachers and education.

Lists include helpful suggestions for building a PLN and who to follow for a beginning PLN. There is also a helpful guide for beginner Twitter users.

Twitter: Connect by Micro-blogging is a great resource for all of those who are wanting to make Twitter a part of their professional development as well as a part of their classroom.

Do want more information? They try out the other subjects listed on the wiki - Why We Connect

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Learning From My PLN

I started a new position in my school district three years ago. I left the classroom for a position as the Technology Integration Specialist for grades 3 to 8. I was so excited about the new challenge and all that it could encompass. Three years ago, I had no idea what a Professional Learning Network was or how valuable it would be in my current position.

I have learned that a PLN is unique to each individual, that my PLN may be similar to others but I designed it to fit my needs. My PLN has been a tremendous resource for me, which in turn has made me a better resource for the teachers with whom I work. The people in my PLN have shared resources, given advice, and shared learning opportunities that I would not have known about otherwise.

Through blogs, Twitter, and PLN networks such as Classroom 2.0 and The Educator's PLN, I now have colleagues outside the walls of my small school district. It still amazes me when someone from another state or even another country, offers me advice and resources. I do not know everything there is to know about these resources and how to use them to for maximum results but I am learning! And I am enjoying it.

I advise every educator to begin cultivating a Personal Learning Network. It not only benefits your professional development but the development of the students you teach everyday.

30 Ideas for Teaching Writing

The National Writing Project has posted 30 Ideas for Teaching Writing. This post offers a variety of ideas, techniques and strategies for teaching writing.

The National Writing Project believes that writing can and should be taught, not just assigned, at every grade level; therefore they offer a wealth of resources for teachers of all grade levels.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Bookshelf Muse

The Bookshelf Muse

The Bookshelf Muse is a great tool for the writer's classroom. I learned about this site from Kelly Tenkely on her blog iLearn Technology. Students will find several thesauruses: emotion; setting; color/shape/texture; and symbolism. Each thesaurus respectively offers options for describing character emotion; descriptions that can help writers draw the picture of a setting for the reader; sensory information that helps convey images; and the symbolism thesaurus helps students utilize symbolism to leave an impression on their readers. The Bookshelf Muse regularly updates the thesauruses to keep them current for all writers.

Video Writing Prompts is a great site for video writing prompts. The writing prompt videos run for a bout two minutes and have suggested uses for each grade level. The writing prompts videos cover a variety of topics including: Earth Day, Jackie Robinson, March Madness, and even Marshmallow testing. Each video comes with a writing prompt or you can easily use the videos to accommodate your own prompts. The writing prompts videos can also be used in multiple subject areas. Take some time to check our this site.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Flower Power

Learned of this new math game from Tom Barrett (@tombarrett) on Twitter. Flower Power is a great game for ordering fractions and decimals. The site also has games that work with prime numbers, estimating, geometry; as well as various other games. The games could be a great tool for students to strengthen their math skills.

Random Name Selector

Here is another great find from Richard Byrne's blog Free Technology for Teachers - Random Name Selector. Random Name Selector is simply a tool for randomly selecting names from a list created by you. This tool allows you remove a name once selected or to ensure students stay on task leave their names in the list and they will never know when their name will be selected again. Random Name Selector also has a two minute and a seven minute timer that can be helpful for timed questions or for timing presentations.

Science Museum is a website that I learned about from Richard Byrne's blog Free Technology for Teachers. This site offers science games for elementary age kids as well as lesson plans. Science Museum offers a variety of lesson content based on energy, renewable and nonrenewable resources and electricity. The games would be a great way to introduce new content or reinforce the content already taught. Students will have to think before they answer based on their knowledge of energy and how it works.

And if you get a chance check our Free Technology for Teachers...this is a great resource for all teachers.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Primary Wall

Primary Wall is a web-based sticky note tool like Cork Board Me that I learned about from Richard Byrne and his blog, Free Technology for Teachers. , Primary Wall has a friendly appearance and easy to use wall which makes it a great design for primary students. Primary Wall is a tool that encourages students and teachers to work together in real-time.

Primary Wall can be used to share important information with students from teachers or for students to work collaboratively with each other. It is a quick way to share pieces of information that is very user friendly.