Friday, April 29, 2011

Weekend Homework

Thursday on NPRs Fresh Air they talked about education.  The program is about 20 min but is worth the listen.  When you have the time over the weekend (if you are like me the weekend is just as crazy as the rest of the week) give it a listen.  I am not saying that I agree with everything that is said but it give you a lot to think about.

Ravitch: Standardized Testing Undermines Teaching

Social Media in the Work Place

Check out Common Craft's Social Media in the Work Place.  Think about how the relates to your classroom.  I know that we don't function just like a office but much of what they talk about can apply to your classroom webpage or blog.

Lost Items and FaceBook

The is a Face Book page called "Pictures and Documents found after the April 27, 2011 Tornadoes".  Their are items that have been found in the aftermath of the tornadoes that are trying to be returned to the owners.  Check out the story on CNN

Thursday, April 28, 2011

MO Flooding

The MO Department Agricultural has a good page with lots of info about the floods in Southeast MO.

Missouri Department of Agriculture Flood Resources

The Best Of Everything

Do you ever want the best page for something?  Check out Larry Ferlazzo's web page and blog.  His Best Of Series covers a lot of topics.

Twister Videos

The Two-Way Blog post Stunning Tornado Videos Capture Storm's Power has lost of good videos of the recent tornadoes

Gotta Keep Reading

Next week is Reading Week at my school.  One of our teachers shared this video from Youtube with us. It made me want to dance....and then go read!

Ocoee Middle School - Gotta Keep Reading


eThemes is a database of online resources for educators created by the University of Missouri - Columbia.  You can search the database for the topic you need and request information for topics the do not have.  Lots of good information in one place!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Royal Info

With the Royal Wedding on the way there is a lot of neat stuff about monarchies, Westminster Abby, and anything royal you could think of.  Even if you are like me and only have a mild interest in the wedding some of the info is kind of cool.   

Interactive Family Tree

Where Monarchies Still Exist

The Official Website of the British Monarchy 

Westminster’s Wedding March

Inside Westminster Abbey

Protect Your Privacy

Privacy 2.0: The Garbo Economy is a good story that was posted on NPR.  It talks about what you should be doing to maintain your privacy.  It talks about The Electronic Frontier Foundation 12 step program.  It is worth the time to check it out. 

Plant Worksheets had a large selection of readings, math work sheets, games and more about plants.  Check out their Plants Theme Unit.

The difference a # makes

A few weeks ago I posted my blog post on Twitter as normal but then added #edchat.  I got double the clicks and views.  Something to keep in mind.

Arbor Day

Remember that Arbor Day in April 29.  Here are some links with activities and information!

Arbor Day Foundation

The Teachers Guide - lots of links!

eThemes - lots of links!

Holocaust Remembrance

National Holocaust Remembrance Day is this Sunday, May 1.  Please remember to preview everything BEFORE sharing them with students due to the graphic content that some pages may have.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum 

The Paper Clip Project

The Holocaust - lots of links!

Holocaust Websites - lots of links!

Interactive Map of Auschwitz

Holocaust Interactive Timeline


If you have not checked out now is the time.  I use this page quite a bit with some of my IEP students to work on basic skills and simply using the computer. It has grade level activities for grades K-5.  The kindergarten games have sound too! Several of the activities work well with an interactive white board.

Google Tutorials

On the Free Technology For Teachers page there is a link to Google Tutorials.  They are wonderful and FREE! They have also been updated so if you have not checked them out lately you should do so!

Free Technology for Teachers

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

iPad and Free Rice

Just an FYI - Free Rice works very well on the iPad.  I used all of the categories and had no trouble. It would be  fun to pair kids up and see how much rice they could get!

Learn more about Free Rice on my Free Rice blog post.

Free Rice

I know that is not a new sight.  I had not been there in about two years and it has changed a bit.  There are still activities for art, com arts, math, language learning, world geography, and chemistry that earn free rice for developing nations. Now they have a login!  You can track your totals, create groups, and more.  What a neat way to help others and learn!  Think about how you could use this in your classroom.  I think that goal setting would work well with this.  A grade level contest maybe? Now that you can track your totals there is a lot more then it just being fun.

The Impact of Weather

 If you have watched the news at all in the last several days you know that the Mid-West has had a lot to deal with including thunderstorms, 9 in or more of rain, tornado, and major flooding.  All of this is hard to think about some times. The Missouri Department Of Transportation (like many other stats) has an interactive map that shows the roads closed due to flooding (or snow in the winter). When I looked at the MO map today I was shocked to see how much of the southern part of the state is under water. The web page has several maps showing the river levels and the river level forecast. There is also a slide show of some of the MO flooding. All of these sights help show what is going on and are a good tool to help students see how weather affects are day to day life other then having indoor recess.

Nook Apps

Barnes and Noble has added apps to the Nook.  Check out the NPR story and the Barnes and Noble webpage for more info.  If you have a Nook for your classroom start thinking of new ways to use it!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Roots 4 Kids

Roots 4 Kids program is a part of Annie's Homegrown Organic.  There are online games and more on the webpage that help kids learn more about healthy foods and where they come from.

There are currently running a contest for a school to win a Farm to School Program below is some info from the Roots 4 Kids page.  Be sure to check out the page for full info.:

From April 5 through May 31, Root 4 Kids is calling on schools across America to generate sign-ups for their school at The school that receives the most sign ups will win its choice of a Farm to School program or school garden.
The Farm to School program prize includes working with a state National Farm to School Network leader to customize a combination of activities that best help students become more deeply connected to real food. Options may include: introductory lessons on where food comes from; farm field trips; meals following a farm visit using vegetables harvested by students; garden sessions in the spring or fall; a “tasting table” featuring a sampling of freshly harvested vegetables; and more.
The school garden prize includes basic supplies, including seeds, soil and select tools, and assistance from a gardening expert to get the garden started.

Where do your footprints lead?

As I keep thinking about "big brother" and or digital footprint a story about smart phones tracking our movements broke at the end of last week.  This is not something new. We have been tracked by cell phone and credit card providers for year. What is new is the amount and detailed data that they can collect. People need to remember that your internet activity is being tracked as well.  This weekend my husband and I looked up bathroom vanities on Saturday.  When my husband got back on his computer on Sunday night he has several add for bathroom vanities.  Is this a bad thing?  I guess it depends on how you look at it.  The bigger question is, are you telling your students?  I have not told my students but I feel that I should.  It all becomes apart of who you are online and you just never know what might comeback and get you.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

How do you APA?

As I put the finishing touches on my thesis I started working on the work cited page.  I have not had to use true APA in about 3 years.  There are several webpages that can help with your just do it for you.  Check the links below!

Where to Find an APA Citation Machine - Has links to 6 citation machines 


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Google Apps in MO Schools

If you are a MORENet school in MO you can now get support on Google Apps For Education. Check out the announcement 

More on BP

NPR has a BP Oil Spill: One Year Later, A Look Back in Pictures.  There are two other stories as well 

After Oil Spill, Shrimpers Hope For Blessed Season and Drilling Oversight Agency Faces 'Troubling' Obstacles

BP spill 1 year later

It was a year ago today that the BP oil spill started.  I posted about the 100 days of the BP Spill from Time about a month ago but wanted to repost it today. CNN had a good story posted and several good videos of the spill. ABC news has a good video also.

Chernobyl & Fukushima

CNN World News has a large selection of videos about the Japan tsumami and nuclear disaster. The most recent is 25 years on, in Chernobyl's shadow.  It is worth a watch even if it is not something you can use in your classroom.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Google Map Maker

Google Map Maker is now open in the US.  You are able to add the places in your community.  The additions get added to Google Maps and Google Earth.  This could be a cool year-long project for a class and a good way for students to lean about their community. The Google Blog post will give you more information and a good video! 

Go to Google Map Maker Home

Blackberry Playbook

Today the new Blackberry Playbook comes out.  With a lack of apps and no built in email or calendar ( you have to sync with your Blackberry phone to get them) I do not think the iPad is safe.  What do you think?

Is BP the worst?

The readers of the Consumerist have named BP the worst company in the US. Others that where up for this "prize" include Apple, Microsoft, and Face Book. The is more information and a wonderful bracket on the Market Place News in Brief Blog. 


If you are reading this you know how important social networking is to get new ideas, help with problems, and much more as an educator.  There is now a social networking sight for scientist.  The link to the story is below. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Twitter 4 Teachers

I read this blog post by Shannon Smith on her blog the other day.  There are good videos about teachers using Twitter.  Check out her blog post Twitter For Teachers. You can follow Shannon on Twitter @shannoninottawa 


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, United States Department of Commerce

NOAA has a page of education resources for science. There is a lot of information to go over that you could use is your classroom.   There is also information on PD and funding opportunities.  You could spend a lot of time on this sight over the summer.

The chicken or the egg?

The chicks in one of the third grade classrooms started hatching today!  Made me wounder what kind of resources are out their about eggs and chickens. Below is a quick list of links I found....I am sure there are many more.

Egg Facts 101
Online games and activities 
Chicken Life Cycle
4-H Virtual Farm

Friday, April 15, 2011

Story Time!

It is one of those yucky day where you have to stay inside.  What is better then reading a good book to your students?  How about letting James Earl Jones or Betty White read to your students? On Storyline Online there are books you know, and books you may not know, read by the stars.  No one reads a book better then an actor!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

More Hashtags 4 Ed

Here are some more hashtags:

# artsed
#IWB (interactive white board)

Looking for some good teachers to follow try these:


Free iPad Apps

EMGames Screenshots

This is all over the tech blogs and I did put them on that 20 iPads we have at school.

There are several iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch apps from Everyday Mathematics a part of McGraw-Hill.  The lists that I have seen way that there are 10 apps that are available but I could only find 9 of them.   They are FREE from April 13-16 during the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Conference. After April 13 they will go back to being $1.99 each.  Once at the apps store I just looked up Everyday Mathematics and the 9 apps I could find came right up!

- Addition Top-it
- Subtraction Top-it
- Beat the Computer
- Name that Number
- Equivalent Fractions
- Tric-Trac
- Monster Squeeze
- Baseball Multiplication 1-6 Facts
- Baseball Multiplication 1-12 Facts (I could not find this one)
- Divisibility Dash

Amazing - Incredible Handwriting

D'Nelian Handwriting Practice
The Amazing - Incredible Handwriting Worksheet Maker lives up to its name!  You can make worksheets for your students using block, D'Nealian, or cursive.  There are four different work sheets that you can make NAME & SENTENCE, SINGLE WORD, MULTI-WORD and PARAGRAPH. For each kind of worksheet there are several different setups as well.  I am going to use it with my pre-K daughter to help with using lowercase letters in her name.  This would also be good for spelling words.  The kids would be doing handwriting practice and learning their spelling words. 

Guest Blogger

I just found out last night that I will be the guest blogger on the Free Technology For Teacher Blog on May 1. I will be talking about using technology in the music classroom. I will also be posting the same post on this blog as well.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

U got 2 move it

Today is a Stretch and Flex Wednesday at our school. We get our students up and moving and talk about an active life style.  In the lab I normally do not do much with the kids for Stretch and Flex Wednesday because I only see them one time a week for 30 min and we need every second we can on the computers.  Today is the last day of MAP testing and I have a crazy schedule so we are going to get up and MOVE! I found a clip on YouTube that I am going to put on the SMART Board.  It is a 6 min clip and the first 3 min are more for the teacher and it has some good info.  Check out the clip and think about how you can get some movement into  your day.  You and your kids will feel better!

12 Classroom Workouts for Kids with Nikki Crouse

Not so Flipped Out

So I got home last night and started thinking about the Flip.  Put out a tweet about how a lot of schools use them.  I got a reply from @thetechspec about the Kodak Zi8 HD.  It is something to look into.  Check out his blog post about it. 

I was also thinking that the iPad 2 may be a good tool to use as well.  There is nothing to download when you record on the iPad 2.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Flipped out

I was sad to read this story about the end of the flip camera. I have used one several times and enjoyed it. Will this mean that more schools will let students use smartphones for school?  Will school use the iPad 2 to help fill this void?  I guess only time will tell.  What to see what people are saying check the #flip on Twitter

The Flip Flops: Smartphones Helped To Kill The Little Video Camera

Read Wright Think


The Read Wright Think page has lots of information for the classroom and for home or after school activities to engage students in reading. There are lots of lesson plans that you can search by grade level, topic, objective, or theme.  There are also student interactives, podcasts for students, and a text messages that are recommended for adolescent readers. The also have lessons set up by the month!  What a simple way to find reading lessons for your class!  There are 24 lessons for April and they have an Earth Day Lesson.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Twitter Hashtags

Here is a list hashtags (#) that you might like to follow on Twitter.

#molib - Missouri Librarians
#edcaht - They chat every Tuesday at 7pm
#Edubk - Find/Suggest books about education
#MusEdChat - Music Ed Chat
#MOedtech - Missouri Teachers
#elemchat - Elementary Teachers
#TT, #tt, #Teachertuesday - on Tuesdays this hashtag is used to post the          teachers you think people should follow on Twitter
#FF,#ff,#Followfriday - on Fridays this hashtag is use to post great Tweeters (may not be about education)

There are also lists that people create on Twitter that you can read to find teachers to follow.


Here are some good webpages to find teaches to follow on Twitter.

If you have others that you like to follow please add them in the comments!

Rethinking the 21st Century Classroom

With technology becoming a larger part of classrooms, and the push for project based learning, the classrooms are starting to change. There are several schools that are changing the way that things are done and the way that things look. Below there are two links that talk about what different schools are doing to move into the 21st Century Classroom.  I am not saying that these are the right choices for every school or classroom but they get you thinking about what the options could be. There may be parts of the ideas that work in your classroom.  Keep an open mind and think of what could work for you.

Sydney Center For Innovation in Learning - Blog by Stephen Harris the Founder and Director.  This blog has wonderful photos of the school/classrooms they are using. 

iSchool Initiative, A Highs Schools students vision on school change using mobile devices - This is a repost from the Technology Bits, Bites, and Nibbles Blog. Has good information and a video.  

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Eagles are Viral!

Last month I did a post about the Decorah Eagles on Ustream.  I have two friends that have be addicted to watching them for the last several weeks.  Well my friends are not the only people watching. Today NPR reports that 11 million people are watching!  Checkout the NPR story.

Tending to the eaglets.

More for Earth Day

PBS Kids Loop Scoops was posted by two Bloggers that I get a lot of my ideas form ( Richard Byrne of Free Technology for Teachers and Cyndi Danner-Kuhn of Technology Bits, Bites, and Nibbles)  Loop Scoops is a good place to help kids learn about consumer science and environmental science., Where children have fun learning to read! 

Start Fall also has a fun Earth Day game where you have to clean up by sorting the trash!


When I first started using Twitter the normal Twitter page was just fine.  As I started wanting to follow hashtags (#)  there is just not a good way to do that on Twitter.  Hashtags are not supported by Twitter. Twitter users started using the Hashtags as a way to keep track of things.  If I wanted to talk about something and wanted people to be able to follow the conversation I can start a hashtag .  Lets say I wanted to help connect all the educational iPad users in Missouri I could start a #ediPadmo hashtag.  This would let anyone that wanted to follow all the post that had that hashtag in it. TweetDeck lets you keep track of you normal Twitter Timeline and follow hashtags!  I feel I get much more from Twitter using TweetDeck because I can connect with more educators and get more ideas.  Give it a try!

School House Rock!

It is election day!

And just for fun.....

Monday, April 4, 2011

Happy Earth Day!

Earth Day is April 22!  Below are several webpages to help you get ready to celebrate the Earth for Earth Month and Earth Day.

Earth Day Lessons from Scholastic

EPA Environmental Kids Club


Earth Day TV

EPA Earth Day

Letter to the President

This is a good 6 min video called Inside the White House: Letter to the President.
 One of the 5th grade teachers at my school showed his kids before sending letters to President Obama earlier this year. The students and I learned a lot from it.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Look how far we have come.

The Picture Show
NPR's Blog The Picture Show has a photo history up right now called On Apple's Birthday, A Brief History Of Computing check it out.

KC Kansas gets the NEW Google Fiber Network

Google News

Kansans City, Kansas is the winner of the Google Fiber Network.  If you do a Google search about it you will get lots of links to the news media covering this event.  On the way home last night I was listening to All Things Considered on NPR.  During the interview they asked the question why do we need this?  They likened it to the switch from dial-up internet to broadband. We did not know how that was going to change the way we used technology and it has made a huge impact on how we live our lives and teach our students. You can read, and listen, to the full NPR story and check out the video below for more information. 

Google Custom Search for SMART Board

Google Custom Search
Need a SMART Notebook lesson?  Check out the Google Custom Search for SMART Notebook!  Use it just like any other Google search but it will search a pre-selected group of sights that have SMART Notebook lessons.