Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Where in the world

geoguesser1 No, not Carmen Sandiego but rather, do you know where you are in GeoGuesser?  While I have played with this before (and I will not reveal my scores), I thought I had posted it.  I was reminded of this Google Street view application today while I was viewing many of the tweets from the GAFE (Google Apps for Education) Summit in Texas.  There are several options and I can see this working well on a white board.

Green Screen in NJ

  I had a marvelous time today working with Mrs. Langella’s students as well explored the symbols of New Jersey.  Using a green screen (special thanks to Mr. Rice for the green paper!), they recorded their facts.  We were all delighted with the results and they are planning our next movie. NJ symbols-am from Barbara De Santis on Vimeo.   NJ symbols Pm from Barbara De Santis on Vimeo.

Google Forms to collect evidence

Here is a quick and easy tutorial from Kim Pollishuke that will help you use Google forms to collect anecdotal information for student report cards.    Love her suggestion to bookmark it to your phone- makes collecting data a breeze!  Please click here for the complete post.

School Safe photos with caption

I was working today with storyboardthat and tweeted out a photo from the class.  The Storyboardthat folks responded and mentioned their new site Photos for Class.  It is all I could ask for in a photo site.  School safe images (as well as a great variety of high-quality photos), Creative Commons licensed for school use, and they provide the citations!  What else could you want?  Here’s a sample below- note the watermark at the bottom of the image.  Clearly my new favorite image site! 5540667825

And then there were none

Patrice Troutman’s high school English classes were reading this classic novel and decided to use smore to create an online flier (to either entice folks to visit Indian Island or to stay far away).   Here are some samples (use the scroll bar on the side to view the entire flier):

ChatterPIX and holiday traditions

I had an awesome time yesterday with Mrs. Langella’s class while they shared their holiday traditions with ChatterPIX.  They wrote their script, drew an image, and then recorded.  I merged their work into an iMovie.  I’m sure they would appreciate your feedback.    

What if King Tut had social media

King Tutankhamen on  Fakebook What would he post? Who would be his friends?  Caileigh Giovenco’s  students just produced this Fakebook page.  Want to see the entire page?  Just click here.  

Taking Notes with Google Docs

Alice Keeler has a great blog post if your students are using Google Docs to take notes.  Some nice suggestions using the research function and images.  There are also useful suggestions for setting up your format.  Please click here for the complete post.  

Endangered animals

Ms. Trippodi’s class is working on an endangered animal project.  I joined them today and we created ChatterPIXs for the videos below.  

Folder inside a folder

Joel Frey shared in a Google+ community on how to put a folder in multiple other folders! Slam-pic1      

Here are his steps:

  1. Start in Drive and highlight the folder you want to move.
  2. Press Shift Z . An Add to window will open.
  3. Select the location where you want to move the file/
  4. Click add.

DE Atlas

Lively Lessons  Discovery Atlas Interactive Map – DEN Blog NetworkHere is a blog post from last week about the Interactive Atlas in Discovery Education. Just login to your Discovery account and type atlas in the keyword search and it will at the top of the list.  The blog post has several ideas on how to use the atlas with your students.  It is much more than a map!

Lord Orsis, sing it one more time

I’m in the dead, Powerless I wish I knew where my kingdom went The scribes wake up to knowledge and lust I see the gods Facing me The afterlife is frightening This is it Lord Osiris (From Radioactive by SP)   As part of a differentiated assignment, some of Caileigh Giovenco’s sixth students put their knowledge into song as a closure project for their Egyptian studies.  She had students vote for their favorite and her brother recorded the  winning song.  Who says knowledge can only be shown on a paper and pencil test? Click here for the  complete lyrics.  Click here to hear the song!

DE BoardBuilder

If you are looking for an easy tech project, consider having your students create online posters.  One option is is use the Board Builder platform in Discovery Education.  Here are recent samples from Ms. Mayrose’s third grade class. The videos cannot play from this site. sample board sample 2

Middle School History comes to life

From twitter:

Let the children code

Kodable  Programming Curriculum for Kids   Why KodableKodable is on online coding site.  While there is a paid version, teachers can  get a free classroom account with the basic features.  Kodable is geared for grades k-4. For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here.


If you don't know SAMR- take 2 minutes to review this view.   Here is a link to a Google post on using Apps with SAMR.

Paper Sldes Exploring

To explore or not to explore- that’s the question Lisa Payne’s fourth grade students answered with their paper slides.  Lisa participated in last fall's DEN Ambassador Program.  In the first session, we created paper slides.  All you need is paper, markers, and a camera.  After she shared the videos ( via Google Drive), I uploaded them to YouTube.  You can use the paper slide process for any content or grade.  Please feel free to leave them a comment!  

Make Chemistry online

goREACT While I have seen several apps that allow you to combine elements, goREACT is the first time I’ve seen this on a website.  Drag the elements together and see what happens.  Present on a whiteboard or let your students experiment on their own. For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here.  

Google Slide Templates

Screenshot 2015-02-12 at 9.48.39 AMJuan De Luca shared Carnival Slides- all types of interesting slide backgrounds you can copy and use to change up your Google Slide presentations.  Here’s just one sample

Internet safety for the very youn

Hector and his friends (through of series of brief videos and games) will explain internet safety to those in K-3.  You could display the videos of Hector’s world or allow the students to explore on their own.   The site also includes teacher information. Thinkuknow   home For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here.  

Decline of the feudal system

Watch this paper slide video created by Sharon Ferreri’s World History students.  Sharon is one of Spring 2015 DEN Ambassadors. What students can do with paper, markers, and a camera! Not familiar with the paper slide technique?  Watch this video by Dr. Lodge Mc Cammon- he taught me had to create paper slides several years ago at a DEN PETE&C conference.  I have had the chance to hear him several times at DEN events- he is inspiring! Click here for more information on his one take projects. .

History on the Net

From Ancient Times to the 20th Century   HistoryOnTheNetHistory on the Net has recently revised their site.  You will find material from ancient days to the 20th century.  This could provide background for your class or allow your students to do independent study. For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here.

Inforgraphic Lesson Plans

I have been interested in infographics for a while but had trouble getting started.  Now Canva has posted a series of lesson plans online. Click here to preview. I saw this on Richard Byrne’s Free Technology for Teachers.

Can you save the world>

DUSTWhat if a meteor hit the earth- would ask the right questions, collect and analyze the needed data, and draw the right conclusions?  In Falling Dust, the choose your own adventure format enables the student to move the game along- there is no predetermined next steps. Clues are provided several times a week over a 7-week cycle.  This interaction is based on the Next Generation Science Standards. For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here.

Google Forms for Assessments

Whether you are looking to use Google Forms to collect information or are interested in using forms for quizzes, you might want to view Eric Curts’ recorded training sessions on Google forms.  This link includes the recorded  webinar, resources, as well as a PD quiz to provide you with a certificate for an hour of training. I have embedded the video of the session below.

Best Class Pet

And I know about class pets ( cleaning the rabbit cage every week was not a highlight and then there was the time I had to adopt out all the baby hamsters!).  And then there was the time the hamster escaped... good thing the ants never got out! My friend April used to get chick eggs- and I have to admit, they were cute when they hatched.  But soon they outgrew their surroundings and had to go to the farm. Discovery Education has solved that problem with their Virtual Class Pets site- watch the chicks (or penguins) without the need to clean the cages!  New chicks are added every month.  Live video by Animal Planet L!ve

Bio Cube

This tweet reminded me of one of my favorite ReadWriteThink activities! Bio Cube   ReadWriteThink

Investigate the Civil War va the iPad

Ripped Apart is a new (free) app Richard Byrne shared on iPad Apps for School.  You are an intern at the Smithsonian and need to uncover clues using their primary resources. Using illustrations, letters, and other artifacts as clues, can you solve  the mystery? There is also a companion website. Ripped Apart  A Civil War Mystery on the App Store on iTunesFor the complete post (as well as some playing suggestions), please click here.  

DipSticks pdfs blogs edutopia finley 53ways check for understanding.pdfYou know dipsticks, right?  You use one to get a quick look at your oil level in the car.  Now translate this to the classroom.  A dipstick (or Alternative Formative Assessment) is a fast way to see the level of student understanding.  This blog post from Todd Finley includes more detail as well as a list of suggested activities ( I really liked # 3, 27, and 45). You can download the list here.

Wtty Comics

Witty Comics   SampleWitty Comics are three panel sites geared to Middle or High school students.  Select one or two characters and start the conversation. Log in to create an account so you save your work (you will need a valid email account to receive your password). You could create a teacher account and have your students all work in the same account. For the complete post from Free Technology for Teachers,  please click here.


World Geography Games  US StatesIf you are teaching geography, World Geography Games is for you!  Select from wide variety of options (the fifth-grade teacher in me made me select the United States) from mountains to islands to atmospheres and oceans.  These would be great as a group project on an interactive whiteboard, stations in the classroom or practice at home. For the complete post from Free Technology for Teachers,  please click here.  

Talking Books

  Mrs. Swierczek’s class created talking book reports- when I saw them on the wall I knew they would make a great ChatterPIX project.  Please enjoy their work!

One Sentence Poems

One sentence poems from ReadWriteThink.  Geared for high school (and one class period) but I'm sure you could modify it.

Convert Docs to Forms

Do you have multiple choice tests in Google Docs (or perhaps in word)?  Use the Docs to Form add in to quickly convert your document to a Google form to use as an online assessment.  This is is nice video from Tamaki College and will step you through the process.

New England in the 17th Century

American Centuries  History and Art from New EnglandIf you are looking for interactives sites centered on 17th-19th century New England, be sure to visit American Centuries.  Here you will an online museum filled with fashion, current events, and even life in the classroom! For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here.

SBT and lesson plans

Romeo and Juliet   Five Act Structure storyboard by  rebeccarayStoryboardthat is truly one of my favorite sites.  You can create comics with unlimited possibilities.  I was just at their site and realized the large number of teacher lesson plans (many of the titles were familiar to me).  This image if from their plan for Romeo and Juliet. I’ve done this with grades 3 and up- would be glad to work with your students.

Google CI


Fill in the blanks

Fill in the Google Blanks This is a quick blog post from Wanda Terral on how to insert blanks in Google guided notes.  Please click here from the post from Ignition EDU.

Photo Cat

No, it isn’t really a cat- but rather a free editing site that allows you make collages, change backgrounds or present your images in a strip format.  I uploaded  5 random photos and them tested the features of PhotoCat . Here is a  sample of the collage: collage_photocat1 Here is the strip: collage_photocat3 Here is the DIY option: collage_photocat4 You can also edit, retouch, and add text.  For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here.

SMARTBoard Activities

Interactive Whiteboard Games   PBS KIDSHere is a nice breakdown of PBS games for the whiteboard.  They are divided by content area and include grade level as well as topics.  For the complete blog post from TeachersFirst, please click here.

Do you have what it takes? webrangers activities patriot patriotspy.swfTo be a spy that is.  Test your skills (with primary documents) during the American Revolution.  Do you have the skills to bypass the British and deliver the letter to Paul Revere?  Test your skills here.  This would be great for fifth or seventh graders. For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here.

Post al la Carle

What do Eric Carle and Mrs. Read’s students have in common?  After an author study on Mr. Carle, her K-1 students created their own stories along with tissue paper characters.  Using PuppetPal, they create a digital story.  Please feel free to leave them a comment!

SuperHeroes for Earth

While I was walking down the hall in an elementary school this week, I noticed this cute Superheroes and their writing on their super powers to help save the Earth.  Today these first graders made ChatterPIX and shared their thoughts!  Special thanks for their awesome cooperation.

Ladybugs and Animoto

Here is an insect animoto from Robin Read's talented K-1 students.        

Google Slides

Erifili Davis shared a blog post on creating comic books using Google Slides.  While her video was done using a tablet, your students could do this on any device. (It does make it a little easier to be able to use the camera to get the photos for the slides.) There is still time this year- I would love to try this with your class.

The Complete Rainforest

Rainforest Concern Guided TourThe Rainforest Concern is an interactive introduction.  Students can explore its features, facts, concerns, sounds and more!  I liked the format- easy to follow for younger students but with enough details to captivate older students as well. For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here.

Math and SMARTBoard

  This post from Richard Byrne and Free Technology for Teachers shares math links for a whiteboard.  You can search by content.  For the complete post concerning Woodland Resources, please click here.

Looking for a Chrome App

A Handy Chrombook Apps List for Teachers   Educational Technology and Mobile LearningHere is a handy list of Chromebook apps from Educational Technology and Mobile Learning. It is divided by need making it easy to find what you are looking for!

Puppet Pals

I’ve used the Puppet Pals  app with several classes (if you are in Wilson, have Mrs. Read’s students give you a demonstration- they are pros!).  Here is an interesting TeacherCast blog post by Sam Patterson with strategies for using Puppet Pals in first grade.

Student Fairy Tales

Meredith Scully’s second graders produced their own versions of four classics.  Using the iPad and the iMovie trailer feature, they were able to produce the videos below:

Railroad Rap

  Think your students could rap their way into history?  Or at least rap with a history lesson?  Sharon Ferreri’s 10th grade US History students demonstrate their skills with this Railroad Rap. (Sharon was one of the participants in our Spring 2015 DEN Ambassador Program.)

How good are your map skills

Earth Picker   The great Street View Game   Explore the WorldWant to test your geography knowledge?  Give Earth Picker a try.  In each round you will get 5 images (along with a map to select your location).  Use the features to move around and try to get a closer look.  Once you have guessed, Earth Picker will calculate how close you were to the correct answer. For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here.

Live from Venezuela!

How would you like to connect your students world wide?  Rochelle Alves did that just week with a skype interview between her Spanish 2 students and a student in Venezuela.  She set up the skype call for one class and then had a student film it for her other classes.  As part of her preparation, her students developed questions and rehearsed the process.  All you need is a webcam and skype on your machine (Google Hangout would also be an option). How could you help your students to connect?

Guess this molecule

MolViewMOLVIEW allows you to really examine molecular structure.  Change the view, get information, save the image.  This takes my model building (with toothpicks, gumdrops, and marshmallows) to a whole new level! The image shown is caffeine. (from the blog post by Peter Vogel)

Breaking News

downloadNo really, you can have your kids create their own news headlines with this new tool from  Go to Breaking News- select an image, add your information and go!

Storyboardthat from the 6th grade

ned's true lifeStoryboardthat is a creative site for making comics (not only traditional strips, but webs and graphic organizers as well).  Ricky from Mr. Logan’s 6th grade class created Ned’s True Life .  Please click on the link to see it full screen. The Storyboard team has been hard at work producing teachers guides and resources.  Something to think about for next year!

Twitter for your PD

From Twitter:

Animoto makes books come alive!

Tina Quintas’ 6th grade students ended the year by creating an animoto book trailer!  When we were finished, they created an Aurasma so other students (in the library) could see their work (and hopefully read the book!).  Below are samples of their work.    

Talking Cities

Kelly Purcell’s  students expressed their math knowledge using ChatterPIx.  Here’s her lesson summary: “We did the project in my 8th grade ASI Math class.  The students had to first create a theme for their city.  Some of the ones we had were sneakers, basketball, and football.  Then they had to construct buildings out of the 3D solid figures that we had been studying.  They also had to create at least 10 streets out of parallel, perpendicular, and intersecting lines.  Finally, they created and solved a word problem relating to a part of their city and we recorded on Chatterpix.“

Little Bird Tales from Myles

Here’s a technology twist on the traditional retelling of a  story.  Rather than dig out the paper and crayons, Myles used LIttleBirdTales to draw his version of the Wimpy Kid book, then added the text and then his own narration!  Voice makes such a difference!  Special thanks to his mom (Shannon) for sharing his work with me!  How could this work in your classroom?

Are you edcited?

I’ve been in several classrooms using edcite.  This free site offers CCS (so ELA and Math) questions.  You create a class and the students join.  The video gives you a brief overview.  And it looks like the PARCC format.  Here is a link to Edcite Basics for Teachers.

Writing Prompts in Comics

MakeBeliefsComixMakeBeliefsComix has some interesting writing starters.  Richard Byrne posted this in his blog on Free Technology for Teachers this morning. There is a free ebook for your students to use. This might make a nice year-end activity.

More PSAs

Here is part two from Jen Mc Gough's talented and gifted students!

Paper Slides in Math

  Who knew robots could talk!  Kelly Purcell’s 8th grade students created these projects.  Kelly shared her thoughts: “The students brought in all the materials to build robots out of prisms, cylinders, and spheres. They had to use at least 6 shapes, and then calculate the volume, area, and perimeter of their robot. It was a great way for the students to show what they had learned about geometry. “

Robots Speak!

  Who knew robots could talk!  Kelly Purcell’s 8th grade students created these projects.  Kelly shared her thoughts: “The students brought in all the materials to build robots out of prisms, cylinders, and spheres. They had to use at least 6 shapes, and then calculate the volume, area, and perimeter of their robot. It was a great way for the students to show what they had learned about geometry. “

More DE BoardBuilders

Here are some screen shots from recent Discovery Education boards created by Mrs. Kohli’s science class. They each researched two scientists and shared their findings.

The Corp of Discovery Speaks

 Caileigh Giovenco and her students bring Lewis and Clark to life!  Using images from Discovery Education and the free app ChatterPIX, they speak for the explorers! )  )

DE goes ChatterPIX

I combined Discovery Education with ChatterPIX to make this talented woman speak.  While I uploaded this one to YouTube, you could add it to a DE Board Builder.  How could you use DE and this app?  

Hercules and DE Board Builders

As part of a assignment in Colleen Comerford’s class, the students produced Discovery Education boards.  Using their notes from the 12 Labors of Hercules, they selected items (video, photos, or texts) to summarize the events.  Each student also created a Tellagami and added it to their board.  At the end of class, each board was exhibited on the SMARTBoard and the students presented their work.  The example here is a screen shot (so you cannot click and view the items.) Special thanks to Adam for allowing me to share his work.

Who is on the cover?


Vickie Kilpatrick (Middle School) used bighugelabs as part an English project.  “The magazine covers were part of a larger writing project in which students were asked to interview a fellow classmate and write a magazine article featuring that person.  The magazine covers were added at the end of the project to give an added visual aspect.  The students enjoyed working on this and having their pictures taken and applied to something they created.” This site presents many options for your digital images.

If I were President

cover image
In honor of Presidents’ Day, Michelle Popick’s 2-3 grade students answer that  age old question “What would you do if you were President?”  Michelle used Photofunia to add her students to Mount Rushmore. Listen to their enjoyable LittleBirdTales for their responses.

If I

  Michele Popick’s students started with innovative photos (created with photofunia) as writing prompt. And the rest is history- please see their Little Bird Tales book! I have been a guest in their classroom several times and I know they really enjoy feedback.  Please take a few minutes to leave them a note.

If I had $100, I would buy

What would you do with $100?  Miss Jackie and Mrs. C’s morning class share their ideas on this Little Bird Tale.  The images were created using photofunia. Please share your feedback!( The afternoon class will be posted shortly)  

Word Clouds with Style

Sometimes it takes me a while to get it.  That’s the case with Tagxedo (or as their site says- “Word clouds with Style”).  While I have posted on this in the past (click here for older post), I had really never explored the site until this week. While I was planning to use Wordle with a class, I had some issues (not with Wordle but with student logins), so at the last minute I switched to Tagxedo.  Like Wordle, you enter the text and repetitive words appear larger in the generated word cloud.  Like Wordle, you can change the orientation, font, and color scheme.  But here’s where you will see the difference- you can shape the cloud into a variety of preselected shapes or upload your own image or word.You can also save the image to your files.  How can you use it? Some students created poems and used that text to create a word cloud. I worked with another class to create animal shapes for a digital story.  This sample was made from my blog and used the hand shape.

Putting your words in a cloud

  Last week I had the chance to work with Lori Belotti’s sixth graders.  They had created poems and we used Tagxedo to create word clouds. The students entered the text and then unleashed their imagination!  The results word clouds were then shared with the call via edmodo.  These are just a small sample of their inspiring work!  How could you use Tagxedo in your classroom? Go ahead and make your own!

Fake Tweets or Twister

First there were fake Facebook pages, and now Classtools has a fake twitter- Twister.  Above is my sample. You complete the form and it generates the Twister.  Characters are limited (just like twitter)  and in order to get an accurate photo, you do need to enter a real name. Print, save your work to a pdf, copy the url, or submit it to their gallery.  There are many samples on the site.  There are many options- you could do historical or literary figures. Read the complete post here from TeachersFirst.

What you can do with a wordle

wordle.JPG Wordle is one of my favorite sites- here’s a blog post with all you want to know about Wordle.  Please click here to read Kevin Cummins for other Wordle ideas!

How to share a wordle

savethe-wordle.JPG You can save a Wordle for use in PowerPoint or other application.  Here are my two suggestions: 1.     Make the Wordle and then create a screen shot (Use the Ctrl + Print Scrn keys). 2.    Go to a photo editing program (I use Paint) and paste in the screen shot.  3.    Now you can edit the images. (I usually delete the material on the screen shot I don’t need).  4.    Save the image as a jpeg.  You can now use it in any other application.  Or 1.    Create the Wordle and create a screen shot.2.    Paste the screen shot right into the PowerPoint slide.  You can them play with the size to try and show less of the screen. 3.    Save the PowerPoint as a jpeg file.  If you have another method, please share with me.

What is a wordle?


Wordle is an inventive graphic organizer.  The more times a word appears, the larger it will be.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, you can create a variety of word clouds (just remember that the gallery is public- I would have the students copy and paste their work to paint or another tool).

 Can you guess the topic of my wordle?

 Jen Wagner has taken wordle one step further- Monday through Friday, she’s posting a wordle for your students to solve. (Please click here to see Guess the Wordle).  Students can submit their responses on her google doc.

Dana Ebbighausen is thinking of using Guess the Wordle as part of her do now in her technology class.  Jen’s project is geared to the PerK-5 grades- but who is stopping you from creating your own wordle