Monday, February 29, 2016

Gaming in the classroom

Here’s a post from Peardeck outlining one teacher’s approach to gaming in the classroom.  Even if you don’t want to convert your entire classroom, you will find other suggestions in this post.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Look Ma, no hands!

Google Docs has had speech to text for quite a while but recently new features debuted! Watch this brief video for an overview. How great would this be for the student who might have trouble using the keyboard the can tell you what they know! This post was written using only my voice.  For more information, please click here.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Give Google slides a new size!

This is a new way to use Google slides. Want to make a poster? All you need to do is change the settings. Please read this post from Alice Keeler for all the information.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

DE Board Builder in 3rd grade

I’ve been on a Board Builder campaign recently and I wanted to share some of the student work.  Board Builder is a Discovery Education tool that allows the creation of digital bulletin board complete with text, images, and videos.  Here are two third-grade samples from Dawn Schwartz's class. All the students did a great job! If you log into your DE account, you can see these boards.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Bedtime math

While not a required part of the bedtime ritual, Bedtime Math provides real world math “experiences” to help elementary and middle school students see math in their daily activities.  There is also an option to run an after school program (Crazy 8s club).  It is designed for parents and children and there is even video support.  I love their Mission Statement: Our mission is to help kids love numbers so they can handle the math in real life. Who can disagree with that statement?

Please see Free Technology for Teachers for the complete post.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Paper Slides

As part of our DEN Ambassador program last month, we worked on paper slides. It is a low tech method to create a video- all you need is paper, drawing tools and one device (for filming).

Geoff Mihalenko had his students create their own paper slides. Please share a comment for his talented students!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Fact Cards

Media Influences

Comment Shortcuts

Comment shortcuts in Google Docs- from twitter:

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Looking for something? Try Ctrl + f

Ever looking for a specific word (or name) in a document or spreadsheet?  Try using Ctrl +f- a box will open and you can enter your search term.  The number of occurrences will then appear and you can jump to each one.  For a complete blog post on the subject, please see Alice Keeler’s post here.

Unite for Literacy

Here’s a free site with books for young learners- Unite for Literacy.  And yes, it does read to you.  But even better, you can request one of 16 languages (from Arabic to Vietnamese).  This might be a tool for our ELL students as well as students learning foreign languages.

For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here.

Read Across America Streaming

Here’s an opportunity from Discovery Education for an author read aloud on March 2 (from 1-1:30).   Below is their news release with the link for additional information:

Celebrate Read Across America Day with a live read aloud from award-winning authors and illustrators Peter and Paul Reynolds. We will be behind-the-scenes at FableVision Studios as they reveal their newest projects, share their creative process, and answer student questions. Suggested Grade Levels: 1-6 Go to for more information, instruction resources, and the full viewing experience.

Friday, February 19, 2016

The digital Ark

ARKive is site loaded with breathtaking images and engaging activities related to habitats.  Check out their education site complete with age level lesson plans and suggestions.  This is a strong focus on endangered species.

For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Google Slides speak Math!


Bob Babst’s 6th grade class created word problems in Google Slides  First they developed the problem and then created a comic strip story and used Google Slides to present.  Can you solve the problems?

Looking for fun math games?

Try Mathsspin Deluxe.  This would work on a whiteboard or at stations.  Beware- the games start out easy and then increase in difficulty.    It is suggested for grades 4 -12.  The screenshot above is from one of the easiest games.
For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Custom grading in Google Classroom

Here’s a quick video from Gooru on how to change your point values for an assignment in Google Classroom.  For the complete post, please click here.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Monday, February 15, 2016

Science experiment with a Presidents Day twist

I just saw this post on Facebook from We Are Teachers and thought I would share.You could explore surface tension and reseach the presidents! Image from We Are Teachers.


As a longtime Jersey resident, life along the Mexican/US border is foreign to me.  I was totally engrossed in this National Public Radio site Borderland.  It is a visual journey of the people and the land.  This would be useful in social studies, geography, as well as current events.

For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Get your lucky charms!

Calling all PreK-Third graders- the annual St. Patrick’s Day project is now open.  Jen Wagner hosts her annual math project using LUcky Charms cereal in a wide range of activities.  I’ve been invited to classes while they were doing the project and it is a delight.  The registration link is here.  It is a Weebly account and I’m not sure if it is blocked at school. The project runs from March 14 through the 18.


This site has a host of current information on a variety of topics including art, science, and current events.  It includes videos and text.  This might be a location for current events material for your students.

For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Google Forms

Every once in awhile, Google tools get a facelift.  Today new updates to Google Forms were announced. Here’s a blog post from Alice Keeler.  She points out the key changes. Gooru highlights four major changes.  I especially like the template feature (image above). Alice has an entire post on templates.

Friday, February 12, 2016

For all things Harry

Potter that is!  Scholastic has a reading club complete with activities and discussion guides. If you are a fan, check out their Harry Potter site.

For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Google and Social Studies

Here’s a post from Richard Byrne’s Free Technology for Teachers- his favorite tools for Social Studies!

Teaching Argumentative Writing

Here’s an interactive tool (and much support material) from iCivics.  Drafting Board will help your students build a well written argumentative essay and is keyed to social studies topics.  This site includes teacher slideshows as well as timing suggestions for effective implementation. Watch the brief video above for an overview.

For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Get yourself a paper city

Paris, London, Sydney or even the circus.  Made by Joel provides a variety of print and cut images to start your city building.  Perhaps it would inspire your students to create their own cities!

For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Star to find your originals

Here’s a great post from Alice Keeler to help you keep track of your Google originals. Use the star to help you keep track of your files.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Kahoot from home!

From Twitter- now you can play Kahoot! (after Ghost Mode) with a link!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Science Underground

Here’s a weekly podcast on a wide range of science subjects. The text is also provided- think of the ways you could use this in your classroom.

For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Math is

Love.  Here’s a blog from an OK Algebra teacher that includes her teaching suggestions.  Check out her free downloads as well as her creative posts.

For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Mind mapping to flip!

Many of you have seen me on my BrainPOP Make-A-Map tour.  I truly believe concept mapping (or mind mapping) can really help our student connect information. Earlier this week, at a session in Trenton, concept maps were suggested as a diagnostic assessment. I came across this post from ISTE that takes this concept and shifts it into the flipped classroom.

What's your character's resume?

From Twitter:

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Science video sites

I figured the snow day would be a good time to clean out my mailbox- and I found this from earlier this month.  If you teach science, please check out this post from Free Technology for Teachers.  Richard Byrne has a nice annotated list of video sites.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

So how would you get to Mars?

How to put a human on Mars (sponsored by the BBC) allows the Imperial College of London scientists to share their thinking. Here are just the few of the reasons I liked this site:
  1. It gives students a chance to “think like a scientist” as they hear and see the ideas of others.
  2. In this “instant” age, this sites demonstrates the planning and long range thinking required to achieve such an enormous task.
  3. The site is not called How to put a man on Mars.

For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Celebrate Black HIstory with Ruby

Here’s an opportunity for your students to  participate with others to view the story of Ruby Bridges ( I know many of you use the book in your classroom).  Click here to register for this upcoming event (a virtual viewing party on 2/23 at 1).  The link also contains other activities for your students.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Enjoy a National Park with Jen Wagner

Registration is now open for Jen Wagner’s National Park project.  Your students (K-6) can  research a national park and then share their results with other students.  Please see her site her for more information and registration.  Please let me know if you are participating- I would love to join your class.