Thursday, October 19, 2017

Voice Typing

Have you ever tried typing using your voice?  Google Voice Typing (you will find it in tools) can work for a variety of learners. See Shake Up Learning´s post here for suggestions for your classroom.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Visit the Arctic

Expedition Arctic will take you on an arctic tour without leaving your classroom.  You can explore sites via the map, meet the team, and observe the artifacts.

For more information and additional implementation suggestions, please see the TeachersFirst post here.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Monday, October 16, 2017

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Storyboardthat and Trick or Treat

Storyboardthat has shared a new series of lesson plans for Halloween.  If you need accounts for this year, please see your media specialists.  I've already booked a few classes for Halloween comics!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Are they ready for the future?

In his recent blog post, Matt Miller outlines 5 straightforward ways we can help prepare our students for the future. Number 4 is my favorite! What can your students create?

Friday, October 13, 2017

Committed to Google Keep

This year I adopted Google Keep (think an online- all devices post-it notes that serve as my to-do list).  Now, I can import my Keep notes (or images) into Google Slides (it worked on Google Docs a while ago).  In her post, Alice Keeler has several suggestions for student uses.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The key to Google Toolbars

I guess I wasn’t really paying attention (or I’m very adaptable) but in truth, I didn’t realize the toolbars had changed until I read this blog post from Alice Keeler. Since it is icon driven, it is pretty easy to figure out the changes.  You might want to share this with your students.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Math tools for the chromebook

Richard Byrne shares a variety of math tools for Chromebooks in this blog post on Free Technology for Teachers.  While I had seen some of them before, Math Vocabulary Cards was new to me.  This would be great as a station or a SMARTBoard.  It allows you to select which box you want to uncover- either the word, the visual description or the synonym. Here’s a screenshot.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Making a Screencast

In this informative blog post from Matt Miller (Ditch the Textbook), you will see how easy it is to create a screen recording (screencast). He also has suggestions for student participation.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Better than flashcards

Since I know the district subscribes to several online math programs,I was a little hesitant to post about XtraMath.  This free online program provides basic (+,-,/,*) skill practice.  One of the features I liked best was the easy setup.  You can create your class and then using one device (as a station) easily rotate your students thought the activity. There is also an app with the same features.  They recently added support in other languages as well as a Google sign in feature. While the students do need to remind a PIN to sign in- it is pretty straightforward.  For more information, please see this blog post from Richard Byrne at Technology for Teachers.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

How many seeds in a pumpkin?

This is one of my favorite Jen Wagner projects (and I’ve been invited to several classes over the years and it is always fun!).  If you teach PK-30 join this project,  All the directions and registration is here.  The project runs from October 22 to the 31st.

Everything you want to know

About forms are right here on Alice Keeler’s blog.  You will be on the lookout for the 3 dots as well as the triangle.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Place those commas!

So where do all the commas go?  TeachersFirst recently shared these resources.

Grades 6-12

Copy Edit This!

Become an editor for the New York Times! This 10-question quiz includes passages from articles with one grammatical error each. Click on the word you believe to be incorrect.

Grades 2-8

Punctuation Campground

Use game-based learning to motivate your students to learn punctuation. Although basic, this site offers many opportunities for students to practice punctuation. You have the option to start over, try again, and even get a hint.

Grades 3-12


Personalize the writing and grammar experience for your students. Practice proper use of apostrophes, subject-verb agreement, comma issues, sentence fragments, run-on sentences, commonly confused words, and more. See our full review for more details!

Grades 2-5

Comma Confusion

Get gamified with punctuation! Help Dr. Igneous sort out confusing messages (missing commas) to save the villagers from an erupting volcano. Share this interactive on your whiteboard and then allow students to practice on their own. Share on your website.

Grades 1-4

Alien Punctuation

Help Max and Molly "talk to the aliens" and correct their punctuation. There are three levels of difficulty. Topics vary by level and include: capitalization, periods, question marks, commas, quotation marks, and more.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Google Classroom + Youtube

If you are looking for ways to integrate YouTube into your classroom, Shake Up Learning has posted several interesting ideas here.  From writing prompts, hyperdocs, and announcements- there is something for everyone!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Not PB&J

If you interested in implementing Project Based Learning in your classroom, you will want to check out the resources from the Creative Education here.  From design elements to classroom strategies, everything is here.

Things I missed in PowerPoint

While I am all Google, I have to admit there were a few things I missed from PowerPoint.  The grid feature (where you could see all you slides in one view) as well as the ability to insert drawing graphics.  Now Google has added these two features (along with new Add ons and Keep) to Google Slides.  For a complete description, please read Richard Byrne’s Free Technology for Teachers post here.  Here’s the blog post from Google if you would like more details.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Google slides with a twist

Until I read this post from Alice Keeler, I wouldn’t have thought to use Google Slides as a quick (and creative method) for quick Do Nows or a formative assessment.  I liked the way she used the rename version method to keep track of each class.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

How many ways can you show borrowing?

In this blog post from Alice Keeler, she shares her suggestion in Google slides.  It reminds me there are many ways to get to the correct answer!  

It’s never too early to plan for Pi Day (or Poetry Month)

Eric Curts has shared a creative way to create a Pi poem using his Google Template (Please click here for the complete post including the template).  In his post, he walks you through the process to create a poem based on the number sequence in Pi.  I bet you could think of ways to modify his template and create poems based on other number or dates.

Visit ancient world

Learning about the culture in MesoAmerica?  Visit the ancient world at The Ancient Web (you will find a variety of ancient cultures (African, Asian, Egyptian, and the Near East).    While there are some ads on the site, they are related to the content. For the complete review, please see Teachers’ First here.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Mathigon- textbooks come to life!

I came across Mathigon this summer- looks like an interesting variety of elementary and secondary math resources.  Here’s their video overview.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

If Colorforms were digital

Imagine creating a pumpkin with colorforms or stickers.  You could select the eyes, shoes, hands and really customize your work!  Using a template shared by Eric Curts (Control Alt Achieve), you can share this experience with your students (and they will learn how to copy, paste, and draw in Google Slides). They can then describe their pumpkin.  Please see Eric’s blog post here for the directions and templates. I’ve shared mine as a sample.

Race to Discovery!

So how long did it take Nellie Bly to circle the world? (Remember she left from Hoboken and returned to Jersey City.) And how long would it take today?  Check out A Race to Discovery!  For a complete description, please see Richard Byrne's blog post here.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Branching Quizzes

In this blog post, Alice Keeler demonstrates creating branching quizzes in Google Forms.  In this way you can provide immediate feedback and create a self-grading quiz.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Making a board game

Did you ever think of having your students create a board game?  The TED-Ed post provides background as well as lesson ideas to ensure your success!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Is it fake news?

In this post from NPR, To Test Your Fake News Judgment, Play This Game, I found Factitious.  Read the story and then swipe right for real or left for a fake!  This could be used as a station or in a whole group setting.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

It’s all in the word choice

While I don’t teach math, the title of this blog post from WeAreTeachers caught my eye.  After I finished reading it, I recognized the difference a few small words (times versus groups of) could make in a student’s understanding.  I wonder what small changes I could make in other content areas that improve pupil comprehension?

Adding Forms in Google Classroom

Many teachers use forms in Google Classroom and they are easy to insert in an assignment.  Alice Keeler provides the details here.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

If you are a Kahoot!aholic

If you cannot get enough Kahoot!, you will be pleased to learn they recently announced a mobile app that allows you to play at home. For more information, please see the blog post here from Richard Byrne or this Kahoot! post.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Make those notifications work for you!

While I was aware of the notification options in Google Classroom, I didn’t realize the mobile options until I read Matt Miller’s blog post here.  You can decide what notifications you want to get and respond to students quickly.

EdCamp NJ- 11/18

Sign up here for a exciting (and free) morning of professional development!  Ed-Camp 2016 will be held at the New Brunswick High School.  I’ve attended for several year and have never been disappointed.  Register by October 1 for the chance to win a ChromeBook!

Visit the Polar Bears

It’s almost October and right along with the pumpkins and mums, it’s time to plan your virtual field to polar bear country.  Please click here for all the details on the Discovery Education field trip at  1 pm on October 26.  Be sure to check out their activities and resources.  Like all DE field trips, it will be archived for later viewing.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Go virtual with National Geographic!

Check out the new virtual field trip offerings from National Geographic!  Just register your class and enjoy the free trips! (And they are recorded as well as future viewing).  Visit their site here.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

DOK in Math

A depth of Knowledge in math is the subject of this blog post.  Robert Kaplinksy explores a variety of grade levels with matrices and sample problems during his guest post for Alice Keeler.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Drama in your classroom

Here’s an interesting post from PearDeck relating drama class lessons with suggestions for your classroom.   Some unusual ideas on how to increase student ownership in the learning process.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

What’s on your placemat?

Here’s a new SOS that seems to have real potential!  Get those placemats ready! Here's the update from Discovery Education.

SOS: Placemat

Creative, research-based instructional strategies – presented by teachers, for teachers.


PDF  and Video Versions

When students have adequate think time, the quality of their responses improves. The Placemat strategy is designed to allow each student time to think. It also provides a venue for them to share their perspectives while encouraging them to listen to and appreciate the thoughts and ideas of other team members. The outcome of student participation in this strategy is a summary response that is better than what an individual student could produce alone.

Materials:  Discovery Education media (reading passage, video, and/or image), large piece of paper to use as the Placemat, pen or pencil
  1. Select media that aligns with your curriculum.
  2. Review the media and decide what ideas are most important. Develop a related question or prompt to guide student reflection.
  3. Arrange students into groups. (Groups of four work well.)
  4. Provide each group with a piece of chart paper, and make sure each student has a pen or pencil.
  5. Set up the Placemat organizer by asking students to divide the paper into parts based on the number of members in the group, leaving a central square or circle. Also have each student select a different portion of the organizer as their work area.
  6. Share the media with students, along with the question or prompt to guide their thinking and processing.
  7. Ask students to reflect on the material by writing their ideas in their work area.
  8. When students have recorded their ideas, ask them to share as a group and then synthesize the common ideas they all share in the center area of the organizer.

The Placemat strategy helps students learn how to build on the ideas of others and combine common thoughts into a synthesized statement. When students have the opportunity to discuss and reflect on a topic, learning is retained and students are actively engaged in the thinking process.

Use the Placemat strategy as a jumping off point for a writing piece, a research opportunity, or a culminating project. When students generate their own ideas and thoughts, they are more engaged and have more ownership in the final product.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Google and Folders

Here’s a nice description of all you can do with Google files.  In her post, Alice Keeler outlines ways to create folders as well as add things to multiple folders.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Storyboardthat Updates

Here’s the latest from Storyboardthat on their summer updates:
1. New Content: We now have teacher guides for French,Health, Science, and a brand new concept called Illustrated Guides. These guides include Shakespeare Plays, Literary Elements, Famous People, Innovations & Myths!
2. Advanced Cropping: Now you can crop in a circle, and many other shapes with advanced cropping.
3. Smart Scenes: We introduced Smart Scenes last year. Now all of our scenes can be edited and layered. Click "Edit Scene" after you drag it into the Storyboard Creator.
4. New Characters: We now have over 700 characters.