Friday, March 31, 2017

Tools in Storyboardthat!

Not only is Storyboardthat one of my favorite tools for student creation, they also have a variety of teacher resources.  Here’ s list from their most recent email. What could you use in your classroom?

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Virtual field trip

Did you know predatory assassin flies feed mostly on other insects (and they catch them in flight)?  Want to know more?  Join the Smithsonian virtual field trip on April 6- click here for all the details and to register. The teaching resources and material are aligned to the NGSS.

Middle School Art online!

Gone are the days when you needed to be in a school to see student artwork!  To celebrate her students’ artwork, Tiffany Tarr (SMS) created an Instagram account to showcase their work.  You can click here to see their work and then follow them!  Interested in using Instagram in in your classroom?  Here’s an article with some implementation suggestions.

New Capitalization tools in Google!

While I love my Chromebook, I often see students searching for the Caps Lock key (while there is none, there is a shortcut using Atl + Search).  Now there are new capitalization features in Google.  Using the Format tool, Capitalization, you can:

  1. make all letters lowercase.
  3. Capitalize The First Letter Of Each Word.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The season opens soon! Play ball!

With opening day less than a week away, here’s a chance to engage your students in the physics of the great American pastime.  From the bat to the ball-it is all explained in this post from the National Science Teachers Association.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

What will you put in Google Keep?

Not familiar with Google Keep?  Think sticky notes online.  For a full review (along with ideas for use in school), please see Matt Miller’s post here. I’ve included his YouTube video here.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Women @ NASA

This website showcases over 60 women and their contributions to the space program.It is designed to show the diversity of work experiences and paths to NASA.  For a complete review, please click here on TeachersFirst.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Civil Rights Oral Histories

The Civil Rights History Project has collected interview from the activists of the time. Each interview also includes a transcript.  This would useful information to develop background on the Civil Rights issues.  This site is geared for grades 6-12 and you will find a complete review here from TeachersFirst.

Saturday, March 25, 2017


Here’s a website with a goal to inspire girls in a variety of careers. While I did recognize some of the names, it also includes everyday women. Really like the Sally Ride quotation- If you can’t see it, you can’t be it!”. For a complete review, please see TeachersFirst post here.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Geography and Kahoot!

Kahoot! has partnered with National Geographic to create a series of geography Kahoots!  Just log into your account and search for NatGeoBee- there are six quizzes ready to go!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Using a Google Form to track Group Projects

While there are many ways to collaborate in Google (and Classroom), there is no way for several students to turn in one group project.  Alice Keeler has a suggestion using a Google form.  Not only will you know where to look for the project, but her form collects group information as well as a personal reflection.  Please click here for the blog post.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


While these might look like Discovery Education Spotlight on Strategies, “Naturalist Now” and “Ideation and Prototyping” are STEM focused.  Both have the step by step instructions you would find in an SOS.

STEM Strategies that Work – March 2017

Ideation and Prototyping

Inspired by: Haydee Taylor-Arnold, Ladue Schools, MO
According to the Framework for 21st Century Learning, we should “emphasize deep understanding rather than shallow knowledge” and “students learn best when actively engaged in solving meaningful problems.” This strategy addresses both of these tenets as it requires students to attempt to solve the same challenge more than once and evaluate their success with each iteration. Students have a chance to modify their thinking and adjust and restructure their ideas, similar to ideation in the real world.

“Naturalist Now”

Inspired by: Stacy Thompson, Caddo Parish Public Schools, LA
Many of the techniques we use for observation across content areas have been used by naturalists (scientists) for ages. This strategy requires students to practice making and recording observations as they build towards proficiency. Whether forming the base of a hypothesis, making inferences using fictional text, or interpreting historical events, the art of collecting and using observations to make predictions is a critical skill for all students.
Click here to download this strategy

Finding the files in Google Classroom

There are two places to easily find your work in Google Classroom.  The first you will find on your dashboard.  Just click on the folder to see your work in Google Drive.

The second place (to see the same information) is once you open the classroom and select the About tab. The folder is shown below.

For more information, please see Alice Keeler’s post here.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

PearDeck- pick your option

In this blog post from PearDeck, decide if you want to brainstorm or access.  They demonstrate several question types and how you could best use them in the classroom.  

Monday, March 20, 2017

Hamilton- the lyrics

This site (The Music of Hamilton: The Musical) contains all the lyrics from Hamilton (along with brief clips- you will need Spotify to listen to entire number).  The TeachersFirst post has several ideas on classroom integration. The site also annotates many of the lines.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Spring is around the corner!

With the snow this week (and maybe this weekend), it might be hard to believe, but spring will be here Monday.  Here are some ideas to celebrate with Discovery Education!   Please click here for the link.

Teaching The Outsiders

Do your students read The Outsiders?  If yes, you might want to review this New York Times lesson plan that compares the novel with youth in the streets of Chicago.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Making the most of private comments

Here is an inventive idea from Alice Keeler on making the best use of the comment feature in Google Docs.  Simply by adding your initials (or have the students add your name if they have a question for you).  Please see the complete post here.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Photo editing

Need to make collages?  Want to change the color scheme? Want to edit photos?  Try Pixlr Web Apps- go here to see the complete post from Richard Byrne on Free Technology for Teachers. Here’s a sample I created.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Monday, March 13, 2017

Grading and Proficiency

In this guest blog post from Nicole Naditz  ( on Alice Keeler’s site), grading and proficiency are compared.  Since many of our grades are moving (or have moved to) Standards Based Grading, I found it interesting.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

March into Women’s History

TeachersFirst has collected a series of Women’s History sites.  From women in NASA or math or world history or medicine,  this would be a good place to start.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Looking for Art sites?

March is Art in our Schools month- and to celebrate TeachersFirst has collected a series of art related websites.  From museums to color wheels to tutorials- there are many to view!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Pi Day (join the virtual party!)

Discovery Education will be hosting an online celebration for Pi Day.  Please click here to register and for more information.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Rock, Paper, Slides

Paper Slides is one of my favorite techniques for allowing students to show what they know. In fact, it’s a tool that is part of the DEN Ambassador Event 1.  Karen Swierczek recently used it with her third graders.  Here are two samples as they explain rocks and minerals.
Don’t know how to create paper slides?  Check out the Discovery Education S.O.S. (in district, click here; not a Discovery Education subscriber; click here.).

Thinking about the Genius Hour

I’ve seen some classroom using Genius Hours to encourage students to explore their interests and apply their learning.  This blog post from Matt Miller will provide some constructive  suggestions.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Pi Day is coming!

When I taught fifth grade, this was one of our team’s favorite holidays!  From Pi poems to math lessons- it was always a great day.  If you are looking for sites to help you commemorate-  please look at this collection from TeachersFirst.

Monday, March 6, 2017

And now for a slight revision

The Revision History in Google Apps can be critical- more than once I’ve changed my mind and need to go back to an earlier version.  You can still find it under File but it looks slightly different (there is a screenshot here but if you want more details, please see Alice Keeler’s post here.)

Sunday, March 5, 2017

The wearing of the green

The Belmar St. Patrick’s Day parade was today (my parents used to live near the start so we went for many years).  If you are still looking for St. Patrick’s Day material, check out this collection at TeachersFirst.

Google Classroom- when students need more time

Alice Keeler has a solution for those cases when you students need extra time (and the late flag is classroom is just not the thing!). Please see her post here for reusing the assignment just for those students.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Regulation in the classroom

This was an interesting ed-Web webinar (here’s the link to the archived resource- you can watch it, take the quiz, and obtain a PD cert). I was really interested in his comments about homework. Think if I was still in the classroom full time, I would have to readjust my expectations.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Believing in students

In this reflective blog post from Chelsea McClella she shares her story of a student who truly felt he could not do it- as well as her strategy for helping him succeed.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Is one day not enough?

Need more Dr. Seuss?  Check out this March calendar from We are Teachers!  You’ll get an inspiring Dr. Seuss quotation for every day!  Maybe your students could select another author and create their own quote filled calendar for April!

Direct Instruction Ideas

Here’s a blog post from PearDeck with some suggestions for improving direct instruction.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

SOS Challenge

Need a little incentive to explore the Discovery Education S.O.S.?  Click here to register for their 6-week challenge.  In brief,

Engage with digital media in a practical, deep, and meaningful way. Discovery Education’s Spotlight on Strategies are creative, research-based instructional strategies, presented by teachers for teachers. These highly engaging, easy-to-use activities support teaching and learning across the curriculum, drawing on rich and stimulating Discovery Education resources.

Need more information? Click here for more. Get started today and the DE weekly emails will help encourage you on your journey. Submit your photos on Facebook or Twitter to show the world!

Of Mice and Men

I guess I missed John Steinbeck’s birthday- but that’s no reason not to explore the lessons on Storyboardthat.  There are lessons and templates for 4 of his works:

What could your students create?

Online Flashcards

In this morning’s blog post from Richard Byrne (on Free Technology for Teachers) shared VocApp.  Sign up for a free account and explore their flashcards or create your own.  These flashcards include audio as well as images (and audio).  If you are working to learn a foreign language, you can add the word and it will automatically add the same work in the foreign language you selected.  Use it on a laptop/Chromebook or download the app for the iPad or Android.