Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tech in 20: Elementary Edition

Websites for Book Reviews, Trailers, Projects and Class Celebrations:
Animoto for Education



Places to get FREE Supplies for Your Classroom


Sonic's Limeades for Learning

Fun Sites for Reading
Bembo's Zoo

Mighty Book

Build Your Wild Self


Conceptboard: A Collaborative Whiteboard Work Space

There are many ways for teams of students to collaborate online and here's just another example. Conceptboard provides an online whiteboard space that you can use to share drawings, documents, spreadsheets, and more. Create drawings and diagrams from scratch or upload an existing file that you have. Invite as many people as you want to have an online conversation about whatever is shared on the whiteboard. Notes can be pinned to specific items on the whiteboard so that there is not any confusion about what each note is related to. Students could use Conceptboard for online peer tutoring or peer editing. For group work, Conceptboard could be used by students for brainstorming sessions.

On-Line To Do List and Task Management Tool

I was talking to my husband the other day that I needed to locate a "To-Do" notepad for work, because I am notorious for starting new tasks and forgetting what still needs to be finished. I looked this weekend for that pad, but came across this on-line task manager this morning that just may be the answer to my dilemma. If you are like me and needs to make lists for A LOT of things at school, you may want to check out Pegby- a free on-line task management tool for teachers and students. Check out the video below to see if it may be something to use to manage projects or your class.

Pegby in Two Minutes from Pegby on Vimeo.

Researching Done Right!

One of the challenges that every student faces at one time or another is conducting focused and efficient research. The folks at the Kentucky Virtual Library know this and put together an interactive map of the research process for students. The map, titled How To Do Research, walks students through the research process from start to finish with every step along the way. One of the things about this map that school librarians will like is that it is not focused solely on web research. How To Do Research includes a good section about using library catalogs, books, and magazines.

The Lexus Eco Challenge Science Competition for High School Students

The Lexus Eco Challenge is a life-changing opportunity for teens across the nation to make a difference in the environmental health of our planet, one community at a time. Check out complete details, official rules and examples of past winners at

Friday, August 26, 2011

"Gravity: Feel the Pull" Movie

Dorrie Harris, 7th grade Science teacher at Nixa Junior High, conducted a gravity experiment using a lift. Check out the video of Dorrie and her 7th grade students!

First Week of School Movie

I had the pleasure of going to buildings last week on the first day of school and during the week to video students and assemblies. I got to meet some really great students of Nixa, and to see some really neat things going on in all the buildings.  I want to thank all the students who put up with my silly questions! Hope you enjoy!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Four Simple Tips for the High School Teacher to Start the Year Strong

1. Greet every student at the door as they come in. A handshake, a wave or a smile are great ways to welcome students to class. That first impression is key. The students will feel comfortable the second they come in.
2. Make small talk with some of the students. Walk around and see what the kids did over the summer. Create an environment where friendly conversation is the norm from the very first day.
3. Introduce yourself. Provide some background on your teaching career, but also tell them about your personal likes and dislikes. I loved to tell an embarrassing story from school. It lightens the mood for the class and I felt it's important for students to see me as a person and a teacher.
4. Pass out the syllabus and go over the class expectations. After creating a welcoming environment, go over the class rules. Students are more receptive when they are more comfortable.

These four tips help make the students more at ease on the first day and can establish a wonderful tone for the rest of the school year.  Use the first two tips almost every day to help maintain the environment created on the first day. If the kids feel comfortable, they will be ready to learn. Enjoy the first day of the year, and remember: They are just as scared as you are.

Technology Professional Development for August-September

I hope that you will be able to join me for some great tools of technology! Below you will find the dates and times for the District Technology Professional Development, Tech in 20 for individual buildings, and Technology Make and Takes.

Tech in 20:
August 31st at Thomas
September 1st at Mathews
September 6th at Inman
September 7th at High Pointe
September 8th at Century
September 9th at Espy

All K-4 elementary Tech in 20 times will be 8:10-8:30 a.m.
Inman Tech in 20 will be at 2:45-3:05 p.m.

September Technology PD at the Tech Center:
September 19th 4:00-5:00 p.m.
Topic: How to Avoid the Top 5 Time Wasters and Creating a Safe Online Collaboration for Your Classroom.

September Technology "Make and Take" at the Tech Center:
September 22nd
3:00-4:00 p.m.
4:00-5:00 p.m. (repeated session)
Topic: Using Prezi as a Presentation Tool

Make sure to bring an activity, lesson, or project that you will want to present to your class. You will be making a Prezi to use for a future lesson.

There is no need to R.S.V.P!! Hope I can see you there!

Need Things for Your Classroom?

Once again it is time to go deep into the pockets to provide extras for your classroom. On average, teachers spend roughly $500 a year out of pocket to enhance supplies and materials in their classroom. Check out a few of the ways you can create a class request to receive a little help with the purchases! Have an idea for a new microscope? Want to see about getting a set of wireless mice for the classroom? Check out and Sonic's Limeades for Learning!

You Sip, Kids Learn

Limeades for Learning is here again! Beginning August 29th, you and your supporters can vote for your project to receive funding at

There are two ways to vote this year:
• Vote once per day per e-mail address at
• Visit a SONIC drive-in starting August 29th and get two extra votes with any SONIC purchase. Vote codes will be provided on the bag sticker and can be entered at
Each week, SONIC will give a total of $120,000 to the projects with the most votes. (Each winning project will receive full funding, or up to $600.)
Make sure your classroom project is submitted in time for the Limeades for Learning kickoff! And here's a friendly tip - the first week of the campaign is the easiest time to get funded, so rally your supporters early!

Voting ends on Friday, September 30, 2011. For more information, please visit the Limeades for Learning FAQ.


Also, in conjunction with Donor's, you may want to check out:

Yahoo! for Funding!

Win up to $600 for your classroom project(s) from Yahoo! through their Homepages for Homerooms program from August 22 - October 16, 2011. Here's how:

  • Log in to your teacher account, and submit a classroom project.
  • Visit, search for your project and click "Support this project".
  • Follow instructions to make Yahoo! your homepage. Each person can take this action once during this campaign. This will earn you one "credit" towards your project.
  • Earn extra credit for your project by answering weekly trivia questions from Yahoo! You'll receive these questions by email after completing the homepage set. Earn one credit towards your project for each correct answer!
  • Spread the word! Ask friends and family to make Yahoo! their homepage in support of your project.
Each week until October 16, Yahoo! will give $25,000 to the projects that earn the most votes through homepage sets and Extra Credits (Each winning project can receive up to $600.)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Brain Pop Graphic Organizers

Brain Pop is a great educational site to find video to support grade level expectations. But did you know that you can find graphic organizers to enrich your assignments and writing activities?


5 Great Sites I Found Today!

As I was looking for new tools to use in the classroom, I came across these 5 sites you may want to think about using for a project idea or for your class websites:

1. FlipSnack 
FlipSnack is an online flipping book software that allows you to convert PDF documents into Flash page flip digital publications. Think about using it for power point presentations your class may make or even picture books you scan into your computer and save.

2. QuizSnack
QuizSnack is the most easy to use online poll & survey tool, allowing you to create and conduct market questionnaires without having to learn complicated software. Also, the reporting is very simple and straightforward, with results being displayed in real-time.

3. Build Your Wild Self
I saw this last spring at RCET. What a great first days of school writing activity for kids. They can design their own "Wild Self" and then write a narrative about the picture. A great piece to have for a portfolio or conferences.

4. Eduplace Graphic Organizers
Is a great place to find many different types of graphic organizers to use for all core subject areas.

5. ABC Teach
This is a great place to find border papers, theme signs, calendars, bookmarks, and more!

Check them out and hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

10 Ways to Use Google Forms in the Classroom

Time is valuable so I'm always looking for web tools that are quick, easy to use, and get the job done.  That's probably why I like Google Documents!  You can certainly do a lot of cool things with Google, but today check out how Google Forms can help you.
Here are 10 quick ways to use Google Forms in the Classroom!
  1. Peer evaluation
  2. Formative assessment
  3. Book Reviews
  4. Survey before & after a lesson/discussion
  5. Collect science data
  6. Organize groups
  7. Volunteer opportunities
  8. Student feedback
  9. Online reading record
  10. Find out more about your students' interests

Friday, August 12, 2011

Do You Love These Target Commercials Too?

I just really love Target! I have to say that they also have some really inventive commercials as well. I don't know about you, but I laugh when I see these. So enjoy a little chuckle the first day of school!


First Day of School Icebreakers and Other Fun Stuff!

Icebreaker Activities and Get to Know You

Back to School Icebreaker Activities

Get Students Moving with Kinesthetic Movement

Monday, August 8, 2011

Technology Tools for Your Teacher Toolkit!

Great Sites to Use to Help Organize, Create, and Play This School Year!
Back-to-School Kick-Off Breakout Sessions 1 and 2

Site to Make Your Life Easier in the Classroom

Sites to Use for Projects and Presentations

Fun Sites to Use with the Class

Great Game Sites for the Classroom

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

It's Time to Overcome Your Technophobia!

The sites below will be the sites we are using for the August 3rd workshop. Don't be too afraid!!

New Teacher Training Sites from August 2nd

It was great to share some classroom management tips and websites to use for your classroom this year. Below is the list of sites that were shared in this morning's prentation. Hope you enjoy!

Scholastic Classroom Management and Technology (also has some RTI links there as well)

Originsonline (building a classroom community through class meetings)

Howard Gardener Multiple Intelligence Tests


Livebinders for Educators Wiki (this is a great site to find binders per subject area and grade level. Look here first before you start making your binders. There might already be one made to save a little time!)


J2Training (site where you can find Livebinders for anything about technology and creating a technology rich classroom)

Let me know if I can be of help to you the first few days of school!