Sunday, January 31, 2010

Scholastic-Interactive Whiteboard Activities

Scholastic is just about the best site around. You can find almost anything you need right there. Recently @jtubbs tweeted about the whiteboard activities...ready-made and easy to use. Check it out by clicking on the title of this post.


Here's a good interactive site students could use to practice addition and multipication. The games all follow the same format...add or multiply and type the answer, however students may practice leveled problems. Lower grades may use the easy while upper grades go to the more difficult. Make sure you try this out first to make sure you have anything you need on your computer to run this program. Thanks to the blog, iLearn Technology. Remember to click on the title to go to the MathTwo site.

Time for Time

I follow Anne Marie's blog Talking Smartboards and she always has something neat to share. She posts easily accessible interactives that can be used on the whiteboard. All you have to do is take a few minutes to look at the site, turn on the whiteboard and make sure the Cat5 cable is plugged in so you have the internet.

This site is an interactive clock which gives you the current time. I especially like this site because you can change the clock using the buttons at the bottom. Think about using this clock not only to tell the current time but to talk about what time it would be in 1 minute, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or an hour. Students find this concept difficult to understand and this interactive clock might help them!

When you go to the site, you should click on the clock to open the interactive application. Notice that on the home page you will find a student game, teacher lesson plans, worksheets and a wealth of resources to practice telling time.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Google Squared

I recently heard about Google Squared on Twitter and followed the link to find a fantastic search engine. I might call it a knowledge engine actually. If you click on the title of this post you will go to Google Squared. Type a topic in the space...I used roller coasters...and click square it. Wait a second or so and you will be amazed at what you see. Squared is part of Google Labs. This means it is in beta...or the development stage. I love anything Google especially since everything is free, free, free!


I follow WritingFix on Twitter and I am always impressed with their tweets and their website. I blogged about WritingFix last November but I wanted to remind you about this great site. Take a few minutes and click here to go to WritingFix. You will find anything you need to help you plan for writing

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Plagiarism Tool

Time to talk to your students about plagiarism? 10 minutes...that's all this takes. This video type lesson is from a university but could certainly be used in middle school classes. You'll need to adapt it to fit your students and your project but it would certainly help students as they begin their research project. I'd project it and discuss each section with them so I could discuss and adapt but students could just as easily review it independently. You'll also find this on the middle school weebly site in the Language Arts section.

Treasure Hunt

Treasure Hunt is a neat activity to use on the interactive whiteboard. Students read and follow the directions to find the treasure. It's great practice for reading and moving left, right, up and down. Whiteboard not working??? Let students use this on a computer! Click on the title to go to the site.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Human Body-Interesting Facts

15 Things You Didn't Know About The Human Body
Source: Online Education
Thanks to Larry Ferlazzo for sharing this neat graphic.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Teacher Tools From FETC

Here's a great site for a stop watch or a countdown clock. Check it out by clicking here. Decide which tool you want to use and click on it. You will then go to the next screen where you will set the timer. Great to use full screen projecting on a screen.

We had great fun in one session when the presenter gave away prizes by flipping a coin. Try it out by clicking here. This would be great to use for a probability lesson.

Check out ClassTools. Use the template drop down menu and choose Random Name Picker. You can add your students here to have a system for randomly chosing students. Once a student has their turn they are removed from the list. I believe if you sign up for this, the list stays there! Fun!!!

This tip has nothing to do with school but it might come in handy sometime when you just can't find your cell phone but you know it's somewhere in the house. Go to WheresMyCellPhone, type in your number and this site will call your phone. Let's just hope you left it on and the battery is charged!

Google Tips from FETC

Learned lots at FETC this year and here are several Google tips!

Use Google as a dictionary. Use the search feature and type define: then a space, then your word. Click enter and you will have the definition!

Use Google as a calculator. Type the math problem in the search bar, click enter and your problem will be solved.

Use the search function in a slightly different way. Type in a topic and click enter as you have always done. Look to the left and find the words Show Options and click on that. Look at what pops up on the left. Scroll down and find Wonderwheel. Click to see what you get next. You'll have fun clicking around on the Wonderwheel! When you are finished, go back to the left side and click on Timeline and watch what happens next.

Now try the Advanced Search. Type in a topic but now click on Advanced Search. You'll get a window to fill in but just for now, go down to file type and choose PowerPoint. Your search will now take you to PowerPoints that you can view and download. Once you download, you may change the presentation to meet your CSOs. Remember, it's always appropriate to give credit to the original author!

Keep checking back for more Google Tips!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Navigating This Blog

Just in case you are having trouble navigating this blog, I thought I would give you a few tips.

1. You do not need to sign up for the blog, join it or follow it. All you need to do is type in the address just like you would for any website.

2. I usually tag or label the posts with a curriculum/subject area. If you scroll down the blog and look on the right side, you will see the labels. To see what I have posted on Math, just click on that tag and you will go to all the posts about math.

3. Links within the posts are underlined and usually a different color. All you need to do is click and you will go directly to the new site. To return to the blog, click the back button on the title of the blog.

4. Typically if the post is about a particular site, the title of the post will be the link. It has no identification that it is a link. You'll know if I have added the link by clicking on it. If the link is nowhere else, it is on the title.

5. The Archives list all the postings over the months I have been blogging. All you need to do is click on the post title and you'll go directly to that post.

6. I often change the widgets on the right side. These widgets are just fun things that I find and add. Right now I have a translator and a very cool clock. These are changed whenever I find something neat!

7. I am attempting to post at least once a day. That's a New Year's least one of them. That means that if you are checking the blog on occasion, you may miss something. As you look at the posts and scroll to the bottom, you will see the words older posts. Click on that to see what you may have missed.

8. To leave a comment, just click on comment and a box will come up. You can comment anonymously if you have no other ID. It would be nice if you just put your name at the end so I know who added the comment though. You may have to type in a security code which should pop up for you.

Most all blogs work in the same way so hopefully this will help you with your blog reading experience.

The Write-n-ator

I first posted about this last September but was recently reminded of it with a Tweet. Sorry, but I just can't remember who shared this!

New Hampshire Public TV has a great writing program called the Write-n-ator. Students watch a brief video clip and take the challenge suggested in the clip. There is a space for students to submit their work but I am thinking you might just want to share the video and challenge with students and have them write on paper or with Word. I do not believe there is a print option for the completed projects. There are 20 challenges with great vocabulary mini-lessons that could supplement your writing lessons. If you check on the teacher tabs for each challenge you will see the associated NH objectives with suggested grade levels.

Flip Books

Read, Write, Think is about the best site around. You can always find something neat to add to your lessons. Here's a great activity for making flip books. Students could make their own flipbooks and print them out to share. Teachers could make a partial flip book and print it for students to finish at their desks. One of the things to remember with Read, Write, Think activities is that you are unable to save them and return to finish them later. So consider this an activity to do in one sitting. Looks like great fun to me! You have 2 links here. The title will take you to the Flip book and the Read, Write, Think link will take you to the site.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Math, Math and More Math

I recently tweeted asking for resources for math and before I knew what was happening people tweeted math, math, math!!

HotMath is a subscription site for middle and high school math. They do have some good free things to check out and the link will take you to several neat games. Explore the site and find some of the other free activities to use with your students. Thanks to Eric Sheninger-Twitter name-NMHS_Principal.

Twitterer rmbyrne, teacher from Maine shared MathTrain TV. This site has math videos made by teaching kids!! The nice thing about this site is the videos do not appear to be from YouTube so you should be able to show them in school. There is a download button so I think you can download them and share them without having to worry about the problem of streaming video.

Now sharnon007 has so many great ideas that I am overwhelmed by all her resources. She's come through with many great sites and she keeps sending more and more! Here's a few...
Smartkiddies Mathematics is from Australia. Although you have to sign-up, the site is free. I haven't looked at all the activities but what I have seen is good! Lessons go from Kindergarten to Grade 6.

Math Doodles has some interesting games. Click on Web Demos to find them. Right now I think the site is in beta. That means it is new and still being tested. Sites in Beta are typically free but may later have a fee attached to the subscription.

Students don't always need to be on the computer. Sometimes the good old worksheets come in handy. The only problem is that you need to check the papers! Mathmaster doesn't do the checking but this site can help you make customized math worksheets or provide you with premade worksheets.

MathTwo looks like a new site but it has some great games to practice skills. Click on the title to link to the home page where you will find the activities. Each will give a brief overview and then give you a choice of skill level. After you check out the games, click on Cool Links to see a list of interesting sites.

If you want me to find specific skills, just let me know and I will send you activities to align with the CSOs you are teaching.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Twitter has been chirping for the past few days about this site so I finally checked it out! Several post ago, I shared Sue Water's list of classroom blogs and suggested you might be interested in starting one. I still think that would be a great idea but you also might want to think about each of your students having their very own blog! If so, this is where you want to go! Kidblog is designed for teachers by teachers! They have made a secure blogging platform for classroom use. You are in control of the student blogs and you decide who sees what! Students do not need an email address and it seems a simple process to set up your class and get things going. Click on the title of this post to review the site. If you are interested in using Kidblog, just let me know. I'd be happy to work with your students to get this going!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Math Snacks

ilearn Technology shared information about Math Snacks. This is a math site..obviously...for students in grades 6-8. There are short animations, games, learner guides, and teacher guides. Presently there are just a few units available but all are very good and may be used independently or as a whole group. Each snack has a brief overview and a list of skills addressed. Just click on the title to check it out!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The North Star

The North Star is a great book written and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. The story is an inspiration for young and old and reminds us to follow our own dreams. I found out about this book on Twitter when dianadell tweeted a link to some fantastic motivational posters. Then I started looking around and found the home page of The North Star website with the ebook and a great personal Constellation Map Maker...both free. Just click on the title to go to the home page and next check out the posters link. There are a number of interesting resources to purchase including the book and the resource guide. The mini-posters are free and all you need to do is click on a link, enlarge the poster to 150% and print it out. Here's one I would print out for my classroom!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Classroom Blogs

I follow Sue Waters on Twitter and she always has something good to tweet. Recently she asked people to send her the link to their classroom blogs and she presently has over 200 listed. Click on the title of this post to go to her list of blogs. She has organized them for us in neat, tidy categories and all link to the listed blog. Take a few minutes to check out some of the classroom blogs and think a bit about how you might use blogging in your classroom. It is easy and quick and students can do a lot of the work. Interested?? Just let me know and I would be happy to show you how to start a blog.


Twitter has been growing by leaps and bounds this past year. I've enjoyed following a number of great teachers. Recently someone tweeted about a new social networking site for classrooms. I logged on to Twiducate right away, signed up to be a member and started playing with it. This site allows you to have a classroom social networking site that it just for your students and you control it! No chance of outsiders logging in with inappropriate content. The site is in beta and the teachers who are developing it are working hard to update and make it as user friendly as possible. It's been fun to watch the site develop via twitter. One tweet talked about wanting to have several classes and within a few hours that change was made to the site. As soon as they added a link section they twitted about it. Retweets spread the world across the world and people from all over have signed up and are following Twidicate on twitter. Click on the title and read a bit about this new social networking site for classrooms. Think about using it to have students respond to a question. Add a link for students to use for a particular project. Put reminders on for homework assignments. I think you'll come up with lots of ideas as you explore twitter and twidicate!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Recess Craft Ideas

DLTK always has lots of great ideas for crafts. I was remembering when I made snowflakes as a child and would spend hours trying to get the right cuts. Here is a great snowflake type of craft to try out with students. Another great idea from this site is the 3-D snowflake. Scroll all the way to the bottom to find the template.

Free Kids Crafts has directions for Snow Stars. Looks a lot like a snowflake to me! This same site has a few more great ideas. Keeping with the snowflake theme consider Q-Tip Snowflakes. Lay a sheet of wax paper on a table. Use Q-tips to make a snowflake on top of the wax paper. Squirt glue on any spot where 2 Q-tips meet. Let dry completely and peel off of wax paper. Don't forget, you don't have to use whole Q-tips, you can break them up and use pieces too! Try Pasta Snowflakes. Draw a large X on a piece of construction paper and then put a line down the middle to make a guideline for a snowflake. Use a variety of pasta shapes to glue on top of the lines and form a snowflake.

Dave's Snowflake Patterns is a great site for printing out templates for various snowflakes. He shares several patterns.

Kinderart has 8 patterns for snowflakes. When you click on the pattern you will be taken to an ad that you may click to skip. You will then be taken to the directions.

Tired of snowflakes? Check out Kaboose for winter printables. You'll find lots of neat coloring sheets for kids here. Keep looking and you'll find word puzzles, mazes and picture hunts.


I've watched the snow fall all day and know that teachers who have recess duty are wondering what to do with all those students when they can't go outside. I've been doing some searching for sites that might have some good ideas and here they are...

Family Fun always has neat ideas for anything and everything. They have page after page of games or activities. Keep in mind that this magazine/website is written for parents not teachers but I know you will find some good things to try out in your classroom. I especially liked the Chopstick Pass on the first page.

Kids Games has oodles of games listed. Many are outdoor games but if you check out the links to circle games or mental games, you may find some ideas. Seven-Up is always a hit and the directions for that are listed under favorites on the left side of the page.

How Stuff Works has links to new and exciting activities to try out with your students. I like Tag Team Art and think the kids would enjoy it.

Family Education has hundreds...well almost hundreds...of great rainu day activities. This site has organized them by category and all you need do is click on a title to get the directions. Charades caught my eye!

Indoor Games is a great pdf that you can look over and print out for your files. Most of the activities seem to be for younger students.

Hope this helps you to find some new activities to share with our students. Happy Recess!!