Wednesday, February 29, 2012

ICE Ideas

This week I have the opportunity to attend the ICE conference, and after my first day there I have already found new fun things and heard great ideas! Here is a snippet of just a few of the cool tools I have discovered.

My Storymaker, from the Carnegie Library, allows users to create a story entirely online. The user can choose characters and the character's goal for the story. The settings and other items for the story are added to the picture by simply clicking on them. The author can also choose emotions, actions and interactions for the characters, which the characters then act out in the picture. As the characters do this, the text of their actions appears below them. This text can be edited and the final story can be printed.

Actors from the Screen Actors Guild Foundation read books aloud at Storyline Online. Some favorite stories include Rainbow Fish, Stellaluna, A Bad Case of Stripes, The Polar Express, and more!

BrainPop & BrainPop Jr. are two of my favorite resources for students, but one ICE session is taking it to the next level. Check out this PDF (BrainPOP for the IWB Handout) for ideas to use your SmartBoard with BrainPop - it's more than watching the videos and taking quizzes!

I also found an awesome SmartBoard resource called Out Smart 'Em. It is a collection of Notebook files and websites separated by subject area that you could instantly (or with a few adaptations) integrate into your lessons.

I also like the ideas presented on this 21st Century Literacy website. There is an idea for each grade level- check them all out though, it may spark an idea that you can adapt and do with your students!

Those 5 websites are only a few of the many ideas I have learned about... look for more to come soon! 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Laptop Tips & Tricks

In case you missed it at our Institute Day, this week I am sharing some tips & tricks to use your laptop more efficiently. First, here is the QSG passed out at the Laptop Tips & Tricks session.

Some of the additional resources and websites included in the QSG are below:

I also found a website called F Symbols that has shortcuts to make different symbols, like ÷, ≤, ≥, and even !

And for fun, PBS Kids Lab has over 60 games to play!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Teacher Tipster

This week Julie introduced me to an awesome teacher, Mr. Smith of On his website, you will find printables, links to his weekly videos, and a link to his Facebook page that you can "like" and follow his posts. Let me tell you, I was hooked after watching one video! I would love to be a student in his classroom- he is so creative and truly makes learning fun! Even though he is a first grade teacher, his tips can apply to all grade levels.

The first video I watched was an Angry Birds math lesson (I know, Angry Birds are everywhere these days!)

He also has great ideas for classroom management, like Chart Folders for those students who are always finishing early.

I also love his idea for Silly-brations! I just can't stop smiling at how awesome he is :-)

To see the rest of his videos, check out his YouTube page, go to his website, or "like" him on Facebook to receive his updates. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Valentine's Day

One of my favorite bloggers posted a ton of Valentine's Day ideas! Here are links to her posts so you can check them out if you're interested:

Top 10 Reasons You Should Join...

This is it- today is the day that if you are not a Pinterest addict you just might become one. Maybe you've heard of it but just don't quite get it yet- yes, it is a social site, but there are so many great things for teachers on it that it cannot be ignored as another tool to use to enhance your teaching. So, here we go!

10. It is free!
9. It is growing at a phenomenal rate. According to a Tech Crunch article, it has over "11.7 unique monthly U.S. visitors."
8. You can find others who share similar interests as you and "follow" them. There are TONS of teachers on there pinning new ideas daily! Or, follow several of your fellow staff members and friends who are members already!
7. You might be inspired to try something you've never thought of before.
6. There are How To's on pretty much any subject.
5. You can create a virtual filing cabinet using your "Boards" of all those ideas you've seen on the web but can never remember where they are.
4. Share your passions - there are so many ideas already on there, but you can add your own also! Doing something awesome with your students? "Pin it" and you'll be pleasantly surprised at how many people will like or "repin" your idea!
3. It is a visual feast for your eyes! If you're like me, then you want to get a sneak-peek at a link you are going to click on, and sometimes a Google search becomes frustrating, clicking back and forth because you aren't finding what you're looking for. Pinterest on the other hand is organized with pictures that are tagged with a short description of what it is, or a comment made by the user.
2. Bookmark your favorite websites! If you've tried Delicious, Diigo, or other bookmarking tools and haven't stuck with them, maybe Pinterest will- again, that visual image is irreplaceable!
1. Just do it- it has been life changing for those who love it! I have never been so excited about finding new ideas every single day! 

To give you a peek at what a Pinterest board looks like, here is what my Teaching board looks like:

If you want an "invite" to the site, let me know! :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Digital Learning Day

I bet you didn't know that today, February 1st is the first annual Digital Learning Day!

So... what exactly does that mean anyways?

According to a US News article, today is about celebrating K-12 educators like all of you who successfully bring technology into the classroom. They have created a website based on today, that even includes a "toolkit" of ideas to enhance lessons using technology. 

Another great resource to find ideas is Scholastic. They have several Interactive Whiteboard activities to choose from and use with your students, separated into Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Math, and other Learning Games & Teaching Tools. Check it out.. maybe you'll find something new!

Also, don't forget to check out Ms. Techie Teacher's new blog!