Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Spring Cleaning & iPad Resources

After posting about backing up last week, I found a blog post on called Virtual Spring Cleaning - A Five Step Plan. I thought it gave some great tips for cleaning up some of the virtual clutter that is on your computer, as well as help to get organized and stop wondering "where did I put that file again?" Here's a screen shot on how the blog author organizes her files:

On another note, a fellow tech teacher shared a YouTube channel with me called iPadagogy. The channel is dedicated to instructional videos of useful apps for the iPads. For example, I found a video that explained Popplet Lite, which is an app we have here at school. 

Finally, McGraw-Hill Education is offering some of their Everyday Math apps for free this week!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Back it Up!

It's that seasonal time of year when it's a good idea to back up your laptop. Parting with your laptop for a few hours at school to leave it plugged in to back up is only one option- you can always back up at home too by getting an external hard drive. Here are some tips for backing up your data on your own:

Time Machine is Apple's backup program that is built into your laptop. Time Machine automatically backs up your entire Mac, including system files, applications, accounts, preferences, music, photos, movies, and documents. But what makes Time Machine different from other backup applications is that it not only keeps a spare copy of all your files, but it also remembers how your system looked on any given day- so, if something happened, not only would you get all your files back, but everything would look exactly as it did before. No more setting up all your preferences again!

This article from Apple gives more detailed instructions on how to set up your own Time Machine.

Here is a pretty good YouTube video I found about How to set up Time Machine backups to an external USB drive. 

As someone who recently had a huge scare thinking I lost every file on my personal home computer because I didn't take my own advice of backing up as often as possible, I highly suggest you backup as often as you can :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Earth Day

To celebrate Earth Week next week, here are some fun activities for your classroom!

Kaboose has various Earth Day activities, including games, craft ideas, a slideshow, word play printables, and more, including a game called Michael, Michael Go Recycle!

Don't forget that BrainPop and BrainPop Jr. are great resources as well. also has some Earth Day resources, such as games, quizzes, and puzzles that are a bit more advanced for older students. 

Also check out Meet the Greens, a site for kids about looking after the planet.

And a few more:

And for SmartBoard lessons, the Smart Exchange has a variety of options to use and adapt as you need. Go green and Happy Earth Day!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Poetry Month

Since April is poetry month, here are some fun resources to bring into your classroom to get your students excited about poetry!

Shel Silverstein's website has activities for kids and a teacher/parent section with ideas, lessons, activities, and more. 

This blog post has hands-on project ideas that are creative and unique- like this newspaper blackout poem.

Squidoo also put together a list of 12 of the best poetry websites for kids- all of which are interactive and free! They look like so much fun!

Pict-Lits is also a very cool site. It is a creative writing site that matches beautiful images with carefully selected keywords they provide in order to inspire you. The object is to put the right words in the right place and the right order to capture the essence, story, and meaning of the picture- but that "right" place is all up to you! Below is an example pict-lit and what it looks like when you are creating your own.

Projects by Jen: Charlotte's Web

Projects by Jen is hosting another project this year in honor of Charlotte's Web turning 60! Jen always has several activities to go along with her projects that you can use in your classroom, and the greatest thing about her projects is it allows your class to connect with other classrooms that are participating. She is also planning a simultaneous reading of Charlotte's Web. Check out the link if you are interested in joining!