Sunday, December 9, 2012

New Enhancements to Edmodo Quizzes

If you use Edmodo quizzes, you’ll want to read this blog post for an overview of the latest enhancements.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

CNN Explains: Political Conventions


I found a link to this video on the Free Technology for Teachers blog. If you’re trying to explain political conventions to your students, you might want to show them this 3-1/2 minute CNN video.

And another one for the math teachers...

Check out this post from Free Technology for Teachers: Fun, Free Math Video Games on Math Moves U

A Click - Mathematics Games for All Grades

Math teachers will want to check this out:  A Click - Mathematics Games for All Grades

Clean Up YouTube for the Classroom

If you want to show a YouTube video in class, but are nervous about what else may show up on the page, try cleaning it up with A Cleaner Internet. Use one of these browser extensions to get rid of the other stuff that appears on the page, like ads, comments and related videos. Check it out!


Possible Classroom Novel for 8th Grade English


The Hero in the Gray Box looks at using E. L. Konigsburg’s book The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World as a classroom novel.  I see it as more appropriate for 8th grade, especially with the Nazi tie-in.  The art aspect might lend itself to a cross-curricular project with the art teacher. We have this book in our library.  

As we continue to rewrite our curriculum, I thought you might also be interested in taking a look at the titles used by the author of the article as part of his 8th grade English curriculum.  (I marked them on the 2nd page.) He mentions that they all include characters who take a stand in some way. I believe we have all of these titles in our library.

If you’d like to see any of the books mentioned in the article, please let me know.

The rest of the story. What's behind political ads?

Have you noticed that a presidential election is right around the corner? How could you not with the seemingly endless political ads during every commercial break. When you view a political ad, do you ever find yourself wondering if the claims being made are true and who and how much money is behind it ? Now there’s an easy way to find out with the SuperPAC app for IOS devices. While viewing a political ad, hold up your IOS device to get objective, third-party information about what is being said.
Image from

Why not have your students play detective? Share this app with them and challenge them to look below the surface. What do they learn from the app that the ad “forgot” to mention?

Friday, August 31, 2012

What would our students tell their future selves?

This viral YouTube video got me thinking…what would our students tell their future selves? Why not find out?

You could have your students record themselves talking to their future selves about…well anything! You could do this as a way of having your students introduce themselves at the beginning of the year, or you could have them talk about what they are thinking regarding whatever it is that is going on in the news, like their thoughts on the presidential election, for example. Or maybe they could talk about what they are learning in class. If they are researching energy sources, for example, they could predict what they think the future will hold.

If you’re interested in trying something out, let me know. I’d be glad to work with you.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Get to know your students

Looking for a new way to start the year AND to get to know your new students? Try these seating challenges to get an idea of how the members of the class will interact. Who will be the leaders? Who will excel in groups? Who are the independent thinkers? And who will you need to keep an eye on? Use what you learn about how your class interacts to start the year off on the right foot!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Changes coming to NoodleTools!

Lots of exciting changes are coming to NoodleTools for the upcoming school year. I’m highlighting those that will be the most beneficial to us:

  • NoodleTools will now offer access to the tool at three levels—starter (elementary), junior (middle school), advanced (high school and beyond).
  • Users will be able to switch easily among levels.  If they mistakenly begin in Starter, they will be able to easily switch to Advanced. This feature would have been useful this past school year. While citing media used to create book trailers, a few of our students selected MLA Starter before they discovered they wouldn’t be able to cite some forms of media using this format. They then started a new project using Advanced MLA, and merged the two.
  • Users may seamlessly change source type, content type or publication medium.  This will be great for those times that a student starts citing a resource as a website, not realizing it’s a database, or citing a source as a book, when it should have been cited as a reference source.
  • Users may now copy and paste existing pre-formatted document citations into their bibliographies by using a Quick cite link.
  • A new side-by-side note card feature facilitates paraphrasing from direct quotations.
  • In-context Show me teaching tools help users determine what it is they are citing.
Check out Joyce Valenza’s Big NoodleTools News blog post if you’d like to learn even more about the upcoming changes, or watch this video to get a sneak peek of the new features.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Try a Poetry Picnic


Are you looking for something new to try to celebrate National Poetry Month this April? Why not try a Poetry Picnic! I came across this blog post which provides all of the details for an activity which can give students an opportunity to explore different types of poetry. Need a few more ideas? Here’s another blog post explaining how a librarian adapted this activity for her students.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Gr8 Way 2 Communic8

As digital natives, most of our students prefer texting to email. Why not send a message that you know they’ll receive? ClassParrot and Remind101 both provide a safe way for you to send text reminders to your students. When you sign up, you receive a code that you can give your students or their parents. To subscribe to your messages, they send a text message with your code. It’s that simple! Your students won’t see your phone number and you won’t see theirs.

"So, if I found it on the internet, it's ok to use, right?"

Many of our students ask this question at some point. How do you respond? Do you feel equipped to address copyright issues when it comes to students using online content? Making sense of what is legal and what is not can be quite confusing. You may want to check out The Educator’s Guide to Copyright, Fair Use, and Creative Commons. In addition to clarifying things quite a bit, this Edublogger post by Ronnie Burt provides links to copyright-friendly online resources.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Want to show a YouTube Video without the clutter of ads and comments? ViewPure may be just what your need. To clean up your videos, either enter your video’s URL into the box, or add the Purify button to your browser’s toolbar. Try it out!


After taking an unintentional sabbatical from posting, I’m back!

Feeling overwhelmed with all of the available web2.0 tools? (YES!!!) Not sure which one will meet the needs of your students? Check outWebTools4U2Use. This wiki will help you select the right tool to use. You can search by task, type of learning, curriculum area, and much more.