Friday, July 22, 2016

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 7/22/16

Here are some interesting sites that I’ve found this week, thanks to my PLN. As a teacher, I feel we have to keep up to date concerning research in our field and current issues in the education system. I hope some of these inspire you, inform you, and even have you asking questions. Thank you for coming by and visiting!

Note: Each resource is labeled with a level and subject area to make it easier to use.

Levels:  E: Elementary; M: Middle; H: High; G: General, all levels; SN: Special Needs; T: Teachers

Subject Areas: LA: Language Arts, English, Reading, Writing; M: Math; S: Science; Health; SS: Social Studies, Current Events; FA: Fine Arts; Music, Art, Drama; FL: Foreign Language; PE: Physical Ed; C: Career; A: All

Character Scrapbook – “Use this reader's response activity to analyze the characters in any book. Print and collect your scrapbook pages.(L:E; SA:LA)

Map Game – “Provide as many questions (clues) and answers (locations) as you like to create a virutal 'treasure hunt'. When you are finished you can save the game and share it with others. Players have to use each clue to collect the 'coins' that appear in each of your secret locations.” (L:M,H; SA:SS)

Mindshift Teaching Strategies – great selection of articles featuring interesting teacher strategies (L:T; SA:

Bill of Rights – A TED-ed lesson; Why wasn’t the Bill of Rights in the Constitution (L:G; SA:SS)

Epic Hero Poster – free poster (L:G; SA:LA)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, July 21, 2016

M is Magic

Teaching is magic and learning is magical. That is what I tell my students.

You have to believe in order for the magic to happen. If you don’t believe you can teach, then don’t. If you don’t believe you or anyone else can learn, then you won’t see the learning that happens.

A big part of teaching involves enthusiasm and excitement. Being a teacher means you can have a big impact on every student you teach.

I love the moment when my students understand something new for the first time. I feel that is the magical moment. They suddenly have success because they understand. It has meaning to them and it makes sense. There are no words to describe when this happens so I always think about it as magic.

Teaching is hard, emotional, and even frustrating but when the magic happens, it makes it all worth while!

I taught for over thirty years and I never regretted for a minute about going into this profession.

If you are thinking of going into teaching, please consider the magic and all the wonders that it entails.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Upstate Technology Conference 2016

I had a wonderful time last week at the Upstate Technology Conference put on by our local school district. It is totally free but there is a limit to the number of participants so it is hard to get in if you don’t register as soon as registration opens. I learned a lot and feel that I found a lot of things that will be useful. Here are some of my notes that I wanted to share with you.

Chrome Top 20 Extensions by Stacy Holcombe

  • Save to Pocket
  • Save to Google Drive
  • Extensify - enables or disables extensions so your computer runs faster.
  • OneTab- puts all your tabs into one; can open them all back up if needed.
  • Checker Plus for Google Calendar

When sharing documents that you don't want others to edit:

Go to Google Drive, then pick a document and get the shareable link.

Everything after the forward slash before “edit” and change to copy:

Advanced Uses of Google Forms

Under settings, make a quiz (only works with multiple choice with one answer).

Google – icon’s nicknames:  hot dog, hamburger, waffle

·      Autocrat
·      EZ Query
·      Flubaroo
·      Formule –  has templates

Google Apps That Make Teaching Life a Breeze

1.     Typing Club – teaching typing
2.     Storybird – can be used for any subject; create a story based on the pictures that you find; picture books, long book, or poetry form; great for early finishers
3.     Pdf to Word Doc converter – free, great for when you need to edit a .pdf file.
4.     Google Keep – they can add pictures and summarize them; all notes can have labels for organization
5.     Google Classroom – great for inclusion classes; put your notes in there
6.     Diigo – bookmarking tool; you can highlight and tag
7.     Newsela – article generator; sort according grade level, reading standard, language
8.     Snagit – allows you to screen capture anything
9.     Voice Note II – chrome extension; dictate and it writes it out.
10.  Gliffy – creating mind maps, flow charts; trial period and then 90 day extension; can export as an image
11.  Pixlr Editor – photoshop on the computer; search for “Pixlr Editor Tutorial”
12.  Canva -
13.  smore – make newsletters
14.  Exit Ticket – You have to manually upload your assessments
15.  USA Test Prep – great tests and resources for you to use; printable resources;

(control and plus or minus to zoom in or out of site)

Multiplying Your Voice Through Screencasting

Use Screencastify – a google chrome extension
Google cardboard – you need a device
Apps to use with Google cardboard –
Google Cardboard
Google Streetview
Google Expeditions
Presentation slideshow at
Screencasts – 3 or 4 min. but no more than 5
Can be accessed repeatedly
The listener becomes in charge of their learning.
·      Screenchomp – free
·      Show Me – free
·      Explain Everything – cost
·      Screencastify – free google extension; 10 minutes
·      Screencastomatic –
·      Camtasia Studio – paid version of Screencastify

Practice a couple of times before recording.