Friday, August 31, 2018

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 8/31/18

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

DMV Permit Tests – free practice tests (L:H;SA:A)

Classroom Screen – great screen with widgets on the bottom so you don’t have to hunt for them.

Global Fishing Watch Map – “Global Fishing Watch is promoting ocean sustainability through greater transparency. We use cutting-edge technology to visualise, track and share data about global fishing activity in near real-time and for free.” (L:G;SA:S)

Your Next Read – “Welcome to YourNextRead...helping you to find your next book;” You put in the book or author or genre you like and it recommends books for you to read. (L:G;SA:A)

Factitious – “a game that tests your news sense”

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, August 30, 2018


In Creating Word Clouds with Wordle (updated) from On an e-Journey with Generation Y, murcha talks about how she uses Wordle with her classes.

One of my favorite sites to use at the beginning of the year is Wordle. I think it would be good to do this at least once a week and let students see the results. One answers with the most frequency will show up bigger in the word cloud. If you use more than one word, don’t add spaces or they will be separate entries.

“Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to your own desktop to use as you wish.”

The only thing I don’t like is that it won’t work on Chrome because it uses Java. So I use Safari when  I want to make a Wordle.

Here are some suggestions for making a word cloud:
(Many of these can be submitted on an anonymous post-it-note)

  • Student first names
  • Student middle names
  • Student hobbies  
  • Things students would like to learn about 
  • Student strengths – what do students think they are good at
  • Student weaknesses – what do students think they are not good at.
  • What quality makes a good teacher?
  • What quality makes a good student?
  • The biggest problem at our school
  • The best thing about our school
  • Hardest subject
  • Things that scare me
  • A fun thing to do
  • My favorite place to relax
  • My favorite animal
  • Who I go to when I need help 

What other suggestions would make a good word cloud? Please share.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

My Invisible Power

Recently I visited a friend who was in rehab because she broke her hip. One of the discussions she had with her therapist was about this question:

“If you could be invisible, what is the one thing you would do?”

I thought this was a great question and would be a fun one as an icebreaker in any group especially at the beginning of the school year.

If I was invisible, I would want to travel and see different places around the world. I wouldn’t need money because no one would know I was there. I would be able to get on an airplane and go anywhere I wanted. I could go into the Vatican or Taj Mahal or Buckingham Palace without anyone seeing me. I could to places that the public can’t go or doesn’t know about. I would be able to see “behind the scenes” in so many places.

How would you answer the question? Please share.

Photo by Vincent Botta on Unsplash