Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Educational Videos & Games K-12 - FREE

Educational Videos, Quizzes and Games for Kids
in Kindergarten, Elementary, Middle and High Schools.

Kids learn best by 'seeing' the real world.

NeoK12 is a wonderful collection of FREE online educational videos, lessons, quizzes, games, puzzles for K-12 students. It even has interactive diagrams for various subjects that would be wonderful to use with your Interactive White Board. All of the content has been reviewed and tested by K-12 teachers. Trust me you will want to put aside a bit of time to visit this wealth of resources.

Thanks to Mrs. B. Davis for sharing this resource that she is using with her 5th grade students at Aquadale Elementary: 


Monday, April 23, 2012

How to Teach Students to be Good Digital Citizens

Join Common Sense Media to hear about their free K-12 curriculum that you can use to teach students to be good digital citizens. You'll be introduced to key lessons that help jump start learning on being safe and responsible online, touching on topics such as cyberbullying, privacy violations, and Internet safety. We'll share resources that will help you build a whole-community approach around ethics and safety with students, teachers, and parents. Participants will walk away with ideas and tools they can implement immediately in your school.
How to Teach Students to be Good Digital Citizens

Media & Technology Resources for Educators

Turn students into great digital citizens!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Versions of Google Apps Explained by Google

Many people get confused between Google Apps and Google Apps for Ed.  Here is an explanation of Google's different versions of Google Apps shared on their blog:
  • Google Apps is our free service geared towards families, entrepreneurs and other groups up to 50 users.
  • Google Apps for Business offers 25GB of email storage per user, a 99.9% uptime guarantee, data migration capabilities, advanced management tools, telephone support, added security features and more, all for $50 per user per year.
  • Google Apps for Government is FISMA certified and designed with local, state and federal agencies in mind.
  • Google Apps for Education offers many benefits of Google Apps for Business, but at no cost to schools, universities and qualifying non-profits.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Book Look: A Digital Book Report Presentation

I found a template for book reports created with PowerPoint.  I decided to upload one of the ppt to Google Docs and edit hyperlinks so students would be able to make a copy of the template and create/edit their own digital book report using Google Docs.

To use the template users just need to:
Login into SCS Google Apps for Ed
Open the Google Doc "Book_Look: Book Report Presentation" template: 
Click File > Make a copy...

Students will need to replace each image of the book cover with an image of the book cover they are reviewing.  They should also replace "(Insert name)'s" with their first and last name.  

Students will need to add/edit text for each slide based on the book they are reviewing. 
Example above: Plot slide: Write a summary about the book without giving away the ending.

Each tab is linked to the appropriate slide for each tab title.  The hyperlinks only work in presentation mode "Start Presentation".  In presentation mode - clicking on any of the tabs will display the corresponding slide.

Monday, April 16, 2012

PicLits Creative Self-Expression

What is is a creative writing site that matches beautiful images with carefully selected keywords 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.

PicLits is a great creative writing site that provides attention-grabbing images and word banks to use to write a caption for the picture or to write a short paragraph. Word lists are categorized by nouns, adjectives, adverbs, verbs, and a universal list. Users can comment on others’ work and rate work using the star rating feature. All work is public.

You do not have to have an account to use the site; however, to save your work you must register for an account. An email account is required to set up an account.

There are two ways to add text to the images. One is to simply “click and drag” words from the list that comes with each PicLit onto the image. Words can be moved around on the image. The drop-down menu beside each word lets you capitalize the word or use a different form of the word. A different word list comes with each image.

The second way is to click on the “Freestyle” link and compose using your own words.

Finished work can be emailed or the provided code can be copied and pasted into a blog or other website.

PicLit illustrating alliteration

Scientific Calculator

Web2.0calc Widget for Your Website

Web2.0.Calc scientific calculator is a very simple and yet useful online calculating application.

It is an online scientific calculator that can perform basic calculations, plot graphs, perform matrix operations, and solve simultaneous equations up to 4 variables.  It can also be used to perform a wide variety of unit conversion: length, area, density, energy, force, power, speed, inertia, bits, and time.

The Web2.0Calc can be embedded in sites and blogs by means of a widget code that can be obtained from the official site.

Free online book: An Awesome Book by Dallas Clayton

Dallas Clayton created An Awesome Book for his son.  The book is about the idea of dreaming BIG and never giving up.  He decided to self publish and worked hard to spread the love of reading the world over.  Since then, Clayton has offered his book free online and started a foundation to give away one book for every copy of An Awesome Book he sells.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

52 Great Google Docs Secrets for Students

"These Google Docs tips inspire awesome ideas and tricks for collaboration, sharing, and staying productive."

The staff writers at OnlineColleges have come up with a list of 52 Great Google Docs Secrets for Students. Each tip has a link to another website, sometime's Google's, that explain that tip in more detail. Tips include adding videos, formatting, converting to other formats, creating graphs and equations, and much more. Safe and simple blogging for your students.

I have discussed using Google blogs (Blogger) with several K-8 teachers. However, setting up is a little time consuming for K-8 students since each student has to set up their own account after they have logged into their Google Apps for Ed account.  When I heard about I had to try it out.  I found that creating the class was simple and easy enough to do in minutes ~ see video below.  You can add students one at a time, add from other classes, or upload a csv file of all your students at one time. is designed for elementary and middle school teachers who want to provide each student with an individual blog.
Kidblog's simple, yet powerful tools allow students to publish posts and participate in discussions within a secure classroom blogging community. Teachers maintain complete control over student blogs.

Set up your class with no student email addresses.

Provide your students with an authentic, engaging, and interactive learning experience with Kidblog.

Docs Teach: Bring history to life for your students

Docs Teach is a great interactive site that brings primary sources to life. On this free site there are multiple ways for students to interact with primary sources for the National archives. You can either use activities already created (including lesson plans) or, you can create your own using the following templates:

  • Finding a sequence
  • Focusing on details
  • Making connections
  • Mapping history
  • Weighing the evidence
  • Interpreting data
  • Seeing the big picture

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Classroom Champions - Olympic Spirit in the Classroom

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Complete the application form to be considered for the 2012-13 program.
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What is Classroom Champions?
Classroom Champions is a nonprofit organization that connects students in high-need schools with Olympic and Paralympic athletes in order to motivate them to recognize their potential, set goals and dream big, while educating them in the practical use of communications technology.

Why should my school or class participate in Classroom Champions?
Participation in Classroom Champions offers teachers an opportunity to excite and engage their students by incorporating their Athlete Ambassador and the Olympic ideals into multiple aspects of their teaching. Previous Classroom Champions teachers reported that their students demonstrated higher motivation to learn, increased engagement in classroom activities, and higher levels of self-efficacy. Higher motivation and self-efficacy are associated with greater academic achievement and better overall performance in school.

How much time will participation in Classroom Champions require?
Using advanced telecommunications technology, students and their athletes communicate throughout the school year. Participation in the program need not take substantial minutes away from instructional time, as teachers can incorporate their Athlete Ambassador and the Olympic ideals into their standing curricula. Classroom Champions teachers invest some time and effort beyond their regular teaching load preparing for Classroom Champions activities, including viewing and creating video messages, reading blogs, writing letters, drafting goals, etc. Many teachers have reported spending an additional 1-2 hours per week preparing Classroom Champions activities. Teachers are also encouraged to collaborate with their Classroom Champions colleagues to further enhance their students’ experience with Classroom Champions.

Who can participate in Classroom Champions?

Participating students are primarily in grades 3-8 and in schools in which at least 50% of the student population is eligible for free or reduced price lunch. Classroom Champions only accepts individual classroom teachers with at least 1-2 years of teaching experience into the program.

Applying for Classroom Champions
How can I apply for Classroom Champions?
We will be accepting applications for the 2012-2013 school year during March 2012. Teachers can begin the application process online at this address:

Collaborative Story Telling

Zopler is a social network where writers, authors and students can easily collaborate on writing stories together as a group. 

Watch Introduction:

"No Red Ink" - Practice Grammar & Writing Skills Online is a web-based learning platform that helps students improve their grammar and writing skills.  Noredink is a new site created by a teacher for students to practice grammar using interactive exercises. It’s a nicely designed site, and students can pick choose the topics that they are most interested in — the NFL, NBA, specific TV shows, etc.