Monday, December 30, 2013

Looking for Some Ideas for Using Twitter

At the National Convention of English Teachers (NCTE) this fall, I presented two sessions on Twitter. One focused on teachers' use Twitter in the classroom, and the other, on Twitter's logistics. A quick summary of each presentation is available from the slide shows referenced below.

If  you have additional ideas for using Twitter in the classroom or tips for helping others get started, leave me a comment in the reply section. Thanks. I am Twitter enthusiast, always looking to get others on the bandwagon. Would love to hear from you, and if you're on Twitter, share your Twitter handle.

Twitter in the English Classroom from Judy Arzt

View We the Tweeple in Google Presentations. Click on image below.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Social Media Enhances Professional Development

Attending the annual National Council of Teachers of English Convention (NCTE) in Boston, I was thrilled to see the increased use of social media. During the Convention. Twitter was in full force, keeping those in attendance in person or virtually up to date minute-by-minute.

Principal Eric Sheninghan, New Milford High School, NJ, keynoted for the Council on English Education Opening Session. His focus was on how he uses social media extensively to connect globally and to communicate with the local community about school-related matters. Not surprisingly, Eric has over a half million Twitter followers.

Numerous sessions focused on blogging as a professional development tool and a means for students to reach beyond the classroom walls. One of my own presentations addressed training teachers to use blogging. Its accompanying slide presentation is embedded below.

Critical Inquiry and Collaboration: Training Teachers to Join the Blogosphere from Judy Arzt

I was entranced with Calgary, Canada high school teacher Pamela Hunnisett presentation on her use of blogging in the classroom. Check her blog for links to her presentation: NCTE13. Here, I recap what she had to say in her post "Why Blogging":

Over the past three years I have been piloting blog writing with my English classes to improve student writing and to introduce students to a 21st century collaborative web tool for learning. The blog offers a forum where students are motivated to write because their writing has an authentic audience, and it offers students opportunities to learn, research, and discuss their learning in a student-engaging forum. Students are taught how to communicate appropriately and respectfully in this forum.
Blogging has definitely surpassed all my expectations! First of all, students are crafting their “personal best” writing since it will be available to their peers for feedback. Secondly, students develop stronger academic habits of self-discipline, integrity, and responsibility. Finally, the most surprising benefit is that the blog has developed a trusting, compassionate, and respectful community virtually that has transferred into the classroom itself. Blogging has allowed our walls to literally and figuratively disappear as the students work together to inspire, encourage, and validate each other.
First grade Chicago teacher Kristen Ziemeke delivered another excellent presentation, focusing on how she uses social media and digital tools with her students. Her presentation was delivered in a slide presentation in which she featured how her students use iPads. Find out more about Kristen by visiting her website. 


Monday, November 11, 2013

Peeking Outside Your Window: Introducing Young Learners to Twitter for Forging Connections

I came across this idea that Karen Lirenman used at the beginning of this year to not only introduce her students to the power of Twitter, but also to pique their interest in learning about places where their age-mates in different parts of the world live.

Basically, students go to the window of their classroom or somewhere else in their school where there is a window and take a picture of what they see outside. They then use Twitter's option to post a picture asking others to tweet back where they think the photo was taken.

Check Karen's blog post, "What's Outside Your Window," to learn of the process and to see the photos uploaded to Twitter and the tweeted replies.

Here is one example:

Similar activities could easily be done in other schools and at other grade levels. Students could find pictures of their capital city and take pictures of it and ask others to guess the state or country. They could take pictures of land formations and tweet those. However, the idea of taking pictures in the students' immediate setting also could lead to asking questions about what their school is like or what kinds of activities students like to do outdoors in their part of the world. A lesson in the seasons in the varied parts of the world could also be incorporated. It would be fun for students to check their class Twitter accounts daily to see who replies and what they say and if they in turn post a picture. This process is an easy way for classes to connect. It is a perfect idea for schools where Skyping with other classes is not possible due to limited technology, but also assumes that Twitter is not blocked. If nothing else, this kind of activity where students share pictures of the place where they live and learn geography in the process helps skeptics to see the educational benefits of a simple classroom Twitter activity.

What are some other activities students could do with posting pictures on Twitter to generate interest in their community or what they're studying?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

More on Digital Storytelling

Check out these slides from Lynn Hilt. They outline the value, process, and some tools for digital storytelling. They also point to the value of implementing digital storytelling in the elementary school classroom, but the principles are universal. We all love to tell a story. Digital storytelling just makes it easier and more seamless to share those stories using contemporary tools.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Look What These Kindergarteners Did with iPads

You all know the story If You Give a Cookie to a Mouse. Well, take a look at this Little Bird Tale to see what happens when you give kindergarteners an iPad. Click on the image to view the kindergarteners' story of what they accomplished with their iPads. Their story, "If You Give Kindergarteners an iPad," is both amusing and enlightening, and also reminds us of how given the technology tools and a teacher willing to integrate the tools well, what young children can accomplish. We can stretch their literacy skills as far as possible when we put the tools in their hands and plan our lesson well. This Little Bird Tale illustrates not only effective use of iPads, but also the value of using a tool such as Little Bird Tales for students to create their own books.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Primary Junction on Pinterest

For those who use Pinterest or are interested in finding out how use of Pinterest boards can help primary grade teachers find valuable resources, check out the Primary Junction Pinterest's boards. Click on the image below to access the Primary Junction on Pinterest.

Let me know if you found the boards helpful. If you're using Pinterest to archive ideas for teaching, let us know more about what you've been archiving and how useful you find Pinterest for teaching.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Should Schools Have Internet Filters?

"Teach Kids to Be Their Own Internet Filter," an article that appeared in Mind/Shift, highlights building trust in students by not blocking websites. The article includes a student-produced video made at the end of the year to introduce incoming students to media resources at the school. The premise behind the video is that teachers, administrators, and students need to work in unison to build an environment of trust. Here's the video, produced with iMovie.

For further information, refer to the article: "Teach Kids to Be Their Own Internet Filter."

What is your position on schools blocking sites? Should schools have filters in place? Should we trust students to act responsibly online? How can an environment of trust be fostered in schools?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Follow-Up to Google Hangout with Kathy Cassidy: Learn More about Her Classroom

Kathy Cassidy recently posted a feature article for Powerful Learning Practice. You can find the article via this link:

A Year of 1-to-1 in Grade One

In the post, Kathy talks a lot about student engagement, differentiation, and student motivation to share. Check the post for the details.

If you could as a teacher enter a similar contest to the one that Kathy entered through Best Buy, and which she describes in the post, what would you wish to have in your classroom or for your students?

The post also has a link to a recent article Kathy published in the International Reading Association publication, Reading Today Online. Here's a link to access that article:

What's your reaction to some of the projects Kathy is doing with her students? Now that we have read her book and communicated with her online in a Google Hangout, how has she inspired you to take leaps in your own teaching?

Image source:

Monday, October 7, 2013

Wikispaces in the Classroom

Wikispaces in the Classroom released lots of information about the new look and feel of Wikispaces aimed at its use in the school setting. Click on the image below to access the variety of resources Wikispaces is offering to help teachers understand and use all the new features.

Visual Dictionaries for Students

Are you using visual dictionaries with students? Find visual dictionaries to consider from this blog post, on the Free Teachnology For Teachers Blog post: "Five Free Visual Dictionaries and Thesauri for Students." Let us know if you plan to use any of the resources Richard lists in his blog post.

Halloween Ideas

The Teaching Channel has a Pinterest board with ideas for Halloween. You can check out the board by click on the image below. Post a reply if the resources on the board are helpful to you. Also, reply with your own ideas about plans for celebrating Halloween with your students.

If you're a fan of Pinterest, you also might want to check other boards of the Teacher Channel. Click on image below to get to the Channel's boards, where you will find plenty of teaching resources. 

Let us know if you found the Teaching Channel boards helpful.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Do You Know About BiblioNasium?

I heard about this site, but when one of my former students, a middle school special education teacher, ready to go off to Argentina, to teach there, recommended it, I decided to look into it. After I did, I was convinced it was an excellent site to engage students in reading and sharing what they are reading.

I even set up a site myself to explore how the tool works. Here is a glimpse into what I have so far, but I invite you to check out BiblioNasium for yourself, and set up a site for your class regardless of the age of the students you teach.

If you work with young students who are not yet reading, you can post on your site picture books you recommend for parents to read aloud at home or share with parents the ones you are already reading aloud in the classroom. If you work with older students, set up a class account, where students can post what they are reading, write reviews, make recommendations, and add books to a wish list. This truly is an interactive site that engages students in the reading, writing, and information literacy processes.

I love this site, and it makes me wish I were teaching students grades PreK through 8th grade, although I did start to set up a site for EDUC 584 just to experiment with the tools. I found the site user-friendly and liked its search box feature and links to "Resources," which includes a full list of Newberry Award winners.

I have also seen rave reviews about the site from teachers. Here are just a few Twitter tweets to give you an idea of teacher reactions.

Add caption

And here is a video I found in the School Library Journal's review of the site, which you can also read: "BibliorNassium, Social Reading for Kids."

Have you heard of the site? Would you consider checking it out and using it with students?

Global Collaborations

Recently, Jess Lussier and Michelle Gohagon of Regional School District 13 in Connecticut, shared an excellent Google Presentation of the variety of ways in which their students, K-6, have been collaborating globally.  These collaborations include Global Read Aloud, International Dot Day, World Blogging Day, and Poem in Your Pocket Day. To see their presentation, click on the image below, which will take you to the post with the embedded slide show. It's worth your time to learn about the ways young students forge global connections. Each slide about a project indicates how it aligns with Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

Have you considered ways to connect your students globally, or even regionally? Share your plans or any projects you have already done to connect students with people beyond the walls of your classroom or school? What do you see as the merits of global collaborations?

The Power of Images on Your Blog Posts

Image: my niece Lauren
Yes, images add interest, but they also help to convey your message. We all know the saying, "A Picture is Worth a 1,000 Words."

So, here are 3 posts about why you should use images and where and how to find images, as well as an infographic about copyright infringement myths, which relates to the use of found material on the Internet.

Another place to find images is Pic4Learning, but still Flickr remains my favorite. Just use the Advanced Search feature on Flickr, and you should be set. Open an account to store your own photos in Sets and save the photos you find in Collections. You will then be organized when you need to grab that photo you found months ago or stored ages ago.

I used to recommend PhotoPin, an easy-to-use site, but  once you enter a search term, often you are brought right to Flickr.

Now, here is the infographic, which clears up several myths about copyright infringement. The  infographic has been circulating on various social networks, so you might have seen it already.

Copyright Infringement: 5 Myths vs Facts
by floydworx.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

Where do you go to find images for blogs, websites, and other uses? What do you tell students about where to find images to use in their own work?

Do you agree that blog posts and websites benefit from images?

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Sights and Sounds of Autumn

I found this video on Richard Byrnes' blog, Free Technology for Teachers. At this time of the year, and living in New England, consider sharing the video with students. The original video was on The Adventure Blog and posted with the title, "The Colors of Autumn."

Autumn from Thomas Rasel on Vimeo.

Perhaps the video will motivate students to create their own projects centered on the change of seasons, or in particular the fall season. Do you do specific projects in your classroom that celebrate the autumn season?

Byrne also created a blog post, "Autumn Magic: The Colors of Fall", with a variety of resources for teaching about the seasons.

Some of these resources included:

Autumn Stars and Patterns ( a video from PBS)
Fall Foliage Colors (Why Do Leaves Change Colors)

Here is a video Why Do Leaves Change Colors:

What do you do in your teaching that addresses the fall season? Have you found books, online resources, videos, and other materials that students particularly enjoy as we celebrate the change of seasons in New England or other regions of the world? Have you considered creating a book or video with your students to celebrate the fall season, including the holidays of Halloweeen, Veteran's Day, or Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

100 Top Tools for Learning

This slide presentation in a few slides tells what are the top 100 tools for learning. It is worth going through the slides. Interestingly, Twitter is in the number one spot this year. Other popular tools at the top of the list include YouTube and Google Doc. Check the presentation, and leave a comment about which tools you find helpful for learning and which you want to explore in the future. If you prefer, you can view the slides in full screen. Remember to use the arrows to advance through the 14 slides.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

How and Why Teachers Should Blog

In my readings today, I came across an additional source about why teachers should blog as well as why they should have their students blogging. I posted the article on Twitter, and given it attracted "favorites" and "retweets," thought I should share the information here. Among the reasons listed for teachers to introduce their students to blogging are these, in paraphrased format:

1) Encourage Collaboration Among Students

2) Teach Students How to Write Blogging Comments to Learn How to Give Feedback

This point reminded me of a video students in Linda Yollis created about how to write good blogging comments, which I am embedding here--a reminder for teachers when they respond to blog posts and a video to use with students once they are introduced to blogging.

3) Provide Evidence of Student Achievement

4) Encourage Students to Write and Gain Practice with Writing

To access the article, click on the word cloud above, which I found in the article, "How (And Why) Teachers Should Blog." Do you truly believe teachers should blog and that they should teach blogging principles to their students?

Additionally, this morning I came across an excellent blog post written by Lynn Hilt, a former K-6 elementary school principal and now the instructional technology coach for her school district. Click on the image to access the post:

Lynn offers links to a variety of resources in the post. Consider checking some of these out.

Will Chamberlain, an elementary school teacher maintains the blog, Comments4Kids, which is an excellent way for teachers and their students to respond to students who are blogging and to make global connections.

So, are you convinced teachers and students should be blogging?

And, last did you know October is Connected Educators' Month? No better way to connect than finding teachers who want to do cross-class blogging projects.

Friday, September 27, 2013

What Are Your Favorite Web 2.0 Tools? Which Do You Want to Use?

Thought I would query others to find out about their favorite Web 2.0 tools and which they want to try out or use more often. To start, I should list mine, and tell why I use them.
  • Twitter--use it to learn from other professionals and to keep current on new trends, research, and updates in the education field.

  • Diigo--could not live without this tool to bookmark and tag sites I want archived. By keeping the Diigo Diigolet extension on my toolbar, I can easily bookmark sites. This enables me to return to sites on any computer by going into my Diigo Library online and looking up the sites using a "tag for searching" or using a "List" that I created to categorize bookmarks. I now have over 5,000 sites bookmarked. As much as that is, I can easily find the sites using the tags or list feature. 
  • Although I also use Pinterest to bookmark sites, I don't find it as functional as Diigo for locating sites I want to go back to at a moment's notice. I pin to boards, but if I need to find a bunch of sites on a related topic quickly, Diigo's indexing system with tags and lists works better for me, which I find weird given I tend to be a visual learner, and Pinterest is a highly visual medium. 
  • Facebook--although I use Facebook to connect with friends, I also use it to follow many professional pages, which like Twitter, keeps me updated on professional development. 
  • Blogger--for creating posts, such as this one, and reading others' posts and commenting.
  • Other blogging platforms--really like Kidblog as a way for students in elementary and middle school to get going with blogging. For high school and college students, recommend Blogger or WordPress, though know many higher schoolers flock to Tumblr. Although I have a Tumblr account, I use it primarily to follow others' Tumblr blogs. Know some teachers also use Edublogs, which is a division of WordPress, for class blogs and for individual students to blog. 
  • Google Communities--increasing I am turning to Google Communities for information related to the field of education, but also have joined other Communities such as photography ones.
  • Animoto, GoAnimate, Bitstrips, Storybird, and VoiceThread are some of the Web 2.0 sites I go to make digital stories, or as with VoiceThread, to also create interactive slide shows. I also like HaikuDeck, which is an iPad app, but is in a beta release for use on the Web, and have used the website version that way. 
  • For creating word clouds, I use Wordle and Tagul. Here is a word cloud generated with Tagul, using this post to create it:

  • Wikispaces is the wiki tool I use with classes, though I have also created class wikis using Google Sites.
  • Although I have used GlogsterEdu and Padlet, I have not used them as often as my colleagues who teach K-12. I like Glogster for younger students to create an interactive bulletin board, and Padlet as a collaborative chalkboard, Post-it note site.
  • Google Drive and Google Sites--are the two Web 2.0 tools I use daily. For these, I am forever thankful to Google for providing free tools to author with and allow for online collaboration.
  • Also liking Google Hangouts for video calling, but realize many schools still rely on Skype, and think the Skype in the Classroom site is an excellent way for teachers to find Skype projects. 
  • YouTube is my favorite video tool for collaboration. I subscribe to several YouTube channels and individuals, and also save my favorite YouTubes in categories. Also, turn to YouTube if I need to upload a video I created. Occasionally, I have used Vimeo, but YouTube remains my favorite for having fast access to an enormous collection of videos.
  • Dropbox and Evernote are tools I use in addition to Google Drive for cloud storage.
  • Flickr is my go-to-tool for storing photos and finding others' photos that are Creative Commons, free to use.  
I am sure I left out some favorites, but believe I have included the ones I use regularly as well as ones that I have seen teachers and other educators use often.

So what are some of your regulars and favorite Web 2.0 tools? What are ones you want to try out for professional use and with students?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

PicCollage and PicMonkey: Let Your Creative Juices Flow, Have Fun

PicCollage is an app for phones and tablets, and as the name implies, is used to make collages.

Here is an image of 5th graders creating a collage with PicCollage:

PicMonkey is a free web-based tool for editing photos, and offers lots of free editing options to transform your photos. You can also create collages with this web tool.

Let me know if you use either of Pic Collage or PicMonkey, and if you use them in the classroom. Check them out if you're not already using them.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Using the Vine App to Promote Literacy

These Vines are from Mr. Schu, a phenomenal elementary school librarian. Click to watch the Vines in action. Vine is a tool for making very short videos that loop, and replay. Although used for many purposes, Mr. Schu found a way to integrate the app into the school setting.

First graders learning to resize and cite images.

To learn about Mr. Schu, and all the fabulous things he does, follow his blog and follow him on Twitter. Click on images below to access each.


Twitter (and there's a reason he has over 13,000 followers--he shares great resources daily)

If you have a chance to explore some of his resources, let us know what you think. Would you consider using the Vine app in your teaching?

Learning to Use VoiceThread in EDUC584

This is a practice VoiceThread we created in EDUC584, spring 2012. That semester, we Skyped with authors and a few teachers. We photographed and video recorded the sessions. We used pictures from our Skype sessions to create this practice VoiceThread. This one was used just to demonstrate how the site works and is not intended as a finished product. The VoiceThread is being embedded, but following it are hyperlinks to VoiceThreads that teachers taking EDUC584 created for use in the classroom or with their students.

This link goes to a VoiceThread a teacher created in which her students do the voice recordings.

Ms. Field's First Grade Animal VoiceThread

This one was created by a teacher to tell students about herself at the beginning of the school year.

Jamee Introduces Herself to Her Students

Maribeth's VoiceThread with Her Students' Drawings (Pre-School)

How might you consider using VoiceThread in your own teaching? The site has some samples for review, so you can also check those for ideas. Here is a link to some that I saved for reference.

The site also showcases VoiceThreads on a monthly, weekly, and daily basis.

Here's a link to those showcased this past month.
Here's a link to ones showcased during a week.
Last, these VoiceThreads were showcased on a specific day.

Overall, what is your impression of this tool, which can be used on computers, tablets, and even phones? What ideas do you have for using VoiceThread with students?

Learning to Use Storybird in EDUC 584

Storybird is an easy tool to use once you start playing around with it. As with other tools, the first time around will be trial and error, but once you get the knack of it, it will be easier to use the next time around. First, get the knack of it before you use it with students.

Once you open your account, go to setting, and note how you can set the age bracket to filter the kinds of illustrations that students will be able to use. This is an important feature to use when implementing the program in the school setting. I created the below using an age setting for elementary students.

Here is a quick example. Note when using Storybird, once a theme and illustration set are chosen, you begin by creating your cover for the book. You  use the + sign in the program to advance to the next page, but each time, you need to hit the Save button to save a page before advancing to your next page. You simply drag and drop the illustration you want on the page, and then use the space for writing text to compose your story line for that page. Once done with the page, remember to hit Save and then hit the + sign to advance to the next page. When your story is completed, go to the Menu to save it, and you will be prompted with specific options. Once your story is successfully processed, you can go back in and get the embed code to copy so you can embed your story in a blog post. You can also grab the URL for the story if you prefer to use that to direct viewers to your story on the Storybird site.

To view this story, use the full-screen option, which is in the lower right-hand corner.

Here are some links to find examples created by former EDUC 584 students. They created these stories to read to their students. In other cases, students worked with the teachers to create the stories, doing this as a collaborative project, with students selecting the illustrations and dictating or typing the text for each page in the story.

Anna created several posts about her use of Storybird with her kindergarteners:

Mari Beth created this one to use with her preschoolers

Bryan created this one to use with his second graders.
Now that you've seen some examples, how do you envision using a tool like Storybird with students? 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Students of All Ages Can Create Public Service Announcements (PSA's)

Here is a PSA that students made regarding stopping bullying. It is a realistic example of what students can do when teachers offer them the opportunity to make PSA's. If you don't want to show your students' faces in a video, there are all kinds of ways for them to make PSA's. Although this example shows the students' faces, it is just one example of a PSA. Click on the image below to access the video from Animoto. Below the image of the video are links to posts that Bill Ferriter wrote about the project and the lesson plan he used for the student activity.

Blog Post about the Anti-Bullying PSA
Lesson Plan

Would you consider having your students make PSA's? If so, what topics might they address? What tool would you consider for them to make the PSA, keeping in mind the tool does not have to be technology one?

Create Animated Videos with GoAnimate

Here is a short video I made with GoAnimate. I am using the free version. I used only the settings, characters, speech bubbles, and music options to make this one, but lots of options are available in the free version. View in full screen to see the speech bubbles more easily.

So What's You Doing? by Judy A on GoAnimate

Friday, September 20, 2013

Reading on an iPod Found to Help Those with Dyslexia and More on Struggling Readers

As educators, we're always looking for ways to help our students. Some of us work with students who have trouble reading due to dyslexia, and some of us know friends and family members with this reading condition. I came across this study that I thought was worth sharing. Although the subjects in the study were high school students in Massachusetts, it would be interesting to find out if iPods help both younger students and even adults who suffer from reading issues related to their dyslexia. You can read the study at this site. You can also download the article or print it, if you prefer. Click on the article's title to access the article online.

What is some research you know of or observations you have made as an educator to help those who are struggling readers? Did you find the article helpful?

If you work with students with Down Syndrome, you might want to check the blog of Kathleen Whitbread, a special education professor at the Univeristy of Saint Joseph, CT. You can access her blog here, and let us know what you think of the information she provides.

On a more informal scale, I found this article that challenges the way many teachers conduct read-alouds in their classroom. The article offers two alternatives: Echo Reading and Choral Reading. You can find the article by clicking on the headline below.

As a teacher, do you agree with the methods suggested? Do you agree that the more conventional methods of read-alouds are not effective? As a student and former high school teachers who worked with struggling readers, I recall the method outlined as the conventional read-aloud method. I envisioned students figuring out ahead what they would be called upon to read and watching them skim to their sections and not paying attention to other readers. What about you?

Meet the Authors in a Google Hangout

Last year, I played around with a neat Web 2.0 tool called Smore that allows you to quickly create flyers. I decided to visit the site recently to make a flyer to announce an upcoming event.

When you go to the site, it is convenient to have pictures you want to use ready to go. Look through the templates, font choices, and backgrounds. Here is one example to give you an idea of what a flyer embedded in a blot post looks like. Use the scroll bar to see the flyer fully.

Head on over to the Smore site to learn more, and discover how you can send your flyers via email, post them on Facebook or Google +, embed them in a blog or website, or share them in other ways.

Author Blogs: Visit Kate Messner's Blog to Learn More

Kate Messner, children's book author, has an excellent blog, and included on it as a Page to find other authors' blogs. 

Here's a quick screen capture of the authors' blogs she offers, with links to them, but you need to visit her page to use the links virtually to get to the blogs.

While, you're on her site, look around. She offers a variety of information for young readers and encourages children to read and write. Here's a screen capture of the pages on her blog showing she has pages for Books, Blog, Kids, Writers, Speaking, Appearances, and About Me. If you set up a classroom blog, you might want to create a page to help your own students find authors' blogs online.

Perhaps seeing that authors have blogs will encourage your students to want to have a full class blog or to create their own individual blog, or join a class blog organized with a platform like KidBlog.

In addition to Kate's blog, she also can be found in these places:



Google Docs for Learning: Way More than Meets the Eye

Susan Oxenovd created this great Glogster of multiple ways to use Google Docs. Click any object for details.

Let us know if you find this Glogster useful for finding new ways to use Google Docs.

News, Book Reviews, and More for Kids

I've heard numerous teachers extol the value of using the DoGo website with students. Here students can find current events to read about and then have writing projects in their class based on what they read. They can also read book reviews written by kids, and better yet contribute their own reviews to the site. Check out the book review section. Click on the image below.

Explore this part of the site to see the reviews students have written. After you have explored around, then check the Dogo News for Kids section, by clicking on the link image below. Notice news is listed in categories. Also, notice the tabs: Teachers and Kids.

After browsing around the site, let us know if you would recommend this site to teachers or if you would consider using with your students?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

"This Is The Best Video I’ve Seen On Perseverance & Resilience: “There’s no dishonor in having a disability”

I found this video from a tweet posted by St. Louis, MO School District Curriculum Coordinator Justin Tarte who came across it on Larry Ferrzzano's blog, and it is really worth passing along. Feel free to share with others, and if appropriate to share with your students for discussion, a writing prompt, or an introduction to unit of study. It is also a great motivational video to show students the value of persistence and resilience. Let me know what you think after you watch it, and thanks to Justin and Larry for spreading around this video, which has already had over 23,000 views on YouTube. Larry also posted on his blog a link to a lesson plan for using the video with students, and I will be including that link as well.

Here is a link the lesson plan which is sponsored by the TED-ED Lessons Worth Sharing Site: There’s no dishonor in having a disability - Steven Claunch

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Cranes for Peace: A Global Project

Once we introduce technology in our classrooms and schools, we open up opportunities for students to collaborate in ways unfathomable before. One excellent example is a quad blogging. The Cranes 4 Peace Blog, a collaborative project, follows this format, with students from countries around the world contributing to a common blog. Here is an image from just one of the posts on the blog,

Check the About page for the project, and then go to the blog itself, The Cranes 4 Peace, to see what the children in this collaborative blog are posting.

Take some time to look. Don't rush. Leave your comments on this post after you've looked around. Have you gotten any inspiration from The Cranes 4 Peace blog? Would you consider implementing a similar project in your school?

See this website to learn more about the Peace Crane Project. The site will offer ideas for ways you can celebrate in your own schools and bring awareness to world peace.

Here is a video about the project:

For more information about the International Day of Peace, celebrated, Sept. 21, 2013, also  check this website: International Day of Peace, Education for Peace.