Tuesday, November 25, 2014

11 Resources for Coding

December 8-14 is Computer Science Education Week. In the spirit of this week, I've been searching for resources that could be beneficial to my students. eSchool News posted an interesting article titled:

11 Coding Resources for the Hour of Code

I'm always looking for more resources.  Are there any other coding resources you use with your students?

Friday, November 21, 2014

iPad Blog

I just posted about collecting resources for our soon-to-be iPads.  I stumbled upon the blog: Two Guys and Some iPads.  The authors, Brad Wald and Drew Minock, have won/nominated for numerous educational blog awards. They specialize in finding resources and lessons for iPads. Check them out!

30 iPad Apps

We're purchasing a class set of iPads for our building so I've been busy collecting Apps and Lessons for them.  TeachThought just released an Editor's Choice: The Best Educational Apps for iPads in 2014.  Which Apps would you add to this list? How are you using iPads in your classroom?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

News in Levels

Here's an incredible site: News in Levels.  According to Richard Byrnes' blog, Free Technology for Teachers, News in Levels includes a story "available in three versions so that you can choose the version that is appropriate for your students. The stories include a list of potentially difficult words along with definitions of those words. Each story is also accompanied by a video."  I've used a feww different sites to match students reading levels to text but this site is the first I've seen to level the same article.  Are there anymore sites like News in Levels?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Geography Awareness Week

It's Geography Awareness Week, so Richard Byrne (Free Technology for Teachers) included 6 Games and Tools to Create Geography Games in his most recent blog post.  I've used Smart Pins with my classes in the past. What tools to you use for Geography?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Character Education - Gratitude

At my elementary school, we're focusing on character education this year.  Last month, we had a building wide focus on "grit," but during the holiday season, we've shifted our focus towards "gratitude."  Owen Griffith posted an article to Edutopia giving teachers, parents, and school administrators ideas on how to teach students the power of showing gratitude. How do you teach students gratitude?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Hour of Code

The week of Dec 8-14 is considered the week to celebrate and learn computer programming.  Code.org has what they call the "Hour of Code" during this week.  It's an initiative introducing students to computer programming by completing at least an hour of coding during the week.  I also found an article on Edutopia explaining how parents can get involved with learning right along with their kids. 

I usually spend the last 2 weeks before winter break and the last 2 weeks before summer break teaching computer programming.  How do you fit coding into your curriculum?

Friday, November 14, 2014


Richard Byrne (Free Technology for Teachers) posted about the best ways to use iPads in the classroom.  His ideas revolve around having students create, integrate, and demonstrate with the iPads.  Within the blog post, he also embedded a slideshow presentation on how he uses them in the classroom.  How else do you use iPads in the classroom?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Online Flashcards

Fluency is such a crucial piece in any educational setting.  Edudemic posted an article about 3 Great Flashcard Apps.  What apps/websites do you use for flashcards?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Teacher Webinars (November)

Edutopia posted an article about webinars and "unconferences" for teachers this month.  It's definitely difficult to find them time for webinars, but many of these, you can sign up and watch later.

Public Domain Videos

It's often a struggle to find the right image in the public domain.  What I haven't seen are links to videos from the public domain.  Richard Byrne, of Free Technology for Teachers, published an article on three sites you can find and download public domain video footage.

Thursday, November 6, 2014


Here's an interesting article I discovered on TeachThought.  It discusses the need and importance for teaching computer programming in schools.  The article states," It is estimated that over the next ten years there will be 1.4 million computer science jobs created in the U.S., with only 400,000 qualified professionals to fill them."  Wow. That statement on it's own supports the need for coding in schools, but the article also lays out a plan for teachers to advocate for adding more computer programming classes in their buildings.  As an elementary tech teacher, I've used Scratch in the past, but the article introduced me to a few more I will try: Hopscotch, Kodu, and Lego's Mindstorms.  How do you teach computer programming?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Digital Exit Tickets

Richard Byrne (Free Technology for Teachers) wrote a blog post about 5 Ways to Collect Exit Tickets. Exit Tickets are generally used to collect information from the students about the day's lesson.  I typically use Google Forms but there are other great ones on the list.  Which digital tools do you use for exit tickets?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Election Day

Today is Election Day, and I found an amazing site to help those undecided on candidates: VoteSmart.  The site allows users to choose a state, answer questions related to the issues, and be matched to candidates in their state/district.  Also, it's a great resource for students to see what candidate they would vote for based on the issues.  What are some resources you use with your students?