Thursday, December 17, 2015

Student Engagement

In this article from Edutopia, The 8 Minutes That Matter Most, it outlines the importance of the first four minutes and the last four minutes for student engagement. It also gives a few good ideas to begin class, end class, and most importantly, to keep it engaging.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Ed Tech Tool review

Welcome back from our SNOW DAY here in Denver!!

Graphite is offering $50 to review you're favorite Ed Tech tool. Here are the steps to review your tool:

1) Search your favorite edtech tool on Graphite.
2) Go to the Graphite review of the tool you're thankful for.
3) Click on the Twitter icon in the upper-right hand corner of the review.
4) Share.

Go to Graphite to learn more.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Educational Social Networks

Here's a list of some of the best social networking sites for teachers and students according to Graphite. They have sites for students to share their work/ideas, sites for educators to connect with other educators, and site for teachers and students to work in a virtual classroom. Check out this great resource!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Winter Conference

Here's an upcoming STEAM and tech integration conference:

2016 Winter Conference

 It's an online conference and $99 for 10 hours of PD.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Google Drive search

I've heard numerous complaints about losing files in Google Drive, and I've even had difficulty finding files shared with me through my Drive. Google has heard your complaints and added updates to the way users can search for files within their Drive. Here's Google's blog post about the update, but basically, they've added an easier advanced search option and allow users to search for file types.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Common Craft

I stumbled upon CommonCraft browsing through my Twitter Feed. They house educational videos for teachers to use. Their mission: "We want to make the world a more understandable place to live and work by helping professionals like you become better explainers.  More explainers means better explanations - and that’s a good thing." Seems like a great resource!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Personalized Learning

At our elementary school, we've recently held discussions on personalized learning in the math and literacy classrooms. We want to use a program like MobyMax or IXL to personalize the learning for each student. We're hoping to use one of the programs to pinpoint student needs, provide specific data, and reduce grading for teachers. Here's an interesting article from eSchool News about personalized learning.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Best Educational Podcasts

According to Edutopia, here are some of the 7 Best Educational Podcasts. They have their podcasts listed according to teaching strategies, PLN's, educational technology, professional development, and leadership. I've heard great things about Moving at the Speed of Creativity.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Apps for Kids

I stumbled across this interesting blog: Best Apps for Kids. The site is written and managed by a group of mothers. Users can search for apps by age group, subject, platform (iOS, Android, etc.), or by bestseller lists. Seems like a great resource for teachers and parents!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Hour of Code

The week of computer programming is next week:

Dec 7-11

Learn more at Hour of Code

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Educational Conferences

I found this excellent resource on the Teach Thought blog: Best Educational Conferences 2016. Teachers upload a link to their favorite conferences for the upcoming year. See if there's one you can add or one you would like to attend. Keep learning!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Makerspaces in the Library

Are you a librarian? Curious about incorporating the Makerspace Movement into your library? Diana Rendina, a library media specialist in Hillsborough County School District, has Slide Share presentation showing librarians ways to include STEAM projects in their library program. She states, "Makerspaces and the Maker Education movement are quickly taking hold of the library world. In this session, you can learn what the Maker Movement is and find some ways to get started bringing Science Technology Engineering Arts and Mathematics into your library program."

Friday, November 20, 2015

Thanksgiving Resources

Happy Thanksgiving!! We have the next week off, so I won't post as much next week. In the spirit of the upcoming holiday, Teacher First has numerous resources for Thanksgiving. Enjoy your time off and rest up!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Google Classroom Updates

For all those using Google Classroom, there are 6 important updates to work with this fall. Alice Keeler outlines the 6 updates on her blog, Teacher Tech. Also, if you're on twitter, follow her @alicekeeler.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Static Electricity

I recently had a student ask me about static electricity. It led us on a search through the wonderful world of the internet. We stumbled upon this post from Free Tech 4 Teachers: The Science of Static Electricity. It helps students understand why rubbing a balloon on your head makes your hair stand up.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Coding for Kids

Here's a new website out of Boulder, CO, Bitsbox, allowing users to easily create Apps by writing code. You can even sign up for their newsletter and they'll send you codes every month to try with your students.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Free Typing Program

I've been using Typing Club with my students to teach them how to type, but I recently stumbled upon another program called Alfa Typing. Firstly, it's a FREE program. Typing Club, to access all the functions of it, you pay $2.40/student. I'm going to see if Alfa Typing allows me to use the same features for FREE.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Web Tools for Teachers

Educational Tech and Mobile Learning released a blog post about 7 new tools teachers should be using:

Exampl allows you to take a picture of your math problem that has you stumped, upload to their website, and receive help from your peers. I'm really excited to pass this along to our Math Dept.

Field Trip Zoom allows teachers to connect with institutions in their area who provide learning opportunities for students. The examples the site provides are zoos or museums, but there are many more opportunities to explore.

BirdBrain is an online science textbook which are aligned to the Common Core. It's a great supplement for any science teacher.

Check out the other four tools at Educational Tech and Mobile Learning!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Veteran's Day

Veteran's Day is this Wednesday (Nov. 11). Free Tech 4 Teachers provided a few resources for teaching students about the holiday. Would you add anything to these resources? Any resources you use to teach about Veteran's Day?

Friday, November 6, 2015

EdTech Teacher

Next weekend (Nov 14-16), the MASS Fall Conference will be held at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. They've released many of the programs being presented during the conference, and EdTech Teacher released links to their presentations on the EdTech Teacher website. Follow the links next to the presenter's name to view their presentations. This is an excellent FREE resource with some interesting ideas about the future of education.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Professional Development

Here's an interesting site: Bloom Board. It allows teachers and administrators to create a personal path for their professional development. The user enters information about the areas they'd like to know more about, like differentiation, personalized learning, inquiry-based teaching, etc. It's a great way for teachers to take control of their professional development. I created a free account today!

Brain Teasers

Educational Tech & Mobile Learning recently posted an article about 10 iPad Apps for Brain Teasers. This could be excellent apps for parents to put on their iPads for their kids to use, or it could be a great way for students to use a "brain break" in you class. Would you add any apps to this list?

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Makerspace Resources

Here's another fantastic resource for Makerpsaces, Coding, Video Game Creation, and Video Creation: Lewis and Clark Elementary School. Living up to their school's moniker as explorers!

Minds in Bloom

Here's an interesting websites with tons of FREE resources: Minds in Bloom. They pride themselves in discovering and creating "strategies and activities to promote creative and critical thinking." I've found numerous STEM activities to introduce in my Makerspaces. Great resource!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Ghosts-Static Electricity

Here's a fun experiment for elementary students:

It teaches kids the basic ideas around static electricity while putting them in that Halloween spirit!

Google Docs

Struggling with Google Documents? Here's a Google Certified teacher's Google Docs Tutorial Page. It's pretty much your one-stop-shop for all Google Docs questions. Great resource!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


I make a ton of screencast videos using Snagit and my HUE document camera, but Free Tech 4 Teachers recently released a blog post about FREE ways to screencast using any device. The post includes ways to record your screen using a Mac, a Windows machine, an iPad, Android, Chromebooks, or even browser based recording. A fantastic resource for any teacher!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Halloween Safety

It's that time of year, again! Halloween can be a fun time of year for our students, but how can we keep them safe while wandering the neighborhood? Free Tech 4 Teachers has a few helpful reminders for keeping the young ones safe on Halloween.

Friday, October 23, 2015

FREE conference tomorrow

Nothing to do tomorrow (in Colorado during the Fall?!?!)? Attend Discovery Education's FREE virtual conference for "Literacy for the Digital Ages." Go to Discovery Ed to learn more.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Student Blogs

Here's our students ongoing book review blog: Steck Stars Literature Reviews. Our students love seeing their work being viewed by an authentic audience. I have them type them in Google Docs and share them with me. Then, I copy and paste the final product into one blog site using blogger. Check it out!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Table Formatter

Table Formatter is a great tool to use as an add-on to Google Docs. It's a great way to add style to the tables in your next Google Doc. Give Table Formatter a try!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Google Doc Add-Ons

Any teacher using Google Apps needs to know all the great tools that can be used to enhance them. Free Tech for Teachers gives teachers an overview of what they must have. Which ones would you use? Would you add any to this list?

Friday, October 16, 2015

Connected Educators Month

October is officially Connected Educators Month. What does that mean?!? How do I connect?!? Edutopia provides a starter kit and tools to connect and learn with/from other educators.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Maker Movement

All those teachers, students, and parents interested in making new things should subscribe to Makezine. Especially with Halloween quickly approaching, they have numerous ideas on creating costumes and decorations. Also, you can follow them on twitter: @make. Check them out!

Monday, October 12, 2015


Educational Technology and Mobile Learning released a post about how to find FREE educational documentaries. They recommend three sites: Top Documentary Films, Documentary Heaven, and Free Documentaries. Any sites you would add to this list?

Friday, October 9, 2015

ISTE Conference 2016

The ISTE (International Society of Technology in Education) conference is back in Denver from June 26-29, 2016. It's an exceptional conference where there are numerous presenters to learn from. Every teacher should try to go. Here are important dates to remember about the conference. Registrations begins Nov 2.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

FREE Literary Works

Educational Tech and Mobile Learning recently posted about 7 ways to find literary works for FREE. I've used Open Library and Project Gutenberg to find ebooks but am looking forward to see what I can find with the other websites. Would you add any websites to this list?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Lesson Plans & Common Core

Here's an interesting new tool for teachers to use to plan lessons: Achieve the Core. It makes sure teachers are aligning each lesson with a Common Core State Standard. Seems to be a very helpful tool.

Monday, October 5, 2015

My Youtube Channel

Here's my youtube channel:

It has numerous helpful videos I've created to show users how to use Weebly to create free websites, how to use DPS Google, and how to use Prezi (an online presentation tool. I created them for students, but hopefully, you find them helpful as well.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Creative Literacy

Daniel Weinstein is a English teacher from New York who emphasizes creativity in his classroom. He keeps a website and blog, The Creativity Core, where he outlines how he teaches creativity in writing and reading. He specializes in K-12 education and is a great resource for any Literacy/English teacher. Also, for all you Twitter users, his handle is @WeinsteinDaniel.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


Inscrutables is an amazing site geared toward people who love to build things. If you're looking to build robots, remote controls, crafts, or even food, Instructables has step-by-step instuctions (with helpful pictures) to help you create. It's a DIY-ers paradise with contests, groups, and forums to join to make your building experience that much better.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Google Field Trips

Google is offering a new program called Expedition. Schools can sign up for free to have Google come to their school to set up Expedition. Each school needs at least 6 teachers to participate, and we need Colorado schools to sign up so Google will stop in to see us!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Banned Book Week

It's Banned Book Week from Sept 28-Oct 2. Here are a list of banned books along with other supplemental activities. Do you read banned books?

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Twitter & Meet Up

Want to learn something new? Interested in joining a conversation with other teachers on literacy, math, educational technology, etc.? Join other educators using Twitter Education Chats or use the site Meet Up to join groups interested in learning the same thing. I just registered for Meet Up to join a group of people attempting to learn coding. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Webinars & Unconferences

Here's a list from Edutopia about the FREE webinars and "un"conferences for the next few week. These are a great opportunity for teachers to receive FREE professional development on their own time.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Safe Searches

Even elementary students are well aware of how to "google" just about anything, but a blog post of Common Sense Media suggests kids need to learn how to appropriately search the internet. In the post they include ways for students to master the Google search. Great read!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Online Professional Development

If you haven't heard of SimpleK12, they have FREE webinars for teachers to complete "professional development in their pajamas." Register this week for "Google: Getting Started with Google." They also have archived some of their professional development opportunities, and if you sign up for one, you can access it at any time. Check it out!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Google SItes

Every teacher in our district now has Google Accounts through our district domain. Many of our teachers have started building a Google Site. If your like our teachers and trying to build with Google, Richard Byrne has an excellent YouTube channel full of tutorials to help you build an amazing Google Site

Thursday, September 17, 2015

21 Teacher Tools

TeachThought and author Lynn Usrey put together a list of 21 tools for teachers to easily use in the classroom. They organize these tools into categories such as lesson creation tools, student survey tools, home learning tools, and current events. Do you have any tools to add to this list?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

STEM websites

As a technology teacher, I have a ton of students interested in makerspaces and coding. My goal is to collect as many resources as possible for both students and parents. Information Week posted an article covering 8 STEM websites students can use. I've had them work on a few including but am excited to see the other ones as well.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Minecraft in the Classroom

There is no doubt about it, kids love Minecraft. My elementary students want to play it, read about it, and talk about it. How do we tap into this passion? Edutopia released an article on how to use Minecraft in the classroom. The article shows examples of ways Minecraft has been used to "explore real life buildings, practice ratio and proportions, learn about survival, and for visualization and reading comprehension." How else have you used Minecraft in your classroom?

Friday, September 11, 2015

Teaching 9/11

As teachers, we often wonder how to appropriately address days like today. How do we thoughtfully approach the issue with students? Edutopia provides a helpful article to remember 9/11 for many students who weren't alive when the tragedy occurred or were too young to remember. Any resources you would add to Edutopia's list?


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Making a Makerspace

Because I'm desperately wanting to have makerspace stations in my library, I've been hunting for how-to's, instructions, and guidelines on how to create my own makerspaces. I stumbled across an article from EdSurge describing exactly how to do such a thing. The article also links to other helpful articles one might find interesting. I'll definitely use EdSurge to help me along my journey toward Makerspaces.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015


I've been searching for a FREE tool allowing students to create magazine covers, flyers, brochures, or infographics. Free Tech 4 Teachers had an excellent post about a tool called Canvas. I haven't tried it yet but it looks intriguing.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Student Feedback

Student Feedback allows teachers to see if learning is happening and what improvements can be made. Edutopia released an article to help teachers find ways to incorporate student feedback into their practice. Extremely helpful and insightful article!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Online Math Activities

Educational Technology and Mobile Learning released a post about online Math activities for younger learners. There's a list of about 4 different websites where students can solve puzzles and games to make learning math fun.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Virtual Field Trips--Farms

Are you looking to take your class on a virtual field trip? Discovery Education has a virtual field trip lined up for Oct 15 @ 1pm EST to tour the Creighton Brothers Farms. It's primarily intended for middle school students and explores the "interdependent relationships of organisms in an ecosystem and analyzes how every decision affects all aspects of a farm." Sign up for FREE and enjoy their archived field trips with lessons and activities.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Sphero -- Connected Toys

I was just introduced to Sphero by our 5th grade science teacher and my teaching coach. Basically, it's a sphere about the size of a baseball/softball, and a user can program it to move through a FREE iPad app. If you have students into coding, they love the Sphero!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Flipping a Classroom

TeacherCast released an informative article about the step one needs to take to flip their classrooms. The article walks you through the 3 steps in takes to effectively flip your classroom:

1) Thinking Phase
2) Acting Phase
3) Reflecting Phase

It even provides a downloaded PDF document to lead you through all the phases. An excellent resource!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Google Hangouts PD

If you've ever wanted to use Google Hangouts in your classroom or just not really sure what it is, SimpleK12 offers FREE webinars for many tools to use in your classroom including Google Hangouts. Many of them start in the next couple of weeks so register here soon!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Banned Book

Who doesn't love a good banned book? We're about a month away for Banned Book Week, so The Guardian released a list of the most "banned, burned, or simply life changing" books of all time. Any titles missing from this link?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

iPads in the Classroom

Edudemic released a helpful article on how to implement iPads in the classroom. It's especially helpful for those teachers feeling anxious about bringing technology into their classrooms. It outlines the apps to use and how to best incorporate them into your lessons.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Skills for Students

Here's an interesting read from Mind Shift and author Katrina Schwartz. It states we need to have better internet searching skills, reach a global audience, and show their learning. The author argues we should do all of this within the first 5 days of school.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Google Maps

From Educational Tech & Mobile Learning, this post explains everything you can do with Google Maps. It walks you through the steps of creating maps all the way to sharing/embedding them. It 's a very helpful list. Would you add anything to it?

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

iPad Apps

Here's an incredible list, created by Educational Tech and Mobile Learning, of Apps for educators to use. They have them listed according to topic. For example, they have Apps for presentations, timeline creators, poster creators, whiteboards, video creators, etc. Check out this great list of apps!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Summer Activites

Here's an interesting read from Edudemic. It lists activities kids can do during the summer to insure it a more creative and active one. Would you add anything to this list?

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Scratch for iPad

Finally, the MIT Media Lab released an iPad app for Scratch. It's more geared towards younger elementary students (the iTunes store states it's for 5-8 year olds), but it's helpful for building games and other exciting activities. Here's a review of the app on Free Tech for Teachers.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Google Classroom

Here's an excellent resource from Educational Technology and Mobile Learning for teachers interested in using Google Classroom. For those that don't know, Google Classroom allows teachers to create virtual classrooms where assignments can be created and submitted by students, discussions can take place, and teachers can grade and organize assignments. The Ed Tech blog post has step-by-step instructions for both teachers who want to get started and for students to use Google Classroom.

Friday, May 22, 2015

ABCYA story maker

Here's a great new tool from ABCYA: Story Maker. It's perfect for the primary grades to type stories they've written and create drawings based on those stories. It's an excellent way for students to practice typing and be creative at the same time! Here's a full review from Free Tech for Teachers.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Writing Prompt Tool

Here's an interesting tool allowing teachers to create writing prompts online, students respond to the prompts, and their responses are shared with their parents. The online tool is called Apricot. It's great way to share student work and to keep parents in the loop. Here's a full review of Apricot on Free Tech for Teachers.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Teacher Apps

I've been following and reading Educational Technology and Mobile Learning's blog for quite a while now, but I hadn't discovered their database of Apps available for teachers. They even have them organized according to use. Great resource!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Google Certificed Educators

Do you use Google regularly in the classroom? Have you though about learning more about Google Education? With summer break quickly approaching, teachers have the opportunity and the time to become Google Educators. Here's more information on how to apply and learn about Google Certified Educators.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Free Tech Resources

Emerging EdTech just released a FREE technology resources ebook. It includes over 200 free software applications to use in your classroom and tips on how to implement them. Download your FREE copy today at Emerging EdTech.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Web Tools for Teachers

Here's an interesting blog post from Educational Technology and Mobile Learning. They provide 10 tools for teachers to use with their students. I've used Emaze with my 5th graders, but I'm intrigued by Galaxyz, Clarisketch, and Widescreen Arkive. Would you add any tools to this list?

Monday, May 11, 2015

Summer Courses for Teachers

Recently, TeachThought  provided an an index of online courses available for teachers this summer. Many of the courses are self-paced and free for all K-12 teachers. Any other free courses available this summer?

Friday, May 8, 2015

Summer Learning

With summer vacation quickly approaching, parents and educators are working together to create learning opportunities for our students to prevent the "summer slide." Educational Technology and Mobile Learning released a few game based learning opportunities. I'm familiar with Minecraft, but this list also includes games for gaming consoles like Xbox and Playstation. Would you add anything to this list?

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Review Games

We've all created review games, usually in the form of jeopardy, to help students prepare for an upcoming assessment. What2Learn has created a way for teachers to use more than a jeopardy game. Users can create a Hangman style game, Q & A quizzes, Anagram games, Matching activities, Interactive word searches. Free Tech 4 Teachers has a full review of the What2Learn website.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Apps for Teachers

Here are a few Apps teachers can use to make their lives a little easier. This list was provided by Emerging EdTech and includes some Apps I've used in the past. Nearpod is a great tool if you have a class set of iPads to create interactive lessons for the kids, but I'm interested in Splashtop which allows users to display you iPad screen through your laptop for FREE. Any other apps we could add to this list?

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

New for Kids

Educational Technology and Mobile Learning had a wonderful blog post recently about 4 different sites for kids to read the news and current events. I've used a few of these before including DOGOnews and CNN Student News. Are there any news sources appropriate for kids you would add to this list?

Monday, May 4, 2015

Google Webinar

On Saturday, March 16, SimpleK12 hosts a webinar on all the Google tools available for teachers. Much like their other webinars, you can register and have the webinars available to view at your convenience. The webinars include search skills, Google hangouts, Google Classroom, and much more. Register today for FREE!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Publishing Visual Content

Happy Friday!!

After reading through posts on TeachThought, I discovered this gem on 33 ways to publish visual content. I especially like and have used PicMonkey and Phonto, but there is a long list of other ways to publish visual content. The great thing about this list is the diversity amongst ease of use. Some of these tools are great for elementary students and some are more appropriate for more advanced students. Would you add anything to this list?

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Internet Safety

Last night, we held an Internet Safety Night for parents and community members to attend. We discussed our use of Digital Passport, Common Sense Media as a tool for parents, and Common Sense's other website, Graphite. We had some great discussions about our students use of technology. Here's a link to my presentation. Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Math & Literacy Songs

There have been numerous studies conducted around the benefits of songs in the classroom and their affects on learning. It's a great way to "engage learners in kinesthetic, auditory, and visual modalities. Using music in the classroom can create a positive, energized and focused environment. Music has even been shown to help bridge language gaps for English Language Learners." Just to name a few reasons from Rock 2 the Core's website. Rock 2 the Core is a website housing songs aligned to the Common Core Standards. As of now, Rock 2 the Core has songs for K-5 Math and Literacy.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Free Google Conference

On May 8 and 9, Google is holding a FREE educational online conference they are calling: Education on Air. You can sign up for the whole conference or just certain courses. Also, Levar Burton will be the keynote speaker this year. Reading Rainbow!!!! Click on this link to register and review the courses. Educational Technology and Mobile Learning has a full breakdown of the conference for you. That's how I found out about it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Recently, our 5th grade science/math teacher received a grant to purchase a 3D printer. The students LOVE it! They've printed a a life size human heart, braille dice, and other wonderful creations. They've been using Google SketchUp to design these creations.

Edudemic recently posted an article on how to make Makerspaces like the one we have in 5th grade. It's not all about 3D printers but also includes robotics, game creations, and Makey Makey. The article also includes videos to inspire students to become inventors.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Practical Ed Tech Videos

If you haven't been following Richard Byrne's blog, Free Technology for Teachers, you need to do so! He recently posted a list of his how-to videos (or screencasts) from Youtube. He calls the playlist his Practical Ed Tech Tips. He says, "In the playlist you will find videos about tools for flipping your classroom, videos on managing workflow, social media tips, search strategies, and media production. " Take a look around and see if you find anything helpful.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Youtube filters

If you've ever watched videos on Youtube, you can understand the desire to want to eliminate the "related" videos that show after you play the video you wanted. Free Technology for Teachers has a few options to get rid of those unwanted recommendations.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Book Websites

Here's an interesting read from Edudemic: Ten Websites to Help Students Connect with Books. As both a librarian and technology teacher, this just might be the perfect combination for both of my competencies :-) It can be a difficult task helping students find the perfect book for them, but many of the websites (Goodreads, especially) will offer suggestions for them. Any websites you would add to this list?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Virtual Fieldtrips

Discovery Education provides FREE virtual field trips! Here's a list of all the field trips including ways to register. This another great free resources from Discovery Education, and here's a free review of the field trips from Free Technology for Teachers.

Monday, April 13, 2015

iPad Webinar

I've blogged about SimpleK12 in the past, and again, they are providing some excellent and FREE professional development for teachers. The most recent webinar, iPad Training, provides teachers with a day of learning THIS Saturday (April 18) from 8am-1:30pm MST. Like their other trainings, even if you can't make the webinar, the trainings will be saved for you to view at any time. What a great deal!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Math Games Website

Here's a great site I recently discovered: MathGames. Users can find games according to the skill they want to practice, the Common Core standard they want to master, or by grade level. Students can create a FREE account and MathGames will track his/her progress through their account. Here's a link to information for parents.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Google Tips

Here's a great tool for all those Google lovers: Google Tips. It's a Chrome extensions allowing users to better use their Chrome browser. They also provide a Google Tips website showing users how to "do more, save time, have fun, be secure, and ask Google." You can read a full review on Educational Technology and Mobile Learning.

Monday, April 6, 2015


Welcome back from Spring Break 2015!!!

If you haven't heard of SimpleK12, it's a great resource for any teacher. It has an informative blog to follow and helpful webinars. This week's webinars include Microsoft Apps for Education and Webtools for Elementary Teachers. The best part about the webinars are you can sign up and watch them anytime.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Personalized Learning

Here's an interesting read about the role of the teacher in the personalized learning environment. With "81% of college students using a mobile device, technology has played an integral role in allowing students to learn in and out of the classroom. Teachers can use these tools to create a personal learning plan for each student. The article breaks down the teachers role in this personal learning environment into separate sections including student cohorts, teaching methods, parent engagement, testing/evaluation, and lesson plan/teaching cadence. It's definitely an interesting read from TeachThought.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Free Virtual FieldTrip (April 8th)

The Nature Conservancy offers another online field trip through their Nature Works Everywhere program. The virtual field trip occurs Thursday, April 8th using Google Hangout. Students will explore the functions of water in the Washington State temperate rainforest and the Arizona desert. Read more at Emerging EdTech.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Drawing Apps

Educational Technology and Mobile Learning released a post about 10 great iPad apps allowing you to draw or sketch. I've used Draw for iPad and Brushes, which are good for basic drawing, but I'd really like to try ASKetch, which allows users to draw using charcoal, and You Doodle allows users to draw on top of uploaded photos. Any apps you would add to this list?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Chrome Apps

Here's a list of Chrome Apps, from Educational Technology and Mobile Learning, every teacher should know. I personally love RealTimeBoard, EDPuzzle, ClassDojo, but there are a few on this list I really need to try. Would you add any Chrome Apps to this list?

Monday, March 23, 2015

Turn any doc into a signable online form

Here's an interesting tool: Chalk. It allows users to upload any document and turn it into an online form to be signed or filled out. Chalk allows the owner of the document to set the rules for how the forms are completed, tracks when a form is viewed or completed, sends reminders to people you've sent the form to, and allows users to download and print the completed forms from any computer. Here's a complete review from Educational Technology and Mobile Learning.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Video Games for Learning

TeachThought just released 50 of the best Video Games for learning. They conducted their search using the following criteria: playability, cognitive load, and innovation. Would you add any to this list?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Culture Street, who creates numerous online activities for education, has created a game about Dinosaur extinction called Dinosaster. The object of the game is to gather all the dinosaur bones, and with each bone collected, a card is revealed about why the dinosaurs became extinct. Read a full review with lesson plans on Richard Byrne's Free Technology for Teachers.

Monday, March 16, 2015

WriteReader App

WriteReader is an App allowing young learners to develop literacy skills. It basically teaches them how to read by creating their own books through the App. Here's a full review from Richard Byrne's Free Technology for Teachers.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Classroom blogs

If you're wanting to setup a classroom blog, here are a few mistakes many teachers make when creating one (this list is according to Richard Byrne's blog, Free Technology for Teachers):
  1. Making it optional -- few students will do it if it's optional and parents won't buy in
  2. Inconsistency -- start small, like one post a week, and be consistent with the expectations
  3. Lack of purpose -- have a reasons for your students to blog (example: weekly learning reflections)
  4. Running before walking -- set realistic blogging goals for your students like once a week
  5. Creating too many blogs too soon
 Anything you would add to this list?

Friday, March 6, 2015

FREE Google Apps webinar (3/31)

Richard Byrne and SimpleK12 are hosting a FREE webinar on the ways to use Google Apps in your classroom. The webinar starts at 11am MST and ends at 3pm MST on March 31st. Also, they will keep the webinar available for register attendees for an extra 2 weeks after the live viewing. Even if you can't attend, sign up and view it at your convenience! Register HERE and read more about it on Richard Byrne's blog, Free Technology for Teachers.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Google Chrome tips

Educational Technology & Mobile Learning posted some helpful tips for working with the Google Chrome web browser. They include a helpful lists of extensions to make using the browser a little more user friendly. Also, they have embedded videos showing users how to translate web pages, work in "incognito" mode, use Chrome on other devices, spot malware, change your settings, and keep the browser updated.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Google Extensions

Another Google post! I love using Google extensions with my Google Chrome web browser. Mainly because I use Google Drive religiously, but I also appreciate all the extensions for web browsers. TeachThought created a list of their favorite Google Extensions for teachers. A few of my favorite extensions are:

1) Google Drive -- allows you to transfer web pages to your Google Drive & turn them into Google Docs (or images, HTML format)

2) CleanPrint -- allows you to remove all the unnecessary ads, images, or content from a web page when printing.

3) Save as PDF --allows users to turn web pages into PDF files.

4) Evernote Web Clipper -- allows users to transfer any web page into a document, bookmark, or screenshot into a notebook on your Evernote account (great for saving ideas)

Monday, March 2, 2015

Google Tools

Edudemic released a post about Google Tools available for teachers. Whether you're creating a Google Hangout, Google Sites, or a specialized Google search engine, Google provides outstanding tools for teachers to use. Also, within our district, students have Google accounts so they can take full advantage of all these excellent tools.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Old Newspaper Articles

Richard Byrne found a way to find archived newspaper articles using Google News. It's a great resource for any student needing relevant information or for anyone curious about historical events.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Formative Assessments

I'm always looking for new ways of checking whether or not my students understand the lesson I've taught. Educational Technology and Mobile Learning provides 8 tools to formative assessments for students. These tools are a great way to see how students are doing and to know how to meet their needs.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Free Courses for Teachers

TeachThought released 50 Free Courses for Teachers. It's an excellent collection of college courses ranging from teaching pedagogy, content specific, technology integration, to language acquisition.  Many of the courses are starting soon so check them out!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Technology Integration

Here's an interesting read from Edudemic titled, "How Teachers will Change Future of Tech."The article brings up the fact that many students have anxieties based on their teacher's anxieties. If a teacher shows anxiety around a certain subject, students pick up on that anxiety. Also, it provides teachers with easy ways to incorporate technology so they don't express their anxiety with their students.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Online Reading Program

Teach Your Monster to Read is a great example of game-based learning. Teachers can create free accounts for students, and the students are assigned a monster. They listen and read the sentences and move the monster according to what the sentence tells them. It's an excellent way for primary grades to practice sounds and reading full sentences during a game based exercise. Here's a full review from Free Technology for Teachers.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


I had a discussion with a colleague about screenshots on Chromebooks, and then today, I found this post from Richard Byrne. It's just a quick guide on how to capture screenshots on all different types of devices including Macs, Chromebooks, Windows, iPhones/iPads, and Android devices.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Google Add ons

Once again, Richard Byrne creates an excellent post about Google Add-ons. I'm always curious about what add-ons teachers use and how they use them, but I honestly don't have the time to try out numerous tools, but thankfully, Richard Byrne does. I'm very intrigued by the g(Math) add-on. It's a great way for Math teachers to have students use Google Docs to complete assignments.

Friday, February 13, 2015

App Reviews

After purchasing a new class set of iPads, I've been on the hunt for lessons, apps, and resources for using them. I stumbled upon a great site, AppEd Review, which allows you to sign up for FREE by entering your email. Once you sign up, you'll start to receive emails about how to incorporate apps into your lessons, how to locate apps, and how to evaluate the quality of apps. I'm excited to have something valuable sent to my email instead of the tons of junk mail I receive!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Best of the Web

If you're not following Richard Byrne's Free Technology for Teachers, please do yourself a favor. He uses, reviews, and posts FREE educational technology resources available for teachers, students, and parents. On a recent post, he created a Google Slides presentation about the best resources on the web. Look through them and give them a try.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Black History Month

Edutopia recently posted resources for teaching about Black History Month.  All 6 of the resources are technology based history, an interactive library, infamous voyages, art galleries, and a link to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.  Do you have any resources you would add to this list?

Monday, February 9, 2015

PARCC test videos

A colleague of mine found the following video on an educational blog, Teched Up Teacher.  It's a screencast of the many nuances of the test many students will find difficult or may not realize at all.  He walks the students through the tech skills associated with the test including the drag/drop questions, scrolling through texts, checkboxes vs multiple choice questions, etc. It's an extremely valuable video for the students to see before taking the tests this spring.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Online Math Resources

According to Richard Bryne's blog, Free Technology for Teachers, CK-12 will now offer FREE elementary level math resources.  CK-12 has primarily offered middle school and high school level courses, but the additional elementary courses will provide videos and online practice for 1st-5th grades.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

5 Tools for Sharing Ideas

Richard Byrne's blog, Free Technology for Teachers, recently posted about tools used to for sharing ideas online (much like a corkboard).  I've used Padlet to have my students collaborate about assignments and discussions, but he posted about 5 alternatives to Padlet.  These are all great ways to get your staff, students, or community to collaborate and share ideas.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Math Apps for Fluency

Edudemic just released what they believe to be the best Math Apps for fluency.  The list includes Operation Math, Free Graphing Calculator, and DragonBox Algebra 5+.  Operation Math allows users to complete spy missions through math drills and is suited for ages 9-11Free Graphing Calculator speaks for itself.  It's a FREE graphing calculator which is typically a $150 purchase.  DragonBox Algebra 5+ covers the basics of algebra: addition, division, and multiplication.  Users must manipulate cards to isolate DragonBox just like isolating X to solve an equation. Dragon Box is heralded as the "perfect example of game-based learning." Read a full review of all 3 apps on Edudemic.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Black History Month

Edutopia created a list of resources for teaching students about Black History Month.  There is a resource for all age groups, but most of them are geared towards upper grade levels (grades 6-12).  Are there other resources you would add for elementary students?

Friday, January 30, 2015

K-3 Writing Contest

Once again, PBS acknowledges the brilliance in K-3 students through their annual writing contest.  The contest asks students to create short works of fiction (50-200 words for K-1 students, 100-350 words for 2nd and 3rd grade students).  There are prizes awarded for students who place.  Learn more by reading Richard Byrne's blog, Free Technology for Teachers, or by reading the contest rules on PBS Kids Writers Contest.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

64 Apps for Teachers

The educational blog, TeachThought, recently released a post about apps for teachers.  Many of these apps create a more manageable classroom experience for the teacher.  Here is the complete list of all 64 Apps.  Would you add any to this list?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


After browsing through the Educational Technology and Mobile Learning blog, I discovered an exciting new tool from Evernote called Scannable. The app, which is designed for both iPads and iPhones, allows users to "scan" their documents by taking pictures of them and easily uploading them into the Scannable app.  Users can then store and share the documents from one saved location. It's a great way to organize and store hand written notes/letters, business cards, sticky notes, etc.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Google Apps Checklist

The Educational Technology and Mobile Learning blog recently released a series of checklists to make accessing and using certain Google Apps a little easier.  The checklists include Google Drive, Chromebook basic functions and features, and a Google Sites basics. They're extremely helpful for both students and faculty. Do you have any checklists to add to this list?

Thursday, January 22, 2015


I stumbled upon a new site for online learning called Memrise. It's a free service allowing the user to choose from an array of courses including foreign languages, sciences, history, and math. The lessons are a blend of flash cards and quizzes.  Read Richard Byrne's full review of Memrise on Free Technology for Teachers.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Google Classroom

Since our district's implementation of Google accounts with Google Apps for Educations, I've had many teachers wondering about Google Classroom.  It allows teachers to setup virtual classrooms where you can create assignments, make announcements to the class, have a student view, and have student grading/feedback options as well.  Eduational Technology and Mobile Learning, and educational blog, has collected videos to provide support for teachers looking to use Google Classroom.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Free Webinars and Professional Development

Edutopia compiled a large list of educational webinars/un-conferences/professional development from a wide range of educational outlets. The webinars range from helping teachers in classrooms, parent involvement, and community outreach.  Check out the entire list at Edutopia.  Any other free webinars you would add to this list?

Friday, January 16, 2015

Math Games for Common Core

Here's a new math tool aligned with the Common Core: Prodigy.  It allows teachers to create accounts for students, track their progress/data, align lessons with the student's needs.  Students will love Prodigy because it's game based learning where they have to solve Math problems to unlock different levels and prizes within the game.  Read more about Prodigy on Emerging EdTech's blog.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


It's always important to assess our students to gather valuable information on what they learned from the day's lesson. Assessments communicate what students understand or may be missing.  One way to assess students is through Classresponder. It allows a teacher to use pre-made quizzes or create their own quizzes for students to respond through multiple choice, true/false, or short answer. It can be used on computers, tablets, or cell phones. Read this review on Free Technology for Teachers.

Monday, January 12, 2015

iPad Apps

Richard Byrne (Free Technology for Teachers) has a separate blog titled, "iPad Apps for School."  He updates it frequently and it's a great resource for any elementary teacher or parent. What would you add to his list of iPad Apps?

Monday, January 5, 2015


Welcome to the New Year!!! I took a blogging hiatus but am now back and ready for 2105!!

Here's an extremely interesting and helpful tool called InstaGrok. At first glance, it's just an educational search engine, but there's so much more to it. When you attempt a keyword search, it will create an interactive mind map that the user can customize and share. The concept map, or mind map, includes links to videos, links to other helpful websites, and a dictionary definition of terms.  If you create a FREE account, you can save your maps, create journal entries/note catchers, create quizzes around your maps, and share your concept map with others. I will definitely be using this tool during research. Here's Edudemic's review of InstaGrok.