Showing posts from July, 2012

A Great Site for Worksheets

The summer is always a great time to recharge and get ready for the next school year. We may catch up on our reading, attend workshops, or find new resources to use in our classrooms. One such resource was passed along to me by a colleague (Thanks Eric!). It is called WorksheetWorks , which offers you hundreds of free worksheets in a variety of subject areas (Math, English, Geography, Misc.). There are worksheets on writing, parts of speech, addition/subtraction, geography, word searches, etc. This site allows you to create customized PDF worksheets from existing templates and even provides a key! This seems to be a great resource for elementary and middle school teachers, however, high school teachers may want to check this out too!

Special Guest Post: Jeff Swisher on KidBlog

Over the past few weeks, I have been on the road.  Today I am going to be in Columbus, Indiana to make a presentation! Because of this busy schedule, I have asked several of my UDL students to make guest posts. Jeff Swisher is one of my former students. Jeff is a young teacher who is passionate about incorporating technology into his classroom. He really has some great ideas! Take it away Jeff!  One of the great challenges I have always faced in teaching is finding enough time to have my students reflect on what they have read.  I can never get through as many guided reading groups as a plan to in a day because my students are so eager to share their thoughts on our current book.  While that is a great problem to have, it does slow down our progress through books.  So how can I allow students to reflect in a structured environment, and still get through guided reading groups at a faster pace? The best solution I have found so far is Kidblog .  Kidblog is a website that allows

Special Guest Post: Lora Varvel and iPads

Here's a special guest post from first grade teacher,  Lora L. Varvel! Lora was one of my graduate students who has an exciting opportunity to lead an iPad initiative! Check it out:  About mid way through the 2011-2012 school year, my classroom was given one iPad to use with my students. I decided to use it with various reading and math fact practice apps in a center during guided reading time. This worked out well and my students enjoyed it.             But, as we started our unit on safety I began to think about how we could use the iPad in a different way. I decided to group students in pairs to create an iMovie safety video as a culminating activity. I created a form that the students used to record their idea. Once they wrote their idea they came to me for approval. They then used the form to create dialog that the two of them would say to show an instance when their safety rule would apply. At the end of each skit they had to say together while looking in the came

Simple Chat Room Service

A few years ago, I was teaching a graduate class and had to cancel a full day due to snow storms. I was looking for a way to have class virtually through a chat room. At the time, there weren't many free services out there. In fact, finding a service without paying an arm and a leg was virtually impossible. I just recently came across a site called ChatFoo , which creates a temporary chat room for you to use. Simply go to the website and click on the "Start New Chat" icon, you will be able to create your own private room. This may be a helpful place to have study help available for your students. It could also be useful if you wanted to facilitate an online discussion with your students in a computer lab setting. It may also be useful if you wanted to chat with a guest speaker. In order to get others to participate, they will need to have the link to the chat room. This appears in the top-right-hand corner of your screen under "Share this Room." You are also

Create Your Own Virtual Field Trip

Many of us are traveling all around the country / world this summer. Why not use your photos to provide your students with a virtual field trip? Mapwing is a site that allows you to take your photos and create an interactive virtual tour. You can add interactive maps, images and comments. There are many examples of virtual tours in the Explore section. There are many different examples in this section. There are photos of Apple's Corporate Headquarters and even a tour of Australia's Great Barrier Reef. You could even use this for personal use. There are several virtual tours of homes that are for sale! Creating your own tour is very simple. Just keep in mind that you do have to have a username and password to create your own personal tour.  Even if you don't have your own photos, you may want to even consider using Google images to help your students.