Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Decimals, Fractions, and Percentages

This site describes a card game that is similar to war but instead of using a regular deck of cards, the players use cards that have a mixture of decimals, fractions, and percentages. (The teacher will have to construct the cards.)

This game will help students understand the concepts of equality and inequality among decimals, fractions, and percents. This game will be a fun way for students to become more familiar with various representations of the same number.

Hi-Lo Using Fractions

This interactive Web page allows students to play Hi-Lo using fractions instead of whole numbers. The rationale behind this game is that students will be challenged to order fractions while using the clues to discover the fraction that the computer is thinking of.

One advantage of having students play the computer instead of each other is that partnering students may have difficulty monitoring each other if they do not know fractions well enough.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Kerpoof Studio

Kerpoof is a free online tool that allows you to create movies, stories, and pictures. The site houses several pre-created backgrounds and actors that are ready for your students to create with. Students can be the director of their own movie by adding custom animations to a time line. Their work can be saved by creating a login to their account that allows them to access their products from any location with Internet access.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

You Be The Producer

You Be The Producer is a site dedicated to film making for teachers and students. This site is filled with great resources that can help your students become filmmakers.

You Be The Producer has lesson plans with corresponding videos for each step of the film making process.

There is even a sample script and film maker tips on this site.

You Be the Producer is a great resource for a beginning or seasoned film maker.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Remix America

RemixAmerica is an free online movie editing application. This application allows you to remix the words and speeches of American History with current topics of today. Students can use RemixAmerica to create videos on American History and to generate discussions and analyze topics relevant to American History.

There are four ways to create using RemixAmerica.

You can create a talk back by responding to a video that is already created.

You can create a Remix. To create a Remix click the Remix button and then use their editor to edit, add transitions, and add video and audio to a remix.

You can also create a new remix using audio and video from your own computer, or from websites. Their editor allows you to grab and edit video, and add a soundtrack and commentary.

You can even upload your own movies and allow others to remix what you have created.

After you create your remix you can email your movie to friends or embed it into your site or blog.

I learned about Remix America from Mitch, a participant in Lights! Camera! Education!, a movie making class that I co-taught this week for the AZ K-12 Center. Thanks for the tip Mitch!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What's On the Menu? - Food in Schools

This post was inspired by a post on Garr Reynold's Blog Presentation Zen .

I am amazed by the food that we give to students in school cafeterias. Most of the food is processed and preserved and is then thawed and heated before being served to our students.This is alarming because cognitive functioning is increased with proper nutrition. Also, proper nutrition can give our students the energy they need to complete the complex tasks that we demand of them throughout the school day.

This leads me to a comparison between the fast food industry and school cafeterias. Much of the processes and preparation techniques that take place in the fast food industry, also happens in schools. The reason for this is the convenience and speed of these methods that allow for mass production of food. This may not seem like a big deal. However, if we continue to feed our children processed foods that are loaded with hormones, pesticides, and preservatives, the results will be devastating to their health.

The percentage of overweight children in the United States is already growing at an alarming rate. One out of three children in the US are considered overweight or obese. If we continue to feed them high caloric and food that is not nutritionally dense, our students will continue to become overweight and have illnesses, such as diabetes, that are related to increased weight.

On Presentation Zen Reynolds posted a talk by Mark Bittmen. In this talk Bittmen discusses what is wrong with the way many of us eat. This is a great talk. I really enjoyed when he discusses the history of how we eat.

I also ran across talk by Ann Cooper, the head of nutrition for Berkeley, California, schools and author of Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children. She serves organic, regionally sourced and sustainable meals to students in California. This is an EXCELLENT talk that displays Cooper's passion toward sustainable food to kids. She also has a website,, that has recipes, links, and resources for food activism. If you click on only one link from this blog entry, this talk is the one to see. It is packed with 19 minutes of great information.

If you are excited by Cooper's enthusiasm for healthier school lunches you may also choose to follow her on Twitter.

This link will take you to the trailer for an upcoming movie called FOOD, Inc. This movie discusses the methods used in current food production and how we as consumers can help. This movie is only showing in a select number of theaters, so please check to see if it is showing near you. I think you will find the information in this trailer interesting and related to the topic at hand.

The FOOD Inc, website is filled with resources that you will find useful. A section of the website has information on 10 simple things that you can do to change our food system. Garr Reynolds created a visualizing appealing slide show of these 10 simple things that can be used as a springboard for discussion on the topic.

Under the Take Action section of FOOD, Inc's site, YOU can take action by signing a petition to help ensure that the re-authorization of the Child Nutrition Act. This act will help assure that healthy food choices are in place in our schools.

There is also an interactive portion of the site that will help you learn about health choices for school lunches.
Hopefully the release of the movie FOOD Inc, although it is a limited release, will spark conversations about what are feeding our students. Our students' health is at risk and as adults it is up to us to ensure that they are receiving proper nutrition.

If you interested in this topic you may also want to see the movies Fast Food Nation and Super Size Me.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Educational Videos & Lessons

Neo K-12 has a collection of online educational videos and lessons for children ranging in age from kindergarten to high school.
The videos on this site are separated into categories by subjects. A large portion of their videos are related to science. However, they have videos related to Social Studies, Math, Health, and English as well. There is even a small section devoted to fun videos.

I found this site to be user friendly and easy to navigate. Also, all of the videos on this site have been pre-screened by teachers to ensure that they are appropriate for student viewing.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Applying Bloom's Taxonomy

Bloom's taxonomy, originally created by Benjamin Bloom, classifies levels of intellectual learning that are commonly found in a classroom setting. Bloom's taxonomy contains three domains. These domains are the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective.

Along with these domains Benjamin Bloom identified six levels that are known as Bloom's taxonomy. These levels from highest to lowest are: evaluation, synthesis, analysis, application, comprehension, and knowledge.

Many educators use these levels to aid in the creation of lesson plans and lesson objectives. Educators are aware that the higher you go on Bloom's taxonomy the more cognitive demand increases. Students who are challenged cognitively are more likely to retain information and develop a deeper understanding of the material presented.

As useful tool for creation of objectives is located on Teachers On The Web's site. This site contains a table for each level of Bloom's taxonomy. Each table displays useful verbs, sample question stems, and potential activities and products. This is a useful tool that educators can use to help in the creation of lesson that are higher cognitively demanding.

For more web based resources related to Bloom's Taxonomy visit the Teacher Tap site.

Add Music To A PowerPoint

I am often asked how to add music to PowerPoint. Most people know how to add music to one slide. However, they are not able to continue the songs for consecutive slides. Here is a great blog post on how to add music to your PowerPoint slides that will walk you through the steps using the custom animation option.

Another option you have is using SlideShare. You can use SlideShare to sync slide shows and music to create a SlideCast. SlideShare is a free web resource that allows you to upload PowerPoint, OpenOffice, and PDF presentations with the potential to reach an audience of millions, or you can keep your presentation private to share with colleagues of your choice. You can find interesting presentations on this site also.

Below is a quick tour of SlideShare that will give you an overview of what SlideShare is all about.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

SlideShare: Ways to Use Wordle in Education

This Slideshare is a great example of how to use Wordle in Education. Thanks for the link.

How -To Tuesday - Video Grammar Handbook

Great Source iWrite has a Grammar Handbook portion to their site. However, this handbook is not your ordinary handbook. It is animated!
According to Great Source iWrite, to edit your writing well, you need to understand the rules. This library of quick, animated grammar lessons will help attract your students attention as well as teach them solid grammar skills.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Teacher Tube - My Site

Teacher Tube has launched MySite. This site is not a free service. However, if found useful to you it may be worth the $99 a year for 20 members. They also have an alternate option that is $5 per user, if you have more than 20 users.
MySite allows you to have your own version of teacher tube that contains content from your school. You can post your class videos, documents, and even audio recordings. Through MySite you have the ability to approve, add and upload.

MySite can be used to create a site for your school or your classroom, in a safe setting. There are many features for you to choose from that will allow customization of your site. Best of all, these sites are AD FREE and contain only your educational media content.

To get started click on the "get started" button. The site will request payment, and then you can begin your customized MySite.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Myebook - Movie Making for Kids

This is a cute Myebook that I discovered about movie making for kids.

This book guides children through tips on how to hold the camera, how to stand when holding a camera, and even encourages children to try different things to make their movies dynamic.

Myebook is a site that allows you to create and share ebooks online for free. Visit their, take a tour page, to learn more.

Print Friendly

Print Friendly is another great resource that I learned about from the Free Technology for Teacher's Site.

Print Friendly allows you to make any page print friendly, by simply copying and pasting the url into print friendly. According to their web site, PrintFriendly makes printing on the web better and you'll save paper and ink, plus get great looking documents.

Print Friendly has a useful about page that includes a short video on how to use the site. In the video, they show how a 16 page document was reduced to only 4 print friendly pages.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

BrainPOP Jr.- Kindergarten Registration Time

BrainPOP Jr. is featuring a movie about Kindergarten. This movie helps students learn about how to get ready for Elementary School and what to expect in Kindergarten. This can be a useful movie to show during the first week of school or during Kindergarten registration.

How -To Tuesday - Wordle

Wordle is a fun, and visually appealing, web-based tool that you can use to help your students examine word choice. Wordle generates word clouds from text you provide, a url, or even a username's tags. The word cloud allows writers to see the words that are used most frequently throughout the text.

This tool can help students examine their own writing. Through an evaluation of their writing students can be encouraged to use words that will help in expressing their ideas clearly and help them choose words that will suit their intended audience.

Here are a few examples of how Wordle can be used.

This is the Wordle that I created of Educational Snippets Blog. By evaluating this Wordle, I can clearly see that I use the words "Bingo" and "words" frequently when writing blog posts. Now, I can make a goal for myself to choose alternative words instead of "words". I can also see that perhaps I have written a few too many posts about Bingo. :)

This Wordle below is a word cloud of my tags. You can get a quick glimpse of my interests by examining this Wordle. If my interests match yours you can decide of I am someone that you may want to have in your network.
This is a Wordle of a First Grade student's writing.

Here is the original piece: Let me tell you about persuasion. It is fun. It hard to do. You need to change someone's mind. Now you know more about persuasion.

Here is the Wordle:The student can examine this word cloud to see if there are any words that are used too frequently in this piece of writing.

What other ways could Wordle be used? How are you using Wordle in your classroom? Please leave a commnet!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

How -To Tuesday - Find Safe Sites for Children

Little Clickers is a central location that contains sites that are safe for your students to visit. The sites located here are appropriate for students ages 3 to 12 years old.

The topics on the site range from Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Bubblegum to Learn About Satellites.

Fun facts are dispersed throughout the site. I learned that the invention of bubble gum was an accident. Also bubble gum was made pink because it was the only color of food coloring in the factory the day Walter Diemer invented bubblegum.

Visit Little Clickers and learn new entertaining facts and valuable information yourself!

Special thanks to Larry Ferlazzo's Website of the Day For teaching ELL, ESL. & EFL, for posting the link to this site.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sound Effects

This post is another student requested post. Rafael wants to know where to get sound effects from the internet. Below you will find links to sites that have free sound effects. has a selection of royalty free sound effects. If you scroll down the page, you will be able to select from a number of sound effect categories. You are sure to find what you are looking for here.

I Love Wavs has a large collection of sound effects. There is a special section with kid songs. I also enjoyed the section with animal noises.

There are many resources online with sound effects. However, these two sites should be a good starting point for all of the Rafaels out there. :)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

How -To Tuesday - Vocabulary Bingo

You can us the traditional Bingo template to help students review vocabulary words.

Follow these steps:

1. Create customized Bingo cards using the teAchnology site. Scroll down towards the bottom of the page to enter your own words. You can enter 25 words different words or repeat a few words several times.

2. After you have entered words in all 25 spaces, click on the Free Bingo Space button. Your card will then be generated. Now you can print your customized Bingo Cards. If you want to move the words around on the Bingo card to make more cards, you can click on shuffle words.

3. To play the game, read off definitions of the vocabulary words to the students. They can cover a spot on their bingo card with the word that corresponds with the correct definition. You can play 5 in-a-row Bingo or blackout bingo if you want the students to hear the definitions a number of times.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Measurment Resources

We have begun to learn about measurement in our classroom. This week we focused on using a ruler and measuring with inches. Next week we will also learn about measuring weight and volume.

Here are a few measurement resources.

Measurement Slide Show
This is a slide show that shows how to measure. There are several slide shows to choose from including, non-standard measurement and measuring weights.

We are using lesson 4, customary measurement. This slide show shows how to use a ruler correctly.

Fun Brain has a few measurement games to choose from. The games are categorized by centimeters and inches. The games are also leveled by easy, medium, hard, and there is even a superbrain game. This will help with differentiation of lessons or allow you to choose a more difficult game as you progress with the lesson.

The Ruler Game
This is a Ruler Game. In this game, the students will click on the given increments.