Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cell phones - can we live without them?

Have you ever left home and forgot your cell phone.  I know I did one day and didn't know what I was going to do with myself.  I was simply distraught with the lack of connectivity.  Do kids feel that everyday when they enter our school?

I beleive that cell phones are the technology of now and that depriving students of them (to them) is like depriving them of air.  Let's face it, their cell phone are in our classrooms, their in pockets, and when you turn around, there is texting etc. going on.  So why fight the fight?

Wach this, comment away....

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

7 Technology Alternatives

I was reading through my blogs this morning and found this interesting...

From this I developed my own wall on wall wisher and kids love it!

If you have any to add, please follow the link at the end and add a comment to this blog (not mine).  I commented this morning citing a resource call "spell with FlickR."

7 technology alternatives to standard homework assignments

Standard Homework Assignment: Create a poster board over a book/person/event.
Technology Alternative: Create a Glog using Glogster for Education

Standard Homework Assignment: Find an article about a certain topic (Current Event maybe) and bring into class with a write up discussing the content
Technology Alternative: Have students find that article online and post a link to it on a blog or wallwisher wall discussing the content.  Share the blog/wall in class the following day.

Standard Homework Assignment: Complete the questions from a certain section or chapter review in your textbook.
Technology Alternative: Create a Back Channel Chat using a site like TitanPad and discuss the questions from the book at a certain time that night. 

Standard Homework Assignment (Math): Do a certain number of problems from your book and bring them in to check for correctness
Technology Alternative: Use a site like Twiddla and provide a whiteboard area for students to collaboratively work together on the problems.

Standard Homework Assignment: Complete a worksheet and turn in to the teacher the following day
Technology Alternative: Create the worksheet and make it available to students online (Use a Word to PDF converter).  Have students search the Internet for the answers and provide a link to the source for where they found the answer.

Standard Homework Assignment: Read a poem/story/section of a book and be prepared to discuss in class the next day
Technology Alternative: Read a poem/story/section of a book and create a blog or Twitteraccount for students to discuss the night they read it.  Then share the comments on the blog with students to facilitate the discussion in class the next day.  It also provides a way to grade them for participating in the reading.  If they do a blog response, they get a grade, if not, they don't.

Standard Homework Assignment: Write a Poem.
Technology Alternative: Use a site like PicLits and write the poem using an image as inspiration.  Email the completed poem to the teacher.  Share in class.

What Technology Alternatives do you have for the Standard Homework Assignment?  Feel free to comment!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Oh how I love Tagxedo, let me count the ways...

If you haven't used it by now, you are really missing out!  From class lists to literature there are a ton of useful uses for this FREE resource.  Check out more of them here on the tagxedo blog.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Web Resources 8/18/10

The coolest Kindergarten class in the world:

What makes a GREAT teacher:

One of the BEST sites for scheudleing appointments and getting people to a meeting:

Do more with powerpoint:

Facebook resources for parents:

Monday, August 16, 2010

Google Fun!

For all of those that know my fascination with Google, here are some very cool resources!

Today's Meet

This looks so cool!

Where will I use this?  I would use it to host review discussions around various topics in preparation for an assessment.  I would use it to interact with students/parents around specific topics.  I see great things here!

Interesting Ways

Just ran across this resource from Tom Barrett called interesting ways.  It is a list of interesting ways to use items/ideas/resources in the classroom.

You HAVE to check these out!

Here's what's there, I am using a couple from the "get to know your new class list."

Homework and Deadlines
We have been battling for years on homework.  To assign it, not to assign it, to count it, not to count it, what to assign, how much to assign, etc.

There are many new books and resources about homework practices.  My opinion, right now because it will probably change 20 time sin the next year, is that if it's meaningful and has a purpose, then it needs to be assigned, if not, don't assign it.

Here is a great article on how deadlines can be "fair and unbalanced" when it comes to homework and projects:

What's wrong with education?

I don't know if I'm excited about these movies or scared to see how bad the education system is.  One thing I know, these movie will be the talk of educators around the world.  I'm excited to be a part of the discussion on how to "fix" education to best meet the ever changing needs of our students.  Movie due out in the fall.

For more information: and

CNN Student News

CNN is bringing back daily news directed at the life of a student.  I'm excited about it.

Got 5 minutes in your class, catch up on your daily headlines...

Thank you CNN!

For more check out:

Friday, August 13, 2010

You decide...

Which is a more valuable resource for teachers? Home


I believe..

Bring on 2010!

First days!

So I've been agonizing about what I'm going to do on the first days of school differently than I have done in the past.  I research many ideas using a number of blogs (here are two of my favorites: and and came up with two solutions.

1.  We're going to start a facebook page.  But only for our parents.  Since I teach 6th grade I have a little bit of hesitation about getting 11 year olds on facebook when the minimum age is suppose to be 13.  No worries.  This did not come without some resistance from staff members.  Funny.  Our administration is 100% for it, our teachers are not.  But that's for another blog post.

Check it out here:

2.  I'm going to use a paper pencil True False assessment to teach kids about me.  Then we're going to flip that and they are going to teach me about them.

3.  I'm also using wallwisher to have students collaborate online by brainstorming ideas to name their class (see every year my students name their class, this gives a sort of team mentality that helps make the year run smooth.).

Excited to try something new!

Welcome to 2010!

(photo credits: