Friday, December 30, 2011

Drawing Site: Beautiful Curves

Picture Beautiful Curves is an HTML5 web based drawing app that lives up to its name.  Tim Holman created the site which is simply too fun to stop playing! 

This would be an interesting site to let students create an artwork of their feelings. More curls may represent feelings of more chaos, maybe change the thickness to represent emotional intensity, and of course color choice. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Setting Up Nook Tablet with MyMediaMall

I received a Nook Tablet for Christmas from my loving husband who so generously indulges my fervent reader mood. Of course on a teacher's budget I can't afford to purchase ebooks all the time, so I'm taking advantage of our library's subscription service to mymediamall. I couldn't figure out how to make the books work on my tablet however so I had to poke around the nook boards on B&N's website. A very helpful post on how to do this was here. I also thought the video explanation here was incredibly useful. 

Now if only I can figure out how to get android games on here...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Where in the World? A Google Earth Game

Where in the World?! is a great game for students to identify places around the world. Each picture gives you three choices which can spure discussion. Do you notice a lot of green boxes in the picture? What could it be? Cities? Farms? Which country do you suppose has lots of open farming areas? 

As neat as this project is it would be very cool to create your own game using your local community. Taking simple screen shots and posting them to a class website or community would be relatively simple Have students guess the location based off your previous discussions! This would even be a great quick activity when students come to class or a daily blog post. Students could even make up their own game using photos of their favorite places

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holiday Stress Relief

Five more days of school remain before we break for the holidays, and this teacher is definitely feeling the crunch of semester's end! Students and teachers alike are more than a little frazzled these days!
If you're looking for a few minutes of mindless stress relief try to create virtual sand art- complete with the relaxing sound of pouring sand.

The only problem is that you can't save your creation . When it's time to get back to work your art work must go. You can save it to a gallary collection but I do NOT recommend you do this (there are innapropriate images on the gallary- don't let students on the gallary page). 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

ICE Conference- Proposal Accepted

Picture I'm thrilled that my poster session was just accepted for the 2012 Illinois Computing Educator's Conference. I will be presenting "Edmodo in the Special Needs Behavior Classroom" on either Thursday or Friday (details to follow).

This is a great opportunity for our school to showcase how we are using student safe social networking with our junior high and high school students. I plan to have handouts with tips & tricks. Looking forward to seeing everyone there!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Website Evaluation Checklist

I created this checklist for students to use to evaluate websites. When you walk a website through the checklist you stop if/when you get a “No” answer; that means the website is not valid for academic research. If everything is a “Yes” then the website is probably valid for use.

Paper saving idea: I put the pages in sheet protectors and had my students use dry erase markers.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Gearing Up for Friday Kickoff

I'm leading a 4 session training starting Friday over the next four weeks at school. Each week features a different theme (with a football theme twist). This week's session is called "Kickoff Fall with Web 2.0." I'm hoping to showcase at least 20 different Web 2.0 sites. This week I get to make a list of the key sites to feature and pray they aren't blocked at school. Wish me luck!

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Bee-utiful Project Idea

As much as I appreciate the vital role bees play in our ecosystem I still can't bring myself to add a few hives to my backyard. Today however I stumbled upon a website encouraging people to plant native plants in their yard or garden to encourage natural bee populations, and then join them in collecting and reporting data about the bees that they see. This, is much easier than donning a netted mask and figuring out how to keep boxes of bees away from my toddler. 
The Great Sunflower Project,, seems like a unique authentic learning experience for a classroom project. Students would first need to research native plants to the area, would have a wonderful time actually planting them and maintaining the garden on part of the school grounds, and then could collect data (math, science, social studies...any subject!) This would even be a great school-wide project!