Wednesday, November 30, 2011

You Tube and Sqool Tube for Teaching Math

There are so many resources for math on the Internet.  One of my favorites is You Tube!
You Tube has videos including songs, lessons and tutorials that students enjoy.  You can search You Tube for any math topic, and find videos that will supplement that topic.

Here are some good ones:

Multiplication square numbers (doubles)

This video comes from Mathsongs for which there are 34 videos in the series.  I have used several of the Mathsongs videos.

Mr. Duey Fractions


I have used this video in the past.  Students really like Mr. Duey.  I have also used Long Division by Mr. Duey.

Math Rocks!  Perimeter and Area

Another great series with 40 videos covering a huge variety of math concepts!  I subscribe to this one!

Nature by Numbers

This video was inspired by numbers, nature and geometry.  I want to show this to my students before we start our geometry unit.

Sqool Tube has great video lessons for math (among other subjects).  I like how the lessons are taught on a "blackboard" and are easy to follow along.

Click here to view this video on adding decimals from Sqool Tube.

If you know of a video that is useful in teaching math, please share it with all of us.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Can You Use These Math Tools?

Lately I've been on a mission to incorporate more tools for my math students to use in our math lessons.  Here are a few that I'm thinking about.

Click here for my favorite math manipulative site from McGraw Hill:

I love that there are backgrounds for pretty much any math concept I'm teaching.  I really like that students can print their pages.  Choosing your grade level makes finding the right manipulative much easier.

Here are two sites that are simple and easy to use for making your own graphs.  

Even very young students can create a bar graph using the Grapher.  Every part of the graph is able to be changed to meet your data.

Create a Graph allows for more options and has tabs to click to create your graph.  I like that students can preview their graph and go back and make changes if things don't look right.  I also like that students can download or email their graph when they are done.

Choose from 1, 2, or 3 dice.  Touch the dice to roll.  I can think of a way to incorporate dice in almost every math lesson I teach. Sometimes I have students use the dice to create math computation problems for the topic we are learning. I have also used dice to choose whose turn it is to solve a problem on the Smart Board.  Dice can also be used to have students play many different types of games.  Mathwire and Scholastic have multiple dice games for students.

Finally, I think it's important to allow students to have fun and be challenged with unique math concepts.  For example, The Eyeballing Game is a unique site that challenges students to see how well they can eyeball correcting geometric shapes.  I found this kind of fun myself.  I like how the results show my inaccuracy and also the correct answer.  It's amazing how hard students will work to earn a few minutes of class time on a fun site like this one.  (And I don't feel one bit guilty allowing this time since the students are still learning!)

Do you have a math tool or site that you incorporate into your math lessons?  I'd love to hear about it.  

Monday, November 28, 2011

Similar Sites

Have you ever searched for just the right tool to use with your students?  Do you get tired of searching, and searching, and searching. . . . ?

For example, I love using Wallwisher and with my students, but I need something that offers easier collaboration.  
I recently discovered a tool called Similar Sites.  This was super useful to me.  

Similar Sites will find websites that are just like the one you enter into the search box.  It will then give you a list of similar sites.  Each results has a similarity rating to help you find a tool that closely matches the one you already use.

Here is a screenshot of my search for sites similar to

Here is what Similar Sites says about themselves:

"Because it's all about choice, helps you find alternatives. Don't scroll through countless search results - SimilarSites makes finding content related to your current search absolutely effortless. Simply enter a web address and instantly you will receive high quality results - based on content examination rather than popularity."

Similar Sites is all about finding new web 2.0 tools and websites that I don't already know about, because that is what I love to do!

Last thing: for you techy people, there are browser extensions for Similar Sites! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Font de music

Here is a fun site for introducing new words to students.  Font de Music will let you type in a word, choose a font, choose the color you want, and add animation and music.  Then you can submit your word and get a link to share the word with others.

Click here to check out my creation.  

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Making Books with Children

Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord has a site for sharing eight different ways to make books with children.  These are homemade books.  Sometimes I believe it's important for students to get creative with their paper, scissors and glue.  These patterns and directions are very nicely displayed.  I plan to have my reading group make some homemade books from Susan's site in the very near future!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Markup (sketch, mark and look at images) with Twiddla

Twiddla is a useful site that allows us to draw, write and upload images while collaborating with others.  

Click here to markup this image with me.

Twiddla also allows us to markup (write) on any website.  This can be very useful if you want to have students analyze a webpage or point out something specific on a site.  

Here is an example of my blog being marked up using Twiddla.  

To join me in marking up my webpage click here.

I would like to use Twiddla with students to show them how easy it is to collaborate together.  We could upload an image or document.  Or analyze a webpage, or perhaps a piece of art work.  I am seeing a lot of possibilities for this tool.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

National Geographic Site

National Geographic has some fun interactive games for older students.

There are jigsaw puzzles that need to be put together.

Slide puzzles to put back in order:

A memory game where you get to study the order of the 9 photos for ten seconds.
 And then put the photos back where they belong.

A match game that plays like memory.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Collaborating with Mindmapping

Just recently I had my reading students use to create a mindmap of a non-fiction text.  They did a really great job and totally enjoyed using  I had them set up their own account, which involved entering their email and creating a password (which I made for them).  There was no email verification needed.

I was impressed with the newest features in 2.0.

My students were impressed with the ability to change bubble colors, as well as change text colors.  They also liked the easy click and drag options.  Connecting bubbles was also easy for them to get the hang of.  I explained parent, child and grandchild bubbles.

Here is an example of a mindmap from one of my students.  To take a closer look, just click on the + and - .  Click on the background to move around.

The only feature that we didn't use with is the ability to collaborate and work together in real time.  In order for us to work with a partner or in a group, we first have to create and add contacts, which could be a bit tricky for my students.  I may have to go into my students accounts and set this up myself.

Another option is to use a different web 2.0 tool that allows for easier set up to collaborate with others.  One such tool is called SlateboxSlatebox is a lot like, but it has a few extra features.  One is to share the link with others to collaborate.  Another is to create a presentation mode that will play your mindmap like a slideshow.

Here is an example from Slatebox.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Copy a Google Form

A year ago, I shared how to create and use Google Forms.  Click here, and here to see the old posts.

Today, I am sharing a site that offers Google Forms that have been created for you to copy and use with your students.  These come from Tom Barrett's Edtech blog.  Some forms may not be exactly what you want, but once you make a copy of the form, you can adjust the questions to suit your needs.  At the bottom of the blog is a Google Presentation on ways to use Google Forms in your classroom.

Click here

Monday, November 14, 2011

Educational Apps

Our Linky Party is going well.  Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to add an app.  The Linky Party will be open until November 24th.  Click here to view all of the apps so far.  

Where do I find apps for our iPad? My favorite places are:

APPitic is a great site to search for educational iPad/iPod apps.  

I also use Kathy Schrock's Google Site.  is awesome for finding apps as well. 

Happy searching!  

Friday, November 11, 2011

My Pinterest Finds for the Week

Once again, Pinterest has been good to me.

Check out these resources:  (Click on a picture to view the resource on Pinterest)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Veteran's Day Activities

Veteran's Day is this Friday and we plan to do a few activities in our classroom to honor the men and women of our country that have bravely served over the years.

Below is a collection of resources I've collected.

Here are some resources that I have found on Pinterest which people shared freely. 

Veteran's Day Word Bank (Click here to download)

Veteran's Day Various Activities (Click here to download

Spelling City has Veteran's Day Vocabulary.  Students can play games, practice the words and test themselves on spelling the words.

Read Write Think has a podcast for teachers discussing books that could be read aloud to students.  I've embedded the podcast below.  The first two books, The Wall and Patrol, I have used with students in the past, and are really great. has a slideshow of Veterans for Veteran's Day.  Click here.

Wonderopolis has a YouTube video that explains Veteran's Day.  (*There is a tiny bit of advertising)  I've embedded the video below.

And finally, if you still need more Veteran's Day resources, click here for a livebinder filled with more ideas. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Gmail Setting for Unread Emails to Appear First

Recently I showed how to update to the newest views in Gmail.  While sharing this, I was asked how to make the unread emails appear at the top of my emails.  I wasn't able to remember, since I had changed this a long time ago.  

So, as promised, I have found how to make this change.  Follow the steps below.

Step 1
Click on the settings wheel at the very top of your email.  Not the lower wheel.

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Don't forget to click on SAVE CHANGES!!

That's it!  Now your unread emails will be at the top of your list.  My favorite part of my day is when my email says, " Woohoo! You've read all the messages in your inbox."  

iPad Apps for Elementary

Today we are having a Linky Party for iPad apps.  Please think of an iPad app that you find useful in your classroom.  Find the app either on the iTunes app site or do a Google search for your app.  Copy the link and join the Linky party below.  Then share the link with all of us.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Web 2.0 tools

One of the blogs I follow called In Tech Insights, by Karen Ogen, had a Glogster with Web 2.0 tools.  I love collecting Web 2.0 tools to use in the classroom.  I know most of these, but a few were new to me.  Check out the Glogster below or click here to see the entire Glogster.  Check out Karen's Blog here.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Two Tools for Vocabulary and Spelling

I am always looking for new tools to use with our Words Their Way word studies.  Lately we've been working a lot on synonyms, antonyms and word meanings.  

Some of our favorite tools for working with our words have been:

Today I have two new tools to share with you!

Recently I came across a new application called Easy Define.

This site is great for looking up definitions for a lot of words all at once. See the screen captures below.

 Here I copied and pasted three words.  You can paste as many as you wish.

 When you click the List tab, your words show up with definitions.

 Under the extras tab you can get synonyms for your words, quiz yourself, get flashcards in the form of a printable word document, or you can get worksheets.  

Worksheets can be viewed online or downloaded.  Above are all of the choices.  I could see generating these for practice of reading or content area vocabulary, as well as spelling words.

  The How to Use tab explains all that Easy Define has to offer.