Wednesday, December 22, 2010

ActivInspire - How To Create Containers

Here are a couple of screencasts that I had made last year on how to create two different types of "containers" using Promethean's ActivInspire software. I've also embedded the directions so that you can print them out.

The first screencast demonstrates how to create a basic container that will only contain one object and then reject other objects that do not belong. (Bonus! When I published this screencast on YouTube, I must have forgotten to delete the extra tutorial at the end. So you'll get some bonus material at the end of the "Container Tutorial". Enjoy)

The second screencast demonstrates how to create a set of containers that will each contain multiple objects and reject other objects that do not belong.

But... If you want to save yourself some time on creating containers, I highly recommend downloading the two resource packs - Containers Made Easy 1 & 2 from Promethean Planet. Click here for the link to those resource packs. If you have any questions, feel free to email me.

Friday, October 1, 2010

My Flipchart Wiki

Ok, it's official. My Flipchart Wiki is finally up! While there is not much to it right now, it does have a few flipchart templates that I have created for teachers over the past couple of years. I intend to add more flipchart templates as well as content specific flipchart lessons, but I need to slim them down a little. Some of the files are too large.

My goal is to inspire you with customizable templates and resources as well as provide you with content-filled ActivInspire flipcharts!  If you would like to contribute your flipchart lessons or if you are looking for someone to help you develop engaging flipchart lessons, please see my Contact Page.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Results of "Office Duck Hunt"

So this is not an educational post by any means. But it does fall along the lines of creating a positive campus culture and creating an environment of collaborative people in education! I smell a playoff!!

First Place (5 Way Tie) 

Deborah A.                       DeRance B.

Beverly T.                        Triena D.

David H. 

Other notable "Duck Hunters"

Angela B.                         Sheryl P.

Anthony T. 


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Relieve Some Work Stress

I wanted to relieve some work stress, so I decided to make a major purchase for my office. An officially licenced Nerf basketball hoop. It's awesome. Take 2 minutes and snap a pic of your "Nerf basketball hoop" and share it! Happy Friday Eve!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.5.5.2

Friday, August 20, 2010

Sound Bible

Here's a website that allows you access to "free" sound clips to embed into your Interactive Whiteboard lessons. The site is called Sound Bible. Once again, I'll let the YouTube clip do the explaining! Complete with a short tutorial! Enjoy.

Jazz Up Your Interactive Whiteboard Projects

Want to dress up your Interactive Whiteboard Lessons? Here's site that can help you out with that. The site is called Glitter Your Way.  I'll let the YouTube clip do the explaining!  NOTE: It also works with your SMART Software!

YouTube Channel - Radford Education

Being a classroom teacher and a Professional Development coach, one thing that I see among all learners is that they all learn differently. Duh. So I was always creating or searching for supplemental resources for my classroom instruction and professional development. As far as interactive whiteboards go, I can "get down" on a Promethean board! But SMART Boards are a whole other ball game. So I started my search for resources.

When I accepted my current position, my district was excited that I had an extensive knowledge on Promethean products. The district had just purchase 100+ boards to install on their elementary campuses. My job was to help with the install planning and then create a comprehensive professional development plan for our teachers on using IWB. Easy right? What they failed to tell me was that we already had 100+ SMART Boards.
With all of that said... my search for SMART resources had begun!

Ok, so to get to the point of this post, I found the YouTube channel for Radford Education. This channel is great! It had very "short and to the point" instructional tutorials on various instructional technology resources. I found just what I was looking for on an introduction to SMART Boards! They have 9 very nice tutorials. But Radford Education's tutorials didn't just stop at SMART. They also have tutorials on many of the Google products. Here's a list:

Google Forms
Google Earth
Google Mail
Google Sites
iPod Touch
SMART Boards

These are perfect tutorials for teachers who like to watch tutorials instead of reading them off of a .pdf. 

Monday, August 2, 2010

Critical Past

What is it: was a stie created by a team of professionals in the archival research field.  The site contains over 57,000 videos and 7 million still images from the past that are arranged nicely by date and location. I will note that the images and video are available for purchase but can be viewed from a searching aspect. I do like that you can search by decade through a visual time line at the bottom of the home page.

How to integrate it into the classroom: Bring you historical figures to life by showing students short clips of those figures at various events. Listen to John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address or The Apollo 11 Moon Landing. One downside is that the videos can not be played in full screen mode. But there are some work arounds. 

Thank you to TableTalk for this great find!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

History Pin

What is it: History Pin is a site that was created through the partnership of We Are What We Do and Google. History Pin allows you to use a map, add photos and write a story about that photo. What's unique about this site is that you can narrow a search down and view other posted images and stories taken during a particular time period. But that's not all. Because you can look at posted photos, that were taken during an earlier time period,  you can layer them over current Google Street Views and see all the changes that may have occurred over time. Take a look at the History Pin intro video.

How to integrate it into the classroom: This is GREAT for your history or geography classes. I'm a huge visual learner and so are many students. Occasionally I have teachers ask me for an electronic copy of a map or a web page with an "interactive" map that students can label. My answer is always, "Download Google Earth" or "Have you tried Google Maps?" Now I can add a little more to those requests. How powerful would it be if you had students locate a city that your class may be discussing in your history class and then have another student post a pic their Grandparents took when they visited that city. Then you could layer the old photo with Street View!

A big "Thank You!" To Li-Bear-y Corner for sharing this great find!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Document Scanner Android App

What is it: Document Scanner is an app in the Android Market that allows you to "scan" a document, using your phone's camera, and convert it to a pdf. so that you can then email to everyone.  A new feature is that you can now upload the document to Google Docs for storing. 

What makes this app stand out is that you can scan any number of pages and merge them into one document. You also have the ability to add scans to an existing pdf. and reorder the pages. The build in camera allows you to talk higher quality images. 
How to integrate it into the classroom: There are an infinite number of possibilities for this app.  Whether it's on a personal or educational level. Teachers can scan student projects to place in a student portfolio or to post on their blog.  Students can scan notes from the teacher to reference information at a later time. And it can all be in one document instead of several images. 

I like to use it after meetings. I tend to take notes on post-its, napkins or whatever my pen will write on.  This allows me to organize those notes to refer to later.

Flipchart Wiki Status

I have had a lot of requests for flipcharts over the past few weeks and I promise I will get those up on my Flipchart Wiki soon. I just started a new position in St. Louis and I'm trying to get settled in. Some of the Flipcharts I previewed at the Promethean ActivEducator Conference in Fort Worth can be found on Promethean Planet. Here's a link to my "Blank Refrigerator Magnets" Enjoy.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Testing Blogger Droid App

I recently downloaded the Blogger Droid app for my HTC EVO. I'm hoping to blog a little more and provide more information as I come across it. So if you're reading this and can see my test pic... it worked.

Published with Blogger-droid v1.3.9

Thursday, May 27, 2010


What is it: A colleague of mine, ITS Happening, shared this with me today.  It's called Bookr.  It's a site that allows you to create photobooks from images found on Flickr.  You type in the tags of images that you are looking for and it searches for you.  You select the images that you want to use and then type in some text.  Very easy to use. Here's my example I made in about 2 minutes. I was thinking about summer already.  The only downside is that you are unable to save it so that you can edit it later.

How to integrate it into the classroom: There are many useful ways to integrate Bookr into the classroom. Here are a few suggestions.  Please feel free to suggest more.
  • Retell an event in history in your own words and using images that make it a little more interesting
  • Student can share an event that happened in their life that was important to them
  • Students can develop their descriptive writing 
  • Teachers can create a book of problems or scenarios with images to guide the learning
  • Practice inferencing in a story
  • Students can create a science journal over a concept just learned
  • Once a narrative has been written, students can then add images to go along with it

Some Hilarious Teacher Humor

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Survivor Skype

A huge "Thank You" to the teachers and students of Round Rock ISD who let us come in and take over their classrooms with our Promethean Skype project, Survivor Skype.  It was a success!  If you are interested in the details of this project please contact me!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Dynamic Periodic Table

What is it: The Dynamic Periodic Table is just that.  It is an interactive Periodic Table that allows students to select an element and choose to view photos, videos or general information about that element. I wish I would have had this when I taught 8th Grade.  You can customize the page so that you can view the Periodic Table by the atomic symbol, the electrons in each shell, an expanded view or the atomic mass. It also allows you to view various properties such as the boiling and melting point of elements.  I especially like the photos and videos.  Student typically discuss elements without ever seeing what it looks like.  A great resource to supplement your learning experiences.  Alkali metals + water = Fun!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Create A Virtual Tour With Google My Maps

What is it: Google My Maps allows you to create points of intrest, with personal descriptions on a Google Map. You can then draw lines, that include the distance, to connect your points of intrest! Google My Maps then creates an HTML code and link to embed into your blog or site. You can choose to make your map public or unlisted.  If you choose to share it with other, you can all contribute points of intrest.  Here's  a video explaining how to create a Google My Map.

How to integrate it into the classroom: Here are some suggestions on how to integrate your Google My Map into your classroom learning experiences. 
  • Virtual tours of historical locations
  • Students can provide feedback on a recent field trip by plotting and describing a location they visited
  • Students can plan a field trip by organizing the route and providing descriptions
  • Outline the plot location of a story for a writing assignment
  • Create math problems that require students to measure distances
  • Create geography lessons that allow students to provide descriptive feedback on locations
  • Revisit a route settlers might have traveled
  • Students can create a project that plots locations that their ancestors traveled

Interactive Whiteboard Manipulatives - Glencoe/McGraw Hill

What is it: Publisher McGraw Hill has a great math resource for your interactive whiteboards.  It's an web page with virtual manipulatives that student and teachers can use to introduce or reinforce math concepts from Pre K to 8th Grade.  You can customize the flash-based site to fit your learning experiences!  Choose from different backgrounds such as game boards, work mats or story boards.  You can then set up or solve a problem by choosing from a set of virtual manipulatives.

How to integrate it into the classroom: An obvious way for teachers to use this tool it to reinforce a concept previously taught.  Here are some other suggestions:
  • Student explanation of how they solved homework or classwork 
  • Set up as a learning or discovery station
  • Student providing the instruction with their own lessons
  • Students creating problems for others to solve
  • Basic practice of concepts
  • Story starters for Language Arts lessons
  • Student collaboration on solving math problems

    Friday, May 14, 2010

    Word Magnets

    What is it:  I've mentioned the Tripco website before and I will probably continue to mention them on my blog.  I really enjoy the interactive resources that they put out.  They're clean, easy and functional!  Here's another one that I'd like to share.  It's called Word Magnets.  Remember when you were in college and your buddy had those refrigerator magnets with different words on them and you had to arrange them into funny, and sometimes... well we'll just say we created some sentences. 

    How to integrate it into the classroom:  There are so many ways to use Word Magnets! Here are a few suggestions:
    • Creating Venn Diagrams to compare concepts
    • Categorizing topics
    • Sequencing events in history
    • Creating sentences or poetry
    • Alphabetizing words
    • Collaborate on spelling out spelling words
    • Various games
    • Creating math sentences
    • Completing math sentences or sequences
    • Creating diagrams or flow charts
    • Creating number lines
    • Making graphs from collected data
    Whew! I think that's enough for now.  What is also great, is that they have template already created.  You just choose which one you need and fill in the words.  You are even able to add words as you go. Enjoy this demo clip. Note: When you go to the link, give it a second or two and then a "next" arrow will appear in the lower left hand corner.

    Thursday, May 13, 2010

    How can we design the ideal learning experience for students?

    Watch Dan Meyers' talk at TED on creating the ideal learning experience for students.  Math teachers takes note. This isn't an interactive resources, but something worth sharing.  Also take a look at Dan Meyer's Blog.

    Tuesday, May 11, 2010


    What is it: Stage'D is a digital resource that allow students to create animated comics on a virtual stage for free.  Student become the director of their own stories!  You can choose up to two characters and create a dialog between them. Customize your actors with actions, costumes and backgrounds.

    Stag'D is definitely in its beginning stages, but it is great tool to use in the classroom.  It definitely introduces digital storytelling on another level. There is even a place for student to put their name as the director.

    How to integrate it into the classroom: There are various ways that you can integrate this into your classroom.  Thanks to the Edublogger, iLearn Technology for some of the suggestions.
    •  Re-tell a story to demonstrate comprehension
    • Illustrate historical events
    • Create commercials that persuade or inform
    • Create social stories for students to practice dialog
    • Using the visuals to help with creating descriptive narratives
    • Use the characters to introduce a new lesson
    • Use the story to come up with various conclusions
    Take a look at my attempt at directing a play!.

      Monday, May 3, 2010

      Picasa In Education

      If you've never used Google's Picasa (I highly recommend it) or you can't think of ways to integrate it into the classroom, take a look at this .pdf info sheet that has links and resources. Check out the link to the Picasa In Ed Wiki. This has quite a bit of inspirational classroom ideas! I've also included an Intro to Picasa video.

      Wednesday, April 28, 2010

      Why Schools Are Turning To Google Apps

      Here's a great article from Mashable! on why school districts are using Google Apps on student laptops to boost academic performance.

      Article: Visual Learning In Autism

      Here is a recent article I read in the publication Advance for Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists.  The article describes how the Monarch Center for Autism, in Cleveland, OH, supports children with autism through the use of interactive whiteboards, touch screen computers, video modeling and web-based programs.

      Tuesday, April 27, 2010

      Interactive Classroom Resource - Tripco E-Learning

      What is it: Triptico E-Learning is a simple website with a growing library of GREAT interactive classroom resources and tools.  You can submit your comments about a resource and the developer will attempt to make some modifications based on your feedback.  I've seen resources change quite a bit!  When I first started looking at this site it only had a handful of tools.  It has grown pretty fast.

      Tripco's tools are very modern looking and BIG.  Most of them are customizable to fit your classroom. There are spinners, scoreboards, and a name selector. I like the "Find Ten!" resource.   Try the demo activity.

      Monday, April 26, 2010

      Need Student Response Devices? Try "Poll Everywhere"

      What is it: Poll Everywhere is a free resource that allows you to create multiple choice or free form text questions that participants can reply to via their cell phone.  They can text in the answer or send it from their Twitter account.  Poll Everywhere will update your results live on your blog or in your class PowerPoint! Turn a cell phone into a Student Response Device!  Subscription accounts are available for an audience larger than 30 participants. But with that small student to teacher ratio, who needs more than 30, right?!  Give it a try! Here's my question below.

      Thursday, April 22, 2010

      5 Ways Classrooms Can Use Video Conferencing

      Need some ideas for that webcam in your classroom collecting dust?  I personally like #5.  Also read about a 12 year old who recently spoke at the TED Conference. 

      Posted using ShareThis

      Wis Web Interactive Website for IWB

      What is it:  Wis Web is simple interactive website for secondary math classes that focuses on the use of applets to allow students to explore problems, discover concepts and construct 3D objects.  With a background in teaching 8th Grade math , I would have to say that the applet called "Building Houses with Side Views" is one of my favorite. 

      How to integrate it into the classroom:  How could you not integrate this into your interactive classrooms. Setting up learning stations, with your IWB as the "main stage", would be a great way to keep ALL of your students engaged in their learning. It covers measurement, geometry, algebra, number sense and more.  What I really love about this site is that the design of the applets is large and simple.

      Tuesday, April 13, 2010

      Shared Whiteboard Space on Google Docs

      What is it:  I am an avid fan of Google Docs and they now have a new feature! Google Docs now has the option to create a "shared whiteboard space" called Google Drawing.  Google Drawing allows for the collaboration process to happen, on a blank drawing space, in real time.  If you are familiar with Google Docs, the privacy settings are the same as other documents.  You, as the creator, are allowed to adjust these settings and it is up to you to decide who has access to view or edit the document. The Google Drawing can be published to a blog or site and it will be updated in real time!

      How to integrate it into the classroom:  This is a wonderful tool for those who have an interactive whiteboard! This will allow multiple classrooms to interact with each other using one document in real time.  Each class can provide input and the other classes can see it happen. Students can work different math problems or answer questions that are provided by the other class.  Involve Skype and the possibilities are endless!

      Wednesday, March 31, 2010

      Google For Teachers Guide

      What is it: Google For Teachers is a 33 page guide to help teachers and administrators, go beyond the obvious with various Google Tools.  I add the administrator group to this because I have been on some campuses where there is a push by the leaders to integrate technology in the classroom. While at the same time those leaders are dissemination information to everyone with an overhead projector or the old PowerPoint. Teachers, we need your help to get everyone on board!

      How to integrate it into the classroom: In this guide there are 21 ideas and directions on how to use Google Tools and Gadgets such as Google Books, Google Maps, Google News, and Google Forms. Did you know that you can create an interactive map that students can collaborate on at the same time?  They can even create their own placemarks with descriptions and personalized icons! The Google for Teachers Guide also shows teachers how to create an assessment that student can take online from the classroom blog using Google Forms. Thank you to Free Technology for Teachers for this resource.

      Thursday, March 25, 2010

      Study Island and Promethean Integration

      What is it: Study Island is an educational state standards based program. Teachers are able to create learning experiences for your students that target specific state standards.

      How to integrate it into the classroom: Study Island has now created a way to integrate your classroom response devices such as ActiVotes and ActivExpressions into their program. What makes this different from using the Promethean software is that you do not need to run ActivStudio or ActivInspire to conduct classroom voting. Everything is done through Study Island! Similar features available with Promethean's Learner Response System are also available on Study Island.  You start and stop the voting as well as view class results!