Wednesday, March 23, 2011

innovatEd Event

innovatEd is a professional development opportunity for educators being held on Thursday, April 7 from 4:30-8:00pm. It's being held at Presbyterian Day School in Memphis, so we are hoping for a great turnout from Memphis area educators, but all sessions will be streamed live, so no matter where you live, you can benefit from this event!

There are already 50 people registered to attend, so we have just added a third presentation room. You can check out the presentations here. (Room 3 info will be filled in soon.)

This is a combined effort of Philip Cummings, Akevy Greenblatt, Melissa Smith, and myself. We wanted to provide a professional development opportunity for teachers in Memphis and around the world. The focus is innovation in education....what can we do in our classrooms to keep the students engaged and interested while covering our curriculum.

Presentations will be 20 minutes long. There will be people skyped in to present as well as live presenters. We still have room if you are interested in presenting.  Click here to fill out the presenting proposal form.

We hope you will tune in online or join us if you live in the Memphis area. If you live in Memphis, a pizza dinner will be provided by Presbyterian Day School from 4:30-4:55 during registration.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Big Huge Labs (Ideas for Classroom Use)

I know I have blogged about this site before, but as I was showing it to a teacher today, I was reminded why I love it so much!
Big Huge Labs is such a wonderful site for teachers and students.

Here are a few ideas on ways to use their site.

1. Cube-upload 6 images and you can make a cube (the size to fit in the palm of your hand) with lots of uses. For example, upload scenes from a book and have the students tell what is going on during that scene, why they liked or didn't like it, create a different ending than the picture shown, etc. Or, create jpegs asking questions for your cube such as "What is your favorite book and why?", "Where is your favorite vacation location and why?", etc. This can get small groups talking quickly just by rolling the cube!

2. Motivator Poster-create a motivational type poster by uploading your picture and adding text to it. These don't have to be the usual "TEAMWORK" type motivational poster....get creative and use it for other uses such as vocabulary words...upload a picture that shows the meaning of the word, then make the large word the vocabulary word and the tagline under it can be a sentence showing the correct use of the word. You could also upload a book cover a student has read, make the large word a word they choose to describe the book, then the tagline can be a sentence to describe why someone should read the book.

3. Magazine Cover-let your students get creative and create a magazine cover all about them! Or how about making one for their mom or dad for mother's or father's day? Simply upload a picture of the student with their parent and have the student create headlines about their parents. Another idea would be to upload a book cover as the picture and the headlines on the magazine cover can be persuading students to read that book.

4. Trading Card-create a "baseball" type card for students in your room. They can put a title, subtitle, and description of themselves for a beginning of the year "Get to know you" activity. Use it for a character in a book. Have the student illustrate the character and write a description of the character for the trading card. We have also used this for students to create a trading card on an assigned President. It could also be used to create trading cards for different locations throughout the them around your room so students can learn about various places like a virtual field trip.

5. Captioner-don't have lots of money to spend on comic software? No worries! Just upload your picture and have students add thought or conversation bubbles to them easily with this feature.

Big Huge Labs has tons of choices for you to use with your photos. There is also an educator account which allows you to use the site without ads and allows students to sign in without an email address!

If you use this site with your students or to create things in your classroom, please leave a comment to share your great ideas with everyone!

Monday, March 14, 2011


If you haven't seen LiveBinders, there are great uses for this web tool in education. Basically, LiveBinders is a FREE three ring binder for the web. You can collect resources and organize them neatly and easily. You can create multiple tabs across the page with links to various websites or PDFs. This is a great way to "go green" and save paper (and trees!) If you are presenting, LiveBinders is a great way to share your resources. It's also a great way to share resources with others in your grade level, school, district, or globally.

Here are a few that I either saw on twitter or from the featured livebinders on their site:
Tsunami and Volcano Resources
iPads in Schools
QR Codes in Education
An Educator's Guide to Twitter
Amazing Animal Webcams

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Mac Tip! ClipMenu

A member of my PLN, Jimmy Anderson, shared this with me a while ago and I think it's worth sharing!

I am a mac user....always have been and always will be. When Jimmy sent me the link to this free program, I thought it would possibly be useful....little did I know how much I would use it!!

The program is ClipMenu, a clipboard manager for Mac OS X. Basically, ClipMenu manages your clipboard history. You can record 8 clipboard types, from plain text to an image.
To paste a recorded item, you just use the pop up menu on your menu bar and select an item to paste into your document or post.
I have mine set to remember the last 20 things, and it's very helpful!
There are other preferences you can check out, but I highly recommend you download it and start using it. I think you will see how much of a help it can be when you are able to paste more than the last thing you copied to your clipboard.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Skype in the Classroom (Beta Version)

I was excited this week to find out about Skype in the Classroom.  After reading their site I was excited to sign up for this directory.

"Skype in the classroom is a free directory for teachers who want to use Skype to bring education to life in their classrooms. Join today to share resources, chat with teachers and even pair classes. Start by creating a profile, then explore the directory to find teachers and resources that match your interests. You can then share inspiring links, videos and tips with other teachers."

Basically, this is going to help you 1) connect with other teachers, 2) share teaching resources, and 3) build a list of favorites.

For more info about Skype in the Classroom, click here.

Register today, so we can grow our Personal Learning Network and help connect students from all over the world!!!