Monday, December 28, 2009

Keyboarding & Typing Resources

Keyboarding & Typing Resources

Recently several people in our district have been asking when we teach typing and keyboarding skills to our students.  This concern was reinforced by our recent Technology Surveys completed by parents & community members, teachers, and administrators. 

Currently, the only formal/traditional typing classes are taught by the Business Department at GHS.  We have a draft Technology Skills Matrix, which suggests that students be able to meet a very basic & rudimentary typing standard which we set ourselves.  A number of teachers are using online resources to supplement their current curriculum to help achieve this local standard. 

Other Resources In Use In District #205:

Other Ideas for Keyboarding/Typing Skills:

Many have suggested that more teachers be hired to address these needs in the elementary schools.  However, funding to sustain such an effort simply does not exist.  While we will continue to ask for these resources, we must ask classroom teachers to fill this gap in the interim.  Please feel free to use these resources to help support your students' use of technology throughout their elementary, middle, and high school experiences!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Music Resources, Social Studies Resources, CSI, and Other Ideas

Churchill Junior High School: Here's a project that is unique to our district - Book Review Podcasts!  Find the animated video book reviews at the bottom of the page - they're awesome!

Mind Maps: Bubbl.us is a neat tool to help teachers and students create and manipulate mind maps and graphic organizers online.  This would work great with a SMART Board!  Many thanks to Matt Warnsing at Nielson Elementary School for the tip.

Here are some great Music Education resources I've run across recently:

Amy Burns' Elementary Music Tech Blog - with a link to her 100 Best Music Ed Blogs!

Soundsabound - royalty-free music designed specifically for educational uses. 

  • Please remember: "Royalty-Free" DOES NOT mean "Copyright-free."  You should still cite the artist's work when using this or any royalty-free resources (music, photo, video, etc.), especially if you plan to publish them in any form.  Posting on a web site or blog is publishing when people outside your classroom can view or access it!


National Public Radio's Jazz and Blues Page - need I say more?

Dallas Symphony Orchestra for Kids has some very cute interactive resources for elementary kids, as well as a lesson plan library for teachers!

iNudge is an online music generator that lets kids create sounds and rhythms.

Other Interesting Links:

CSI & Tech WITH 3RD GRADERS! Look at what 3rd graders can do with just a camera and an Internet connection during a great "teachable moment." 

Consumer Education: Visit the FTC's Virtual Mall to help teach kids to be better consumers.

Teach History With These Comic Collections - This blog post at Instructify, by Bill Ferris, highlights collections from The Ohio State University  and The University of Nebraska.  Here are some other Political Cartoon sites I've used in my American History classrooms, in a past life...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Differentiate Instruction & Other Links

Ready to participate in the Illinois Internet Safety Contest?  Listen to the podcast at right for more details! Internet Safety

Many Thanks to all who have participated in the District 205 Technology Surveys!  If you have not already done so, please click here to find the appropriate link.

SMART Board Lessons for all! Witchita Public Schools has developed a vast library of SMART Board Lesson Resources organized by grade clusters, many of which include Senteo/Response question sets!  Many thanks to Leanne Hinton of King Elementary School for pointing us toward this site.

Here are some links to help you differentiate instruction in your classroom!

The Differentiator is a slick little web site that will help you write differentiated objectives based on Bloom's Taxonomy for students in your classroom. Click the "Need Help" link in the upper right-hand corner for a quick tutorial video on how the site works.

Enhance Learning By Differentiating Instruction - great web site with an overview of differentiated instruction theory and methods.

Differentiated Instruction from CAST - the Center for Applied Special Technogy

Mix It Up - a great web site by Jan Leonard of Two Rivers Professional Development Center

Help 4 Teachers by Dr. Kathie Nunley

Rubric Generators: A checklist is NOT a rubric!  Rubrics have descriptors of student performance and characteristics of student work.  They are extremely valuable for students, but teachers tend to avoid them because they can be a bit time-consuming to create.  No more excuses! Here are two sites that can help make rubric creation simple:

The Human Footprint: Here's a great video - The Human Footprint, by National Geographic, hosted by SnagFlims

Music EdTech Resources:  Music Teachers - here are a few nice sites to help you integrate technology into a Music Ed class

  • Noteflight - online composing, publishing and sharing of your work!

  • Myna Online Audio Editor from Aviary allows you and your students to remix audio files into unique works of art.

  • Audacity allows you to record voice and/or sound, layer tracks, and export to mp3 or WAV formats. (My personal fave for recording podcasts!)

  • Amy Burns’ Elementary Music Tech Blog - with a link to her 100 Best Music Ed Blogs!

  • Soundsabound – royalty-free music designed specifically for educational uses. 

    • Please remember: “Royalty-Free” DOES NOT mean “Copyright-free.”  You should still cite the artist’s work when using this or any royalty-free resources (music, photo, video, etc.)



  • National Public Radio’s Jazz and Blues Page – need I say more?

  • Dallas Symphony Orchestra for Kids has some very cute interactive resources for elementary kids, as well as a lesson plan library for teachers!

  • iNudge is an online music generator that lets kids create sounds and rhythms.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Happy December!

Welcome back! If you have not already started planning ways that your class can participate in the Illinois Internet Safety Contest, please take a moment to listen to the podcast at left. Give me a call or an email for ideas on how you can participate!

Winter Holidays: many Thanks to Larry Ferlazzo for these quick lists of links and activities to help kids learn about the many winter holidays coming up:

Research Supports SMART Boards!  And not jsut any research - Robert Marzano (author of Classroom Instruction That Works, etc.) has recently released a report on how Interactive Whiteboards (like SMART Boards and others) actually help improve student achievement in the hands of effective teachers.  Read the Research, or Read this quick Summary from Lori's Latest Links

FLIP Video in YOUR Classroom: Do you recall that we have a case of 15 FLIP Video cameras that you can check out for use with your classroom activities?  We also have a few that we can loan out individually for special projects and activities!  Here's a great wiki on how to use FLIP Video Camcorders in almost any classroom.  This site shows a slide presentation of more than 40 different ideas you can adapt to use FLIP video camcorders with content within your classroom.  Give me a call or send me an email and I'll hook you up!

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is Monday, December 7.  Here is a list of the best sites for learning About Pearl Harbor, from Larry Ferlazzo.  The National Park Service has a web site dedicated to the USS Arizona Preservation Project, as well as the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument.    You can also learn more about United States Naval history and view a specialPearl Harbor photo gallery at the U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command web site.

Latitude & Longitude:  GPS (or ANY technology, for that matter) might be nice, but it's not a replacement for basic skills.  Have a look at Larry Felazzo's Best Sites for Teaching About Latitude & Longitude. Let your inner geographer come out and play!

Power Point Games: Here are some great Power Point review game ideas that you can use with your SMART Board or projector.

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"New" IAR Replaces PARCC in IL

Image from pixabay.com After several years and no small amount of controversy, PARCC in Illinois is being replaced by the IAR: The Illi...

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