Friday, December 30, 2016 Saves Time!!!
This is a tool to create a quick “website tour” that students can easily access.  
  1. Go to:
  2. Enter (or copy and paste) your first URL. Notice that will give you a new field each time you add a URL.
  3. Continue to enter the desired URLs.
  4. Click the “Go” button.
  5. Provide the shortened URL to your students.
  6. When students go to the provided URL, they will see your first website with an added navigation bar at the top.
  7. Students can click the forward and back buttons to move between the websites, or they can use the pull down menu to choose the desired site.
You would use this when there are several sites within a website you want students to navigate through.  For example:  ABCya  

You could add the different games within the site for young students to easily access and navigate through.
If you are new to, this is a great little tutorial (2.36 minutes) on how to set up/use the site.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Discovery Education Resource Gem!!

Did you know inside Discovery Education, there is an entire resource page with free downloadable clip art?  Just go to the Teacher’s Tab, Additional Resources, Clipart:
Screen Shot 2016-10-30 at 9.22.13 PM.pngFrom there, it takes you to a page with tons of free clipart listed by categories.  Enjoy!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Scholastic Learning Activities

Looking for quick, engaging, and education activities for your elementary students? Well, Scholastic has the solution with a section of their website that offers 50+ one-stop learning activities in a fun and easy-to-use interface! The activities don’t require any prep and can be done in 15 – 20 minutes.
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Monday, November 28, 2016

Losing Battery Life?

Extensions/Add Ons

There are some great extensions and add ons from the Google Chrome Web Store.  If your Macbook starts to run slower than normal, it may be that you have too many add ons or extensions running in the background.  Check and see if there is a website for the add on and just bookmark it.  This was you don’t have to use the add on and you can access just as quickly without using battery life.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Hidden Treasures in Google Maps

Google Maps has tons of features you may not be using.  Have you ever been going on a trip and want to stop and get coffee or gas?  Just add it to your route!  To do this, tap on the magnifying glass in the top right corner of Google Maps.  There you can choose from a set of options (like gas station, restaurant, coffee shop) or look for more.  Once you find what you need, tap “Add Stop” and you’re good to go.  Google Maps will keep you in navigation mode when you add a pit stop.
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Monday, November 14, 2016

Need Speech to Text for struggling writers?

VoiceNote II Speech to Text -  This is a great Chrome Extension/Add on to use with students that struggle to write/type.  Once added through the Chrome Store, your student can speak and it will type into a Note document.  From there, you can copy/paste into other documents, save into VoiceNote, or save as a file.  Punctuation is easily added also.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Annotate those PDFs!

Did you know you can annotate over PDFs right in Preview?  Preview should be your default viewing option to open PDFs.  Just make sure the Edit Toolbar is visible from the View menu and you’ll see options for drawing shapes, arrows, speech and thought bubbles, and more.  You can also highlight text in different colors, strikethrough text, add notes, and type text into boxes.   
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Friday, November 4, 2016

Bitmoji Chrome Extension

I just added Bitmoji Chrome Extension and having so much fun!!
Go to the Chrome Web store and add this extension to "Spice" up your Google Docs, Webpages, Emails, etc.  You can choose your avatar to make it look like yourself and more personable.
Alice Keeler also has a tutorial on how to add Bitmojis into Google Tables and as student feedback:

Wouldn't your students love to see this on their papers as feedback?
Try it out and be a super teacher!  It's FREE!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Word it Out!

WordItOut lets you transform your text into word clouds. You can then save and share them, so everybody can find and enjoy them.
What's a word cloud?

An attractive arrangement of randomly positioned words, where the most important words are bigger than the others.

WordItOut lets you copy and paste text to create a word cloud from stories, documents, websites, etc.  Students can easily create these word clouds without having to login or create an account (which I love)!  


WordItOut is the word cloud generator that gives you control with many custom settings. Free to use and no sign up required!
  • Customize more settings than any other word cloud generator
    • Create word clouds from sentences, whole documents, web addresses or tables.
    • Decide how to filter that text, which words to display or remove, and tweak their importance with ease.
    • Design your word cloud as you like, find that perfect layout, choose your own colours, fonts and sizes (and how to mix them), or let WordItOut find a random look for you!
  • Keep control of your word clouds
    • Share your word cloud with the world (or keep it secret!)
    • Easily embed them on your own website (as big or small as you want)
    • Download your own copy as an image file
    • Get any word cloud as a present or gift on a T-shirt, card or more...

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

You will thank me!! Jigsaw Planet

Jigsaw Planet has thousands of free jigsaw puzzles created by users. It's not necessary to open an account to play these free games, but there are advantages if you register, such as being able to save partially solved games to finish at a later date or the ability to sort puzzles into different albums which will help you organize your favorites.
You can also create your own jigsaw puzzle from your own photos.  You can create a puzzle from a subject topic that you are studying/teaching and then link it to a QR code.  Students could solve the puzzle to answer a certain question, etc.  There are many ways to incorporate this into the classroom and students love to solve puzzles!

To learn how, here's a step-by-step tutorial that shows you How to Make Your Own Jigsaw Planet Puzzles.

Friday, May 6, 2016

EdTech "MEGA" Padlet

Brian Marshall has created a wonderful resource for teachers in Padlet.
EdTech Mega Padlet- A “mega” Padlet full of resources for teachers who want to familiarize themselves with popular education apps.  Each resource has its own Padlet with information and additional resources.  You can also add suggested new apps that are useful to the classroom.
This is a screen shot of just a few of the apps available.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

EdCampFoothills is Registering NOW!!

Have you heard of EdCamp but haven't been able to attend?  Join us for the 5+ county collaboration,  EdCampFoothills, on Sept. 10, 2016, at Heritage Middle School in Valdese, N.C.  Burke County will host with Alexander, Catawba, Hickory City, Newton-Conover, Lincoln, and McDowell.  This promises to be one of the best EdCamps ever!!!  There will be "swag", door prizes, and a day full of networking with your peers from across the state.  You will discuss, learn, collaborate, engage, and bring back tools, apps, etc. to use immediately in the classroom.  There is a limited number of seats so please register as soon as possible:

EdcampFoothills Registration

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Monday, April 25, 2016

Newsela- Why aren't you using it?

    • copy/paste a text/ questions from Newsela into a Google Doc
    • Share it with students
    • Students can highlight text, cite evidence, etc. and then highlight their answer choice using Read & Write (highlighting tool)- (Google Doc add-on/extension)
    • Read & Write will also Read Aloud the text
Example:  Nazi Death Camp’s Last  Survivor Dies

Google Doc:  
If you are not using Newsela, you need to start!  This is an awesome resource that works seamlessly with Google Classroom.  There are 100s of current event articles that can be implemented into the curriculum on a daily basis.  It's a wonderful tool for nonfiction text.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Great Tools for Backchannels & Informal Assessments

Recently I attended NCTIES and found some amazing tools for Bachchannels and Informal
The following are just a few that are great tools in the classroom:

  • Backchannel=student friendly chatroom.  Real time feedback. Gives the shy student a voice. Gives an outlet to the super chatty student.
  • Todaysmeet - Has some new moderation tools introduced recently.
    • Grab embed code and embed on your blog or website.
  • Tozzl- Backchannel tools that allows you to give kids things to do
  • Dotstorming - brainstorm and vote on ideas
    • Use to vote on ideas, Pinterest boards, workshop sessions at EDCAMPs, etc.
  • Padlet - has an iPad app w/ QR code, Plickers, Kahoot
  • Quizalize - asynchronous quizzing site, can create teams or do individuals and competitions.
  • GoFormative - great for math teachers
  • Tackk - Similar to Seesaw, create and share pages on the web, collaborate, etc.
  • Remind - Make it two way - Send out a question or poll, kids reply back.
  • Triventy - similar to Quizziz, etc. but kids can submit questions, collaborative quizzes and surveys

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Do your students need keyboard practice?

Do your students hunt and peck or try to type like they are texting? Dance Mat Typing is a great site with lessons and activities that will engage your students and create excellent typing skills! Easy to access and get your students started right away!

Friday, April 8, 2016

EDpuzzle - Show that video and check for understanding!

Now there is a tool that allows you to use any video (full segments or a clip) and add instructional tools to keep them engaged.  Edpuzzle is a wonderful tool that gives teachers the ability to check for understanding all through the clips with questions and voice overs.  After students watch the video, answer questions, and respond to voice overs, teachers can view the minutes watched and their answers.  If you add multiple choice questions, EDpuzzle will automatically grade for you.  You can also grade open response answers.  I love this tool for its features and ease of use.  There are so many wonderful videos to use for instruction and with EDpuzzle, teachers can now see if students are really watching, keep them engaged through interactive questions and voice overs, and have a record of student grades and engagement from each video.

This is a picture of the teacher dashboard.  Teachers can easily add classes and students can join with a code.

This is a picture of how student's join:
Once students join, they can add the class code and join automatically.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Read and Write Extension for Google Chrome

Read & Write
Sign into Chrome, go to Chrome App Store, and add Read & Write.  Use this link to receive Free Premium Account for teachers:

Students receive premium features for 30 days and after that, have Read Aloud and Translate features.
If you highlight a word, you can select dictionary, picture dictionary, fact finder (web) and it will give you the information.

Read Aloud:  If you click “play button”  will begin to read aloud all text.  You can click “pause” (double bars) to stop at any point and text will remain highlighted.  If you click “stop” (black square”, highlights go away.  In settings, you can change voice, speed.  Screenshot reader will allow you to choose part of text, immediately load, and begin reading.  Be sure to click off of it to reset.
HIghlight tool:  choose words to highlight (can choose different colors), and will collect to Google Doc with a link to the original doc.  If you want to create a vocabulary list, choose vocabulary icon (3 dots/3 bars) and will create a vocabulary page with definitions, pictures, and notes tab all in table form.
Simplify Page for websites is another tool.  For example, if you are on Wikipedia, and you want to take away distractions or just simplify page for younger readers, click icon (4 bars with arrow down) and it will take you to new tab with website simplified.
On PDFs, you can annotate, comment, etc.  You have option to open PDF with R & W.  
There is translator feature to translate text to several languages.  
Any website or Doc that the R & W is purple, you can use it.

****This extension is an invaluable tool for struggling readers. The Read Aloud feature can be adjusted in settings for speed and also, the type of narrator (male, female, and accent). I wish all the premium features were free for students but, since teachers receive a free premium account, you can still use as a teaching tool.

Friday, March 18, 2016

C-Span and help explain the election process

With the Presidential Election rapidly approaching, here is a great resource for explaining the Electoral College from C-Span Classroom.  Richard Byrne shared this on
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There is also a website from PBS Kids called “The Democracy Project”.  Here is the link:

It has great resources to help students understand the voting process and why voting is important.  There are free templates to create a campaign poster and an interactive map that describes how government affects everyone.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Safe and Great Search Engines for Students!

Kidtopia is a great search engine for children in grades K-5. They learn to do simple research, or just browse through age appropriate topics. Find stories, videos, pictures, homework help, and more.  It was created by school librarians and only uses websites recommended by teachers and school librarians.  It is a Google custom search engine with just the info students are looking for and without the ads, etc.  
 Kiddle, powered by Google’s safe search, is a visual search engine that aims to help preserve kids’ innocence by making certain searches off limits.  
The site looks similar to regular Google as far as color scheme -- but instead of a white background, kids are greeted by a robot alien in outer space.
After a child inputs a search, the first three results that pop up will be pages written specifically for children. The next three results will include content written in a kid-friendly fashion. The final eight or so results will include content written for adults, but screened for certain unsavory words. All results are handpicked and checked by Kiddle editors, according to their site.

Should a child veer off the kid-oriented path that Kiddle has paved, the site’s guard robot will block the search. Kiddle’s privacy policy also aims to help keep kids safe.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Mystery Science Free through end of year!!!

Mystery Science  is offering a free membership through the end of the year.  It has a complete science curriculum for 2nd - 5th grades.  Each lesson is aligned with Common Core and NGSS.  Each “Mystery” is an activity, short series of videos, and discussions.  Each hands-on activity is based on simple supplies you already have in the classroom or at home.  There are PDF print outs, parent letters, and videos with demonstrations for the activities.