Thursday, May 27, 2010

Digital History

The Digital History site has many resources for teachers and students alike. They are committed to using new technologies to enhance teaching and research of American History.  You can find virtual exhibits, primary sources, guides, teacher pages, interactive timeline, multimedia, and the history reference room.

Digital History is a free resource and there is no advertising on it.  The site is supported by some great partnerships. Under multimedia you can find flash movies, games, and recommended websites.  But my favorite is the historical music connections.  There are many games that relate to specific time periods.  I looked at Famous Americans the game is from the Smithsonian.

Blog Generator

David designed a random blog generator for ELT (English Language Teaching).  Take a look at his blog at EFL Classroom 2.0.      The ning features teaching English, most of the resources also work with other subjects and in most classrooms.  This site is filled with lots of resources.  I hope you will take advantage of it and explore it's many hidden treasures.

Here is the generator for your reading pleasure.

Random ELT Blog

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Today's Teaching Ideas

I found two interesting tools/applications when I was reading David's Technology Tidbits: Thoughts of a Cyber Hero.  The first one is 5 Card Flickr  .  You randomly get 5 pictures that can then be made into a story.  Further ideas can be explored at Lesson 42 at Interface Magazine.

The other is an educators search engine called Topic Box.  I found some very interesting link from the UK using this search engine.  Education is changing from the inside out as we connect to each other around the world and share information, insights, as well as frustrations.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Educational Resources

Larry Ferlazzo has an amazing website with literally 8000 links.  A true treasure trove for any educator.  I recently started following his blog Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day.  He is a very knowledgeable person who has made countless resources available.  The site is very well organized.  It is just massive.  You can also subscribe to his newsletter.  I would recommend starting with his Teacher page on his website. 

I really like his Favorite Games page.   I was familiar with a number of his game sites but many were new to me. I can see lots of educational connections.  There are many great learning opportunities, happy hunting.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Developing Geography Awareness

The National Geographic has been building a national network of K-12 teachers, college geographers, educators, school administrators as well as other partners interested in improving geography education since 1986. The Geography Alliances are grassroots organizations that are developing geography education at local, state and national levels. 

The primary objective of the Geographic Educators Alliance is to help students realize the importance of geography in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world.  Your local geography alliance can help you get classroom materials, extend your skills through professional development.  Contact your State Geographic Alliance for further information.

National Geographic and each State Geographic Alliance has developed educational materials and lesson plans to use in the classroom.   National Geographic Education Site has many resources.  One interesting site is Google for Educators, they are hosting the Google Geo Teachers Institute this July 2010.

Heinle and National Geographic developed the Footprints Reading Library - that focus on materials to teach the English Language.  Their site has a number of teaching tools and resources. Many of the sites have their own free newsletters.
National Geographic also has several great elements on their web site Young Explorers and Forces of Nature.  State Geographic Alliance Sites   National Geographic Kids  Geography Awareness    Montana Curriculum Materials

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Picture Word Connections

PicLits is a site that provides a collection of pictures and the option to use a word bank or the ooportunity create your own words.  You can drag and drop words from the word bank onto your picture.  At first glance it's a fun adaption of refrigerator magnets.

On second reflection, I realize that it could evolve to be much more.  The opening lines to develop a setting- language development - poetry.  Showing students ways to connect text-to-self and text-to-world.  I really like having the picture as a springboard to making deeper connections.  In years past I have used pictures from magazines to use as writing prompts.

I'm going to use this PicLits picture for this weeks writing prompt.

 PicLit from
See the full PicLit at

PicLit from
See the full PicLit at

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Telling Our Stories

Last summer I had the opportunity to attend the Laurel Writing project in Laurel Montana.  I followed this experience with a week long class at the Alberta Bair Theater here in Billings, Montana.  Sean and Melanie Layne lead the Summer Institute.  The Summer Institute is a partnership between Alberta Bair Theater and the Kennedy Center.

The two classes changed how I approached teaching.  They changed how I viewed myself as a teacher and as a writer.  My blogs were a direct result of the classes.  They gave me the confidence and the need to keep writing.  Writing to tell my individual story as well as to listen to the stories of my students.

One of the sites I found while working on my personal learning plan is the WritersCorps. "The WritersCorps helps low-income students improve their literacy and communication skills through creative instruction. Founded in 1994 with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, WritersCorps operates programs in San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and the Bronx, NY."

One of the publications I bought is "Jump Write In!"  a book of creative writing exercises for grades 6-12. I have been utilizing it for ideas to use in this last quarter of school.  I have been so amazed by my students growth this year.  Telling Our Stories is a critical piece for me as a writer and as a teacher.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Games for Learning

I was reading the blog K-12 Techsters. I surfed in on the review of East of the Web . I was intrigued by the description and decided to investigate. I followed the directions and built a study room.
You can use pre-made lists or you can use your own lists and content. I tested it out with some content vocabulary “Parts of a Book”. I think the games make great learning tools. Here are the links to my study room at EastoftheWeb.
Study Room Register URL: Nook
This link allows users to register for my study room the Book Nook.
Study Room Login URL: Nook
This is the link for users to log in to my study room the Book Nook once you are registered.

East of the Web also has lots of stories for students to read. I think it is a quiet gem, waiting to be enjoyed.