Friday, December 21, 2012

Do you Flubaroo?

Photo courtesy of
Flubaroo - it sounds like a new dance move or some scientific experiment like Flubber, but really it is a script you can add to any Google Form so it will automatically grade a form quiz or test.  Imagine having your final exam graded as soon as the student hits submit.

*Please note that any short answer questions will need to be graded separately and not by Flubaroo.  However, fill in the blank can be scored by Flubaroo.

Checkout the full instructions on installing and using Flubaroo at

Tips on using Flubaroo & Google Forms:
  • Make the first question of your form Student Name OR First & Last Name.  When you complete the form to create the answer sheet, you can enter Answer Sheet in the first question so you know which one has the correct answers.  It will also allow you to sort the responses by student names.
  • You can shut the form off by unchecking 'Accept Responses' under Form on your form spreadsheet.  This will stop students from taking your quiz or test until you are ready.
  • If you are using this form for multiple classes, include class hour as one of your questions.  This will help with the sorting process.
  • Make sure you have students submit their answers on the live form, not the spreadsheet.
  • When using the 'Choose from a list' question, make your first list option ' Choose from the list below.'  Without that option, students will think the answer is already given for them and will not click on the drop down arrow for additional answer choices.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Website Wednesday

Don't forget to check out my full Diigo library at  Sometimes I bookmark websites from individual teacher requests that never make the Website Wednesday posting.  At my site, you can browse by tags, lists and dates.  Hope you find some hidden treasurers!
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


I was recently reading this post on 5 Educational Trends for 2013 just to see the top 5.  Most of them didn't surprise me except for trend 4 - augmented reality.  The author talked about Project Glass and shared the following video:

Since I'm not real familiar with augmented reality, I decided to Google "What is augmented reality?"  I found the best user-friendly definition on the website Pocket-Lint.  They explain augmented reality is "the art of super-imposing of computer generated content over a live view of the world."

Mashable, an Internet news blog, provided a little more complex definition, but they also had a slew of articles to discover more about augmented reality.  While I was sharing the above video with Yvonne, she started wondering when they would come out with a contact lens version of these Google classes.  Wouldn't you know, The Pentagon is already working on this endeavor.

Image from
After viewing and reading this information, my first thoughts went to a young adult scifi book called Feed by M.T. Anderson that came out in 2002.  The people in this society have computer implants in their head that feeds them information about their environment, but also sends out advertisements.  I thought how creepy is that!  With these glasses we aren't that far away from the concept in this scifi book.

It started a discussion in the tech office as to what will happen with technology in the next 10 to 20 years.  Of course ever the jokster, Stan started depicting himself as the crochety grandpa who doesn't like any technology you can't touch.  "Give me a keyboard any day!"  I wondered how wearing a device like this would impact every day tasks like driving.  We have issues already with texting and driving.  What would happen if I were watching Finding Nemo in one eye and watching the road with the other.  How would your brain handle that input of information?  How would this impact our society and everyday living?  What would the have and have not divide look like?  How would this impact education?  One thing I can say is it makes science fiction seem more like science fact.

So, what  do you think?

The Truth About Pinterest

Pinterest was a hot topic last year in the tech integration group I attend each month. Of course the group consists mostly of females, so the men in the group gave us a hard time about "girlie" Pinterest. Last spring, I wrote a post on Pinterest giving a brief descriptor and links to ways it is being used in education. When I attended the iPad training at Essdack this past Friday, I learned that Pinterest is also popular in Europe, but an average 85% of the users are men and they are mostly business men! I was shocked and a little skeptical of this statistic, so I decided to do a little digging on this matter. I discovered an interesting infographic comparing Pinterest use in the US vs. the UK.  I found some amazing facts:
  • The male and female usage ratio in the UK is fairly even (56% to 44%), while the US is top heavy on female users (83% to 17%).
  • The top audience interest in the UK is Venture Capital; in the US crafts is the top interest.
  • UK users of Pinterest are wealthier than US Pinterest users.  (Makes sense seeing as their main interest is capital and ours is crafts.)
After exploring some of these differences, I wondered what changes have taken place since last spring in the usage of Pinterest in education. This infographic grabbed my attention as it even shows how colleges are using Pinterest both inside and outside of the classroom.

Here is another resource I found in my perusing today - Pinterest Cheat Sheet
“{12 Days: 12 Tools} Tool 8 Pinterest Cheat Sheet” by Dr. Kimberly Tyson was originally published on Learning Unlimited.

Personally, I like the visual aspect of Pinterest.  The boards and images appeal to my visual learning style.  It is a good tool for sharing information and ideas.  If I were still teaching English or in the library setting, I would definitely use this tool to share new books, websites for projects or research, student projects and more.  I do, however, have two frustrations with Pinterest.  The first is the number of clicks to takes for me to actually get to a pinned website.  I click on the image, but then a little window pops up with the image and comments.  I have to click the image again if I want to go to the actual website, providing the pin is linked to the website.  The second is I can't embed a board onto my blog or website.  Will I stop using Pinterest?  No.  It serves the purpose of sharing information in a visual format and for some of my teachers this works best for their learning style.

To view my Pinterest boards, go to

How are you using Pinterest to help you in the classroom?  Post a response in the comment box below.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Website Wednesday

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Website Wednesday

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thinglink in the Classroom

A while back I introduced the web tool Thinglink, a site for creating interactive images (see the intro post on ThingLink).  Today I stumbled on a great presentation shared by Donna Baumbach that gives you 49+ ways to use Thinglink in the classroom.  Check it out!

Any ideas jump out to you?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Pages vs. Google Docs

This school year our district opted not to purchase the new version of Microsoft Office for the Mac computers. Seeing as the Mac already comes with Pages and we have Google Docs for free with our Google Apps accounts, the decision to save some funding was favorable. Of course not everyone thought this was the best idea, but that is another issue for another day.

As I've been working with the teachers to help them adapt to this change, I've noticed that they are trying to do some functions with Google Docs that would be better in Pages and visa-versa. So, I thought it might be helpful to share the strengths of each program to help staff and students make the best program choice when working on a word processing document.

Both programs allow you to import Microsoft Office documents as well as export a document out as an Office document. They both provide the most common writing and editing tasks (spell check, basic formatting, text editing). You can also print from programs. This is where the similarities end.

Google Docs has limited formatting and layout functionality, but then it wasn't designed to be complex. It was designed as a basic online word processing program that would allow you to access your files from any computer with internet connection. This helped eliminate the need for flashdrives or the worry about your computer crashing from a freak lightening strike. Google Docs was also designed for instant sharing and true collaboration. Multiple people can view and edit the same document at the same time eliminating the confusion and frustration generated from emailing a document back and forth between multiple editors. Finally, with this ease of collaboration and sharing, it was meant to pair back the need for printing so a few trees could be saved. Google Docs presents the end of the days when students had to print their paper in order to turn it in to the teacher for grading. Now they simply email their final product as an attachment. Of course, that means no more excuses about the printer being broken or running out of paper or ink - Darn.

Pages, on the other hand, has more layout functionality making it more comparible to desktop publishing software. With Pages you can manipulate images with ease and flow text into different sections of a page or document. You can create from pre-made templates or design your own templates and layouts. Like Office, you can add tables, charts and columns. You can even perform a mail merge from a Numbers spreadsheet. This program is better suited for printing documents or sharing a final product via email. The biggest obstacle for Office users is learning to navigate through the program. My best advise is summed up in one word - Inspector. Make the Inspector your best friend because he will work for you in Pages, Numbers and Keynote. As a teacher, I would use Pages to generate my project rubrics and any other documents requiring more complex features.

There are some great tutorials on Pages in Atomic Learning.  You will need to login with your school email and computer password.  Once you've logged in, select Tutorials and choose Pages version 08.  Pages 09 is on your school computers, but it only gives the changes from 08 and isn't helpful with getting started or the advanced features of Pages.

photo credit: Profound Whatever via photo pin cc

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Buffering Blues

Ever been watching a video only to have it stop right in the middle so it can buffer?  Buffering can be a frustrating experience for a classroom teacher.  Not only do you have to wait for that video to buffer, but you have to deal with antsy students who don't do well with dead time.  Here are two options for eliminating those "Buffering Blues."

Option #1:  WonderShare

Wondershare is a free YouTube Downloader.  Start by installing the application -  (Make sure you select your computer type before downloading.)  During the installation process it will install a downloader on all your browsers , so if you have any of them open they will be closed.  Once installed, you can access Wondershare through your applications folder.

To Use the Program:
  1. Open Wondershare
  2. Go to YouTube via a web browser
  3. Find a video you want to use in the class
  4. Copy the web link (URL)
  5. In Wondershare, click on Paste URL (left side of the window)
  6. Your video will download
  7. Once downloaded, click on the video image to start playing the video
Benefit - your videos are all in one location
Drawback - you can't open it in full screen.

Option #2:  Easy YouTube Video Downloader
  1. Go to the following website -
  2. Click on Add to Firefox
  3. Restart Firefox
  4. Go to YouTube
  5. Find a video you want to use in class
  6. You should now have a button under the video labeled Download.  Click it.
  7. Choose MP4 format - this will download your video either on the desktop or into your downloads folder.

Benefit - you can open in full screen
Drawback - image might be distorted in full screen view & you will want to start a folder for your videos to help keep them organized

Website Wednesday

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Playing with SmileBox

I was browsing some teacher websites and saw something cool to share.   Check it out at

(Here's the teacher website -

So, I decided I had to play around with SmileBox.  I clicked on the Make a SmileBox link on the first website above.  It asked me to download SmileBox to computer, so I did.  It walks you through the process and opens SmileBox right up after downloading.  You do have to create and account, but it is free - don't pay for the premium.  Once you've created your account, you can start creating.  The program takes you through each step from choosing your template to uploading pictures from your computer.  Please note - some of the templates are only available for premium accounts, so choose a free template.

I finished my slideshow in less than 10 minutes, wrote up this blog post and embedded my SmileBox in 20 minutes.  It is a simple tool for dressing up those class photos, showcasing student projects or giving parents a tour of your classroom.  You'll look like a tech guru in no time!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Create a slideshow

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Humor for the Week

It is the day before Thanksgiving vacation and I have nothing truly inspiring to feed your minds.  So, enjoy a little technology humor.

(Click the comics below for a bigger image.)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Website Wednesdays

  • An assortment of fun classroom timers. Project them up on the whiteboard or screen for timer activities. Kids love the countdown!

    tags: timers stopwatch smartboard

  • View 100 Primary sources chronicling United States history from 1776 to 1965.  You can view the original document, a transcript of the document, a print-friendly version of the document and additional information about the document.

    tags: History primarysources reference government

  • Oodles of lesson plans centered around the various Google tools. You can search by the Google tool, subject and age range.

    tags: google lesson plan

  • This site has lesson plans and resources geared toward the Common Core Standards and the newspaper. You do not need a copy of the newspaper for most of these lessons and activities.

    tags: lesson plans newspaper commoncore

  • Educational computer games and activities for students grade K-5. Includes math, keyboarding, reading, holiday activities and more. No subscription needed.

    tags: Interactive Elementary technology

  • Take a look at what students are capable of creating and the direction education is heading. It is a whole new way of processing information. Note also the photos he emphasizes. That would make for a great class discussion - what are the most significant or important events in our history?

    tags: history videos technology

    • Some good food for thought here. Great for class discussion centering around the images that are emphasized and what are the most significant events in our history. - post by Gwen Lehman
    • It is a different world from when older generations used linear editing systems.
    • non-linear editing is the standard of today.
  • This site provides free lesson plans, video writing prompts, printables and more for the classroom teacher.  Resources are avaialble for all grades and the core content areas.

    tags: lessonplans resources videoclips

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Increasing Student Participation

I came across the following article the other day and as I read through the ideas, I found that some of them were perfect for integrating technology in the classroom.

For example, one of the solutions is to have a question box for the students.  You could have the traditional paper/pencil approach or you could use lino, an electronic bulletin board where collaborators can add sticky notes to the board.  You could create a board for the class or a specific topic and have students attach a sticky with their questions.  You could also use this for quick response answers from your students.

Another idea that came to my mind related to the KWL chart.  This year through Google Docs, we have access to Lucid Chart.  This online tool allows you to create mind maps, flow charts, venn diagrams and more.  You can then share the chart so others can write on the same chart.  As a teacher, I could create a KWL chart for a new topic, share it with the students and have them fill in their responses.  I could then project the chart so we could quickly see everyone's responses and discuss the common ground we all share and the questions we want need answered or clarified.

One final idea, relates to the idea of group work and the students presenting information to each other.  Traditionally, the students would have created a slideshow of some sort to present their information to the class.  This was a good start, but usually one student did all the work on creating the presentation because they could all work on the same document at the same time.  With the introduction of collaborative tools, students can now share the work load.  Google Docs offers a presentation tool that would allow students to work on their slideshow all at the same time.  Gone are the days of one student typing in all the information.  Now everyone in the group can add their contributions at the same time.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Website Wednesdays

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Monday, September 10, 2012


What is ThingLink?

ThingLink is an interactive graphic media launch.  So what does that mean?  It means you take a single image and create hotspot links to other resources or text.  For example, in the sample ab I have links to websites, videos and images related to the Titanic.  If I found online audio recordings, I could add hotspot links to those sites as well.

Getting Started

Go to the website -
Sign-up -- It's free!
Watch the video below from Richard Byrne, Free Technology for Teachers author, for more instruction.

Using ThingLink in the Classroom

1.  35+ Interesting Ways to Use ThingLink in the Classroom

2.  ThingLink can even be used when working with ELL students or teaching a foreign language class.  Here is an example of an image used in such a capacity:

You could create the image yourself or have students create their own ThingLink images.

3.  Here is an example of an interactive mind map created with Thing Link:

For more resources on ThingLink, check out this image:

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

495 Tech Resources

With the school year underway, I wanted to remind you of some technology tools available at your finger tips.

Keys to Tech

Use the Keys to Tech ring and it's companion website to learn about the applications on your computer, the tools available with our Google Apps for Education accounts, top pick Web 2.0 Tools and subscriptions purchased by the school district.

Tech Troubleshooting

This site provides tips and solutions for some of your basic technology problems.  There is even a section on Getting to Know Your Mac - a helpful resource for PC users switching over to a Mac.

Tech Training Resources

This site provides all the presentations and resources used for past district technology training.

12 for 2012 Challenge

Learn how to use 12 web tools.  You are given basic instructions on how to use the tool and a mini challenge allowing you the opportunity to try the tool.  Ideas for classroom integration are also provided at the end of each challenge.

Apps 4 Learning Wiki

The site provides resources for learning how to use the iPod & iPad as well as recommendations for classroom use.  You will also find listings of recommended apps for the various content areas.

Atomic Learning Tutorials

Video tutorials on various applications available on the Mac and PC.  There are also tutorials on numberous Web 2.0 tools like Glogster, Diigo, netvibes, Pintrest and more.

Technology Support - This site provides tutorials, manuals and references for your basic technology needs.  You must sign in to the district website to access this page.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Connecting with Students Through Google Forms

I started watching this video thinking it would show how to use Google Forms in the classroom for activities and/or assignments, but was surprised to see a new use I had never considered.  Check it out...

Friday, June 29, 2012

Chrome Everywhere

Imagine opening a web browser, signing in and accessing all your bookmarks, settings and apps/extensions on any computer and any device.  Well, let me introduce you to Chrome.

You might be thinking, "So what's the big deal about that?"  Picture this.  You've bookmarked some of your favorite sites to use at work, but then lightening strikes and fries your computer.  You hope the tech department can revive the poor machine and at least recover your bookmarks.  Sadly, your computer cannot be resuscitated and the funeral will held right after school today.  Now you have to hope your memory holds up and you can remember all those websites you had bookmarked.  Good luck with that.

Now let's imagine that you have been using Chrome as your browser.  You sign in, save your bookmarks and add your apps.  Then lightening strikes.  But you don't care because even if the tech department can't revive your computer, they will just get you a replacement.  You'll open up Chrome, sign yourself in and all your bookmarks and apps will be available to you again.  No problem.  The other benefit in using Chrome is you can access your bookmarks from any computer or device once you sign in on Chrome.

Flowcharts are like a maze

Summer Reading Flowchart

As a visual learner, I love looking at infographics and the wealth of information contained in a simple image. So after looking through this visual flowchart, I was reminded of my first computer class in JR High (yes, I'm from the pre-middle school generation). I was in ninth grade and excited about taking my first computer class. I had seen the cool pictures my friends were making in their computer class like the Christmas Tree and this bunny.

Naturally, I never thought about the time or process involved in getting these "cool" images. So, when I started my computer class and found out that I had to learn programming. I was bummed. I just wanted to go in, type a few lines and create some awesome pictures. I really didn't care about typing numbers and coordinates to create the image I wanted. I did stay in the class, but the only thing I really remember was learning the history of the computer and creating flowcharts. Flowcharts - those wonderful cause and effect visuals that made you feel like you were wandering through a maze with the hope of finding the end. If you were successful in your flowchart creation, it was suppose to help you with computer programming. Personally, I never did comprehend that whole process, but we had a special flowchart template (that was kind of cool) to draw the various box shapes and lines.

After that first computer class, I veered away from the world of technology until it became a little more user-friendly. Today, I can create cool graphics and comics with a simple drag and drop feature built in to the program. I know my fun drag & drop programs have hidden complex coding that make them function and I admire the people who do that kind of work. Luckily, we don't all have to know programming to produce some cool projects.

Monday, May 21, 2012

What I like about Google Drive

If you've used Google Docs recently, you may have noticed the following message:

Google Docs will be switching to Google Drive soon, but you can click on the get started link now.  There are a few differences between the look of Google Drive and Docs, but not much.  Below is a video explaining those differences:

I just made the switch myself today and here is what I like so far (they are not in order of importance):

1.  Docs shared with me, show me a picture of the owner on the document.
2.  I can upload files from my computer through the Google Drive icon on my computer and I don't have to open up the internet.
3.  When I'm working on a document, I can add or change the folder location right in the document.
4.  I can look at my docs and collections in a visual layout rather than a list.
5.  I can search for documents by their file type.
6.  Under the create options, I have a more section that lets me choose from SlideRocket and Lucidchart Diagram (2 new apps added this year that associated with our Google accounts).
7.  They changed the name from Collections to Folders!!!!!

Finally, for those of you who like shortcuts, here are the keyboard shortcuts for Google Drive:

Friday, May 18, 2012

Give me the fast route
Most people like to find fastest route to get from point A to point B.  Whenever I search driving directions on Google Map, I always try alternate routes to see if I can shave off any driving time.  (Sadly, there are no shorter routes from Larned to Emporia unless you drive faster.)

Well, the same is true when it comes to working on the computer.  Time is important, so most of us are looking for ways to eliminate a few extra clicks to get the job done.  The website MakeUseOf has developed a series of downloadable "cheat sheets" showing the keyboard shortcuts available in various programs.  There are cheat sheets for programs like Dropbox, Firefox, Gmail, iTunes, Skype, YouTube and more.

Here's a sample:

Another great shortcut tool is Alfred.  Alfred is a free productivity app designed to save you time in searching your computer and the web.  You simply launch Alfred and type in the application or program you want to access.  A list comes up for to you choose from.   Looking for a file?  Simply type "find" and then the beginning name of the file.  Again, Alfred will give you a list to choose from and with a single click the file will open.  No more digging through your multiple layers of folders (unless you can't remember the file name, which happened to me today) to access a file.  To learn more about Alfred, check out the video below or go to
Alfred Support for tutorials, getting started documents and more.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Knowledge Graph by Google

In the next few days, Google will be rolling out Knowledge Graph as part of Google search.  This tool will help you refine your search and present more relevant search results.  For example, it you search for lion, it will help you narrow your search to the animal or the Mac operating system.

Check out the video below for a closer look or go to for more information.

Website Wednesday

  • Article focusing on non-fiction text structures in relation to the Common Core Standards. Provides an understanding of the text structure and resources for teaching text structures to students.
  • Provides an article with several close-up photos and video you could use in the classroom. Also has a coloring pages for students.
  • Create customized one-page maps of the world, continents and countries. Maps can be downloaded, emailed or printed. This beta site was created by National Geographic Education.
  • Students can practice their work on measure and estimate with angles through this sailing gaming. It gives them practice in placing and reading a protractor. Appropriate for elementary students.
  • Create you own Jeopardy game from a template or by creating your own template.
  • Practice your spelling and audio skills with this resource from Oxford English Dictionary. Listen to words and try to spell them from one of 3 difficulty levels. Choose between British and American English. Appropriate for 6-12 grade students.
  • Listen and follow along as author's read their children's poems. Search poems by themes, forms or poets OR checkout the "Ask the Poet" section to learn more about poetry writing.
  • Select your topic and chart name. Then print a poster of that chart to display in the classroom OR save it as a pdf & display the chart via your computer project for a class lesson. You could even link this site to your webpage or wiki as a reference tools for parents and students at home.
    tags: math charts
  • A YouTube channel featuring over 400 science experiments that you can use in class. Instructions are easy to follow.
  • Free sound clips that can be imported into Garageband to ehance your project. When you find the sound you want, click the MP3 file for downloading. You can simply drag and drop the file into Garageband; however, don't through the download away until you have finalized your project and shared it with iTunes.
  • This BBC site offers 200,000 digitized paintings from various artists including Degas, Warhol, Bacon, Picasso and more. When completed, the site will show the enter UK national collection of oil paintings and the stories behind the paintings. If you scroll down on the main page, you will find a section for teachers which offers lesson plans and ideas for utilizing these paintings in art, history and more.
  • Encourage digital storytelling with the Zimmer Twins movie making site for kids (suitable for elementary students). The site is monitored on a daily basis for content appropriateness. Students will need to create a free account if they want to save their movies. (A parent or guardian email is required for creating an account, but students could use their school email address if they have one.)
  • Article listing and describing some tools for helping tech with the Common Core Standards.
  • A collection of over 100 play scripts for elementary children. A great resource for engaging students in reading. The plays are short and may be used and performed, but you may not modify or adapt the plays without written consent.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Students know how to search - don't they?

Most students do know how to do a basic Google search, but most don't know how to refine their search so they receive the most relevant information.  Google has put together a new site appropriately called Google Search Education.  This site contains lesson plans focused on developing and improving students' web-search skills as well as video tutorials and activities for testing searching skills.

One activity is called the "Google A Day" challenge.  A day question is posted that requires students to practice their searching skills to find the correct answer.  The questions focus on a variety of content areas and would be a great opener activity for students to start the class hour.

The lesson plans are divided by the skill levels of the learners and provide a unit guiding question, lesson guiding questions and skills to accomplish.  The Lesson Plan Map page shows an overview of all the lessons and includes the Common Core and Technology Standards for the lessons.  The individual lessons are detailed with the above information as well as the resources/materials, time frame, notes to teachers, lesson details and assessment ideas.  The lessons were created in Google Doc and allow you to download them in various formats.  (Check out this sample lesson - Narrowing a search to get the best results)

So why do we really need to teach searching skills to students?  Well, the pat answer is that this skill is part of the Common Core Standards.  Any time the standards talk about media literacy and P21 Skills, web searching and evaluation is always a competent.  Of course, beyond the standard is the simple real-world application of searching for a job related project or personal information.  Learning advanced searching skills will provide more relevant results and save time.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Stretch It Out

I found this awesome Add-On for Firefox (also works on Windows 7, Vista and iGoogle) called StretchClock that helps alleviate the stress of working on the computer for long periods of time. Once you install the add-on, it will start a timer (default is 57 minutes, but you can change it for more or less time). When the timer goes off, a new window opens in Firefox and a 1 minute stretching video starts. Stop what you are doing, get up and do the stretch. You'll feel refreshed and less stress tension in your shoulders and neck. You can pause the timer - this is nice if you are using the computer to give a presentation or are in a meeting. You can also reset your timer if you've been out of the office doing other things.

Here are the instructions for installing StretchClock on Firefox:

Coloring Gallore

Kids of all ages love to color, of course as we get older we call it doodling, but the concept is the same - try to make a pretty picture while staying in the lines.  With the end of the school year close at hand and summer just around the corner, my friends at the Kansas State Library shared out the following online coloring pages.  Some of these would be great next school year around Kansas Day or while studying science.  Click on the paper/pencil icon to the right of each website title and view a descriptor of the site.

Here is a sample of a completed color page from the CIA website:

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Website Wednesdays

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Summer Reading Gone Digital

Summer is almost upon us and many teachers are thinking of all the things they hope to accomplish in the next couple of months.  Some of you will deep clean your house in preparation for the next school year, while others will spend their time getting the lawn and gardens in shape and growing.  Still others will tackle that "when I have time" reading list that gets longer each year.

In an effort to help you reach your goals this summer, try combining your reading with another goal through the use of audio books.  Here are some great websites that have free audio books:

Most of the free books on these sites are classics, but you can also get 2 free audio books with a 30-day trial to Audible Audiobooks.  You can also borrow free audio books from the Kansas State Library with One Click Digital.  Then follow the instructions for downloading audiobooks on either a Mac or PC.  (Please note you will have to create an account with One Click Digital at the following website -