Barnes and Noble Media Channels

I have been exploring Barnes and Noble’s Online Media Channels. Especially like the Story Time Channel~14 popular book videos and the No Name Calling Channel~a collection of videos from famous authors & celebrities about their experiences and thoughts about bullying and bullies. All videos and podcasts can be embedded for easy access on blogs or wikis. They also can be viewed in full screen mode which will present well on a SMARTBoard. ENJOY!

Mister Thread

 In the past I have recommended and shared Todays Meet with anyone interested in using a backchannel forum in their classroom.  I like Todays Meet because it is very simple to set up and is free of advertising.  But for some teachers the one feature missing was the option to password protect your Todays Meet backchannel.  Well I recently learned of a back channel that offers both simplicity and password protection called Mister Thread  so I wanted to share.

mrthreadMister Thread is another free service for creating your own back channel forum.  Creating your forum (or thread) is as simple as naming it and clicking the “create the thread” tab.  Other options available when creating your back channel would be to enter a password that all visitors would need to enter to join your thread and you can also enter your email address to give yourself the option to remove your thread.  Once you click “create the thread” you are given a unique URL that you then share with people you want to participate in your conversation.  Currently Mister Thread is in beta but the site indicates that “the basic features are free and additional features will follow soon.” ENJOY!


conserveThe National Zoo and Fuji Film have partnered to develop a nice interactive application that encourages students to use their critical thinking skills to solve some issues relating to conservation.  The application is called Habitat Adventure: Panda Adventure and would be applicable for older students. Students are taken on a journey to China to help conserve the temperate forest and save the Pandas. When students reach their destination they are given a choice of four scenarios: set up a core area for endangered animals, choose the best habitat corridor, look for carnivores, and help find alternative sources of income for community loggers. Collect data from plant samples, photos, tracks, and sound recordings to identify plants and animals using the field guide. Students will use binoculars, field guides, a camera, and other tools, as well as talk to local people to help make the best decisions. Be sure to turn up your volume before you start your journey. This would be appropriate for students grade eight and older. ENJOY!

Watch to Know

I can’t remember where I learned about the Watch to Know website and not sure why I haven’t posted about it before, but it is site that I use often when looking for educational videos to compliment and reinforce a lesson or concept. Watch to Know has indexed online educational videos for children, putting them into a directory of over 3,000 categories. This website is dedicated to be “kid safe”. The website states that they hope to have 50,000 videos indexes by the end of 2010. The videos are available without any registration or fees to teachers in the classroom and to students at home 24/7. You can register for a free account and upload/host your own videos. All videos on the site can be downloaded or embedded. ENJOY!

Matchstick Patterns

matchsticksBGFL has an interesting application that brings me back to my childhood when my brothers, sister and I would create shapes using match sticks. Our family would go camping every August and my Dad would bring along several boxes of wooden match sticks because it was easier to start the all important camp fire using the matchsticks as opposed to rubbing two sticks together!  Anyway if you are teaching geometry/shapes and have a SMARTBoard the two applications this site offers may be of interest to you.  Each application easily allows you to drag matchsticks to the board and has an accompanying description page with ideas.   The two applications are: 1. Match Stick Patterns and Description Page  2. Sequencing with Match Sticks and the Description Page. ENJOY!

Bead Numbers

beadsBGFL has a very fun application called Bead Numbers that works great on the SMARTBoard to help reinforce number skills.  Basically it is a virtual counting frame, with three frames.  There are two activities available: 1. the free activity allows you to move the beads in any order to create your own problems and 2. computer questions which generates various questions to be solved using the counting frame. For those students who need the hands-on reinforcement this might be a nice reinforcement, especially when using the SMARTBoard. ENJOY!

Happy Mother’s Day!

As we all know Mother’s Day will be celebrated this Sunday, May 8th. has a very nice explanation of the origin of Mother’s Day.  This year I was asked by Miss Humphries 3rd grade classroom  if I would assist them in creating and printing individual Wordles that would honor their moms- a fabulous idea!  For those of you not familiar with a Wordle it is an application that allows you to create a word cloud. So today I joined them and helped to facilitate the process uisng the laptops.  Miss Humphries had instructed each student to write 15 separate words or short phrases that would best describe what their mother meant to them.  With the list in hand each student typed their words/phrases into the Wordle text box, generated their Wordle, and decided on just right font, layout and color scheme.  When they were finished we printed them and they then put their individual word cloud in a hand designed, one of a kind, frame.  Needless to say the finished Wordles were spectacular and I am confident that there will be many smiling Moms when presented with this very thoughtful, creative Mother’s Day honor. Below are a few examples of some completed Mother’s Day  Wordles.  ENJOY!!






SMART Notebook Game Templates

Recently I was in a 3rd grade classroom and observed a very creative and engaging vocabulary review with an Easter twist. When I asked the teacher about the Notebook lesson she informed me that she discovered the pre-made template on the SMART Exchange. With a little further investigation I learned that the Easter Kooshball Template was created by Mr. Mein (6th grade Language Arts Teacher in Texas) and that he also has shared several other Game templates on the SMART Exchange. So a big THANK YOU to Mr. Mein for sharing these wonderful templates! ENJOY!

Celebrate Spring!

DSC04486Now that spring has finally arrived, and has decided to stay around for a while, I thought I’d share a few activities offered by BGFL that focuses on life cycles, habitats and animals. ENJOY!

Life Cycle of Plants– is a fun set of activities which helps students gain an understanding of the life cycle of plants. There also is an IWB version for those of you with a SMARTBoard!

Zip’s Plants– Zip is a bee who is an expert on plants! He likes to travel around and share his knowledge about parts of plants, pollination, how plants grow, etc. He also offers Zip’s challenge which is a 10 question quiz!

Hams Hall Pond is a wonderful interactive website that offers a variety of lessons and activities to teach and review the life cycle food chains and the classification of living things in their environments. When you click on the Pond Library option it will bring you to an amazing resource of pond inhabitants.

Animal Homes is a fun interactive website to help students understand animal habitats. The activity has 3 levels. Level 1 is a drag and drop exercise where the pupil tries to match the animal to its habitat. Level 2 displays a partially hidden animal in its habitat. The pupil drags the picture of the animal they think it might be into the habitat. Level 3 replaces the pictures of the animals with words.