Sunday, September 30, 2007


I receive every Sunday morning one of my favorite online newsletters. It comes from Teachers First and a Sunday never goes by that I am not overwhemed by what new is out there on the Internet free for use by teachers. The entire Teachers First Website is amazing, but today I want to tell you about a recommendation that came today about a free online tool called Sketchcast. This tool allows you to record yourself illustrating a concept to students and then have them play it as often as they would like in order to understand the concept. The implications for using this tool are endless. I am sure you creative teachers out there will be thinking of many, many more uses. My preview is really very, very ameturish, but I want you to see what I could produce in about 2 minutes. I will be practicing for later showings. Check mine out at and do subscribe to the Teachers First newsletter.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Put This On Your Calendar

September 28th. (this week) is the day that registration opens for Jennifer Wagner's Technospud Project The Pumpkin Seed Count. Without much preparation on your part, your students can gain many skills and develop concepts while participating in a project with many other students from all over the world. The project is for Grades K-3. You can find a "sneak peek" at the project at

Jennifer does a fantastic job of providing activities to accompany this project and your students can become a part of a world-wide community of learners. If you have never participated in an online collaborative project, this is an excellent place to start.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

An Online Science Project - Journey North

I think anyone who has heard me speak knows that I am passionate about the online collaborative project. I believe that allowing your students to become a part of a world wide community of learners has benefits that will fulfill standards and beyond! One such science-based project will meet standards in all areas of the curriculum including map skills, learning about many cultures, numeric data, and definitely all of the communication skills. That project is called Journey North, it can be found at With the motivation of wildlife migration and seasonal change, students will track happenings within their own environment and then track the animals and plant life as one season goes into another. There are activities for every age group, maps, email updates, and many classroom activities. This project has been going on since the mid-eighties and just keeps getting better and better. Your class can choose any level of participation.
The beauty of this and many other online collaborative projects to me is two-fold. First of all, students are studying what is happening in real time with real data, and secondly, they are compiling and analyzing data coming from many sources throughout North America, rather than experimenting just within their own classroom.
A project like this, provided free of charge to all of us is a win-win situation! Give it a try!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Picture Puzzles -"Cut Up" With Digital Pictures

Picture Puzzles - "Cut Up" with your digital pictures! With Labor Day weekend behind us, I still get that willful feeling that I really wish I was starting a new school year and that I would have a roomful of excited children looking at me for making their year memorable. Alas, I chose the retirement and workshop route and although I miss those smiling faces and the comaraderie of colleagues, I must admit that I still enjoy my flexible schedule.I have been sorting and playing with digital pictures that I took throughout the summer and I thought I would share with you one of my favorite things that I like to do with images. Using I go to My Jigzone Space. By uploading pictures, I am able to make them into an online jigsaw puzzle, from 6 to 120 cuts. I can then try to solve the puzzle online or email them to my grandchildren who love to try their hand at solving them. When my four year old grandson, David, told me he wanted to do one of the puzzles in a 120 piece cut, I thought he could never do it, until he showed me the "Auto-Solve" function listed on the left. I had never seen it.Jigzone also has many puzzles (a new one everyday) that you can become addicted to doing. However, when the picture is that of the child or a familiar area of the classroom, the kids love to try to solve them. I think there is also the ability to use the mouse benefit.Try Jigzone as one more thing to do with digital images.