Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Help Make The Green Wave

A project that appealed to me was just posted through Highlights. It sounds like such a simple thing to do, but how much fun will it be to know that students from every part of the globe were doing the very same thing at the same time!
The Green Wave is a tree planting celebration for children and youth around the world. It leads up to the International Year of Biodiversity in 2010. Each year, The Green Wave will contribute to worldwide celebrations of the International Day for Biological Diversity (IBD). It also supports other national, international and global tree planting initiatives such as the UNEP-led Billion Tree Campaign. In participating schools, students plant a locally important tree species in or near their schoolyard. Where possible, the tree should be planted on 22 May IBD. In some countries, it may be too hot, too cold, too rainy, too dry or too something else to plant on 22 May. If such conditions apply to your country, you can plant in another month but still be involved. On 22 May, students around the world will count down to 10:00 local time, when they will water their tree in their respective schoolyards, thereby creating a figurative green wave starting in the far east and traveling west around the world. Throughout the day, students can upload photos and text summaries on The Green Wave website to share their tree-planting story with other children and youth from around the world. The interactive map will be launched at 20:10 local time, thereby creating a second green wave .
Much more information and many ideas for participating in this project can be found at the website
Let me know if you do this!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Tumblebooks - Free?

I have always liked the Tumble Book Library for kids. They are wonderful animated ebooks for students to enjoy online at school or at home. There is a subscription cost that has prohibited many schools from providing these online books for their students. It seems that the New York Public Library has paid for a subscription that allows anyone who accesses the library's online site to view and enjoy these books. You have to travel to this site in a certain way so that the access is FREE! First go to the New York Public Library website - Under SEARCH(at the top) put Tumblebooks (one word). In the results choose the first one "Ten Results for the NYPL website" Next choose "What's New". Scroll down until you come to the TumbleBook icon and word. Click on it and it will allow you into all of the books.
My ethical thoughts on this is that I called the NYPL and was told that anyone can join the library and everything put online was not only for members. I am sure that they have provided this resource and many others to spread reading opportunities to children everywhere.

We had the most marvelous Spring week here for the visit from my grandchildren. It has been sunny all day every day and i will never complain about Cleveland weather again. Yeah! Wait until next winter!!!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Wandering Wally Marches In Project

This looks like a really good project as your students will be "showing what they know" and they will also have an opportunity to read about what other students are doing around the world. It would be a great "first" project - Take a look at the URL

I'd love to hear if any of you participate.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Spelling City

I was just catching up on my own blog reading (after a weekend with all 4 grandchildren and lots of company) and I found a website that looks very useful. It was recommended by Ben Rimes on his blog The Tech Savvy Educator. He credited another reader for this, and in this wonderful world of sharing, I am sending it on to you. It is called Spelling City .You must register you as a teacher and register your school if it does not appear on a list of schools, but it is a FREE site. is a free spelling tool that can help you make teaching spelling more exciting. With online spelling games, spelling reviews, and spelling quizzes, your students can memorize those weekly spelling words while having fun, and you will have a new tool in your box for teaching spelling. The teacher can put his/her own spelling words in the list or can use many of the sample lists available for everyone's use. During the "teaching" and "practice" modes, a live voice says the words and repeats it in a sentence.

It would be a wonderful tool to share with teachers so that they can use it to help their children practice for spelling tests.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

It's been a busy week traveling - lots of planes. I am now in Madison, WI (I love college towns) and then it is off to Appleton, WI tomorrow. We are able to drive there tonight so that makes me very happy.
I got my PBS Teacher Source Newsletter and was introduced to a brand new program and a new website put out by PBS. It is called SUPER WHY. Anyone who is working with emerging readers will want to see this. It can be viewed on line or subscribed to free through ITunes to be viewed on an IPOD.
SUPER WHY is a preschool -Grade 1 series designed to help kids ages with the critical skills that they need to learn to read (and love to read!) as recommended by the National Reading Panel (alphabet skills, word families, spelling, comprehension and vocabulary).
Each episode is a 24-minute reading adventure in Storybrook Village, a magical 3-D world hidden behind the bookshelves in a children's library. In every episode, one of the friends encounters a problem with another Storybrook Village character (For instance, Jill from the Jack and Jill rhyme is not being nice). The Super Readers with their literacy power help to solve problems. I think it looks great for the little ones!

I am coming home late tomorrow night after both of my kids and their children arrive for the Passover Holiday. If you celebrate Passover, may yours be a good one surrounded by family and friends.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Reminder: Earth Day Groceries Project

I wanted to remind all of you about an easy low-tech project that can engage your students in not only encouraging your community to do positive things for our environment, but can also allow them to feel a part of a world-wide community of participants. The Earth Day Groceries Project is one of the oldest online projects.
There are four steps to this project:
1. Borrow. Contact a local grocery store that uses large paper grocery bags. See if the manager will let you "borrow" enough bags so that each student in your school can decorate one. Let the manager know about the project and its environmental education message, of course!
2. Decorate. Have students at school decorate the bags with pictures of the earth, ways to reuse and recycle, other environmental messages, the name of your school, etc. Be creative! DO NOT allow students to write their last names on any bags.
3. Deliver. A couple of days before Earth Day you and/or your students return the decorated bags to the grocery store - with many thanks to the manager! The store then distributes these bags (full of groceries) to happy and amazed shoppers on Earth Day.
4. Report. Fill out the Report Form on the project web site with a count of how many bags your school made. Please, only one report per school. You can also send in three pictures per school and the website tells about how to send in pictures. All reports will be posted on the Earth Day Groceries www site at:
You do not need to sign up or register, just have a great time with the project!

After Earth Day, share the reports and where they have come from with your students. This activity is done by schools all over the world. This proves we can all work together for the good of our planet!!!

Hope your weekend is a good one. I head out for five workshops next week. I start out in Cleveland, which is a first for me. In eight years, I have never done one here at home for BER.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Teacher Book Wizard by Scholastic

For those of you who have attended my workshops know that I find the Scholastic Network to be a really good resource for teachers. I have also shown Book Adventure for its wonderful book search abilities. Well, now there is an added feature to the Scholastic Network that provides many options for book searches and I think it is even better than Bailey Book Finder on Book Adventure. I read about it on a wonderful blog called ILearn written by Kelly Tenkely. The ILearn blog can be found at
Teacher Book Wizard is an amzing free tool from Scholastic. At first I thought that it would only do a search for Scholastic Books, but it searches over 50,000 books through many categories. There is even a feature that allows you to enter the name of a book that a student enjoyed and find other books that would be similar. You can search by grade level, reading level, and many other ways. Go to the site and Take the Tour. You will see that this is a tool that all teachers can use.