Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Saying Thank You and Sending Good Cheer To The Military

You may want to have your class remember those men and women who are serving in our military during this holiday season. Two really good websites for doing so crossed my desk this morning. Thanks to a post from Linda Ryan George on Facebook this morning, I was reminded that the Red Cross is back with their Holiday Mail for Heroes. All cards are sent to a specific address and then the Pitney Bowes Company screens them for hazardous materials and then they are sent to the servicemen and women.
Let's Say Thanks is a project done by the Xerox Corporation. This project is done completely online and does not give the actual feeling of sending a card but postage costs will not be a problem.
Can you imagine all the happiness cards from children all of the United States would bring to the members of the military who are far away from home this season?

Thanksgiving Brain-Pop for Free

I am not sure if this post will get to many of you on time, but for those still in school tomorrow, I just found out that Brain Pop was offering their Thanksgiving Movie for free this week. It can be found HERE. I hope I caught a few of you in time.
I also hope that this Thanksgiving Holiday finds you all surrounded by family and good friends, enjoying love, laughter, good food, and football!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sometimes You Want It Really Big!

Have you ever had an image or text that you wanted to "blow up" into poster size? Maybe you want to use it for a Bulletin Board, a Center Sign, or a visual teaching sign. I once had a way of making a poster using a Microsoft Excel, but this is way easier! It is called Block Poster and I found out about it while reading my daily dose of "wow" from the ILearn Technology blog. I am always amazed at how many useful websites I do not know about and they continue to make me wonder why any teacher would ever say they did not need technology???
Take a look at Block Poster. In three easy steps you can upload an image, decide how big you would want your poster and then click on the pdf that was made for you. It prints out on 81/2 x 11 inch paper or other sized paper that you specify. It can be printed in portrait or landscape.
It is just another useful tool for "Taming The Tedious Teacher Tasks".

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Holiday Card Exchange Project To Begin - Registration Opens Friday!

Jen Wagner, in her never tiring efforts to bring excitement into real time/real life learning is once again hosting the Holiday Card Exchange Project Registration will open on Friday. I am aware that many people want to stay away from the religious significance of the holiday season so as not to exclude any religious groups. This project can be done with geography and world awareness in mind without making this a religious project.
After you register, you will be placed in a group with 24 other schools, hopefully from far and wide. You will be asked to make and send holiday cards to the 24 other schools in your group. The cards will include information about your school and your city. Links for ideas of making cards will be provided and of course using scanners and digital cameras to publish cards on your computers would also be an option. By December 7th., you will send your cards and start receiving ncards. The cards you receive will include information about the school and the city it is coming from. Using a map to identify where your cards come from will have students "talking geogrphy". For example, one child will see a card form Minnesota and exclaim, "That class is so close to Canada!" Of course, cities can be located on Google Earth or Google Maps simply with a zip code.
The cards form the basis for the project - but so much more learning about the world can come out of this project.
Again, Thank You Jen!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Handy Tool For Your Classroom - A Timer

I think this would be a very handy tool to have in the classroom - a Simple Timer . This timer can be used two ways. One, as a countdown timer for an activity that you want to keep to a certain period of time. Second, you could use this clock to time a certain event or activity. The Simple Timer can be projected onto a screen or onto an Interactive Whiteboard so that everyone knows how much time is left or how much time they are taking to perform a task.
I learned about the Simple Timer from one of my favorite blogs ILearn Technology.