Monday, May 9, 2016

Students' Desks = Letters of Inspiration


No mater who you are, we all like to receive notes of encouragement, especially when we are facing big challenges. So why not do something like this great idea for this week of testing and let your students know how much you believe in them.
Special shout out to Brenham JH AP Kay Domel for finding this article. 

 (AP) — For a classroom of elementary school students looking for inspiration before a big test this week, the writing wasn't on the wall. It was on their desks.

A Woodbury teacher wrote inspirational messages directly on her students' desks Monday before they started four days of high-pressure, high-stakes Common Core-aligned tests this week, followed by three more days next week.

Chandni Langford's fifth-graders walked into class Monday at Evergreen Avenue Elementary School to find messages from her. "Learning is your superpower!" she wrote to one student. "There is no elevator to success, you must take the stairs!" she told another.
"A lot of my kids were nervous that if they don't pass this test with good scores they won't go to the next grade. They feel a lot of anxiety about that," Langford said. "I thought this would be a cute thing for them to walk in to."
Photos of the desks on the district's Facebook page have been shared more than 10,000 times and have been met with comments celebrating the teacher's attempts to encourage her students.
Julissa Gomez said she was a bit nervous about the start of testing, but the message from her teacher helped.
"When I read the message, my fear went away," Julissa said. "I knew I could actually do it."
Another student said the message motivated her to do her best.
"I felt like I could do anything now," Emily Corrigan said. "Everyone kept on smiling. I think it was really cool that she did everything for us."

Langford said she got the idea on Pinterest from another teacher. She said the messages connect with the "growth mindset" learning strategy that she has used in her classroom of 19 students since January.
The messages were written using dry erase markers and removed before the students began the first of seven days of testing.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Edpuzzle is free resource that allows you the ability to customize videos by inserting your voice and questions.  Videos can either be self created or from YouTube,  Khan Academy, Learn Zillion, National Geographic, TED, Veritasium, and Numberphile as well.  Once a video is loaded, you can create a series of questions to go along with your chosen video. Questions are inserted in markers you create that matches the video.  The video then automatically stops at those markers and the question appears.  The image below shows an example of question markers placed with the chosen video.

Markers aren't limited to review questions, with documentary-type videos, EDpuzzle can also be used to embed writing prompts.  Create prompts throughout the video so that students can pause and write out their reflections and thoughts.
Teachers can then see if students have watched the video and answered the questions.

Classroom Integration Ideas:
  • use EdPuzzle as short reviews
  • use for Flipped lessons
  • use with entire class but have as a resource for students that may have been absent the day of the original presentation
  • students could use the voice comments option in EdPuzzle to present information on videos from YouTube or other resources

    Wednesday, November 13, 2013

    Easy Web Content Presenter


     Infographics are easy to read and understand. Your students love them because they are a visually appealing way to convey information.  Creating your own has never been easier than it is using a new Web 2.0 resource called EWC Presenter.  It's a powerful, web-based HTML editor that lets you create inforgraphics like the one below, using a simple drag and drop interface.

    After creating a free account, you'll see the dashboard were you can choose to make an Inforgraphic or a Presentation.
    Either uses the same features.  In fact you can create multiple pages of inforgraphics and then turn it into a presentation.

    To create an infographic, you choose from a variety of themes.
    Choose from a variety of types and begin to add your data in the template. 

    You can also drag and drop images you want to use with the infographic, as well as create text boxes and titles for any area.  After populating the fields,  you'll see the data come to life.

    Classroom Integration Ideas:
    • Students can create infographics in history, geography, economics, science, etc
    • Create a presentation on various data they have researched using multiple inforgraphics.

    Monday, November 4, 2013

    Kids Picture Dictionary App

    Kids Picture Dictionary is a free app that is a dictionary for kids with pictures.  This picture dictionary includes a self record feature that allows teachers or kids to record their own voice to record sentence examples.  Each word includes a picture, an audio recording of the word, as well as the ability to record their own sentence.

    Friday, October 18, 2013


     How many times have you come across something you wanted to read, but didn't have time at that moment to do so?  So you made a bookmark, and then lost track of it.  That won't be an issue with
    Pocket is free resource that allows you to save anything you find on the internet and read it later. It can saved on your desktop, laptop, iPad, or phone. Create a free account on or download the free app.  Anything saved via the website (with either a Google Chrome or Firefox extension), by emailing to, or the Pocket app can be viewed on any additional device that you sign into with your free account.  Once saved, internet articles can be accessed offline.

    Whatever you saved you can archive, mark it as a favorite,  

    or even share the page with a colleague.  They will not need an account, it simply shares the web link.

    Helpful Resources:

    Frequent Pocket Questions 
    Classroom Integration Ideas:
    •  Find online articles to share with students via email (secondary campuses) or use to bookmark sites that can be shown in class at a later date.
    • Save videos from YouTube to be used in classroom
    • Create a professional online journal collection

    Wednesday, May 15, 2013

    50 Fab Apps for Teachers

    Scholastic has shared a 50 Fab Apps link. Apps are for both iOS and Android systems.  The apps are for Language Arts, Science, Math, Social Studies, Music & Art, Special Needs, Lesson Planning, Communication  & Organization,  and Classroom Management.
    This PDF lists the paid and free apps.

    Thursday, April 18, 2013

    Edmodo Apps - Class Chart & Flashcards

    As Edmodo continues to increase in popularity, utilizing the free apps that are located in the Edmodo Store is one way to ensure you are getting the full experience.

    Two free apps that can be useful in Edmodo-created class groups are Class Charts and Flashcards.
    Class Charts is a behavior recording tool that allows the user to create detailed seating.  

    Teachers create charts by uploading actual student pictures or use the app's icons.  Then arrange the charts based on learning groups or minimizing behavior issues.  Keep track of each student's positive and negative behavior directly from his/her profile.
    Teachers can invite other colleagues to track and analyze student behavior and attendance.  Detailed reports can be gathered on individual students or entire classes.

    Flashcards by Course Hero presents students and teachers an easy way to study new information.

    Cards can be created or customized from the several thousand flashcards that exist already.  Students can and then save and share their sets with other students.

    Remember, apps purchased in the Edmodo store shouldn't be confused with iTunes (or Android) apps, as these will only work inside of the Edmodo site.