Edutech for Teachers

Cool Tools for the 21st Century Classroom

Tech Up Your Classroom: Thanksgiving Style

November17

thinglink-logoWhether you’re looking for some neat themed lesson plans and activities to incorporate into your classroom to celebrate Thanksgiving, or maybe you’re just in search of some tech-based Thanksgiving games to keep your students engaged before the upcoming vacation… Either way, Edutech for Teachers has got you covered!

Hover over the interactive image to find tons of Thanksgiving-themed games and interactive learning activities for students and/or skip past the graphic to find additional/updated materials for teaching and learning about this popular holiday.

Check out the full screen version of this image here.

Additional Teaching & Learning Resources:

» New! Kids Discover Colonial America: A unit that focuses on the founding of major settlements and daily life in Colonial America. It describes everything from the Pilgrims’ landing to the colonies’ later growth and business activities.

» New! Kids Discover Native America: A unit that focuses on the most fascinating details of the history and culture of Native Americans. From their spiritual beliefs, artwork, and legends to harrowing accounts of the unfair policies, diseases, and battles that nearly wiped out Native Americans.

» New! Eight Great Ways to Be Thankful: A printable infographic to get students thinking about what they are grateful for this season… Perfect for all ages!

8-great-ways-to-be-thankful-kids-discover

Click here for a free download from Kids Discover.

» Multimedia Thanksgiving Turkeys: Learn more from Free Technology for Teachers about how students can create an interactive thankful poster utilizing ThingLink.  

» Scholastic News: A comprehensive site containing various resources for elementary students and teachers to learn about how the pilgrims reached America and celebrated the first Thanksgiving. Sections include The Mayflower, Daily Life, The Feast, Historical Letters, and Videos and Photos.

» Education World: Thanksgiving in the classroom doesn’t have to be limited to those lesson on turkeys. Instead celebrate this special season with some creative ideas via articles, lesson plans, site reviews, books, crafts, clipart and much more—all to help you meet all of your holiday needs. 

» TIME Magazine: An interesting article regarding “The Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Thanksgiving”.

» Teachers Love SMART Boards: A list of Thanksgiving-related activities that can be utilized with an interactive whiteboard.

» abcteach: Games, puzzles and coloring pages designed for elementary students.

» The Best Websites To Learn About Thanksgiving: From audio and video to engaging reading activities, Larry Ferlazzo’s comprehensive list of Thanksgiving web sites includes something for everyone!

» The History Channel: Tons of videos related to the origins, history and traditions related to Thanksgiving. A few noteworthy videos include The History of Thanksgiving and the Mayflower Deconstructed.

» National Geographic for Kids: Contains a funny fill-in turkey story/Mad Lib that can be used as for a writing activity.

» Thanksgiving Web Quest: Visit Web sites about the Pilgrims, the Wampanoag and the famous harvest feast and learn new facts along the way!

» 10 Thanksgiving Myths Dispelled: A cool infographic created by Misconception Junction.

» The Pilgrims and the First Thanksgiving: A web adventure in which students have to answer questions along the way.

» Thanksgiving Trivia: The Huffington Post challenges you to take the ultimate quiz about Turkey Day.

» Thanksgiving Quiz: Another fun holiday quiz created by Funnel Brain.

» How Thanksgiving Works: A variety of Thanksgiving related articles and videos about the History of Thanksgiving as well as related customs, traditions and more from the creators of How Stuff Works.

» What Really Happened? Comparing Stories of the First Thanksgiving: A great feature from the New York Times Learning Network that also contains links to other useful resources.

Classroom Connection:

Use the resources and materials listed above to teach students about the Thanksgiving holiday.

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Tech Up Your Classroom: Thanksgiving Style

November19

thinglink-logoWhether you’re looking for some neat themed lesson plans and activities to incorporate into your classroom to celebrate Thanksgiving, or maybe you’re just in search of some tech-based Thanksgiving games to keep your students engaged before the upcoming vacation… Either way, Edutech for Teachers has got you covered!

Hover over the interactive image to find tons of Thanksgiving-themed games and interactive learning activities for students and/or skip past the graphic to find additional/updated materials for teaching and learning about this popular holiday.

Check out the full screen version of this image here.

Additional Teaching & Learning Resources:

» NEW!  Multimedia Thanksgiving Turkeys – Learn more from Free Technology for Teachers about how students can create an interactive thankful poster utilizing ThingLink.

» NEW!  Scholastic News – A comprehensive site containing various resources for elementary students and teachers to learn about how the pilgrims reached America and celebrated the first Thanksgiving. Sections include The Mayflower, Daily Life, The Feast, Historical Letters, and Videos and Photos.

» NEW!  Education World – Thanksgiving in the classroom doesn’t have to be limited to those lesson on turkeys. Instead celebrate this special season with some creative ideas via articles, lesson plans, site reviews, books, crafts, clipart and much more—all to help you meet all of your holiday needs. 

» TIME Magazine – An interesting article regarding “The Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Thanksgiving”.

» Teachers Love SMART Boards – A list of Thanksgiving-related activities that can be utilized with an interactive whiteboard.

» abcteach – Games, puzzles and coloring pages designed for elementary students.

» The Best Websites To Learn About Thanksgiving – From audio and video to engaging reading activities, Larry Ferlazzo’s comprehensive list of Thanksgiving web sites includes something for everyone!

» The History Channel – Tons of videos related to the origins, history and traditions related to Thanksgiving. A few noteworthy videos include The History of Thanksgiving and the Mayflower Deconstructed.

» National Geographic for Kids – Contains a funny fill-in turkey story/Mad Lib that can be used as for a writing activity.

» Thanksgiving Web Quest – Visit Web sites about the Pilgrims, the Wampanoag and the famous harvest feast and learn new facts along the way!

» 10 Thanksgiving Myths Dispelled – A cool infographic created by Misconception Junction.

» The Pilgrims and the First Thanksgiving – A web adventure in which students have to answer questions along the way.

» Thanksgiving Trivia – The Huffington Post challenges you to take the ultimate quiz about Turkey Day.

» Thanksgiving Quiz – Another fun holiday quiz created by Funnel Brain.

» How Thanksgiving Works – A variety of Thanksgiving related articles and videos about the History of Thanksgiving as well as related customs, traditions and more from the creators of How Stuff Works.

» What Really Happened? Comparing Stories of the First Thanksgiving – A great feature from the New York Times Learning Network that also contains links to other useful resources.

Classroom Connection:

Use the resources and materials listed above to teach students about the Thanksgiving holiday.

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Graphic Organizers Galore!

September25

graphic organizerDuring one of my recent quests to find additional edtech tools and effective integration strategies, I stumbled across an excellent graphic organizer resource I thought was worth sharing.

Created by educators in the Vermilion Parish School District in Abbeville, Louisianna, this resource contains a useful collection of interactive and blackline graphic organizers and literacy strategy tools that can be utilized across the K-12 spectrum. Check it out here.

Classroom Connection:

There are many compelling reasons to support the use of graphic organizers in the classroom. For example, not only do these tools engage visual learners and help them organize their thoughts, but they also assist students with making powerful connections between  ideas and concepts. Thus, students are more likely to understand content being taught. That said, use this graphic organizer collection to enhance learning and to develop the critical and creative thinking of the learners in your classroom.

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Guest Post: Using Technology as an Effective Teaching Tool

July22

teachhub logoWith the advancement of technology, teachers now have some really great education tools for the classroom, online teaching tools and lesson plans for students. Some are moving towards a “paperless” classroom. While it doesn’t seem feasible to make a classroom completely paperless, it’s a concept that technology is quickly helping to become a reality.

As a teacher, can you imagine never having to go through paper book reports, hand out quizzes or books? Nearly everything can now be done using computer technology. Many classrooms today have at least one shared computer for the students to use. Most have access to an Internet connection, which opens up a whole new world of information. Many have DVD players and projectors that are great tools to make lessons more entertaining. While some of these technologies can sometimes be costly, it’s important to have these tools in classrooms so that students are subjected to things that are common in the world around them. It also helps sometimes to make dry lessons much more interactive and fun.

The world today relies on computer technology. There is hardly a business left that doesn’t use this technology to operate. That’s why it’s so important for students to be subjected to computer technology at an early age. They are invaluable teaching tools for classrooms of all ages and sizes. If a student doesn’t get enough experience and exposure to this technology, they may find it difficult to function in the “real world”. It’s best to start introducing computer technology when they are in elementary so that the children can become used to it and gain more experience over time.

Another great reason to introduce technology in the classrooms is to cut back on the large amount of paper that is wasted everyday. Some examples of how technology can be used to replace paper include online lesson plans for classrooms, or using spreadsheets to track your students attendance. There are plenty of online teaching tools that can be used to make lessons more interesting, including educational computer and spelling games. Turn a complicated mathematical lesson into a fun game that the students will enjoy learning from.

Another great way to use technology in your lessons is to use video rather than pages after pages of textbook information. Video can provide a fun way to learn dry information that students may not otherwise pay attention to. It’s an easy way to make things more entertaining, especially when the lesson involves complicated concepts. There are many websites that provide free educational videos online. Simply hook the laptop up to the projector, and you’re ready to go.

Using technology in your classroom is not as daunting of a task as you may think. Simple changes make the world of a difference. While technology will not replace your usual lessons, they will compliment them and enhance them. Technology is just another tool to help your students learn and grow as individuals. Using technology in lessons has shown to greatly improve student performance, making it a great way to get your students more involved in their education.

Henry Marks is a writer for TeachHub, a resource that provides a variety of education tools for the classroom, including great lesson plans. For more information visit http://www.teachhub.com.

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Easter Resources Collection

March28

Whether you’re in need of some Easter lessons with a spiritual nature or are just looking for some seasonal fun, the Easter Resources Collection is for you!  Poetry activities, interactive games, scavenger hunts, sequencing cards, puzzles, a variety templates and more await you on TES—the largest teacher network in the world.

Larry Ferlazzo’s Web Site of the Day is another site packed with online resources for teaching and learning about Easter and Passover.  A few that stood out for me include a variety of Easter videos and articles from the History Channel, the Easter Bunny Rap, How Easter Works and Easter by the Numbers—a fun infographic about this holiday.

Lastly, Education World contains resources for teaching science, graphing and creative writing that fit perfectly for Easter fun and learning.

Classroom Connection:

Use these themed lesson plans, activities and materials to teach students about Easter and Passover.

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Harry Kindergarten Educational Videos

March25

Need some “hip” educational songs and videos to teach elementary age students about numbers, colors, holidays, money and much more?  Then be sure to take a look at the Harry Kindergarten channel on You Tube!  In addition to the topics previously mentioned, Harry Kindergarten also features various character education videos that can assist educators with teaching students about the importance of developing traits such as responsibility and perseverance via Mr. Stanley, a classroom puppet.

Mr. Harry—a friend, colleague and kindergarten teacher at Myers Elementary in Bellwood, PA—not only creates these amazing instructional videos, but most impressively, he actually writes the music and lyrics for many of them as well!

To date, Harry Kindergarten has nearly 7,000 subscribers and more than 18 million video views—for real!  Here’s why…  Check out this clever “Days of the Week” video to the tune of the Addams Family:

You can also connect with Harry Kindergarten on Facebook here.

BTW—Thanks, Pete, for showcasing my Tech Club’s “Read Across B-A” video on Harry Kindergarten! Four days later and nearly 800 views—super cool! 🙂

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TPACK iPad Project

March17

Some of my best finds on the Internet are those that are the least expected!  Case in point:  I randomly clicked on a link that was located on the Clustrmaps page associated with my blog and found this treasure trove of ideas that iPad users will just love: TPACK iPad Project In Schools.

At first the site appeared to be just another blog about the use of iPads in the classroom, but as I clicked around a bit more, I discovered one of the most comprehensive educational iPad sites I have seen to date.  Not only does the author, Dr. Jenny Lane—a researcher and lecturer of Education at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia—provide tips, tricks and thoughts on the integration of iPads in the classroom, but she shares a wealth of information in the following categories:

  • iPad App Guide – Complete with descriptions, how to videos, tutorials, lesson ideas, recommended readings and additional info related to how the app can be used in education.  It’s like visiting the App Store—only better!
  • App Recommendations
  • Apps by Learning Area
  • Apps for Administrators, Teachers and Students
  • Bloom’s Taxonomy of Apps
  • Find iPad Activities – Links to sites in which educators can find activities for the classroom
  • iPad Educators, Groups, Resources and Schools
  • Special Needs Links
  • Student iPad Blogs

Wherever you are in terms of using iPads in your classroom, you should definitely check out the TPACK iPad Project In Schools site!  Now excuse me while I download a few new apps for my students! 🙂

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Hey, edu-tech gurus!

Looking for some technology integration ideas to enhance your classroom lessons? Then be sure to check out my "Tech Tips" for the latest and greatest Web 2.0 tools, applications and web sites that can be incorporated into activities and/or projects. Although some posts may not be applicable to your content area or grade level, be sure to check back often as I will be varying ideas in order to provide resources across the K-12 curriculum.

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