Saturday, September 22, 2012

EdCampNJ! December 1st!

Around January of last year, I was on Twitter talking to some other teachers around the country when I noticed a feed from an educator who wanted to start an EdCamp in New Jersey and was looking for other teachers to help get it started. Having been to two EdCamps in New York City in the past, I knew right away I wanted to be part of bringing EdCamp to New Jersey. What is an EdCamp you ask? EdCamps are a new way of experiencing professional development. It is driven by educators who are passionate about their craft and who want to learn and share with others. It is not your typical day of PD with lectures and handouts. You don't even know what you are going to learn until you get there! EdCamps are driven by the participants. Anyone who attends can give a session on a topic - but don't expect to have to lecture for hours. The sessions are about sharing and collaboration of ideas and strategies - most of the sessions are taught by conversations and dialogue of the participants. Can't decide what session you want to go to? No worries because the tone and etiquette of EdCamps are much different than your typical professional development - you are encouraged to leave when you want from a session if it isn't meeting your needs or if you want to check in at another session. But truly, some of the best PD I have every receive at an EdCamp wasn't during the sessions, but rather talking with educators from other schools and states about collaboration and ideas during the breakfast and lunch!

Part of my job with EdCampNJ has been to secure sponsorship for the event - if what I have told you so far hasn't enticed you enough to attend - I can say that we have fantastic sponsors who are giving away AMAZING  prizes that all attendees can win! Oh, and did I mention it is FREE to attend EdCamp?!!!!

So think about coming to New Jersey's first ever EdCampNJ on Saturday, December 1st at Linwood Middle School in North Brunswick. Click here for your FREE TICKETS, directions, and information about EdCampNJ! Hope to see you there!!

Rounding Robot

The Remarkable Rounding Robot is a cute, simple program to have at a station in your room while introducing or reinforcing rounding to the tens, hundreds, and thousands place.

Apple Graph

Want a quick, great way to introduce graphs to Kindergarteners? Try "Our Favorite Apples." A geat site to use with an interactive board or even a computer and projector. Have each student plot their favorite apple on the class graph.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Quick Mother's Day Activity

Need a quick Mother's Day project? Create this adorable letter to Mom in a few quick steps. 
1. Have student type their letter in WORD. One to two paragraphs work best. Have them spell-check since the site that will create the letter does not have spell check. Copy the letter. 
2. Go to -,0 select the Valentine layout if it is not selected already. 
3. Delete the text already in the text box. Paste the letter into the text box. 
4. Select Layout Text. If the heart is too small, go back and enlarge the font until you have the size you like. 
That's it! So simple yet so cute! 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

American Pickers Contest

Pick and Tell Contest 
Do your students (or kids) love American Pickers? If so they are having a great contest (Deadline is May 1st so you have to hurry!) The winner receives $10,000 and a trip to Washington DC to meet the Pickers! Click here for all the information! Open to students in grades 5-8.

The Why Files

Click Here for the Why Files    

The Why Files is a site devoted to helping students understand the science, math, and technology behind the news. Sent each week to your inbox, The Why Files offers a great site to send students in your science class to research current events.In your Literacy class, it is a great resource for finding higher level non-fiction text. Check out the teacher section for lessons and activities for you to use in class.

Power Point Search

PowerPoint presentations can be extremely useful in the classroom to help introduce a lesson and to help students understand the concepts being taught. Below is a list of sites that offer already made PPT presentations for teachers. Some can be modified, others cannot. Besides the list below, a good way to search for a PPT with Google is to simply put in the topic name followed by filetype ppt. For example a search for Civil War PPTs would look like: "Civil War" filetype ppt.

Books For Boys

Click Here for Read Kiddo Read
Click Here for Books 4 Boys
Boys often have a hard time picking and finding books that interest them. Here are three sites to help the boys in your class find books. These are great sites to put on your website to direct them to when they, "Can't find ANYTHING to read."
Click Here for Guys Read

Monday, April 16, 2012


Finally...Pottermore! My daughter has been waiting for over a year for this and finally it is starting to be rolled out. Pottermore is where you will find everything Harry Potter. Pottermore is more than a fan site - Pottermore is a transmedia experience where readers will be able to interact with and help the Potter stories come alive. Originally Pottermore was slated to open last October, but was delayed until now. They are rolling out "admission" to Pottermore slowly - so sign up now to get your invite in a few days. 
Here is a great video by J,K. Rowling explaining Pottermore.

Have fun exploring Pottermore!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Operation Blustery Day

Operation Blustery Day is a great site to use as a center in your classroom. To play: help the bunny get to his home on a blustery day. To do this you need to correctly select the correct operation you would need to perform to answer the word problem. Each correct answer gets the bunny closer to home - every wrong answers gets him further away. A great game for students struggling with basic word problems. Best for grades 2-4.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Learning about Jamestown? Our third grade teachers are! Here are two great sites to infuse into your Jamestown unit.
The first is from National Geographic Kids, On the Trail of Captain John Smith is a fantastic transmedia site that blends story, games, and "choose your own adventure" all in one! Best used as a whole class with an interactive white board or a projector. Once finished, have the students demonstrate what they learned by pretending to be John Smith and sending a postcard home from Jamestown explaining everything that happened to him and what it is like to live in this new colony!

The second site is also very interactive. The site, by History Globe, transports you back to 1606 as a Jamestown settler. You need to make the same decisions that the Jamestown settlers faced, you even get the opinions of Native Americans, Colonists and the Charter to help you. The best part, at the end you get a report of your choices. It will also tell you what we now know about the decisions that the settlers made and how they could have made better decisions.  Just like the first resource, sending a post card home would be a fun, quick way to assess the students understanding of the content learned.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012