Newsela and Blendspace

Newsela — (Grades 2-5) This site provides current event articles on various reading levels (sports, health, science, arts, kids, etc).  Each day there are new articles that you can assign to your class (or read in small groups).  Each article has about 5 different reading levels (by lexile level)…so students can read about the same topic at their own level.  There are quizzes students can take, and best of all, there is a search bar that allows a teacher to search for articles that relate to certain reading skills (Author’s Purpose/Point of View, Text Structure, Central Idea, etc).  It might be another resource to add to the list of ways to engage your students in Reading.
Blendspace — (All Grades) Love, love this resource!  Blendspace allows you to create collections of web resources on a certain topic (videos, websites, pictures, etc).  This resource would be great to use with your students in the computer lab, as a small station within your classroom, or even as a way to organize materials you will present to your students on your Activboard.  You can add quizzes and monitor student progress too, if you want.  There are even tons of lessons already available that you can use immediately with your students. We are going to be encouraging you to move away from Portaportal (due to all the ads), and this is an excellent resource to take its place. :)

Admin Retreat Presentations

stem crazy with julie

I had the opportunity to present and co-present at the Admin Retreat this year on two topics: Augmented Reality and Engineering and Design Thinking.

Admin Retreat
Here are the presentations below:

 

And the handouts that go with them:

Augmented Reality

Engineering and Design Thinking

Read, Give, and Share Books Online!

wegivebooks

wegivebooksI just found an amazing free resource and I wanted to pass it on to all of you. We Give Books is a free online library of children’s books that enables your kids to help other children around the world while they’re reading. The best part is, your reading will directly impact the great work of non-profit organizations around the world! Their tagline says it all, “combining the joy of reading with the power of giving.” It’s the perfect tool for parents, teachers, caregivers, and anyone who loves children’s books!

When you go to www.wegivebooks.org, you’ll be able to read a special selection of books without a We Give Books account, but you have to sign up to access their full library. It’s definitely worth it, though. It’s just a quick form, and once you’re signed up, you’ll have access to over 150 quality children’s books! There are a lot of familiar classic titles, and even more new ones for us to discover. You can sort the books by age level, genre, author, and seasonal selections in the “Featured” section, so everyone can find something they like.

On the Causes page you can learn more about where your donated books are going. This fall, We Give Books is focusing on early childhood literacy across the United States and supporting great causes like Jumpstart for young children. In the winter, you’ll be able to read to support global literacy and give books to non-profits like Room to Read. They also give you the option to donate to help your book donations reach even more children.

We Give Books is a program of the Pearson Foundation and Penguin Group. Penguin works with its authors to provide an outstanding selection of online books while the Pearson Foundation donates print books to charity partners. We Give Books is a great way to get your children excited about reading and to teach them about the importance of helping others.

Basic CTRL Key Shortcuts

We have these basic shortcuts hanging in our computer lab, and we teach students to use them when needed.  There are many more, but these are basic ones students find fun using.  If you want a list of them in Word Format, here it is: Basic CTRL Key Shortcuts

CTRL+C (Copy)

CTRL+X (Cut)

CTRL+V (Paste)

CTRL+A (Select All)

CTRL+Z (Undo)

CTRL+Y (Redo)

CTRL+O (Open)

CTRL+N (New)

CTRL+H (Hide)

CTRL+F (Find)

CTRL+P (Print)

CTRL+Q (Quit)

CTRL+U (Underline)

CTRL+B (Bold)

CTRL+I (Italic)

CTRL+Shift+> (BIG Text)

CTRL+Shirt+< (Little Text)

Pinterest Folks to Follow!

Pinterest Logo

By now, many of us have heard of  Pinterest.  For me, it took me awhile to “get it,” but now that I have, it’s been a place I go often for teaching tips, recipes, decorating suggestions, and so on.  There are some great resources out there for teachers!  Here are some of the ones I follow for good ideas:

Here are some suggestions for using Pinterest as a teacher:

If there’s anyone I’ve missed that you enjoy, please leave a post and let me know!