Wall Wisher

Wall Wisher is a website that allows you to create a virtual wall where “sticky notes” can be added on any topic.  Here’s an example of a Snow Day Wall (feel free to add your own ideas)!  It’s very simple to make and add to a wall, and you can moderate everything that appears on it (making it safe to use with your students).


Make Your Own Wall

Step 1: visit the Wallwisher website.


Step 2:  Create a URL for your wall, and choose your preferences.  Make sure to check the box that says “I want to approve every post before it shows up on the wall” if you want to manage posts.


Step 3: Choose a theme for your wall.


Step 4: Choose a picture for the top of your wall, as well as the title and subtitle that will appear at the top.


Step 5: Enter your name and email address (use a real one because this is how you will receive a password to login and manage your posts)


Step 6:  Click done.  Your wall is now ready!

Post on a Wall

Step 1:  Double click anywhere and type your comment.  It can only be 140 characters long, but you can link to pictures or videos on the internet.


Step 2: To manage your posts, log in to the site.


Step 3: Click approve on posts for them to appear.

Other Options


To change your password, Build a New Wall, or View all your walls, click on Me > My Home.

Classroom Use

There’s a ton of ways this can be used in a classroom!

  • Use for KWL charts–have students post stickies about what they know, what they want to know, or what they have learned about a topic.
  • Gather data on a topic (especially great if you want to collaborate with another classroom).
  • Writing sentences (pick a topic, like What I want for Christmas and have students post).
  • Answering questions.  Writing Questions.
  • Birthday, Get Well, or Special Holiday Wall.
  • Facts on a topic.
  • If you have a class blog, you can embed the Wall write on the blog (just like I did above).
  • Post links for students to visit.
  • Link to pictures and videos on a topic
  • Vocabulary–post a word and have students make sentences using that word.
  • Field Trip–have students post what they’ve learned or their favorite parts.
  • Gather strategies for solving a problem.
  • Respond to a novel.
  • Book Reviews.
  • Veteran Honor Wall, Going Green Pledges, Red Ribbon Pledges, etc.

For more ideas, visit Tom Barrett’s Interesting Ways to Use Wallwisher in the classroom.

Projects, Projects, Projects

This article is a follow up to yesterday’s inservice at Clearbrook.  We discussed Global Projects, Using Skype, Wiki Ideas, and Geocaching and Geobugs.  Wow, that was a lot of stuff!
Shelia Terry from Virginia Beach was able to skype with us and talk a little about her use with Skype with her students there.  She gave us some great information about skype, and send us a link to more Skype info on her wiki!    

We also talked a lot about some existing global projects you can join. 
One of the project places I highlighted was the site by Jen Wagner.  I love her projects!!
The other project I mentioned by name was the skype project called Mission 00 Rain about Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.  I remember that a few of you were interested in it as well.  It’s for grades 1-3, but you need to register by Oct. 10! 
Finally, we did some geocaching and talked about geobugs.  In case you all are interested in geocaching for fun, the geocaching site is www.geocaching.com.  You can create an account for free, and download the locations of caches to many types of gps units.  The newer ones for cars will even let you do this.  It’s tons of fun, and they are EVERYWHERE…so it’s also great for family trips or vacations. 
If you and your class want to track the Big Lick Geobug, here’s it’s story.
Finally, an Oliver K. Woodman Geobug will be leaving Roanoke in the next few weeks.  He’s heading to Redcrest, California.  If you’ve read the book, The Journey of Oliver K. Woodman, you’ll know why!  Let me know if you want me to come to your class, show a geobug, and get your started following him too.  :)

Teachers Using Glogster

Have you seen the Nicoles’ new Carver library webpage?  Or Victoria Salvat’s Kindergarten page?  If not, check them out!  You will notice they are using a really cool service called Glogster.  Glogster allows you to make interactive poster-like creatives that include links, pictures, and videos all with a really slick looking design.  You can allow these posters to stand alone as wepbages, or embed them in webpage, wiki, or blog.  It works especially well for the homepage of a website.  This is what Victoria and Nicole did to add that extra touch to their websites.  Pam and I also used this for the Trek2India wiki!

So, want to make interactive posters with your kids?  Here’s a tutorial that shows you how!

Always remember to stay on the educational gloster site (http://www.glogster.com/edu) with your students. Otherwise, they may access inappropriate material on the regular Glogster site.

Do You Know Your Technology ABC’s?

Flip through the Technology ABC Voicethread below!

  • Which terms/sites/items have you used before?
  • Which ones are new to you?
  • How can you use these things in your classroom?

As you flip through the Voicethread, click on the link to explore more about each “letter,” leave a comment or two if you are familiar with some of the topics and have ideas on how to use them in your teaching , and stay tuned for some more detailed posts!!  I’d also be interested to know if you can think of anything to add.  AND, if you want to learn to use something new in your teaching, I’d love to help!  Leave a comment for that too!

About this Project

Awhile ago, maybe even this summer, some discussion arose in Twitter and/or Plurk about the idea of a technology ABC poster (I’m sorry, I can’t remember exactly WHO started the discussion to give credit.  If it was you, leave me a comment please).   And through those discussions, Pam Elgin and I came up with the idea of a Technology Word Wall and started adding to the list using things that our teachers might use.  Pam recently worked very hard to create PowerPoint slides for this project on each letter, which you will soon see in our schools’ computer labs.  Meanwhile, I thought it would also be fun to post the final product in virtual form via VoiceThread, complete with links to each of the topics.  Hope you learn something from it!

Update:  Pam has posted the actual powerpoint file for you to download or print slides here!  Thanks, Pam!

Wordle Word Clouds

Wordle is a really fun, east web tool that turns words into art called “word clouds.” These word clouds emphasize words that are used more often in a piece of text. Wordle makes text clouds from text you enter, from blog RSS feeds, or from delicious tags. There are even options to change font color, type, and the design of the words.

Lots of people, including Pam Elgin, have been tossing around ideas for the use of Wordle in classrooms. Here’s a few you might want to try!

About Me

Have students type their name three times (this will make it bigger than other words). Then have them type words that mean something to them. This would be a great back to school activity.

Describe a Famous Person or a Literary Character

You could do the same activity, but with a famous person.

Adjective Collage

Create a collage of adjectives. In the Wordle Text box, type the noun you want to describe three times (this will make it appear bigger than the other words). Then list all the descriptive words you can think of to describe the noun. Here’s an example:

First Name Welcome

This idea is a great one from Pam. Create a Wordle with the first name of the students in your class to hang on your door. (Example by Kristin Kap)

Type in Spelling or Vocabulary Words

Use for student practice with spelling or as a way to introduce new words in a unit! Students will love making designs and changing font, color, and layout after they have finished typing in their spelling words.

Use as a Hook or a Visual Cue

Create a Wordle to introduce a new unit of student or to help give students a visual of a concept. Here’s one for question words:

Create a Funky Twist on an Acrostic or ABC Book

If you want the words to fall in somewhat ABC order, make sure to check “prefer alphabetical order” under layout.

Quickly Make a Funky Sign

Brainstorming on a Topic
(Music example by hbryson)

Book Review

Have student list all the words they can think of to describe a book or a chapter. Remember to have them type the important words more than once so they are bigger.

Vocabulary Words to Practice Reading
(Dolch Word List)

Letter Hunt (for Kindergarten)

You could do different versions with different fonts!

Pre-Reading Strategy

Show students the words from a poem or story and have them predict what it will be about. The Wordle below is from the poem Cannonball by David Crwwley.

Misuse of Common Words

Have students type in a story to see what words they use the most. Make sure they choose “Do Not Remove Common Words” under “Language” to see them all. Here’s an example from one of my summer school student’s blog (most used words include I, like, and):

And another in which the student started almost every sentence with “He.”

I could go on and on and on…I LOVE this tool! What kind of things can you think of?

Word of Caution: Be cautious about the Gallery. I’d recommend you NOT allow your students to browse through it….anyone can make a Wordle, and some are not as nice as others.

Update: Just learned something new, thanks to JBlack’s Awesome use of Wordle! You can keep words together in Wordle if you use a tilde (~) mark between words. So here’s another idea (and yes, I promise to stop now)!
Create a Wordle with Idioms. To keep words together, put a ~ between each word in the idiom. (Spill~the~beans.) This may be a little tedious for younger kids, but shouldn’t be too hard for older ones!

Scuba Diving ITRT Embarks on Another Adventure

Meg Swecker, an ITRT for Roanoke County, is getting ready to take another scuba diving trip, and she wants to take you with her virtually! Listen to the voice thread below. If your class would like to send her questions for her to answer while she’s there, let me know! I’ll teach you how to use Voicethread![kml_flashembed movie="http://voicethread.com/book.swf?b=78327" width="480" height="360" wmode="transparent" /]

del.icio.us (Follow-up Info from In-service)

If you haven’t had a chance to set up a del.icio.us account, I highly suggest you do so! It’s probably my favorite tool!

del.icio.us website

What is del.icio.us? Here’s a video to explain.
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/x66lV7GOcNU" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

How to Sign up

Delicious Handout (pdf)

(A Video from Liz Davis):[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/NGXElviSRXM" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Click Here to Install Browser Buttons (Internet Explorer)

Using the Delicious Network (Another video from Liz):
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/Uyw_wJr3zwQ" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Whether you sign up or not, you can always look through the bookmarks of other people!

Salem ITRT del.icio.us Accounts

What is RSS?

This past year I’ve noticed that a bunch of educators in our system have started blogging. One of the easiest ways to keep up with all these new blogs (in one place) is to use RSS. Here’s a simple explanation created by commoncraft:

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/AwtmOPdrEL8" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

I use Google Reader, but there are other feed readers out there like Pageflakes or Netvibes. If you want one already set up for you, check out this one on Pageflakes–it’s all set up for Salem City Schools, complete with RSS feeds for the blogs I know about (let me know if I’ve missed yours), local weather, and local news. You can bookmark it and use it like it is or create your own account so you can add your own things.

SCS Feeds Page on PageFlakes

Download Video: Posted by tcoffey at TeacherTube.com.

Update (1/7/08)

I’ve noticed that Pageflakes sometimes runs really slow at school. If you are having trouble, you can use Netvibes instead. I’ve set up the same feeds there too. Netvibes does take awhile to load initially, but if you login and save the page, the next time you visit, it will load a lot quicker. Click here to try: Add to Netvibes After you click on this button, make sure to choose “yes” to preview the page and “yes” to add it to your page, even if you do not have a Netvibes account yet.

View VoiceThreads from Mrs. Swecker

Meg Swecker, an ITRT from Roanoke County, is currently in Cozumel, Mexico. She has been making VoiceThreads for area schools to use in class, and posting them. Five classes from Salem City Schools have had a chance to participate in the project. You can view all the VoiceThreads from the project here. Thanks, Mrs. Swecker! We’ve had so much fun learning about ocean life with you!