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.

History on Tap Blog

The History on Tap blog is a great place to find resources that match Virginia’s SOLs for Social Studies and History, including games, foldables, presentations, study sheets, and more. It has resources for K-12, including tons of great things for VA Studies. It is updated and maintained by a Lisa Pennington, a Social Studies Specialist in Portsmouth, VA.  If you teach social studies content, check it out!

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.  :)

Phillip Martin Clip Art

school_backbusAs I sit here working on a project that requires some clipart, I’m reminded of my favorite FREE clipart site of all time for school projects. I’m not sure if you know about it already, but just in case you don’t, here it is:

Phillip Martin Clip Art

You can find CUTE, elementary clipart for all subject areas, and even graphics that match the SOLs in a cute way.  I love it!

Just in case you’ve never downloaded clipart from a website before, here’s how you do it:

  1. Left click on the small version of the image (so you can view it in it’s largest form).
  2. Right click on the large form of the image.
  3. Choose “Save Picture As” or “Save Image As”
  4. Find a spot to save it on your computer. Remember where you put it so you can find it again.
  5. Click Save.

Phillip Martin, the artist, also creates cute powerpoints based on school subjects. You might want to check them out while looking at his site.

(Phillip Martin allows you to use this clipart free for your classroom, newsletters, and other non-profit things…just as long as you do not add it to other clip art collections. Please honor his request when using these wonderful resources.)

Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Saturday be Talk Like a Pirate Day, so you might want t’ celebrate Friday or Monday with sprogs. Here’s some thin’s t’ get you started…


The Orginial Talk Like a Pirate Day Website

English to Pirate Translator (a must have for this important day)

Need some Pirate facts? Take a look at this wiki, ARR Pirates, created by Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Graders!

Pirate Challenge Geography Game (for the older sprogs)!

Walk the Plank! Game (Compound Words)

A Fun Button

Pirate Numbers (K-1)

Pirate Crafts (Great hat here)

Welcome Back with Wordle!

Want an easy back to school activity that will help you begin to know your students?  Try Wordle!  Here’s an example of an About Me activity using it. Please remember to use only first names if you do this with your students.

Wordle: Me
The instructional ideas for this resource are endless. You can find some of these ideas in this post, Wordle Word Clouds. I also suggest taking a look at the ideas Tom Barrett has collected from many other educators below:

Finally, you may want to check out Jen Wagner’s Guess the Wordle Wiki. There she posts different Wordles throughout the week, and students are encouraged to guess their subject using the words in the Wordle (Monday is an easy wordle, Wednesday is a little harder, Friday is the hardest). She will also be adding a Thursday Wordle that will be about a book (librarians, this might appeal to you)!

If you have your students create Wordles, make sure you direct them to this exact URL (http://www.wordle.net/create) so they bypass the gallery of other Wordles. While most of the examples in the gallery are usually okay, from time to time inappropriate words do appear there. By going straight to the “Create” area, you lessen the chance that students run across inappropriate words. :)

If you have never used Wordle before and would like some help as you explore it with your students, please contact me!

iGoogle Follow-up

Following the our iGoogle Workshop, I’ve had a few requests for blogs to add to your iGoogle page.  Here are a few I like to follow:

Technology in Elementary Classrooms:

Welcome to NCS-Tech
Instructional Technology Specialist
Artful, Tuneful, Beatful
Digital Passports
My Technology Journey
Primary Preoccupation
Tech Thoughts by Jen

Other ITRTs
(Pam Elgin) Technology Medley
(Meg Swecker) Giant Stride
(Brian McKee) Brians TRT Blog

I have many more of these if you want…

(Amanda Gibson) The Gifted Corner

Smartboard Blogs:
Teachers Love Smartboards (probably my all-time favorite)
Talking SMARTBoards & Much More!

BBC News in Pictures
CNN Top Stories
So Salem Blog
Roanoke Times

If you need help remembering how to add an RSS feed to your iGoogle Page, don’t forget to take a look at your iGoogle Handout.

If you find that you have a lot of blogs that you want to follow, it might be good to start using Google Reader.  Will visit that topic soon! ;)

Feel free to comment and add some of your favorites!

A is for Avatar

In the technology world, and avatar is a representation of you (many times a cartoon). Many people use them instead of pictures of themselves in profiles because it adds a little anonymity. If you have students blogging or creating other online projects, you might want to have them create an avatar.

The Build Your Wild Self section of New York Zoos and Aquariums website is great site to use to make avatars and to learn about animals at the same time! Here’s my Wild Self!

After students create their “Wild Selves,” they can choose to save the picture to their computers. To do this, choose Get a Wild Desktop. Then right click on the picture and choose save! It’s that easy!

Ways to Post Homework

This post is mainly for teachers at East Salem.  If you haven’t already switched from SchoolNotes to another service, we’d like you to try and make that switch as soon as possible.  Here are some ideas and examples.  Please let me know what you decide to do so I can make sure it’s linked with our school site!

Tested and Recommended:

1. Create a Webpage

Webpage example
Please email me and I can help you get set up quickly and easily!

2. Weebly

Weebly Example

3. Edublogs

Edublogs Example
Please let me know if you choose this so I can turn off the ads for you.

4. Classblogmeister

Classblogmeister Example
(Please email me for East Salem’s school code)

Other ideas:

1. Tumblr

2. Google Pages

Google Pages Example

3. Posterous

Update by sending an email and it appears on your web page like a blog.

Easy Jeopardy Game Maker (Without PowerPoint)!

Want to quickly make Jeopardy games to play with your class without the hassel of editing a bunch of templates?  Check out this amazing new resource, Jeopardy Labs!

Here’s a sample game.  Students click on the point amounts to view questions, and then keep score at the bottom of the board with the + and – signs.  It will allow you to keep score for up to 10 teams!

Creating your own game is easy too.  You just click in the Title and categories to edit, and click on the point amounts to add new questions.  When you are finished creating a game, the site will give you a web address to your game.  Hang on to it to find your game again!

This is hands down the BEST resource I’ve found to date to create your own Jeopardy game!