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!

A is for Animoto

I love Animoto (and have blogged about them in the past here and here).  It’s an incredibly easy way to create a sophisticated video from still pictures.  While you can create 30 second videos with a basic account, they also offer accounts for educators which allow you unlimited access.

It’s very simple to use.  Just upload your pictures to the site, add text (if you want), and pick your music (they have a lot to choose from).  Then Animoto does of the work for you by putting your music and pictures together in a professional looking way!  Here’s a quick animoto of some of the younger grades at East Salem using technology.

I’ve blogged about Animoto in the past.  To read more or see other examples, click here and here.

A is for Accelerated Reader

Access AR Directions

Did you know you can find simple directions for Accelerated Reader on this blog?  All you need to do choose AR under Categories (to the Right) and you will see a list of posts all about this software.

To Add A Student to the Database

One of the big things that also comes up at different points throughout the year is what to do when you have a student you need added to the AR database.  All you need to do is fill out a help ticket (can only do this from school).  Make sure to include student’s full name (including middle name) and his or her student ID number.  I’ll take care of it from there!

Word Sort Templates for the Smartboard

Want an easy way to create a word sort using a Smartboard?  Try out these new Smartboard templates:

Basic shapes (to look like a chart) and text boxes:

Using a few Interactive Features from the Lesson Activities Toolkit in the Notebook software:

(For those of you who teach in Salem, you can also get to them from the G drive > Common> ITRT Resources for Teachers > Smartboard > Smartboard Activities > Word Sorts).  These word sorts were actually an idea from Debbie Kier with some input from Angela Hash.

Finally, want some pre-made Smartboard words sorts?  Check out these resources created by Kristi Burke from Orange County Public Schools.

Know of any other resources for words sorts on the Smartboard?  Leave a comment if you do!

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!

New ITRT Site

The Salem ITRTs are happy to announce our new web site located here:

It’s far from complete, but please take a look at the Elementary section and then click on Links. Here you will find numerous links for your students to use in almost every subject. We will be adding to these throughout the year, so please let me know if there is a specific site you’d like to have added.  Soon, this area of the site will replace the “Links for Kids” site we have been using.

The Teachers Corner will eventually have links especially for teachers.  Support Materials include links to handouts that we have used in previous workshops as well as a few online tutorials. We hope to continue to add to these materials as time allows. Our ultimate goal is to provide a resource that you can use to enhance your use of technology in your instruction.

The Links pages are actually bringing in links from Delicious. You can check out our account here. If you click on one of the links pages and only see headers, you probably have an older version of Internet Explorer on your computer and we need to get you updated. You’ll be able to see the links though if you just refresh the page.

I hope you find this helpful!

Google Earth Updates!

The new Google Earth update offers some new features you might want to check out. It will take awhile for us to get the update in the labs (and we might wait until it’s out of beta), but meanwhile, with your teacher laptop and the Smartboard, you and your students can take advantage of these new features! (Feel free to download this new update by clicking here)

Historical imagery
Ocean floor and surface data
Simplified way to create tutors

Here’s a quick video outlining some of the cool, new features!