Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Tabbloid is a neat tool for creating a pdf of your rss feeds. So if you have a some great math rss feeds but have teachers that are not inclined to to subscribe to rss feeds this would be a great way to introduce them to a wealth of information without having to set up an rss reader. The layout looks great and will arrive to in your inbox on your email. You do not need an account so even your students could set up their own tabbloid from rss feeds for current events, topics they are interested in, and much much more. Give it a try and see if you like it.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

National Novel Writing Month

Even though the month of November is almost over, this site has a great challenge that could be used at any time for an English teacher. There are two sites, but they both have the same goal in mind, write the majority of a novel (50,000 words) in one month.
The first is the National Novel Writing Month also known as "NaNoWriMo".They provide you inspiration with help hints, forums to ask questions, and a Young Writers Program as well.
The Young Writers Program has a similar site as well but with it geared towards teenagers instead. They have games and suggestions on how to get rid of writers block.
This would be ambitious for any teacher to have their students write this much, but they could easily adapt this exercise across a semester or year.
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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I found three tools for use in the classroom from the NY Times "The Learning Network" today. "The Learning Network" is a blog by the NY times that reports on educational issues and provides some useful resources and tools.

The first is called News Quiz where they ask 5 questions about today's headlines. The NY Times include a link to the headlines of the day with the story's that the questions are based on. This is a Monday through Friday post that started on October 15, 2009. This would be a great warm up exercise for a social studies teacher or a reading teacher.

The second one is called "Fill-In" which is similar to a Mad Lib style exercise that is based on an article. It has been happening since October 23, 2009 but they had such an overwhelming positive response to it that they decided to make it a weekly event. They tie their "Fill-In" to a real news story and you can either have the students fill it in with their own words or you can give them a scrabmled list of words that were removed for the fill in the blank part of the story. The NY Times also gives you a link to the original story as well.

Finally, the NY Times provides a "Word of the Day" complete with pronucation and definitions. This is weekday post and they use words that most teenagers should learn. When you go to read more about the word they explain how often it has been used in NY Times articles and then try to use the word in context as well. They also have a link to a tool call the visual thesaurus as well.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Technology In The Classroom

Over the past 10 years technology, has a played an ever increasing role in how we teach and how students learn. Frontline, a PBS show takes an in-depth look at how technology is being used from use of cell phones, Internet censorship issues, what roles do paper books have, what are some of the drawbacks of the use of technology (the myth of multitasking), and many more topics. The web site is broken down into 4 large topics that are called concentration, games that teach, literacy, schools. I would spend some time exploring each category and watching the videos that seem interesting to you. It is a very up to date series of videos that takes a well balanced view towards the pros and cons of technology in schools and learning.

These videos could lead to some great discussions and writing prompts in an English classroom or tech integration class as these are the questions that we as educators are constantly dealing with.

Other Resources
USA Today: Future of Library - An article about the use of kindles in a library setting.
IS 339 - A public middle school in New York that was transformed using Google Apps.