Jennifer Barnett's Friday Fives


Friday Five for Friday, October 29th
Funny Theme - Sometime we all need to laugh!

1. Did Lawrence Welk Move to Russia?
If you only enjoy quality music videos, you won't like this one. If you like absurd videos of Russian singers performing in the 1970s, you'll love this. Thanks to Brandon Brown, one of the funniest people I know, for sharing with me. The only purpose I can find for this video is a great laugh.


2. On the Day You Were Born...
What was the #1 song on the day you were born? Check out this great chart to find yours. Sharing with others is only half the fun! There are even links to music sites to purchase the song - if you're not too embarrassed by it!


3. Your Movie Moment...
Have you ever dreamed of starring in a major motion picture? Well, dream no more! Go to My Movie Moment and create your Oscar winning performance. Share your movie with friends and provide them with some great comic relief!


4. Yearbook Yourself...
If the movie idea wasn't for you, maybe you'd like to take a stroll down memory lane with Yearbook Yourself! Choose a photo type and uploads pictures of yourself to be a part of yearbooks of the past. Post these photos to your favorite website and share with friends. Enjoy!


5. Everybody repeat after me, "We are all individuals" and other such sayings.
For a twist on funny idioms and clichés, visit this blog. I've laughed at every one of these humorous entries!

Now, I hope you are in a great mood for your long weekend! Have a wonderful break and Happy Halloween!


Friday Five for Friday, October 8th
Stars of Talladega County Theme

1. Amazing Teachers Doing Amazing Things…
Visit our 21st Century group’s wiki to find resources, links, ideas, and other information relating to our professional learning group. http://tcboe21.wikispaces.com. It’s “our” space, so feel free to add your discoveries to this space so everyone can benefit from your efforts! To see a HUGE list of Talladega County teacher web sites visit the Teacher Sites page.

2. Cosper Science is a “Tall” Order…
I absolutely love Childersburg Middle School science teacher Philip Cosper’s wiki. Cosperscience has loads of great tools for teaching. Be sure to check out his Virtual Lessons on his Human Body Unit page and his Middle School Mania – Technology for Teachers help page.

3. Shannon’s definitely not over the Hill…
If you like to see amazing things being accomplished by 3rd graders stop by Lincoln Elementary teacher Shannon Hill’s page – SCHILL. This wiki is loaded with great work by her students and the kind of inspiration we all need. Be sure to see her student’s work on Community Service using Glogster. Fantastic!

4. Goodwin’s Great Example…
Childersburg High’s Shannon Goodwin shows us how to use an online space for high school math. She has a great site and some fantastic blogs linked to her wiki as well. Be sure to check out her space to see for yourself.

5. Inspiring Words of Wisdom…
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.
Anne Frank
Friday Five for Friday, August 14th



Email Theme – Outlook 2003


1. Make a List and Check it Twice…

To Create a Distribution List in Outlook 2003:
Click the New button list arrow and select Distribution List. Click Select Members, select a name in the list, click the Member button and repeat for each name to be added. Click OK and click Save and Close.


2. Putting your “John Hancock” on your emails…

To Create a Signature in Outlook 2003:
Select Tools →Options from the menu, click the Mail Format tab, and click the Signatures button.



3. Folders are for organizing…

To Create a Folder
: Right click on Inbox → Click New folder → Type the name of your New folder and press enter. This is a great way to save important emails for reference. Consider creating a separate folder for things such as Parent contacts, Calendar items, Resources, Clubs or Coaching responsibilities, etc.


4. Calendars are Cool…
To Schedule an appointment: Click New button or press <Crtl> + <N> Using the calendar to keep up with appointments and conferences can help you stay organized and on top of things!


5. Inspiring Words of Wisdom…

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.

Anne Frank

Have a wonderful weekend!



Friday Five for Friday, August 21st

Free Online Flashcards

Websites for creating and sharing fl

ashcards



1.
http://quizlet.com(study groups, chats, message boards, space race game, scatter game)



2.
http://www.flashcardexchange.com(the world's largest flashcard library)



3.
http://www.muchobeets.com(picture flashcards)



4.
http://www.studystack.com(hangman, crossword puzzles, matching and word games)



5.
http://wwwbrainflips.com(study groups, chats, add video, audio, and pictures to flashcards)

Have a wonderful weekend!



Friday Five for Friday, August 28th


1. Clean up, Clean up, Everybody, Everywhere…
If your computer needs a good cleaning, check out this Clean Up Your Computer guide. Or check out 10 Ways to Clean up Your Computer. Maintaining your computer properly will help it perform like you want it to. You can help it do its job better if you take a few minutes to do some basic maintenance.


2. Teenagers and Media…
Check out this July 2009 research study by Morgan Stanley in Europe of how teenagers consume media. Do they use Twitter? Do they listen to the radio and watch television? How do they purchase music? What is most important to them? This is a fascinating report that will help you understand middle and high school students and their lives.


3. The ABCs of Internet Lingo…
Have you ever felt lost when others are using acronyms on the net that remind you of alphabet soup? Go to Net Lingo to get the goods on what all these folks mean with their internet chat.


4. Smile! You’re on “Digital” Camera!
Looking for ideas for using your digital camera in your classroom? Education World always has great articles for teachers and this one by Craig Nansen will prompt you on camera uses. Dust that camera off and put it to good use!


5. You Tube Top 100…
This list is best accessed from home. (Both the article and the videos) John Costilla has compiled a great list of 100 You Tube Videos for Teachers. If you find one you’d like to use, download Tube Tilla to put it on your computer and show it to your students.

Have a great weekend!



Friday Five for Friday, September 4th

Leadership – How You Can Help Transform Your School Five Minutes at a Time!

Important: You cannot wait until you are an expert to start sharing! Let them know you are learning as you share. You know more right now than someone on your faculty. You are counted upon to share it.

1. Five Minutes at Faculty Meetings
Ask (with emphasis) for five minutes at your next faculty meeting to expose teachers to some 21st century tools. These videos are short and very, very straightforward. Make yourself available after the meeting to answer questions and schedule a time to help your colleagues explore further.
Here are a few videos by Common Craft you might like to use. (Remember, you can embed all of these videos into your site and show them from there.)
Very simple wiki videoCommon Craft


Very simple social bookmarking
- Teacher Tube

Very simple podcasting video
Teacher Tube

Very simple RSS video
Teacher Tube

2. Five Minutes before School
Volunteer to help teachers a few minutes before school. This would be a great time to show them some of your student’s work with these tools. Show them:
Voki – www.voki.com
Quizlet – www.quizlet.com
Voicethread – www.voicethread.com
Mixbook – www.mixbook.com
Your wiki or blog (give them a quick tour and ask them explore more during their planning or other available time)


3. Five Minutes after School
Host a session exploring the wonderful directory of web 2.0 tools at Go 2 Web 2.0. Use a computer lab, library or other area with a handful of computers to allow all interested teachers a few minutes to explore. This site is sure to spark an interest in web tools that can be used in the classroom.
http://www.go2web20.net/


4. Five Minutes during Common Planning
Use one of the best resources on the web to get your colleagues to envision technology integration with their subject. Use this Jefferson County, Tennessee site!
http://jc-schools.net/tutorials/interactive.htm - They will love this! This would be a great site to explore by grade level or by subject area!


5. Other Ideas…
Consider some other ways teachers throughout Alabama are finding time to share 21st century tools with colleagues.
·

iLunch
– Using parent volunteers, an Auburn elementary school has duty-free lunch once every two weeks for their iLunch meetings. This lunch meeting (not in the lunchroom) is a great opportunity to share and exchange lesson ideas, etc.
·

Breakfast Meetings
– Another friend in Huntsville tells me that their grade group leaders in technology integration host breakfast meetings once a month. They use these 30 minutes to deepen understanding of tools and techniques presented during PD time and faculty meetings.
·

“Tool Time”
– Set up a piece of equipment (Smart Board/Pad, clickers, or just a computer and projector) in a prominent location after school. Put it in a place that teachers will stop and watch or maybe even practice using a tool. Make it a fun and sociable experience to get teachers to let down their guard and try out something new.
·

Create a S.W.A.T. Team
– Create a team of Students Willing to Assist with Technology and let them be much like the geek squad and send them out during their free period to assist teachers and other students with technical issues. The Cullman schools have had great results with their SWAT program.
·

Ask for help
! Your principal, assistant principal, resource teacher, and other team members can serve as the best sources of inspiration for finding ways to share what you are learning with your colleagues.

Thank you so much for your willingness to share with your colleagues. It takes all of us to make this happen! Have a great weekend!

Friday Five for Friday, September 11th


1. Don’t Reinvent the Wheel

Do you ever find yourself needing a great certificate, brochure, calendar, presentation, flyer, or the like and have no time to create one? It’s been done for you! Visit
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/default.aspx- this is the template site for Microsoft Office. Templates for everything you could ever imagine are here. Now, your documents and presentations will look like you spent hours on them! How smart! There are many things available just for teachers!


2. Let Me Give You My Card….

Do you have business cards? Maybe you should consider printing some. Use a template from the website listed above. Office supply stores (and Wal-Mart, of course) have business cards you can print yourself for less than $20. Or go to
VISTA PRINTto get business cards online for free!
I guarantee you’ll find dozens of uses for them. Think of all the people who need to be in touch with you: Parents, students, former students, coaches, vendors, principals, other teachers, and on and on. Be sure to include your website! This is a great promo of your site!



3. Grammar Games, History Quizzes, and Math & Science Interactives

I know that “grammar games” sounds like an oxymoron, but
www.chompchomp.comis actually fun. Try http://www.triv.net/html/history.htmand see if taking a history quiz could actually be fun. For Math, Science, History, and Language,

don’t miss
http://www.learner.org/interactives/with great interactive learning games geared toward 9-12th grades! You’ll hate it if you don’t bookmark this site!


4. “Can I Quote You on That?”

Sometimes a quote is a perfect bell ringer or extra credit prompt. But finding what you’re looking for isn’t always easy. Take a look at
http://quotiki.com/for some help. They have loads of ways to search for great quotes here.


5. Discover what’s up at Discovery Education

School Resources include puzzle maker, lesson plan library, Kathy Schrock’s Guide for Educators (I highly recommend this), clip art gallery, and much more. I have found so many great things at Discovery Education; it’s hard to brag enough about this useful site. Science teachers will especially love this place. (
http://school.discoveryeducation.com/)

Have a wonderful weekend!



Friday Five for Friday, September 18th


1. That’s just peachy…
Try http://photopeach.com/ for telling a great story with pictures. Embed your slideshow, complete with zooming comments, sound-effect smiles, and music, into your webpage. This is a very easy tool for your students to use.


2. Get Smart…
Cyber Smart has a terrific K-12 curriculum for teaching cyber safety to all students. Visit http://cybersmartcurriculum.org to find these topics: Safety and Security Online; Manners, Cyberbullying and Ethics; Authentic Learning and Creativity; Research and Information Fluency; and Twenty-First Century Challenges. Enjoy!


3. Tech Savvy Teachers…
Looking for the best blogs for the Tech Savvy Teacher? Go to Tech Savvy Bloggers to keep up with the latest by those at the top of the educational technology game.


4. Something Old…
Looking for the old Friday Fives? Go to http://tcboe21.wikispaces.com/Friday+Five to find those tech tips from 2008.


5. Something New…
Looking for the more recent Friday Fives? Go to http://tcboe21.wikispaces.com/Friday+Five+09 to find the technology tips from January 2009 – May 2009. More will be added soon!

Have a wonderful weekend!




Friday Five for Friday, September 25th


1. 50 Great Wiki Ideas…
Many of you use a wiki with your students. If you are searching for more ways to make your wiki an effective teaching tool, don’t miss this excellent article, with fifty ways to use wikis for a more collaborative and interactive classroom.


2. Math in the Real World…
Do your students ever ask you how they will use a math concept in the real world? Well, the answer can be found at http://www.mathapprentice.com/index.html.


3. Tech Terms…
Looking for an exhaustive glossary of tech terms? Try http://www.techterms.com for a list of everything you need.


4. Podcasting 101…
PoducateMe has practical solutions for podcasting in education. Go to the PoducateMe site to get the goods on this interactive classroom strategy.


5. 21st Century: Is this term out of date?
U Tech Tips is a great site to add to your RSS reader. Read this interesting article, “Is the term 21st Century out of date?” Released on Monday, September 21, 2009, the article by Dennis Harter addresses how we get all teachers to buy into this important work.

Have a wonderful weekend!





Friday Five for Friday, October 2nd

Google Docs Theme
– For years the Microsoft Office products have dominated the document, spreadsheet and presentation landscape. Learn why that is changing and prepare your students for this new direction.


1. Why Google Docs Should Be Used in Schools…
According to this September 2009 article, Google Docs are widely used by one in five companies in America. Give your students the head start they need by exposing them to this tool right now.


2. Google Docs – Student Friendly?
Are Google Docs the right tool to use with your students? See just how user friendly Google Docs can be. Read more in this article at Tech Crunch.


3. Google Docs – What About Math and Science?
Don’t think that Google Docs is just for Humanities courses. Check out this fascinating article from Free Technology For Teachers about the new applications added to Google Docs especially for math and science.


4. Google Docs for Online Surveys?
While there are plenty of web polling services where you can create online polls and surveys for free, there are couple of reasons why the form builder in Google Docs rules them all. Get excellent instructions and information from Digital Inspiration.


5. So, how does Google Docs work?
Take a tour of Google Docs (tutorial). Also, a very thorough tutorial/tip sheet used at USF College of Education Laptop Initiative is attached.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Friday Five, October 9th

1. The Right Tool for the Job…
As you search through your “web 2.0 toolbox” for the right method to teach your content, be sure to take a look at this chartand the other useful information on www.web2thatworks.comfor determining when to use what. This site is based on Marzano’s work on

Classroom Instruction That Works
and is very user friendly. Loads of resources are available.



2. Making Lit and History More Fun…

At
www.shmoop.com, you will find loads of help relating literature and history to students of today. This clever and growing site is being put together by professors and masters students at top universities around the nation. They promise more to come. It’s an excellent resource for any lit or history teacher.


3. Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy Map…

Andrew Churches published a very interesting revised taxonomy he calls Bloom’s digital taxonomy map in April of this year. Go to
techlearningand scroll down to the bottom to see the digital taxonomy. Ask yourself how much you have your students work at the top of this digital taxonomy.


4. 27 Free Must-Have Online Collaboration Tools…
A blogger named crazeegeekchick has put together a very cool list (with links and explanations) for collaborating. Go hereto see this amazing list, some old and many new!


5. A Picture is Worth…
If your students are creating any sort of projects and need quality stock photos, recommend this site - http://www.freeimages.co.uk/- to them. It has more than 2500 original stock photos for free.

Have a great weekend!


Friday Five for Friday, October 16th
(Wiki Theme)



1. Read All About It!

Educause puts out some wonderful stuff on a variety of educational issues. I’m attaching two excellent articles on wikis: Wide Open Spaces – Wikis Ready or Not and 7 Things You Should Know About Wikis. Print these and put them in your notebook. They are great references for the work you do with a collaborative space – whether it’s a wiki, blog, or social network!



2. Go Wiki Shopping …

Not sure which wiki is for you? Use this amazing matrix to figure out just what wiki works for every situation.
http://www.wikimatrix.org/<spanThis site can save you lots of time by using the best wiki service for your needs.


3. Education World’s Get Wild about Wikis

This article in Education World really gets to the heart of what wikis are all about. Go here to learn more -
http://www.education-world.com/a_tech/sites/sites079.shtml


4. Cool Cat Teacher’s Blog – Using Wikis in Classroom
Vicki Davis, a great 21st Century teacher from Georgia, has a fantastic blog. She was a “pioneer” in using a wiki in the classroom and has won many awards. Check out her thoughts on using a wiki in the classroom – http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com/2005/12/wiki-wiki-teaching-art-of-using-wiki.html


5. Publishing – How this can help us get better work from students!

What Can You Do with a Wiki? Go here -
http://www.edustatblog.com/?p=36and read this wiki enthusiast’s ideas about the importance of publishing student work and how wikis can make this simple to do!

Have a wonderful weekend!


Friday Five for Friday, October 23rd
The Key to Job Satisfaction (adapted from Gretchen Rubin’s article in Edutopia)

Here are Rubin's suggestions on how to be happier at work:

1. Find a Friend….
The studies agree that relationships are key to happiness. Making a friend at work can boost your job satisfaction. Build relationships with the people you work with, and you'll be happier. Friday Five Tip: Try
**Facebook**
. This social tool can help you build great relationships.


2. Exert control over your time…
A major cause of unhappiness at work is when your time is being wasted. First, look at your time and identify problem areas. Has the routine of your classroom outlived its purpose? Perhaps some things could be rearranged or changed. Once you have identified the problem, exert control over the situation to make sure your time is well spent. Friday Five Tip: Go to this article on Scholastic’s website,
**Seven Time-Management Sanity Savers**
. It will be time well spent to read this!


3. Grow professionally…
Learning something new can make you happier. Expanding your skill set can energize your instruction. Want to learn a new teaching technique? Once you push through the initial stages of feeling uninformed, it will be more than worth it. Friday Five Tip: Look at
**My Web Wardrobe**
. This is one of the ways I make meaning of the web tools available to teachers on my wiki.


4. Create outer order to experience inner calm…
Rubin says that when she goes into classrooms, she often sees piles of stuff that hasn't been used in years. "These things that pile up in unused corners weigh you down," Rubin says. "If you deal with one little pile or corner a week, you'll feel freer and everything will be more open." Friday Five Tip: If you haven’t used it in three years, donate it to a first year teacher. Most things you really need can be found.


5.

Satisfaction does not come with achievement, but with effort. Full effort is full victory.

Mahatma Gandhi

Have a wonderful weekend!



Friday Five for Friday, November 6th

Thinking about Thanksgiving



1. 9 Heartwarming Acts of Kindness…
Your students might enjoy reading and discussing this article from Ladies Home Journal.Inspire them to search for more stories, write their own story, or interview a relative or friend about their most heartwarming act of kindness.


2. Random Acts of Kindness…
This fabulous website has absolutely everything you need to put together any size “random act of kindness” experience for your students. I love the site so much that I’ve attached a few of their free documents for teachers. If you are looking for a good Thanksgiving activity for you students, make sure you visit this site.


3. Kids are Heroes…
See how kids are making a huge difference around the country. Visit this site to read the inspiring stories of some really remarkable kids!


4. Scholastic Kids Press Corps…
Scholastic Kids Press Corps has over a dozen awesome stories of kids all over the world acting to help their communities. Check out how kids make a difference and are making positive change in the world every day!


5.

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.
William Arthur Ward

Have a wonderful weekend!



Friday Five for Friday, November 13th

“7 Things You Should Know about…”


1. Blogs…
A blog – shorthand term that means “Web log” – is an online chronological collection of personal commentary and links. Try either of these blogs services to get started: Edublogs, Blogger.


2. Wikis…
A wiki is a bit different from a blog. Wikis permit asynchronous communication and group collaboration across the Internet. Any visitor to the wiki can change (if permission is given) its content if they desire. Try any of these wiki services to get started: Wikispaces, PBWorks, Wetpaint, Class Jump.


3. Social Bookmarking…
Social Bookmarking is the practice of saving bookmarks to a public web site and “tagging” them with keywords. A couple of bookmarking services to check out are Deliciousand Diigo.


4. RSS…
One of the most useful features online today is RSS. It is a protocol that lets users subscribe to online content using an RSS “reader” or “aggregator,” which checks subscribed Web pages and automatically downloads new content. This keeps you from having to go to all of your favorite web pages – instead, they come to you! Try these two RSS aggregators to see: iGoogle, Pageflakes.


5. Skype…
Skype is an application that turns a personal computer into a telephone. This free application is incredibly useful for inviting guests into your classroom via a webcam. Go to Skypeto learn more!

Have a wonderful weekend!




Friday Five for Friday, November 20th

Coming Soon to the World Near You” Theme



1. The Sixth Sense…
This past spring I shared the amazing Sixth Sense technology being developed at MIT’s Media Lab. The main developer, Pranav Mistry, has taken his amazing device to the next step. Learn more about the prototype of his pocket projector, mirror, and camera that bridges the gap between the information available via our digital devices and our physical world. See his talk at TEDIndia on his device.



2. The Office of Tomorrow…
For those of you that haven’t had a chance to learn the nuances of Microsoft’s Office 2007, I have great news for you! Don’t bother! Microsoft Office 2010 will be out soon and you’ll need to learn it instead! It is currently in beta form now (which means techie folks are testing it and giving feedback before its official release). Loads of new features will be available for Outlook, Word, Power Point, and Excel. To take a look at a review of the new features, see this article on Digital Inspirations. (I.E. Embedding videos in Power Point, Word’s new screen capture and easy PDF creator, cloud tagging, etc.)


3. Not Your Grandmother’s Wave…
Google already has more fantastic products than we have time to learn, but a new one is on the way that will blow you away! Check out Google Wave, an online tool for real-time communication and collaboration. A wave can be both a conversation and a document where people can discuss and work together using richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more. See the loads of ways it can be used here. Right now, it’s available only through a requested Google invitation. But you can expect it to be “wave” of the future very soon!


4. The Perfect Gadget…
Are you thinking about Christmas yet? You might be humored by some of these futuristic gift ideas for that “gadget guru” on your list!
Cool Gadgets - Bag TV (purse with a 7 inch DVD/MP3 player), Wireless Pen Mouse, Programmable Tattoos that change with your mood; Gadget Guru - Underwater camcorders, roll up keyboards; Think Geek - Digital Measuring Tape, portable USB power supply, Swiss Flash USB Knife, and Spycam Video/MP3/Camera Sunglasses. Happy Shopping!


5.

One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.
Elbert Hubbard
Have a wonderful weekend and a blessed Thanksgiving break!


Friday Five for Friday, December 4th


1. The Review Revue…
Reviewing for exams and tests can be fun with the templates you will find at this site. Try “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader,” “Wheel of Fortune,” “Millionaire,” or “Jeopardy” to review for your tests!


2. Christmas Squares…
Do you remember the old Hollywood Squares? Try using the template I’ve attached for a game of Christmas Squares with your students before our break. It will work for any grade level, any subject!


3. Elf Yourself…
Surprise your students (and friends) with a fantastic dancing Christmas eCard! Go to Elf Yourself to see how fun this little gesture could be for your students!


4. 50 Web Applications for Teachers…
This excellent site has loads of NEW things that you should check out! The tech-savvy teacher should bookmark this site and take the time to explore all 50 of these tools!


5.
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.Theodore Roosevelt

Have a wonderful weekend!



Friday Five for Friday, December 11th

Hardware, How to, and Help Wanted Theme



1. How to Embed Almost Anything in your Website…
This article on Digital Inspiration is a must-save! Go hereto find instructions on how you embed documents, presentations, video, pictures, spreadsheets, and much more into your site.

2. Connecting your Document Camera/Computer/Projector…
Do you need all three devices connected in your classroom? Print this excellent instruction sheetand follow the simple steps. Now you can move from the web to your document camera with ease!

3. Converting Videos…
If you work with videos using most any digital camera, flip video camera, or digital video camera, you will probably find that you’ll need to convert those videos to another format to be able to edit them and do other cool things with them. There are loads of free converters online (and many for purchase as well). Take a look at this explanation on RiverPastof the process. I’ve been using Prism Video Converter (free) and like it.

4. JPEG, GIFF, TIF, and PNG: What are they anyway?
Do you ever wonder about the difference between all the different file formats in digital photos? Check out this siteto understand the basics of the most common file formats.

5. How to Embed a Video into PowerPoint…
Go to this Media Specialist’s blogto learn how to embed videos into your power point presentations. Easy step-by-step instructions are listed.

Have a wonderful weekend!



Friday Five for Friday, January 18th


The following Friday Five tips come as recommendations to me from various sources.



1. Student Recommendation…
A student recommended this fascinating article outlining 10 Things Not to Buy in 2010. It was a great read.


2. Teacher Recommendation…
A wonderful site for creating quizzes, polls, flashcards, brain games, blogs, wikis and tutorials is www.proprofs.com. This is a great one-stop shopping for your 21st Century classroom.


3. Technology in Motion Recommendation…
If you’d like to take a free dLearning course, go to http://elearning.atim.cc/login/index.php and check out the courses for this semester. You receive those valuable CEUs and learn loads. There really is something for everyone on their Moodle page. The semester begins February 3rd.


4. Professional Development Consultant Recommendation…
If you are looking for an outstanding book that will make a HUGE impact on your instruction, consider purchasing Inspiring Active Learning by Merrill Harmin and Melanie Toth. See more about this book here.


5. Alabama Best Practices Center Recommendation…
If you are a Facebook user, become a fan of the Alabama Best Practices Center page and join in on the discussions of books you and your colleagues are using. Also, connect with other educators throughout the state. This excellent organization is always working hard to help you.

Have a wonderful weekend!



Friday Five for Friday, January 22nd


1. Deal or No Deal….
Many teachers are using screencasting software to engage students in lessons. This article compares the most popular free screencasting programs available on the web. Are you getting the best deal for your students? Investigate this article to see. If you’ve never given your students the opportunity to create a screencast, take a look at this article and ask around in your building. I bet someone else in your building can help you!


2. Smile! You’re on (a digital) Camera!
We all love our digital cameras! Check out this list of 46 Ideas for Using your Digital Camera in your classroom. Share your unique ideas with your colleagues. What may seem simple and obvious to you might be the most creative solution for someone else!


3. Smile! You’re on (a document) Camera!
Many teachers regularly use a document camera. More ideas for using your document camera can be found on this site. The ideas are in the following categories: Preschool and Primary Grades, Intermediate and Middle Grades, and High School Grades. The PDF of this article is also attached for you to print.


4.

Scratch and Win!
Scratch Day 2010 is May 22nd and Talladega County students will be participating! To learn more about this excellent tool (created at MIT) visit the
Scratch Day website
. You can find out more about how your students can get involved by contacting Kim Broadhead at Watwood Elementary. kbroadhead@tcboe.org


5.
**No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.**

Aesop
, The Lion and the Mouse
Have a wonderful weekend!


Friday Five for Friday, January 29th


1. Plug It In, Plug It In…
While a plug in for your computer doesn’t create a nice smell for your work station, they are very important. Plug-ins are software programs that extend the capabilities of your Web browser -- giving you the ability to perform special functions using your browser, for example, view videos and play audio. Go to the Thinkfinity site to get the most recent plug ins for your computer.

2. Physics is Fun…
Lincoln High Science teacher Chris Wilson designed a great project for his Physics class. Check out the Pouring Water Nator on School Tube to see the result. Contact him at cwilson@tcboe.org to learn more about how your class could adapt this project for your students.

3. iPad Pandemonium…
Apple announced the release of the much anticipated iPad this week. This article in Computer World gives a good break down on what we know and what we need to know about this device. The iPad should be available for purchase in late March.

4. eLearning Starts February 3rd…
If you are looking for some great online professional development, don’t forget to check out what is available at http://elearning.alsde.edu/. This semester’s courses include Building a College-Going Culture for All Students, College, Career, and Academic Planning, Financial Aid and College Applications, Webquests & Hotlists for Beginners, Virtual Field Trip, Best Internet Educational Resources, Teaching with Web 2.0 Tools, and Data-Driven Decision Making. There’s still time to sign up.

5.

Forget yourself for others and others will not forget you. Unknown


Friday Five for Friday, February 5th


1. Brochure Help…
If you are looking for help with creating brochures, check out dozens of professional-looking templates here. Just download, add your content and pictures, and you have a fabulous brochure to promote your school, class, sport, club, or other organization. Enjoy!

2. The Ten Tech Commandments…
Adam Bellow has put together a fantastic Ten Tech Commandments based on his experience in schools for the last several years. The pdf is attached.

3. Fun with the Fat Cat…
Remember Garfield the Cat? This lazy cat has an amazing learning portal called Professor Garfield. Great content for k-8th grade, be sure you try Professor Garfield’s Comic’s Lab.

4. World Math Day…
March 3, 2010 is World Math Day. Learn more about this day of competition and how you can follow it or how you and your students might get involved.

5. Give Me Five…
Use Kim Cofino’s advice for becoming a 21st Century Educator. Check out her 5 Tips here such as joining networks, participating in free webinars, and developing professional contacts. These are excellent suggestions for every person in our school system!




Friday Five for Friday, February 12th


1. And the Winner Is…
The Talladega Education Foundation offers various grants and scholarships each year. The deadline for applications is February 22, 2010. See the attachments for more information. This might just be your opportunity to do something you’ve been thinking about for a while!

2. Coolest World Clouds Yet…
Fayetteville teacher Amanda Spurling introduced us to Glogster back in the fall and she has found another fantastic treasure again! Go to http://tagul.com/ to see just how much word clouds can do. If you are a fan of wordle, you will absolutely love this one. It’s in Beta form (introductory and early trial versions), but is already a great tool for your students!

3. Shmoop, There it is!
I’ve shared this site before, but it’s worth another look. Shmoop will make you a better lover (of literature, history, life). See many sides to the argument. Find your writing groove. Understand how lit and history are relevant today. They say they want to show your brain a good time. Their mission: To make learning and writing more fun and relevant for students in the digital age. Go to http://www.shmoop.com/

4. Almost Heaven, West Virginia…
You might not think it, but West Virginia is a leader in 21st century teaching and learning. Adopting the framework for 21st century skills, West Virginia has a fantastic Global 21 site that is a must-see. (Be sure to scroll down to Other WVDE sites.) There are loads of fantastic, ready to use lesson plans and other resources there. Save time to read this great Education Week article on the changing role of a teacher in West Virginia.

5.

Happy Valentines

Thought….
Anyone can catch your eye, but it takes someone special to catch your heart. ~Author Unknown

Have a great weekend!

Friday Five for Friday, February 19th


1. Testing… One, Two, Three, Testing…
As the AHSGE and ARMT/SAT test dates draw near, try these test preparation resources. From the Huntsville City Schools website, you’ll find flashcards, practice tests, item specs and much more for all of our major testing coming soon.

2. Still In the Clouds…
Last week’s Friday Five introduced you to Tagul for word clouds. This week allow me to give you a great resource for using Tagul, Wordle, and loads of other word clouds. Be sure to read 12 Word Cloud Resources, Tips, and Tools here.

3. Teenagers and Today…
A recent Pew Internet study of teenagers and their digital habits has been released. Go to Teens Just Don’t Blog or Tweet to see the full report. Every teacher should read this short report.

4. She Blinded Me with Science…
Many science teachers use whiteboards, but need resources for using them. Well, this Friday Five tip is just for you! Go to 10 Science Ideas for your Whiteboards. There are ideas on this page for elementary and secondary science teachers!

5. Still Looking for Inspiration?
Teachers tell me all the time that they want to integrate the use of technology with their content but are not sure where to begin. Read this short article from Converge magazine for some inspiration. Remember – it’s not a magic tool for everything, but can open new doors for learning for many of your students!

Have a great weekend!

Friday Five for Friday, February 26th


1. Just Give Me the Facts, Please…
Fact Monsteris an ideal reference site for kids ages 8-14 that provide entertainment and educational resources. It combines the contents of an encyclopedia, a dictionary, an atlas, and several almanacs loaded with statistics, facts, and historical records. A single search engine allows you to search all these sources at once.

2. Calling All Google Doc Users…
Many faithful users of Google Docs are always glad to know when something new and useful is available. Read the article, things you didn’t know Google Docs could do, to see if you are using Google Docs to the fullest!

3. Flix it and Forget it…
Flixtimeis a new video creation service that is quite similar to Animotoand Stupeflix. Flixtimegives users the ability to create 60 second videos by mixing together images, video clips, and music tracks. You can use your own images, video clips, and music tracks or you can choose media from the Flixtimegalleries.

4. The Rest of the Story…
Silvia Tolisano, author of the excellent Langwitches blog, has an awesome free ebook about digital storytelling. Digital Storytelling Tools for Educatorsis a 120 page free guide to using digital storytelling tools in your classroom. The guide (click on the title and download from Lulu) offers clear directions for using tools like Audacity, Google Maps, Photo Story, VoiceThread, and other digital media creation tools. Silvia's directions are aided by clearly annotated screenshots of each digital storytelling tool.

5. Quick Lesson Plans…
10 Outstanding Sites for Downloading Lesson Plans will help you make your planning easier and more rewarding, find online resources more quickly and easily, and engage and inspire your students. Many of them are free and have lessons for all subjects, all grade levels.




Friday Five for Friday, March 5th

Retro Theme – This week’s Friday Five is part history, part nostalgia, and part pop culture. Enjoy looking back for yourself and share your favorites with your students, friends, family, and others!


1. Retromania…
Teacher Tracy Osborn has put together a fantastic resource on everything retro. She calls it Super Cool Stuff from the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, & 90s. I guarantee you’ll find much to browse. To see her amazing Table of Contents for her entire site, go to http://www.teacheroz.com/toc.htm. All subject areas can find treasures here.

2. Bad Fads Remembered…
The Bad Fads Museum is a must see! From mood rings, hula hoops, cabbage patch dolls, and pet rocks to hair ironing, waterbeds, platform shoes, and CB radios, it’s all here.

3. Retro Junk…
This site boasts of retro junk, but many of us would find these items treasures! Retro Junk has a superb collection of videos of retro commercials, television shows, movies, and much more! Take part in their blog and writer’s corner to offer your thoughts about these days gone by!

4. What’s for Supper?
Look back on what we ate in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Remember Chipsters, Blueberry Hubba Bubba, Koogle peanut butter, and Big Red soda pop, and Tab (which is still around). Enjoy this mouthwatering retro trip to the past!

5.

One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present. Golda Meir


Friday Five for Friday, March 12th


1. Inside the Teenage Brain…
Now, this is an intriguing thought! To actually get inside a teenage brain and make some sense would be such a revealing experience. PBS Frontline has an interactive, informative resource for discovering what’s going on in there and how science may help explain the mysteries of the teen years. Enjoy!

2. Deep Thoughts…
Tools for Reading, Writing, and Thinking The New York school site explains, “These tools should be used to help students engage in rigorous thinking, organize complex ideas, and scaffold their interactions with texts. They should not be used simply as worksheets or activities for their own sake.” This is a super resource (thanks to Devonna Strickland for finding it) for teaching reading in all content areas!

3. This and That…
http://www.breathingearth.net/ - CO2 emissions, birth and death rate simulation
http://www.oneword.com/ Don’t think, just write. See one word and you have only sixty seconds to write about it.


4. Video Assistance…
Anyone working with video files long enough will find the need to convert them to a different file format for any number of reasons. Screenshot – any video converter is a site to help you with this. It can convert almost all video formats including DivX, XviD, MOV, rm, rmvb, MPEG, VOB, DVD, WMV, AVI to MPEG-4 movie format for iPod/PSP or other portable video device, MP4 player or smart phone.

5. Animations…
If you are looking for computer animations of physical processes, check out this physics site. Waves, Optics, Mechanics, Thermodynamics, and electricity can be found on this site. Enjoy!


Friday Five for Friday, March 26th

“7 Things You Should Know about…”


1. Blogs…
A blog – shorthand term that means “Web log” – is an online chronological collection of personal commentary and links. Try either of these blogs services to get started: Edublogs, Blogger.


2. Wikis…
A wiki is a bit different from a blog. Wikis permit asynchronous communication and group collaboration across the Internet. Any visitor to the wiki can change (if permission is given) its content if they desire. Try any of these wiki services to get started: Wikispaces, PBWorks, Wetpaint, Class Jump.


3. Social Bookmarking…
Social Bookmarking is the practice of saving bookmarks to a public web site and “tagging” them with keywords. A couple of bookmarking services to check out are Deliciousand Diigo.


4. RSS…
One of the most useful features online today is RSS. It is a protocol that lets users subscribe to online content using an RSS “reader” or “aggregator,” which checks subscribed Web pages and automatically downloads new content. This keeps you from having to go to all of your favorite web pages – instead, they come to you! Try these two RSS aggregators to see: iGoogle, Pageflakes.


5. Skype…
Skype is an application that turns a personal computer into a telephone. This free application is incredibly useful for inviting guests into your classroom via a webcam. Go to Skypeto learn more!

Have a wonderful weekend!








Friday Five for Friday, April 2nd

Spring Cleaning Theme


1. Extreme Makeover: Classroom Edition…
OK, so maybe you didn’t win the glamorous makeover, but you can go to these sites to find tips on giving your classroom the spring cleaning it needs.
Suite 101 – Tips for cleaning and organizing your classroom
Teach HUB – Great ideas for “reforming” your space
Edutopia Blog – Heather Wolpert-Gawron initiated an interesting conversation about our classroom space


2. Spring Cleaning your Personal Computer…

Popular Mechanics
has a wonderful online version of its magazine. Check out this short article about giving your PC a good spring cleaning. Another good article on PC spring cleaning can be found in the online version of PC World.

3. Spring Cleaning your Organizational System…
Most teachers are constantly searching for the best possible system for managing their load. This article on eHow outlines lots of simple strategies for keep things organized and under control. See how many of these strategies you already use!

4. Spring Cleaning with Technology…
Go Green with your spring cleaning using the tips from My Life Scoop. You’ll find advice on vacuum cleaners to power strips. Nice little read….

5. Wisdom from John Watson, an award winning teacher…

“I have an acronym PALACE stuck up on a wardrobe to focus my mind on a daily mini spring clean. You will probably find that you apply the above acronym (PALACE) to more than one thing as you start taking action.


P
LACE - put at least one thing in its proper place every day

A
NSWER - answer at least one letter or email a day

L
ABEL - label at least one thing a day

A
RCHIVE - archive at least one thing a day (i.e. move a less important thing further away from your normal centre of activity)

C
HUCK - chuck out at least one thing a day

E
MPTY - empty or clear away at least one piece of clutter off one surface a day

Have a wonderful Easter Weekend!



Friday Five for Friday, April 9th


1. Google is Great

Check out Google for Educators here -
http://www.google.com/educators/index.htmlClick on Classroom Activities to find ready-made lesson plans for using Google tools. I really love the presidential election lesson for the primary elections going on right now. Also, the Classroom posters are great!


2. Web Playground

Looking for a great place to play? Try

**http://www.go2web20.net/**
.
This is an amazing place to find web 2.0 resources and tools.

Warning:
You could play here for many hours, so do this when you have time to play. It is a

must-see
site!


3. What’s in a byte?

Have you ever wondered what difference between a
megabyteand a gigabyteis? Check out the attached sheet on storage capacities. It might just blow your mind! Have you heard of a terabyte? Get ready, it is coming!


4. Free Videos on the Web
If you haven’t already checked out www.unitedstreaming.com, you should. Ask your resource teacher for your username and password, because it’s free for you to use. There are videos on almost every topic imaginable. Great resource!


5. Is it better to give than receive?

Share something that you’ve learned with someone. When you do this you force yourself to know your stuff! By sharing your discoveries, you can become an expert. The more you share the better you become. Ask your principal if you can demonstrate a new skill at a faculty meeting. Don’t be shy – share!



Friday Five for Friday, April 16th


1. Shorthand for Texting and Digital Communication

Go to the netlingo site and see if you know these 50 most commonly used text terms:
http://www.netlingo.com/top50textThis is a fun thing to do with students (but you will definitely want to “edit” this list).


2. Free Cartoons for your Wiki, Blog, or Webpage
http://www.andertoons.com/free_cartoons/Follow the directions for using Andertoons cartoons for free.


3. Graphics and Clip Art

Try some of these sites to find the perfect stuff for your site:
http://ginaotto.com/clipartgraphics.html; http://www.theteachersguide.com/Edgraphicscolor.html


4. Printable calendars, awards, certificates, and forms

Print calendars, awards, certificates, forms and more. Find ideas and links as well. Go to
www.educationoasis.comto find all you need.


5. Have a Laugh…


How Grades are determined by professors at American University:
Music Dept: Each student must figure out his grade by listening to the instructor play the corresponding note (+ and – would be sharp and flat respectively).
Dept of Statistics: All grades are plotted along the normal bell curve
Dept of Computer Science: Random number generator determines grade.
Dept of Psychology: Students are asked to blot ink in their exam books, close them and turn them in. The professor opens the books and assigns the first grade that comes to mind.
Dept of History: All students get the same grade they got last year.
Dept of Religion: Grade is determined by God.
Law School: Students are asked to defend their position of why they should receive an A.
Dept of Mathematics: Grades are variable.
Dept of Logic: If and only if the student is present for the final and the student has accumulated a passing grade then the student will receive an A, else the student will not receive an A.
Dept of Philosophy: What is a grade?
Dept of Physical Education: Everybody gets an A.


Friday Five for Friday, May 7th


1. Zany over Zooburst…
ZooBurst is a digital storytelling tool that is designed to let anyone easily create their own customized 3D pop-up books. Go to Zooburstto see this great pop-up book site. It’s perfect for any age! Try it today!

2. Stuck in 2003…
Are you still struggling to use the current versions of Office 2007 or 2010? Find help for learning the ribbon in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on this tutorial site from Microsoft. Taking the time to explore these updated versions of Office will save you time later!

3. 50 Incredible Books…
Check out this list of 50 Incredible Books Every Educator Should Read. If you are looking for a few picks for summer reading or curious to see how many you’ve read on this list, take a look.

4. Diigo or Delicious?
If you are still saving favorites to your computer, you definitely want to take a few minutes to discover the advantages of social bookmarking. Both Diigo and Delicious are excellent bookmarking tools, yet this article tells the story of one man’s preference. Either way, social bookmarking is a necessity for a frequent web surfer!
5.
"To the world you might be one person, but to one person you might be the world." Anonymous


Friday Five for Friday, May 14th


1. 100 Apps for Tech-Savvy Teachers…

100 Apps for the Tech-Savvy Teachercollects the best web tools and iphone apps most useful to today’s tech-savvy educator. Be sure to bookmark this site and return when you have plenty of time to explore!

2. Dropbox to the Rescue…
Dropbox is software that syncs your files online and across your computers. Put your files into your Dropbox on one computer, and they'll be instantly available on any of your other computers that you've installed Dropbox on (Windows, Mac, and Linux too!) Because copies of your files are stored on Dropbox's secure servers, you can also access them from any computer or mobile device using the Dropbox website. (Be sure to check out the iphone app as well.)

3. If You Love Word Clouds, You Will LOVE this one…
Tagxedo turns words -- famous speeches, news articles, slogans and themes, even your love letters -- into a visually stunning tag cloud, words individually sized appropriately to highlight the frequencies of occurrence within the body of text. This is exceptionally cool!

4. Glogster – A Novel Idea…
Munford High School’s Sharon Boling found a new way for using Glogster with her students in class. See this teacher’s “Task List” using Glogster. This Twelfth Night Glog serves as a task list as well as an example for learning how this tool might be used in other projects and assignments. Be sure to visit the main Glogster EDU site.

5. What Should I Post?
Are you thinking about updating your class/school website this summer? This list of Website Dos and Don’ts is a terrific guide.

Friday Five for Friday, May 21st


1. Oregon Goes Ga Ga for Google…
The Oregon’s Department of Education is the first to let go of the use of Microsoft Office products and embrace Google Apps instead. This PC World article will give the details on this daring step. If you are interested in learning more about how Google Apps can be used in the classroom, visit the Google for Educators page. If you’ve never visited this page, take time to do this. You will find some excellent information and resources here!

2. Little Help from a Friend…
Everyone needs a little help now and then. If you need tutorials, tips, and advice for using Google, try Google Tutor. You’ll find a Beginner’s Guide to Google, Help Forums, and much more. Check it out!

3. Getting the Credit You Deserve…
If you have completed any professional development activities but have not filled out your evaluations for them, go to the STI-PD website to do this as soon as possible! Also, don’t forget to sign up for the workshops you plan to attend while you are there.

4. Classroom of the Future…
From Campus Technology Blog: A new type of classroom design, often called the classroom of the future, is becoming popular in K-12 and college environments. It's based on the desire to move away from the traditional lecture-based pedagogy toward what is referred to as "studio teaching." In this model, the instructor serves as a facilitator, by handing out projects, answering questions, providing resources, and moving around the room as necessary. Students work in groups to learn, and activities are structured to emphasize collaborative, active, student-based learning. Read the full article and compare their descriptions to what is happening in Talladega County.

5. Hitch your wagon to a star.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Have a wonderful summer.