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Childtopia Listening and Reading Comprehension

What it is: Childtopia is like 10 websites in one…they have so many cool things going on that I am going to break it down into sections so stay tuned… The Childtopia Listening and Reading Comprehension portion of Childtopia is hands down my favorite. Students can choose from 14 different engaging...

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Apple joining Hour of Code and offering free workshops! #edtech

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Anastasis Academy, Apply, Create, Evaluate, inspiration, iPod, Knowledge (remember), Math, Middle/High School, Podcasts, Primary Elementary, professional development, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Technology, Understand (describe, explain), web tools, Websites | Posted on 04-12-2014

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Apple offers free hour long workshops to teach you how to code!

Today Apple announced that it will be joining code.org’s “Hour of Code” movement by hosting a free one-hour introduction to the basics of computer programming at Apple stores on December 11. During Computer Science Education week (December 8-14th) they will be hosting other workshops.

As a part of the Computer Science Education week, Apple will be hosting designers and engineers in select cities around the world. Pretty awesome! Contact your local Apple store to find out exact details of what your store has planned for the week.

Students at Anastasis Academy have started into an inquiry block about “How We Express Ourselves;” Hour of Code is coming perfectly timed as students can learn about how people express themselves through code.

Apple is also offering free resources for learning to code that you can get started with today. They’ve created a collection of helpful apps, books, podcasts, and iTunes U courses that will get your students coding in no time!

You (the teacher) don’t have to be an expert at coding to introduce your students to it. In fact, it is kind of fun if you are learning and discovering coding together…definitely a bonding experience! Truly, please don’t stay away from spending at least an hour during the Hour of Code just because you don’t feel like you know anything. Explore together and let your students get excited about coding and about teaching you something new as you go. The resources Apple has listed are a fantastic way to get started. Join the Hour of Code yourself for additional information and support here.

I love that coding can hit every level of Bloom’s Taxonomy. It obviously allows students the opportunity to create something digital, but it also causes them to apply concepts/skills/math, analyze and evaluate code and what it is used for, and can help build knowledge and understanding in code and in a variety of subjects that the code is related to. Pretty great when that happens!

Want to continue your own learning about learning? Join us for the 5-Sigma Edu Conference. There is even a session on coding in the curriculum! It is going to be awesome and as an added benefit, you get to see how classes at Anastasis Academy run. Can’t wait to meet you there!

Chalkstar to Rockstar: Revolutionary Ideas in Learning

Posted by admin | Posted in Anastasis Academy, education reform, Grade Level, inspiration, Podcasts, professional development, Teacher Resources | Posted on 05-09-2013

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Holy. Cow.  School has started in full force!  I absolutely love having kids back in the building. It feels alive again, kids bring an energy that can’t be matched.   If you are a teacher, you know that there is an enormous amount of work that goes into starting a year.  It’s a good thing that the kids bring energy, because mine is depleted!  I blame it on the constant stream of school related dreams that happen at the beginning of the school year.  It’s like I never leave that place!  I hope that those of you who are beginning a new year are off to a great start.

Chalkstar to rockstar Anastasis Academy Podcast

I get a lot of questions about Anastasis Academy.  People usually start off with jaws dropped and some disbelief in their eyes, “wait a minute, YOU started a school?”  After some convincing that this AMAZINGNESS really does exist, the litany of questions begin.  How did you do it?  Where did the money come from?  What is different about your school?  In less than 6 months you started the school, seriously?  Recently @michellek107 and I shared the story of Anastasis Academy with @bennettscience on a brand new show called Chalkstar to Rockstar.  Check out this great new show here!

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week Goodies from Learning a-z

Posted by admin | Posted in Interactive book, Language Arts, Podcasts, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources | Posted on 07-05-2012

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What it is: It’s teacher appreciation week!  One thing that I quickly learned in starting a school, teachers ARE the school. I always appreciate companies that recognize and honor this.  Learning a-z is holding an Open House during teacher appreciation weeks which gives you free access to all 6 of their sites for the whole week.  It also happens to be their 10 year anniversary, to celebrate they are giving away 10 free licenses each day of this week.  Learning A-Z is an excellent resource that I have used for ages.  Sites include: Reading A-Z which is a great collection of printable and projectable books and resources for 27 different levels; Raz-Kids which is a student-centered site where kids can practice reading online; Vocabulary a-z where you will find 12,000+ pre-made vocabulary words where you can build custom lists for students; Science a-z which delivers science curriculum resources across more than 60 units and includes three reading levels for each; Writing a-z which contains everything you need to teach writing in your classroom; and Reading-Tutors which provides more that 400 reading resource packets to use for one-on-one tutoring.

Be sure to take advantage of these great resources that are being offered FREE to you this week (May 7-11).

How to integrate Learning A-Z Open House into the classroom: The materials and resources at Learning A-Z are wonderful.  I like the way they are available at the touch of a button so that you can instantly customize resources and lessons for students on the fly.  Learning A-Z is like an instant boost to your classroom library.  Students have additional resources that they can access both at school and at home.  When I was a new teacher, Learning A-Z was a lifeline!  I didn’t have a great classroom library built up yet and I didn’t have the money to go out and build it up immediately.  Learning A-Z helped me give students exactly what they needed, when they needed it.  My second grade students loved the printed books, they would often color them, take them home and read them over and over again.  It gave them a sense of ownership over their reading.

Learning A-Z resources are great book-buddies for home.  One year, I podcasted all of these (I wish I had saved them so I could share!) and sent my students home with the book and an iPod nano so they could read along at home.  This was wonderful for the kids that didn’t have someone reliable at home to read with.

I also used the Learning A-Z resources as part of my literacy and science tub work.  You can learn more about tub work here. 

The resources can be used for individual students or for a whole class using an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer.  Be sure to set up your classroom computers with these resources for your students this week!

Tips: Learning A-Z isn’t always a free resource, but they always offer some free material for you to access.  You may find after this week that you would like a subscription.  Be sure to register for the license give away…great end of the year present!

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Learning A-Z in  your classroom!

Encyclopedia of Life: podcasts, videos, images, activities

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Create, Middle/High School, Podcasts, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), video, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 10-10-2011

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What it is:  The Encyclopedia of Life (eol) is a beautiful website that celebrates the biodiversity of life.  On the eol website, find podcasts where students can discover the diversity of life five minutes and one species at a time.  Students can dig deeper into their learning with extra features like “Meet the Scientist”, “Educational Materials” or “Extras”.  The “Extras” include Google Earth tours, videos, audio out-takes, images and contributions from listeners.  Podcasts can be subscribed to via RSS or iTunes.  The Encyclopedia of Life even provides a podcast guide for educators to use!

Teachers can create customized “Field Guides” on the eol website.  These guides are collections of text and images from the eol website to fit your classroom needs.

Students can participate in their very own BioBlitz activities where they are led in observation of biodiversity in their own backyard.

The Tools page has great extra interactives and tools for students to use as they learn about life on earth. Find tools such as a Cool Iris eol plugin, Google Earth Species quizzes and Life Desk where students can create and contribute to eol.

How to integrate Encyclopedia of Life into the classroom:  The Encyclopedia of Life is a gorgeous site for students to explore biodiversity.  Students can engage with audio, video, images and activities to learn more about life on Earth.

My favorite part of the site is the BioBlitz activities that lead students through discovering biodiversity in their own backyard.  These activities teach students to be careful observers, respectful of life and encourage curiosity and discovery.  Choose a BioBlitz activity to complete in the school yard with your students.  Use the eol site to learn about the different species you find.  Students will love the image and audio collections here!

Are you studying a specific species in your class? Create your own classroom field guides.  Better yet, put students in charge of this job.  Split students into groups, each group can create a field guide to share with the rest of the class based on a species. 

Tips: You have to login in order to create field guides on the Encyclopedia of Life.  All content can be viewed without a login.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Encyclopedia of Life in  your classroom!

Seedlings Podcast: Show 98

Posted by admin | Posted in Blogs, collaboration, education reform, inspiration, Podcasts, professional development, Teacher Resources | Posted on 18-11-2010

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Last Thursday I joined the team over at Seedlings for their 98th podcast. You can listen to the recording below to hear me talk about the history of iLearn Technology, more about my post on Dreams of Education: When Hunches Collide, and my dreams for #twitacad.  Thank you to Bob, Cheryl, and Alice for having me!

Seedlings @ Bit by Bit Podcast: Show 98
November 11, 2010

Links from the show:

“Geek of the Week” Links for 2010-11-11

Chat Transcript from EdTech

NASA Space Place

Posted by admin | Posted in Fun & Games, Interactive book, Interactive Whiteboard, iPod, Language Arts, Math, Podcasts, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, video, Websites | Posted on 14-01-2010

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What it is: NASA has hundreds of excellent educational resources online.  NASA Space Place is another awesome site for elementary kids to explore science and space.  The Space Place has fun online games, animations, projects, and fun facts about Earth, space and technology.  Space Place Live is an animated talk show where all the guests are real scientists and engineers who work on space and Earth missions.  Students can find out what it is like to work for NASA, how the scientist or engineer got started, and what they like to do for fun.  There are currently 7 episodes that students can enjoy topics include: solar wind, satellites, weather, space missions, telescopes, engineering, the birth of stars, Mars, robots, and black holes.  Even though the show is animated, the experts involved are the actual experts.  NASA Space Place has a variety of on and offline games with everything from scrambled pictures, to world puzzles, crazy quizzes and board games.  Students can learn more about weather, space, satellites, the environment, (and much more) through game play.  There are a variety of projects and experiments on the site with step by step directions for students.  These are great for the classroom, science fair, or at home on a rainy day.  Space Place makes finding games, animations, and projects related to your curriculum easy arranging the site by subjects.  Use Space Place when you are learning about planets and the solar system, stars, galaxies, and black holes, laws of the universe (light, motion, gravity), the Earth, and space technology.  Space Place has several storybooks that can be viewed on or offline.


How to integrate NASA Space Place into the classroom: Because of the wealth of resources on this site, there are a variety of ways to use it in your classroom.  The animations are a neat way to bring expert scientists and engineers into your classroom.  Share an animated video a week as your students explore the solar system and universe.  The games reinforce learning, use them as a center activity on the classroom computers as they relate to your curriculum.  Many of the games encourage exploration and trial and error (these are my favorite kind of learning games for students).  Students can explore the Amazing Facts section of the site and then complete the trivia game to test out their understanding.  In the project section, you will find experiments and science crafts. Choose some of these to complete as a class or assign each student a different project to test and share with the class.  Projects would also make an excellent stop during science fair time.  Use the Space Place Storybooks as animated flipbooks online as a class with a projector/interactive whiteboard, or print them out for your classroom library.  The books could be used as an online reading center on your classroom computers as well.  These stories are sure to capture your students imagination!


Tips: Be sure to check out the educator page on NASA Space Place, it is packed full of good ideas, newsletters, printable images of space for bulletin boards, space related articles, math related articles, printable posters, and podcasts to download.  With the renewed push for STEM education, there has never been a better time to include sites like NASA Space Place to excite and engage your students.


Leave a comment and share how you are using Nasa Interactive Timeline in your classroom.

Story Nory

Posted by admin | Posted in iPod, Language Arts, Podcasts, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 12-01-2010

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What it is: Story Nory is a collection of FREE audio books for kids.  There is a mixture of new stories, fairy tales, and specially adapted myths and histories.  A new audio story comes out each week (this has been true since November of 2005!).  Search stories by newest additions, original stories, fairy tales, classic authors, educational, or junior stories.  The stories can be subscribed to as a podcast in iTunes, through their iPhone/iPod touch app, via email, or RSS feed.  Story Nory offers the text to accompany the audio so that kids can read along.


How to integrate Story Nory into the classroom: Story Nory would make an excellent addition to your reading/listening library.  Listening to audio books can be a great way to help students improve comprehension skills, and to listen for different literary features (such a voice, timing, rhythm, annunciation, etc.).   Set up a listening center on your classroom computers, an iPod or MP3 lab, or in a lab setting.  Students can access stories that are of high interest to them at their level.  Students can create book talks, or reviews of the stories to share with their peers.  Set up a wiki where students can share their thoughts about the stories they listen to.


Tips: Encourage parents to sign up for the Story Nory emails so that they can share the story of the week with their kids.


Leave a comment and share how you are using Story Nory in your classroom.

The Story Home

Posted by admin | Posted in Fun & Games, iPod, Language Arts, Podcasts, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 09-08-2009

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What it is: The Story Home is a collection of classic and original children’s audio stories.  Every other week a new story is added by storyteller Alan.  All audio stories are FREE!!  The stories can be listened to right from The Story Home website or by subscribing to The Story Home on iTunes.

How to integrate The Story Home into the classroom: Students will love listening to audio stories on The Story Home.  Set up a listening center in your classroom where students can listen to stories.  As they listen to stories, students can practice comprehension strategies like visualization.  If you have an iPod program at your school, load up the iPods with stories that students can listen to from home.  Find stories that correspond with your classroom curriculum and introduce new concepts with an audio story.  Use The Story Home to teach students Story Telling strategies.

Tips: Introduce parents to The Story Home so they can use it at home with their children.  I learned about The Story Home from multiple tweets on Twitter.  If you aren’t a part of the Twitter education community yet, sign up today!

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using The Story Home in your classroom.

20 iTunes Feeds for the 2.0 Teacher

Posted by admin | Posted in inspiration, iPod, Middle/High School, Podcasts, Primary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Video Tutorials, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 10-07-2009

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There are a lot of free podcasts that have been created with the teacher and tech nut in mind. Most of these podcasts are available free through iTunes. (If you don’t have iTunes, you can download it for free at Apple.com.) Here are 20 iTunes feeds that would be of interest to tech-savvy teachers:

Teachers Teaching Teachers – This teacher-friendly podcast is hosted by three public school teachers from NYC. Discussions include teaching and web 2.0 technologies.

Teacher 2.0 (Video) – A companion to the Clever Sheep site, this video podcast offers information about e-learning tools and web 2.0 technology.

Teacher 2.0 (Audio) – This Teacher 2.0 audio podcast covers many of the same topics as its video counterpart: e-learning tools, web 2.0 technology, etc.

Educational Technology Conference – The Educational Technology Conference addresses several education issues in this iTunes feed. Topics include ethics in the classroom, technology integration, and advancements in education.

Teach with Video – This iTunes feed explores how teachers can incorporate digital video projects in the classroom. Other topics include classroom management and lesson design.

Cool Tools for Library 2.0 – The Cool Tools for Library 2.0 podcast is dedicated to exploring how web 2.0 technologies can be used in education settings.

EdTechTalk: Women of Web 2.0 – Four women host this podcast for teachers who are finding ways to use Internet technology in their career and in the classroom. The hosts interview other women and share tech resources.

EdTech 101 – The Ed Tech 101 podcast is aimed at teachers who want to integrate technology in the k-12 classroom. Podcasts are short (three to five minutes) and include information about new software and hardware.

EdTechLive – Steve Hargadon interviews new guests and hosts panel discussions on educational technology in this audio podcast.

Teaching for the Future
– Teaching for the Future is an audio podcast hosted by David LaMorte. Episodes center on media literacy and technology education.

Two Tech Chicks – This education technology podcast is hosted by two tech-savvy women from Texas who want to help teachers learn how to integrate technology into everyday curriculum.

The Tech Teachers
– The Tech Teachers is an audio podcast that focuses on the ways in which education and technology overlap.
Technology Matters – This educational technology podcast for teachers shares 21st Century tools and discusses how blogs, wikis, and podcasts can be used to further technology in educational settings.

Moving at the Speed of Creativity – Wesley Fryer hosts this education podcast which focuses on technology integration, literacy, and education instruction.

Bit by Bit – This teacher podcast centers on the changing classroom environment. Podcast topics include technology in instruction and teacher responsibility.

KidCast – A companion podcast to the book of the same name, KidCast is entirely devoted to podcasting in the classroom.

The Teacher’s Podcast – Although this podcast isn’t geared specifically toward education technology, it does provide valuable training and professional information for teachers of all subjects.

GeekSpeak – This technology podcast is hosted by professional geeks who enjoying reviewing and sharing the hottest new tech products. A new podcast is recorded each week.

TWiT – This Week in Tech is an award-winning technology podcast hosted by a group of tech nuts who enjoy sharing new resources and talking about how technology can be used in various settings. A new podcast is released every Sunday.

Tekzilla – Patrick Norton and Veronica Belmont host this popular tech podcast for people who have “tech hunger.” Each episode features reviews, tips, and information about high-tech apps and products.

Guest post from Karen Schweitzer, the About.com Guide to Business School. Karen also writes for the online college database on OnlineColleges.net.