Wednesday, April 21, 2010

BP10_2010043_ Comment on Another's Blog

Image taken from Stacie's Blog
Link to comment Stacie Chappell's Blog


Are your students tired of the old fashion way to study spelling? Try, an online tool that helps students study their spelling words. has many activities and games that students can use to practice their spelling words. Students can work on spelling, word meaning and writing and all the activities revolve around their spelling list. Some of the spelling activities are: Hang Mouse, Unscramble, Audio Word Match and Missing Letter. To practice word meanings students can play Match It! Which Word? Sentence Unscramble and Crossword. Teachers can sign up for a free account and create spelling lists or they can pull from lists that teachers have already published. Even if a teacher does not have an account, their students can go to and type in their words, be quizzed and do some of the activities. Kids of all ages will enjoy because they do not feel like they are ‘studying,’ they think they are playing.

On Tuesday I assigned my students 2 activities for homework and most of them told me they did 4 or 5. When we use the computers and they finish early, they are asking if they can go to and practice their spelling. This is a very foreign concept to me, because most of the time students whine and complain if they have to do any type of activity that involves the dreaded spelling words. If students have headphones they can plug them into the computer and will give them the spelling test, it will also grade it, what a bonus! Give a try, sign up, add your spelling list and see what your students think.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

BP7_2010042_Comment on Another's Blog

(Image taken from Elizabeth's Blog)
Link to comment Elizabeth Klauer's Blog

BP6_2010042_Link to Comments on Another's Blog

(Image taken from Sally Lanius' Blog)
Link to comment on Sally Lanius' Blog

BP5_2010042_Web2.0Tool2, The Graphical Knowledge Engine

Don’t you wish your brain could retrieve millions of facts about a certain topic or person instantly? Since we are not able to do that there is a web 2.0 tool that can help. It is called eyePlorer and it’s a knowledge program that works like the brain.

To get started, simply pick a topic you would like to research and type it into the box, once you begin your search, eyePlorer will show all the different eyeSpots, these are concepts that are related to the topic. The larger the eyeSpot the more closely linked it is to your topic, the smaller the least related.

If your class is going to read the book To Kill a Mockingbird you can search the title. Many different connections to the book will appear in the map divided into the following sections: Place, Work, Health, Time, Organizations, Person, Society, Science and Science & Technology. Clicking on eyeSpots within one of the sections will show more information and it can also link you to other connections. For example, after searching To Kill a Mockingbird under the Science & Technology section the word “chifforobe” appears as a very small eyeSpots. After clicking on the eyeSpot, it says that chifforobe appears on page 75 and the word also occurs in an episode of 30 Rock. Some of the other connections are: irony, racial segregation, Deep South, Atticus Finch, Pulitzer Prize, Truman Capote, Autobiography and many more.

Students can get so involved with eyePlorer that they just may lose track of time. After all the serious work of researching school topics such as Math, Science, History and Language Arts, they will probably want to find out more about subjects of their own interests.

EyePlorer is a new way to gather, keep track and send information on topics of interests.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


The days of carrying stacks of flashcards are over, I’d like to introduce you to Cramberry a web 2.0 tool that can make studying a little less painful and can help keep students flashcards organized. Cramberry is an online tool, where students log in to their account and can make up to 30 flashcards a day. Student can choose which set they would like to study. Cramberry creates a studying schedule for the student based on their progress for each card. It keeps track of how many cards the student gets correct by giving them options that they ‘click’ on once the flash card is presented. There are four different choices when answering, from not knowing the answer to getting it correct (perfect). Each time a card is missed it is put back into the ‘deck’. “Cramberry tracks the students progress and tells them when to study each card, reducing wasted effort and letting them focus on studying.” (Cramberry) Students can also choose from flashcards that other users have made and share their own sets with other users. The flash card screen is very basic so that it is not distracting and helps students focus on learning. Another nice thing about Cramberry is that students can print up a list of terms and take it with them if they are on the go. If they have an iPhone or iTouch they can download the Cramberry application and have their cards with them at all times.

I know that this is a very basic tool, but it will really help students who have difficulty with organizational skills. It will also keep flashcards off the floor, out of the backpack and stuck in the corner of lockers. I am excited to share this tool with my students and looking forward to the different ways they will use it.


The five blogs I chose relate to my career as an 8th grade Math, Language Arts and Character Development teacher.

1. Experiments in Math Classes – This is to keep me up to date on new and exciting ideas in Math, it is also part of TeacherLingo, which is a community that connects teachers.

2. Wild About Math – All things Math, this will keep me up to date on new trends and fresh ideas.

3. Technology Blog – The latest tips and information for teachers.

4. Home Page Highlights (NCTM blog) As a math teacher, this will help me keep up with the latest and greatest standards and news.

5. EthicsPost – This is Corey Ciocchetti’s blog, his topics discuss ethics, morals and values that I can apply into my “Success” class (character development) and my own life.


Blogging has quickly become the latest and greatest way to share personal opinions, with the ever-changing trends in education; a new movement is upon us, using blogs to further and foster learning. “A blog is a personal website that has content organized like a journal or a diary. Each entry is dated, and displayed on the web page in reverse chronological order, with recent entries at the top.” (Downes, 2009, para. 1)

Blogging is an excellent way for students to improve on writing, reading and critical thinking skills. It can also help the child that is shy and does not like to take part in class discussions, but has meaningful and worthwhile information to give to the lesson. If a student is able to blog their responses and not actually have to say with that are thinking out loud they might be more willing to “participate”. Blogging is another way to open up the line of communication and help enhance a student’s self confidence They will be encouraged to do their clearly express themselves because “blogging gives students a genuine and potentially worldwide audience for their work. Having such an audience can result in feedback and greatly increase student motivation to do their best work” (Downes, 2009, para. 9)

However, Downes suggests that “teachers lead by example” and should set up their own blogs to model the correct way to blog. The easiest way to do this is to start by posting assignments; this will encourage students to frequently check the blog. The next step would be to model how to appropriately respond to blogs.

Finally, blogging can be a great tool for the classroom because it helps to encourage participation, classroom management, peer interaction and critical thinking skills.

Downes, S. (2009). Half an hour: blogs in education. Retrieved April 2, 2010 from

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Below are the screenshots from my iGoogle page.