Making Text “POP”

I had a request to help make text in presentations pop out, and found this cool site (FREE!!!!!!) CoolText:Graphics Generator which does a great job in helping you prepare. Pick the style you want, type in your text, save as a .jpg, and import into your media. It’s as simple as that! Imagine putting these in your flip charts, PowerPoints, and other sundry presentations. (the one below actually “burns” in a PowerPoint or flip chart):
adventure for blog trt blogitrt

Erosion and Niagra Falls: When the Falls Ran Dry

niagraIn 1969, in order to save the Niagra Falls from eventually running dry, the Army Corps of Engineers constructed a dam to divert the river to the Canadian side of the falls so that rocks could be removed from the base of the falls. The story is fascinating, as are the pictures. For more reading, check out “Fall of the Century: Stunning Pics of Dry Niagra Falls” at WebEcoist.

A Web 2.0 PowerHouse Wiki: CoolToolsforSchools

web 2.0 for schoolsMany thanks to my illustrious colleague, Kristy, for pointing out this Wiki, Cooltoolsforschools, which has links to multiple Web 2.0 sites. Topics include:

• Presentation tools
• Collaborative tools
• Research tools
• Video tools
• Slideshow tools
• Audio tools
• Image tools
• Drawing tools
• Writing tools
• Music tools
• Organizing tools
• Converting tools
• Mapping tools
• Quiz and poll tools
• Graphing tools
• Creativity tools
• Widgets
• File storage and Web Pages
• Other helpful sites
• Teacher resources
• Creative commons
• Cool tools index

Enjoy!

I Still Hate Taking Tests: Ways to Help Your Students Relax and Get Some Writing In Too!

As I sat down and stared at my test yesterday, the usual symptoms occurred:
• Tight chest
• Head felt light
• Tight stomach
• Waves of doubt
• A blank mind
I read the chapter five times, took notes, rewrote the notes, typed the notes, took practice tests, and sundry other things to prepare. I told people about the chapter, was able to apply examples to vocabulary, and even shared in our Sunday School class examples from the chapter that tied in with the topic of interest!!! And, once the test appeared, the cognitive abilities DISAPPEARED. Poof! Blank brain! Everything fizzled out like a TV tube back in the 60’s would do once the set was unplugged: the picture shrunk to a little white light in the middle of the screen, then a little speckle of light showed, and as the glow slowly evaporated, all that was seen was nothing. That was my brain.
Do our students do this during Benchmarks and SOL testing?

Tech & Science on MSNBC.com shares research on how to help your students cope with test anxiety (I might even try this!!!!!) by writing down their feelings for ten minutes before the test. Read about our “test obsessed culture” and see how you might also be able to tie in writing with this at Researcher Finds Easy Solution for Test Anxiety.

Another Fabulous Web 2.0 Find — Web 2.0 for the Classroom Wiki

wiki for the classroomWeb 2.0 applications and sites have plenty of great things for classroom teachers, but at times do you wish you could get some help on how to use the program(s)? Would you like to have an easy-to-use site where they’re separated by categories?

Sherri Miller, neighboring ITRT in Gloucester County, and soon-to-be Virginia Tech graduate (I will get there–SOME day!), has a Wiki Web 2.0 for the Classroom, complete with video how-to’s, examples, and links to multiple applications–some that I have not heard of, and plan to explore this great resource myself. Explanations are simple, straight-forward, and easy to follow. From the comfort of your own home, why not sit down tonight and find something that you can use? If you see something that you like, let me know, and we can plan some lessons together to make your SOL scores “pop” and “sparkle!”