Professor Garfield’s Infinite Learning Lab

Want a fun and engaging resource/web site to engage your students? PPS teachers are able to access—for free—Professor Garfield’s Infinite Learning Lab. Students are able to watch engaging videos while also practicing concepts in Life Skills, Math, Science, and Reading. Moreover, the teacher can keep track of the progress of students’ work and record data of their work. While students are having fun, the teacher can keep a record of assessments and plan accordingly for differentiated instruction, progress, and student learning centers. As written in a Superintendent’s Memo:

A teacher management system has been added to the Infinite Learning Lab (, a collaboration between the Virginia Department of Education and the Professor Garfield Foundation. The Infinite Learning Lab provides engaging, animated, interactive lessons for students in mathematics, science, language arts, Internet safety, and life skills. New lessons are added throughout the year.
The teacher management system allows teachers to create individual accounts for students to assign specific lessons based on individual need and track student progress. Students will be able to earn online badges based on the lessons they complete.
The accounts are provided at no cost to all Virginia educators and students. Although anyone using the Internet may access four lessons on the Infinite Learning Lab Web site, only account holders will be able to access all the lessons available.
For teachers to have an account, the division superintendent must assign a designated division account administrator for the Infinite Learning Lab. That person will be provided information on how to create accounts for school account administrators who can then create individual teacher accounts. The division account administrator will be able to monitor data for all students who use the Infinite Learning Lab in their division, while the school account administrator can monitor data for all students within their school. User guides for both students and teachers (available on the Web site) will explain how to use the system.

For access information, please see me for login details and how to set up your students’ accounts. Mrs. Ross has already jumped on board! 

Free Technology Resources for Teachers

Free Technology for TeachersI at times get absolutely overwhelmed from TOO many resource choices. For example, I need to find something for “A” and investigate, and search returns show a bazillion possibilities. I think of the “old days” when I was in the classroom and my resources were stored in a filing cabinet; the Internet was in its infancy (remember the dial-up modem sound???).
A clearing house of technology resources that I like to refer to is Free Technology for Teachers, monitored by Richard Byrne, is a concise and well written blog that gives a FUN bazillion possibilities. In fact, it’s fun reading! You can always come away with something new that can be used in your lesson planning for technology projects. To access, click here or click on the picture.

Resources for Teaching Mandarin Chinese

Social Studies SOL 2.1 states that “the student will explain how the contributions of ancient China … have influenced the present world in terms of architecture, inventions, the calendar, and written language.” Considering that 1.1 billion people speak Mandarin—16% of the world’s population (source: WolframAlpha), what resources are available?

Blog post with ten links of ideas/websites

Online Chinese tools

Online Chinese Radio
Chinese Characters index

Translate a sentence by typing in a phrase/sentence

Quizlet: flash cards with pronounciation

Do you need a free online voice recorder? Besides the famous Audacity, Vocaroo is also a good choice for quick and easy recording.

Need a New Presentation Method? Try Some Vuvox

No, that’s not a medicine: it’s a website for making your own presentations. You can make an Express ( I’m trying all and made one from last week’s sports news by uploading Yahoo Sports News):

Or, you can make a collage (one of my trips to China):

Or, you can use “Studio” and pick different styles for your presentation:

I will be talking about this tomorrow at Tech Tuesday at 4:30. Interested? I can also arrange to show you 1:1 or in a small group–just let me know!

Vuvox Wiki
Example of a PBS project
Crazy Teaching Blog Post

Bring History Alive with Newspaper Primary Sources

From the website:

Welcome to, a nonprofit organization devoted to providing FREE primary souce material for students, teachers, and historybuffs. This site focuses primarily on HOW news of major, and not so major, events in American history were reported in newspapers of the time. In addition, there is information about the technology used to produce newspapers over the past 400 years. Our latest addition is panoramas of historic sites in America.

If you want free resources that draw from historical events in newspapers, you will enjoy this site!

Make Your Own Jeopardy Games Online

If you’re reviewing for a test that’s coming soon for your class (or the SOLs this week and next) and do not have time to spend searching for a new one, Jeopardy Labs is a website that permits you to build your own for free. No software is needed! Or, if you wish to search for one that others have made, these are available too. Also notice, while you are exploring, that three other sites are available to link to, such as their crossword puzzle maker. Their website can be accessed by clicking their icon above or going to

Art Projects with Picture Editing Tools

I had an art teacher ask for ideas for her class, which got me to thinking, “What kind of editing programs are available for free without need of students logging in with emails?” I’ve posted about iPiccy previously (who has time?), but this is a site that you can’t believe is free. Tools are easy to comprehend, the site is easy to maneuver through, and results are wonderful. Remember that you can check out classroom digital camera sets for usage. Integration ideas needed? I’d love to share some ideas with you!

Here are examples of what I did with a picture that I took when working in Brussels (original picture first):

Snack Tools: Make Your Own Book and Other Slide Shows

SnackTools is a free app site that lets you, the teacher, publish different types of items to share with others. Imagine making:
–professonal quality slideshows of your activities
–online surveys and polls
–stylish flip books (my favorite section)
and other sundry items. For example, here is a slide show that I made from pictures taken around the building:

(If you do not hit the pause button, the show will keep repeating)

Google Tricks: Web Cams

Imagine, while teaching a lesson in Social Studies (Parliament Bldg? Eiffel Tower? Niagra Falls?), being able to access a web cam easily without having to go on a massive Web hunt. Or, have you wondered what web cams are available that you might not have thought of? I found a quick and easy way to do this on Google Maps! In the upper right hand corner, click on the Satellite or Map boxes, and check the Web Cam choice. Little icons of available web cams appear on the map, and if you zoom in closer, more choices appear. What fun!