New Resources Portaportal for Your Use

Have you been in need of a list of resources to use in your classroom, or have had a parent request websites that students can practice skills at home? I have made a PortaPortal for just that use. Categories are broken down into subjects and SOL numbers and are arranged for quick browsing. If you see a broken link or know of a great resource to upload, just let me know! The address is

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):

Free Fridays: Designing and Printing Posters

From National Geographic’s site:
Picture this: Now full-color posters of National Geographic’s classic photography are yours for the taking.

Just pick a poster below and download it. Then print, assemble—and watch your walls go wild!

MAKE YOUR OWN POSTERS Do you wish to take a picture and blow it up to poster size–for FREE? I made the movie posters that were hung in the hallways by doing the following:
1) I first made a movie poster from BigHugeLabs: Go .
2) I then saved it as a jpg
3) Go to BlockPosters
4) Follow the directions by uploading your saved poster, saving it as a .pdf. Print your pdf and tape your poster together.
Questions? Let me know!

Do Schools Kill Creativity?

Mrs. C and I have had the 6th graders working on Ken Burns documentary style PhotoStory videos, and a common theme from the students has been, “This is FUN and I’m learning so much!” Makes one wonder, are we killing creativity? From the TED website:

Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.

Creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson challenges the way we’re educating our children. He champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence. Enjoy!

Get the Students Activ and Ready for the New TEIs

Thanks for attending the workshop this morning on how to construct Technology Enhanced Items for the upcoming SOL tests. The handout can be found under “Workshops” and if you have any questions for me, or comments, feel free to leave a one below! If you want to heap loads of praise, or give nuggets of wisdom, suggestions, or an idea for a great Italian restaurant, do that too!

Google Maps–Make Your Own and Embed

While this is really a practice for me to learn how to embed Google Maps into a web page or blog, I am learning how to extend the use of Google into classroom instruction. This is one that I’m making for Virginia History and will be happy to show you how I’m doing this. Interested? Just let me know!

View VS 2b Regions of Virginia in a larger map

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)