Library Public Service Announcements

One of the interesting things about working of for the Office of Instructional Technology and Media Services (OITMS) is that TRTs and the Librarians have the same supervisor. Once a year we have a joint meeting. This year we will be having a worksession in which we are supposed to come up with a Public Service Announcement for our libraries. While searching for some ideas, Deloris Eure-Nutt (TRT for Hodges Manor and Lakeview) found this…

Builder tools in action

builder tools

I am just so excited!!  For the better part of two years I have been talking to my teachers about using the DE Streaming teacher tools.  I have explained – they are easy to set up, students will really be engaged, I promise you’ll like it – to no avail…until this week!

KUDOS to Mrs. Mitchell, Ms. Hammil, and Dr. Hunter-Lowe who all jumped in the deep end this week.  Mrs. Mitchell and Ms. Hammil have worked with me to create a DE Streaming assignment that requires research, note taking and videos to crete a Wordle on civil war leaders.  Dr. Hunter-Lowe used a DE Streaming writing prompt to help her students prepare for the writing test. 

The kids are all excited.  The teachers are pleased.  The level of technology implementation in  the building continues to rise.

21Things Post #11

I am forever getting great stuff from folks in my PLN.  Two websites that I was introduced to recently are interesting:  This first one – Kidblog looks promising and will need to be sanctioned by OITMS before anyone uses it.  The premise is the same as classblogmeister – simple safe blogging for students. Instructional blogging – like writing prompts, journal entries and literature circles.  The interface of the Kidblog platform is clean, slick and updated.  I haven’t played with it at all to see if it has the same features as the blogmeister.  We’ll have to see…


The other site is – it’s a math game.  It’s very cute and just for practice in basic math facts.  The only part that is free is the addition part, but I played and had fun.  “competed with two other kids” and even had a progress report and achievement certificate sent to “my parents” email address.  I think there may be some real use for this in a classroom setting.


Orchard in front of the Room


I know many of you think about Orchard for remediation – and it’s a great tool for that.  But Orchard is also a wonderful tool to use for whole group direct instruction.  It talks to the kids and has games as well as “powerpoint” type of presentations to use for both language arts and math.

But this post is not about Orchard really, it’s about Mrs. Rowson and Mrs. Armstrong who have decided that they will make the best use of the technology available to them.  You see, this dynamic duo used to be in a second grade Promethan interactive classroom.  They had activotes and a slate and made me come in to co-teach on a regular basis.  Then they were moved to third grade and a room with only an MCPS setup.  They made a decision early on about how they were going to handle it…they got activotes and a slate and are making me come in to co-teach…

We worked on Author’s purpose yesterday using Orchard for whole group instruction.  Orchard has a reading and writing skill builder which can be cucstomized depending on the SOL you are trying to address.  So we set up the activity so that all the questions could be used a discussion prompt on Author’s purpose and then we used some test taking strategies to answer the question.  We did have a bit of fun.

Let me know if you are interested in doing something similar…

Add “Watch TV” to your homework assignment

 Electric company

The Electric Company is back and it’s better than ever…I just found out that WHRO will be airing the Electric Company at 5:00pm weekdays.  The show is perfect for 2nd grade and struggling third grade readers.  Far from the classic that I watched when I was a kid, the updated show has all the bells and whistles that attract the current generation.  I ran across an interview that the new producer did and she explained some of the changes… .

In addition, the show has a really cute website that helps students to practice some basic second grade word study skills.  I would add this site to those that students use in the computer center:

Games for K

sesame street logo

Need something interactive for rhyming, letter-sound correspondance, one-to-one correspondance and colors?  Look no further…Sesame Street’s got you covered.  Cute interactives that you can use whole group to model the skill and then hae kids play independantly…Let me know if you want me to model it for you in the classroom…

Whiteboard Games from PBS Kids



The title really says it all…PBS Kids has Interactive Whiteboard games.   They cover all content areas, but most are at the K-2 level. Teachers in the primary grades definitely need to check it out.  Also if you have an MCPS setup in your room, don’t forget that you can use these games with your wireless keyboard.

Let me know when you try it…

Ever Hear of BookWink?

Ok…so my PLN has a lot of great folks and they always share great stuff.  Today NedraI shared a site called BookWink.  It’s great!  Video booktalks on a variety of subjects.  I’m thinking of a host of uses for it in language arts and Library classes.  Take a look for yourself and see, and if I’ve emailed you with a link to this post you better believe that I’m thinking of using this site with you…   

Podcasts anyone?

You know, I get on a lot of mailing lists…I’m not sure if I signed up for all of them, but this one seems to be a good one.  I just got an email from Shell Education about a new podcast that they have released.  It’s on teaching idoms…so I went to the site and they have a few good podcasts that would be helpful to all of you teaching language arts.  So go check out Shell Education Podcasts – each podcast comes with a handout for you to use with your students.