Friday Five 2011-2012

Each week I send out eTips to all 21st Century learners in Talladega County, Alabama on Friday. The Friday Five provides readers with valuable tips, information, links, and inspiration for engaging students using 21st Century skills. I hope you enjoy! To see previous Friday Fives, visit the TCBOE21 wiki or check the navigation bar at the left for last year's editions.

In recognition of a job well done this year, enjoy this fantastic "Teachers are Heroes" info graphic.

Teachers are Heroes Infographic
Brought to you by USC Rossier Online
Master's in Teaching

Friday Five for Friday, May 18th

1. Someone You Should Follow...
Richard Byrne is a classroom teacher that has been sharing technology information on the web for years. His Free Technology for Teachers site is packed absolutely full of good stuff. Put it on your must visit list for the summer! You can also follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

2. Polishing Your Practice...
Instructional Strategies Online is a fantastic resource for improving your classroom instruction. Instructional strategies determine the approach a teacher may take to achieve learning objectives. Five categories of instructional strategies and explanation of these five categories can be found within this site.

3. Oh Snap!
Bubblesnaps is a great site that allows you to add speech bubbles to your pictures and send them to friends as e-cards. It's fun and very easy to use!

4. Need a Little Help?
Think Tutorials are a database of simple, easy to follow tutorials covering all aspects of popular computing. Technology is fantastic, but it can be difficult to keep up with at times. Think Tutorial's strength and success resides in its very intuitive approach and design that keeps everything simple and organized.

5. Summer Top Ten List for Teachers!
Check out this article of The Top Ten to Do's for Teachers During the Summer. Summer vacation is a time for teachers to recharge and refocus as they prepare for another group of students. Here are ten to do's that teachers can work on during this summer vacation.

Have a great weekend and an awesome summer break!

Friday Five for Friday, May 11th

1. Talladega County Technology Showcase a HUGE success!
Check out this awesome article from The Daily Home about last Wednesday's Talladega County Interactive Technology Showcase. Photos have been uploaded to our group Picasa account for your viewing and downloading. Log in using the username - and password - technology. Thanks to Kitty Forbus for handling the photography for the showcase. Also, thank you to everyone who helped make our fifth showcase a wonderful experience for students. Great job!

2. Searching for Search Options?
This Search Engines GALORE article has loads of up and coming search engines. Check out this list to discover a few new tools for your digital toolbox. You won't be disappointed!

3. A Blog for Everyone!
Teach Hub has put together an awesome list of 26 teacher and administrator blogs in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week. They are divided by grade, subject, or speciality. It's a great list with something for EVERYONE!


4. Need a Laugh?
Mark Anderson's cartoons are really wonderful. Check out his Teacher/Education cartoons on his website. Here's an example:

5. Mother's Day!
Happy Mother's Day to all our moms! Hoping your day will be extra special. If you happen to leave your laptop sitting around the house, be sure to have this website of Mother's Day gift ideas pulled up. You never know!

Have a great weekend!

Friday Five for Friday, April 27th
Quote Theme

"Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."

John Wooden

"Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand."
Chinese Proverb

"It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."
Albus Dumbledore
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

"We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give."
Winston Churchill

"God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say thank you?"
William Ward

Have a Great Weekend!

Friday Five for Friday, April 20th
Flipped Classroom Theme

1. What is a Flipped Classroom?
Infographics presents a very straightforward description of the flipped classroom. As it states in the headline, the flipped classroom model is a new method of teaching that is turning the traditional classroom on its head.

2. Ever-Expanding School Day
"The Ever-Expanding School Day" appeared in T.H.E. Journal yesterday. Read about a specific example of a flipped classroom in Byron, Minnesota. This is a great place to start reading and the article is short and simple!

3. Five Best Practices for the Flipped Classroom
Edutopia blogger Andrew Miller outlines Five Best Practices for the Flipped Classroom in this article. Miller gives one considering the flipped classroom model several very important points to consider.

4. Flipping Out over the Flipped Classroom!
Looking for even more information about the flipped classroom model? Check out this article: The Flipped Classroom Model: A Full Picture. This article is totally loaded with outstanding links, examples, and detailed information about the flipped classroom.

5. Keeping up with News about Educational Technology
Are you looking for a simple news feed about educational technology? Sign up for SmartBrief to receive a daily feed of the best on the web. This is a wonderful way to keep up with all the current news and information dealing with everything with educational technology.

Have a great weekend!

Friday Five for Friday, April 13th
Community Service Theme - Technology Style

1. Helping Hand in Haiti...
Savannah Brasher, a graduate of Fayetteville High School, will be traveling to Haiti soon on a mission trip to provide Haitians with tools for learning English. If you have a laptop computer you are no longer using and you would like to donate it to this cause, contact Savannah's dad, Byron Brasher at The mission team hopes to use technology to serve the people of a nation in desperate need of the generosity of others. Thanks!

2. Technology and Community Service...
Looking to learn more about using technology to serve your community? Check out these tutorials and resourcesto get your creative juices flowing! Students and teachers from schools around the world work together online to exchange information, identify ways in which they can make a difference in their local communities and develop projects to do so. Read more about I*EARN or link directly to project descriptions.

3. Feed the World!
Free Rice is a non-profit organization run by the United Nations World Food Program. Their goals are to provide education to everyone for free and to help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free. For each answer you get right playing their games, they donate 10 grains of rice. Let your students compete to see how much they can help others! Use as a whole class activity or individual competition! Learn more about the Free Rice program on their FAQ page.

4. Start with S.T.A.R.T.
A new program that combines technology with community service is START - Service and Technology Academic Resource Team. Learn more about a national program for encouraging service among our younger generation using the tools they love.

5. Community Service Ideas...
Are you looking for that perfect community service project to end the school year? Check out this great list of Community Service Ideas for kids. You are likely to find something perfect for your class and your community. Good luck!

Have a great weekend!

Friday Five for Friday, April 6th
(World Theme – well, sort of)

1. What in the world is going on?
Need some readymade current events assignments that focus on reading skills? You will love this simple wiki! It says it’s geared for 6th graders, but I would use with any student – middle school and up. Try it out!

2. World Cafe
Now this is really cool. The World Cafe is a global community of people dedicated to awakening and engaging collective intelligence through conversations about questions that matter, to nourish and renew life. Remember to look into this one over the summer. It could be a perfect fit for some of you!

3. World of Knowledge and Resources
HippoCampus is a fabulous resource. Go here to find great short videos and ready to use lessons in Algebra, Government, Biology, Calculus, Environmental Science, Physics, Psychology, Religion, and US History. These videos are short and incredibly instructive. It’s must-see TV.

4. Wide World of Songs
Do you like to use music and lyrics to deepen a lesson on a particular topic? Songfacts is a very interesting site to use to find random facts, trivia, and lyric information about almost any song imaginable.

5. The Other Side of the World
Suzie Vesper, an amazing elementary teacher in New Zealand, has created a top-notch wiki that I would recommend above all other “help” sites that I have seen. Once again, this has been mentioned in training, but I wanted to be sure you have this wiki. Bookmark this to your delicious account. You will return here often, for she has tutorials, work samples, examples, links, and ideas galore for everything web 2.0. Don’t ignore this one! Also take a look at Suzie's companion wiki that takes a look at each tool even deeper.

Have a great weekend!

Friday Five for Friday, March 23rd
Theme: Digital Curation

1. So, What is Digital Curation, anyway?
Today's theme is all about digital curation. If you aren't sure what is meant by digital curation, read more here. Curators aim to educate or to tell a story. If curation requires the careful collection, arrangement, and presentation of artefacts, then today’s digital curation tools certainly help us do that. Looking for ideas? Read more of today's Friday Five tips.

2. Curation Tool #1: It's in the Bag!
Bag the Web helps users curate Web content. For any topic, you can create a "bag" to collect, publish, and share any content from the Web. Beyond most curation tools' capability, BagTheWeb enables users to build networks of bags. This way bags can be linked together to provide rich and complete information about any topic.

3. Curation Tool #2: What's the Scoop on is one of my favorite digital curation tools! Read an actual about the tool. This could make an absolutely awesome project for students. Curating content on any topic and presenting in the format is truly simple. Everyone should take a minute to become familiar with this format!

4. Curation Tool #3: That's my Storify and I'm sticking to it!
Storify helps its users tell stories by curating social media. If you enjoy using social media tools, you might enjoy partnering those social tools with Storify to curate the best of your story. Take a look at this very popular tool!

5. More Curation Tools
Looking for more? Here are several more digital curation tools that are worthy of exploration:
Diigo and Delicious - Social Bookmarking tools serve a curation tools as well.
Tumblr - This blogging tool curates, too. This tool is quite popular with teens and young adults. (blocked at school)
Figment - This curation tool focuses on writing.
Pinterest - Who doesn't love pictures? This is certainly one of the most popular digital curation tools used today. (Look for a Friday Five soon on how to use Pinterest for teaching. The possibilities are limitless!)

Have a great weekend!

Friday Five for Friday, March 16th
1. Fifty Great Ideas for Integrating Technology...
This fantastic list has 50 more ways for you to integrate technology in your classroom tomorrow! This list has plenty of wonderful ideas for anyone looking for something new!
2. Clip it in the bud...
Do you ever have a need for a program for snatching a clip of a great video? Try avidemux! Avidemux provides a quick and easy way to cut clips from any video file. It might be exactly what you need!
3. Will You Be Teaching in 2030?
For the last couple of years, I've been working with other teachers across the nation writing a book about Teaching in 2030. Teaching 2030, published in January 2011 by Teachers College Press, is available on Amazon as well as bookstores like Barnes and Noble. For a visual interpretation of our book, watch this short video - Teaching 2030 Video.
4. Superfantastic Resource!
One of my favorite technology resource teachers is Nadine Norris, who I met using Delicious. Her website is absolutely wonderful for elemntary and middle school teachers. Be sure to check it out! She has some great information to share!
5. Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself. William Faulkner

Friday Five for Friday, March 9th
5 Ways I Save Time and Increase Productivity

1. Managing the email Monster...
While keeping my email clean is not always possible, I try to keep only the tasks I must attend to in my Inbox. I file everything else I must keep in folders. I delete everything else. Still not conquered the email monster? Go to this article, Organize your Inbox: 7 ways to better sort, store, and search your email.

2. Never Start from Scratch...
Microsoft Templates save so much time for me. I've shared this valuable tip before, but share again because I do believe in its use. You will find so many useful templates for absolutely everything you do. Invest some time review what is available and you'll save so much time later!

3. Forget-Me-Not...
It is difficult for me to remember things. It's virtually impossible for me to remember websites. Using social bookmarking tools such as Diigo and Delicious, I am able to save any site that I might need later. My favorite tool: Diigo.

4. People Power!
Developing and using my Personal Learning Network has had a tremendous impact on my productivity. When I don't have an answer, I always know where to go to get it. Learn more about developing your PLN from my Advanced Tech Tool Workshop(The Function of a PLN; How You Create a PLN) a couple of years ago. You'll find lots of information here to help you along. My favorite tool: Twitter, by a long shot.

5. Lose an Hour, Gain Sunshine!
Don't forget to set your clocks forward this weekend. Daylight Savings Time starts earlier this year!

Have a great weekend!
Friday Five for Friday, March 2nd
Cloud Storage Theme
How Cloud Storage Works - Tired of buying flash drives, CDs, and other storage devices? Try some of these great cloud storage solutions!

1. And the Oscar Goes to..... Dropbox!
OK, so they didn't win an Oscar last week, but if awards were given out for cloud storage, Dropbox would definitely win. This tool is widely used and very straightforward.

2. Get Cozy with Mozy...
Mozy is another excellent cloud storage solution. This company prides itself on the security provided for all your documents and files.

3. Zooming around with ZumoDrive...
ZumoDrive is a fantastic site for you to use to backup your music files.

4. Max Out with Media Max...
Media Max is a great service for backing up all sort of files. Also, you might look into Strongspace as a great option for back up and sharing.

5. Oldies but Goodies...
Don't forget that digital storage solutions include email (Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail), photo sharing sites (Flickr, Picasa), Google Docs, social networking sites (Facebook, Ning), and web site hosting services (Hostmonster, Go Daddy, StartLogic). All of these sites provide storage for individuals with a variety of needs.

Have a great weekend.

Friday Five for Friday, February 24th
iPad Theme
Today's Friday Five is dedicated to all the iPad users out there. If you don't have one or access to one, today's list might make you beg to borrow a friend's pad to see what you might be missing!

1. The "Word" on the Street...
The Daily reported just this week that Microsoft Office developers have submitted their iPad Office app to Apple for review. This means that your favorite processing tools - Word, PowerPoint, and Excel - may be available very soon on the iPad. Microsoft has tried to hush up all the buzz but it does look like this information leaked before they could promote it as they wanted themselves. Great news for those of us that use these programs daily!

2. iPad as a Document Camera...
Have you ever needed to show your students something (a map in a book, a sample of student work, an artifact) but do not have a document camera? If you have an iPad you don't need a document camera! Use the camera built into the iPad to show your whole group any document, item, or other resource you wish. Check out the attached pictures for ideas on doing this. (I use the metal locker shelf; another teacher borrow a device from the science lab. I bet you all have some great ideas, as well!)

3. iPad With Wes...
Wesley Fryer is a highly respected educational technology thought leader. He is also a very practical minded guy. He has become very involved in training educators and others in the use of new technologies. Wes's site, iPadwithWes, is a terrific site for you to visit and learn from this technology icon.

4. Apps in Education Blog...
Apps in Education is a fantastic blog by Greg Swanson. He has iPad apps divided into categories and gives extremely detailed information about the apps he presents. This blog receive a tremendous amount of traffic, thus thousands of educators worldwide are finding this site very helpful. Take a look.

5. Join the iPad Training Online...
We are currently conducting iPad training for elementary and secondary teachers. If you'd like to see what we are learning, join the Moodle page to gain access to the resources and information. Here's how to join: Go to Sign in using your TCBOE username and password. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the course App Glossaries. The App Glossary has all the iPad Apps our Talladega County teachers love the most. You will also find loads of other excellent resources for using your iPad to teach!

Have a great weekend.

Friday Five for Friday, February 17th
Interactive Whiteboard Theme
If your interactive whiteboard has become a fancy projection screen, take some time to locate perfect resources for engaging your students with the device!

1. Teach HUB's Mega IWB List...
65 Free Interactive Whiteboard Resources is a truly fantastic list of resources for any IWB from Teach Hub. Use these resources instead of trying to create your own activities for using your interactive whiteboard. Be sure to bookmark this awesome list!

2. Teachers Share IWB Resources...
The Teacher LED site is a great place to find specific resources for using an interactive whiteboard. I love how many resources are available on this site for math. This site has loads of amazing math resources for K-8th grade math. Be sure you take a look!

3. Calling all SmartBoard users...
Another fantastic list of links to IWB resource sites is available on the web site for Lee's Summit School District in Missouri. You'll find SMART software, interactive websites to use with your IWB, pre-made notebook activity downloads, resources, and training and tutorials.

4. SmartBoard Livebinder...
Mr. Figueroa has put together an amazing Livebinder of SmartBoard resources for virtually all subject areas. Also, take a look at the Summer Core site, loaded full of tutorials and resources for your IWB.

5. Promethean Planet is Powerful...
For those of you with Promethean Boards, be sure to browse the Promethean Planet web site regularly. This site is quite easy to navigate and is loaded with some outstanding ready to use resources for your class.

Have a great weekend.

Friday Five for Friday, February 10th

1. Let's Schedule a Meeting...
Doodle eliminates the chaos of scheduling and saves you a lot of time and energy when you’re trying to find a time to bring a number of people together. The service is used for business and personal scheduling by more than 10 million people per month. Instead of using just one option, Doodle enables you to propose several dates and times and the participants can indicate their availability online. You'll find the perfect time to meet in a quick and easy way no matter how many people and calendars are involved. Best of all, it's FREE!

2. Let's Go to the Poll...
Flisti is a place where you can create free online polls without signing up. It's quick and super easy to use. Use with students, faculty, parents, and community. Polls are a terrific way to generate feedback while encouraging input and ownership. Be sure you visit Flisti!

3. Let's Connect...
Twiducateis a social networking site for schools. Their service differs from traditional social sites in that only teachers and students may view classroom posts, thus creating a private network for you and your students and a safer online learning environment. If you want your students to connect and collaborate using a social platform, take a look at this platform.

4. Let's Create a Wall of Learning...
Lino itare online stickies with loads of potential. I like the group feature as an alternative to Wallwisher - which is a great site, but often very glitchy. Create a group with your friends and colleagues to share canvases and stickies on Lino it. Explore this site. You'll love it! Free app is available for the iPad as well.

5. Let's Pack up the Picnik...
For those of you (like me) who LOVE Picnik, here's the bad news first. It's closing in April. The good news is that this super photo editing tool will be moving to Google+ very soon. (If you haven't already signed up for Google+, allow me to put in a plug for it. Their Google Hangout feature makes Google+ something extremely valuable and simple.) Back to Picnik... keep your eyes peeled to Google+ for the resurfacing of this outstanding photo editor.

Have a great weekend.

Friday Five for Friday, January 27th

1. Top 100...
100 Essential Web 2.0 Tools for Teachers

2. Top 50...
50 Tools and Tricks to Revolutionize Your Notetaking

3. Another Top 50...
50 Ways to Use Twitter in the Classroom

4. Top 35...
35 Best Web 2.0 Classroom Tools Chosen by You

5. Top 10...
10 Unsung Collaboration Tools

Have a great weekend.

Friday Five for Friday, January 20th

1. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For...
Looking for a better search engine for your students to use? Try instaGrok. The word, grok, means to understand thoroughly and intuitively. Try this search engine to save valuable time searching for exactly what you need to know.

2. Cheaters Always Prosper...
I'm always looking for a short cut. When I came across this amazing article at DesignBeep I felt as though I'd hit the jackpot! 100+ Must Have Cheat Sheets is very likely to have a quick reference sheet for a program you use often. Take a moment and check the list.

3. The HEAT is on...
Coaching HEAT is a fabulous wiki with loads of put together by Bernajean Porter. Her wiki is packed full of link and information. I especially like her learning labs, which can be done quite easily on your own. If you are looking for specific ways to use various web tools and other engaging instructional strategies, be sure to check out Coaching HEAT.

4. What did Apple give to the teacher?
Yesterday, Apple made a big announcement. Read this article from Edudemic to learn more about textbooks for the iPad and how you can create and publish your own textbook. Also, learn more about the changes in store for iTunes University. There are several great articles associated with Apple's big announcement on the Edudemic site. If you are an Apple user, take some time to stay up on this news!

5. Six Skills You Must Have (according to this blog)
I love lists. Especially short lists! Take a quick look at this short list of Six 21st Century Skills You Must Have. Ask yourself this question: What I am doing to help my students master these skills? Talk to a colleague and share ideas you have for improving your own skills and working with students to improve theirs!

Have a great weekend.

Friday Five for Friday, January 13th

1. Let's Chat about Chartle...
Chartleis a tool for creating interactive charts to use anywhere! Give a class feedback on test performance, allow students to

create charts of their own individual performance. Use your imagination! This tool is super easy and very versatile!

2. There's no place like home...
Have you visited our TCBOE website lately? Take a few minutes to discover the many instructional resources available to you to help you plan lessons and find resources.

3. Marvelous MacBooks...
Did Santa bring you a new MacBook? If you were one of the lucky ones, check out this resource. 10 Things to do with your Macis a really great article for anyone looking for a little extra help getting to know his or her new machine. These are excellent suggestions. Hope they help!

4. So, Rap Music is Educational?
Recommended by Sharon boling at Munford High School, Educational Rap is a great place to find some up-to-date music with engaging and instructive content. While it seems much of the music can be downloaded for a fee, many free resources are available on the site. Thanks to Sharon for a heads up on this great resource!

5. Never Start from Scratch When a Template Will Do!
I've shared Microsoft Templates with you before, but it bears repeating! Save time by using their templates for calendars, flyers, brochures, invitations, and more. You MUST check out the Education Collection. It's full great stuff: lesson plans, quizzes, presentations, letters, schedules, award certificates, forms, flash cards, math tables, and much more. This site has saved me countless hours of creating. Make sure you take a look!
Have a great long weekend.
Friday Five for Friday, January 6th

1. Top 100 Tools...
Check out the 100 Best Web 2.0 Classroom Tools chosen by teachers. You are very likely to find a few tools that are new to you while seeing some "oldies but goodies" on the list. Enjoy!

2. 19 Pencils...
19 Pencilsis a great site born when one person asked this question: What if it were easy for teachers to discover and share educational websites, quizzes, and more and to easily put that content onto a unique website that students could access from home? Where does the name 19Pencils come from? One of the founders once asked a teacher what his ideal class size was, to which he responded "About 19." It represents the ideal number of students in a typical K-12 class. The "Pencils" represents the transition from classrooms of the past, to today's modern technology.

3. Losing your marbles?
Go to this great online brain store called Marbles for some inspiration to use your brain! This store is designed to let you roll up your sleeves and get a little brainy while you play games, solve puzzles, try out software and flip through books to find the cool products for you and your noggin. Enjoy!

4. So can I use my iPad to teach?
Try this free app - Educreations Interactive Whiteboard. Educreations turns your iPad into a recordable whiteboard. Creating a great video tutorial is as simple as touching, tapping and talking. Explain a math formula... Create an animated lesson... Add commentary to your photos... Diagram a sports play... With voice recording, realistic digital ink, photo imports, and simple sharing through email, Facebook or Twitter, now you can broadcast your ideas from anywhere. Read an evaluation about this app on Good, a popular online newspaper.

5. Happy New Year!
New Year's Day is everyman's birthday. Charles Lamb
Wishing everyone a fabulous new year filled with great joy and fulfillment!

Friday Five for Friday, December 16th
1. PBL Planning Tool
The Buck Institute for Education has made its wonderful project planning tool active online. Go to and register so that you can log onto this page and use the tool. Project plans are also available here for inspiration!

2. Caught in the Middle
Middle Web is such a great resource that it might should be required viewing for all middle school teachers. Resources, blogs, links, newsletters and much more can be found on this site - and all of it is geared especially to middle grade teachers. If you haven't visited, be sure to take a look! The most recent newsletter is here.

3. Cyber Choir
The music lovers of the world will love this one! Composer Eric Whitacre has created a chorus in cyberspace! Featured on NPR's program, Here and Now, Whitacre speaks about how technology can transform the arts. This is awesome!

4. Will Teachers Go Extinct?
Read my article from this month's Southeastern Education Network (SEEN) magazine. Through the work I do with the Center for Teaching Quality in North Carolina, I had the opportunity to write a short piece for this month's magazine, which has a technology focus.

5. Merry Christmas!

Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.

Have a wonderfu break!

Friday Five for Friday, December 9th
�Sweet Home Alabama� theme

1. Technology in Motion site
Technology in Motion provides job-embedded professional development for teachers to promote the use of technology in teaching and learning. The program offers services, materials and training that support teachers' professional growth in effective teaching practices, the creation of technology-rich learning environments and project-based learning.

2. ALEX site
ALEX, a project of the Alabama Department of Education, is designed to index and share many types of educational materials and information through a time-saving, one-stop resource for educators, parents, and students. The majority of these rich resources (lesson plans, Web links, and interactive activities) are located and connected to the Alabama Courses of Study by National Board Certified Teachers. By sharing the wealth of expertise and knowledge now available through ALEX, Alabama's best educators, and the youth of Alabama are poised to benefit from the best of the Web!

3. Alabama Virtual Library site
The Alabama Virtual Library provides all students, teachers, and citizens of the State of Alabama with online access to essential library and information resources. It is primarily a group of online databases that have magazine, journal, and newspaper articles for research. Through the AVL, equitable cores of information sources are available to every student and citizen in Alabama, raising the level of excellence in schools and communities across the state.

4. ALSDE -
This is the Classroom Improvement, Curriculum & Instruction page on the Alabama State Department of Education website. You can find courses of study, pathways to learning, item specs for grad exam, AMSTI, Alabama Leadership Academy, Advanced Placement course info, guidance and counseling info, textbook adoption process, and much more. Take time to look around.
Item Specs for each subject area for the AHSGE:

5. Trivia, Tuition, and Travel

Facts and Trivia -
Quizzes -
Trivia quiz -
Alabama history -
Alabama�s Pre-Paid College tuition program -
Travel and Tourism in Alabama -

Friday Five for Friday, December 2nd

1. Just Give Me the Facts, Please�
Fact Monster is an ideal reference site for kids ages 8-14 that provide entertainment and educational resources. It combines the contents of an encyclopedia, a dictionary, an atlas, and several almanacs loaded with statistics, facts, and historical records. A single search engine allows you to search all these sources at once.
2. Calling All Google Doc Users�
Many faithful users of Google Docs are always glad to know when something new and useful is available. Read the article, things you didn�t know Google Docs could do, to see if you are using Google Docs to the fullest!

3. Flix it and Forget it�
Flixtime is a video creation service that is quite similar to Animoto and Stupeflix. Flixtime gives users the ability to create 60 second videos by mixing together images, video clips, and music tracks. You can use your own images, video clips, and music tracks or you can choose media from the Flixtime galleries.
4. The Rest of the Story�
Silvia Tolisano, author of the excellent Langwitches blog, has an awesome free ebook about digital storytelling. Digital Storytelling Tools for Educators is a 120 page free guide to using digital storytelling tools in your classroom. The guide (click on the title and download from Lulu) offers clear directions for using tools like Audacity, Google Maps, Photo Story, VoiceThread, and other digital media creation tools. Silvia's directions are aided by clearly annotated screenshots of each digital storytelling tool.
5. Quick Lesson Plans�
10 Outstanding Sites for Downloading Lesson Planswill help you make your planning easier and more rewarding, find online resources more quickly and easily, and engage and inspire your students. Many of them are free and have lessons for all subjects, all grade levels.

Friday Five for Friday, November 18th
Thinking about Thanksgiving

1. 9 Heartwarming Acts of Kindness�
Your students might enjoy reading and discussing this article from Ladies Home Journal. Inspire them to search for more stories, write their own story, or interview a relative or friend about their most heartwarming act of kindness.

2. Random Acts of Kindness�
This fabulous website has absolutely everything you need to put together any size �random act of kindness� experience for your students. I love the site so much that I�ve attached a few of their free documents for teachers. If you are looking for a good Thanksgiving activity for you students, make sure you visit this site.

3. Kids are Heroes�
See how kids are making a huge difference around the country. Visit this site to read the inspiring stories of some really remarkable kids!

4. Scholastic Kids Press Corps�
Scholastic Kids Press Corps has over a dozen awesome stories of kids all over the world acting to help their communities. Check out how kids make a difference and are making positive change in the world every day!

5. Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.

William Arthur Ward

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday Five for Friday, November 4th

1. Variety of Videos�
The students of today�s �You Tube� generation love videos. If it is difficult for you to locate a quality video, I have a tip for you. 100 Video Every Educator Should Bookmark is a fantastic collection of top-notch video sites. Browse through this list to see if you�ve missed some of these highly recommended sites.

2. Inventive Instruction�
Looking for some spice to your lessons? Need a fresh idea? Thinking of trying a new strategy to reach your students? Instructional Strategies Online is a fantastic resource for all teachers! Be sure to put this website in your �teaching toolbox.� It�s a great site to reference as you plan lessons, units of study, and projects.

3. Ted Talks are Terrific�
TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. I�ve recommended many of these talks over the years. My suggestion for you today is to spend a few minutes searching the site for Ted Talks that might inspire you (and your students). Some great stuff awaits you at TED.

4. Playing with Pinterest�
By now, I�m sure you�ve heard people talking about Pinterest. It�s definitely one of the new wonders of the net! Pinterest lets you organize and share all the things you find on the web. People use pinboards in SO many ways. Check out the Education Category on Pinterest to start playing!

5. Teacher Talk�
Teaching Ahead, an interactive project jointly developed by Education Week Teacher and the Center for Teaching Quality, is designed to bring greater exposure to the ideas of standout classroom educators on the future of our profession. Each month, selected teacher panelists are asked to respond to and discuss key issues in education policy and instructional practice. The discussions are intended to help inform the national conversation on the direction of public schools. Learn more atEducation Week�s Teaching Roundtable.

Friday Five for Friday, October 28th
Halloween Theme

1. Trick�
Here�s a very cool resource for teaching students to safely use the internet. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children sponsors this great interactive site, geared toward youth. There are great videos, comics, and other resources perfect to use as a bell ringer or a standalone lesson. Go to the Netsmartzkids site to learn more.

2. Treat�
Emerging Technologies� Over 15,000 resources organized by topics for teachers, students, and parents can be found at Thanks for the heads up on this great site recommended by Christy Shepard at Childersburg High. This resource is a �local� creation by individuals associated with the University of Alabama. You will definitely find some treasure there.

3. Graveyard Videos�
Check out . YouTomb is a research project by MIT Free Culture that tracks videos taken down from YouTube for alleged copyright violation. This is a wonderful site to use to teach issues related to copyright laws.

4. Defang the Monster�
Read this article in The New York Times on defanging scary technology. Although this article was published several years ago, its message still applies!

5. Halloween �
When children ask you why we celebrate Halloween be prepared to answer. Visit the website to get the goods on the holiday and all the traditions associated with the scary day. Lots of videos, photos, and articles are available on dozens of topics related to Halloween.

Hope your Halloween is filled with loads of treats!
Have a great weekend!

Friday Five for Friday, October 14th
Funny Theme - Sometime we all need to laugh!

1. Did Lawrence Welk Move to Russia?
If you only enjoy quality music videos, you won't like this one. If you like absurd videos of Russian singers performing in the 1970s, you'll love this. Thanks to Brandon Brown, one of the funniest people I know, for sharing with me. The only purpose I can find for this video is a great laugh.

2. On the Day You Were Born...
What was the #1 song on the day you were born? Check out this great chart to find yours. Sharing with others is only half the fun! There are even links to music sites to purchase the song - if you're not too embarrassed by it! (May be blocked. You may need to view at home.)

3. Your Movie Moment...
Have you ever dreamed of starring in a major motion picture? Well, dream no more! Go to My Movie Moment and create your Oscar winning performance. Share your movie with friends and provide them with some great comic relief!

4. Yearbook Yourself...
If the movie idea wasn't for you, maybe you'd like to take a stroll down memory lane with Yearbook Yourself! Choose a photo type and uploads pictures of yourself to be a part of yearbooks of the past. Post these photos to your favorite website and share with friends. Enjoy!

5. Everybody repeat after me, "We are all individuals" and other such sayings.
For a twist on funny idioms and cliches, visit this blog. I've laughed at every one of these humorous entries!
Friday Five for Friday, October 7th
Education Books Theme

About his book, Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell says, �the book grew out a frustration I found myself having with the way we explain the careers of really successful people.� Intrigued? Read a bit more from an interview with this best-selling author to see if it should be your next good read.

�The secret to high performance and satisfaction�at work, at school, and at home�is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world,� say Daniel Pink in his book, Drive. Check out 19 Top Ideas for Education in Drive.

In The Global Achievement Gap, education expert Tony Wagner situates our school problems in the larger context of the demands of the global knowledge economy. With insights gained from visits to classrooms in leading suburban schools, he analyzes performance by considering the skills needed to get a good job and become a productive citizen. Highlighting discussions with young people and the adults who work with them, Wagner also explains the ways in which today�s generation is differently motivated to excel. A manifesto for the twenty-first century, The Global Achievement Gap is a must-read for anyone interested in seeing our young people achieve their full potential.

Disrupting Class by Clayton Christensen, Curtis Johnson, and Michael Horn is an older book (first published in 2008). Though, a new edition has recently been released. Joel Klein, NYC Education Chancellor, says it�s just what America�s K-12 education system needs.

5. Good Reads

(A Social Networking Site for Readers)
Goodreads is the largest social book discovery and recommendation site for readers in the world. We have more than 5,600,000 members who have added more than 180,000,000 books to their shelves. A home for casual readers and bona-fide bookworms alike, Goodreads users recommend books, compare what they are reading, keep track of what they've read and would like to read, find their next favorite book, form book clubs and much more. Goodreads was launched in December 2006.

Have a great weekend!

Friday Five for Friday, September 30th
Collaboration Theme

1. Collaboration 101�
We hear about collaboration almost daily. But sometimes it�s nice to take a step back and really think about what it means. Read this excellent explanation of collaboration by the folks at Educause. Explore more about Collaboration: The action of working with one or more other people to produce or create something and Tools: Devices or implements, especially one held in the hand, used to carry out a particular function

2. Cool Collaboration Tools�
Check out this short list - 10 Unsung Collaboration Tools � May of Them Free in this article from Gigaom. You are very likely to find a collaboration tool you�ve never heard of or used before.

3. Collaborating about Collaboration�
Mindmeister is a great mind mapping and collaboration tool. Study this mindmap of more than a dozen collaboration tools. LOTS of new ideas available here to get you thinking!

4. Group Chat/Group Think Tools�
Here�s a list of some of my favorites from My Web Wardrobe: Webspiration,, Wallwisher, Dabbleboard, EtherPad,; TitanPad, Pirate Pad, Creaza, Exploratree, Popplet, Middlespot, Primary Wall, Collaboration Training using Intel products (21st Century Group)

5. The Heart of Innovation�
"If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas." - George Bernard Shaw
This quote comes from a wonderful site I highly recommend for motivation, reflection, and inspiration � The Heart of Innovation. Bookmark it and read frequently! You�ll love the perspective you�ll develop!

Have a great weekend!

Friday Five for Friday, September 16th
Five Things about Five Things Theme

1. 5 Great Search Engines for Students
Sweet Search ; GoGooligans ; Dogpile; Mamma; Snap

2. 5 Digital Scrapbook Sites
Flipsnack; Storify; Evertale; Storybird; Kerpoof

3. 5 Great Livebinders
Kim Broadhead's Friday Fives; Shannon Hill's Livebinder; Class Toolbox; Music Websites for Teachers; Livebinder Website (create your own!)

4. 5 Things You Need to See on Edutopia
20 Tips for Managing Project-Based Learning
Free Classroom Guides and Downloads (highly recommend these!)
Technology Integration
Middle School blog
Big Thinker: Barnett Berry (my friend and president of Center for Teaching Quality)

5. 5 Ways to Relax this Weekend
Sleep in! Indulge in a technology-free Saturday! Read a book. Go to a movie. Watch the sunset.
Have a great weekend!

Friday Five for Friday, September 9th
Recommendation Week - The follow sites have been recommended to you by your peers! Enjoy!

1. Traci Robinson, CES
Try PE Central. Traci says, "About halfway down the page, there are videos for teachers to use for classroom breaks. I've tried them on the students in PE and they love them!"

2. Brad Logan, CMS
Try inkubook. Brad says, "This is just like Mixbook, but this allows you to import word documents into it. We are doing a digital scrapbook for Peyton's baseball season on this and it allows us to copy and paste Daily Home articles into it. Teachers could use this to really include student writing into their books."

3. Sonya Turner, Central Office
Try Solarsystemscope. Sonya says, "This is a really cool 3D solar system that might be great for science classes. Hope you find it interesting!"

4. Vonda Thomas, Winterboro
Try Qutopia. Vonda says, "This is a really great classroom resource with lots of activities. Create an avatar and use the character tab to allow for changing different features of your avatar."

5. Various teachers throughout the system
Try TeachersPayTeachers. They all say, "This is a wonderful place to find quality teacher-made materials for your classroom. You will find something useful for every grade level, every subject on this site. Many items are free, but the ones that cost are extremely reasonable - and worth the price!"

Have a great weekend!

Friday Five for Friday, September 2nd

1. Making Sense of the Census...
Did you know that dozens of great lessons, teaching kits, quizzes, charts, graphs, and other prepared materials are available to teachers on the U.S. Census in Schools site? It's a wonderful resource for all ages. You'll find information for teachers, kids, and teens. This is a wonderful resource that might just surprise you! Take some time to check this one out!

2. The Survey Says...
Earlier this year the results of a survey, Speak Up 2010, was released. Over 300,000 students (as well as many teachers, parents, and administrators) were surveyed about the biggest obstacle to technology at school. You might enjoy reading the results in this article appearing on ReadWriteWeb.

3. What's in Your Binder?
Language Arts Livebinder is a wonderful binder loaded full of fantastic resources for the Language Arts classroom put together by two great Alabama teachers, Cara Whitehead and Farah Kilgo. There's so much to see here that you might need to save it for an extra long search session!

4. Science Rocks!
One of the best directories of interactive games, activities and resources has been put together by Jefferson County Schools in Dandridge, Tennessee. Check out this great High School Science page.

5. Social Studies Smackdown!
One of my favorite tools for learning is Twitter. I try to participate in the many educational chats (which take place at different times throughout the week - See schedule). During a recent Social Studies chat (using #sschat on Twitter), participants created a FANTASTIC Google Document of Social Studies resources. Over a hundred teachers collaborated on this document. If you teach Social Studies, be certain you visit the #sschat Smackdown Document. You will be SO glad you did!

Have a great weekend!

Friday Five for Friday, August 26th

1. Are You on Cloud Nine?
Did you know that you can access all of the books on your Kindle from any computer? Use Kindle Cloud Readerand use either Google Chrome or Safari browser to read your books. (Kindle Cloud Reader will be available using Internet Explorer soon.) If you have some computers available, this is a VERY inexpensive option for reading books with students. If you have a Nook, the writers of this blog comparing the Nook and the Kindle predict cloud reading will come to the Nook soon!

2. Ga Ga over Google Plus!
The newest networking platform was launched this summer. In case you missed it, it's called Google Plus. It has many of the features of Facebook and Twitter, but a few new things to social networking as well. Two of my favorite features are the "circles" and the "hangout." Take a look and see if you think you might like Google Plus for connecting.

3. Are you listening?
Loudlit is committed to delivering public domain literature with high quality audio performances. They pair together great literature and accompanying audio. You'll find short stories, novel, poetry, and children's literature on this site. Take a look!

4. As Easy as A-B-C!
ABCya is probably not new to many of you, but I wanted to be sure you all have seen it. ABCya! provides high quality children's educational games and activities. All educational games and activities were created or approved by certified teachers. Games and activities are modeled from primary grade lessons and enhanced to provide an interactive way to learn.

5. Let Your Creative Side Have a Little Fun!
Go Animate is a wonderful tool. With GoAnimate, you can easily make animations. There is nothing to download and there is no need to draw. You can make your own animated characters, direct your own movies, and watch others' creations. It's easy, fun and free.

Have a great weekend!

Friday Five for Friday, August 19th

1. Need a Cheat Sheet?

Last year I put tons of tip sheets and tutorials on my wiki. If you need help (or handouts for students in middle grades and up), check out the Tutorials and Tip Sheet page on my wiki.

2. High Tech Teaching in a Low Tech Classroom...
It was my honor to write an article for in this month's Education Week Teacher online magazine. I have a soft spot for the many teachers that have very few computers in their classrooms. This article is written just for you. To access the entire article, register on the Education Week site. It's free! Take time to browse this awesome resource for more goodies!

3. Oh Snap!
Bubblesnaps is a great site that allows you to add speech bubbles to your pictures and send them to friends as e-cards. Its fun and very easy to use!

4. ALEX the Great!
Many of us use the Alabama Learning Exchange to find Course of Study objectives and lesson plans, but did you know that the ALEX site also houses tons of great videos and podcasts produced by Alabama students? Check out Gallery 360 to find something you might be able to use on Monday!

5. Math in the Movies!

One of my favorite take-aways from this summer's Alabama Educational Technology Conference was this site for Mathematics in Movies put together by the folks at Harvard University. One I loved was the movie, Little Big League, where they work to solve this problem: Joe can paint the house in a=5 hours, Sam can paint the house in b=3 hours. How much time do they need if the paint it together?