Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Help Me, Help You!

Part of my job involves helping the staff in our school district use technology.  
Of course those folks have a wide range of technology knowledge and ability. 

At work I can remote into someone's computer to look 
and see what the problem they are having might be. 
But when I'm at home I can't and I often get emails from people asking for help. 

Sometimes I need to know what browser and version of that browser they are using. 
Many people I can just ask and they will find that information and tell me. 
But then there are others that are not certain what a browser even is 
{Those are the ones you tell, click on the beach ball icon on your desktop}
and trying to get them to navigate to a browser 
and then to where they can find the version is a mighty and exhausting task. 

So when I stumbled upon this great tool from Google, 
http://whatbrowser.org/ , I knew it would be a life saver! 

When someone goes to whatbrowser.org it immediately displays 
what browser you are using and the version.  


At the bottom of the page it even tells you what a browser is! 


There are links at the top for all of the other browsers. 

Super cool and a super easy way to find out what browser someone is using!  

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Did you know you could GIFT free and sale Kindle books?

I love Kindle books and daily look to see what books are on sale and free.  
I purchase at least 5 a week so that I always have something on my Kindle to read.  

Did you know that you can give an ebook when it's on sale 
or free to anyone with an email account? 

{And remember you don't have to have a Kindle- you can download
 Kindle books to iPhones, Androids, iPads, Macs and Pc's!}

AND Amazon will even let you select when the ebook 
will be gifted- which means you can purchase books on sale
or that have gone FREE now, and then give them for Christmas! 
How cool is that? 

So how does it work? 
To gift a book, simply find the book you want to give, 
select the Give as a Gift button on the right side of the screen.  


A new screen will open.  You enter the recipients email address, 
the date you want it sent and click Place your order.  


There's even a place to send a message and an option to have it sent to you- 
so you can print it out and deliver it whenever you would like! 
So start checking out those great free and sale books and 
purchase them now for those on your Christmas list! 


Here are a few great deals today: 
The Maze Runner (The Maze Runner, Book 1) on sale for $2.99, normally $9.99
Gone Girl: A Novel on sale for only $2.99, normally $9.99
Faith of My Fathers on sale for $1.99, normally $14.00
The Giver (Giver Quartet, Book 1) on sale for $2.99, normally $8.99
Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life on sale for $0.99, normally $13.99




Tuesday, November 11, 2014

What the heck should I write about? -Part 2

Earlier this year I wrote a post titled What the heck should I write about? 
that listed lots of online sites and iPad/iPhone apps to help students 
gather ideas and get started writing! 

Since then I've found several other great sites so I decided it was time for Part 2! 


Online Story Writers: 
Story Strips is a fun site that allows kids to pick a situation for their story. 

Once the student selects a situation, a comic strip pops up. 
The student can click on hair, eyes, mouth, and the empty word balloons to create their own story! 

The Sisters Grimm Fairy-Tale Regurgitator is a fun  way to write a fairy-tale!

As questions are answered, the wand will fill up. When it's full, the story is ready!

Storyboard Generator allows you to choose between horror, comedy or romance. 
Once you choose your avatar and type of genre, you see the script outline
 and can then build a storyboard.  There's even a video to help you!


In Story Plant, you grow your own story from the story plant. 
There's a guide to help you through the steps in planning and writing the story. 
When the plant has stopped growing, you can listen to it read and print it out!


There's even a big screen version if you'd like to model this game whole class!

Characters from BGFL is such a fun interactive way for students 
to work on character descriptions. 

Just click on the various parts of the character to change them. 
Then write a description on the little notebook on the left side. 



Writing Topic Generators: 
While originally created for bloggers, this Random Topic Generator i
s great to use with students struggling to decide what to write about. 
You simply choose from one of the following categories: 
Opinion, Health, Religion, Science, Art, World, Music, Business, 
Personal, Technology, People or Recreation
and click the Generate another topic button
and a topic is generated for you. 
Don't like it? Simply click the button again. 

The Writing Exercises websites has lots of great tools for writers!
A few of my favorites are...









The Plot Generator is a little different because it allows you to choose from drop down 
menus for things like title, opening, conflict, resolution, etc.  
It kind of reminds me of a mad lib but with options!

Short Story Ideas has a bunch of generators: 





Story Prompts:
Meddybemps has some fun Illustrated Story Starters for kids. 

 Here's a sample of one: 

Creative Writing Prompts has over 300 different prompts! 






















Friday, November 7, 2014

FREE Microsoft Office iOS Apps

How super cool is this? 
Microsoft released its Office suite of apps eight months ago, 
but they required a paid subscription to Office 365.  

But yesterday Microsoft announced that people can now view and edit
 Office content on iDevices WITHOUT an Office 365 subscription.




These aren't half hearted apps- these are the real deal!
Full blown iOS Office apps for the iPad!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Thanksgiving Fun

How can it possibly be November? 
This school year is flying by and Thanksgiving 
will be here before we know it!

Below are some great Thanksgiving games, history sites, printables, 
Smart Notebook files and more for you to use with your students!  

Thanksgiving Games: 

The Thanksgiving Dinner game is a fun way to 
practice logic and problem solving!
In this game there is a table full of food and a bunch of family members. 
Your task is to arrange the family members to sit at the table. 
Each family member has their own preference of whether 
to sit close to a certain dish, or not to sit close to a certain dish, 
they may also like to sit close to a certain person, or not to sit close to a certain person.


Just drag the family members to their seats, and 
then press the finish button when finished. 
The better the family members' preferences are met, the higher your score!

National Geographic Kids has a fun Thanksgiving Mad Lib here.

Here is a wacky web tales on My Amazing Thanksgiving. 


This is a nice listening exercise where students 
have to pick the words from a drop-down menu 
while listening to the text (about Thanksgiving) being read.

An online Thanksgiving crossword puzzles can be found here. 

Student can read Pilgrim Village from Scholastic News. 

Learn how to talk like a pilgrim here.

The object of Turkey Swap is to swap the locations of the turkeys 
and the pigs with as few moves as possible.

You can move each tile by clicking on it. A tile can be moved to the empty space if the space is immediately beside it, or if there is one tile between it and the space.


Too Many Turkeys is a fun game for younger kids. 
The goal is to find Pete, the Perky Turkey {who wears a bow tie} 
in a sea of turkeys as quickly as you can!


Turkey Anagrams are fun Thanksgiving word puzzles. 



Primary Games has lots of Thanksgiving games here
{I love their site but they do have ads} but my favorite is 

The directions are: 

Be warned- it is difficult- but fun!







Thanksgiving History: 

Scholastic has some fabulous Thanksgiving resources on their
One of my favorite things about their site is that you can go on
 a virtual field trip to Plimoth Plantation. 
What a great way to bring history alive! 



(including comparing and contrasting housing, clothes, food, chores, school, and games), a webquest about The Thanksgiving Feast


Bring history alive by exploring History.com's History of Thanksgiving.






What Happened at the First Thanksgiving is an interactive from Plimoth Village 
where players become investigative “historians". It also includes a teachers' guide.


Thanksgiving Printables: 


There are lots of great free Thanksgiving printables on Teachers Pay Teachers HERE
Super cute 12 page Thanksgiving Printable here











Here is a cute printable Thanksgiving alphabet. 
AbcTeach has lots of printable Thanksgiving activities here.



Here is an interactive booklet you can download where students can place the 
turkey in the correct position - over, under, on, beside, etc. 


Sparklebox has lots of great Thanksgiving printables including




















Thanksgiving Smart Notebook files can be found HERE.


Pinterest Thanksgiving Ideas can be found HERE.


You can access all the Thanksgiving Fun HERE.
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