Tech or Treat in the Library

I’m really excited about the Tech or Treat event I hosted in the library this afternoon!

We had 7 different types of technology stations set up for teachers to explore; some were self-guided while others were manned by a presenter to provide demonstrations and/or answer questions.  (See the TECH OR TREAT flier for details.)  Each teacher was given a “trick or treat” bag to collect candy from each station, and we had pencils, bookmarks, and other goodies for them along with handouts and step-by-step guides for the different devices and resources that were featured.

The informal atmosphere kept everyone moving around at his/her own pace, with some teachers lingering to try out a tool or dig deeper into a website, and others gathering in a corner to discuss new ideas for using technology in the classroom.

From the verbal feedback I received, all of the teachers found at least one website or gadget they could see themselves using in the classroom.  (In fact, one teacher took a FLIP camera with her as she left!)  Since this was only intended to be a quick overview of resources, we will schedule more in-depth training sessions by request in the future.

I will be formally surveying teachers tomorrow to find out what they liked most/least about the event, what they’d like follow-up training on, and whether they’d like to make this an annual event, but based on the comments I heard from teachers as they were leaving, I’d say our Tech or Treat was a big success!




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WWW – PBS Learning Media

This Week’s WWW (Weekly Wednesday Website) is…..

PBS Learning Media provides access to thousands of digital resources, including videos and interactives that work great on an interactive whiteboard, audio clips, photos, and even lesson plans (which include handouts, scoring rubrics, and Common Core Standards!) for grades k-12.

The site is searchable by grade level, subject, and resource type, and when you register and login required after 3 resource views) you can save your favorite resources.  Use the Help Guide, or just jump right in!


 As always, a link to this week’s WWW is posted at, along with all of the previous WWW websites.
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WWW – Study Jams

This Week’s WWW (Weekly Wednesday Website) is ….Study Jams!

Study Jams


Each Study Jam is made up of a video, slide show, or step by step tutorial for a Math or Science topic, all tailored to kids.  These are great for introducing or reviewing a concept on an Interactive Whiteboard, or for giving students individual instruction and/or practice on a computer or netbook.  

To make learning even more fun, some concepts have an accompanying karaoke song so kids can sing along if they’d like!  (Tools of Measurement has a good beat, and you can really dance learn about measurement to it!)

Key vocabulary words with definitions are also provided, and there is a “test yourself” section for each concept where kids can practice what they’ve just learned. 

Explanation are clear, graphics are large and bright, and the characters are appealing.  You can browse the broad categories (Addition & Subtraction, Geometry, Fractions, Measurement, Plants, Animals, Human Body, Matter, etc) or search for a specific topic. 

The site has no ads, and requires no registration or login.  So what are you waiting for?  Go start Jamming!


As always, a link to this week’s WWW is posted at, along with all of the previous WWW websites.
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WWW – Academic Skill Builders

This Week’s WWW (Weekly Wednesday Website) is….


A couple of my teachers mentioned to me last week that their students really needed a review of basic math skills, so I’m recommending Academic Skill Builders as a fun site for kids to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, as well as money, fractions, time, and more.  There are some geography and language arts games, too.

There are both single-player and multi-player games available.  Multi-player games can be public, allowing anyone to join in; or they can be protected by a password so that only selected students may play.

These games can be played on student computers, on a class set of netbooks, or on the interactive whiteboard.  The graphics are bright and cheerful, and the instructions are easy to understand.

The games are (and according to the site, always will be) free, but additional features are available for a fee.  If you’d like to be able to customize game content, track individual student progress, and print reports, you can sign up for a subscription. 

Right now, the site is in beta testing, and they are waiving the usual $199 subscription price in return for your feedback.  Once the site is ready to launch fully – and I don’t know when that will be – beta testers will receive half off the first year’s subscription price.


As always, a link to this week’s WWW is posted at, along with all of the previous WWW websites.
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