Padlet and Thinglink

Check out this great example of combining Thinglink and Padlet to share student work!  Angie McCulloch is a sixth grade teacher at Cupertino Middle and had her students curate articles, pictures, videos, and information about Endangered Panthers.  Once students had enough information they worked in pairs to create their Thinglink.  Their final step is to embed their Thinglink onto a class Padlet wall.  Click the image below to see these great projects!

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Angie and her students also use Padlet with the stories they are reading in class.  Students are asked to post claims and examples/evidence of their opinion on the authors message.  This way students can see what their classmates are thinking and frame their class discussion based on various claims they read from the Padlet wall.

Talk about #eduawesome!


Search Master – Part 4

In our final installment of our Search Master Series I would like to share with you what I call “omnibox awesomness.”  You can search for so many things right from the omnibox.  Check out our quick one minute video on how to use the omnibox to search for…

  • Earthquakes
  • Math
  • Graphs
  • Population statistics
  • Unemployment statistics
  • Sunrise and Sunset time
  • Current time in different cities
  • Money conversions
  • Definitions
  • Flip a coin or roll a die

You can also search for…

  • Stock prices
  • Movie times
  • Weather conditions
  • Flight status
  • Things to do in (insert city here)
  • (Type of food) (zip code)

Happy Searching!

Imagine K12

Last week I had a chance to witness the Imagine K12 Educator Demo Day where sixteen start-up companies give a three minute pitch of their product.  Educators are able to meet with each start-up before or after to offer feedback and test out their product.  Here are three of the sixteen we want you to check out: 

Read Works is a non-profit organization that is providing teachers with researched-based units, lessons and leveled non-fiction and literary passages.

Select “Reading Passages” (Kinder to Twelfth Grade) or “Lesson Plans” (Kinder to Sixth Grade) from the top of the homepage.  Then you can begin to categorize what you are looking for.

Reading Passages:

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Lesson Plans:Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 9.23.47 AM

Meant for Teachers


Mission 100% is a collection of videos that highlight best teaching practice.  The videos are taken in classrooms ranging from Kinder to Twelfth Grade.  The collection consists of real video footage of classrooms and schools; with over 800 short and high quality videos.  The average video length is ninety seconds, and videos range from thirty second to ten minutes.  Every new customer gets their first two weeks free, and after that there is a monthly fee.  I will be interested to see how these videos will differ from what is available, for free on the teacher channel.

Meant for Teachers


Think “Groupon” for teachers!

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Meant for Teachers


Links We Like

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  1. PBL vs. Projects (
  2. Good Places for Students to Find Book Recommendations (
  3. 53 Ways to Check for Understanding (
  4. 4 Easy Steps to Sharing a Folder in the New Google Drive (

Once a week we will share some educational articles, websites, or blogs that we have read and thought you might enjoy too!  I came across a new tool called Readlist.  What’s a Readlist? A group of web pages—articles, recipes, course materials, anything—bundled into an e-book you can send to your Kindle, iPad, or iPhone.

What is go great about having it as an eBook?  Now those articles are all together in one place!


The iPad and The Teacher

We are about halfway done with our Teacher iPad roll out and it has been an exciting experience.  It is also pretty good timing considering that we are currently in Teacher Appreciation Week!  We have three goals at each deployment session:

  1. Chat about cases – Holy toledo this is a very personal question!  Some people like this color, but not that one.  Some want a front cover, and others want a strap to wrap around their hand.  To accommodate as many people as we can, we are offering three different options for cases to our teachers.
  2. Enroll to our Mobile Device Management (MDM) system – This allows us to push apps out to Teachers without taking their iPad away from them to do a sync with a computer.  Amazing.
  3. Complete the iPad scavenger hunt – We gave Teachers ten different activities to do with their iPad before they left – we had to cut it down from our original eighteen!  We wanted them to know a few quick tricks that could make their iPad experience a little more efficient.  Such as taking a screenshot and creating folders.

We want every teacher to have access to the technology we are putting in the hands of our students and provide an opportunity to explore how technology can be used as a tool for learning.  This is one of many steps toward our goal to have students using technology in their individual and group learning everyday.  Check out our iTunes U course “Exploring the iPad” to learn more about how to get started using your iPad!

Apps to check out:

Scholastic Book Wizard  iOS App Teachers can search for a book or use the built-in-barcode scanner to view the following: Title, Author, Interest Level, Reading Level by Grade Level Equivalent, Lexile Measure, Guided Reading Level, and DRA (developmental reading assessment).

eStandards iOS App Teachers can look up California Common Core Standards for ELA, Literacy, Mathematics, and ELD

Too Noisy iOS App Teachers can display this App while students are working within a group settings.  Will display graphically the noise level in the room, and will let the students known when the noise gets too loud.

Download all the FREE APPS that come with your new iPad Mini – click on them to learn more and obtain the download link.

News at YOUR Reading Level

NewsELA is a fantastic Common Core aligned website that houses news articles to help students build reading comprehension with nonfiction text.  The best part is that each article is written in five different Lexile levels so it can be accessible for all students.  Lexile levels range from 550 to over 1200, which could cover students in third to twelfth grade.  When you open an article, on the right side you can choose the Lexile level and begin to see the articles change as you move between levels.  First thing I want you to do is look at how awesome my image is below, then you can look at how the title changes.  The link of this iTunes article is at the very bottom of this post.

*This image was created with PicCollage check out our post about it by Clicking Here.

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Here is a lesson I did with fourth graders as their first experience with their Google Drive accounts.  I found an article on NewsELA about NASA Finding an Ancient Lake on Mars, and had them answer a few questions about the article.

There are huge benefits to having kids enroll with NewsELA as your students.  They can take quizzes, teachers can tracking progress, and even assign different articles.  Since I was a celebrity teacher – yes that is what I call myself – in this fourth grade classroom I didn’t want to have students create accounts and link it to me as their teacher.  My workaround was to provided the NewsELA article as a PDF and then link it to a View Only Google Doc.  I turned the View Only Google Doc into a tinyurl: and had students follow the directions.  Look at this great response

Lake on Mars

And my favorite of all…

Lake on Mars2

Some articles to consider

Global Read Aloud

Creating a global classroom is a hot topic.  Teachers are trying to find ways in which their  students can collaborate across state lines, and even country lines.

Valerie Cypert is a Language Arts teacher over at Miller Middle School and has participated in a Global Read Aloud with  classrooms in New York and British Columbia.  Her students have been communicating via Skype and Google on the book “Out of my Mind” by Sharon Draper.

Students are experiencing celebrity readers in their classrooms – their teachers and administrators.  One class was lucky enough to have Dr. Gudalewicz visit!

Superintendent Dr. Gudalewicz

To keep up with their experiences with Global Read Aloud, follow the students blogs, and learn more check out Ms Cyperts Blog:

Interested in doing Global Read Aloud with your classroom?  Check out this wiki:

Next steps for Ms Cypert’s students is to continue with Global Read Aloud with local Elementary school students.  Talk about awesome!