Thursday, August 29, 2013

StudyChamps - worksheets and interactive mini-quizzes

If you are like me, you are always looking for a short worksheet to have for emergency situations or sub plans or for that student who always finishes early.  StudyChamps is a site that has a collection of worksheet and interactive for you to use.  (Besides science, it also has Social Studies, English and Math.)  I would say that this site is aimed mostly for elementary and middle school.  While the interactive are very simple, the nice thing is that the students don't need an account to be able to access them.  Just give the students the link (use a link shortener) and they are good to go!

Where do you look for those "little extras"?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Text your parents and students

Ok, I know you might be thinking "There is NO WAY I am letting my parents/students have my cell phone number!"  That's where Remind101 comes into play!  It's a website that allows you to send texts to parents and students without ever giving out your number and without having to have parents/students give your theirs.

Right now they are running a back to school contest where you can win $500 in classroom supplies just for signing up!

It also gives parents/students an option to receive your messages as e-mails if they don't want the text
messages.  My plan is to use this next year to post my homework.  Remind 101 gives you a widget that shows a summary of the past text messages.  My plan to embed this widget into my webpage so that there is a record of the homework assignments that I send out.  Plus it's a way for students who don't sign up for this to have a place to see the homework if they forget to write it down during class.

Take a look at this short video to learn more.

What is your preferred method of communication with parents/students?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

URL shorteners

As you know I love using Google with my classes and often create documents such as Forms that I want to share with multiple people.  Just recently I created a Google Form that I want all of the seniors in my school fill out.  I have no way to electronically send a link so I had to include it in the flyer that gets mailed home.  If I sent a really long link I'm sure there would have be many people who either wouldn't bother typing it in or would type it in wrong.  So I shortened the link so that it is much easier.  Two websites that I use to shorten the links are and
When you use not only to do you get a shortened link, but you get a QR code for that link as well as some basic analytics about how many times people clicked on your link, what browser they were using and some others.  If you are logged into your Google account (and why wouldn't you be) you can go back to and get any of the shortened URLs that you have made in the past.

TinyURL is basically a simpler version of  You get a shortened URL, but you don't get any of the analytics or a place to go back to access your links.  The one thing that TinyURL does that doesn't is that it gives you the option to use your own word as part of the URL.  For example, you can turn a link into something like (where you got to pick what you wanted part of the link to be.  Give it is a try below!

Enter a long URL to make tiny:

What can you see yourself using a link shortener for?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

My Online Planbook

I have mentioned online planbooks before, and last year I really committed to PlanbookEdu.  At the end of the year they were running a special for a 6 month premium subscription (normally I just use the free subscription), but I figured I'd give it a try.  It was very helpful this year as I was able to roll over my plans from last year to this year (of course only one course that I am teaching is the same as last year's but at least it's a little time saved).
I have science classes with various labs (we call them FLEX) every 4 days.  I am able to make it so that planbook automatically grays out the days that I don't have the lab and labels the ones that I did.

Anyone have any good planning methods they want to share?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Google Resources

You may have noticed that I added a new tab to the top of the page.  I recently gave a Google Apps class and created a website to collect all of the resources I was sharing.  The new tab will take you to that website.  Most of the resources I collected came from the Google Apps for Education Training Center.

As always, I look forward to your feedback about what I can provide for that is helpful.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Top 10 Posts of July

Here is a recap of the top 10 post in July.  

  1.  Online Planbooks
  2. Online Textbooks
  3. ChemThink
  4. Bill Nye Worksheets
  5. 19 Pencils
  6. Teachers Pay Teachers
  7. Giving online quizzes or hw assignments
  8. Problem-Attic's new online test and slideshow options
  9. Quizdini - online review games
  10. Online Quizzes meet EdCanvas

What did you like the best?  Is there something else that you are dying to learn about that you want me to write about?


Technology in your Classroom

I recently gave a presentation to a group of teachers about Technology in their classroom. The presentation I gave is posted on the Presentations tab. Check it's a whole bunch of my favorite resources.