* School-wide bulletin boards

A recent “Coaches’ Corner” feature of Teaching Children Mathematics encourages the use of bulletin boards as teaching tools.  Robyn Silbey shares a cool example for grades K-5 by using a single prompt (What is equal to 10?) divided into columns for all classes to respond.  This tool seems appropriate for expanding algebraic instruction and thinking to all elementary grades, so here’s my proposed bulletin board.  Teachers could rotate through small group displays so that all kids get “on the wall” in one year.

bulleting board image.jpg


* Online calculator

Ah, thank you, online-calculator.com for providing a full screen calculator without an app.  This is a useful tool for students working with eye gaze technology.  I wish I could adjust the colors and also view the complete operation above the keypad, but I’ll take what I can get.  Image online calculator

* Alka-Seltzer science

This week is Science Fair Summer Camp and I’ll be drawing upon Alka-Seltzer’s fun science website for kids, parents and teachers.  For the low cost of this remedy for heartburn and headaches, along with a pair of safety goggles, I’m looking forward to exploring how Alka-Seltzer works in someone’s tummy and can be used to launch rockets!  Check out their site for easy science experiments!

* Discovery Education for dealing with bullying and more

discovery educationWant a video that depicts common classroom bullying?  What about strategies to reduce bullying?  Check out Discovery Education, a for-profit organization that provides access to more than 170,000 digital resources on bullying and about every other topic you can imagine.  When I first started using online videos for social skills instruction, my school subscribed to United Streaming.  United Streaming and Discovery Education are now combined, with an impressive array of resources categorized by topic and curriculum standards.  This online resource can be purchased by school districts and also includes: teacher training; an emphasis on STEM curricula and careers; options for teacher-created materials (such as quizzes and writing prompts); and teacher-directed, individualized support for students who are unable to attend school.

One of my primary uses of this website has been for social skills instruction.  Although I have typically used my own students for developing videos, these online resources normalize a variety of social experiences for kids, as well as allowing me to work with students individually while others are productively engaged.  A quick search for ‘bullying’ produces 188 resources, many of which can be downloaded and edited for and by students.  Some of these materials were produced about 10 years ago, but depict scenarios which are still relevant today.

Discovery Education also provides free teacher, parent, and student resources, most of which are average or so-so in quality. Parent resources include articles on motivation, summer activities, free clip art, and homework help.  The best student resource is a math homework helper, but it would require good reading skills and like the parent resources, the page is cluttered with advertisements.  (Perhaps not if you use Firefox with Adblock Plus….)  On the other hand, here’s an example of their free animated clip art, one of hundreds available, and my first animated clip art on this blog!  ani-dance1