Monday, February 14, 2005

Happy Valentine's Day!

Authors realize that schools and teachers are wonderful at promoting their books. Some authors have created wonderful websites to make life a little simpler for teachers.

One of my all time favorites is Jan Brett's site. She has truly created a wonderful site for teachers. Everything from wall alphabets to masks that accompany her stories. Her site can be found at

Audrey Wood is another one of my favorite authors. Her books are bright and colorful. Her website has the same feel as her books. Her site is found at -

Dr. Suess is always a favorite. Suessville is a fun filled place with games and activities. It can be found at

Happy Computing!

Friday, February 11, 2005

Tip of the Day February 11th

Planning a multimedia slide is important.

Whether a student is in 1st grade or an adult the thought of sitting in front of a computer with a blank screen waiting for you to fill it with pictures can be a nerve-wracking experience. Without a plan, we spend too much time putting something on the screen and deleting it until we get it just right. By drawing a rough draft of your slide on a sheet of paper, you and your students will save valuable time. You'd be amazed at how well young children can recreate it on the screen.

So the next time you're planning to have your students create either a slide or a complete presentation, give them a sheet of paper and let them plan their rough draft.

Happy Computing!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Tip for February 8th

Keep your computer healthy. Over time, your computer builds up "extra" files that can slow it down. Windows has a built in system clean-up. To clear away the extra files go to:
Start--> Programs--> Accessories--> System Tools--> Disk Cleanup
Select your hard drive - generally drive C: and click OK.

The computer will then go through and check to see what it finds that needs to be deleted. If you have had your computer and while and have never done this, it could take a while. When it finishes, if you're sure you want to delete all of the files place checks in all of the boxes and click ok.

This should hopefully make things run a little smoother.

Happy Computing!

Monday, February 07, 2005

Tip for February 7th

I've found a great site that is set up by grade level and covers everything from parts of the computer to database activities. The site is Growing With Technology and is found at

The activities come complete with worksheets. The site also has a Spanish version.

Happy Computing!

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Tip of the Day February 5th

Using PowerPoint to Create Flash Cards

Set up the slides so that the first slide contains the term or problem. The second slide contains an answer, picture or definition. Continue alternating until you have set up all of the terms you wish. To create the flash cards click on File --> Print. Under Print What select handouts. Make sure it prints six slides per page. Put glue on the back of the sheet and fold it in half the long way. When the glue dries, cut out the cards. You'll find the term is on the front and the definition is on the back.

Happy Computing!

Friday, February 04, 2005

Tech Tip of the Day for February 4th

Go on an in-class safari. There are many great online animal web cams. My favorites are at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park.
Find a web cam that would interest your students and open it up full screen on your computer. (Right click on the video, click zoom--> full screen. To minimize it again, press the ESC key.)

As your day permits allow students time to observe the animals. Set up a safari journal near the computer where students can write about what they've seen.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Technology and Teaching Tip of the Day

Technology and Teaching Tip of the Day

Todays TnT Tip

Using Spreadsheets to Calculate Perimeter and Area of Rectangles

For this activity cut construction paper into rectangles of varying sizes. Provide the students with a ruler and a worksheet that has the following lines for each shape:

Shape 1: Length_________Width__________
Perimeter_____________ Area____________

Have the students measure the rectangles and write the measurements on the worksheet. If you want to make this a self-checking activity, have the students calculate the perimeter and area before putting the information in the spreadsheet.

To set up the spreadsheet for self-checking use the following format:

In cell A1 type Length
In cell B1 type Width
In cell C1 type Perimeter
In cell D1 type Area
In cell C2 type the following formula - =sum((2*a2)+(2*b2))
Press the Enter key
Click back in cell C2 and highlight enough cells under that cell to equal the number of shapes measured
Click Edit--Fill--Down
In cell D2 type the following formula =sum(a2*b2)
Press the Enter key
Click back in cell D2 and highlight the same number of cells in that column as you did in column C
Click Edit--Fill--Down
Save your spreadsheet.

It is now ready for students to use to either calculate the perimeter and area or to check their work.

Happy computing!

Wednesday, February 02, 2005


Thanks for stopping by. Let's get down to business...

Tip of the Day
When integrating technology into your classroom I like to follow the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Silly) principle. Look at things you're already doing in your classroom and see where you can easily extend it with technology.

Today's Examples
1 - For the Kindergarten teacher
Locate or create a poster of a computer keyboard and laminate it. Place it in a location near where you do whole group time. As you introduce new letters to your students point out their location on the keyboard. This helps the students to know the letters are not in alphabetical order and helps them to find their home on the keyboard.

2- For teachers of older students
Reducing fraction self-checking activity
To do this activity students will needed to have completed problems where they reduce fractions to their lowest terms. You'll be setting up a spreadsheet (don't worry I'll give instructions) that will provide the correct answer when they type in the fraction in its original form. During the designated time the students will go to the computer(s) to enter their informatio and check their answers.

To set up the spreadsheet:
1. Open a blank Microsoft Excel workbook or other spreadsheet program
2. Click on the column A heading to highlight the entire column
3. Click Format--Cells
4. Make sure the Number tab has been selected
5. Click on Fraction
6. A Type box will appear
7. Select at least "Up to two digits" otherwise fraction like 1/10 will appear as zero
8. Click OK
9. Save the file to the desired location
10. Demonstrate and provide instructions for completing the activity

Happy Computing!