Wednesday, November 29, 2006

[TIPS] MAKE: Technology on Your Time

This is a neat site that includes "Weekend Projects" that are very interesting. Video lead students through the process. Looks like fun.

Monday, November 27, 2006

[TIPS] How the History of the US has Changed

I heard this story on the way to work one morning and I thought, "This sounds like something that our History teachers would like." Play this for your students now so that when they're 50 yrs old and reading about this History of our current conflicts that they can see if History is kinder or harsher on us with the passing of time.

See the related articles below this one, as well.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

[TIPS] eschool news videos

Once again Karl Fisch in his The Fischbowl blog pointed us to a great video, and by extension to some other excellent videos. The first is another in the line of "Flat World" videos in which the speaker makes a VERY interesting statement about SAT tests. I'm not going to quote it here; I'd rather you go out and listen for yourself.

This site is: One video starts when the page loads. Some interesting news bits in there. There are a couple other good videos on that page, but notice the tabs just above the videos? Click the Tech Conferences tab and check out some of the other speakers there. Very interesting. The Best Practices tab has some others you'll enjoy.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

[TIPS] - Daily math word problems and writing prompts

How would you like to have a set of math questions - about 180 sets in all - for your 3rd graders? You print them out, one for each day as their daily math review. Word problems! Every day. Hmmm... I wonder if that would raise their math scores. Sound like a good idea? How about another set for your 4th graders or 5th?? Even your first and second graders?

I think I picked this little gem up from the math tag at These are from the Broward County Public Schools. On this same page are writing prompts, too. Looks like one per day. Gee... I wonder where they could write? Their blogs, you say? Great idea! I like the way you think. :-)

Cheers to the Broward County schools for posting these in the interest of better education for the children everywhere.

Monday, November 20, 2006

[TIPS] Pauls Online Math Notes and ThatQuiz

Thanks to Sue S for sharing this one. Wow - a BUNCH of math cheet sheets in pdf format.
And, math test activities for students and teachers of all grade levels here: Free for educational use.
(Does anyone know what you'd even DO with this math stuff in real life?)

Friday, November 17, 2006

[TIPS] Math cheat sheets and more

Looking for a nice, printable cheat sheet for your algebra or Calculus class? Here are a couple worth a look.
The first is a table of derivatives for your Calc class. Interestingly enough, it's a wikipedia entry. Uh-ohhhhh... better check it for accuracy, right? While you're there, though, check out the related links on the right side of the page.
The second is an Algebra formula cheat sheet. This pdf file is displayed much nicer than the above, but it was written for this format to begin with, and not as an article. Looks good.
And this one from A nice collection of Middle School printables for Math and Pre-algebra, both in ready-made and build-your-own formats.
And for fun.. math isn't just about numbers, y' know. (It's not??) No, it's not, as this page will show. What a fun collection of colorful tessellations, fractals, hyperboloids, pseudospheres (as if I know what the heck I'm talking about here), and much more. Show this to your favorite physics teacher, too.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

[TIPS] Richard Baraniuk speaks about Connexions

Another great (and short) video with Richard Baraniuk talking about Rice University's notion of providing "a free, global online education system" in an Open Source manner. Their site, Connexions (, is growing and gaining speed.
Think about this... Nicholas Negroponte is building the $100 laptop (, built with open source software and Internet access. It's being given to children in the poorest countries. (Remember those "hungry" kids?) Connexions is the Open Content counterpart to this. Free education with the content protected under the Creative Commons license ( and by contributing authors coming from around the world.
Do you see the big picture here? Does that put your job as a teacher into a global perspective in terms of its importance? The common themes here are open source and providing education. Let there be NO mistake here, folks... the race is ON!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

[TIPS] - An EXCELLENT Algebra site

This is an excellent Algebra resource site, but once again I can't recall where I read about it. It was likely by subscribing to a feed in, but I don't know which one.
Choose a Section, say "Basics of Algebra." In the next section just click on the topic you want. The topics are down the left and it talks you through the examples.
Send this one along to every math teacher you know.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

[TIPS] Cornell Notes - 43FoldersWiki

I wish I could remember where I find this stuff. From now on I'll be including that information. I CAN tell you that I subscribe to a ton of different blogs and feeds of various kinds. My public feedroll is here:, if you're interested.
Anyway, the top link is for a 43folders entry about Cornell Notes, a template for students to use when taking notes in class. (Tell both of your note-taking students about this!) :-) There is even a link at the bottom of the article to a pdf generator in which you supply your name (if desired) and class name and it creates the pdf file for you. Just print it - and make copies for your students.
See what you think of the template. Oh, and did you notice that the page is a wiki?

Monday, November 13, 2006

[TIPS] Flash Earth ...satellite and aerial imagery of the Earth in Flash

School got your Google Earth blocked? (Y' know, if you never heard that commercial that sounds horrible, doesn't it? ) No problem. Here's a flash version that lets you zoom in have a look-see just like Google Earth. You can choose to use Microsoft VE, or Yahoo Maps, or even NASA's Terra server. Since it's flash based you don't need to worry about hogging up bandwidth, either.
Thanks to Kurt for sending that one my way. He shared it using the for:jgates513 tag in Remember that?

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Do you know a business teacher who teaches a lot of excel? This program
offers a free version with limited features, as well as a purchased
full-featured program. Of course that one runs about $1500. YIKES!!

But, check out the freebie version. I'm told it's still pretty cool. It
turns your data into VERY cool charts, with sliders, dials, and more.

Friday, November 10, 2006

[TIPS] web 2.0 for the classroom teacher

Tip for Wednesday...

An interesting collection of links to web 2.0 applications, categorized
by type of application. See if you can find something cool in this list.
From blogs to podcasts and beyond.

Oh, and if you've got young ones at home, or if you're an elementary
teaher, check out this site to help kids learn to spell. Thanks to
Cheryl C for showing me this one:

[TIPS] Ed Burtynsky on TED Talks

If only blogs...
Imagine a class of seniors and/or juniors in a sociology or social studies class. Imagine showing them this video. Then maybe the trailer found here: (Check out the Works sections, too) Then imagine having them blog about their thoughts. Or even just using a discussion thread. I HAVE to believe that this kind of discussion would not only be an eye opening experience, but it would get them writing about real world issues that THEY will be inheriting.
I HAVE to believe that this assignment would/could be a life-changing experience for some students.
(I used this man's works in a previous tip a few years ago. Now, however, with some of us allowing blogs I think this has the potential to be a much more motivating and motivational assignment.)
--- btw...
I'm not related to Bill OR Robert. :-)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

[TIPS] online file conversion

Here's a handly little site. Suppose you've got, say a pdf file and you need it to be a .doc (Word) file. What do you do? Or you've got a .wav file and need it to be an mp3 format instead. Tricky, eh?
With this site you simply upload the file (up to 100 mb), tell it what format you want it converted to, then wait for it to arrive in your email in the new format.
Now, I wouldn't suggest that you use your work email for this - for several reasons. Suffice it to say that it's not a good idea. But, if you've got a gmail account or yahoo, etc, then I'd use that address and you should have no problem - other than being able to hit those accounts from work, of course. This is a utility to use at home.

Monday, November 06, 2006

[TIPS] Office Pro for $80?

How would you like to get Microsoft Office Pro (Windows or Mac) for just $79.98 plus shipping. It comes to about $95. Sound like a deal? Suggested retail price is $499.
Visit and choose k12 in the Select a Type dropdown. Next, choose your state. Not all states are participating, but PA is. Next click the PA K-12 link to find the products. Deep, deep discounts for education.
Of course, you could always get Star Office (from or Open Office (from for free, but for those who must have MS Office, this is a great deal.

Friday, November 03, 2006

[TIPS] idea for podcasts

I just heard of one elementary school that is creating "podcasts" in conjunction with their local historical society, making "walking tours" of their community. So, when people stop in the tourist center to get the ipod shuffle with the walking tours, they'll be listening to the KID'S podcasts!! Does that give YOU an idea?
Today's topics include: "Selling Web 2.0 to Senior Management", "It's Elementary Kids; Working Web 2.0 with Grades 3-4", "Toward a System for Online Curriculum Sharing", and "Planning the 21st Century School" (from Philadelphia)
Have you been tuning in?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

[TIPS] Online Etymology Dictionary

- - snip - -
 This is a map of the wheel-ruts of modern English. Etymologies are not definitions; they're explanations of what our words meant and how they sounded 600 or 2,000 years ago.
- -
Share that with your English teachers and librarians.
Today's topics include: "Trash to Treasures: Creating Your Own Computer Lab", "Mobile Learning Redefined", "The 21st Century Educator's toolbox: Developing a Professional Learning Environment", "Homegrown: Within/Without the District".
Check 'em out.
- - bonus - -
This article about hackers hitting close to home:

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

[TIPS] Web 2.0 in action

Thanks to CS for pointing me to this site. We've been seeing a lot of
sites and hearing a lot of discussion about web 2.0 tools. THis site
gives you practical applications those tools in the classroom. Check it out.

- - - - -
Today's topics include: "Around the world in 80 Minutes", "Cultivating
Digital Educators", "Interrnet Access with Minimal Filtering", and
"Social Boookmarking/; Using",

I enjoyed two sessions from yesterday's group and I see at least that
many on today's list, too. I do hope you'll at least bookmark the site
so you can see them later. Or, check in and download the podcasts of the