Saturday, October 3, 2009

My New Blog Home

I have been longing for a Wordpress blog now for a while and I stumbled upon a tutorial that guided you through registering a free domain and using a free hosting site, that link is here: .  So after much messing around with this and teaching myself how to use Wordpress via FTP I have finally done it!  So my blog is moving to the following address:

Come and join me in as I explore using technology to teach, learn, and lead!

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

100 Blogs Reviewed...

100 Best Blogs for Tech-Savvy Teachers - Online Courses

Of course I did not review these but I plan on checking them out over the next week and thought I would share.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Mark Your Calendars - For a Great Documentary

The National Parks: America's Best Idea | PBS
Tonight I watched the making of this documentary on PBS.  This documentary took five years to shoot and takes the viewer to all of our nation's national parks and explains the history behind them.  It premiers September 27th, check out the web link for more details. 

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Some Classroom Posters for Reading and Writing Workshop

I have really gotten in to using Adobe Illustrator this year!  The power of vector images is amazing!  Below are some of my reading workshop and writing workshop posters I have made just this year.  Feel free to use and redistribute.  Happy creating! 


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Gifted and Talented Webinar

September 9 - 12pm EST
Beginning the Journey Toward Differentiated Classrooms with Jennifer Beasley, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas

NAGC - WOW - NAGCNAGC - WOW - NAGC's Webinars on Wednesday.png by ChrislAtkinson on Aviary

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Reviewing The Steps to The Scientific Method

Check out our video project to review the steps of the scientific method:

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Making wordle Safe For The Classroom

Great News!  Thanks Wordle, I'm so excited!  Below is a Wordle from the blog post linked above!

Wordle - Wordle Now Safe For The Classroom
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Monday, August 17, 2009

Thank Andy!

If you are an Indiana teacher and you don't follow Andy Gammil's blog "The Classroom Insider"  you should today!  Andy was kind enough to post on my Google Certification.  Below is the link: | The Classroom Insider | The Indianapolis Star

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Sunday, August 2, 2009

Google Docs - Teachers and Principals Speak

Teachers and Principals Talk about Google Docs

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Google Teacher Academy!

I am pleased to announce that I have been selected to be a part of the Google teacher academy! I am so excited for this amazing opportunity, and feel blessed and honored to be only one of 50 educators chosen this year.  I will travel to Boulder, Colorado August 5th for the workshop.  Check out some of the cool stuff that will be a part of the experience! 

Here is my one minute video I had to produce as a part of my applications :)

I look forward to sharing the cool stuff I get to learn! 

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I Wasn’t @ NECC, but…

Due to the recent birth of our soon, the pinch in the economy, and my desire for an Iphone 3Gs and a Mac Book Pro I decided to skip out on NECC this year.   So, I wasn’t at NECC but, it sure felt like I was at times!  I was able to connect to the experience through the thousands of shares on Twitter (#NECC09), the live streaming of presentations through ISTE connects and NECC unplugged.  A huge thanks to all of you who went and shared, I am sure hoping I will be at ISTE 2010 in Denver! 

Here are all of my Diigo bookmarks that I tagged NECC09:

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Why Your Student Can’t Skip Reading Tonight!

Why I Can't Skip Reading

I received this from a colleague a few years back and thought I’d share it with you all!  Enjoy, and please check out my post on blogging for higher order thinking skills!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Blogging and Higher Order Thinking – A framework to engage students in higher order thinking skills through blogging

I came across a great article recently entitled: “HOT Blogging: A Framework for Blogging to Promote Higher Order Thinking”,  which was published in the May 2009 issue of The Reading Teacher.  This article gave a great instructional framework for effectively using blogging with students to promote critical thinking skills (what we all want to do!). 

Zawilinski does a fine job of providing an easy to follow framework to show how blogging truly can involve critical thinking skills! This startegy is the HOT framework and is used to develop "higher order thinking skills around new literacies.”

The HOT strategy involves the following steps:

  1. Bolster background
  2. Prime the pump
  3. Continue the conversation
  4. Make multiplicity explicit

The article also gave super insights  for beginning bloggers, and would be a great resource for teachers who are not sold on the value of blogging.   



The purpose of this article is to explore ways in which blogs can support literacy programs, especially to develop higher order thinking (HOT) while reading and writing. First, I will provide an introduction to and a theoretical rationale for blogging. Next, resources and ideas will be shared to help spark possibilities for blogging in an intermediate-grade classroom. Four common types of educational blogs will be presented. Finally, HOT blogging, an instructional framework that uses a blog to develop higher order thinking, will be described. - Zawilinski, Lisa. Reading Teacher, May2009, Vol. 62 Issue 8, p650-661, 12p, 8 charts, 1 diagram; (AN 39232973)


Personally I want to take blogging to the next level in my classroom this upcoming academic year.   I plan on using it often, in order to give students a solid platform to connect to a large audience, and to think critically on issues with that audience.  Blogging truly provides students with authentic writing experiences.  Check out my blog I used to communicate things to parents and students this past year…I think I will be changing it, just a bit. 2008-2009 Mr. A’s Classroom Blog.  I am a firm believer in using technology to engage learners and move them into higher order thinking.  Blogging can be used to do this!

Blogging for Higher Order Thinking

Some Blogging Resources:

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Who Am I, Why Am I Blogging

This summer one of my goals is to start blogging more seriously.  What do I mean by seriously, well until now I have published content on my blog that is mostly related to new resources I have come across.  i realize that this niche is well covered.  I intend to start to share more of my voice, more of my opinions and insights on the world of technology, teaching, learning and leading. 

What makes me qualified to do such a thing?  Not much I guess. Here are some basic facts:

  • I have taught grades: 3, 4, and 5 in my six years of teaching.  I typically “loop” with my 4th graders to fifth the following year. 
  • My undergrad was completed in K-6 elementary education from Taylor University, and I recently finished getting my Masters in Educational Administration from Ball State University. 
  • I am a tech enthusiast and an advocate for 21st century learning.
  • I have a passion for literacy 2.0, deep thinking, and critical reading.
  • I teach in a high performing district where the majority of families are online.   In my opinion, teachers in this district are enthusiastic about learning and truly have a passion for what they do, but like many places we do not have a 1:1 imitative started

20090523-IMG_1512 So be prepared for some new thoughts and ideas from me being added to the blogosphere, and please subscribe to my feed.  I will look to publish a fresh new post in a few weeks.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Want to play a Youtube video minus…

Want to play a Youtube video minus the inappropriate adds that surround the video?  Try  This fantastic service allows you to place a bookmarklet in your browser’s toolbar that will subtract those ads when you open up the video on Youtube then click the bookmarklet.  Follow these steps to ad freedom today:






After Quiettube:


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Getting Started Guides for Google Docs


Are you using Google Docs yet?  This is a great free service with some awesome features.  Here are three new guides to using Google docs: spreadsheets, presentations, and documents

Friday, April 17, 2009

Using Wordle in the Classroom

Wordle is a sweet word and wiring visualizing tool. has the ability to analyze the most frequent words used in a text (can be pasted in, weblinked, or typed in) and then creates a visual representation of those.  Here is a slideshow, I came across while reading Mike Fisher’s blog; in it uses for Wordle in the classroom are shared.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

50 States!

A great resource for studying the fifty states!


Monday, March 30, 2009

Literacy and Technology –CMS- Follow Up

Thanks so much for coming yesterday! I know I threw a lot at you, but my hope is that you found a few tools you feel like you could use in the classroom with students. I would be happy to help get you started in using any of the tools you think would help you better engage students in authentic literacy experiences.  Maybe even try giving Etherpad and Glogster a try before you start.  Find tutorials and more on the Wiki, just click the pic below!


You can check out our Etherpads from today here:

POWER POINT (Links Included)




The question was asked, what do we do to get students signed up for some of these tools that require logins, and have control over it?  Check this blog post out on how to do this.  I have used this trick many times!

Please contact me if you would like assistance getting started or if you have any questions!

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Many Voices, Few Voices, Many Voices