Tuesday, December 29, 2009

First Immigrant to Ellis Island
Above is the picture of 1892 Irish immigrant Annie Moore who is credited with being the first person to go through Ellis Island at the tender age of 15 and here a New York Times on her. She lived until 24 on the Lower East Side of New York. Here are other articles on her. You can also go here and see her passenger record, the ship manifest and an image of the ship. (Photo from NYTimes)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Tennessee State Symbols

Easy Slide Show with Voice Add In
One thing that sometimes gets me when I give assignments that require the Internet is that some of the kids say, "Why can't you just give us a worksheet." This is one I will use during Reconstruction so the students can give me pictures and give commentary on each one. You can also have other students make comments themselves. What is great is the above slide show was made by 2nd graders! Hit the buttons in the lower right corner and you can see all the pictures at once. The last one will allow you to embed it. I found this site on a Tweet (and I can't say enough about using Twitter for teachers).

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Using Facebook to Teach
There are many reasons that I enjoy working in a public school. One of the flaws though, is the glacial pace of approval (we are two version behind on Blackboard for example). Not being able to use Facebook is another negative. You can make your own student blogs and use an aggregator (such as Bloglines.com), but the kids would far prefer to be on Facebook. If you can use it, then the video above is a short, but very detailed explanation of how to use it for your classes.

Internet 3.0
This short video explains how we went from Internet 1.0 where you could see what others had designed to 2.0 where the average user can create their own projects to Internet 3.0 where we will be better connected between our projects and better able to see them from the computer, phones (look out Google is about to release its own phone- and I don't mean the Droid- which you will be able to use no matter what phone service you use) and other devices.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Civil War Technology Site
I found this site on FreeTech4Teachers. It has a bunch of things I will use in two weeks when I get to the Civil War. For example, it has timelines, pictures, how to videos, weapons, medicine. When I get back to school I am going to create a webquest and will put it on this blog page.
The Decade in Review in Pictures
This is a great site to see a decade of photos. I found it on Larry Ferlazzo's site.

Monday, December 21, 2009

2009 in Review as seen by Google Wave
Above is the year in review by Google Wave. If you haven't seen Google Wave, it is real time talking (both written or via up to six video links). this is from a Twitter feed from GiseldaSantos.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Google and Texting and other uses for cell phones in class
If you have "Google" as one of the address in your phone, you can text a question and send it to that address and get a response. Here are a bunch of other ways to use texting (including several articles). I learned recently that our school district, while banning cell phones, actually leaves it up to the principal. You might want to check out if your school is the same. That is how I got permission for just social studies teachers to use it. The link above also shows one how to use polleverywhere.com which is a way to quickly go over a few multiple choice questions, have kids text the answers and instantly see a chart for the percentage of kids who have answered what question. Finally if you go to the search engine on this site and type in "cell phones," you will find many other suggestions for usage from this summer's postings.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Life Magazine Issue Devoted to the Civil War
Well it is from 1961 and it is  on Google Books, but it is very interesting

Friday, December 18, 2009

More Google - This is Time Travel
Want to see actual newspapers from the past, go here to understand it and here to search.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Igoogle and Google Docs in the Classroom
Here is a video I made for teachers in my county to be able to use the aggregator "igoogle" and Google Docs.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Beyond the Civil War
Here is a nine part series from the History Channel on Reconstruction and beyond. The other ones follow the one above.

Monday, December 14, 2009

1865 to Present
This is actually part of a series of lectures that are told with a great deal of video/pictoral accompaniment. You might find it helpful as a review exercise towards the end of the year.
Causes of the Civil War
Yes, I am probably behind most of you, but we didn't begin school until after Labor Day and won't end until the third week of June (of course our state exam is the third week of May). At any rate, my students are going to be completing a webpage assignment where they have to put up pictures, links, video, etc. In setting it up, I went to this page on Wikipedia and was surprised to see how thorough it is. It is one more reason why I believe we are going beyond textbooks (unless they are free like this one).

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Google Sites and Posting Your Assigments
I know this says "World History," but it is the best Google Site page I can find. I used to be happy that we had Blackboard, but no longer as it is clunky (six clicks to correct one assignment). Here is a great example of what you can do with Google Sites. It shows you that one can have folders, links, etc. Of course your students can turn in the their work through Google Docs (one click to grade) and you can include PowerPoints, pictures, quizzes, etc. Here is the best example of what is possible in the page. So if your system does not have an online delivery device for your students Google Sites.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Adams_Eportfolio: text, images, music, video | Glogster

Adams_Eportfolio: text, images, music, video | Glogster
I can't seem to embed this entire Glog, but it is just as good, if not better than the one below. It has links to four other pages a few nice bells and whistles.
Digital Storytelling
This is an amazing sheet as it gives you all of the items to make a digital story (ie video, slideshow, etc.) with your classes. It even tells you how you can resize photos, add music, etc. Of course, all of the items are free. I have used digital stories with my students and find they are often ahead of me and the ones who aren't, learn from those who are. I found this item from a tweet from Larry Ferlazzo.

Monday, December 7, 2009


Glogster - Blog + Poster
I learned about this from the 7th grader below. A glogster is a combination of a blog and a poster. It will allow your students to put in pictures with words, video, a song, etc. Above is one from the Civil Rights era.

A Seventh Grader's PLE
A personal learning environment is a pretty new term, but it is essentially an aggregator for all the sites you might use to perform your necessary functions. For example, you might have your Facebook page there, websites you frequent, Google Docs and more all in one place. I use igoogle.com for mine. Above is another aggregator called Symbaloo.com which a 7th grader uses to demonstrate how she does her classwork. It is very much worth a minute to watch it.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Very Cheap Interactive Whiteboard
I found this on the FreeTech4Teachers site. If you watch the video above, you can see for about $30 how to create an interactive whiteboard using a "Wiimote." You can get more information on how to do this by going here.
Interactive Immigration Map
Wow! I am from the DC area, but increasingly I find myself reading the New York Times because of graphics such as this one. It shows for immigration to the US from 1880 to the present from individual countries as well as the aggregate. You can also look at the immigration over time or at one point in history.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Quizzes on Google Docs
Perhaps I am getting too far afield with all the "Google stuff," but above is a video that tells you how you can create a quiz with all types of questions in Google Docs and then allow your students to take it.
Oovoo.com is a relatively new video recording device. You have use it to have a video conference with up to six people which is a great way for your students to work on a lesson plan. Also, you can interview and record up to 1000 minutes which would be great if your students are making a video and want to put it into something like Movie Maker.

Oldest Living WWI US Veteran Testifies on the Hill
This is pretty cool. Cpl. Frank is 108 (!) and was a POW and today spoke on the Hill in favor of building a memorial in DC. Here is an ABC video story on him and above is a more detailed account. (Photo from CNN)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Flesch-Kincaid Reading Levels + Google Docs
Until I started doing work with an online e-book group, I had never even heard of Flesch-Kincaid reading levels, but now that I am working on my National Teacher Certification I have to write about essay writing about my students. So to find out the level of a few articles they had to read, I simple copied it into a Google Docs document and pressed "word count" and quickly found that Federalist #10 and #51 are written at the junior level of college which the average Washington Post is on a 9th grade reading level.
Twitter Guidebook
Here is the ultimate Twitter "how to" guidebook. It tells you how to search, grow your community, have consersations and much more. I have only been on Twitter for a month or so, but have found it an amazing source for teacher ideas.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Presidential Log Cabins
I got this from a twitter feed from FreeTech4Teachers. It has a great 360 look at homes used by Washington, Lincoln, Grant and T. Roosevelt.

British Quartering Act

Kids Making Their Own Cartoons
I received this from one of my normal followers (feel free to leave a message with your tips or to e-mail me at kenhalla@gmail.com) if you have any. I always have my students create cartoons as I find it a good way to memorize something without having to actually sit down and say something over and over until it is in one's head. With this site, one can actually make digital cartoons much as we have drawn them in the past.