Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Educational Web Sites for Teachers

The Internet is a never-ending database of resources for anyone searching for basically anything. Everyone has their top lists, which usually vary monthly as trends change, new tools are developed, and web sites evolve. So we'll say for the month of December, here are 10 useful websites for teachers and students (in no particular order):

1. Tube Chop - is a huge online portal to any and every video imaginable. Just search by topic. While it can be highly inappropriate for some things, it can also serve as a great tool when used in the right way. Teachers can find ways to illustrate concepts, projects, subjects, and more.  A partner to You Tube, Tube Chop allows you to edit and "chop" any You Tube video, to make it acceptable for your students and parents to watch. In addition to security, it can also be used as a time saver, shortening a clip to maybe just the phrase or comment you are discussing in your class, especially when reviewing a speech. Copy the video from YouTube and paste the link in TubeChop, then follow the simple instructions.

2. Futureme,org - Send yourself an email and select the date you want to receive it.  What you type in the email is up to you. This can be extremely useful for reminders to yourself and students. Students can email themselves notes, assignment or test reminders, monthly goals, or even year-end goals, like grade expectations. Use it as a vocabulary word tool and refresher. The possibilities are endless.

3. Lit2Go - A huge list of authors and their works. Click on the author you are looking for (organized by alphabet). See a short summary of their biography and then options for accessing the actual book you'd like to read. You can download the book via audio, in PDF, and more. Most books are segmented by chapters. Students can read the actual work online and teachers can see the standards met when using this material.

4. Super Kids Math Worksheet Creator - This is a free math sheet creator. Click the types of problems you need and your math worksheet will be ready in minutes. You can choose how many problems per page, and the subject level from basic to advanced in each category. It's great for teachers and parents to continue math drills and help at home.

5. Cells Alive - An interactive gallery of biology topics with definition, cycle explanations, and illustrations. Students can search in cell biology, microbiology, immunology, and microscopy.  The animations are informative and the facts are explained in direct and simple ways of understanding.

6. Social Studies for Kids - A really comprehensive site of links to all things social studies and history. They offer changing fact sheets on the week in history, current events, and featured spotlights. Teachers can find book reviews on social studies topics, educational games by subject, maps, history, presidents, states, time, and so much more.

7. Word Smyth - An easy vocabulary word quiz maker. Free access allows you to use 15 words in your quiz question. Choose from children's, beginner, or advanced levels.

8. Why Files - This site provides a collection of online interactive science projects and concepts from making a snowflake and a rainbow to playing with lightning and controlling a tornado. There are well-written explanations of the science behind each concept.

9. Snag Learning - Educational videos by subject and grade level from K - college. Subjects including everything from children's programming and music to world culture and political science. Videos are provided by channels like National Geographic, PBS, and Sundance.

10. AlgeBasics - A great site for algebra tutorials and help on a long list of topics ranging from basics to ratios, factoring, linear equations, and radicals. If you click on a topic you will get an audio tutorial as well as a visual of the problem being solved.

We hope you found these useful. Internet4Classrooms strives to find the best online resources for educational use. And we'll continue to search as technology and classroom needs keep changing. Let us know if you have a favorite site of your own!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Why Students Should Write

The Importance of Journal and Blog Writing with Students

When you walk into an empty classroom, what do you see? Desks, chairs, books, chalkboards, maybe a couple of computers. But what you don't see is the pressure. Teachers are pressured to meet scores and standards. Parents are pressured to raise the perfect students and to have the means to provide endless resources for their children. Students are pressured to make good grades, participate in school activities, be popular. As we've seen this past month focusing on bullying, we know school can be a pressure cooker for all kinds of emotions. Along with utilizing school resources like counselors and the community of parents and teachers, writing can serve as a key tool in just letting it all out!

Students often see writing as a chore. "O.k. kids, it's time to write in our journals today," the teacher might say. "Awwww!!" reply the children. But what they don't realize, is there are huge advantages to expressing themselves on paper (or keyboard depending on the resources).

A Communication Outlet
Writing allows us to express our thoughts out loud - but not really. Students can tell what they are feeling without having to necessarily face someone. They can talk about interests, goals, their likes and dislikes. When you write an idea down, and elaborate on it, you are emptying your head. And when students can empty their heads on a daily basis, the pressures don't have as much opportunity to build.

Stress Reliever
Once the writing is complete, and their heads are "empty," their work can act as a huge stress reliever. Writing allows students to reflect. They can go back, read how they were feeling the day before, or read about something that made them feel confident a week ago. When students write, they are providing themselves a way to analyze their thoughts, figure out what is going on, and move forward. It's a great problem solving tool.

Skill Builder
Writing enhances skills all across the board. Grammar, writing, reading, researching, proofreading, and on and on. When a student sits down to write, it's not just simply writing on a particular subject assigned by a teacher. Students are researching subjects, practicing English skills, proofing and editing their work, and communicating in a way that they expect everyone who's reading to understand. They are learning how to get their points across. They are learning how to cite sources. They are learning how to improve their skills daily without even knowing it, because constant writing keeps the mind sharp.

Idea Tracker
We know that students can be so creative! Yet they can be so busy as well. Writing, even if it's simply jotting down notes, allows them to remember things for later. Whether it be an essay idea, paper topic, or homework question, the act of keeping their ideas in one place adds confidence and offers another outlet for improving English skills.

Confidence Booster
Writing takes creativity. Students have to think, research, edit,  build sentences, and communicate. When their writing assignment is complete, and they can go back and read what they wrote, it's a huge self-esteem booster. Confidence is especially achieved in the case of a blog, where the audience is not just fellow students or teachers. Students have the opportunity to feel validated when people across the globe can comment and relate to their ideas and feelings.

Whether students are writing or typing their content, it is saved. The work will be there whenever they want to go back and read it. There is a record of what's been created. Knowing "I did this,"  provides a sense of accomplishment. Students need that now, more than ever.

How do you incorporate writing into your classroom instruction? Do you find it valuable? Do you find it difficult to get students to find their creativity?

Internet4Classrooms has a wide range of writing resources and language arts tools. Check us out if you are looking for ideas and information. We'd love to hear from you!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Why Blog in Your Classroom?

What is a blog?

A blog (termed after web log) is a web site - that you create easily and for free - where you can share homework assignments, class summaries, images, links, test and quiz alerts, and any other information you'd like to get out to your students and parents. When you have something to say, you type in a post. It's dated, time stamped, and published for anyone that you've allowed access. Every post is saved, and archived, with the entries being listed from most recent to oldest. You and your readers can email and comment on each post. Sounds easy enough, right? Still not sold on the idea? Here’s why you should be: 

Blogs Allow Flexibility

Today’s lives are hectic. Some students don’t get home until way after dinner time between sports practices and activities. Families are multi-dimensional. It can be difficult for everyone to be on the same page when shuffling back and forth, traveling, etc. Children have absences.  But if you have a classroom blog, there leaves little room for excuses.

If you have a classroom blog, your parents and students can rely on the web for information. It gives them the comfort and flexibility of working at their own paces. No more, “I couldn’t find the assignment.” No more, “But it was too late and I couldn’t call anyone to find out the information.” No more, “I wasn’t here yesterday so I didn’t get the notice.” School doesn’t stop when the bell rings.

Blogs Encourage Dialogue

With a classroom blog, you allow your students and parents to connect with you, each other, and even other teachers. Say you post a math assignment, and Suzie has a question. She can email you privately, or write her question in the comments section of that post. Not only do you have the opportunity to respond, but so do all of her classmates. They feel involved. You feel involved. You are creating a dialogue. You are allowing collaboration.

Blogs Improve Communication

With this dialogue, you provide an outlet for students to improve on their communication. Students will have an opportunity to write to you and each other. By typing questions and responses among teachers and peers, they are gaining communication skills. Think of it as an online journal. They are learning how to illustrate their thoughts on “paper,” in order to be understood by multiple readers. It’s one more tool to communicate their ideas more effectively.

Blogs Motivate Students

Using the confidence in their communication, you encourage students to look beyond one right answer. The conversations motivate them to go find more information, find more sources, and ask more questions. It could start with one simple topic then grow into an elaborate discussion about everything behind that topic. Students want to find the answer and share the knowledge with their peers. Students want to feel confident in their abilities. They want to succeed. Motivation encourages involvement, which can lead to accountability, which can lead to higher test scores.

Blogging really is easy. And it’s free. We have step by step instructions that tell you how to create a blog account. Once your account is ready, we have step by step instructions on how to write a blog entry. Check out our sample classroom blog here. Stay connected. Be a part of the tech-savy classroom. Blog!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Tools for Time Management and Homework Help

Teachers and students are officially in school mode now. Time management and classroom organization for both parents and teachers can be a difficult hurdle to overcome.

For Teachers:

With all the tasks teachers have to tackle on a daily basis, it's imperative to have the knowledge that can help you stay on target for the year's goals. Internet4Classrooms has many tips and resources to ensure you stay organized and focused.

Teachers are most successful in time management and classroom organization if they know themselves and how they reach their peak productivity. Determine how you spend your time doing and prioritizing, before you begin creating task lists. By knowing your to-do's, you can create daily and weekly schedules as well as calendars to keep you and your students right on target.

For Parents:

Parents strive to give their children the best environment and tools to succeed, but often lack good resources or simply the time to find them. Internet4Classrooms is here to help! One of the biggest challenges for parents is homework, homework, homework. Some children are big procrastinators. Some children find the work so overwhelming that it's easier for them to just avoid it altogether. We all know it takes a lot of effort to make good grades all year long. If you're feeling removed or unsure of how your child approaches homework as a whole, try this exercise first to learn the best way to achieve assignment goals.

Once you've got your homework environment created and a routine in place, homework time can become an orderly system for both parents and children. Start with good study habits, training them to be more aware of how their minds work. A child's attention span can wander very easily. Teach concentration tactics on how to focus, learning how to remain dedicated to school work by taking scheduled breaks and offering grade incentives. After study habits are established, studying methods can be introduced, such as creating an index card system. If your students master these tools mentioned, then test taking help can complete the puzzle of eliminating stress and anxiety in your child's school days.

As a main resource, parents and teachers can go here for tips on everything from researching and paper writing, to communication, reading advanced materials, spelling help and assignment completion methods. Patience and persistence will definitely encourage success for all of your goals: organizationally, administratively, and beyond.

Children and Search Engines

In a world where laptops, social networking, texting, and phones with Internet access are the norm, parents may find themselves in the dark when it comes to technology and their children’s technology use. Gone are the days where the majority of households have a large collection of encyclopedias organized by letters cramming their bookshelves. Now you can sit at a computer, type in what you need, and a world of information is literally at your fingertips.

Although there are obvious dangers when allowing kids to access the web without proper monitoring, there are tremendous advantages as well. For this blog, we’ll focus on the Internet as a whole, and discuss safe search engines specifically for students.

First and foremost, you want to make sure your children are using trustworthy and accurate resources. Common sites like Google and have a huge amount of information. However you need to be careful what you click on. Make sure to read the website addresses before going to them. Sites like have a lot of material, however the information isn’t verified. Anyone can post on a particular topic.

There are many websites for children. Number 36 will help you search by topic. Number 40 has history search engines, science engines, authors and biographies, and so much more. allows you to type in any question. is a great tool for searching by category, like people or science. You can also use the Internet Public Library for specific subject and reference needs.

When you are searching, make sure to type in keywords. If you’re not using a site where you can enter in the full question, you’ll need to narrow down the words you use. If you want the engine to look for a particular phrase, put it in quotations. For example: “civil war battlefields” instead of civil war or “middle school math” instead of just math. Most search engines have an advanced link button, where you can limit your topics even further.

Finally, teach your students the importance of acknowledging the sources they’ve used. The Internet offers a mountain of information, but remember the material has been written by someone else. Happy searching!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Internet Safety Resources

As the 2010-2011 school year begins, now is a great time to review our basic resources on Internet Safety. More and more children are going online through their mobile devices, including phones, iPods, eReaders, in schools and at home. Due to the multiple ways of accessing the internet, it is getting more difficult to block sites from children's view. Therefore, the keys to online safety are being aware of childrens' online activities and teaching children to exercise good judgement online. This is especially true when it comes to behavior on social media sites.

Click Here for our Internet Safety Resources, which includes articles, videos, and games for children to play to learn about staying safe on the internet. In our Character Education Resources, we've included grade-appropriate resources on bullying and cyberbullying to help teachers and parents address this topic, as it is becoming more prevalent on social media sites, especially for middle and high school aged students.

As a reminder, please don't forget to visit our Back to School section, which has been expanded this year with more materials for teachers and families.

Please send us any resources that you may have found on this topic, so that we can share them on the site.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Standardized Test Prep Activities for High School

Want to raise your SAT/ACT score?

Daily Vocabulary Practice is one of the best ways that you can raise your verbal scores on standardized tests.

Our Summer Learning Program provides daily and weekly practice for these tests over the summer and into the fall, and it is not too late to sign up. Click here to register for our Free Program that is designed by teachers and currently being used by thousands of students.

We'll send you daily vocabulary lists, Latin phrases, math and science activities, "This Day in History" and other fun, engaging activities to keep your mind working over the summer.

We also have other SAT/ACT practice resources for you to use on our site, including practice tests, interactive activities for English and Math and more!

Click Here to sign up now!

New ADHD Articles for Parents and Teachers! is pleased to announce that we are expanding our ADD/ADHD resources to include articles from experts in this field. We hope that you find this information valuable for use in your home and classrooms.

Check out our newest articles from Dr. David Rabiner, Ph.D. addressing such topics as:

Monday, June 14, 2010

Free Summer Learning Program

Internet4Classrooms has put together a free summer learning plan for
every age level from Pre-K through High School.

On a daily and weekly basis, we will provide students and parents fun activities, links to
great learning games, and other educational resources that will help
them get ready for the 2010-2011 school year.

We feel that summer learning loss is a major concern.
  • Did you know that on average, students lose approximately 2.6 months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills during the summer months?
  • Research shows that teachers typically spend between 4 to 6 weeks re-teaching material that students have forgotten over the summer.
We've designed this program to keep students engaged in educational activities.

Here is the link to sign up for the program:

Please share this link with anyone
that you feel may be interested and/or benefit from this program.

Best Wishes for a Great Summer!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tell Congress to Keep our Schools Competitive

Write Your Representative Today or Face No Enhancing Education Through Technology Program Funding Next Year

President Obama's proposed budget for FY2011 eliminates funding for the Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) program, the sole direct federal educational technology funding resource, and proposes to consolidate education technology in its proposal for Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization. In lieu of a separately funded ed tech program like EETT program, President Obama has proposed in vague terms to infuse technology throughout all federal education programs. We can't let this happen.

Here is a link to the EdTech Action Network's Legislative Site that will assist you in sending email to your legislators.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Top 10 Free Sites for Web 2.0 Tools

Check out this presentation from Steve Dembo, Online Community Manager for the Discovery Educator Network.

He presented last week at the Palm Beach County School District Technology Conference. His high-energy presentation showed live demos of the different tools and created a lot of excitement among the attendees.

In further blog posts, we'll show you how educators and creative thinkers are using these tools.

The List: Top 10 Free Web 2.0 Tools for Educators
  1. Delicious
  2. Glogster
  3. ipadio
  4. Kidblog
  5. Voicethread
  6. Wallwisher
  7. Poll Everywhere
  8. Edmodo
  9. Prezi
  10. Wordle
Resources for these Tools can be found on Internet4Classrooms on our Web 2.0 Resource Page.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Diversity Lesson

While Internet4Classrooms is known for providing the best online resources to teach students of all grades and subjects, here is a simple project for parents and teachers that doesn't require a computer or an internet connection.

"We're All the Same Inside" - this is a lesson plan that has been used for years. This link is to the preschool version, but it is appropriate for all ages.

Supplies needed: some eggs and an open mind

Have children decorate the eggs and give them different color skin (or mix brown and white eggs), hair, and features. Then crack open the eggs. They are all the same inside!

Sometimes the simplest lessons are the easiest to teach.

We've heard stories of children doing this lesson in school and then showing it to their parents at home.

Feel free to share with us any other simple projects that illustrate diversity.

- Susan

Friday, January 15, 2010

Lessons from the Earthquake in Haiti

Today I sat in my son's Pre-K classroom during circle time and the teachers spoke to the children regarding the tragedy in Haiti. They explained that there was an earthquake that destroyed many homes and that many people are hurt and in need of food and shelter.

Click here to read more.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Connect to Students via a Teacher Blog

Let us know what you will be working on in your classrooms during January and February. We want to provide you with specific resources to fit your needs that you can upload to your teacher blog.

Teacher Blog? We can help you create one. Stay tuned for our January and February Newsletters for our Technology Focus on enabling teachers to connect with students via a blog.