Friday, December 28, 2012

Make Your Own Germ Fighter

Let's face it. In order to keep up with what people are talking about, you're going to have to breakdown and check out Pinterest. We have a user ID now too. It's a wonderful way to collect tons of teacher ideas, classroom resources, recipes, crafts, YOU NAME IT AND IT IS THERE. Pictures and step by step instructions lay everything out for you. You "pin" the items that you like and it saves them to your profile. You will find ideas on everything from organizing your room to throwing parties to forms and templates. You can go back and review your pins anytime or search for new ideas.

Here is just one example of the creative things you can discover. Make your own hand sanitizer. It's cheap, easy, and a great way to fight the flu in your classroom.  Enjoy! And follow us on Pinterest.


  • 1/3 cup of aloe Vera gel
  • 2/3 cup of rubbing alcohol
  • 8-10 drops of an essential oil (lavender, peppermint, etc.)
  • mixing bowl + spoon
  • an empty liquid soap bottle
  • funnel
Mix the ingredients together in the bowl. Use your funnel to pour into the empty soap bottle and put the pump back on. Tahdah! You can also use glitter pens or sharpees and label/decorate your containers. They make great gifts too.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Make the Most of Winter Break

You did it!! You have made it through another calendar year. Your hair may be shorter, greyer, and/or thinner, but you are here. While you have a handful of days to yourself, remember to give yourself permission to relax. Sleep an extra hour. Eat a little too much. Reflect on what you did well, what you did poorly, and what you want to do better in the coming year. Don't waste your time making superficial resolutions or impossible goals. Small goals are best. Attainable goals are the greatest. Conflicts and challenges are inevitable. But you are strong. You are educators. See you in 2013!

Happy holidays and a Happy New Year from I4C!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Being Thankful

Ok ok so we realize the whole "what are you thankful for" idea is not new. However, we do need to remind ourselves from time to time that there are others who are dealing with worse situations than our own. Thanksgiving is upon us. Half of the school year has almost passed by. Let's think about all the things we are thankful for.

It could be something as simple as a smile a student shows when he understands the concept you are teaching. It could be the fact that the power stayed on during a storm. It could be the fact that when you folded the laundry load all of the socks paired up! Sometimes we forget during the daily hustle and bustle that life's simple pleasure really do exist.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving break. Indulge in sweet treats. Laugh and take part in conversations with family and friends. Invite a neighbor who has no local family over for dinner. Take some time to reflect and appreciate. And we will see you in December!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Give and Take

In light of the recent teacher's strike in Chicago, Illinois, it got us thinking about the give and take of our profession.

Educators definitely encounter some thankless days. The time, effort, and creativity it takes to thoroughly teach and succeed in meeting all requirements of our jobs is an investment often not equal to our paychecks. The economy is hurting. Life requires responsibilities, and bills. Everyone has to earn a living. Some get paid more than they should. A lot get paid less than they should. It seems to remain that the most giving careers return the least monetary gain.

We need our future teachers and social workers and the like to continue wanting to study these fields. We need our superiors and representatives to continue pulling for our efforts. There will always be a need for educators. Our worth will most likely always surpass our paycheck. But very few professions can claim or describe what we do for our children in an 8-month time span.  YOU will always be needed.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Thinking Outside the Box

Don't have a lot of spare cash to fund your classroom needs? Feeling like your desk is already a mess after just a few weeks in? Struggling to get a good organizational system in place? You are not alone! Tips and tools for organizing your classrooms can be found all over the internet. Pinterest is also a great way to see what other teachers are doing. Scholastic has a wonderful list - make sure you scroll all the way through it - of ways you can rearrange, declutter, systemize, and organize so that you are making the most of your time each day. Consider lost and found mittens as scissor covers, salt and pepper shakers for glitter, and students as reasonable worker-bees. Don't toss the everyday things like kleenex boxes, paper towel rolls, silverware separators, and muffin trays. Think outside the box when you look at address labels and baskets.  Spruce up old and dented furniture with simple fabric and felt. It may take a little effort up front, but it'll be well worth it when you have a sense of pride and comfort in your work space. Find other I4C classroom organization resources here.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Shop At Amazon Through I4C

Internet4classrooms remains a free web portal for all educators. Our newsletters, resources, learning programs, testing practice guides, curriculum links, and vocabulary quizzes are all FREE. We strive to provide you with help in every aspect of teaching. 

We know sometimes being an educator can feel like a thankless job. But we've been there. WE thank you. Now we'd like to ask if you could possibly thank us back! has an earnings partnership with a list of online vendors including AMAZON.COM. It's similar to any school percentage fundraiser - take for instance, Box Tops.

* Here's how you can shop on through Internet4Classrooms: 
  1. Go to the following address: - I4C's shopping page.
  2. Type your desired item into the search box, and pick the appropriate category. [make sure you specify a category (defaulted to Electronics) before you submit your search.
  3.  Cick on GO. 
  4. Add the item to the shopping cart.
  5. Continue searching and adding items (each time starting on the I4C associates page: until all your items have been selected.
  6. Review your shopping cart and check out. The checkout process will take you through the regular Amazon checkout process.
There are a few different ways to search for your item other than the search box on our page.
1. You can also look on the Amazon homepage and find the item you wish to purchase. Copy and paste the item title on the I4C shopping page and change the category to fit the item. You may also wish to open two browser windows and do this side by side to make it easier to paste in the items.
2.  You can also select a category first and then do a general search to see various products to purchase.

Build your cart using the Internet4Classrooms associate site and approximately 6% of the sale becomes a no-extra-fee commission to help Internet4Classrooms pursue its educational mission. Help us keep doing what we do every day - finding free amazing resources to make your teaching experience inspiring and simplified.

Bookmark I4C's AMAZON page with complete instructions.

** Disclaimer: You may find that some items (non-commissionable or not stocked by Amazon) may not be available, or available at the price you wanted.  Any Amazon prime eligible items will still be shipped via Amazon prime - that will not show up until you are performing the regular Amazon checkout process.

We also partner with Barnes and Noble, Discovery,, Nickelodeon, Discount School Supplies, Highlights, CompUsa, Discount Party Supplies, and more! Find links to all of our shopping partners here.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Techology Daily

How have you used technology this summer? Have you discovered new apps on your devices that can keep you organized? Have you found new websites that offer creative teaching tools? Have you  read a book on an e-reader? Have you created to-do lists electronically? Have you practiced your computer skills through online tutorials? Have you kept up with educational news and events through social media? Have you emailed friends or family? Have you used the Internet to find a map or phone number? Have you been reading our newsletters? :) The world is truly at your fingertips. So remember, during your downtime this summer, take advantage of technology. Keep learning. Keep exploring. Keep reinventing.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Summer "Break"

You did it - you got through another year. Desks are empty. The halls are silent. What will you do all summer? Work? Exercise? Shop? Sleep? Go to school? Whatever it may be, make sure you keep your mind stimulated. We push and push for our children to read and stay sharp all summer long. We can do the same as our students.  Hone those computer skills. Explore social media like Twitter and Pinterest for ideas and news resources. Visit your local library. Take a cooking lesson at a local grocery store, or try a new recipe at home. Start a book club, even if on your Kindle or iPad, with a group of friends. Take an art class or sign up for a one-night paint event. Take a road trip to a nearby town or city, and explore their landmarks. Most importantly have fun. In a few short months it will be time to educate another group. Have a great summer!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Glogging for Frogs

This month we have a guest blogger. Her name is Tracy Hanson. She is the developer of K12 Next Generation, LLC, a new virtual school district working to develop an academically rich learning environment through the tools of technology. Her motto: "Quality Education for All Children; Anytime, Anywhere." 

What you are about to click on is not a "blog."  It is a "GLOG."  A glog can be defined as a digital poster, incorporating lessons, videos, and any links you want to provide, on one digital page.  

Take a look at her featured April Glog, celebrating National Frog Month, and let us know what you think of the format! Would you like to teach your students in this style? Would you like to learn how to do this? We would love your feedback.  Enjoy!

April celebrates many things but did you know that it also celebrates FROGS!  That's right, April is National Frog Month.  So what IS the different between a frog and a toad?  Do you remember those days when you had to dissect a frog?  Yuck!  What stories can you remember that had a frog in it?  Do you ever sit outside on a spring evening and listen to the frogs sing?  You can do that and many other things with this months featured Glog about Frogs.
-Tracy Hanson, K12 Next Generation, LLC

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Get the Spring Sillies Out!

Have you noticed the behavioral shift in your students? Spring has sprung, and our children are raring to go. Sometimes recess is not enough. Try these techniques and tips for creating a calmer classroom.

1) Try a breathing technique for just 1 minute. Have students sit completely still at their desk, and breathe in and out. You can find an example online or you may already have a yoga mediation in mind.

2) Make a point to do stretching exercises between activities. It can be yoga or simply a calming swooping motion like having your students march in place while swaying their arms pretending to be trees blowing in the wind. Yoga has proven to be a very effective in classroom settings.

Here are a few exercise samples including a 3rd grade classroom:

3) Do activities slowly. Focusing on being quiet and slow creates a pretty quick calming effect. It can even be singing a typically fast song slowly - like "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes."

4) Offer squeezable objects (you could even use play-dough) to those students who need to work on their focus and concentration.

5) Play light music while encouraging a period of time where students can reflect or write.

6) Read: Stories out loud or individually.

7) If all else fails give them 2 minutes to just be silly and shake it all out! Then get back to work.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Is It More Than Just Not Following Directions?

Consider these two scenarios:

1) You instruct your students on a graphing assignment. Find the number of times each selected letter is used in the word, and graph the chart accordingly. You hand out the worksheets and tell them to get started. As you walk around the room, you see one student doing the graph incorrectly. You walk by, remind him of the assignment, and continue to monitor the classroom as a whole. You walk by again. His graph still looks wrong. You ask him if he heard the assignment. He says, "Yes, we need to graph the letters in this word." She walks along. This is repeated three times. When time is up, you collect the worksheets for grading. His paper is completely incorrect.

2) You instruct your students on a letter assignment. Look at the picture, and write the beginning letter sound on the paper. When you review the children's work, you see the same student continuously writing the wrong letter sound, yet you know that child knows his alphabet. He can review them orally with you and identify them just fine. His paper is completely incorrect.

Why do these two students appear to never follow directions? You explained the assignments. You reminded them of the instructions. The first student even repeated the instructions back to you! You know they understand the concepts of the work. Clearly they just don't follow directions. Right? Wrong.

Look closely at the "incorrect" work. Study the graph that the first student completed. Instead of charting vertically, he charted horizontally. Now look at the second student. This student also happens to be in ESL. The picture was a dog. Dog starts with D. But Perro (the Spanish word for dog) starts with a P. He wrote P.

The issue was not a matter of NOT following directions. The issue becomes what the child interprets in correlation with what you are trying to teach.

In today's current standards of testing, large curriculum, and time constraints on top of it all, it's not just a black and white, right or wrong answer. Do we figure out the cause of their answers, or do we assume they didn't listen to what we instructed them to do? By figuring out how their minds work, we can successfully teach them the concepts that they need to progress.  It's a great reminder to take a step back, assess each student individually, and ensure those general instructions are being comprehended by everyone in that classroom. It will only make you a better teacher.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Do We Praise Too Much?

There was a hilarious Saturday Night Live skit titled "You Can Do Anything" with Daniel Radcliffe. Its theme was basically this: You think you're the best at skills you absolutely have no talent in. But because your parents told you that you were great all the time, you assumed you can do anything perfectly.

It seemed relevant to the way kids are being raised these days. It's bad enough there is a lack in independent and free play given all the technology and video games that exist now. But what happens when you throw self-esteem into the mix? Do our children require every day praise just to function and perform normal tasks that past generations were simply expected to do.

My grandson has been working on his fine motor skills, especially snapping his jeans. The other day he ran in to the kitchen screaming with delight, "I did it! I snapped them!" Knowing he had been working on mastering this task, I should have jumped for joy, right? But I simply said, "that's good that you tried," and I continued my cooking. Now I know he was expecting a bigger production, but really now, should I have purchased a new toy for him doing a task he should be doing every day of his life? 

What about in sports? My grandson plays both soccer and basketball. Is he one of the best on his team? Well actually, he is very good. But does that give him the right to hog the ball and never pass? No. I give him praise for making baskets, but I certainly don't praise being a poor teammate.  When is enough praise enough vs. too much?

Kids these days seem to expect a "GREAT JOB!" exclamation at every little thing they do. Everyone gets a medal in soccer at the end of the season. Parents are seen clapping when a homework assignment is completed.  Homework is not a choice. Good grades should be the norm. When did we become a society filled with praise-dependent children?

You will find a lot of articles out there, each with their own viewpoint. And you will have your own opinions too. What do you see in your students? How has their need for praise changed over the years? What will these kids be like in 15 years when they're a part of the working world. How do we wean them off of the "good jobs" and "way to go's" now? Or should we?

Related articles:

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Resolutions You Can Keep

It's 2012 and you have half a school year left. Forget the common resolutions of drinking more water, flossing every day, and shedding a few pounds. Make a few promises to yourself and your students that can improve your classroom and your teaching spirit.

1. Don't give up! Be patient with the student who's falling behind. Whether he/she is trying hard but still failing, or not trying at all, put aside your frustrations and continue to make a difference in that child's future. You are in a very powerful position. You can offer that gentle push that he/she just might need. If you are confident you are doing all that you can possibly do, then you are fulfilling your role.

2. Try new things! Be open to more creative approaches and technology, which can accompany your lesson plans and offer interactive learning. It's also a good way to get students involved in current events.

3. Study up! Make a point to read education and teaching articles. You may find new techniques and tools to improve your teaching experience.

4. Accept the bad days! Yes, you had a bad day. Leave that day's negative energy when you leave the room. You can start fresh in the morning with a new attitude and new approach.

5. Sympathize with your class! Envision yourself as a student when your frustration mounts and you are ready to burst. It may offer a little bit of a reminder of the pressures for both you and them.

6. Don't procrastinate! Don't put off grading tests and assignments. You'll feel better getting it done.

7. Find me-time! Make time to focus on yourself at least 30 minutes a day.  A happy teacher equals happy students.

Happy New Year!