Thursday, August 28, 2008

Does this all count?

A few minutes from our first Seedlings on August 28, 2008, with Bob Sprankle and Alice Barr, and I am reflecting on my MEME, rhymes with seem.

I did it, I made all my goals for the summer MEME. More details to follow on the extent of my goal attainment.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Want to celebrate! Tonight I graduated!

Again, I graduated. This time it was from my webcast academy class of 1.2. For the past 2 years I have listened to webcasts, listened to podcasts, created webcasts and podcasts. After plenty of practice, actually teaching the class, with fellow webcaster Susan Ettenheim we graduated! Alice Barr- from Kennebunk, ME, Susan Ettenheim- from NYC and me, Cheryl Oakes- Wells, ME.
So, what is a webcast, I like to call it Internet Radio. It is a collaborative, supportive group of people, some educators and some not, but we join together and have conversations on the Internet, publish the conversations and often have live chats going in a chat room while the audio conversations are happening.
Where can you sign up? How much does it cost? Check out, listen to a few shows, participate in the chat and the if it is for you, join the webcast academy class.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Back to School, homework for Educators!

It is that time! You can smell fall in the air in New England. The evenings and mornings are crisp! You need a jacket for a bit when the sun goes down.

It is also time to apply for a couple of grants for educators!
Here is a new one to me from  then look for Education and the many options. Here is my favorite, field trip grants! You can apply anytime from Sept. 2, 2008 and the last date is closed on November 1, 2008.  Take advantage of this one. Target says it will send one out of every 25 schools nationwide on exciting, enriching field trips. Let me know when you get this grant.

The other is the Best Buy Te@ch Award! You must submit between July 1 and October 12, 2008, winners announced on March 3, 2009. Details are here.

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Grant information for K-12 math and science.

This is lifted from

2008 TAF K-6 Math and Science Grant Deadline Approaching

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The deadline for this year's Toshiba America Foundation's Science and Math Improvement Grant for K-6 is looming. Educators have until Oct. 1 to apply for the grants, which award up to $1,000 to fund science or math projects. The Toshiba America Foundation (TAF) is urging educators to apply, saying the program "is very easy to access for science and math teachers."
The Science and Math Improvement Grant awards schools for "programs and activities that improve teaching and learning in science and mathematics" in K-12 education. K-6 teachers can receive $1,000 mini-grants for math and science projects. Teachers of grades 7 through 12 can receive grants of up to $5,000. The deadline for K-6 grant applications is Oct. 1. Teachers of grades 7 through 12 can apply at any time during the calendar year. Teachers can also apply for grants larger than $5,000. Such applications will be reviewed twice per year: Feb. 1 and Aug. 1.
The Toshiba America Foundation has so far granted some $9 million to educators since its inception, supporting about 1,600 schools in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. More information about the grant program can be found here.

Try your hand at applying for a grant, your idea might be funded.

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

What is a techtorial?

"Education World Techtorials are weekly, step-by-step instructions on using some aspect of technology in the regular classroom. Short, practical, and educationally sound, Techtorials provide classroom teachers with simple, straightforward tips they can use today!" Taken right from the Education World website!

Do you feel like you are the only one in your hallway that doesn't know how to:

Skype: Talk to Anyone, Anywhere for Free
PhotoStory3: Projects, Slide Shows, and More
A Beginner's Guide to Wikis
Build a Blog
Creating a Podcast
Record, Edit, and Share Sound Files With Audacity
Social Bookmarking
Understanding RSS Feeds
What is a Podcast?

If so, then hop on over to  Education World website!
There are many, many more techtorials, one to surely interest you.

You will find the answers to the questions in the tutorials and way more!

The techtorials are all PDF files, which you can open in your browser, open another browser and try out the recommended tool while reading along. You could even print out the PDF, get a partner and follow along together. What a great way to network and learn a new tool! Good luck.

Over and out.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Just the best thing since sliced bread! Now how long ago would that have been new?

If you have been looking for great resources for your students, grades K- 6, check out these sites:

Wikijunior Books-

The aim of this project is to produce age-appropriate non-fiction books for children from birth to age 12. These books are richly illustrated with photographs, diagrams, sketches, and original drawings. Wikijunior books are produced by a worldwide community of writers, teachers, students and young people all working together. Text taken from the site.

Another great resource you will want to check out is the Encyclopedia of Life.


The project is a collection of free textbooks and manuals. You can edit any book module right now by clicking on the edit this page link that appears in every Wikibooks module.

The project was opened in response to a request by Wikipedia's Karl Wick for a place to start building open content textbooks such as organic chemistry and physics in order to bring education to humanity and reduce the costs and other limitations to top-quality learning materials. It was started on July 10, 2003 and has been growing steadily since. As a result of the continuous growth, Wikibooks was split into several language-specific subdomains on July 21, 2004. Text taken from the site.

You can see some of the many resources connected to the Wikibooks site. Click here.

BTW, by the way, here is the information about sliced bread from wikipedia.

The phrase "the greatest thing since sliced bread" (and variations thereof) is a commonly used hyperbolic means of praising an invention or development. Sliced bread appears to be something of an arbitrary selection as the benchmark against which later inventions should be judged. It has been said that "the phrase is the ultimate depiction of innovative achievement and American know-how",[6] although it is commonly used in the United Kingdom as well.

The popular use of the phrase derives from the fact that Wonder Bread, the first mass-marketer of sliced bread as a product, launched a 1930s ad campaign touting the innovation. Text taken from
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Dog Days of Summer! (for the Northern Hemisphere that is)

If you are living in the State of Maine, and you are a 4th grade teacher teaming with an art teacher you can apply for a grant from WMTW TV Through a Child's Eye.
This sounds like a fabulous effort by WMTW to empower Maine students to explore and document their world! Do it soon, the deadline is September 15, 2008. Oh, btw, good luck. Let me know how you do!

Here is another digital photography contest from TechLearning.
This is for K-12 for photos that students have taken from Jan. 1, 2008 to October 1, 2008.

The other great grant opportunity is with Best Buy. Best Buy offers a Teach Award. If you work in a school in a 50 mile radius of a Best Buy, you are elegible. The award window is open from July 1, to October 1, 2008.
Here are some further rules:
  • Awards will range from $1,000 to $5,000 based on specific school needs.
  • $10,000 will be awarded to up to 15 applications supporting 9th grade programs
This grant has been awarded to people in our school district, and to a neighboring school district. You can do this. If you would like more information follow the links. If you would like help filling out the award, just contact me. I'd be happy to help. Good luck!

Best Buy also funds a specific donation program if your idea qualifies. Check out the criteria here.

I'll stop back frequently when I find other opportunities!

Add your bubble

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Friday, August 01, 2008

Great link for Social Studies and 21st Century Literacy

The Parntership for 21st Century Skills has published the 21st Century Skills Map for Social Studies with benchmarks at Grade 4, 8 and 12. This document provides the necessary language and examples for any teacher to make meaningful decisions in a classroom about how to present material encompassing 21st Century Literacy.
Here is an example for 8th grade communication:
Outcome: Research, organize and present information in clear, complete and effective formats.
Example: Research information on the local implications of a global issue of concern. Students organize their information and a possible solution and write a persuasive letter that is to be proof-read, peer edited, and finally sent via e-mail to a local public official.

Just by adding the words global issue and email to an already designed lesson, you have bridged the next century. Just try it. Just because this is a social studies content area, don't dismiss it. I am sure you, the great teacher that you are, can find a way to make this work in your content area.