Socrative for Review and Sub Plans!

I NEVER in my wildest dreams would assume my student’s would actually be able to play a “review game” on their mobile devices with a substitute. I have a dream US history class period 1, which means they are still tired. The classroom culture is such that they do their work, every one of them contribute to the class, and meaningful learning happens. It is one of my favorite classes. I am not sure I could leave a review game for some of my other periods, but with that being said you have to know your students and ideally have a good substitute!


I use Socrative for review games all the time. I also love Infuse Learning. I use both programs (free) interchangeably because they have different features. On Monday morning I had a review day scheduled before their test on Tuesday. I attended a conference in the city and needed to leave sub plans. My first reaction was “oh no, what can I have the sub do with them? I can’t lose another school day” (we’ve had 2 snow and 4 hurricane days this year, so far). I already had a Socrative review prepared for my students and I figured I would continue with my plans. Being my school is a BYOD my students could partner up or each use any device they owned to play the “game.”

My sub plans said:

  1. Have the students go to their Socrative app or the internet to access the website
  2. Give them this random code ##### to play the game
  3. Have them play the review game alone or with a partner

I preset the questions to have student’s see if they got the questions correct as well as a “why” if they got the question wrong. My student’s did really well and enjoyed the review game. If you want to access other teacher’s review games using the socrative share code- click this link.


After they played the digital review game I had them use white boards in pairs. I gave each pair an envelop of four vocabulary words with the definitions that were going to be on the test. They had to draw their vocabulary word. They then took turns guessing each others word. They played this game for four rounds so they reviewed over 40 vocabulary words in the period.


I graded the tests on Tuesday and my students did fabulous on the assessment! I am so happy I did not lose and day and most of all meaningful learning occurred and reviewed WITHOUT me being there. I hope you can try something like this in your class.

Earn Extra $ with Teachers Pay Teachers

Warning: I personally make extra money off this idea.

You won’t get rich as a teacher, right? Think again, there are a small number of teacher’s who are making millions of dollars selling their lesson plans online on a website called TeachersPayTeachers (TPT). Teachers Pay Teachers is the first open marketplace where teacher’s can buy and sell original teaching lesson materials. I have uploaded several of my lessons to the website. Check my profile on Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Higher Education -


One Georgia kindergarten teacher Deanna Jump has earned more than $1 million selling lesson plans. The website was created om 2006 and since then more than 26 teacher’s have made more than a $100,000 on TPT. Please note the website takes 15% commission on most sales.


It is a website created with a mission to bring teachers together who create curriculum that strives to create new and fresh approaches to the classroom.  Teachers Pay Teachers is designed to reward teachers who work hard and deserve extra compensation for all those long hours lesson planning.


Ultimately teacher’s pay teacher’s creates a place where teacher’s can share their best practices and everyone benefits, especially students. If interested, Join Teachers Pay Teachers as a buyer or seller or both to make your teaching career even more rewarding.


View my profile of lessons on Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Higher Education -

Gooru provides high-quality learning resources for every student and teacher

One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to teach completely using the iPad. The only exception is when I show a DVD in my classroom. So far it has been fairly easy since I got this wonderful Longitech keyboard, which makes typing so much easier.  In my classroom I have an Apple TV, which allows me to mirror anything from my iPad or my student’s iPad to the projector.

I am always looking for new ways to make my iPad more efficient and save me time. I recently discovered Gooru, which any user can use on their mobile device or on a regular computer browser. Gooru Collections allow any user to have access to more than 3,000 educational materials. The website is organized into playlists and is designed for every 5th-12th grade student.The options are endless from videos to games, to digital textbooks, useful teacher approved websites, quizzes, and so much more.

Collections are aligned to standards and currently cover every 5th-12th grade math, science and social science topic, with more subjects coming soon.

One of my favorite features is that you can save  any resource to your username so anytime you want to access a particular resource it’s right on the home screen or “shelf.” The best part is that it’s FREE and has NO advertisements. Check it out today, you will not be disappointed!

Features of the iPad app:
-Gooru Collections will always be free
-Browse collections on 5th through 12th grade topics
-Search for collections to find exactly what you need to study
-Bookmark your favorite collections for later review
-Enable narration written by teachers to guide you through every resource in a collection
-Get the best collections delivered to you every week in “Featured Collections”
-Swipe to move on to the next resource, or tap the top navigation bar
-Customize your experience by logging in to your account and accessing the collections you saved on the Web
-All materials are vetted by teachers to ensure what you study is high quality and safe
-Much more to come!

TeachersFirst for Free Resources

TeachersFirst is a website I learned from a fellow teacher who works with my mother in Montville, NJ. TeachersFirst is a non-for-profit website that features lesssons, units, and web resources designed to help teachers. The website features practical and user-friendly teacher resources. The website is busting with free tools and teaching ideas that are simple to use and implement into your classroom. The website also offers free professional webinars. In January the website is offering webinars on Google Docs/Forms and a session on simplifying and organizing your life. It is a great resource I highly recommend checking it out today. 


You can Sign Up (Free) at the TeachersFirst website.



Schedule Meetings with Doodle

I discovered Doodle when I was trying to schedule meetings with multiple people with very busy schedules. Doodle simplified the process of scheduling meetings. You can send a poll with multiple options with different meeting times and dates. You can connect your calendar to connect Doodle to simplify meetings to your busy schedule. The best part is that it’s free and does not require registration. It is a very simple way to schedule a meeting with multiple people.


Create a Fake Newspaper Story with Fodey

Make a newspaper clipping with your own headline and story with Fodey. You can surprise friends and coworkers, send a birthday greeting or to give your next blog an update with a newspaper story.  In school you can have your students write a response and then paste it into Fodey to create a response that looks like a Newspaper. As a teacher you can even create a blog post using Fodey to spice up your class blog.  It is so simple and type, paste, and generate!


Teach your students to use TED to spread ideas!

TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. It is a wonderful resource for education is so many ways. It could be used for professional development and videos to engage students. The Educational Technology and Mobile Learning blog has devoted an entire section that contains everything about TED including lists of TED’s most popular videos.  You can expand your students to videos devoted to education and ideas that is beyond youtube.


TED has so many other options such as conferences, events, speeches, community, and conversations. I particularly like using TED Conversations with my AP Government class. As a debate team is preparing for a debate my class has a virtual discussion with the “world” about the debate topic. I have my students write their own opinion and then respond to classmate’s posts. Here is our TED Conversation on the Term Limits for Members of Congress and the Electoral College. This method is extremely powerful because students contribute to  an online community that extends beyond the four walls of our classroom. Students take ownership and feel they “have a say” about ideas in the world.


Progressive Video Project Using Animoto

What was the assignment? 

My student’s created mini-video documentaries about a particular topic during the Progressve Era. Instead of a typical lecture or a boring powerpoint project, my students created 2-4 minute video about their particular muckraker or topic during the Progressive Era.
How did they create them?
My student’s worked alone since I havea very small class. They had one night of research the night before. On Monday they spent the entire period creating a powerpoint. On Friday student’s created their Animoto video projects by saving their powerpoint as a JPG and adding effects/music. If I was to do this again I would give them another day.
The projects turned out well. Tomorrow we are watching their video projects and discussing each topic with more depth. Here is the project if you would like to do it with your student’s

Use in Daily Instruction and Communication

With administrative and parental approval, I use to send text message reminders, announcements, polls, and questions to my students. In the classroom, supports my instruction and creates an environment where every student has a chance to “voice” his or her opinion.  For example, when I show a short video clip I have my student’s text one significant fact or detail they learned to as they watch the video clip. After the video clip, I highlight some of the important topics discussed from their messages. Another way I use in my class is through polling.  I send a poll to student devices, they respond, and then we analyze the responses. It is an interesting way to gauge student comprehension, involve all student’s, and start a discussion. Through student’s text me with questions such as  “what is on the test tomorrow?” or “what did I miss in class today?” when absent. One student named Meghan commented that she enjoyed using because “I could ask you a question at anytime and you would always be there to answer it!”

Here is what my student’s say about it: has also improved parent teacher communication in my classroom. Parents commented that they appreciated the text message reminders about homework & tests, updates about their child’s progress, and even enjoyed the in-class texting activities. Parents are now more informed about how their kids are doing and are better able to help their children with their schooling, which is key to student success.


EduCreations the “personal recordable whiteboard for the ipad”

I recently learned about a new app called EduCreations. It’s like a “personal recordable whiteboard for the ipad” that captures user’s voice, digital handwriting, images, and text for the creation of a video lesson or screencast. You can annotate images with handwriting.
Another unique feature of the app is it’s hosting service, which allows you to share any created projects with a class or select # of users.  As a teacher you can create a class and add your students. They can create their own projects once they are in your “class” with the app. The projects they create automatically go into your your class. You can also “push out” lessons to your class.
If you don’t have an ipad- You can used the web-based version of the app that works with any browser. Best Part about the app it’s FREE.
Tons of cool features-
  1. Handwriting and text tool
  2. import multiple images
  3. great editing tools
  4. animated play back
  5. multiple upload or share options
  6. 9 compatible languages
Hope you get a chance to check it out:

Beyond the Bubble and Reading Like a Historian

I am very proud to announce that The Stanford History Group will be hosting the first #sschat of 2013 on Monday, January 7th at 7 PM EST. They will be discussing reading and writing in history courses. Please join us on #sschat


The Sanford History Educaton Group has created two wonderful programs: Reading Like a Historian and Beyond the Bubble.  The Reading like a historian curriculum engages students in historical inquiry. Each of their 65 lessons revolve  around a central historical question and features primary documents modified for students of all ability levels.   Instead of memorizing historical facts, students evaluate the trustworthiness of multiple perspectives on issues from King Philip’s War to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and make historical claims backed by documentary evidence. Beyond the Bubble utilizes the digital archives of the library of Congress to create a new form of history assessments. Their goal is to “go beyond the bubble” by offering teachers an easy-to-use assessment that captures student’s knowledge and interpretation of critical thinking instead of memorization of facts.




5 ways to use Evernote in 2013


Happy new year!


As we begin a new year, some people might be looking for ways to “go digital” and have everything organized in a easy and simple program.  With so many tools out there today that allow you to do just that, one of my top picks is Evernote.  I’ve been using Evernote for a couple of years now and I’m still finding ways to use Evernote to organize everything I need to.  If you are curious about Evernote, here are 5 ways you can use Evernote in 2013:


1.  Organize your Tweets on Twitter

Planning on using Twitter a lot this year?  Twitter is my main social networking site for my professional development in education – and I’ve run across a multitude of resources shared from people I’ve followed.  So many resources in fact it would take weeks to go through them all.  If you are looking for ways to organize your tweets from Twitter, Evernote can take care of that.  First, you’ll want to follow @myEN on Twitter.  Once you’ve done that, @myEN will send you a link to sign in to your Evernote account and from there you can connect your Evernote and Twitter account.  From that point, simply put @myEN in any tweet you send and it will automatically be put in your Evernote account.

With that being said, however, there are apps you can use on your tablet/mobile device to share your tweets to your Evernote account.  Here is a blog post from that suggests some apps that will help you do that, “9 Things to Capture from Your Twitter Stream and Apps to Help You Do It“.

2.  Scan your paper documents into Evernote

Have a ton of paper documents that you wish you could digitize?  With Evernote, you can get make all of those hard copies into digital copies and organize them so you can easily and quickly access them wherever you are at.  I recently introduced Evernote to one of my former students and explained how it could help her with her studies and also catalog and organize her lecture notes (my full guest post about this, Evernote for the Social Studies: Evernote in History Class, can be found on Melissa Seidemann’s (@mseidemann) blog,  Here’s a snapshot of one of her lecture notes that she captured with the Evernote app on her Iphone:

You can do this via the Evernote app or another app compatible with Evernote.  One app I recommend is CamScanner (IOS & Andorid), which allows you to share in the cloud and save as a PDF file.  Once you have captured the document on your mobile device, it will be in your Evernote account – which will be with you whether you are on your phone, computer, or tablet.  You can also scan documents into your Evernote account with other devices besides a phone or tablet.  Here is a list of devices that will streamline the process,


3.  Clip articles while browsing the internet

Ever run across a interesting article or recipe on the internet and when you later try to find it you can’t?  With the Evernote webclipper, you can clip the article and have it whenever you need it.  Here’s an example of a article I clipped using Evernote:


What is also great about Evernote, is that it also provides a way to clip only the article without the clutter of the ads or page features.  Using Evernote Clearly (another browser extension), you can clip the article itself and get rid of any ads that are on the page that it is located on.  Here’s an example of how a article looks using the standard webclipper and the same article using Evernote Clearly: Standard vs. Clearly (links open in Evernote).  Either way, you can “clip” the article into your Evernote account and have a copy of it in your account.


4.  Explain with Skitch

It’s one thing to describe what you are talking about, however, if you are trying to explain something to someone it can be a lot more effective to show them what you are describing instead.  With Skitch, you can capture your computer screen or markup a photo and place arrows or dialogue on it to describe in detail what you are explaining.


Here’s an example I provided in another guest post on, Evernote for the Social Studies: Evernote & Skitch.  What is great about Skitch is that you can take the photo and mark it up directly from the Skitch app (available both on IOS and Android), which makes life a lot easier.  As with this photo that I took while at the Palo Duro Canyon, I am able to show what “Red Claystone” looks like.  This works especially well in the classroom in trying to accommodate your lessons to include examples of the topic.  Skitch, now owned by Evernote, also allows you to upload your markups and photos directly into your Evernote account.  This way, if you are on the run and want to snap a photo and mark it up later, you can easily access it from your Evernote account and modify it when you are ready.  You can also do the same thing while on your computer and want to show examples of something or even trying to help someone with tehnical support.



5.  Share your resources from Evernote with note and notebook links

Now that you have a plethora of resources, how do you share them from your Evernote account?  You have two options at this point, you can either a) share an individual note or b) share an entire notebook.  All of the following images were captured using Skitch for Windows PC:














If you choose to share an individual note, you can choose different options, as per the given example below:


If you choose to share an entire notebook (which you can do this by simply “right clicking” the notebook in Evernote you want to share and select “share notebook”), which is really useful if you use it to gather resources which you want people to be able to access at their convenience, you can create a public notebook link that will allow anyone to view or join the notebook:




Hopefully these are some good starting points for you if you are interested in using Evernote this year.  With so many different things you can do with Evernote, you’ll find out that it can make life much easier.  You can find out more about Evernote and about other apps that work with Evernote at:


If you are a educator and would like more resources for Evernote, please feel free to visit my Evernote Livebinder, Evernote for Educators: