Monday, February 18, 2013

My Quizlet Tools

I teach second grade and a huge part of our math instruction is based on addition and subtraction facts. We encourage the students to practice these facts at home but not everyone does. With Quizlet flashcards, students can practice each set of addition and subtraction facts and then use them in different fun activities to study. Below are 4 sets of flashcards I have created for my students. I can easily send out the link to my flashcards or have students search for the fact group they are working on on the website.


When thinking back to high school and college, I created hundreds of flashcards over the years when studying and ended up simply throwing the cards away after the test. Quizlet can help you change that by helping you create online flashcards that you can use over and over again and even share with others.

After creating a Quizlet account for free, you can create flashcards and organize them by class, topic, skill, etc. and access them multiple times. After the cards are created, you can do a few "fun" activities in order to study your topic. Quizlet allows you to take a test with your information, race friends, and even race yourself with the information. I like the idea of these activities as I know from experience it gets boring just reading a term and flipping the card over for the answer. Multiple classmates could split up the information and create flash cards to share with the rest of the class instead of leaving all the work on one person.

If you do not want to create a Quizlet account, you can simply search your topic on the website and if there are flashcards created, you will be able to access and study them.

Weebly Ideas

When I first talked about Weebly, I shared how I use it in the classroom. As I continued to think about Weebly I realized that I also used it in Grad School when creating my pre-internship portfolio. It was a great tool to use to organize my portfolio as I could create tabs for each part of the potfolio I was discussing. It helps keep things organized for my professor to read. I also enjoyed using Weebly for this project because I could easily link projects I had created. I could link them to projects I had created that were on the Web as well as ones that were saved on my computer.

Sign Up Genius Experience

For our recent Valentine's Day Party, I used the tool Sign Up Genius that I discussed previously in my blog. I wanted to give an update on how this went. For the most part, everything with this tool went great. I have wonderful classroom parents so many of them signed up for an item and continued to go back to the sign up to make sure everything was filled, if it wasn't, they would sign up for another item. One problem that I did have was that when I asked for juice boxes, I made 2 sign up spots and asked for 12 each. In the description I wrote that it should be 1 box of 12 juice boxes. Some parents did not understand this and since I created my sign up for 12 slots it let multiple parents sign up for this item. After I saw too many people signing up for this, I tried to fix it but it wouldn't let me. Needless to say, I ended up with tons of leftover juice boxes! That seemed to be the only mistake I made when using this tool. Many parents also used the "contact" button where they could contact me with questions. Some of the parents who did this also contacted me about other things which was great because they were able to get my email address right from the website. I look forward to using this sign up tool in the future and know I will know how to fix my mistakes. You can take a look at my sign up below!

Wordle Activity

In my previous post I discussed Wordle in the classroom. One way that I have used this with 3rd graders is with a biography unit. I had my students interview each other and then use the answers to their questions to create a word cloud about their partner. I made the word cloud below about another 3rd grade teacher to show the students what to do. I connected my laptop to the projector and went through all the steps of Wordle so that my students would understand how to use it. They found it very simple to use and loved the fact that they could search for a template of their liking. After each student created their biography word cloud, I printed and mounted each one on a bulletin board so that others could read their creation. Although Wordle has an option to save your work to their public gallery, I did not have my students do this. My students had a great time with this tool and I hope to use it again this year.

Monday, February 11, 2013


Wordle is another one of my favorite Web 2.0 tools. It is a great way for students to be creative with words. Students can simply type in words about a topic and the tool will generate a word cloud. Students can search through the various word clouds to choose a design they like the best.

The best part about this tool is that you do not need to register or create an account! This makes it super easy to use with your students. Just type in the website address and click "create" in order to begin your Wordle creation!

According to the Wordle website:
"Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends."

Monday, February 4, 2013

Have you ever planned a classroom party or school event? Have you ever had to send home paper checklists asking parents what to bring in? Have you ever had to post a checklist in your teachers lounge to get people to sign up for things? If you said yes, then you will want to check out this website called "Sign Up Genius." 

The creators of this website explain their creation with a bit of silliness but sum it up best by saying "We're busy. Really busy. Probably a lot like you. The idea for was sparked out of need to simplify and organize the various groups and communities we are involved in."

You can use Sign Up Genius not only for school but for sports, church, and other groups you might be involved in. To start a "sign-up" of your own, all you need to do it follow the easy steps on their website and email it out to your participants. If your participants do not have email, simply have them search your email address and you can find the sign up you are looking for. Once participants find the sign-up, they can select the things they wish to sign up for. Participants can "swap" items with other members as well as post comments that the sign up creator will be able to see and reply to. The best part is, as people sign up, the creator will receive an email telling them what has been signed up for.

I have used this tool with my 2nd grade class and the parents have had no trouble signing up to bring in items for our party. I also used it when signing up for a training session and it was a breeze! Hope you get to try it out! :)

Saturday, January 19, 2013


Who doesn't have a website these days? :) Weebly is a great way for anyone to start their own webpage as it is super simple to use. I started using this tool about 2 years ago when I decided to create a webpage for my classroom. I love that you can easily change layouts, backgrounds, fonts, pictures, and more with just a few clicks. The parents in my classroom that have viewed my page always rave about how easy it is for them to navigate and how much easier it is for them to stay updated on classroom news.

Not only can you use this for a classroom website, but I have created websites through Weebly that are independent lessons for students. In these lesson sites, I was able to include directions for students to follow and also embedded links that the students can use to watch videos, take quizzes, and play games. One of the websites I created for student use was when I taught 3rd grade and we were studying "main idea" in reading. This was a hard concept for my students so I used this website as a follow-up during center rotation time. I plan on using it again this year with my above level 2nd graders.

Feel free to check out my main idea website as well as my classroom website!
Classroom Website
 Main Idea Website

Google Earth

I know this is a popular Web 2.0 tool and that many of you have probably used it before but I have to say it is one of my favorites and I use it with my students regularly. You are able to use Google Earth to show countries, states, cities, and up close views of places such as famous monuments. You can even zoom in on your school, houses, parks, and other places that are familiar to the students. The coolest part of this tool is that you can view Earth, the Moon, and the Sky.
This year with my 2nd graders I used it to show them a close up view of the Moon during our science unit. I was able to show them craters, light and dark areas, and even places where different countries had visited. I was also able to show them what Earth looks like from this view. When studying continents, I was able to show them what each continent looked like and then zoom in closer to look at specific countries, states, and cities.

Google Earth is great for students to see what certain places look like up close. For many students who have never been to places outside of Maryland, it is great because they can go on a virtual field trip to see some of the coolest places in the world. The kids especially love when you change locations and the picture zooms quickly to another location. It gives them a sense of how close and far places are compare to one another. This is such an engaging tool and I hope you get the chance to use it in your own classroom!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Hey everyone! This is my blog about Web 2.0 tools. Please check back throughout the duration of ET 630 for updates on some cool tools!