EBSCO Mobile App, K-12

The app allows you to search the EBSCO online databases from your smart phone. Imagine the possibilities when you can search the databases from any spot in your room, help students in the hallway, check resources from the lunchroom, etc.

New EBSCO Search Features, K-12

The online databases were upgraded this summer that can have quite an impact on how your students learn. Reluctant readers or young readers tackling difficult text can use the read-aloud feature; research skills are easier to teach with the search strategy tracker; critical thinking can be enhanced when students are referred to relevant, related pieces of information. Search all the online databases with Com Cat, http://comcat-agent.auto-graphics.com. New features include:
• text-to-speech full-text articles
• text translation to 33 languages
• limiters and date slider
• search tools for related information
• breadcrumbs for tracking search strategy
• when viewing an article, you can see the table of contents for that issue and go to other issues of that magazine
• results are sorted by relevance in default mode
• phrase searching is W5 so it's with 5 words of each other rather than side by side

Wolfram Alpha and Language Arts, 9-12

Many teachers think this is a tool for math and science. It’s so much more. Check out the links in this blog for information on word web and synonyms; writing assignment help; calculating and finding anagrams, word puzzles and patterns; you can even calculate how long it should take you to read a 500 word speech.

Constitution Day, K-12

Commemorate this important living document on September 17 with rich instructional materials such videos, interviews, historical documents, primary source documents, commentary, primary source documents, etc. Go to http://comcat-agent.auto-graphics.com to search the Heartland collection, school libraries, and all the online databases with one log-in and search statement.

iCivics: Interactive Civic Education, 6-12

This interactive site is the vision of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor who is concerned that students are not getting the information and tools they need for civic participation, and that civics teachers need better materials and support. Each iCivics game is playable in one class period, and has a detailed printable report at the end for grading purposes. iCivics games are best played with students on individual computers, but they can also be played on a single computer with the help of a smart board or projector. iCivics games don't require prior knowledge. They teach students everything they need to know to play.

iCivics webquests are quick and interactive. They are an engaging way to learn about specific civics topics. They include reading and questions with links to specific web resources that help students see how the topic relates to the real world. Webquests can be used by the whole class with a projector or a smart board or on individual computers.

iCivics lessons are practical and engaging. Individual activities are easy to manage, self-contained, and there is always something the teacher can collect from students at the end of the period. Lesson materials are visually appealing and written in a conversational tone to foster students’ interest. They teach the material in the context of problems and issues that are relevant to students.

Teachers’ Domain Public TV Videos Online, K-12

This is an extensive library of free digital media resources produced by public television and designed for classroom use and professional development. The continually growing online library now includes more than 1,000 free media resources from the best in public television. Classroom resources, featuring media from NOVA, Frontline, Design Squad, American Experience and other public broadcasting and content partners, are easy to use and correlate to national standards. Create your own personal log-in.

Reading Rainbow on Learn360, K-6

938 episodes are now online for streaming or download. It can be a little overwhelming if you don’t know the exact title, so there are some built-in search filters. For example, there are 12 episodes on math, 100 on science/technology, 58 on arts, 37 on social studies, 17 on vocational guidance, 68 on health/wellness, 23 on music, 20 on family, 19 on work, etc. Don’t forget, Heartland also has 157 titles (VHS and/or DVD) available for checkout and/or loan.

BookFLIX, K-3

New fiction / nonfiction book pairs and Spanish language books will be added to BookFLIX this September. BookFLIX is for beginning readers and may be accessed at school or home with the online database/username password. Click here for color and b/w half-sheet fliers you can send home with students.
New fiction / nonfiction book pairs:
How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? / This is the Way We Eat Our Food
Do Unto Otters / We Are Citizens
Teacher from the Black Lagoon / This is the Way We Go to School
I’m Dirty! / Backhoes
Otto Runs for President / Let’s Vote On It!

New Spanish versions:
Is Your Mama a Llama / Animal Babies
Harold and the Purple Crayon / Where Can Art Take You?
Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin / All About Sound
Happy Birthday Moon / The Moon
Chrysanthemum / We Help Out at School

Story of Read-Alee-Deed-Alee DVDs, PreK-3

These programs from IPTV feature the use of phonics and whole language to introduce letters, sounds, blends, and rhyming. You can request a DVD copy to keep. Go to http://www.aea11.k12.ia.us, scroll down to Print & Production, click Duplication Services.
The Story of Read-Alee-Deed-Alee: Programs 1-5 (073639)
The Story of Read-Alee-Deed-Alee: Programs 6-10 (073640)
The Story of Read-Alee-Deed-Alee: Programs 11-14 (073641)

Iowa HS Battle of the Books

Registration is now open. Qualifying tests will be given online at your home school with the final rounds for the top 16 teams on April 21, 2011 at Marshalltown High School. Official web site: http://ihsbob.iowapages.org/

Timelines and netTrekker, K-12

Reviewed web sites. Students can enter a date range and find noteworthy events in world history, visual art, U.S. history, innovations and discoveries, famous people, and American literature. Students click on the category to go to reviewed web sites on narrower topics. Timelines can be used to expand background knowledge in a novel study; put historical events in context; or generate discussion on politics, science, culture, etc. Here’s an example from the 1952-1962 timeline:
• nuclear arms race
• McCarthy era
• Brown v. Topeka Board of Education
• Southern Christian Leadership Conference
• Invisible Man
• Lord of the Flies
• polio vaccine
• structure of DNA

Iowa Inventors Database, K-12

The State Library has a rare online database of Iowa inventors and inventions from 1843-2009. It is searchable by inventor's name, title of the invention, the inventor's residence (town or county), date the patent was granted, and patent number. Did you know there were 1,738 patent from 1900-1902 and 4,450 patents from 2000-2002.
If you look at the 1900-1902 patents and then used the timeline feature in netTrekker, http://school.nettrekker.com, you could help students put those inventions in context with what happening in the world. 1900-1902 was the time of Gilded Age and Early Modernism, the Boxer Rebellion, Boer War, allied intervention, Casey Jones, the control of Yellow Fever, discovery of radioactive half-life, etc.

Rivers and Life DVD Series, 7-12

The Rivers and Life: How Waterways Cradle and Confound Human Society series explores the benefits of the water; the challenges it presents to human life; and the human activities that have affected its path, strength and biodiversity. Each DVD is about 50 minutes. Previews are online at http://bit.ly/c4vPOy. The DVDs are available for checkout from Heartland.
The Amazon River : pristine and unprotected (810026)
The Ganges River : sacred or sullied (810012)
The Mississippi River : triumphant and tragic (810013)
The Nile River : shared or monopolized? (810011)
The Rhine : a river of unity and diversity (810014)
The Yangtze River : China's wild lifeline (810015)

Financial History of the World DVDs, 9-12

The Ascent of Money series looks at financial schemes, structures, and institutions through the centuries—with equal attention given to booms and busts. It explains the development of specific markets, the innovation of monetary systems, and the ascension of corporate finance. Viewers will learn how seemingly abstract financial forces nurtured early civilizations, laid the foundations of the Italian Renaissance, sustained the Dutch and British empires, and propelled the rise of the American economy—as well as its new age of instability. Each DVD is about 50 minutes. You can preview the series at http://ffh.films.com/search.aspx?q=ascent+of+money. The DVDs are available for checkout from Heartland.
Blowing bubbles : the emergence of stock trading (810016)
Chimerica : an economic love story gone sour (810017)
Dreams of avarice : credit and interest through the ages (810028)
Human bondage : the evolution of bond trading (810027)
Risky business : insuring against the future (810018)
Safe as houses : real estate values and mortgage trading (810019)

Iron Science/Math Teacher, PreK-12

These webcasts show teachers competing before a live audience. It’s a parody of “Iron Chef.” The teachers have 10 minutes to create a science or math activity based on everyday items such as a plastic bag, a milk carton, or a nail. The lesson is taught to the audience. The archive of competitions goes back to 1999 and is grouped by topic such as household items, holidays, kitchen items, desk items and the recycling bin. Some of the particular items used include candles, chocolate, pumpkins, corks, Jell-o and water bottles.

NOAA Photo Collection, K-12

The copyright-free photographs from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are meant to be used in student presentations and reports. All images are keyword searchable. It includes 22 topic areas such as: coastlines, coral kingdom, fisheries, flying, space, sailing, weather, etc. Create classroom posters from the images, link photos to your class wiki, add images to the online class in Moodle, display the “image of the day” to start classroom discussions. To download an image, click on High Resolution Photo below the image caption then save it.

STEM Online Videos, 6-12

Futures Channel videos now have lesson plans, interactive simulations, and performance-based learning tasks. Teachers can bring relevance to the classroom while providing the understanding and application of science and math concepts. Click here for the module on testing baseball bats that includes a simulation for finding the sweet spot http://stem.definedlearning.com/demo.cfm?id=5

Math Park DVDs, 2-4

This is a standards-based, interactive math series. Go to http://www.mathparkvideos.org/ to preview some titles. The DVDs are available for checkout. Each title is about 15 minutes.
Check out the thousands! (809990)
Easy to win : multiplying 10 (810000)
From greatest to least (809991)
Greater than? less than? (809989)
Introduction to three digit numbers (809986)
Multiplying mysterious number 9 (810006)
Sakes alive : multiplying by 5 (809994)
Standard and expanded form (809987)
Strategies : multiplying by 3 (810001)
Strategies : multiplying by 4 (810002)
Strategies : multiplying by 6 (810003)
Strategies : multiplying by 7 (810004)
Strategies : multiplying by 8 (810005)
Three digit numbers : those pesky zeros (809988)
Understanding ten thousands (809992)
What to do? : multiplying by 2 (809993)

Rosetta Stone Classroom Version 3, K-12

Iowa schools can purchase Rosetta Stone at special pricing through September 15, 2010. For details on how to order:
For general information about Rosetta Stone:

Integrate Physical Activities with Curriculum, PreK-8

This site provides “energizers” or classroom-based physical activities that integrate physical activity with academic concepts. Teachers can find information on working with special needs students and students with limited English proficiency in physical education at http://www.ncpe4me.com/inclusive_pe.html

Copyright for Students and Teachers

Copyright BriefNOTES for Students is a four-page brochure that explains copyright, fair use, and use of online databases. The PDF is online so teachers can link it to the class wiki or online class, http://www.aea11.k12.ia.us/medianet/library.html. Color paper copies are also available.
Copyright Condensed goes into more detail for teachers and includes some teaching resources such as Intellectual Property Rights in the Digital Age, http://www.ipreducation.com. The PDF is also online (see above), or paper copies are available.

Academic Success DVDs, 9-12

This five-part series, developed and tested by Dartmouth College, helps students master the learning strategies they need to succeed. Presentations are short, concrete, and highly visual. Previews are online at http://cambridge.films.com/search.aspx?q=academic+success. DVDs are 10-18 minutes each. You can check them out from Heartland.
Active listening and note-taking (810024)
Critical thinking and problem-solving (810022)
Researching, reading, and writing (810023)
Studying and test-taking (810025)
Time management (810021)
Values and goals (810020)

Google Docs Ideas, K-12

Here are some applications for using the free tool—Google Docs. This is a summary of a blog. Go to the blog for examples, lessons, and hyperlinks.
1. Get to know your class
Use this form to gather some indication from your new class about their likes and dislikes, their favorite lessons or after school clubs they enjoy. It will help you to build your relationships with children as you quickly learn more about them.
2. Emotion graph
An emotion graph is a simple line graph comparing a range of happiness to sadness against different points (time) in a story or film. This technique of graphing the emotional ups and down within a story really helps children to visualize the whole story in a different way. Use a Google Form to gather the children’s responses to different parts of any type of linear narrative, written or visual. It can be used in a film narrative literacy unit.
3. Spelling test
For your weekly spelling test use simple 1-10 or 1-20 numbered form (with a name question too of course) and ask the students to type in their answers as you read out the list of words. Once these are submitted apply formula to judge if they are correct or not and it becomes self-marking.
4. Comprehension questions
A Google Form could collate the students’ comprehension answers in one place for any given text. You could also share the answers with the class so that they can review what their peers are doing. This could be a formalized assessment of their understanding of a text or something more informal to start class discussions.
5. Weekly reading record
A form could be created for the students’ reading diary. It can be accessed from any computer.
6. Math data handling
A form could be a simple way of collecting information about the class – shoe size, eye color etc. Read online for a link to a spreadsheet for analysis.
7. Guided reading record
Create a form as a class record for small focused group reading--such as 15-20 minute guided reading sessions.
8. Prior learning assessment
Use a form to assess what the students already know about any given topic that you are beginning. The form could be a formalized assessment with specific questions about the topic or it could be more general and open for them to explain what they know.
9. Library book review
Create a form as a simple way of collecting the students’ thoughts about what they read. The children in the class could use it as a reference to help them choose a book to read.
10. Learning success
Create a form to assess student learning from a single lesson or series of lessons on a topic. Invite the students to assess their own confidence after practicing something – such as a lesson on one of the written multiplication methods. The form would collate the views of all of the class very quickly and allow you to make a quick assessment on next instruction needed.