Twitter Hashtags, K-12

More and more teachers are using Twitter to create a personal learning network as part of their professional development. A hashtag, or #, is used to transmit tweets to groups. To see more hashtags and learn how to use Twitter, start with this site:
Here are some educational chat hashtags to get you started.

iPad App for Britannica, K-12

Encyclopaedia Britannica just announced the availability of the free iPad app. Add this to the other online database apps:
Gale / AccessMyLibrary (choose the green app)
Teen Hotlines

TrueFLIX ebooks, 3-6
TrueFLIX includes nonfiction ebooks targeted to readers in grades 3-6. They are interactive and help students understand how to read nonfiction text. While targeted to elementary students, some students in higher grades could benefit from this high-interest, low-level, multi-sensory nonfiction information:
-ELL students struggling with English
-secondary students functioning at a reading level below 5th grade
-ADHD students who need multi-sensory resources to maintain focus
and, of course, those second graders who are reading above grade level will also benefit. Elementary teachers will be encouraged to share the username/password with parents for home access. TrueFlix is continuing to add new titles and additional vetted content (almost doubled the number of titles in two years).

An introductory video is at

Unlimited number of students can be reading the same book
Nonfiction video/book titles paired
Read-aloud with quality voices
Includes ideas and strategies for using the ebooks
Students can access from home
Perfect whiteboard application
Extension activities, primary sources, and lesson plans

TrueFLIX includes ebook titles in these categories:
American Indians
Ancient Civilizations
U.S. Government
Westward Expansion
Extreme Nature
Human Body
Natural Disasters

All types of readers will enjoy:
Leveled texts, select by Lexile
Voice-over reading features
Multiple text types
Words highlighted as read
Word definitions

Access: Use the online database username/password assigned to your school. Students can also use TrueFLIX at home. There is a hyperlink on Heartland’s Homework Help page. Go to, click the Parents tab, scroll down to Homework Help.

Training: You are welcome to register for a training webinar.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
2:00-3:00 PM
Click here to register:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011
2:00-3:00 PM
Click here to register:

Tuesday, January 17, 2012
2:00-3:00 PM
Click here to register:

Save 85% on Microsoft and Adobe Software, K-12
Students and staff can get discounts on software from Adobe, Microsoft, Inspiration, Crick, Nuance, Sophos, Symantec, and more. Go to the URL listed above and click the Teacher & Student Buys tab in the lower left.

DE Science, K-8
This is a reminder that Discovery Education Science K-8 is available to schools in the Heartland AEA service area. Use the online database username/password assigned to your school. Contact the Heartland AEA library if you need the teacher passkey to create a personal teacher account.

Winter Ellison Symbols, K-12
The colorful Ellison symbols are fun for students and can be used in instruction. They are available in a variety of colors and sizes and range from $.03 to $.06 each. A full-color catalog and order form are online.
Tiny (1”)
Small ( 2 ¾”)
Large (4”)
Double Cut (11”x3”)
Extra large (8”x11”) and Whiteboards, K-12, one of Heartland’s online databases that adds a multimedia dimension to reading experiences, is a powerful tool to use with a whiteboard.
This article includes five strategies for using an interactive whiteboard as teachers build 21st-century connections to books and authors.
Create an interactive punctuation lesson
Identify, organize, and explore characters' relationships with a Venn Diagram
Analyze 13 layers of a Steve Jenkins picture book illustration
Learn from authors discussing their writing process
Teach phonic spelling while mastering author names

PWIM Posters, K-8

Picture Word Inductive Method is an integrated reading and writing strategy. Children are encouraged to study a picture and then name the objects, actions or emotions suggested in the picture. Students can make connections between oral and written language. Heartland AEA has over 90 posters. You can view the posters and order online at, click Advanced Search in the second column.

Project-Based Learning, K-12
This website is a one-stop shop for project-based learning (PBL) with quality content that’s easy to access. Project-based learning is an increasingly popular instructional strategy that emphasizes workforce readiness and development of students’ 21st-Century skills. The site offers quality free resources including planning forms, student rubrics, and handouts. It also provides a library of project examples as well as blogs and discussion forums. An extensive research section rounds out the content, sharing positive outcomes and best practices associated with PBL.

New York Times Science, 3-12
The science area of the New York Times site offers timely news from the world of science, combined with interactive features and commentary. A handy “what’s popular” box lets students know what others are reading about in terms of science topics. The New York Times content is quality reporting with easy, fun reads on topics appropriate for both elementary and secondary classrooms. Teachers at all grade levels can use articles such as “Earliest Signs of Advanced Tools Found,” without having to be experts on topics in order to follow them.

Free Publishing Site, K-8
LaunchPad is a publishing site that provides young writers and illustrators with an online method for sharing their original stories, poems, book reviews, or illustrations. An editorial team reviews each submission and only accepts those they consider quality pieces. LaunchPad is different from other publishing sites in that submissions are accepted free of charge, which also means there is no physical book produced. Students are required to provide a parent’s email address as a security method. Reading the pieces is fairly easy. A scrolling window allows the student to browse the pages of a selected title without having to navigate multiple windows. The student also has the ability to download the file.

Get to Know Poe, 6-12
The activities introduce the literature, life, and times of Edgar Allan Poe. Students can explore Poe’s worlds—both fictional and real—from a number of perspectives. They can examine the complex choices writers make as they create their works. They can investigate the “hard facts” about life and death in the United States during Poe’s lifetime. In addition, they can learn about the continuing impact of Poe’s legacy. The classroom resources have been created especially for students in middle school and high school. In addition to these interactive experiences, there are lesson plans created by teachers, primary source documents, and links for further research. Throughout the site, students can watch for the Random Raven, which will give them some inside information and little known facts about Poe.

Civil War, 8-12

National Archives: Discovering the Civil War

Discovering the Civil War
Letters, orders, maps, telegrams, photographs and broadsides are preserved in the National Archives. To complement these primary sources, the Archives education specialists have produced articles with companion lesson plans related to Civil War history. Teaching with Documents contains reproducible copies of primary documents from the holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration and teaching activities correlated to social studies standards that include cross-curricular connections. Offerings include:
Fugitive from Labor Cases: Henry Garnett (1850) and Moses Honner (1860)
The Civil War as Photographed by Mathew Brady
The Fight for Equal Rights: Black Soldiers in the Civil War
Letters, Telegrams, and Photographs Illustrating Factors That Affected the Civil War
Confederate Sympathizers in New Mexico During the Civil War
Georgia: The Atlanta Campaign of 1865—The Camera at War
Teachable Texts from the National Archives at New York City
The Union Blockade: Lincoln’s Proclamations

Reading Rockets App, PreK-2
Reading Rockets is a national multimedia project offering research-based and best-practice information and resources on how young students learn to read and why so many struggle. It has articles, lists of recommended books, interviews with authors and illustrators, reading guides, parent guides, tips for teaching reading, and more. A mobile app is now available.

Advocates of Change DVDs, 7-12

This series is available for checkout from Heartland AEA. It features individuals who have made a difference and revolutionized the world. They will change the way students view the world and remind them that it only takes one person to make a difference. There are 26 DVDs in the series. Preview online at Use in guidance, social studies, current events, literature, homebase programs.

Example: Activists. This program introduces activists who have made a difference in the political climate of their respective countries. Information is provided on their beliefs, important works/actions, as well as how they died. Segments are included on Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Aung San Suu Kyi, and Che Guevara.

Activists #810155
Actors #810158
Actresses #810156
Artists #810157
Corporations #810159
Entrepreneurs #810225
Environmentalists #810226
Family dynasties #810227
Famous duos #810228
Heads of state #810229
Human rights leaders #810230
Humorists #810231
Inventors #810232
Lifestyle gurus #810233
Media moguls #810234
Monarchies #810235
Music industry pioneers #810236
Musician activists #810237
Producers and directors #810238
Science and disease #810239
Space exploration #810240
Sports figures #810241
Transportation #810242
Voyagers #810243
Women in politics #810244
Writers #810245

Why? Science DVDs, preK-3

The Children Ask Why DVD series is available for checkout from Heartland AEA. These engaging, live action programs has been produced not only to help younger children discover the answers to 40 carefully selected questions, but also to encourage them to think independently and to heighten their curiosity. Examples:
Why do rabbits wiggle their noses?
Why do animals have tails?
Why do flowers smell?
Why does my mouth water when I smell food?
Why doesn’t it hurt when I get my hair cut?
Why is Grandma’s hair gray?

Geometry Applications DVDs, 8-12

These eight DVDs feature dynamic footage, 3D animations, and high production values. Each video includes graphing calculator applications using the Texas Instruments TI- Nspire, a teacher’s guide, and correlations to the NCTM standards. The DVDs are available for checkout from Heartland AEA. Preview online at

Angles and planes #810282
Circles #810358
Coordinate geometry #810361
Points and lines #810281
Polygons #810285
Quadrilaterals #810284
Transformations #810362
Triangles #810283

World Crisis: Cause and Effect DVDs, 8-12

This DVD series examines the cause and effect of each crisis-from looking at the social and political climate at the time, to examining how each event has changed the world-whether through legislation, preventative measures, or other means. The DVDs are available for checkout from Heartland AEA. Topics:
Afghanistan war
Asian tsunami
Bhopal disaster
Haiti earthquake
Hurricane Katrina
Rwanda genocide
September 11
Tiananmen Square

Automotive Electrical Systems DVDs, 9-12

These seven DVDs are available for checkout from Heartland AEA. They use cutaways, animated component builds, diagrams, close-ups of parts, and footage of auto techs doing tests and making repairs to illustrate the operation and servicing of automotive electrical systems. Includes information on both late-model and older-style vehicles.

Charging system operation #810222
Charging system service #810217
Ignition system operation #810218
Ignition system service #810219
Starting system operation #810220
Starting system service #810221
Using a load tester #810223

iPad Apps, K-12

Apps are available for some online databases so you can help student on the go—hallway, lunchrooms, by their desk, etc. You might want to share these with students, too.
• Gale / AccesMyLibrary (chose the green app)
• EBSCOhost
• Teen Hotlines

Get an A+ in PowerPoint, K-12

Engage students using a PowerPoint presentation. Here are some new Atomic Learning tutorials.
Effective Presentation Design Workshop
In addition to looking at some things that go into visual presentations, you’ll take a look at why color is important, why big photos are good, and why clip art isn’t. You’ll also learn more about how good storytelling is at the heart of a good presentation, and how you can structure and organize your presentation and handouts to most effectively communicate your idea to your intended audience.

PowerPoint 2011 - Intermediate Training (Mac)

Learn how to correct and improve text; format text placeholders; work with shapes, SmartArt® and clipart; and more.

Social Media in Teaching, K-12

Here are some new Atomic Learning tutorials to help you get up to speed.

Collaborating with a Global Community Spotlight
• Identify how teachers and students can connect themselves to a global community
• Reflect on the best global project(s) to introduce into the classroom
• Plan the necessary steps for implementing a project

Connecting with Others Using Google+ Tech Integration Project
This project will show you how to get started with Google+™ - a social networking site that strives to simplify the process of sharing of information with others. In this online project, learn how to invite people and create circles, upload photos and video, share information, and encourage students to connect and communicate online with you and with their fellow classmates.

Obesity, K-12

Here are some online resources to incorporate into teaching and learning, share with parents, and use in guidance and school nurse programs. The school online database username/password is needed—it can also be shared with parents.
• Share informative websites for parents to learn more about healthy eating. Post hyperlinks on the class website or send links to parents via email.
• Differentiate with journal articles at various reading levels.
• Learn the personal stories of teens with health issues related to obesity.
• Share videos with students who want to learn how to eat healthy.

Learn 360: videos for students and parents, individual hyperlinks to video clips, create playlists
Teen Health and Wellness: information for teens including the social, personal, and medical aspects of obesity
netTrekker: reviewed websites appropriate for K-12
Gale magazines: differentiate and search for articles by Lexile level
SIRS Researcher and Points of View Reference Center: investigate and discuss the social, economic, personal, and health-related issues associated with obesity

DVDs available from Heartland for checkout:
Body Image: Are you Seeing the Real You?
Childhood Nutrition: Preventing Obesity
Creating Health: Childhood Obesity
The Dangerously Big Bunny (Obesity)
Good Food/Bad Food: Obesity in American Children
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner in the New Millennium: Fiber
Heart Disease
Let’s Do Lunch
Lifestyle Diseases and How to Avoid Them
Obese, Not Me!
Obesity and Your Health
Obesity & Health
Overcoming Eating Disorders
Overweight in America; Why Are We Getting So Fat?
Preventing Obesity: Fat Chance
Ten Reasons to Get in Shape
Weighing the Risks: Gastric Bypass Surgery
Why Are Thin People not Fat?
Young and Overweight: Helping Yourself Change

Bullying Videos, PreK-12

Below are some sample videos from Learn 360. Some titles are editable so students can create mashups and remixes. Teachers can create their own playlists and link to the class wiki.
See a Bully, Stop a Bully, PreK
Real Kids: What We Learned about Bullying, 3-5
Silent on the Sidelines: Why We Ignore Bullying, 6-8
End the Silence: Stop the Bullying, 9-12
7 Ways to Block a Cyberrully, 6-12
Real Life Teens: Cyber-Bullying, 9-12

Math Activities and Standards, K-12

Click here to preview some of the new math professional books from the Heartland library. It is a link to Google Preview where you can read the first one or two chapters and do a keyword search in the full text of the book. If you see a title that you’d like to read, call the library to check out the book. Go to

Big Kids Videos, PreK-2
There are 90 videos for the early childhood curriculum on music, science, beginning reading, family, food, animals, seasons, Spanish language, and lots more.

Prohibition, 6-12

The Ken Burn documentary “…raises vital questions that are as relevant today as they were 100 years ago – about means and ends, individual rights and responsibilities, the proper role of government and finally, who is — and who is not — a real American.”

There are numerous online resources available to expand students’ learning. For example:
• Debate prohibition and larger issues of constitutionality and civil discourse.
• Explore correlations and themes presented by Burns and contrast/apply to today.
• Discuss Gandhi’s campaign for prohibition in the context of poverty.

Try these resources. You’ll need the school online database username/password. Students can search History Reference Center, SIRS Researcher, and Points of View Reference Center at the same time (like Google) at
• 96 videos--Learn 360
• 62 videos—American History in Video
• 8,400 hits—History Reference Center
• 959 hits—SIRS Researcher
• 5 hits—Points of View Reference Center

Create Better State and Country Reports, 3-12
CultureGrams is a rich resource for information on states and countries. Integrate higher level skills and have students generate online charts and graphs; interpret data and draw conclusions; and explain their new learning. Use the school online database username/password.
• Create a table or graph with any number of states and compare area, population, economy, education, travel time to work, capitals, children below poverty level, popular baby names statehood order, and lots more.
• Print a PDF of the U.S. in an outline, physical, or political map.
• Create a CSV file to compare country maternal mortality, caloric consumption, real GDP, population, doctors, literacy, communications, and lots more.
• Create a table or graph to discover statistical extremes in a top-ten-list format. It covers more than 50 topics such as highest oil consumption, most cell phones, most military spending, most doctors, population, most imports, most spending on education, etc.

President McKinley, Anarchists, and Video, 9-12
The President and the Assassin by Scott Miller is about the election, anarchists, Emma Goldman, Cuba, Philippines, Spanish American War, Boxer Rebellion, and, of course, Czolgosz. You can create a video playlist featuring newsreel footage from American History in Video to complement this book or any other event. Better yet—have the students create the playlist. It includes a keyword-searchable written transcript next to the video on the screen. Use the school online database username/password when prompted at the “Trial” access screen.

Audiobooks for Check Out, K-12

Audiobooks (cassette, CD, and Playaway) are available for checkout. Most include two copies of the book for shared reading. You can reserve titles online. Go to, click Advanced Search in the second column, enter a keyword, and make a selection from the Format pull-down menu.

Letters About Literature, 4-12
LAL challenges students to become independent readers. Students write a personal letter of reflection to an author whose work inspired them or changed their view of the world or themselves.

Last fall, eight-five Iowa teachers coached 2,253 students in grades 4-12 who entered their work into a pool of 70,000 student letters nationally. Iowa had a 24% increase in entries! Juliana Osgood of Lenihan Intermediate School in Marshalltown made it into the final round at the national level. Over the nine years that Iowa has participated, five Iowa students have won at the national level, achieving extraordinary recognition for themselves and their teachers.
Iowa’s 2011 participation and our statewide results:
Level 1 (grades 4-6) 532 entries; 30 semi-finalists; 30 finalists; 3 honorable mentions; 3 winners
Level 2 (grades 7-8) 1,376; 19 semi-finalists; 30 finalists; 3 honorable mentions; 3 winners
Level 3 (grades 9-12) 345 entries; 21 finalists; 3 honorable mentions; 3 winners

Information about the 2012 Letters About Literature program is now available on the Iowa Center for the Book website. Entries must be postmarked by Friday, January 6, 2012.
Iowa judges will select first, second, and third place winners plus three honorable mentions at each of the three competition levels. Letters of Iowa first place winners at each of the three levels will be submitted for judging at the national level. Judges at the national level select two winners for each of the three competition levels plus four National Honor Winners (Honorable Mention). Monetary prizes are given at the state and national level. A reception is held in Des Moines in the spring to recognize the Iowa winners, their families and teachers.

If you have any questions, contact Robin Martin, Coordinator, Iowa Center for the Book, at

Standards-Based Projects, K-12
Atomic Learning regularly releases new training tutorials and resources to help keep you up-to-date on the latest and greatest technology. You can search for projects in:
• Communication
• Geography
• History
• Language Arts
• Mathematics
• Reading
• Science
• Science and Technology
• Science, Math, and Technology
• Social Studies
• Technology
• Writing

1939 World’s Fair iPad App, 6-12
Biblion includes over 700 items from the Fair from the NY Public Library. This is a great opportunity to use narratives, story lines, primary source documents, and videos to understand the economic crisis, war, pop culture, and technological innovations during this time in history. A three-minute overview video is at

Online Database Poster, 6-12

A secondary school version poster lists the online databases (Gale, netTrekker, CultureGrams, Learn 360, Britannica Online, etc.), mobile apps, available primary source documents, embedded video, and Com Cat federated searching. Click here to view a sample PDF. Order from the Heartland library, no charge.

Online Database Poster, K-5

A new poster lists the elementary online databases and why/when students might want to use them. Click here to view a sample PDF. Order from the Heartland library, no charge.
Learn about people around the world and what their lives are like. Find customs, maps, songs, recipes, and interviews with kids. There is even information about the states.

NoveList K-8 Plus
Don’t know what to read next? Want to read more books just like the one you finished? It’s like having your own librarian show books you might want to read next.

Iowa Core Videos, K-12
As you “unpack the Core”, check out the videos that illustrate best practices, essential concepts and skills, and the universal constructs. Iowa teachers are shown in the classroom.

P21 Common Core Toolkit, K-12
You can download this toolkit to learn how Partnership for 21st Century Skills and Common Core State Standards are aligned. Includes examples and lesson plans.