Monday, February 27, 2012

Leap Day Sale!

TeachersPayTeachers is having a Leap Day Sale this week on Wednesday 2/29, and I will also be offering an additional 20% off ALL of my products on 2/29 and 3/1. When you check out, plug in the Promo Code of L2P9Y to get an additional 10% off on 2/29. That works out to up to 28% off because they discount the already discounted price.

This will be the last big TpT sale until Teacher Appreciation Day in May so stop by Liz's Lessons and stock up on all the items on your TpT Wishlists!  This would be a great time to pick up some French or Spanish Saint Patrick's Day Activities for March, or purchase up some French or Spanish holiday, formative assessment, or technology bundles at a discounted price!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

February Instructional Resource Update

Hello everyone!
I have listed below the top instructional resources that I have come across in the last month, or that teachers at my school have requested.  More new website links from the last month are also posted on  I hope you will scroll through the resources and find one or two new things to try out in your classroom over the next couple of months.

Useful Documents: 

Fakebook Helpsheet  "Fakebook" allows teachers and students to create imaginary profile pages for study purposes. Could be used for characters from novels in a English class, or for a historical figure. In a French or Spanish class, students could make a profile page for themselves in the target language. The teachers in my building used it for an Earth Science activity where students had to create a page for an African American Scientist for Black History Month.  

Strategies for Reading Comprehension Each strategy has instructions, and come have free printable worksheets, or a graphic organizer.  

"Analogy Map Worksheet" and "Illustrate and Associate Worksheet Great for teaching vocabulary in any course. I passed this link along to our Geometry teachers when they requested resources for teaching reading and vocabulary with the new Common Core Standards. 

Analogy Map Objective: The student will create a word association map for key vocabulary
chosen for instruction.

Illustrate and Associate Objective: The student will create visual and linguistic associations for
vocabulary words.

Free Blank Printable Semantic Map Graphic Organizer Great for student brainstorming, and as a pre-writing activity.

FREE Persuasive Research Paper Organizer Pack by Anne Marie Smith Useful for research paper writing at the secondary level. The English teachers at my school are always asking me for more resources for research papers!


EmergingEdTech's 2012 Free Education Technology Resources eBook Subscribe at this site in order to receive the FREE eBook as a PDF. "This 50 page booklet contains dozen of informative articles about many free web-based technologies that can help educators engage students, be more productive, and have fun in the classroom!"

Finding a Path in Formative Assessment: Pictures to Guide your Students' Thinking By Mrs. Patten "In this FREE packet, you will find a compilation of 14 roadway photos to use for formative assessment. At different points in a particular lesson or unit, you can have your students rate their own knowledge in relation to the 3-4 pictures that you choose. This is applicable to any grade level K-Adults as it is a teaching tool that can be used with any topic."

Interesting Articles/Teaching Tips:
Student Voices: What Makes a Great Teacher? (From the College Board Advocacy and Policy Center)
The report contains five essays by a diverse groups of students about teaching strategies that worked for them and an illustrated poster that summarizes 10 practices that students think are most important for effective teaching.

10 Pieces of Advice from Students for Teachers Printable Poster (print at about 40% scale to fit on one page, or tape 3 pages together to get poster size)

What Teachers Need to Know About the Common Core State Standards | TeachHUB By: Dr. Katherine McKnight

Five Ways to Empower Students | Edutopia


Twelve Ideas for Teaching with QR Codes | Edutopia

Useful Websites:

Kathy Schrock's Guide to Everything - Bloomin' Apps - Kathy Schrock's Guide to Everything Google Apps, iPad Apps, Android Apps, and Web 2.0 Apps that support the Revised Bloom's Taxonomy

simplebooklet Create free promotions, product guides and brochures you can post anywhere across the social web

ReadThinkWrite Printing Press Create online newspapers, brochures, booklets, or flyers.

The Newspaper Clipping Image Generator - Create your own fun newspaper


(I recently attended one of Richard Byrne's Free Online Webinars. He mentioned the sites below during the webinar. It was great!) 

Screenr | Instant screencasts (via Richard Byrne) Free web-based screen recorder 

DROPitTOme - Securely receive files from anyone to your Dropbox (via Richard Byrne) Securely receive files from anyone to your Dropbox. Ever wish you could easily receive big files from your students?

"Together with Dropbox you can setup an unique upload address with password protection. DROPitTOme is your one stop solution when an email is just not enough."

Socrative | Student Response System (via Richard Byrne) Socrative is a smart student response system that empowers teachers to engage their classrooms through a series of educational exercises and games via smartphones, laptops, and tablets.

Socrative introduction video (new) from Socrative Inc. on Vimeo.

Our school recently got a class set of Nook Colors that teachers can check out of our media center to use during class. Do you have Nooks at your school? Below is a short introduction video, and a seven minute tutorial video for the Nook Color.  

NOOK Apps™ Browse free Apps to download on the Nooks at your school!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Fun Spanish YouTube Songs for Teaching Verbs & Tenses!

So we all know that normally our students normally don't get too excited when we tell them that we will be learning a new verb or verb tense...However, there are some fun ways to teach verbs! One of them is through music. There are a few fun educational music videos on YouTube that I have used in Spanish classes in the past to teach verbs that are based on Justin Timberlake songs. Many students know and memorize the lyrics to their favorite songs on the radio. Once your students get these songs stuck in their head, it will help them to remember their verb conjugations when speaking and writing in Spanish. Here they are!

"Conjugations Back"-for teaching regular -AR Verbs

"Reflex Your Verby"-For teaching Reflexive Verbs

"Cry Me a Verb"-For reviewing Present Tense Verbs 
(Irregular "Yo" forms, "go" verbs, stem-changers, and irregulars)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

FREE French and Spanish Presidents' Day Conditional Tense Writing Activities

Looking for an activity for Presidents' Day in your French or Spanish class? Try these FREE writing activities for practicing the conditional tense. Have your students think about what they would do if they were President. Includes a review of the conditional tense, a brainstorm pre-writing activity, and a fun writing template. 

A special Thank You to Selina Smith from Classroom Magic for allowing me to make a French and Spanish version of the writing section of her President’s Day Mini-Unit to share as a freebie!!! Please stop by her blog to check out the great resources, and to download her FREE Presidents’ Day Mini-Unit activities in English. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Online Newspaper and Magazine Generators

Newspaper Clip Art 

Last week some of the English teachers at my school asked me if I knew of any online newspaper generators that they could use in order to update an old newspaper project that they had previously done on paper. I knew of a few, but I also came across some great new resources in the process!

I know that when I used to teach Spanish II, we did a unit on news and media. The websites below could be used in a French or Spanish class in a unit such as this. Writing news headlines and articles is also a great way to practice writing in the target language in any unit and at any level. These resources could be used for teaching classes across the curriculum as well such as English, Science, and Social Studies. 

Online Newspaper Generators (Students Do the Writing)

With this printing press students can create their own newspaper, brochure, flyer, or booklet. When creating a newspaper, students can choose different layouts with up to four articles. They can add in headlines, subheadings, section names, images, and bylines.

The Newspaper Clipping Generator
With this generator students can enter the name of the newspaper, the date, the headline, and their story. This could be done in French, or Spanish, but students would not be able to enter accent marks into the generator.  However, you could have your students type into a word processor and then copy and paste into the generator in order to use accent marks.

To download the newspaper, you use the link at the bottom of the generated image. You can put the images on your own website, or blog. However, linking directly to the newspaper clippings doesn't work.  The images are deleted from the server after a short period of time.

Newspaper Generators (Content from Social Media Sites and the Web)

" is a content curation service." It allows students or teachers to publish newspapers based on topics they are studying, and provide readers with fresh news each day. can be made public so all students in the class could access the same paper. Students can publish Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or any web content into an online newspaper. monitors their content sources and updates their paper automatically.

This site could also be used across content areas. For example, students could use their own Twitter account, or create a separate Twitter account for Spanish class. They could then search for people to follow based on the content being studied. For example, if they were doing a unit on sports, they could follow different Spanish sports teams or athletes. 

If they wanted to create paper with a variety of different sections that would be similar to a real Spanish newspaper, they could follow "El Mundo", and other newspapers from Spanish speaking countries around the world. Then they could do current event presentations based on their own newspaper.  

"iCurrent is a personalized news aggregator. It delivers the latest news and information for your interests—from thousands of newspapers, blogs, magazines, and websites. You can tune your interests as you go."

Students can access their newspapers on the web, on their mobile devices, or receive them via email. Another idea would be to have each student set up an iCurrent newspaper and the beginning of the school year and then use it in assignments throughout the year. Students could add news to their newspapers based on their own interests using websites in the target language. Then students could be asked to share one thing that they learned about the language or culture from their newspaper each week. iCurrent would work well for an assignment like this because it cannot be made public. It would be good for individual student use.

"Guzzle reads hundreds of feeds every second to get you the latest news about stuff you care about."

With you can add topics to your newspaper by simply typing them in. Then you can drop and drag to organize your specific interests by topic. Like iCurrent, cannot be made public.

"News360 is a next generation news aggregation & personalization service on the mobile web." News360 can be used on the web, or on a smart phone or tablet.

Magazine Generators:

With students can easily publish beautiful magazines. Students can design magazines based on a specific topic of interest, or topic that they are studying in class. It could be a good tool to use for research prior to writing a research paper, or it could be used as a research project. You could ask students to evaluate the websites that they choose to add to make sure that they have good, and accurate information. Once a topic is identified, will send you more related links with related content that you can choose to add to your magazine. Students can sign up with a Facebook, Twitter, or email account.

"Convert your bookmarks and favorite articles into a pdf and mail it to yourself." Like, magazinify seems like it would be a useful site to have students use when doing online research. Magazinify organizes all the articles you need to "read into beautiful text, order, removing all the annoying ads and pop ups, converts it to pdf format and mails you the magazine at the end of the day." However, it does appear that you are required to install the magazinify bookmarklet to your browser toolbar which may be a problem if students are doing the assignment on school computers versus at home. 

"Themeefy is a cool new way to discover, curate, compile, and publish knowledge from the web to create your personal Theme magazine."  Themeefy is similar to in that it is a magazine based on a particular theme or topic.

One advantage of theemefy is that you can upload your own photos, cover page, videos from YouTube, and add your own notes in order to add a personal touch.

A couple of ideas for uses for themeefy listed on the site are to "create a collection of important links, images and notes to use as in-class resources or study guides for students", and to "create your own travel guide or travelogue". The travel guide would be a great way to incorporate technology in a World Language class while doing a project on a French or Spanish speaking country.

Magazine Cover Generators:

With magmypic you can create fake magazine covers and choose your own picture for them, including a picture of yourself. You put the picture of your choice on one of the available magazine templates. This site might be a fun cover to add to a student project. Magazine covers can then be published on a variety of social networks.  

With BigHugeLabs you can also create your own magazine cover using the photo of your choice, but it also lets you add in your own text such as the title, tagline, publication date, price, and up to seventeen different headlines of text.  In addition, you can make choices in the colors you put on your cover.
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