Screen Shot 2014-12-28 at 9.13.18 AMTwister is a fun tool from Twister, like Fakebook and Fake SMS allows you to imagine what historical figures would have done if they had access to social media. Twister allows you to create fake tweets about this person and fun hashtags.   When studying famous people or reading biographies, this would be a great technology project for upper grades.
To create a fake Tweet on Twister just go to the site and enter a name, a Tweet, and date stamp for your Tweet. Twister will pull a public domain image for the profile picture and show you the fake Tweet. Your fake Tweet will be given its own URL. You can also just take a screenshot of it to save it.

Try Engineering

Try Engineering is a site that hosts lesson plans and games designed to get students interested in engineering. The lesson plans are arranged according age and engineering topic. The lesson plans can be downloaded as PDFs.  Be sure to look at all of the lesson plans because several are specifically for upper grades.  This is just one of many sites I came across when searching for engineering sites for elementary students.

The games section of Try Engineering features 36 online games. Some of the games were developed specifically for Try Engineering while others are hosted on other educational sites like those of NASA and PBS.

The games section of Try Engineering also includes links to a dozen iPad apps that students can use to learn about engineering and programming.

My Top Picks for Flipping a Classroom, Presentations, and Multi-Media Quizzes

Zaption –  Turn online videos into interactive learning experiences that engage students and deepen understanding.

Canva – Great templates for blogs, Facebook, ppts, and fonts.  Easily create stunning presentations.  

Powerpoint (add-on)

EduCannon – Great video and quizzes to engage students in a 1:1 environment.

Google Forms – Create a Google account and use forms for quizzes, surveys, and reading journals.

Edpuzzle – Great video and quizzes to engage students in a 1:1 environment (videos, quizzes, voices etc.)

Moovly – Create animated videos and other multi-media content. – Create engaging quizzes that will allow students to show their screen from their seats.



Change direction

TRAJECTORY  is , “a chosen or taken course”, and I think about the people in my life that have often inspired me to change my trajectory for the positive.  There are times, that my trajectory has changed for a positive in spite of people, and sometimes it has changed for a negative.  I am sure that I have impacted people in a negative way in the past, and I am trying to focus on helping others reach something that they didn’t think that they could possibly attain before.  Like most teachers/leaders, I want to make a difference.  Every action, interaction, and reaction you have with someone is an opportunity to change their path; I want them to move up because of me, not in spite of our interaction.  There will always be many choices in front of us.  Which path is for me at this point, I am not sure.

Saving Mr. Banks

I recently went to see the movie Saving Mr. Banks.  I did a some reading prior to watching the movie and the movie is full of  life lessons.  Below is just a few that I reflected on over the weekend.

  1. The Influence Of A Father – The greatest influence in a person’s life is their father.  Whether present or not, good or bad, no one puts a greater imprint on person’s life.  A Father is the great protector and provider.
  2. The Mind Of A Creative – As Travers went through the creative process, her mind continually processed things at a deep and emotional level.  So many times, those people who process things in a creative manner or “outside of the box” thinking have no where to put their thoughts.  They trust no one with those personal pieces nor do they think anyone will really understand them or really her their REAL VOICE.
  3. The Power Of Collaboration – Though she was often an overwhelming challenge for the Disney staff, Travers’s contributions to the film helped make it the classic it is.u
  4. “The rain brings life.”  ”So does the sun.” – This exchange between Travers and Ralph shows the different views of the world leaders have.  Very interest to reflect on.
  5. Leaders Are Humble – Travers tells the Disney staff upon meeting them, “No one likes a show-off.”  We live in such a ME (All About ME) society that no one likes a person that shares information about their success etc.
  6. Great Leaders Break Down Walls, Build Bridges And Are Approachable – Walt Disney only allowed people to call him by his first name.
  7. Great Leaders Are Great Stewards And Place High Value On What They Have Been Entrusted With – While trying to get Travers to sign over the rights of Mary Poppins, Disney ensure her, “The last thing I would do is tarnish a story I love.”  Trust is a huge part of life.  Success, relationships, and leadership revolves around trusting others.
  8. People Need Simplicity Rather Than Complexity – While driving to the Disney Studios, Travers notices no one walking on the streets during a beautiful Southern California day.  Ralph responds, “A leisurely stroll is a gift.””
  9. Great Leaders Place The Mission Of Their Organization Above Their Personal Preferences – When Ms. Travers demanded no red colors in the movies, Disney relented because the making of the film and telling of the story was more important.  A Drumline leader hears the beat of the drumline NOT his beat.
  10. Great Leaders Make Things That Are Lasting – When watching one of the rehearsal scenes, Disney remarked, “Forget ironic.  It’s iconic.”  Great leaders make things which become soundtracks to our lives.  Creation and Innovation are important in today’s society.  It is OK to be different, to create something new.
  11. Great Leaders Think Long-Term – Many leaders look for the quick buck when the long-term impact of their idea is beyond their wildest dreams.  When Disney was tempted to sell the rights to Mickey Mouse earlier in his life, he decided against it because “the mouse is family”.  Can you imagine how the world would have been different if he did.
  12. The Power Of StoryTelling – Disney reminds us, “That’s what story tellers do.  We restore order to imagination.  We bring hope.”
  13. Honor Your Father – The story of Mary Poppins is of a daughter wanting to bring honor to her deeply-flawed father.  Many of us could learn lessons from her on doing the same.
  14. We all have a SAVING MR. BANKS and it is ok.