Find Me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

Just a quick post to let you know that am now on Facebook and Instagram!

Follow me on Facebook here. (www.facebook.com/texasteachingfanatic)

Follow @texasteachingfanatic on Instagram.

I’ve also been on Twitter for a couple of months–@TxTeachFanatic.

Looking forward to new adventures with social media!

When you’re out there, just look for my button! 😉

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Moon Phase Simulator Website

I have to give credit to my husband for this one.  He was on Reddit and saw a link to this awesome lunar phase simulator.  Kids have such a hard time understanding why we only see parts of the moon, as well as the physics of it all.  This website is great to show them how it works!  Click here for the website.

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9 interactive tech tools that can help your child in the classroom

Thought this might be helpful… :)

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Technology For Teachers

At our training today, we were given quite a few apps and websites that I’m going to try out this year. Hearing about so many in such a short amount of time was a little overwhelming, but I’m going to take it one step at a time and really get comfortable and knowledgeable about one or two at a time before moving in to the next one.

Here is a list of some of 5 of my favorites:

1. Teachnology – A website full of critical thinking activities and printable pages for students.

2. Storybirds – Short, visual stories that you make with family and friends to read, share, and print.

3. ZooBurst – A digital storytelling tool that lets anyone easily create his or her own 3D pop-up books.

4. Pics4Learning – A website with thousands of copyright-friendly photos to use in your lessons.

5. Moglue – Interactive eBooks for iOS and Android.

Hopefully you can use some of these in your classroom, too. I love incorporating technology whenever I can. I’m always looking for new websites and apps that will increase student engagement and performance.

What is your favorite new website? Please share!!

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Super Cute Fonts (Personal & Commercial Use–TOTALLY FREE!!)

Totally Free Fonts

I admit it.  I have a new addiction…other than blog stalking and Pinterest!  FONTS!!  I love fonts!!  I know, you’re probably thinking I’m crazy right about now!  That’s OK, you will find your font addiction soon, too, if you visit this website that I just found.

I know that there are lots of websites out there that offer “free” fonts, but many of them do not allow you to use their fonts on products that are not for personal use only.  So be careful!!  You don’t want to use a font on TpT or even on your website/blog that is for you only.  I just recently downloaded like…50 new fonts from www.fontsquirrel.com.  There is a plethora of fonts to choose from, and all of them allow you to use them commercially!

If you are looking for new fonts for back to school, head over to Font Squirrel for some awesome new fonts!!  I included the picture to show off a few of the new ones that I downloaded.

What is your favorite *FREE* font website?  I would love to hear from you!!  (It’s OK, if you admit you have an addiction, it’s not as bad….right??)  :)

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Word Clouds: They Aren’t Just For Fun!

Word Cloud of my blog by Tagxedo

Word Cloud of my blog by Tagxedo

I hate to admit it, but I’ve only used word clouds with some of my students.  I wasn’t really sure how to use word clouds when I first heard about them, so I only selected a few individuals that I thought would benefit from using it.  Mostly to help them in their writing.  You see, when the idea of word clouds was presented, I was only showed a website and was allowed about 3-5 minutes to “explore” it.  The more I read, the more I found out how helpful they can be.

So what types of things can you do with word clouds?  I know I won’t even begin to touch on everything, but here are a few ideas on how they can be used with your students.

1. When students have finished a piece of writing and they need to check for redundant words, put them on Wordle.net.  The best part about Wordle is that it counts the number of times the words are used and makes the highest count the biggest in the cloud.  That way, students see how many times they have used words like then, I, me, and so on.  This is how I used them in my classroom, and it really makes the students aware of the overused words.

2. At the beginning of the year, allow students time to write an “About Me” paragraph and then type it into a word cloud creator such as Tagxedo.  This is another word cloud site that easily downloads the image you create and has an assortment of shapes for your words.

3. After students read a passage or discuss content in class, allow students to write down the words they feel are most important to the lesson and put it into a word cloud.six flags

4. Use a word cloud for vocabulary words.  This can be used in any subject!

5. Use math vocabulary words in a word cloud and ask students to come up with a mathematical story using the words.  Great way to combine some writing and math!

6. In Social Studies, create a word cloud using character traits of various leaders or important historical figures.

7. For a Mother’s or Father’s Day project (or anytime, really), allow students to make a word cloud as a gift.  This could be with characteristics of the

person, a thank you letter, a poem…you name it!

8. Students could actually draw their own word clouds as an activity to “fill time” when they get finished early.  They will probably end up doing this on their own, anyway.  It’s sort of addicting.

9. Use Wordle to create a word cloud with units of measurement.  I say use Wordle because you can decide how big or small you make the words.  This way students would get an accurate picture of which units of measurement are bigger than others.

Word Cloud by ABCya

Word Cloud by ABCya

10. Use word clouds at the end of the lesson or day to see what the students remember.  The teacher can either assign a certain amount of words, or the students can write as many important words as they can at the end of your time together.  This could be a neat twist to exit tickets!

Now that I’ve written about all of this, I will have to do some of these before school starts.  I’m excited to begin another new year!  I will post some of my results!

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