Jazz up your lessons with some great non-fiction articles for your students to read! Check out the suggestions below to incorporate in your classroom:

  • DOGOnews - the leading source for current events, news and non-fictional content for ELA, Science, and Social Studies. Thousands of news articles and original content added daily for students, teachers, and schools. Other DOGO media includes DOGObooks, DOGOmovies, IDOGO, and DOGOteachers
  • Newsela - has an app or website to access nonfiction in any subject. Many articles are from sources like the Associated Press, Washington Post, and Scientific American. They have material in five reading levels to engage K-12 students in high-interest nonfiction, current events, primary sources, speeches, biographies, and historical news. I love how you can filter your search by choosing grade level and also by reading skills. There are 8 different reading skills that you can filter: 
              1) What the Text Says
              2) Central Idea
              3) People, Events & Ideas
              4) Word Meaning & Choice
              5) Text Structure
              6) Point of View/Purpose
              7) Multimedia
              8) Arguments & Claims
  • TweenTribune - News from Smithsonian for K-12 teachers. Locate news articles and assign stories with a single click through digital devices. They have a "Monday Morning Ready" newsletter as prep for the week ahead if you want to incorporate easy weekly lesson plans. TweenTribune also has Weekly Videos that answer questions from Smithsonian experts.
  • Kids Discover Online -  Award-winning library of science and social studies material on any device, at any time. Free sign-up to get started. Kids Discover has been around for over 25 years and now is online! Go to the Resources tab to read from their blog, or on infographics, or their Quick Reads section. Of course, there is also a Kids Discover app for devices!
  • KidsHealth - Most visited site on the Web for information about health, behavior, and development from before  birth through the teen years. Really 4 sites in one, having sections for parents, kids, teens, and educators. KidsHealth is more than just the facts about health. It provides families with perspective, advice, and comfort about a wide range of physical, emotional, and behavioral issues that affect children and teens.
  • NASA Stories- go here to get current articles about NASA events and the current missions or launches in progress.  Check out the archived stories and all the different tab categories. There is a whole section for students, as well as a NASA Kids' Club with games to play to learn more about NASA.


How Did I Miss This?

Looks like this has been around for a while; but you really need to take a look at Bloomz! Teachers and schools can save time by having all the tools they need to communicate with parents in one easy-to-use (and FREE) app. Here is a list of Bloomz Full Feature. It is available at the Apple store, Google Play-Android, on Desktops (online), or for SMS (text). Here is a short 2 minute overview:

It is easy to work, easy to update, and extremely helpful for planning parties or conferences! Great for getting donations for your classroom in a timely manner. BLOOMZ is FREE, award-winning, time-saving to engage families, and keep busy parents in the loop. Check their SUPPORT Center to answer your questions. Bloomz has it own Behavior Management within the app. No longer do you have to go to another site. If you want to do some comparing with other applications, here is a Parent Communication App spreadsheet completed for you. Check Bloomz out today!


Do You LOVE Easy Peasy Fun?

Gearing up for a Quick & Easy Valentine Activity for your Class?

Greetings teachers! Ran across this fun bracelet the kids can make in honor of Valentine's Day. Let their creativity flow! I have attached the template below. Here is the website that you can locate more "Easy Peasy " fun. I know a few overachiever students who will want to make one for every member of the family! Enjoy and have a Happy Valentine's Day!


Want a New Cool Classroom Tool?

Classroom TOOL

This is an exciting find and I think you will enjoy it! Look at all the different tools you can have at your fingertips as you project and teach. What I think will sell you on this tool is that it was created by a Netherlands teacher. He wanted his students to be able to focus on their work more. I love that he is open to taking your suggestions to improve the tool also. Go to Classroomscreen.com and check it out for yourself. You can find how it works by watching this video ClassroomScreen.com. I am not sure how long it has been out, but Julie Smith has a few videos on YouTube sharing it and helping you with the many features and widgets. I LOVE how you can open/close them in one instant click. Here is what it offers:

1. New Background each login (or you can change it at anytime)
2. Many Languages

3. Random Selector (Names, numbers) Roll Dice (1, 2, or 3) 
4. Sound Level
5. QR code (share any URL)

6. Exit Poll
7. Whiteboard (drawing w/option for multiple boards)
9. Work Symbols (silent, whisper, ask neighbor, work together)
10. Traffic Light
11. Timers 
12. Clock


Do You Want to Be More Kind?

Follow this link for a December calendar with MANY thoughtful ways to show kindness in this Christmas season. What a great idea for families to share together kindness to others! Enjoy and Merry Christmas!  Thanks to the Corinne's website where I found this calendar with Random Acts of Kindness Christmas Calendar. Share, share alike!



Breakout EDU in October

Halloween is upon us folks and I wanted to share the different Halloween Breakout EDUs that I have located for some fun tomorrow. Three choices are found on the Breakout EDU site. Here they are listed: 

  1. The Monster Mash
  2. The Witches of Breakout
  3. Monster Mash Jr.
I located a fourth one that is called the Haunted House Escape from a Ms. Yeh. Be sure and give your students an opportunity to use their thinking skills to breakout tomorrow for Halloween. And...remind them to be safe!


Are You Ready for Back to School?

Welcome Back the the 2017-2018 School Year
Tech Talk blog has a guest contributor, Tania Jackson. She is one of our 4th grade teachers on the Mauriceville Elementary campus. I appreciate her allowing me to share her wonderful discoveries this summer that she promises will make your class run a bit smoother this year. Check out her tips below:

I have 3 quickies to share regarding the OneDrive app that I've discovered/been using!

  1. There's a free app for OneDrive! Once installed, you can view, send, and manipulate everything in your folders that are synced from your computer (your Cloud).  Makes for quick access!

2. Sometimes I need to move pics of my class that I've taken on my cell to my computer, and it's time-consuming because I usually end up emailing them to myself and it won't let you bulk too many!
Having the OneDrive app on your phone/tablet makes it easy!  You just select the picture, or pictures all at once, then "Send to" (the same button you'd use if sending the pic via text or email) and it gives your OneDrive as an option!  They're just added to your folders and accessible from any device!

3.  Sometimes I need to scan a document to put it on the SmartBoard or print or whatever!  First, open the app.  On the main screen OneDrive has a built in "Scanner" that turns any document you snap into a PDF and instantly adds it to your Cloud! I really like this function!
Click the + sign at the top right hand corner and choose "Scan" 

Thanks for taking the time to go through my tips! 

Tania Jackson
4th Grade/ MVE ☺


Need Help to Stifle Kid Boredom?

PS. Taken from the RIF site: Reading Is Fundamental!


Which Step are You On?

This time of year finds most educators reflecting on their year and taking strides on improving before the new year rolls around. Your highly qualified teachers are those who never stop learning or improving themselves. As most of us claim, we are "Life-Long Learners" and strive to better ourselves. Today, I came across a visual that I want to share. It speaks boldly and can be applied to many different circumstances in life. Which step are you on? Where do you "get stuck" most of the time?


Thank a Teacher Today, Don't Delay!

Teachers are amazing and have dedicated so much to teach our students. Many are mothers, grandmothers, aunts, uncles, etc. They have made many sacrifices throughout the year searching for lessons and new methods to engage today's students. Please take the time to thank a teacher today. Now is the time, don't delay. They need our encouragement and praise. We all would not be the person we are today without the teachers that have touched us in the past. I know I have had many who have influenced me and think of them often, even if some have gone on to meet our Lord. Bless you Teachers of today and the past. Oh, let's not forget about the Future teachers. They too, need our prayers.