September 3

YES, you can create memes and gifs for class

You use interactive notebooks, Socratic Seminars, Kagan Strategies, online testing, flashcards, foldables, and everything including the kitchen sink to make sure that your students have mastered the skills identified on the daily agenda.Now it’s time to let them create something. They have done the hard work of reading, re-reading, annotating, defending, and explaining War and Peace, Metamorphosis, and Wuthering Heights. Now what? You need them to prove to you that they recognize the themes, characterization methods, and other literary elements in the text.

Do they really have to write a 500-word essay? Really??

Can’t they do something else to show their mastery of the content?  Something fun??? (imagine that in a preteen or teenaged whiny voice)

Of course, they don’t need to publish 500 words – although it would be a smart move to have them write a response so that you can get the data you need. Have them publish relevant images instead. Students can easily create memes and gifs that depict main idea, mood, theme, characterization, etc.

What are they studying?

Madame Curie’s contributions. Have them show the effect these contributions have had on our lives

Barrack Obama’s presidency. Your scholars find a picture and insert talk / thought bubble text.

Math formulas. Your mini-mathematicians can create memes that highlight formulas.


Memes allow you to add commentary to images and gifs allow you to display several images that play automatically.


Before letting them loose, be sure to give them directions. What do you want them to display? Their knowledge of …. main ideas, emotions, patterns, themes, historical observations, etc.

We use the site because this site works at school. There are many free meme and gif makers but this one gets through our filters. The site has a large selection of pictures to choose from for meme making. A student could easily create memes and then turn them into gifs to share the collection.

Memes and gifs can be used to introduce and support material and students can create them to display their knowledge.  These links are for short how-to videos that show how easy it is to create memes and gifs.
Imgflig allows you to change the font type and color to allow you to personalize the images.



Try making memes and gifs for your class. Once I started creating them, I have not stopped yet. It is slightly addictive and you will find yourself making them for everything. C’mon… try them.

They’re fun and easy to make and share.

March 5

Visible Tweets

Visible Tweets

is a visualisation of Twitter messages designed for display.


Plug in a keyword, hashtag or Twitter name and Visible Tweets will pull in references for your search term.  Change the animation of the display from letter by letter, rotation or cloud tag.  Very interesting way to search.  Great for class, presentations or anytime you want “pretty” search results.

Here is a silent video that I did using @MsBisOnline as the search term to visualise.

February 25

Spicy Nodes

Once again, I am in lovvvve with a tech tool.

Create quick interactive maps and graphic organizers using SpicyNodes. Change the background, label and text colors to suit your taste.  Here is one that I spent 25 minutes or so putting together about me. (It took 25 minutes because I did not know what to say AND I wanted to experiment and see what could be done on the site.


On their information page they say

The secret to SpicyNodes is its tree structure, which organizes information in a logical way, letting visitors quickly drill down to the information they seek. At the same time, it gives people a quick glance at large volumes of information and how each piece relates to others around it.

 Look below at my map to see what they look like.

January 2

Is your computer organized?

We have just recently gotten new computers at school and I am trying to keep my new one from looking like my old one.

Old Desktop

New Desktop

Behind the scenes I have folders setup to drop my documents into
So far, so good, I have a place for everything and everything is in its place
… for now
Be sure to organize your computer into folders with a desktop organizer and see how much easier your life can be.
November 30

Quizlet – LUVVV it

Every time that I go to an Ed Tech Conference I learn something or somethings new OR get reminded about resources that I no longer use.  One of the new things that I have been reminded about is is one of those resources that I forgot about. If I could remember who reminded me about this time-saving resource I would truly say thanks.

Before the conference, my class started taking notes about Romeo and Juliet and Shakespeare and now I have a to help me create online flashcards for them to use for studying.


I am overjoyed and my kids will be as well. (Although I know that they won’t admit it.)

Romeo and Juliet Flashcards.

Study Literary Devices

June 8

Region 1 TLTC training on comicstrips

I am attending a Professional Development Session offered by Beverly and Yazid of Region 1’s TLTC office.  We are making comic strips using  You do not need to sign up to use this site and you can either email or print the finished comicstrip.

Example of how to use in an English class as Do Now.

  • Select one of the characters
  • Choose 2 character appearances (you can select 3-5 personas for each character)
  • Create a thought bubble from that character’s point of view.

My 2nd comicstrip

Creating these was easy and engaging.  I can easily see my students using this for:

  • Do Nows
  • Response to stories
  • Creating quick short stories

The site has

June 1

Edutopia gives 10 tips for using new media

Edutopia’s collection of 10 new media tips provides fresh ideas and easy-to-use tools to engage your students and make learning more collaborative.  They have some great tips to get you started if new to Web 2.0 tools.

The PDF contains these topics

  1. Break the Digital Ice
  2. Find Your Classroom Experts
  3. Get Off to a Good Start
  4. Think Globally
  5. Find What You Need
  6. Make Meaning from Word Clouds
  7. Work Better, Together
  8. Open a Back Channel
  9. Make It Visual
  10. Use the Buddy System
April 23

Have you looked at the Teacher Challenge hosted by Edublogs?

Edublogs has a series of Teacher Challenges  that I suggest everyone check out.  30 days to using the best of the web’s free tools for educators” is an opportunity to try our free tools that will definitely help you out in the classroom.  Some of the tools are for teacher use and some of the tools are for student use, but all of the tools are free and great resources.

Free Tools Challenge Topics so far

Hmmmmm, possible EdCampLa topics?  Maybe…

April 22

The N.E.A. is looking for good ideas

How can Smartphones be utilized in the class?
How can Smartphones be utilized in the class?
The Challenge to Innovate (C2i) initiative is driven by the U.S. Department of Education, the NEA Foundation and the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN). 
They are looking for good ideas and using an Open Innovation Portal Community to gather them.  
Help out by submitting ideas that utilize cellphone technology in classrooms. 
When will we all be encouraged to use the tech tools that our students carry around daily?  Our digital natives use their phones to do everything: ‘googling’ information, sending/recieving messages, posting their Facebook status, Tweeting out a request/solution, etc.  It only makes sense for them to use them regularly for classwork.
The NEA Foundation’s C2i is open to public school educators, students, and other creative thinkers with an interest in improving public education.  Join the C2i community and post your ideas and/or vote on other ideas.  
If you can come up with ways to use mobile phone technology t0 transform teaching and learning, submit them and you might be eligible for $1,000.

Deadline:  May 13, 2011

January 2

Preparing for PDs

We are scheduling our Professional Development Sessions for the 2010-11 schoolyear and I am looking forward to present tools and resources to my colleagues at work.   I am working on my Tech Wiki (it needs much work because I love to add things and then I sort of forget to go back and clean/link/complete the wikipages.   OOPS.)

Here is my badge that I created for my site so that it can be found from any of my wikis and blogs

I have not been approached by our Administrative Staff but I have been approached by several teachers who would like me to do somethings.   Hmmmm, what would I share?

For student activities

  1. Edmodo
  2. Blogs/Wikis

For Teacher activities

  1. Learning Communities
July 9

10 tools that helped to save my life and my class

Last summer I took part in PBWork’s Summer Camp and learned lots of resources, tools and tips to use in my class. That was also the summer of my 1st Tweet. I say my first tweet because my PLN did not blossom and bloom until I began tweeting and re-tweeting. My introduction came from @PLNaugle. She told me that once I started Tweeting that I would enjoy it. I didn’t know what she was talking about at the time. Boy did she know what she was talking about. One year later I have almost made 2500 Tweets, I have 957 followers and I am following 616 people. My family and friends laugh but I take Tweeting seriously. It is a way to share resources.


What I didn’t realize was that during the PBWorks Summer Camp my need for a PLN was developed. During camp, I learned about dozens of tech tools and part of the work in the summer camp is to not just learn about tech tools, but to use what you have learned. Commenting and Sharing were a major part of the camp as well. This combination of learning, utilizing that knowledge, commenting and sharing became a way for me to receive Professional Development that I wanted to take part in.

Twitter helped me to achieve this on a daily basis. I feel as though daily, I learn something and then I teach it to someone else. It is a wonderful feeling to share things with people who are actually willing to listen. Most of what I use in class on a daily basis I got from a Tweet or ReTweet.

As I reflect about what worked in my classroom and what didn’t work, I have found that there are some things that I could not teach without. Here is a list of my top ten tools (list is no special order):

Top_101. Jing. I could not do my job without it. I use Jing to create Lesson Vodcasts or How To Videos. The kids always groan when they hear my voice. I love it. They can’t get used to watching a video with my voice coming through the speakers. Jing videos can be embedded or retrieved with a click of a link. Jing Pro is $14.95 per year and allows you more freedom.

2. PhotoPeach. We have created so many digital stories (some good and some not so good) using this site. For less than$40.00 a year you can make account permanent and upload your own music and you can download it.

3. Twitterrrr. I Tweet for my students although not many of them followed regularly. Next year I intend to use HootCourse to help us keep track of assignments and due dates. I have also registered for Cover It Live as a means to keep track of our ongoing Twitter conversations. I also Tweet for my PLN.

4. Google. I use Google for everything: email, Google docs, Google sites, Google reader and Google Google. Google has become my life line.

5. Glogster Allows us to create interactive posters and embed them onto blogs and wikis. I have used Glogs as Interactive Posters with links to guide people to certain sites. My class created Glogs about Louisiana.

6. Wallwisher Wallwishers I use for sharing information, gathering ideas and thoughts and displaying examples. WallWishers have taken the post it note to the next level.

7. Edublogs I use Edublogs for my personal blog and for my student and class blogs. Edublogs allows for easy commenting, embedding and wonderful blog tips delivered on a regular basis.

8. Ning Before price increase, Ning was my main Learning Platform. I used my Ning to connect my students in their first blogging, commenting and academic social networking experience. I am looking for replacements.

9. PBWorks. I use PBWorks to house my materials, to show off student work or to embed Google Forms. Wikis allow you to post and keep available assignments and videos that the student can access whenever needed. Wikis allow students to collaborate and create pages with each other.

10. Wordle. I love wordles and use them for almost everything: lists, blog headers or character tributes. It is another way to create a visual representation of something.

I could easily continue this list but these are some of the ones that I couldn’t live without.