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Author Archives: Jacqui

About Jacqui

Welcome to my virtual classroom. I've been a tech teacher for 15 years, but modern technology offers more to get my ideas across to students than at any time in my career. Drop in to my class wikis, classroom blog, our internet start pages. I'll answer your questions about how to teach tech, what to teach when, where the best virtual sites are. Need more--let's chat about issues of importance in tech ed. Want to see what I'm doing today? Click the gravatar and select the grade.

17 Sites About Coin Counting

Primary schoolers learn about money. The only way to really ‘get it’ is by repetition. Here’s a list of websites to provide redundancy for each type of learner:

  1. Brain Pop Learn about Money
  2. Cash Out
  3. Cashtivity
  4. Coin Counting
  5. Coin games—from US Mint
  6. Count Money
  7. Counting Money
  8. Face on money
  9. Face on money–from Lunapic; lots of options
  10. Make change
  11. Money—counting
  12. Moneyville
  13. Money Flashcards–APlus Math
  14. Mr. Bouncy’s Money collection–lots of websites
  15. US Mint virtual tour (a slideshow)

If you have iPads, here are two you’ll love:


Categories: 1st, 2nd, Reviews, Websites | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Hour of Code: Program Shortkeys

shortkeyCreating a shortkey for a program will quickly become a favorite with your students. I use it for the snipping tool–because we use that a lot in class–but you can create one for any program you use a lot. Then I discovered how to create a shortkey for it:

  • Go to Start
  • Right click on the desired program
  • Select ‘properties’
  • Click in ‘shortcut’
  • Push the key combination you want to use to invoke the snipping tool. In my case, I used Ctrl+Alt+S
  • Save

Here’s a video to show you:


Categories: Problem solving, Tech tips | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Hour of Code: Minecraft Review

Every week, I share a website that inspired my students. This one is perfect for Hour of Code. Make yourself a hero for an hour:


Grades 3-8 (or younger, or older)


Problem-solving, critical thinking, building





Categories: 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th grade, 8th grade, Games/Simulations, Problem solving, Websites | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

A Holiday Card in Publisher

Greeting cards are easy enough for second graders–even early readers. Using MS Publisher, pick a template, add a picture to personalize, add their name–and they’re done. It takes about 15 minutes. Kids always feel great about creating these greeting cards: (more…)

Categories: 2nd, 3rd Grade, 5th Grade, Art, Computer skills, Freebies/Discounts, Holidays, Lesson plans, Parents, Publisher/ DTP | Tags: | 1 Comment

120+ Digital Citizenship Links on 22 Topics

digital citizenshipHere’s a long list of websites to address Digital Citizenship topics you teach in your classroom:


to promote digital privacy

  1. Avatar 1–a monster
  2. Avatar 2–Lego you
  3. Avatar 3–animal
  4. Tellagami–a video avatar
  5. Vokis
  6. With comics, via Pixton — fee-based

Copyrights and Digital Law

  1. Copyrights–BrainPop video
  2. Copyright and Fair Use–Common Sense Media video
  3. Copyright Law Explained (fun video, informative, thorough)
  4. Copyright law curriculum
  5. Creative Commons
  6. Take the mystery out of copyrights–by the Library of Congress
  7. Videos on licensing, copyrights, more (from Creative Commons)

digital image of laptop with human hands and eyesCurriculum

  1. Common Sense media
  2. Ask a Tech Teacher


  1. Bullying—Watch this (videos)
  2. Cyberbullying video
  3. Cyber-bullying–5th grade
  4. Cyber-bullying—BrainPop
  5. Cyberbullying—what is it
  6. Think Time: How Does Cyberbullying Affect You

DigCit (General)


Categories: Digital Citizenship, Websites | Tags: | 4 Comments

32 Websites to Support Math Automaticity in K-5

math websitesHere’s along list of websites that focus on math automaticity for the K-5 classroom. I’ve broken it down by grade level, but you can decide if your second graders are precocious enough to try the websites for grades 3-5:




Categories: 1st, 2nd, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, Kindergarten, Math, Websites | Tags: | Leave a comment

Tech Tip #115: Three-click Rule

As a working technology teacher, I get hundreds of questions from parents about their home computers, how to do stuff, how to solve problems. Each Tuesday, I’ll share one of those with you. They’re always brief and always focused. Enjoy!

Q: Some websites/blogs are confusing. I click through way too many options to get anything done. What’s with that?

A: I hadn’t put a lot of thought to this until I read a discussion on one of my teacher forums about the oft-debunked-and-oft-followed 3-click rule made popular by Web designer Jeffrey Zeldman in his book, “Taking Your Talent to the Web.”. This claims ‘that no product or piece of content should ever be more than three clicks away from your Web site’s main page’.

This is true with not just programming a website, but teaching tech to students. During my fifteen years of teaching tech, I’ve discovered if I keep the geeky stuff to a max of 2-3 steps, students remember it, embrace it, and use it. More than three steps, I hear the sound of eyes glazing over.

Whether you agree with the ‘rule’ or not, it remains a good idea to make information easy and quick to find. Readers have a short attention span. Same is true of students.


Categories: Problem solving, Tech tips, Websites | Tags: | Leave a comment

3 Lesson Plans to Teach Architecture in First Grade

1st grade architectureHere’s a great lesson plan with three activities well-suited to the discussion of architecture and design in 1st grade:


Students complete three projects in two weeks to aid understanding of architecture, design, and three-dimensional thinking. They’ll experiment with spatially laying out a three-dimensional structure on a two-dimensional paper. When completed, they’ll discuss with neighbors while practicing good listening skills learned in class.

Start with a discussion of design. This includes size, shape, texture, proportion, scale, mass and color. We will apply these to rooms, buildings, and neighborhoods. Encourage students to think and analyze critically as they engage in learning.

In figures below, ask students which are two- or three-dimensions? How do they know?

[gallery ids="50170,50171,50172,50173,50164"]

Design the Classroom

Visit Classroom Architect and demo how to design the classroom with drag-and-drop pieces (see figures below). Take suggestions from class on layout. Students must think about where tables and storage are relative to other items. This is an active learning lesson that encourages visual thinking. Develop a sample based on class input and show how to make corrections if necessary.


Categories: 1st, Lesson plans, Reviews, Science, Teacher resources, Web Tools, Websites | Tags: | 4 Comments

30 Great Research Websites for Kids

5880711 process cycle diagramHere are quick, safe spots to send students for research:

  1. BrainPop
  2. Citation Machine
  3. CoolKidFacts–kid-friendly videos, pictures, info, and quizzes–all 100% suitable for children
  4. CyberSleuth Kids
  5. Dictionary
  6. Digital Vaults–research a topic, curate resources
  7. Encyclopedia Interactica–visual encyclopedias
  8. Fact Monster
  9. Fun Brain
  10. How Stuff Works
  11. I Know That!
  12. Info Please
  13. Insta-Grok
  14. Internet Library
  15. Internet Public Library (IPL)
  16. Kid Rex
  17. KidsConnect–Kids research
  18. Let me Google that for you–all those questions people ask, they could have answered themselves? Here’s a site. They even have stickers
  19. Library Spot
  20. National Geographic for Kids
  21. Nova video programs
  22. SchoolsWorld.TV--educational videos
  23. Smithsonian Quest–sign up your class; student research/explore with the Smithsonian
  24. SqoolTube Videos
  25. TagGalaxy–search using a cloud
  27. Websites by kids and teens
  28. World Almanac for Kids
  29. World Book
  30. Zanran–statistics and data research


Categories: 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, Research, Reviews, Teacher resources, Websites | Tags: | Leave a comment

Tech Tip #112: How to Open 2 Gmail Accounts at Once

As a working technology teacher, I get hundreds of questions from parents about their home computers, how to do stuff, how to solve problems. Each Tuesday, I’ll share one of those with you. They’re always brief and always focused. Enjoy!

Q: I have a home Gmail account and a school one. How do I open both at once so I can keep track of what my kids/home business/etc is doing while at my teaching job?

A: The quick answer I got from e-friend and tech guru Chris Hoffman is: Open each account in a separate browser (in my case, I use Firefox and Chrome). Click here to get all the details why this works. It has to do with each browser keeping its own cookie.

Why do you need this:


Categories: Tech tips | Tags: , | 1 Comment