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Tagged With: lists

16 Thanksgiving Sites, 2 Apps, and 2 Projects

Need a few websites and apps to fill in sponge time? Here are Thanksgiving websites that will keep students busy and still teach them:

  1. Canadian Thanksgiving
  2. Online/Offline Thanksgiving activities
  3. Plimoth Plantation
  4. Starfall–Silly Turkey
  5. Thanksgiving edu-websites–CybraryMan
  6. Thanksgiving Games
  7. Thanksgiving games and puzzles
  8. Thanksgiving games–Quia
  9. Thanksgiving information–history, more
  10. Thanksgiving Jigsaw
  11. Thanksgiving Jigsaw II
  12. Thanksgiving Lesson Plans
  13. Thanksgiving Tic-tac-toe
  14. Thanksgiving video–Brainpop
  15. Thanksgiving Wordsearch
  16. The First Thanksgiving


Categories: Holidays, Websites | Tags: | 2 Comments

What You Might Have Missed in October

Here are the most-read posts for the month of October:

  1. Halloween Projects, Websites, and Apps
  2. The Impact of VR on Student Education
  3. Is technology outpacing you?
  4. Differentiation Simplified with
  5. Resources for Digital Citizenship Week
  6. Engagement through Competition
  7. October is Dyslexia Awareness Month
  8. What Qualities Make an Effective Teacher?
  9. 9 Resources for National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month

Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, a Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice reviewer, CAEP reviewer, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, and contributor to NEA Today and TeachHUB. You can find her resources at Structured Learning. Read Jacqui’s tech thriller series, Rowe-Delamagente.

Categories: Teacher resources | Tags: , | Leave a comment

What You Might Have Missed in September

Here are the most-read posts for the month of September:

  1. The 101 of Research for Kids
  2. Differentiating with Personalized Learning
  3. Learning Strategies for your Classroom
  4. How to Teach Critical Thinking
  5. What to Consider When Assigning Homework
  6. New Ways to Gamify Learning
  7. Print or Digital Textbooks? What’s the Low-down?
  8. High School Technology Curriculum Coming!
  9. Great Back to School Activities
  10. Mouse and Trackpad Websites for your Classroom


Categories: Teacher resources | Tags: , | Leave a comment

The 101 of Research for Kids

online research tipsIt’s difficult finding kid-safe research websites that really are. Even Google SafeSearch has issues at times. Here’s my list of safe spots to send your students for research. Before rolling any of these out, preview them all to be sure they fit your unique student group:

  1. BrainPop–with the BrainPop characters, a launchpad to curiosity
  2. CoolKidFacts–kid-friendly videos, pictures, info, and quizzes–all 100% suitable for children
  3. CyberSleuth Kids–free kid-friendly graphics
  4. Dimensions–academic research geared for college-level
  5. Fact Monster–help with homework and facts
  6. History Channel–great speeches
  7. How Stuff Works–the gold standard in explaining stuff to kids
  8. Info Please–events cataloged year-by-year
  9. Library Spot— an extensive collection of kid’s research tools
  10. National Geographic for Kids
  11. SchoolsWorld.TV--an eclectic collection of educational videos
  12. Smithsonian Quest–sign up your class; student research/explore with the Smithsonian
  13. SqoolTube Videos–educational videos for Prek-12
  14. TagGalaxy–search using a cloud
  15. Wild Wordsmyth–picture dictionary for kids
  16. World Almanac for Kids
  17. World Book–requires membership
  18. Zanran–statistics and data research

Citation Resources

Once students have found the information they need online, here are great places to make sure they provide the proper citations:


Categories: Research | Tags: | Leave a comment

How to Teach Critical Thinking

There’s a reason why the brain uses 25% of the calories you eat: Thinking is hard work. Subjects like math and science — the ones only “smart” kids do well in — demand that you find patterns, unravel clues, connect one dot to another, and scaffold knowledge learned in prior lessons. Worse, you’re either right or wrong with no gray areas.

Wait. Where have we heard those characteristics before? In games! Do these descriptions sound familiar (or ask your game-playing students)?

Take the helm of your own country and work together with others to solve international problems!

Manage your city so it’s energy efficient and sustainable. 

Solve a mysterious outbreak in a distant tropical jungle and save the scientists. 

All torn straight from the taglines of popular games. Kids love playing games, leveling up, and finding the keys required to win. They choose the deep concentration and trial-and-error of gameplay over many other activities because figuring out how to win is exciting. So why the disconnect among teachers and parents when applying gameplay to learning?


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

Tech Ed Resources for Your Classroom: Survival Kits

tech is easyI get a lot of questions from readers about what tech ed resources I use in my classroom so I’m going to take a few days this summer to review them with you. Some are edited and/or written by members of the Ask a Tech Teacher crew. Others, by tech teachers who work with the same publisher I do. All of them, I’ve found well-suited to the task of scaling and differentiating tech skills for age groups, scaffolding learning year-to-year, taking into account the perspectives and norms of all stakeholders, with appropriate metrics to know learning is organic and granular.

Today: Tech Survival Kits


Tech Survival Kits put everything a teacher needs to tech-ify their classroom into one package. This includes books, ebooks, articles, webinars, mentoring, and more. By purchasing as a Kit, you get a 10% discount on the included materials.

There are five Survival Kits. The specific resources depend upon your need:


Categories: 1st, 2nd, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th grade, 7th grade, 8th grade, AATT Materials, Reviews | Tags: , | 1 Comment

What You Might Have Missed in August

Here are the most-read posts for the month of August:

  1. Teaching Digital Rights and Responsibilities
  2. The Important Morning Meeting
  3. It’s Time to Make Your Classroom Paper-free
  4. Wikispaces has closed. What are your alternatives?
  5. 11 Back-to-school Activities for the First Month of School
  6. Great Back to School Classroom Activities
  7. 22 Websites and 4 Posters to Teach Mouse Skills
  8. Curriculum Companions Start September 10th!
  9. Plan a Memorable Back to School Night
  10. Today’s Meet is Closed. What are your Alternatives?


Categories: Teacher resources | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Wikispaces has closed. What are your alternatives?

Wikispaces, one of education’s standout collaborative websites, closed at the end of June 2018. Thousands of teachers have used the free Wikispaces platform to share materials with students and colleagues, to run online classrooms, or as the virtual arm of a blended course. Its robustness and versatility allowed teachers to engage in discussion boards, forums, share all sorts of media, and create a personalized environment that could be tweaked to adapt to individual needs.

Its end has left teachers scrambling for alternatives that accomplish the same goals within a tight education budget.

Let’s back up a moment: What is a wiki?

A wiki is a collaborative website that collects and organizes content created and revised by users. 

The most well-known example of a wiki is Wikipedia but others include Wikimedia Commons and WikiHow.

If you’re one of the over 10 million teachers and students forced to find an alternative to Wikispaces, start here:

Wikispaces Replacement 101

1. Build a wiki from scratch

If you want to simply recreate your current Wikispaces environment, here are two wiki platforms that will allow you to do that:


Categories: Online education | Tags: | 1 Comment

22 Websites and 4 Posters to Teach Mouse Skills

Resource list constantly updated here

Many of my most popular articles are about mouse skills. Every year, tens of thousands of teachers visit Ask a Tech Teacher to find resources for teaching students how to use a mouse. No surprise because using a mouse correctly is one of the most important pre-keyboarding skills. Holding it is not intuitive and if learned wrong, becomes a habit that’s difficult to break.

The earlier posts are still active, but I’ve updated this resource with more websites and posters to assist in starting off your newest computer aficionados.

Mouse Skillsmouse skills

  1. Bees and Honey
  2. Drawing Melody–draw in many colors with the mouse and create music
  3. Hover skills–drag mouse over the happy face and see it move
  4. Left-click practice while playing the piano
  5. MiniMouse
  6. Mouse and tech basics–video
  7. Mouse practice—drag, click
  8. Mouse skills
  9. Mouse Song
  10. Mr. Picasso Head
  11. OwlieBoo–mouse practice


Kids love puzzles and they are a great way to teach drag-and-drop skills with the mouse buttons. Here are some of my favorites:

  1. Digipuzzles–great puzzles for geography, nature, and holidays
  2. Jigsaw Planet–create your own picture jigsaw
  3. Jigsaw puzzles
  4. Jigzone–puzzles
  5. Jigsaw Puzzles–JS


  1. Mousing Around
  2. Skillful Senior



Categories: 1st, Kindergarten, Mouse skills | Tags: | 3 Comments

Today’s Meet is Closed. What are your Alternatives?

todays meet replacementsAs of June 16, 2018, Today’s Meet closed (read the full details here). That iconic backchannel chat platform for classroom teachers and learners, the one that for ten years was the first name thought of when discussing feedback and collaboration, one that quickly became a staple in classrooms and conferences. I went to my PLN for thoughts on what they’ll use in its stead. It turns out, there are good options, depending upon whether you primarily use Today’s Meet for:

  • backchannel and student response
  • polls, forms, or surveys
  • warm-up and exit tickets

Here are webtool replacements you can use for summer or fall classes:

Backchannel and Student Response

A backchannel is a way for students to chat about lesson material while it’s being taught. It occurs in realtime but is non-intrusive to classwork. The teacher can throw a question out to students and evaluate learning or needs based on answers. Or students can pose a question and get answers from classmates. Here are three options you will like:


Categories: Reviews, Web Tools | Tags: , , | 2 Comments