Building the Machine: A Documentary about the CCSS

Anyone who cares about the changes in our education system will find the information in this documentary about the Common Core State Standards interesting.  Hopefully, it will spark some dialogue.  It’s just over 39 minutes long.

Make Your Own eBooks for Students to View on an iPad!

I love creating my own e-books using PowerPoint.  They are perfect for use with an iPad or iPhone using the free SlideShark app!  Watch the video to learn more.

Learn more about the SlideShark App

Did you like the eBooks presented in the video?

Follow these links to Laura’s Lessons on Teachers Pay Teachers!

FREE _and Word Family PowerPoint

Apple Dapple Rhymes Digital e-Book

Thanks for stopping by!

Signature Logo


Meet Symbaloo!

Whenever I teach, I learn something new.

Today I facilitated a Smart Board and Common Core workshop for my friends at Munson Elementary in Chardon Ohio.  A few of the teachers there introduced me to this wonderful online bookmarking utility that can be customized to save your favorite website links.  It’s called Symbaloo.

It’s like Pinterest meets the favorites list in your browser!

On your Symbaloo page, you can easily create graphic buttons called tiles that link to your favorite websites.  These tiles can be dragged around to group them visually on the page.  Additional tabbed pages called “webmixes” can also be created.  It is so much easier (and more fun) than navigating through my browser’s favorites list.  The layout appeals to me more than other online bookmarking sites such as Delicious or PortaPortal.

A huge advantage is being able to access your favorite website bookmarks on any computer by visiting your Symbaloo page.  An iPhone app is also available, which makes your bookmarks readily available on your iPhone or iPad.  I checked it out on my iPad and it works great!

It’s complete free to join and set up an account.  The interface is very user friendly and easy to learn.  In a few clicks, you’ll be off and running!  Honestly, I have been playing on my new Symbaloo page all evening.  It’s so much fun and I’m sure that I’ll use it regularly.

Here’s an introductory video to learn more about Symbaloo:

Click here to visit Symbaloo!  Open your free account and get started!


Flash Game Creator

The Super Teacher Tools website offers quick and easy way to create interactive games with your own content for use with your interactive whiteboard.

The games are created with Adobe Flash animation software. If you don’t already have Flash Player installed on your computer, you can download it by clicking here.

Choose one of the games below for links to the Super Teacher Tools website.  You can create a game online by adding your own questions and answers.  You can play the game online with your class or download it to play it offline.  To play offline, you will also need to download the free game players also available on the website.

Your game will be stored on the website so that you can access it later.  You can also find and play games made by others.  There is an option to keep your game private and you can password-protect the game so that only you can edit the game.

Here are the links to the games!  Wonderful Website

Free Flash Jeopardy Review Game
Free Flash Who Wants to Be a Millionaire Game
Free Flash Board Game
Free Flash Hangman Game


You’ll find other neat tools on the Super Teacher Tools website such as a random name generator, group maker, and a seating chart generator.  What fun!

Signature Logo



Using Smart Response

By now, most teachers have heard of classroom “clickers”.  These are the handheld devices that can wirelessly deliver a student’s response to a question during a group assessment via computer.  There are many systems available.  Of course, I became hooked on Smart Response because it integrates so easily with Smart Notebook as well as PowerPoint.

I loved using the Smart Response technology with my first graders.  I could integrate questions right into my lesson as a formative assessment.  The results were immediate.  I liked that I could go over the results and make it a “teachable moment” as we discussed items that were more challenging.  I also designed more elaborate question sets that could be used as a summative assessment.  Grading was instant and could be put into Excel as well as used in student reports.  Talk about generating data, Smart Response provides it all at your fingertips!

It really wasn’t hard for my first graders to adapt to the standard PE remotes (or clickers).  There are several different kinds of remotes so that you can choose the one that best meets the needs of your students.  Smart VE even allows the use of any handheld device connected to the internet, such as a smartphone.

If you already have access to a Smart Response System, here are some resources to get you started:

Informational Resources from Smart Technologies:

Smart Response User Guide (PDF)

Quick Reference Guides (PDF)

Creating an Assessment
Setting up Smart Response
Delivering an Assessment
Evaluating Assessment Results

Hands On Practice Guides (PDF)

Creating an Assessment Practice
Managing Class Lists
Delivering an Assessment Practice

Evaluating Assessment Results Practice

Video Tutorials

Creating an Assessment
Managing Class Lists
Delivering an Assessment
Evaluating Assessment Results

Different Smart Response Systems

Description of each type
Compare systems

Link to Smart Response Software Download

The above link will take you to the main downloads page on the Smart Technologies website.  Scroll down to find Smart Response link and choose your version.

Signature Logo