1. New Tool: Blabberize is a free site that allows you to upload a picture and make it “talk”. Once a picture of an animal or person is uploaded, you outline its mouth and record yourself talking. While this site is kind of silly, I can see it being used in the classroom as a fun way to introduce a lesson or as a presentation tool to express student creativity. Here are some more lesson ideas from others. Check out my Cat in the Hat example here!
2. Computer Tip: Did you know that you can use shortcuts on your keyboard to do things you would normally do with your mouse? There are so many but here are a few for you to start with (this is for a PC–Macs may or may not have the same shortcuts):
CtrlA: This higlights everything on a page.
CtrlC: This copies whatever you have highlighted.
CtrlV: This pastes whatever you have copied.
CtrlX: This cuts whatever you have highlighted.
CtrlP: This prints the page.
CtrlF: This opens a box that allows you to type a word you are looking for on a page and it will search for it.
CtrlB: Bolds what is highlighted.
CtrlU: Underlines what is highlighted.
CtrlI: Italicizes what is highlighted.
3. Relevant article: Music can often change the mood of the entire class. It can wake up tired students, break up long stretches of work, or make something boring seem fun. I like to use music when teaching writing because it will often help students tap into emotions that they are trying to include in their writing. This article gives specific examples of how music has changed one classroom.