Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Finance Activities for the Classroom

Learning money skills can be difficult for some students. I am continually looking for ways to help teachers teach money skills to their students, in meaningful and entertaining ways.

Practical Money Skills (practicalmoneyskills.com) is a website that offers fun interactive activities to help your students learn about money and finance.


  • Financial Football is an advanced financial trivia game embedded in a Madden-type football game. You can play as a single player or go head-to-head (maybe as review, in 2 teams, as a class). 
  • Cash Puzzler is puzzles from US currency; $1, $5, $10, $20, $50 & $100 bills.
  • Pete's Pig's Money Counter is a beginner level activity that introduces money skills.  

All of these different activities can be done as a whole group or a single player. They can be used as a lesson, classwork, or review for students. There are so many ways these activities can be used in the classroom. How will you use them with your students?

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Free Sound Effects

Are you planning a filming assignment for your students? Are you working in class on a project that could use some sound effects?

BBC has recently released just over 16,000 sound effects for FREE. The Sound Effects are BBC copyright, but they may be used for personal, educational or research purposes, as detailed in the RemArc License.

Check out bbcsfx.acropolis.org.uk for the extensive list of sounds and download a few today.  

Tuesday, May 8, 2018


Last week I shared an article about using social media with parents, written by Clark Rodeffer.  At times this is also appropriate for in the classroom.  At other times we want class discussions and comments less public, but possibly still electronic.  

Have you been looking for a way for students to ask questions or make comments without interrupting the lecture, movie or presentation?  Do your students have access to an electronic device?

TodaysMeet (https://todaysmeet.com/) may be the answer you are looking for.  TodaysMeet is a chat room, a meeting space, a platform for learning.  Each post is limited to 140 characters to help keeps comments and questions concise.  

TodaysMeet is free and does not require a log in.  This is a great way to share information that can be referenced at a later time as well.  

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Social Networking for Parent Contact - Guest Writer

If you are considering using social media in your classroom, read through the 2016 article "Social Networking for Parent Contact" by Clark Rodeffer.

Clark does a nice written comparison of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and provides a few reminders in terms of COPPA and FERPA guidelines.  For a quick overview, there is a nice Feature Comparison chart at the end of the article.  

Tuesday, April 24, 2018


The best time to check your paper for errors is before you turn it in.  

PaperRater.com uses artificial intelligence to detect grammar errors, punctuation issues, and spelling mistakes as well as give you tips to help make you a better writer. You can use the free features without having to signup, login, or download anything.

PaperRater.com also offers FREE plagiarism detection.  Simply upload or copy and paste your paper into the box.  Select your education level, 1st grade through Doctorate.   Enable Plagiarism detection and select continue.  

The free version does have some limitations: 
Maximum 5 pages per paper (longer papers can be broken up into separate submissions)
Maximum 50 submissions per month
Maximum 10 plagiarism checks per month

Despite these limitations, it is a great tool for writers of all ages.  Try it out for yourself the next time you have a paper to write.  

Tuesday, April 17, 2018


Do you have students with never ending questions?
Are you looking for an alternative way to present information to your students?
Do you want to provide your students with alternative ways to learn?

Curiosity drives exploration.
Exploration drives innovation.

HowStuffWorks got its start in 1998 and has grown into a website, series of audio podcasts, and videos that cover a wide range of topics. Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, super volcanoes, empathy, and everything in between. The

Check out their website HowStuffWorks.com. Search for topics in categories such as Health, Auto, Entertainment or even Animals. Look in the about section (https://www.howstuffworks.com/about-hsw.htm) for links to audio podcasts and videos. Use all of these wonderful sections as alternatives to lectures or even as a "Flip-Your-Classroom" alternative.

"I have no special talents, I am only passionately curios."
- Albert Einstein

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Free Audiobooks for Teens is back!

Overdrive has again paired with SYNC to offer 13 weeks of Free Audiobooks for Teens!  
Individuals will have the opportunity to download 2 FREE audiobooks each week, starting April 26th and running through July 25th!
You can register and sign up for e-mail reminders or text reminders at http://www.audiobooksync.com/.

Listen to the books by downloading the Overdrive app.  The app is available for iPhone®, iPad®, Android, Chromebook, Windows 8 & 10 and Kindle Fire HD.

Check out the SUMMER 2018 SYNC TITLE PAIRINGS (https://audiobooksync.com/2018-sync-titles/) page for the list of available books this summer.

For younger students have them check out the audio book options I discussed in a previous blog post,
Audio books (https://at-udl.blogspot.com/2016/12/audio-books.html)

This is a great opportunity to provide some fun summer reading for our students!