Friday, April 30, 2010

Catch of the Day - What2Learn - 30 Apr 10

Today's enticing fresh catch is What2Learn


What2Learn is an award-winning games-based learning website. Play 25,000 learning games, tests, and quizzes or make your own.


What2Learn is designed to be fun for students to use, thereby encouraging them to spend more time learning than they might otherwise. The instant feedback and guidance provided in the activities and interactive games means that students can develop better understanding through repetition.

Students | What2Learn

Students can access all of the learning activities in What2Learn for free. Achievement in the What2Learn system is automatically calculated and recorded on each student’s individual portfolio so that parents and teachers will be able to monitor and reward developing knowledge.

teachers | What2Learn

It takes about a minute to create an account and gain access to the What2Learn activities. If you need many accounts to be made, What2Learn can bulk-create accounts for you to save you time.
Play interactive games

See the What2Learn Teacher's Guide (PDF)

What2Learn is a fun, FREE, and effective way to learn.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Catch of the Day - - 29 Apr 10 is our fresh catch today

Free printable English worksheets

You'll find a variety of free printable worksheets in core subjects for home and school use at The English worksheets available at cover a variety of topics including grammar, vocabulary, and reading comprehension.


The content at is for PK-6 students. Worksheets are organized by grade level. Each grade level page is sorted by subject area appropriateness.


The printable worksheets at are designed to help your child gain valuable readiness skills, as well as to serve as reinforcement for things they may already be learning in school.

Teacher resources and worksheets for preschool through fifth grade from

In addition to the grade level material has sections for handwriting, coloring, reading tips and resources, and craft ideas.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Catch of the Day - Triptico - 28 Apr 10

Triptico is today's fresh and tasty catch

Triptico: e-Learning Design and Training

Triptico, from the UK, is home to a nice library of classroom tools and resources perfect for using with an interactive whiteboard.

Home Page
Triptico: e-Learning Design and Training

Triptico tool categories include ...
  • Word magnets
  • Timers
  • Spinners
  • Group selectors
  • Teacher tools
  • and more
Click a link on the Triptico home page to a specific tool and you'll first see a description of and instructions for using that tool.

Probability Spinner
Triptico | Probability

Triptico resources are fun to use, engaging and easy for classroom teachers to adapt. All of the tools at Triptico are free to use as much as you like.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Catch of the Day - Our Courts - 27 Apr 10

Today's ocean fresh catch is Our Courts, a civics site

Our Courts is an education project designed to teach students civics and encourage them to be active participants in our democracy.

Our Courts Home Page

Resources on the site include online lesson plans and links to teaching resources, links to each branch of government in your state, and the Our Courts games.

Our Courts Games

Our Courts was inspired by Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who is concerned that students are not getting the information and tools they need for civic participation, and that civics teachers need better materials and support.

Lesson About the Courts

These resources have been created by classroom teachers and are practical solutions to classroom needs. Justice O’Connor believes that education is the cornerstone of a successful democracy.

Learn About Civics

Teachers and curriculum specialists have guided every aspect of the development of Our Courts. They defined the goals, crafted problems and drafted lesson plans to engross middle school students, and ensured alignment to state standards.

Talk to the Justice

For students, Our Courts has interactive features like Civics in Action, and Talk to the Justice, where students can tell each other and Justice O’Connor about their opinions and their civic participation.


Monday, April 26, 2010

Catch of the Day - Artsonia - 26 Apr 10

Artsonia is today's appetizing catch

Artsonia is the world's largest online museum of kids' artwork.

Artsonia Home Page

Artsonia is the largest student art museum in the world. Artsonia is a place where every kid can have an online art gallery where their creations can be shared and enjoyed by everyone around the world.

Art Project Lesson Plan Starters

Art Project Lesson Plan Starters, submitted by the community of Artsonia teachers, are designed to give you ideas for your classroom.

Entrance Page to the Art Museum

You can enjoy the millions of pieces of kids' artwork showcased in the searchable Art Museum which includes Featured Exhibits, Top Schools, and Artist of the Week. You can browse the museum by media type, school, and grade/skill level.

A School Artwork Gallery

If you are an art educator you may join Artsonia and submit your students' artwork or your own lesson plans.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Multiplying on the Grid

Learning to multiply whole numbers using a grid makes far more sense than the traditional method which has been utilized since well before any currently living person was born!

Furthermore, multiplying on a grid can help students with mental math, but more importantly, make it easier to understand multiplying and factoring polynomials later in algebra.

As seen in the first two images below, the method is remarkably simple. First sketch a grid to accommodate the number of digits in each factor. For instance, if multiplying a one digit factor by a two digit factor, you'll need a 1 by 2 grid. Use a 2 by 2 grid if the factors are each two digit numbers, and so forth.

Place the digits of the factors on the outside of the grid, each digit having been multiplied by its place value. For example, if one of the factors is 64, put 60 (6x10) and 4 outside the grid.

Next, just as in a common "times table", fill the grid spaces with the products of the numbers on the outside. Finally, add the numbers in the grid to get the product.

Image 1
one by two digits

Image 2
two digits by two digits

The following images illustrate how grid multiplication can facilitate polynomial multiplication and factoring as students progress through mathematics.

The size of the grid is determined by the number of terms in each polynomial factor. Multiplying a binomial by a trinomial would require a grid 2 by 3. Then each term of the factors is placed outside the grid just as the digits of the whole number factors were placed. The spaces of the grid are filled with the products of the monomial terms outside the grid. Finally, again just as with the whole numbers, the product of the two polynomials is the sum of the terms inside the grid.

Image 3
monomial by binomial

Image 4
binomial by binomial

Image 5
binomial by trinomial

Image 6 shows how the grid concept can be used to help factor a binomial. Place the first and last terms of the trinomial in the first and last grid spaces. Then find numbers for the sun ☀ and the cloud ☁ whose product is the constant term (20) and whose sum is the coefficient of the linear term (9), 4 and 5. Therefore the factors are (x+4) and (x+5).

Image 6
factoring binomials

I have long thought that just making this simple change in the way we teach a basic skill might have a subtle but significant impact on how students learn and understand higher level skills later. Why do we continue to teach the traditional method of whole number multiplication? Because that's the way we've always done it. That's what we know. That doesn't mean it's the best way.

Add-ons:. Try applying the grid method to mutiplying mixed numbers.
You can put a tech spin on this method by having students implement it in a spreadsheet.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Catch of the Day - Dinosaur Central - 23 Apr 10

Dinosaur Central is today's lip-smacking catch

Dinosaur Central from the Discovery Channel is the source for everything dinosaur.

Discovery Dinosaur Central Home Page

As well as detailed information about a variety dinosaurs, Dinosaur Central offers …
  • The Dino Viewer
  • Dino Quizzes
  • Dino Puzzles
  • Dino News
  • Dino Games
The Brachylophosaurus Page

In Their Time you can learn about the different prehistoric eras in which dinos lived. Use the Dino Viewer for quick facts and detailed information, size comparisons, and images of many breeds of dinosaurs. Test your knowledge of dinosaurs with the Dino Quizzes.

The Cretaceous Quiz

What are the latest dinosaur discoveries? Follow the latest dinosaur headlines in Dinosaur News at Discovery Dinosaur Central.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Catch of the Day - TeacherHUB - 22 Apr 10 came up in our nets today

TeachHUB is an online community for teachers to share their thoughts, advice, resources, recommendations, photos, lessons, and more.

TeachHUB Home Page

TeachHUB trys to lighten the trials and stresses facing today’s teachers by cutting through the mass of resources available to them to provide a one-stop shop for useful, affordable, or free information and assistance available.

Teachers share favorite websites with and recommend products that work in the classroom to fellow teachers in the Teacher Recommendations section of TeachHUB

Teacher Recommendations Page

In the Pop Culture Lesson Plans area you'll find activities inspired by current news and today's pop culture. These lessons are available for K-12 in core subjects and are aligned to standards.

Pop Culture Lesson Plans Page

Other TeachHUB sections include …
  • K-12 education news
  • Professional development
  • Tips and contests
  • Discussions and blogs
  • The TeachHUB store is the educators' online resource center provided by the K-12 Teachers Alliance.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Catch of the Day - Meet Me at the Corner - 21 Apr 10

Today's tasty catch is Meet Me at the Corner

Meet Me at the Corner, Virtual Field Trips for Kids, is an interactive site which encourages individual expression and participation of children through video submissions.

Meet Me at the Corner Home Page

Through these video pod casts Meet Me at the Corner hopes to create a global community of children learning the art of self-expression and storytelling through the use of video.

As the site grows through children’s submissions, Meet Me at the Corner hopes to highlight the people and events in towns, cities, and nations worldwide. To date, Meet Me at the Corner has videos from California, Colorado, North Carolina, Texas, and Maryland.

New educational video episodes are presented every two weeks along with links to fun websites and the Learning Corner with follow-up questions and activities.

The Learning Corner

One of the features of Meet Me at the Corner is The Big Apple Book Club which contains video book reviews made for kids by kids.

Meet Me at the Corner was founded in 2006 by Donna W. Guthrie, the author of more than twenty award-winning books for children. Donna has taught kindergarten through fifth grade.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Catch of the Day - Sheppard Software - 20 Apr 10

Sheppard Software, a site for educational games, is today's bountiful haul

Sheppard Software delivers hundreds of free online educational games, quizzes, articles, and more for kids.
Sheppard Software Home Page

Sheppard Software designs educational software and online games with three goals in mind É
  • To add sound and visual effects to make learning fun and more memorable
  • To design games with many difficulty levels so that players will continue to be challenged no matter how far they progress
  • To provide games that will exercise players' brains

The Sheppard Software site has hundreds of free, online, educational games for kids or anyone else interested in online learning. They have many subjects - geography, math, animals, science, history, health, and more, and games and acitivies at many levels for learners of any age.

Sheppard Software offers registered versions of selected software programs completely free to teachers, schools, and homeschoolers.

Free Software for Teachers and Schools

Sheppard Software is the product of Brad Sheppard who has been designing educational software since 1982. He has an extensive background in both game design and programming.


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Monday, April 19, 2010

Catch of the Day - Collabedit - 19 Apr 10

Collabedit, an online collaborative text editor, is today's catch

Collabedit lets several people work on the same document, at the same time. All changes are instantly applied to everyone's screen. It works in your browser with no sign up required.

The Editing Window

Collabedit features include ...
  • document history
  • chat with your collaborators while you edit
  • changes appear in real-time
  • syntax highlighting for programming languages

Download as a Text File

To share your document, simply share it's unique URL by email, instant message, chat, etc. Any visitors to that URL will be able to view and edit your document.

Collabedit provides a simple, easy way to take collaborative notes, observe coding sessions, get help drafting emails and more.

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