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Rewards Work for All Ages: Here Are 24 Sites to Find Certificates, Awards and Coupons

We all love to be recognized. After all, who doesn't like being told they are wonderful? Students respond to the reward system, and with so many templates and online creation tools, you should have no problem finding the perfect coupon or certificate. I have even made available my own "Bonus Bucks" and a Reward Coupon I made for a fellow teacher.

123 Certificates- sports, music spelling bee awards and much more

CertificateMaker-choose from a template and design online!

Certificates-from ABC Teach

Certificates and Achievement Awards- academic, attitude, great work

 DLK's Custom  Awards- create one from scratch

Education World- nice list of certificates

Francine's High Five- from PBS Kids, create your custom award; younger kids "Good Attitude", "Great Idea", "Student of the Month"

**Greller's Bonus Bucks**- this is a Photoshop file which has 13 layers and can be edited for your use

Internet 4 Teachers

Jan Brett's Certificates & Awards- for elementary teachers

KidBibs Awards- includes Industrious Worker, Terrific Writer, Super Citizen and Observant Scientist

KidzClub- simple design for very young children

Microsoft Award Certificates

No Homework Coupon

Official Seal Generator- add to your award certificate; requires download on Windows only

Printable Reward Certificates- for younger children; includes Best Pet Keeper, Student of the Month and Great Reader

Reading Certificates-very colorful designs the kids will love

Reading, Writing, Character Awards

Reward Coupon- for a pencil top eraser

Reward Coupon- I designed this one for a teacher in my school; it is a layered document and can be worked on in Adobe Photoshop.

School Express Online Award Creator

TeacherVision Awards and Certificates- includes Act of Kindness, Good Citizen, Student of the Day and Free Computer Time

iPad Apps for Autistic Students

Just yesterday a friend of mine asked if I could suggest any iPad apps for her autistic nephew.  I had watched the 60 Minutes episode on the iPad's impact on autistic students, and knowing how large Apple's App store is, (and the fact that there's an app for just about anything you could think of)  I began my search which led to this posting.

10 Great iPad Apps for Autistic Children- from the blog, Vitamin B12 Patch

10 Revolutionary Apps to Help Autistic Children

40 amazing iPad Apps for the Learning Disabled

60 Minutes Episode on the iPad:

Autism Apps- from Autism Speaks

Best iPad Apps for Autism- 5 apps reviewed

Dr. Gary Brown's Autism Apps
- colors, numbers, shapes, letters

How the iPad Works with Academics for Autism:

iPad Apps and Resources for People with Autism- spreadsheet created by Shannon Rosa, (parent of a child with autism) Corina Becker, (an Autistic adult with a BA in English) and Jordan Sadler. (speech-language pathologist) Very extensive listing!

iPad Educational Apps- all under $10.00 each

iTaalk's Top 30 Starter Apps for Special Education- all 30 for under $50.00!!

 (Special Needs Apps for Kids)- click here to view apps for the iPad

Top iPad Apps for Children with Autism
- from the blog Autism Key; list of 8 apps 

Udemy Offers Loads of Free Online Classes

How would your students like to take classes in product development with Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg? They can on Udemy's wonderful website. With ninety percent of the classes free, Udemy offers an array of categories, such as Language, Music, Test Prep, Technology and Internet and much more. Udemy also allows you to create your own online course.

The Importance of Keyboarding: 16 Resources to Get it Right

When I was in eighth grade, we were required to take typing. I remember the teacher passed down the aisles about twice per class period, and I made sure to show that I was typing the correct way with all ten fingers. The second she passed by my desk I went back to typing my own way, the hunt and peck method, the way I still type today. Back then, I had no idea how important keyboarding would be for me in the future, creating text documents, writing lesson plans and typing my masters thesis, which by the way was the first time I was ever able to do a report on a computer. (Yes, by now you have figured out my approximate age...) To this day I wish I had paid more attention to my keyboarding skills, and it always surprises me when I come across a student who never learned how to type with all their fingers. (They're teaching them as early as first grade.) Have a student who could brush up on their skills? Try these resources:

Alphabetic Rain- type the letters as they fall from the sky

Dance Mat Typing- for kids 7-11 years old

E-Learning for Kids Keyboarding- very young kids will like this site.

Free Typing Game- test online

Good Typing- typing tutorials in several languages

Keyboarding Games- lots of fun games here with sound effects and music

Keybr- take a typing speed test or practice online

Power Typing- QWERTY keyboard

Qwerty Town- 30 day trials are available; $$ pricing for schools

Rapid Typing Zone- lessons, games, online typing test tutorials, typing games and tests can be found on this site.

Super Hyper Spider Typer- for young kids; great sound effects the kids will love

TuxTyping- for younger kids; download for PC or Mac

Typing Lessons Online- lessons and tutorial videos

TypingWeb- "free online typing tutor & keyboarding tutorial for typists of all skill levels".

Why Not Use Political Cartoons in Your Teaching? Here are 15 Places to Find Them

As the Republican candidates campaign for their party's nomination, the cartoonists have been having a field day with their political cartoons. You can use these as you discuss many topics in your classroom, from drugs to gas prices. 

American Political Prints- covers 1766-1876; some cartoons are colorized

Cartoon of the Day- from HarpWeek; search by theme: TOPICS, PEOPLE, PLACES; excellent!

Cartoonists of the Week - from TIME magazine

Historical Political Cartoons- there is a listing here from the Poway Unified School District; you should be warned that several of the words, descriptions, and images in these 19th-century caricatures are considered racially offensive by today’s standards.

Political issues are covered here; large collection

Political Humor- from; current candidates are featured

The Presidential Elections- political cartoons cover 1860-1912; from HarpWeek

Today's Political Cartoons- from the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists; international, national and local

T.R. (Theodore Roosevelt)- nice collection all about T.R.

World War II Cartoons- teacher Mrs. Oz created this page with links that cover cartoons in print and film

Google Apps For Education: Is Your School Connected?

Since last year, I have been trying to get my district to make the transition to Google Apps for Education.With free Gmail account for every student, access to Google Docs for all, collaboration is easy. Relying on Google's server, (ours crashed a month ago and had to be replaced-$$) schools have their files automatically backed up and protected from viruses. Google support is excellent, and these are just a few of the schools using Google Apps: Brown University, Wesleyan University, Oregon Public Schools, Boston University, Vanderbuilt University and Notre Dame University. If you would like to see more information or attend a webinar, Google has a treasure-trove of tutorials for you here.

Just remember: you need a functioning network with adequate bandwidth. Otherwise, you will never get to the cloud.

50 Famous People Who Were Teachers

 When students talk about what they'd like to major in when they go to college, I always advise them to pick something they are passionate about. After all, they will be doing it for a long time. Every now and then I find a student who wants to be a teacher, even though our profession has recently taken a lot of hits from politicians who think we are overpaid. (I will not rant here....that's for another post) Here's a long list of famous people who were or are teachers. Perhaps some will surprise you and your students.

John Adams (Former President)- taught for a few years (left teaching for law school)

Madeline Albright (first female Secretary of State)

Louisa Mae Alcott (Author)

 Maya Angelou (Poet, Writer)- College professor of international relations

Clara Barton (Founder of the Red Cross)- taught in dozens of schools

Alexander Graham Bell (Inventor)- taught speech at the Boston School for Deaf Mutes

Dan Blocker (Actor-Bonanza)- taught high school English and drama and 6th grade

Laura Bush (Former first lady)- former teacher-librarian

Jimmy Carter (Former president)- taught at Emory University in Georgia

Billy Crystal (Comedian-Actor)- worked as a junior high school substitute teacher

Sheryl Crow (Singer-Songwriter)- former elementary school music teacher

Tony Danza (Actor) - starred in reality program where he taught high school

Clarence Darrow (U.S. lawyer)

Roberta Flack (Singer)- taught music and English

John Fowles (British author)- taught English

Robert Frost (Poet)- taught English and music

Art Garfunkel (Simon and Garfunkel)- taught math for 2 years

John Glover (Actor) - taught college course on directing

Sir William Golding (Author)- taught at a boys' grammar school

Al Gore (Former Vice-President)- taught at Columbia's School of Journalism

Greg Graffin (Punk rocker)- College professor (UCLA)

Dennis Green (Former Minnesota Vikings Football Coach)

Andy Griffith (Actor)- was a music education teacher

W.C. Handy (U.S. blues composer)- taught music on the college level

Edith Head (Costume designer)-taught French and art

Hugh Jackman (Actor) - former teaching assistant

Lyndon B. Johnson (Former President)- once was a school principal

Stephen King (Author)- former English teacher

Kris Kristofferson (Singer-Actor)- taught English at West Point; was a Rhodes scholar

D.H. Lawrence (British author)- taught at the Davidson Road School, Croydon

Spike Lee (Movie Director-Writer)- teaches film at the Tisch School of the Arts (NYU) and Harvard University

Leonard Maltin (TV Movie Critic)-teaches at the University of Southern California

Christa McAuliffe (Challenger Space Shuttle Astronaut)- was an elementary school teacher

Frank McCourt (Author)-teacher for 30 years

Benito Mussolini (Italian dictator)- taught after serving in the military

Pat Nixon (Former First Lady)- taught high school

Barack Obama (President)- lecturer at the University of Chicago

George Orwell (Author)- taught in boys' high school

Thomas Paine (U.S. patriot)- was a schoolteacher in London

Kal Penn (Actor)- taught at the University of Pennsylvania

Mr. T. (Actor)- former part time gym teacher in Chicago

J.K. Rowling (Author)- taught at a school in Portugal

Salman Rushdie (Author)- taught at Emory University

Gene Simmons (KISS)- taught elementary school before forming the rock group KISS

Sylvester Stallone (Actor)- worked as a gym teacher to pay the bills

STING (Singer-Songwriter)- taught at a Catholic school

Raymond Joseph Teller (Penn and Teller)- taught  high school English and Latin

Oprah Winfrey (Talk Show Host)- teaches a class via satellite (Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls)

Ron Wood (Rolling Stones)

Steve Wozniak (Apple Co-Founder)

Teacher-Librarians: Great Google Tips For Us has put together a super listing of 50 Great Google+ Tips for School Librarians. If you don't have a Gmail account, it's time for you to get one already! There are so many terrific things offered through Google, and one of them is Google+.

24 Places to Find Bulletin Board Display Ideas

I have worked as a media specialist in the elementary, middle and high school. The most creative teachers by far are those in the elementary school. Their bulletin boards are always eye-catching. They are constantly changing the displays and are never short on ideas. In gathering this list of resources for bulletin board ideas, I found that most of the lists are for K-6 teachers. Perhaps middle and high school teachers can modify some of the suggestions...

Bulletin Board Ideas

Bulletin Board Ideas!- lists grade level for each idea

Bulletin Board Ideas By Subject

Bulletin Board Resources for English/Language Arts Teachers- from @Web English Teacher

Bulletin Board Sites- nice long listing from Kathy Schrock (Discovery Education)

Bulletin Board Tips and Ideas for the K-3 Teacher

Bulletin Boards- TeacherVision's wonderful listing includes Ecology Themed, Famous Places, Rainbow of Flowers, Spring Theme and much more

Bulletin Boards for Business Teachers- includes computers, economics, technology

Bulletin Boards for the Music Classroom

Bulletin Boards to Motivate and Inspire- from Scholastic

DLTK's Bulletin Board Project Ideas

Fractions Bulletin Boards

Geometry Bulletin Boards

High School Bulletin Board Ideas

Hollywood Bulletin Board Ideas for Teachers

Ideas for Bulletin Boards- from Kim's Korner

Interactive Bulletin Boards- math subjects

A List of Bulletin Board Ideas- includes Start Your Engines, We Love This School

Monthly Bulletin Board Ideas- from Teacher's Corner

Motivational Bulletin Board Ideas- includes Keys to a Successful New Year, Swim in the "School" of Success

PE Central Bulletin Board Ideas- for physical education teachers

Problem Solving Bulletin Boards

School Bulletin Boards- printables cover many subjects, including the Civil War, Egypt, elements and compounds, dinosaurs, voting, Westward expansion and more

Top 5 Bulletin Board Ideas- from Scholastic

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The Weeding Game: Saying Goodbye to Reference Books

The librarian before me was a pack-rat. She didn't throw away anything! Our school's collection hadn't been weeded in decades, and the average age was 1976.  I began to weed and feed the collection five years ago, correcting spine labels and database entries. Here I am today about to enter the "more aggressive" stage of weeding our reference section, and I find myself feeling sorry for the dozens upon dozens of books which have outlived their usefulness. To be honest, I have felt SO bad that I have laid out displays for each department, hoping that teachers will take some of these books to their classrooms. So now that you're wondering why I feel so attached, let me explain our budget situation: when I first arrived five years ago, the numbers were already pretty low. Given the recent super cuts (no, not the hair salon) from NJ Governor Christie, (our public school teachers have been vilified by him) what little I had was cut over 94%!!! So I have learned to use and reuse and reuse, if you know what I mean.

With the giant barrels lined up, I have weeded a few hundred books. Now comes the really fun part which is deleting each barcode. How do YOU weed your reference books? Do you think that print reference is close to dead? I've given you 14 resources to help you through this process. Please answer the survey at the end of the post.

Be Proactive: Weed- blog post from School Library Monthly

Determining Use of an Academic Library Reference Collection 

The Horrors of Weeding in Buffalo - the comments are as interesting as this public library's take

Is Print Reference Dead?- written by Sue Polanka; includes survey results from ALA librarians (2007)

Weed 'Em and Weep!- slide presentation by Awful Library Books

Weeding Guidelines By Subject
View more documents from Ed Sadowski

Weeding Library Collections- this wiki includes great ideas on what to do with weeded books, including  book sales, donation and more.

Weeding Library Collections: A Selected Annotated Bibliography for Library Collection Evaluation- from ALA

Weeding and Maintenance of Reference Collections- book by Linda S. Katz

Weeding Reference Materials (Lis 60610)
View more PowerPoint from guestab667e

Weeding Your Library- tips from teacher-librarian Cindy

Weeding Your Library Collection- here's how they weed in New Zealand's schools

Do you feel that print reference is dead?

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