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Got games?

Ok so the GEEKYBIRD was searching the net the other day in search of interactive, neat, easy, and free templates that you could use in your classroom.

Here is a five of the coolest ones that he found:

EclipseCrossword.com
With over 2,000,000 downloads it goes without saying…this tool is pretty cool. EclipseCrossword is a fast, easy, free way to create crossword puzzles in minutes.  As the site says,  you can use crosswords to review vocabulary and lessons for all subjects.  And these crosswords can be printed or uploaded to your teacher website and/or blog.

Powerpoint Templates Galore
I found this site and fell in love with their templates.  They’ve got templates from Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader to Wheel of Fortune, to Jeopardy and more!

Dr. Jeff Etzberger’s Microsoft Office game templates
Here you’ll find links to games built in PowerPoint, Word, and Excel.  He’s even got a few countdown timers that you can download and use.

Quizlet.com
This site is super cool and super free.  It lets you create flash cards that you can download or embed in your blog or website It also has thousands of flashcards already created for you!  Check out this game I created with Quizlet: Drag corresponding items on top of other to make them disappear.  What was your best time?

Wordle.net
This free site lets you create word clouds that you can download or embed in your blog or website.  Here is a quick example

We Need Your Focus!

The Discovery Education product development team is constantly looking for ways to make Discovery Education streaming better and better.

And you guys play an important role in the direction of our site!  Along that vein our Product Development team is hosting a Focus Group Webinar tomorrow evening at 5pm EST.  It will be open to teachers from around the country.  During the webinar they’ll be seeking feedback on a redesign of the My DE page.

So if you would like to provide feedback to the team and leave your stamp on the new page, please sign up for the webinar and give us your two cents!

To keep it manageable we’re going to tap the roster at 20.

To sign up all you have to do is click here and follow the registration steps.  As always – thank you so much for your support!

Time To Be Thankful!

Each Thanksgiving my family goes around the dinner table and lists one thing that they are thankful for.  Usually, I’m just thankful that we’re finally allowed to eat!  And can you blame me?  I am not allowed to eat until everyone has been served their mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing, turkey, beans, and…well the list goes on.  But the really hard part is fitting all that food on my plate.

And like that table o’plenty, DE streaming offers thousands of images, videos, sounds, and more to satisfy our appetite for knowledge.   For that I am truly thankful.

But I’m also thankful for the Assignment, Quiz and Writing Prompt Builders which are three ways that you can put all of your digital stuff on one virtual plate.   You can find the “Builders” by logging into www.discoveryeducation.com, clicking on DE streaming, and then the Teacher Center.”

The Writing Prompt Builder gives you the ability to find images, videos (full and segmented), and clip art from the site and create a writing assignment for your students.  Your students can then access and respond to your prompt from any computer that has access to the internet  like a learning center, your library, a lab, or even at home.

The Quiz Builder, like the Writing Prompt Builder, gives you access to images, videos (full and segmented),  and clip art.  But it also lets you tie in speeches and sound files to multiple choice, true/false and essay questions that you design.  You can even choose to have video play before a question appears or, if you would like, appear if the student gets the question wrong!  Your students can then access and quiz from any computer that has access to the internet  like a learning center, your library, a lab, or even at home.

Finally, if the Writing Prompt and Quiz builders were the stuffing, the Assignment Builder would be the grand turkey – because you can stuff anything into this builder!  You can create assignments that include quizzes, writing prompts, images, video, calendar events, articles and more.  Basically if you can find it inside DE streaming you can put it into an Assignment!  You can even include links to other websites and create your own webquest.  Of course, your students can then access and respond to your prompt from any computer that has access to the internet  like a learning center, your library, a lab, or even at home.

If you’re feeling stuffed or slightly overwhelmed, don’t worry!  Here is a link to a PowerPoint that will show you, screen shot by screen shot, how to create each of the Builders described above.

Wait a minute…it is already November?

It seems that as soon as the last Harry Potter, Dora the Explorer and, if you’re my 11 year-old neighbor, Artemis, left my door and, the last bits of candy in my trick or treat bowl were barely empty, that the Christmas advertisements were already rolling on my TV.

By the way, if you’re asking yourself who the heck is Artimis?  So was I.   Apparently she was the twin sister of Apollo, (told to me with a heavy sigh and eyes rolling back – seriously how was I supposed to guess that one?)

So, having said that, let’s talk about all of the good stuff that is going on this month!

I’m really excited to go to Howard County on November 11, 2008 to deliver a professional development session on our brand new Discovery Education Science product.

That Saturday, I’m hanging out with my friends over in Prince George’s County on November 15, 2008 for their 12th Annual Powering Up With Technology Conference at Dr. Henry A . Wise Jr. High School.

I’m delivering three sessions there:

If you are interested in learning more about these sessions or would like me to deliver them at your next inservice -just let me know!

On November 17th I’m back in Howard County and Montgomery County to deliver professional development sessions on Discovery Education streaming.

That pretty much takes us up to the Thanksgiving week and then, before you know it, we’re into December.  Probably about the same time my little next door neighbor comes back dressed as Saint Knut or some other obscure holiday reference singing carols and expecting a tasty treat in return.

But that, my friends,  is for another post.

Who Said Its Not Easy Being Green?

We just found out we have 50 free tickets to the Green Festival in DC this weekend!

If you would like to attend please let me know how many tickets you need and where to send them.  You can e-mail me by clicking on this link.

Here’s the thing – the event is this Saturday – so if you would like to go please let me know by 3pm on Thursday, November 6, 2008 so that we can mail you your tickets.

More Details:
Green Festival Washington DC
http://www.greenfestivals.org/

Saturday, Nov. 8th (10-7pm)
Sunday, Nov. 9th (11-6pm)

Convention Center
801 Mount Vernon Place – NW
Washington, DC 20001

Discovery Education is happy to host you at this event; however, please consult your ethics official to ensure that no state laws, local laws, or school district rules your acceptance of costs or promotional materials associated with this event.