Teacher Toolkit

Refine your craft:

Teaching Channel https://www.teachingchannel.org/ *Great resource to watch and discuss videos of teachers in action with specific areas of focus.

The Teacher Toolkit http://www.theteachertoolkit.com  *Short video clips and downloadable templates for a variety of essential teaching strategies.  

Connect with another class:

E-pals Classroom Exchange http://www.epals.com

Communicate with Experts:  

All Experts.com http://www.allexperts.com/

CIESE Ask An Expert Page http://www.k12science.org/askanexpert.html

Ask Dr. Math http://forum.swarthmore.edu/dr.math/

Skype with your favorite authors:

For a nominal fee, many authors will connect with your classroom via Skype.  Read this brief article by author Kate Messner "An Author in Every Classroom: Kids connecting with authors via Skype. It’s the next best thing to being there." (September 2010)

Check out the Skype and Author Network: http://skypeanauthor.wikifoundry.com/

Laurie Halse Anderson: http://madwomanintheforest.com/teachers/skype/

Elizabeth O. Dulembra http://dulemba.com/index_visits.html

Cynthia Leitich Smith http://cynthialeitichsmith.com/cyn_events/events/cyber_speaking.html

Beyond Web Experts. You don't have to use the expert resources provided. You probably have great parent and community resources in your own town or city that you can access. If you can't find a resource for a particular area, try the web and do some "cold calling." In other words, most websites contain e-mail lists of representatives that might be willing to answer students' questions. Give it a try!

Set up real time video chats, free: http://www.skype.com


We all need them, so before you start designing your own have a look at templates and examples from other teachers

Rubistar http://rubistar.4teachers.org/index.php

Landmarks for Schools Rubric Machine http://landmark-project.com/rubric_builder/index.php

teAchnology Rubrics http://www.teach-nology.com/web_tools/rubrics/

Understanding Rubrics http://www.middleweb.com/rubricsHG.html

The Cream of the Crop:  Collections of Lesson Plans and Instructional Materials

Kathy Shrock’s Guide to Everything http://www.schrockguide.net/

NY Times Learning Network http://www.nytimes.com/learning/

ReadWriteThink  http://readwritethink.org/  

PBS TeacherSource http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/

Teachers Love SmartBoards http://teacherslovesmartboards.com/ 

ReadWorks http://www.readworks.org/


How are blogs becoming powerful tools in education?  Students are using them for journals, a collaborative workspace, peer review, publishing work. . .  teachers are posting assignments and resources, communicating with parents, collaborating with each other, reflecting and receiving feedback from peers. . .  administrators are organizing school calendars, bus schedules, and other "administrivia" for a wide audience. . .  and more!

Use these free resources to set up your own blog:

Blogger www.blogger.com (part of Google apps, most popular, you need to sign up for a gmail account first)

Edublogs edublogs.org  (for educational use, no ads)

WordPress wordpress.com (now offering 3Gig of space and easy to customize with widgets)

KidBlog kidblog.org/home.php FREE blogging platform aimed at elementary and middle school teachers and students

*One of my favorite blogs, Vicky Davis's Cool Cat Teacher  http://www.coolcatteacher.com/


A Wiki is a website that allows users to add content, but also allows anyone to edit the content. In other words, instead of being a page built only by one person or by a team, it's open to the public. Anyone can edit any page of a Wiki; usually all they have to do is sign in. A wikispace for a class, team or group is a great place for students to post their work so that teachers and classmates can review and discuss it; for teachers to post schedules, syllabi, assignments, resources, and more.

Wikispaces http://www.wikispaces.com/ Create your own space, free of charge.

PBWiki.com  http://pbwiki.com/  Easy to set-up with no tech knowledge required.  Basic classroom workspaces are free; premium workspaces start at $99/year


I was recently asked by several teachers to suggest ways to use technology to enhance their spelling contracts, to break up the monotony of those weekly lists and quizzes! You may consider adding point values to encourage students to select the more challenging items.

1. Type your spelling words in ABC order. Look up and write their parts of speech, definition, or synonym/antonym http://www.merriam-webster.com/

2. Access your teacher’s spelling list at http://www.spellingcity.com  and play 3 games.  Test yourself.

3. Write a poem using at least 6 spelling words.

Shape poems http://www.readwritethink.org/materials/shape/

Diamante poems http://www.readwritethink.org/materials/diamante/

4. Use graph paper or the website www.puzzlemaker.com to create a word search using all of your spelling words.

5. Create a cartoon strip using at least 8 spelling words.




6. Create a beautiful word cloud with your spelling words http://www.wordle.net/ or http://www.tagxedo.com/ . Print it out to display in class.

7. Find a picture from Pics4learning http://www.pics4learning.com/  (or use one provided by your teacher) and use spelling words to write a story about the picture.

8.  Translate your words to another language using Google Translate (https://translate.google.com/)