Archive for Things 8-14

Filed Under (Things 8-14) by on February 20, 2015


I created a presentation using Blendspace. This site allows you to create an online visual presentation in minutes. You can upload pictures, video, text, and search the web with a click of a button! The program allows you to select and drop the materials you have chosen where it then generates into a presentation. I have chosen my content area surrounding Black History month. I have been trying to decide what to do this month over the past week and this resource helped me think clearly. I made a presentation using videos and sites of various influential African American’s. I also found a lesson that i am taking and modifying it. Students will research their African American person and later draw and create a mural with the entire class. I will then hand this outside of the classroom for the school to see!

Here is the link to my presentation!

2.  I plan on using this presentation as a whole group with my students. My students will be on a circle on the carpet and I will ask the question, “Does anyone know what Black History Month is?”. I will call on students that have raised their hand. I will  then ask if they remember anything they learned about African Americans in their previous grades. I will tell them how their are many important and famous people that we honor today. I will show them my presentation. This will teach them a few facts about the people who changed our world; from inventors, doctors, artists, authors, musicians, to civil rights activists. Students will get a glimpse on what it was like to be a slave. I am also reading a read aloud called “Who Conducted the Underground Railroad And Other Questions About the Path to Freedom”. This is will all tie in together very nicely. This addresses the SAMR level throughout Redefinition. My Blendspace presentation allows the creation of a new task that may have been previously inconceivable. The technology that will be incorporated will give students a visual rather than hearing it from a book or from others. They will really understand and see who and what it was like for American Americans and who have bought amazing things into our society. A “best practice” that this ties into is many. However, I believe this technology will generates mental pictures inside my students’ minds. I think this is important and will help students remember.

3.  To go with this lesson, I chose for students to make a mural of what they learned from the presentation and the read aloud. I will give students a half piece of white card stock. Students will create either pictures of a certain individual or an area of interest. They will color and create their own mural. I will ask the technology expert at our school to allow students to look up some information about what they choose. Students will have the option to write a couple sentences on their mural or behind. When their own card stock is completely colored, I will have the whole class but their art on the floor and have them create an entire mural. I will tell them to move their art around so that it looks great in its entirety. Students will work together to create a huge class mural. When students have completed this process, they will flip theirs around and tape the edges together. I will then take the mural and hang it so others can see. I believe this mural ties in nicely with my Blendspace presentation. It will show creativity, collaboration, and how well they understood the material.

Here is my rubric that I will be assessing them with!

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 3.17.23 PM



Filed Under (Things 8-14) by on February 4, 2015

1.  I have created a talking smiley avatar to introduce my Face of the Classroom page. It was very interesting to see all the great tools you could use on voki. My students would enjoy creating their own character and using audio to give their voki a voice! I could also use voki as an anticipatory set when introducing a new topic or lesson. I feel that my students would be more excited listening to an animation than to me! Here is my voki that I created.



2.  Shutterfly is a free photo-sharing site. Anyone can access your photos if you choose to. This would be great for sharing classroom photos and giving the website to all parents to access them! Here is a photo I uploaded. It is just a start but can easily develop it with photos in the classroom.


Here is my site where you can access my photo and page : 


3.  PhotoPeach is a great resource. It is a free site that lets you download pictures and transforms it into a simple slideshow. Music of your chose can be added to make the show more entertaining. I found copyright pictures of animals on  which also contains many other categories to explore. I chose three pictures and used  to transform the pictures using special features. I could use these resources for multiple subjects. I could use the animal theme as I did here because in writing, my students are working on their nonfiction piece on an animal of their chose. It would be neat for each of my students to upload their own animal and special effects where I then combine them all together on PhotoPeach and make a slideshow with all the animals put together. I was also thinking of making a show containing famous African Americans since this month is black history month. These are all valuable resources I got use and am very excited that I got to experience them!


Animals on PhotoPeach —  


Filed Under (Things 8-14) by on February 2, 2015


Using Google Earth or Google Maps can be very handy. They are both interactive maps and can be used for many different reasons in a classroom. In Social Studies, my class is learning about the history of Michigan and how they have to be “investigators” to learn historical clues presented long ago. I showed the Lansing Museum on both Google Earth and Google Maps to my students. Here is the picture from Google Earth!

Museum Screenshot


Quizlet is a great website! It is free and easy to use. I used this site to create vocabulary cards for Social Studies. It was nice to see my students practice their vocabulary words. I loved how this site reads the words and the definition out loud. My ESL students really benefited from this factor. We went over the words as a whole group and later on in the week, I asked my school’s computer teacher to have my students spend sometime on the site and have students explore the words and take the spelling test it generates. Here is where my flashcards are located and a picture!

quizzlet flashcards

The level of the SAMR model that this is an example of is Substitution. This means it acts as a direct tool substitute with no functional  change. Students can access my quizlet flashcards and would not be able to change them. It would be the same if students  typed their own words and definitions because they would be given the words and definitions by me. Overall, this is a great resource and will be using this various times throughout the year.


Looking at the sites listed under “Interactives for the Classroom  Content,”  caught my eye. My students are lower in the subject area of mathematics and been trying to find different activities and lesson plans to help my students become proficient in the lessons we are learning about. This site has a ton of math resources that all apply to the common core standard. I found two already on this site called “Looking Back and Moving Forward” and “Hopping on the Number Line.” Both of these math skills has been taught previously in my classroom however, this would be great practice for my students to look back on to become more efficient and not forget the skill.


Filed Under (Things 8-14) by on January 26, 2015


Two audio resources I would use in my classroom is iTunes and iTunesU. These are great ideas and will enhance the learning in my classroom. I have used iTunes for a long time. It is easy to use and you can search thousands of topics. It is a media player program and allows you to play audio quickly. I also like the iTunesU which is also a media player for educational purposes. This also seems very easy to use and like how it can be downloaded as an app so students can access it on their iPads. The app has iBooks that allows students to listen to a book right at their own fingertips. You could also have the students research audio or speeches from years ago. This is a wonderful resource and now that Black History Month is approaching, I will have my students try and  access speeches and music from history. Two video resources I would use in my classroom would be both school tube and teacher tube. I like these two sites because I know that these sites are safe for students to use or watch. School tube is nice because students can access it, search a topic, and watch and learn. Teacher tube allows teachers to also search topics but also has a bar at the top that allows you to narrow down your results. I would definitely tell my colleagues about these two sites and to my other friends in this field.

2.  I told one of my colleagues about using a podcast resource to augment to learning process. In my school, students in the fifth grade will be making morning announcements over walkie-talkies. Showing this resource to this teacher allowed her to think how much better this would be. Not only would students be on camera and be excited but this video will also be shown online for anyone to access it. With this idea, TeacherTube allows anyone to upload a video easily and allows you to privatize or allow certain viewers to see. We discussed how this would be a great learning experience and parents could also be their audience and praise them for their work. Making a podcast would also develop literacy, speaking, and writing skills as well as technological skills. These are all very crucial for students to be well at and our school will prepare them for the future using this idea. Finally, we discussed how students would get excited and will not realize how it is a learning process, working and developing skills as a team.


I visited M.O.R.E. and Michigan Leans Online. I found a very neat activity that I could do with my students that I did not think about until coming across this site. It is a fourth grade lesson plan but I could easily modify it for my third graders! Here is the site:            It shows fourth grade online literature circles. I love this site because it brings about the joy of reading. It gives you step by step instructions on what you should do with your students. I could easily do these lessons with my upcoming guided reading book that I will be reading with my students, Charlotte Web. I really liked the character scrapbook and the prezi. It would be hard for my third graders to come up with a prezi, but if i give them step by step instructions I feel that they can pull it off!

This next website, I visited TWICE which stands for “Two Way Interactive Connections in Education”. I visited this site:  Here I found a very interesting idea that my students would love. I found “Amazing American States” which is a two-way interactive video conference celebrating what makes America’s states special. In social studies, my class just finished a lesson on how different states specialize different products. We are now getting into Michigan’s government and it’s economy. This would be a great opportunity for my students to gather and present information about Michigan and share it with students from another state. I think students would be excited and would be creative in  presenting their information. I also liked how this pdf shows the common core standards and how many those apply in this interaction. Not only would this touch on the social studies standards but as well as economic perspective, inquiry, language arts, and technology.

Filed Under (Things 8-14) by on January 24, 2015

1. Researching on MeL Educational Databases is amazing. It is easy to use and you know the information is correct and appropriate for school level children. Comparing and contrasting the databases e-Library Elementary and Kids InfoBits was easy. They are the same in appropriateness in the fact that they both are reliable databases and both for elementary school level. They are different because the Kids Infobits website looks more appealing and interesting for kids. The e-Library Elementary website looks a little  boring and not much to see on the page. Although, it does have information regarding reading levels which is a great tool for teachers to look at and decide if it is a right article for their students. As for usability, they both have search options and are both easy to use. However, the Kids Infobits site shows categories for students to press with pictures as soon as you access the page. This makes it easier and convenient. The other site has an advance search which is great, but my opinion, confusing for younger students. Regarding to content, both databases have a variety of different categories such as magazines, newspapers, articles, books, etc. The difference is that the larger buttons on the Kids Infobits makes it easier and shows a few on a page instead of a whole list like the other database which may make a student overwhelmed. Lastly, credibility of the pair of the databases for use within the classroom is what i stated earlier, they are both reliable resources. I know students will not find biased information and that they are all true facts. These resources support the best practice of “generating and testing hypothesis” by finding a topic and researching it. It is simple to use and students can find correct resources from a variety of categories to generate their hypothesis.



Using the MeL database, I find this very useful for my third graders. My students in Social Studies are learning all about Michigan. This unit is about Michigan’s economy. I found that the MeL Michigana would be perfect for students to research more information on Michigan’s economy. I found an article on this database that would be perfect! Click on Michigan Economy to open a PDF. Another database my students and I could use is BookFlix. The best part of the site is how you can watch the story online. Martin Luther King Jr. and other important holidays are coming up and this would be perfect!


Below, I used the Joyce Valenza criteria at the BASIC (elementary) for websites that are on the bogus/hoax list. The first one I looked at was . The content looks historical. It has an official web site and other categories. Credibility is by a lady Anina Bennett where she has her own biography online and is creepy. Bias/purpose is that the boilerplate looks like a person in a costume but the word boilerplate used to be the hardest/toughest material around at the turn of the century. They were flat plates used for steam boilers. Usability and design is not educational and not appropriate. They is bias on each page and at one point inappropriate in the fact that there is a “robot romance” designs.

The second website I went to was called This was a very interesting site! It is a site where people can “buy ancestors”. The content looks silly and unprofessional. Credibility is funny because there is a disclaimer at the bottom of the page that says it might be illegal to buy in certain states! The bias/purpose is that it bribes people to fix their ancestors to make it interesting. At one point in the website, it says having a famous person as a relative will help in getting a job you want! Finally the usability and design is again unprofessional and has a lot of negative reviews. This is so ridiculous, I cannot believe people come up with these things! This is a concern because young children can see this site and be persuaded because they think it will benefit them in the future or make them look “cool” to their friends for having a famous, well known, ancestor.


I used the free citation machine online to create my APA style citation. This website was very easy to use and quick! I like how you did not have to put in all the information. All you have to do is put the tittle of a book or article, press search, and the site will generate a list of options. Then you click the one you want, go to the bottom, and press make citation. I did this myself using Google Scholar to find a book. I looked up endangered animals and found a book on Endangered Animals of Thailand. Here is my citation for this book.

Humphrey, S., & Bain, J. (1990). Endangered Animals of Thailand. Gainesville, Fla.: Sandhill Crane Press.

Filed Under (Things 8-14) by on January 24, 2015

1.  After reading the information and watching the videos, I took the copyright quiz. Here is a screenshot on how my quiz look like.

Copyright Quiz

2.  Based on what I learned about copyright laws, I realized that I have broken the copyright laws once before. I used to burn movies without acknowledging or paying the owner. This is illegal and my actions affected the director, publisher, and perhaps the actors. This has affected them because if everyone burned DVD’s, no money would be collected to the producer or director. It could also show the ratings being lower but in reality, they do not know it has been downloaded by others around the world illegally. There are a number of steps I could take next time to ensure I am being legal and fair. One thing I would do is actually buy the movies. This way I will have it forever and be legal. I also could rent movies to watch instead of burning them. Another step would be watching a movie on YouTube, if they offer it. Finally, I could buy Netflix so I can watch movies and television shows without breaking the law. There are many other ways of approaching this concept. Even asking the producer for a copy might be another way to approach this manner. Overall, being safe and legal is the way to go!

3.  The Creative Commons Licensing site  allows a creator to give permission to those wishing to use their original works in a way that respects the owner’s wishes. This way, it is fair and legal. Here, I have chosen a license feature that determines certain permissions on my Face of the Classroom website.

Creative Commons License
Welcome to Ms. Z’s Face of the Classroom by Vivian Zarmakoupis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at

4.  Using a plagiarism checker online is great and a useful tool. Many time students have the tendency to copy what it online because it is the easier thing to do. Again, this is illegal and consequences will follow. Showing students that this plagiarism checker exists, can change your students minds about copying. They will think twice about their actions. I believe this would also help students be more aware and force them to create their own writings and be proud of them.

Filed Under (Things 8-14) by on December 3, 2014

1.  REP grouping (Respect, Educate, & Protect) describes the 9 themes of Digital Citizenship. Some of my personal strengths includes digital communication and digital law. Digital Communication is the electronic exchange of information. This means  that there are several communication options one can use to communicate and collaborate with anyone from anywhere and anytime. I had used e-mail for years and still use it to collaborate with my colleagues. I also use cell phones to communicate with friends and family and finally, I use Skype to speak and see my distant family who live in Greece. Digital Law is the electronic responsibility for actions and deeds. This is the unethical uses online such as hacking, downloading illegal music, plagiarizing, viruses, and sending spam. I personally understand the different between what is right and what is wrong. A weakness that I am not fully aware of is the Digital Health and Wellness. This is the physical and psychological well-being in a digital technology world. This means users need to be taught that there are inherent dangers of technology. I know the basics of ruining your eyes or not developing a social life but do not know any statistics. I also never thought about teaching this concept with my students which now I will make it part of a lesson. Another weakness I have chosen to review and research on is Digital Etiquette. This is the electronic standards of conduct or procedure to teach everyone to become responsible digital citizens in this new society. Something new I have learned is that there is a difference between a bystander and an upstander. A bystander is someone who is present in unethical behavior online but does not participate while an upstander is  is a bystander who sees bad behavior and takes action to stop it. Taking the online etiquette quiz will help you realize where you fall. If you score a 10 or more, you are considered to have a strong cyber shield. If you score lower than a 10, it means you have a weak shield and should consider researching and taking the quiz over again. Finally I learned that netiquette means rules about the proper and polite way to communicate with other people when you are using the internet. All these concepts I have learned about will definitely be implemented into my classroom.

This is what my online bookmarking site looks like now with the added resources!

Symbaloo Capture







2.   One specific area that I feel strongly about is cyber safety and cyber bullying. I have researched that 52%of students reported being cyber bullied. 33% of teens reported experiencing cyber threats online. 25% of teens reported being bullied repeatedly through their cell phones on the internet. This report was founded on the published on 5/7/2013.

*Some more resources about this concept is located on my Face of the Classroom webpage in the resources tab.

Cyber on Weebly

Click on  to go straight there!


3.    A classroom activity about plagiarism that I created dealt with a variety of different materials. I first asked the questions for students to paint a picture in their mind on a time when they have created something; whether it was a book report, a poster, a writing piece, etc. Then I asked the question, “What did you do to claim it was yours?” The answer I got was how they put their names on it. Afterwards I asked, “If you had “that something” you created in your hands and I took it, erased your name and put my name, and turned it in, how would you feel?” I got lots of comments back on how students would not be okay with that and how they would be upset or angry. This was an introduction that I created with my students. I then states how this is an example of plagiarism. I asked “Has anyone ever heard of the word plagiarism?” No one clearly knew what it meant. I then had students go onto and type in the word plagiarism. Students found the word and wrote down the definition. We had a short discussion. I then had students go onto to read the article quietly to themselves. Then I asked, “How did the author “cite” the page she wrote?” I explained what citing was and as a group went through examples of this from the article. To conclude the lesson, I showed students a short clip from Brain Pop Jr. ( This reinforced what plagiarism is. The second clip I showed was another Brain Pop Jr. called This reinforced how to cite other author’s writings. This lesson went very smoothly. Students were engaged in the different discussions. Students also enjoyed using different materials on the web to learn about this topic. This took two days to complete because some of the discussions were very in depth! Students responded to this lesson intensely and really understood the concepts. They stated how they would never plagiarize because the consequences are not worth it and how they will always cite other author’s writings!

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