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: http://moodlehubpreview.remc.org/course/view.php?id=16            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: http://www.twice.cc/images/M_images/2015.amazing_states_teacher_packet.pdf  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 http://www.bigredhair.com/boilerplate/ . 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 http://www.fulkerson.org/ancestors/buyreviews.html. 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 http://zarmakoupis.weebly.com.

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 http://www.statisticbrain.com/cyber-bullying-statistics/ 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   http://zarmakoupis.weebly.com/resources.html  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 www.dictionary.com 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 http://www.timeforkids.com/news/one-small-step-one-great-man/44396 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. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4iOeEtfZ6I). This reinforced what plagiarism is. The second clip I showed was another Brain Pop Jr. called http://youtu.be/RwMa2YTfl9k. 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!

Filed Under (Things 1-7) by on November 12, 2014

1.   I took a word document (a lesson plan) and converted the document into an .mp3 format (audio). I created this by using Zamzar. Zamzar is a free online file conversion tool that will allow you to upload a file to their web site, choose the conversion format desired, enter your email address, and wait for the file to be converted and sent back to you. This is so easy to use and it delivers your downloaded file right to your email so quickly!


My reflections on Zamzar is that it is a terrific tool! This could definitely influence my classroom instruction through a number of reasons. Any grade level could benefit from this tool. For instance, if i have struggling students who need something to be read to them, I can now easily convert it into an audio format. Another great thing about this is if a computer is not compatible to a certain document, I can convert that document into something that will be compatible for that computer. This will save me more time and be beneficial at the same time.

2nd zamzar emaiil              audio pic






2.   I created my own Google Calendar for my colleagues at my school. We are always wondering when events take place and what times they are held at. The Google Calendar is a great way to keep things organized and stay on track with days and deadlines. I also like this calendar because you can share it with other members of your choosing. I chose to share this calendar with my colleagues but you could definitely use this at the beginning of the school year and share it with your students and parents. This way, students and parents can be up to date on upcoming events and reminders.









3.    I took one of my Google Docs that had a URL (https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bx1cAC9lwAPPU1JzUFU0bXBlWTA/view?usp=sharing) and converted this long URL to a shortened URL (http://tinyurl.com/pmn7cr6). I included both my original URL that had 77 characters and the new URL that became 26 characters. To make this happen, I used TinyURL.com. This resource tool is fantastic because it is difficult for children to remember long URL’s, this URL shortener website will make it easier for students to remember the site. There are more URL shortener websites however, this one I chose is very simple and fast to load.

tine url






4.  Evernote allows you to save images, web clippings, and audio messages to a common “cloud” location. It is a great web resource because it allows you to access the documents anywhere just like Google Docs. I also like this resource because anyone can access it without a login or password making it easy for students to access. I made my own Evernote account here.









5.  LiveBinders is an awesome web resource. It is an area where you can put all information about a content on a single page. You can organize online materials here along with sharing the page with teachers and students. In the future, I would love to create my own LiveBinder on certain subjects or materials. I think students would benefit from using it and would keep things clean and organized. I have looked at other LiveBinders that other teachers have made and can be a good resource to include in my classroom. A couple I have chosen that would fit the curriculum of my classroom would be http://www.livebinders.com/play/play?id=9999 where it covers material for 5th grade civil war. It has great tabs that apply to certain aspects on the civil war. Another LiveBinder I found useful is http://www.livebinders.com/play/play?id=898165. I liked this LiveBinder because it had a holiday section where I found a scholastic website for Thanksgiving that I actually had my students look at this week!  The binder also contains other tabs that are resourceful as well.


Filed Under (Things 1-7) by on November 12, 2014

1.     I chose choice #1, the Skype assignment. I created a new username and password. My username is schoolrocks23. This name will be specifically for educational purposes. Learning about the 50 ways to use Skype in the classroom brings up a lot of interesting ideas.  A few of my favorites that I never thought about was conducting interviews with someone, having an author or illustrator talk to a classroom, and my personal favorite, videoconferencing with other students in different states! This is my favorite because students can learn from other students. They will be able to ask questions and visually see who they are talking to! I will definitely use this tool and apply it for different reasons.

Using Skype, I conferred with two of my fifth grade students. We discussed how we could use Skype and how it could be beneficial. The students came up with great ideas including speaking with family members, speaking with other students, and talking with a friend. It was a great way to introduce this to this students and find out how this could be a learning tool.

skype pic

Filed Under (Things 1-7) by on November 12, 2014

1.   For this activity, I chose to concentrate my unit of study on mathematics. Fifth grade has a difficult math curriculum and need all the help I can get! I would like to improve my upcoming lesson in unit 3 on Lesson 1.

2-3.   Here, I created a new document using the Google Drive Documents. I uploaded my typed lesson and shared it with  my instructor as well as two of my colleagues at school. I made sure to share this with “comments allowed” in order to receive feedback.

Google Drive Pic

4.   I asked my two colleagues to read my lesson plan carefully and comment on anything they think should be added or changed. Receiving information from experienced teachers is one of the best ways to learn and become a better teacher yourself. This is how the document looked after the comments were made.

5.  Doodle is a great tool to schedule a meeting or conduct a survey online! Teaching is a very busy career and sometimes we can not see certain people in the school at certain times, this scheduling tool online helps to illuminate the stress of meeting up with another staff member to discuss a day or time where everyone can meet. Doodle is simple to use and once your request goes out, it goes straight to the inbox of who you invited. I would consider this a tool I would use in my professional career. Learning about this tool will make things easier to communicate days and times with others especially when there is more than two people trying to meet. This will be very helpful and is dedicated to manage everyone’s time easily.

Doodle Pic










6.   During my meeting with my staff members, I created a Lino to display students resources. I have included vocabulary words, example problems, a PowerPoint lesson that gives step by step directions, and finally have included two videos. I also thought it was important to add the objectives of what the student will be learning in this chapter. Take a look at my Lino I have created. I will use this tool again in the future to keep notes organized or create one for my students. Either way, it is a great resource to keep it mind.

Lino Pic






7.   The two resources I would use to modify or adjust my lesson would be both Google Docs and Lino. I would use Google Docs to share important documents or articles with my students. Students will then be able to pull these documents up anywhere they want. Most importantly, these documents will never be lost and can always be accessed. I also like this tool because students can upload their papers and I can easily check them and make comments on their papers! This way, students can see exactly what I am commenting on and make the appropriate changes.The second resource, Lino, is a great sticky note tool. It would be nice for each student to make their own. If not, having these sticky notes set up for each lesson will be a great tool to keep things organized.

Filed Under (Things 1-7) by on October 28, 2014

1.   I have created my own Symbaloo 5th grade page. This is a bookmarking tool that will support my teaching now and into the future. Below is what my Symbaloo looks like now and will develop each day.

http://www.symbaloo.com/mix/5thgrade234 via @symbaloo


2.   As I learn new resources from this point forward, I will make sure to bookmark them in my bookmarking tool.

3.   Creating a Dropbox account was very useful. I was not sure what this tool was for but now I have realized what a great and easy tool this is for sharing files and folders.


Here are three links to my documents that I have created:




4.   These new practices I have learned about will help me bring technology into my classroom. These tools will be beneficial and crucial when connecting with students and parents. The bookmarking tool I have chosen to create is called Symbaloo. This will help me to keep my own bookmarks in order or bookmarks to share with my students. This tool is easy to use and has visual effects. The Dropbox tool is another great idea to keep things organized. This tool allows you to upload files and be able to access them at any device without using a hardware. It is also great because you can share files with your students or parents where they can access them any time they want. This would be the best for absent students to get their missed work online through this Dropbox tool.

5.   Learning this “thing” helped me realize the benefits that computer technology has in the classroom. This has changed my own practices because I will now keep a Dropbox active and post things daily. This will not only be for my benefit only but will benefit my students and parents to easily access any paperwork or assignments. I also enjoyed creating my own bookmarking page. I thought that is was fun and students can easily access and navigate through the page. I also could see myself creating multiple pages for different subjects. I will now use these new tools I have learned about and apply them into my teaching.

Filed Under (Things 1-7) by on October 22, 2014


Below, I used Tagxedo to make my world cloud. My resource I use periodically is BrainPop. I have copied and pasted a small paragraph and created my world wall into a shape of an apple.


I believe all of the 108 ways to use world clouds are very beneficial. My favorites include students using world clouds for discussions, vocabulary words, and projects. Learners can answer to questions or respond to a comment on world walls. They can also use this tool to type their vocabulary words for each unit. Students can then print these out and place them where they can access them easily. In school projects, students can create a word wall describing a famous person, explaining different land regions, or even adding it to a student paper. This article lists clear examples on how to use world clouds and incorporate them into lesson plans. The best part of these world clouds is that it can be used in all different subjects and grade levels. In my classroom this a resourceful tool because I will incorporate it into various lesson plans.


 My Gliffy

Here, I created a graphic organizer on Gliffy. I incorporated pictures and videos to pertain to various learners.







My Schools QR Code

       I created a QR code that is linked to my school’s website!

Scan above to view Mt. Clemens Montessori Academy’s school homepage.



My Piktochart

Here is an infographic on Piktochart that I can use for my upcoming lesson on plagiarism. It did not save as I had planned but was a great experience that I have learned from!


I have uploaded a few visuals on my Face of the Classroom website!

Filed Under (Things 1-7) by on October 15, 2014

Weebly is a free service for teachers and students to easily build websites.

My account on Weebly allows me to share my Face of the Classroom with students, parents, and staff.

Check out my Face of the Classroom at http://zarmakoupis.weebly.com 


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