Calmness Counter

Life in a classroom can sometimes get hectic and noisy!  This free tool might be the answer to try and control some of the chaos.  This is really cool especially if you have a smart board in your class.  You plug in a microphone to your computer, go to this website and it actually measures the amount of noise in your class with an easy to read gauge.  You can set the sensitivity to the level that you want and it will clearly display if the noise-level is getting too high.  Amazing!


Here's a cool site with phonics activities and online books for young learners.  It's geared for children between the ages of 4 and 8 who are just learning to read.  A simple free registration is all it takes to access dozens of activities and guided reading books.
From the website:  The program takes the early learner on an interactive journey of exploration and learning. Starting with initial nursery rhymes, it moves through pre-reading activities, alphabet awareness, letter sounds, short vowels, CVC word blending, initial blends, long vowels and all the phonic activities critical for developing early reading skills. Scientifcially researched and teacher approved, The Road to Reading is the most comprehensive reading program available online.
The activities are fun and young children will enjoy playing with then without even knowing they are learning valuable pre-reading and reading skills.

Movie Poster Maker

Here is a really cool and easy to use site to create your very own movie posters.  There is an easy to use form that you fill in with your title, tags and even a space for the credits.  You can also upload your own picture and then a realistic movie poster is created in minutes.  The file can then be saved and you can print or even order the movie poster.  A really cool thing about this site is that if you use your own picture you can even get a hi-resolution version that you can use to print out from any retailer.  They don't force you to order from them. I was able to explore the movie poster section but with a quick glance at the rest of the site it seems that there are a bunch of cool things to do with your digital pictures like turn your pics into puzzles, magazine covers, pop art.  Lots of fun for teachers with a ton of educational possibilities!

Up to Ten - Boowa and Kwala

Up to Ten is an extensive web site with over 1000 educational and fun games for kids up to age 10.  Younger kids (0 - 6) can click on the Boowa and Kwala section to access lots of games, activities, songs, stories and colouring pages.  It is all very well organized so even younger students can navigate it on their own.  Older students (6-10) can access the games section where the selection isn't as extensive but still quite large.  This section has classic games, puzzles and coordination games.  Another really great thing about this site is that it is completely bilingual: English and French!  On the homepage there are three sections (Free, Premium and Teacher).  The free section is very abundant and it is not clear how to subscribe to the paying portions but, in my opinion, the free section is so extensive there is no need.

Gullah Net

Here's a neat website perfect for Black History Month. is a website devoted to learning about the Gullah culture of Saint Carolina.  On the website you can hear folktales told in English or Gullah with animated pictures.  The folktales include stories such as "The Three Little Pigs" and "The Little Red Hen" so it can be used even if you aren't doing a "Gullah" unit in class.  Just hearing the narrator in English is worth it.   On the Gullah music part of the website you can see the evolution of African music in America.  A fun, interactive website to help learn about another culture.

Math Worksheet Wizard

Math Worksheet Wizard is a great tool for teachers.  You can get random math worksheets at the click of a button.  The really good thing about this site is that it caters to young kids who need pictures all the way up to students in grade five who need more complex problems.  This site covers arithmetic, time, money, measurement, as well as shapes, colours and numbers for the younger grades.  The thing I really liked about this site is that, for younger kids who are just learning, you can either match to find the right answer or write it in yourself once they get more comfortable.