Saturday, October 25, 2014

Cool Classroom Halloween Resources

Looking for some cool classroom resources for Halloween?

Writing Prompts:

Teach Hub: 7 Halloween writing prompts

Wrentham Public Schools: Halloween Writing Activities and Ideas

Pinterest Boards:

Halloween Language Arts Ideas

Halloween Classroom Ideas

Halloween - School Ideas


Larry Ferlazzo's blog (ton of resources here)

The Teacher's Corner (crosswords, word search, etc.) (a lot of classroom activities here)

Scholastic (includes Math and Science activities)

Cybraryman's website (pretty much everything you can think of here)


By Wisermar:


By KB...Konnected:

Halloween 1

Monday, October 13, 2014

Extra Life 2014

Extra Life 2014 is going to be one of the biggest and best years on record.

What is Extra Life?

Extra Life is a annual event where gamers come together and play video games for 24 hours to raise money for the Children's Miracle Network.

Here's a video about the story that started it all:

My goal this year is $500.  All the funds I raise goes to the Don and Sybil Harrington Cancer Foundation, our local Children's Miracle Network participant. 

If you can even donate $1, that will go towards helping helping kids.  Feel free to donate via the widget on the right side of this blog or you can click here to visit my donation page.   

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

5 Back to School LiveBinders

The 2014 school year has kicked off for many schools recently.  Teachers are collecting and organizing resources for lesson plans and students are building E-Portfolios to demonstrate and reflect upon their learning.

Here are 5 LiveBinders to help you and your students for back to school:

1.  Know your Students by Chandra Manning

Know Your Students

This LiveBinder is full of excellent resources.  Resources range from: Meet the teacher, icebreakers and learning styles.  This binder is a must to start planning your year!

2.  First Five Days by Joy Kirr

First Five Days

This LiveBinder, from Joy Kirr, is a outstanding resource to get your school year started!  This binder includes icebreakers, letters and videos examples you can send home with your students and blog posts about the first days of school.  Another must have LiveBiinder to add to your resources!

3.  Ipads in Schools by Mike Fisher

iPads in Schools

If you are looking to use Ipads in your classroom this year, this LiveBinder is where you will want to start. Voted one of the Top 10 LiveBinders in 2011, this LiveBinder has everything from lesson plans, lists of multiple apps and resources for Special Education.

4.  Evernote for Educators by Justin Stallings

Evernote for Educators

Evernote for Educators, created by myself, was voted as one of the Top 10 LiveBinders in 2013.  If you are looking to get started with Evernote this year, this binder has you covered.

5.  Free Technology Tools for Teachers by Mickie Mueller

Free Technology Tools for Teachers

Voted as a one of the Top 10 LiveBinders of 2012, this LiveBinder is packed full of resources.  If you need resources for photo editing, Google, coding and presentation tools then this binder will have what you are looking for.

Looking to get involved with LiveBinders this year in your classroom?  Check out my recently released guide, Educator's Guide to LiveBinders on  Special thanks to The Edublogger and the ladies at LiveBinders for their help on putting the guide together!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Wireless G and Wireless N Routers Explained

Ever wondered what the difference is between Wireless G and Wireless N routers?

Here's a good video I found from Netgear that explains the difference:

Sunday, June 15, 2014

5 Oceanography Classroom Resources

Here are 5 Oceanography resources you can use in your classroom:

Office of Naval Research

The Office of Naval Research, an official U.S. Navy website, provides excellent resources for educators to teach about oceanography.  Resources include ocean characteristics, habitats, ocean life and ocean regions. The website also includes information about their research vessels.  


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has a wonderful page full of resources for teachers.  If you are needing resources for ocean currents, ocean floor features, tides and tsunamis.  Each topic includes multimedia resources, lesson plans and activities and even information about careers students could have in this field.  

Kathy Schrock's Guide

Kathy Schrock's Guide for Educators, who's guide has a plethora of resources on almost everything, also includes resources on Oceanography.  The guide includes multiple links to several resources that cover oceanography.  If you need a good starting point to your research, this is the best place to start. 


NOVA, a resource from PBS, provides several resources to learn about Oceanography.  Resources include classroom activities, ideas shared by other teachers and interactive resources for students.  The interactive resources is a solid way to get students engaged.  One of the interactive resources provided is "Anatomy of a Tsunami" - which provides diagrams and animated videos and images.  


NASA is a outstanding resource to engage students in the learning of Oceanography.  Resources include ocean topography, sea surface temperatures, climate variability, carbon cycle and the water cycle. Each topic includes images and data.  NASA also provides a few interactive resources such as "Ocean Motion". This interactive shows animated videos of ocean currents.  

5 Free Apps to stay informed of Severe Weather

Over the last couple of weeks, there has been several storms in the area I live in that have produced Tornadoes.  Thankfully no one has been hurt and everyone has stayed safe.  

With technology like tablets and smartphones, you can be alerted to severe weather warnings and events without having to be near a radio or TV.  Here are 5 resources you can use to stay informed of severe weather when it occurs:

Intellicast (IOS, Android) is a excellent resource to check out current weather radars and severe weather alerts.  The app also offers push notifications for your phone/tablet whenever there are severe weather alerts for your area (Severe Thunderstorm Watches/Warnings, Tornado Watches/Warnings, etc.)  With the push notifications enabled, you can be alerted of what is going on without even being in the app.  You can also access Intellicast by going to their website at  
The Weather Channel app (IOS, Android, Windows) is also a handy app to have when needing updates on severe weather and radars. The app also provides push alerts to your phone just in case you are not in the app or not aware of any severe weather events in your area.  You can also get weather forecasts for the week ahead or for the current day. You can also get this information via The Weather Channel website at

Accuweather (IOS, Android, Windows) provides a excellent app severe weather and weather forecasting.  Along with the other apps mentioned thus far, this app also provides push notifications in case of severe weather, weather forecasts and weather radars.  The app also includes news and videos related to weather events.  You also have the choice of sharing your current weather conditions on social media websites like Twitter and Facebook. 
The Weatherbug app (IOS, Android) is a great weather app to have in you need to look at the weather forecast, weather radars or receive alerts for severe weather.  Weatherbug provides also a lightning detector called "Spark".  This gives you a idea of how many lightning strikes are in a certain area.  The app also provides live weather cams from different locations across the United States.   
The TVN Weather Live Storm Chasing app is one of my favorites.  If you watched Storm Chasers when it was on the Discovery Channel (or caught it currently on Netflix), you'll be familiar with Reed Timmer.  Dubbed as a "extreme Meteorologist", he, along with multiple other chasers for TVN (Tornado chase tornadoes.  This app provides weather radars and live video feed from chasers who are online.  So, if you are looking for live video of potential tornadoes in your area, this app has you covered.  This can also be accessed from their website,       

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Programing Tutorials - Learn coding with screencasts

Programming Tutorials - a app on the Windows store, is a great app to help you get started coding.  The app, which requires Windows 8.1 to run, provides free screen-casts that give you a step by step guide to coding.

The screen-casts range from programming languages such as HTML, Javascript, Java, Ruby, PHP and several others.  Each programming language has it's own set of screen-casts.

If you looking into creating a Windows Store app, Android app or a Iphone app, this app has you covered. The series of screen-casts for the Windows Store app development, for example, is a very well done series created by Bob Tabor (  If you don't have Windows 8.1 to run this app, you can head on over to Bob Tabor's website and watch these videos for free.  Click here to visit the free screen-casts lists on his website.

Looking for more coding resources?  Feel free to visit my Coding 101 Livebinder:

Thursday, May 22, 2014

JetStream - Online School for Weather

Looking for resources to teach about weather or learn about weather?  I recently discovered a excellent resource from the National Weather Service called "JetStream".  

JetStream is a outstanding website that has a ton of resources for learning all different aspects of weather.  Topics cover, for example, the Atmosphere, the Ocean, Thunderstorms, Lightning and information regarding the Doppler Radar.  

Here's a sample from their page about Tornadoes: 

The Tornado page discusses everything from wind shear, Doppler Radar images and the Enhanced F-Scale. There is also a WMV video file that shows a train being blown off the track by a Tornado.  Click here to go to the Tornado page.  

JetStream also has several pre-made lesson plans that cover multiple weather topics.  Click here to go to their lesson plan page.  

Looking for more resources on Tornadoes or Hurricanes?  Please visit my Livebinders, Understanding Tornadoes and Understanding Hurricanes:

Friday, May 16, 2014

5 Free NASA IPAD Apps

NASA has multiple STEM applications that Educators and Students can use to enhance their learning experience. If you want to see the entire list, click here.  

Here are 5 free Ipad apps that are definitely worth checking out:

The main NASA app is a must have in your STEM collection.  The app includes videos, images, Tweets from NASA, NASA TV and much more.  

If you are looking to get started with the multiple resources that NASA has to offer both Educators and Students, this is a app that would be a great starting point.  

The NASA Television app is a great app to add to your NASA collection.  The app includes live and on-demand videos from the NASA Television program that is also viewable via the NASA website.  This is a great app as well because you can see a schedule of programs up to a week in advance - that way you can plan out your lesson in a timely manner if you plan on using this app in the classroom.

Images of Change is another app from NASA that provides images of how the Earth is changing due to global climate change.  Images compare and contrast one aspect, for example Alaska's Muir Glacier, from a earlier date and time to present time.  If you are discussing global climate change in your classroom, this is a excellent app to add to your lesson planning.

International Space Station Live is a awesome app for learning about the International Space Station.  The app includes real-time data streaming from the ISS and isting of previous crew members and science experiments performed on the International Space Station.  There is also a excellent feature that gives you a 3D virtual tour of the Mission Control Center that is located in Houston, TX.

NASA Science - A Journey of Discovery is a excellent app that has a database of NASA science missions including details about the spacecrafts, instruments, data and what exactly NASA is trying to learn about with these missions.

Some of these questions include, "What are the effects of space weather on Earth's technology?", "Are there other habitable planets?" and "Was Mars ever a habitat for life?".  

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Let's teach kids to code - by TED

Let's teach kids to code - by TED

Wanted to share this video by Mitch Resnick on on coding.

Well done video from 2012 that shows some pretty cool projects that have been created on Scratch - a coding program created by MIT:

If you are looking for coding resources to pick up coding yourself or for your classroom, please check out my Livebinder, Coding 101:

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Livebinders for the Social Studies - Part 5

Livebinders for the Social Studies - Part 5:  Presenting with Livebinders

When it comes to presenting material to the classroom, there are several platforms to choose from - platforms ranging from Microsoft Powerpoint to Apple Keynote and a slew of others.  These platforms provide a means of organizing data and presenting it to the classroom.  I myself have previously used Powerpoint when providing content every now and then to the classroom, which can be useful if used to it's fullest potential.

With that being said, one aspect that needs to bring special attention to your material/lesson is how engaged will it make your students in the classroom?  Thanks to Livebinders, students (and teachers) can now present the material they have created or put together to the classroom and beyond.

Livebinders provide a sense of ownership

Before we get into how you can present with Livebinders, you may be asking why you should be using Livebinders instead of the other options that are available?  Don't get me wrong, I think platforms like Powerpoint and Keynote can be useful when used properly.  With Livebinders, however, students can create their own online portfolio and work on it throughout the year.  With Powerpoints, once it is completed, students don't typically come back and build on it unless you design the lesson that way. Livebinders give the students ownership of their own learning and they are able to reflect upon what they have done.

Presenting with Livebinders

With Livebinders, you have the option of creating a presentation of your material.

To put your Livebinder in "Present" mode, first put your cursor over the "eye" on the top navigation panel:

When you do that, you should see a option to select "Present".  Click on "Present".  This will put your Livebinder into a presentation mode, which will look like this:

If you will notice, the "Present" mode gives your Livebinder more of a finished product.  You see the name of your Livebinder at the top left hand corner, the binder author at the top right and of course the material of your Livebinder being the center focus.

Using Livebinders also saves time.  You can fill your Livebinder with links to websites, videos and pictures. There's no need to create a slideshow and insert images or videos because they are already in your Livebinder ready to go.  Students can use Livebinders to present the material or projects they learned throughout the entire year.

This will show how the student has grown and learned since entering your classroom.  Reflection is a huge part of the learning process.

If you have any videos, pictures or stories to share about how you have used Livebinders in your classroom, I would LOVE to hear about them.  Please feel free to DM on Twitter or Google + at @justinstallings.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Livebinders for the Social Studies - Part 4

Livebinders for the Social Studies - Part 4: Using Livebinders to build on collaborative skills

On the previous post on "Livebinders for the Social Studies" we looked at how you can use the "Livebinder it" tool and how to use Livebinders in general to organize and gather resources for lesson plans.  On this post, we are going to look at how students can use Livebinders to build on their collaborative skills.    

When it comes to the Social Studies classroom, students take part in research projects on historical events or historical figures throughout the year.  Students research data in books, newspaper articles and, primarily, online content.  When you determine that your students will complete the project in groups, something you must consider is the "nuts and bolts" of how it will be done.  How are my students going to collaborate on the project?  What is the best way to make the project effective that will build my students' skills?

With Livebinders, you can provide your students a central location where they can collaborate and combine their efforts to enhance their learning.

The benefits of using Livebinders  

As a student teacher, I tried to engage my students as much as possible in collaborative activities.  One of the ways I used was creating a webquest and assigning responsibilities to where each group member had a responsibility (jigsaw method).  When I made the webquest, I hoped that my students would at least like the activity and have some fun while learning,  When my students started getting hands-on with it I realized how much they loved doing something besides something on paper or listen to me lecture.  What I also realized is how important it is to provide each student ownership of the project.

Livebinders gives you both the means of engaging your students and giving them ownership of what they contribute.  Livebinders also provide a means of collaborating and contributing throughout the year.  This is something they can constantly update and reflect upon.  

Collaborating on a Livebinder

Livebinders provide a way to engage each one of your students and give ownership of the project to not one member, but to all.  Each student will have the opportunity to contribute to the Livebinder when they are added as a collaborator.  Whenever they find a resource, they can add it.  Each member of the group can add a tab to their group's Livebinder and add content to that tab - which gives them part ownership of their group's Livebinder.

Having your students do a project on World War 1?  One member can create a tab on the key historical figures, one can create a tab on battles and another member can create a tab on pictures/videos.  All of this combined into one Livebinder where the students can reflect upon their learning.

When students are engaged, the learning experience is enhanced.  This also has the potential of sparking interest in your students that may have not been discovered prior.  As a educator, these interests are key to providing the most meaningful lessons possible.

How to add collaborators to your Livebinder

Please note that each student will have to have previously signed up for their own Livebinder account in order to collaborate on any Livebinder. Click here to go to the blog post on about how to have your students sign-up for a Livebinders account.

There are two ways which you can add collaborators to your Livebinder.

The first, and quickest way, is to go to your "My Binders" tab. From there, place your cursor on the Livebinder you would like to add collaborators to - this will bring up three quick menu tabs (Options, Edit, Present).

You'll then want to click on the "options" tab which will give you several options to choose from, including: share this Livebinder, collaborate, show details, link or embed, add to shelf, make a copy, edit it, present and delete from your account.

The option you'll want to click on should be the second selection, "collaborate".

Once you click on "collaborate" you will notice that the "Add or Remove Collaborators" selection is now on the left side of the webpage.

The second way is to add collaborators is via the "edit this binder" link once you open your Livebinder.  Simply open your binder, click on "edit this binder" link and then "binder settings".

Once you get into the binder settings of the Livebinder, you'll see the "add/delete" button where you can update your collaborators for that Livebinder.  
The collaborators that you add to your Livebinder will receive a email asking to approve to collaborate on that Livebinder.  Once they complete those steps, they will be added as a collaborator to that Livebinder.

Here's an example of a Livebinder that was collaborated by myself and Jen Petras (@jenpetras) on Cyberbullying:

Cyber Bullying

For more details on having your students collaborate on a Livebinder, please visit this Livebinder created by Tina & Barbara, the creators of Livebinders:

Monday, March 17, 2014

5 Classroom Resources for St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Here are 5 resources to use in your classroom for St. Patrick's Day: offers multiple resources for St. Patrick's Day.  If you are looking for activities, crafts, worksheets and recipes then this website has everything you may be looking for.  This website also offers resources on the Irish culture and history. has several videos and articles for St. Patrick's Day.  Videos and articles cover everything from recipes,  Leprechauns and even why the color Green is used during the holiday.  

National Geographic offers resources on the facts, myths and traditions for St. Patrick's Day.  They also offer a fun activity where students can create a St. Patrick's Day lollipop pin.

National Educational Association has great resources to use for St. Patrick's Day.  Some of the resources you will find here include videos, arts & crafts, printables, worksheets, interactive maps, and tutorials.

St. Patrick's Day Livebinder

This St. Patricks Day Livebinder is full of resources for you and your classroom by @kbkonnected.  Resources include videos, interactives and printables.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Livebinders for the Social Studies - Part 3

Livebinders for the Social Studies - Part 3:  Collecting and organizing lesson plan resources 

Now that you have had a chance to see some excellent Social Studies Livebinders and see how they are used, let's move on to the third Livebinders for the Social Studies post - collecting and organizing lesson plan resources.  I have also created a new Livebinder, Livebinders for the Social Studies, to show examples and work along side everyone as we go start going more in-depth into Livebinders:

Getting Organized

Livebinders provides a central location for all of your resources that you may have.  Regardless if you use Evernote, Dropbox, Google Docs or Microsoft programs such as Word or Excel, you can store those resources all in one Livebinder for quick and easy organization.  If you would like to add documents, pictures, etc to your binder, go to the "view" menu and click on "edit".  From there, click on "Add Content" and choose the type of content you would like to add.      

Livebinders also has a easy way to add documents from your Dropbox account and your Evernote account. 

To add files from your Dropbox account, simply click on "Add Content" then click on "My Dropbox".   

For material from your Evernote account, you can add the link via the Livebinders app or get the URL to the note or notebook and insert it into the tab or subtab of your choice.  Click here to read the recent blog post from the Livebinders blog about the Evernote addition to the Ipad App.  

Collecting Digital Resources

As educators, we run across multiple resources while searching the web.  Thanks to Livebinders, you can collect, save and share all of those resources.  To get started collecting your digital resources, the first thing you'll want to do is install the "Livebinder It" bookmarklet tool, click here to go to that page at  
 Once you have installed the bookmarklet tool and found a website you would like to add to your binder, simply click on "Livebinder It" and a new window will pop-up allowing you to select which binder to add it to:

Need to see some of this in action?  Please feel free to visit the Livebinder at the beginning of this post, Livebinders for the Social Studies.  I will be working on it going forward with the next posts so stay tuned! 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

5 Excellent Windows Apps to Learn Code

The Windows Store provides excellent apps for writing and learning coding.  If you have a Windows PC or tablet (such as the Microsoft Surface) that runs Windows 8.1, you can get some really good apps to further develop your coding skills.  Here are 5 great coding apps in the Windows Store to get you started:

Code Writer is a great coding app that lets you create documents for HTML, Javascript, CSS, etc.  Once you create that new document, you can save it in SkyDrive.  According to the Windows store, "Over 20 syntax-highlighted file types supported including HTML, CSS, JavaScript, XML, C#, VB, C++, ASP, PHP, Markdown, Perl, Python, Ruby, SQL, and many other common languages".  (  

HTML Programs is a Windows app that gives you a visual of how certain things should look in HTML code. It starts by showing you some of the basics in HTML and then goes into more advanced coding such as lists, forms and tables.  There is already sample code in the app so this would work great if you just need to quickly have a reference of certain areas in HTML.  

HTML Master is a well-done Windows coding app.  This app provides literature over the basics of HTML, exercises to get hands-on with HTML and quizzes to test what you have learned.  If you are just starting your coding journey, you should definitely download this app and give it a try.

HTML School is a excellent app to get started with coding in HTML.  Providing literature on the basics of
HTML and also a coding editor, it is a solid app that will guide you to learning code quickly and efficiently.

HTML Playground is a app that lets you code with HTML, CSS and Javascript.  If you basically need a "playground" where you can input code and immediately see how it looks all within the same app, this app has you covered.  This app is great if you have some knowledge of HTML, CSS and Javascript and want to get your hands on doing the coding.