MixBook or Smart NoteBook- School Memories Book

I posted about MixBook last October.  Since this is the time of the year when teachers are thinking of creating a book of classroom memories, I thought I would post about MixBook  again.

Of coutse Mixbook wants you to pay for the print editions, but you can just have a hyperlink to your classroom memories book and save time and paper.  Assign each student a page and let them be creative!

Another option would to assign each student a page of a SmartNoteBook file and then combine the pages into your Classroom Memories Book.  Use the SmartNoteBook file menu to export the file to a PDF for printing and viola, you Classroom Memories Book is finished!

Original post:

MixBook is a FREE online application for creating a book online.  I posted about MixBook at the end of last school year.

However, Beth (One of the members to this blog.) mentioned in an e-mail how she had used MixBook to publish original writing pieces, so I thought I would post this excellent site again.

Beth was able to use one login and password, assign students a page in the book and then students could work in school or at home.  She also mentioned that the project turned out so well that some parents purchased the book from MixBook.

Thank you Beth for reminding me of Mixbook.  Many times my blog sources come from my members.  Keep the ideas flowing!

MixBook also look great when you are showing them on an Interactive White Board.

Original Post:

Every year teachers ask me how they can easily create DVD’s to give to students at the end of the year. This is a ton of work!  First you have to create the original and then make copy after copy.  How about if there was an easier way?

The easier way is MixBook!

MixBook gives us a FREE online alternative!  You can build your classroom yearbook as the year progresses and create a link from your web page for the finished book.  If the students really like what you have accomplished, they can pay to have the book printed.

MixBook works very much like Glogster.  If you have used Glogster then you are already familiar with MixBook.  MixBook gives you themes (backgrounds) for you book or you can create your own.  Page layouts are prepared for you and placing your images is as simple as drag and drop.  Text creation is a snap with lots of text fonts, colors and sizes!

And MixBook is not just for the teacher!  Plan on having your students create their own  poetry books, a children’s book, Science book, online journals, etc.   The book ideas are endless!

Create a FREE account on MixBook and practice publishing your first book today!


SmartNoteBook 11 Is Now Available For Download

The new SmartNoteBook 11 software became available for download on Monday.  The software is a major upgrade from SmartNoteBook 10.

Full of new features you, really should consider downloading the new version to your computer at home.  When you download you can either download just the SmartNoteBook 11 software or download the Response software and SmartNoteBook 11 software at the same time.

Remember as a teacher with a Smart product in your classroom, you are allowed to download the software for free onto your home computer.

Link to the download for SmartNoteBook 11 only.  Choose PC or Mac

Link to Response software and SmartNoteBook 11.  Choose PC or Mac

SmartNoteBook 11 has a new layout of the Toolbar very similar to Office 2010.  Tools are now grouped.

And there are lots of new features!  Here are a few of them as discussed by James Hollis of the blog teacherslovesmartboards.

Activity Builder – You are going to love this feature!

This is a new feature that allows you to create interactive drag-and-drop activities that actually respond to student choices. For example, you can create a Animal Classification activity that spins the correct answer and plays a positive reinforcement message when it is dragged to the correct location. If a student drags a wrong answer, it can play a short audio feedback and bounce the answer back to its original location. This new feature is extremely easy to use and provides a powerful method to reinforce information in an engaging manner.

Audio Recorder

With the new version, you can now record audio directly inside Notebook and attach it to an object in one step. You can even save the object with the new recording in the Gallery for later use. This is an extremely useful feature of Notebook 11 and one that should be utilized as much as possible. The only issue with using Notebook 11 to record your audio is that the audio will not play on earlier versions of Notebook.

Embedded Web Browser

This is a great new feature that lets you view a web page directly inside Notebook by inserting a Web Browser object onto any page. You can even save your Web Browser object in the Gallery. One of the really useful features of the new Web Browser object is the ability to drag both text and images from the browser object to your Notebook page. I can already think of lots of great uses for this feature!

Customizable Creative Pen

The Creative Pen lets you draw using a collection of small images like a star or a smiley face. This is a fun pen option that is currently available in earlier versions of Notebook. In Notebook 11, you can now add your own image to the Creative Pen collection.

Improved Toolbar

The new Toolbar in Notebook 11 is fantastic! It actually responds and displays Property options automatically depending on what type of object is selected. For example, if you select a Text Object, the Toolbar will automatically display options for changing the basic properties of the text including font type, font size, alignment, color, and even transparency. This alleviates the need to use the Property Tab to set most of the object properties.

Create Freehand Shapes

Notebook 11 now gives you the capability of creating a freehand shape that you can modify just as you would any other shape that you create using the Shape Tool. To create a freehand shape, just draw something with one of the pens and make sure it is enclosed (or almost enclosed) and then click inside your drawing with the Fill Tool. Notebook will create a shape that is the same size as your drawing. You can then change the size, fill color and even the line properties of your new shape. This feature gives you a very easy way to fill in a freehand drawing.

Full Screen Page Border Guides

This feature allows you view a page border guide when creating Notebook lessons. This is an extremely useful tool to use to ensure that you do not place objects below the boundaries of a full page. When objects are placed below the full page boundaries, it may cause your page to narrow when viewing in Full Screen mode on the SMART Board.

Fading Pen

You can now set your pen drawings to fade away after a specific amount of time has passed without using the Magic Pen. This allows you to customize your pen properties and still be able to make your drawing disappear.

And there is a lot more to like about the new SmartNoteBook11!

IPad Apps for Social Studies

A+ educators brings you some IPad Apps for Social Studies.  The Apps are broken up by grade level.

Grades K-2
Stack the States Lite – This dynamic game explores the states in a fun and engaging way

U.S. Westward Expansion – Students travel with Lewis and Clark and can explore interactive maps, timelines and games

Grades 3-5
National Geographic – Free through the Newstand app, students can explore limited sample content from National Geographic and National Geographic Kids

European Exploration: The Age of Discovery – Learn about the European world in the 15th Century using this simulation app

Grades 6-8
My Country HD – With this app, students can create a country with a starting capital of $65,000

Constitution – Use this full copy of the US Constitution for debate, research and more

Grades 9-12
Market Dash – Students can learn about economics by following the market, watching trends and creating their own portfolios

MyCongress – Track congressional news, explore profiles of Congress members and encourage students to contact their representative(s) with this great app

Grades K-12
Khan Academy – This outstanding app provides students and educators access to the entire Khan Academy curriculum

Online Jeopardy – Really Easy

Every grade level loves Jeopardy and there are some great Jeopardy files that come with the Interactive WhiteBoard software.  But what if you wanted something even easier and online?  Welcome to Jeopardy Labs!

No registration required (unless you want to.)  No forms to fill out.  Just put in a password, confirm and Get Started.

Change the title of your game and the category names to match your subject.  Click on a dollar amount and type in your question and answer.  Click Save on the question window and choose another dollar amount.

When you have finished the  Jeopardy “Game scroll to the bottom and click “Save” in the bottom left corner.  Your Game is now saved.

You can link to your Jeopardy Game by using the web address for your game.

When the game opens choose the number of teams from the drop down menu.  The score does not automatically update.  You will need to click on the + or – sign to add money or subtract money from the Team Totals.

Interactive Refrigerator Magnets

Refrigerator Magnets have always been a popular way to help students learn how to spell and construct sentences.  Teachers can now use an Interactive Online version available at the Woodlands Junior School.

Have a student start a sentence and other students can add to the sentence.

Add a descriptive word?

To clear the board Refresh the page.

There are many other interesting games on this UK site.




3DToad – 3D Images for Teachers and Students

If a picture is worth a thousand words then, 3D images must be worth three thousand!  3D Toad brings together images from a large array of subjects.  There are 3D images here for Science, History, Health, Music, Yoga (yes Yoga), Chemistry, and more.

Click on an area and a sub page will open for that subject.  This area is Dissection.

Keep digging and you will be able to choose a 3D image to display.  Hold down your Left Mouse Button to rotate the image.  Double Left Click to Zoom the image.

A Mineral from the Geology Section.

I learned about this site from James Hollis who has the blog Freetech4teachers.com

A great resource for illustrating on the Interactive White Board.


Telescopic Text – Descriptive Words

Teachers are always trying to have students be more descriptive in their writing.  You also have the student who says, “I don’t know what to write?”

The web site Telescopic Text is a very simple site that does a wonderful job illustrating how a simple sentence of a few words can become very complex using descriptive words.

The Telescopic Text sentence starts out with only three (3) words.

But each of the words is shading grey, meaning that if you Left Click on the word a new descriptive word will appear.

As you keep Left Clicking  on the shaded grey words, eventually you will fill the screen with a paragraph that started as just three words, “I made tea.”

This is an English website, so some of the words may not be familiar to your students such as “digestives” or “fusty.”  Let your students look up the definitions of the words.  This will be a good experience for them.  Not everyone uses the same “English” words!