Friday, July 5, 2013

Free Friday Find For YOU! Fonts

I know I typically focus on websites where you can go to find free resources for your classroom, so today I'm going to give you a site where you can download fantastic, frivolous, and sometimes freaky free fonts. is a site that truly is just that, fonts...and they have a ton!

The fonts at represent fonts that are freeware, shareware, demos, or public domain.  As with any product you should check the readme-files in the archives or check the author's website for details about which area the font may fall in. If nothing is listed, then you'll definitely want to contact the author for further information.

To install a font, you'll need to extract the file you've downloaded and then:

  • Windows 8/7/Vista: Right-click on the font files > "Install"
  • Windows XP: Put the font files into C:\Windows\Fonts
  • Mac OS X: Double-click the font file > "Install font" button.

The last thing I have for you is a nice piece of chalkboard to place all of those fonts on.

Free Friday Find For YOU! Fonts, Heidi Befort, Globicate

I intend to use my chalkboard for name tags this year along with the fun, frivolous, freaky, and free fonts that I found at You can access my free template by clicking on the picture above, Enjoy!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Digital Manners

I know I've talked about digital manners or etiquette in the past, but I wanted to revisit it today after I came across this great graphic to post in your classroom from Jeff Dunn at Edudemic.

Digital Manners, Heidi Befort, Globicate

It's very important to not only share communication skills with students on paper, but with the influx of digital communication, it's important for students to know how to communicate properly even if it's only an instant message.  This graphic just reminds all of us of the importance of limiting our digital conversations, being respectful, and keeping it simple! 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Free Friday Find For YOU! Graphite

     I stumbled upon this fantastic site last week and was so excited to share it with you I almost did it before Friday, but I've held off until this morning! Graphite is a "dynamic community"  where educators can share their personal reviews, ideas, and suggestions on how to use specific websites, games, apps, and technology that works best with their students.

Free Friday Find For You, Heidi Befort, Globicate

"Graphite  is brought to you by Common Sense Media, the largest, independent nonprofit organization committed to helping kids, teachers, and families manage media and technology in life and learning."

Graphite has several pages when you visit the site including "Top Picks" and "Reviews and Ratings" that give you an idea of how well the site or app will work with students.

     The site also connects and tags items related to subjects, grade levels, Common Core and state standards, and skills.  What more could you ask for?  Well, they have a page for getting inspired and a blog to follow with tons of helpful advice!  As I roamed the site, I felt like Graphite and Common Sense Media truly do have educators and students best interest in mind.  And as always, it's FREE!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Shh! I Have A Secret!

Lesson Planning, Heidi Befort, Globicate

     I have a secret!  I feel guilty just writing about it today, but I wanted to share my personal delight.  I splurged and bought an Erin Condren Teacher Planner.  Now, I know what you're thinking, there are great products out there (I have one myself that I use) that you can use without spending that much money.  Well, I thought about it and decided I wanted everything in one place.  No more desk calendar, no more lesson plan binder, no more binder with student grades and such, everything all in one place! And the best part, it's personalized just for me.

     My second splurge was those fun pens you see in the picture.  These great pens are colorful, gel roller pens that are fun to use, and the best part...erasable!  How sweet is that?  I can write all those great ideas and plans and don't have to worry about making a mistake!

      My new planner has a durable cover and spine with different spots for all those notes and such you want to keep during the year!

     I haven't given up completely with my digital lesson plans and technology.  I'm still a proponent of technology to store all your products, resources, and plans.  I'm planning on using Google quite a bit this year especially since our district has Google Apps for Education.  Here is a glimpse at the beginning of my curriculum plans for next year.

The nice thing about using Google Docs for your work is it's easily accessible from everywhere, you can share with a team or partner, and it works just as easy as Microsoft and can be converted to/from those formats. 

So, you can see my summer is in full swing with planning and preparing for the next year.  My husband can't figure out why I spend my summer doing this, but I know that you get it...good teachers are always looking for ways to be better at what they do.  How's your summer going so far and what are you working on?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Gami's and Avatars

     This past week, I had the pleasant opportunity to spend almost 5 days with other educators from around my state discussing, exploring, sharing, and applying ideas, technology, and skills together.  I'm always excited to do this when I get a chance, because during the school year I don't get around to other teacher's rooms very often.  Today, I want to share with you 2 new apps that I love not only for myself, but for my students to share their learning and they can easily be aligned to the Common Core Standards.

Globicate, Heidi Befort

     Tellagami is a quick, fun, and easy way to create a short video.  I found it very intuitive and simple to use and share my video. My favorite part is how it shared my video in my gallery on my iPad.

     When you download the app, the first screen you see will be this one which offers you a choice of creating or leaning about the app.  It was so simple, and offered so many choices that I had a blast creating a video for my students to welcome them back to school.

     Here was the end result!  I love this app because it offers my students the opportunity to share their learning in an alternative way and because it's free!

     The next app that I had fun with is called Buddy Poke! Buddy Poke allows you to create avatars with a lot of options including hair, clothes, backgrounds and videos.

     As you can see, you can also save it to your iPad camera roll for easy sharing, create a snapshot, or catalog it.

   You can also create a video like the one above,

or a QR code to share with others! I can totally see my students going crazy over this as they share not only their learning, but messages with their friends.  And once's free!

Both of these apps are great ways for students to show their learning!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Free Friday Find for YOU!

National Geographic Education
     Who doesn't know the name, National Geographic?  I grew up reading these magazines and using them for just about every research report I did when it related to animals, geography, other cultures.  I love this site for the wealth of information and help it offers not only to teachers, but students and others.  Here are just a couple of snapshots of what it has to offer:
Maps, interactive maps, and even more...

Interactive activities for every grade level...

Map Maker for those special projects...
Photos to look at, to admire, to use...
Information about Geoliteracy, geography, and our world!  

     What isn't there to like about this site and to encourage your students and their families to use to get to know our world better?  Best of all,  it's FREE! Check it out and let me know how it works for you!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wonder Why Wednesday!

I wonder why these frogs are blue instead of green? I wonder where I could find frogs like this?  I wonder why frogs make the sounds they do and how they make it?  I wonder if frogs talk to each other like humans? I wonder what predators frogs have? I wonder if I can make a story about this frog picture?

( on the picture for more information and location.)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Connecting the Dots!

Connecting the Dots, Globicate, Heidi Befort, geography, brain-based learning, global
I'm totally a fan of brain-based learning that connects subjects, ideas, and projects using cross-curricular resources.  I believe that students learn best when they can see the connections and have some type of buy-in to what they are learning.   There are many ways to teach using brain-based techniques such as,  Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences,

Or utilizing Kagan Structures,
or by creating your own like Sally DeCost from Elementary Matters did, where she connected America's favorite summer sport, geography (my favorite), and the brain. I love the geography connection because it encourages students to not just memorize states and capitals, but to actually know them and gives them a reason to want to know them.

Try your skills at creating a lesson, morning message, or seatwork that incorporates geography and other curricular subjects.  Have you checked out Dr. Alice Christie's Google Treks?

I actually created a lesson using Google Treks that you can use right now, Know Where to Go! which focuses on geographical terms and vocabulary from around the world, culminating in an assessment and project.

There are many ways to meet the needs of learners in your classroom. Using any of these sites is an excellent way to differentiate for all of them and to engage them at the same time. Give brain-based  learning a chance, you might just be surprised how curious your students will become about the world and the places they are learning about.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Free Friday Find For YOU!

I know many of you have your favorite authors, sites, videos, and books.  I do too, and I love to share when one just pops out at me.  I've been a fan of Teacher Created Resources for many years, but check out their website where you can find so much to enlighten your day (and summer too!)

How about a free lesson on Descriptive Verbs? You can download a whole lesson with all of the resources you need to teach it, and "boom", you're ready!

Need a quick morning filler or seat activity like a writing prompt?  Here you go, plenty to choose from including Brain teasers and Quotes of the Day!

Lastly, check out the Monthly Calendars, Teaching Tips, and Free Activities specific to the month you are teaching in.  How can you go wrong?

I love this site for the simplicity of it and all of the "free" things right at your fingertips!  Check it out and let me know which one is your favorite!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wonder Why Wednesday?

     Do you encourage your students to ask questions? To wonder about our world? To be curious, creative, and challenged?  I wonder why or why not?  This happens to be one of the best ways to encourage your students to ask critical thinking questions of our world and work at solving problems using tools of their choice.  We have a "I Wonder Why...?" board in our classroom where students can post questions they have throughout our week, choose a question to resarch, and create digital products to share with the class.

     This may take time out of your teaching day, but think of all the valuable lessons that come from letting students be curious about their world.  In addition, they will grow both academically and emotionally from exploring these questions and presenting them to others. With that in mind, I've created Wonder Why Wednesday, to give you some ideas to talk or write about with your students to get them wondering about our world and how to change it for the better.

"I wonder why acidification of the ocean will change the Artic?"

    Have fun wondering with your students! Let me know what you find out or have your students post comments to my blog.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Do You Know How to Padle?

Padlet which use to be Wallwisher, is a web 2.0 tool that allows you to create, share, or do just about anything on a dynamic wall or sheet of paper.  You can create a page by yourself or with friends. Check out this post on Kleinspiration that shows just a few of the ways you can now use Padlet.

I plan to try to create online lesson plans with links to the different pages, apps, and tools that I'm going to use in class.  I also like the idea of using Padlet to showcase student work.  Let me know how Padlet makes your life more creative both in and out of the classroom.

Padlet to teach geography?

Padlet to teach vocabulary?

The possibilities are endless...

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Student Learning Games

I recently had my students create board games.  I gave them my list of Game Board Instructions (you can also download them on my site).  The students worked in groups to create a game about a subject we are currently studying.  I gave each group a different subject, and their job was to create a learning game involving concepts we're covering in class. 
 They were also responsible for coming up with detailed instructions, creating game pieces and game cards, and decorating their game board and box.
I purchased many of my materials from my favorite store, the Dollar store (see my blogs about the dollar store by clicking here and here.). Here's what I bought: small toys that were used as game pieces, pipe cleaner, googly eyes, and stickers for the kids who wanted to make their game pieces, dice, timers, spinners, white gift wrap boxes that the students used to store the game, and small cardboard jewelry boxes to hold the game pieces.
Here's an example of game pieces made with pipe cleaners and stickers.

These are some of the pieces I purchased from the Dollar Store.

One example of a game my students made was called "Fun-Cabulary."  They created a game where the players spin a spinner which tells them to either act out, draw, sculpt, or explain a vocab word.  Then they pick up a vocab card that has the word and definition on it, and the students have to guess the word.  
They had a great time with this activity and the kids love playing each other's games!  Here are some photographs of the kids' creations.

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