Sarah's Snippets

Ranked by Tech & Learning Magazine as one of the Top 100 educational websites of 2011, Popplet is an online graphic organizer that is great for brainstorming and creating mind maps and outlines or just serving as a platform for recording thoughts.  Teachers can create an interactive learning environment for their students by using this free resource in conjunction with their SMART Boards to engage students with classroom collaborations.  And because everything is completely web-based, publishing and sharing the Popplets you create is really as easy as pressing a button; whether it be posting on your website or sharing a link via email, parents and students have instant access to view any projects created using this tool.   
"Awesomeness" Around Andre

This is Our American History

The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African American military aviators in the U.S. armed forces. During World War II, the American military was radically segregated, as was the country, and many African Americans were not given the chance to be pilots, let alone in the military. However, thanks to Congress designating funds to train African American civilian pilots, the Tuskegee Experiment was established. Even with such funding, and much interest, the experiment didn't take off until First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt flew with C. Alfred “Chief” Anderson. After the flight, Eleanor Roosevelt helped the program move forward. By 1943, the Tuskegee Airmen had pilots excelling in flight. In 1944, there were many African American pilots ready for combat thanks to the Tuskegee Experiment.

One of the more famous units of the Tuskegee Airmen was the 332 Fighter Group, better known to us as the Red Tails. The Red Tails flew in the war in 1944 and were credited with destroying at least 112 airborne enemy aircrafts, 150 aircraft on the ground, over 600 train cars, over 40 barges/boats, and a German Navy destroyer-which was the first accomplishment of that time.

Recently George Lucas, of Star Wars fame, saluted the Tuskegee Airmen by creating a movie about the 332 Fighter Group. Lucas revealed on television that it took about 23 years to make the film and that the long delay of the film was, “…[B]ecause the major film studios balked at financing and marketing a film with an "all-black" cast and "no major white roles.” Lucas continued that the studios receive 60% of their profit from overseas and the studios feel there is no market there for this type of historical movie. George Lucas saw this part of America’s history just as important as the other films with historical content and decided to fund and release this movie by himself. This story goes beyond Black History month. This is our American History.

As we celebrate Black History month this month, let us continue to embrace all of the sacrifices that were made to create this great country. Let us remember that, even though our country has less racism, that it still exists. Let’s work together to educate all of today’s students about our American History.

In my opinion, everyone should support this movie not because it’s an “all-black” cast or that George Lucas got it in the theaters, but because this is a great teaching moment about our nation’s history. Red Tails is out in theaters and is a great history lesson waiting to be retold.

To go beyond the movie, there are a massive amount of websites and resources about the Tuskegee Airmen. Some of them are:

Julie's Notes

If you like Starfall, then you will like Reading Bear!  Reading Bear helps Early Childhood students (and even Special Education students and ESL students) with reading skills.  Phonics, vocabulary and comprehension are all presented in fun and interactive ways for students to practice.  There is no need to register, unless you want to track student progress.  If you would like to track student progress, simply register them and create their account.  This is all FREE!!!!  Check out my blog for more information!

Kellogg's Sugar Snaps

As educators and administrators, our days are filled with excitement: crisis, paperwork, evaluations, paperwork, assessments, paperwork, phone calls to parents… did I mention paperwork?  And so, as part of our New Year’s resolutions this year, we should try to get up and take a break from our everyday tasks and, literally, take a moment to close our eyes and breathe.

Now, there is a web site for that.

Do Nothing For 2 Minutes is, as the name suggests, all about doing nothing for two whole minutes. It’s brilliant: a beautiful sunset picture, a rolling audio track of ocean waves and an on-screen timer that counts down the two minutes. If you touch your mouse or keyboard, the screen flashes FAIL and resets the timer.  A much deserved WELL DONE pops up if you complete your two minutes.

Need a change of scenery?  You could also try:!

So if your day has been less than stellar, take a moment, close your eyes, breathe, and let the sounds of the ocean take you to your happy place.  It may even be worthwhile to use it with your students, too!

Nguyet's Corner

FREE Curriculum resource that teaches to Common Core standards!

SAS Curriculum Pathways (SAS Institute) is a popular online educational, curriculum resource that teaches to the Common Core standards -- only U.S. educators can use this product FREE of charge.  Over 12,000 schools are using this software that is aimed at giving students interactive lessons at their own pace towards the Common Core standards.

SAS released this new version on August 2011 which is targeted for grades 6-12 with a more user-friendly interface that provides web-based lessons and activities in the core subjects.  Students can practice their skills through engaging, interactive online lessons in Math, Science, English/Language Arts, Social Studies and Spanish.  Students can work at their own pace and target specific subjects.  This self-guided learning is ideal for computer lab time.  It also allows teachers to find materials for a specific state and/or Common Core standard.

Teachers and students can sign up for a free account at


Howard "Tech" University - Region 1


Stop by "The LoTi Lounge!"


As a 21st century ("Decade 2") educator, how technology-saavy are you? Now you can do a free self-assessment to measure your own level of technology innovation! Using LoTi ("Levels of Technology Innovation"), teachers and principals have a free self-assessment tool to measure how well they integrate instructional technology into teaching based on international educational technology standards (i.e. ISTE NET-T for Teachers and ISTE NET-A for Administrators).

To sign up for the free self-assessment survey and other tools and resources, click here to go to "The LoTi Lounge!" Email me ( for the Group ID and password.