Posted by: Liana | January 7, 2009


My latest greatest most favorite tool to help me remember (and believe me, I need help remembering nowadays) is evernote. As the website states: Evernote allows you to easily “capture” information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most confenient, andmakes this information accessible and searchable at any time, from anywhere. In a nutshell, you can save, search, view information on any computer (web-based and downloadable) and on your phone. I have an iPhone and the application I downloaded is amazing. And it just keeps getting better. I now have a plug-in on firefox and just started using that today! When I find an amazing website (today I wanted to save a cool idea for a Thanksgiving activity with kids) or a great recipe that I want to save (comes in handy when grocery shopping), I just clicked on the plug-in, added appropriate tags, and wrote a short comment (to spark my memory once I access it again). Amazing. You wouldn’t believe the information I have stored on evernote. Business cards. Recipes. Websites. Pictures of books i want to buy. OMG I even have some voice memos (a couple of cheers I wrote way back). ID info (you know, airline mileage programs, membership to organizations, etc). travel info (things to do in NYC or LV that I read about or was recommended to me). And the list goes on. Best of all? It’s FREE! You can buy a premium account but I don’t even see any use for it..YET! I think I’ll work my way up to it, it’s that good. Here is a snapshot of one of my evernotes (a photo I took on my iMac, using iSight Note, on Evernote), a book I want to purchase later. You can see part of my list of “evernotes” that I’ve saved. On the second picture you can see the blog itself, plus, if you look carefully you can see the little evernote icon as a plug in on firefox. It’s to the left of the URL area. Evernote’s logo is a cute elephant. Get it?
Give it a try. If you are someone who has trouble remembering when and where you met or read something that you thought was important to remember, evernote is for you.

Posted by: Liana | December 27, 2008

Book I am Currently Reading

12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School by John Medina

My review

I bought this book as a recommended read on twitter. It contains 12 brain rules. When I began I was hoping for help to better meet the needs of my students. I think I am on my way! So far I’ve learned that it is not possible to multi-task. With this information, I am sure my frequent lapses of memory (repeatedly…the other day I walked to the fridge TWICE, forgetting what I was supposed to get BOTH times, right after reading the recipe), I am sure that what I mistook for multi-tasking is really me focusing on one activity haphazardly while trying to complete another, also haphazardly. I also learned that exercise is rule #1. And as kids do worse and worse in school, we take away more and more of their exercise (in the form of recess, P.E. and shorter lunch periods).

View all my reviews.

Posted by: Liana | October 15, 2008

Magazine Art

I know my students are going to have a blast with this one because I am having a blast with this one. I already made magazine covers of my grandchildren and one for my class that I taped to my door so everyone will see it when they enter.  It would be a great way for your students to have fun creating their very own magazine cover but you could also have them include some information that would say something very special about themselves OR an issue they feel passionate about.  Click here to give it a shot. It’s operated by Big Huge Labs and visiting this website will take you to other fun things to make using photos.

Here are a couple of samples:

my granddaughter

my granddaughter

On My Door

On My Door

Have fun!

Posted by: Liana | September 16, 2008

Mr. Picassohead

Because there are just too many hours in a day…

Spend your down time creating your own work of art, ala Picasso!

Click here to be an artist in your own right.

Here is my first creation. If I can do it, so can you.

Here is my first creation. If I can do it, so can you.

Posted by: Liana | September 16, 2008

Online Etch a Sketch

I probably spent hours on this fun game when I was a kid (and truth be told, beyond that). Well now you and your kids and students can enjoy the online version. This should keep the kids busy and afford you a bit of a break.  Click here to access.

Have at it!

Have at it!

Posted by: Liana | September 4, 2008

Out of the Mouth of Babes

Today’s lesson to fourth graders focused on emails. After teaching them the ins and outs of their webmail accounts I had them send me an email about a “small moment” in their lives. Something that they will never forget.All that I taught them seemed pretty inconsequential once I read this student’s email about the small moment in her life:

My small moment is when my brother came  home from the war. When he came down the stairs at the airport I started to cry. He was at war for 2 years and he is 20 years old. He picked me up and said, “I missed you the most.” I replied, “You are my best brother ever.” I started to cry hard and hard. That night I prayed to God to watch over him and the rest of them up in war. Last night I sat next to him and I said, “How as it in the war?” He turned to me and said, “It was weird and I did not like it.” I was glad that he was home and safe and sound.

Posted by: Liana | August 28, 2008

Literacy Sites for Elementary

This year our school is really trying to support our students in literacy and math (aren’t we all?). Our students are fortunate to have a well-rounded education, complete with classes in art, PE, health, music, Hawaiian studies ad science. But we are making an extra effort to support our students in literacy and math.  So I am trying to do my part to introduce my students to tools and websites that they can access at home or in their classrooms. Here are just a few:

Storyline on Line

This website is brought to you by the Screen Actors Guild Foundation.  It’s an on-line streaming video program featuring actors reading children’s books aloud. And each book includes activities and lesson plans. And believe me, they have chosen some great books. My kids LOVE them! They are glued to the screen. And they are excited about reading along with the actors and actresses.


This site says it is for first grade but it’s just perfect for K-2.  Today, my kindergarten students were intrigued, excited, and completely engrossed in the first section, ABCs. They had a blast. I had a hard time getting them to quit at the end of the period.

There are some ads on the sides of this link but the kids don’t pay attention to it. They are too busy scrolling down to their grade level (K-5). As far as math is concerned there are lots of fun activities for them. I like this site as a “fill in” for those who have finished their work and just need to keep busy.
I hope this helps. To me, as still a rookie elementary tech teacher, I welcome all the recommendations. These came to me via twitter and the site. Nothing but the best from fellow educators.

Posted by: Liana | August 22, 2008

Who/What is Smart?

The following are two examples of a first grade assignment. The task is for students to draw a dog, a cat, a duck, and a frog, put together those that go together and expalin why. This first example is a typical or perhaps a better than typical example of what we would expect from a “smart” student, spelling, categorizing, and all:

The frog, the cat, and the dog go together because they have four legs.

The frog, the cat, and the dog go together because they have four legs.

But check out this next paper, done by one of the “less proficient” students in the class:

They bathe like each other.

They bathe like each other.

This student had to be called over by the teacher to actually read what he wrote (still using inventive spelling) and then explain what he meant which is: Dogs and cats bathe like each other because they both use their tongues to clean themselves!

Hmmm…curious to know what you’re thinking.

Posted by: Liana | August 22, 2008

Side by Side

Steve Dembo, on twitter, asked if anyone had side by side “pictures” with avatar/photo. Here is my rendition. Avatar compliments of

Posted by: Liana | August 10, 2008

Cyber Safety

One of my key objectives this year is to teach online safety and ethics to my students (and parents) so I am looking high and low for applicable resources, appropriate for K-5.  I’ll post them as I find them.  I found the video below on I know students who post anything (whether it’s pictures, videos or text) online will be able to imagine the implications.  What do you educators think? Too much for upper elementary? Good for parents? Let me know.  Hmmm….a wiki in the works?

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