Monday, September 3, 2018

Chronicling America - An Archive of 2,600+ Digitized Newspapers

Chronicling America is a great resource provided by the Library of Congress. On Chronicling America you can find more than 2,600 digitized copies of newspapers printed in the United States between 1789 and 1963. You can search through the collection according to date, state in which the newspaper was published, and keyword.

All of the digitized newspapers in the Chronicling America collection can be viewed online, downloaded as PDFs, or printed. When viewing the digitized newspapers online you can zoom-in to read and view the details of each page. Chronicling America provides a clipping tool that you can use while viewing a newspaper to clip and print an enlarged section of a page. That could be useful for distributing printed copies of columns to your students to read in your classroom.

Applications for Education
On Friday and again this morning I spent some time browsing through the collection of Maine newspapers in the Chronicling America collection. I got sucked into reading first-hand reports from the Civil War that were published in The Portland Daily Press beginning in 1862. It is the first-hand stories published in those papers that could make a Chronicling America a valuable resource for teachers of U.S. History and their students.

How to Use Yo Teach! to Create a Classroom Backchannel

On Friday I wrote an overview of a new backchannel tool called Yo Teach! It's a great alternative to the much-loved, but now gone, TodaysMeet. To help more people get started on Yo Teach! I made the tutorial video that is embedded below.

Before you watch the video here are a couple of highlights of Yo Teach! to note. You and your students can use text and image notes in a Yo Teach! room. Students can also give a "thumbs up" to their favorite image and text notes in the discussion.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Poetry 180 - A Poem for Every Day of the School Year

Poetry 180 is a Library of Congress project that was created when Billy Collins was the U.S. Poet Laureate. The purpose of the project is to provide high school teachers with poems for their students to read or hear throughout the school year.

Collins selected the poems for Poetry 180 with high school students in mind. I didn't look at every poem in the list, but of dozen or so that I looked at, none would take more than a few minutes to read in a classroom. Speaking of reading in class, Collins encourages teachers to read the poems aloud or have students read the poems aloud. To that end, here's his advice on how to read a poem out loud.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Image Search, Posters, and Buttons - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine on the first day of September. September in part of the world is the start of fair season. I can almost smell the Oxford County Fair by just thinking about walking through the animal barns with my daughters to see the piglets, lambs, and calves. Or as my older daughter will say, "baby pigs," "baby sheep," and "baby cows." I can't wait! But that's still a couple of weeks away so we're going back the wildlife park to see the baby moose and baby deer this morning. I hope that you also have something fun planned for the weekend.

These were the week's most popular posts on
1. Alternatives to Google Image Search - PDF Handout
2. A Free Presidential Timeline Poster for Your Classroom
3. 5 Ideas for Making Multimedia eBooks With Students
4. Use This Chrome Setting to Save Your Laptop's Battery
5. 250 Google Tools Tutorials for Teachers
6. Google Sites Has a New Design Component
7. A New Way to Add Google Keep Notes to Google Documents

I'll Come to Your School This Year!
If you would like to have me lead a professional development day at your school during this school year, please send me an email at richardbyrne (at) - or click here for more information about my professional development services.

Book Me for Your Conference
I’ve given keynotes at conferences from Australia to Alaska for groups of all sizes from 50 to 2,000+. My keynotes focus on providing teachers and school administrators with practical ways to use technology to create better learning experiences for all students. I like to shine the light on others and so I often share examples of great work done by others as well as my own. Send an email to richardbyrne (at) book me today.

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
TypingClub offers more than 600 typing lessons for kids. 
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards.
Book Creator is a great tool for creating multimedia books.
Kami is a great tool for annotating and collaborating on PDFs. 
University of Maryland Baltimore County offers a great program on instructional design.

Virtual Manipulatives for Mathematics Lessons

Toy Theater is a website that offers a huge library of online games that students can play to hone their skills in language arts and mathematics. Toy Theater also offers a large library of virtual manipulatives that you can use in your mathematics lessons.

Some of what you will find in Toy Theater's library of virtual manipulatives include pattern blocks, graph paper, and fraction strips. All of the virtual manipulatives can be displayed in a full screen mode.

Applications for Education
Toy Theater's library of virtual manipulatives could be helpful if you find yourself quickly needing a way to illustrate a mathematics concept for your students. I don't recommend it as an alternative to having physical manipulatives in your classroom or even as an alternative to GeoGebra, but in a pinch the Toy Theater virtual manipulatives would work.

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