Category Archives: General

Zoo Whiz – Fun, Free Resource

This week I have been researching new sites to support the students in my class when I came across a website called Zoo Whiz.

Zoo Whiz Logo

According to the Zoo Whiz website:

Zoo Whiz is a revolutionary new, FREE online learning system for kids, parents and teachers.  Zoo Whiz has been designed to motivate kids to learn. Students can work on their computers online at both home and school.  Zoo Whiz gives teachers and parents the tools to identify and respond to each child’s learning needs. It draws its educational content from a bank of over 17,000 carefully-crafted, finely-incremented learning activities covering maths, punctuation, spelling, grammar, vocabulary, phonics and reading for kids aged 5 to 15.

Click on the pictures below to view the gallery that shows the step-by-step instructions that students use to access and use the site:

* Note:  If you set up your students under a teacher account, you will be able to give them a username and password to login with (so they can skip step one, and avoid giving away any personal information).

Currently, the site is in early release mode.  As yet, I am in the early stages of playing with the site myself, but have been impressed so far with the way that it all functions.  The interface is bright and colourful, with instant feedback on each task the students complete.

Setting up a class in the site was extremely easy (via bulk upload), and I could then print student sign in cards in the click of a button.  Whilst adding my students, I only had to upload their first names under my free teacher login – a huge bonus for maintaining student privacy!  I look forward to trialling this site in my classroom this term.

More information on the Zoo Whiz site can be found in these brochures:

or at the Zoo Whiz website –


Shhh …. it’s Quiet Tube!

Ever wanted to show your class a You Tube clip, but held back because you didn’t want all the ‘extra’ stuff that surrounds the clip? Too scared of what may pop up in the suggestions area, or in the comments section? Well, there is something you can do to remove all of those hassles …. just be quiet! 🙂

When You find a You Tube video you would like to use, simply go to the address bar and type the word ‘quiet’ in front of the You Tube in the address.  This would mean your address would go from this:

to this:

What this does, is remove everything else from the page …. easy!

Below is an example of the normal You Tube, and then what you will get if you use Quiet You Tube:

You Tube Example

Quiet You Tube Example

A fantastic and easy tip that will save you accidentally displaying any content (that you can’t control) that may be inappropriate for your class to view.  With Quiet You Tube you can welcome the world back into your classroom!

PS.     The You Tube examples above are WELL worth watching.  Just amazing what can be done with You Tube!! 🙂

E-Classroom for students affected by the floods

Education Queensland has developed their own official site for students, parents and teachers affected by the recent floods – eClassroom.  The aim is to provide students of all year levels with specific activities to do whilst they may be isolated or relocated to another campus.

The Education Queensland eClassroom provides a range of self-paced digital learning resources and activities:

  • Resources: self-paced learning objects by year level 
  • Activities: self-paced structured lessons by year level
  • Programs: self-paced vodcasts or daily scheduled multimedia events by year level
  • For teachers: teacher lead virtual classrooms
  • Parents/guardians can contact our Learning helpline for assistance from a teacher.

Even if you are not in a flood affected area, it is still worthwhile visiting the site and having a look around 😉

** Don’t forget that the Premier’s Flood Relief Appeal is still accepting donations. **

School of the Web – Free Resource

As some of you may be aware, much of Queensland has faced unprecedented flood waters to start 2011.  Due to this flooding (at one stage, 75% of the state!), many students are isolated by the flood waters, or evacuated from their homes and communities.  I have created a site for those students with internet connection (or an iPhone) to access to keep their minds active during this time.  This site is called: School of the Web.


The site not only includes links to a collection of free websites, but also contains an ‘apps’ section for those students who may have an iPhone, but no PC internet connection.  Many students out west (where I taught for 3 years) are often in this situation.

I encourage you to share this site with any students (and teachers) you know that may be affected by the floods. I also encourage you to visit the Premier’s website and donate, if you can, to the Premier’s Flood Relief Fund – every donation helps!

My heart goes out to all of those families across Australia that have been affected by these floods.  My thoughts are with you all at this time.


Need help with Report Cards?

Around this time of semester, things start to get VERY busy.  Wouldn’t it be great if there was something that could save us some time on report cards?  Something that would solve the ‘he instead of she’ errors in the cut and pasted comments? (… you know what I’m talking about!!) 😉  ANYTHING that would save time????  Well, there is!

Introducing Ray Le Couteur and his FREE Report writing software for teachers.  I first discovered this little gem a few years ago, and have used it off and on since then.  It takes a little while to set up, but is worth it in the end for the hours it will save you!

Some Features Include:

  • ultra quick combining of statements.
  • ready made statements available on the web (by subject and level).
  • select and combine comments with a single click.
  • ability to edit reports individually for students.
  • full control over final report content.
  • ability to work with lists of students from Excel or Word.

Have a look today…. hopefully this tool will save you as much time as it has saved me! 🙂

ABCya! – Educational Games

ABCya! has free educational kids computer games and activities for elementary students to learn on the web. All children’s educational computer games and activities were created or approved by certified teachers. ABCya! educational games are free and are modeled from primary grade lessons and enhanced to provide an interactive way for children to learn.

ABCya! games and activities incorporate content areas such as math and reading while introducing basic computer skills. Many of the kindergarten and first grade games are equipped with sound to enhance understanding. Great kids Holiday games and activities are available in grade level sections!

These games would be great on the IWB! 

  • Look for the word clouds section for a kid friendly version of the wordle site!

Ideas for Teachers Launches Today!

Welcome to the new Ideas for Teachers Blog! 

As a classroom teacher of over 10 years (minus a year here and there for maternity leaves!), I know how rapidly the curriculum and technology usage changes, and just how time consuming it can be keeping up with it all.  The aim of this blog is to provide you with ideas and resources to allow you to Work Smarter – Not Harder!  Why reinvent the wheel when help is available??  As teaching professionals, we should support each other and share our resources to allow for our time to be spent enhancing the educational outcomes for our students – not reinventing the wheel and spending hours researching what others have already found!

Over time, I will be adding ideas and resources for you to use in your classroom.  These ideas and resources will be things I use in my classroom, and things I have found from around the web to use in the future.  Please remember to comment on those things you find useful – to help drive the types of things I include on this blog.