Wednesday Website: Snow Day Calculator

Snow Day Calculator is a website that does exactly what it says in the URL bar. You input your ZIP code and some other information, and it calculates your chances of having a snow day in the coming few days. Although not 100% reliable (because superintendents frequently have minds of their own!) it does help when you’re trying to make plans, either as a teacher or a parent.
snow.png
As of now, it’s saying my ZIP code has a limited chance for a snow day tomorrow, but of course it has a 99% chance listed for the day when I have an administrator observation scheduled! The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry… the best laid plans of teachers often get snowed out!

Wednesday Website: Online Clock

In a pinch, you can Google something like “five minute timer” and have a timer right in your web browser you can use.

Clock-Digital-800px

But maybe you’re not in a pinch. Maybe you’re looking to create some ambiance. If that’s the case, I recommend OnlineClock.Net. Sure, the front page is a very pared-down digital clock, but there are more options. You can customize it with sounds and backgrounds, like an aquarium or fireplace. You can change it to a stopwatch or a timer. There are pre-set timers for major cultural events, like the upcoming New Year or Superbowl. You can even play a radio station. There’s even a games section if you’re just looking to kill some time.

I like to put this website up on the Smartboard with the timer on to remind students when it’s time to log out and leave the lab — my classroom is one of the few in the building without a wall clock, so it’s been very useful, especially for my after-school group.

Wednesday Website: Print Friendly

As the technology resource teacher in my building, I spend more time with the printers than many other people in the building. Thing is, I’m almost never printing. I’m mostly changing toner or trying to undo a jam.1194985666834114944laserprinter.svg.med

A big frustration I have is just how much we print. Yes, we need all sorts of worksheets and tests and handouts and study guides and homework pages and so on. The things that really annoy me are when we print out websites.

Not every website is designed to print. They’re designed to be viewed on a screen, not a piece of paper. It’s not their fault. But how to handle it when you just need a hard copy?

Try using Print Friendly. It whittles down the website to the bare bones – ads, links, images, comments, social media icons gone. I entered in a long, listed article to test it out, and I could even click on a paragraph to delete it from the final page. I bet that would be useful if you just want to use excerpts from online news articles to use when discussing current events. You also don’t have to print – you can save the file as a PDF, or send it in an email. And you don’t have to go back to the website every time you have something to print – there’s an extension available for the Google Chrome browser.

Wednesday Website: Copy Paste Character

Weather:

☼ ☁ ❄ ☔

This is a part of the script I have copies of for our school morning announcements. Students just circle the symbol for today’s weather report and keep moving. It takes up minimal space on our script, which leaves more room for more varied items to report, like birthdays and special announcements.

So how do I get those icons in? I copied and pasted them from a website called Copy Paste Character. It’s exactly what is says in the URL. You go there, find a character, and copy it so you can paste it elsewhere.

You can use the symbols to share some ❤ or help your colleagues new to using Apple products how to take ⌘. You can make things a little more musical ♬. It might be helpful when making differentiated sentences for early readers, or helpful signs or labels for classrooms and school events.

Copy Paste Character makes the ✄!

Wednesday Website: Online Dictation

1194985205336006011blocco_notes.svg.medSo I stumbled on this online dictation that I could see being useful. I remember I once had a student who could quite easily tell me what he wanted to write, but struggled to actually write it down. I used to record him saying his answers, then allow him to listen to the recording and write down his answer from there. I would probably use this resource similarly. You do have to narrate the punctuation, which would probably reinforce grammar lessons for young students. I like that you can download the text when you’re done, so you could copy and paste it into another program for editing if you needed to.