Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New Teacher Survival Prize Pack
Deadline is December 17, 2011

One lucky grand prize winner will receive a trip to Costa Rica AND this New Teacher Survival Prize Pack that includes an Elmer's Classroom Prize Pack, a classroom set of 10 Nook Color Tablets from American College of Education, a STEM survivor package from and a classroom collection of Discovery Education DVDs. 

Lexus Eco Challenge for Teens

The Lexus Eco Challenge is a life-changing opportunity for teens across the nation to make a difference in the environmental health of our planet, one community at a time.

Deadline is December 16, 2011. Registration is open for the second challenge, on the theme of air and climate (the first, on land and water, closed on October 31). Students in middle school (6-8) or high school (9-12) can enter in teams of five to ten students and up to two teacher advisors. Sixteen teams will each win $10,000 and an invitation to the final challenge in early 2012 for a chance to win one of eight $15,000 prizes and two $30,000 grand prizes.

Career Development Grants

2012-2013 Academic Year
Award: $2,000 – $12,000
Applications available*: August 1 – December 15, 2011
Application deadline*: December 15, 2011
Grant year: July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2013

* All supporting documents must also be received by this date. If an application deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, supporting documents must be received the next business day.

Career Development Grants support women who hold a bachelor's degree and are preparing to advance their careers, change careers, or re-enter the work force. Special consideration is given to women of color, and women pursuing their first advanced degree or credentials in nontraditional fields.

Grants provide support for course work beyond a bachelor's degree, including a master's degree, second bachelor's degree, or specialized training in technical or professional fields. Funds are available for distance learning. Course work must be taken at an accredited two- or four-year college or university in the United States, or at a technical school that is fully licensed or accredited by the U.S. Department of Education. Funds are not available for PhD-level work.

Questions about applications must be directed to the Iowa City office. Please do not contact the AAUW office in Washington, D.C., or local branches for application information. Please call 319/337-1716 ext. 60, e-mail, or write to the customer service center at

Fellowships and Grants
101 ACT Drive
P.O. Box 4030
Iowa City, IA 52243-4030

Grant Information: Resources to Get You Started

Ten Tips for Engaging Underperforming Students



The educators at Cochrane Collegiate Academy, in Charlotte, North Carolina, have developed an instructional model called Interactive Learning (IL). It is a collection of their ten best practices, which they call their non-negotiables, and teachers must implement them in every lesson, every day.

Shana Oliver, the school's academic facilitator, runs the training sessions for these best practices, and she helps the teachers see and experience how they can incorporate all ten into one lesson. Here are Cochrane's IL non-negotiables, with additional comments from Oliver. Watch the video to see what they look like in the classroom and go to our Resources and Downloads for a sample lesson plan that includes all ten practices.

Cochrane's Top Ten Interactive Learning Non-Negotiables

When planning and delivering your lessons, the following strategies must be implemented in your classroom daily:

1. Essential Question

What is the intended goal of the lesson? Remember, there is one essential question per lesson, and students must be able to answer this question by the end of the lesson.

Oliver: With essential questions, teachers really have to be intentional about what they want the students to be able to do, and it has to be at the highest-level of learning. The students have to be able to analyze and apply; they cannot just answer the question with a yes or no. It has to be an extended response. An essential question must be "multi-skill" in order for it to be a good one.

2. Activating Strategy

An activating strategy is something that gets students actively thinking or making a connection with the material being presented that day. Make a connection to the content or to the outside world to see how much the students already know or remember.

Oliver: With the technology we have, one of the main things we do is show video clips. Students love it when they see their favorite show or cartoon. Initially, they don't know what they're about to learn so they focus on that video clip. Then the teacher uses that engagement to link to the lesson, and the students realize that their likes or interests can channel a learning experience.

Example: For her lesson on the elements of a character, ninth-grade English teacher Angela Johnson had her students watch a clip from a popular TV show. Then they made a T-chart and on one side wrote down the character's name and on the other side wrote down elements of that character.

3. Relevant Vocabulary

Relevant vocabulary must be present in your lesson. Keep your vocabulary limited to what your students are able to handle and make sure that it is actively used in context throughout the lesson. Also have your students interactively use the words during the lesson.

Oliver: We only use vocabulary that's relevant. Teachers must pick and choose what is going to be most important and most effective. They must teach vocabulary through a graphic organizer, through an experience, or whatever they need to help the students get it.

4. Limited Lecture

There should be limited lecture time. After 12-15 minutes of lecturing, you should engage your students in some type of activity, even if it's for only a few minutes.

Oliver: In my experience, students can maintain their attention span only for the number of minutes equal to their age plus two or three, so the lecture must be chunked. When that amount of time has elapsed, teachers must stop and have students do something different. Once students have completed a two- or three-minute activity, the teacher can go back to lecturing for another chunk of time.

Examples: Have students talk to their neighbor, draw a picture, write a few sentences that summarize or describe the lecture, finish an example problem, or get in a discussion with their group.

5. Graphic Organizer

Use of a graphic organizer allows students to visually categorize new information or review old information.

Oliver: Students need to be able to conceptualize whatever information we're giving them. The graphic organizer is student friendly. When they look at information that's organized, it's easier for them to retain and remember that information. And when they go home, it is less intimidating to look at that information as opposed to pulling out a notebook that has pages and pages of notes.

Examples: Have students record information in colorful charts in their notebooks, use computers to create graphic organizers, or create a "foldable."

6. Student Movement

Student movement is a must. Students need to be mobile at some point during instruction to ensure they're actively engaged.

Oliver: This one is probably the most challenging for our teachers because it can be intimidating to have students moving. But student movement can look a number of different ways, and it doesn't always mean students have to get up. They just must be physically engaged in whatever the teacher is doing. It's important because students don't like to sit still, especially male students. We found that when our male students are up and moving around the room, they are totally engaged in what the teacher is doing.

Examples: Students do a gallery walk in which they move in groups from corner to corner, answering questions or analyzing things posted on the walls; they work in teams or at rotation stations; they raise their hands or give the thumbs-up or thumbs-down; they answer questions with their body, putting their left foot out if they think the answer is A and their right foot out if they think it's B.

7. Higher Order Thinking Questions

Present your students with at least three higher-order-thinking (“HOT”) questions during the lesson. This is proof that you are presenting all your students with challenging work.

Oliver: The HOT questions are Cochrane's signature element. The rationale behind them is we want to give the kids an opportunity to be challenged in the classroom. The way the teacher presents these questions varies, and students' responses can be indicative of their learning pace. The same question should be used for all students, but advanced learners may be required to respond in a different way. Students can respond on paper, as part of a classroom discussion, in paired discussion, or through homework.

8. Summarize

Summarize to bring the lesson to a close. This is when you can assess your students' abilities to effectively answer the essential question, and you can find out whether you need to extend or refine the skill.

Oliver: Teachers must find creative ways to have the students answer the essential question at the end of the lesson. A student's ability to answer the essential question at this point is a way for the teacher to assess the student's learning. In most instances, this is the point when a teacher can determine whether she needs to go back and reteach or needs to accelerate student learning.

Examples: Have students use a writing prompt, short activity, discussion, or illustration to summarize, or have them summarize on an exit ticket.

9. Rigorous

Lessons must be rigorous. The activities should be challenging and move at a brisk pace. There should not be opportunities for students to get bored or periods when they have nothing to do. The entire lesson should be an active lesson.

Oliver: Teachers have to take students to the highest level of knowledge. You have to be on your toes. Time on task — everything that you do has to be scheduled to maximize your time. With our students, we have only 180 days, and a lot of our students do not come in at grade level, so we've got to move them with the 90 minutes that we have each day in the classroom.

10. Student Centered

Your entire lesson should be student centered. The ways that we instruct our students must demonstrate that they are our focus and that what we do is centered on their success. The use of technology as a tool is a critical component of this. It provides students with 21st-century skills that are both engaging and relevant to real-world applications. It is a partnership: If you effectively and successfully plan, your students will effectively and successfully work and learn.

Oliver: We train our teachers to take a step away from the learning process to become facilitators rather than "givers of all knowledge" in the classroom. We have to teach students to become lifelong critical thinkers, and we teach them this through resources and tools that they can relate to and will pique their interest. As educators, we have to keep up with advances in technology and go the distance to teach our students in ways that will help them feel empowered to be successful.

Free apps today - learn how to tie knots

Fishing knots -

Climbing knots -

Best knots -

Free App Today - ctn - Organizer

Free iPad App Today: World Atlas 2 - New Generation HD

Also, the iPhone version is free today:

Free App Today - Trip Journal

Free App Today - Alarm Clock

10 Things You Should Know About the National Broadband Plan

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tanbur Music Education Links

A wide collection of music education links to interactive games, music, and more.

Interactive Music Website Links for Primary and Secondary Schools Click on LISTEN, PLAY, SONGS and QUIZ to discover a wide range of Internet sites with instruments, composers and musical styles from around the world .

To make full use of this site you will need broadband, Adobe ‘Flash’ and ‘Shockwave’
Have fun!!

The two previous posts were linked from this site.  The rest are worth exploring!

Classics for Kids (Music Education)

Identify the Musical Instruments - Interactive

Fraction Monkeys and other apps (free flash sites)

Dear UCET moderators,

I saw your request for information about great resources. I would like to think that we have some.

SUMS Online, a UK company, has been producing activities for handheld devices for years, originally PDAs. We now have several Apps for the iPhone and iPad.  You might be interested to see that, though we charge for the Apps at the lowest tier, we also offer a free 'mirror' website for each using Flash.

Our most popular App for USA schools is "Fraction Monkeys". The mirror site is of course (or .com).

One other popular App is Learn Your Tables.  The mirror website is at

I hope that this is of interest. We are about to release many more Apps/mirror websites. A summary is at

Thank you for your time.

Best wishes,


David McAll
SUMS Online Ltd

Grant Resources (With a particular focus for Music Education)

Education World: Grants Center, including Grant Resources, Grant Writing, and Featured Grants

The Foundation Center: publishes numerous directories of grants offered worldwide, some specific to arts, and provides proposal writing tips online, 800/424-9836.

Fundsnet Services Online: links to grants and grant services

Grantsmanship Center: Federal, state, community, foundation, and international grants

McCarthey - Dressman Education Foundation

Schoolgrants: resources for K&endash;12 grants, including monthly newsletter

The Society of Research Administrators: Grantsmanship Certificate.

Target Corporation: offers funding and scholarship activities, some specific to the arts, click on take charge of education or Community Giving .

Music Specific
Aaron Copland Fund for Music

Alfonso Loera Music Scholarship Fund

Amateur Chamber Music Players, Inc.

American College of Musicians / National Guild of Piano Teachers

American Composers Forum

American Foundation for the Blind
R. L. Gillette Scholarship

American Music Education Initiative

American Musicological Society (AMS)
Fellowships, Awards, and Research and Travel Grants

American Musicological Society (AMS)
Ongoing Grants and Fellowships Available

American Musicological Society (AMS)
Subvention for Publications

The American-Scandinavian Foundation
Birgit Nilsson Prize

American Society for Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) Foundation
Grant and Award Programs

American String Teachers Association
National School Orchestra Association

American Symphony Orchestra League
The Music Assistance Fund

Anglo-Austran Music Society

Arnold Schonberg Center
Avenir Foundation-Research Grants

Associated Male Choruses of America

Beebe Fund for Musicians

BMI Foundation Awards, Scholarships, Internships, and Funds

Boston University Online Music Degrees
Online degree and funding information

Center for Black Music Research
Perkinson Travel-to-the-Collections Grants

Center for the Promotion of Contemporary Composers

Chamber Music America Grants Programs

Charlotte Hoyt Bagnall Scholarship for Church Musicians

Chopin Foundation of the United States

Classics for Kids Foundation

Composer Assistance Program

Creative Capital Foundation

Dena Epstein Award for Archival and Library Research in American Music

Disney's The Music in You School Grant Program

Donna Reed Foundation for the Performing Arts
Scholarships and Internships

Elizabeth Ruthruff Wilson Foundation

Fondation des Etats-Unis in Paris
Harriet Hale Woolley Scholarship

Foundation Center
Reference Guide for Musicians

French American Fund for Contemporary Music

Gerald M. Crane Memorial Music Scholarship

Glenn Miller Scholarship Competition

Harmony Foundation Grants

Interlochen Center for the Arts
Emerson Scholars Awards

International Foundation for Music Research

James Tatum Foundation for the Arts

Kent State University Online Music Degrees

Kurt Weil Foundation for Music

Liberace Foundation for the Performing and Creative Arts Music Scholarships

Mockingbird Foundation
Funding for Children's Music Education Programs

Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation

Michael Davis Music Is Revolution Mini-Grant

Music and Letters Grants from Oxford Journals

Music Library Association
Awards and Grants

Music Performance Fund

Funding for Individuals

National Association of Teachers of Singing/
Art Song Competition

National Association of Teachers of Singing/
Artists Awards Competition for Singers

National Endowment for the Arts
Grants Page

National Federation of Music Clubs
Competitions and Awards

New York Foundation for the Arts
Opportunities for Artists

NFMC Gretchen E. Van Roy Music Education Scholarship

Opera Foundation
American-Berlin Scholarships

Presbyterian Association of Musicians
Seed Money Grants

Reading, Writing, and Rhythm: The Chely Wright Foundation

Sinfonia Educational Foundation Research Assistance Grants

Society for American Music Awards
(Last checked 10/21/09)

Society for Music Theory Publication Subvention Grants

Sphinx Organization Competition for Young Black and Latino Players

Strings Magazine Scholarships

Vergil Thompson Foundation

VH1 Save the Music Foundation

Donated Instruments
The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation: promotes instrumental music through partnerships and providing instruments for schools and students, honors music educators.
15125 Ventura Blvd., Suite 204
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
818/784-6787 fax 818/784-6788

Reading, Writing and Rhythm: The Chely Wright Foundation: raises money to help schools by donating instruments and equipment.
P.O. Box 297
Old Bridge, NJ 08857

VH1 Save the Music: works with public schools on campaigns, instrument drives, and fund-raising in an effort to restore music programs
1515 Broadway
New York, NY 10036

Artists Resource Guide

Federal is your source to FIND and APPLY for federal grants.

General Services Administration: Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance, compendium of federal programs, products, services and activities which benefit the public, 202/708-5126.

National Endowment for the Arts: click on Cultural Funding, 202/682-5400. NOTE: Per the NEA, Grants to individuals are limited to Literature Fellowships in poetry and prose (and the translation of each). , however, the Web site may be useful for those seeking school grants.

National Endowment for the Humanities: Grants and Applications, including Challenge Grants, Education, Preservation and Access, Public Programs, and Research, 202/606-8400

Thompson Publishing Group: Federal Grants and Funding Publications, including Grants Management sites, Guide to Federal Fund Education, and News Briefs, 800/964-5815

US Department of Education: .look under Most Requested Items and choose Discretionary Grant Applications , click on Funding Opportunities , or click on Topics A-Z for the site index and look for financial aid , grants , etc., 800/USA-LEARN.

Helpful hints:
Office of Special Education Programs,, 202/205-5507
Office of Educational Technology,
Office of Educational Research and Improvement,, Technology Innovation Challenge Grants
Office of Chief Financial Officer,, 202/401-0085
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Grants Net list of grants links, 202/205-0475

Chamber Music America: CMA Grants and Awards, including Grants, Awards, and Other Funding, 212/242-2022

Consortium on Inclusive Schooling Practices: Links and Publications on inclusion, 202/205-8888

The Dana Foundation: The Dana Foundation is a private philanthropic organization that supports innovative programs leading to improved teaching in the performing arts in public schools.

Grantmakers in the Arts: consortium of private, family, corporate, and community foundations.

Grants Resource for finding many types of grants.

Knight Foundation: grants in education and the arts, 305/908-2600.

Mockingbird Foundation : MFI is particularly interested in projects that encourage and foster creative expression in any musical form (including composition, instrumentation, vocalization, or improvisation), but also recognizes broader and more basic needs within conventional instruction. MFI encourages applications associated with diverse or unusual musical styles, genres, forms, and philosophies.

National Music Foundation: American Music Education Initiative , 800/USA-MUSIC

Philanthropic Research: GuideStar: The Donor Guide to the Charitable Universe: grant search engine, 757/229-4631

Presser Foundation: Guidelines & Application:  Corporate Website.  See your school's grant person. Deadline:  None • Purpose:  Supports music scholarships, music education, and music equipment and instruments

The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Inc. (The Recording Academy): grants for organizations and individuals, for various advancement efforts such as archiving, research, and the well-being of music professionals , click on Member Services or Grammy Foundation , 800/423-2017

The Texaco Foundation: What We Support, grants for Early Notes: The Sound of Children Learning and Musical Roots: Hearing Our Heritage

50 Places to Find Free Music Lessons Online

Learning to play an instrument can be expensive. The instrument itself is likely going to put a dent in your budget. Luckily, you don’t have to spend tons of money to learn how to play that instrument. The Internet has many websites that offer free lessons for almost any instrument imaginable. For the sake of brevity, this list just focuses on the most popular music lessons available online.

  • Piano
  • Guitar
  • Violin, Viola, and Cello
  • General Music Lessons
  • Sheet Music

Free iPad Apps Today

Adam Learns Shapes and Colors Category: Education Was: $0.99

KinderMath Category: Education Was: $1.99

St Peters Basilica Video Tour for iPad Category: Travel Was: $6.99

Monday, November 28, 2011

Opportunity - Teachers Teaching Teachers GIS (T3G) Institute

Hello friends! I think you know about Esri's "Teachers Teaching Teachers GIS (T3G) Institute"

I hope someone from UT will consider this for summer 2012. Check out the YouTube sequence and you'll see why it's a powerful event. Deadline for applications is Nov 30, 2011.

Charlie Fitzpatrick
Esri Schools Program Manager
2001 N 15th St #1403
Arlington VA 22201
desk: 651-994-0823 x.8349
cell: 651-323-7280

Free iPhone Apps Today

Free iPad apps today

Great CyberMonday Deal - 1.5 TB Portable External USB Hard Drive

3:50 PM - Monday, November 28 - It was just reported to me that Staples is now out of stock on this item.  Hope you were able to pick up on one.  Nathan Smith

Staples is offering a

Seagate® Expansion™ 1.5TB External Hard Drive  - $69.99

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Free App Today - WordList Pro

Whopping Collection of 600+ Light Effect Photoshop Brushes

Collection of 500+ Amazing Photoshop Smoke Brushes

Interesting article from Education Week Teacher...

Book Notes: Steve Jobs Blasted Teachers' Unions, Planned Digital Textbook Feature for iPad
Apparently Bill Gates isn't the only personal computing pioneer to have expressed strong concerns about the ability of America's public schools to prepare students for the economic future—and to lay a good part of the blame on teachers' union regulations. Toward the end of his bestselling biography on the late Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson recounts a private meeting between Jobs and President Obama that took place in the fall of 2010. At one point, Jobs—never one to hold back his opinions—brought up the subject of education. Isaacson writes:

Jobs also attacked America's education system, saying that it was hopelessly antiquated and crippled by union work rules. Until the teachers' unions were broken, there was almost no hope for education reform. Teachers should be treated as professionals, he said, not as industrial assembly-line workers. Principals should be able to hire and fire them based on how good they were. Schools should be staying open until at least 6 p.m. and be in session eleven months of the year. It was absurd, he added, that American classrooms were still based on teachers standing at a board and using textbooks. All books, learning materials, and assessments should be digital and interactive, tailored to each student and providing feedback in real time.

On that last point, incidentally, Jobs had a personal business interest. Toward the end of his life, Isaacson notes, Jobs was taken by the notion that the iPad could ultimately, in effect, replace students' heavy backpacks. He saw the textbook industry as "ripe for digital destruction," and was planning to hire top textbook authors to write alternative, digital versions for the iPad. These iPad-specific textbooks would be free and, in Jobs formulation, allow schools to "circumvent" state adoption processes. It's not clear from Isaacson's book whether this project ever went anywhere, but it's something teachers may want to keep an eye on: Jobs obviously had a pretty good track record on sensing well before everybody else which way the winds were blowing.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Amazing Art - Origami

Click on the art section, then view each of the galleries pictured at the top.  All the origami pieces are folded, without cuts, from single pieces of paper.  Amazing work.

Free Android App - Office Calculator Free

Link to Office Calculator Free in the Android App Store...

Product Description
This is a calculator optimized for office tasks. Featuring virtual tape, this app enables fixed point or floating point calculations, various rounding modes, and percent calculation. You can switch between calculator and tape view to get a full screen understanding. Office Calculator's tape can have up to 500 lines.

Operate both fixed point and floating point arithmetic. Fixed point arithmetic has has 20 digits and up to four decimal places. The floating point arithmetic has 64 bits (IEEE double precision). By default, this calculator works with fixed point arithmetic and two decimal places, which can be changed to suit your needs. Office Calculator supports three rounding modes as well as percent calculation, to add or subtract percent values (this means easier tax calculations!).

This application is ad supported. An ad-free version is available for purchase.

Free Android App - CamScanner Free

Link to CamScanner Free on

Product Features

  • Scan, crop, and enhance images
  • Create PDF files with the processed image
  • Easily manage and reorder multi-page documents
  • Upload PDFs to Google Docs, DropBox or for backup
  • Share PDF via e-mail

Free App Today - State of USA Expectation Quiz II

Free App Today - ToDo 360

Rather mixed reviews on this one...

Free App Today - AProjectManager

Free App Today - Breakthrough App (Productivity)

What do all other Productivity to-do type apps miss? They fail to link your goals to your tasks. A task without a goal is uninspiring, plain and boring!

A few sites that illustrate scale in our solar system and the universe

This first link is a jpg image that starts with our earth and zooms out...

The second site illustrates the distance between earth and our sun, on a very long scrolling webpage...

This third link goes from the macro, smaller than a neutrino, to the cosmos...

Friday, November 25, 2011

Free App Today - Plan Me Student Edition

Free App Today - Touch Baby Touch (for Toddlers)

Free App Today - Quick Invoice

Free App Today - Fluent (Flash Cards)

Free App Today - 4 Apps from By Nene Toys Productions

Free App Today - Berlitz® Mi Profesor de Español - Classic

Free App Today - Berlitz My English Coach

Free App Today - A+ Flashcards Pro