Free Hand Pointer from Learning Resources

Learning Resources is a leading manufacturer of learning toys and innovative hands-on educational materials for classrooms worldwide. They are currently celebrating their 25th anniversary and giving us a gift. Registar here and they will send you a free hand pointer at the end of October. They are great for using with the SMARTBoard.


Superintendent’s Memo #223-09 (

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) in cooperation with the Commonwealth Educational Policy Institute (CEPI), Virginia Commonwealth University, and Henrico County Schools is pleased to offer a new teacher training opportunity. The project titled “Professional Development Toolkit for New and Beginning Teachers” is a research-based set of 45 single-concept video clips and accompanying materials. Accompanying materials include full scripts, annotated bibliographies, Internet links, and a teacher work/study guide for each video.

The purpose of the opportunity is to inform K-12 new and beginning teachers of effective methods and best practices relating to twelve topics identified in a 2006 field study conducted by the CEPI. Facilitators are Virginia Commonwealth University teacher training professors, educational administration and supervision faculty. Classroom teachers provide experience-based teaching tips and advice in each video.

Video topics are classroom control and discipline, teaching strategies and practices, technology use and integration, balanced assessment, parent communication, unmotivated students, feelings of isolation, roadblocks, standards of learning, time management, administration and supervision, and diverse learners.

A link to the toolkit may be found on the VDOE Teacher Education and Licensure page. The direct link is
. Questions and technical assistance requests may be directed to Cathy Cheely at or (804) 225-2972 and to Marti Collier at or (804) 827-3290.

Superintendent’s Memo #224-0 (

On June 25, 2009, the Virginia Board of Education accepted for first review the proposed Economics and Personal Finance Standards of Learning. The Virginia Board of Education is now seeking public comment on these Standards of Learning for use in Virginia public schools.

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has posted links to the proposed Economics and Personal Finance Standards of Learning on the Department of Education’s Web site at

Public comment will be taken from September 17, 2009, until October 30, 2009, and can be submitted via e-mail using the link below:

RICHMOND —Governor Timothy M. Kaine today announced that the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is expanding its call center to handle questions that Virginians may have about the novel influenza A (H1N1) virus.  The toll-free number is 1-877-275-8343 and will be answered during state business hours.  The department will adjust hours as necessary to accommodate call volume. Virginians also are able to ask questions via e-mail through the VDH home page at

An important message for parents of school children as well as faculty and school staff is to stay home if they have novel H1N1 symptoms including fever, cough, sore throat or fatigue. A person with such influenza-like illness should stay home until they have been without a fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicine.  Infected adults and children still can be contagious even after they begin to feel better.  Commissioner Remley also urged families to have an emergency care plan in the event a child is sent home from school due to illness while parents are at work.


RICHMOND – Governor Timothy M. Kaine today announced a partnership with Statistical Analysis Software (SAS) to provide the software vendor’s SAS Curriculum Pathways collection of online resources, interactive features and ready-to-use lessons to Virginia middle schools and high schools at no charge.

SAS Curriculum Pathways provides resources and content aligned with state standards in English, history/social science, science, mathematics and Spanish. Designed for a range of classroom environments, technology capabilities and learning styles, SAS Curriculum Pathways can be used in classrooms, virtual schools, small groups and by individual students. School divisions and schools access SAS Curriculum Pathways by setting up online accounts through the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). (From Governor’s New Release, August 7, 2009)


RICHMOND — Building on a number of recent initiatives designed to take learning beyond the classroom, Governor Timothy M. Kaine today announced the official launch of “Virginia on iTunes U,”(direct link, requires iTunes) a dedicated area within Apple’s iTunes Store featuring free access to educational content. Through iTunes U for K-12 education, students, teachers, and other interested users can “learn on the go” by downloading audio and video content onto an iPod, iTouch, or iPhone from any computer with Internet access. (from Governor’s News Release, April 7, 2009).


I came across this post in David Warlick’s blog, My 2 Cents. If you are involved in writing your school’s or school division’s AUP, you might be interested in a new wiki dealing with School AUP 2.0. Many existing acceptable use policies do not address issues related to Web 2.0. The wiki may be found at


 Here is a video clip from eSchool News reporting on a project in Pennsylvania, referred to here as “Classroom of the Future.” Click on the link:


Need a timeline for the history of computers? Take a look at this site:


Are you looking for another option for creating slideshows with pizzazz! Check out Animoto. Upload your pictures, choose your music, and let the film producers at Animoto produce your customized video for you. Go to for more information.

With budget and time contraints taking a toll on field trips, the concept of virtual field trips has become increasingly popular. Here are some field trip resources listed in the August 2008 eSchool News edition (p. 28).

If you are looking for a new way to introduce vocabulary or to provide extra practice, you will want to check out this free site.

Vocabulary. com is “A free site that allows students at high-elem., junior high and high school levels, teachers and life-long learners to acquire and retain vocabulary. Each free session has three levels. Each level has 3 puzzles with 12 words each (36 total words in a session) and contains seven (7) additional activities/exercises that help develop vocabulary. It is continuously updated.” Find out more at

Wired’s How-To Wiki provides tips, projects, and other helpful information on a variety of topics. Check it out at

Just when I had decided to be more conservative about my spending and to start saving for the inevitable “rainy day,” up pops a new technology device that I think I just have to have. Yes, I am talking about one of those new, cool netbooks. I watched a trainer at a recent workshop I attended setup and present to the group using a very portable netbook. Not only did the presentation go off without a hitch, but he also demonstrated his new sling box by showing the weather forecast that was broadcast on his home television in Denver. While I haven’t made the purchase yet, I can see me investigating this mini notebook with its light weight and heavy duty Web features. 


Print What You Like is a free Web service that allows you to decide what parts of a Web page you want to print. Those of you who have experienced the printing challenges associated with printing Web pages will want to check out


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