Small Demons

Today I found a web site that truely makes me wish I had thought of it. Small Demons is a web site for any and all book lovers. I know, it sounds like a name for a juvinile rock band, but it’s not what you think. We all read books. Some of us devour them. But more often than not we don’t go very deep into the people, places and things inside the story. We tend to think the details are simply a part of the plot and let it go at that-but there is more!

Small Demons goes behind the story, and picks up different threads and helps us discover where they lead. Small Demons is a comprehensive collection of all the details in a book. Details that live inside a book and their connection to other stories. Each book has it’s own page where you can check at a glance the people, the places, music, movies, events, gadgets, or vehicles.

Do you love books like I do? Small Demons is a whole new world of discovery. As I said, sure wish I had thought of doing something like Small Demons.

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Timesearch

I’ll admit it. I am a confirmed fan of old “Gunsmoke” reruns on TV. I thought I had seen them all, but the other night I found one I had not seen before. The dialogue mentioned Custer’s last stand and the Battle of Adobe Walls as being in the same year, or at least, that is what was implied. Being a fan of history as well, I decided to question the shows facts. I knew that the Battle of the Little Bighorn was in 1876 but was not sure of Adobe Walls. My research found a terrific little web site simply called TimeSearch. Pick a year, a historic period, or evan a historic theme and TimeSearch will do the rest, complete with pics from Google. TimeSearch also features single-subject timelines or a picture search. TimeSearch should be on everyones favorites list.

Just so you don’t think I’m making all this up, the Battle of Adobe Walls was June 27th, 1874. That is almost two years to the day before Custer’s last stand. So ‘Gunsmoke’ had it wrong-literary license! But I learned something.

Photoscape

One of our first grade teachers recently asked me a question that was, as the saying goes, ‘right up my ally’. She wanted to know if there was a program to eaisly put one picture inside, or on top of, another picture. She politly listened as I launched into an explanation of ‘layering’ pictures. When I noticed her eyes glaze over I realized that I had, again, fallen into my bad habit of over explaining rather than simply answering the question. Yes, there is such a program; and a free one at that. Photoscape is a fun and easy photo editing software that enables you to fix and enhance photos. Combining photos, which is what my friend wanted, is just one of its many capabilities. Photoscape has a robust photo editor, viewer, photo splitter, animated gif creator, ability to add text, special effects, and a lot more.

Try Photoscape out. It’s free with no strings attached. It’s easy, and in no time you will be able to ‘spice’ up your favorite photos like you never thought possible.

Educational Blogging

Do you wish you could master a classroom Blog? Have you ever wondered what a classroom blog is, or how it could be used? Have you ever been in conversations about classroom blogs but didn’t feel competent enough to contribute?

While doing a bit of research on starting my own classroom blog I made a very fortuitious discovery in Mrs. Yollis’ classroom blog.  The site is actually a Wiki about educational blogging. The wiki includes class videos explaining the benefits of blogging, how to compose a quality comment, and the importance of the Creative Commons license.  Included are steps taken to teach students how to compose quality comments, and tips to help teachers develop their own online communities. Included are links to other educational bloggers and sample posts organized by subject matter.

The site contains almost everything one needs about educational blogging. Have no fear, the force is with you. Mrs. Yollis’ educational blog is one-stop-shopping for getting excited about a classroom blog.