Sept 26, 2011

14 07 2012

Hi Everyone,

Breast Cancer Walk
Sunday, October 16th is the Breast Cancer Walk at Jones Beach. Entry forms will be placed in your mailboxes to join the Massapequa team. Come and enjoy the ocean air while honoring one of your loved ones. If you can’t come, please consider donating. Go to for further information.

Video Tips
Video has become commonplace in our students’ lives. The following article in TechLearning, Photo Ops: 10 Innovative Ways to Use Visual Media has some great ideas on how to integrate video to motivate students.

Think about having your students create a tutorial on a specific concept in your class and post it on your website. Not only do students love showcasing their own work, but teaching it will help them internalize it.
Did you know….
You Tube now has an educational site? Go to and take a look!

Do you think video editing is too difficult? Absolutely NOT!!! Magisto, is a FREE digital editing application that will do all the work for you! Just upload your video and the application will scan and pull out those repetitive or boring lulls to create a great video. Choose your music and you’re a professional!

MTRACT has a digital video camera that is here for your use. The video is streamed directly to the hard drive and a simple USB plug will transfer the files to your computers so there is no need for any memory cards.


Sept 13, 2011

14 07 2012

Hi everyone,

The tenth anniversary of 9-11 has been a very emotional time for us all. I wanted to share this video from the UFT and honor the teachers, secretaries, custodians, cafeteria staff, and administrators whose job it is to remain calm and protect the children in any scenario.

This video is a compilation of the stories of members of the UFT who were called upon on September 11, 2001.


Sept 7, 2011

14 07 2012

Hey everyone, it’s time to change your profile…….

You may have changed grades or even schools so you need to let My Learning Plan know. Please make sure you only choose ONE department – Example Grade1-3 OR Grade4-6 OR Art OR Elementary Special Ed TA OR Elementary Special Ed Teacher. You may choose multiple grades. If you’re teaching students in grades 10 and 11, choose those two options. Special subject areas may teach K-6. That’s ok – you may click on each grade level.

WHY is this so important? 

One very important reason is that your request is routed to the proper administrator for approval. If you check multiple departments, it will go to ALL of those administrators. Another reason is that you will not see the proper workshops if you’ve marked the wrong department or school.

If you are a traveling teacher, choose your home school as your building.

Next week, I will be locking all profiles so this is something you really need to do this week. It will only take a minute.

HOW do I change my profile?
1. Log into MLP
2. Go to the bottom left corner and you’ll see My User Profile
3. When you click on it you’ll see a form with your name as well as a place to select your building as well as your department and grade level…

For more information on MLP, you can go to the MTRACT website from the district page and choose My Learning Plan.

Thanks all – have a great day!!!!

Sept 6, 2011

14 07 2012
Hi everyone and welcome back!!!!

Hope you all weathered the storm without incident! Personally, I had no power for several days and was not a happy camper. Definitely time for a generator!

Here’s a couple of pictures from Massapequa and Freeport? Can you figure out which is which?

Glad to see many of you have visited the new MFT site and liked our Facebook page. Kudos to Bryan Piotrowski who came up with the idea to switch over to WordPress!

So, here we are – back, refreshed and ready to begin a brand new school year.

I have a couple of new web 2.0 tools for you to try. Of course, they’re free – would I give you something that wasn’t?

#1: Dynamo This is a vocabulary tool – you can create your own word challenge quiz or use one that has already been created. Various categories that you may choose include:

Grade Level: Elementary, middle school, high school

Subject Areas: Art, Business, Math, Sports, Religion, Science, Technology, Social Science and History, French, Latin, Spanish.

Standardized Tests: ACT, GMAT, GRE, LSAT, PSAT, SAT, TOEFL

#2: Pixtick
This is a FREE screen capture program. Use the PrintScreen button on your keyboard to copy the image of what is on your screen. Paste it into Pixtick where you can annotate, edit, save, mail, upload and share. The images of Dynamo and Pixtick are both screen captures. It’s a really useful tool!

Jun 1, 2011

14 07 2012

Hi everyone,

There are a few things that I’d like to share today.

The first is a letter to the Washington Post written by Carol Burris, principal of South Side High School in Rockville Centre. She really hits the nail on the head! Let’s hope that the NYS Department of Education realizes how they will be hurting students by making “the test” even more of the “focus” than it has been.

For the elementary teachers, this site has a really cute lesson called Using Angry Birds to Teach Math, History, and Science that uses three stations for learning and exploration.

The third is a website called Ten Tips for Personalized Learning via Technology that I think you’ll find very interesting. Enjoy it!

And finally this video on formative assessment was great – it’s about five minutes long highlighting diverse strategies for student learning. Remember that M-TRACT has a SMART Response kit for your use. Just call ahead to reserve it…

As always, have a great day!

May 24, 2011

14 07 2012

Hi everyone,

We’re coming down to the wire, things are crazy, EVERYONE’s busy, and the “tests” have either just finished or are around the bend.

The PDP Survey
As I do each year, the PDP survey has been posted in My Learning Plan. Many of you already know the reason for the survey but for those who are new, let me explain.

The district provides professional development during the school day as well as after school. All teachers are required to complete up to 15 hours of professional development annually and those teachers with professional certification need 175 hours every 5 years. It is very important that you are given professional development that is worthwhile and not a waste of your time. Hence the survey….

The survey is created by a committee that is comprised of administrators and union representatives. Once you complete it, I create a report including all your responses. That report is distributed to the Board of Education, all administrators and your union reps who will place the report in faculty rooms. Your administrators will use your responses in their planning for next year’s professional development.

Thanks for your help by filling out this survey…..

A Beautiful Video

And now, a video, “Inspirational Teacher Quotes”, that I think you’ll enjoy and you ALL deserve!!!

Enjoy your three day weekend – let’s pray for sun!!! 
(And please remember to go to My Learning Plan and fill out the survey….THANK YOU!!!)

Apr 11, 2011

14 07 2012

Hi everyone,

It’s been a long, cold, hard winter but with spring flowers about to bloom, spring weather about to begin and a well-deserved vacation around the corner, I thought I’d like to share this video. It will surely warm your heart.

As far as teacher centers, believe it or not we are in next year’s budget!!!! We are still waiting for Governor Cuomo to sign but it’s looking more positive than it’s been in quite some time.

While you are home relaxing, I thought you might enjoy looking at the following web tools (free of course!)

Animoto (Video Slide Shows)
Wallwisher – an online bulletin board (great for brainstorming – use it with your SMART Board)
linoit – online post-its – this TO DO list remains in “the cloud”. Your TO DO list is never farther than your closest computer. Daily reminders are sent to your email.

Have a GREAT week off!

Mar 3, 2011

14 07 2012

Hi everyone!

I found a neat website with lots of FREE educational videos. You can use them as an intro to your class or give the link to your students to reinforce a concept you’ve already covered. You’ll also find a link to the embed code in the upper right corner so you can easily insert the video into your blog or website.

Another great site for educational videos is
Take a look at this video on protecting your digital footprint. It’s short (a little under 5 minutes) but powerful! You might like to share it with your students, children, or grandchildren…

Have a great day!

Feb 14, 2011

14 07 2012

Hi everyone!

The snow is melting!!!! Finally – I’m beginning to actually see some grass on my front lawn.

Did you know there’s a Doodle for Google contest going on? Prizes include a $15,000 college scholarship for the winning student and a $25,000 technology grant for the winning school. Registration closes on March 2nd and entries must be postmarked by March 16th. NEW!!! If your school district is not participating, you can register your own child. Take a look at the video and the link below for additional information.

Also, I came across this list that I thought you might find interesting:

Top 10 Safe Search Engines
  1. Sweet Search – all content evaluated by experts including libraians and teachers/
  2. Top Marks – developed by teachers in the UK
  3. Quintura for Kids – very cool! You’ll love this – results are displayed in a cloud based style.
  4. Kid Rex – designed by parents and kids around Google’s safe search mechanism
  5. Ask Kids – ask a question and get your anser – designed for kids ages 6 – 12
  6. Yahoo Kids – the “old” Yahooligans
  7. Famhoo – family friendly (all content is filtered)
  8. One Key – developed in collaboation with Google Docs
  9. Google (Safe Search) – create your own safe search engine
  10. Nettrekker – for this one you have to purchase a subscription
Enjoy your week off – hopefully some of you are lucky and going somewhere WARM!!!!

Dec 14, 2010

14 07 2012

Happy Chanukah: Snow Covered Chanukah Menorahphoto © 2010 Dominic Alves | more info (via: Wylio)

Hi Everyone,

Sorry this is a little late but I hope you all had a wonderful Hannukah.

Have you ever heard of LiveBinders? This is a GREAT tool to organize your web resources. Basically what you are doing is creating a binder online – “no more paper, no more books”!!!!

Here are a couple of examples of live binders that others have shared – remember web 2.0 is all about sharing…Create, Share, Use….

A Social Studies Binder:
U.S. Presidents for Kids:

To create your own binder, go to

Here are some more websites that you may be interested in.

Presentation Tool – why reinvent the wheel? Share your presentation and use others. This is a database of presentations that you are free to add to as well as use!

Biology – Hands on activities (worksheets AND teacher materials):

In case I don’t get back to you before next week, have a well-deserved week off and happy and healthy Christmas, Kwaanza, and New Year!
christmas tree 2004photo © 2004 scott feldstein | more info (via: Wylio)