Resources at Mr. Flores Reads!
I frequently create new pages to meet a particular need in my classroom. I add them to my website for my easy online access. Not all of the pages here are about books or reading, but I thought I would share them anyway. There are lots more math resources also available.
Feel free to use any of these in your own classroom. If you modify or repost them, I only ask that you give me credit by linking back to this site. I hope you find at least some of them useful. Enjoy!
|Lots of math resources - A whole section devoted to just math resources!!
|MBE Links and Resources - A dynamically searchable page of links submitted by the teachers at my school, Mission Bell Elementary. There are some really cool sites in there!
String to Screen
|String to Screen - I often use passages to have my students practice proofreading, parts of speech identification, or some such activity that would benefit from an extended passage rather than a simple sentence or two. I use this to display the passage on a whiteboard using a digital projector attached to my computer.
One Word at a Time
|One Word at a Time - This page will display text one word at a time. Simply type or paste text into the textarea and push the start button. I use this to display a list of words on a whiteboard using a digital projector attached to my computer. Basically, this is a high-tech set of word flash cards. We practice a decoding rule, I type up some words, paste them in here, and my students take turns reading the words displayed. Everyone can see them from anywhere in the room.
|Decoding - This page is like a set of sound-spelling (phonics) cards without the fumbling around that comes with loose cards. The teacher can choose sets of "cards" to use and the page will generate countless nonsense words to practice decoding skills. It will even provide a link to saved settings so you can share it to students to practice on their own.
Zap Reader Stories
|Zap Reader Stories - There is a cool free service that will take plain text and display it rapidly on-screen, one word at a time. I have a growing collection of texts that are set up to simply and easily integrate with that site to allow students to speed up their reading game!
Random Sentence Generator
|Random Sentence Generator - This page will produce a link to a page that will produce random sentences. The sentences can be copied to worksheets or displayed on a projector. Options can be set for sentence complexity, number of sentences, and output format. I use these sentences for grammar practice, visualizing and verbalizing, story starters, and anything else I need sentences for!
|Paragraph Prompts - Displays an interesting picture along with step-by-step instructions to allow students to write a paragraph about the picture. The steps are based on the program Step Up to Writing. The picture changes on a weekly basis, and students can click on the image to see a larger version. Teachers can use the Prompt Picker to select a specific week to display or share with students using classroom links.
|Printing Practice - Most years I would have enough students arrive to my second grade classroom with poor letter formation that I would do whole-class lessons and daily practice in an effort to remediate their penmanship. In 2015, most of the kids had decent printing skills and I only had about 10 that I was concerned about. So I wrote a program to print half-sheets of letter practice just for them!
|Context Clues Activity - I used some reading passages from edhelper.com to help my remedial 6th graders practice using context to discover meaning of unknown words.
|Grading Investigation - This is a "stand-alone" version of an article I wrote. It includes probably more than you ever wanted to know about finding averages. While researching this, I felt like I was taking a statistics class! Also includes a program I wrote to demonstrate the various methods used to compute the averages or "central tendencies". (I made this a separate page so I could link directly to it without all the other Mr. Flores Reads stuff.)
|Happiness Practice - I read somewhere that smiling actually can help make you happier, even if the smile is "forced". Some study found that making the long /ē/ sound, forces the face into a smile position. So I made a series of slides that help us practice smiling and, hopefully, make us a little happier!
|Loudness Indicator - I used to have a really cool noise meter called the "Yacker Tracker". Unfortunately, it died after one too many drops to the floor. They are pretty expensive, so instead of buying a new one, I would make PowerPoint presentations that I could display to let kids know when they were getting too loud. The effect is the same: kids notice that they are too loud by some external signal, so they quiet themselves down.
I hated having to start up a separate program all the time, and the files were large and inconvenient. So I decided to try to write a web-based version to see if I could. Here is what I came up with.
When I use it in class, I will display it on the computer screen but not always on the projector since bulbs are sooooo expensive. The computer is on a rolling cart high enough that students can see it over each others' heads. I will also often use my remote mousepad/keyboard or assign a responsible student to increase or decrease the level indicator so I don't have to go over to the computer from wherever I happen to be working.
|Simple Dice - Roll 1 to 5 dice. Has option for using without sound. I had trouble finding a simple online dice roller that didn't have ads, so I made my own! We use this instead of hard plastic dice (too loud) or soft foam dice (bouncy and always getting damamaged).
|Game Spinner - Online spinner with various layout options including 1-10 and 0-9, as well as a few custom layouts. This tool is used every day! Most of our math facts practice games need some kind of spinner, so I can easily add custom layouts as needed. If you have an activity that uses a spinner that is not yet included here, contact me and I may be able to set it up for you.
BTW, if you are interested in the math games that go along with the spinners, they come from these really good resources called Mastering the Basic Math Facts from Heinemann Publishing.
|Scoreboard - A simple display for keeping track of team points for in-class review games. Can display scores for 1–6 players/teams, customizable bonus point amounts and sounds, and a few different display themes.
|the Box - A prompt is displayed asking students to list up to 5 things that belong to the given category. After a given amount of time, they share their answers and receive points for matching other student responses (thinking in the box) or for NOT matching any others (thinking outside the box). The teacher sets options for play (inside the box, outside the box, or random), timer length, number of responses, and sound. The teacher can even edit the prompts or add their own!
|Copy-Paste Character - I use certain special characters on a regular basis, but they are hard to access directly from the keyboard. I made this page so I can just click on the character I need. It is automagically copied, then I can easily paste it as needed!
|Mr. Flores Helps You Spell - Even though we live in the future, most of my students still don't keyboard well enough to write whole paragraphs or essays directly on the computer (but we practice daily!). When they write longhand, they often need help spelling a word. So I made this page. They can start typing a word they need, and the list of possible words is displayed, from which they are usually able to find the word they need. Even if they started spelling it wrong, as long as they are reasonably close, the word (usually) shows up. If you find that your students are not able to locate the word(s) they need, let me know. They are easy to add.
Hot Potatoes Learning Activities
|Hot Potatoes Learning Activities - The freeware Windows and Java (for Mac) program Hot Potatoes makes it easier to create online interactive multiple-choice, short-answer, jumbled-sentence, crossword, matching/ordering and gap-fill exercises. Notice I said "easier", not "easy"; it does take a little coding to get the templates to look and behave the way you want them. I spent a summer building a few beginning level (Kindergarten – 2nd grade) activities for reading, counting money, telling time, and early critical thinking.