Author Archives: Amber Matty

Discovery Education Hosts Professional Development Sessions for Teachers

Wood County Schools teachers and students have free access to the Discovery Education Experience until June 30, 2020. If you would like to learn more about the platform and how to use it with students, please click on the link below to visit the DE “upcoming events” page and check out their calendar for online PD sessions. Most sessions appear to be only 30 minutes in length and are repeated multiple times each week.

Free Learning Resources for Teachers and Students

First and foremost, hello and I hope you are staying safe, well, and continuing to social distance and wash your hands! If you are like me, days and nights are running together, it is hard for me to remember what the actual date is, and I am looking for anything to help keep me in a new “normal routine.” With all of the negative we are faced with day after day, I have also had to be very mindful to look for the positives in each day and situation.

When it comes to teaching and education, the same proves true. We can get caught up in the “rabbit hole” of focusing on the negatives of our new “teaching and learning normal.” We have and are continuing to work through the challenges of distance teaching and learning virtually overnight, we all miss our colleagues (even the ones who heat leftover fish and broccoli up in the teacher’s lounge), we miss our classrooms and the challenges and celebrations that each day would bring, and most of all we miss our students and the joy they bring to our lives.

Let’s pause: What if we change our mindset?

What if now is the time for us to focus on reimagining what teaching and learning looks, feels, and sounds like? What if this is our opportunity to have time to create new lessons, reflect and refresh our teaching practices, find ways for students to be more creative with their learning, or find new tools to help students engage in lessons?

This is an excellent time for those things. Why? Because in response to COVID-19, there has been an outpouring of support by many educational companies, app developers, and learning platforms who have decided to give teachers and students free access to use their tools and platforms through the end of this school year- and some for even more extended periods of time. Now is a perfect time to try out some of these resources and also partake in many of the free online PD sessions they are offering with their products!

I hope you get the opportunity to check out some of the resources that have been compiled. If you have questions or need help getting started, please do not hesitate to reach out! Enjoy!

Discovery Education -Enjoy free access through June 30, 2020 to content for virtually any subject and grade level. Browse the collection for virtual field trips, skill builders, activities, challenges, and videos from many DE partners including MythBusters, MLB, NBA, Shark Week, and many, many more. Login Required (an email was sent to teachers about this). If needed, please email Amber Matty ( for assistance with login information.

Scholastic Learn at Home -Cross curricular projects based on a meaningful story or video

World Book Online World Book Encyclopedia online- eBooks are available plus video and an early learning area built into the site. Requires username & password.

Username: 4west

Password: virginia

CommonLit -Quality reading passages for grades 3-12. Includes parent guides, read aloud options, translation options, questions, and other tools. Students can search the library according to book, genre, grade level, theme, etc. Also includes some Spanish texts. 

Book Creator– Do your kids like making stories and books? Create a Book Creator account!

App Store for iPad-

Web Version- 

Epic! -Epic! is a digital library for kids 12 & under. Epic is free for teachers!

Storyline Online Online read alouds provided by the Screen Actor’s Guild.

Abdo Digital Bookshelf Free access until May 31st

Bluford High eAudiobooks

Urban high school stories

eSebco Library Site

450 multiuser ebooks- PreK to Adult

Username: keepreading

Password: sebco

Student ID#: 1

Free until June 30

Lit2Go Free online collection of stories and poems- Classic literary & primary documents

Math Learning Center Online collection of manipulatives including: Fractions, Math Clock, Money Pieces, Geoboard, Math Vocabulary, Number Frames, Number Line, Number Rack, Number Pieces, Pattern Shapes (Apps are downloadable through Apple App Store and the Chrome Store if you have tablets available) 

Illuminations: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Lessons and activities for various grade level math topics and skills. There are also interactives- games and math tools for students to explore.

Bedtime– Bedtime Math is a national nonprofit that ignites kids’ curiosity and learning by unleashing the fun in math. It offers playful online math problems for parents to do with their kids every day, as well as lively hands-on games.

Steve Spangler Science Science experiments

Mystery Science Science mini-lessons, explorations, and activities

San Diego Zoo

Cincinatti Zoo The zoo is closed, however, they are bringing the zoo to you! Live zoo safari- daily at 3:00 pm

Animal Web Cams

Scratch Create stories, games, and animations using coding skills

Code.org Kids create projects using computer science skills and coding

DuoLingo Learn a new language or practice the one you’re currently learning!

Tinkercad Design in 3D!

Go Noodle Fun exercise, movement, and mindfulness activities and videos 

Brain Pop/Brain Pop Jr./Brain Pop ELL/Brain Pop for Educators– Animated movies and activities that encourage self-directed learning and exploration of the world

***Free access to all BrainPop resources for Wood County students and educators as long as school is closed due to Coronavirus***

Login: WoodCoWV

Password: Wood1234

Khan Academy – Learning resources for students Pre-K through 12th Grade & college prep. Parents can sign up for free and create a login for their child(ren).

Expeditions– Explore the world with Expeditions! Explore history, science, the arts, and the natural world using Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality.

Access the TumbleBook Library- Free! Now Through August 31st

A big THANK YOU to the Vienna Public Library for sharing….undefined

Tumblebooks is offering free, unlimited access to their K-6 children’s e-books through August 31st, 2020! All books are available instantly, with no holds, checkouts, or downloads needed. You can access their books from any device, and there is no limit as to how many books you are allowed to read. To access TumbleBooks, please visit the following site and use the login credentials below:

Username: tumble735

Password: books

The TumbleBooks app is also available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store:

Happy Reading!

Math Resources for Teachers

Are you looking for tools to help your students with math concepts and skills? Look no further than the Math Learning Center! Their free apps- Geoboard, Fractions, Math Clock, Number Frames, Number Pieces, Math Vocabulary Cards, Money Pieces, Number Line, Number Rack, and Pattern Shapes- are now available as web apps! This is great news for iPads that are unable to download apps at this time. Direct students to go to (or navigate them there through the Classroom app) to…

…and then tap on “open web app” under the app icon. There is even a beta version of a partial product finder.

As always, if you would like help integrating these resources into your lessons or help with the Classroom app, please feel free to reach out to a TIS. We are happy to help!

You can also find these web apps directly from our site.

11 Things Students Can Do on iPads Without Wi-Fi

In the days of instant connection and constant access to the internet, we can find ourselves getting carried away in the land of the interwebs. Many of our lessons include online components, digital teaching materials that need connectivity, and online tools and manipulatives that students and teachers depend upon during instruction and work time.

And then………. you hear it. Your head starts to spin and your stomach starts to feel queazy. “Staff, this is Principal Pal. The internet is down and we don’t know when it will be back up.” You turn and look at your class and then look down at your lesson plans. Your perfect lesson with technology integration has just been destroyed.

Does any of this sound familiar? Of course not. But if you’d like a few ideas that will get your gears grinding, go ahead and read on. Oh. And if you’d like help with any of these ideas, feel free to hop on over to the “Let’s Collaborate” link and have a TIS come help!

1. Use Pages or Microsoft Word to Create a Project 

Aside from general word processing tasks, these two apps have a lot of potential. Each one includes many project templates to choose from. Explore the available options and allow your students to create a project that showcases what they have learned!

2. Use Keynote or PowerPoint to Create a Book

Yes, Keynote and PowerPoint apps allow students to create slideshow presentations. However, don’t let that be your only option! Treat each slide as a book page. Allow students to add shapes, text, pictures, and drawings to make their stories come alive! Also, you can export the files as a .PDF and copy them to the Books app on the iPad. Students will be able to open their projects in the Books app and read it like other e-books. 

3. Use Numbers to Create a Graphic Organizer

Some folks think of Numbers as just a spreadsheet application. It can do so much more! Have students open a new spreadsheet. Delete the table. Have them tap on the + and then tap on the shapes tab (circle & square). Students can use many different shapes, lines, arrows, etc. to create flow charts, graphic organizers, and other tools to organize information. Students have the ability to add text inside shapes by double tapping on the shape. 

4. Use Notes as a Whiteboard App

Have students open up the Notes app. They can tap on the pen at the bottom to use the markup tools to write and create visuals to show understanding of the topic at hand. 

5. Camera Scavenger Hunt

Have students go on a scavenger hunt for things they are learning about. For example, students could be given a list of geometry terms (right angle, obtuse angle, acute angle, intersecting lines, parallel lines, etc.). Give them the task of snapping a photo of something that is an example of that term. They can also use the markup tools to show further understanding of the concepts.

6. Voice Memos for Reading Fluency

Try using the Voice Memos app at your reading fluency station. Have students record themselves reading for a selected amount of time. They can listen to their recordings and follow along in the text. Students will be able to hear if they are including pauses for commas, using proper phrasing, etc. 

7. Use Camera and Clips or Keynote to Create a Six Word Story

Students must create a story using only six words! They can use photos that they take to help convey the message or theme of the story. Markup tools or formatting tools within the apps will allow students to add the words to their story. 

8. Use Voice Memos to Create an Interview or Podcast

Students could create an interview script with a friend and record or pick a topic and record a podcast segment. 

9. Explore Using Hyperlinks in Keynote or PowerPoint to Create a Quiz Game

Did you know you can create quiz games by linking slides together in Keynote or PowerPoint? Students could be responsible for certain reading materials and then create a game that others can play to learn the most important content. 

10. Create a Soundtrack or a Song Using GarageBand

Students can use loops and instruments in GarageBand to create music for projects. Also, give them a challenge to create a song or a rap about a particular topic! 

11. Explore the Measure App

Need to measure something? Need to compare lengths? Use the Measure app! The Measure app uses AR, augmented reality, to set points on objects to measure distance. Students can take screen shots of the measurements and add to their photos.