Daily Teaching Tools Blog

Nov 14, 2016

I Visited While You Were Teaching!

Continue reading "I Visited While You Were Teaching!"

Oct 28, 2016

Happy 6th Birthday, Tools!

This last week of October six years ago today found me trying to launch a new website for my colleagues. By the end of that month, Daily Teaching Tools rose slowly into the internet with one single page aboard.

Somehow over the course of those ten final days of October, fifteen teachers magically arrived for an exploratory visit.

Thanks to each of you for giving this vessel direction.

Tools is now clocking 125,000+ monthly visitors and growing. Nearly two million teachers have explored the 140+ pages (and increasing) that wire this site.

You are the fuel in this journey. Thank you, my fellow teacher, for giving this craft speed.

I raise my glass to you.

Continue reading "Happy 6th Birthday, Tools!"

Oct 11, 2016

Get Your Free Resource Packet!

I’d like to bring a free, 18-page teacher resource packet to you at your school this month. But, there is one little caveat:

You have to be a teacher in Chattanooga or Nashville, Tennessee; Louisville or Lexington, Kentucky; the Sevierville region of Tennessee; Columbia, South Carolina; or Savannah, Georgia.

This packet (3 pages shown here) contains graphic organizers, practice reading tests, a complete reading comprehension activity, and others materials that can be used straight out of the folders I’m bringing.

Although I’d love to meet you, I don’t plan to disturb your instructional day in any way. As a result, I’ll be happy to leave them with your front office staff.

If you’d like me to stop by, just follow the permalink below—but, hurry. We leave in just a few days!

Continue reading "Get Your Free Resource Packet!"

Sep 29, 2016

Jigsaws DON’T have to be Puzzling…

For full details plus a free, sample preview, just follow the permalink below.

Continue reading "Jigsaws DON’T have to be Puzzling…"

Sep 12, 2016

Stunning Warms Ups for Language Arts

For full details plus a free, fully-functioning demo, just follow the permalink below.

Continue reading "Stunning Warms Ups for Language Arts"

Aug 26, 2016

A Special Note for You

Continue reading "A Special Note for You"

Aug 08, 2016

On Task as Soon as They Enter

Today’s warm up activity is visible, and the kids are on-task right away—with just one click of the mouse!

Get Set…Go!, Volume 1 is a stunning PowerPoint presentation containing 45 warm up activities and solutions for language arts students, grades 5-9

There are 9, 5-minute activities (with looping animations) for each of the following 5 word/vocabulary skills:

  • Avoiding Cliches
  • Distinguishing Confusing Words, Part 1
  • Distinguishing Confusing Words, Part 2
  • Synonyms and Antonyms
  • Solving Analogies

And there are WAY more bells and whistles with these puppies than space allows here.

For full details, AND the complete, fully-functioning demo, just follow the permalink below.

Continue reading "On Task as Soon as They Enter"

Jul 24, 2016

First-Time Meeting with a Guest Author

Yep, that’s yours truly with Tools’ very first guest author, Janice Malone. We met up in Mousetown (you probably call it “Orlando”), Florida, for a TpT conference last week.

As mentioned in the title of this post, meeting up with a teacher who visits this site is truly a rarity. But, to meet someone who has actually written an article for Daily Teaching Tools was something I had never imagined.

If you haven’t had a chance to read Janice’s guest author’s post entitled, “Writing Secrets: Inspiration in a Remedial Writing Lab,” check it out when you have a chance.

More importantly, Janice’s many TpT instructional resources for language arts teachers may be just what you’ve been looking for as we begin preparing for the new school year!

To see if you agree with me, just follow the permalink below for her complete listing.

Continue reading "First-Time Meeting with a Guest Author"

Jun 22, 2016

New Classroom Website Honoree

The class of 2028? Is anybody really that young?!?

These cute, little kindergartners who attend Mr. Krokos’s class certainly are. The bountiful slideshows, song videos, and class project vignettes posted on this site are truly heart-warming.

If you want an idea or two for your classroom site, or if you just want your awww moment for the day, just follow the permalink below. By the way, Mr. Krokos plays a mean Hendrix-esque Star Spangled Banner that really is a must-see-listen.

Do you have a website you’d like to nominate? It’s simple and easy!

Continue reading "New Classroom Website Honoree"

Jun 03, 2016

You’ve Really Earned This!

You’ve probably been set free by now, or you soon will be...

Congratulations on getting to your summer break! When you’ve had a chance to catch your breath and all of the daily demands begin to loosen their grip on your gray matter, come on by and visit Tools!

We have a new feature called Trending in Our Classrooms, and it will have lots of creative ideas about things that you may like to do with your kids in the coming school year.

Because Trending in Our Classrooms is updated daily, you’re sure to find some compelling strategies, resources, and tech ideas that will be well-suited for opening a new school year with style and substance.

To see today’s issue, simply follow the permalink below. Or, if you would care to continue reading the article shown above, just click on its boxed image.

Thank you for all you did for your kids during this school year and for all the things you will do with that new bunch that will come your way soon!

Continue reading "You’ve Really Earned This!"

May 25, 2016

Wish I Could’ve Met You!

Continue reading "Wish I Could’ve Met You!"

May 03, 2016

Innovative Classroom Website

Won’t you take a moment to look at this?!?

It’s a classroom website that features a horizontal collage of photos running at topside—and, they provide the navigation to the contents.

The visitor simply selects a thumbnail photo of interest to link into and explore what you might expect to find on such a site, along with a variety of resources. These include GO Math!, the Oakland Public Library, Khan Academy, PBS Learning Media, and TIME Edge, to name a few.

Many thanks to Maurice Williams, a multi-subject seventh grade teacher at the American Indian Public School in Oakland, California, for submitting this for a website award.

To have a look for yourself, just click the horizontal collage above. Or, to nominate your classroom website, simply follow the permalink below.

Continue reading "Innovative Classroom Website"

Apr 20, 2016

Freebies Delivered Personally!

I’m going to grab my bundles of free teaching resources and get back on the road again.

If you teach in Chattanooga, Nashville, or Knoxville, TN; Lexington, KY; Columbia, SC; or Savannah, GA, I’ll be headed your way during the first and second week of May.

If I promise not to disturb your instructional day, would you care if I stop by?

Each of my free bundles contains…

  • 4 Graphic Organizers
  • 3 Practice Reading Tests
  • 1 Reading Comprehension Classroom Activity
  • 2 Enrichment Puzzles
  • 25 Reader’s Response Writing Prompts

I’ll only bug your front office people--what you’re doing is far more important than entertaining a teacher from another part of the country.

I’d love to receive an informal invitation. Just follow the permalink below, and I’ll do my best to get there!

Continue reading "Freebies Delivered Personally!"

Apr 04, 2016

7 Tools for Literacy in the Digital Age

Teachers have been always dreamed of ways to save their time and energy while staying productive.

Dreams do come true, and I’m happy to live in a time when teachers can effortlessly and effectively work with students.

This is because of the variety of online tools that have been developed for educational needs. I’ve tried many of them, and I chose 7 of the best that both my students and I enjoy using in the classroom.

And now, I’d like to share my collection with you! To continue reading, just follow the permalink below.

Have some classroom ideas that you’d like to share? Just drop a few sentences here or participate as a guest author yourself and get $50 worth of products free!

Continue reading "7 Tools for Literacy in the Digital Age"

Mar 09, 2016

All 29 Mini Lessons Updated and Ready!

Grab them individually for less than the price of lunch, OR save 50% on the following bundles:

They all run nicely on ALL of the most popular web browsers--whether you use Windows or Mac, these guys are ready to start teaching for you.

Continue reading "All 29 Mini Lessons Updated and Ready!"

Feb 20, 2016

They’re Back…

Those animated, reading comprehension tutors have returned. And, they’re even better the second time around!

The newly-updated Comprehension Bundle includes the following 7 mini lessons:

  • Using Context Clues
  • Identifying Cause and Effect
  • Distinguishing Fact and Opinion
  • Comparison and Contrast
  • Recognizing Supporting Details
  • Identifying the Main Idea
  • Making Inferences

They all run nicely on all of the most popular web browsers. So, whether you use Windows or Mac, these guys are ready to start teaching for you.

With free trials available and a 50% discount on the purchase price, what’s not to like? For full details, free trials, and that money-saving offer, just follow the permalink below.

Continue reading "They’re Back…"

Feb 12, 2016

Fun Lessons on a Budget

5 Ways to inject fun into lessons without busting your budget is the focus of this article from our newest guest author.

Susan Lee, an elementary teacher with 30 years of classroom experience, shares her ideas for incorporating choice, building movement into the flow of lessons, and staging context-targeted drama to engage student interest and enthusiasm.

Additionally, Susan discusses 2 more strategies for adding elements of fun into the classroom experience. For complete details, just follow the permalink below.

Have some classroom ideas that you’d like to share? Just drop a few sentences here, or participate as a guest author yourself and get $50 worth of products free!

Continue reading "Fun Lessons on a Budget"

Jan 28, 2016

Let our Subs do the Teaching for You!

Take a break from your kids for awhile...

Just grab your Windows or Mac computer, launch your favorite web browser, follow the lesson link of your choice, and relax for a bit. Your kids are in good hands!

The 7 newly-updated mini lessons found in The Literature Bundle are…

  • The Importance of Reading
  • Introducing Literature
  • Determining the Author’s Purpose
  • The Elements of Setting
  • Characterization
  • The Elements of Plot
  • How to Summarize
Plus, a word search and a crossword puzzle for each of these lessons are included in the bundle.

If you like what you see in the free trials, you may snag these mini lessons individually or save 50% with the purchase of the bundle.

For complete details and access links, please follow the permalink below.

Continue reading "Let our Subs do the Teaching for You!"

Jan 14, 2016

Ooops!!!

Unfortunately, ALL of the MicroLessons are temporarily inoperable.

Yep. Free and full trials of every last one of them…

When I discovered this just a couple of days ago, I got back to my chair from the floor, researched the problem (the source of which may surprise you), rolled up my sleeves, and got immediately to work.

All of the MicroLessons will be back up and fully-functioning no later than March 30 of this year. The first group of 7 comprising the Literature Bundle should be done on or before January 28.

If you were unable to preview the free trials, please bookmark the MicroLesson page(s) that interest you. Then, come on back from time to time to see if they’re ready for a test drive.

If you have already purchased MicroLesson(s), I will send you replacements completely free of charge. Just follow the permalink below to fill out the brief Product Update Request and to learn the details of what happened and what I’m doing to fix it.

And finally, there are pleasant surprises coming!

Continue reading "Ooops!!!"

Dec 22, 2015

From my Home to Yours

There’s no place like home for the holidays, as they sing. And this is, indeed, a time for us to sing in whatever manner makes us and our loved ones happy. Best wishes from my home to yours!

Continue reading "From my Home to Yours"

Nov 08, 2015

New Literature Resources

Truly a high school English teacher’s delight, Tracey Rains’ award-winning site, Logophiles Unleashed!, offers a ton of useful content.

Included here are reference and interactive materials for literature commonly taught in most schools, including To Kill a Mockingbird, Romeo and Juliet, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and The Bridge of San Luis Rey.

Mrs. Rains, who is a Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Award recipient for 2015, actively employs social media on her site, and student commentary reveals their engagement and enthusiasm. Through her efforts with Donors Choose, a website that helps schools fund educational projects, Mrs. Rice’s greatly-expanded classes received enough funding to purchase copies of The Bridge of San Luis Rey.

To have a look for yourself, just click the pair of books above. Or, to nominate your classroom website, simply follow the permalink below.

Continue reading "New Literature Resources"

Oct 14, 2015

Free Treasures for Math Teachers

Loads of free math resources can be found on our newest, outstanding classroom website.

Ms. Rice, a seventh grade math teacher and Harvard graduate, is the creator of this clean, uncluttered, web resource for her students and their parents. And, it’s stacked with great content.

There are numerous how-to-do-math videos on topics that are way beyond me. A small sampling of these topics include order of operations, absolute value, and my personal favorite, expanding and factoring using the distributive property.

Say what?

Another great resource that Ms. Rice has included here is a collection of tutorials from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Math Steps. I’m not as strong in math as Ms. Rice’s kids soon will be, but I think she has created a great reference and model for math teachers everywhere.

To have a look for yourself, just follow the permalink below. Or, to nominate your classroom website, simply click on the award shown above.

Continue reading "Free Treasures for Math Teachers"

Sep 27, 2015

Wish I Could’ve Met You!

Continue reading "Wish I Could’ve Met You!"

Aug 06, 2015

Save 50% on the Parts of Speech Bundle

Yeah. You read that headline right!

Tablet Tutor: Parts of Speech Bundle, covering all 8 parts of speech, is now available at 50% off the price of purchasing the mini lessons individually.

Plus, you get the Bonus Enrichment Pack absolutely free of charge!

The Tablet Tutor: Parts of Speech Bundle will run on any internet-connected device (except for smartphones).

No matter what type of technology is available to the kids at your school, I sincerely hope that they learn just as much as I did while developing these apps. And, hopefully, they’ll have just as much fun.

Fully-operational demos of all the mini lessons included in this bundle, along with details about that Free Bonus Enrichment Pack, are at the other end of the permalink below. Enjoy what’s left of your summer!

Continue reading "Save 50% on the Parts of Speech Bundle"

Jul 31, 2015

Conjunction Junction? Nope...

Group sing-alongs? Nope. Interactive learning? That’s a big, ginormous, Absolutely Yep!

"Identifying Conjunctions and Interjections," the final parts of speech app in the Tablet Tutor collection, is ready for a test drive.

In case you missed this over the last couple of months, Tablet Tutor will run on any internet-connected device (except for smartphones). Just point your kids’ browser to this interactive resource, and let them learn, individually and interactively.

Upon completion, your new kids will be able to…

  • list the seven coordinating conjunctions.
  • define acronym and explain how it relates to conjunctions.
  • recognize conjunctions that connect words, phrases, and clauses.
  • define independent clause, run on sentence, and compound sentence.
  • define and give examples of interjections.
  • identify conjunctions and interjections in sample sentences.
  • demonstrate mastery by successfully completing an online evaluation.
For that free, no-holds-barred, test drive (along with screenshots and complete details), just follow the permalink below.

Continue reading "Conjunction Junction? Nope..."

Jul 27, 2015

Prepositions are Painless…

Especially if you don’t have to teach them!

Just point your kids’ browser to this interactive resource, and let Lakeisha do the heavy lifting for you. Identify Prepositions, the 6th mini lesson in the parts of speech series for Tablet Tutor will run on any internet-connected device (except for smartphones).

Upon completion, those kids coming your way soon will be able to…

  • identify prepositions that are positional words.
  • recognize prepositions that are not positional in nature.
  • recognize that objects of prepositions can be nouns or pronouns.
  • demonstrate how to locate objects of prepositions.
  • distinguish prepositional phrases used as adjectives and adverbs.
  • identify prepositional phrases in sample sentences.
  • demonstrate mastery by successfully completing an online evaluation.
For a fully-functioning, free download along with screenshots and complete details, just follow the permalink below.

Continue reading "Prepositions are Painless…"

Jul 22, 2015

If it Quacks like a Duck…

It’s a duck! And, if it answers one of the adverb questions, it’s an adverb. That’s the message for kids in Identify Adverbs, the 5th mini lesson in the parts of speech series for Tablet Tutor.

If you haven’t caught previous news releases, the Tablet Tutor collection of mini lessons will run on any internet-connected device (except for smartphones).

Upon completion, those kids coming at you soon will be able to…

  • list the three parts of speech that adverbs describe.
  • list the four questions that adverbs answer about the words that they describe.
  • demonstrate how to find adverbs that describe three parts of speech.
  • recognize a common suffix used with adverbs.
  • recognize appropriate locations for adverbs in sentences.
  • identify adverbs in sample sentences.
  • demonstrate mastery by successfully completing an online evaluation.
A fully-functioning, free download along with screenshots and complete details await your next breather from a well-deserved summer hiatus.

Continue reading "If it Quacks like a Duck…"

Jul 18, 2015

Verbs & Adjectives & Pronouns, oh My!

Yes, Identify Verbs, the 4th mini lesson in the parts of speech series for Tablet Tutor, is now available. If you haven’t caught previous news releases, the Tablet Tutor collection of mini lessons will run on any internet-connected device (except for smartphones).

Upon completion, the kids coming to you soon will be able to…

  • define verbs.
  • list two types of action verbs.
  • recognize the three basic tenses of verbs.
  • list samples of linking verbs.
  • distinguish helping verbs and main verbs.
  • identify verb phrases in sample sentences.
  • recognize that verbs are required in every predicate.
  • demonstrate mastery by successfully completing an online evaluation.

If you can set aside a few spare moments from your summer break, a free download along with screenshots and complete details are waiting at the other end of the permalink below.

Continue reading "Verbs & Adjectives & Pronouns, oh My!"

Jul 12, 2015

Teach Adjectives while Grading Papers

You deserve a break! Teach your kids how to identify adjectives while you grade papers, work on lesson plans, or separate the two unruly knuckleheads in the back of your classroom.

Identifying Adjectives, like all of the other mini lessons in the Tablet Tutor collection, will run on any internet-connected device (except for smartphones).

Simply direct your kids to the target URL, and upon completion, they will be able to…

  • define adjectives.
  • identify the two parts of speech that adjectives describe.
  • list the three questions that adjectives answer about the words they describe.
  • recognize that adjectives may come before or after the words they describe.
  • list common adjective suffixes.
  • recognize that articles are also adjectives.
  • identify adjectives in sample sentences.
  • demonstrate mastery by successfully completing an online evaluation.

Have a trusted student inform you when they’ve finished, and that’s it! For complete details, screenshots, and a fully-functioning free download, just follow the permalink below.

Continue reading "Teach Adjectives while Grading Papers"

Jul 05, 2015

New Pronoun Mini Lesson Available

Identify Pronouns, like all of the mini lessons in the Tablet Tutor collection, will run on any internet-connected device (except for smartphones).

Upon completion of instruction, students will be able to…

  • define pronouns.
  • recognize that all pronouns have antecedents.
  • identify pronouns correctly in sample sentences.
  • distinguish first, second, and third person personal pronouns.
  • recognize possessive pronouns.
  • locate subject and object pronouns.
  • demonstrate mastery by successfully completing an online evaluation.

For complete details, screenshots, and a fully-functioning free download, just follow the permalink below.

Continue reading "New Pronoun Mini Lesson Available"

Jun 12, 2015

Have a Great Summer!



You’ve probably been set free by now, or you soon will be.

When you’ve had a chance to catch your breath and all of the daily demands begin to loosen their grip on your gray matter, come on by and visit Tools!

We have a new feature called Trending in Our Classrooms, and it will have lots of creative ideas about things that you may like to do with your kids in the coming school year.

Because Trending in Our Classrooms is updated daily, you’re sure to find some compelling strategies, resources, and tech ideas that will be well-suited for opening a new school year with style and substance.

To see today’s issue, just follow the permalink below. And, most importantly…

Congratulations and thank you for all you did for your kids during this school year and all for all the things you will do with that new bunch that will come your way soon.

Continue reading "Have a Great Summer!"

May 26, 2015

Facebook & Instagram in Your Classroom

10 ideas for using social media in your classroom is the focus of this well-written Guest Author’s Toolbox post by Amy Williams. Several of these ideas never occurred to me, and I must confess, I’d never heard of a new kid on the block called Kahoot!

She makes a solid and compelling case for transforming our kids’ fascination with social media into a powerful set of learning tools.

Amy’s post also includes 4 solid strategies for protecting yourself in the social media age and documented research supporting her conclusions.

For complete details and that list of 10 ideas for using social media in your classroom, just follow the permalink below.

Continue reading "Facebook & Instagram in Your Classroom"

May 25, 2015

Jigsaw Activity

Hello, I just came across your website. I have been taking a teaching certificate course, and we have been learning about jigsaw activities. Although

Continue reading "Jigsaw Activity"

May 10, 2015

New: Daily Teachers' Resources

The first issue of Trending Today in Our Classrooms, a free daily publication for teachers, is now online.

Today’s issue features lesson ideas for your classroom, elementary math games, Google Goggles for image search, as well as 6 additional posts for teachers.

Samples of recently archived posts include…

  • publishing platforms for K-12 students
  • 101 ways for teachers to be more creative
  • a humorous look at the 20 types of teachers
  • 40 comprehension strategies
  • how to make virtual field trips
Trending Today in Our Classrooms supersedes Time for Teachers, and in my opinion, having new pertinent content every day makes this publication superior to its predecessor.

Please follow the permalink below to see if you agree with me.

Continue reading "New: Daily Teachers' Resources"

Apr 28, 2015

Social Studies Practice Materials

Coach Rick Bailey from Pilot Point Texas posts detailed weekly lesson plans on his site that serve as a syllabus as well as a study guide for both US History and World Geography classes.

Study sets and online quizzes utilizing the Quizlet app are featured prominently here.

With Spark Notes, STAAR Review presentations, and a “Crash Course” in history via an extensive collection of YouTube videos, students in Coach Bailey’s class are certainly not in a position to complain about a lack of study materials.

Rick’s site is the most recent one to be featured on our Best Websites Awards page. Have a classroom website that could use some recognition? Tell us about it!

And, to explore Coach Bailey’s resources, just follow the permalink below.

Continue reading "Social Studies Practice Materials"

Apr 14, 2015

CHAMPs Companion Now Online!

Sally (shown below) along with her fellow classmates and teacher are now available online!



CHAMPs Companion, an introduction to the CHAMPs Classroom Management System, will run on any internet-connected device except for smartphones.

CHAMPs Companion includes 9 review/practice activities for your kids along with a summative evaluation. For complete details, screenshots, and a fully-operational free trial, just follow the permalink below.

Continue reading "CHAMPs Companion Now Online!"

Mar 26, 2015

3 Books in 40 Minutes!



Reader’s Voyage 1, a new school in the Tablet Tutor collection, features summaries of the 3 books shown above. These summaries provide kids with a time-saving way to learn/review the following basic elements of fiction:

  • Setting
  • Plot
  • Protagonist
  • Antagonist
  • Complication
After completing the included interactive instruction, drag and drop activities, and a comprehensive online evaluation, students will have a better understanding of how fiction is constructed.

Plus, they may even want to read the original works themselves!

Reader’s Voyage 1, like all of the other schools in the Tablet Tutor collection, will run on any internet-connected device (except for smartphones).

For complete details and a fully-operational free trial, just follow the permalink below.

Continue reading "3 Books in 40 Minutes!"

Mar 10, 2015

Helpful Autism Resources

Are you an exceptional education teacher? If not, I’m sure you know several who are.

Kay Donato, the newest link partner with Daily Teaching Tools, has an excellent site devoted to teachers and parents of autistic children called Discover Autism Help.

With her degree in special education and an autistic child of her own, Kay is uniquely qualified to share her experience and research on this exceptionality.

She adeptly covers the topics of employing repetition, prompting, fading, forward chaining, backward chaining, and much more than this space allows.

To see all of the details and Kay’s teaching strategies for helping and teaching the autistic child, simply follow the permalink below (or forward it to people who would benefit most).

Continue reading "Helpful Autism Resources"

Feb 25, 2015

Wow, 5 New Apps for iPad & Android !!

As requested, the first 5 apps in the Tablet Tutor collection are finally ready for your kids!

Yes, these apps will run on iPad and Android tablets, but they also run optimally on any internet-connect device (except for smartphones).

I’ve tried my best to load these apps with engaging, instructional content, and to include plenty of tap, swipe, and drag-and-drop interactivity. Now, it’s up to you and your kids to decide if I succeeded.

For full details and complete, fully-functioning free trials, just follow the permalink below.

Continue reading "Wow, 5 New Apps for iPad & Android !!"

Feb 03, 2015

Android and iPad Apps Coming Soon

The first 5 in a new series of Android and iPad apps for your language arts kids will be ready in about 10 to 12 days.

Actually, these new apps will also run on any other device your students typically access in your classroom or computer lab—the only exception being smartphones.

This new series of apps will be called Tablet Tutor, a greatly enhanced, repackaged, and improved replacement of its predecessor, DownTime Up.

I invite you to keep an occasional eye on this space over the next several days for more complete details as they become available.

Have a great day, and thanks for all you do for kids.



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