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Video Podcast: Five Free Resources for Your Room

By Angela Bunyi on September 16, 2010


Do you have five minutes to spare? Sometimes I feel as if I don't even have that much, but I thought it would be helpful if this week I created a virtual tour of free resources for you. Want to know more? Click on the video to see my 5 in 5 (5 resources in 5 minutes). 






Included in the Free Resource Showcase

1. Jing: For creating and storing podcasts. Allows use of webcam and screen capturing, to go back and forth for recording.

TED Talks: High interest educational videos meant for spurring discussion and debate. Includes an interactive transcript as well as the option to save clips and edit them down. The speakers are highly engaging and dynamic.

Scholastic's Study Jams!: If you like BrainPOP, this excellent free resource is for you. Over 200 science and math videos, along with karaoke, tests, slide shows, and photos.

Spelling City: A free resource that allows students to work with individual sets of spelling words. If you utilize developmental lists from resources like Words Their Way or use lists of individual high frequency words, this is a great site.

5. NeoK12: Free collection of educational videos that can support your lessons in class. You can also use a free capture program to save and play YouTube videos at school.

6. Invisible Smelly Stickers: Secretly pull off the cover of some ChapStick and offer students a free, invisible smelly sticker. Ask them to close their eyes, then swipe some on their hand. Don't tell them that it is ChapStick, and casually deny it when they think they have it figured out.

Do you have any free resources to share? Please post them and tell us how you have used them in your room. I'll add any links shared below for quick access for others.

 XtraNormal: Free movie making site that allows you to type in the script (written by students) and use a variety of actors to act it out (including Sarah Palin, ha!). If you have been interested in animated graphic programs like CrazyTalk, here is a free alternative presented by Stephanie from Florida.

Glogster EDU: A Glog is created using a very easy to understand, drag and drop interface that is relevant, enjoyable, and scalable for students of all ages and learning styles. A Glog is an interactive visual platform in which users create a “poster or web page” containing multimedia elements including: text, audio, video, images, graphics, drawings, and data. Not only is this free, but the possibilities are endless. A few of my students want to post something regarding a book they have finished reading online. This would be a great resource. Thanks to Ashley for this suggestion.


Comments (15)


Thanks for looking at our site. It helps me continue contributing more ideas...I'm glad you've enjoyed it!


Your site is quite impressive! You've done a hard work to make the teaching environment very interesting and happy. Teachers would be able to use these resources and make their students have fun, at the same time, learning!

This site is really fabulous! Better spread this one out, share it and maybe I can help other teachers to make their teaching experience the best of their life! Great job!

Hello Mary,

Here is the direct link on podcasting on my site. It includes a book review link:


Under the book review link I tried clicking on one student (blond haired boy named Spencer). His book review worked. I am assuming the others work as well. :)



Very interested in article Kids are Movie Makers in Fall Instructor magazine and have been searching through your sites for examples of book review podcasts. I am a Library Information Specialist, have new video equipment, have started a student book review club and would love to find some of your examples of book reviews. Where are they? Also found a dead link on the page Scholastic.com/teach_flip highligted in the Fall Instructor magazine. Let Students Play Teachers : Podcast Tutorial Resources. I could not figure out how to report that other than posting here.

Angela, You are welcome.

Thanks for sharing your link. I'll be sure to look at it shortly.


Thanks for sharing the 5 resources in 5 minutes. Here is a list of free teacher websites/resources that we have accumulated on our site as well.


Good question...up until today, we had no time for any sort of warm-up due to our specials following announcements. We rushed through completing our agenda (5th+6th) before rushing out the room.

However, our special areas have now changed, giving a small window of time to do something before our literacy block begins. At our level, a quick worksheet check-up is not a bad thing. It takes just a second to say, "Okay, they do know this," and move on. So they are not all evil. On the other hand, I have formally pushed starting your day with reading and writing. It's relaxing, meaningful, and a real warm-up for the work ahead of your first graders. You may want to model and discuss this with your class.


Hey Angela- I have a question that's kinda off topic. What do you do for morning work? I'm still trying to find a routine to start by day off with the students working independently while I check role and take lunch money and all that good stuff!

I'm thinking about Mountain Math, but I can't afford that right now. I'm hoping we will get some mid-year funds. In the meantime, I have them doing worksheets. I hate worksheets. I'm not a worksheet teacher. Help!

Also, I teach 1st grade... so they have a little more trouble with independence. Any thoughts?

Oh, I like it! Thanks for that add. We are using it this week. Each student has their own laptop in grades 4-6 and the possibilities are endless!


I just forwarded a link to Scholastic's Study Jams to my entire school. What a neat resource! Thanks for sharing.

Have you ever played with edu.glogster.com? It's also free. I use Glogster on my website, but you could even have the upper grades use Glogster to create virtual interactive posters!


Also, I forgot to mention that I clicked on your class website link (I am always looking for new ideas). Very impressive! I can tell you are a hard worker! Keep up the good work.



Nice job of adding XtraNormal to the list. It's free, it's fun, and it's a route we can use to do something with our writing!

Also, I like your sound greeting card idea. I have done something similar with my iPhone docked in speakers, but I hadn't thought of your idea. Nice!


Another "free resource" are those wonderful "sound greeting cards" that we get for special occasions and birthdays. I ask all my neighbors, social networking friends and true friends to send me one for my birthday or send me their old ones after they've cherished the sentiment. They save them for me or get me one for my b-day because they know that as a teacher - I can use the sounds/music that the cards play for transition times in my class or for amazing moments throughout the day. Think: end of the school day and you want to award awesome behavior that you noticed. You grab the card open it up and "Celebration" starts playing. The students exit the classroom door to "We are Family." You start handing out test grades and open a card that plays a funky tune and the kids are all excited and ready. of course, you could always create a playlist of appropriate tunes on a school- itunes account. I usually cover the card and the previous owner's message with construction paper and put a title of what it's for on it and keep them in a basket.

Hey Angela :) Have you tried www.xtranormal.com ? I read about it in Scholastic's Instructor magazine. I think it would be perfect for 5th grade writers. I currently teach 3rd grade and my students are still learning about how to write dialogue. But pretty much, the students can select from 1 or 2 character "scenes" complete with characters and write a script for those characters to act out. You enter the script into the program and the screen actors act it out for you! The students are writing their own movie! I plan to do several as a whole class and also use it as an end of the unit review type of activity or also as a character ed. activity.

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