Tabaldo on Tech

Teaching with Technology in the 21st Century

Tabaldo on Tech - Teaching with Technology in the 21st Century

Found Shmoop?



Shmoop online resources look very engaging for Students and Teachers alike!

I was looking for some online resources for math and science and ran across SHMOOP!. This Shmoop site has so much to offer when it comes to resources for your students.

Shmoop will make you a better lover (of literature, history, life). See many sides to the argument. Find your writing groove. Understand how lit and history are relevant today. We want to show your brain a good time. Don’t worry… we’ll have it back home at a reasonable hour.

With Student Learning Guides like: Literature, Bible, Poetry, Shakespeare  Mythology, Bestsellers  Dr. Seuss, Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Calculus, Biology, & US History, you will also find resources like: DMV, SAT, ACT, AP Exams, En Espanol and Videos.

They offer online Teacher Resources (for a small fee ~$5/guide) as well as Test Prep & College Readiness (also for fee help.)

Our Mission

Shmoop means “move something forward a little bit.” The phrase reflects our company mission, which is to shine a little light into the dark corners of students’ minds. We believe that great and difficult concepts can be explained clearly, succinctly, and with a compelling storyline. In “telling the tale” behind seemingly intangible subjects, we humanize them and make them accessible to everyone.

The Shmoop Team


Hilton is giving 15 teachers a chance to experience the world


Hilton is giving 15 teachers a chance to experience the world…will it be you?

Hilton HHonors™  believes that as nurturers of future generations of travelers, teachers play an important role in spreading understanding of other cultures. This year they are giving 15 teachers the opportunity to travel and bring their experiences back to the classroom through the Hilton HHonors Teacher Treks Travel Grant Competition.

This information is straight from the website:


The Inspiration

Hilton HHonors™, the guest loyalty program of Hilton Worldwide, has long believed in the power of travel to bring people together and foster greater understanding between countries.

This year, Hilton HHonors™ is celebrating culture by giving once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to teachers, many of whom rarely get to experience different cultures firsthand.

As nurturers of future generations of travelers, teachers play an important role in spreading understanding of other cultures and can have a profound impact on their students’ lives. Whether analyzing a historic work of art or telling a riveting account of an ancient civilization, teachers are the ultimate conduits to cultural enlightenment.

Hilton HHonors™ is giving teachers a passport to see the world and bring their experiences back to the classroom through Teacher Treks.

The Competition

Teacher Treks is an award program in which teachers vie for the chance to travel, explore and share culture firsthand. Through an essay submission, teachers discuss cultural destinations they have always wanted to visit and explain how they would share the learnings and experiences from a trip there with their students.

Thirty finalists will be selected by a panel of judges that will include education experts and actual teachers. The judging process will be managed independently by the Institute of International Education, a non-for-profit organization that fosters mutual understanding worldwide through educational exchange and training programs.

Fifteen grants will be awarded to 15 teachers selected by both public votes and an expert panel. Winning teachers will travel to their proposed destinations, chronicle their journeys and share their experiences with their students. Each winning teacher must travel sometime during his or her 2013 summer break. In addition to the trip, each winning teachers’ school will also receive a $2,500 donation to use for cultural activities or enhancements.


  • 15 winners will receive a trip to the destination of their choice, valued at $6,000, along with a $2,500 donation to their school
  • 15 runners-up will receive a $2,500 donation to their school
  • One winner will be randomly selected from all submissions to receive a cultural excursion for their classroom valued at $1,500
  • From those who voted in the Teacher Treks competition, 10 random winners will receive one Hilton HHonors™ Gift Card valued at $250

The Submission

Your Teacher Treks submission will consist of a photo, a 140 character title, two essays, and a letter of recommendation from your principal.

We recommend that you write your essays in a word processing application and check the word count before you copy-and-paste the essay into our submission form. The essays should be between 300 – 600 words. Please note that formatting (bold, italics, etc.) will not be retained.

Entry Summary:

Please summarize your entry in 140 characters or less (the length of a tweet) to tell voters why they should consider you. For example, “How exactly were the pyramids built? I’d like to find out! 4th grade history @ Parker Middle School will never be the same!”


1. The Teacher Treks program was established to recognize teachers who build awareness of cultural diversity within the classroom and to provide an opportunity for them to further their commitment to acting as cultural curators and molding the future generation of travelers. Please use this section to describe your proposed global cultural adventure: Where will you go (outside the U.S.)? What will you do? Why do you want to take this trip? How will your experiences help you better teach your subject to your students and contribute to your personal or professional goals?

2. Please use this section to describe your plan for sharing your experiences on the Teacher Treks Program with your students and colleagues. How will you infuse your experience into your curriculum? You should include specific details on projects or programs which you will implement upon your return.

Letter of Recommendation:

Request a letter of recommendation from your principal and save it as a JPG or PDF. The letter should illustrate the principal’s support for your participation in the Teacher Treks Competition. Click here for a letter of recommendation request template you can customize and then send to your principal.

Judging Criteria:

  • The applicant clearly and creatively articulated where and what their trip would entail and how their experiences would help them educate their students and contribute to their personal or professional goals: 25%
  • The applicant clearly articulated a plan to share the Teacher Treks Program experience with students and colleagues: 25%
  • Overall quality of the submission: 40%
  • Trip feasibility and availability of property within the Hilton Worldwide portfolio: 10%


If you have specific questions about the competition, we recommend you first read the Official Rules. If you still have a question, please email For technical issues or questions about this site, please send an email from the FAQ form.

TODAY ONLY! FREE APP – Where Do Balloons Go?

Today Only – Auryn App Developers will be giving Jamie Lee Curtis’ – Where Do Balloons Go? storybook app FREE!


Click here to get the app today!

Where Do Balloons Go? An Uplifting Mystery : a creativity-enhancing kid’s book by Jamie Lee Curtis (by Auryn Apps) by Auryn Inc.

This interactive book can be read to user (by JLC herself) or it can be read independently. Either way there are amazing interactive activities around every corner (uhhh page.)

Recommended for ages 3+  – For a classroom app perfect for K – 2

My son is a “spokesperson” for this app!



iPads in Middle School

Students pioneer the iPad frontier!

Every fifth-grader at Heim Middle School in Williamsville recently received an iPad to use until the end of the school year. Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News

Every fifth-grader at Heim Middle School in Williamsville recently received an iPad to use until the end of the school year. Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News

I just read this article from the Buffalo News about the iPad initiative that is rolling out in progressive public school districts.

“It’s transforming instruction,”  “I’ve got kindergarteners who email me their work.”


“the change in classroom instruction has been huge.”


“No more stumbling over unknown words in reading class. A light tap on the electronic page calls up the definition from Webster’s Dictionary.”

The use of polling apps, emailing assignments, instant access to digital content like definitions and e-books this is amazing. The article states that iPads in education is still in infancy and there are still bugs to be worked out, but for the most part they are successful at this time.

I am waiting for the research to be complete from the University at Buffalo to see if iPad use translates into improved academic achievement.

I’ve Been Adding Resources

Pages Are Updated

Although there have been no Blog posts this last week I have been updating pages of my Site. (Remember this is just the beginning. I am relying on my fellow teachers to add to this content as we find it.) Here is a quick overview of what has been added:


In the Articles section I have added 2 pages, Flipped Classroom and Paperless. I will continue to add articles on these topics as I come across quality reading.


Teacher Resources:

In the Teacher Resources section I have added 3 new pages under iPad Apps: Science Apps, Math Apps and Literacy Apps. These pages are just the beginning of providing links to iPad apps that may be useful in your classroom.
iPadapps1Be sure to subscribe to the Blog so you know when new content is added. You don’t want to miss out!

Fun Stuff for Student Engagement


Are you struggling to engage your students? I have found some fun and free (or cheap) sites to create fun content.

XTRANORMAL – Xtranormal helps you create amazing interactive stories with a few clicks and a little imagination. – Below is a video I created for a Desire2Learn conference. There is a free version (but it is really pay per use), I have the Educational account $10/mo. not bad.


VOKI – Voki enables users to express themselves on the web in their own voice using a talking character. You can customize your Voki to look like you or take on the identity of lots of other types of characters… animals, monsters, anime etc. Your Voki can speak with your own voice which is added via microphone, upload, or phone.  Voki is FREE but also has a classroom subscription for $29.95/yr. VOKI also has lesson plans where you can search by subject matter and/or grade level, and checl out VOKI’s education page some great ideas here.

Below is a VOKI i made for an introduction to a course in out LMS.


BLABBERIZE – This simple and free interactive web-based site allows users to upload a pic and then narrate it so the picture comes to life. See below my feeble attempt to blabberize.

As teachers we need to stick together and share resources. If you have a favorite link,  like one of these please share it with me either via a post or email and I’ll add it to my Teacher Resources page.