Last month I wrote a post about Zamzar, a great website that will convert files from YouTube, etc. and send you the conversion in email.  Tonight I found something even better IF you have SMART Notebook or some other software that can playback video.  My entire purpose for looking into this was to find a way to embed these kinds of media into a SMART notebook for use in the classroom. SMART notebook has a built-in .flv player, so it was just a matter of finding a free add-on that would let me snag videos and other media.  Enter Download Helper.  I admit it wasn't the first one I tried, but others had little to no success and as soon as I downloaded this -- presto chango -- instant success!  I haven't looked for anything similar to use with IE simply because Firefox is my preferred browser.  If I get to a point where I need to use IE again, I suppose I'll be doing more research.  In the meantime, check out this program by following the link.  It's really a fantastic and simple tool!






Some of the best interactives for the classroom are flash files.  Sure you can link to them, but what if the website is blocked by your district level security programs?  A quick search returned a few simple steps that will allow me to download virtually any flash file onto my hard drive or jump drive.
What's more, after saving these files in a folder I titled "SWF downloads", I can now insert the file directly into my SMART Notebook files for use with my students.
Boy am I going to be busy.  So, for others who are drooling over the possibilities, here are the directions.
Happy SWFing!

For Firefox user

1) Click on Tools - Page Info
2). Then, click the Media Tab on the Page Info Windows
3). The media tab will have complete list of Images, CSS Files and Shockwave Flash files that were downloaded by the Firefox browser while loading the page of the website.
4). Scroll down the list and locate the .swf file.
5). Click the “Save As” button. Choose some folder on your hard drive and save the file.

For Internet Explorer user

1) Firstly, click Tools - Internet Options
2) In the General Tab, click the Settings button available in the Temporary Internet Files group.
3) Click View Files to open your Temporary Internet Files folder.
4) Click View - Details. Now click View - Arrange Icons By - Internet Address. Depending upon the webpage, there could one or more Flash files (Shockwave Flash Object) under the Internet Address.
5) Once you find the right flash file, right-click and choose Copy. Then paste the .swf file in any other folder,such as My Document.

Note: Those methods above only function if your internet browser’s cache file has not been cleared yet. Make sure that you did not close the internet browser before you save the flash file.






I've had a couple of comments on my  Wordle of the Week, so I decided to share more information here.  You can follow this link to the Wordle App.
It is a free App.  You can copy and paste text into it or type your own words in.  A couple of tricks I learned after a little bit of looking around and working with it can be very useful.  First, if you want to keep a phrase of words together you will need to put a hyphen between them otherwise they will get split up and jumbled up.  If you want a word to really stand out, type it more than once.  The more times you type a word, the bigger it will be compared to the rest of the text.  After I create a Wordle, I take a screen clipping of it with MS OneNote or SMART Notebook tools.  I can drop it into any program that way.  To get it on my website, I simply drop the clipping into MS Paint and save as a jpg.  Now it is ready to insert onto my Wordle of the Week page!  Honestly the part that takes the longest is deciding which randomized version (see the randomize buttotn on the app) is my favorite. <giggle>  Well... there you have it.  That's all there is to it.  I will post again on the Lablog after I've had a chance to use it in my classroom for awhile and share how well it is working to reinforce vocabulary and key concepts.


Another great find!  This website allows you to upload a PDF file and it will convert it into a word document for editing.  Some files do not transfer cleanly, but many do.  It's free and it's quick, plus you don't have to download & install any extra software!  I'm sold!


Tiny URL




Eliminate the hassle of web addresses and links not working after posting in email or on a website because they are so long that they roll over onto the next line of text.  Use the tiny url website to create a permanent, short link.


If you need a website to organize all the great websites you've found over the years, this is a great one.
I'm going to try to make a conscientious effort to use it more often this year.  If you're interested in seeing what I've bookmarked, check it out at


This is another site I found while working on the writing training pilot.  This is a quote from their site:  "Free resources for educators support collaborative student-centered learning. Our 21st century teaching and learning resources help teachers play a critical role in facilitating learning activities and posing questions that take student thinking deeper."
Very nice resource.  Worth the time to explore.  I used it to help the students in 5th grade prepare their Civic Oration speeches for competition this past year.


If so, then you'll want to visit RCampus.  I stumbled on this site while participating in a pilot writing assessment training this past year. 
The feature I like the best is that you can enter your student roster(s) and link it to a specific rubric.  When it comes time to grade these you click directly on the rubric for each student and the grade is calculated for you.  Very cool!  Great time saver.






Blocking software doesn't have to keep you from sharing the great media you can find on social network sites and places like Youtube, Teachertube, and the like.  Find the media you want to share and post the link on Zamzar.  They will email you a file for free that you can save to your thumb drive and take to school with you.
Try it out...


I created an Excel spreadsheet called Graph of the Day when I was teaching 4th grade self-contained.  Students went to the computer and responded to a question first thing every morning.  By week 5 (as required by our pacing guide), I had tons of real data gathered from my students which was perfect for meeting the math objectives:
4.01 Collect, organize, analyze, and display data (including line graphs and bar graphs) to solve problems. TLW Define the following terms: chart, tally, table, Venn diagram, circle graph, pictograph, line plot, bar graph, double bar graph, line graph, trend, continuous data, numerical data, categorical data, columns, rows, x-axis, y-axis, vertical, horizontal, intervals, range of data, and scale. TLW Recognize charts, tallies, tables, diagrams, and graphs. TLW Explain the purpose of charts, tallies, tables, diagrams, and graphs. TLW Explain orally and in written form the advantages and disadvantages of each varying type of graph (bar, line, pictograph, and circle graph). TLW Conduct a survey to collect data. TLW Collect data from surveys, research, and classroom experiments by using charts, tables, and graphs. TLW Organize data from surveys, research, and classroom experiments by using charts, tables, and graphs. TLW Choose the most appropriate graph to display a set of data. TLW Display data from surveys, research, and classroom experiments by using charts, tables, and graphs. TLW Interpret information orally and in writing, using charts, tables, tallies, and graphs. 
At the request of my colleagues on ProTeacher, I have posted it here for download.  I hope you will find it useful.

File Size: 894 kb
File Type: xls
Download File


    Heather Kaiser

    I have been teaching in CCS for 12 years.  I am a facilitator of mentor training, raising the bar: infusing rigor into your lessons,  and quality tools.


    July 2009
    June 2009