Friday, 31 December 2010

Poll creation tools

A new poll creation tool Pollmo - simple and easy to use, is one more useful application for setting up quick polls when you are in need of a feedback or public voting.

There are many various online tools for creation of survey polls. See the Answer Garden which I have mentioned before.
Very similar and as easy as Pollmo is Micropoll which also analyzes the results.

For more reading, here is a useful post on Richard Byrne's website Free Technology for Teachers - Nine Survey Tools for Teachers and Students.
Another article on making free polls - 7 Online Tools To Create Polls For Free.

Vote here to test the tool. You can vote only once, then the poll "freezes" to prevent multiple votes from one computer. 

Tuesday, 28 December 2010


I got into poetic mood today while I was watching the amazing snowfall.

There was no wind. The snow was falling in slow, languid motion drifting past my eyes as I was looking through the window at the breathtaking beauty. The snowflakes were enormous and looked heavy but they landed one upon another more tenderly than the fluffy down.

Then I took some pictures of them but could not capture their ethereal beauty.

What is snow?
Snow is precipitation in the form of crystalline water ice, consisting of a multitude of snowflakes. Since it is composed of small rough particles it is a granular material. It has an open and therefore soft structure, unless packed by external pressure. Snow is precipitation in the form of ice crystals, mainly of intricately branched, hexagonal form and often agglomerated into snowflakes, formed directly from the freezing of the water vapor in the air. Snow is ice crystals that fall from clouds and which may stick together to form snowflakes.

I read a wonderful poem by Robert Frost and enjoyed the fabulous winter day.


The way a crow 
Shook down on me 
The dust of snow 
From a hemlock tree 
Has given my heart 
A change of mood 
And saved some part 
Of a day I had rued.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Christmas time

by Walter de la Mare

Sitting under the mistletoe
(Pale green, fairy mistletoe),
One last candle burning low,
All the sleepy dancers gone,
Just one candle burning on,
Shadows lurking everywhere:
Someone came, and kissed me there.

Tired I was; my head would go
Nodding under the mistletoe
(Pale green, fairy mistletoe)
No footsteps came, no voice, but only,
Just as I sat there, sleepy, lonely,
Stooped in the still and shadowy air
Lips unseen - and kissed me there.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

The super book of web tools

This is a must-read book for every teacher who uses technologies or would like to start. Written by a team of highly-qualified and experienced tech profs, the e-book is a rich source of information and new knowledge.

Published on Free Technology For Teachers website by Richard Byrne, the e-book gained immense popularity overnight and I can confirm that it deserves it.

The Super Book of Web Tools for Educators

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Mini-books for everyone

Mini-books are popular not only among younger schoolchildren but they are also fun for older kids. Even adults make scrapbooks or family albums. Various kinds of mini-books include pocket books, envelope books, accordion books, flip books, origami books, pop-up books and many others.

Until recently I had not paid particular attention to this kind of activity but having read several great articles and tutorials, I realised that the process of making a mini-book may result in a busy and active lesson.

Here is a mini-book I made for 12-13 year old students which has to be written, coloured and then folded into a booklet.

Download this printable from

If you are not familiar with the technique, watch this video which will show you how to prepare and fold the mini-book. You can use any paper to make it but for kids it would be better to use thinner paper which will fold more easily and the booklet will look neater. You can use coloured paper too but then the pictures won't look so good. This Christmas mini-book looks best on white paper coloured green, red, blue and gold.

Here is a fantastic collection of resources on all kinds of mini-books with tutorials, links and samples. You can download instructions how to fold the mini-books.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Save the Words

I came across a truly fascinating site called Save The Words supported by Oxford Dictionaries (which is not new at all, as I found out later). You need Flash Player to view the site.

Its design is colourful and eye-catching, the background is a patchwork of English words which are no longer in active use and may soon be extinct. If you click the word, the site provides its meaning and gives an example of its usage.

The funniest part is you can adopt a word and get the certificate of adoption! You are asked to use the word as frequently as possible thus helping it return into active vocabulary.

The cause of the site is noble but dubious regarding its impact on saving the dying words. Yet it is a real gem for advanced students who are interested in lexicology. Might be used in classes as a fun activity.