Wednesday, February 15, 2012


One of the best parts of attending TCEA is walking through the vendor showcase. In one huge room you can see everything from new equipment to new software to and tshirts!  It's one of the most fun activities at the conference.

I spent a good bit of time talking to one of my favorite websites--Shmoop.  I recommend this site all the time to my students.  I call it "Spark Notes on Steriods" because the literature guides on the site are amazing!  Very thorough and complete.  As a former English teacher, I know the danger of recommend a "Cliff's Notes" version of a piece of literature, but sometimes, kids just don't get what they are reading.  And with a little help and explanation, they can get through a book they might have otherwise skipped.  Shmoop includes quotes and thematic info in addition to the plot summary.

I found out, though, the site also has some great SAT, PSAT, and AP practice tests.  This part is a subscription so it's not available to the general public.  I might try to subscribe next year and compare it to the site we currently use, depending on budget of course.  If the practice tests are as good as the literature guides, it would be a good deal.

If you haven't ever seen Shmoop, check it out.  It's a great site!

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