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The Differentiator

What it is: This is a neat tool for teachers.  The Differentiator is based on “A Taxonomy of Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives”.  The Differentiator helps to guide you as you create learning activities and lessons for the various learning needs in your classroom.  First choose a thinking skill from one of six categories (remember, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, or creating).  Next, pick a way to to differentiate the content.  Then, you will choose a resource that students will use.  Select a product for students to create it can be visual, constructed, oral, multimedia, or written.  Finally choose the group size.  As you choose items for each category a learning objective sentence will be created. How to integrate The Differentiator into the classroom: The Differentiator is a great tool to focus your learning goals.  It helps you to quickly and succinctly create objectives for the different learning styles in your classroom.  Not only does this help to focus your lessons, it can also help students to direct their learning.  Students who understand what learning goals they are working toward, and how they will get there, will be more successful. Tips: There is a great little informational tutorial video that you can access by clicking on the “Need Help?” button in the top right corner of the site. Leave a comment and share how you are using The Differentiator in your classroom.

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ESA Kids

Posted by admin | Posted in Fun & Games, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 02-04-2010

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What it is: The European Space Agency (ESA) has a great website for kids.  ESA Kids has fabulous, kid friendly information about the Universe (the story of the Universe, the sun, the planets and moons, the galaxies, comets and meteors), Life in Space (astronauts, space stations, life in space, exploration, are we alone?), Lift Off (launchers, orbits, mission control, spacecraft, new ways to space), Useful Space (TV and phone, know where you are, space spin-offs, weather, health), and Earth (climate change, natural disasters, protecting nature, water world).  This site is absolutely packed full of information and awesome images.  Students can “work in a lab” where they can build papercraft globes and spacecraft, try reading space maps, and learn fun space facts.  Students will also enjoy the space themed games and puzzles, online coloring book, quizzes, and downloads.  Each month, a new story about space is added to the News section, keeping students up to date about what is happening in space exploration.  

How to integrate ESA Kids into the classroom: When I am hunting for space related websites, I usually begin with NASA.  ESA Kids is being added to my must visit places for all things space.  The site is organized well, very kid friendly, and has fun activities that students can take part in.  Use ESA Kids for space research, when learning about the weather, climate change, and natural disasters.  After students have some background knowledge about space and space exploration, have them visit the Lab and choose a papercraft spacecraft to print and build.  Students can write a story about their spacecraft, including facts that they learned on the ESA Kids website.  They may even write a fictional story about their visit to space that includes factual elements that they learned in the Life in Space section.    Be sure to visit the Useful Space tab, I think students will be surprised at how many common items are linked to space and space exploration.

Tips: Be sure to visit this site often, the news is updated every month with current space events.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using ESA Kids in your classroom.

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