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Flight Day with Google Earth

What it is: Every year the second grade students at CHC participate in Flight Day.  Each class ‘flies’ to a different country where they learn about the customs, architecture, and geographical landmarks of the country.  This year we spruced up flight day with Google Earth.  I created tours in Google Earth so that our students could virtually ‘fly’ from Denver International Airport to their destination (France, Germany, and Mexico).  Before landing in the destination country, we toured famous buildings, landmarks, and points of interest in the destination country.  Flight day begins with a re-arranging of the classroom.  Chairs are arranged in rows to simulate an airplane.  Desks surround the chairs and act as the airplane enclosure.  Students prepare for flight day by creating suitcases (that looks like the flag of the destination country) and passports for their travel.  Students have to go through security before they can board the plane.  There bags are searched and they have to take off their shoes and be wanded.  We have amazing parents who volunteer to act as the pilots of the plane and stewardesses on the flight.  The parents are great sports dressing the part and following a script we have written.  The Promethean boards displayed the Google Earth tour that I pre recorded for teachers.  Each flight leaves from our airport.  The features in Google Earth are incredible, using the 3D buildings option in Google Earth, students could actually see the white peaks of DIA as they waited on the tarmac.  The plane picks them up from a terminal and the flight begins.  Before flight day I had teachers create an itinerary of places they would like to see before the plane landed.   I based all tours on this itinerary.  Students flew to destinations in France such as the Eiffel Tower, Arch De Triumph, Notre Dame, Versailles, Saint Chappelle Cathedral, and the Louvre.  With the 3D buildings and Google Street view options selected, we were able to see each place in 3D and then see a real 360* panorama view of each stop.  During the flight, we provided students with in flight entertainment videos.  Our videos came from Discovery Streaming and the links were embedded right in Google Earth.  The videos were all related to the final destination country, we found some great videos of kids talking about what school is like in each country.  Students were also served an in flight meal.  Students traveling to France enjoyed a croissant, baguette with brie cheese, grapes, and sparkling lemonade.  Each meal came served in a little box topped with the flag of the destination country and a note that said “Thank you for flying Air France.”  When the flight ended, our Google Earth tour finished by landing at the airport of the destination country.  Students disembarked the plane and got their passports stamped.  Students then pretended to visit the local library and were read a story about the country.  The students who ‘traveled’ to Mexico were greeted by Spanish speakers and singers as they exited the plane (our 7th grade Spanish students came down to make the experience more authentic).  This was a very neat day for our students and is SO much better than reading about the countries they visited from a social studies text book.  Tomorrow students will create crafts of the country and sample some of the local cuisine.  They will watch some more clips from Discovery Streaming, learn a few phrases in new languages, and see some more pictures of the places they are visiting.  You can view our tour of France here:  France (To get the full effect make sure that you have turned on the 3D Buildings, Street view, Borders and Labels, and Terrain under Layers in Google Earth.) How to create a Google Earth Tour: Google Earth is a truly incredible tool.  If you aren’t using Google Earth in your classroom, you should be!  It is a free download here: Google Earth 5. To create a tour of your own:  Before you begin, come up with an itinerary of places you would like to visit. 1.  Open Google Earth (I worked in Google Earth 5) and create a new Folder under “Places” 2.  Under the Search type in your first destination. (Ours was DIA, our local airport).  You can search by business name, city, or specific address.  Google Earth will search for places that match your search criteria and drop place markers on the map.  When you find the place that you want to add, zoom in and click on the “add placemark button” (the yellow pushpin in the top menu). 3.  When you add a pushpin, the place will show up under your places folder as your first destination.  Continue searching and adding placemarks for each of the stops you would like to make on your journey.  You can add notes, links, etc. when you create a placemark.  Make sure that the view of the feature is exactly the way you would like students to view it when they play the tour.  In other words, if you want students to actually see the 3D model of the Eiffel tower, make sure that when you place your placemark you have zoomed into the map and adjusted the screen. 4.  Under “Layers” you can select the features you would like to show up on your map.  For our flight day I wanted students to be able to see the 3D buildings, Street View, Borders and Labels, and Terrain.  You can select as many or few layers as you would like. 5.  Finally you will play and record your tour.  To play the tour click on the video camera play button which is located directly under the Places panel.  This will automatically play your journey.  To record your tour, click on the “record” button which is located in the top menu button and looks like a video camera with a red record dot.  As I recorded, I would pause the play back of the tour and zoom in and around buildings and feature landmarks.  When you press play again, the tour continues. 6.  Play the tour for students.  When we played the tour for students we paused often so that we could talk about the different architecture and land features that we were seeing.  Pausing also gave us the opportunity to “fly” into the street view so that students could see what it would look like to actually stand on the street corner and look around.  Amazing is the only word that comes to mind!  (As a side note, the Louvre has an incredible 360* tour, be sure to check it out!) Tips: Google Earth is preset to ‘fly’ quickly between destinations, because we wanted the students to feel like they were actually on a flight, and to get a feel for flying over the ocean to reach a destination I changed the Preferences in Google Earth.  I delayed the amount of time that it took to reach the destination and tweaked a few other settings to get the tour to run the way we needed it to.  The tours can be saved as a place and even emailed to other team teachers directly from Google Earth. Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Google Earth in your classroom.

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Dr. Seuss Inspired Classroom Theme

Posted by admin | Posted in inspiration, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources | Posted on 20-08-2010

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Since I don’t have a classroom of my own to set up this year, I dropped into a friends classroom to offer my bulletin board expertise (I LOVE decorating for the year and begged for her to let me help).  She is teaching first grade for the first time this year and wanted a fun theme.  Dr. Seuss is perfect!  I hunted down some good Dr. Seuss quotes that would tie in with what she wanted to display on the bulletin boards and we set to work pulling it all together.  I think it looks great!

This is right next to the clock, it says "How did it get late so soon?"

Above the door to the classroom it says: Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.

This is the classroom jobs board and morning message board.

Over the jobs board it says: This mess is too big and too deep and too tall. But, we can clean it up! We can clean it up all!

Kings Kid is like a Star Student or VIP, they make a poster all about them to hang up for the week. This quote says: Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.

This is the reading corner, it turned out so cozy!

Another angle of the reading center with the Cat in the Hat on the back of a bookshelf.

On the closet door is Thing 2.

Horton is on the girls bathroom door.

Two fish is on the boys bathroom door.

The backside of two bookcases in the reading center.

This is where student work will be displayed. The quote above says: Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh the Thinks you can think up if only you try!

Front of the classroom with the Promethean board.

Back of the classroom.

Toward the reading center.

Teacher desk

The room turned out so cute!  Right now the calendar has purchased numbers on it, I suggested that she take pictures of all of the kids holding up their class number and using those as numbers on the calendar.  She only has 19 students this year so for the additional numbers she is going to have specialist teachers and admin hold up numbers.  To tie in with the Dr. Seuss theme, she is going to use Photo Booth’s green screen background to insert a Dr. Seuss background for the kids.  The kids will wear a Cat in the Hat hat for the pictures.  :)  It is going to be cute!

My favorite touches in the room are that each bulletin board is designed for student interaction or to display student work or accomplishments.  I can’t wait to see it when all of the student work is up!

Comments (29)

It looks awesome!

VERY cute pictures! LOVE the quotes used for the bulletin boards. The students will love them!~

So you’re going to come to Iowa and decorate my room next year, right?

This classroom looks awesome!

Thank you! This is perfect. I just bought some Cat in the Hat supplies today at Michaels Craft Store. I have a big welcome for outside the door, a simple rules poster which works great for the lab and borders. Now with your inspiration I’ll add some quotes. I hate to admit this but since I moved into the lab I don’t spend much time on decorating. The kids come in and out so quickly I don’t think they have much time to notice the details. However, I decided I needed to change things up a little bit this year.
You did a great job. How nice that she had a creative and willing helper.

This is a wonderful looking classroom! Nice job! The students will love walking into such a fun environment.

You should both be so proud of the room. It looks inviting, fun and like learning is about to happen there! Thanks for sharing it with us.

I love it! Dr. Seuss is a favorite of mine, and I think the room turned out great!

I want to be a student in this room!

The use of Dr. Seuss quotations throughout the room was a fantastic feature. I especially like the one over the VIP area: There is no one alive who is youer than you.

Thanks for sharing the fabulous ideas and especially the photos!

:-)

[…] Kathy Schrock's Guide for Educators – Bulletin Board Ideas and … Bee-autiful Bulletin Board IdeBulletin Board Ideas – CHILDREN LOVE TO THINK THAT THEY ARE GETTING BIGGER, AND THAT THEY WILL BE ABLE TO DO THINGS LIKE […]

Isn’t it fun? We kept saying the same thing, the kids are going to love it! I’m glad you like the pictures!

Thanks, we were really happy with the finished product too!

Thank you! The goal was to make it a fun and encouraging place to be.

Nedra, have you seen my Oh the Places You Will Go on the Internet Super Highway bulletin board from my computer lab? It was a fun one that listed a lot of the websites we visited regularly. Here is the link: http://ilearntechnology.com/?p=1126

Becky I would love to! Classroom decoration is one of my favorite parts of a new school year. I was glad that she was looking for help!

Thanks Melissa, I think they will too!

Awesome room decorations! Your kids should love it and other kids will want to be in your room. However, if that Promethean board is covered to hold student work instead of being in direct student use, you will certainly garner some negative criticism.

:) The Promethean board has to be covered because the room is shared space on the weekends. The goal is to keep it covered when school is out so that it doesn’t get marked up by others that use the room.

Thanks for the additional link.

I have these photos from the Dr. Seuss Memorial Garden in Springfield, MA- http://www.flickr.com/photos/nedrai/sets/72157608156407280/ I think I’ll use them along with some quotes for posters.

What an absolutely FABULOUS classroom! Thanks so much for sharing!

Great idea Nedra! You’ll have to post pictures of your classroom when you are finished!

You are so welcome!

What a fantastic room and what a dedicated teacher! Those students sure are lucky kids.

[…] how to get the best from not only your classroom, but the areas outside it too. Take a look at this creative post from the iLearn Technology which shows how Dr Seuss can be used as the basis for your classroom […]

This is superb and will look even better once the work is added. I wonder if you use flickr at all? It would be great to have these in the Classroom Displays flickr group

I do use flickr! I’ll see about adding them to the Classroom Displays group.

[…] iLearn Technology » Blog Archive » Dr. Seuss Inspired Classroom Theme I don't always have time to sit down and give mini lessons, having these cheat sheets on hand could be a big help for those times. Tips: Even though the Mac Custom Guides are a bit outdated, the guides they do have are very handy. When you sign up for a free account, Since I don't have a classroom of my own to set up this year, I dropped into a friends classroom to offer my bulletin board expertise (I LOVE decorating for the year and begged for her to let me help). […]

When it comes to classroom decoration, there is nothing better than decorating with book characters. I also really like the book corner. Very cozy!

Thanks Cara!

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