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Happy Teacher Appreciation Week Goodies from Learning a-z

What it is: It’s teacher appreciation week!  One thing that I quickly learned in starting a school, teachers ARE the school. I always appreciate companies that recognize and honor this.  Learning a-z is holding an Open House during teacher appreciation weeks which gives you free access to all 6 of their sites for the whole week.  It also happens to be their 10 year anniversary, to celebrate they are giving away 10 free licenses each day of this week.  Learning A-Z is an excellent resource that I have used for ages.  Sites include: Reading A-Z which is a great collection of printable and projectable books and resources for 27 different levels; Raz-Kids which is a student-centered site where kids can practice reading online; Vocabulary a-z where you will find 12,000+ pre-made vocabulary words where you can build custom lists for students; Science a-z which delivers science curriculum resources across more than 60 units and includes three reading levels for each; Writing a-z which contains everything you need to teach writing in your classroom; and Reading-Tutors which provides more that 400 reading resource packets to use for one-on-one tutoring. Be sure to take advantage of these great resources that are being offered FREE to you this week (May 7-11). How to integrate Learning A-Z Open House into the classroom: The materials and resources at Learning A-Z are wonderful.  I like the way they are available at the touch of a button so that you can instantly customize resources and lessons for students on the fly.  Learning A-Z is like an instant boost to your classroom library.  Students have additional resources that they can access both at school and at home.  When I was a new teacher, Learning A-Z was a lifeline!  I didn’t have a great classroom library built up yet and I didn’t have the money to go out and build it up immediately.  Learning A-Z helped me give students exactly what they needed, when they needed it.  My second grade students loved the printed books, they would often color them, take them home and read them over and over again.  It gave them a sense of ownership over their reading. Learning A-Z resources are great book-buddies for home.  One year, I podcasted all of these (I wish I had saved them so I could share!) and sent my students home with the book and an iPod nano so they could read along at home.  This was wonderful for the kids that didn’t have someone reliable at home to read with. I also used the Learning A-Z resources as part of my literacy and science tub work.  You can learn more about tub work here.  The resources can be used for individual students or for a whole class using an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer.  Be sure to set up your classroom computers with these resources for your students this week! Tips: Learning A-Z isn’t always a free resource, but they always offer some free material for you to access.  You may find after this week that you would like a subscription.  Be sure to register for the license give away…great end of the year present! Please leave a comment and share how you are using Learning A-Z in  your classroom!

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14 Online Interactive Advent Calendars

Posted by admin | Posted in Apply, Art, Create, Foreign Language, Fun & Games, Geography, History, Interactive Whiteboard, Knowledge (remember), Language Arts, Middle/High School, Music, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 30-11-2010

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It is December again, which means the beginning of Advent.  Advent calendars are a fun way to reveal information and “surprises” for your students to look forward to each day in December leading up to Christmas.  This year I thought I would make an advent calendar of my own using Wix.  I created a Web 2.0 advent calendar by choosing 25 of my favorite web 2.0 tools for the classroom.  Each day you can check out a new one.  (I’ll let you in on a secret, you can cheat and look at them all by clicking on the bird to get back to the calendar page…shh don’t tell anyone!)  You and your students can create your own custom advent calendar like I did using Wix.  Students can create an advent calendar of pictures of their school work, trivia for their parents, special audio notes, or anything they are learning.  To create your own Wix advent calendar, choose a template, add shapes to the template to create your calendar pieces, add 25 pages to the site, add links to those pages.  You could also create an advent calendar of your own using Glogster.  Create a customized advent calendar for your students with fun surprises, quotes, video clips, sound bites, etc.  It can be related to the learning they are doing in your classroom, suggestions of books to read,  or reveal special rewards like extra computer time, time playing a favorite game, time for reading, etc.  Be creative!

Woodlands Jr has a great online advent calendar every year that tests students knowledge about Christmas around the world.  The Woodlands Jr. 2010 advent calendar is now up and ready for viewing! This is a fun way for students to test their knowledge and learn about the ways that Christmas is celebrated all around the world.  As an extension, plot the places around the world that they are learning about on a world map.

BBC Radio has a fabulous Bach advent calendar. Each day your students can listen to a story about Bach or music.

The National Museum of Liverpool has an advent calendar that reveals a piece of art from the museum each day.

The Dirt Dirt advent calendar is purely fun, each day click on a number and an animation will be added to the tree.

For those of us who are app inclined, you can download a free app for your iDevice every day from Appvent Calendar.

Below you will find my interactive advent calendar finds from last year.  You are bound to find one that is a perfect fit for your class!

What it is: It is December!  This means the beginning of Advent along with the anticipation and excitement that it brings.  The Internet is full of interactive advent calendars that you can use in your classroom to teach about how the Christmas season is celebrated all around the world.  These advent calendars reveal fun facts, interactive activities, and stories.

Santa’s House Advent Calendar– This advent calendar tells a fun story.  Each day reveals another secret about what goes on inside Santa’s home on the 24 days leading up to Christmas.  In each picture, there is a little mouse hiding.  When students click on his ears, he jumps out.

Picture 1

Christmas Around the World Advent Calendar– Each day students click on the date to reveal a fun fact about how countries around the world celebrate Christmas.  The facts are accompanied by great illustrations and pictures.  This site shows up very small inside my Internet browser (Firefox).  To remedy this problem, click on “view” in your menu bar and choose “zoom”.  You may need to zoom in several times.

Picture 2

Christmas Mice Advent Calendar– This calendar tells the story about a mouse family who celebrates Christmas.  Each day a little more of the story is revealed.  Each picture includes some animation.

Picture 3

Santa’s Advent Calendar– On this advent calendar, each day reveals a new song or activity for students to complete. There are some fun Christmas themed mysteries to solve, stories to read, and activities to work through.

Picture 4French Carols Advent Calendar–  This is a French advent calendar.  Each day contains a new French Christmas carol sung by children.  This advent calendar would be a fun one to include in a study of Christmas around the world.

Picture 5

Christmas Around the World Advent Calendar Quiz–  This advent calendar tests students knowledge about how other cultures celebrate Christmas.  Each day students are asked a question and given hints to help them answer.  When the answer is revealed, students can click on links to learn more about the Christmas celebrations in that country.  This site also includes great activities and teaching resources for Christmas.

Picture 6

Christmas Advent Calendar– Follow the adventures of Zac the elf as he tries to find a Christmas present for Santa.  Each day a little more of the story is revealed.

Picture 7

Christmas Activity Advent Calendar–  This advent calendar has fun little games and activities to play each day.  The games and activities are quick and easy to complete, building mouse and keyboard skills.  This advent calendar would be a good one for the classroom computers as a center activity.

Picture 8

How to integrate Interactive Advent Calendars into the classroom: The season of Advent is always filled with eagerness and expectancy. Build some of that anticipation into your school day by allowing students to unlock a new secret on the advent calendar each day.  Use these advent calendars with the whole class on an interactive whiteboard or projector, or set them up as a quick center activity that students can visit.  Use the advent calendars that reveal a story to practice looking for foreshadowing clues, using context clues to guess what will happen next, or as story starters for students own stories.  The Christmas around the world advent calendars are wonderful for teaching students some of the history of Christmas and the way that other cultures celebrate the familiar holiday.

Tips: Each of these advent calendars has some fun goodies and hidden surprises, find the one that best fits your classroom needs.

Leave a comment and share how you are using Interactive Advent Calendars  in your classroom.

Comments (11)

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Shelly S Terrell, ktenkely, Heather Mason, lmockford, Tracy Poelzer and others. Tracy Poelzer said: RT @ShellTerrell: 14 Online Interactive Advent Calendars http://bit.ly/f1ry7R by @ktenkely #edtech […]

Awesome resources. I love your Web 2.0 Advent Calendar! I’m sharing it with my teachers because it’s so fun. Thanks for all of the great sharing you do.

I love your Web 2.0 advent calendar. What a great way to share tools with educators. I also hadn’t heard of Wix.com- very impressive. Thanks for your dedication to educational technology.

Great resources, thanks for sharing! I’m involved in a different kind of online advent calendar using a blog to publish a different type of resource each day, see http://www.librarycraft.com/festive24things

It’s designed for anyone to join in as a bit of fun and to introduce people to new tools they may not have heard of, by using the festive theme. I can see how this could easily be applied to a classroom setting also, and the great thing with blogging software like WordPress is that you can schedule posts in advance (similarly you could do a smaller scale version by simply scheduling 24 tweets with links to resources).

We hope people will join us in our festive adventure through web tools, please feel free to subscribe to the blog or follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/festive24things

Jo, thanks so much for sharing your resource of the day, what fun!

Thank you Karen. Yes, Wix is a wonderful way to build a flash website that looks impressive in no time.

Thanks for passing it on Tiffany!

[…] point out that a lot of the inspiration (and material) for this series of posts has come from the iLearn Technology blog.  Enjoy (and show any little kids you’ve got hanging around, they’ll love […]

[…] gem from the iLearn Technology blog and again one that would have been perfect when my kids were […]

I’ve enjoyed our blog very much. Thanks for all the great ideas.
Jeannie
retired educator
founder, educational nonprofit

Thanks for all the great tips!
I came across this online advent calendar of the public Czech TV; it has a nice educative ideas – comics on Baby Jesus, info on Christmas related music and paintings, educative games…. http://advent.ceskatelevize.cz/

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