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Maggie’s Earth Adventures

What it is: Maggie’s Earth Adventures is an incredible site for teachers and students.  First the amazing tools for you… Every teacher has wished for a lesson that takes little time for teacher preparation or explanation, can be used as a center activity, is a filler for students who finish their work early, serves as extra credit, is a ready made homework assignment, or can be an emergency plan for a substitute teacher.  Maggie’s Earth Adventures Teachers Lounge is the place to go!  Sign up for free weekly activity packets in subjects such as math, reading, science, and social studies.  Weekly activity packets are sent based on age levels (emergent reader, primary, and intermediate) and a different subject area is sent each week.  These are high quality teaching materials!In addition to the free weekly activities, Maggie’s Earth Adventures also features an excellent lesson plan resource, you can get an entire theme unit or a few lessons.  Some lessons even have free PowerPoint presentations to accompany the lesson.  The site is available in English or in Spanish making it perfect for the ESL classroom. Maggie is not just for teachers, you will find outstanding interactive games for your students too!  Kids can watch cartoons that tie in directly with the lesson plans.  The cartoons are packed with teaching and are interactive.  In the postcard section students can choose a picture and then choose an activity to accompany the picture.  Students can create a story clock, news article, description web, or postcard.  In the games section students can choose from games to improve math, spelling, reading, geography skills, language skills, proofreading skills, and science. Students can also download free books (these download as a printable pdf). How to integrate Maggie’s Earth Adventures into the classroom: These high quality lessons and activities are ideal for having on hand for students who finish work early and are looking for extension activities.  They are also ideal for extra credit, homework practice, or emergency substitute plans.  Use the games as practice for important skills students are working on in language arts (spelling and punctuation) and math.  This is a great place for students to hone a newly learned skill.  The postcard maker (which actually makes much more than postcards) is a great place to send students for story starters and creative writing assignments.  This is one of those sites you will want bookmarked on your classroom computers! Tips: Sign up to receive weekly activities and lessons from Maggie.  I know you sign up for a million things throughout the year, this is one that you will really use! Leave a comment and share how you are using Maggie’s Earth Adventures in your classroom.

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History for Music Lovers: Brilliance

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Create, Evaluate, History, inspiration, Knowledge (remember), Language Arts, Middle/High School, Music, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, video, Websites | Posted on 08-02-2011

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What it is: Thanks to a tip from Jan, an iLearn Technology reader, I learned about the History for Music Lover’s YouTube channel yesterday.  Oh. My. Goodness. Instant love. Seriously, if I had learned history this way, I would have rocked it!  As it turns out, I actually met @amyburvall, the genius history teacher behind History for Music Lover’s at ISTE 10 in Denver and didn’t make the connection (feeling like a jerk for not figuring that out!).  I starred in a video with one of the stars of the MansaMusa video “Magnus” the fashion police guy at ISTE.  Small world.  You MUST check out this YouTube channel, even if YouTube is blocked in your building. (As a side note…someone remind me WHY we block students from learning opportunities??)

History for Music Lovers is a collection of music videos (high quality I tell ya!) centered around events and people in history set to popular songs.  Amy Burvall, IB high school history teacher, is the creator and star of the videos.  Coolest history teacher ever. My high school history teacher sang one song to us: I’ve Been Working on the Railroad. True story.  It was not engaging, inspiring, or helpful in my learning of history.

On the History for Music Lovers YouTube channel you’ll find:

I think it is awesome that the 80’s is so well represented in this list :)  that Amy Burvall is one talented girl!

How to integrate History for Music Lovers into the classroom: This is my new favorite way to introduce a history topic.  If this doesn’t grab student attention and leave them wanting to learn more, I don’t know what will.  The collection of videos is a fantastic place to start learning.  The lyrics give students just enough information that when they begin fleshing out the period or figure in history with additional reading or research they will have a solid base to build from.  The lyrics are catchy, students will forever associate William the Conqueror with Sexyback.

Students can embed these videos in their own history Web 2.0 creations and presentations.  I’m currently using Capzles with a group of 8th graders and imagine them embedding these videos in their timelines along with images, and their blogged reflections.

Are your students as inspired by music as Ms. Burvall is? Encourage students to tackle a figure or historical time that hasn’t been done yet and create their own historical song parody.

Tips: For those of you who don’t have access to YouTube in your building (again I have to ask why?) you can still use these awesome videos in your classrooms with a little bit of pre-planning.  Download and save YouTube videos so that you can show them at school without accessing the YouTube site. Use KeepVid, YouTube DownloaderHD, Kick YouTube, SaveVid, or Zamzar.  Some of these tools will even let you download at school if you know the YouTube url.  The downloaded video should have no trouble playing at school!

Follow History For Music Lovers, historyteacherz on Facebook and Twitter.

Also, did you know you can become a fan of iLearn Technology on Facebook? It’s true! I don’t have a fancy dancy Twitter account especially for iLearn Tech but feel free to follow me on Twitter. I like talking education, technology, and am in general a geek :)

** This is the LONGEST it has ever taken me to write a blog post, I got sucked right in and watched each and every video.  On the bright side my knowledge of history has increased substantially today.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using History for Music Lovers videos in your classroom!

Comments (7)

WOW! Thanks for the lovely comments and encouragement! And the student project idea is a good one- I’ve been doing that for a few years and the results are amazing!
More to come!
-Amy Burvall of the historyteachers

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Shelly S Terrell, ktenkely, Kyle B. Pace, nancyrubin, Helen S T and others. Helen S T said: RT @ShellTerrell: History for Music Lovers: Brilliance http://bit.ly/eNA27M by @ktenkely #edtech […]

Thank YOU Amy for such an awesome resource!

I am so thoroughly impressed by all of these videos! I never knew they existed before. I teach 6th grade Social Studies and we work with the Ancient Civilizations. I can’t wait to put some of these up on my Smartboard. Thank you so much for giving directions to download them for schools who can’t use youtube. (I am at one of those schools, sadly)

Aloha from the waves in Hawaii. Great post. How you can be so fashion forward, beautiful and a total geek is a mystery. ;) “Twitter, like our lives, is neither stagnant nor
stream of conciousness. Neither rehearsed nor improv.
Rather, it is the ever-shifting life in the now,
the creative spawn of the consantly evolving present
moment, fresh and exciting, combined with the steady,
calming presence of our knowledge of the past.” — Mr J aka Magnus Von Magnussen

Magnus all I can say is…it is a gift- ha!

You and me both Stacy! Hope that the download option means that you can share them with your students!

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