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Emerald Island

  What it is: Emerald Island is a great place for kids to play and learn more about the earth and ways that they can help the earth, perfect for Earth Day!  Emerald Island is a virtual world created specifically for kids (6-12).  Students can pioneer, prevail over, and protect the Island.  Emerald Island is more than just a game, it is a story that students take part in.  The students job is to help Tamino (the hero) to save Emerald Island (a green island) from Pirats (pirate rats).  Each player plants seeds and cultivates gardens to replenish Emerald Island.  Emerald Island helps students to learn about and experience important contributions that are part of an interconnected world.  It provides young students with a sense of community and a beginning understanding of a global society.  Students begin to build knowledge, empathy, and appreciation for an environment that emulates earth.  While playing, students are empowered to make a difference and become true eco-heroes as they take on challenges to save the world.  Along the way students meet other citizens of Emerald Island, many of whom give students tips about how they can save energy and be more responsible citizens. How to integrate Emerald Island into the classroom:   Emerald Island is a great game for students to play throughout the month of April as they learn about Earth Day and how to become more earth-conscious citizens.  I love how Emerald Island involves students in a story and a quest to save a planet.  On the way they learn about how they can be better citizens of our planet with helpful tips from the Emerald Island citizens.  The games and activities help students to develop problem solving, reasoning, social, and computer skills.   Emerald Island can be played as a whole class exploring and reading clues together with an interactive whiteboard or individually in a computer lab setting. You can expand on what students are learning in Emerald Island by keeping a class notebook of green tips that students learn in Emerald Island.   Tips:  Emerald Island provides an outstanding introduction to registering for a website, it is easy enough to use with young students and reinforces Internet safety rules before the game begins.   Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Emerald Island in your classroom.

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NASA’s 50th Anniversary Flash Feature-best website ever!

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Evaluate, Interactive Whiteboard, Knowledge (remember), Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 19-04-2011

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Have I mentioned lately that I have the most AWESOME readers?  No?  Well it is true, you all are awesome and you keep me going even when I am running on low.  Thank you for that!  I’m currently working on starting a school (actually 3) in the next 2 years.  This is proving to be an exciting and, oh yeah, exhausting task.  Then I get encouraging emails and site suggestions from you all and it puts some major pep back in my step.  Thank you!  This website is one such recommendation.  You know you are a true geek when getting a cool website in your inbox revives you :)  Thank you Ryan!

What it is: NASA’s 50th Anniversary Flash feature is a website that is absolutely not to be missed.  Seriously, it won’t even hurt my feelings if you skip reading my post and just head right on over to dig in and check it out yourselves!  This interactive timeline highlights each decade in our space program from 1950 to 2000.  Until we get time travel sorted out, this is a pretty good substitute! The site encourages exploration and discovery as students move decade by decade through the site.  I love that this site goes so far beyond just space exploration.  While students explore, they will hear music representing each decade, see animations, listen to virtual radio broadcasts of actual news headlines (including NASA news and other news from the decade), original video, listen to speeches of the decade and even launch rockets.  I can’t tell you how happy it made me to hear Johnny Cash mixed in as I was playing on this site (in the upper left corner of the site you will be able to change songs on the jukebox, record, tape, CD or mp3 player).  First thing I heard when I clicked on the 80’s “Tonight on Dallas find out who shot J.R.”. *LOVE THIS SITE!*  This blog post took me about 2 hours because I got sucked right into exploring and playing.  The site reminds me of Epcot’s Tomorrow Land, complete with robot guide.  This is what online learning should look like, when I close my eyes and dream, this is the experience I imagine for kids.  Can you imagine if there was a site like this for history? How cool would that be?!

How to integrate NASA’s 50th Anniversary Flash Feature into the classroom: This is one of those sites that you could let kids loose on just for exploration.  Without any guidance from you they will learn plenty!  Ideally kids would explore this site in partners or on their own in a one to one computer lab setting.  If each student has a computer, headphones will be a necessity.  If individual exploration just isn’t in the cards, visit the site as a class with an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computers.  Invite students up to the computer (whiteboard) to take turns guiding the class.  The site has plenty of interactive content to give each student a chance at the computer (whiteboard).  Unless you have a good chunk of time dedicated to the site, this is one that I would stretch out over a week.  Each day students can explore a new decade.

The space exploration component of this site is amazing and could keep everyone plenty busy with learning.  With older students, discuss what the music of the decade reveals about that time in history.  What does the music tell them about people, community, values, events of the day?  Take it one step further and ask students to dig into other historical events in each decade, discussing their impact on space exploration, culture and where we are today.  One thing that I missed out on in history was all of the stories that make it so rich.  For me, history was reduced to names, dates and places.  Give your students the opportunity to put themselves into history and learn about how the events influenced each other.

NASA’s 50th Anniversary Flash Feature would be a great one to use in connection with We Choose the Moon.  If your students are like mine, they can’t get enough of this stuff!  Obviously I can’t get enough of it either.  Full disclosure, I have always loved space exploration.  When I was a kid I spent many summers at Black Rock Desert at LDRS (Large Dangerous Rockets) with my dad.  My dad built wooden model rockets- first wooden rocket on record to break sound barrier!  In answer to your next question: yes, I have always been a complete and total nerd. 😛

Tips: What? Your still here? Go on, visit the site! (channeling my inner Ferris Bueller today).

Please leave a comment and share how you are using NASA’s 50th Anniversary Flash Feature thesauruses in your classroom!

Comments (3)

[…] site is a great one to use in connection with the NASA 50th Anniversary site I shared […]

[…] launch.  Using a projector-connected computer or an interactive whiteboard, launch one of the shuttles here.  When you “land” on the moon, let students explore the surface together by […]

[…] 8. NASA’s 50th Anniversary Flash Feature- Best. Website. Ever. An incredible interactive timeline that highlights each decade in the United States space program from 1950 to 2000. […]

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