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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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Eyes on the Earth 3D

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Evaluate, Geography, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 06-05-2011

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What it is: I’m still on my NASA/space kick, this time with Eyes on the Earth 3D from NASA.  This is a neat website that lets students track missions as they are happening with the satellites that are collecting information about the Earth from space.  Students can learn about the earth by choosing a mission to follow, zoom in and out of the globe, view satellite paths, view city and location labels on the map, replace the sun with an “artificial light” and see the view from Earth’s surface.  As students click on the satellite, they will be able to view and discover more information about the mission.  Students can choose to view the 3D Earth in real-time or speed up/slow down the Earth with a time control.  Students can choose to learn more at any time by viewing the official mission home page linked at the bottom of each page.

How to integrate Eyes on the Earth 3D into the classroom: This is a way for students to assume the role of NASA scientist to learn more about the Earth and collect data.  Students can view real data about sea levels, the Arctic sea ice minimum, carbon dioxide readings, global temperature and the ozone hole.  Students can study each mission to gain a better understanding of  what NASA scientists do and study.  If you teach younger students, the 3D globe is a great way to help students understand continents, oceans and earth rotation.

One of the features that I enjoy about Eyes on the Earth 3D is the ability to view the Earth from the satellite view or the satellite from the Earth view.  This will help young students better visualize and understand how satellites work and orbit the Earth.

If your students are studying satellites or NASA missions, assign each student a different mission to study in-depth.  Students can present what they have learned to the class as an oral presentation using the Eyes on the Earth 3D site as a visual.

Tips: Missions can be viewed by what their focus is: atmosphere, oceans or land.  If you are studying any of these, the missions would be a nice tie in.  Students can read or hear about all of this data but I think it is just as important to understand where it all came from and how it was collected.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using  Eyes on the Earth 3D in your classroom!


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