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Storybook Web

What it is: Storybook Web is “based on popular children’s stories by authors Scoular Anderson, Debi Gliori, Mairi Hedderwick and Frank Rodgers.”  There are a number of fun activities on this site including the ability to listen to the author’s reading excerpts from their stories and answering questions about how they came up with ideas for writing.  Students can choose from one of eight stories, each story has a related game, word bank activity, and videos/audio for reading the story and interacting with the author. How to integrate Storybook Web into your curriculum: Storybook Web is a fun way for students to interact with stories, making connections to the authors of the stories and the themes that they are reading about.  This site helps students think like an author.  It gives them an inside look at how authors think about writing.  Use this site as an introduction to a writing activity.  Students can watch the author videos and get an inside look at the process that a writer goes through.  This can be done using a projector connected computer or interactive whiteboard.  Storybook Web would also make a nice addition to a writing center on classroom computers.  When I taught second grade, I set up an “editing and publishing” center on my classroom computers.  Here I gave students access to an online dictionary, thesaurus, word processor/publishing program, and Read Write Think.  Storybook Web would be an excellent addition to a writing center.  Students can go to be inspired, encouraged in the writing process, and given a place to practice their own writing.  I like the word bank on Storybook Web, word choice is hard for beginning writers.  By interacting with the word bank activity on Storybook Web, students will begin to think about their own word choice.  You may want students to go through their own writing and pick out words that they would add to their word bank.  I have found that activities like this make students think about the words they are using.  Often, students will self-edit and find richer vocabulary to use in their writing. Tips: This is an easy website for emergent readers and writers to navigate.  Students can choose to have the site narrated for them or they can turn the audio off and read on their own. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Storybook Web 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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