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Encyclopedia of Life: podcasts, videos, images, activities

What it is:  The Encyclopedia of Life (eol) is a beautiful website that celebrates the biodiversity of life.  On the eol website, find podcasts where students can discover the diversity of life five minutes and one species at a time.  Students can dig deeper into their learning with extra features like “Meet the Scientist”, “Educational Materials” or “Extras”.  The “Extras” include Google Earth tours, videos, audio out-takes, images and contributions from listeners.  Podcasts can be subscribed to via RSS or iTunes.  The Encyclopedia of Life even provides a podcast guide for educators to use! Teachers can create customized “Field Guides” on the eol website.  These guides are collections of text and images from the eol website to fit your classroom needs. Students can participate in their very own BioBlitz activities where they are led in observation of biodiversity in their own backyard. The Tools page has great extra interactives and tools for students to use as they learn about life on earth. Find tools such as a Cool Iris eol plugin, Google Earth Species quizzes and Life Desk where students can create and contribute to eol. How to integrate Encyclopedia of Life into the classroom:  The Encyclopedia of Life is a gorgeous site for students to explore biodiversity.  Students can engage with audio, video, images and activities to learn more about life on Earth. My favorite part of the site is the BioBlitz activities that lead students through discovering biodiversity in their own backyard.  These activities teach students to be careful observers, respectful of life and encourage curiosity and discovery.  Choose a BioBlitz activity to complete in the school yard with your students.  Use the eol site to learn about the different species you find.  Students will love the image and audio collections here! Are you studying a specific species in your class? Create your own classroom field guides.  Better yet, put students in charge of this job.  Split students into groups, each group can create a field guide to share with the rest of the class based on a species.  Tips: You have to login in order to create field guides on the Encyclopedia of Life.  All content can be viewed without a login. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Encyclopedia of Life in  your classroom!

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Learning Box Base 10 Blocks: Virtual math manipulative

Posted by admin | Posted in Apply, Interactive Whiteboard, Math, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Understand (describe, explain), web tools, Websites | Posted on 07-09-2011

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What it is:  Today while I was doing a quick Google search for a place I could buy a set of base 10 blocks, I came across this AWESOME digital version by accident.  What a happy accident!  Learning Box has a virtual version of base 10 blocks that builds in a fun practice game.  Students are given a target number and drag base 10 blocks onto the paper to represent that number.  As students add blocks, a counter at the bottom of the page shows how many blocks are currently on the paper.  This is a great way for students to digitally practice place value, counting by hundreds, tens and ones.

The outcome of my shopping trip for base 10 blocks: the digital version is MUCH cheaper (read:free) than the physical version (not free).  While I understand the value of the physical blocks, the digital version is a fantastic alternative for classrooms without the budget for each student to have a set or for students to continue practice at home.

How to integrate Learning Box Base 10 into the classroom:  The Learning Box Base 10 blocks are a great example of a virtual manipulative.  They help students visually represent numbers and place value.  I like the way the slider and cups on the bottom of the page help track student progress as they drag blocks to the paper. When students get the target number, they don’t start with a blank slate, instead a new target number is given and students have to figure out which blocks to add or subtract. You can adjust the level of difficulty and place values practiced by clicking on the 1, 10, and 100 circle to the left of the paper.

Learning Box Base 10 would make a great center activity in the one or two computer classroom.  Students can use the digital manipulatives with the built in game or to help them represent real-world problems.

Start a whole-class game with the Learning Box Base 10 blocks using a projector-connected computer or interactive whiteboard.  Students can take turns at the board solving the problem and “phone a friend” if they need some additional support.

Tips: This Learning Box activity is flash based…I’m hoping that someone comes out with an app of manipulatives for the iPad (hint, hint).

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Learning Box Base 10 Blocks in  your classroom!

Comments (8)

[…] Read this article: Learning Box Base 10 Blocks: Virtual math manipulative […]

Kelly, I LOVE the Learning Box base 10 blocks and have used them with my first and second grade classes when they were learning about place value and doing addition with regrouping. I found that site and others with similar virtual base 10 blocks on http://www.internet4classrooms.com in the math skillbuilders for second grade. The kids have a great time using these and they work great for differentiation.

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[…] iLearn Technology » Blog Archive » Learning Box Base 10 Blocks: Virtual math manipulative […]

[…] the home page to entice me.  As I entered this blog I was greeted by a screen shot of digital base ten blocks… “I must read more” is my only thought!  Kelly Tenkely is the creater of the iLearn […]

I have used electronic base 10 blocks in my third grade classroom for a couple of years now. I was amazed at how much better they grasped place value, as well as constructing and deconstructing large numbers with this tool. The kids were so excited to be able to use the smartboard and the electronic base 10 blocks to make numbers. I think the hand on component of this technology really reinforces the concept and increases students’ understanding and retention of place value. Thanks for sharing!

Love that your kids responded so well to the virtual! I’m always hesitant to go JUST virtual because I know some kids really love holding the blocks in their hands…they are so darn expensive that this is a great alternative!

Fantastic! Thanks for sharing these Debra.

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