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Google Election Tools for Teachers

  What it is: Google has an excellent tool resource center for teachers and the newest addition is the Elections tools for Teachers section.  Google is partnering with the National Student/Parent Mock Election to get students of all ages excited about the coming election in November.  The tools and activities help teach students about the candidates, issues, and about the election process in general.  Tools include an electoral college map, journey maps, YouTube You choose videos, Election video search, Power Readers, letter to the next president, and more.   How to integrate Google Election Tools for Teachers into the classroom:  Google offers amazing tools to educators and the Election Tools for Teachers don’t disappoint!  Each tool on Googles site offers ideas for integration in the classroom and lesson plans.   This years election seems to be different in so many ways than elections of the past…our future presidents are using technology like YouTube, Facebook, and blogging to influence voters.  The Google Election Tools are a great way to examine this phenomenon more closely while teaching about the election process and about the candidates and issues.  Enroll your class in a Mock Election that will take place on October 30, 2008 and before your students cast their vote, use the Google tools to engage students in learning more about the candidates and issues.   Tips:  If you don’t have access to the election videos because YouTube is blocked at school, use a file conversion program like www.zamzar.com to download the video from home.     Leave a comment and share how you are using Google Election Tools for Teachers in your classroom.  

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Posted by admin | Posted in Blogs, Interactive book, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 20-05-2008

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What it is: Shelfari is a virtual bookshelf that you create to show off books that you have read and recommend. It is a Web 2.0 site that allows you to connect with students, other teachers, and parents around books. Shelfari is a great way to discover new titles, discuss books, start an online book club, and show others what you are reading. You can show off your Shelfari bookshelf on your blog, classroom website, or other social networking site of choice. Really cool!

How to integrate Shelfari into the classroom: As summer break approaches, we teachers start thinking about how far we have come during the school year with our students. We also dread that they will be on their own for the summer and may or may not be reading. Shelfari would be an excellent resource to create today and introduce your students and parents to before summer break. Build a bookshelf of age-appropriate reading for your students. Post the bookshelf on your classroom website and encourage students to continue reading with you over the summer. Because Shelfari allows for you to create online book clubs and discussions, students can keep their reading and comprehension skills in tip top shape with you! Shelfari is also an excellent resource for parents who may feel overwhelmed when they enter a library with their child. They often aren’t sure of their child’s reading level and age-appropriate books. With Shelfari, they can visit your shelf before the trip to the library for some great suggestions. Shelfari is also ideal throughout the school year as a place for you and your students to connect over reading…reading is so much more fun when you have someone to share and discuss what you are reading with! Students can create their own bookshelves to show off what they are reading. Teacher to teacher book clubs on Shelfari are also a lot of fun! Connect with other staff members over books that you are reading (they can be school related or not.) Maybe in place of the traditional book report, students start a discussion on Shelfari about their reading. Where have you been all my life Shelfari? :)

Tips: Use Shelfari in conjunction with Book Adventure for some real reading fun!

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Shelfari in your classroom.

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