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01/31/2008 Students work to end world hunger Holly Cook , Staff Writer Ann Foster | afoster@ccnewspapers.com Cherry Hills Christian School third-grader Joshua Parchen looks at his computer while working on FreeRice.com, a program that donates grains of rice for every correct vocabulary question answer. Parchen is one of his class’ highest scorers. What if just knowing what 10 vocabulary words meant could help stop world hunger? Well, at FreeRice.com it does and students at Cherry Hills Christian School in Highlands Ranch know enough vocabulary words to send 1.3 million grains of rice to people in need. Before Thanksgiving, technology teacher Kelly Tenkely introduced FreeRice to her elementary students to remind them about how much they had to be thankful for, and to do something to help others. FreeRice is a sister site of the world poverty site, Poverty.com. FreeRice provides a free vocabulary game that accumulates grains of rice, paid for by supporting advertisers, for every correct answer. The donated rice is shipped to the United Nations World Food Program and distributed internationally to impoverished countries. The results are two-fold. Students increase their English vocabulary while donating effortlessly to world hunger. “I don’t even think they really connect that they’re learning vocabulary,” Tenkely said. FreeRice has become such a hot item in Tenkely’s class that students are playing in their free time when school work is finished. Third-graders Joshua Parchen, 8, and Luke Mason, 9, are what Tenkely calls her “FreeRice rockstars.” Both boys have taken up playing at home and have donated more than 77,000 grains of rice individually. “We try to get homework done in our carpool so we can play when we get home,” Mason said. “It’s addicting and really fun,” Parchen said. Aside from just playing the game, Tenkely’s students are taking it upon themselves to develop commercials to motivate others to play FreeRice and to raise awareness about world hunger. To reach technology class curricular goals, students are using GarageBand and Keynote computer software to make their commercials. GarageBand helps students create background music and Keynote is similar PowerPoint software. “The goal of the commercials is to teach our kids how to use Keynote and GarageBand but also to teach them about poverty and hunger. We are creating the commercials to tell others about the subject and to tell them about one way that we can help out with FreeRice.” Mollie Gardner, 9, wants her commercial to show people how hungry others are and how thankful they are to receive food. Petra Sikovkski’s commercial says the same thing. Tenkely wants to place the finished products on other Web sites like TeacherTube and SchoolTube. “My goal is to let FreeRice know about them, although I’m not sure if they will add them to their site or not,” Tenkely said. See the full article here Colorado Community Newspaper

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Shelfari

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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