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Word Magnets

What it is: Word Magnets is a fantastic little website that lets you type or copy and paste words into a field and create virtual word magnets out of them (think of the popular word magnets sold for refrigerators).  After you have typed in the words to transform into magnets, you can choose a “magnetic” background for your words.  There are several backgrounds to choose from including grids, venn diagrams, time lines, arrows, stair steps, targets, boxes, numbers, alphabet, circles, webs, flow sequences, tables, present/absent, and many more.  After you choose your background, students can create sentences, sort, and interact with the virtual magnetic words.  Words can be added to the board at any time and the color of the background and size of the magnets can be adjusted. How to integrate Word Magnets into the classroom: The background options for your word magnets are really the highlight of this website.  You can do everything from word sorts, to venn diagrams, to practicing alphabetic order.  Create tables; sort words by their root, prefix, or suffix; link ideas; practice building sentences; create a time line of events, take attendance…the possibilities with this site are endless!  If you are going to use this site for taking attendance, I would suggest creating a master list in a saved word document that you can copy and paste from (this will save you from re-typing names every morning).  This is an excellent site for an interactive whiteboard or to use as a center activity.  This is an easy way to create customized interactive lessons for your classroom.  Because you enter the content, this site is appropriate for any grade level. Tips: One thing I wish this site had: the ability to save.  If you want to save words to interact with over and over, create a document that you can copy and paste from.  If you want to save a copy of the word magnets after students have interacted with them, take a screen shot of it. Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Word Magnets in your classroom.

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How to Do Research Interactive Graphic

Posted by admin | Posted in Interactive Whiteboard, Knowledge (remember), Language Arts, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 29-03-2012

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What it is:  The research process can be a hard one for kids to master.  As a student, I remember thinking that it was a long process of random steps that were supposed to somehow come together as a completed project. I was constantly convinced that I would forget one of those steps and the whole thing would come crashing down around me.  I’ve seen this same behavior in our students at Anastasis. We mention the word research, and we are met instantly with groans.  Kids don’t really dislike research though, they do it all the time voluntarily.  Kids want to know how to be masters at parkour and they immediately search YouTube and Google for videos, tips, blogs, etc. to learn all about it.  Kids hear someone talk about dub step and will go through videos and connect with others who know about dub step.  They didn’t believe me when I told them this is research.  The Kentucky virtual library has a great interactive that leads kids through the research process step-by-step and lets them dig deeper into the portions that they don’t understand.  It has a fun game board-like interface so that it isn’t intimidating for kids to go through.  Every step of the process is covered from initial planning, to searching for information, to taking notes, to using the information, reporting and evaluating.  I’m not a stickler for this process happening exactly as it is described, but I appreciate that the site gives students a starting point so they aren’t so overwhelmed with the “research beast.”

How to integrate How to do Research Interactive Graphic into the classroom: The How to do Research Interactive Graphic is a great site to keep bookmarked and available for easy access for students throughout the school year.  Any time they are faced with the daunting task of performing a research project, they can access the interactive graphic.  Whenever your students are working on research, set up your classroom computers as a “research station” where students can perform searches online and access this graphic.  The interactive graphic will keep your students moving when they are feeling overwhelmed and stumped and provide a great foundation for conducting research.
The graphic is also a great way to introduce students to the research process.  Using an interactive whiteboard, or projector-connected computer, you can lead students through the process, explaining specific areas of focus for the project or your classroom.  I like that this site doesn’t just focus on the research paper, but shows students that research can have a variety of outcomes.
Tips: Within the graphic, there are pages that you can print out for your students.  Check out the notes section for an example of this.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using How to do Research Interactive Graphic in  your classroom!

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