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Big Huge Thesaurus

What it is: Big Huge Thesaurus is a must add to your classroom publishing center.  The tag line of Big Huge Thesaurus says it all: “synonyms, antonyms, and rhymes (oh my!)”.  Big Huge Thesaurus goes beyond other online thesauruses by giving students a wealth of synonyms (for each part of speech), words that sound like the original word, and rhyming words.  When students find a word that they are curious about, they can click the link and it will send that word through the Big Huge Thesaurus. How to integrate Big Huge Thesaurus into the classroom: If you have classroom computers, set up a writing/publishing center where students have all the resources they need to write.  Big Huge Thesaurus should be one of those resources.  Students can visit the writing center to add richness and interest to their stories, poems, and other writing.  This Thesaurus does an excellent job of breaking down words.  Use Big Huge Thesaurus on an interactive whiteboard or projector when learning new vocabulary.  Type in the vocabulary word and have students construct its meaning using the synonyms that are generated.  Tips: I learned about Big Huge Thesaurus on Twitter this morning from several of my PLN. If you aren’t on Twitter with other educators, I highly recommend joining and following the fine folks I follow! Leave a comment and share how you are using Big Huge Thesaurus  in your classroom.

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Nanoogo: Online ePortfolio solution

Posted by admin | Posted in Create, Evaluate, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Subject, Teacher Resources, web tools, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 31-08-2012

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What it is:  Nanoogo is a place for students to create and share.  Nanoogo has a digital canvas that lets student share their knowledge and ideas with classmates.  Parents can easily login to view and comment on student work.  As a teacher, you can create a custom channel where you can provide secure access to parents and students and moderate or suggest changes to content before it gets posted.  Nanoogo is currently FREE to all schools, they mention on their information page that this may not be the case forever…I vote to sign up while it is free!

When students view each other’s work, they can rate it with a “like, genius, inspiring, cool, helpful, cute, funny or beautiful” badge.

Student can take screen shots of websites for their canvas.  Here they can add a sentence about what they learned/did.

How to integrate Nanoogo into your curriculum: At Anastasis Academy, we have a digital learning environment with 1 to 1 iPads.  We are largely paperless which has been WONDERFUL!  We don’t do worksheets…ever.  Bliss!  Most of what we do is digital, project based, design thinking, or discussions.  One of the problems this creates is a lack of bread crumbs of evidences of learning.  When you aren’t sending home a constant stream of graded worksheets, quizzes and tests, how can parents follow along and see what learning has been done?  What are the evidences?  Nanoogo could be a great place for students to create and keep an eportfolio.  Students can take screen shots and pictures of the projects and websites they have worked on and add a short reflection sentence about what was learned.  Everything can be shared with parents and classmates through the Nanoogo website.  Parents, students and parents can comment on student work and give it badges.  For everything that students upload on Nanoogo, they earn GoPoints.  These are displayed on a leader board.  Instead of ranking students based on grades, they are ranked based on how much of their learning they share.  I like this distinction…I’m not sure I love that we are still ranking students at all.  I think it might be more useful for students to compete against themselves in the points instead of against others.

Tips: At Anastasis, we use Evernote for our ePortfolio.  You can learn more about that here:

Evernote as an ePortfolio in a 1-to-1 iPad setting

 

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Nanogoo in your classroom!

Comments (2)

Kelly – Thanks for the post an wonderful review of our kids company! We’re very excited to be working with schools by providing our platform for free to teachers. At this early stage in our company, we’d love all the feedback we can get from teachers that are using Nanoogo or interested in using it. I can be contacted directly at daniel@nanoogo.com.

Thanks!
Daniel

I also use Nanoogo while teaching Scratch to 5th graders, and it’s been the best experience ever. Everyone is engaged in doing something meaningful, and students are learning with and from each other. I will be making Nanoogo part of everything I possibly can in the future.

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