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Save the Words

What it is: Save the Words is a site that celebrates words by “saving” words that are becoming forgotten and left behind in the English language.  I learned about the site today from @BookChook on her wonderful literacy blog.  The site has a simple premise, words are displayed graphically, when your roll your mouse over them they call out to you “pick me”, clicking on a word displays the definition, part of speech, and a contextual example of the word.  Signing up on the site allows you to adopt words.  I love the mission of this site, on the f.a.q. page they state that “Words are the cornerstone of language. The more words we have, the richer our vocabulary. Words allow us to communicate precisely.  Without the right word to describe something, well…we’d be speechless.”  So true, words bring so much color to language, it is a shame to use the same words over and over.  I am certainly guilty of this in my overuse of words like fantastic, outstanding, wonderful, amazing, great, nice, fun, etc.  in blog posts.  Surely there are many more appropriate words that describe the tool I am reviewing more precisely, but we become lazy in language and use words that are easy and we don’t have to think about. How to integrate Save the Words into your curriculum: Save the Words is a site with a beautiful goal, preserving words to keep language rich and powerful.  Most of the words on the site are new to me, but I was surprised at how many of them I could make an educated guess about  meaning based on what I already know about words.  Use Save the Words in your classroom (at any age) to enrich your students vocabulary, help them identify word patterns and meaning clues, and to help them appreciate words.  Choose a word to adopt each day as a class using a class account (adopting a word requires an email address).  Commit to using the word at some point during the day.  My elementary age students loved learning new words, especially words that they found out parents and other teachers didn’t know.  They become the experts.  In my class, I often had a secret word of the day.  I would casually mention what the secret word was at some point in the morning.  Throughout the day if I needed my student’s attention I would ask for the secret word, immediately students were silent with their hands raised to give me the word.  Save the Words would be the perfect place to draw those secret words from. Students could also keep a journal or word list of all of the words they have adopted, I could see this being especially popular with the Webkins age group.  The words are often difficult, but I don’t think that is any reason to exclude them from the classroom vocabulary! Today I adopted the word antipelargy: reciprocal or mutual kindness; love and care of children. Tips: You can sign up for a word of the day delivered directly to your email on Save the Words. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Save the Words 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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