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WICKED Science Interactives

What it is: I found WICKED Science interactive through a tweet from my friend @kathleen_morris.  WICKED Science interactives help students understand the earth- what it looks like, what it is made of, and how it works.  Students can explore the earth’s surface, examine features of the earth’s crust, explore the rock cycle, discover what the earth is made of in a lab, learn about heat and pressure, and look at different descriptions of the earth. How to integrate the WICKED Science Interactives into the classroom: I like that these interactives invite students to explore and question.  They don’t offer all of the answers and lead students mindlessly through a predetermined solution, but instead give students just enough information to ask more questions.  Students observe and interact with the activities and have opportunities to think and problem solve their way to learning.  For this reason, WICKED interactives would make a great introductory learning activity.  Students can begin inquiring about the earth during the interactive and follow-up by digging into the concepts deeper elsewhere.  These interactives would be great for whole class use on a projector-connected computer or interactive whiteboard or for small-group/partner use on classroom computers.  Each interactive gives students more information about the earth and invites further investigation. Tips: WICKED Science Interactives requires the Shockwave plugin to view the interactives.  The plugin can be downloaded from the site if needed. Please leave a comment and share how you are using the WICKED Science Interactives in your classroom!

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Claco: United We Teach, build lessons collaboratively

Posted by admin | Posted in Classroom Management, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, professional development, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, web tools, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 19-09-2012

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What it is:  Claco is a new website that makes it simple to build, organize and share lessons. Your lessons can be dynamic including weblinks, embed codes, online videos, files and more.  In addition to creating and uploading your own lessons, you can also search and use lessons that other teachers around the world have built.  There is no better way to stretch and grow professionally than to learn from each other!  Claco makes it easy to work with other educators in a collaborative environment to streamline the lesson planning process.  I love the vision behind Claco, they have even created a movement called “United We Teach” that encourages educators to share and enhance each other’s resources.  I learn SO much from my PLN, creating a place where this is encouraged as part of the process is fantastic!

Another feature I love about Claco: no need to download lessons, you can view and use all lessons directly from your Claco profile.  That means that lessons are available from anywhere (because they are in the cloud) and can be used from computers, iPads, and smartphones…super handy!

How to integrate Claco into your curriculum: Use Claco to save yourself time.  I tend to get lost in the OCEAN of amazing lesson ideas and resources on the web.  I like that Claco can be a one-stop shop for resources and lessons.  The ability to organize all of my findings in one easy-to-use place that can be accessed by all of my devices is also very helpful.

Aside from the time saving, Claco makes it possible to collaborate on lessons with other teachers in the building, or from anywhere in the world.  Lessons can be constructed with teammates and enhanced by anyone.  Lessons can also be easily shared with students, parents and colleagues.

Tips: You may recognize some features of Claco.  Class Connect (which I wrote about here) has morphed into Claco. The genius behind Claco, Eric Simons who created the sites after some frustrations with his own school experience.  Instead of being disenfranchised, he set out to make it better.  You gotta love that!

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

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