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Story Time for Me: Digital Children’s Books

What it is: Story Time for Me is a beautiful collection of digital children’s books for primary students in kindergarten through second grade.  Each story includes charming illustrations, animation and professional narration with music and sound effects.  Activities accompany every story that encourage imagination and creativity (these are coming soon!).  The stories have been developed to teach important values through positive moral themes.   Story Time for Me currently has a library of over 30 books and growing.  Next Friday (April 22, 2011) Story Time for Me will be launching free personalized activity books where students can become the star of a book. Students can choose to read each story with or without narration, with or without animation and choose to highlight the words as they are read. I can’t tell you how impressed I am with this free digital story site.  It expands your classroom library, encourages a focus on character development and invigorates children to read more. How to integrate Story Time for Me into the classroom: Story Time for Me expands your classroom library with winsome digital stories that your students will love.  Story Time for Me makes a great reading center on classroom computers. Because students have the option to read with narration or independently, it meets the needs of both strong and developing.  Each story reinforces positive character education values often dealing with friendship.  These stories are a wonderful way to begin class discussions about friendship and empathy with students.  If you have an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer, the stories can be used as a whole-class “big book”. When the personalized versions are available, give your students the opportunity to star in their own story.  These personalized stories would make a fun beginning of the year activity as a way to welcome students to a new grade, or end the school year with a personalized story they can enjoy all summer. Tips: I learned about Story Time for Me from @2sparkley’s blog, Bits and Pieces Place.  If it isn’t a blog you subscribe to, it should be! Story Time for Me is completely free, the more visitors they can attract the more stories they will be able to add to the library. You can help them by spreading the word to family and friends on Twitter, Facebook, and blogs. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Story Time for Me in your classroom!

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Google Sky

Posted by admin | Posted in Interactive Whiteboard, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Virtual Field Trips, Websites | Posted on 10-07-2008

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What it is:
Google comes out with some really incredible tools and Google Sky is definitely one of them. Think Google Earth for the Sky and you will get a pretty accurate picture of what Google Sky entails. Students can get up close and personal with the Solar System, Constellations, the Hubble Telescope Showcase, Backyard Astronomy, Chandra X-Ray Showcase, GALEX Ultraviolet Showcase, and the Spitzer Infared Showcase. Google Sky also provides students with podcasts about the Earth and Sky. How cool is that? Like Google Earth, students can “zoom in” to a location and pan around. They can also view the sky in different views which include infared, microwave, and historical. Unlike Google Earth, Google Sky can be viewed right from your web browser without a download which makes it very handy for the classroom.

How to integrate Google Sky into the classroom: I think you would be hard pressed to find a school who didn’t have space units woven through curriculum at nearly every grade level. Google Sky is the perfect way to bring that curriculum to life for your students. You can take a virtual field trip to space right from your web browser! The different views and options in Google Sky make it appropriate for kindergarten through college age groups. Your students will enjoy exploring the solar system and learning about galixies with this up close and personal look. This site is perfect for use with an interactive whiteboard or projector for whole class instruction, but would be equally enjoyable on individual student computers where they can explore the universe at their own pace. When students zoom in on an object, they can “hover” over the object with their mouse for some stats. So neat!

Tips: As a side note this would be a great site to couple with the Discovery Series “When We Left Earth.” If you haven’t had a chance to catch the series, they are wonderful!

Leave a comment and share how you are using Google Sky in your classroom.

Comments (1)

Hi-
I used Google Sky in my third grade classroom last week, and it was amazing! I just had to do a quick lesson on constellations. I read a little book to intro what constellations are, and then we darkened the room and fired up Google Sky on the front screen, using my laptop and projector. The kids learned so much and loved it! We just were wrapping up the solar system, so we poked around a bit on that portion as well. The students were much more engaged than they were with just the book. At the end, each student received a black piece of paper, and used a white crayon to create their own constellation in the night sky. Thanks for telling me about Google Sky!

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