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Maggie’s Earth Adventures

What it is: Maggie’s Earth Adventures is an incredible site for teachers and students.  First the amazing tools for you… Every teacher has wished for a lesson that takes little time for teacher preparation or explanation, can be used as a center activity, is a filler for students who finish their work early, serves as extra credit, is a ready made homework assignment, or can be an emergency plan for a substitute teacher.  Maggie’s Earth Adventures Teachers Lounge is the place to go!  Sign up for free weekly activity packets in subjects such as math, reading, science, and social studies.  Weekly activity packets are sent based on age levels (emergent reader, primary, and intermediate) and a different subject area is sent each week.  These are high quality teaching materials!In addition to the free weekly activities, Maggie’s Earth Adventures also features an excellent lesson plan resource, you can get an entire theme unit or a few lessons.  Some lessons even have free PowerPoint presentations to accompany the lesson.  The site is available in English or in Spanish making it perfect for the ESL classroom. Maggie is not just for teachers, you will find outstanding interactive games for your students too!  Kids can watch cartoons that tie in directly with the lesson plans.  The cartoons are packed with teaching and are interactive.  In the postcard section students can choose a picture and then choose an activity to accompany the picture.  Students can create a story clock, news article, description web, or postcard.  In the games section students can choose from games to improve math, spelling, reading, geography skills, language skills, proofreading skills, and science. Students can also download free books (these download as a printable pdf). How to integrate Maggie’s Earth Adventures into the classroom: These high quality lessons and activities are ideal for having on hand for students who finish work early and are looking for extension activities.  They are also ideal for extra credit, homework practice, or emergency substitute plans.  Use the games as practice for important skills students are working on in language arts (spelling and punctuation) and math.  This is a great place for students to hone a newly learned skill.  The postcard maker (which actually makes much more than postcards) is a great place to send students for story starters and creative writing assignments.  This is one of those sites you will want bookmarked on your classroom computers! Tips: Sign up to receive weekly activities and lessons from Maggie.  I know you sign up for a million things throughout the year, this is one that you will really use! Leave a comment and share how you are using Maggie’s Earth Adventures in your classroom.

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512 Paths to the White House Interactive Infographic for the Election #election2012

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Evaluate, Geography, Government, Interactive Whiteboard, Math, Middle/High School, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 05-11-2012

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What it is: Tomorrow is Election day!  I couldn’t be more excited to see an end to the obnoxious political ads. Living in a swing state means that EVERY commercial I see is a political ad. At this point, all I have been convinced of is that the world may in fact be ending…the choices here are dire. One thing I am now passionate about: campaign reform. I digress.

512 Paths to the White House is a super cool interactive feature on the New York Times website.  Students can test out selecting a winner for the swing states and see the paths to victory available to either candidate.  Students can also mouse over the infographic and see what happens in the breakdown of each option.  According to the infographic, there are 5 paths to a tie.

How to integrate 512 Paths to the White House into the classroom: This really is a cool infographic to explore before the election.  Students can explore this infographic on classroom computers as an Election Day discovery center, as a class on an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer, or individually on computers.

This site makes a wonderful opening to discussion about the electoral college, the election process for the US, and why the swing states determine the outcome of the election.  At the bottom of the page, there are some specific scenarios for students to explore.  These scenarios also open up great conversations about economies in different states, beliefs of each party, political advertising, liberal vs. conservative states, etc.

In the secondary math class, students can explore probability, statistics and unpack the data offered here.  It is pretty interesting to see the paths each candidate has to winning based on who wins each battleground state.

Tips: Follow up on Wednesday, November 7th with how accurate the 512 Paths to the White House was.  Students can use this tool as they watch the election to predict who the winner will be.

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  512 Paths to the White House in your classroom.

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Comments (2)

Dear Mrs. Tenkely,
I think that is a great learning tool. I would have loved to predict the swing states if I would have known about it. Hopefully, I will be teaching in the next election and can use that in my classroom. I bet the ads become so annoying because we are not even a swing state and they drove me crazy!

Hi! My name is Brittany Leavitt, and I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. I was assigned to your blog through this class to read and comment on. I have never been very interested in politics myself, but I find this blog post extremely informative. I loved the infographic, and the different ways that you thought to use it in the classroom. Thanks for sharing! Hopefully, as a secondary educator in history, I can use this and similar things to get my students involved in elections and politics! Thanks for sharing!

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