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National Geographic Young Explorer

What it is: National Geographic has fantastic resources for the classroom.  Their Young Explorer online content is not to be missed in the primary classroom.  This is an online magazine specifically for kindergarten and first grade student (I think second grade students would also benefit).  The site lets students listen and read the latest stories from National Geographic Young Explorer.  The photographs are breath taking and the reading is very accessible to beginning readers and English language learners.  Each portion of the text has a speaker next to it that allows students to listen to the text.  Click on the “More Issues” button to access past issues.  In the “For Teachers” section, you will find print versions of the teacher’s guides complete with lesson plans, discussion questions, accompanying worksheets, and more.  There is a very helpful story planner that gives you upcoming themes.  These may be helpful when planning upcoming lessons.   How to integrate National Geographic Young Explorer into the classroom: It can be hard to find quality, accessible informational reading for primary students.  National Geographic has solved this problem with Young Explorer.  I am amazed that National Geographic is offering these online for free!  Struggling readers can listen to the text read to them and read along.  English language learners receive support for their reading of the text.  The photographs and images are nothing less than excellent.  The teacher materials that are included will help you to utilize the magazines and stories effectively. Read and discuss Young Explorer stories as a class using a projector or interactive whiteboard.  Teach your students how to read informational text, and the comprehension strategies that will help them to understand what they are reading.  Set up Young Explorer on the classroom computers as a reading center for students to visit during reading time.  Take a look at the Young Explorer archives to see if any of the past issues will support the learning you are doing in the classroom. Tips: In the “For Teachers” section, you will find a link to interactive whiteboard content.  This is a link to National Geographic’s premium content that can be found on Promethean Planet.  These flipcharts are fantastic and include a teachers guide, printable blackline masters, teaching notes, and offline materials. Please leave a comment and share how you are using National Geographic Young Explorer in your classroom.

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E is for Explore: discovery, science, math, art, literacy, social studies and more!

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Apply, Art, Blogs, Create, Evaluate, Fun & Games, Inquiry, inspiration, Knowledge (remember), Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Phonics, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 07-01-2013

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E is for Explore!

 

Happy New Year!!  I have to say, I wasn’t heart broken to see 2012 go and welcome a year of new beginnings.  2012 felt…hard. And uninspired.  I think that is what happens when you see a dream realized and then comes the part where you are in the middle of it, making it work and doing the HARD work.  2012 wasn’t a year I felt particularly creative. I miss that, it is part of my essence.  I’ve been so incredibly busy, just working to keep everything going, that I had nothing left over.  I’m hoping that 2013 is a different story. Step 1: the first post of 2013.  Here is to creativity and passion!

What it is: I discovered a new blog that I am absolutely loving!  It is hard to beat a place where exploration is not only welcome, but encouraged.  E is for Explore is that place.  Here you will find new learning activities and a fantastic collection of ideas from other sources.  There is a handy-dandy index that helps you find just what you need quickly and easily.  I’ve been working on collecting resources for this inquiry unit and E is for Explore has been an absolute treasure trove.  Topics include discovery/exploration, science/engineering, mathematics, art, literacy, social studies and seasons/holidays.

How to integrate E is for Explore into the classroom:  E is for Explore is a great tool for unit, center, and inquiry planning.  I am really enjoying the huge bank of hands-on activities and projects all designed to encourage exploration in learning. The wide range of activities will keep sparking curiosity in a variety of disciplines.

As I plan out inquiry units and gather resources, I am always on the lookout for activities that will encourage students to explore and spark new curiosities.  E for Explore made this process infinitely easier, bringing me an easy-to-search collection of activities, with great instructions, all in one place.  Many of the activities are manageable enough for a center activity within the classroom…great for differentiation and individualization!

I shared E is for Explore with some of our students, they had a great time looking through the science experiments and learning about how to make mini robots and floam.  This would be SO much better than a small tic-tac-toe board for students to choose an activity from.  Students can explore the entire site and choose an exploration that is of interest to them and complete it accordingly.

Tips: My hope is that iLearn Technology does for you what E if for Explore did for me.  Did you know that you can search by keyword (at the top of my website) or through a multi-category search (in the sidebar on the right)?  Choose as many variables as you want and see what you can find!  I categorize every post by keywords, Bloom’s Taxonomy level, Grade Level, Resource Type, and Subject Area.  After 7 years of free resources, I’ve amassed quite a collection of awesome, free classroom tools.  Go ahead, give it a try and see what new fun finds you come across!

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  E is for Explore in your classroom.

Comments (3)

Looks like a great resource! I’ll definitely show it to other teachers!

Thank you so much for the write up about E is for Explore! iLearn Technology is one of my all time favorite sites! I have your site bookmarked for easy access. Plus, I told my Educational Technology professor about iLearn Technology over the summer. I am so happy that you find E is for Explore useful. It’s awesome that you have your students use it for differentiated lessons. I featured your writeup about QR codes on my blog back in August. Here is the link to the post: http://eisforexplore.blogspot.com/2012/08/kid-qr-codes.html. Once again, thank you for the writeup! – Erin Bittman

Thank you Erin! What you all are doing is SO fabulous!

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