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Grammaropolis

What it is: Grammaropolis is a fun find that helps students learn the parts of speech.  In Grammaropolis, all of the characters are a different part of speech.  Students will “meet” Adverb, Linking Verb, Pronoun, Adjective, Preposition, Slang, Noun, Conjunction, Interjection, and Action Verb.  Each character is personified with personalities inspired by their grammatical roles in a sentence.  The characters interact with each other the same way that parts of speech interact in a sentence, brilliant!  Each character has a character card that tells a story about them.  Students can watch short Grammaropolis videos starring the characters (parts of speech) that live there.  Students can take Grammaropolis quizzes, complete word sorts, and color the characters of Grammaropolis in an online coloring book in the games section.  Students will enjoy the fun Grammaropolis song featuring all of the characters of Grammaropolis.  Coming soon, students will be able to read a book series starring the Grammaropolis characters.   How to integrate Grammaropolis into the classroom: Visual learners will absolutely love this site that personifies the parts of speech.  All learners will appreciate the stories about the parts of speech.  We learn best through story.  Story gives us a framework for our understanding of new concepts and helps us to use those new concepts.  Grammar is often a subject that is taught purely through memorization of rules and drill and skill exercises.  This makes it difficult for students to really understand grammar.  Grammaropolis is an excellent solution to this problem.  Use the Grammaropolis character cards to introduce students to new parts of speech.  Watch the videos and listen to the song as a class to delve deeper into the character traits that each part of speech has.  The books on Grammaropolis are coming soon, while students await these, why not encourage your students to write their own stories that include the characters of Grammaropolis?  Do you have older students that could use a parts of speech refresher? Have them create stories using the characters for younger students.   The characters have already been developed for them!  Print out the character cards and post them around the classroom.  This will help your visual learners, when you talk about “Pronoun” they will be able to associate it with a character and story.  Set up the Grammaropolis games on classroom computers as a literacy center that students can visit to practice their understanding of the parts of speech. Tips: Grammaropolis is currently holding a contest.  Helping Verb is lost, students can draw what they think Helping Verb should look like.  Submissions will be accepted until March 31, 2010 (so start this contest with your students today!).  Five finalists will be posted on the Grammaropolis blog on April 7 with a winner announced April 22.  The winner will recieve a gift pack, there character drawn by a professional and added to the Grammaropolis team, and receive a 20″x30″ poster featuring their character singed by the Powerhouse animators that make the Grammaropolis videos.  The winning character will debut in Action Verb’s book in the book series. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Grammaropolis in your classroom.

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Numberphile: a series of numberly videos

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Create, Evaluate, Inquiry, inspiration, Interactive Whiteboard, Math, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), video, Video Tutorials, Websites | Posted on 28-01-2013

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What it is: Numberphile is a series of “numberly” videos by Brady Haran.  This is the same guy behind some other great projects including periodicvideos and sixtysymbols.  These videos reveal some of the mystery behind numbers and math in fun, short snippets!  I could give a long, drawn out explanation about the site…but really, you should go have a look and play a few videos. Or, try out the video below:

How to integrate Numberphile into the classroom: Numberphile can make a math geek out of anyone, myself included!  I don’t tend to geek out very much about numbers or math, but show me pattern and reveal some of the mystery that numbers hold and I am in.  This is what Numberphile does beautifully!  Numberphile would make a fantastic opening for math class.  Start each math class with these short videos to get your brain’s math muscles working.  I’ve watched 3 videos in a row and I am seriously geeking.

Ask students to each choose a different video to watch.  Students can learn a new math “trick” or pattern in math to teach their classmates.  The goal: creatively teach the concept!  They could create their own video, stop motion animation, infographic, story, illustration, etc.  Hold a math day  (3/14 would be fun…pi day) where students get to spend the day teaching one another.

You may assume that these videos are best for older students, not so!  At Anastasis, our 2nd and 3rd graders had a ball learning about Fibonacci and will happily explain it to any who enter their classroom.  Find an area of interest and share the passion!

Tips: All of the videos on Numberphile are YouTube videos.  If you don’t have access to YouTube in your building, try one of these methods for accessing the videos:

  • YouTube for Schools- This is a YouTube that has been created just for schools.  Network administrators must be involved so that they can add this option for YouTube into your filtering system.  This is a completely customizable option that lets teachers and administrators add videos to a playlist that you have predetermined you want students to watch.  Teachers can find videos by Common Core Standard, subject or grade.  Students can watch videos that teachers and administrators have approved or any YouTube Edu video (think Kahn Academy, PBS, TED, Stanford, etc.).
  • SafeShare TV- This site lets students watch YouTube videos without ads, links, comments and related videos.  You also have the option to crop videos and share videos with a unique URL.
  • YouTubeXL- This is a service that YouTube provides that lets you watch videos on large screens without the ads and comments. Neat tip: if you time “quiet” before the YouTube url, it takes you to a safe page where you can watch a YouTube video.  WAY cool and easy to do on the fly!
  • Clean VideoSearch- This site lets students search through YouTube videos without the comments, ads and busy sidebar.  It has additional features like the ability to choose how many videos you want to see on each page in your search.
  • Clea.nr- This service (a browser plugin) deletes all of the obnoxious extras that hang around videos (ads, comments, related videos). You can also search YouTube without all of the extras showing up.
  • ViewPure- This site cleans out all the clutter and gives you just a video.  Bonus: There is a quick button that you can add to your browser so that you can go to a video, click on “Pure” in your bookmark bar and instantly have a clean video.
  • Dragontape- This service lets you drag videos into a timeline and share them easily with students.  This is great for mashing up several videos, or cropping multiple videos into one.
  • Movavi- This is a video conversion service. Wonderful for teachers who can’t or don’t want to access a video directly from YouTube.  Copy/paste the url you want to convert, choose a file type, done!
  • Zamzar- This is another great video conversion service.  Works quickly and easily!
  • SaveYouTube- This site used to be called KickYouTube.  Here you can enter the url and download it to your computer to play offline.

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Numberphile in your classroom.

Comments (2)

I do have YouTube in my schools, but was troubled by the fact that the final paragraph says, “…try one of these methods for accessing the videos,” and then doesn’t give any methods! Yikes! Help those whose districts haven’t opened the YouTube channel by including your tips!

Did I forget the link?! Thanks for letting me know.

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