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Myths and Legends

What it is:  Myths and Legends is an awesome, free, online digital story telling website.  I heard about the website through @kjarrett.  The story creator lets students combine pictures that they compose with clip art or images that they upload, sound, and words to create a digital story.  The stories can be saved, printed, and shared.  Students can record themselves reading the story aloud and even add video!  The website is pretty comprehensive as far as online digital storytelling tools go, I am impressed!     How to integrate Myths and Legends into the classroom:  Myths and Legends is a great way to get your students interested and eager to write.  The digital story telling format gives students a unique opportunity to express themselves creatively.  Many of your reluctant writers will jump at the chance to create a story in this manner because it doesn’t “feel” like writing.  They don’t get stuck looking at that blank piece of paper and feeling overwhelmed by the task ahead of them.  I have found that students write more, and the quality of work is better when they create digital stories that are shared later with the whole class.  In the one or two computer classroom you can set up a digital storytelling writing center that students can work at, in the lab setting whole classes can create at the same time, and as a whole class with an interactive whiteboard or projector, the entire class can create a story together.     Tips: Each student should sign up and register for a free account so that they can save their work.  As a teacher you can also sign up for a school account where you can login and review all of your students work online.    Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  Myths and Legends in your classroom. window.google_render_ad();

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NBC Learn: Science behind the news

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Evaluate, Interactive Whiteboard, Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), video, Websites | Posted on 08-05-2013

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What it is:
NBC Learn has some fantastic free resources for teachers and students.  One of these freebies is called Science Behind the News.  In partnership with the National Science Foundation, NBC explores the science, technology and engineering found in current events.  Here, you will find a collection of videos that introduce students to the science found in the world around them and current events.  Students can learn about everything from quantum computing, to predictive policing, to crowdsourcing and weather phenomenon.  Each video is around 5 minutes long and are well produced.

How to integrate NBC Learn into the classroom:  I am a HUGE fan of embedded learning.  Learning that is in context just makes sense.  The learning is richer because students are able to make real connections to the foundational understandings that they already have.  In addition, this type of learning gives them an idea of how the learning that happens in the classroom is connected to life.  With Science Behind the News, students are able to see connections to the world right now.  These clips encourage students to be curious about the world around them, and to dig into the bigger “why” of how things work.  I like the thinking that is encouraged here.  It is really modelling curiosity beyond just passively listening to a news story.

These clips are a wonderful way to kick off a new science unit, as a resource during inquiry, or for students and classes just to explore.  Students can use these clips as a starting point for further research, a “spark” for more learning.  Each student could choose a different video to watch and then conduct some research to learn more.  Where else is the science used?  How has our thinking about a topic changed over time as we have learned more about it?  What math is involved?  Help your students to see that subjects don’t happen in isolation in real life.  Science is connected with social studies, math, literacy, history, sports, art, economics, discovery, etc.  Can they find the overlaps in learning?

Tips:  NBC Learn has other outstanding resources including: science in golf, science in hockey, science in football, chemistry now, fishing the dream, sinking the titanic, science of the winter Olympics, science of the summer Olympics, writers speak to kids and science in innovation.  Check them all out!

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

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