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What’s Your News?

What it is: What’s Your News is an online newsroom staffed by ants.  Complete with anchormen and a studio, What’s Your News is a “news show” aimed at 4-7 year old students that introduces them to the wider world.  The news covered is kids news, and it comes right from their homes (or classrooms).  News stories could be anything from the arrival of a new pet, to a lost tooth, or being able to play a new tune on the piano.  Students can submit their own Breaking News with the help of a teacher or a parent.  There are fun games to play that teach students about how news gets reported.  Learn about all of the characters by visiting them backstage.  Watch fun clips from the What’s Your News Nick Jr. TV show.  Print some fun activities including a make your own newspaper, build a What’s Your News studio, or download a special reporter pack that helps your students become roving reporters.   How to integrate What’s Your News into the classroom: This site is just so cute, you can’t help but fall in love with it (and the characters).  What’s Your News is perfect for a communities/neighbors unit.  Students will learn about what is happening from news reports created by other kids.  I love the way this site involves kids in sharing news.  It would be fun to share classroom news on What’s Your News each week.  Download the special reporter pack for your students and have them put on their own weekly news show for your classroom.  Introduce your students to the wider world through this kid-friendly news show. Tips: Before you post student pictures online, please make sure that you have school and parent permission to do so.  If you can’t post students pictures online, consider taking pictures and reporting on special class projects, a class pet, or a science experiment. Please leave a comment and share how you are using What’s Your News in your classroom.

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Here is Today: a web app to put time in perspective

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Character Education, Evaluate, History, Inquiry, Interactive Whiteboard, Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 10-07-2013

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Here is today iLearn Technology

Here is today iLearn Technology

Here is today iLearn Technology

What it is:  Here is today is an interesting little web app that helps students visualize time in a new way.  Students start out by seeing a square and a title that says “here is today” with the current date.  When students click “okay” at the bottom, they are taken to a visual of the next step in.  Students can see where the day is falling within the month, the year, the century, the millennium, the epoch, the period, the era, the eon, the earth, life, oxidation, fish, insects, reptiles, mammals, birds, humans, and the universe.  Each stage of the graphic has an arrow pointing out how today (whatever day that happens to be) compares in the grander scheme of things.  Pretty cool!

How to integrate Here is Today into the classroom:  Here is Today is an outstanding way to help students understand where they are in place in time.  They can see where they are and then compare it to the larger history of the world and universe.  Obviously, this is a natural fit into a history or biology class.  Here is Today would also make a great object lesson in math and be great for studying comparison and scale.  It would also make for a great philosophical discussion as we realize just how minute the moment we are living in really is.

Here is Today is a great site for students to explore and inquire about independently.  What questions arise as they explore the site?  After students have investigated and come up with their own lines of inquiry, gather back as a classroom community and discuss those lines of inquiry and the thinking that led to them.  If you happen to follow the IB Primary Years Program, this fits in great to “Where are we in place and time” inquiry.

Here is Today would also be a useful visual on an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer where a class can observe and explore together during discussion.  The way that the site compares time is seriously smart.

Here is Today could launch an interesting creative writing assignment.  Invite each student to explore the site and to choose a view.  The story should be written based on the point of view and time that they chose.  This could be a new way to explore setting, time and theme.

Tips:  Here is Today reminds me a little bit of the Scale of Life site that I wrote about here.  Using these sites together could be pretty epic.  Talk about a great sense of our place in the universe!

Are you using Here is Today in your classroom?  Share your experience in the comments below!

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