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Spin and Spell

What it is: Remember the See N’ Say of your childhood? Spin and Spell is reminiscent of the See N’ Say game. This site is great for kindergarten through beginning second grade students. Students click on the picture that they want to spell and spin the wheel to spell the words. There are five categories of words that students can choose including what we eat, what we wear, in and around the home, how we get there, and the animal kingdom. This is a great site to encourage spelling and for spelling practice. How to integrate Spin and Spell into the classroom: Spin and Spell makes a great spelling center in your classroom. Students can visit the center individually or play a game in pairs. If students choose to play in pairs, one student selects the word for the other player to spell. If the word is spelled correctly, that player gets one point. The five categories of words fit well into most kindergarten through second grade curriculum making Spin and Spell a great way to practice vocabulary and spelling during matching units. Spin and Spell is also a valuable site to send home with parents who are looking for ways to help their child with spelling at home. Tips: Set Spin and Spell up as a bookmark on your classroom computer for easy access. When students are looking for something to do when they have finished work early, they can easily navigate to spelling practice. Leave a comment and share how you are using Spin and Spell 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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