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Jigsaw Planet

What it is: Well, it is the first week of school which for me means that it is rules week.  Every teacher has to go over the rules at some point and it is usually met by major groans from students.  This year I approached rules week differently.  I used an awesome site called Jigsaw Planet to turn my rules into jigsaw puzzles.  Jigsaw Planet is a site that makes it simple to create custom jigsaw puzzles.  Just upload a jpeg image to the site, choose how many pieces you want, what shape you want the pieces to be and Jigsaw Planet does the rest.  You instantly have a custom interactive puzzle for your students to play!  The puzzles can be saved for your own account, shared with students via a url, or embedded into your classroom website for easy access. How to integrate Jigsaw Planet into the classroom: Jigsaw Planet puzzles are AMAZING to use with an interactive whiteboard!  Each puzzle is timed as you put it together, split students into teams to see which team can complete the puzzle the fastest.  Instead of the typical PowerPoint type presentation to teach students facts, create a puzzle for them to put together and have them read the fact once the puzzle has been completed.  Turn your classroom rules into a series of jigsaw puzzles for students to put together.  Honor your star student of the week by creating a puzzle of that student, just take a picture of the student and upload to Jigsaw Planet. Put the puzzle of the student on your classroom website to honor them.  Students can use Jigsaw Planet to create their own puzzles.  This is a great place for them to study, they can upload spelling words, math facts, maps, etc.  Students will love creating their own jigsaw puzzles, if they have their own blog or website they can embed the puzzles right into their online space.  If you have a projector or an interactive whiteboard, have students create a puzzle all about them.  They can create a collage of things they like in a presentation program, take a screen shot of it, and upload the puzzle to Jigsaw Planet.  Students can put together each other’s puzzles and guess who the student is based on the pictures.  This would be a great getting to know you activity! Tips: I split students into two teams.  Each team would complete a puzzle using our new Mimio interactive whiteboard, the fastest time was the winner of that round.  When the puzzle was completed, students would read the rule and we would discuss in depth.  This made rule day fun for the kids and much more enjoyable for me! Jigsaw Planet Tech Rules/RUPThe beginning of the year is a time of new rules, policies, and procedures. Make it fun and memorable using interactive Jigsaw puzzles. This collection includes lesson plan (aligned to ISTE NETS), alternative lesson ideas, a Step-by-Step guide for creating interactive jigsaw puzzles, templates in both Keynote (09) and PowerPoint (97-2010), and a sample Responsible Use Policy. Grade Level: k-5 Requirements for lesson: *Internet Access *Computer with projector OR interactive whiteboard Price: $.99 Leave a comment and share how you are using Jigsaw Planet 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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