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Rocks and Weathering Animation

What it is: Every year our third grade students do a unit on Rocks and Minerals so I am always on the lookout for fun ways for students to learn and engage. Bitesize from BBC is full of brilliant games and interactives for kids, I use them often but hadn’t run across this one before.  The Rocks and Weathering interactive really is fantastic.  The video is animated and asks for students participation throughout. It does a wonderful job of breaking down, what can be complex concepts, into manageable, well illustrated parts.   The video has some nice features that make it accessible to every student including the ability to turn subtitles on or off and sound on or off.  I like the way the animation prompts students to ask questions and to discover answers through “hands-on” models that may not be possible in real life (for example compressing over a long period of time to create sedimentary rock).  The understanding that students gain about the different types of rocks is the best I have seen in any of the rocks/minerals materials I have found. How to integrate Rocks and Weathering Animation into the classroom: The Rocks and Weathering Animation from BBC is a fantastic introduction to any elementary Rocks and Minerals unit.  The interactive nature of the animation makes it perfect for whole class viewing with an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer.  Pause the animation throughout to further discuss and inquire throughout the animation as a class.  Invite students up to the board or computer for the interactive bits as the rocks and minerals “expert”.  The animation would also be great as a center activity on classroom computers.  Students could visit the computers to view and interact with the animation in small groups while other students read, complete experiments, or other research.  Students can also visit the site individually in a lab setting.  If students view the animation individually, be sure to give them time to discuss what they learn and ask additional questions that they had with other students.  This type of reflection has been SO beneficial in my experience.  I always let students keep a notepad application or physical notepad handy to jot down questions and thoughts they have as they view videos like this one. As an extension activity, have your students blog, create a stop-motion film about rocks and weathering, or create an interactive presentation with Prezi or Glogster. Tips: Students can view and re-view the animation at their own pace using the pause, back and forward buttons. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Rocks and Weathering Animation in your classroom!

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Archive Pinterest Boards with Evernote Web Clipper

Posted by admin | Posted in Anastasis Academy, collaboration, Download, Grade Level, inspiration, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, professional development, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, web tools, Web2.0 | Posted on 17-08-2014

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At Anastasis Academy, we don’t have boxed curriculum. This can be both incredibly freeing, and terrifying. If you don’t have curriculum that tells you what to do, what do you DO?! We engage students in inquiry. Inquiry gives students parameters of learning, but allows them to discover and explore within those parameters. Teaching students to properly manage their freedom.

Each 5 weeks, our students engage a new line of inquiry. We follow the PYP inquiry questions (Who we are, Where we are in place and time, How we organize ourselves, How the world works, Sharing the planet). These questions give us good parameters to work within. Each 5 weeks, I send our teachers resources for the inquiry block. Within these big inquiry questions, I provide our primary, intermediate, and Jr. High with different key concept lines of inquiry to explore. These are aligned to the social studies, science, language, and math standards for that age group. Every year I change-up the key concept lines of inquiry just a bit (keeps things interesting and fresh for all of us!).

I create Pinterest boards for our teachers that have a variety of resources for each inquiry block. These resources include ideas, videos, lessons, books, apps, etc. that are related to the inquiry block. They are not prescriptive, but rather offer a launching point for teachers. Then, I create QR code posters that look like this:

Inquiry poster QR code

These get posted all over the school so that teachers and students always have access to the resources (note: we are a 1:1 iPad school).

This has worked REALLY well for sharing resources, as I notice students connect with a line of questioning/inquiry, I can add resources during the inquiry block that the students can use. This creates a whole community that is discovering and learning together. The curriculum is fluid, it is constantly growing and adapting. Teachers often send me links and ideas through Pinterest (I don’t add teachers as collaborators for the boards-even though I could- because I don’t want them to feel obligated to spend their free time the way that I do). Students have begun to send ideas through Pinterest as well…way cool!!

Here is the problem, each year I create 18 inquiry boards. I use the same Pinterest account for personal use as I do for education (you never know when a non-education idea will spark the perfect education idea). As I was getting ready to create boards for this school year, I realized how MANY boards I was going to have to sort through to find this years boards. It is starting to get ridiculous! I needed a good way to archive boards. Enter Evernote. We already use Evernote as a school for ePortfolios, archiving boards using Evernote is the perfect solution!

I used the Firefox web browser to do this, I’m sure this plugin exists for all major web browsers. First, go to “Tools” in your Firefox menu bar and choose “Add Ons.” In the search bar, type “Evernote web clipper” and download the Evernote Web Clipper add-on. After you restart Firefox, this will put the Evernote Web Clipper button in your Firefox tools.

Evernote web clipper

Navigate to the Pinterest board that you want to save. Select all by going to “Edit” in the menu bar, and choose “Select All.” You could also just navigate to the board you want to archive and hold down the command key and letter “a.” Then click on the Evernote Web Clipper button in your address bar. Add any tags that you want to be associated with the board and a note to yourself about the board.

Pinterest board


Evernote web clipper Inquiry

That is it! The board is saved to Evernote with all of the images, and the web link is live as well! Verify that the board saved to Evernote correctly and then delete the board. Now you have room for a new year’s worth of boards.

This is a seriously great way to archive any boards that you need to save but don’t need in your Pinterest list right now. I’ve just archived all of last year’s inquiry boards and am ready to pin another year! This is also a great way to create a back-up of your boards or to save and send entire boards to colleagues.

If you just need to save the images from a pinterest board, use that-boy-I-love, (@jtenkely)‘s awesome creation, Pinswiper. This tool will save just the images from a Pinterest board as jpgs on your desktop. Great if you need images that you saved for classroom presentations, writing prompts, etc.

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