Featured Post

Scotch: Science Fair Central

  What it is:   Scotch Science Fair Central is a website collaboration between Scotch brand products from 3M and Discovery Education.  The site is a wealth of free resources for creating innovative science fair projects.  The site leads students step by step through creating a science fair project starting with choosing a project idea.   Students can search through multiple science topics in life sciences, earth science, or physical science.  Within each of these topics is several subcategories and then ideas based on a testable question, what is tested, and what data is collected.  This site is very comprehensive and will have your students thinking like a scientist in no time!  The site then leads students through the steps of differentiating their project between investigations and inventions so they can choose the appropriate project type.  Step two actually leads them through the investigation or invention process depending on which project type was chosen.  Step three takes students through the process of creating the actual presentation portion of the science fair project.  There is a great section of parent resources as well as a section for science fair coordinators. How to integrate Scotch: Science Fair Central into the classroom:  Science fair projects have the potential to teach students a lot.  They learn organization, responsibility, the scientific process, observation, testing, inquiry, problem solving, and critical thinking.  Science fair projects are extremelly worthwhile when they are accompanied by a quality process that students can follow.  I remember years when the science fair meant quickly pulling something ‘scientific’ together (two cans with a string in between to show sound travel) with very little gained from the project.  This was due in part to being assigned a science fair project without understanding the basis of how scientists work and think.  Scotch: Science Fair Central solves this dilemma because students are led step-by-step through the scientific process and along the way learn how a scientist thinks.  Before you assign a science fair project, spend a day in the computer lab with students and let them go through this site and begin to plan their science fair project.  I love how this site is organized into different types of science because it gives every student the opportunity to find a project that they are interested in and motivated by.  If you don’t have access to the lab, set up a science fair planning center on your classroom computers or guide your students through the site with a computer and projector.  If you are a science teacher, take a look at this great resource and use the planning guide to plan a school science fair.   Tips:  Be sure to send this site home to parents, they will appreciate the parent section as they help their child at home.   Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Scotch: Science Fair Central in your classroom.

Read More

Build Your Wild Self

Posted by admin | Posted in Fun & Games, Language Arts, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Websites | Posted on 13-11-2008

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

1

 

What it is:  Build Your Wild Self is a website I heard about on A Geeky Momma’s blog (which I thoroughly enjoy!).  The site fits perfectly into my classroom this week as our Book Fair theme this year is “Safari”.   The site, created by the New York Zoos and Aquarium, lets students create a character called their “Wild Self”.  Students can choose a character and then add crazy hair, arms, legs, etc. to make them wild. There are even fun sound effects for the different backgrounds they add! 

 

How to integrate Build Your Wild Self into the classroom:   This would be a great site to use with students after reading a book like “Where the Wild Things Are”.  Students could create their own Wild Things and write themselves a Wild Things story featuring themselves.  This is also a great site to use with kindergarten and first grade students who are learning about different animals.  As they build their Wild Self they can name what animal the crazy part belongs to.  Older elementary students also enjoy working on this website, my students created a wild self for their safari passports for our book fair this week and really enjoyed it from kindergarten through fifth grade.

 

Tips:   The Wild Self can be printed out, sent to a friend, or saved as a desktop.  

 

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Build Your Wild Self in your classroom.

Comments (1)

I used this site while incorporating a research project on animals for Kindergarten students. They were required to obtain a fact about a animal of their choice. This site was highly engaging, and worked off things that the children loved. Children are so animated these days, and lessons need to be just as animated as them. The students obtained their fact by picking an animal part to add to their wild self, and at then end of their design the program described their animal part in detail and told exactly why the animal needed the part. For example if they added giraffe hoofs to their animal, the program told the students that a giraffe hoof gets as big as a dinner plate so they can get rid of a lion with one kick! Afterwards the students could pick a zoo website from a list of 5 and explore some more. What a great website! THANKS!!!!

Write a comment

*