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01/31/2008 Students work to end world hunger Holly Cook , Staff Writer Ann Foster | afoster@ccnewspapers.com Cherry Hills Christian School third-grader Joshua Parchen looks at his computer while working on FreeRice.com, a program that donates grains of rice for every correct vocabulary question answer. Parchen is one of his class’ highest scorers. What if just knowing what 10 vocabulary words meant could help stop world hunger? Well, at FreeRice.com it does and students at Cherry Hills Christian School in Highlands Ranch know enough vocabulary words to send 1.3 million grains of rice to people in need. Before Thanksgiving, technology teacher Kelly Tenkely introduced FreeRice to her elementary students to remind them about how much they had to be thankful for, and to do something to help others. FreeRice is a sister site of the world poverty site, Poverty.com. FreeRice provides a free vocabulary game that accumulates grains of rice, paid for by supporting advertisers, for every correct answer. The donated rice is shipped to the United Nations World Food Program and distributed internationally to impoverished countries. The results are two-fold. Students increase their English vocabulary while donating effortlessly to world hunger. “I don’t even think they really connect that they’re learning vocabulary,” Tenkely said. FreeRice has become such a hot item in Tenkely’s class that students are playing in their free time when school work is finished. Third-graders Joshua Parchen, 8, and Luke Mason, 9, are what Tenkely calls her “FreeRice rockstars.” Both boys have taken up playing at home and have donated more than 77,000 grains of rice individually. “We try to get homework done in our carpool so we can play when we get home,” Mason said. “It’s addicting and really fun,” Parchen said. Aside from just playing the game, Tenkely’s students are taking it upon themselves to develop commercials to motivate others to play FreeRice and to raise awareness about world hunger. To reach technology class curricular goals, students are using GarageBand and Keynote computer software to make their commercials. GarageBand helps students create background music and Keynote is similar PowerPoint software. “The goal of the commercials is to teach our kids how to use Keynote and GarageBand but also to teach them about poverty and hunger. We are creating the commercials to tell others about the subject and to tell them about one way that we can help out with FreeRice.” Mollie Gardner, 9, wants her commercial to show people how hungry others are and how thankful they are to receive food. Petra Sikovkski’s commercial says the same thing. Tenkely wants to place the finished products on other Web sites like TeacherTube and SchoolTube. “My goal is to let FreeRice know about them, although I’m not sure if they will add them to their site or not,” Tenkely said. See the full article here Colorado Community Newspaper

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International Childrens Digital Library

Posted by admin | Posted in Art, Foreign Language, Interactive book, Interactive Whiteboard, iPod, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 30-12-2008

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What it is:  The International Childrens Digital Library (also known as ICDL) is an online digital library for children of all ages.  The mission of ICDL is to “ excite and inspire the world’s children to become members of the global community – children who understand the value of tolerance and respect for diverse cultures, languages and ideas — by making the best in children’s literature available online.”  When students visit the ICDL website they are brought to a simple search area where they can choose different options for finding a book.  They can narrow down results by age (3-13), fiction or non-fiction, book length, award winners, language, picture or chapter books, subject matter, and even what colors that cover has in it.  When students choose a book they can read the book in its entirety online.  I learned about this site in the iTunes store, they have a free iPod Touch and iPhone application for downloading books from the ICDL in addition to their online content.  So neat!

 

How to integrate ICDL into the classroom:   The ICDL website reminds me a lot of LookyBook.  The search options are extremely user friendly and allow even the youngest readers to find a book they are sure to love.  Students can register for the library (free) and then leave an online review of the book.  I like the idea of digital libraries for students because it opens up a number of books to them that they may not otherwise have access to.  If a story is started during school, students can finish the story when they get home from any Internet connected computer.  The ICDL is nice for reading groups.  All students can be reading the same book from school and from home without setting aside a large budget for group sets.  The search is a wonderful way for students to discover what types of literature they enjoy.  Many of the books featured are from different cultures and languages, these would be perfect to bring into a foreign language classroom.  ICDL books provide a fun way for students to gain global awareness.  Books in other languages could also be used as a starting point for student created stories.  Students can do picture walks through the online books and then compose their own story to accompany the pictures.  ICDL is a great way to read with the whole class.  Connect your computer with a projector and students can read the story along with you, everyone will be able to see the pictures as you discuss the story!  

 

Tips:  One thing that I really appreciate about ICDL is the ability to view the books full screen and zoom in and out of the pages.  The site is easy to navigate and this feature makes it even more user friendly.  

 

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using ICDL  in your classroom.

Comments (1)

Thank you for your tireless blogging. I have been more inspired by your website than any other this year, and I visit a great deal of websites. I feel indebted to you and look forward to your new posts. You have contributed a great deal to the lives of my students and other teachers in our district as a result of what you regularly share. Please keep posting and thank you!
David

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