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Oddizzi: where the world comes to life

What it is:  I love those serendipitous moments in life where the stars seem to align and everything that comes your way is tailor made to meet your needs.  This resource filled those needs for me this week!  At Anastasis, our primary students are working on an inquiry unit about how transportation has changed over time and how transportation is used in different locations in the world.  What should appear in my inbox than a little note from the people over at Oddizzi inviting me to take a look at their content.  Serendipitous I tell you.  Oddizzi is a paid-for service but they have sample content on their site to give you a taste of what you can expect.  That sample content is free and has made my day.  It may make yours too, you should head over and have a look!  Oddizzi brings the world to life in a way I have seen few other resources pull off.  Students have access to their very own interactive map where they can view places, physical features, global features, places of interest, my story and class pals.  Students can click on each feature on the map to learn more in popup bubble.  The content below the map is rich including student-friendly text, videos, “secret” facts, images and more.  Oddizzi is a great way to teach about geography, global issues, math, citizenship and multicultural topics.  One feature that I have found to be really useful is the “Sneak-a-Peak” option which condenses a page of content down to one page of easy to read sentences.  Perfect for differentiating for your different reading levels while maintaining a topic thread for the whole class.  Odd and Izzi are fun characters that lead students through the site revealing hidden secrets as they go. How to integrate Oddizzi into the classroom:  Oddizzi is a fantastic way for students to explore geography and culture.  Use Oddizzi sample content to introduce a lesson or unit, as a place for students to gather research, or as a center activity on classroom computers.  In the Sample Content you will find information on Egypt, transportation in India, Rivers and Games (flags from around the world and a game about Egypt). Oddizzi is a great place to spur interest in geography and encourages students to learn more.  We will use the Transport in India content to help students think about questions they can ask about how transportation is used in other countries. Geography is a subject that is often overlooked in schools in the United States.  Oddizzi helps bridge the gap between geography and other disciplines such as reading, writing, communicating, math, social studies, history, etc.  No excuses! Use Oddizzi as a starting point for students to gather facts, information and gain a general understanding of geography and culture.  Students can use that information to create a poem about the country or location.  At Anastasis, @leadingwlove did an incredible project with students where they each chose a country they wanted to learn more about.  After learning about the country, they wrote a poem.  Each made a large thumbprint on an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper and inside the thumbprint left a negative space of the outline of the country.  They wrote their poems on the lines of the fingerprint.  The result was incredible!  Students learned a lot, practiced writing poetry and created a masterpiece to boot!  Since our students are in a one-to-one iPad environment, they took this a step further and took pictures of their finished products and added special photo effects to make a one-of-a-kind digital masterpiece for their e-portfolios.  SO awesome!  You can see the beginning of one of these poems below… Tips: In the subscription version of Oddizzi, you can connect with other classes around the globe in a secure learning environment.  This allows your students to send online postcards to other students around the world so that they can learn first hand what life is like around the globe.  Neat! A curriculum zone offers teachers resources for integrating Oddizzi across multiple disciplines for transdiciplinary learning.  In addition, the subscription version has “Over to you” where students can contribute content to the site.  If you are interested in testing out these additional features, request a free trial of Oddizzi for your class here. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Oddizzi in  your classroom!

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The Hobby Shop

Posted by admin | Posted in Fun & Games, inspiration, Interactive Whiteboard, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 08-05-2009

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What it is:  The Hobby Shop is an amazing interactive site where students can learn about science.  Students can learn about a compound microscope, dissecting microscope, catapults, chemistry, and rockets.  Each section of the hobby shop is completely interactive and has students discovering learning through virtual experimentation.  Students can look through microscopes, each step of the way they are taught how to do things like prepare petri dishes, and clean up properly afterward.  In the chemistry lab students can create an ingredient found in chalk, make a chemical used in photography, make liquids change colors, or test chemicals for electrical conductivity.  Students are led through each step of an experiment just as they would do it in an actual lab.  There is an interactive periodic table of elements that students can use to learn about different elements.  Students can create their own rocket in the rocket lab choosing the body, nose cone, and fins of a rocket and then test it out.  Students can also test out catapults with water balloons.

How to integrate Hobby Shop into the classroom: Hobby Shop is a wonderful place for students to experiment and interact with science in preparation for doing the experiment in class.  It is interactive enough to take the place of experiments where the science budget doesn’t allow for a class set of materials.  I am SO impressed with the way that this site leads students through each step of the process to complete an experiment.  Use this site with the whole class using an interactive whiteboard, invite students to come up to the board and conduct the experiment.  This site is also perfect for use as a science center in the one or two computer classroom or for individual use in a computer lab environment.  

 

Tips:  Check out the Teacher Resources for standard alingment, correlating worksheets, and other pdf files.

 

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using The Hobby Shop in your classroom.

Comments (2)

Thoroughly enjoyed the rocket excercise! I am an associate director of a nonprofit dedicated to bringing technology into the classroom. Check out our website when you have a moment, and please consider becoming a member. I was pointed to your site from a member of the Education Consultants Community.

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