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    What it is:  I remember being forced to pay attention to current events when I was in high school for class assignments.  I know that my teachers were trying to get me to pay attention to what was happening in the world; but, to be perfectly honest, I hated watching an hour of news.  My...

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Childtopia Games

Posted by admin | Posted in Fun & Games, Language Arts, Math, Phonics, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 29-01-2008

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What it is: Childtopia is like 10 websites in one…they have so many cool things going on that I am going to break it down into sections so stay tuned… Childtopia Games is the biggest section with games that are psychologist recommended. Games include: memory games, language, math, skill, creativity, and observation. Each game is broken down by age group making it appropriate for three to nine year olds to play. Games are fun and interactive and reinforce skills that children are learning at school and at home. There are 1400+ games on this site and can be played in 5 languages! The site is completely free but they also offer a CD version available for purchase.

How to integrate Childtopia Games into the classroom: Childtopia Games are fun and interactive. With 1400 games to choose from you are bound to find one that fits the skill you are working on in any subject area. The games are truly great played individually, as a center, or at home for reinforcement. Childtopia Games are perfect for students who need remedial work. This site is easy for students to navigate and very user friendly.

Tips: This is one that you will want to bookmark for easy access!

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Childtopia Games in your classroom.

In the News…

Posted by admin | Posted in General | Posted on 28-01-2008

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My classroom was in the news for a project we are working on with Free Rice.  Take a look:

Cyber-savvy students fighting world hunger

CHC Elementary Technology teacher, Kelly Tenkely guides students in both learning computer and helping those in need through FreeRice.com.

CHC Elementary Technology teacher, Kelly Tenkely guides students in both learning computer and helping those in need through FreeRice.com.

Provided by: Leza Shupe


Contributed by: Leza Shupe on 1/15/2008

January 14, 2008
Highlands Ranch, CO

Combining knowledge of world hunger and a desire to help others are combined with technology, vocabulary and math! That is how elementary students at Cherry Hills Christian challenge themselves every day in computer class with “FreeRice.com.” As soon as students are finished with their daily assignment, technology teacher, Kelly Tenkely, allows them to visit Free Rice and play the vocabulary quiz game. With each word definition they guess correctly, 20 grains of rice are donated through the United Nations World Food Program to help fight world hunger.

At the end of class, every student records the number of grains of rice they donated that day. Since Thanksgiving, the 305 students in second through fifth grades have donated over 1,197,870 grains of rice. That number continues to grow daily. To help visualize what this much rice looks like, fourth-grader Allie Chambers measured the grains of rice in a tablespoon and did the math to discover there are approximately 7,200 grains of rice in a cup. That means CHC students have made it possible for those in need to cook almost 166 cups of rice creating almost 500 individual servings.

To further their exposure to technology and world hunger, the fourth grade classes are just beginning a new project-to create commercials for FreeRice.com using Keynote and Garage Band application. “When we are finished with the commercials my goal is to let Free Rice know about them, although I’m not sure if they will add them to their site or not,” says Mrs. Tenkely. “The goal of the commercials is to teach our kids how to use Keynote and Garage Band 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 Free Rice.”

Cherry Hills Christian Principal, Linda Wasem, loves to see students learning a variety of life lessons through daily visits to a website. “Our students are not only learning vocabulary-some of those words are really hard, but they are also learning about people in the world who don’t have enough to eat. Their hearts are moved to give.”

For more details about the FreeRice.com vocabulary game, visit FreeRice.com.
Find the whole article here. 

Into the Book

Posted by admin | Posted in Interactive book, Language Arts, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Video Tutorials, Websites | Posted on 28-01-2008

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What it is: This is one of the most incredible reading websites I have come across. Into the Book “is a reading comprehension resource for K-4 students and teachers.” It focuses on eight research-based strategies: Using Prior Knowledge, Making Connections, Questioning, Visualizing, Inferring, Summarizing and Synthesizing. The site has a series of 15 min. videos for students teaching and amazing interactive web resources that can be saved! Teachers have access to great lesson plans, downloads, and videos. Check out this site, you will be wowed!

How to integrate Into the Book into the classroom: In the student section, students drag a picture representing one of the eight strategies onto the book. First they watch a short video describing the strategy and how it works, then they can try it themselves. The site is an excellent introduction to key reading strategies. Students can learn about and practice reading strategy here. The interactive environment is a fun and exciting, even your most reluctant readers will enjoy this site. If you have a projector you can use the videos on this site with the whole class. In the one to two computer classroom, use the site during center time. The site is ideal in the one to one or computer lab setting. This site is a must for remedial reading classrooms!

Tips: Make sure to check out the teacher section for great downloads, teacher videos, and lesson plans.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Into the Book in your classroom.

Skitch

Posted by admin | Posted in Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Software | Posted on 25-01-2008

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What it is: In a word…awesome! Skitch is an amazing new (beta) application created by Plasq. Rather than reinvent the wheel, I decided to let the Skitch creators SHOW you what Skitch is and does. Watch the video below for a quick run down of Skitch.

How to integrate Skitch into the classroom: Skitch is a great training tool. Skitch lets you capture any screen (or portion of a screen) and add your own notes, doodles, etc. Put together tutorials for your students on any computer related subject. Skitch is also a cool tool for students to use. Teach your students to use Skitch. They can use Skitch for research projects, to show another student how they solved a problem, or even as a place to take notes. All of your Skitch content can be saved as a picture file on the computer, saved on the web, or emailed. Students can embed Skitch onto their blogs. Once you start using Skitch, you will think of a million every day uses for it (BTW, share those with us as you come up with them!). It is so intuitive and easy to use!

Tips: I should mention that Skitch is only available right now for Mac’s. If you don’t have a Mac you should…this is yet another reason! :-)

Update 1/31/2008:

When using Skitch in my computer lab, I used Remote Desktop to push the Skitch  application to all of the student computers.  I set up one Skitch account for each grade I teach.  This way, when students upload to the web, it goes to one page.  This was the best solution for my lab since I teach k-5 many of my students don’t have email addresses to set up their own Skitch account.  

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Skitch in your classroom.

Skitch

Posted by admin | Posted in General | Posted on 25-01-2008

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Nobel Prize

Posted by admin | Posted in Character Education, History, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Science, Websites | Posted on 24-01-2008

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What it is: NobelPrize.org is a site dedicated to teaching about the Nobel Prize since 1901. The site offers a wealth of great information as well as some fun, interactive educational games. The games and simulations are based on Nobel Prize winners and ideas. Games include: physics, literature, chemistry, nuclear weapons, medicine, and economics.

How to integrate Nobel Prize into the classroom: The Nobel Prize website is a wonderful launching off point for teaching students about what the prize is and as a place to learn about past winners and how they have impacted society. The games show the practical purpose of the prize and what it means to our world. The subject matter of the site is definitely for older students. Students will appreciate learning about the Noble Prize with the interaction of the games on the site.

Tips: Fill out the teacher’s qustionairre and give NobelPrize.org feedback about the site and how you are using it in your classroom.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Nobel Prize in your classroom.

Safe Surfing with Dongle

Posted by admin | Posted in Character Education, Internet Safety, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Websites | Posted on 22-01-2008

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What it is: There is no such thing as too much emphasis on Internet safety. Safe Surfing with Dongle is another game to help kids learn the rules of Internet safety. This fun site teaches kids Internet safety through an interactive movie/game. Students learn safety tips on emails, chatting, playing games, and having fun online.

How to integrate Safe Surfing with Dongle into the classroom: Safe Surfing with Dongle can be played individually in a computer lab setting, in partners in the one or two computer classroom, or as a whole class using a projector. If you are playing as a class you might split the class into teams and alternate which team gets to answer each question. This game would be great to use at the beginning of the year as an introduction to Internet safety and throughout the year for review of online safety rules.

Tips: Create a bookmark to this site for quick easy access.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Safe Surfing with Dongle in your classroom.

Sketchcast (see post below)

Posted by admin | Posted in Art, Blogs, Fun & Games, Interactive book, Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Spelling, Teacher Resources, Video Tutorials, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 21-01-2008

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Sketchcast

Posted by admin | Posted in Art, Blogs, Fun & Games, Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Phonics, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Spelling, Teacher Resources, Video Tutorials, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 21-01-2008

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What it is: Another web 2.o tool, Sketchcast is a new way for you to communicate with your students and for your students to communicate with one another. A Sketchcast is a recorded online sketch. Think an online whiteboard recording. Sketchcast offers the ability to record a sketchcast with or without a voice.

How to integrate Sketechcast into the classroom: How many times do you remember this scenario as a student: you watched the teacher teach a new math concept, understood it perfectly in class as you watched the process only to get home, look at the notes you took and have no idea what to do? I suspect if we are honest, this happened with more than just math. Enter Sketchcast. Now you can enable your students to be more successful by Sketchcasting new concepts and lessons. Sketchcasts can be embedded in your classroom website or blog or accessed on your Sketchcast channel. Now when students get home and have the “I don’t remember what to do” panic, they can get online and re-learn the concept with your virtual guidance. Could it get any better than that?! This could also be a solution to feeling like a broken record and repeating the same directions a thousand times (come on be honest, I know I am not the only one who has to do this!) If you have access to a projector, create the Sketchcast as you are teaching your students (instead of the whiteboard). This will keep you from doing everything twice and students can re-view the exact lesson you taught. Cool! Sketchcasts would also be fun for students. Let them practice that new concept online in a Sketchcast for their classmates to visit. Sketchcasts would also be a great alternative to the traditional book report. Give your students a new method for sharing ideas and get some great mouse manipulation practice in at the same time!

Tips: Sketchcast requires registration to create a Sketchcast (including email address). For younger students who may not have an email address, create a student classroom account where all students can login and create a Sketchcast.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Sketchcast in your classroom.

Be Funky

Posted by admin | Posted in Character Education, Fun & Games, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 18-01-2008

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What it is: Be Funky is a web 2.0 application that lets students take any picture and transform it into a cartoon or a sketch.

How to integrate Be Funky into the classroom: Use Be Funky in conjunction with other tools such a Bubblr (see post from the 16th) or software like Comic Life (check out iLearn Technology store for Comic Life). Since Be Funky changes a regular photograph into a cartoon, you can create cartoon comic strips in class. Transform field trip pictures into cartoons and invite students to create a comic strip retell about the field trip. Students can be the star of their own comic strips where they create a comic autobiography. Take pictures during a science experiment and create a comic strip with the scientific process of the experiment.

Tips: Be Funky requires you to have an account (this is free but asks for an email address). If you plan on having your students transform the pictures into cartoons you may think about creating one class account for students to use. I wanted to download the cartoon picture to my computer so that I could use them in Comic Life. This is not an option that Be Funky offers so I created my cartoon and then took a screen capture of the cartoon to save it as an image to my computer.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Be Funky in your classroom.

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