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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What it is: Starship Math is a BBC school site with fun math practice and games that teach skills such as basic geometry (3-d shape recognition), addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, weight measurement, measurement, and understanding of numbersquares.
How to integrate Starship Math into the classroom: Starship Math is a great site for reinforcing math concepts in a fun, interactive environment. The games and activities can be used on an interactive whiteboard or individually on computers. Starship Math could be used for practice of a concept or as an introduction to a new math concept. Your students will enjoy playing and learning on this site!
Tips: Check out the Teacher page for lesson plans, print outs, and suggestions for using each game on an interactive whiteboard or for individual computers.
Please leave a comment and share how you are using Starship Math in your classroom.
What it is: Bubblr! is a tool to create comic strips using photos from flickr.com. You can use others public images or images from your own flickr.com account.
How to integrate Bubblr! into the classroom: Bubblr! would be a wonderful site to use after a class field trip. Have a parent (or yourself) take pictures during the field trip. Create a flickr (www.flickr.com) account for your class. Upload the photos to the flickr account for use in the Bubblr! project. Students can create comic strips with the field trip pictures documenting the learning experience in a fun way. Bubblr! would also be fun to use for character education. Take picture of different scenarios (for example, a student taking a toy away from another student). Upload these pictures to Flickr and have students use Bubblr! to show what the different characters might be thinking and possible solutions to the problem. Bubblr! could also be used to help create a word wall…find pictures that represent words and add the word to the comic. Print out and create a Bubblr! word wall. Pictures can be found by keyword (tags) or by user. When students are finished with their comic strips they have the option of sending them via email, printing, or posting on a blog.
Tips: Since Flickr and Bubblr! are online applications, be sure that you have permission to post student pictures on either site.
Please leave a comment and share how you are using Bubblr in your classroom.