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What it is: Summer is approaching and things are winding down on the school front. I don’t know about you but things are also slowing down on the computer front toward the end of the school year too. I always know when summer is approaching because my machine starts to run slower. I have downloaded...

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Fleck

Posted by admin | Posted in Geography, History, Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Virtual Field Trips, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 20-11-2007

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What it is: Fleck is a free web application (it doesn’t even require a download!) that allows teachers or students to add notes and bullets to any web page. The annotated pages can then be posted on a blog or shared with students or colleagues. This is amazing! Fleck also provides you with a history of all the pages you have Flecked so that they can be updated and visited again and again. Fleck makes the Internet a collaborative learning experience.

How to integrate Fleck into the classroom: Fleck can be easily integrated into any curriculum. Imagine finding a really great site on the Civil War that you want to share with your students. It is a very comprehensive page and has more information than they need. Fleck the site with your sticky notes about important information. Add bullet points to the information that you want them to be sure to read. Share your Fleck with your students and they will be able to complete an activity independently as though you were sitting their with them and guiding them through it! Students could use Fleck while they are completing research projects. They can bullet important information on sites as they are gathering information. When students are working on group projects that require the Internet, they can share their Flecks with each other as they research. This is a COOL tool. I know that you will come up with other incredible uses for Fleck. Be sure to share those ideas with us in a comment!

Tips: Fleck will allow you to add notes to web pages without an account, I recommend a free account so that you can share your Flecks and save them.

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

Technospud Projects

Posted by admin | Posted in Blogs, Language Arts, Math, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 18-11-2007

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What it is: Technospud Projects are projects created by educator Jennifer Wagner that encourage the use of technology tools in the classroom. Projects can be adapted to fit your classrooms needs. They can last a class period, a school day, or be stretched into a unit. Projects change every couple of months. Currently, registration is open for a holiday card exchange. Past projects have included activities such as A Salute to Seuss where students learned to Wiki about their favorite Seuss characters and books, a Pumpkin Seed Count, and a O.R.E.O. activity to teach about tallying and averaging. The projects are wonderful and bring classrooms from all over the world to collaborate.

How to integrate Technospud Projects into the classroom: Technospud Projects are a wonderful first step into technology use for any classroom teacher. Both novice and master technology users will enjoy these projects. Jennifer makes it easy for classrooms to collaborate with other classrooms. Choose a project from the Technospud Project page to “get your technology feet wet.” You will soon find yourself wanting more!

Tips: Be sure to visit the Technospud blog. Jennifer always has fun insights into integrating technology into the classrooms and the joys and struggles that technology can bring.

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

Seussville University

Posted by admin | Posted in General, Language Arts, Math, Phonics, Primary Elementary, Science, Websites | Posted on 15-11-2007

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What it is: Seussville University website is created by Random House Children’s publishing in the spirit of making learning fun. Kids favorite Dr. Seuss characters serve as their guides to learning in the fun, interactive environment. Horton the Elephant hosts the reading area where kids learn basic reading concepts such as letter recognition, sounds of letters and rhyming words. Yertle the Turtole hosts the math area where kids learn to recognize numbers, number words, to count, and do simple addition. The Lorax hosts the science area where kids are introduced to animal categories, basic astronomy and ecology. Sam-I-Am hosts the reasoning area, here kids can compare size, number, patterns, and directions and learn opposites. These activities are best for kindergarten and first grade students.

How to integrate Seussville University into the classroom: Suessville University is a wonderful addition to any kindergarten or first grade classroom. It can be used for language, math, science, and reasoning reinforcement. Students will love the interactive games with familiar Dr. Seuss characters. This would make a fun center activity for student rotations during daily learning activities. There are also printable activities that coordinate with the website activities. Use Seussville while completing a Dr. Seuss unit. Encourage parents to use Seussville with their children at home as an extension activity.

Tips: Keep Seussville University in the bookmark bar for easy access for your students. They are bound to love this site!

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

Cyberchase

Posted by admin | Posted in Math, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 14-11-2007

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What it is: Cyberchase is a website aimed at teaching kids that math is everywhere, that everyone can be good at it, and that math can be fun. The Cyberchase website is based on the PBS TV show, teachers can view episode guides, video clips, and character descriptions. The website has two main sections for math enhancement, games and quests. Games include interactive math games and puzzles. Quests are interactive games that allow students to create their own cyber characters and go on cyber quests. Math topics include measurement, patterns, deductive reasoning, saving, spending, budgeting, making hard problems easier, growth by doubling, inverse operations, decimals, negative numbers, combinations, place value, elapsed time, angle measurement, linear measurement, timekeeping, area, volume, bar graphs, equivalent fractions, fractions, data clusters, probability, algebraic thinking, perimeter/area relationship, patterns in music, scale and size, patterns, codes, functions, estimation, counter examples, logic, point of view, using models, 2d and 3d geometry, navigation, symmetry, navigation, proportional thinking, circles, and percents.

How to integrate Cyberchase into the classroom: Cyberchase is an incredible website! With the number of math topics, there is a game to fit every curriculum. The games are fun, interactive and teach critical thinking skills. Students experience math when they use the games and quests. This site really makes math come alive! Use this site to introduce new math concepts (students probably won’t realize that they have learned a new math concept until you dissect it for them afterwards!) The site would also be great to reinforce math concepts that have already be learned. The games and quests make an excellent practice field. Games could be used with the whole class and a projector cart (be ready for a lot of volunteers on this one!) Or individually as a math center or all at once in the computer lab setting.

Tips: Visit the Cyberchase teachers page for lesson plans using the Cyberchase games. This is an outstanding math resource! Even your most resistant math students will love this site!

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

Tramline Virtual Field Trips

Posted by admin | Posted in Geography, History, Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Software, Teacher Resources, Virtual Field Trips, Websites | Posted on 13-11-2007

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What it is: Tramline is a site that has a variety of virtual field trips for all ages and multiple subjects. They also provide software that allows teachers to create their own virtual field trips. The trial version of the software is free but the full version needs to be purchased. All of the already made virtual field trips are free to use. Tramline Virtual Field Trips include Antarctica, Baking Bread, Deserts, Dinosaurs, Endangered Species, Fierce Creatures, Getting Green, Hurricanes, Insects and Minibeasts, Natural Wonders, Oceans, Rainforest, Salt Marshes, Sharks, Temperate Forest Biome, Tonadoes, Volcanoes, Wildfires, Author, Poet’s Pantry, Shakespeare, American Presidency, My America, Oregon Trail, Windows on the World, Women’s History, Flight, Photography, Pi, Filmmaking, Iditarod, and Leonardo da Vinci. The list of field trips is continually growing so check back often!

How to integrate Tramline Virtual Field Trips into the classroom: Tramline is an amazing tool for the classroom, it takes students beyond your walls without ever having to leave. The virtual field trips can be used on a projector for whole class instruction or students can take their own, individual, field trip in a computer lab situation. The field trips are well done and complement curriculum well. If you can’t find a field trip that fits your class needs, create your own. Encourage your students to help research the field trip subject and bring ideas for what the field trip could look like. They can be the “test subjects” for the finished product. Students will love having a hand in the creation of a virtual field trip!

Tips: Be sure to test out the software in the trial version. Get training online for free from Tapped in.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Tramline Virtual Field Trips in your
classroom.

Kinetic City

Posted by admin | Posted in General, Science, Secondary Elementary, Websites | Posted on 12-11-2007

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What it is: The Kinetic City Super Crew needs students help to save their virtual world of Vearth from the science-distorting computer virus, Deep Delete. Students work together to perform engaging science activities and then download their data to the Super Crew to help repair their world. Kinetic City provides students in grades 3-5 a fun interactive way to learn standards based science. There are 100 fun science based activities to participate in. These activities can be done through physical experiments, internet research, interactive science games on Kinetic City, art projects, and physical activities. The complete Kinetic City experience was intended for use as an after school program, starting a Kinetic City club cost money but use of the online materials and games is free.

How to integrate Kinetic City into the classroom: Since Kinetic City activities are all standards based, they should fit right into your third through fifth grade curriculum. The interactive games, experiments and activities are wonderful to use as an extension of current classroom activities. Game and activity topics include gravity, the human body, human body systems, learning, animal adaptation and classification, power and energy, and more.

Tips: Visit the Kinetic City educator page for more information on starting a club and for print out guides for using the site.

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

Free Rice

Posted by admin | Posted in Character Education, Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Websites | Posted on 10-11-2007

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What it is: Free Rice has two goals: to provide English vocabulary to everyone for free and help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free (this is made possible by the sponsors on the site). Free Rice is a sister company of www.poverty.com. Free Rice began in October 2007 and to date has donated over a billion grains of rice. Students play a vocabulary game online. For each word they get correct, 10 grains of rice are donated. If a student gets a word wrong, the words get easier. If the student gets the word right, the words get harder.

How to integrate Free Rice into the classroom: Free Rice is a wonderful vocabulary game for the classroom. I love the added lesson about helping those who are less fortunate. Free Rice would be the perfect game to play during the holiday season…particularly around Thanksgiving. As our students give thanks for plentiful food and nutrition, they can play a game to help others get much needed food and nutrition. Visit the FAQ page to find out more about how the Free Rice program works and how rice is donated. This vocabulary game could also be a great way to teach students how to use the dictionary. As students get an unfamiliar vocabulary word, encourage them to look the word up (online or “old school”).

Tips: Use Free Rice as a math lesson, students can document the number of grains of rice donated each month. Use these figures to introduce graphing and charting skills (among others!).

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

VoiceThread

Posted by admin | Posted in Blogs, Character Education, Geography, History, Interactive book, Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Phonics, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Virtual Field Trips, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 08-11-2007

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What it is: VoiceThread brings Web 2.0 communication to presentations. Slide show presentations are no longer static, VoiceThread makes them interactive collaborative learning experiences. Features include: the ability to create voice comments, voice recording within a browser allows for recording of multiple voices, doodling which captures drawing as an animation synced to voice or text commentary…listeners can watch the process, voice threads can be embedded in other sites, one account can have many identities so a classroom can switch identities on the fly without having to sign out, media importing so slide show presentations and pictures become collaborative conversations, comment moderation abilities, and the ability to zoom in and pan images.

How to integrate VoiceThread into the classroom: VoiceThread has hundreds of uses, the following are a few that I came up with. Use VoiceThread to create a time line of the students day. Students can record themselves describing different events of the day. Parents and out of town family can see what happens on a typical day in your classroom. Debates can be hosted and conducted using Voice Thread. VoiceThread can make history interactive, for example, host an art history artist critique and discussion. Create a book group using VoiceThread where students interact and discuss their reading together. Students can read their stories and record as a VoiceThread (this also makes a special keepsake!). Teachers can use VoiceThread for math problem demonstrations, step by step science “experiments”, staff training, or to teach a second language. Computer teachers, what about creating Voice Threads to teach your students when you can’t be there? This would make life easy for a substitute and ensure that your students are on track when you return.

Tips: Go to the “help” section of VoiceThread for some great interactive tutorials.

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

Library of Virtual Manipulatives

Posted by admin | Posted in Math, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 07-11-2007

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What it is: The Library of Virtual Manipulatives is a library of interactive, web-based virtual manipulatives or concept tutorials for mathematics instruction (K-12 emphasis). Manipulatives are for students in grades kindergarten through twelve and include hundreds of manipulative tools in the areas of Numbers and Operations, Algebra, Geometry, Measurement, Data Analysis, and Probability. Manipulatives include interactive base 10 blocks, money, pattern blocks, tangrams, geoboards, clocks, and bar/pie charts just to name a few.

How to integrate Virtual Manipulatives into the classroom: Virtual Manipulatives can be used in place of actual manipulatives in math class. There are many benefits to the virtual version of manipulatives. First, math manipulatives can be expensive, especially when a class set is required. The Virtual Manipulatives are completely free to use. Math manipulatives can take up a lot of storage space. The Virtual Manipulatives are accessible quickly and easily and there is never any need for set up or clean up. The Virtual Manipulatives never wear out and need to be replaced. In the one or two computer classroom, set up a Virtual Manipulative center where students can stop by individually or in groups and work with the manipulatives. Use a projector cart for whole class instruction. Virtual Manipulatives are ideal for the 1 to 1 computing environment.

Tips: Share the Virtual Manipulative site with parents. The manipulatives are great for use at home while students are completing math homework!

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

Prezent It

Posted by admin | Posted in History, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Software, Teacher Resources, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 06-11-2007

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What it is: Prezent It is a free online resource for creating and sharing presentations online PowerPoint style. No special software is needed, Prezent It is an online application that allows teachers or students to create and present from a web browser. Presentations can be public or private and each has its own web address. Presentations can be downloaded and shown without any internet connection. There is no file size limit with Prezent It so create away!

How to integrate Prezent It into the classroom: Prezent It can be used in place of PowerPoint type applications. Because it is web-based, students could start a project at school and finish it at home without the necessity for expensive programs and saving to flash drives. Students can use Prezent It for any school presentation. I like starting out the year with a getting to know you presentation. Each of my students creates a presentation all about their favorite things (in fact we call it “A Few of My Favorite Things”). We have a special presentation day where we watch everyone’s Prezent It. Students can choose to narrate during the presentation or just sit and watch (this will save your shy students). You won’t believe how this project will bond your class, students will find out they have many similar interests and learn things about their fellow students they may not otherwise have known. This program is very intuative and easy for students to learn. Prezent It is a great tool for teachers as well…bring your lessons to life with Prezent It and a projector!

Tips: Prezent It requires a valid email address to activate your account. If you teach students who do not have an email address, you could use a teacher email for activation purposes.

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

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