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Ology

  What it is:  Ology is an outstanding free website from the American Museum of Natural History where students can learn about archaeology, astronomy, biodiversity, earth, Einstein, genetics, marine biology, water, and paleontology.  The site is user friendly for kids and has an attractive interface...

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Kids Past

Posted by admin | Posted in History, Interactive book, Middle/High School, Secondary Elementary, Websites | Posted on 06-12-2007

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What it is: Kids Past is a history website for kids covering topics such as: prehistoric humans, the rise of civilization, Middle Eastern civilization, the ancient Greeks, the ancient Romans, African civilizations, civilizations of India, civilizations of China, Byzantine empire, the Slavs, Islam, medieval Europe, Asia in the middle ages, ancient Americans, the Renaissance, the Reformation, exploration and expansion, Asia following the middle ages, the American Revolution, and the French Revolution. Kids Past has an online textbook on the above topics. The reading is kid friendly. Kids Past also features several history games based on the online textbook reading. Students can also find historical quotes and songs about history that they can listen to online.

How to integrate Kids Past into the classroom: Kids Past would offer a nice break from traditional textbooks and worksheets. Give students time to explore the site on their own to introduce or review a history unit. Read the online textbook as a class followed by a game using a projector. Split your kids into teams to play the game as a class. Kids Past is also a nice resource for students researching a time period or historical event because of the kid friendly reading.

Tips: Save Kids Past in the bookmark bar for easy access in the classroom.

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

Spelling City

Posted by admin | Posted in General, Language Arts, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Spelling, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 05-12-2007

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What it is: Spelling City is a place where your students can practice their spelling words through teaching, games, and practice tests. In the teaching section, students hear the word and a sentence including the word before the word is spelled for them. In the game section, students can choose to play an online word search, hang mouse (like hang man), and word scramble with their spelling words. In the practice test, students click to hear the word and a sentence containing the word. They type in the word and check for correctness. Teachers can save spelling lists on the site (or a years worth of spelling lists) for students to practice. Students login with the class information to access that weeks spelling list. Students also have the option of creating their own lists. Best of all Spelling City is totally free!

How to integrate Spelling City into the classroom: Use Spelling City as a spelling center where students can practice their spelling words. Create a link to your classes spelling lists on Spelling City on your classroom or school website. This will provide easy access to spelling practice at home and at school. Spelling City makes spelling practice fun for students…they will ask for more practice! Be sure to let your parents know about Spelling City. It will make spelling practice at home fun too. The word search and word scramble games can be printed out for off computer practice in the classroom or at home. You will be amazed with this site!

Tips: Spelling City has links to additional spelling games on the teachers page. These have not been fully integrated yet (meaning that your spelling words won’t automatically flow to the games, this is being worked on). Games include crossword puzzles, build a sentence wall, wacky story builder, find the misspelled word, verb puzzle, homophone quiz, sound alike words, syllables and the synonym game.

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

Zoom into Maps

Posted by admin | Posted in Geography, History, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Websites | Posted on 04-12-2007

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What it is: Zoom into Maps is an extensive collection of online maps. Maps range from 1500 AD to today. Maps include United States hometown geography, exploration and discovery, migration and settlement, travel and transportation, environmental history, military maps, pictoral maps, maps of today, and unusual maps. Each map is accompanied by a series of questions and tips on interpretation of orientation, legend, and scale.

How to integrate Zoom into Maps into the classroom: Use Zoom into Maps for history lessons, geography, and even literature lessons. These maps are very high quality and are a great way to teach students how to read a map. Create an activity where students can explore maps on their own in a center type activity or in a computer lab setting. These maps would also be perfect for displaying on a projector for whole class instruction. Print out the Graphic Organizer included on the site. Students can use this graphic organizer as they explore the maps on the site.

Tips: The maps on Zoom into Maps are zoomable and available for offline viewing as well.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Zoom into Maps in your classroom.

SuperThinkers

Posted by admin | Posted in General, Interactive book, Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 03-12-2007

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What it is: SuperThinkers is a website that encourages students to become thinkers as opposed to memorizers. The goal of SuperThinkers is to teach children how to think by creating connections, look for meaning behind facts, and analyzing in order to understand. Even reluctant readers enjoy using this site to read for meaning. The Peetnik Mysteries are stories that the students read and interact with. In the mystery game, students use common tools such as maps, phones, and phone directories to follow up on hunches to solve the mystery.

How to integrate SuperThinkers into the classroom: SuperThinkers includes quality mysteries from author Peter Reynolds. Use SuperThinkers as part of a larger mystery unit or as a reading activity that encourages logic, problem solving, critical thinking, cooperative learning, analysis, pattern interpretation, mystery solving, writing, observation, sharing, discovery, imagination, self determination, reflection, and opportunities for self expression. The mysteries take about 30 min. to solve and would be best utilized in a computer lab 1 to 1 setting or as a whole class with a projector. The mysteries are popular with students, even the most reluctant readers enjoy working with the mysteries. The Peetnik Mysteries can also be used to teach students how to create a time line, compare and contrast skills, and as story starters.

Tips: Be sure to visit the Educators section of SuperThinkers for curriculum tie-ins, lesson plans, and posters.

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

The North Star

Posted by admin | Posted in Character Education, General, Interactive book, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 29-11-2007

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What it is: North Star is a book written by author Peter Reynolds. The North Star book is online for students and classrooms everywhere to read and enjoy. The book is a fable which helps children chart meaningful journeys in life and teaches a philosophy of creativity and lifelong learning. The North Star website includes the book, a place for sharing and communication with other North Star readers, a North Star constellation Map Maker where students can chart their own journey, crossword puzzles, inspirational quotes and cards, and several activities that encourage creativity and reaching goals.

How to integrate North Star into the classroom: The North Star is an amazing addition to any character education program. Read the story as a class using a projector (or purchase the book). Use computer lab time or classroom computers for the North Star constellation map maker where students can chart their life journey and goals. Encourage students to share their hopes and dreams with one another. Your students will not only learn more about themselves, they will learn more about their classmates.

Tips: Be sure to visit the Educators section of North Star for some outstanding free teacher resources. Find mini-posters and clip art. Note- the North Star Constellation Map Maker requires a Shockwave player.

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

Fable Vision

Posted by admin | Posted in General, Interactive book, Language Arts, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 28-11-2007

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What it is: Fable Vision is a virtual town for kids filled with stories, games, and fun places to visit. The Fable Vision Library has a collection of online stories and stories that can be downloaded, borrowed, and shared. The Fable Vision Arcade fun games featuring the whimsical characters of Fable Vision. FVTV is the Fable Vision TV station, here students can watch mini cartoons that are fun and informational. At the Fable Vision post office allows students to send Fable Vision e-cards to family and friends. Fable Vision School is the home to all things educational. The first offering is the Fable Vision publishing workshop. Fable Radio is a place for students to listen to the Fable Vision books.

How to integrate Fable Vision into the classroom: Fable Vision is a fun virtual world that teaches reading and writing language skills. Use this site during literacy time. Read fables together using a projector. Use the Fable Vision School as part of the writing publishing center in your classroom. Students can stop by the Fable Vision School to learn about publishing and then open a word processing program to digitally publish their writing. Students will love the Fable Vision stories, use them for retelling and story ordering activities.

Tips: Be sure to visit the Educators section of Fable Vision for some outstanding free teacher resources. Find mini-posters, a guide to Sparking the Creative Spirit, a Fable Vision Field Guide, and a Fable Vision clip art collection.

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

DIGI[cation]

Posted by admin | Posted in Art, Blogs, Geography, History, Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Music, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 27-11-2007

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What it is: Digication is a website that allows teachers and students to create and keep e-portfolios. E-Portfolios are online spaces for teachers and students to communicate, share, reflect and collaborate in and outside of the classroom and have created exciting opportunities for teaching and learning world-wide. E-portfolios can be a continuing body of work that follow students throughout their school experience. The communication aspect that Digication provides makes for a richer school experience. The Student/Teacher edition of Digication is free.

How to integrate Digication into the classroom: Digication e-portfolios can be used in the classroom as a means for communication between students and teachers. It can also be used as an introduction to the student for other teachers. Students can use Digication for publishing school work, sharing school-related accomplishments, use for college admissions, sharing ideas and showcasing work, and build powerful learning communities with other students within the school. Students can control who has access to their e-portfolio and have control over the navigation of their e-portfolio. An e-portfolio can be a work in progress throughout the students school career. It can be used by teachers to see the progression of student ability throughout their school career. Teachers can use Digication to document student work, create a class/course website, share best practices in education with other teachers, gain recognition, link to external websites, upload documents that you have created, and display flash movies from your e-portfolio.

Tips: Ideally Digication would be used school or district wide so as to create a body of evidence in an e-portfolio.

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

Mighty Book

Posted by admin | Posted in Art, Interactive book, Language Arts, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Virtual Field Trips, Websites | Posted on 26-11-2007

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What it is: Mighty Book is a fun, interactive website that makes reading exciting with animated talking books…animated story songs…animated jokes, games, puzzles and riddles. All with words that highlight in sync with the stories and songs. It’s so much fun, students don’t even know they’re learning to read. The site is very engaging for students. The link I have provided is for the Mighty Books home page. These are free interactive books and games. However, this is only a small portion of what Mighty Books has to offer.  For $24.95 a year your class can have full access to the membership portion of the site and for $99 a year your school can have full access to the membership portion of the site which allows access to hundreds of animated books, 5 new books are added each month.

How to integrate Mighty Books into the classroom: Mighty Books can be used for whole class instruction or individual instruction. Use the animated talking books during reading instruction. These books would be great for recall and story ordering activities. For whole class instruction, use a projector (speakers are a must on this site!). Struggling readers would also love the “read along” aspect of this site. If you are an art teacher, or study art in the classroom, be sure to visit the interactive museum together. It is organized wonderfully and includes kid-friendly information about the artist and the genre.

Tips: Make sure to visit the teachers page for some great integration ideas as well as some free printouts!

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

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.

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