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Jr. High Speed Booking

Today I created another speed booking site, this time for our JR. High teacher at Anastasis. Feel free to use it with your middle school students…make sure to create your OWN share page or I will get a whole lot of interesting responses from our Google form.  You can create  your own form using...

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Camp Virtual by Common Sense Media

Posted by admin | Posted in For Teachers, inspiration, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Subject, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 28-06-2013

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What it is:  Summer time always seems to be a much-anticipated time for a little rest and relaxation.  Over the years I’ve heard from hundreds of parents how much they enjoy the summer months with their kids…until they reach July.  This is when the “I don’t know what to do” sets in and boredom can take over.  Common Sense Media is here to help with those in-between moments when it is too hot to play outside and you prefer that they do something more meaningful than plop in front of the TV for a few hours.  Send them to virtual camp!  The virtual camp is a library of apps, games and websites that will help your kids retain all of the skills they built up over the school year and even build some new ones in anticipation of the new school year.  Recommendations are broken up by age (2-17) and have been further divided by categories including: Outdoor Exploration, Scavenger Hunt, Arts and Crafts, Campfire Friends, Indoor Activities, and Talent Show.  Each recommendation is rated with books.  You are looking for 3 books for an engaging, exceptional learning activity!

How to integrate Camp Virtual by Common Sense Media into the classroom: Camp Virtual is a great way to keep kids learning throughout the summer.  Parents will be extra appreciative of the recommendations for worth-while and safe places for their kids to play while they are at home.  Each activity includes a learner rating and gives a great description of the activity as well as the learning that is tied to it.

Camp Virtual has a guide that can be downloaded and sent home with students at the end of the school year.  Too late for that?  Send a “hope you are having a wonderful summer” email with the guide and a link to the site.

When the weather is nice, I am a HUGE fan of kids getting out and enjoying experiential learning.  However; I know that like all of us, they hit the point of no return when they are hot, tired, crabby and just need a change of activity in a cooler location.  These recommendations of games and activities is a great reprieve for those moments!

Tips:  I love that at the bottom of each page there are some recommendations for parents to continue the learning beyond the game or activity.  Things like “Encourage kids to come up with as many different solutions as they can with each game. Ask them which solutions are most efficient.”

Are you using Camp Virtual?  Share your experience in the comments below!

My Online Neighborhood: Internet Safety

Posted by admin | Posted in Apply, Classroom Management, Internet Safety, Knowledge (remember), Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), video, Websites | Posted on 23-03-2011

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What it is: I learned about this gem of a video today from my friend @techfacilMy Online Neighborhood is a video created by Common Sense Media.  The video is a great way to introduce kindergarten through third grade students to online safety.  I like how this video compares the online world with the real world.  This helps students understand the rules in a way that goes deeper than just following the rules because we say so.  The video approaches Internet safety in a fun way through the eyes of a student, as you will see above, it is very well done!

How to integrate My Online Neighborhood into the classroom: My Online Neighborhood is a nice entry point for teaching Internet safety.  Use the video to spur classroom discussions about online safety.  The video also makes a nice lead in to the Internet safety lessons from Common Sense Media on Digital Life (sending email, online communities, rings of responsibility), Privacy (follow the digital trail), Connected Culture (screen out the mean, show respect online, power of words, group think, writing good emails), and Respecting Creative Work (whose is it, anyway?).  These units and lessons are detailed, fun, and get right to the heart of the matter of raising digitally responsible citizens.  The lesson plans are leveled by grade and can be used for kindergarten through fifth grade.

Tips: There are some fantastic parent tips and resources on the Common Sense Media website, be sure to share them with your families so that online safety is modeled and reinforced at home.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using My Online Neighborhood in your classroom!

Common Sense with Phineas and Ferb

Posted by admin | Posted in Internet Safety, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, video, Websites | Posted on 29-03-2010

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What it is: Phineas and Ferb are popular Disney channel characters. They have a new short video to help students learn cyberspace rules and online safety tips.  Disney, together with Common Sense Media, created this fun short film to get kids thinking about cyber safety.  Tips in the video include: Be careful what you put online, you never know who is going to see it; just because it’s online, doesn’t mean it’s true; not everyone is who they say they are; if you wouldn’t do it in person, you shouldn’t do it online; and get outside and spend time with real friends.  These are great tips, but delivered by Phineas and Ferb they will be remembered by your students.  

How to integrate Common Sense with Phineas and Ferb into the classroom: Common Sense with Phineas and Ferb is an excellent place to get the discussion about online safety and netiquette started in your classroom.  The short video gives them a great jumping off point for thinking about the time they spend online.  Your students could “Laser inscribe” some additional tips in a paint or word processing program.  Post your students tips for online safety and cyberspace rules on a classroom bulletin board or on a Wallwisher wall.  I like how short and sweet this video is, every classroom can fit in a short lesson (or several) during the year.  Below the video, you can download a question sheet for students to quiz their parents about.  This extends the conversation at home and encourages parents to think about their child’s online safety.

Tips: If you have colleagues that are good sports, your students could also quiz other teachers in the building with the Phineas and Ferb Cyberspace Rules of the Road quiz.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Common Sense with Phineas and Ferb in your classroom.