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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”...

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NBC Learn: Science behind the news

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Evaluate, Interactive Whiteboard, Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), video, Websites | Posted on 08-05-2013

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What it is:
NBC Learn has some fantastic free resources for teachers and students.  One of these freebies is called Science Behind the News.  In partnership with the National Science Foundation, NBC explores the science, technology and engineering found in current events.  Here, you will find a collection of videos that introduce students to the science found in the world around them and current events.  Students can learn about everything from quantum computing, to predictive policing, to crowdsourcing and weather phenomenon.  Each video is around 5 minutes long and are well produced.

How to integrate NBC Learn into the classroom:  I am a HUGE fan of embedded learning.  Learning that is in context just makes sense.  The learning is richer because students are able to make real connections to the foundational understandings that they already have.  In addition, this type of learning gives them an idea of how the learning that happens in the classroom is connected to life.  With Science Behind the News, students are able to see connections to the world right now.  These clips encourage students to be curious about the world around them, and to dig into the bigger “why” of how things work.  I like the thinking that is encouraged here.  It is really modelling curiosity beyond just passively listening to a news story.

These clips are a wonderful way to kick off a new science unit, as a resource during inquiry, or for students and classes just to explore.  Students can use these clips as a starting point for further research, a “spark” for more learning.  Each student could choose a different video to watch and then conduct some research to learn more.  Where else is the science used?  How has our thinking about a topic changed over time as we have learned more about it?  What math is involved?  Help your students to see that subjects don’t happen in isolation in real life.  Science is connected with social studies, math, literacy, history, sports, art, economics, discovery, etc.  Can they find the overlaps in learning?

Tips:  NBC Learn has other outstanding resources including: science in golf, science in hockey, science in football, chemistry now, fishing the dream, sinking the titanic, science of the winter Olympics, science of the summer Olympics, writers speak to kids and science in innovation.  Check them all out!

I’ve been nominated for a Bammy Award for Educational Blogger.  I’d appreciate your vote to help spread the word about iLearn Technology.  Vote here.  Thank you for your continued support!!

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  NBC Learn in your classroom.

Yummy Math! Best Math Blog EVER

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Apply, Art, Evaluate, inspiration, Knowledge (remember), Math, Middle/High School, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 18-10-2012

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What it is:  Yummy Math is an absolutely fabulous blog/site dedicated to helping students and teachers understand how math is relevant to the world.  What a great mission!  The blog was started 2 years ago…bummed that I am only JUST discovering it.  Brian Marks and Leslie Lewis are the creators of Yummy Math.  They have worked together to make an easy way for teachers to bring real-world math into the classroom.  Math (like everything else) should be taught within a context.  I believe this is key!  When understood in context, students can make connections to their learning and, as a result, really learn it.  The goal here is to engage students in math so that they yearn to reason, think critically, problem solve, question and communicate…in short: DO math!  Each week, multiple activities and ideas are added to the Yummy Math site.  This means that you are in constant supply of real-world math problems for your students to engage in.

Categories include:

  • Algebra
  • Data and Probability
  • Geometry
  • Number Sense
  • Sports
  • Holidays/annual events
  • Math and Science
  • Math and Food
  • Math and Social Studies
  • Math and Art
  • Movies and Entertainment

How to integrate Yummy Math into the classroom: You know that dry math curriculum that you feel TRAPPED by?  Yummy Math exists to free you (and your students) from the endless memorization and unconnected practice.  This is the perfect supplement to any math program.  Use these activities a few times a week to really get your students thinking outside of the (math) box.  These will stretch your students, and help them grow exponentially in their understanding of math and all of the cool things it makes possible.

These are not your typical “real” world word problems.  None of that, if train a is traveling north at x, and train b is traveling south at y what time will they meet? Garbage.  This is…what is the real cost of owning an iPhone 5?   or  The House of Representatives passed a law in 2007 to increase the efficiency of light bulbs, what is the real energy savings that can be realized with CFL and LED.  Not only relevant, but really interesting!

Tips: You know what is EXTRA helpful?  That Yummy Math has already done all the leg work to tell you which Common Core Standards these project are meeting.  Yes. They are awesome!

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  Yummy Math  in your classroom.

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Read Me

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Apply, Blogs, Character Education, Create, Evaluate, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Music, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), video, Websites | Posted on 27-09-2010

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What it is: Do you want your students to become deep thinkers?  Read Me is an incredible set of engaging resources that will have your students thinking deeply about who they are and how learning and thinking is vital to their life.  The resources have been designed to reach 11 to 14-year-old boys, to excite them about reading in and out of the classroom.  I can tell you that as a girl, I am enjoying these resources just as much,  I think that would be true of girls in the 11 to 14 age range as well.  Read Me (by the National Schools Partnership) has created six modules that connect with students at their interest level and teach them how to be reflective, deep thinkers and learners.

This is me- covers an understanding of autobiographical texts in traditional (diary) and modern (blog) contexts.  This is me includes teachers notes and presentations that will help students to explore autobiographical texts and self-expression through blogging.

Sport & me- asks students to explore sports websites and media texts by analyzing their structure and presentation.  Students take on the role of a persuasive sports person and ultimately create their own report or website.

Love 4 me- helps students explore different types of love by using texts from a variety of time periods and genres (including images, short extracts, music, lyrics) as well as in Romeo and Juliet.  Students engage with a range of texts that are thematically linked by love.  The culminating activity here is for students to create their own chat show and to create a collage based on love.  (I’m not sure if 11-14 year old boys would be into this topic…but this one will hook the girls for sure!)

Film + me- students use film trailers and titles to develop an understanding of how meaning is created through a combination of words, images, and sounds.  After students have analyzed film trailers and titles, they are asked to present a novel as a trailer.

Graphics 4 me- this one is my favorite because it comes with an awesome graphic novel tool (learn about it here) Here students explore how graphic novels work and become familiar with the medium and its complexity.  Students can create their own graphic novel online using this tool.

Music in me- students explore songs, their lyrics, and the impact they have on their audience.  As a result, students understand how society is presented through music and the media and stereotypes and attitudes it can help to perpetuate.

How to integrate Read Me into your curriculum: There is so much learning that will happen as a result of these six modules, but at the heart of Read Me is a goal to excite kids about reading.  Read Me has incredible ideas and resources for the language arts/literature/literacy classroom.  Use these resources to connect your students with story, passion, and understanding of how language is used.  There is something for every kid to connect with here.  Each module contains teachers notes, resources, links, and tips.  This is a truly incredible resource and collection for this age group.  Read Me encourages students to understand, analyze, evaluate, apply, and create.

Tips: This site includes a graphic novel creator.  I am writing about it separately because it deserves its own post.  You can find it here.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Read Me in your classroom!

MathMovesU

Posted by admin | Posted in Apply, Evaluate, Knowledge (remember), Math, Middle/High School, Secondary Elementary, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 22-09-2010

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What it is: MathMovesU is an interactive virtual world where middle school students can interact with algebra, geometry, decimals, fractions, and word problems through topics they are passionate about like sports, music, and fashion.  As students navigate through MathMovesU they will encounter math problems delivered through games, polls, and fun facts.  The site is a great supplement to curriculum and will help students practice and improve their math skills in a fun, engaging manner.

How to integrate MathMovesU into the classroom: MathMovesU is an innovative approach to math practice that shows kids how math is used in real life.  As students explore the MathMovesU virtual world they will collect points by discovering math and tracking solutions.  This site truly encourages students to discover more, dig deeper and think critically about math.  Start your own MathMovesU class competition for the school year where students work to earn the most points.  MathMovesU is a great alternative to worksheet practice.  It is best to use MathMovesU in a one to one scenario where each student has their own computer to work on.  If a one to one experience isn’t possible, use classroom computers as a center.  Throughout the year students can rotate through the center to earn points and practice.

Tips: MathMovesU needs a robust network, the site is highly interactive but can crawl if you have a lab full of students accessing it at once.

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using MathMovesU  in your classroom.

Bestest PE Teacher

Posted by admin | Posted in Blogs, Middle/High School, PE, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 13-02-2009

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 What it is:  Our PE teacher just started a blog of her own!  The blog is called Bestest PE Teacher, her hope is that it will be a place to start a conversation with teachers, students, and parents about physical education in schools, reminisce about PE memories, and advice for parents and students. 

How to integrate Bestest PE into the classroom:   This blog will be a great place to converse about physical education in schools.  Pass this blog on to the PE teacher at your school and join in the conversation to encourage this new edublogger!  

 

Tips:  If you are wondering where the name Bestest PE came from, the kids call our PE teacher “Bestest PE Teacher in the Whole Wide World”… I tend to agree she is the bestest!  

Do you follow any other PE blogs?  Share them here so I can pass them along!

Awesome Stories

Posted by admin | Posted in History, Interactive book, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 11-02-2009

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What it is:   Awesome Stories is a neat website that looks to me like it could be the future of text books.  Awesome Stories has great primary source materials separated by categories such as biographies, disasters, trials, flicks, history, inspiration, religion and sports.  Throughout the text there are hyperlinks to additional content.  The links are separated by color so you know that when you see a certain color it will open a primary source  image, video, narration, slide shows, artifact, manuscript, document, etc.  You can become a member of Awesome Stories for free, when you do you will gain access to additional features like an extensive image data base, narrated stories, lesson plans, and a free newsletter from Awesome Stories.  This is essentially an interactive textbook.  I love that the site hits different learning styles in its presentation of information.

How to integrate Awesome Stories into the classroom:    Awesome Stories would be a great supplement to traditional text books.  It makes finding primary source materials easy!  With the audio clips, narration, video, and slide shows linked right within the reading material, students are going to get a much richer understanding of a topic or material being studied.  I love that struggling readers can have all the text narrated to read along with.  Many of the videos, audio, and slide shows would be excellent to share with the whole class using a projector or interactive whiteboard.  

 

Tips:  Sign up for free to see the full scope of Awesome Stories, you will be amazed at the amount of content here!  The lesson plans to use with the site are wonderful!

 Leave a comment and share how you are using Awesome Stories in your classroom.