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Kids Picture Dictionary App

What it is: Kids Picture Dictionary is just what you would imagine it to be: a dictionary, for kids, with pictures.  This picture dictionary has something extra special built in, it includes a self record feature so that kids (teachers or parents) can record their own voice to record sentence examples. ...

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Timelapse: 3 decades of photo imagery of the world

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Evaluate, History, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Understand (describe, explain), video, Virtual Field Trips, Websites | Posted on 20-01-2014

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Timelapse: a satellite veiw of the earth (iLearn Technology)

What it is:  Timelapse is an incredible visual satellite timeline powered by Google.  Timelapse is about as close as you can get to a time machine, if that time machine hovered above the earth and gave you a bird’s eye view of development and change. Students can choose from some highlighted Timelapse views including: Las Vegas, Dubai, Shanghai, Oil Sands, Mendenhall Glacier, Wyoming Coal, Columbia Glacier, and Lake Urmia.  Alternatively, students can use the search box to view a satellite timelapse of any place in the world. Students can change the speed of the timelapse, pause the satellite imagery, and zoom in or zoom out.  The imagery begins in 1984 and goes through 2012.

How to use Timelapse in your classroom: Timelapse would be a fantastic way to begin an inquiry unit. The site itself sparks lots of questions.  Depending on the location, students may inquire into climate change, history, development, expansion, human impact on land, satellites, etc. Timelapse could also be used in science classes and history classes. This is a great tool for students to use to analyze and evaluate visual data.

Timelapse would be a neat way to explore history of the world from a completely different perspective.  Students could use Timelapse as a creative writing prompt to imagine the world from a new perspective. What changes when you aren’t down in the midst of life on earth? Do problems appear different? Does success get measured differently?

Tips: Below the Timelapse map, students can read about how satellites are used to capture the imagery they are exploring. Well worth the read!  It is also separated into “Chapters” that each tell a larger story about the featured Timelapses.

 

Degree Story Teacher Contest

Science of Everyday Life

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Evaluate, Knowledge (remember), Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Technology, Understand (describe, explain), video, Websites | Posted on 16-05-2013

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Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 12.33.20 PM

What it is:
Discovery Education and 3M have partnered to bring the science of everyday life into your classroom.  This fantastic collection of resources is for students in kindergarten through twelfth grade.  On the site you will find videos and interactives that help kids learn about the science around them and make connections to what they are learning in school.  Lessons are inquiry based and encourage exploration in life science, physical science, earth science and technology/innovation.  Virtual labs are interactive flash-based labs where students can discover more about science like wind energy.  At the Innovation HQ portion of the site, students can travel through time and look at innovations that they use in their every day life and “meet” 3M scientists. On the Student page, students can see a young inventors hall of fame.

How to integrate Science of Everyday Life into the classroom:  The Science of Everyday Life is packed FULL of great videos, lesson ideas, virtual interactives and student activities.  I really appreciate that the approach to lessons is inquiry based!  The lessons include great resources and encourage students to ask questions and dig deeper.  The virtual investigations and labs are also really well done.

Content is separated out by grade level, quickly find exactly what best fits your classroom needs!

The travel through time feature is really neat for students to explore.  This could be done as a class using a projector-connected computer or interactive whiteboard or used as a center exploration or individual activity in a 1:1 or lab setting.  Split students into smaller teams or have them explore a specific time period independently.  The timeline gives some basic information, and would be a great launching point for further investigation.  Students could turn this into a larger project where they connect the innovation from history with innovations today.  What learning had to take place in the past, in order for the innovation that we have today?  This would make a great compare/contrast activity for students.

Because Discovery Education is involved, you can anticipate high quality videos and related resources.

Tips:  The resources and interactives on the Science of Everyday Life are largely Java and Flash based.  If you are running these resources off an iPad, you will want to use an app like Rover (which allows you to view Flash), Photon, iSwifter, etc.

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  Science of Everyday Life in your classroom.

myHistro: timeline/story/map/picture mashups created by you!

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Art, Create, Evaluate, Geography, Government, History, Knowledge (remember), Language Arts, Middle/High School, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Virtual Field Trips, web tools, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 23-10-2012

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What it is:  myHistro is a really great site (and app!) that lets students combine maps and timelines seamlessly into one great presentation of information and understanding.  myHistro is more than just data collection, it is a way to share stories.  With myHistro, students can create a rich timeline/map mashup complete with additional text, pictures and video.  The result is truly incredible!  It is easy to get started, just create an event and associate it with a time and place.  Events can be gathered together and turned into stories.  Stories, in turn, can be used together to create a collection.  Stories can be viewed in multiple ways, by events on a timeline, in chronological order with a page flip feature like an album, or as a story summary of chronological events.  Create as many events as you would like and add as many photos as you like, all for free!  The finished product can even be downloaded into Google Earth format for offline storage. Completed Histros can be embedded in other blogs and websites for maximum usability.

How to integrate myHistro into the classroom: myHistro has SO many uses!  At Anastasis, we just completed an inquiry unit on who we are.  myHistro was a perfect tie in for students exploring family histories, heritage and tradition.  Students could add pictures, and stories along with the interactive map of where events were taking place and a timeline where they could see it all unfold chronologically.  This is like a family tree on steroids. Pretty outstanding.  Even better? It ties directly into Geni (blogged about here).  

myHistro isn’t just for family trees.  It could be used for students mapping out history chronologically, mapping out a fictional story, creating a story map for their own writing, mapping how ideas and invention spread, looking at explorers, migration, etc.  As I said, the options are endless!

myHistro is collaborative, students can create projects together and even invite parents to join in the learning.  Pretty cool!

As a teacher, you can ditch the text book and help students really visualize that history in new ways.  A completed myHistro can be embedded in your class blog or website for students to access without having to visit multiple sites or login.

There are a number of fabulous myHistro stories that you can borrow to share with your students.  They can view these to learn more about events in history, or they can go on a fact checking mission to double check the validity of the stories created by others.  Definitely worth doing!

Tips: myHistro also happens to be an app.  Find it in the iTunes store.  This can be your first download on your new iPad mini ;)

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

Help me personalize education for EVERY child!  Donate (even just your coffee money!)  and spread the word about the Learning Genome Project.

Pinterest Classroom Inspiration Roundup

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Anastasis Academy, Apply, Art, Character Education, Classroom Management, Create, Fun & Games, inspiration, Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 21-05-2012

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Holy Smokes. It has been a CRAZY couple of weeks.  Don’t let anyone tell you that starting a school is an insane amount of work; that is a piece of cake compared to ending your first school year!  Blogging has obviously taken a back seat.  It feels strange not to blog every day after making that a habit over the last 4 years.

Today is dedicated to Pinterest.  I find so many fantastic things that spark ideas for must-dos at Anastasis. I’m sharing a few of  them here. I hope they spark some ideas for your classrooms!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This year we did some composting, this was followed by planting seedlings in newspaper just like this.  Each student made a newspaper “pot” for their seeds. We love that it is biodegradable!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are ending the year at Anastasis with a Storyline Expo. This is a showcase of student work throughout the year. We wanted to show a progression of learning and a timeline seemed like a great way to do it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are making preparations for our first field day.  Water noodle target practice looked like a great activity.  What are we most excited about? A food truck for lunch.  We are cool like that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have spent a good majority of the year sharing wishes and dreams. For our storyline expo, we are creating silhouettes of students sharing what they love about our school.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have done SO many hands on experiments throughout the year.  This one was particularly neat to visualize weather in a cup.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We took pictures of all the kids “holding-on” to rope like this.  They made great bookmarks for our first ever read-in!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every student created a poster with this quote on it. It so perfectly summarizes what we believe about students and learning.

 

 

 

 

 

This is SUCH a great way to practice equations and algebra. Each number on the clock is represented by an equation. Our students made some unique “geeky” clocks this year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We really wanted students to find freedom in their learning this year.  Creating unique thumbprints with information and thoughts from each student was a great way to kick this thought process off.  They turned out great!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Words we live by daily!

 

 

To see the originals of these images (and many more), visit my Pinterest Classroom Inspiration page. Pinterest is my guilty pleasure, I add to it even when I don’t have time to blog!   If you haven’t joined Pinterest yet, I highly recommend it.  Fair warning: it is addicting!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TimeMaps- History of World 3500BC to 2005AD in interactive maps

Posted by admin | Posted in Evaluate, Geography, History, Interactive Whiteboard, Knowledge (remember), Middle/High School, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 05-04-2012

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What it is:  TimeMaps is a fantastic site I learned about from an email I received today.  TimeMaps lets students look at every nation, empire and civilization as one story through maps. This is the history of the world from 3500BC to 2005AD!  There are pinpoints on the Atlas that let students drill down into specific areas, nations and civilizations.  Students get a story about what is happening in this portion of the world, as well as opportunities to explore even further.  Below the map, students can change the date on an interactive timeline.

I really like TimeMap as a way to explore history.  As I have mentioned in the past, history was not my subject in school.  I made good grades, but was never interested by it.  It wasn’t until I was adult, that I began to appreciate history.   In school, history was always just presented as a collection of facts.  I couldn’t quite wrap my mind around how they were all related or why I should take up valuable brain space memorizing them.  As an adult, I came to realize that history is really all about stories.  I love stories!  TimeMap’s brilliance is in the way it unfolds the stories in history with the visual of the map.  Not only are students getting a good understanding of how civilizations shaped the world, they are also learning geography.

How to integrate Time Maps into the classroom: The best way for students to interact with this site is to just give them the freedom to explore.  I know for most, this isn’t always an option.  There are certain time periods and portions of the world that you are responsible teaching in your grade level.  For those that fall into that category, let students go to those specific places within TimeMap. 
If you have an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer, you can explore as a whole class, reading the stories together.  The nice thing about this option, is that you can pull in other videos, music and resources for the whole class to experience.  How great would it be to combine this site with History for Music Lovers on YouTube?  TimeMap will give students context for other exploration.
TimeMap can be set up on classroom computers for students to visit as a supplement to the other work they are doing.  It can act as a research center for students to visit as they are working and learning.
If you teach World History, students could use TimeMap as a place to gather information.  Each student could select a different civilization from one time period or explore the same place and the change throughout time.  Students can create trading cards, videos, comics, non-fiction, a song, etc. to present their findings to the class.  It would be fun to have a movie premier night or a read-in comic day to view all of the students projects.
Tips: I’m really impressed by the comprehensiveness of this site.  The only thing that would make it better are images and video embedded with the map!

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

33 Space Websites to Celebrate the Launch of Endeavour

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Knowledge (remember), Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), video, Websites | Posted on 16-05-2011

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Did your students get to see the shuttle launch this morning?  What a great way to start a Monday!  Seeing a launch never gets old for me, there is always a sense of wonder and anticipation during count down and launch.  To celebrate the launch of Endeavour, I thought I would share some of my favorite space websites.  In no particular order:

1. We Choose the Moon- An interactive that drops students right into history where they get to witness, and take part in, the Apollo 11 launch and mission.

2. NASA Clickable Spacesuit- An interactive for students to learn about the parts of a spacesuit.

3. Planet Quest: Alien Safari- An interactive exploration adventure that encourages students to find bizarre and extreme organisms that live on Earth.

4. Eyes on Earth 3D- Lets students track missions as they are happening with the satellites that are collecting information about Earth from space.

5. Moon Zoo- Gives students the chance to study the lunar surface while contributing to real science.

6. NASA @ Home and City- Students explore 3D environments where they discover common household and city items that have roots in space exploration.

7. Solar System Scope- A 3D real-time look at celestial positions with planets and constellations in the night sky.

8. NASA’s 50th Anniversary Flash Feature- Best. Website. Ever. An incredible interactive timeline that highlights each decade in the United States space program from 1950 to 2000.

9. European Space Agency- Kid-friendly information about the universe, life in space, lift off, useful space, earth, and more.

10. NASA’s Be a Martian- Students virtually explore and learn about the human-robotic partnership that makes virtual exploration of Mars possible.

11. NASA Space Place- Fun online games, animations, projects, and fun facts about Earth, space and technology.

12. NASA Interactive Timeline-  A multimedia timeline that begins in 500BC and follows the search for extrasolar planets to modern discoveries.

13. Moon in Google Earth-  Take tours of landing sites narrated by Apollo astronauts, view 3D models of landed spacecraft, zoom into 360* photos of astronaut footprints and watch rate footage of the Apollo missions.

14. NASA Images- Find amazing images of the universe, solar system, earth, aeronautics and astronauts.

15. Google Sky- Students get up close and personal with the solar system, constellations, the Hubble Telescope, backyard astronomy, Chandra X-ray Showcase, GALEX Ultraviolet Showcase and the Spitzer infrared Showcase.

16. Buzz Lightyear in Orbit- Teaches students about the next space mission with Atlantis.

17. Station Spacewalk Game- Play the role of an astronaut and repair the ISS.

18. NASA 101- Learn about what NASA does.

19. NASA Anatomy: How Space Technology Improves Human Health- Students learn about how NASA impacts daily life and health.

20. Apollo 11 Launch- Step into the moonshoes of Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong while discovering the lunar landing.

21. Spooky Space Sounds- Listen to real sounds from space.

22. Hubble Celebrates 20 years- View imagery from the Hubble Telescope and learn about history of the Hubble.

23. Galaxy Zoo- Explore the universe and really help scientists.

24. Climate Time Machine- Take an interactive tour through Earth’s climate history.

25. NASA Edge- Students look behind the scenes at NASA with entertaining and informative videos.

26. NASA 360*- Learn about NASA’s past, present and future and how NASA has improved life on earth with these videos.

27. NASA e-clips- Learn about innovative applications of science, technology, , engineering and math through short NASA videos.

28. TEDx NASA- Inspiring talks from TEDx NASA.

29. NASA @ Twitter- Students can follow NASA on Twitter to get up-to-date information on space exploration and discovery.

30. Your Age on Other Worlds- Students can find out how old they would be on other planets.

31. iWas Wondering Astro Game- A scavenger hunt in outer space.

32. Study Jams Solar System- Students view a video and slide show about the solar system.

33. Pipo Club- Travel through the Universe with Pipo.

 

The Secret Annex

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Character Education, Evaluate, Government, History, inspiration, Interactive Whiteboard, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Understand (describe, explain), video, Virtual Field Trips, Websites | Posted on 09-05-2011

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What it is: The Secret Annex lets students travel back in time to Anne Frank’s hiding place.  Students can explore Anne’s house in a super cool 3D interactive environment.  The Secret Annex gives students an authentic feel for the place where Anne wrote her diary while listening to stories of everyone who lived in the hiding place.  In addition to the 3D hiding place, students can review historical archive material about the war and view unique TV broadcasts where memories are shared.

How to integrate The Secret Annex into the classroom: The Secret Annex is about the closest students can come to traveling through time and experiencing the hiding place.  The site is incredible in its attention to detail.  Each room can be explored with narration describing the room.  The Secret Annex is an excellent addition to any classroom studying World War II, reading the Diary of Anne Frank or studying Nazi Germany.

Explore the Secret Annex as a class using an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer for a virtual field trip.  After exploring as a class, allow students to dig deeper into the site learning about all of the guests of the hiding place on classroom computers or in a computer lab setting.

If you are reading the Diary of Anne Frank as a class, use the Secret Annex as a support tool and visual aid so students can picture where Anne composed her diary.  The site does a fantastic job of capturing the feelings of fear, hope, anxiety and relief.

Ask students to imagine that they were hiding in the hideaway.  Use The Secret Annex as a writing prompt for students to explore the feelings, attitudes and observations in diary or journal form.

Tips: Be sure to visit the “This Site” page where you will find more historical information about Anne Frank, a timeline of Anne’s life, student guides to help students who are learning about World War II and teaching materials from the Anne Frank House.

Thank you to Ryan for sending me to this site, I truly have the best readers!

Please leave a comment and share how you are using  The Secret Annex in your classroom!

Tiki-Toki: Create gorgeous multimedia timelines

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, collaboration, Create, Evaluate, History, Interactive Whiteboard, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), web tools, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 26-04-2011

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What it is: Tiki-Toki is an absolutely GORGEOUS multimedia timeline creator.  The results are truly a work of art-no joke!  Tiki-Toki is very easy to use, after registering for an account, students are guided step-by-step through creating an interactive timeline.  Students can add text, images (Flickr) and video (YouTube or Vimeo) to a timeline.  Images can be uploaded from a student computer or found through a search on Flickr.  Throughout the creation process, tool tips pop-up to guide students through creation.  Students can share saved timelines with a unique URL.

How to integrate Tiki-Toki into the classroom: Tiki-Toki is a fabulous new way for your students to create and share online.  Timelines are an obvious choice for history projects but can be used throughout the year for a variety of subjects and learning focuses.  Students can reflect on and share learning using a Tiki-Toki timeline.  Students can begin a timeline at the beginning of the year sharing videos, links, pictures and reflections each unit, week, month, or semester until the end of the school year.  This is a nice way to encourage students to reflect on learning while providing them with a record of what has been accomplished throughout the year.

Students can create timelines based on books or literature they are reading.  Young students can create a timeline with information about beginning, middle and end while older students can add supporting details, action, climax and concluding thoughts.  A timeline book report is a welcome change for your logical/analytical thinkers- seriously, offer it as an option!

Timelines can also be used as KWL charts (Know, Want to Know, Learned).  At the beginning of any learning, students can list the facts that they know about the topic. Next, they can brainstorm and write about what they want to know about a topic.  At the end of the unit or semester, students can detail what they have learned including any relevant videos or images.

In science, students can use Tiki-Toki to detail an experiment or scientific method process they go through in a lab.

Tiki-Toki is probably too advanced a tool for primary elementary to use independently, but it can be used with an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer to create a timeline as a class.  This is a good way to teach students about timelines while recording learning.

Create an account on Tiki-Toki and record a few pictures of your classroom along with a description of the learning that happened each day.  At the end of the week the timeline can be sent to parents and administration to share what you are working on in your classroom.  This is a fun change from the traditional newsletter and, because it is added to a little at a time, it will give you a break from the Thursday mad-dash-to-finish-Friday-newsletter thing you have going (oh, is that just me?). ;)

Tips: The basic Tiki-Toki account is completely free and contains enough features to keep kids creating with no problem.  The paid accounts include features like shared timeline creation which would also be useful in the classroom.  I’m hoping that Tiki-Toki catches on to the uses for education and comes up with an education version just for us!

A minimum age for use of Tiki-Toki is not specified in the terms of service.  If you work with students who do not have an email address to share, consider using a tempinbox account or mailinator.

A BIG THANK YOU to @anderscj for mentioning Tiki-Toki on Twitter, I have a new favorite timeline creator!

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Tiki-Toki  in your classroom!

NASA’s 50th Anniversary Flash Feature-best website ever!

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Evaluate, Interactive Whiteboard, Knowledge (remember), Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 19-04-2011

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Have I mentioned lately that I have the most AWESOME readers?  No?  Well it is true, you all are awesome and you keep me going even when I am running on low.  Thank you for that!  I’m currently working on starting a school (actually 3) in the next 2 years.  This is proving to be an exciting and, oh yeah, exhausting task.  Then I get encouraging emails and site suggestions from you all and it puts some major pep back in my step.  Thank you!  This website is one such recommendation.  You know you are a true geek when getting a cool website in your inbox revives you :)  Thank you Ryan!

What it is: NASA’s 50th Anniversary Flash feature is a website that is absolutely not to be missed.  Seriously, it won’t even hurt my feelings if you skip reading my post and just head right on over to dig in and check it out yourselves!  This interactive timeline highlights each decade in our space program from 1950 to 2000.  Until we get time travel sorted out, this is a pretty good substitute! The site encourages exploration and discovery as students move decade by decade through the site.  I love that this site goes so far beyond just space exploration.  While students explore, they will hear music representing each decade, see animations, listen to virtual radio broadcasts of actual news headlines (including NASA news and other news from the decade), original video, listen to speeches of the decade and even launch rockets.  I can’t tell you how happy it made me to hear Johnny Cash mixed in as I was playing on this site (in the upper left corner of the site you will be able to change songs on the jukebox, record, tape, CD or mp3 player).  First thing I heard when I clicked on the 80’s “Tonight on Dallas find out who shot J.R.”. *LOVE THIS SITE!*  This blog post took me about 2 hours because I got sucked right into exploring and playing.  The site reminds me of Epcot’s Tomorrow Land, complete with robot guide.  This is what online learning should look like, when I close my eyes and dream, this is the experience I imagine for kids.  Can you imagine if there was a site like this for history? How cool would that be?!

How to integrate NASA’s 50th Anniversary Flash Feature into the classroom: This is one of those sites that you could let kids loose on just for exploration.  Without any guidance from you they will learn plenty!  Ideally kids would explore this site in partners or on their own in a one to one computer lab setting.  If each student has a computer, headphones will be a necessity.  If individual exploration just isn’t in the cards, visit the site as a class with an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computers.  Invite students up to the computer (whiteboard) to take turns guiding the class.  The site has plenty of interactive content to give each student a chance at the computer (whiteboard).  Unless you have a good chunk of time dedicated to the site, this is one that I would stretch out over a week.  Each day students can explore a new decade.

The space exploration component of this site is amazing and could keep everyone plenty busy with learning.  With older students, discuss what the music of the decade reveals about that time in history.  What does the music tell them about people, community, values, events of the day?  Take it one step further and ask students to dig into other historical events in each decade, discussing their impact on space exploration, culture and where we are today.  One thing that I missed out on in history was all of the stories that make it so rich.  For me, history was reduced to names, dates and places.  Give your students the opportunity to put themselves into history and learn about how the events influenced each other.

NASA’s 50th Anniversary Flash Feature would be a great one to use in connection with We Choose the Moon.  If your students are like mine, they can’t get enough of this stuff!  Obviously I can’t get enough of it either.  Full disclosure, I have always loved space exploration.  When I was a kid I spent many summers at Black Rock Desert at LDRS (Large Dangerous Rockets) with my dad.  My dad built wooden model rockets- first wooden rocket on record to break sound barrier!  In answer to your next question: yes, I have always been a complete and total nerd. :P

Tips: What? Your still here? Go on, visit the site! (channeling my inner Ferris Bueller today).

Please leave a comment and share how you are using NASA’s 50th Anniversary Flash Feature thesauruses in your classroom!

Capzles Interactive Timeline Tutorial

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Apply, Art, Create, Evaluate, History, Knowledge (remember), Language Arts, Middle/High School, Music, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Video Tutorials, web tools, Web2.0 | Posted on 03-02-2011

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Capzles is a site that I have written about and recommended many times (you can read one of my original posts about it below).  I am currently working with a school that has zero technology.  When I say zero, I mean they don’t even have over head projectors.  This is a NO tech school.  They recently enlisted my help in taking their eighth graders from no tech into a one-to-one environment.  Each of the students will be receiving a laptop to use during instruction.  The challenge: the computers aren’t all the same age, make, or model.  No problem, we will use web 2.0 tools!  The benefit of going from zero to fully immersed: no bad technology habits to break, we are staring from a clean slate!

Last week I met with the eighth grade teacher to talk about what learning is currently happening in the classroom and took a look at the scope and sequence of learning for the next semester.  I asked a LOT of questions and together we mapped out a plan for integrating technology that would support and enhance the learning that was already happening.  We decided to begin by adding technology into art, composer study, history, astronomy, poetry, and literature.  I thought about having the students create blogs or wikis to chart and reflect on learning, but in the end decided that Capzles was the best tool for this job.  Capzles lets students organize learning in the form of an interactive timeline.  Students can upload a variety of documents to the timeline including images, videos, documents, and slide shows.  They can also blog directly to the timeline (complete with comments!). The blog feature also provides a way for students to embed other web 2.0 creations.  For the learning that these students will be doing, the visual timeline makes the most sense.  Students can create multiple timelines or compile all of their learning into one timeline.  If students create these timelines based on actual historical dates, they will begin to see the overlap in history, astronomical discoveries, composers, and artists of the time.  This leads to a more complete understanding of how the world that they know has been shaped.

Students can also create a timeline based on their learning, each day adding learning to a virtual “journal” of events.

I have created weblists of the links these students will be using as a part of their learning over the next semester:

To Kill a Mockingbird

Poetry

Astronomy

Art

Composers

History

The tutorial above is a brief introduction to using Capzles, you will have to forgive the drowned rat look…that is what happens when you shovel snow in a blizzard :)

Original post from July 22, 2008:

What it is: Capzles is another interactive timeline maker. I really love all the little extras that Capzleshas! With Capzles teachers and students can add photos, videos, audio, and text to their timeline. Themes, colors, backgrounds, and background music can be added to the timeline making it unique and personalized. Capzles also provides options when sharing your Capzle, it can be private with a specific list of who can view the Capzle or made public for the world to see.

How to integrate Capzles into the classroom: Obviously Capzles is a great way for students to create timelines about any subject. The web 2.0 collaborative aspect of Capzles makes it very appealing to students. I think Capzles could also be very valuable in the primary classroom. Students probably won’t be creating their own timelines in Capzles at this age, parent helpers paired with students to create simple timelines would be appropriate. Because Capzles has the capability of adding audio, photos, and text, it would be the perfect place to record students reading throughout the year. As you assess student reading through reading records, record the students using a program such as GabcastGcast,Audacity, or Garageband. Take a digital picture of the student reading. Throughout the year, you can make a Capzle for each student. This is an excellent motivator for students, especially your struggling readers. Students can see their growth throughout the year in pictures, and hear their reading progress made throughout the year. You can share the Capzle with parents (they will go crazy for this keepsake!) and with the students future teacher. How much would you love getting a timeline of your students from the previous year? You would have a jump-start on their struggles and strengths in reading as you quickly flip through their timelines. Cool huh?!

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