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What it is: There are several url shortening tools out there that let you shrink down a cumbersome url into something more manageable for sharing.  Trick.ly is a url shortener with an added feature: it can be password protected.  When you share the url, you can add a clue and a password that has to be used in order for the shared website to be accessed.  You may be wondering why you would want to password protect a url in the classroom, I’m glad you asked…  How to integrate Trick.ly into the classroom: I am constantly sharing shortened url’s with my students, it makes it easy to get all my students to the same website quickly.  Trick.ly adds the ability to password protect the url.  This could add a layer of learning and fun to accessing websites in the classroom.  Give your students a Trick.ly shortened url with a secret clue that helps students “unlock” the website. For example, if you are using National Geographic Maps website with your students, don’t just send them to the website, give them a clue that is related to the website such as “Capital of Colorado”.  Students have to correctly solve the puzzle to unlock access to the game.  The password “Denver” would provide students with access to the website.  Create Trick.ly shortened url’s with math, geography, history, spelling, vocabulary, science, or foreign language problems built in.  Make the clue to solve related to the end website that students will access.  Kids enjoy solving problems, adding a puzzle to a website gives students a sense of anticipation for the activity they will be completing.  Trick.ly urls take just seconds to create, they are a fast, easy way to direct your students to a website. Tips: Trick.ly would be a great way to share websites and web pages that you create for your classroom.  We have a school Facebook and Twitter account.  If I wanted to share pictures I took of our school carnival, I could share them with Trick.ly, adding a layer of protection. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Trick.ly in your classroom.

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Story Cove

Posted by admin | Posted in Character Education, Fun & Games, Geography, Interactive book, Interactive Whiteboard, Language Arts, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 11-10-2009

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What it is: Story Cove- A World of Stories is an excellent collection of stories from around the world.  The folktales come from a variety of cultures and places sharing timeless lessons and universal values.  The stories are shared in two ways, as an audio story only, or as a movie.  The stories have been collected from countries around the world including: Africa, Asia, Americas, Australia, and Europe.  Students can explore the world through the stories told there.    Each story is accompanied by a variety of activities including coloring pages, mazes, printable masks, etc.  There is a teacher page where you can find lesson plans for each story that extend the story elements to explore the original story with projects and activities that encourage interaction with other students, parents, and teachers.  Each story has a lesson for students in kindergarten, first grade, second grade, and third grade.

How to integrate Story Cove- A World of Stories into the classroom: Story Cove- A World of Stories is a fun way for students to learn about other cultures and countries through the stories told there.  It provides a great tie in between geography, language arts, and social studies.  As you are teaching about other countries, use Story Cove as a way for students to understand more about the people who live there.  Because the stories have universal values, students will be able to relate them to their own lives.  Story Cove can be used with a projector or interactive whiteboard for whole class participation or set up as a story center on classroom computers.  These stories are great for building reading strategies like making connections, summarizing, synthesizing, questioning, and evaluating.  They are also helpful for language and vocabulary building.

Tips: If you can’t find a place to directly tie in Story Cove in your curriculum, consider introducing a new folktale to students each week of the school year.  Use the Story Cove story as a writing prompt for journal writing.

Related Resources: Speakaboos

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

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