DOGO News: current events and non-fiction for your classroom

DOGO news: current events for the classroom

What it is: DOGO News is a great place for kids to learn about current events, read non-fiction articles, and access customized content that you curate. DOGO features thousands of news articles and new original content added daily, this is the leading online source of current events for students, teachers, and schools! DOGO Teachers allows you to create a special page for your students. Each article lists the Common Core Standards it meets, and the grade levels it is appropriate for.

How to integrate DOGO News in your classroom: DOGO News is a fantastic resource for you (and students) to find, read, and interact with non-fiction news articles in your classroom. The site is very easy for kids to navigate. The homepage includes the most up-to-date content, but students also have the option to read articles based on a passion they have (science, social studies, world events, environment, fun, video, or sports) or to search for a specific topic. DOGO is obviously an easy go-to for current events and non-fiction reading and for research in the inquiry classroom.

Our students love to read an article as a class and then search for biases. If there aren’t any obvious biases, they talk about ways the topic might be written about with bias. This generally leads to really great class discussions and bunny trials of questions and research. DOGO is a great place for this activity to start.

DOGO also has a Books and Movies where kids can read reviews written by other kids for books and movies. Students can join DOGO to add their own book and movie reviews.

Tips: Teachers- you can sign up for two different kinds of accounts on DOGO. The free account lets you create your own DOGO class page and add your own assignments. There is also a paid account option that includes some additional features that would be ideal if you use Google Classroom and would like to access ready-made assignments on DOGO.

5 of the BEST Virtual Field Trips

Kelly Tenkely | (Posted at The
Field trips can be amazing learning experiences.   They provide students with the opportunity to actively participate in education, offering learning possibilities that aren’t readily available in the classroom.  Unfortunately, it isn’t always practical or possible to take students on field trips.  Tight budgets, location, transportation, time, and resource restrictions can keep your students school-bound.  Virtual field trips can fill this void.  Virtual field trips have come a long way from the page of links they used to be.  Now students can explore the world with simulations that are so realistic, they will believe they have left the classroom.  Below are five of the best virtual field trips on the web:

Virtual Field Trip #1:

Smithsonian Museum
Not all cities have access to an incredible natural history museum like the Smithsonian.  This virtual tour is the next best thing to taking an actual field trip to the Smithsonian.

The Smithsonian Virtual Museum is truly remarkable.  Students can ‘step’ into the exhibits and take a tour through the entire museum in a 360 degree environment.  The virtual museum is made up of panoramic pictures of the actual exhibits inside the Smithsonian.  Using their mouse, students “walk” through the museum room by room. They can zoom in, look left and right, look up and down, and walk forward or backward.  Camera icons throughout the museum show students hot spots where they can get close to an exhibit panel.  As students explore the museum, they will see: the ocean hall, ancient seas, dinosaurs, early life, fossils, plants, mammals, African cultures, the Ice Age, Western cultures, reptiles, insects, butterflies, bones, geology, gems, and minerals.

Students can explore the various exhibits on individual computers in a computer lab setting or life size with an interactive whiteboard or a projector.  Split your students into groups and assign them an exhibit to explore and take notes on.  After students have explored and become the ‘expert’ on their exhibit, project the Virtual Smithsonian Museum on an interactive whiteboard/screen.  Explore the museum as a class. As you enter an exhibit, invite the group who explored the exhibit to act as tour guides.

Even if you have access to a natural history museum for field trips, the Smithsonian Virtual Museum is still incredibly useful.  Prepare for a field trip to your local history museum by visiting the virtual museum.  After the field trip, students can compare and contrast what they saw at the local museum with the Smithsonian.

Virtual Field Trip #2:

UPM Forest Life
A field trip to a forest is a wonderful way to learn about tree species, ecosystems, habitats, and animals.   The UPM Forest Life virtual field trip will have your students believing that they are actually in a forest smelling pine trees.
UPM Forest Life aims to teach about forest sustainability.  It does this by inviting students to take a virtual hike through a forest.  The forest is made up of panoramic pictures of an actual forest.  Students can zoom in, look up and down, left and right, and ‘walk’ through the forest with their mouse.  Students start their field trip with a virtual tour guide.  As students ‘hike’ through the forest, they will click on hot spots that reveal videos of forest life, pictures with information, and sounds.  Throughout the forest are opportunities for learning about forest planning, harvesting, regeneration, re-spacing, thinning, transport, recreation, training, berry picking, bird watching, hunting, fishing, natural forests, valuable habitats, deadwood, forest structure, water, native tree species, and the various animals that call a forest home.   This virtual field trip is impressive on individual computers and amazing when viewed as a whole class on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector.  Allow students to take turns acting as forest rangers. They can click on various videos, pictures, and information embedded in the forest.  Students can record their observations of the forest, trees, animals, and sounds they experience in an observation journal.

Virtual Field Trip #3:

Moon in Google Earth
The moon is no longer off limits for field trips!  Students can visit the moon virtually using Moon view in Google Earth.  Google Earth makes for excellent virtual trips around the world; in Google Earth 5.0 you can also take your students to the moon.
Moon in Google Earth makes it possible for students to take tours of Apollo missions to the moon, from takeoff to landing – all narrated by Apollo astronauts.  Students can explore 3-D models of landed spacecraft, zoom into 360-degree photos of astronaut footprints on the moon, watch rare TV footage of the Apollo missions, and, of course, explore the surface of the moon.   Take your virtual field trip to the moon as a class with an interactive whiteboard/projector, or send students on their own mission to the moon using student computers.  Assign groups of students to an Apollo mission to explore.  When the ‘astronauts’ return to earth, they can tell other students about their mission to the moon or write a newspaper article about their journey.

Virtual Field Trip #4:

Planet in Action
Real field trips don’t allow for adventures like a helicopter ride above the Grand Canyon, an expedition to Mount St. Helens, or a helicopter tour of Manhattan or Disneyland Paris.  Planet in Action makes all of these possible with the help of Google Earth.
Planet in Action is an outstanding way to bring learning to life.  Students can take a guided tour of the Grand Canyon, Mount St. Helens, Manhattan, or Disneyland Paris or take control and explore on their own.  These journeys are incredibly lifelike on an interactive whiteboard/projector.  Take your whole class on a virtual helicopter ride above famous landmarks that they are learning about in class.  First, watch the recorded tour and discuss the different landmarks as you see them.  Then ‘hire’ a student helicopter ‘pilot’ who can navigate a trip for the class.  On individual computers, students can create postcards of their virtual field trip or create their own virtual tour that can be saved and shared with others or with Planet in Action.  As students fly above the landmarks, a Google Map will show them exactly where they are in the virtual tour.

Virtual Field Trip #5:

AR Sights
Most students probably won’t have the ability to travel to the pyramids or the Eiffel Tower for a field trip.
Augmented Reality makes it possible to see these landmarks, and more, using Google Earth in 3-D.
Augmented Reality requires a webcam, browser add-on, and a printout provided by the AR Sights website.
After a simple graphic is printed out, it is held up to a webcam.  Students will see a landmark spring to life right before their eyes on the computer screen.  As the printout is tilted, twisted, and moved the landmark moves accordingly.  Students can view the famous landmark in 360-degrees, 3-D, and up close.  It is truly incredible!
AR Sights makes it possible to view Google Earth right in a web browser and then zoom into places of interest, looking at them in 3-D with Augmented Reality.  Students can ‘fly’ around Google Earth, when they find a place of interest, they will hold the printout up to the camera and explore the landmark.  This is an amazing visual method for learning about geography and famous landmarks.  If you only have access to one webcam, use it with a computer connected to a projector or interactive whiteboard for whole class exploration.

Geography, budget, and time are no longer field trip restrictions.  With virtual field trips, students can explore the universe using a computer.  These simulations are so realistic that your students will believe they have traveled the universe, actively participating in their learning.

Top 10 Technology Tips for New Teachers

Yet another article that I wrote for This article has been a popular one, it had the most views EVER on TheApple in one day! I wrote these tips for new teachers but the tips are valid for those of us who have been teaching for years as well. Enjoy!

Kelly Tenkely |

Being a first year teacher can be overwhelming to say the least. There is new curriculum to learn, unfamiliar school policies, classroom management challenges, and new teammates. Technology can help to ease some of these first year growing pains.

1. Develop a Personal Learning Network (PLN) on Twitter.

Twitter is an excellent place for new teachers to connect, collaborate, share ideas, and struggles with educators around the world. When joining Twitter, make sure to fill out your profile with information related to education. This will help others in education find you. Visit to create an account. Visit to find other educators that teach in the same content area(s). Be sure to add your Twitter name to the appropriate list so that other educators can find you.

2. Keep students engaged.

Always have engaging activities on hand to keep your students on task and learning. Students will misbehave if they have nothing to do, don’t give them the opportunity to be bored. Technology is a great way to fill those extra minutes with critical thinking and problem solving activities. Keep a list or bookmark folder full of great online logic puzzle and problem solving websites for students to refer to when they have extra minutes. List ideas on 3×5 notecards that are kept next to the classroom computers. Students can select a card for an engaging activity any time they have a few extra minutes. Here are some suggestions for great engaging websites:

Fantastic Contraption-

Super Thinkers-

Toy Theater-

Science Museum Launch Ball-

I Know That Thinking Games-

Zoops Games that make you think-

Light Up Your Brain-

3. Take charge of professional development.

Just because you have a degree doesn’t mean that you are finished learning. A good teacher is continually learning. Technology makes it easy to extend your learning by offering professional development on demand. Professional development will keep your teaching fresh, current, and will remind you of what it is like to learn something new. Teachers who are continually learning make empathetic teachers, they understand how frustrating it can be to learn something for the first time. These are great places to continue your learning: –


Tapped in-

Teacher Tap-

Edutopia Instructional Modules-

4. Involve parents by creating a link between home and school.

It is essential to build a strong connection between what happens at school with what happens at home. Students shouldn’t stop learning when they leave your classroom. Keep parents informed so they can be advocates for their kids education at home. There are a few ways to keep parents involved and informed:

  • Build a simple website to share classroom policies, unit overviews, homework, newsletters, calendars, and links to helpful websites. These websites are as easy as 1-2-3 to create and will keep your parents in the know. Check out the following free website creators:





Lunar Pages

Create a classroom Twitter account ( and invite parents to follow the class on Twitter.

Throughout the class day invite students to post short updates about learning on the classroom Twitter account. Examples would be: “Yikes, about to take a pop math quiz!” or “Reading chapter 3 of Wayside School, can’t wait to hear what happens next.” This keeps parents updated with exactly what is happening in your classroom throughout the school day. When students get home parents can ask about specific activities that happened throughout the school day instead of getting the standard “nothing” answer when they ask what they did that day. This is also a great place to post homework. It is fast and gets students and teachers thinking about and reflecting on the learning of the day.

5. Keep yourself organized.

During the first year of teaching you will find a lot of new great resources, keep track of all these great finds in one easy to manage location. is a bookmarking website that allows you to bookmark and organize websites and webtools as you find them. Bookmarks can be collected and shared with others educators through Delicious. Be sure to install the Internet browser plugin so that you can easily bookmark a site with the click of a button.

6. Find educational blogs to discover new ideas, encouragement, and educational news.

I have found some educational blogs written by other educators that make me laugh, keep me current, and encourage me on tough days of teaching. Below are some of my favorite blogs, you can find other great blogs by clicking on the links in each bloggers ‘blog roll’. These are the blogs that the blogger is reading.


Three Old Farts-

Cal Teacher Blog-

Always Learning-

Once Upon a Teacher-

Regurgitated Alpha Bits-

Smart Education 1 to 1-

The Cornerstone Blog-

The Strength of Weak Ties-

Bestest PE-

Confident Teacher-

iLearn Technology-

7. Get to know your students.

Nothing means more to a child than getting to know them individually. Find out about their likes, dislikes, family, pets, friends, and hobbies. Technology can make it easier to get to know your students. Sign up for a classroom account. Each student will get a protected web space. Here they can create school related web pages, and interact with you and other students in the form of debates, votes, blog posts, and online collaborative projects. Pose questions on your space for students to answer. In my experience, even shy students are willing to share with you in this type of environment.

8. Work smarter not harder.

Use websites like Scholastic’s Book Wizard that will help you work smart and maximize your time. Scholastic Book Wizard helps you to find just the right books for your students. Level your books, find booktalks, author information and lesson plans. Search books by level, author, title or keywords, or find similar books at the reading level you need.

9. Don’t reinvent the wheel.

There are a number of free lesson plans available online for every topic and grade level. These can be excellent, creative supplements for school curriculum.

Scholastic Lesson Plans-


Hot Chalk’s Lesson Plans Page- –

Lesson Plan Central –


A to Z Teacher Stuff-

10. Always be prepared.

Plan out lessons, and keep them organized. Discovery School has a great online lesson planner where you can create and store your lesson plans. Lesson Planner lets you edit, print or download your lesson plans while linking to puzzles, worksheets, and quizzes that you have created with the teacher tools on

It’s Not All About the Technology



Another article written for The Apple.  If you aren’t part of this teaching community, you should be!  Sign up today and be sure to add me as a friend ktenkely.Kelly Tenkely | TheApple.comThis may seem like a strange title coming from a technology evangelist and integration specialist. But it is true, it isn’t all about technology in classrooms. Don’t get me wrong, technology can and will do amazing things to increase student learning, differentiate instruction, and meet students where they are. Understand, technology alone can’t do this, it isn’t the golden ticket that when plugged in solves all educational problems. I see many schools who purchase the latest-and-greatest technology, software, and infrastructure only to have the technology collecting dust a few years later when it didn’t solve the education problems of the school. This isn’t the technologies fault, it doesn’t mean that the technology has failed to deliver. What schools often miss is that it isn’t really about the technology at all. There is a foundational level that needs to be addressed in schools first.Many classrooms still look the way they did in the 19th century. The teacher is at the front of the classroom giving students facts to memorize, rules about grammar, math, and science. The role of the student is to take it all in, memorize, and regurgitate the information back in the form of an essay, worksheet, or test. The teacher marks up the student work, puts a grade at the top, and returns it to the student. The process repeats itself as the teacher works to squeeze in all of the curriculum before the end of the year. Technology can’t improve this learning environment. In fact, technology will feel forced and unnatural in this classroom model. Technology invites students to problem solve, create, think critically, and collaborate. The focus is not on memorization and testing but on discovery and creativity. In this classroom model, technology may be used to replace the chalk board with a PowerPoint presentation. This may be more visually appealing, but it doesn’t change how students are learning. The teacher is still the center of the classroom and students are still taking it all in and regurgitating back on worksheets and tests. Learning hasn’t really changed so the results continue to stay the same.Students learn by doing. Students learn through making connections to things they already know. Students learn through discovery. Students learn when they are the center of their education. Technology lends itself naturally to this type of classroom. Technology enhances learning exponentially when introduced into a classroom where students are at the center of learning. Think about the most popular technologies with students today outside of the classroom. For elementary students those that top the list are Club Penguin and Webkins. For secondary students they are Facebook, Myspace, YouTube, and Twitter. What do these have in common? They are all social. Each of these tools invites communication and collaboration. Students aren’t interested in technology for the sake of technology, they are hooked by the increased ability to communicate ideas and work together. In the traditional classroom students complete work for one person: the teacher. There is very little communication after the paper has been handed back. What can technology do to make learning more of a collaborative effort? Web 2.0 tools (those online tools that invite communication and/or collaboration) make learning collaborative.Blogs, wikis, videos, slideshows, and websites can be used in the classroom as a place for students to create and share their work with a wider audience. This audience could be as small as a classroom and parents, or as large as the whole world. These online spaces make students the ‘experts’ and put them in charge of their own learning. They have a sense of ownership in their education. It isn’t about the teacher, it’s about them. Technology invites students to discover learning. Students today find very little value in memorization. It is no wonder that this is the case, many of them walk around with smart phones in their pockets. At any given time they can Google anything and be given thousands of resources that will answer their question. This introduces a new requirement of education. We must teach students to think critically about the information they find. Yes, they can Google anything, but will they know what information is factual and what information is bad? Technology allows students to experience things that they may not other wise have the opportunity to experience. For example, taking a virtual field trip to Egypt to see the pyramids, hear an archeologist speak, and ask the archeologist follow up questions. These experiences help students to make connections to their own lives that would not have been possible with note taking followed by a quiz.Technology alone will not change education and student learning. First, the classroom environment needs to change. We need classrooms that value student centered learning, collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving, and creativity. We need classrooms that value learning. Our goal as teachers should not be to get our students to pass a test, but to teach them how to learn, unlearn, and relearn. Regardless of the technology being used in the classroom, students need these foundational skills to succeed in life. When partnered with this type of classroom, technology will increase student learning and performance. Before any school looks at hardware or software for the classroom, they need to set up a solid educational foundation. The expectation needs to be set that students will no longer be memorizers, they will be thinkers and creators.

Lessons Learned From Master Teachers

Article written by Kelly Tenkely for The Apple

Check out The Apple for great articles, lesson plans, resources, educational news stories, and join in the conversation.

See the original article here.

Last week was teacher appreciation week.  Each year when this week rolls around, I am reminded of the amazing teachers I had in my life who helped shape me into the learner I am today.   In my life, my favorite teachers always seemed to land on the odd grade levels.  My first, third, and fifth grade teachers were particularly memorable.  These women were master teachers.  They  taught me some important lessons and modeled what it means to be a teacher.

1st Grade Mrs. Hebert

Mrs. Hebert was a young teacher.  I am fairly sure that she was just out of college.  She had classroom management down to an art (a difficult feat with six year olds).  Mrs. Hebert made everything we learned an adventure.  One Monday morning, we walked into a darkened classroom to find an UFO at the center of the classroom.  It was flashing and making sounds, it was amazing.   There were glow in the dark stars scattered around the classroom.  She immediately had our attention and had us intrigued with the learning that was to take place that day.  We sat around the strange UFO in a circle and Mrs. Hebert led a conversation about where we thought the UFO could have come from.  We noticed strange purple rocks scattered all over the classroom and talked about what they could be.  One of the boys in the class spotted a book that had a rock that looked the same on the cover.  A few of us suggested that we read the book for clues about the strange space rocks and UFO.

Mrs. Hebert handed out a class set of books (Space Rock by Susan Schade and Jon Buller) so that we could all read.  We read through the book together and discovered where the space rocks had come from.  Each one of us got our very own purple play-dough pet space rock.  We were thrilled.  I still have my space rock. As an adult looking back I realize that Space Rock is a leveled reader, there is nothing really special about this book at all.  It is a cute story but if we had just read the book in a reading group and answered some questions about it on a worksheet, I would not remember anything about this book.  With a little extra effort and preparation, Mrs. Hebert made the lesson memorable.

What we learned that day was more than whatever phonemic awareness skill that was being touched on with the book.  We learned to love reading.  We learned that books can be enjoyable and answer questions that we have and make us use our imagination in new ways.  20 years later I remember a lot about this lesson and many lessons that Mrs. Hebert taught.  She was doing more than teaching us content skills, she was developing a love of learning.

3rd Grade Mrs. Graybill

Mrs. Graybill started every year by sending her new students postcards telling us how excited she was to be teaching us that year.  She often bragged that she had the very best class in the school (I am positive that she told every class this same thing every year).  An amazing thing happens when you are told that you are the best class in the school, you start acting like the best class in the school.  We strived to please Mrs. Graybill.  Throughout the year Mrs. Graybill had us write her notes in our journals.  Sometimes she offered a suggestion on something we could tell her in our notes but we could write anything we wanted.  She responded to each and every note every week.  I remember reading Judy Blume’s the Pain and the Great One in class one day and writing Mrs. Graybill a note about how I feel like the Great One and my little brother was certainly a Pain.  She wrote back a thoughtful response about her brothers and how she didn’t always appreciate them when she was a kid but as adults they are great friends.  Mrs. Graybill made connections with her students.  She knew about our likes and dislikes and what made us nervous or scared.  She was able to tailor lessons to fit our needs because she truly knew our needs.  She made everyone feel like the most special member of the class.  At the beginning of fourth grade Mrs. Graybill sent each of her students a postcard telling us how much she enjoyed teaching us and how much she missed us.  Mrs. Graybill instilled a sense of self worth in us.  She made us believe that we could do anything.

I don’t remember doing a lot of worksheets in Mrs. Graybills class.  Third grade can be a turning point in many schools where desk work increases.  Mrs. Graybill always found interesting ways to teach.  When we learned cursive handwriting she could have just given us practice worksheets, instead she wrote riddles on the board.  We would copy down the riddles in our notebooks, in our best cursive, and try to guess the answer to the riddles.  There was a riddle for each letter of the alphabet.  We absolutely loved this exercise and looked forward to handwriting practice every day.  At the end of the year we had a book of riddles to stump our families with.  I still have this riddle book that I made in third grade (thanks to mom for realizing its value and saving it) and I use it to this day to stump my students with riddles.   The kids love it; it’s become part of our daily routine.  Mrs. Graybill taught me that with a little creativity, mundane tasks, like practicing handwriting, can be fun and worth while.

5th Grade Mrs. Nelson

Mrs. Nelson was amazing in so many ways.  Like Mrs. Graybill she constantly told us that we were the best class she had ever had.  We worked to make her proud.  Mrs. Nelson taught us important life lessons in unexpected ways.  One day we came in from recess to find loaves and loaves of bread piled high on her desk up front.  Behind the loaves were jars of peanut butter and jelly and several plastic knives, plates, and napkins.  Fifth graders are always thrilled when food is going to be involved.  Mrs. Nelson asked us to each write in our journals directions for making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  When we were finished, we would read our directions to her and she would make us a sandwich that we could eat.  The first student got up and eagerly read his directions for Mrs. Nelson, “Put peanut butter on the bread, then put on some jelly.  Put the pieces together.”

Mrs. Nelson followed our directions exactly (think Amelia Bedelia here).  First she wiped her nose with her hand, then she stuck her fingers in the peanut butter and slathered it on both sides of the bread.  This was followed by a licking of the fingers and then a dunk into jelly to wipe on another piece of bread.  We were shocked to say the least.  As the class watched what she was doing we scribbled frantically in our notebooks to give more specific directions.  Wash your hands first.  Use a knife to spread the peanut butter on one face of the bread.   Put the peanut butter and jelly sides of the bread together.  Don’t lick your fingers.  It was great fun to see how everyone’s sandwiches turned out.  Some were more edible than others.  Mrs. Nelson taught us to be specific and intentional in our writing.  She made us think about processes and instructions.

Mrs. Nelson always read us a chapter book after recess.  She had us enthralled with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Wish Giver, Wayside School is Falling Down, and many more.  We begged Mrs. Nelson to keep reading (she usually only read us a chapter a day).  She helped every one of her students develop a love of reading and stories.  She modeled reading for fun and enjoyment.  The librarian always knew what book Mrs. Nelson was reading to us because requests for that book skyrocketed.

I have many great memories of my first, third, and fifth grade years of school.  These teachers went above and beyond the call of duty.  They put a lot of planning and love into their classrooms.  The payoff was incredible, a class of students who all felt like they were the best and brightest, who loved to learn, explore, and read.   I constantly use these incredible examples in my life to teach my students.  I don’t remember a lot about my second, fourth, and sixth grade years.  This is not because I wasn’t learning, but because the learning wasn’t as memorable and engaging.  It is my hope that every child gets to experience life with a master teacher (hopefully many of them).  To all of the master teachers out there, thank you!  Your impact reaches farther than you will ever know.

We made the front page!

Students work to end world hunger
Holly Cook , Staff Writer

Ann Foster |

Cherry Hills Christian School third-grader Joshua Parchen looks at his computer while working on, a program that donates grains of rice for every correct vocabulary question answer. Parchen is one of his class’ highest scorers.

What if just knowing what 10 vocabulary words meant could help stop world hunger? Well, at it does and students at Cherry Hills Christian School in Highlands Ranch know enough vocabulary words to send 1.3 million grains of rice to people in need.

Before Thanksgiving, technology teacher Kelly Tenkely introduced FreeRice to her elementary students to remind them about how much they had to be thankful for, and to do something to help others.

FreeRice is a sister site of the world poverty site, FreeRice provides a free vocabulary game that accumulates grains of rice, paid for by supporting advertisers, for every correct answer. The donated rice is shipped to the United Nations World Food Program and distributed internationally to impoverished countries.

The results are two-fold. Students increase their English vocabulary while donating effortlessly to world hunger.

“I don’t even think they really connect that they’re learning vocabulary,” Tenkely said.

FreeRice has become such a hot item in Tenkely’s class that students are playing in their free time when school work is finished. Third-graders Joshua Parchen, 8, and Luke Mason, 9, are what Tenkely calls her “FreeRice rockstars.” Both boys have taken up playing at home and have donated more than 77,000 grains of rice individually.

“We try to get homework done in our carpool so we can play when we get home,” Mason said.

“It’s addicting and really fun,” Parchen said.

Aside from just playing the game, Tenkely’s students are taking it upon themselves to develop commercials to motivate others to play FreeRice and to raise awareness about world hunger. To reach technology class curricular goals, students are using GarageBand and Keynote computer software to make their commercials. GarageBand helps students create background music and Keynote is similar PowerPoint software.

“The goal of the commercials is to teach our kids how to use Keynote and GarageBand but also to teach them about poverty and hunger. We are creating the commercials to tell others about the subject and to tell them about one way that we can help out with FreeRice.”

Mollie Gardner, 9, wants her commercial to show people how hungry others are and how thankful they are to receive food. Petra Sikovkski’s commercial says the same thing.

Tenkely wants to place the finished products on other Web sites like TeacherTube and SchoolTube.

“My goal is to let FreeRice know about them, although I’m not sure if they will add them to their site or not,” Tenkely said.

See the full article here Colorado Community Newspaper

In the News…

My classroom was in the news for a project we are working on with Free Rice.  Take a look:

Cyber-savvy students fighting world hunger

CHC Elementary Technology teacher, Kelly Tenkely guides students in both learning computer and helping those in need through

CHC Elementary Technology teacher, Kelly Tenkely guides students in both learning computer and helping those in need through

Provided by: Leza Shupe

Contributed by: Leza Shupe on 1/15/2008

January 14, 2008
Highlands Ranch, CO

Combining knowledge of world hunger and a desire to help others are combined with technology, vocabulary and math! That is how elementary students at Cherry Hills Christian challenge themselves every day in computer class with “” As soon as students are finished with their daily assignment, technology teacher, Kelly Tenkely, allows them to visit Free Rice and play the vocabulary quiz game. With each word definition they guess correctly, 20 grains of rice are donated through the United Nations World Food Program to help fight world hunger.

At the end of class, every student records the number of grains of rice they donated that day. Since Thanksgiving, the 305 students in second through fifth grades have donated over 1,197,870 grains of rice. That number continues to grow daily. To help visualize what this much rice looks like, fourth-grader Allie Chambers measured the grains of rice in a tablespoon and did the math to discover there are approximately 7,200 grains of rice in a cup. That means CHC students have made it possible for those in need to cook almost 166 cups of rice creating almost 500 individual servings.

To further their exposure to technology and world hunger, the fourth grade classes are just beginning a new project-to create commercials for using Keynote and Garage Band application. “When we are finished with the commercials my goal is to let Free Rice know about them, although I’m not sure if they will add them to their site or not,” says Mrs. Tenkely. “The goal of the commercials is to teach our kids how to use Keynote and Garage Band but also to teach them about poverty and hunger. We are creating the commercials to tell others about the subject and to tell them about one way that we can help out with Free Rice.”

Cherry Hills Christian Principal, Linda Wasem, loves to see students learning a variety of life lessons through daily visits to a website. “Our students are not only learning vocabulary-some of those words are really hard, but they are also learning about people in the world who don’t have enough to eat. Their hearts are moved to give.”

For more details about the vocabulary game, visit
Find the whole article here.