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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Science Sites for Kids

The American Museum of Natural History has a rich Web site: http://www.amnh.org/ology

This is a student friendly site. It actually has collectable trading cards for people to collect. Lots of information about different types of “Ology”. In fact I learned that some sea horses are endangered and some fishermen have set up sea horse sanctuaries. http://illegal-fishing.info/item_single.php?item=news&item_id=2333&approach_id=13

Kids National Geographic is also a very appealing web site: http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/ Lots of catchy audio and great information.

http://kids.yahoo.com/ Yahoo Kids has a World Factbook on it’s kid site.

KidSites.com has a collection of kid friendly science sites. Happy exploring. http://www.kidsites.com/sites-edu/science.htm

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Perceptions



Perceptions – most of us carry visual pictures that we associate with different words. If I say “dog”, most of us will pick a specific dog we know; or a breed of dog we like. This is true for flowers, music. It is also true when we hear the names of other cultures. We may either have a positive or negative connotation that we associate that culture with.

A few days ago I ran across a link for montage-a-google. This program collects images based on the term you type in. I typed Native Americans. (http://grant.robinson.name/projects/montage-a-google/app/#/native+americans) The image I got is shown in this link. Many Americans when they hear the words Native American or Indian will see similar visual images in their own minds. I found it interesting that the majority of the images are of Native leaders; clothing and images of the past. The subtle message that everyone hears and sees in most media and books is that Native Americans are from the past. It takes reprogramming are understanding to make our images current. Contemporary Native Americans are among us in all walks of life achieving dreams and goals like everyone else.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Working With Tools

As a teacher I am always looking for new ways to approach things. More ideas for my bag of tricks. I have been taking a professional development class that is focusing on technology.

So I have been exploring some of the tools that are new to me. Today's session is voicethread



The voicethread sample were pictures I down-loaded from facebook. Other ideas that people came up were using voice thread to work with fluency. Having a student read a picture book. Lots of other applications. Take a moment and explore. You can use video as well as still shots on voicethread.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Opening a Treasure Chest

I recently ran across a website for English as a Foreign Language Classroom 2.0. What a treasure! There are many resources that can be adapted for other classes. In the resource section is a collection of learning games. I really liked the BAMM game, a power-point game that could easily be adapted.

This site is actually part of a ning. Registration is free and the members are truly from around the world.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Tools for A Learning Community

I have recently learned about some terrific websites and tools in a teachers workshop that I'm taking. I would like to share several of these cool websites for the classroom.

The Random Name Generator can be found at http://classtools.net/. You can use the generator to put your class list in and use for different activities, another use would be to use it to develop vocabulary games. The vocabulary application looks like a lot of fun.

Click here for full screen version



The Voki website also has some fun applications. It allows you to create an individual speaking avatar. You can use it at the start of class for directions, students can use it to talk about characters in a story. I recently read about one family using it with their young students to send thank you notes. http://www.voki.com/

I want to use the Vokis to explain the Dewey Decimal System. I plan to design 10 characters that represent the ten Dewey classes and have them available on a webpage. I think there will be many applications in the classroom - parts of speech, math and science concepts. Static information you want the students to listen to or maybe retell.


Get a Voki now!



I've also played a little with comic strips. In class my partner and I developed a comic strip that was about healthy concepts. Students could also work on making a comic strip to explain a concept they are studying.

Bearly Thinking



http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/

http://www.toondoos.com