Tuesday, November 27, 2012

American Revolutionary War Battle Fun!

So, while Googling to find a fun way to teach how geographical regions, location, and place affected how battles in the American Revolutionary War were fought, I found 2 very cool sites!

The first one is still in its beta form, but I created an account so that I could explore its potential for transformational use of technology in my classroom.  Tripline, sounds like what it is.  It allows you to use Google Earth to map your trip as a timeline of events.

There was a great one created for "The Battles of Lexington and Concord" that shows the movement of British troops and Colonial militia across Massachusetts.  It takes students step-by-step across the map, and shows students information and photographs at each stop.  Creating a Tripline is very user-friendly, and there are links to YouTube videos to teach you, if you aren't as tech savvy.  Additionally, similar to other social media platforms, you can follow other creators to see their Triplines.  Lastly, a neat feature allows you to ask other members a question, and someone else might create a Tripline for you.  :)

The second website, History Animated, seems to be a non-profit site.  It has all of a battle mapped out on an illustrated map with added sound effects.

It also has inset maps and narrative facts.  There are rewind, fast forward, restart, and pause controls for students to manipulate as they move through the animation.  The military battles range historically from Civil War to World War II.  I may invest the $20 tax-deductible donation to receive a CD of all of the animations that are on History Animated.  It comes with additional teacher resources and materials not found on the website.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Quality Free E-Books

Our school has set its sights on remodeling and reinventing our media center to ensure that it truly is a hub for learning in our school. So, I was quite happy to see a pin on Pinterest to link me to "We Give Books". It is created by the Penguin Group and the Pearson Foundation. The premise is that the more students go online to read books, the more books these groups donate to charities that give books to children who need them. When I first checked their webpage, they had given 1,313,246 books to children. By the time I finished writing this post, maybe 5 minutes, it was up to 1,313,311! Wow!
The site has different book events for readers to participate in, such as Hurricane Sandy Relief. For every book read online, We Give Books will donate a new hardcover or paperback book to a school that is still recovering from Hurricane Sandy.
The books are quality texts appropriate for children through age ten. Some books are meant to be read-alouds while some are meant to be read independently. There are fiction and non-fiction books. The best thing - it's free! Sign up for an account and get started!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Decisions, decisions...

While casually checking my Pinterest page for new recipes, I, of course, can't resist the urge to click on a pin that says "Science and Math Toys" that are made from everyday items. In turn, that linked me to a LiveBinders page created by Karen Bolotin for science fair projects. THAT, then led me to "Notebooking Pages.com" = total excitement for the interactive note booking part of me. :) Membership access to all of their pages is $80 for the year, but I've spent well more than that at TeachersPayTeachers and in my time spent looking for quality resources and ideas online.

Now, I've got even more incentive to encourage my kids to get pledges for Fun Run Time this year (our school's fundraiser for the year), since I had originally thought I would spend my 10% of monies raised on a membership for Flocabulary. I may have to reconsider and get this membership instead, though my kids did LOVE "5 Things" by Flocabulary.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Khan Academy

Good Morning! Enjoying a relaxing morning at my parents' house for a family visit. We were watching CBS This Morning and saw an interview with Salmon Kahn about his Khan Academy. It offers online videos of a grand variety of topics so that all students can have a "world class education".

However, it ALSO has benefits for teachers, other than being FREE, it offers detailed profiles on individual students with an at-a-glance tool for seeing every video that that child has viewed and a class summary graph to show progress or need for remediation. The site also offers a vertical continuum of skills so that you can go straight to the topic you need and/or go back to more foundational skills to tackle more difficult skills. Lastly, the site awards "badges" for student mastery of skills.

Students must create their own account and then add the teacher as a "coach". There are several safety features to keep students from posting private information, as well as parent controls. The Khan Academy is working on multiple log-ins from one account, but doesn't have this option available yet. The teacher also creates an account and can then "see" students who have added them as a coach.

This is something I will definitely be using in my classroom for differentiation! It will allow my talented math students to challenge themselves and my need-more-practice students to get more practice and a 2nd teacher, virtually. There is also a free iPad app for Khan Academy.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Common Core Math Games and Resources

Whoo! Another find from Pinterest. Here is a site with games linked to common core standards. While I'm entirely sure that the Expressions part of the math text we adopted several years ago will excellently support the new common core standards, it is always nice to have additional resources for parent volunteer centers or small group remediation games. I also like the list of math read aloud titles. There are also links to free online games that support standards too. It's nice to find so many resources all in one place!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Quarter 1 Common Core ELA & Math

Forsyth County, GA posted a link to the pacing guide they have created for next school year. I printed it out and took it home to look it over and start planning for next August. I know, I know. I'm working on the first day of summer vacation, but I need to wrap my brain around the new standards and how they will mesh together with science and social studies. Here is what I created for quarter 1 English/Language Arts. (Hopefully, the following quarters won't be so time consuming!) Everything in black type was provided by the county or the Common Core Standards website. Everything in blue type is something of my own that I added.

Here is what I created for quarter 1 math common core content.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Common Core Math Inspiration

Long time, no post. Stumbled across a link from an elementary math wiki for a school in North Carolina. It contained numerous links to helpful common core documents, over views, vertical continuums, and critical standards. It also contained a Glogster with a link to an 11 minute Dan Meyer YouTube video that was very inspirational and helped to reassure me that the common core roll out for next year isn't something to worry or stress over, but rather, to be excited and renewed as a teacher. It reminded me that our Georgia math frameworks have prepared us to move professionally in the direction of appropriate math instruction: to question students, to allow students to discuss and develop algorithms and explore multiple solutions, and to think critically and creatively about authentically applicable problems. Am going to be looking more into Dan Meyer's blog! :)