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!