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5th Grade

Landform Words

I worked with a 5th grade class today. We used the ActivBoard to explore a website about "oxbow" lakes. That is a landform term that will probably be on the test coming up. We also viewed a flipchart (powerpoint conversion) introducing and reviewing vocabulary words dealing with various landforms. After discussing both of these things, we listed words students remembered on the ActivBoard. I used those word to form the word cloud above.


Shining STARS Thanksgiving Special

I attended another webinar tonight that was a time of sharing ideas and sites to explore.
• Discovery Education Interactive Atlas
DE Streaming . . . Teacher Center . . . DE Atlas . . . Launch Atlas
• Search for images on DE Streaming to use as backgrounds for powerpoints?
• DEN Website (new revision hopefully going live this weekend)
calendar is being replaced by picture gallery, major improvements in the teacher resource area, DE Media share is being made available to STAR Educators for free (clean, powerful, nice features, search, new way to upload resources, add set of files rather than individual things so whole units of lessons and videos connected can be together . . . STARs can flag, tag, . . . but regular educators can just download), also integrating a live chat area in DEV website, when you upload videos: link, embed, or watch now
Classroom Architect allows you to virtually rearrange furniture in classroom (or whatever room) to find a good arrangement before actually moving anything . . . it is also great for teaching scale in math (possibly area and perimeter too)
WeatherNet Camera is your window to learning in the classroom - and beyond!
Now your students and the entire community can benefit from this powerful and interactive learning tool. It's visual learning at it's best!
"WeatherNet Camera is a wonderful addition to our WeatherNet Weather Station. My fifth-graders think that the view is so cool! It lets our students use real data - not canned data - to make real connections to math, science and technology. Our community is just in awe of the whole idea."
-Jeanne Ecton, Teacher, Boonsboro Elementary School
With WeatherNet Camera you can:
• Discover the world outside your classroom
• Present a new way of learning about weather to your students
• Experience real-world learning by integrating weather imagery into your lesson plans
• Create stimulating time-lapse weather animations for classroom applications
• Capture the interest of the community by providing a valuable weather resource
• Feature your weather images on your school's home page, WeatherBug and the local TV news.

• Media Conversion Sites

• National Library of Virtual Manipulatives
Interactive online math lessons that can be adapted and collaboratively developed
One word appears each day at the top of the page and you have 60 seconds to write about it. Your entry is then posted on the site. One grade level is using it a bell work to have students write one sentence containing that word related to a certain content area (ex. Write a sentence about science using the word when in science class). Some teachers are just having students write in journals rather than online.
fun online physics game
great ideas for using glogster to build webpages in wikis
to make glog ok size to add . . . view this glog . . . scroll down . . .embed this page . . .copy code . . . create a new page . . . you can change height in html . . . preview first to make sure of size


helping out

This week, I sent out several emails with links to websites that may help some teachers with their lessons. Emory sent me some interactive sites to use with the ActivBoard. I used one of them today and the AIG girls loved it and requested that I put it on my useful links so they could use it on their own.
Mr. Pilson and I worked on his website. Mr. Smith and I also worked on the school website. Ms. Walenciak began working on a blog for her classroom (I commented on hers too).
My students have worked on their learning logs this week as well. They are not only learning reading and math strategies, but some technology ones as well.


Blogging in the Classroom

I found the information below at

Blogging - depending who your talking to, reading or listening to, many people have different ideas on what truly constitutes blogging.

1. A 'What's Happening Blog' - most teachers who use blogs use them to tell their class parents what's happening in the class and as an organisation tool i.e. what homework due and when, materials required, when the students need their library bags, how to treat head lice etc.

2. A 'What's Cool & Useful' Blog - many teachers add to their blogs websites and teaching ideas that they are finding successful. They often outline software applications they use as well as embedding Web 2.0 (Read and Write Web for the purests) tools that they use like: Flickr, Pageflakes, Toondoo, Imageshack , Youtube, etc.

3. A 'Personal Thoughts' Blog - many people see a blog as an online diary. A place to record their thoughts and desires about any topic at all. These thoughts are out there for the whole world to see and comment on.

4. A Blog to 'Encourage Conversation and Discourse' - Many edu-bloggers feel that an online web presence is not really 'blogging' until the author interacts with or has a conversation with the world. It is this conversation that is the difference between a webpage and a blog. They also feel that this conversation makes blogs a powerful learning tool.

5. A Blog to 'Showcase Student Work to the World' - when a student writes a poem or creates a piece of art it is often only seen by about five people... the student, the teacher and the family of the child. Blogs offer the opportunity to showcase an indivdual's work to the world and often this has a very positive effect on the quality of the work produced by the student.

NB Blogs can highlight what you are doing in well. They can also highlight what you are doing poorly. 'Worksheet Culture' and the 'Copy and Paste Culture' cannot thrive in a blogging environment.

6. A Blog as a 'Learning Journal' - some teachers are using blogs as a reflection tool for classroom learning e.g. What questions do you still have about .............. after today's lesson.

7. A Blog as a 'Worldwide Collaboration Tool' - you can set up a blog so that everyone in the world with Internet access can see what you are doing and you can work collaboratively with classes all over the world. WHAT AN OPPORTUNITY!

8. The Opportunity to Tell 'Story' - What is the story of your origin? Where has your journey taken you that others may find interesting? What adventures have you had? What insights can you share with the world?

9. The Opportunity to Stand on Your Soapbox - Go on... purge! But be aware that the world is looking on. A blog can be cathartic. It can cause you to reflect but be aware what you write is in the public domain so you had better be ready to be challenged. Many people see this as the way that knowledge is constructed.

10. A Combination of All the Above - As teachers experiment and become confident with using blogging tools in the classroom they eventually combine many of the above ways of using blogs. A LITTLE SOMETHING TO AIM FOR :)


Yay! Voicethread . . .

One of my students completed her (somewhat boring) ppt today on the novel she was reading. Before she left class, I showed her how I was going to upload it to the AIG thinking log. While it was uploading to voicethread, she told me that she thought she saw a place where we could click on the slide and use the microphone. So even though I had planned to wait until after Thanksgiving (or Christmas) to start trying stuff like that, I took advantage of a teachable moment. We went through each page/slide and she talked about the book as an audio comment! She loved it! The other students asked if they could keep working on their projects when they come back to see me this afternoon so they can do that too. They are excited about using technology for their learning. They are using some of the technology things I teach/show (like inserting pictures) to better demonstrate their learning/understanding of the content.