Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sheppard Software

When reading blogs this evening, ILearn Technology when mentioning some wonderful animal games , it reminded me of all of the wonderful learning acticities found within the Sheppard Software's Kids Pages. What a treasure chest of interactive games. The categories go from geography to science to painting activities and the learning activities include quizzes and articles for students to read. There really is alot to see and to try here. Take a look - there may be an interactive game that will fit right into one of your learning units.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Need Some Extra Help Funding a Project?

Straight from a newsletter I receive, 21st. Century Learning, comes a very helpful piece of information:

You may have missed Santa, but you just might find extra classroom funds by registering at Adopt-A-Classroom. The non-profit allows individuals to select a classroom and make a donation for classroom materials. The goal is to mitigate teachers' out-of-pocket expenses.

Donors can search for classrooms by geography, school name, teacher name and other search criteria. 100% of the donation goes to the teacher in the form of an online credit with affiliate vendors such as OfficeMax. If the teacher is unable to meet classroom needs with those vendors, Adopt-A-Classroom will work with the teacher on a one-to-one basis. Donors and teachers communicate throughout the school year, so that donors can learn about the difference they have made in the lives of the students. Donors often receive artwork and other student projects as a gift of thanks.

To sign up, visit Adopt-A-Classroom

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Interactive Resources and A Note On The Day

As I promised myself I was not going to work today and just watch the inauguration activities, the truth is that I have my laptop in front of me and although I am spending much of the time on Facebook and Twitter, my mind does wonder to new sites that I keep finding. Larry Ferlazzo's Blog, always allows me to roam around his "Best Sites" for various categories and I always find something new. (maybe I need to find an activity on "run on" sentences, but I am in a pretty hyper mode today!) Anyway, the site that so impressed me today is from the Utah Education Network and is a collection of Student Interactives from other sites. Take a look at K-12 Interactions . There are so many interactive sites and I have not seen any with advertisements or distractions. I was searching for some things on high school science and found some very sophisticated concepts in fun, game-like forms.

I know many of you may not agree with my political views, but I have not made any effort to hide the fact that I am politically active for many, many issues. As I sit here filled with joy today, not because my candidate is the one being inaugurated, but for the hope that I am feeling right now. I was moved to write the following and just sent it into our newspaper and to some other messsage boards, and if you do not mind, I am going to post it here:

Tribute to Those Two Million People on the Mall

As I look out into the sea of faces of those who have come to witness in person the inauguration of Barack Obama, I am struck by a feeling of not only pride but of gratitude. I am so very grateful to these people. They have not only made unbelievable efforts to get there, spent monies that might have been hard to come by, and endured cold weather, long lines, and assorted inconveniences., but they are all seen smiling, they are cheering, and the face that they are putting out to the world has got to “shout out” such a positive message from and about our wonderful country. Thank you to all of you who traveled so very far to carry with you your hearts, your dreams, and by your beautiful attitude as you stand waiting, hope for me, a senior, and for my children and grandchildren, our future.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I think I have mentioned before that ILearn Technology written by Kelly Tenkley, is one of my favorite blogs to read. I highly recommend that you begin reading it each day. She lists some of the best, useful websites for the classroom and then goes on to tell some ways that the site would be useful in the classroom. This past weekend, she listed about 8 websites all at once! One that I had seen, but reexamined much closer with her suggestion is Ology. It is from the American Museum of History and allows students to enjoy so many science areas such as archaeology, astronomy, biodiversity, earth, Einstein, genetics, marine biology, water, and paleontology. It is just filled with so many activities for each area.
Kelly says that her favorite thing to do with this website is to develop scavenger hunts so that students can use the site to find the answers, thus practicing searching skills as they gain knowledge.The site also contains great ideas for science experiments.
Thanks again, Kelly, for all the sharing you do. That's what it is all about!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Jen Wagner Opens Lincoln Project Registration Early

I always knew that Jen Wagner's projects would keep gathering popularity and it seems like previews have led to so many views of the project that she has decided to open the registration as of now. The project is called Happy 200th. Birthday Abraham Lincoln and can be found here. In celebration of Lincoln's 200th. Birthday, participants in this project will participate in one or more of the suggested activities:
  • Create and send birthday cards to the Abraham
    Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.
  • Create a podcast or a voicethread about what they have learned about Abraham Lincoln.
  • Add facts about Abraham Lincoln to a shared Wiki.
  • Engage in activities using pennies.
There are also many suggested expansion activities to do with your class.
You and your students will enjoy seeing all the projects that classes from many places will post. Jen has provided so many resources and directions for engaging in any of the facets of this project.
I will certainly be looking forward to seeing the results and where they all come from. Remember all of the occasions students will have to learn geography, math, and history through this project. Realizing that students all over the United States are participating right along with them makes this a very exciting learning experience.
A big salute and extreme gratitude to Jen who once again has developed an online collaborative experience for all of us! Thanks, Jen - I so admire you!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Be Sure to Register For the Iditerod Online Project

Each year, Walter MacKenzie does a superb job of hosting a project during the Iditerod Race in Alaska. Classes that participate in this project will:
  • study the trail and musher biographies
  • create a wall-sized map of the trail
  • select a musher to follow in this year's race
  • track the selected musher's progress as the race occurs
  • post to each checkpoint's blog as the selected musher reaches each stop on the trail
  • complete the problem solving tasks you find at each checkpoint's blog
  • arrive in Nome vicariously with your selected musher
  • receive an official 2008 eIditarod class certificate for completion of the trail!
Walter MacKenzie provides all of the support materials and step by step directions. Registration is open right now (I believe just until the end of this week) and all information can be found at the Project Website.

Consider participating in this wonderful project. It will really bring this Alaskan event to life!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Great News For MAC Users

When I have shown how wonderful Picasa is as a free downloadable program from Google, I always had to preface it with...."This is only useable on a PC". I am fully aware that there are two platforms operating out there and I had wished that Picasa was available for both. Well, now it is. The new Picasa 3.0 is fabulous with many new features and is now available for both MAC and PC Users. Find it here.

At Picasa you can organize all of your pictures in chronological order, edit the photos as you can in the more expensive programs, turn your photos into movies, collages, and slideshows, and share or purchase photos online.

Hope your New Year has gotten off to a great start! I am starting the week in St. Louis and ending in Witchita, Kansas! Better get some rest tonight!