Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New Quiz Maker - Could Not Be Easier!

The Scholastic Network has had their Word Wizard for awhile. That allowed students to click on any word on The Scholastic Network and get a definition for the word. Now Scholastic Network has gone one step further with the Vocabulary Quiz Maker.
I read about this great tool on Free Technology For Teachers.
All you have to do is provide a title for your word list. Then you list all of the words that you would want your students to define. Click on "Next Step" and each word is defined with one definition or if their are several to choose from, you will have the opportunity to choose from the several options to be used as the definition. Make all of your choices and one click and you are presented with a vocabulary worksheet to print.
There are other vocabulary quiz makers that I have written about in the past that provide interactive online quizzes, but sometimes the "paper or pencil" worksheet will serve your purpose just fine.

Another Way To Tame The Tedious Teacher Tasks

I love to collect these free resources on the web that allow teachers to save time and money. The Teacher List sent by Pete McKay every school day listed a new one today. It is for downloading and printing borders for your bulletin boards. It can be found Here. As you will notice among the many borders to choose form, there will be a few that are specifically applicable to British schools as the United Kingdom is the source for these borders. There are many that would brighten any United States classroom also. I found by just setting my printer to "landscape" allowed these borders to be printed on 6 sheets of paper. Using cardstock would really help enhance their longevity. The colors are bright and even considering the use of colored ink, I would say that they would be cost-saving.
Hope you enjoy them!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Story Cove-A World Full of Stories

I feel like I very often do nothing more than post right from Kelly Tenkely's blog I Learn Technology, but so often she leads me right to the type of websites that I know that my readers are looking for for their classrooms.
When I list websites that allow students to listen to or watch animated stories, I do so for the purpose of giving them one more opportunity to appreciate the idea of the "story". I want them to realize that stories provide interesting characters, settings, conflicts, and resolutions. They will become "hooked" on reading when read to often, and I encourage that to be done by all of the adults who care for them. However, adding more occasions for developing that love of "story" will lead to an ever increasing love of reading. That's why I love the online stories that are available - especially the free ones. Thus when Kelly wrote about Story Cove-A World of Stories I had to check it out. Well into my fifth story that I watched and several others that I listened to, I was hooked!
You must be 13 to register for the website. It is designed to have parents register their own children and then the child has a sign in and password. You will have to decide how you will open this to your students. Not only can students watch the animated story, but they can also listen to it in order to develop visual imagery on their own. The books are also available for purchase and are quite inexpensive. There are lesson plans to download and activities for the students to engage in after watching or listening to the stories. There is an awful lot to gain from this website. Enjoy!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Math In the Real World

I can always depend on ILearn Technology to let me in on the newest discovery in the field of websites. It seems the sites are always just the thing we are looking for for use in the classrooms or the labs. This one appeals to the lower primary grades, but students who do not grasp the idea of math in the real world will gain new understandings, no matter what grade level they are in. The website that is shown today is Math Apprentice , a flash site that shows kids how math is used in the real world, with real world jobs. Students can explore math through games that feature bicycle designers, biologists, artists, mechanics, inventors, doctors, engineers, astronomers, game designers, programmers, chefs, veterinarians, sportscasters, and meteorologists. Students can explore the math of these jobs as a math apprentice by selecting a character and cruising around a virtual world where they can visit places of business where math happens. The character describes how they use math and provides a fun interactive activity that gives students a chance to practice using the math.

For students who often ask “where will I use this?” of math, this site answers those questions through a fun virtual world. Kids can explore first hand how math is used and then act as an apprentice and solve problems.
To begin playing the Math Apprentice games, you have to click on “Explore the Math” button on the bottom of the homepage.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Take Your Students On A Field Trip - Target May Pay For It!

Reading in Free Technology For Teachers tonight, I learned about grants for Field Trips that were being offered by Target. They will be awarding 5,000 $800 grants for school field trips. Applications for the grants are due by November 3, 2009. You can find all of the grant details and applications here.

This is also very cool about these grants:

On the grant application page you can find a Field Trip Idea Generator. To find an idea, enter your state, city, and subject area. The Field Trip Idea Generator will give you ideas based on what past grant recipients in your area have done with the grant money.

Give it a try - What have you got to lose?