November 17, 2008

Turkey Time – here are a few great resources for Thanksgiving

Scholastic Thanksgiving [] – Very complete and thorough site covering pilgrims, voyage, ships, native peoples, daily life, the actual Thanksgiving Feast, and more all on one interactive site that talks to you. This is an excellent resource. Learn about the First Thanksgiving on your SMART Board with note taking, L and ? post-its, features of non-fiction text, summarizing, etc comprehension lesson. The daily life section has a “compare and contrast” area that would work well with Venn Diagrams.

History of Thanksgiving [] – 3 minute video about the history of Thanksgiving that provides a concise overview.

Silly Turkey

Silly Turkey

Silly Turkey on Starfall [ /turkey/play.htm?f] – Early Readers will enjoy helping this turkey get silly.

LearnNC American Indian resource collection [] – Resources for teaching about American Indians with a focus on North Carolina.

SMART Board Notebook file “Thanksgiving Word Fun” []

Need more resources? try Thanksgiving at Pete’s PowerPoint Station [] – many teacher created PowerPoint presentations about Thanksgiving. Be sure to scroll down to the links…

Just for fun

Turkey Puzzle []

More Puzzles []

Turkeys Anagram game []

And a couple more games from Kaboose []

Special thanks to Anne Marie from Talking SMART Boards

Where in the world are you? How do you know? What does that look like?

I am talking about maps here, one of my favorite tried and true Mind Tools – they are a visual representation that makes a ton of data easier to understand and solve problems with. And now with free mapping tools, multimedia and mash ups there are some very interesting maps out there if you poke around a bit.

First kids need to understand how maps work. Here are a few games that teach map skills

Show World [] – this world map lets you select the criteria and the map resizes to show relative amounts in different countries.

Visualize Election Results

Visualize Election Results

US Providential Election Map [] – A state is not blue or red, these maps help us understand the how purple we are.

Atlas of our Changing Environment [] – Uses a google map overlay with before and after images that make environmental changes obvious, deforestation, dams, and climate change are made obvious to the eye.

Hunger Around the World [] – How many people are starving in different countries around the world? Click and zoom to find out.

US Climate at a Glance []: climate map from NOAA – this map will show departures from norm for temperature or rainfall for a time period you specify. You can also click the National link [] to identify climate change trends.

Native American Tribes [] – Native American Tribes organized by clickable state map.

Assessment or Testing

November 14, 2008

This recent post by Doug Noon about testing and assessment really struck me. I love this:

If we’d have used an NCLB-style approach to the Apollo moon mission, President Kennedy would have simply ordered NASA to fly conventional airplanes higher and higher until they fell out of the sky, and then blamed the pilots for lacking the will and the know-how to get the job done.

Indeed, though at least in that scenario the goal is still the moon. The current NCLB goals won’t get us to the moon. We don’t need a nation of students that know a collection of skills and facts. We need a nation of thinkers that can use skills and facts to solve problems.

Number 3 !!!!!!

November 4, 2008

Number 3

Number 3

From my favorite comic, xkcd at

Flip Camera

Flip Camera

The Flip video camera is such a handy little camera. I think we have reached one of those watershed moments – the Flip is so easy and cheap that now anyone can make video. There are only 4 buttons on the whole device; power, record, play and delete. It is truly just point and shoot. Teachers will undoubtedly find great uses for the Flip.

Here are a few quick ideas for teaching and learning with the Flip:

  • film science as it happens, they play back and review, debrief, take notes, etc
  • film model behaviors to serve as example
  • interviews
  • documentary style video of student project
  • illustrate a concept creatively

Several people have been writing about flips, Technology ‘N Teaching and The Flip Camera and Movie Magic helped with this article.

How will you use the Flip?