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Web Alerts

WEB ALERTS

May 2011

A Google a Day

http://agoogleaday.com/#date=04-27-2011

Solve today’s Google puzzle! Students can perfect their Google searching skills with a challenging question each day. It’s a great way to introduce the importance of good questioning skills when looking for information. Happily, the solutions are also given.

VocabAhead

http://www.vocabahead.com/

These free, short vocabulary videos teach difficult English words, (e.g., rescind, remorse, arrogant). The “study room” is an index to hundreds of videos, giving the word’s definition and its use in context. The site can be used with ELL students and for ACT /SAT prep, as well as vocabulary study in general.

There is also a “Translate by VocabAhead” app available for $2.99

Exploratree

http://www.exploratree.org.uk/

Create and share a variety of graphic organizers. This free web resource allows you to access a library of ready-made interactive thinking guides, print them, edit them or make your own. You can share them and work on them in groups too.

Meet Me at the Corner: Virtual Field Trips for Kids

http://www.meetmeatthecorner.org/

Visit this site for virtual field trips that highlight people and places from around the world. Many of these video podcasts are created by well-known authors and filmmakers, but children are encouraged to submit original work. The intent of the site is to “create a community of children, who learn the art of self-expression and storytelling through video.”  Example videos: “Window Farms (hydroponic gardening), “Interview with a Meteorologist” (Colorado TV weatherman), “Geocaching for Kids.”

ZOOM Playhouse

http://pbskids.org/zoom/activities/playhouse/

“Act up and put on a play” features scripts for short plays that were seen on the PBS weekly “by kids, for kids” TV series ZOOM. These printable plays are designed for elementary students. “Beeping Sleauty” (which uses spoonerisms), “Who’s Playing Romeo? (a remake of “Who’s On First?”), and “Sorry, Wrong Number” are great fun. The larger ZOOM site offers 1000s of activities, plays, and interactive games, as well as information on the cast and offerings of the TV show. You’ll find science, literature, music and much more.

Typewith.me

http://typewith.me

Create a collaborative document that can synchronized with others as you type. After you share the link with others, everyone viewing the page sees the same text in their Web browser. Import documents from (and export to) text files, HTML, Word or RTF. It’s fast and easy!

Timetoast
http://www.timetoast.com

An easy-to-use timeline tool for presentations. Each event added to a timeline includes a title, date, and description (images can also be uploaded). Each event has a character count and exact dates must be used (e.g., not “summer 2010”) Timetoast is a great tool to use with biographies, histories, “About Me” projects, etc.

Plagium

http://www.plagium.com/

This beta site allows the user to track and check text for plagiarism. Copy and paste up to 25,000 characters into the search box, and it will search the Web and news stories for its origin. Wow! It’s really fast and amazingly accurate….for free!

ISTE SIGMS winners of 2011 Technology Innovation Award

http://sigms.iste.wikispaces.net/tia11

Find out about two award-winning projects highlighting collaboration between librarians and classroom teachers to support successful technology integration in the classroom, while supporting curricular objectives and problem/project-based learning:

Primary Category: Maybelle the Cockroach
Mary Carole Strother, teacher-librarian and Bryce Kennaugh, second-grade teacher, from Finch Elementary School in McKinney, Texas won for their project entitled “Maybelle the Cockroach.” They used the 2010 Texas Bluebonnet Award nominee, Maybelle in the Soup, as the theme of the project. Check out their collaborative project wiki, which was used to organize information about the author, illustrator, researching cockroaches, and technology tools and resources for details. Students created Wordles, Glogsters, digital storybooks with Mixbook, Blabbers with Blabberize and videos with Animoto.

Secondary category: Who Owns History?
Cynthia Cassidy, teacher-Librarian and Michelle Cook, Language Arts teacher, from Mount Olive Middle School in Budd Lake, New Jersey created a web-based interactive unit requiring 6th grade students to consider the question: “Who owns history?” They used technology to enhance a social studies unit on ancient civilizations, while focusing on “voice” and “point of view” in writing and practicing active non-fiction reading strategies.

April 2011

National School Library Media Month

You don’t need to search the Internet for good information. Your school media center has some of the very best online resources available! These resources can be found on each of the library media centers’ websites in the district! For example, World Book Online is unlike any encyclopedia you’ve ever used. There’s something for every age and every ability….readers’ theater, songs, stories, information, videos, timelines, translations, world newspapers, and so much more.

If you’re at school, use this link: http://wp.lps.org/lms/digital-content-resources/

If you’re not at school, use this link: http://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=1086

April is also National Poetry Month    —     Make time for poetry this month!

Poetry Tips for Teachers

http://www.poets.org/page.php/prmID/103

Poem-A-Day

http://www.poets.org/poemADay.php

Sign up to have a poem a day sent to you online

Writing with Writers: Poetry

http://teacher.scholastic.com/writewit/poetry/

Study the genre of poetry with three famous writers: Jack Prelutsky, Karla Kuskin, and Jean Marzollo. The Poetry Idea Engine allows students to create a variety of poems online.

Color Poems: Using the Five Senses to Guide Prewriting http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/grade/5-6/

Shape Poems (interactive)

http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/student-interactives/shape-poems-30044.html

Weekly Reader Poetry Theme Page

http://www.weeklyreader.com/wr/287?trkid=apr2011news&_mid=1463432&_rid=1463432.512700.129154

Activities for all ages, Readers’ Theater, and biographical information (Robert Frost, Gwendolyn Brooks, Mary Ann Hoberman)

*****

National Disasters

http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/natural-disasters/?source=NavEnvND

Learn more about the recent Japanese Tsunami on National Geographic’s (NG) National Disasters website. There are fabulous photographs and a wide variety of stories from NG Daily News and the NG editors. There are additional sections on tsunamis, earthquakes, and floods. You can’t go wrong with National Geographic!

A good follow-up to the National Disasters site would be “Stop Disasters: A Disaster Simulation Game from UN/ISDR.” This site was featured in the November 2010 Web Alerts.

http://www.stopdisastersgame.org/en/home.html

This on-line game teaches children how to build safer villages and cities against common disasters: earthquake, tsunami, flood, hurricane, and wildfire.  Children will learn how the location and the construction materials of houses can make a difference when disasters strike and how early warning systems, evacuation plans and education can save lives. Teacher resources, additional information on disasters, web sites, and videos are also included. This is a compelling series of simulations! Also, see the See, Hear, and Sing link below.

OW.LY

http://ow.ly

This free program allows you to shorten URLs for websites, as well as assign a URL to an uploaded picture, document, or movie. It’s designed to be used with Twitter, where you have only 140 characters to communicate. It’s a fabulous way to quickly share materials in other contexts, however.

EcoKids

http://www.ecokids.ca/pub/eco_info/topics/frogs/chain_reaction/index.cfm

This environmental education site was designed for students and teachers in Canada to celebrate Earth Day. There are blogging opportunities, interactive games and activies, contests, homework help,printables, and information on topics like wildlife, climate change, energy and geography. Several sites to check out:

Chain Reaction (the food chain)

http://www.ecokids.ca/pub/eco_info/topics/frogs/chain_reaction/index.cfm

In this online game, students learn more about the food chain.

I Don’t Want to Clean My Room (recycling)

http://www.ecokids.ca/pub/eco_info/topics/waste/clean_room/popup.cfm

After reading a short comic strip about Anita and her smelly room, students must find 24 items to “clean out” and put in appropriate recycling bins.

America’s Story (Library of Congress)

http://www.americaslibrary.gov/index.html

Meet Amazing AmericansDiscover the inventors, politicians, performers, activists and other everyday people who made this country what it is today.

Jump Back in TimeVisit eras in time or your birthday to see what was happening.

Explore the States

Join America at PlayDiscover America’s favorite pastimes, sports and hobbies!

See, Hear, and Sing – Watch a movie, hear a song, play a tune from America’s past. There’s a section on “Disasters, Devastation and Destruction” with streaming video!

Jeopardy Lab

http://jeopardylabs.com/

Create customized jeopardy templates without PowerPoint or use the shared templates. After creating a template, it can be saved and edited. You’re given a URL to play the template and one to edit it. Students can play the games online in teams (up to 12).

Xtimeline

http://www.xtimeline.com/index.aspx

xtimeline is a place for you to create, share and discuss interesting timelines for free. The basic timeline has a date and fact listed, but more in depth information is also given. Each date on a timeline has a drop-down information “card” that can include text, tags, graphics and photos. Much can be learned by exploring the timelines created by others. Example timelines: Steve Jobs biography, history of the automobile, To Kill A Mockingbird, and the history of fast food.

Diversify Your Reading

http://diversereading.wordpress.com/

Diversify Your Reading is a clearinghouse of blog reviews of books by authors underrepresented in English-language publishing today.

Project-based Learning

http://www.edutopia.org/project-based-learning

This overview of project-based learning, searchable by grade levels, includes videos, strategies, blogs, and more.

CommonSenseMedia.org

http://www.commonsensemedia.org/

Reviews books, movies, videos, games–commonsensemedia.org/orderschoolkit

Common Sense Media is dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology.

Mobile App: Iceberg Kids

http://www.scrollmotion.com/IcebergKids.html

IceBerg Kids is a mobile digital eReader application of children’s books designed especially for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch kids. Watch and listen to children’s books. The free eReader comes with excerpts from Princess Hyacinth; Mr. Funny; Fred and Ted Like to Fly; Merry Christmas, Curious George; The I Love You Book, The Polar Express, and The Night Before Christmas. Most of the apps are not free, however. Iceberg kids is more than just an eReader, students can record their own audio book, explore images, a visual table of contents, and auto read to hear the story read aloud or recorded in their own voice. Watch the video on this site to learn more.

 

WEB ALERTS

March 2011

Animation Gallery from Sumanas, Inc

http://www.sumanasinc.com/index.html

Sumanas has created a complete animation gallery for science.  Each animation comes with a written summary description, a narrated animation, a step-through tutorial (understanding the concept through a series of steps), and a quiz.  Topics: general biology, microbiology, neuroscience, astronomy, chemistry, statistics, ecology, environmental science, & more. Also includes “Science in Focus,” animations on science topics in the news (e.g., antibiotic resistance, gene therapy).

Chem Game Tutor

http://chemgametutor.com/

Refine your chemistry knowledge through play. The gaming format makes this site appear simple….not so.

Edheads: Activate Your Mind!

http://www.edheads.org/

Plan on spending some time on this science site! In addition to interactive activities and games that allow students to learn, create, predict, there are glossaries, websites, and teachers’ guides. Example topics: create a line of stem cells; design a cell phone; deadly crash (examine evidence & calculate the forces in a crash scene); deep brain stimulation (Wow!  these simulations & photos are excellent!); virtual hip replacement; weather, simple machines. Excellent for elementary and middle school.

Professor Garfield

http://www.professorgarfield.org

In this award-winning site, Jim Davis, creator of the Garfield cartoons, has created both visually and intellectually stimulating games, activities and challenges for students. According to Davis, “Professor Garfield will guide…your students through a myriad of learning experiences from reading to math to science, even art lessons with real cartoonists, this idea is simple: we want to tickle your brain and your funnybone.”

Brain Busters

http://www .professorgarfield.org/vocabulary/brainbusters.html

Download a new game each day! Includes word searches, Sudoku, crosswords, code busters, math attack, & word soup.

SLIME Kids (School LIbrary MEdia Kids)

http://www.slimekids.com/

This is a large site with games, book trailers, book reviews, and search engines (an especially good section that gives excellent choices to explore the Internet). The site is designed to provide a fun, interactive learning experience to get students motivated to learn on their own.

Check out the search engine Quintura Kids http://quinturakids.com/ It allows you to visualize your search with a keyword cloud as you refine it. Very user friendly!

KIDS.GOV

http://www.kids.gov/

The official kids’ portal for the U.S. government is geared to the learning level and interest of students in grades K-8. This easy to use site is searchable by grade levels or topics (activities & games, government, American history, social studies, careers, state websites, your rights [citizenship, immigration, elections], branches of government, and exercise & fitness). Definitely check this one!

Meet Amazing Americans from America’s Story (from the Library of Congress)

http://www.americaslibrary.gov/aa/index.php

Discover the inventors, politicians, performers, activists and other everyday people who made this country what it is today. Primary source documents, audio, and photographs make this an information rich site.

FDA—U.S. Food and Drug Administration

http://www.fda.gov

This information-packed site has information for all age levels on food safety, diseases, and medicine.  The variety of topics is endless (carbonated beverages, tattoos, salmonella and turtles, pet safety, and nanotechnology in cosmetics to name a few).  There are specific pages for “kids & teens.”

Stixy Notes

http://www.stixy.com/welcome

This is an online bulletin board that can be shared. Collaborate by adding photos, links, documents, pdf’s, calendar, to-do lists. Project your plans for the school day on Stixy to help students organize their time and share their work. There are lots of possibilities!! This is a viable alternative to Wallwisher.

Creative Commons Search

http://search.creativecommons.org/

Find photos, music, movie clips and much more with Creative Commons licensing all in one place. The site allows you to search Google Web & Images, Flickr photos, jamendo music, BlipTV, SpinXpress, and Wikimedia commons. What a time-saver!

Book Review Blogs—

A Bookshelf Monstrosity

http://bookshelfmonstrosity.blogspot.com/2011/02/books-by-theme-retell-it-to-me.html

Amanda, the library media specialist who writes the blog, gives book reviews for all levels of books, talks about book news, reading adventures, libraries, and occasionally other various topics. She includes “why you’ll love it” for each selection. She also links to other good book blogs.

One Librarian’s Book Reviews

http://librariansbookreviews.blogspot.com/

In her daily blog, this librarian reviews a wide variety of books at all levels. In her weekly Monday post “Listless Mondays” the author highlights a common theme. For example, “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” features books with a recent trend–hands reaching out to the reader on the cover—as a display idea. Cleverly written.

Books 4 Learning

http://books4learning.blogspot.com

Veteran teacher writes about good books to share with your students. In addition to a summary and review, she offers teaching suggestions and related titles. For example, if you’re looking for something on spring, hibernation and bears, Hugless Douglas might be the answer!

February 2011

Virtual Math Museum – Mathematical Art

http://virtualmathmuseum.org/mathart/MathematicalArt.html

When students question the purpose of math, show them this site. It displays the beauty of mathematical objects by artists who have used mathematical ideas to create their work.

Google Art Project

http://www.googleartproject.com/

Explore 1000+ pieces of art in museums around the world (Madrid, Moscow, Berlin, Versailles, New York City, London and more). You can virtually move around the museum’s galleries and zoom into paintings that interest you with Artwork View Expanding the info panel allows you to read more about an artwork, find more works by that artist and watch related YouTube videos. The Create an Artwork Collection feature allows you to save specific views of any of the 1000+ artworks and a personalized collection. Comments can be added to each painting and the whole collection can then be shared with friends and family.

Vocabulary Can Be Fun

http://www.vocabulary.co.il/

This site gives extensive Vocabulary building games and resources for grades 3-12. Examples: suffixes, synonyms, root words, SAT vocabulary, TOEFL vocabulary, analogies. The site is translated into multiple languages.

Brain Nook: Virtual Learning World for Elementary Students

http://brainnook.com/index.php

This virtual world allows students to develop math and English skills while playing in a free online playground. Over 100 education games are based on foundational math, English, and grammar concepts. Teachers can sign up for a class account. Students can use it from home with their parents’ approval (email verification).

Extreme Planet Makeover

http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov/planetMakeover/planetMakeover.html

In this fun interactive, students create their own planet, controlling the look and habitability of their own world. Students adjust the planetary attributes like size, distance from star, star type, planet age, and even start their planet based on different presets as they begin to understand the differences between earth and the other planets in our solar system. When students are finished, they can download a picture of their custom world.

Color in Motion (for upper elementary & secondary students)

http://www.mariaclaudiacortes.com/

Students learn about color through story. They meet each of the colors as a different character being cast for a production. The site is great for any art or design class but could be equally wonderful for a creative writing project. It’s a perfect site to use when teaching symbolism. The Kaleidoscope feature is mesmerizing!

EthnoMed

http://ethnomed.org/

EthnoMed contains information about cultural beliefs, medical issues and related topics pertinent to the health care of immigrants to the U.S. Students and teachers will find the “cultures” tab especially useful when learning more about ELL students in their classes.

Funbrain

http://www.funbrain.com

Free educational games, online books, and comics for preschool through grade 8. More than 100 interactive games develop skills in math, reading, and literacy. There are a variety of popular books and comics on the site, including Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Amelia Writes Again, and Brewster Rocket.

Harry Houdini

www.akahoudini.org/htdocs/index.php

Online exhibit and information on Houdini’s life, including videos for older students.

Eye on Idioms from ReadWriteThink

http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/interactives/idioms/

This interactive site teaches students seven different idioms. A literal picture of the idiom is given, and students then describe its metaphorical meaning and use the idiom in a sentence. Each page can be printed.

iPad/iPod Apps

iPad Curriculum: make learning mobile

http://www.ipadcurriculum.com/

iPad Curriculum is a collection of the best in applications, practices, and deployment of the iPad as a learning device written by Kelly Tenkeley. Users can narrow searches of the site by level of Bloom’s Taxonomy, grade level, price, and curriculum area. Each entry includes “What it is” and “How (app) can enrich learning.” The blog responses and questions add valuable information as well.

Example: How to “Transform any text into a spoken track”

International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL)

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/icdl-for-ipad-free-books-for/id363731638?mt=8

This collection of free multilingual children’s books from around the world can now be viewed on your iPad and on your iPhone, as well.

50 Fun iPhone Apps to Get Kids Reading and Learning blog

http://onlineultrasoundschool.com/2009/50-fun-iphone-apps-to-get-kids-reading-and-learning/

WEB ALERTS
January 2010

Docushare:
Delicious link: http://delicious.com/nlarimer/web_alerts

netTrekker AND Promethean/SMART Boards WORK TOGETHER!
Search results in NetTrekker give links to Promethean and SMART board flipcharts! For example, in the results list for biomes, “Promethean: Biomes of the World” shows there is a flipchart that can be used with the Promethean technology. The “Collections” tab in the Search Results menu can also be selected to sort the results. See the graphic for examples.

Inkless Tales

http://www.inklesstales.com/stories

This site includes stories (using Dolch words), poems, word games, animated alphabet activities, and much more for primary students learning to read. There is a read-aloud feature for many of the items. You’ll want to investigate this one!

newseum.org

http://newseum.org

As with any museum, it’s packed with great information from five centuries of news history and up-to-date technology. Explore African American history, the end of the Berlin Wall, sports highlights, presidential campaigns, and so much more! There are links to the First Amendment Center, Diversity Institute, and Freedom Forum.

Today’s Front Pages

http://www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages/default.asp

Imagine being able to read the front pages of TODAY’s newspapers (790 from 77 countries) or seeing an analysis of the headlines in U.S. newspapers! You can when you visit Washington, D.C.’s Newseum online. Search by region, state, newspaper or map.

Google Squared

http://www.google.com/squared

Instantly build a chart of information on a topic from multiple sources. (try “U.S. Presidents” as an example)

Google Wonder Wheel

http://www.google.com

Turn a Google results list into a graphic representation. Perform a usual search (“climate change facts,” for example) and the results list will appear. At the top of a Google result list in the left column, you’ll see “Web” with a + sign that says “Show options…” Click “show options…” and “Wonder Wheel” under Standard View. When you click that, you’ll see how the results list changes to a graphic representation of the results. These results can then be narrowed down quickly. Note that the Web sites appear to the right side of the screen. The “tail” that appears on the webbing allows you to return to any former search results quickly.

Visuwords – Online Graphical Dictionary

http://www.visuwords.com

This graphical dictionary can be used as a stand-alone dictionary/thesaurus, AND it can also be added to your Firefox browser! Watch a quick tutorial at http://wp.lps.org/nlarimer/

Looking for writing prompts? Try these:
Writing Fix—Home of Interactive Writing Prompts

http://writingfix.com/classroom_tools/dailypromptgenerator.htm

A wealth of writing activities– prompts of all kinds, lessons, mentor texts, writing traits, writing process, projects and more. Select from hundreds of random writing prompts like this: “Will you stay away forever? Write about a place you try not to go to because it stirs up strong emotions in you.”

The Teachers Corner

http://www.theteacherscorner.net/daily-writing-prompts/index.htm

Writing prompts for all curricular areas correlated to monthly events.

BBC Skillswise

http://www.bbc.co.uk/skillswise

Factsheets, worksheets, quizzes and games to help improve math and English skills.

The Moonlit Road: Strange Tales of the American South

http://themoonlitroad.com/

Ghost stories that include both text and audio with great sound effects. Searchable by keywords (e.g., Great Depression, haunted house)

Library Sparks

http://www.highsmith.com/librarysparks/pages/web-resources-current/

All elementary media specialists receive this great journal, but did you know there’s a Website that gives you easily printable articles and activities from the journal? For example, from the Feb. issue you can download the patterns for the storytime cow and chicken bag puppets. It also archives previous months. It’s a find!

Online Articles:
“Sweet Searching with Google” from Tech & Learning, Nov. 21, 2009

http://www.techlearning.com/blogs/25552

Mathematics appears

“Ten Ways To Get Beyond Powerpoint With Classroom Projectors” from Tech & Learning, April 12, 2009

http://www.techlearning.com/article/17198

One tip for quick plays in the classroom: “Hang a white sheet, place the projector behind the sheet facing your audience, and let your students perform inexpensive miniature theatrical productions. Project image “backdrops” from your computer and you’ll have the fastest set changes in history.”

WEB ALERTS

January 2011

Winter Sites

“Winter & Children’s Literature” from Carol Hurst’s Children’s Literature Site

http://www.carolhurst.com/subjects/winter.html

Selected fiction and nonfiction books, poetry, and activities that integrate into the curriculum are featured (from elementary to middle school).  Hurst’s site has multiple topics from which to choose.

 

Snowtastic Snow

http://library.thinkquest.org/3876/

This Junior ThinkQuest site on snow and ice, created by students for gr. 3-6, includes information related to literature, health & sports, history, science, games & puzzles, activities and a bibliography. It’s a great example of an interdisciplinary activity that students can create.

 

Winter Storms

http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/wwatch/winter_storms/

Within the “Severe Weather and Natural Disasters” section of this Scholastic site,

students will find everything they need to know about severe winter weather! Learn from experts, read eyewitness accounts, play an interactive vocabulary game, conduct an experiment and more. Other web pages include Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Hurricanes and Tornadoes.

Looking for free online photos or graphics?

Kave Wall Stock Photos

http://www.kavewall.com/stock/index.html

This site has unique free stock photos, images, and textures to download.

FreePixels.com

http://www.freepixels.com

Free photos and graphics, many offering multiple views of objects.  For example, there are many views of the colored pencils to the right.

http://www.freepixels.com/Objects/Stationery/pic2926.html

Find more sites with free graphic in the article “50 Places to Find Images for Every Small Business Need” from Small Business Trends: http://bit.ly/eebo5I

WolframAlpha

http://www.wolframalpha.com

Unlike Google, “the world’s first and only computational knowledge engine” doesn’t search for web pages, it looks for answers among the vast knowledge it contains.

Categories statistics, words & linguistics, geography, dates & times, nutrition, math formulas and much more.  Information on a single topic or comparative data can be gleaned. For example, a search on the weather in San Diego and Lincoln gave comparative results of today’s weather (within minutes), weather history and forecast, cloud cover, and precipitation. This is a fascinating site!

Science Fairs are just around the corner! These sites provide great ideas and “how-to” procedures.

Science Fair Central

http://school.discoveryeducation.com/sciencefaircentral/Getting-Started.html

Each of the three student categories — getting started, science fair projects and science fair presentations — offers useful, easy-to-understand guidance in designing a science fair project for elementary and middle school students. Check out the “Choose a Project Idea” section for excellent questions to get the creative juices flowing.

dreamstime.com

Kids Science Projects by Science Made Simple

http://www.sciencemadesimple.com/projects.html

This site explains what makes a good science project and gives ideas to get started on one. Sample topics: static electricity, batteries, nutrition, botany, and microbiology.

Science Fair Project Resource Guide

http://sciencefairproject.virtualave.net/

Everything you need to know about science fair projects is included in this site. It includes the steps taken, scientific method, judging sheets, project ideas, Web resources, and what to do with data.

Chronicling America

http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/

Investigate more than 3 million digitized U.S. and territorial newspaper pages from 1836 to 1922. Students can search newspaper pages or find information about specific newspapers that were published during this time.  The advanced search feature allows specific topic searches. This is a good source of primary documents, and it includes Nebraska newspapers.

Get Ready to Read!

http://getreadytoread.org/index.php
This early literacy program from the National Center for Learning Disabilities is designed to bring an easy-to-use screening tool to parents and early childhood professionals and to ensure that every child becomes a successful reader. Lots of fun online activities!

The Big Four Ning

http://thebigfour.ning.com/

The Big Four Community Ning, a learning network that supports Instructional Coaches, Classroom Teachers and Educational Leaders, offers ideas, videos, lessons and forums for classroom teachers and principals. This is a great site to add to your professional learning network. Links to Jim Knight’s blog Radical Learners also provide plenty of food for thought.

WEB ALERTS

December 2010

Snow Crystals.com   

http://www.its.caltech.edu/~atomic/snowcrystals/

You’ll find every imaginable tidbit of information on snowflakes here–experiments to make them, books featuring them, maps, photos, the physics of them, and much, much more! The Guide to Snowflakes shows all the different types of snowflakes…who knew there were so many? This will be a hit!

You might also like: Is it true that no two snow crystals are alike?

from Everyday Mysteries: Fun Science Facts from the Library of Congress

http://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/snowcrystals.html

Building A Box – Math Interactive

http://illuminations.nctm.org/LessonDetail.aspx?id=L570

This lesson (from Illuminations: Resources for Teaching Math) uses a real-world situation to help develop students’ spatial visualization skills and geometric understanding. Emma, a new employee at a box factory, is supposed to make cube‑shaped jewelry boxes. Students help Emma determine how many different nets are possible and then analyze the resulting cubes. A downloadable student worksheet makes this lesson a breeze.

The Science of Sports

http://www.nbclearn.com/portal/site/learn

NBC Learn, in partnership with the National Science Foundation, explores the physics, biology, chemistry, materials science and math behind the Olympic Winter Games. NBC News anchor Lester Holt narrates “Science of the Olympic Winter Games, a 16-part video series that includes episodes on hockey, snowboarding, alpine skiing, and much more. The athletes’ movements are captured by a state-of-the-art, high-speed (1,500 frames per second) camera called the Phantom Cam. Even the athletes themselves are amazed by what the camera sees!

National Budget Simulation

http://www.econedlink.org/lessons/index.php?lid=306&type=educator

This site is especially relevant now with all the talk of cutting the budget. In the simulation students serve as an economic advisor to the President, who must increase military spending and decrease spending in other areas. An interactive chart allows the calculations to take place quickly, but the rationales, compromises and tradeoffs require critical thinking. In addition to the lesson plan for teachers, there’s a Website that outlines the simulation for students: http://econedlink.org/306

memorize.com

http://memorize.com

Create free digital flashcards for students to learn and quiz themselves using different modes: flashcards, matching, and multiple choice. Flashcards can be shared and saved. Search the “pages” of flashcards that have already been created and use or edit what is useful. A diagram and map wizard allows users to easily create and label these formats.

Google Classroom Posters

http://www.google.com/educators/posters.html

Print colorful, succinct posters, bookmarks, and guides (in PDF) to help teach students how to use Google more effectively.  In addition to Google search tips, there are resources for Google Books, Google Earth, and Google Scholar.

Google Librarian Central

http://www.google.com/librariancenter/librarian_tools.html

Smithsonian’s History Explorer – World War II Interactives & Media

http://www.historyexplorer.si.edu/interactives/index.asp?typeKeys=2&typeKeysOr=&stdsKeys=&gradeStart=-1&gradeEnd=-1&keywords=World+War+II&x=0&y=0&orderBy=&perPage=10

Provide opportunities for historical thinking by using the Smithsonian’s collections of video footage, artifacts, oral history, posters and magazine covers to provide context for World War II from multiple perspectives. The site also includes lesson plans.

The Gettysburg Address

http://www.historyexplorer.si.edu/lessons/resource.asp?id=1409

“This online exhibition, from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, tells a unique story of the Gettysburg Address by focusing on the last handwritten copy of the speech, a manuscript that usually resides out of the public eye in the Lincoln Bedroom of the White house. Also included to help students further explore this important document are a printable version of the manuscript, transcripts in both English and Spanish and an interactive document that features actor Liam Neeson reading the entire address.” The “Related Exhibits” provide even more information on Abraham Lincoln.

3M’s Science of Everyday Life (from 3M & Discovery Education)

http://scienceofeverydaylife.discoveryeducation.com/

“Activities and interactive tools designed to encourage exploration and engagement with science for kids in grades K-8.” Even though there are multiple references to 3M developments throughout the site, there is much to be gleaned from in the sections for teachers, students and parents.  There are videos and interactives on topics like the dishwasher and frozen foods. Students can “Meet the Scientists” to hear about what they do (e.g., working on microscopic prisms to make cellphone screen brighter). “Travel Through Time” is a colorful timeline of innovations over the last century. Students can dive in to “Innovation Headquarters,” a virtual laboratory of experiments. The teacher section includes lesson plans:  for example, lessons on friction (using sandpaper and a block of wood), strength of adhesives (using Post-it Notes) and magnets for Gr. 3-5. This will be a popular site!

World Book Online

http://www.lps.org/instruction/media/services/schoolaccess.html

Use the new online World Book (WB) in the Digital Content Resources to help you become a 21st Century educator. There are great professional resources in the “How to Do Research” section of WB Discover and WB Student. You’ll find two choices: Research Skills for Students and Educator Research Center. Check out these pages from the Educator Research Center to get started:

The 21st Century Educator: Embracing Web 2.0 in Your Professional Practice

http://www.worldbookonline.com/student/eduresearch?using_technology

Teaching Research Skills

http://www.worldbookonline.com/student/eduresearch?teaching_teaching_research_skills

 

Research Skills for Students includes lessons on planning research, generating questions, and evaluating sources to name a few. The lesson Reading URLs is especially good!

http://www.worldbookonline.com/wbdiscover/howtoresearch?evaluate_your_sources_reading_urls

Bing 411

1-800-BING 411  (1-800-246-4411)

For those lamenting the demise of Goog411, Bing 411 is a good alternative. Use this free, online information source on your cell phone to find and be connected to businesses anywhere in the US.

WEB ALERTS

November 2010

Stop Disasters: A Disaster Simulation Game from UN/ISDR

http://www.stopdisastersgame.org/en/home.html

This on-line game teaches children how to build safer villages and cities against common disasters: earthquake, tsunami, flood, hurricane, and wildfire.  Children will learn how the location and the construction materials of houses can make a difference when disasters strike and how early warning systems, evacuation plans and education can save lives. Teacher resources, additional information on disasters, web sites, and videos are also included. This is a compelling series of simulations!

Wonderopolis: Where the Wonders of Learning Never Cease

http://wonderopolis.org/

This site, created by the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL), would be useful when teaching questioning skills or when looking for interesting topics to discuss.  Each day a new “wonder” is explained and thought-provoking activities are given.  Examples: Why do birds fly in a V? Where do political symbols come from? What fairy tale ending would you change? What causes a shooting star?

Google Virtual Tours & Webcams

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&ie=UTF8&t=h&msa=0&msid=116795100873657615796.0004725070d34df9fe0b0&ll=33.72434,18.28125&spn=148.220219,298.828125&z=1&source=embed

Explore panoramic Google maps of over 60 locations around the world. Each link includes a Website that explores the location in more depth. This amazing site was created by Angela Cunningham, who has multiple resources online. Several links not to miss:

Historical Simulations

http://www.historicalsimulations.com/abstracts.php

Participate in a variety of role-playing, game, and map simulations of historical eras or events. Examples: farming, Gilded Age, pre-Civil War politics, Treaty of Versailles and more.

U.S. Immigration Policy Timeline

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34445655/ns/politics-capitol_hill

Look at U.S. immigration policy from 1790 to the present.

Digital History: Using new technologies to enhance teaching and research

http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/

This information-rich site encourages the use of primary documents to study history. Several examples of categories from the site:

Explorations http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/learning_history/

Inquiry-based, interactive lessons that allow students to conduct research, analyze primary sources, and draw their own conclusions.  Categories: Colonization & Revolution, Pre-Civil War & Civil War, Turn of the 20th Century, Great Depression, World War II, and Post-War.  “Casablanca as Wartime Propaganda (1942)” sounds like a great project!

letterpop

http://www.letterpop.com

Create newsletters, presentations, invitations, collages from templates. Users can use flickr photos to personalize, and it can be shared in multiple formats. There is a free option.

JASON Science: Education through Exploration

http://www.jason.org/public/whatis/start.aspx

National Geographic’s free JASON Mission Project connects students with great explorers and events to inspire and motivate them to learn science.  Although the projects are designed for secondary students, many components could be used with younger students too. Check out “Operation: Monster Storms: Exploring the Powerful Forces of Weather” Pick from five different projects, including “The Chase: On the Run in Tornado Alley.”  Students use real life scenarios to explore topics scientists face daily. Each Mission is led by an expert on the topic and includes an Overview, Mission Briefing (information exploration), Laboratory (experiments and journaling opportunities), and a Field Assignment. Once teachers register, they can use all the features of this megasite. (Research from NASA, NOAA, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Geographic Society and other leading organizations.)

Wordle

http://www.wordle.net

Create “word clouds” from text that you provide.  The example is a Wordle of the U.S. Constitution.

See how Myrtle Grove Middle School uses Wordles to have students “Guess the title of the Book” -

http://teacherpages.nhcs.net/schools/mgrove/mediacenter/Pages/BookWordles.aspx

HubbleSite

http://hubblesite.org

The Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach publishes this media rich site that explores the universe through the Hubble telescope’s eye. For example, watch the birth/death of a star or look to the planets beyond our solar system. Amazing photographs, videos, and animations can be viewed, printed, and/or embedded from Susan Hubbard

October 2010

Cosmic Quest (Children’s Museum of Indianapolis)

http://www.childrensmuseum.org/cosmicquest/index.html

Explore the universe in “Field Guide to the Universe” and learn how astronauts survive in space in “Living in Space: Interactive Game.” Added features include astronomers (ancient to modern) and space craft (both planetary and space probes). This information-rich site will capture the imagination of all young scientists.

Debate Graph

http://debategraph.org/

This webbing tool allows students to visualize the many arguments related to hot-button global topics. It provides webbed diagrams of topics (similar to a visual thesaurus), along with news sources so students visualize multiple views of debate.  For more information on how to use this site, visit http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2009/06/debategraph-diagrams-of-global-debates.html

How Things Fly (from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum)

http://www.nasm.si.edu/exhibitions/gal109/index.cfm

In addition to learning more about flight, students are asked to do some critical thinking in these fun interactive sites. Users calculate and experiment with how things fly! 

Especially good components of the site:

How Wings Work

http://www.nasm.si.edu/exhibitions/gal109/htf/activities/howwingswork/web/index.html

Forces of Flight

http://www.nasm.si.edu/exhibitions/gal109/htf/activities/forcesofflight/web/index.html?THEBIGDEALBOOK=634199658533800055

After learning about the forces of flight, students design a plane that flies faster/higher.

Geography from Space Online Quiz

http://www.nasm.si.edu/ceps/gaw/gfs.cfm?year=2009

Identify land masses around the globe from satellite maps.

Intellicast.com (from Weather Services International)

http://www.intellicast.com

This megasite looks at weather from every imaginable angle. It includes satellite maps, radar, forecasts, storms, weather analysis charts, an active storm tracker, and much more. Information comes from the U.S. National Weather Service, U.S. military, Canadian, British, and Japanese governments and international agencies, and commercial vendors. The “wx” icon in the menu bar gives you interactive maps that would be great when studying severe weather and earthquakes.   iNav is a built-in bookmarking system to any Intellicast page.

Kindergarten Links

http://westwood.springdaleschools.org/Kindergarten%20Links.htm

This compilation of links with games and activities on multiple topics including  keyboarding games, letter and number recognition, phonics, interactive read-along stories, and much more is from Westwood Elementary School (IB World) in Springdale, Arkansas. Try the “Bubble Wrap” practice with students learning to use the keypad on a laptop computer.

King Tut

With the King Tut exhibit in Denver, interest in King Tut has been sparked. September’s National Geographic Magazine’s feature story is King Tut’s Family Secrets. Check out the National Geographic Website for excellent materials.

Videos on King Tut’s Tomb, Ancient Egypt, other tombs and mummies:

http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/player/places/countries-places/egypt/king-tuts-tomb.html

Interactive display of Tut’s family tree:

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2010/09/tut-dna/tut-family-tree

“Egypt: Quest for Eternity,” National Geographic video and lesson plan on Egypt and the Nile (posted in Snag Learning):

http://learning.snagfilms.com/film/egypt-quest-for-eternity

Life in a Day: The Story of a Single Day on Earth

http://www.youtube.com/user/lifeinaday

Ridley Scott and Kevin MacDonald have compiled footage from all over the world (197 countries) documenting a single day on Earth, July 24, 2010. From the home page, click on “Explore” to view the videos by tags and in multiple ways: a global sphere, a matrix, “Geo-tags,” a heatmap, and comparisons of emotions.  Global studies and creative writing classes could find multiple uses for this well-done site. Note the translation feature. It’s being made into a documentary for the 2011 Sundance Festival too.  (Staff can access YouTube videos by logging through the filter.)

teachinghistory.org

(National History Education Clearinghouse)

http://teachinghistory.org/13

Any teacher looking for strategies using primary sources to teach historical events and concepts will find treasures galore in this site. Hear an expert analyze one of FDR’s fireside chats during the Great Depression or analyze political cartoons. There are many opportunities for teaching media literacy!

Content is divided into 3 categories:

  • teaching materials (lesson plans and teaching guides),
  • history content (Website reviews, viewpoints beyond the textbook, weekly online history quizzes [with immediate feedback], national resources)
  • best practices (historical thinking with primary sources, demonstrations of teaching methods, historical inquiry

TED TALKS: Ideas Worth Spreading

http://www.ted.com

Provocative 20-minute talks on technology, entertainment, design, business, science, global issues, and more by remarkable people from around the world. You can download the videos to watch when you have time, have them sent to you via RSS, embed them in a blog, and participate in online discussions.

Child-driven Education (Sugata Mitra)

http://www.ted.com/talks/sugata_mitra_the_child_driven_education.html

Watch education scientist Sugata Mitra discuss a series of real-life experiments from New Delhi to South Africa to Italy, where he gave kids self-supervised access to the web and saw results that could revolutionize how we think about teaching. “If children have interest, education happens.”

Other examples to peak your interest:

  • Steven Johnson: Where Good Ideas Come From
  • Steve Jobs: How to Live Before You Die
  • Ken Robinson: Schools Kill Creativity
  • Christien Meindertsma: How Pig Parts Make the World Turn

September 2010

PicLits: Inspired Picture Writing

http://piclits.com/compose_dragdrop.aspx

PicLits.com is a creative writing site that allows users to match images with pre-selected or original keywords to create a visual “story,” feeling, or concept. The images could be used for story starters, poetry, or creative writing project.

GotBrainy

http://www.gotbrainy.com/

Create a Brainy flix (video) or BrainyPic (a photo with a sentence using the word) to learn SAT and ACT vocabulary. Word lists are given with example creations. Very clever!

HistoryNet.com

http://www.historynet.com

This information-rich site offers a daily history quiz, “Today in History,” a history question of the day (excellent ideas for inquiry research projects), a photo of the day, and an archive of history magazine articles. The site is created by the Weider History Group, publisher of ten history magazines (e.g., American History, Civil War Times, and Vietnam).

Manga for Kids.com

http://mangaforkids.com

Introduce children to manga (Japanese comics) with a step-by-step guide on how to read it and preview pages of popular titles. Recommended by Dan Bunde, Pershing School Librarian.

National Science Digital Library

http://nsdl.org

K-12 -collection of websites, instructional resources, tools, and classroom-related content that directly supports STEM education.  Audio content, including podcasts by scientists in the field, and video clips can be accessed in the classroom or you can provide links for students to access NSDL content through a teacher’s website. Funded by the National Science Foundation.

Kids Work!

http://www.knowitall.org/kidswork/index.html

Explore interesting jobs in a virtual community of workplaces: hospital, theater, TV station, park and recreation, and information center (teacher resources and links to career education information). Learn about the History of the career with a timeline, play Job Play activities with virtual work experiences, visit with Real People who work in the profession, and explore the Work Zone to learn more about the workplace.  Published by the ETV Commission.

Artopia

http://www.knowitall.org/artopia/index.html

Students investigate facets of careers in the arts in this interactive, multimedia site. In the “Music Studio,” for example, students can play a musical matching game, be a music critic by listening and reacting to musical performances, meet and listen to a variety of musicians, remix three different styles of music (boogie-woogie, classical, and rap), watch a fun video on music in general, and more. Topics include music, painting, sculpture, dance, theater, and media arts.

What You Need to Know About Energy

http://www.needtoknow.nas.edu

National Academy of Sciences Web site looks at America’s energy use. Four main topics: energy uses, sources of energy, costs of energy (environmentally, related to national security and sustainability), and energy efficiency. Includes excellent graphs and charts, graphics, quiz questions and links.

Admongo.gov

http://www.admongo.gov

Tweens (ages 8-12) will learn to be better consumers of information, by analyzing advertising and marketing messages through a gaming interface. They create an avatar and “play” the game, analyzing and interpreting ads and perfecting critical thinking skills that will apply to non-commercial messages as well. Published by the Federal Trade Commission. This will be popular!

Story – It: Language Arts Resources for Children and Their Teachers

http://www.storyit.com/

A wealth of resources are included on this site: story starters, alphabet resources, printable write-on shapes, word games, poetry and nursery rhymes, and links to even more.

Online Word Games

http://www.storyit.com/wgames/wgames.htm

Includes Word Magnets: Phonics Reinforcement and Sentence Building Exercises; Word Blocks; Letter Bounce Game; Word Cube Game; and others.

Elementary Library Routines: Where Elementary Librarians share their knowledge!

http://elementarylibraryroutines.wikispaces.com/

Explore practical library management tips from school librarians across the country and add your own to this expanding wiki. This is a site to be checked when there’s a question like  “Where do you put books for return?” Ronda Deabler has added one of her tips already!

Online Timers –

Apimac Timer: http://www.apimac.com/timer
3-2-1 Dashboard Timer Widget: http://baldgeeks.com/3-2-1.htm
Online-Stopwatch (with multiple options): http://www.online-stopwatch.com/


May 2010



Children’s Book Week  May 10-16
http://www.bookweekonline.com
Activity ideas, story starters written by award-wining authors, word search and crossword puzzles, and much more for Kids and Teens. The section for Teachers, Librarians & Booksellers has a digital toolkit full of goodies to download. You’ll want to take some time to explore this site!

Vote for the Children’s Choice Book Awards sponsored by the Children’s Book Council.  (K-2, 3-4, 5-6 and Teens categories)
http://www.bookweekonline.com/voting
Download a bookmark to which students can add their favorite book character
http://www.bookweekonline.com/system/images/3/original/CBW2010_Bookmark.png

Flamingnet  – Young Adult Books Reviewed by Young Adult Reviewers
http://www.flamingnet.com
Students can search for a good book, write a book review or join a book club on this site started by Seth Cassel (Harvard ‘13) when he was in the 5th grade. This is a great way to involve students. Check it out!

Jeopardy Online Game Templates
http://jeopardylabs.com
Create your own Jeopardy template online or browse templates created by others (example subjects: weather, math, writing review).

Grimms’ Fairy Tales
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/grimm/
National Geographic Society presents the original tales of the brothers Grimm from the early 1800s. These tales are quite different from what you might expect: they aren’t the Disney versions! There are 12 unvarnished tales, based on a 1914 translation.

Widgetbox
http://www.widgetbox.com
Find and make widgets for your blog or Web page.  Add polls, Flickr photos, countdown clocks, forms, slideshows, and oh so much more.

Science & Technology News
Bookmark links to today’s U.S. newspapers’ science and technology news stories. These links could be used on pathfiners, Web pages, or blogs.

The Washington Post
http://topics.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/topics/science-and-technology/

Sci-Tech Today
http://www.sci-tech-today.com/?full_skip=1

N.Y. Times
http://www.nytimes.com/pages/science/index.html

Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/news/science/

NetSmartz Workshop
http://www.netsmartz.org/index.aspx
Help students (and parents) learn to be safe, secure and ethical online. This program, from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, has sections for young children, tweens, teens, parents, and educators. Animated video clips and games make this both fun and educational. Once you listen to the “Password Rap” in the Kids Section, you’ll not forget the message!

Ancient Mesopotamia for Kids
http://mesopotamia.mrdonn.org/index.html
Created and maintained by a middle school teacher in Maryland, this site includes geography, mythology, daily life and legends of Sumeria. There are many extras to keep students interested, such as links to the British Museum, video clips, and stories.

Similes – Graphic Organizer
http://www.graphic.org/similie.html
This easy graphic provides a framework for creating similes. There are many example similes that can be used to begin.  Metaphors are also covered. This page is part of the Web site  http://www.graphic.org

Virtual Nebraska

http://www.casde.unl.edu/index.php

Virtual Nebraska is an on-line archive of satellite imagery and aerial photography of the Nebraska’s landscape from unique perspectives (e.g., showing infrared or microwave wavelengths). Study the State’s geography, learn about the history of your city, locate your school, monitor vegetation patterns throughout a growing season, or map the statewide distribution of snow cover in January. Fascinating educational modules include critical thinking activities involving both historical and present day communities. This site is well worth taking time to explore.

“Nebraska…our towns: a historical extension of Virtual Nebraska”
http://www.casde.unl.edu/history/index.php
Learn about the history of towns across Nebraska from historical documents, personal accounts, and photographs. Either click on the map or use the search boxes to find the county and city needed.

The Stacks: You, Your Friends, Your Reads! (from Scholastic)
http://www.scholastic.com/kids/stacks/?lt=stacks/nav/home
An interactive site that spotlights Scholastic books for children and teens. Listen to author interviews, learn more about book characters, play games, and explore a wealth of information about the books students are reading.

Meg Cabot – Glitter Girls
Check out the video of Meg Cabot as she talks about Glitter Girls and the Great Fake Out, Book 5 of Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls series http://www.scholastic.com/kids/stacks/videos/index.htm?pid=1847329168&bclid=34070765001&bcpid=1847329168&bcpid=34035880001&bctid=74139710001

Also, hear Cabot read Chapter 1 from Glitter Girls and the Great Fake Out:
http://www.scholastic.com/kids/stacks/videos/index.htm?pid=1847329168&bclid=34070765001&bcpid=1847329168&bcpid=34035880001&bctid=73665359001

April 2010

Celebrate National Poetry Month in April.

Free Verse Project in POETS.org

http://poets.org/page.php/prmID/541

Creatively share a line from your favorite poem. Write the line in an interesting way, take a picture of it, and post it on the Free Verse Project site. The poem and photo above were submitted by Amy T. from San Luis Obispo, CA. The line is from “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot: “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons….”

Poem-A-Day

http://www.poets.org/poemADay.php

Sign up to have a poem sent to your inbox each day during National Poetry Month.

Fern’s Poetry Club

http://pbskids.org/arthur/games/poetry/index.html

Arthur’s friend Fern shares a new poem each day and encourages children to write their own poems. Other pages on the site: What’s a Poem? Write a Poem (students can publish their poems) and Read More Poems. Learn about narrative poems, limericks, haiku, free verse, cinquains, and lyric poems.

WriteExpress Online Rhyming

http://www.writeexpress.com/online2.html

Finding words that have ending rhymes isn’t hard to do, but this site has some additional features:   last syllable rhymes (turkey/swanky, double rhymes (turkey, quirky), beginning rhymes (turkey, turnkey, and first syllable rhymes (turkey/turnip).

Poem Flow app for iPhone or iTouch

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/21303

Download the Poem Flow app for the iPhone and iPod Touch, developed in creative collaboration with TextTelevision, to receive a new poem each day.  20 for free; $2.99 for 365 poems (1 year)

National Poetry Map

http://www.poets.org/page.php/prmID/382

Using an interactive map, you can choose a state to find local poets, poems, events, literary journals, writing programs, poetry organizations, and more.  The Nebraska page features Ted Kooser and Martha Collins, with links to others.

Scholastic Poetry Center

http://teacher.scholastic.com/poetry/index.htm?eml=BNL/20100323/BNL

Multiple lessons and ideas for all grades. Includes writing riddles, math poems, the poetry of growing up, haiku, and more.

Create a book spine poem!    Book Spine Poem

http://100scopenotes.com/2010/03/12/poetry-friday- book-spine-poem-gallery/

Create a visual poem by using titles from the spines of books. See examples on the 100 Scope Notes: Children’s Literature News & Reviews blog.

Favorite Poem Project: Americans Saying Poems They Love

http://www.favoritepoem.org/index.html

A collection of 50 short video documentaries showcasing individual Americans reading and speaking personally about poems they love. Includes anthologies and more. This would make a great classroom activity using Voicethread, a Flip camera or PhotoBooth on a laptop!

Poem in your Pocket Day (April 30)

http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/calendar-activities/participate-poem-your-pocket-20720.html

Share Use the ReadWriteThink Stapleless Book tool to help your students celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day, sponsored by the Academy of American Poets. Students can type their poems into the stapleless book template.

Make a Magnetic Poetry Set

http://www.readwritethink.org/parent-afterschool-resources/printouts/make-magnetic-poetry-a-30259.html

Create your own magnetic poetry set from simple resources. Directions can be downloaded for all you’ll need.

Teachers@Random

http://www.randomhouse.com/teachers/

Random House Publishing will send you their weekly Poetry Month Newsletter, featuring a poem for each day of the week in April to share. While you’re signing up, check out all the other resources Random provides to teachers and librarians.


March 2010

Wacky Web Tales

http://www.eduplace.com/tales/

Writing ideas! Students create fun stories (mad libs) from a list of Wacky Tales ideas (e.g., Wackytown, A New Winter Sport, Things That Drive Me Bonkers). It’s a great way to reinforce the parts of speech (includes Parts of Speech Help page). It’s advertised for grades 3 and up, but media specialists/teachers could easily use it with even younger students using an LCD projector. What a great way to reinforce the writing curriculum!

National Geographic Virtual World: Rainforest at Night

http://www.nationalgeographic.com.au/features/00/earthpulse/rainforest/index_flash.html

Explore the sights and sounds of the rainforest of Borneo from the canopy level to the forest floor in this interactive site. Includes printable images too.

TAGUL

http://www.tagul.com

Tagul.com is a word cloud tool that makes tags into links. Use a Website for the basis of the words in the Tagul. Each word in the cloud then becomes a link to a portion of that Website. Tagul includes options to create clouds in a variety of shapes. Find out more via http://teacherbootcamp.edublogs.org/category/cool-sites/

Find the Right BOOK for YOU!

http://lexile.com/findabook/

From The Lexile Framework for Reading (Metametrics)

A quick way to find/create a list of books on specific topics by Lexile.  Users can also search for books by grade level and use the limiters “I find the books I read for school….difficult, challenging, or easy.” This could be used for collection development or personal booklists. It would be fun to have students select books they’d like to have in the media center.  Includes books in a series too. There are options to “Add to my reading list, Buy from Barnes & Noble or Find in a Library: WorldCat.”

Literature Lesson Plans

http://www.sldirectory.com/libsf/resf/bookplans.html

Webliography of K-12 sites organized into two main categories: Literature Units –Web Sites and Literature Units – Books. Information includes general literature & lesson plans; book reports; fables, folktales, fairy tales; genres; literature circles, book talks, and storytelling; poetry; nonfiction; plans for special subjects; elementary middle and secondary levels; and miscellaneous. There’s something for everyone!

Google Docs Blog

http://googledocs.blogspot.com/

Learn about ways to use Google docs in a variety of settings from this blog. It would be a good site to put in Google Reader or whichever RSS aggregator you use.

Poll Everywhere: Live Audience Polling

http://www.polleverywhere.com/

Engage teen learners in presentations with the live time polling service Poll Everywhere. Pose a question to your audience via an embedded widget on your website or blog, or embed a poll directly into a PowerPoint.  Up to 30 people can respond to your poll via SMS text, Twitter, or the web for free. (pricing plan available for larger numbers)

Read “Engaging Learners with Poll Everywhere,” an article in ALA Learning, for more information.

http://alalearning.org/2010/02/11/engaging-learners-with-poll-everywhere/,

Citation Tools

Valencia Citation Guide for Electronic Resources

http://valencia.cc.fl.us/library/west/research/doc_mla_electronic.asp?ID=3

Valencia Community College has a great list of both MLA and APA citation guides for some of those hard-to-find resources. Easy to use and thorough!

OWL at Purdue is another site that includes easy-to-follow guidelines for both MLA and APA. (featured in an earlier Web Alert)

MLA: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/

APA: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/2/10/

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Library Journal Webcasts

http://www.libraryjournal.com/webcasts

Stay current by watching recently archived Webinars at this site.

Check out “Gadgets and Tools and Apps, Oh My!” (on demand version)

http://www.libraryjournal.com/webcasts/48747/Webcasts.html

Sponsored by Polaris Library Systems and Library Journal. It’s not easy to keep up with new technology. By the time you’ve learned about the latest free application or cool gadget, you discover there are dozens of new tools that could help your patrons and library staff.

Articles to read:

Teach Your Students Well, (build an online writing toolkit)

from Tech & Learning online, Feb 2010

http://www.techlearning.com/blogs/27632

Tips on how to create student writing toolkits, using open source Websites and applications.  Includes great links.

HOT Blogging: A Framework for Blogging to Promote Higher Order Thinking

Lisa Zawilinski, The Reading Teacher, May 2009

http://bit.ly/bTuhjp

Discusses using blogs, specifically HOT blogs,  in elementary classrooms. HOT blogging, a framework for higher order thinking, provides teachers with a systematic way to integrate blogs, deepen comprehension, and teach the new literacies of online reading comprehension.

February 2010

Always available on Media Technology blog: http://wp.lps.org/nlarimer/web-alerts/
Delicious link: http://wp.lps.org/nlarimer/web-alerts/

Talking to Students About Haiti
http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/collection.jsp?id=705
Haiti earthquake information and images appropriate for young students. Includes information about what’s being done to help—including what kids can do.

African American History Month  from Awesome Stories
http://www.awesomestories.com/topics/african-american-history-month
Slave narratives from the Library of Congress and the U.S. National Archives, have been digitized and are available on-line. Hear music in slave life: religious, work, and recreational songs. Links to PBS’ Slavery and the Making of America resources. Many primary documents  are included.

From Aya to Zapt!: 24 Graphic Novels for African American History Month

by Martha Cornog, from Library Journal 1/7/2010, LibraryJournal.com
http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6713282.html?nid=4683&source=link&rid=
Check out these new titles for all ages.

Interactive Tour of the Brain
http://www.alz.org/brain/01.asp
Follow this two-part interactive tour of the brain. The first gives you brain basics; the second shows how the brain is affected throughout the stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

IKnowThat.com
http://www.iknowthat.com
Standards-based interactive activities for PreK-6 in all curricular areas (includes teacher guides)

Fact – Fragment – Frenzy
http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/student-interactives/fact-fragment-frenzy-30013.html
This short tutorial on notetaking aids students in learning the importance of finding the words that contain the facts they need for compiling their research. Students then use a virtual notebook to practice selecting the right words for their notes. Lessons that use this interactive are also given.  (Gr. 1-6)

inkpop
http://www.inkpop.com/
HarperTeen has created “an interactive writing platform and community for teenagers. Inkpop serves as an online community for young writers; the publisher calls inkpop the “anchor” of its digital strategy for the teen market.”

ZulaWorld.com
http://www.zulaworld.com
A virtual destination where young students and their teachers can explore the galaxies in fun and challenging ways.

Of Language Arts Interest — Student Writing Submission Sites
(Thank you to Chris Pultz for sharing these links.)
* Fine Lines (All ages – run by a retired Nebraska teacher, David Martin.) http://www.finelines.org/

* Stone Soup (Ages 8-13, leading publisher of children’s writing and art in the English-speaking world.) http://www.stonesoup.com/

* New Moon (Girls ages 8 to 12, focuses on issues important to young women.) http://www.newmoon.com/

* Crow Toes Quarterly (Ages 9+, playfully dark literature for children – no fluffy bunnies, puppies and happy birthday parties here.) http://www.crowtoesquarterly.com/

* Launch Pad (Ages 6-13) http://www.launchpadmag.com/index.shtml

* KidSpirit (Ages 11-15, focusing on diverse values, spirituality and life’s big questions) http://kidspiritmagazine.com/index.html

* Creative Kids Magazine (Ages 8-16) http://www.prufrock.com/client/client_pages/prufrock_jm_ck_wg.cfm

* Amazing Kids! (Ages 17 and under) http://www.amazing-kids.org/write_for_us

* NewPages.com – Young Author’s Guide http://www.newpages.com/npguides/young_authors_guide.htm
good page of places to submit (including sites for middle/high school students), as well as contests they can enter.

Online Articles:
The 21st Century Skills Bookmark:  A Dozen I-words Trump the 4 Rs
from FNO, January 2010
http://fno.org/Jan2010/bookmark.html#Inference
Jamie McKenzie updates the old essentials of education (the 3Rs: Reading, wRiting, aRithmetic—he actually gives four Rs) with his version of 21st century competencies, all I-words. Inquiry is on the list! Check out the others.

Help me help you: Moving from ‘Know any good [insert subject]websites?’ to ‘Can you help my students learn…’” from Technology & Learning, Jan. 2010
http://www.techlearning.com/blogs/27156
Kevin Jarrett provides tips on how to promote technology integration with busy teachers.

January 2010

netTrekker AND Promethean/SMART Boards WORK TOGETHER!
Search results in NetTrekker give links to Promethean and SMART board flipcharts!  For example, in the results list for biomes, “Promethean: Biomes of the World” shows there is a flipchart that can be used with the Promethean technology. The “Collections” tab in the Search Results menu can also be selected to sort the results. See the graphic for examples.

Inkless Tales
http://www.inklesstales.com/stories
This site includes stories (using Dolch words), poems, word games, animated alphabet activities, and much more for primary students learning to read. There is a read-aloud feature for many of the items. You’ll want to investigate this one!

newseum.org
http://www.newseum.org
As with any museum, it’s packed with great information from five centuries of news history and up-to-date technology. Explore African American history, the end of the Berlin Wall, sports highlights, presidential campaigns, and so much more! There are links to the First Amendment Center, Diversity Institute, and Freedom Forum.

Today’s Front Pages
http://www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages/default.asp
Imagine being able to read the front pages of TODAY’s newspapers (790 from 77 countries) or seeing an analysis of the headlines in U.S. newspapers! You can when you visit Washington, D.C.’s Newseum online. Search by region, state, newspaper or map.

Google Squared
http://www.google.com/squared
Instantly build a chart of information on a topic from multiple sources.  (try “U.S. Presidents” as an example)

Google Wonder Wheel
http://www.google.com
Turn a Google results list into a graphic representation. Perform a usual search (“climate change facts,” for example) and the results list will appear. At the top of a Google result list in the left column, you’ll see “Web” with  a + sign that says “Show options…”  Click “show options…” and “Wonder Wheel” under Standard View. When you click that, you’ll see how the results list changes to a graphic representation of the results. These results can then be narrowed down quickly. Note that the Web sites appear to the right side of the screen. The “tail” that appears on the webbing allows you to return to any former search results quickly.

Visuwords – Online Graphical Dictionary
http://www.visuwords.com
This graphical dictionary can be used as a stand-alone dictionary/thesaurus, AND it can also be added to your Firefox browser!  Watch a quick tutorial at http://wp.lps.org/nlarimer/

Looking for writing prompts? Try these:
Writing Fix—Home of Interactive Writing Prompts
http://writingfix.com/classroom_tools/dailypromptgenerator.htm
A wealth of writing activities– prompts of all kinds, lessons, mentor texts, writing traits, writing process, projects and more.  Select from hundreds of random writing prompts like this: “Will you stay away forever?  Write about a place you try not to go to because it stirs up strong emotions in you.”

The Teachers Corner
http://www.theteacherscorner.net/daily-writing-prompts/index.htm
Writing prompts for all curricular areas correlated to monthly events.

BBC Skillswise
http://www.bbc.co.uk/skillswise
Factsheets, worksheets, quizzes and games to help improve math and English skills.

The Moonlit Road: Strange Tales of the American South
http://themoonlitroad.com/
Ghost stories that include both text and audio with great sound effects. Searchable  by keywords (e.g., Great Depression, haunted house)

Library Sparks
http://www.highsmith.com/librarysparks/pages/web-resources-current/
All elementary media specialists receive this great journal, but did you know there’s a Website that gives you easily printable articles and activities from the journal? For example, from the Feb. issue you can download the patterns for the storytime cow and chicken bag puppets. It also archives previous months. It’s a find!

Online Articles:
“Sweet Searching with Google” from Tech & Learning, Nov. 21, 2009
http://www.techlearning.com/blogs/25552

“Ten Ways To Get Beyond Powerpoint With Classroom Projectors” from Tech & Learning, April 12, 2009
http://www.techlearning.com/article/17198
One tip for quick plays in the classroom:  “Hang a white sheet, place the projector behind the sheet facing your audience, and let your students perform inexpensive miniature theatrical productions. Project image “backdrops” from your computer and you’ll have the fastest set changes in history.”


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