Thursday, March 29, 2012

FREE Snapshot of Japan SMART board and Power Point Files

A Snapshot of Japan 

Tokyo Photo fall 2011 by Betsy Wilhelm, used with permission
Tokyo Fall 2011
My name is Carolyn Wilhelm and I am happy to be a guest blogger today on the award winning Globicate Blog!  Today my post is about Japan and I have some freebie files for teachers.

Beautiful flowers, art, Bonsai trees, Blood Maples, modern cities, bullet trains, koi fish, shrines, temples and cherry blossoms are some of the things that come to mind when thinking about Japan. According to DISCOVER JAPAN:  Experience the Best of Japan, the nation is a cultural galapagos and hypermodern.  Tokyo is thought of as the city of the future within Asia.

Vending Machine in Tokyo, Photo fall 2011 by Betsy Wilhelm, used with permission
Vending Machine 

My daughter visited Tokyo last fall so we have been looking at her pictures and thinking about Japan.  She has remarked several times about the clever innovations and cleanliness of the people.  Even in McDonalds, hand washing sinks are right in the eating area, and people carry their own Tenugui (hand towels). There is no other way to dry hands in public places much of the time. You can buy almost anything (really) in the numerous vending machines which are a part of daily life.  In the nicer restaurants, there is a container that sits on the floor so women's purses stay off the floor and thus stay clean.  Everywhere she looked, she could see so much thought put into being clean and practical.

My daughter has granted me the use of her photos in this blog post and in the attached free SMART board Notebook file (zipped file) and Power Point files. Both files have PDFs to accompany children's books with Japanese setting or theme.

Beautiful Garden in Japan photo by Betsy Wilhelm used with permission
Gardens are very important in Japan
The Japanese value peace and tranquility; gardens and libraries are an integral part of daily life.  Koi fish are calming to watch and are part of many gardens.
Koi Fish in Tokyo, Photo fall 2011 by Betsy Wilhelm, used with permission
Koi Fish in a Garden in Japan
Sakura (cherry blossoms, Ume (plum blossoms), Bonsai, and Blood Maples are some of the flowers and trees beloved in Japan.
Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo, Photo fall 2011 by Betsy Wilhelm, used with permission

Blood Maples in Tokyo, Photo fall 2011 by Betsy Wilhelm, used with permission
Here is the current time in Toyko from the Time and Date site.  They have widgets of clocks from around the world that can be added to blogs and web sites for free.

Tokyo Time
The SMART board and Power Point files include some PDFs to accompany children's books with Japanese themes.  THE BIG WAVE by Pearl S. Buck, THE BOY IN THE GARDEN by Allen Say, and SUKI'S KIMONO by Cheiri Uegaki attachments are included.  Happy reading and learning!  Carolyn Wilhelm, MS, MA, NBCT, Wise Owl Factory

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Daily G.L.O.W.

Today's Daily G.L.O.W. focuses on a country who once was a rival of the United States.

Its land mass is made up of a string of volcanic islands, and is one of the U.S. leading trade partners.

Daily Glow, Globicate, resources, geography, Heidi Befort
 What do you notice in the picture above?

Do the objects or vegetation remind you of anything?

Where might you have seen something like this before?

Does the vegetation give you a hint at where this country might be located?

Daily Glow, Globicate, resources, geography, Heidi Befort

Why do you think these colors were chose for their country flag?

What might they symbolize or mean?

Does the flag give you a hint at where this country is?

Daily Glow, Globicate, resources, geography, Heidi Befort

This tree is common in this country and blooms in the spring?

There are some of these trees located around our capital, do you know what they are?

Do these flowers remind you of trees that grow in the U.S.?

Make sure you check back on Friday for Carolyn from The Wise Owl Factory's won't want to miss it!  She'll give you all the information and more about today's Daily G.L.O.W.

Don't forget to use my free Daily G.L.O.W. or the G.L.O.W.  (on the resources page) to help your students think about our world!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Guest Blogger:Adrianne from Kids Cog Works

Brain Tower & Social Studies

Brain Tower makes studying countries so much fun.  What's Brain Tower?  It's a Jenga like game that you write on the blocks and erase them later to change the subject.  Let me show you just one idea for using Brain Tower in Social Studies.

Students studying the United States could practice identifying States on the map in a fun and different way.  All you need to do is write the State abbreviations on the blocks and print out a blank map.  Here is a blank United States map you can print out from Printable World Map

The students can work in pairs and pull out a block, read the abbreviation, and then fill it in on the map.
You can do modifications of this in several ways.  On Brain Tower blocks, write the names of the State Capitals and students say which State when they pull the block out. 
If your students are studying their home State, you could do symbols and facts about the State.  On the blocks you could write the following:

State Flower
State Bird
State Symbol
State Motto
What year did they become a State? 
Color of State flag
First Govenor
Current Govenor

Brain Tower also works well for studying other countries.  You could do something similar where you print a map of Europe or Africa and students pull a block with a country name on it and identify it on a map.  Brain Tower has so many possibilites!  If you would like to learn more about this great product, please click on the picture below.  I hope you come by!

Kids Cog Works

Adrianne Meldrum is the author of and the creator of Brain Tower.  She currently tutors struggling readers and middle school math students.  Adrianne is the wife of a civil engineer and a mother to three handsome boys.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Thank You!

I was so honored and humbled to be named one of Education World's Top 10 Blogs for Educators for 2012. The list of amazing educator's and bloggers that are included make me feel like I need to work even harder, but I do want to thank Education World and you can check out the article at Top 25 Blogs for Educators.  I still feel like I can change the direction of education with a focus on our world, geography, culture, and technology.  I love teaching and blogging. So, THANK YOU, Education World!

Education World Winner Best Blogs 2012




Secondly, I've met some amazing bloggers through Globicate.  My friend Lorraine has noticed some other great blogs out there to follow, so check her out.

Once again, thank you to everyone who has helped me along the way to make one of my dreams a all know who you are, and there are too many to mention here!  I truly am excited, humbled, and honored!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Daily G.L.O.W.

Daily Glow, Globicate, resources, geography, Heidi Befort
The Daily G.L.O.W. today is near and dear to my heart which is providing a world class education to all children around the world. (Charlene Espinosa - PCV)

What do you notice about this picture?

What is the child doing?

Are there clues here to where this child might live?

Can you tell what he is writing?

What things seem appropriate?

What things seem out of place?

This picture was taken on a continent close to the equator.

This picture represents a population of individuals who live with less than others around the world.

Any ideas yet? Where might you see other pictures like this? 

Make sure you use the Daily G.L.O.W. or the G.L.O.W. worksheets on my resource page to guide your thinking.  If you haven't downloaded your free copy yet, be sure to grab it now!

No spoilers today, but email me if you have a question or would like a hint about the picture!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Go Figure! Figurative Language

One can not teach poetry without teaching figurative language.  They go hand in hand, and my students love expressing themselves using similes, metaphors, idioms, and hyperbole's.  They thrill in the excitement when they identify figurative language in their reading or when they catch someone using it.  We create a "Figuring It Out" board and we post all of our figurative language up that we read or hear for our whole poetry unit.  The students practice their figurative language and poetry writing by using my Figurative Language Go Figure that I've created. They create one example of each form for their poetry book. At the end of our poetry exploration, they have a wonderful portfolio collection to share at conferences or to give as a gift that will last a lifetime and that they are proud of.

Figurative Language, resources, language arts, writing, poetry, Globicate, Heidi Befort

Figurative Language, resources, language arts, writing, poetry, Globicate, Heidi Befort
Enjoy Go Figure! Figurative Language with your students.

Friday, March 9, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Blog Hunt


Top of the Morning Blogging Friends! Glad you decided to stop by for our fun blog hunt. Follow the shamrocks on different blogs each day until Saint Patrick's Day. You will see lots of great blogs along the way, discover some great ideas for your classroom, and pick up some free materials too! May the “Luck of the Irish” be with you! We will go until March 17th.

Check out my idea for today!
Limericks, games, St. Patricks Day, Globicate, Heidi Befort
 Your class will have a blast creating and sharing limericks as they try to gain points.
Limericks, games, St. Patricks Day, Globicate, Heidi Befort
 And they will be learning Limericks along the way!
Limericks, games, St. Patricks Day, Globicate, Heidi Befort

Check out the other Shamrock #9 by clicking here
Go to Shamrock #10  and tomorrow to continue on this blog hunt...

and look for the green shamrocks along the way! If you've missed any days, go to
St. Patrick's Day Blog Hunt to find your missing shamrocks.

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