Friday, May 31, 2013

Free Friday Find for YOU!

National Geographic Education
     Who doesn't know the name, National Geographic?  I grew up reading these magazines and using them for just about every research report I did when it related to animals, geography, other cultures.  I love this site for the wealth of information and help it offers not only to teachers, but students and others.  Here are just a couple of snapshots of what it has to offer:
Maps, interactive maps, and even more...

Interactive activities for every grade level...

Map Maker for those special projects...
Photos to look at, to admire, to use...
Information about Geoliteracy, geography, and our world!  

     What isn't there to like about this site and to encourage your students and their families to use to get to know our world better?  Best of all,  it's FREE! Check it out and let me know how it works for you!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wonder Why Wednesday!

I wonder why these frogs are blue instead of green? I wonder where I could find frogs like this?  I wonder why frogs make the sounds they do and how they make it?  I wonder if frogs talk to each other like humans? I wonder what predators frogs have? I wonder if I can make a story about this frog picture?

( on the picture for more information and location.)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Connecting the Dots!

Connecting the Dots, Globicate, Heidi Befort, geography, brain-based learning, global
I'm totally a fan of brain-based learning that connects subjects, ideas, and projects using cross-curricular resources.  I believe that students learn best when they can see the connections and have some type of buy-in to what they are learning.   There are many ways to teach using brain-based techniques such as,  Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences,

Or utilizing Kagan Structures,
or by creating your own like Sally DeCost from Elementary Matters did, where she connected America's favorite summer sport, geography (my favorite), and the brain. I love the geography connection because it encourages students to not just memorize states and capitals, but to actually know them and gives them a reason to want to know them.

Try your skills at creating a lesson, morning message, or seatwork that incorporates geography and other curricular subjects.  Have you checked out Dr. Alice Christie's Google Treks?

I actually created a lesson using Google Treks that you can use right now, Know Where to Go! which focuses on geographical terms and vocabulary from around the world, culminating in an assessment and project.

There are many ways to meet the needs of learners in your classroom. Using any of these sites is an excellent way to differentiate for all of them and to engage them at the same time. Give brain-based  learning a chance, you might just be surprised how curious your students will become about the world and the places they are learning about.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Free Friday Find For YOU!

I know many of you have your favorite authors, sites, videos, and books.  I do too, and I love to share when one just pops out at me.  I've been a fan of Teacher Created Resources for many years, but check out their website where you can find so much to enlighten your day (and summer too!)

How about a free lesson on Descriptive Verbs? You can download a whole lesson with all of the resources you need to teach it, and "boom", you're ready!

Need a quick morning filler or seat activity like a writing prompt?  Here you go, plenty to choose from including Brain teasers and Quotes of the Day!

Lastly, check out the Monthly Calendars, Teaching Tips, and Free Activities specific to the month you are teaching in.  How can you go wrong?

I love this site for the simplicity of it and all of the "free" things right at your fingertips!  Check it out and let me know which one is your favorite!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wonder Why Wednesday?

     Do you encourage your students to ask questions? To wonder about our world? To be curious, creative, and challenged?  I wonder why or why not?  This happens to be one of the best ways to encourage your students to ask critical thinking questions of our world and work at solving problems using tools of their choice.  We have a "I Wonder Why...?" board in our classroom where students can post questions they have throughout our week, choose a question to resarch, and create digital products to share with the class.

     This may take time out of your teaching day, but think of all the valuable lessons that come from letting students be curious about their world.  In addition, they will grow both academically and emotionally from exploring these questions and presenting them to others. With that in mind, I've created Wonder Why Wednesday, to give you some ideas to talk or write about with your students to get them wondering about our world and how to change it for the better.

"I wonder why acidification of the ocean will change the Artic?"

    Have fun wondering with your students! Let me know what you find out or have your students post comments to my blog.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Do You Know How to Padle?

Padlet which use to be Wallwisher, is a web 2.0 tool that allows you to create, share, or do just about anything on a dynamic wall or sheet of paper.  You can create a page by yourself or with friends. Check out this post on Kleinspiration that shows just a few of the ways you can now use Padlet.

I plan to try to create online lesson plans with links to the different pages, apps, and tools that I'm going to use in class.  I also like the idea of using Padlet to showcase student work.  Let me know how Padlet makes your life more creative both in and out of the classroom.

Padlet to teach geography?

Padlet to teach vocabulary?

The possibilities are endless...

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Student Learning Games

I recently had my students create board games.  I gave them my list of Game Board Instructions (you can also download them on my site).  The students worked in groups to create a game about a subject we are currently studying.  I gave each group a different subject, and their job was to create a learning game involving concepts we're covering in class. 
 They were also responsible for coming up with detailed instructions, creating game pieces and game cards, and decorating their game board and box.
I purchased many of my materials from my favorite store, the Dollar store (see my blogs about the dollar store by clicking here and here.). Here's what I bought: small toys that were used as game pieces, pipe cleaner, googly eyes, and stickers for the kids who wanted to make their game pieces, dice, timers, spinners, white gift wrap boxes that the students used to store the game, and small cardboard jewelry boxes to hold the game pieces.
Here's an example of game pieces made with pipe cleaners and stickers.

These are some of the pieces I purchased from the Dollar Store.

One example of a game my students made was called "Fun-Cabulary."  They created a game where the players spin a spinner which tells them to either act out, draw, sculpt, or explain a vocab word.  Then they pick up a vocab card that has the word and definition on it, and the students have to guess the word.  
They had a great time with this activity and the kids love playing each other's games!  Here are some photographs of the kids' creations.

The Resourceful Teacher Blog

Friday, May 3, 2013

Free Friday Find For YOU!

Resources, Technology, Globicate, Heidi Befort

Check out the Federal Resources for Educational Excellence! You can find hundreds of documents and resources to supplement or add to your lessons to engage your students. You have a choice of animations about weathering,
Primary Docs,

Any of these sources would be excellent to use with a doc camera, using Skitch or AirServer with an iPad if it was hooked up to your computer, or in a smartboard lesson.  The possibilities are endless...have fun creating, being curious, challenging your students, thinking critically, and aligning with the Common Core.  Happy Friday and go globicate!

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