technology

Stand out Tech Tools for the Classroom

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A typical week entails working with a wide variety of age groups ranging from kindergarten through eighth grade.  Emphasis is placed on creating standards aligned technology experiences that foster collaboration and creativity while cultivating important digital literacy skills. Listed below are stand out tools that I commonly use in the classroom. Not only do these tools represent multiple modes of learning, they have been student approved as engaging ways to demonstrate knowledge.

Productivity/organization

Microsoft Teams, a new interactive, chat based workspace for streamlined digital learning and teaching.

Assessment

Formative– Online tool allowing you to deliver assessments. Student assessment data is displayed in real time and feedback can be provided immediately.

Edpuzzle– Assess students using online videos. Select a video that aligns with your content, annotate the video using text or voiceover, and add a question set. Edpuzzle generates reports based on usage.

Presentation

Sway- Housed in our Office 365 set of applications, Sway allows students to create multimedia presentations.  Using simple drag and drop functions, Sway is appropriate for students in grades 1 and up.

Digital Storytelling

Story Bird– Create online storybooks using Story bird’s library of artwork. Students can collaborate on stories, share them via email, and provide feedback to their peers. Teachers can easily create assignments using Story bird’s planning tools.

Math

Prodigy Game– A curriculum aligned math game geared for students in grades 1-8.  Prodigy provides real time reporting along with embedded in-game formative, diagnostic, and summative assessments.

Cross Curricular

Kidblog– Blogging is being used across the district in all subject areas. Provide students with a platform to communicate, provide and receive feedback from peers, and connect with other classrooms.

Code.org– A full coding curriculum allowing students to practice computer science, math, reading, and science skills. Easy to implement and engaging for students.

Scratch.mit.edu- Allows students to create their own interactive stories, games, and animations. Creations can be easily shared with an online community.

Smart board

Smart Exchange– Ready to use lesson plans and resources for your Smart board.

Digital Skills

Email Exchange- Teach students how to tailor their writing to a target audience.

  • Students are writing to an authentic audience.
  • Students can practice focused writing skills.
  • Students are practicing a real word skill.

 

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Stepping Out Into Nature: Web Resources to Enrich Science Instruction

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While nothing can replace actual experience when exploring the natural world, there are a variety of tech tools that can enhance understanding of the environment. With a multitude of engaging web resources available, students can gain background information and general knowledge about nature and its importance to our lives.

Amp up your science instruction with these comprehensive sites:

arkive.org-ARKIVE is a hub for films, photographs, and audio recordings of the world’s species.

Cells Alive-CELLS Alive! represents 30 years of capturing film and computer-enhanced images of living cells and organisms for education and medical research.  Hosted by Jim Sullivan, and continuously updated, this site now exceeds four million visitors a year.

Animal Diversity Web-From the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, the Animal Diversity Web is an online database of animal natural history, distribution, classification and conservation biology.  The Animal Diversity Web is truly a collaborative effort as students can contribute to web content. To do this, teachers must submit a request form.

Catch the Science Bug– Catch the Science Bug increases science literacy and raises environmental awareness by adhering to national standards and guidelines for content and using varied teaching methods for engaging all types of learners.

Science With Me-Kids love hands-on projects. Science With Me is brimming with fun science projects and resources including science movies, songs, coloring sheets, worksheets and stories.

Active Science-Active Science has 15 different scientific modules, including interactive games and activities.

EcoKids– EcoKids is an interactive environmental web site for children, their families, and educators in Canada and around the world. Multimedia activities allow children an enjoyable channel to learn about the environment.

Periodic Table of Elements – With simple videos, The Periodic Table of Elements offers a glimpse into the properties of each element.

The Science Network-The Science Network showcases the world’s leading scientists explaining concepts including viruses and the birth of neurons.

PopTech– Bringing together a global community of innovators, PopTech has videos explaining economics, water, and plant-based fuels.

National Geographic Kids– The gold standard of nature sites, Nat Geo Kids inspires children to become stewards of the environment through a wide gamut of multimedia learning tools.

In the spirit of Earth Day and the ongoing push to foster a love for science and our natural world, these websites are the ideal addition to your science focused unit of study.