I found the link for this collection of Web 2.0 pins for educators on Teach-Lou-Ology. I think that there are several of these floating around on Pinterest, but this one caught my eye with the particular sites that are included. Some of them have been reviewed on this blog, such as Triptico and Storybird. Others are ones that I use regularly (Wordle, Google Docs), but I have not included on this site. And then, there are others I would like to investigate further – such as Animaps. The summaries of each site pinned make this page very helpful.
Students Review Books is an interesting concept that combines student book reviews with QR codes. The site accepts reviews from any elementary school student, but has certain parameters for contributing, which are listed here. Parents must give permission for the reviews to be posted, and a form for this is included on the site. It would be fun for your students to access this site to view the book reviews, and to make some of their own (even if they are not officially submitted). Another idea is for librarians to use the QR codes provided to place on library books or posters so that students can hear about the books before checking them out. And, for the advanced students, creating their own book reviews for the site would be a great project.
Socratic Questions, part of the website called Changing Minds, gives a brief summary of the origin of Socratic Questioning. It then lists some fabulous question stems for encouraging deeper thinking from our students. I would recommend printing this out, and keeping it nearby during classroom discussions. In the frenetic pace of a typical school day, it can be difficult to spend time on critical thinking, but it really is essential for the learning of our students.
When I wrote about the Interactive Bulletin Board my class posted in our hallway utilizing artwork, poetry, and QR codes, I promised an update on the results. The final article, with a few more details, appeared as a guest post on Free Technology for Teachers, hosted by Richard Byrne. You can check it out by clicking this link. Richard Byrne’s blog is one of my favorite resources, so I am really excited that he allowed me to share this idea with a wider audience. Thanks, Mr. Byrne!
Our next holiday, St. Patrick’s Day, is right around the corner. I was looking for some creative ideas for that theme, and came across a fun concept – trying to trap a leprechaun. If you teach students in higher grades, you could really get into some math and physics with this challenge. Pretend there is a leprechaun hiding in your classroom, and see if the students can deduce from clues (footprints in the soil of a plant, for example) his approximate height and weight. Or, just bring a bunch of supplies to class and see who could build the most clever trap. This would spark some great writing activities, as well. Here are a few links to spark your imagination: To Catch a Leprechaun, Leprechaun Traps, Leprechaun Trap Cake. And, if you are interested in some more creative thinking activities for next month, you can also download my March S.C.A.M.P.E.R. packet for free here.
Universal Pictures will be releasing a new movie production of The Lorax on March 2nd. With that in mind, I have created some differentiated tasks based on Dr. Sandra Kaplan’s Depth and Complexity icons. This free resource is now available at Teachers Pay Teachers. I also have a Multiple Intelligences packet available based on The Lorax for $2. In addition, there are a lot of learning resources available on Universal’s website for the picture, including environmental lesson plans, a Lorax Media Toolkit that includes images and video clips, and a link to Read Across America (which is partnering with The Lorax, and will also happen on March 2nd.)
Estimation vs. Calculation is one of many interactive math bulletin board ideas made available by Kutztown University. Each of the bulletin boards is designed by a college student studying to become a teacher, has accompanying pictures, directions on how to replicate the board, and worksheets. Most of them are for secondary school, but I noticed a few, such as the Estimation one, that would be appropriate for upper elementary. I especially liked the warning that appeared at the end of the instructions for Estimation vs. Calculation. The creator, Sara Karahoca, states, “WARNING!!!!!! A bulletin board with candy is very enticing. NOT RECOMMENDED FOR USE WITH COLLEGE STUDENTS (as they will eat all your candy). NOT RECOMMENDED IN HIGH TRAFFIC/UNSUPERVISED AREAS (as students, hungry professional staff, and/or wild animals may also eat all your candy and steal your smiley faces.)” A sense of humor always helps!