Here is an awesome collection of pictures from Time Life. http://images.google.com/hosted/life
These pictures capture some of the forgotten moments in our History. There are millions of images dating as far back as 1750 that you and your students have access to. These are images that LIFE took but never published, yet they capture such rich snippets of history.
As an automobile enthusiast this picture of the first Rolls Royce car from 1903 sure captured my eye.
I sure could have used this when I was a student and writing those papers about cars. What about that student that you have that just lives for sports? Here is a picture of Muhammad Ali raising his gloves victoriously after knocking out Oscar Bonavena in 1971.
This resource can be used for many lessons in history, writing, math and even science as you look at how technology has changed over time. Technology should not just be about computers but all innovations.
You can use these images as writing prompts as they compare and contrast the there and then to the here and now or they can write about what it must have been like during those days working on the big oil derricks and no A/C to come home to.
Often our students hear about walking to school in the snow, uphill and barefooted. Now they can see the picture.
OK, so they were not barefooted but most people that tell that story never went barefooted either. 😉
The ways you can use photography, images and historical photos is endless. The good part is that they can be used in every subject area. Leave a comment letting me and others know how you used the LIFE photo archive hosted by Google.
Over the past few weeks I’ve become acquainted and interested in Geocaching. As always, I’m looking for ways to use Technology, Life Experience and Fun in the classroom. The more I get involved with Geocaching I see tons of ways it can be used in Math, LA/Writing, Social Studies, Science. This weekend for me was one of PE (Physical Education). WOW, my legs hurt from the climbing! I would like us to take a look a few of the ways that Geocaching can be used in each of these subject areas.
Math – With Geocaching students will be using GPS waypoints to find locations. Students can solve a math problem to get the waypoints. Then plug the waypoints into the GPS and find the cache.
Math – Students can use their GPS to calculate speed, distance and plot on a graph. They can answer questions about time, distance, area and speed. They can then use their information to solve other scenarios without even leaving the classroom.
LA – I’m sure you’ve heard of picture prompts. What about location prompts!? Enough said…
LA – Students could create progressive stories. If you have 4 or 5 groups with a GPS, each group could Geocache to different locations with each group crossing to each Geocache. Each group will write a new paragraph to the progressive story at each Geocache. At the end every story should be complete with a beginning,middle, and end. Each group has written all 3 parts but in different stories.
SS – As a 4th grade teacher I’m a little partial to studying the Indians so my example will for that but can be used for other areas. You can create waypoints of study. In studying the Native Americans we would study their shelter, food, tools and regions. I would create a Geocashe for each one of those topics. At each stop the students would have to study, read or observe information about those topics and answer questions about each. I would include pictures, essays, etc so the students could get a good idea of the concepts. After completing the Shelter Geocashe they would move to the Food cash learning more information.
SS – Students are required to study maps in Social Studies so this is a great way to tie in maps. They are learning Latitude & Longitude, Coordinates, Cardinal directions.
Science – Each Geocache can contain instructions on completing a Science activity such a building a lever, surveying what object has the most buoyancy, categorizing and then they can create a podcast explaining their findings, experience and results.
Science – You can also have learning stations setup at different Caching locations where the students participate in a learning activity. I remember at certain times of the year we would have our students rotate classes going to each teacher’s room where they would teach a specific related concept like Crust, Core, Mantel, Volcanoes, Landforms, Platelets, etc. (plants, oxygen, photosynthesis, light, etc.) At the end of the Geocaching experience every student has rotated through each concept either learning new information or review former knowledge.
The ideas of how to use Geocaching are endless. If your school campus is not big enough to Geocache then a nearby park would be a good location for these experiences. If you have one of the new cell phones with GPS such as the Palm Pre, Blackberry or iPhone give this a try yourself. After you’ve done it 2 or 3 times you will find all kinds of ways to use this with your students. If you would like a listing of the Geocachings around your local area go to http://www.geocaching.com/ put in your zip code and you’ll find lots of them around you. Each one will have a GPS co-ordinance for you to plug in and then you track it down. We visited Inks Lake in Central Texas this weekend and did some Geocaching and my 3rd grader and Kindergartner loved it. Not only that. I was able to give them a real world experience that they can use for prior knowledge in their Writing, Science, Social Studies and Math.
Please leave a comment telling all the ways you have used or are thinking of using Geocaching with your students.
The Swine Flu or N1H1 virus has been the biggest news outside of our Presidential Election. There is no doubt that our students have heard about it from the news, friends, parents, or even their teachers.
Every kid gets excited about the idea of getting out of school, but do they know the ramifications behind it? – make up days, learning, food purchased for lunches, economy This is the perfect way to tie in Calendar, money and other math concepts depending on your grade level.
This is obviously a prime opportunity to tie in health content as well. 4th and 5th grade need good hygiene lessons this time of the year anyway, so why not use this as the tie in. lol My wife tells me of her elementary years in New Zealand and how they had time in the schedule to brush their teeth after their lunch meals. Her teeth are a lot better than mine now. I wonder if we took the time to take health issues more serious if we’d be a healthier America now. What are your student’s thoughts about this?
Another way to tie this into your curriculum is by writing about it. Over the last few weeks I’ve heard a lot of opinions about how to solve the problem or what should be done. What are your student’s opinions? Have them take the time to research the issue, think out a resolve, and have them write about how they would solve the issue if they were in charge. Other students have fears about it because it has become such a big deal. If we give our students the opportunity to write about that we may be surprised at their concerns.
As a 4th grade teacher I once gave an assignment similar to this and it changed my perspective forever. Without any details, I gave one student a voice to be able to get some things out that she had obviously been dying to tell someone. She always had a smile so before that essay I had no idea that she had been going through such sad things. It totally changed the way I was able to teach my students.
Anyway, back on track. Maps, you can teach maps, geography, continents, etc. by plotting the course of the N1H1 Virus. Using Google Maps or other tools you can plot the growth and spread of the virus. Students can really start to realize we live in a small world after all. 😉
Again, reach into your bank of ideas and see where you can use this current event and leave a post telling us about it. Economics teachers, Journalism teachers and Science teachers should have a hay day with this current event.
Growing up, my generation wasn’t very exposed to the world around us. I do remember when one of our classrooms got a TV with cable so we could watch a space shuttle mission launch. Today our students have access to current events like never before due to things like twitter, facebook, mobile tv, personal home pages similar to Yahoo, RSS readers and TV in general. Yes, most of the current events that they adhere to are entertainment related, but none the less, they are involved.
We as teachers should take the current events of our time and build meaningful lessons out of them, but being careful to not push our own political views or ideals from the headlines but true meaningful lessons. Of course my goal is that you incorporate technology into that lesson.
So, in order to help, I’m going to start posting a “Tying in Technology to Current Events” posts every so often. This week I want to take a look at the new “White House Garden News” .
What lessons can be done from this? Just off the top of my head I think of:
1. Health – A study on the importance of Fruits and Vegetables.
2. Math – Students can do calculations for savings. Take a news paper add and determine what it would cost at the store to feed your family and then how much they saved by growing it themselves.
3. History – Have them research how gardens have helped in recessions of the past.
4. LA – Write a persuasive paper on why more people should grow home gardens.
5. Politics – Have students talk and write about what this does for the Obam’s politically.
6. Science – Turn this idea into a Science project for your school and grow a school garden.
The lessons are endless. These are not the only lessons in each of these areas that can be used. I can think of several more Math lessons as well as LA lessons. The important part is that you tie in current events with the student’s learning.
How do these lessons tying in technology? Each student should present his/her findings in some form of digital media, and the teacher should provide several digital medias for the student to resource for their projects. News articles, TV News Clips, etc.
Please, take the time to leave a comment about other ways you see that this “Current Event” can be used in education.
This week a friend of mine introduced me to a new web app that your students will just LOVE! It is Ajax Animator found at http://antimatter15.110mb.com/ajaxanimator/build/ I’m always looking for free alternatives and this one is AWESOME! This is an alternative to Adobe’s (Macromedia’s) Flash. Students can access this application by simply going to the link. You can export to flash or animated gifs. Most of all it’s FREE! That being said, it does have some bugs. But, for the most part it works great!
When your students get involved with creating animations with frame based apps like this they will learn higher order and problem solving skills. They will be forced to calculate and solve animation glitches to correct speed, direction and handling multiple objects. They can create animated graphics for their powerpoints, videos, and web pages. They can tell short stories, give demonstrations, and create simulations and much more. Wouldn’t it be nice if you were teaching about the moon phases and your students created a simulation to demonstrate their understanding? How cool would that be!? The ways this tool can be used is endless. Just the hands on math experience alone is worth giving this a try with your students.
Please leave a comment letting others know how you use Flash or other animation tools in your classroom.
Note: Be very careful you can get addicted to this!
As a photographer I’m always on one the lookout for great photography. As an educator I’m always on the lookout for photography that captures a piece of history with great relevance that teachers can use in education. This week the Library of Congress added a Photostream Set of Abraham Lincoln. These are truly great photographs! You’ll find the entire Library of Congress’ Flickr Sets of over 5,000 pictures here. http://www.flickr.com/photos/library_of_congress/ I’ve included the photo stream in my post below but I’m sure you’ll enjoy perusing the complete collection. You can subscribe in your RSS reader and get updates any time they add to their collection. Thanks Library of Congress, this is a great tool for education!!!
You can also find other great collections from the Worlds Public Photography Archives in the Flickr Commons at http://www.flickr.com/commons. There you’ll find collections from the Smithsonian, Imperial War Museum, and the New York Public Library along with several others.
Be very careful here History Buffs, you can end up spending a lot of time here. I hope you find this resource useful for your classroom and instruction. Please, leave a comment letting me and others know how you’ve used this resource in your classroom. We can all learn from your experiences!
This week I was reminded of how powerful PowerPoint can be in the classroom if used correctly. So, I went back to one of my former blog posts to pull a resource for a teacher. Well, the link to my resource was dead. I spent a little time this morning reacquainting myself with some PowerPoint resources and found plenty to share. I love not having to re-invent the wheel. Below you will find links to a plethora of PowerPoint resources, templates, premade presentations and even tutorials. I hope you find the resources helpful.
http://jc-schools.net/PPTs-la.html This one is LA but you can click on other subjects to get resources for them. Lots of great stuff here!
Timelines can be used for a lot of subjects in education. They can be used for things like studying US History and Scientific Experiments to tracking the stats of your favorite (Longhorns) football team.
An online collaborative tool that you can use is www.xtimeline.com Your students can collaborate in the classroom or from home. They can post images, maps, links and videos that they find to their timelines.
Check out this US Civil War timeline that a student created. Use the green dot at the bottom to navigate the timeline.
Do you have a student that you have a hard time getting to buckle down and do his research? What if you gave him a topic that he likes and a computer to create a timeline of that topic? He can find articles to link to, videos to post and images to demonstrate. Check out this timeline about the life of Michael Jordan. What kid wouldn’t research their favorite athlete?
For your kindergarten students you can even timeline your daily events together. This can help them get an idea of sequencing, time and scheduling.
This tool can be used in hundreds of ways. Leave a comment about how you plan to use it or how you have used it.
I’m always on the prowl to find something new. This week I found a collection of pre-made presentations and templates. The presentations, templates and activities range from ABC to Zoo. If you can think of it, there seems to be one here. Many of the presentations are in Power Point, pdf or online. Most are Power Point. In each topic there are presentations, templates, student activities and many of them have teacher lesson plans to go with it. Take a look around at http://www.pppst.com/themes.html#L. I think you’ll find some great stuff to use here.
The good part about using these pre-made Power Points is that if you need to change something, you can. It’s totally adaptable for you and your students.
Some of the topics that I found of interest were ADHD, Telling Time, Texas History, Asthma, Bill of Rights, Cause and effect, Decimals, and even Thunder. There are over 1050 topics to pick from. What are you teaching this week? Maybe there is a Power Point or activity there just for you!
I’m certain that if you teach long enough you will have an Autistic student in your classroom. Once you have one, you will see why this tool is so awesome! Read on or go directly to check it out here, http://www.zacbrowser.com/.
Here is an excerpt from the web page about the Zac Browser.
“ZAC is the first web browser developed specifically for children with autism, and autism spectrum disorders such as Asperger syndrome, pervasive developmental disorders (PDD), and PDD-NOS. We have made this browser for the children – for their enjoyment, enrichment, and freedom. Children touch it, use it, play it, interact with it, and experience independence through ZAC.
ZAC is the zone that will permit your child to interact directly with games (a LOT of games) and activities (focused on MANY interests) that cater specifically to kids who display the characteristics of autism spectrum disorders, like impairments in social interaction, impairments in communication, restricted interests and repetitive behavior. ZAC has been an effective tool for kids with low, medium and high functioning autism.
ZAC focuses on the children and their interaction – But we also provide an excellent forum for parents, caretakers, teachers, and others to share their experiences, tools and resources and to unite as a caring, compassionate, and extremely knowledgeable community. It is said that “it takes a village to raise a child”, and that is exponentially true for raising a child with autistic spectrum disorders. The power of your experience yesterday is going to be instrumental in helping someone successfully tackle the circumstances of today.”
Take a look at this video showing and telling about the new browser. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJGncJatGUg
This is definitely worth taking a look at. I hope you find it useful!