This week I was in the need for some stock video footage for our school’s morning news broadcast when I ran across http://www.stockfootageforfree.com. Stock Footage for Free has some phenomenal FREE stock footage that you can use for any purpose. You will have to create an account, but that is free also.
The footage that they offer free is quality footage from several categories such as Animals, Looping Backgrounds, Sports, Holidays, and lots more. They also offer some footage on DVD right now for shipping cost only. It’s worth checking out.
Keep in mind that their goal is that you will like what you see and use for free and later return to buy some of their paid footage. I for one think that is fair. And knowing me, I probably will. I like to support that kind of service.
Enjoy your videoing! Leave a comment if you know of other places to get free stock video footage.
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.
This week I ran across this cool tool that students can use when recording their podcasts or any other script. It helps students flow in their reading. As multimedia and podcasting continues to grow this tool will come in handy. You simply copy the text from the script, past it into the block and click the scroll button. It changes to full screen and the text rolls just like on a real news teleprompter. AND IT IS FREE! http://www.cueprompter.com/ You can adjust the speed of scrolling, stop and start, and reverse during live scrolling. You can even do the mirror display if you are using real teleprompter equipment. It does all of this right in your web browser so no download or other software needed. AND IT IS FREE!
It will only take you about 30 seconds to copy and paste your text and have it scrolling, so swing by http://www.cueprompter.com and give it a try. Leave a comment letting everyone know how you used it.
Over this past summer there was a lot of educational blogging about the use of Wordle. So, I’ve debated about bringing it up again. But, being that the purpose of my blog is to bring tools and ideas to teachers, I determined that this was the right time to bring it up. Basically, this is when teachers are searching for ideas.
Wordle is a tool that creates a graphical display to show the frequency of word usage in a text, web page or document. This is called a Word Cloud. The bigger the word is, indicates its dominance of usage. As I’m sure you know; Visual Feedback can give a more lucid understanding of what you read. To give you an example here is the “First Inaugural Address by George Washington in 1789”.
You or your students can use this tool in many ways.
Here are some ideas that I’ve had:
1. Students can use it to monitor the frequency of word usage in their own writings.
a. How often do they use the same adjectives or nouns?
b. Are they overusing words?
2. Students can use it to analyzing news articles.
a. What is this article about?
b. What’s the gist that the author is trying to get across?
c. Check out this assignment http://www.boxoftricks.net/?p=103
3. Teachers can use it for field trip reviews.
a. Have each student generate a list of what they saw are learned on the field trip. Combine the list, copy and paste into Wordle. Whoop! you have an instant “What’s Important List” from the field trip. (side note: A wiki would be good for creating that list. 😉 )
4. Teachers can create a Current Events Analysis.
a. Copy the RSS feed from popular news sights like Google News and use Wordle to give you the hot topics.
b. Copy the text from a news page and use the same way.
5. What are your students listening to? Copy and paste the lyrics of popular songs into Wordle and find out.
6. What is important on your school campus? Copy and paste your schools mission and vision statements into Wordle and find out. My schools Wordle.
7. Self Reflection; If you where to write a story about yourself, what would your Wordle say?
8. Current Study posters. What is curricularly important in your class this week? Create a Wordle that visualizes that.
There are as many ways to use Wordle as there are clouds in the sky. If you where to Wordle this blog post what would be the biggest word? So, today’s theme would be? You guessed it, Wordle!
Leave a post and let me know how you used or plan to use Wordle in your educational setting.