Larry Ferlazzo offered a new link on his blog for a site called Draw a Stickman that I think could be really fun for the classroom. The key to this site is the “Share” option. At the end of the interactive story, a message appears. When you choose to “Share”, you can determine the message. You can then e-mail it to yourself and/or others. If you want to use this to introduce a topic, you can e-mail it to yourself, save the link, and have your students help you create the stickman that brings the message. You could also create several different messages, differentiating for your students, and offer them as links on your student server or on a teacher website. If your students have e-mail addresses, such as e-pals, and are corresponding with someone for class, this would be a fun message for them to create and send.
Museum Box is an intriguing resource for a different type of student product. The site describes itself this way, “it allows you to build up an argument or description of an event, person or historical period by placing items in a virtual box. You can display anything from a text file to a movie. You can also view the museum boxes submitted by other people and comment on the contents.” Unfortunately, the site does not work with iOS, but if you have internet access, and your students are doing research, this is a unique way for them to collect their supporting materials in one place.
This collection of videos on various topics is described by the author as “off the grid-for-little-kids videos and other smart stuff collected by Rion Nakaya and her three year old co-curator.” There are lots of fun, interesting, and educational productions to choose from in her archive, as well as on her main page. These videos would be great to use for research, as starting topics for writing, or just as “hooks” to get your students’ attention. The best thing is, although I guess we can never be certain of this, that most are probably appropriate for the classroom if they have been approved by a 3 year old.
This recently appeared in the Langwitches blog, and a fellow teacher shared it with me. It is similar to the Bloom’s Taxonomy Tech Pyramid I posted awhile ago, but this one sticks to iPad apps. Of course, there are new apps every week that would also be great to use at multiple levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy. This, however, is a great jumping off point, particularly for teachers who are just beginning to implement these devices in their classrooms.
Whether you use the Wordle riddles that “Jen” has created, or set off to make some of your own, this is a great concept that integrates technology with practically any topic you are learning. You could use your Wordles to introduce a topic or to review something that has already been taught. You could have students create their own Wordles that others need to guess. One of the cool, and quite simple, features on this site is the way that she embedded the Wordles in her blog so that when you roll over them the answer appears. This can be done when you add the alternate text to a picture you are inserting in your blog or website. Of course, Wordle is not the only site that creates word clouds. Tagxedo is another fun way to make these, and allows you to format them to different shapes.
Though this book is technically for parents, I think that teachers could use a lot of the information as well. At the very least, it could be a resource offered to parents at a conference about their gifted child. This is a free e-book, which can be downloaded in various formats or even viewed on the internet. It has a lot of links to other resources, and it is an easy read with common sense advice.
S.C.O.R.E. Cyberguides is a site that was produced by Schools of California Online Resources for Education. It is based on California’s Language Arts curriculum, and offers a multitude of literature units at levels from K-12. The units include teacher and student resources. They could be used as supplemental materials, or as jumping off points for Literature Circles or independent study assignments. There is a disclaimer on the site that lack of funding has resulted in some of the units being out of date (broken links, etc…). However, it appears that even those units are still available on the site under “Retired” sections. This is helpful as a teacher could scavenge them for curriculum ideas or website suggestions.
UPDATE 7/6/14: It looks like this link no longer works. If any of you find a link to these guides that does work, please let me know, as they are a valuable resource!