I read this article on Larry Ferlazzo’s blog, and experienced the same reaction he apparently did when he first realized he was missing a key piece to student’s reflections in the classroom. I have been trying to incorporate more self-reflection into the school day, and now I see that I’ve forgotten a vital part of this. Read Larry Ferlazzo’s article to find out what you may be omitting, too!
I found out about this site on KB Connected right before the holidays. Karen’s site recommends to “use it to introduce: Historical figures, characters from a book, famous scientists, figures in pop culture etc.” I tried it out myself, and was impressed, so I showed it to my nine-year old daughter – who became obsessed with it! The Akinator tries to “figure out” which character you are thinking of by asking you questions. It slowly narrows down to the correct answer based on the answers you give to its questions. The character can be one from fiction or non-fiction. Of course, there is less of a chance that obscure ones will be guessed correctly. But, you may be surprised by what The Akinator knows! My daughter was thrilled when it guessed the character from The Fablehaven series she had in mind. In addition, if The Akinator guesses incorrectly, you have the option of inputting information about the character to help it to “learn” more.
Be aware that the site does request a name and age. I would recommend that you have your child or student use a nickname, but give a close approximation to his or her real age. The questions change a little for adults and might be considered inappropriate.
I thought this might be a good time of year to summarize and emphasize some of the most valuable resources I have reviewed so far. Today’s list is the last of my “Favorites” posts for 2011. Here are my Favorite Vocabulary Building Websites:
#3: Vocab Ahead – This site includes videos and a feature for teachers to create personalized lists and embed them on their websites or blogs. This site is primarily for upper level students, as it hits pretty hard on SAT vocabulary.
#2: Word Sort – You have to figure out the secret rule for classifying the words. I love that this simple game involves logical reasoning, as well as building vocabulary.
#1: VocabularySpelling City – This site allows teachers to build their own lists, offers lists that have already been created, and encourages practice on the students’ parts by playing a variety of games with the words.
As my second (and last) week of favorites nears its closing, I wanted to give you my three Favorite Educational Game Sites:
#3: Brainpop for Kids Gameup – The only reason this is #3 for me right now, instead of #1, is that it’s relatively new, and still building its catalogue of games. I predict that it will definitely move farther up on my list next year.
#2: ABCya – If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you will know that I’ve actually never reviewed this one. I have been reading about it on several different blogs, and on Scoopit.com, so I finally checked it out. I think that it’s a great site for kids in grades K-5.
#1: Mensa for Kids – I love the variety of games on this site, and the different types of thinking it targets. It isn’t a well-known site, so students generally like the novelty.
UPDATE (6/23/15): You can find an updated version of this post with additional video suggestions here.
I thought this might be a good time of year to summarize and emphasize some of the most valuable resources I have reviewed so far. Today, I am offering a list of my Favorite Inspirational Videos for Students:
#3: The Power of Words – I also mentioned this in yesterday’s post of Inspirational Videos for Teachers. It is good for everyone, in my opinion, to be more thoughtful about what we say. If our communication is not having the effect we desire, we should reconsider the way we are choosing to deliver our message.
#2: The Kindness Boomerang – I have never done a post on this one. I read about it recently on Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day, and knew right away that I would like to add it to my blog. Although it is somewhat simplistic, it does show how our actions can effect many more people than we will ever know.
#1: Times of India Tree Ad – This is a powerful video that shows how important one person can be in effecting change. It says a lot – without any words.
Also, you might want to visit my Pinterest board of Inspirational Videos for Students here.
UPDATE 6/24/15: I just added three more videos to this list. You can find the entire list with the updates here.
I thought this might be a good time of year to summarize and emphasize some of the most valuable resources I have reviewed so far. Today, I am offering a list of my Favorite Inspirational Videos for Teachers:
#3: The Power of Words – This might also be a good video to show your students. Its poignant message will hopefully help any viewer to think more carefully about how much word choice can impact what is said and written.
#2: Schools Kill Creativity – One of the many videos on TED that are motivational, this talk, given by Sir Ken Robinson, highlights the need for more imagination in our schools.
#1: What Teachers Make – If you are a teacher in need of a pep talk, this video of a speech by Taylor Mali will get you going. This isn’t one to show your students; it might be one to e-mail to the next adult who criticizes your job.
Also, you might want to visit my Pinterest board of Inspirational Videos for Teachers here.