Tag Archives: lessons

A National Treasure Of Free And Engaging Resources For All: Podcasts, Simulations, Lessons!

Welcome to the tenth in a series of summer posts dedicated to bringing you the biggest collections of national and international resources you will find anywhere. This being the ninth post in the series, be ready for my super post that brings all the sites in this series together. Also, be on the lookout for my upcoming Advanced Google Post and an exciting Evaluation Of Web Sites Series!  Not only that, I f have found a few more tools over the summer that I am anxious to share. Please be sure you bookmark, copy, RSS, subscribe by email and visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki! You will want to share this site and its information with others !  I will announce each post on twitter at (mjgormans), so be sure to follow. Now lets learn about a fantastic site that is really to big to blog! – Mike

If you have been to the Smithsonian in Washington DC you may have been overwhelmed by its size! I guarantee you will be equally impressed with its Smithsonian Education website. In this review I will cover the area of the Smithsonian Website geared for educators. When first entering you will note that the Education Page has a rich host of options including Art and Design, Science and Technology, History and Culture, along with Language Arts. Take a moment and look at the unique lessons provided in each of the areas. Such interesting titles as Making Friends with Franklin , Every Picture Has a Story , How Size Shapes Animals, and What the Limits Are , and The Music in Poetry are just four selections in a large collection of lessons and projects. Easy to use data bases allow teachers to access more than 1,500 rich Smithsonian educational resources that align with grade, subject and specific state standards. The Smithsonian’s new student web links has a wide range of activities, web sites, puzzles, hand outs, and engaging facts. The Idea Lab is filled with interactive activities, videos, and simulations involving the massive Smithsonian collection.  In this area students are in engaged in activities such as  Sizing Up The Universe, they may take a Prehistoric Climate Challenge,  or relive an engaging Apollo 11 Mission of Walking On The Moon,  and they might just  race for answer on a web mission while Digging For Answers. Smithsonian in Your Classroom Magazine includes lesson plans based on primary sources you can view. In keeping with the spirit of Heritage Months, the Smithsonian offers these thematically arranged teaching resources from across the Smithsonian. The resources have been selected for their relevance to classroom curriculum and national education standards. They include Black History, Asian Pacific Americans, American Indian Heritage, Woman’s History, and Hispanic Heritage. In fact you might enjoy visiting the Top Ten Lessons of the month such as :

1.  The Music in Poetry
2.  Teaching with Collections
3.  Every Picture has a Story
4.  The Universe: An Introduction
5.  A Shape-Note Singing Lesson
6.  WWII on the Home Front: Civic Responsibility
7.  Introduction to the Nature Journal
8.  Abraham Lincoln: The Face of A War
9.  Tale of a Whale and Why It Can Be Told
10.  Tomorrow’s Forecast: Oceans and Weather

It should be evident that lessons do cross every grade level and subject. You will find amazing material as you search by subject , standard, and grade level.  There are even lessons about making and using podcasts in the classroom along with an amazing collection of unique podcasts. In the spirit of virtual field trips there are live and archived conferences that allows kids to interact, view sessions, watch a multi media event, and even ask a curator.  Here is an archived example titled, Problem Solving with Smithsonian Experts.  You may want to begin your first Smithsonian  lesson as small as a game about the  Cell, or  expand your classroom to the endless boundaries of the Universe. The Smithsonian  is a great resources, its yours, and its free.   It really is time to bring  national treasures, collections, and resources into your classroom, today!

Thus, my focus, to share with you vast resources such as the Smithsonian this summer! Take some time to investigate and possibly implement in the school year,  or tomorrow! Coming soon… my upcoming Advanced Google Post and an exciting Evaluation Of Web Sites Series! Please share with others, visit the 21centuryedtech Wiki,  follow on me twitter (mjgormans), and subscribe to this blog by RSS or email . If you have resources that you feel need to be included please leave a reply!  Enjoy, relax, play, and smile…. also take a moment to transform education toward 21st Century Learning! – Mike

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It’s Free To Read-Write-Think : A Site That Is More Than Language Arts!

Welcome to another midweek post which I am very excited to share with you. ReadWriteThink is more than just an awesome Language Arts site filled with outstanding resources. It goes beyond Literacy and shows ways to integrating technology to support 21st century learning and core curriculum. For instance, Teaching with Blogs, Teaching with Podcasts, Online Safety, and Reading Online are lessons that many will find useful no matter the core content being taught. Take a moment and check it out, also be sure to follow me on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/mjgormans), I will do the same and we can learn from each other. You are always welcome to join me at my 21centuryedtech Wiki. Have a great week! – Mike   

The web site readwritethink states its mission “to provide educators, parents, and afterschool professionals with access to the highest quality practices in Reading and Language Arts instruction by offering the very best in free materials.” Its sponsors include the International Reading Association, The National Council of Teachers of English, and Thinkfinity. It is evident that the site is built on professionalism. The site clearly states that every lesson plan has been aligned not only to the IRA/NCTE Standards for the English Language Arts but also to each individual state’s standards. Two main areas of the site include Classroom Resources and Professional Development.
Under Classroom Resources there are four main subsections. The impressive collection of **Lesson Plans**contains nearly six hundred classroom ideas all aligned with national and state standards for grades K-12. There is a wide selection of lessons include reading in content areas using textmaster strategies, connecting with an e-pal, creating a biography, writing fractured fairy tales, and exploring fictional technology. Another resource in the Classroom Section is **Student Interactives**. These interactives include some amazing activities to engage children in the classroom. Examples include comic creators, letter generators, story maps, poetry constructors, biocubes, and constructor letters. The **Calendar Resource** is definitely not your everyday calendar. This resource provides events in literary history, authors’ birthdays, and a variety of holidays. Best of all, the calendar is integrated with related activities and resources that make them more relevant to students. The calendar can be viewed by the day, week, or month. The Calendar Resource includes authors/texts, historical figures/events, holiday/school celebrations, and literacy-related events. The **Print Out** Resource Section houses an outstanding selection of printable sheets from assessments to organizers. These Print Outs are all classroom-tested and easy for students and teachers to use. While this is a vast collection, some of the more popular Print Outs include topics such as Diamante Poems, Persuasion Maps, Editing Checklists For Self and Peer Editing, Book Review Templates, Essay Maps, Alphabet Charts, and Tips For Movie Maker.
The second main area includes materials and resources for professional development. The Professional Development area is also divided into four resource areas. The first, Strategy Guides, is perfect if you are looking for new teaching strategies or are just interested in becoming more familiar with strategies you are already using in the classroom. These strategy guides define and provide a wealth of resources to facilitate effective literacy teaching. Three main areas include Differentiating Instruction, Teaching with Technology, and Teaching Writing. My interest in technology caused me to investigate strategies in Online Safety, Reading Online, Teaching with Blogs, and Teaching with Podcasts.
The last of the three areas under presfessional development for the most part include member services, publications for sale, paid webinars, and conference calendars. They include a Professional Library, Meeting and Events, and Online Professional Development. Don’t forget some of the Podcast series such as Chatting about Books. This series chats with kids, parents, and teachers about the best in children’s literature for ages 4 through 11. Another is Text Messages that is aimed at teens. Text Messages is monthly podcast providing educators recommendations they can pass along to teen readers. Each episode features in-depth recommendations of titles that is bound to engage and excite teen readers. Readwritethink is a site that should interest not just language arts teachers but all teachers that focus on writing across the curriculum and technology integration ideas. It is well worth the time to take the opportunity to readwritethink!

Thanks for taking the time to stop by and learn. Be sure to return, and as always leave any comments you feel are worth while. You are always invited to  follow me on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/mjgormans), I will do the same, and we can learn from each other. You are also welcome to join me at my 21centuryedtech Wiki  filled with awesome resources!  Have a great week! – Mike

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Free And Engaging Resources At Smithsonian Website – Podcasts, Simulations, Lessons, Oh My!

Smithsonian Education – If you have been to the Smithsonian in Washington DC you may have been overwhelmed by its size! I guarantee you will be equally impressed with its website. In this review I will cover the area of the Smithsonian Website geared for educators. From the Education Page there are many options including Art and Design, Science and Technology, History and Culture, along with Language Arts. Take a moment and look at the unique lessons provided in each of the areas. Such interesting titles as Making Friends with Franklin , Every Picture Has a Story , How Size Shapes Animals, and What the Limits Are , and The Music in Poetry are just four selections in a large collection of lessons and projects. Easy to use data bases allow teachers to access more than 1,500 rich Smithsonian educational resources and align with grade, subject and specific state standards. The Smithsonian’s new student web links has a wide range of activities, web sites, puzzles, hand outs, and engaging facts. The Idea Lab is filled with interactive activities, videos, and simulations involving the massive Smithsonian collection. Smithsonian in Your Classroom Magazine includes lesson plans based on primary sources you can view. In keeping with the spirit of Heritage Months, the Smnithsonian offers these thematically arranged teaching resources from across the Smithsonian. The resources have been selected for their relevance to classroom curriculum and national education standards. They include Black History, Asian Pacific Americans, American Indian Heritage, Women’s History, and Hispanic Heritage. There are even lessons about podcasts in the classroom. In the spirit of virtual field trips there are live and archived conferences that allows kids to interact, view sessions, watch a multi media event, and even ask a curator. The Smithsonian is a great resources, its yours, and its free. Bring its national treasures, collections and resources into your classroom today!

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