Leadership – Education – Technology – Other Interesting Stuff

Archive for September, 2012

Start the school year with some virtual field trips

While I am late in saying Happy New year to all my teacher friends, I did want to start the school year with sites you might find useful. This first site, Free Rice, may be my favorite on the list…and I should warn you, responding to the questions may be slightly addictive. And it is not just for educators – any one and any age can “play” this trivia game and donate rice at the same time.

Free Rice is a charity site with a twist. Anyone (regardless of age) can build their vocabulary and donate rice at the same time. Actually, there are questions on a wide variety of subjects – humanities, English, math, chemistry, language, geography, anatomy…and SAT test prep. Choose a subject area, respond to the prompt and every correct answer is a donation of 10 grains of rice. This site is sponsored by the World Food Programme.

Of special interest to history and art teachers, The Louvre is a site to revisit. The “Learning about Art” tab at the end of the top navigation bar is where teachers will find classroom resources. This site makes a great virtual field trip.

NOAA – the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s web site is a great resource for teachers. It houses lesson plans on subjects such as geography, Earth science, math, chemistry, life science and more. There are tutorials for students and the activities are identified with grade levels. There is even a professional development section for teachers.

The British Museum has hundreds of classroom resources and multiple ways to search through them (by culture, subject or age group). From slideshows, teaching ideas and links to additional resources, this site is a create resource for a virtual field trip.

The National Gallery of Art is an extremely popular museum in the US. This site has so many resources to support learning. There are lesson plans, worksheets, printables, video tours, teacher workshops and more. This site is a virtual field trip just waiting for you and your students.  http://www.nga.gov/education/index.shtm

Scholastic’s Story Starters made me think about the old Mad Libs we used to do in 7th grade. When I spun the wheel as a 5th grader, the SS generated this writing prompt for me – List five characteristics of a balding rhinoceros who wins the lottery. My next choice was between a notebook, letter, newspaper or postcard. How fun would that be for kids? While i would be inclined to try it with any age, the tool does focus on K-6.

Being a frequent traveler, I use The Weather Channel often. I recently discovered there is so much more there for teachers than just the time and temperature. Science and math teachers might find this site useful, along with geography or history teachers. Take a look at the articles about the implications of weather around the world, predictions related to weather and forecasting. This week there was even an article about the forecast for the NFL season opener.

Designed to support teachers of preschoolers in feeding the interest of that age group in dinosaurs, the PBS Dinosaur Train site provides video and lesson plans. These can be used in conjunction with the PBS show or independently to support your curriculum.

The Kennedy Center’s site offers digital resources for teaching and learning about the arts. Professional development for teachers and resources for teachers to use in the classroom are but two of the components of this site. Resources include tip sheets for how-tos, articles, videos and lesson plans. You can search by keyword, grade or subject.

Here’s to a GREAT new school year!

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