I’ve had to temporarily move out of the lab for my classes using one of our mobile laptop labs for my classes. We have online testing going on that just doesn’t work well on a lap top. Well, I found out that what I wanted to do with 5th graders – introducing them to Google SketchUp did not work well on the laptops. Even though they are less than 2 years old they were extremely sluggish and slow to work with. Thank goodness my other grade level plans were just fine! My back up which was an art activity also wouldn’t work because they really needed a mouse for details. So….plan 3! I found a site called Launchball which they will think of as a game but will be asking them to think about physics, electrical circuits, and movement to get balls to a goal. This is a site from a Science Museum in the UK and has 30 levels to work through as well as the opportunity to create your own. I’ve got my fingers crossed that all will work the way I have planned!
I’ve liked the National Geographic for Kids web site for a long time and when I was in the classroom always showed my 2nd graders what could be found there. But until recently I didn’t realize that they had their Young Explorer magazine online. I recently spent a class period with each of my six 1st grade classes to show them how to use this resource. They were enthralled and mesmerized for a number of reasons. It’s real. It has wonderful pictures. You can turn the pages and it reads the text aloud if you click. They spent 30 minutes – no one talking going through the pages of issues. Some kids listened to it all and some read it themselves. It’s a perfect place to introduce young kids to non fiction and a perfect resource that works with the wide range of reading levels you find in a typical 1st grade classroom. It’s also now a permanent link on the list of read aloud sites on my school web site.
You really could get lost on this site for days! I don’t think I’ve ever seen more links on one page ever. The picture to the left is just a small portion from the top of their page. Most are for resources that woud be good for use on an interactive board. They’ve got Smart downloads, math links, science, social studies, language arts, music and most are links to other sites with multiple links. Start at this page for a resource and use it for getting you to another resource that will fit your subject. Just remember to leave a trail of bread crumbs or we may not see you for a while.
1st graders do the FOSS Air and Weather unit for science at the end of the year so again I’m trying to make their tech classes tie into what their classroom work is. So we did an interesting project about clouds. First of all I found a web site that has some wonderful cloud photography, Cool Clouds. Clearly stated on each page is the statement that Fair use of photos for educational purposes is OK. So…1st graders got a mini lesson on proper use of pictures from the internet – you only use things with permission. Each of the kids found 2 pictures of clouds that they liked. They could be cloud pictures that looked like something else or a picture they thought was pretty. They dragged the pictures to their computer desktop. They used Comic Life and dragged the pictures onto a blank page. They added captions and a title. I was really pleased with how well they did. This is my sample but the first graders are doing just as well – except for the spelling. 🙂
We’ve finished the first part of the insect project. We started a web in Kidspiration3 and will be adding to it during the next class. Next step is to create the insect drawing in Tux Paint and label the insect body parts. Here’s a sample of the beginning Kidspiration project.