Monday, June 08, 2009

This post I would like to share some of the great websites I have learned about this year, or just those I find particularly useful in my teaching.

One of the coolest sites I have seen lately is Wordle. This site takes a list of words and creates a display. The possibilities for use in your classroom are endless: book reports, vocab study, rules, text analysis, fun exploration, creative way to look at grade level content expectations... What could your students create with this tool? For more ideas, check out Thirty-Eight Interesting Ways to Use Wordle in the Classroom.

The next site is geared toward adult learners but has applications for the classroom as well, or could be used by teacher leaders developing professional development for their staff. Adult Learning Principles offers 10 strategies or ideas to consider when developing learning experiences for adults. From A is for Active Learning, to O for Open to Negotiation, all of these are easy, practical and applicable to students as well as adults. I love the simplicity of the site and its suggestions.

Taking Earth Day Literally offers 10 globes to share with students. Some of these are unbelievably cool! I would love to use this site as a springboard for a student project designing globes to meet various learning objectives.

Do you fall into the PowerPoint-less mode with students at times? Ten Ways to Get Beyond PowerPoints with Classroom Projectors offers simple and practical ideas.

A fun site is Let Me Google That for You. Middle schoolers would appreciate the humor in this site that googles a topic for you for all those times someone says they can't find information that would have been the top of a good Google search.

Garr Reynolds offers presentation tips at his site. These are meant for more professional presentations but could easily help students create more effective presentations and PowerPoints following his simple rules and ideas.

Are you looking for quotes to use in your classroom? Try Inspirational Quotes for Students.

For some provocative maps of the human impact on the world, try Human Footprint. The possibilities are endless!

I love The Story of Stuff. This site is a wonderful tool to get kids started thinking about how they can lessen their own personal impact on the world.

An oldie but goodie for writing prompts is Writing Fix:Home of Interactive Writing Prompts. While I do not always use the choices here, I do find it a wonderful springboard for creating RAFTS to use in my math and social studies classes.

A 90 second History of Religion is wonderful for showing an overview of both religion and history in general in the world. How these religions spread, where and when is quickly references.

Crappy Graphs is a fun interactive way for kids to create quick graphs to discuss trends. These graphs are not detailed, but still can be useful for discussions.

World Maths Day is a once a year event where students around the world practice and compete with math facts. My students did it for the first time this year and loved it.

Free Rice is a fun vocabulary game where students work to donate rice to developing nations. Students enjoy the tiered practice. While a grain of rice may not make a huge impact in world hunger, practicing vocabulary in an exciting new way enriches student learning.

Those are a few of my favorites from this school year. Hopefully, you find something useful on the list to share!

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