Thursday, August 28, 2008

a girl's world . . .

I love the net - you just never know what gems you are going to come across.

Today I watched a news spot about a couple of teenagers (Sara and Lauren) who started their own web site. And guess what - it's all about girls:-) It was created by girls, all the contributors are girls and the target audience is: GIRLS.

It's interesting to note that girls have a stronger web presence than boys do. More girls are blogging and posting pictures than boys. Experts say that girls out-perform boys in English and writing and blogs offer another venue where girls can communicate.

A Girls's World is looking for contributors so I will be passing their url along to "my girls" beginning next week.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Computers - just another tool

"....Computers are not rescuing the school from a weak curriculum, any more than putting pianos in every classroom would rescue a flawed music program. Wonderful learning can occur without computers or even paper. But once the teachers and children are enfranchised as explorers, computers, like pianos, can serve as powerful amplifiers, extending the reach and depth of the learners." Alan Kay

Computers are tools that kids must learn how to manipulate to be successful in their work-lives. I see my job as helping students make the most of each of these tools.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Balance is important . . .

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance
you must keep moving.
Albert Einstein (quoted from a 1930 letter to his son)

I saw this on another blog and thought it was important to take a few minutes at the beginning of the semester to remember the importance of maintaining a balanced existence. We are "at our best" when we strike a healthy balance between work and play. There really is time for both!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Here we go again . . .

It's time for classes to begin and I've come across some (game) sites that are valuable in more ways than one. First of all they contribute to student learning while being fun at the same time and they help others:

Free Rice - a vocabulary game that donates rice through the UN World Food Program to help end hunger
Aid to Children - another vocab game
Free Poverty - geography game. See how many cups of water you can donate by testing your knowledge about the world. Each correct answer means they will be donating 10 cups on your behalf.
Free Corn - the more you visit, the more you give . . .
Free Kibble - helps to support animal shelters
Free Kibble Kat - helps feed hungry cats

Kelly Tenkely from The Apple offers some suggestions:

How to integrate these websites into the classroom
Each of the above websites offers a wonderful opportunity to teach students to look outside their own needs to the needs of others. Use these websites to teach your students compassion, about other cultures, and about helping those less fortunate. The websites will also be a great way for your students to practice vocabulary or geography. Encourage your students to play these games from home when they are “bored” or just for fun. See how much rice, money, corn, water, or kibble you can raise as a class. Use these figures to teach graphing and charting. You create a “commercial” for the site, a poster advertising the site, etc. (I found a commercial that I made as an example for my students on Free Corn…small world!)