Cursive isn't a required standard for students in the new Common Core
State Standards for English, which Georgia and 40 other states
adopted last summer. Teachers and administrators from across GA will
meet in March to decide whether to amend the standards and retain
cursive writing, which is already in serious decine."A lot of my
students over the years have stopped being able to read cursive
writing," says middle grades ELA teacher Ellen Jackson. "I have to
make sure to write in print because they can't read it otherwise."
ALSO: here's a teacher chat about the pros and cons: http://bit.ly/tln-cursive
A new short animated video from the American Chemical Society is
getting some buzz - a very clever conversation starter about the role
chemistry plays in everyday life. Alas, the ACS loaded the vid on
YouTube and it's been crashing against school firewalls since. To the
rescue, the Daring Librarian of Murray Hill Middle School, who not
only posts the 90-second clip on her blog but tells how she leaped
the firewall to do it. Ridiculous, isn't it? These teachers think so: http://bit.ly/tm-firewall
Middle-school librarians and Booklist bloggers Cindy Dobrez and Lynn
Rutan enthusiastically review "Guyku: A Year of Haiku for Boys"
written by Bob Raczka and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. The
book's website features animated haikus submitted by readers and
activity sheets for teachers. http://bit.ly/guyku The site also
welcomes girls, who want to know: "What about us?!" http://bit.ly/galsku
Common Sense Media has launched a new version of its free digital citizenship curriculum, Digital Literacy and Citizenship in a Connected Culture. The new version adds student, teacher, and parent resources, including comprehensive lessons on cyber bullying, for fourth and fifth graders. The program, which empowers students to think critically and make informed choices about how they live and treat others in today’s digital media world, covers topics from internet safety and security to privacy, with a deep focus on cyber bullying and responsible digital behavior. Recent stories of the tragic consequences of cyber bullying highlight the need to teach kids how to prevent and respond to digital harassment, beginning at a young age, Common Sense Media says. The curriculum, which is based on the digital ethics research of Howard Gardner and the GoodPlay Project at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, uses content that ranges from print and video materials to interactive components and real-life student stories to inspire kids to be responsible digital citizens. http://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators
EduPic is a teacher created resource with over 6000 (and growing) photographs and educational drawings that are free for use by educational professionals and the students they serve. Students and teachers can use the images from EduPic without having to get permission in projects, presentation, websites, or for any other educational need. The site is ad free and kid friendly with images organized by content area. Please take a minute to check out this wonderful resource
Enter the Landscapes Across America Contest by March 31!
It's important for students to appreciate and protect the green space around them, but it's not always easy to incorporate this into the school day. That's why TurfMutt is here to help! With your needs in mind, TurfMutt's Landscapes Across America Contest encourages students to learn about the environment, provides teachers with the resources to make this possible and offers exciting prizes for your work.
It's simple. Create a slideshow demonstrating the unique ecosystem and landscapes of your local region. You could win a $5,000 grant to implement an eco-friendly program, a $500 teacher award and trees planted in honor of your class.
Number Nut (http://www.numbernut.com/index.html) is an interactive math textbook, there are multiple pages for each math concept and each page is followed by two interactive practice areas. Topics on Number Nut include shapes, color, numbers, counting, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, order of operations, date, time, fractions, decimals, percent values, estimation, rounding, ratios, and money math. The site is standard aligned and has an exceptional math glossary. Number nut is an excellent alternative to math textbooks because students get immediate feed back as they practice a skill they have just learned. With traditional math textbooks, a student doesn’t know if they understand a concept until they turn in their math worksheet or test and get it back a few days later full of red marks. Often they will not go back and re-practice unless they are required to. This site is ideal in a computer lab setting where each student can work at his or her own pace.
Learning Clip (http://www.learningclip.co.uk/index1.aspx) is a collection of interactive activities for primary math. Resources and activities include topics such as using and applying math, understanding numbers, number facts, calculating, understanding shape, measuring, and handling data. Each activity includes a brief description, a pdf of notes that accompany the activity, the age appropriateness, and a corresponding worksheet that can be printed out. When an activity is loaded, a video clip explaining the math concept plays. Each activity includes a game or interactive space for students to practice what they are learning. This site is ideal for struggling students, they can replay the video portion of the lesson as many times as they need to so that they understand the concept. The practice area is a great place for students to try what they have learned.
Tangram House (http://games.ztor.com/tang/) This Chinese puzzle challenges students to create a shape using only 7 tans (shapes) to complete a puzzle. The tans can be rotated, flipped, and dragged into place. Tangram House can be used as a math center on classroom computers, completed individually in the computer lab setting, or used as a whole class activity with an interactive whiteboard. To play as a whole class activity, split students into teams that will take turns at the board forming the tangrams. Students who are not at the board can help their teammate using good directions and clues for the student working on the puzzle. This is a great way for students to practice giving and receiving quality instructions and descriptions.
Free Rice (http://freerice.com) is an amazing website that helps students practice math facts, it has the added bonus of donating rice for every correct answer. Students can choose to practice basic math facts or multiplication. For each answer that is correct, grains of rice are donated to hungry people around the world. Add some additional math practice by figuring out how many grains of rice are needed to create a bowl of rice, and keep tally of how many total grains that your students have earned.
Tut Pup (http://tutpup.com) is a free math fact practice website. Students are matched up with other students from around the world where they play fact games and compete in real time. This site does not collect personal information about students and there are several games to choose from, each with multiple levels. Students can practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, algebra, and a mixture of those skills.