Tuesday, June 26, 2012

SpicyNodes Example

Here is an example of what can be produced on SpicyNodes:

They are really cool and get your attention in a better way than asking the students to do it on paper.  To me they seem similiar to the Prezi's- just visually more interesting.  This is a fun way to get the students to "brainstorm" on any topic/subject area.

I am definately looking forward to trying this out with my students next year- I think they will have a lot of fun with it.

Explore Learning Sample Data

This is an example of one of the graphs that are created for students to use to analyze their data.  They are not limited to bar graphs. Depending in the experiment being conducted, line graphs and circle graphs can also be developed.  This one compares the amount of water given to plants and how it relates to the plants height over 50 days.  In this Gizmo, the students could manipulate several variables including: the amount of water, amount of light, type of soil medium, and the type of seed planted.  For each variable that is adjusted, the students will produce a different set of data.

Glogster Sample

Well, I really wanted to create my own, because I've see some that my students turned in this year, but that didn't work out so well.  I signed up on the site: www.glogster.com, and it said that it emailed me a link to complete my signup.  Well after checking my email, as well as the spam folder- I didn't receive a link.  I tried this 3 times.  So I don't know if there is a glitch in the system or what- if this is normal then I can see where it would be really frustrating for our students.  So I searched the Web to find a sample poster which is attached below.  I think our students would have a great time creating these (as long as it works).  The thing that I like most is that you would get a deeper glimpse into their personalities based on what they create- something I certainly don't always get to see in the upper grades.

Sample poster link:
This poster suggests that students were going to create an arcade game.  This looks like it is the assignment poster as oposed to student created work.  But just imagine what they could do with this!!


SpicyNodes in an online site that allows users to create visually enticing "maps".  They remind me of graphic organizers, or "thinking maps" as AACPS likes to call them, only they are interactive as opposed to pencil/paper concept maps.  They are stored onine so that you can access them from anywhere. There are of course paid memberships for Organizations and Enterprises, but for our classrooms we can use it free of charge.  You can find this site at: www.spicynodes.org.

Here is a video from the product manager:

I'll be back with a sample that I create in a bit!!

Explore Learning Experiment

Many things happen duing a "Gizmo".  Graphs and charts are created for analysis (even though this blog won't let me paste one in to show you).  This helps the kids see the data that is generated during their experiment in an organized fashion in order to help them to analyze their results.  They can then use this information to form a conclusion to their hypothesis and answer the Critical thinking and extended thinking questions that are part of their lab. 
There are Gizmo's for many different levels.  In my co-taught class, we can be using 2-3 different Gizmos for the different level students, but the all address the same standard.

Here is a good video that goes more in depth:

Monday, June 25, 2012


Glogster (http://www.glogster.com/)  is a really neat online social network.  It works through the use of Glogs- interactive posters that are loaded with text, music, videos and graphics.  There is also a version for teachers and students called GlogsterEDU (http://edu.glogster.com/  Members create their own poster (Glogs) which can then be shared with their friends/ community.  Glogster is  free, but the educational version is not.  I'll be back with more information after I create my first Glog!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Cool Math Games

My students showed me this site.   This is a free site that allows kids to work on many different skills, while having fun.  The site has several different games that allow kids to work on numbers, shapes, colors, logic and memory in several different subject areas such as science, geography, math, reading and spelling.  This site gets kids attention and turns learning into a game.  Most of the activities keep score, or have levels that the kids have to complete to move on.  This makes it a challenge for them- and often turns into a competition with other students to see who can get farther, or get the highest score.  A huge plus to this site is that is approved by AACPS.   http://coolmath-games.com/

Explore Learning

 This site comes with a fee for its use (which our county graciously pays for, for each math and science teacher in the middle and high schools).  The nice aspect is that each of your students gets their own individual username and password that allows you to track their progress on the assessments that are given after each “Gizmo” is completed.  The gizmos allow students to complete science labs that would otherwise be impossible and/or too time consuming to perform in the classroom.  It gives the students an interactive visualization of both simple and abstract science concepts which helps them to understand those concepts better.  Each gizmo comes with pre-made “exploration” worksheet that guides them through the “lab”.  One of the problems with this site is that the gizmos are programmed to work in particular way and cannot be “tweaked”.  Neither can the exploration guides.  While the students can manipulate certain variables in the experiments, there are limitations.  However, answer keys and vocabulary pages are provided, cutting down on the classroom teachers’ work.  At the end of each Gizmo there is an online assessment that the teacher can use to track how well each student grasped the concept in that particular lab.  Check it out at http://www.explorelearning.com/ 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Welcome to my Web 2.0 resources- hope they can be helpful!!