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PostHeaderIcon Meograph: Timeline Creator

Source of Image: http://bit.ly/U2NMr7

Timelines are a staple in social studies and ela.  They help students keep track of dates and facts.  I have been searching for a good online-timeline creator for a while.  I have tried Dipity which is good but I find that it is very slow to load and is limited to the number you can create and information mediums.  So I searched and searched for an alternative and lo and behold I found Meograph.  Not only is it free (YAY!) it can embed videos, text, audio, and uses Google Maps.  I was in heaven.  I did this with a class and it went smoothly.  Well almost smoothly (internet went down once).

Example of a Moment on Meograph

Source: Meograph by Heather Turner

As you can see at the left you can add an event, then a when (date), where (location), link (with more information).  You can also add a photo, youtube video, and even narration.  The narration online is limited to 30 secs.  However, you can upload unlimited audio.  I used Audacity (remember you need the LAME encoder to save as MP3) and had the students record and publish as a MP3.

A note on location:  You must use the current name of the city or town.  Therefore if you are talking about Ancient Persia you need to find the modern country.

PostHeaderIcon Livebinders

Livebinders Uses

Image Source: http://bit.ly/1qWGAcY

Quite awhile ago I talked about how I found the livebinders site a bit clunky.  Well I must revise my statement because the site has worked very well for several research projects I have been doing.  It is so nice to be able to embed websites within one website.  This is extremely helpful with databases because no one can ever find the sheet with the passwords.  We want students, staff, and parents to access and utilize the resources we sink tons of money into.  They are fabulous resources and anything I can do to increase use and accessibility is key.

In terms of how I have been using the product.  I have embedded those databases relevant to the research as well as websites I have  come across that are relevant to the project.  I even embed EasyBib so they can begin thinking about the Bibliography at the beginning of the project.  It does not matter what the end product consists of because citing sources is pivotal in my mind and that of the common core.  In the following example, the students were researching for a Roaring Twenties Glog.  I love Glogster Edu for poster projects because you are not limited by paper.  Adding videos and audio are a welcome perk.  Not to mention adding document, drawing, and much much more.  However, back to Livebinder.  I was able to embed my video/audio converter, video resources, audio resources, databases, and well researched websites.  The goal of this project was to have students be successful locating information within a bunch of good resources.  This is challenging for students.

If you want to create a project based resource for your students, LiveBinders is a great choice.  It is flexible for and above all extremely easy to use and create on the fly.

PostHeaderIcon Wii in the Classroom

So, I have been using the Wii in my library for the past 4 days and it has gone well. I must say my favorite games are those which are multiplayer and the students either collaborate or compete against each other.

In Just Dance 2 — I have 4 controllers and students try to copy the hand movements of the on-screen dancer. The person who does this most like the on-screen dancer is the winner. What is really great is that students are not waiting to use a controller. They are just enjoying the dancing, and following the moves without the need to use a controller. This has happened in K-3.   Students who are normally quite shy are getting right in the middle and dancing their hearts out!

Mario Cart — this is a wildly popular game

Nintendo Wii Logo

Image Source: http://bit.ly/Wby7aT

and I was fortunate to be able to borrow this game and 4 wheels.  Instruction is simple, and before too long beginners easily surpass older players. Students can work as a group team or have versus matches. Although it is competitive, the students compliment each other and good sports.

Why are there Wiis in the library you ask?

Students read over 80K pages this April and as a result I promised a chocolate party.  Well a chocolate party was not enough, so I decided to borrow some Wiis.

What is also great about the Wiis is the students taking on the role of teacher for each other. In some cases, they know the games better than I do and are able to aid their fellow classmates in understanding and being successful at the game. The best part is when a quiet detached student shows another student how to play a game.

 

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