Friday, April 24, 2015

Teaching the US Regions

My students love to become the teacher, well 99% of them! Public speaking is a major emphasis at my school, so this project meets MANY of our needs! Meet the 

The students are grouped into 5 groups, one for each region. Each student is assigned a job and each group will present their information to the class. So essentially them become the teacher!! My students are combining their information into a PowerPoint and presenting it to the class. I create some organizers for each student to record their research on. (Too bad I created this after my students completed this project...oh well!) Here is an example of two of them. 

The jobs descriptions for this project are:

· Travel Agent- presents major tourist attractions in the region  (minimum of 5 locations)      
· Food Guide– researches food that are famous to the region (minimum of 5 location based foods)
· Historian- Researches interesting facts, events, and people from the region
· Geographer- studies and describes the climate, landforms, and uses of the region
· Cartographer- involved with creating a map of the region and doing a population study (map must contain all states and capitals that are in that region)

You could add or remove jobs according to the needs of your classroom. There is a research organizers page for each job! 

Next week my kiddos will present their regions to the class. They will each have to document their travels on these sheets: 

This hold the students accountable for learning about the other 4 regions. At the end of the presentations students will have a test over the 5 regions. I will make the test based on the information that was presented to the class. It will be up to the students to take good enough notes to use in studying for the test. 

There you have it!! A hands-on project that requires public speaking, research skills, reading non-fiction text, using technology to present, and all of the geography/history standards as well! You can pick up this project and all of its organizers in my TPT Store! 

Up next for these kiddos, memorizing the states, capitals, and their locations! 15 days of school left! 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

TEACHnology in the Classroom!!

I attended a local conference here on campus (Missouri State University) for RCET and gained SOOO many new technology resources for my classroom!! Let me introduce you to a few of these gems!!

The first one is called "Lino"  (find it HERE)
Lino is an online sticky-note board that your students can post to. I posted "Name a positive personality trait" and the kids all added their traits to the board. These are updated live and can be moved around on the board! I just gave my students the web link to my sticky-note board and they posted away!! I know the options on this one are endless and that you can even create student accounts, but this is as far in it as I have gotten! It is VERY easy to use and is FREE!!

Another one I have used is called Literably!

This is a website that you can upload your students names to and helps with Running Records. You input your students names, select their reading level, assign a passage to them, and then they read the assigned passage, answer comprehension questions, give a re-tell, and POOF!! POOF means you submit it to the site (or use the APP that is WAY easy for your kids to use) and they complete the running record for you!!! Yes, you heard me...they analyze the running record and comprehension FOR YOU!!!!!!!  You can only submit 10 a month or else you have to write the small company and work out a small fee, but BAM within 24 hours they return the record to you ANALYZED!!! Talk about a time saver!!

Doceri is an APP that will allow you to navigate your computer screen FROM YOUR IPAD! It is also FREE!! This app can be downloaded on your IPad and your desktop computer in order to be able to access both! So for those of us who want to teach from around the room without being tied to the computer, this is perfect!! I have not been able to put this one into action yet, but I have heard AMAZING things about it!!

Diigo is another APP that is wonderful for adding to your browser! It can be downloaded on a desktop computer or IPad. Diigo is an annotation app that will allow your students to capture what they are reading, highlight from a website, collect and store information from websites, share information from sites, and sooo much more. This is geared towards an upper ele or middle/high school audience. When you create an account you can highlight something on a webpage using the Diigo browser tool bar and it will save it to your Diigo account! This would be PERFECT for students who are emerging into research papers! Check it out!!

Finally, my FAVORITE and my kids ABSOLUTE FAVORITE...KAHOOT!!!

Kahoot is a "Game Based Class Response System." You create a multiple choice "quiz" through Kahoot and then launch it for your students. The students can use ANY device to access and then enter the "Game Pin" to sign in to your quiz. Once students are signed in you begin the quiz. It presents the question on the board and they select their answer on their device. It gives them points based on how fast they respond and if they are correct or not. It displays the score after each questions which is fun for the kids! At the end it displays the top 5 and allows you to download all of the kids' scores. You can then look at it in an excel sheet and see exactly what questions each student missed. There are also THOUSANDS of quizzes that you can use that other people have created! We use this for inside recess too! There are random quizzes for logos and Disney movies as well as every educational topic imaginable. This is a BIG WINNER in my class! (*Note each student must have a device of some kind to do this. My class is 1:1 laptops, but I allow them to use any device when playing. Some choose to use an IPad, Tablet, or even phone.) 

What are your TEACHnology favorites???