Friday, May 8, 2009

Week in Review - Most Popular Items

It's Friday and time for another week in review. I hope that everyone had a good week of learning and teaching. Free Technology for Teachers saw another increase in subscribers and now has slightly more than 6700 subscribers. Welcome to all new subscribers and thank you to everyone that has helped to grow the reach of Free Technology for Teachers by sharing a link with a friend or colleague.

Here are the seven most popular items of the last seven days.
1. Ten Fun Educational Games for K-8 Students
2. 101 Ways to Teach Geography
3. Scribble Maps - Easily Type and Draw on Google Maps
4. A Fantastic List of Education Blogs
5. 180 Technology Tips
6. Story Top Story Maker
7. American History Review Videos

If you found any of the above links useful, please consider subscribing to the RSS feed or daily email from Free Technology for Teachers.

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Five "Week in Review" News Summaries

Many social studies teachers use current events stories in their classrooms to get students to observe and reflect on the news. Depending on the curriculum some teachers may have less time than they would like to discuss the news with their students. If you're in this situation and looking for some good "week in review" news summaries, try one of the following resources.

The Week in Rap may be the most entertaining news summary that you use in your classroom. As the name implies, every week a new rap music video summarizes the news for students. This week's video is embedded below.

Week In Rap 5.8.09 from Week in Rap on Vimeo.

MSNBC offers two visual reviews of the week in news. The Week in Pictures is a slideshow of images with captions of the week's biggest news stories. The Week in Political Cartoons is a weekly collection of Daryl Cagle's cartoons. On a related note, the Library of Congress offers a good activity for teaching students to evaluate political cartoons.

The BBC's Week in Pictures offers brief glimpses of political and cultural news from the week.

The New York Times publishes a Week in Review page based on all of their content from the preceding week. The collection includes articles and images of political and cultural news.

Three Good Resources for ESL/ ELL Teachers

I've recently come across three good resources for ESL/ ELL teachers. Between these three resources there is something for every stage of learning and for every student age group. These resources include videos, online learning activities, and worksheets.

ESL Basics is a site that I learned about through an email from its creator Andrea Michael. ESL Basics provides short video vocabulary lessons for beginning and advanced ESL students. For teachers, ESL Basics has a small collection of suggestions and ideas for teaching ESL. ESL Basics is a new site and is adding new content on a regular basis.

English for Everyone is a great site for finding ESL activity worksheets and online activities. English for Everyone uses a 1-10 rating scale for all activities and worksheets. Activities rated 1 are for beginning ESL students and activities with a 10 rating are for advanced students. Most of the activities seem to be geared toward an audience of students under age 13.

Kindersay is a site that Kevin Jarrett gave very high praise to in a blog post that he published yesterday. Kindersay is designed for use by pre-K students. The user interface is easy to navigate using clear, kid-friendly icons. There are more than 500 activities that students can use. And as Kevin pointed out in his blog post, there is not any advertising on Kindersay.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
How to Say that Name - Pronunciation Guide
Visual Dictionary from Merriam Webster
Lite Type - A Multilingual Virtual Keyboard

GIS in the Classroom

If you're a geography teacher you owe it to yourself to subscribe to the Digital Geography blog written by Noel Jenkins. Earlier this week I learned about 101 Ways to Teach Geography through Noel's blog. Today, I've learned about a similar project started by Noel called GIS in the Classroom. GIS in the Classroom is designed as a collaborative project for teachers to share ideas and methods for using GIS in the classroom. To contribute to the project contact Noel Jenkins through the Digital Geography blog or on Twitter. I've embedded the slideshow below.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Show World - Geography Lesson Plans
360 Degree View from the Peak of Mount Everest
Find Country - Improve Your Geography Knowledge

Podictionary - A Podcast for Word Lovers

Podictionary is a daily podcast about words produced by Charles Hodgson. Five days a week Mr. Hodgson shares a different word, its meaning, and a short history of or story about the word. For example, the podcast for May 5 was about the word colonel. In the podcast Mr. Hodgson explains why colonel is pronounced "coronel." Mr. Hodgson also explains the origins of the word in the podcast.

Applications for Education
Podictionary is good for personal and professional learning. You could use the Podictionary podcasts to provide your students with a short daily lesson. Grammar Girl is a good podcast to use in conjuction with Podictionary.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
SpellTube - Customized Spelling Video Lists
Five Resources for Fun Spelling Games
Five Great Grammar Resources