Friday, June 3, 2011

Spelling and Grammar Games

Last night Sukanya Roy won the Scripps National Spelling Bee broadcast on ESPN. If you would like you can test your spelling skills on some of the same words that the competitors had to spell to qualify for the semifinals. Below the video I've linked up reviews of some of my favorite sites and apps for practicing your spelling and grammar skills.

Free Spelling and Grammar Practice Activities
Spelling Match Game
Ten Spelling Games and Lessons
Three Free Android Apps for Vocabulary Practice
Knoword - A Challenging Vocabulary Game
Tools for creating your own spelling games

And Now an Encouraging Story for Teachers

I posted this on my personal Facebook account yesterday and at the suggestion of a couple of friends, I'm going to share it with all of you. In my school district there is a weekly newspaper, The Advertiser Democrat, that has in the past been quite critical of the schools and teachers (although in fairness, less critical the last couple of years). So critical in fact that some of my colleagues refuse to read it at all. I still read it because I like to know what's going on in the community. Anyway, yesterday I opened up the editorial section of the paper to find this letter to the editor from the parent of two of my former students thanking the teachers by name who had helped her children become successful high school and college students. As I noted on Facebook, every once in a while we are reminded why we teach. I hope the letter gives you a little positive boost at the end of a long school year.

The Last 18 Years of News in Rap

Just like CNN Student News, The Week in Rap is going on hiatus for the summer. In their last episode before the summer instead of just covering the last week of news, The Week in Rap is covering all of the big stories from the last 18 years. This is a great way for students who are about to graduate to be reminded of all that has happened in the world in their lifetimes. The video is embedded below.

The Last 18 Years in Rap 1993-2011 from Flocabulary on Vimeo.

CNN Student News - The Biggest Stories of the Year

Today's episode is the last episode of CNN Student News for the 2010-2011 school year. They'll be taking the summer off and returning in the fall. Today's episode gives a run down of the top stories of the year as determined by CNN Student News and viewer comments. How many stories do your students remember? What would your students say were the biggest stories of the year? The video is embedded below.

Remix the News on Link TV

Link TV offers a video editing tool that allows you to create your own mix of news stories and commentaries in one video. This video remixing tool is called Know the News.

Using Know the News students can grab news clips from Link TV's library of news and mix them together to create a unique news show. Link TV's news library contains segments from major news outlets around the world. The process of creating a news video is fairly straight-forward. Watch and select video clips to place on a timeline, organize the clips through a drag and drop feature, then add text narrations using the video text editor. After previewing the video it can be published on the Know the News network. To see examples of academic uses of the Know the News video editor, visit the Know the News wiki.

Videos published on the Know the News network can be rated by viewers. The rating system asks viewers to rate videos on fairness, accuracy, presentation, and trustworthiness. As you can see in the image below, Link TV provides definitions and guidelines for the rating system.

Applications for Education
Know the News provides teachers with a good tool for teaching lessons about media bias, accuracy in news reporting, and global perspectives of an event. 
The terms of service for Link TV's Know the News video editor require users to be at least thirteen years old. Therefore, this probably a tool best reserved for high school and college students.