Online Learning Sites by Grade Level

Rolla Public Schools in Missouri has a neat little section of its website where it archives links to online activities by grade level and subject area. I thought I would share it here as both a resource for my staff but also a nice little archive for me as well. Thanks RPS!

Also check out what the Utah Education Network has posted on their grade level/subject area links:




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Daniel Cook is at it again!

If you have a young one at home, I know you watch PBS. I also know they are aware of who Daniel Cook is. Quite the bright young man, Daniel spends his time working with adults learning about their jobs and the things around them. His videos and strong personality kept my son engaged every time it came on the television (all I kept thinking was “Boy that kid would wear me out.”).

Now, Daniel has his own website. He has a Playroom and a Backyard area to for kids to explore, interact, and learn. You will also find episode guides. The guides share a short summary, learning objectives for the program, and contact information of the location that was visited for additional information.

Graphic credit:

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Snowing in east Texas – Video Podcast

It snowed a lot in east Texas today. Never happens. So our 5th grade science teacher took the initiative and taught the water cycle outside in the snow. The kids loved it. We knew the snow would not last all day, so he did a video podcast about it. Check it out here.

This is his first adventure into podcasting, so let him know what you think in the comment section here. We have big plans to do more science podcasts along the river in Beavers Bend State Park in Oklahoma in the near future. Stay tuned.

Nat Geo is at it again!

National Geographic has added a super cool interactive portion to their site: Explore the Human Body.

You have got to play with this site. You can even simulate a heart attack. What a great visual. I would have loved to have had this when my father was going through his heart issues a few summers back. It would have been great to help explain things to my son (and to me).

Thanks to Jim Coe at Bionic Teaching for pointing it out.

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Online Photo Sharing in Plain English

I am double posting this here and here.

To piggyback my previous posts about design and photography and Flickr usage, I would like to offer this short tutorial video about online photo sharing. Thanks to the folks (Lee LeFever) at Common Craft for once again making this an easy to understand topic. So don’t let a little fear of a software program slow you down from joining the fun and learning of photo sharing.
Download Video: Posted by leelefever at

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60 Second Science

P8012712Secondary Science Teachers,

Looking for a great primer to warm up the science class?  Needing some quick supplementary media to add to your curriculum?  Or do you just want to know what is happening in the science world?  It is a struggle to keep kids excited about science when their main concern is passing the TAKS test instead of truly understanding the concept for something more than a multiple choice answer.  They must be engaged.

Well, 60 Second Science has just the ticket.  It is a part of Scientific American‘s web presence.  You will find topics in categories such as animal and pet, archaeology, biology, computers, Earth science, environment, energy, climate, health, math, physics, and more.  You can visit their blog and read the short posts (which link to more in-depth content for further study), view videos, or even subscribe to their podcast via iTunes.

Some of their recent posts include:

I would say some of this content can be used with elementary grade classes with the right modifications.  Some of the content just might be a bit over their heads.

Thanks to Tim over at Top 101 Web Sites for Teachers for the heads-up.  Keep up the great work, Tim!

Photo Credit: Me; my son “operating” on a frog in a dissection kit made with some type of Jello substance.

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Track Animals using Google Earth

P4200262Love Earth is an organization located in the UK and part of the BBC.  Their work is geared toward educating the public about the earth’s systems and its inhabitants.  Loaded with beautiful still photos, videos, and blogs, this site is a powerful resource for any grade level science teacher. 

One of the cool things I found here is tracking animals and their migratory patterns.  Love Earth presents their data via Google Earth.  Key points in the pattern from the weekly updates have blog entries and other media to extend the experience for the user.  Take my advice, science teachers.  Check this site out.  The kids will absolutely love the experience it provides.

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More Free Media Resources for Educators

I found a neat collection of free videos that are online for streaming right to your PC/Mac for many purposes. Take a look at the following topics.

  • Teaching Reading 3-5 Workshop- This video workshop will show intermediate elementary teachers how to help their students transition from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” Supplemental classroom programs provide further exploration of each topic.
  • Teaching Reading K-2 Workshop- This video workshop addresses critical topics in teaching reading for K-2 teachers.
  • Teaching Reading K-2: A Library of Classroom Practices- This video library shows the teaching practices of K-2 teachers across the country as they introduce their students to reading through a variety of methodologies.
  • Teaching The Children of Willesden Lane- This set of video and Web resources with curriculum guide helps middle and high school teachers teach the Holocaust-survival book The Children of Willesden Lane by Mona Golabek.
  • Write in the Middle: A Workshop for Middle School Teachers- This video workshop helps middle school teachers learn effective practices and strategies for writing instruction.

Teaching Multicultural Literature: A Workshop for the Middle Grades- This video workshop introduces middle school teachers to ethnically diverse American writers and offers dynamic instructional strategies and resources to make works meaningful for students.

Annenberg Media

These are just a very few of the listed topics. They range from administrators creating great campuses to science(tons) to math (tons) to pedagogy to many literacy-based videos. The registration is free. Don’t miss out on this. There is a lot of great information provided here by Annenberg Media whose goal is:

Advancing Excellent Teaching in American Schools Annenberg Media uses media and telecommunications to advance excellent teaching in American schools. This mandate is carried out chiefly by the funding and broad distribution of educational video programs with coordinated Web and print materials for the professional development of K-12 teachers. It is part of The Annenberg Foundation and advances the Foundation’s goal of encouraging the development of more effective ways to share ideas and knowledge.Annenberg Media’s multimedia resources help teachers increase theirexpertise in their fields and assist them in improving their teachingmethods. Many programs are also intended for students in the classroomand viewers at home. All Annenberg Media videos exemplify excellentteaching.

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Podcasting in the Classroom

Tim Wilson, a technology integration specialist from Minnesota, hosted a session at NECC last year (NECC will be in San Antonio June 2008). The audience put together a list of classroom uses for podcasting. Tim blogged about it and offers this list:

Collect field notes during a science field trip
Living museum, researching characters
“Radio shows”
Creating audio guides for local museums
Teacher powerpoints
Early language learners, (rhyming, etc.)
Staff development
Language learners recording assessments
Discovery Education videos
Science reports
Art projects
Digital portfolios
Weekly classroom news
Serial storytelling
Reflective journals
Summaries of school events
Broadcast school sporting events
Roving reporters
Capturing oral histories (family history)
Podcast vocab words and spelling lists
Flashcard practice with iFlash
Musical compositions
Soundseeing tours

Since podcasting is new to many in our school district, I thought I would offer this list up and see if anyone was interested in trying it out.  If you are, give me a call.  We have the equipment available for our staff to try these things out.

Any other ways to use podcasting that you can think of?

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Ask A Biologist

Arizona State University is offering science students and teachers a great opportunity.  Have a science question?  Post it and let them help you out.  They call the site Ask a Biologist.

While you are there, subscribe to their podcast.  You are going to find some great stuff here!

Thanks to the folks over at the Generation YES blog for pointing it out to me.

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