Friday, October 23, 2009

Metrics Wiki

How many feet are in a yard? 3 How many inches are in a foot? 12 How many quarts are in a gallon? 2? How many cups in a pint? 2? Eeeeeeek! The numbers are all different and the units don't even sound the same! Which ones measure length and which ones measure capacity? This is so confusing!
Let's take a look at the metric system. How many millimeters in a centimeter? 10 How many centimeters in a decimeter? 10 How many decimeters in a meter? 10 How many meters in a decameter? 10 You get the idea? 10 is the magic number. That's what makes metrics so simple! If you've been afraid to learn metrics, take some time to learn the prefixes. That's the secret to understanding metrics. And don't just learn the tested ones. It doesn't make sense to only learn milli-, centi-, and kilo-.
This wiki was created to compile resources for teaching metrics in sixth grade. Most activities/resources are appropriate or easily adaptable to other grade levels too. Each page of the wiki has an open discussion forum. Please join in on the discussion and share your ideas!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Word Magnets

Here's a great website to use with your interactive whiteboard. Enter any text on Word Magnets and your students will be able to manipulate the text in a variety of ways. Here's an example for words with prefixes and suffixes.
Step 1. Type a list of words, some with prefixes and some with suffixes then click on next.

Step 2. Click on Change to see a variety of background possibilities. Click done.

Step 3. Now you can move the words into the correct boxes. If you need to add more words click on Add New Magnet. In my example I added Prefixes and Suffixes to use as labels for each box. Click on one of the colors to color code the words. That's all there is to it.
Here are some other ideas for using Word Magnets:
ABC's - For smaller children, type in the alphabet. They can put the letters in order, form words, etc.
Parts of Speech - Type in a sentence. Students can color code the nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc.
Growing Sentences - Start with a very simple sentence - just 3 or 4 words. Next add an adjective to the sentence, then an adverb, a prepositional phrase, another adjective.
ABC Order - Add a list of words and ask students to alphabetize them. While one student is on the board, students at their seats could also be ordering the words.
Story Starters- Ask students to randomly give you words to add. If all they give you are nouns, encourage them to add some verbs, some descriptive words, etc. Students can make their own sentences from the words given then use that as the beginning of a creative story.
A Picture's Worth . . . Show students a random photo. Have them generate as many words as possible to describe the picture. Students can then write a descriptive paragraph about the photo using some or all of the words the class generated.
U.S. Regions - Type in the states from 2 regions of the U.S. Students can categorize them according to their region.
Authors - Compare 2 authors. Use the Venn Diagram to show similarities and differences.
Introducing Vocabulary - Add the new vocabulary words for a science unit or social studies unit. Ask students to categorize them or take a guess at the relationships of the words.

Unfortunately the only way to save your magnetic board is to take a screen shot of it. On a Mac, that's Apple/Shift/4. Explore the site. Add your ideas in the comment section. Enjoy!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Spell with Flickr

B letter O letter O

Spell with Flickr is just a simple little site where you type in a word and the word is redesigned using letters from photographs in flickr. Where it says Spell, type in a word then click on spell. I've noticed sometimes the long words don't work very well. If you want to do several words, do one at a time.
You should now see your word twice in creative letters like the example above. Click on a letter in the top example to change the letter to a different design. When you're satisfied with your creation you have a couple of options as to what to do with it. If you want to put your word into a word processing document, take a screen shot of it (on a Mac, that's Apple/shift/4). Then insert it in your software. If you want to put it on your blog, webpage, or in a wiki, copy the embed code and paste it in. That's what I've done here!
Using Spell with Flickr will give you and your students a fun and creative way to decorate their projects, blogs, webpages, newsletters, invitations, etc. Have fun with this simple little tool!