Touchscreen Technology Blogeffective Curriculum Ideas

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Creative Educator focuses on effective ideas and strategies to foster creativity and engage students in the curriculum. Articles are designed to provide you with an informed and diverse view of today's educational technology field, including fresh ideas about project-based learning, classroom management, and creativity. Many of the resources for moving teachers and school districts forward rely on the effective integration of technology in the classroom. Moving forward: Technologies that support 21 st Century learning and teaching. Take a look at a technology-enhanced classroom and you’ll find laptops, iPads, or tablets, along with a few touch-screen computers. How has technology redefined the tasks you do and enhanced the way that you work? Now take a moment to think about the ways you are redefining learning for your early years children. Since 2012, I have been enabling our learning environment with Apple technology, embedding apps into the curriculum and redefining tasks with new ways of working.

Elementary school teacher Kayla Delzer’s students tweet, post on Instagram and watch YouTube in class. Here’s why she thinks all kids should do the same.

Many schools and teachers have an uneasy relationship with technology: they decry its power to distract young people but see it as a necessary evil to be tolerated, or at least strictly limited. Fargo, North Dakota, third-grade teacher Kayla Delzer believes that technology can truly revolutionize education — but only if educators make wise choices about what is used and how it’s used (TEDxFargo Talk: Reimagining Classroom Teachers as Learners and Students as Leaders).

It’s way too late to try to keep tech out of classrooms — or children’s lives. “We may think we’re protecting students when we keep them in a tech-free bubble for the school day, but they eventually leave, graduate, get jobs,” says Delzer. “If we block technology from them, we might actually be inhibiting them. We need to put them in dynamic, responsive environments at school so they can be successful later on.” After trying different approaches and a variety of devices, programs and apps with her students, she has come up with some common-sense guidelines for how adults can help their kids use technology to their best advantage.

Tech tip #1: Something boring on paper is still boring on a tablet or a laptop.

“Using technology simply for the sake of using it is wasteful,” Delzer says. “If tech doesn’t transform your classroom, your teaching or your students’ learning, skip it.” One easy rule of thumb: If a project can be done using paper or pencil but you’re doing it on a computer or device, it’s not transforming your classroom.

One way that Delzer’s students learn math is by playing an augmented-reality geometry board game called Cyberchase Shape Quest. To participate, kids point an iPad camera at a paper board, which then comes to life with animated math challenges. “It teaches geometry, problem solving and spatial reasoning in an interactive, responsive way,” she says.

Tech tip #2: How tech teaches is as important as what is taught.

Delzer avoids any software that relies on drills and repetition to educate. Instead, she chooses programs that encourage kids to create. One example: Cargo-bot, an app that requires students to write programs that control a robot moving boxes. The goal, says Delzer, is to compose code that makes the robot carry the boxes in the most efficient way possible, forcing kids to develop a number of important abilities, like critical thinking, creativity, problem-solving and logic.

Tech tip #3: Let students sometimes be the teachers.

The thought of mastering many apps, devices and programs in addition to their regular lesson plans will probably make teachers feel overwhelmed. Delzer’s advice: “You don’t need to master every single tool before you hand it over.” She likes to give a new tool to a student and ask them to learn how to use it first. After they figure it out, they can teach everyone else — including the teacher.

Tech tip #4: Find technology that lets kids learn from themselves and each other.

Using an app called AudioBoom, Delzer’s students take turns recording themselves reading classroom books aloud. Each recording is approved by Delzer, who helps kids evaluate factors like intonation, phrasing, speed, emotion and accuracy. Approved recordings are turned into a QR code that is taped to the back of the book that was read. Some books have multiple QR codes attached to them, Delzer says, letting students hear the different choices that their classmates make when reading the same thing.

“At the beginning of the year, my students thought that fast reading was fluent reading,” Delzer says, but after reading aloud and hearing their friends’ renditions, they understand the importance of pacing and emotion. Kids can then re-record their favorite books and compare their own recordings to see how their performances evolve after practice. “This helped instill a sense of pride among my students,” says Delzer.

Tech tip #5: Rather than ban phones or YouTube, educators should find smart ways to use them.

“Many schools in the US block YouTube, but I’ve heard it’s the number-one search engine among students in grades 5 through 12,” says Delzer. “So much learning is lost when we block resources from our students. Also, students are pretty savvy, and they can get around even complex filters.”

Delzer’s students create video newsletters that are added to YouTube every month. “I started replacing paper newsletters with video newsletters in 2014 and never looked back,” she says. “There’s a lot of power in having students report what they’re up to, rather than my typing it up in a newsletter.” The kids plan the newsletters — where they evaluate what they’re learning and discuss classroom happenings — as well as film them, edit them and add effects.

Tech tip #6: Adults should serve as champions of digital citizenship.

A safe, friendly environment like a classroom is a great place for children to learn how to behave responsibly on the Internet. Delzer has written student rules for Internet use and they include: never tweet anything you wouldn’t say to someone’s face or in front of their grandma; never share personal information; only go to appropriate websites; and always report cyberbullying to an adult. She set up a moderated Twitter account for her classroom so they can practice their digital etiquette, learn how to use social media, and explore their digital footprint. Her students tweet with experts from around the world; they also tweet with other classrooms around the world to share and compare what they’re learning.

Teachers should ask their students to Google themselves and then think about what their digital record says about them, advises Delzer. “93 percent of employers now use social media in some way to either recruit or hire employees,” she explains. “That means if our students have a negative digital footprint, they might have just a 7 percent chance of getting a job.” To practice what they preach, adults should also Google themselves and reflect on what they find.

Tech tip #7: Give kids some space to cultivate their own interests.

Inspired by Google’s former 20 percent policy, which let employees use that amount of their workweek on passion projects, Delzer lets her students pursue their own “genius” hours. Her students follow their interests for one hour a week, and some — but not all — of their projects are tech-focused. One student built a tin-can robot after learning how to do it by watching YouTube tutorials, and another filmed and edited her own movie. “It really gives kids ownership in their learning,” says Delzer.

Now that I have a connection to the Internet, what do I do with it? This is a great question that is asked hundreds of times at conferences and in school faculty meetings. Common statements range from I don't have time to do one more thing to where do I go for examples? This page is dedicated to examples of how the Web can be used in the classroom.

Cross-CurricularLanguage Arts
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Social StudiesTeacher Ideas

Check out these tools for your handheld device. Some of the apps are strictly for Apple while others are for Android as well. From productivity tools like Eraser to reference sources like National Geographic maps, students will find an array of useful tools.

Touch screen technology blogeffective curriculum ideas 4th grade

Transform your classroom into a virtual art studio and museum. Have students create their masterpieces with free online drawing, painting, and sculpting tools. Then, invite parents to the school gallery where they can view their children's artwork. The following Web sites are fantastic starting points for introducing students to the world of artistic design.

This interactive question and answer activity for students will teach them the basics about copyright. There are also resources and lesson ideas for teachers on the Copyright with Cyberbee page.

Learn about the history of the phonograph and listen to early recordings. There is a listening guide provided.

Energy is essential and at times a controversial subject. At EPCOT Center’s Energy exhibit, these lyrics, energy makes the world go round, sum up the role it has in the daily lives of people everywhere. From a global perspective, there are many challenges with the interdependence on energy sources. Nonrenewable energy sources include gas, oil, goal, and uranium. Renewable energy sources include solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, hydro, and the ocean. The debates concerning nonrenewable vs. renewable energy will shape government policies that will affect future generations. It is important that students learn about energy sources and the impact they have in their own lives.

From the Ancient Egyptian game of Senet to the digital games of today, children have reveled in the strategies, stories, and intrigue that challenge the mind. Teaching history, math, science, reading/languages arts, and the unified arts through games or game construction can reinforce skill, concept, and application level knowledge.

Advertisements flash on the television screen, each image no longer than 3 seconds. Students look at a photograph, illustration, or painting for about the same amount of time and nonchalantly comment, 'It's just a picture.' But wait, upon further inspection and some guided inquiry, the pictures soon come alive and tell a story. Some of the stories are historical, some personal, some made up. These stories behind the images bring rich context to the viewer who might be prompted to conduct further investigation. You never know what you may learn or the mysteries that may unfold until you dig deeper. Let's examine people as they are depicted in paintings, posters, and photographs and discover their stories.

Use this guide to organize and shoot a creative movie. Included ar production staff, film terms, sound tips, and camera shots.

In this series of galleries, over twenty years (1954-1982) is documented through the lens of H.V. Noble. He was particularly interested in 35mm slide photography using an exposure meter to determine the lighting conditions. Noble photographed his travels West that included National Parks, National Monuments, and National Forests. He was also interested in trains and took numerous pictures of the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railway and the D&RGR Durango to Silverton run. Because he always kept cameras loaded with film, he was able to capture a sequence of images of the Xenia, Ohio tornado in 1974. A few of the galleries have been supplemented with photographs by his wife, Rosalind Noble and his daughter, Linda Joseph. H.V. Noble lived from 1907 - 1982 and was the Director of Molecular Electronics at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.

This is a study of rain forest ecology. 1) Find out what plants and animals live in the rain forest. Choose a plant or animal to investigate. Write a short report on your findings and include a picture. 2) What sights and sounds will you encounter? Take us on a musical journey through the rain forest.

'Agriculture is the most healthful, most useful and most noble employment of man.' — George Washington

Having grown up on a family farm, there is something endearing about those memories of free roaming chickens, pigs cooling themselves in the mud, cows following a wagon loaded with hay, cornstalks rustling in the wind, and fresh apple pie. Farming practices have changed significantly over the past fifty years. Family farms have decreased and agribusiness has increased. New farming techniques have sparked environmental, health, and safety debates. Foods that were once considered seasonal are now available year round. Grocery stores feature sections of organically grown food and offer more choices from whole grains to special grades of meat. Uses for agricultural products have also changed. In 2006, nearly eighteen percent of the nation’s corn crop was used to produce ethanol, a renewable energy source. With agricultural commodities so readily accessible in the United States, it is easy to forget how the baked ham, green beans, pineapple, and roll with butter arrived on the dinner plate in some countries, but not in others. Learning about agricultural practices, economics, and the importance of farming will go a long way in helping students understand one aspect of global interdependence. Prepare your students for a trip to a working farm by visiting these Websites.

From a very early age children are fascinated with puzzles. Put a puzzle on the classroom table and students will gravitate to it. Why are puzzles so appealing? What value do they offer to the learning process? You will want to read the onformative article, Are Jigsaw Puzzles Educational. Imagine being shipwrecked on a deserted, barren island with 30 students. You find an old barracks completely decked out with beds, cooking paraphernalia, and food. It will be a few days before you are rescued. The waters are shark-invested, so no swimming is allowed. With nothing else to do, your students begin searching for buried treasure. They are convinced a pirate ship must have landed on this island. After digging in several locations, a large, water-tight crate is discovered. Aha! The treasure chest has been found. Inside are 31 laptop computers (batteries fully charged) with wireless connectivity, five PDAs with probes, and a digital camera. You dig out a copy of the current issue of MultiMedia Schools magazine from your knapsack and turn to the 'CyberBee' column. With a smile on your face, you know how to turn these treasures into golden learning experiences. Even if you are not on a desert island, you can help your students discover a treasure-trove of information by visiting these Web sites.

How many students sit silently in the classroom with no understanding of the events behind a story because they do not bring prior knowledge with them from conversations or experiences at home? What are some strategies teachers can use to introduce information crucial to comprehension? What role can technology play in assisting teachers with presenting prior knowledge in an engaging way?

A fourth grade Safety Net teacher, took advantage of several technology tools to aid her students in understanding the book Teammates by Peter Golenbock. Teammates is a story about Jackie Robinson and his friendship with Pee Wee Reese, both Brooklyn Dodgers, in an era of segregation. Waugaman employed the Big6 framework to design this powerful lesson that engaged her low-level reading students in learning about the '30s, '40s, and '50s.

Use primary source photographs to spark student writing. Each photograph has a title and a question. A photo analysis guide is included.

Leave a legacy of cultural history for future generations through digital storytelling. Stories are important because they provide us with a voice in time and place about our heritage. Rich digital stories can be created using many different technologies such as iMovie, Moviemaker, and Photo Story 3. Stories can then be published or broadcast over the Internet. To construct a lasting record, stories should also be preserved in print on acid free paper and both the digital and print copy donated to a repository such as a local library or museum.

This summer (2001)I had the opportunity to attend a workshop presented by Paddy Bowman from the National Network for Folk Arts in Education. Paddy is a leading authority on folklife and culture. The title of the workshop was 'Finding the Invisible: Folklore in Sense of Place.' Her inspiration to learn about one's sense of place in the community through traditions, music, food, and crafts was the catalyst for this article. Sometimes everyday life becomes invisible until you begin to analyze and categorize your experiences. You have to see, hear, smell, taste, and touch daily life in such a way that you begin to feel a sense of person in the place where you live. Connecting students with community can open doorways to the cultural legacies of many diverse groups of people. It will certainly enlighten minds.

When Henry decides to build a cabin, he is given lots of advice from his friends. While others think it should be bigger, he has his own ideas. Follow Henry through the building process and see how his cabin is just right! Henry Builds a Cabin is another fantastic book by D.B. Johnson that looks at the life of Henry David Thoreau in a delightfully engaging way. It is a book for all ages.

Here are activities you could incorporate into your language arts curriculum. Have your students read How a Book is Made by Aliki at the HarperCollins Web site. Then, print out the Noodles pop-up book page at the same location. Have your students color the picture with magic markers or crayons. Then cut, paste, and fold to make the book. Take the activity one step further by having students create their own pop-ups and stories. The following listing points you to some terrific pages that can help you get started.

Jazz up your e-mail correspondence by sending virtual postcards or flowers.

Finding just the right book that will grab a student’s interest is like looking for Waldo. Tracking down books that correlate with specific curriculum areas and topics for study can be daunting. What is a library media specialist to do? Use every tool in your arsenal as well as lessons and booklists that have already been prepared and just waiting to be uncovered by the savvy searcher. This collection of Websites will serve as starting points in your quest to recommend the best books to meet the needs of students and teachers.

Send your students on an online author scavenger hunt.

Henry Hikes to Fitchburg by D. B. Johnson is a book for ages 4 to 104. It is based on Walden written by Henry David Thoreau, a writer, naturalist, and surveyor in the mid 1800s. In the book, Henry and his friend travel from Concord to Fitchburg, Massachusetts. Henry hikes the 30 miles while his friend works odd jobs for the train fare. Who arrives first? Read this delightful book, then choose your path to Fitchburg. Be sure to keep a journal of your activities.

Have you ever wondered whether you can blow square bubbles? Using bubble mix and pipe cleaners find out the answer to this question and others through hands-on experimentation at these Websites.

'Heads, you go first; tails, I do.' 'I need to roll a seven to win.' 'If I can spin and land on a green slot the jackpot is mine.' How many times have you played a game and hoped to win? What is the probability of winning? The purpose of this WebQuest is to introduce you to some interesting problems and learn about probable outcomes. At the conclusion of the WebQuest you will be able to explain why some choices are better than others.

Can you guess how many M&Ms are in a bag? What is the probability of the same number of colors in each bag? The next time your students complain that math is boring, toss them a bag of M&Ms.

Mathematics is the study of the measurement, properties, and relationships of quantities and sets using numbers and symbols. It is also dazzling, magical, perplexing, challenging, cool, awesome, and fun. Research has shown that the more-abstract concepts become more concrete when modeled onscreen and guided by teachers.

Try these elementary level math enhancers at home or in your classroom. They are based on the NCTM standards. Probability, graphing, place values, spatial sense are just a few of the topics covered.

One of the first concepts young people learn is the value of money in everyday life. From their first allowance to the entrepreneurship of the lemonade stand, students learn how to plan, save, and spend. CyberBee has been busy locating resources that will assist in teaching and learning about money.

After your students have learned the basics about money, set up some simulations for them to try. How would they plan for a Lemonade Stand, a pet grooming business, or cookie store. Create teams and let them think up their own names. You never know who will be the next Donald Trump.

Picture this scene. A family is driving home from soccer practice when suddenly Jane remembers that she has an assignment due the next day that requires some research. The library is the logical place to begin, but it will be closing in a few minutes. Suddenly panic strikes. Then, mom remembers reading an article in a magazine about homework sites on the Internet. She suggests trying out the new computer Jane received for Christmas. Up to this point Jane has used it for playing games and e-mailing her friends. To everyone’s relief, they find a treasure-trove of Web sites that will not only help Jane in her research for the next day’s assignment, but also for future projects.

How many times have you heard a scenario similar to the one above? In the past 5 years, publishers of encyclopedias, almanacs, and other reference materials have rushed to tap into the online market. It will be interesting to watch how instant access to information will evolve during the 21st century. In the meantime, you can help students determine whether the information they use from the Web is reliable by having them look at the author and source. Several Web page evaluation guides are available with checklists for critically reviewing a site.

Our lives are filled with destinations, whether it is a jaunt to a fast food restaurant or a trip to a favorite vacation spot. In each case, we need to know the directions. Sometimes we simply know how to go from point A to point B, other times we have to study maps. Think about how you give directions for navigating to your house. Do you say turn east, west, north, or south on such and such a street; or do you say left or right? Do you provide landmarks like turn east just after McDonalds or if you pass the fire station you have gone too far? If the landmarks were not there, would people be able to find the street or your house? When you have been given directions, have you ever gotten lost? How many times did you have to stop before someone could give you more precise instructions? We know that understanding how to read different kinds of maps, plot routes between two points, and interpret the data in a concise manner are important concepts for students to learn. Where on the Web can we find tools to help us? Let CyberBee show you the way.

Ready Reference

Build an Online reference collection for finding quick facts. Create your resources so they are geared toward teaching or meeting information literacy standards. Some sites offer free access to their databases while others such as encyclopedia publishers charge subscription fees. Many schools are forming consortiums to defray the costs for these pay as you go services. An excellent example is InfOhio. This core collection of electronic resources, including titles such as Britannica Online, EBSCO Host, Newsbank, Sirs Discoverer, and more is free to all of Ohio's K-12 students and teachers.

Hone those reference skills in this popular treasure hunt.

Have you ever wondered whether you can blow square bubbles? Using bubble mix and pipe cleaners find out the answer to this question and others through hands-on experimentation.

Use the Websites in this list to learn about butterflies, then create a butterfly garden in your schoolyard. Don't miss the iMovie of the Red Admiral.

Touch Screen Technology Blogeffective Curriculum Ideas Examples

Predicting the weather has challenged man from the beginning of time. Today, sophisticated instrumentation, satellite imagery, and instantaneous communication allow meteorologists to issue weather warnings before disaster strikes. Still, on some days it seems easier just to look outside your window. So, what do we really know about weather, and how does science help us to understand it better? Fly with CyberBee to 'cool' weather Websites.

Learn about corrosion. Then, investigate the conditions that cause iron to rust through a hands-on science lesson.


Don your boots. Grab a bucket, kick net, and water testing kit. Then, head for the nearest creek for a great adventure. Discover all sorts of creatures and plants that live in this aquatic habitat. Investigate the health of the creek and its impact on the overall environment. Observe and chart change over time by returning to the site more than once. Be sure to follow safety procedures and to return everything to its original location. Prepare for your journey by visiting these Websites for information and lesson ideas. In addition, Cyberbee has prepared a Stream Study Lesson for you to use on field trips.

Cyberbee Meets T-Rex

' Lizards! CyberBee has time warped back over 65 million years to the age of the dinosaurs. Have fun digging into facts and exploring these great sites.

Don't Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch
A big thanks goes to Amy Cress, a kindergarten teacher at Chernington Elementary School in Westerville, Ohio, who granted permission to share the PowerPoint Slide Show and iMovie she created about the hatching process of baby chicks. View the movie.

Charge up your classroom with cool experiments, awesome demonstrations, and noteworthy historical information about electricity. Learn about people who made major scientific contributions that opened up new frontiers leading to household lighting, the long-distance transmission of power, and electronic devices that made life easier. Visit these Web sites for background information, illustrations, explanations, lessons, and insight into the world of electricity.

Before the next commercial break, describe a food label. 'What's a food label?' you may ask. When was the last time you read one while grocery shopping? I know, you don't shop for groceries. Parents shop for groceries. You simply go to the refrigerator or cupboard and grab whatever looks tasty. That's okay, but you will need to know about nutrition which leads to this FoodQuest/WebQuest. The purpose of this WebQuest is to introduce you to the Food Guide Pyramid and food labels. At the conclusion of this WebQuest you will be able to explain the items that are contained on a food label and their significance. You will also be able to plan a balanced meal based on the Food Guide Pyramid.

When is the perfect time to plan a schoolyard garden or habitat? As e.e. cummings wrote, 'in Just—spring when the world is mud-luscious.' Imagine watching butterflies flitting from flower to flower or listening to the melodic coo of a morning dove as ornamental grasses sway in the gentle breeze. Each day your students keep a journal of the natural world. The classroom is buzzing with shared experiences. Your schoolyard habitat becomes the focal point.

Touch screen technology blogeffective curriculum ideas examples

Constructing a garden is a wonderful project that can involve the entire school and community. Beautifying the school grounds fosters pride, teaches students about the environment, and creates a lasting legacy. Many schools already participate in garden or habitat projects sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation and the National Gardening Association. State and local wildlife organizations also provide programs for schools along with resources. Where do you begin? How does a garden project fit into your daily classroom instruction? Who will provide funding? CyberBee has been scouting the Web for ideas that can sow the seeds for growing, inquiring minds.

Pests, workers, artists—the intrepid insects of the world fascinate, annoy, and benefit humankind. From butterflies to bees to the lowly cockroach, insects are an integral part of the natural environment, making their mark on culture through rhyme and lore. Who can resist Jiminy Cricket, a bug transformed into a wise intellectual who advises Pinocchio and encourages kids to get the en-cy-clo-pe-di-a to find information? Who hasn't chuckled at unsuspecting bugs planning an attack only to be foiled by RAID?

What causes fireflies to blink? Did you ever wonder about the origin of 'Sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite?' Sleep tight is a reference to the tightening of ropes that supported mattresses on old beds and don't let the bed bugs bite refers to the critters that sometimes lived in the wooden frame. Regardless of the reactions by students, insect studies are a favorite in the classroom. Let's delve into the insect world and see what we can learn.

Capture the gas. Build a roller coaster. Experiment with gooey recipes. Inquiring minds can learn about science through a variety of hands-on and minds-on techniques. Structured inquiry relies on an outline of procedures with activities designed for discovering relationships and making generalizations about the data. Guided inquiry allows students to develop procedures and methods for examining concepts about a specific problem. Open inquiry challenges students to create and solve science principles, interpret data, and draw conclusions. Resources on the Web can supplement the inquiry lessons in your classroom. Explore these sites for ideas and activities.

Studying erosion and deposition will lead students to the exploration of landforms and how they are formed. Stream tables using different types of sand and soil help students observe how meandering streams and braided streams through erosion lead to the creation of canyons, deltas, plateaus, mesas, and buttes. Scientific investigations illustrate the effects of erosion, deposition of soil and how our planet is constantly changing. As geomorphologists, students learn how mountains are formed and how to classify the different types of valleys as U shaped or V shaped. When students review the core, mantle, and crust of the earth, they understand how these forces continue to impact the earth.

How does that caterpillar become a butterfly? And can that little egg really grow into a frog? Exploring life cycles with students can be a fascinating adventure. Begin by having students keep a scientific journal of observations and research based on the life cycles of butterflies, mealworms, and frogs. Ask them why journals are important to scientists. What sorts of things are written in a scientific journal? What can we learn from a scientific journal? Why is it important for scientists to keep journals? As students begin asking questions, direct them to Web sites and books that will help them find the answers to these essential questions and to gain deeper understanding.

Let your budding pilots test paper airplane designs and record data using the Paper Airplane Science lesson. Then, graph the results. You will be amazed.

Oil spills have a tremendous impact on the environment. In this investigation, students will learn about oil spills and dtermine what materials might be used in a cleanup.

Peregrine Falcons: From Egg to Flight

These speedy birds of prey have adapted to city environments and many nest in tall buildings. Technology has made it possible to watch their nesting habits each spring via FalconCams. There are many resources and activities that fit into every aspect of the curriculum. Hone student research skills, learn about life cycles, graph animal speeds, draw falcons, and write stories. Cyberbee has gathered and organized a variety of lessons and resources for you to use with your students, including From Egg to Flight Observation Guide, fact sheet, scavenger hunt, vocabulary list, and rubric.

Enter the wild world of physics where appearances and logic are often turned upside down. Understanding the underlying concepts is essential for uncovering the magic of physics. It can be a thrilling adventure for students as they discover lots of cool methods for lasting knowledge. Browse these Websites and discover a variety of interactive simulations, experiments, and ideas to use in your classroom.

Teachers and students can learn about prairies through virtual field trips or by visiting a nature center nearby. Back in the classroom, students can use this knowledge to design and plant their own prairie as part of the school landscape. Then, watch as the grasses grow, flowers bloom, and critters flourish.

A field trip to Spruce Run was no ordinary outing. A group of young urban scientists were going to collect data with science probes that would help them find the answers to questions posed about the differences in the ecosystems of a stream, forest, and meadow. Which type of soil supports more plant life? Why do you think the habitats have different pH levels in the soil? Are there different temperature readings among the ecosystems? After being divided into groups, students were given worksheets and rotated through stations where they learned about the characteristics of ecosystems, soil pH, difference between air and ground temperatures, and how to use probes. Laptop computers were set up in the shelter house to manipulate the information. Prior to this scientific expedition, students were prepped with background information on habitats, pH, making predictions, and soil composition. Web sites provided valuable background information and contributed to the prior knowledge necessary for scientific inquiry.

This is a study of rain forest ecology. 1) Find out what plants and animals live in the rain forest. Choose a plant or animal to investigate. Write a short report on your findings and include a picture. 2) What sights and sounds will you encounter? Take us on a musical journey through the rain forest.

Whales are great to watch in the wild. A trip on a whale watching boat inspired this page for Cyberbee. For more information visit these sites.

Who took a bite out of the candy? Sticky fingers have been found on the broken aquarium glass. Wet footprints lead to the open window. What is that powdery substance next to the broken piggy bank? Answering these questions is what forensic science is all about. Learn how to be a crime solver by exploring the world of the forensic scientist. Then, solve The Case of the Barefoot Burglar.

Zoo Treks

Travel the world on a virtual zoological field trip from the Serengeti Plains to the Amazon Jungle or the frozen tundra of the arctic to the rain forests of the tropics. Enter the world of online zoos and experience all sorts of multimedia presentations such as animal cams, movie clips, games, beautiful photographs, and interactive learning modules. Watch the hatching of a kookaburra at the Woodlands Zoo, delight in the antics of polar bears bobbing for pumpkins in San Diego, and discover loads of facts about animal habitats from all of the zoo sites. This treasure trove of educational information will captivate kids for hours.

Discover the wonderful world of science with these tips and materials from the professionals..

Science Fair programs are awesome and can generate all sorts of amazing results from inspiring and engaging projects. Finding good resources that outline the process and suggest age-appropriate topics is a key component for getting students started. Another important factor is to involve parents so that they can assist their children throughout the process. Be sure to visit these CyberBee-selected Web sites for resources, tips, and experiments that will help jump-start your science fair program.

Have fun trying to find the solutions to these fascinating science questions.

In this lesson, students learn about the experiences of African-Americans under the institution of slavery using primary and secondary sources. Students search, examine, and analyze primary and secondary sources from a variety of digitized materials on the Internet. Students apply this knowledge by creating a digital scrapbook depicting a Day in the Life of an African-American during this time period.

These lesson ideas were created in a workshop with Columbus Public Schools Library Media Specialists.

Primary source visuals and text tell the story of the buffalo in relationship to Manifest Destiny.

Map trails, find treasure caches, and solve problems by using a Global Positing System (GPS) with your students.

While rummaging in grandma's attic, have you ever discovered a box of old photographs and marveled at the images, never to know who is pictured. Or found old newspapers, magazines, or sheet music and wondered how they survived the ravages of time? Imagine seeing the handwritten journal entry of Walt Whitman's observation at the Battle of Antietam or viewing the only known picture of Lincoln at Gettysburg. Now you can reconnect with our nation’s history through the National Digital Library's American Memory online collections presented by the Library of Congress. With new processes for preservation and imaging, the Library of Congress has undertaken a massive effort to make diverse collections of primary source material available electronically.

Let's journey through history from the hand written documents of the founding fathers to the social and cultural landscape of a growing nation. In words, pictures, and sounds the American Memory collections offer us the unique opportunity to dig through original source material and bring living history into our classrooms. CyberBee brings you highlights from a few of the current collections and ways to use them with your students.

In this activity, you will be creating a travel brochure. You may use any word processing or publishing program. In fact, you could design a Web page with the country information. Be sure to include the flag, map, common phrases, currency and its equivalent in dollars, how to travel to this destination, a description of the country, things to do, and any other interesting tidbits you might learn. Use these Web sites to help you.

This online exhibit of campaign buttons, ribbons, pins, watch fobs, medalets, postcards, and sheet music was made possible by the Ohio Historical Society and Macy Hallock who generously allowed me to photograph their collections.

Discover the American Memory collections from the Library of Congress. Learn about primary sources, search strategies, and the wealth of rich material at the click of a mouse. Lots of ideas and ready made activities to use with all grade levels of students.

Enslave a people and they will find a way to escape. As the Underground Railroad developed, a metaphor unfolded that grew into a culture and myth of its own. People were passengers, although they never set foot on a train car; homes were stations, but there were no tracks; conductors led a group of people but never collected tickets. It was a road to freedom that followed the drinking gourd, a code name for the Big Dipper.

When did the Underground Railroad begin? How many people escaped between the American Revolution and the Civil War? What were the code words used on the Underground Railroad, and who were the people who risked their safety for a cause that they believed was just? Let's travel back in time and learn about the Underground Railroad.

Visit a 1921 grocery store. Egan's Basket Grocery was one of the first self-serve groceries in Colorado.

From the candidates to the election process, you will find loads of resources and lesson ideas to use in your elementary, middle, or high school classroom.

Touch Screen Technology Blogeffective Curriculum Ideas 5th

Critical thinking skills will be used to introduce students to primary sources. You will also meet some of the curators from the Library of Congress as they describe artifacts from the American Memory collections. Join us in a magical Adventure Through History.

Touch Screen Technology Blogeffective Curriculum Ideas Preschool

How do you let friends and relatives know the latest news? How did people communicate before modern technology? Are there similarities in the contents of a letter written in the 1800s with an email or phone call today? What clues can you find in a letter that will lead to more information?

Let’s look at an old letter and see what we can learn about the author, his plans, travel, transportation, and the time period during the expansion of the United States. Look for clues in the letter to answer these questions.

As the billowing black clouds of dust rolled and swirled across the plains in the 1930s, the American landscape was drastically changed. With their crops destroyed, a steady stream of humanity trekked westward to the promised land of California. John Steinbeck wrote vividly about the migrant camps in The Grapes of Wrath, Dorothea Lange documented the harsh conditions with compelling photographs, and Woody Guthrie, a refugee himself, sang Dust Bowl ballads. The stark reality of the Depression era contrasts sharply with the decades before and after it. Let's travel down the highway of time and view firsthand eyewitness accounts, pictures, and music archived on a variety of Web sites.

Touch Screen Technology Blogeffective Curriculum Ideas 4th Grade

What is manifest destiny? What were some of the reasons that led to manifest destiny. What effect did it have on the people, the land, and the wildlife? Your history book is one source for information, but there are many documents, photographs, and other artifacts that were created at the time of an event. These primary resources also help to tell the story about history. Using the primary resources from the Library of Congress, your history book, and other sources, answer these questions and those on the next set of pages.

Travel back prior to World War II to the heyday of fairs and expositions in America which awed millions of visitors with wondrous new inventions, exotic cultures, and amusements galore. Mingle with luminaries such as Helen Keller, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Theodore Roosevelt, and Alexander Graham Bell. Discover the thrill of the Ferris wheel, the delicious taste of the ice cream cone filled with your favorite flavor, and a radio with pictures—all introduced to the public for the first time through these venues. Although many of the buildings are gone, you can still explore the sights and sounds through photographs, artifacts, sound recordings, and motion pictures that have been preserved and made available through modern technology.

Trek back in history to the reign of the pharaohs. Uncover the secrets of mummification. Lift the shroud of mystery surrounding the great pyramids. Translate hieroglyphic writing. Open the door to anthropology and archeology through the study of Ancient Egypt. How many mysteries will your students discover and solve?

Discover how to analyze photographs, documents, maps, sound recordings, and motion pictures through a variety of activities that use primary sources from the Library of Congress.

Learn how to use primary sources such as photographs, sound recordings, motion pictures, and documents through engaging activities around the topic of children.

April Morning by Howard Fast is on many core reading lists and addresses several of the standards in reading/language arts as well as social studies. This lesson draws upon primary sources as a means to interpret the events of April 19, 1775.

There were no cameras present to record the clashes between the Colonists and British during the struggle for independence. Our historical record relies on the stories told through paintings, drawings, broadsides, newspapers, government documents, and eyewitness accounts. The details of a skirmish or battle depend on whose account you read and the person's interpretation. These quotes illustrate two opposing viewpoints at a time when most Colonists considered themselves to be British.

In 2004, Congress passed a provision in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005 establishing a day to commemorate the September 17, 1787 signing of the Constitution. Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, who inserted this mandate into the bill, felt this was a way to educate Americans about history. President George W. Bush signed it into law on December 8, 2004. Designated as Constitution and Citizenship Day, schools receiving federal money are required to hold an educational program about the United States Constitution each year. Schools may choose what kind of program to hold.

The U.S. Constitution is a living, flexible document that is the foundation of American government. Benjamin Franklin played a key role as elder statesman at the Constitutional Convention in 1787. Join Dr. Franklin as he shares his views about the framing of the U.S. Constitution in the town where history was made - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

By covered wagon and handcart the emigrants came west across the plains and mountains of America. What was it like to walk 2,000 miles for the promise of fertile ground, a chance for fortune, and the dream of a new life? Who were these individuals who risked the arduous trip? What were the living conditions along the trails from Missouri to California and Oregon? Insight into this six-month journey can be derived from newspaper accounts, contemporary books of the era, and personal diaries of the people who forged an expanding nation. Many organizations, commercial companies, and individuals are publishing these materials on the Web for easy electronic access.

Analyze a primary source photograph using this guide.


With the advent of technological advances, distance education is experiencing a renaissance in delivering curriculum via two-way audio and video and the Web. Virtual classrooms are popping up at educational institutions across the U.S. and around the world. The concept of a virtual learning space allows the individual the flexibility to take a course anytime, anywhere; to interact with professors and other students in small learning communities; and to choose from a wide range of course offerings. This trend is now filtering down to K-12 schools. This idea is particularly attractive to students in remote areas who would not otherwise be able to take certain courses because there are not enough students or a qualified teacher is unavailable. It is also an innovative way to provide professional development or continuing education to K-12 teachers.

Many organizations are distributing free newsletters with timely articles and links to valuable resources. Joining a mailing list or RSS feed is easy, convenient, and a time saver when you want the latest news about innovative technology and practical ideas for integrating it into your classroom.

With federal mandates such as No Child Left Behind stretching school budgets, it is essential to find additional funding sources, especially for technology initiatives. Grants are one option, but where do you start? CyberBee has written numerous grants ranging from a few thousand dollars from private foundations to several million dollars from federal programs such as Enhancing Education Through Technology Tittle II-D. Much has been learned from these experiences. The examples presented below are general and do not represent an entire grant, which might be several pages in length. These samples of grant language, funding sources, and Websites are shared in the hope that more teachers will consider writing a grant as an alternative way of providing technology resources and professional development to their schools.

Keeping kids safe must be an ongoing effort through awareness, education and supervision. Consider implementing an Internet Safety program in your school or community.

Mastrmind is a game of deduction to break a code. Don Greenwell, a Professor of Mathematical Sciences and Foundation Professor at Eastern Kentucky University and Alex Bogomolny who holds a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem provide a detailed explanation of the game at Cut the Knot. Try your skill playing the computer. Java is required.

Over the years while creating content for the CyberBee Website and constructing workshops for educators, I have invariably needed a software program to complete a specific task or solve a particular problem. While there are hundreds of freeware and shareware programs to download from the Internet, how do you know which ones are stable, free from adware, and supported. Downloading demos, reading the fine print and trial and error have generally been the means by which I have determined the usefulness of the product. Some have been duds while others have been extraordinary. One audio editing program, Cool Edit 2000, was purchased by Adobe and is now titled Adobe Audition. Another program that has improved from version to version is TechSmith’s SnagIt, an all purpose screen capture program. It is now offered in many educational software catalogs. The programs described in this article are CyberBee’s favorites for work and play.

Summer is rapidly approaching. It is time to rest, relax, and leisurely explore new Web sites that offer timesaving tools and practical tips. Begin your next school year with a digital folder full of new ideas, worksheets, puzzles, and software tools that will liven up your lessons.

This is a collection of free programs that are either Web based or available to download. Students can create Web sites, learn coding and much more.

Time Teacher

Links to interactive Websites that will help you with teaching time.

Step-by-step instructions are provided for Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Sound Recorder, and Palm. These were designed to use as introductions for students.

Create a simple Web page with Dreamweaver using a step-by-step tutorial. Read the Ten Tips for Webmasters. Find links to all sorts of design tools from javascript to RSS feeds.