Cute But Deadly Animals on MyMaps

By: Margaret Buzard and Melissa Sta. Maria

This lesson would be used during a science unit on dangerous animals. On MyMaps, you will notice several different icons and their general locations on the map. Once you click on a particular icon, you will see the  adorable picture of the animal that lives there. However, if you click the arrow to see the next image, you discover the dangerous side of the animal. Below these images, you will find the common location of this animal as well as the reasoning for why they are so dangerous.

In our field experience classrooms, we have noticed how excited kids get when they see dangerous animals. These are typically creatures they may not see on a daily basis, so this lesson would build on their curiosity and invite  them to explore the world around them. Students could upload their own cute, but deadly animal to understand how appearances can be deceiving. 

Go The Disney Distance…

By: Margaret Buzard and Melissa Sta. Maria

For our collaborative Google slide activity, we have created a Disney Jeopardy game. Our game has three categories: Songs, Movies, and Characters. Students would see this example as inspiration for them to create their own Jeopardy games. Our hope is that our students will use this format (found online) to create their own Jeopardy game, perhaps to create a fun study guide for class vocabulary. This will help students use technology in a fun, unique way.

When we were students, we loved learning through Jeopardy games. It was a way for us to assess our knowledge in a competitive way. We hope our students see it in this way too.

Exploring the World Through Nat Geo Kids!

For this screencast, I am recording as the science teacher of a fourth grade class. I begin by opening up this website and telling the kids they will be researching the animal of their choice. Since we were hypothetically watching the Lion King, I told them I would start by clicking the mammals button and exploring what the website had. There were fun facts, images, and resources about these species.

This website is important because it can help kids learn about the world around them through the click of the button. These images can take the students on an adventure to another country, or see an endangered animal they may never have the opportunity to see. I want my students to travel the world and if they can’t do so physically, then they have this resource to see the limitless possibilities of learning.

I would integrate this into my lesson, after the conclusion of our movie the Lion King. I think this movie shows animals in a beautiful way because it displays them with feelings and emotions. I want my students to feel connected to what we learn, so I will show this website after lunch (when they watch the movie) during our science class. This will be a nice transition from the classic Disney movie into a subject they may gain empathy for.

Questions for students after given time to explore the website:

1)How can you use this website for other classes?

2) What do you find most useful about this particular website? What do you like? What don’t you like?

[embedit snippet="melissa-screencast"]

Peek a Book

“Peek a Book” is a play on words of the commonly known game peek a boo. This title is specifically chosen because the goal of this lesson is to give a sneak peek of  my favorite book through three images. I want my students to see that I am a teacher who models a love of reading and encourages my students to read books they enjoy. In the gallery, you will notice a series of images – a diary, a backpack, and a child.  After a few guesses from my students, I will reveal the title of the work, tell them why this is my favorite book, and explain the images presented.

These three, simple images, tell a great story and are meant to explicitly clue my class into the book I have chosen. This in particular represents the classic “Diary of  A Wimpy Kid”. While I am an adult, I personally enjoyed this book because it was funny, relatable, and unique. I could relate to wanting to fit in like Greg, or feel tempted to ignore my morals like Rowley. This gallery shows three images which clearly represent the book. The kid is Greg Heffley, the main character, the book is the diary, and the backpack is meant to present his young age.

My students would see this example and then would be given the assignment to choose three images that represent their favorite book. It can be any story they like as long as they carefully choose pictures that respectfully portray their book. Students can choose stories they are passionate about and learn about finding appropriate images online. Pictures tell great stories and can be excellent sneak peeks into books they want their classmates to read.

Guiding Questions

1) Why do you think I chose these particular images to represent the book?

2) What book would you choose and why?

3) What images would you show and why?

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Tech savvy teachers need a back up plan.

“Control C, control P” was one of the first tricks I learned on the computer. I remember my teacher showing me how to do this and this forever impacted my outlook on technology. Through technology, I was able to design efficient presentations, learn at my own pace, and become informed about Microsoft Office programs. Having access  to these tools have been a positive experience for me, so I hope my students would have the opportunity to see these new pieces of technology in action!

I am an advocate for technology in the classroom because these would be the tools our future leaders will be surrounded with. They need to be exposed to this technology, so they know how to use them properly and be successful in the fields they are going into. While I will be continue to be a supporter of the use of technology,  I personally believe tech savvy teachers need a back up plan.

There may be  times when the video isn’t loading properly, the power is out, or the piece of tech does not cooperate as much as you would hope. These situations are very common especially with new technology. New technology offers great possibilities, but they also can create new problems.  For this reason, teachers need to be able to return to the “old school” way of teaching with their lesson plans. They need to have plans a, b, and c, when the link does not work or the power mysteriously goes out.

While students have access to technology, this unnecessary lag time of buffering videos and power outages, can drastically change the atmosphere in the room. The once excited students may lead to boredom and thereby misbehaviors. When teachers plan ahead and think through potential negative situations, they can successfully use the technology given to them.