Online Collaborative Projects for Students

Ever wondered  how to encourage your classroom to be more active in collaborative projects? Well here are some online projects they can join to earn some extra credit:
TEDTalks’ Open Translation Project
Not only does this project give your students the opportunity to learn about the world around them, it also gives them the chance to work in teams to complete translations in the language that they are most familiar with. For some students, it might also pose a great chance to hone their language skills.
NASA’s Quest Challenge
This is another free web-based game that’s catered to educating students about the scientific and engineering processed utilized in space exploration. The site also offers an array of multimedia based tools that can help students learn about the activities that NASA is engaged in.
Globe.gov
This is a site setup by multiple organizations such as the NSF as well as NASA. It focuses mainly on global learning for the purpose of bettering the environment. It offers project ideas and tools for both teachers and students. Schools that sign up for this program can even offer  logged data about the environment – a great way to get your students actively participating in discussions about their changing environment.
Global Ed
This site too focuses on environmental science, from biodiversity to peace to preservation of languages. There’s an array of tools that you can use at schools such as case studies, quizzes, learning quests as well as project ideas. They’ve also done a great job of identifying which groups of students (based on grade) are a best fit for each project.

Is your classroom involved in any other collaborative activities? Do leave a comment and let us know.

New feature: Gradebook for parents

Among the many enhancements made to the gradebook feature, we’ve now switched on the ability for parents to take a look at their children’s gradebooks too. It’s a live, real-time indicator of progress across all the classes that a student takes.

Let’s first take a look at what a teacher would enter into his Intermediary Math 6 class’ gradebook.

As you’ll see, there are now 4 assignments and 1 quiz that has been graded for every student in the Intermediary Math 6 class.

Read More »

Science Fair Project Ideas for Elementary Students

I remember going to the school science fair as a child and looking at the erupting volcano in awe. It was indeed fun to execute a few of my own experiments at the science fairs in school.

Come to think of it, science experiments can be quite fun & educational for children in elementary school mainly because they provide an element of surprise and a sense of achievement after having conducted one successfully.

Some QuickSchoolers took 30 minutes off today to run some internet searches on popular projects for science fairs. Here’s a few cool experiments that we will soon be trying out ourselves:

1. How much energy is stored in a peanut?
This experiment uses a (fire) lit peanut to heat up 1/2 a cup of water. Students can then approximate how much chemical energy was stored in the peanut.

http://www.energyquest.ca.gov/projects/peanut.html
This experiment will require adult supervision as needles & fire is involved.

2. Making a model arm
We use it every day and probably do not even think about how it works. The human arm is a complex structure made up of bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles. But how does it all work? What makes us pick up that cup of coffee or throw that football to an exact area fifty yards away? This project will go deep into the human arm and how it works.

http://www.scienceproject.com/projects/intro/primary/PX003.asp

3. Sundial
From sunrise to sunset, shadows of buildings, trees and other objects move slowly, but continuously. In the northern hemisphere, shadows cast west in the morning, north at noon time and east in the late afternoon. Knowing the direction of shadows is very helpful for telling the time and the directions. To tell the time using the shadows we use sundials or sun clocks. Sundials have been used for centuries to tell the time.

http://www.scienceproject.com/projects/intro/primary/PX008.asp

4. The good old erupting volcano
For those who still want to try out this experiment, knock yourself out!

http://www.essortment.com/hobbies/scienceprojects_szkl.htm

Have fun teaching! =]

Part 1: The Journey, The Adventure

How time flies when you’re having a good time!

We started our journey a mere month ago. Ready with our roll bags in hand, backpacks, laptops and not to forget, some chocolate bars, we headed off to our first out of 8 exciting conferences.

Marking our first pit stop in North Carolina, we made our way up and down the country and made our final conference stop in Florida – and that’s only half the story.

Read More »

FCIS Convention

This will be our 8th and final stop.

Its been great!

We’ll be sharing with you more on our adventure through our next posts.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

FCIS Convention (Florida Council of Independent Schools)

“Value Added : Why Our Schools are Special”

Date : November 19 – 20, 2009

Location : Omni Resort at ChampionsGate, Orlando, FLorida

Come visit our booth to sign up for your FREE IRIS account, FREE 30 day trial for all other plans, or simply drop by and say HI!

See you guys there!

We’re now at the CAIRS ’09 Conference

25th Annual Conference for Administrators of the Independent & Religious Schools

 

Organized by NYS Coalition of Independent & Religious Schools

The CAIRS 09 conference will bring together over 400 independent & religious school administrators from across New York State in an atmosphere of learning, collegiality and friendship.

Dates – Nov 16th and 17th 2009

Location
The Marriot
Wolf Road
Albany, New York

Website link – http://www.nyscirs.org/Conference.html

Detailed program information is available on this PDF doc:
http://www.nyscirs.org/2009%20NPS%20Program.pdf

Ideas for teaching geography to elementary school students

A geography teacher’s task isn’t an easy one as it requires piquing the classroom’s interest in countries and cultures that they cannot see or touch. At the same time, it’s also very rewarding as once you’ve managed to spark interest in your student’s minds, it could very well last a long time.

To help you make your classes interesting, we decided to look around for activities that you and your classroom could join. Hope you enjoy trying them out.

1. Firstly, join Geography Awareness Week happening from Nov 15th -21st ’09 http://mywonderfulworld.org/gaw.html. This event aims to explore the world through mapping.

2. Get your classroom to join programs like ePals – http://www.epals.com/ This site connects classrooms from across the world and helps to connect the students in those classrooms to provide an exchange of cultures. Your class can even join ongoing projects on topics that range from climate to global warming to people and culture. Read more at this link: http://www.epals.com/projects/info.aspx?DivID=index

3. PBS.org has a wealth of knowledge to offer your students. Based on a tv series called AFRICA, the website helps teachers come up with lesson plans as well as provides good content for discussion with elementary students http://www.pbs.org/wnet/africa/about/index.html. There’s even a site that kids themselves can log on to, to watch videos taken from various parts of Africa on this page: http://pbskids.org/africa/

4. National Geographic too tries to get educators and classrooms more involved by providing action plans to teachers on their Geography Action! section http://www.nationalgeographic.com/geography-action/

5. On a lighter note, National Geographic also site where elementary students would enjoy playing interactive games http://games.nationalgeographic.com/

6. The site MyWonderfulWorld.com offers great lesson plans that makes teaching geography fun  http://mywonderfulworld.org/toolsforadventure/educators/index.html

Do leave comments if you have more ideas to make geography a fun subject to learn about.

Visit us at the ACTS Educators Conference

ACTS National Educators Conference

Organized by the Florida League of Christian Schools

FLOCS marks its 25th year of services to schools this year and it’s organizing this year’s conference which will host over 100 workshops within three professional tracks.

Dates – Nov 12th and 13th 2009

Location
Renaissance Resort at SeaWorld
6677 Sea Harbor Drive
Orlando, Florida 32821

Website link – http://www.flocs.org/pages.asp?pageid=83723

This year’s conference features the following speakers:

Dr. Don D. Petry – Executive Director and founder of the National Council for Private School Accreditation (NCPSA).

Dr. Bryan Smith – Bible Integration Coordinator at BJU Press.

Michael Burroughs – Executive Director of the Florida League of Christian Schools.

Books for young children

It’s that time of year again when the summer starts cooling into mellow autumn, with leaves turning brown and the cool breeze blowing as you walk to school.

November is here!

Here are some great books that you can read to your kids as they gather around fire place!

Corn Is Maize by Aliki (Illustrator)

corn-is-maize

What’s so great about corn?

Popcorn, corn on the cob, cornbread, tacos, tamales, and tortillas. All of these and many other good things come from one amazing plant. Aliki tells the story of corn: How Native American farmers thousands of years ago found and nourished a wild grass plant and made it an important part of their lives. They learned the best ways to grow and store and use its fat yellow kernels. And then they shared this knowledge with the new settlers of America.

Johnny Appleseed by Reeve Lindbergh, Kathy Jakobsen Hallquist (Illustrator)

johnny-appleseed

Lindbergh’s poem tells the story of John Chapman’s crusade to spread apple seeds from Massachusetts to the Midwest. This poetic narrative is by a woman to her grandchildren. It tells the story of John Chapman’s life and travels. Details of his kindness and piety, his nonviolence and bravery, and his respect for all living things are shared through the text.

The Autumn Equinox by Ellen Jackson

the-autumn-equinox

The book provides a definition of the autumn equinox and shares historical perspectives as well as current celebrations from around the globe. The book includes crafts, recipes, and games for the season. Ellis’s folk-art illustrations portrays different cultures and how they share similarities of their observances.

http://www.apples4theteacher.com/holidays/fall/kids-books/

Happy reading!

Fun recycling projects for preschoolers

Let’s usher in a greener year!

Kids should be taught the importance of recycling from a very young age and the best way to instill this is by having fun activities that highlight the importance of keeping the environment clean.

Here are some fun ideas you can try with your students:

Class outing
Take your students on a field trip to a recycling plant. Not only would they enjoy watching the big machines working on recycling everyday rubbish, but they would also get a chance to understand how differently each material is treated.

Having visitors
Have someone from the local recycling center come to talk to your class about the importance of recycling.

Recycling egg cartons
Use old egg cartons as paint holders for your students to use. Firstly, they work better than palettes as the colors don’t run together. Secondly, it would inspire your students to re-use other items that usually get thrown away.

Donut holes
Explain to your children that the hole cut from donuts used to go to waste until someone thought of selling them. Ask them if they know of anything that goes to waste that could be used. To drive home the point give them donut holes for snack-time.

Bubble wands
Instead of using a normal bubble wand, get creative by using berry baskets or six pack soda rings to blow bubbles. These can easily be dipped into shallow bowls of bubble solution and easily be lots of fun for the kids. =]

Thanks to http://www.everythingpreschool.com/themes/recycling/more.htm

Let’s keep mother earth looking hot!

Enjoy!