Thursday, October 20, 2011

News Articles for Kids

With our state assessment changing, the need for more and more nonfiction resources is on the rise. Being in a 1:1 classroom, I'd love to find some great nonfiction resources available online for my kids to read on their netbooks. In the past couple of weeks, my students have enjoyed reading ebooks on their netbooks during their Read to Self time. Some of my students are so in love with ebooks that they go home and read ebooks on their home computer far past the required nightly reading time. I think it's great they're so engaged in reading!

Tonight, I went on a hunt for news articles with current news, yet appropriate for kids. I was suprised at home many resources are out there!

DOGO News 
DOGO News was one of the first resources I came across and it's a fabulous resource. DOGO sorts all of their news articles into six categories: current events, science, sports, social studies, did you know, and green. I love how they sort their articles into categories! They have a plethora of news articles, sometimes even posting more than one article per day. I know my students are all going to want to read about the new 'Making of Harry Potter' studio in Watford, England. Who doesn't want to know all about  the magical world of Harry Potter?

Science News for Kids
The next resource I came across was the Science News website which has specifically designed a Science News site just for kids. They've also organized their articles in to categories similar to DOGO. Their categories include: atoms & forces, earth & sky, humans & health, life, tech & math, and extra. They have amazing, detailed photos to intrigue students to click on 'Read more'. Within each main category, they have subcategories for students to browse through. This looks like a great resource to support our science curriculum. I've already tagged a few articles about our upcoming unit on Earth! This is a great resource to integrate math into reading and vice-versa!

National Geographic Explorer
I absolutely love this resource! While it isn't organized into categories (it posts articles by month published), it has nonfiction articles on more than one reading level. It offers articles in the Pioneer Edition which is geared towards 2nd and 3rd graders. It also has a Pathfinder Edition geared towards 4th and 5th graders. It publishes the same articles, yet they are on different reading levels. I think this is great to differentiate for those lower and higher kids in the classroom. There are some great science and social studies topics covered in the past few months that could easily fit within our district curriculum.

National Geographic for Kids
National Geographic for Kids is more about stories than news articles. It has short informative paragraphs that aren't really linked together in an article format. However, I included it in here because it's a great resource to get students engaged in nonfiction topics. Most topics include a little bit of reading along with a video and a map of where the animals are located. I do like it as a research site for animals and my kids absolutely love National Geographic!

This is just the beginning of my list of resources to use with my kids. If you know of any other resources, feel free to comment on this post and let me know! Happy reading!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

1:1 Classroom

Hey everyone. Wow, it's been a while since my last post! It's been an extremely busy first month of school. Now that the school year is in full swing, I'm determined to start back on my blog and to update it on a consistent basis. At the end of the school year last year, I was lucky enough to receive a full class set of netbooks in my room. Having a netbook for each student in my classroom was amazing. I could do things on a daily basis that was impossible before. This year, I started off the year with my netbooks and I am changing the way I teach and learning new ways to use them that I never imagined. My goal is to share different ways that I using netbooks in my room throughout this year. 

We started off the year by using Moodle as our go-to site. Moodle has provided me with a way to hold online forums for class discussions, reading response homework, and sharing our opinions about the way we do things in the classroom. It is also a great tool for posting websites that we use in the classroom and at home for math skills practice, ebooks, learning videos for science/social studies, and much more!  This month, I will be showing students how to take a quiz and complete surveys on Moodle. 

Another Web 2.0 tool we've been using in our classroom is Survey Monkey. We learned about inherited traits last week and integrated the use of Survey Monkey to gain information about inherited traits within our classroom. The students enjoyed completing the survey and viewing the class results in as little as 10 minutes! We analyzed our data by creating a bar graph on our Promethean Board and seeing which inherited traits were most common within our room. The students really enjoyed using this tool and I'm thinking of letting them create surveys on Survey Monkey in groups later this year. 

Overall, this year is off to a great start with our netbooks!  I'll continue to post new ways to integrate netbooks in the classroom as I learn new ways for implementation. Until next time...