Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Learning Resources

There are two things I have recently learned about that I have incorporated at home but could easily be incorporated in a classroom as well. All students need brain breaks, right? Especially since so many students are only given one 15-20 minute recess each day. That's crazy!!! Most teachers do "Movement" in their class. It's an opportunity for students to get up and move. I recently learned about a website called Go Noodle! It's a fun opportunity for brain breaks. You can set it up for FREE!!! :) Just go to https://www.gonoodle.com/.
You set it up for your class and choose a class champ. The champ is sort of like a mascot. As the students complete different brain break activities, they get more points and the champ grows.

See, here is our champ. This is actually our second champ because we completed the first champ. The program is cool because all you do is click that big green "PLAY" button on the bottom. Then, it takes you to a screen where all the activities are. You can favorite the ones you really like. My kids favorite the ones they like, I don't. I can also decide if they choose something from the Energizing section or the Calming section. If they're falling asleep on me or just plain lethargic and bored then they choose a Energizing activity to wake them up. If they're too energetic or stressed from school then I put on the Calming section and let them choose one from there.

Here's a screen shot so you can see some of the options. There's dancing too, it somehow hasn't made it to our "favorites" section yet. And, yes, that's Frozen in the corner. ;) Some of these are olympic sports where Olympians actually exercise "with" the students. My kids think that's really cool. They have them stretch a bit and then they show them how to do their sport and then they do it. Collin really likes those. Ryanne prefers the dancing ones. Neither of them mind Frozen and the calming videos came in very handy when I had a very frustrated child on the verge of tears. YAY!!!

OKAY, now for the second resource I discovered.... Wonderopolis!! This is a fun site that has a bunch of things kids have wondered like... How long is the longest bridge? Why is the ocean salty? What do you mine in mincraft? Why do fireflies glow? Why does skin get wrinkled in water? and many, many others!

So, now you're probably asking what do I use these for? Well, writing prompts! :) We watch the video and then I ask the kids the question. They think about it for a moment and then write about it. Once they've written their thoughts, I show the answer with another video or reading the article.

Today's question was "How are gummy bears made?"
Then we watched this video:

Haribo gummy bears from kolbovskiy on Vimeo.

Afterwards I asked them the question and then they got to writing. Ryanne wrote that jellyfish are cooked with strawberries and then cut into bear shapes. She said she knew it was wrong but didn't know the right answer so she decided to get crazy. Collin wrote about making gelatin and putting it in bear molds. Then... we watched another video to answer the question...

Modernist Cuisine - Recipe - Olive Oil Gummy Worms from Modernist Cuisine on Vimeo.

The kids said this was the best writing prompt I've ever given them. They've already picked out the writing prompt for tomorrow.

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