Muddling through the blogosphere

April 18, 2010
by blogwalker

Celebrating Earth Day: “Think globally; act locally”

earthdayThanks to a post in the SacBee, I just learned that Earth Day turns 40 this Thursday. All around the greater Sacramento area, organizations are hosting regional projects and celebrations to promote the Earth Day concept of “Think globally; act locally.”  If you’re at a school site with field trip money (which is pretty unlikely at any California public schools right now), you have a range of possible real-time activities to help make this year’s celebration meaningful and memorable.

No money for field trips? Not a problem. Here are some free ways you and your students can join in the celebration:

CelebrateUandMeDigitally – Thanks to a tweet from Eva Buyuksimkesyan, an English teacher Turkey, you and  your students have an invitation to join in a number of activities for Earth Day, starting with the EarthBridges VoiceThread.
The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge – Author Joanna Cole and illustrator Burce Degen will be joining the April 20th webcast (10:00 am, PST). Registration is required.  As long-time fan of Miss Frizzle, I’m looking forward to this conversation.
PBS continues to add to their Earth Day offerings. You might want to start your site visit by viewing the American Experience Earth Day Trailer and then move on to your specific interest area:

PBS KIDS! is presenting an entire new line of eco-friendly episodes on April 22 in its “Share the Earth Day” celebration where families can learn about earth science is hosting a webinar entitled “Celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day,” which explores environmental curriculum and student preparedness for green jobs. offers tips on throwing eco-friendly birthday parties, getting tips on making crafts out of recyclable material and supporting a child’s interest in nature.

Education World has activities and ideas for kindergarten through high school.
Earth Day Network’s Green Schools promotes a “Generation of Respect for Education and the Environment Now.”

Thinkfinity – Because the site seems to be down right now (have never had this happen before with TF), I’m linking to  Green Technology’s site for a preview of Thinkfinity’s Earth Day resources:

In the Green Roof Design lesson from Science NetLinks, students will work in small teams to design a heat and water-conserving roof of plant material for an urban apartment building.

The True Green Kids: 100 Things You Can do to Save the Planet lesson helps students to understand that products and objects that humans produce have lifespans and that they need to be recycled, reused and re-imagined so there will be less pollution and waste on the planet.

The National Geographic Environment Video Library present in the Verizon Thinkfinity Environmental/Earth Day feature contains a series of short videos from National Geographic on topics ranging from water conservation to farm restoration to manatees.

Protecting Our Precious Planet from ReadWriteThink, allows students to take part in an Internet-based Earth Day groceries project, decorate paper bags with environmental messages, and examine similar work by children around the world.”

If you have Earth Day resources, lessons, and links to share, please jump in with a comment!

February 21, 2010
by blogwalker

Favorite Links for the Week

For the Week of Feb 14th:

  • Who Pooped? – Found this beautifully done K-adult site from the Minnesota Zoo on Larry Ferlazzo’s site (Note to self: budget time into my day to start visiting all of Larry’s Best of links.) And, yes, the site is very accessible to English Language Learners.
  • Word It Like Warren – On the long return flight from Educon (Philadelphia to California), I managed to board the plane without any reading material of my own.  So I was delighted to find some entertaining articles in Southwest’s magazine, including one on tips for writing like Warren Buffet. (Note: to self: Follow up on all the links that came up when I Googled author Jay Heinrichs.)
  • Vocabulary Web 2.0: 15 Tools, Tips, and Resources – Another great post and resource from Shelly Terrell.
  • Inteview with Adora Svitak – After connecting Adora with a group of 5th graders in my district  during last year’s Megaconference Jr – and watching their faces as Adora effortlessly walked through the steps of composing an impromptu piece of writing, I guess I’m not surprised to learn that this brilliant 12 year old is now the youngest TED speaker ever.

August 22, 2009
by blogwalker

Favorite Links for the Week – Science

This week, I’m looking across the curriculum for great resources for teachers and/or students, starting with science.

  • Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears (K-5) – Expand your background and resources on the polar regions. This online magazine has tons of amazing images, lesson plans, and even podcasts with scientists.
  • Habitat Adventure: The Panda Challenge (K-5) – Invite your students to try their hand at designing a new giant panda habitat for Mei Xiang and Tian Tian. The challenge is to balance the needs of the pandas, visitors, and staff.
  • We Choose the Moon (4-8) – Celebrate the 40-year anniversary of the Apollo 11 voyage.   Pretty impressive  graphics  combined with archival footage, audio and photos to recreate each of the eleven stages of the mission.
  • NASA’s Find Teaching Materials Search Engine (K-12) – You can easily search the database by selecting grade level, type of resource (lesson, poster, etc.), and subject.
  • PBS Quest (7-12) – Wish you had more video clips at your fingertips to jazz up your science lessons?  Checkout their great selection of lessons and videos, such as their introduction to sea slugs:
  • OK, coming up next…Favorite Social Studies Links!

    April 6, 2009
    by blogwalker

    Web 2.0 Tools for Learning about Earthquakes

    A post from Larry Ferlazzo on The Best Sites to Learn about the Earthquake in Italy got me thinking about resources to provide students with background on earthquakes in general – and a handout CSUSM Professor Kathy Hayden recently gave me (during the Robert Marzano session at CUE):

    To the above resources, I’d like to add a tip and link for promoting active listening to science videos (or any video that has students sitting for more than five minutes): Today’s Meeting – a tool that can be used for  incorporating interactive backchanneling into movie watching. (What is backchanneling, you ask?) I discovered Today’s Meeting via a Tweet from Jackie Gerstein, which led to a  post by Chris Webb explaining innovative use of  the tool by middle school history teacher Pat Gerding.

    Once again, I stand back in awe of the power of Web 2.0 and its ability to build PLNs not possible only a few years back.

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