Saturday, January 19, 2013
Who doesn't have a website these days? :) Weebly is a great way for anyone to start their own webpage as it is super simple to use. I started using this tool about 2 years ago when I decided to create a webpage for my classroom. I love that you can easily change layouts, backgrounds, fonts, pictures, and more with just a few clicks. The parents in my classroom that have viewed my page always rave about how easy it is for them to navigate and how much easier it is for them to stay updated on classroom news.
Not only can you use this for a classroom website, but I have created websites through Weebly that are independent lessons for students. In these lesson sites, I was able to include directions for students to follow and also embedded links that the students can use to watch videos, take quizzes, and play games. One of the websites I created for student use was when I taught 3rd grade and we were studying "main idea" in reading. This was a hard concept for my students so I used this website as a follow-up during center rotation time. I plan on using it again this year with my above level 2nd graders.
Feel free to check out my main idea website as well as my classroom website!
Main Idea Website
I know this is a popular Web 2.0 tool and that many of you have probably used it before but I have to say it is one of my favorites and I use it with my students regularly. You are able to use Google Earth to show countries, states, cities, and up close views of places such as famous monuments. You can even zoom in on your school, houses, parks, and other places that are familiar to the students. The coolest part of this tool is that you can view Earth, the Moon, and the Sky.
This year with my 2nd graders I used it to show them a close up view of the Moon during our science unit. I was able to show them craters, light and dark areas, and even places where different countries had visited. I was also able to show them what Earth looks like from this view. When studying continents, I was able to show them what each continent looked like and then zoom in closer to look at specific countries, states, and cities.
Google Earth is great for students to see what certain places look like up close. For many students who have never been to places outside of Maryland, it is great because they can go on a virtual field trip to see some of the coolest places in the world. The kids especially love when you change locations and the picture zooms quickly to another location. It gives them a sense of how close and far places are compare to one another. This is such an engaging tool and I hope you get the chance to use it in your own classroom!