Student Meteorologists @ Pinchbeck!

I was lucky to work with the awesome students in Mrs. Ferguson’s class earlier this week. The students have been learning about weather and Mrs. Ferguson wanted to tie writing into her lesson. So we came together and developed a fun activity for the students.

The students were put into groups of about 3 and each given a weather event. They then had to imagine that they were a meteorologist and write a weather report. Mrs. Ferguson had her class go through the standard revision process as the class would have done for any piece of writing.

The weather groups then took their report and put together a simple video using Windows Movie Maker. They imported a picture and recorded their voice. After the recording students trimmed their movie to an appropriate duration. Check out two of the great examples below.

Student Meteorologists from Jim Covais on Vimeo.

What made me the happiest during this lesson was that this was the first time Mrs. Ferguson’s class used Windows Movie Maker. I’m so proud of them. If this was just their introduction to the program, imagine what awesome videos they will create next time.

Want to create something similar with your class? Want to dive right into Movie Maker? Sign up, and we’ll plan something great!

Free Clip Art!

FREE!

No word in the English language do teachers love more than the word  free. Well maybe snow day, but that’s two words.

Openclipart is a place where you can get free public domain images. You can use these pictures in all of your projects. There are no annoying terms or conditions attached to these images. I know you think I’m lying about this, but it’s true. I would never lie about free stuff. Check out this chart that shows you all the uses for these pictures. (Spoiler, all the answers are yes)

I use the images on this site all the time and love the quality of the work. Go to Openclipart.org to start downloading and enhancing your projects today.

Be Social and Join a Community

The times I’ve grown most as an educator was when I collaborated with my fellow teachers. It’s very powerful to get a different point of view. However, I found that collaboration was one of the hardest things to achieve. You’re in one room all day and when you do get a break you have to check your box, write lessons, call parents, and maybe take a bathroom break. Time is extremely limited. This is why I love the communities so much on Google +.

Google + has many communities that you can join. Some may not be appropriate for the workplace. (The One Direction community is an example of an inappropriate community. It’s never ok to like One Direction.) Some communities you can join, while others you have to ask to join.

The reason why I love the Google + communities so much, is that I’m able to collaborate with other educators not just in my building or county, but across the nation and world. The sharing and flow of ideas from educator to educator is a beautiful thing. When we all work together we raise each other up. The best part is I can collaborate on my schedule. I can do it if I have a few minutes free during the day or early in the morning while I’m having breakfast.

Start to search for a community today. Sign in to Google + and from the Home drop down menu select Communities. Google will show you communities that you might be interested in. (Just go past the Vampire Diaries community…I mean really?…) Just use the search bar at the top of the page to search for a community you might be interested in.

One community that I find very useful is Educational Apps for Kids. In this community educators and parents share apps that can be used to teach students. This is a really cool way to learn about new apps for the ipads.

I could go on for a very long time about the different communities that are available and I still wouldn’t hit all the great ones. Think about the need you currently have. Maybe you want to come up with new ways to teach science, or new strategies for integrating technology in your classroom. Whatever your need may be, search for it in the community search box. Start exploring the communities. If you find a community that is really awesome post it in the comments section.

Now go out and be social.

Take a Field Trip to Egypt….Well Sort Of…

Put away all those boring text books and take a trip to the Egyptian Pyramids. Google Street View Treks has gone to Egypt.

Included in this trek are:

Awesome facts about the Pyramids.

Self guided tours of the Pyramids and other attractions.

Stunning panoramic photos of the Pyramids and Sphinx.

Just think about how great this resource will be when you start teaching about ancient Egypt. You’ll be able to show your class the exact location of Egypt. Students have a hard time understanding how big and grand these structures really are. With this trek, students will now be able to get a sense for how much work went into the Pyramids and Sphinx.

Go check out this trek!