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A Free Alternative to Smartboards: Interwrite Technology

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Photo: A student uses a wireless Interwrite pad/pen to help make his PowerPoint interactive.

Have you wanted a Smartboard but can't afford the price-tag or the space it takes up? Well, consider an Interwrite download, as it can do almost everything a Smartboard can with one quick (and free) download. With a wireless mouse and a clipboard, you are good to go. As for me, I won an Interwrite pad, making it one of my favorite tools in the classroom. 

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Scholastic Teacher Share Beta

Bonus: The ramblings of a sick lady (including random sites of the week!)

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I am rooting for the little engine that could. Scholastic has started up a new resource that allows teachers to create, edit, and share classroom lessons and ideas. Unlike other resources out there (ex-www.proteacher.com), Scholastic's version has a Facebook twist to it. You should check it out today. I believe Jeremy and Danielle are throwing out incentives for lesson plan ideas right now. Do you get that with your principal? I think not!

To learn more about this resource, with links, and some flu ramblings of my own (diagnosed yesterday and writing this from my bed), continue reading on. I might be all over the place, but I blame Tamiflu, a steroid shot, and Robitussin with codeine for my mental decline.

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Regional Tour through Google Earth and Video Conferences

Mindy 

So, this is not a post...it's a plea. Our class is currently completing a tour around the United States regions using various web sites and Google Earth.  We'd love to chat with you, should your class choose to be our regional representative via a video conference.  Live outside of the Southeast? Have a Skype account? In grades 3-5? You pass the test. There is still a glitch with the comments that is being worked out. Email me if you are interested, and we'll set something up soon. [email protected]

As an added bonus, I am including a quick "how to" for video conferencing. Pictured above was a video conference with a special education teacher in Mumbia, India.

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Teaching Moon Phases


I guess science has been on my mind lately. I believe it's called Science Olympiad, and I'm in charge of it. Anyway, I promise to return to my usual literacy state of mind with the next post, but before I do, let's take a moment to look at some incredible resources for teaching moon phases. From a great music resource I dub my new favorite, instructions on making a Moon Phase Transporter, fun with Strep cookies, and (I'm not humble) an Oscar worthy performance in our latest class video, I've got your back on lesson plans. 

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Creating Magazine Covers of Your Students

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One of the computer programs I adore is Print Artist Gold 22. It costs less than twenty dollars and is my resource for creating newsletters, posters, and signs. It also has a built in template to help create magazine covers for each of your students. I am using these covers to help create portfolios for each student and would like to share how easy it is to do so with your class as well.

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Government 101: Yes We Can!

Recycle some Christmas tree branches for the sake of teaching government

By chance, my government unit blends right into the real-world political scene as we welcome our 44th President, Barack Obama, through the Inauguration Ceremony on January 20th. Can you think of a better time to stop and talk about the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Amendments, and the 3 Branches of Government? I can't, and I am happy these concepts fall under our fourth grade teaching standards. I'd like to share my lesson plans and direct resources being used to teach this unit.

*Pictured: A Christmas tree branch, a hook that screws into the branch, fishing line, index cards, and some leaves= "Branches" of Government project.

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Animated Cell Interview: CrazyTalk Program

So wonderful Scholastic contributor, Linda Foote, introduced me to CrazyTalk 5.1 last week. If you have never heard of this program before, you can turn photos or drawings into realistic pieces of animation. This includes eye, mouth, and head movement that goes with imported voice recordings. I downloaded the program on Sunday (49.00 dollars) and was finished with production on Wednesday.  All work was completed by the students, including the script, filming, editing, and tech. skills (ex- animation, green screen work, etc.). Photos from behind the scene are now included for your viewing pleasure.

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Cell Parts and Functions Music Video

Want some help teaching cell parts and functions? Here is a cell music video my class created in class using portions of Mr. Duey's performance of the song "Cells" at our school. My next lesson plan posted on Scholastic will explain how we created the video together in class. I will be posting another cell video shortly that involves awesome animation using CrazyTalk 5.1, a green screen, and ULead Video Studio. It will focus on the differences between animal and plant cells.

A great site to visit on cells- www.cellsalive.com. More learning from our room can be found here.

A Few of My Favorite Things on Scholastic

Studyjams

I will be honest. I still remember how overwhelmed I was when I had the task of getting familiar with all the site has to offer last summer. There is a lot! So, while I have searched high and low with the plethora of information offered on Scholastic, I'd like to share my top 5 favorite resources on Scholastic...

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Latitude/Longitude: Recess Treasure Hunting

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Why teach latitude and longitude using paper and pencil when technology allows you to do so much more?  With a simple GPS device, turn your budding archaeologists into treasure hunters during their recess time.  The only requirement would be an understanding of latitude and longitude on your students’ parts, and one GPS device for your room.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Inside Angela's 4th Grade Classroom are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.