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Web Site Treasures

Imagine being ship wrecked on a deserted barren island with 30 students. You find an old barracks completely decked out with beds, cooking paraphernalia, and food. It will be a few days before you are rescued. The waters are shark invested so no swimming is allowed. With nothing else to do, your students begin searching for buried treasure. They are convinced a pirate ship must have landed on this island. After digging in several locations, a large watertight crate is discovered. Aha! The treasure chest has been found. Inside are 31 laptop computers (batteries fully charged) with wireless connectivity, 5 PDAs with probes, and a digital camera. You dig out a copy of the current issue of MultiMedia Schools magazine from your knapsack and turn to the CyberBee column. With a smile on your face you know how to turn these treasures into golden learning experiences. Even if you are not on a desert island, you can help your students discover a treasure trove of information by visiting these Websites.

Art

ArtCyclopedia

Over 7,500 artists are represented with links to more than 100,00 works. You can search artists by name, artworks by title, or art museums by name/place. A search for Winslow Homer returned the date of the artist, a short quote, over three dozens links directly to his paintings in museums, related Websites, and articles about him. In addition, there is a today in art history feature that is loaded with information.

Crayola Art Education

Binny and Smith have produced an excellent resource for art teachers. There are directions for creating with many different types of art media. In addition, there is a history of crayons and contests that students can enter.

Mr. Picasso Head

Create a Picasso painting using shapes, paints, lines, and design. This interactive painting tool allows the artist to create and then post in the Picasso gallery with other Picasso-like artists. You may also print a paper copy of your work.

Language Arts

Pop-up and Moveable Books

The University of North Texas has prepared a virtual tour of pop-up books from the nineteenth century to present. There are many wonderful illustrations, including a few animations that give you an idea of how the movements would appear in the book. This is a must visit site if you are planning any lessons about pop-up books.

Reading is Fundamental

The focus of Reading is Fundamental (RIF) is to develop children’s and family literacy programs. There are several activities geared toward elementary grades such as making a butterfly garden, price problems, and calendars. Students can also downliad ebooks, apps, and more. In addition, there are lists of books for reading.

Music

Creating Music

No matter whether you are 4 or 104, you will be fascinated with this creative environment. It's a place for kids to compose music and play with musical instrumentation. In addition there are music games and puzzles. Turn up the volume and have fun.

New York Philharmonic Kidzone

Make your own instrument, meet musicians, play Mozart's Minuet game, and learn about composers at this kid friendly site. When you enter the page, you find yourself in a balcony seat listening to the orchestra warm up. From here you can choose all sorts of areas to explore from the instrument storage room to the composer’s gallery. Book your tickets now for a visit to a great site.

Math

FunBrain

Fun Brain is one of the most popular sites for elementary teachers and students. There are games, quizzes, and standards guides. Some of the games include Change Maker, Fresh Baked Fractions, and Guess the Number.

Pattern Blocks

Pattern Blocks was inspired by the No Matter What Shape Your Fractions are In site developed by Cynthia Lanius. In this Java program four different pattern blocks or manipulatives can be dragged onto a grid and moved around. The purpose of this activity is to familiarize students with different shapes, their relations, and their properties. Easy to understand instructions are provided along with links to fraction activities.

Physical Education

PE Central

Many activities are provided for physical education teachers to use in their daily instruction, including interdisciplinary lessons. A few of the other topics covered are adapted physical education, assessment ideas, and positive learning climates. Be sure to read the Kids Quote of the Day, it will make you smile.

P.E.4Life

P.E.4LIFE is a national, non-profit advocacy organization for promoting quality, daily physical education programs for America's youth. A free community action kit is available for the price of postage. The P.E.4LIFE: Community Action Kit includes PowerPoint® presentations, handouts, sample letters, and a dynamic seven-minute video that highlights the benefits of quality physical education.

Puzzles

Discovery School's Puzzlemaker

Create puzzles and games for flyers, newsletters, or the classroom. Choose from 11 different types of puzzles with step-by-step instructions for adding content. Save time by using the ready-made words lists from Discovery Channel or cut and paste your own. You can print or save your puzzle online once you have signed up for a free account. Puzzlemaker is easy to use for teachers and students.

The Jigzone

Solve jigsaw puzzles online. Select a level of difficulty from 6 pieces to 247 pieces for each puzzle. Upload photos and create your own jigsaw puzzles. Share puzzles with friends and receive the puzzle of the day via email.

Reference

MegaConverter

The name says it all. This useful tool converts and calculates weights, measures, and units. There are currently two versions MegaConverter Original and MegaConverter2. Both have an interactive conversion dial that is a snap to use.

yourDictionary

Features include definitions, pronunciations, translations, explanations, word of the day, and activities for increasing vocabulary. There is a specialty glossary with over fifty categories of subjects. Translate foreign languages or visit the multilingual library. Enter the game room and find crossword puzzles, encryptions, fill-in puzzles, word jingles, and semantic scramblers. Write you name in ten different languages. The educational services section offers essays from leading linguists about word histories. This is and excellent reference site to add to your bookmarks.

Wacky Patent of the Month

Ever heard of an eye protector for chickens, audible toothbrush, or self-waiting table? The Wacky Patent of the Month is devoted to recognizing selected inventors and their remarkable and unconventional patented inventions. An archive of previous months is available.

Science

BrainPop

A highly interactive site that is lots of fun. Content is based on the needs of its users and the National Science Education Standards. At present, BrainPOP.com has over 80 original animated movies covering Health, Science, and Technology topics. BrainPop School is subscription based.. See the site for details.

eNature

Several field guides are presented for observing and identifying plants and animals sponsered by the National Wildlife Federation.

Social Studies

New Deal Network

Study the Great Depression using the New Deal Network as an educational guide. Documents, photos, the arts, letters, and created lesson plans for teachers are included in this extensive site sponsored by the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute and the Institute for Learning Technologies at Columbia University. Particularly interesting and powerful are the letters written to Mrs. Roosevelt by children during the depression that are included in the Dear Mrs. Roosevelt lesson.

Memorial Hall Museum Online

The history of New England is revealed through artifacts and historic documents. Browse the online collection to view items on a variety of topics. Use a magic lens to transcribe written documents. View period clothing from all sides by rotating the picture or watch a video to see how tools were used during colonial times. Create your own chronology of events by selecting topics and dates. Detailed lesson plans for all grade levels are ready to use or may be adapted to your community.

Treasures Found

Continue to imagine that the Websites are so engaging that students barely notice a ship on the horizon. Rescued, they leave the island taking the treasure of knowledge with them. Now that is a happy ending.

 

Originally Published Mar/Apr 2003

UpdatedMarch 12, 2015
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