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Net Books ... Now What?

I am SO excited!!!  Look what I got this week ...



Yep ... that's right ... a full class set of brand new net books all bundled in a shiny roll-y cart - it's like Christmas!  Okay, so they're not ALL mine - I do have to share them with another class in the school, but every second day, all day, they're ALL mine, and I'll take it.  We don't have a computer lab at my school, so for the past few years we've been making do with 3 computers in each classroom, but now that I can get all my students on at the same time, it's opening up a whole new world - a world I'm so excited to teach in!

So far, the only requirement is that my students spend time each session on a program called "All the Right Type" to build their keyboarding skills.  Right now we're aiming for 20 wpm, but as some are already making that goal, it will be raising to 30 soon.  We've got our learning goal posted right on the net book cart for all to see.

Tomorrow we're integrating them into every class - we're going to build graphs on the computer during math, do some research during social studies, and we're publishing Remembrance Day poems in Language ... but that's just the basics.  I want to do more ...

So now what???  I always get the best advice from all of you.  As my students hit their 30 wpm goal, I want to let them try other programs during this 15 - 20 minute block.  What are some of your best tried and true websites to engage students during computer time?  I am also looking for some fabulous resources to use during all the subjects.  Please leave me a comment, and let's compile a FANTASTIC list of resources ... for any subject.  Can't wait to hear what you all come up with!

Happy Thursday!

Jen

34 comments:

  1. My kids love making Prezis online instead of the traditional PowerPoints. I also have a classroom membership to Reading A-Z Kids that we use all of the time.

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    1. I'm so excited to try prezis with the kids, Katie! I played around a bit with it the summer, and I think it's going to be fabulous. I also want to have them try glogster. Do you have any blog posts on your prezis?

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    2. Just a heads-up - the "fine print" in Prezi says it's for people over 18, or under "With Parent Permission" (or something to that effect). We've sent home contracts for parents to sign prior to using the site to ensure we have the 'parental permission' before having students use Prezi. The site does allow for students to 'privacy lock' their work, but they need a school email address (not just a home one) to be able to do this - otherwise all their work is out there on the web. You may want to check with your board's tech people before having your whole class use it, even though it is awesome!

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  2. I would LOVE a classroom set of Net books!!! You are so lucky! Oh the possibilities!! Side note: I bought your Comprehension Question Fans a couple weeks ago and my kids LOVE them! Thanks for making them!

    Kim
    http://literacysundae.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thank-you so much, Kim! I'm so happy to hear that your students love them!

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  3. I don't have netbooks (though I would love even a handful) but I just recently introduced my students to Glogster and they loved it. Their posters were much better than anything I came up with. Keep us posted on what you use!

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  4. Oh my gosh, I'm jealous. Well, many of the sites I use with my kids are subscription, so I'm not sure I'm helping, but two of them are "Leon's Dojo" and "Gizmos". Leon's Dojo gives kids decent quality repeated practice with a variety of basic math skills, and Gizmos is awesome for giving your high flyers a math challenge--they're like little math projects, multi-step, interactive, etc. Then the kids take an assessment at the end as well, and you can see how they did online, so you aren't correcting a huge packet every time they do one. I really like it. I use them at the same time, generally, so that a range of kids can be working on what they need to and nobody feels like only the stronger students are being allowed on the computers. Also, I like Quizlet. The kids can set up flashcard sets for studying (we use it for vocabulary).

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  5. One thing I love doing with our computers is Symbaloo. I've only made math so far, but I have a math board that's color-coded (white for addition/subtraction fact games/websites, purple for logic, etc.). Students get time to play on their own, but I can give them a specific color if I need an individual student to practice a certain skill.

    You're going to love them!

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  6. I use mine all the time. We have 20 netbooks and I have 30 kids so sometimes we have to partner up. RAZ Kids is a new membership that our school is using. We are also getting DreamBox. These programs are more for k-5. What about a blogging website. I have a friend who starts every day with her class reading her classroom blog and then they go on their own blog and answer certain things depending what it on her blog. Enjoy your netbooks, but be careful! We had 10 that walked out of our building! That is why we only have 20!!! Have a great weekend!

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  7. We use http://www.bitstripsforschools.com/ all the time! My students love creating their avatar and then creating comics using their classmates as characters. They recently made a comic strip for Health about our anti-smoking unit. Students give each other feedback on their comics before they hand them in to get evaluated.

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  8. I loved Glogster when it was free, I think it does have some neat features still, even if you have to pay to get the "school" accounts. I used Prezi with a class having them all create their presentations on my account...worked great until a few jokers started putting random chocolate bar pictures overr each others' presetations.

    I also enjoy IXL math (another paid one) that lets the kids practice specific math skills at differentiated levels; I know it is lined up with our provincial standards here in MB. Other than that, I like using freerice.com and the Tim Tang Test (google it) for thinking/learning fun!

    Hope that helps!

    Dawn
    Apples, Owls, and Peppermint Mochas

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  9. I have used Kidblog and love it! We do blog book reports and then also use them for science. We are also getting DreamBox and I'm looking forward to using that with my class this year.
    Bitstrips is always a fun way to engage the kids in several different areas.
    I've just started using Edmodo as well and will be walking my kids through that next week. Jen

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  10. My 6th graders really enjoy the games at http://www.coolmath-games.com/. They seem fairly reasonably educational.

    I am using Edmodo with my students, although I don't have a class set of laptops, and we've had a good time using Quizzes as a way for students to check their own understanding.

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  11. With powerpoints they can record their voices and narrate what they wrote. I know a teacher who had them make narrated fairy tales for the younger grades in powerpoints.

    I don't like cool math they games are pointless. I rather www.mathplayground.com

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  12. freerice.com

    Students can practice vocabulary, math facts, and other things. Each question they get right helps donate rice to those in need. My 5th graders love it. One even said how they saw a word on it and then know they got a question right on the WKCE because they now knew the word.

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  13. We have a cart with 25 netbooks for the whole school to share. Little bit tough. I love Scootpad. It's free and the kids like doing it.
    I have also heard that sumdog is great too- am going to check that one out this weekend.

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  14. Big fan of bitstrips for schools as well. Students can work on them at home and at home and they are very easy to integrate with other subject areas. For example we just completed comics that taught about water conservation. We also use mathisfun.com for the multiplication trainer.

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  15. We are "sharing" 5 laptops in my 4th grade classroom, but we use xtramath.org to practice basic facts. Set up your class & each student progresses at their own rate.

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  16. Really enjoy kidblog.org, popplet, mathplayground, chicktionary...lots of great places to start.

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  17. Our school district is very big into technology. Our 5th grade classes are piloting a 1:1 with chromebooks this year. We are asked to try to use them 85% of the time. The kids love them. Some of my favorite so far are:

    www.youngzine.com
    www.reading.ecb.org
    www.kerpoof.com
    www.popplets.com
    www.wonderopolis.com (I have created a sheet to jot down info..the kids use this one alot for morning work)

    The list goes on and on....but this is a place to start.

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  18. I'm so jealous. We have only one computer in our classroom and no computer lab. My students l love manga high for math games and activities. It's fabulous and you get the results on how your students are doing.

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  19. CONGRATS! We pre- and post-test math concepts each week online; and use IXL for skills practice(mentioned in earlier post ^^). We also use the free version of spellingcity.com; as well as a typing program school wide.
    I intermittently use GlobeTracker; Prezi; GoogleEarth; ReadWriteThink; and Internet 4 Classrooms -- right off the top of my head.
    The best time investment that I made was to create a website for the students (and parents) to access that has all of the sites that we use in class; and that I recommend to students.
    Have fun!

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  20. I use www.xtramath.org to help students practice basic math facts. It is VERY quick and easy to set up. It also provides print out sheets to send home to parents for practice at home. The site is free and has no pop-ups or spam. We also use www.freetypinggame.net to learn & practice keyboarding skills. There are learning areas & areas for play.

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  21. Jen, you are one lucky gal! I'll be getting a few netbooks next year but having a class set would be dreaming!
    We do have a computer lab at school, and a few of my favorite resources are:
    IXL math: http://www.ixl.com/ (Subscription)

    Dreambox Learning: My kids LOVE this and beg me to get on! Its awesome!It does cost money though but it gives me great data- you should ask your school to look into it! http://www.dreambox.com/

    And for an awesome free resource- especially for upper elementary- Edmodo (as others have mentioned!) It's awesome. They love the Facebook feel of it!

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  22. I teach third grade and have 30 students in my class. We have three computers in the classroom and the school has a lab which we get to use for 45 minutes each week. Here are a few recommendations:

    Road To Grammar Jr. - For older students there is "Road to Grammar" - tons of quick and easy practice of grammar skills.

    ScootPad - Register your class to practice common core skills in math and reading. Has fun elements that the kids enjoy, rewards, leaderboard, and a message board. Give full report to teachers and parents, free!

    XtraMath - Free site for practicing math facts. Like ScootPad it gives a reports to teachers and parents.

    Spelling City - Teachers can load their spelling lists and the website does the rest. Includes games, practice, and tests.

    Animoto - The students can easily create professional looking slideshows. Can be used to make presentations for just about any topic.

    KidBlog - The site is safe and easy to use. I post questions and the students respond. I require them to edit and proofread their entries before they are posted.

    Learn Zillion - Excellent 3-4 minute tutorials that follow common core in math and language arts. These videos are very well done and offer an excellent complement to classroom instruction.

    TutPup - Students compete in fun educational games against students from around the world.

    I have a blog where these ideas and more are posted, check it out:
    http://www.scoop.it/t/ed-tech-for-elementary?page=1

    I also have a very extensive classroom website with tons of resources:
    http://vhes.tvusd.k12.ca.us/borgeson

    Good luck!
    Dale Borgeson
    Temecula, CA



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  23. You must try Sumdog! My students LOVE it!!

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  24. New for us this year is ThinkThroughMath.com and I have always like shepardsoftware.com.

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  25. WOW!!! Thank-you so much for all of these fantastic sites to try (and keep them coming!). I'll be spending some time checking these out today. I'll be sure to post which ones are a hit with my students.

    Jen

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  26. Hey Jen,
    I have a TON on my classroom wiki, feel free to check them out and use what you want:
    http://hughesclassroom.wikispaces.com/

    Love your blog. Have a great day-
    John
    An Educator's Life

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  27. Congrats! How exciting for you and your students!!

    I try to use interactive sites whenever possible in Social Studies and Science--there is a ton out there! For Spelling, I use Spelling City and Word Central for looking up definitions of words. I love KidBlog for all subjects, but for responses in reading primarily. XtraMath is awesome too! My students LOVE the computers more than anything in class, so I use them whenever I can get my hands on them, for anything I can think of!

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  28. Hi Jen,

    I love your blog and come back frequently. Nice to see so many awesome resources made in Ontario!!!
    We have 25 netbooks for the school to share. We are supposed to get another 25. We also just got 25 new Ipads.

    My students love Wordle, Kidblog and Bitstrips. I love Read Write Think. My Gr 6 partner likes to use Mathfrog with our students.
    I am now going to check out all the sites other people posted! So helpful!

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  29. Great blog!! In my county we are on our second year of 1:1, the students have their own laptops that they keep all year. There are lots of great sites, but I just noticed (this week) 3 of my students starting their own websites, with wix.com. This is something they are doing for fun, which is pretty cool. One is selling pecans (from her tree at home), one selling duct tape creations, and another babysitting services. None of these are related to school, but could translate to some pretty cool products for many subject areas. We are working on To Kill A Mockingbird right now, and I'm thinking about having them creating their own site, which would satisfy informational writing. Anything to keep them engaged!!!

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  30. Hi Jen! I thought I was already following you but I guess not. So... I'm your newest follower. I totally agree with all the ideas above. I strongly encourage you to use Edmodo as the management tool for all of them. It is a great place to "warehouse" all your links and online programs plus you can build a library of items for your students there too. Right now my 5th graders are tracking the weather in 5 cities of their choice around the world. We're using GoogleEarth & Edmodo for now. They will eventually enter their data into a spreadsheet and create graphs that will be used to compare the weather. We use flipcams to create weather "forecasts" too. You can check out more of my ideas on my blog. Hope you'll stop by. http://www.stimulatingsciencesimulations.com

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  31. If you can get programs downloaded onto the netbooks, our students frequently use Monkey Jam and Pivot on their netbooks. They are animation programs and are great for students to summarise the main idea of what they've read or to visualise a topic. They are also wonderful for project based learning.

    Steph
    missaugello.blogspot.com.au

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