Thursday, December 07, 2006

ZOHO Polls

I wanted to share with you a cool little tool I found out about today. It's called Zoho Polls. It's a free web application that allows you to create an online poll in 3 quick and easy steps. You can make your poll public or private (email invitation only).

I remember my daughter's Kindergarten teacher doing polls every now and then, and I believe this would be another interesting way to "conduct research." Try out my ice cream poll, and see what you think.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

USB Microscope Pictures!

In our first meeting, Beth mentioned that she would like to play around with a USB Microscope. I just finished playing around with the ProScope that my friend loaned to me, and I wanted to share with you two images I took with this awesomely easy-to-use tool (see below). Beth, I'll bring the microscope to you on Monday.

This is a picture of my thumb print on my left hand.

This is a picture of the hair in my ponytail.

Monday, December 04, 2006

What Next?

I've been thinking a lot about you and your students, and wondering how the China unit is going. I've been keeping up a little bit through Brelle's blog. It seems like all is going well.

I told you all I would contact you today to ask for input on what would be helpful to you at this point. Since we aren't going to be able to meet today, and your China unit will be completed by the January meeting that we've set, what would you suggest? Would you like to meet as a group or would you prefer to meet individually, or maybe a combo? Originally, I was supposed to work with "the group" for four one-hour sessions, but we have some wiggle room, so don't worry about going over our allotted time. Instead of responding via email, why don't you all post your ideas and thoughts as a comment to this posting.

I do have one piece of technology to suggest that would lend itself to collaborating and sharing resources for this China unit -- a Wiki. Here's a quick definition from Wikipedia:
A wiki is a type of Web site that allows the visitors themselves to easily add, remove, and otherwise edit and change some available content, sometimes without the need for registration. This ease of interaction and operation makes a wiki an effective tool for collaborative authoring.
If you get a moment, check out these links for examples of how teachers are using wikis:

If you do decide (either individually, or as a group) that you would like to explore creating a wiki, I just found out that Wikispaces is giving away "free K-12 Plus wikis. That includes all the features and benefits that normally cost $50/year - for free. No fine print, no usage limits, no advertising, no catches."

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

China Unit Plans

I did some searching on the internet and found two China unit plans written by 2nd-grade teachers in Colorado. They come from this site. (BTW...on this site you will find many rich unit plans for all grade levels, including Kindergarten.) While these particular lessons are geared toward 2nd-graders, I still think you might find them full of useful information. If you're interested in looking at them, click on the images below to download: