Welcome to the February edition of the Teaching K-6 Blog Carnival. Those of us in Australia and New Zealand are back into the swing of teaching and have no-doubt been very busy setting up our classrooms, preparing teaching programs and establishing behaviour agreements with our students. In this edition we have some great examples of tools to be used in the classroom. There's plenty here to keep your mind active and stretch your skills and expertise as a teacher.
This month I was inundated by posts about free online open coursesware classes, so I've added a separate section for these at the bottom. There's quite a range of interesting courses, but I haven't explored each of these thoroughly - I'll leave that to your discretion.
Innovate - Beyond the Slate
HappyCampers presents LookyBook: Bibliovores Beware! posted at Reese's View Of The World. Find out about Looky Book and how you might use it in your classroom.
Gerald Aungst shares Gifted Thinker, Meager Writer posted at Quisitivity.org. He describes how he uses Audacity to allow students to express their ideas in spoken word before converting to written text.
In Why Bother getting Connected? posted at Digital Learning, Justine Driver shares a discussion on the importance of embedding learning technologies in our teaching. She has embedded a simple but inspiring video: "A Vision of K-12 Students Today". She writes about her early journey with the integration of technology and includes some great resources that she developed as part of this journey. Justine also shares her Learn to Read resources that she has tried with great success in two schools. These are useful with 5-6yr olds, students for whom English is a second language and students with Special Needs.
Jim McGuire presents Free Writing Choice Friday posted at The Reading Workshop. He encourages students to think and plan for a free choice writing session on Fridays. Students are allowed to choose their genre and topic for writing and Jim is there to conference and support them.
Christina has been very busy integrating technology this month she shares three posts at Early Childhood Teacher. In Podcasting and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Christina describes what she has been doing with podcasting in her early childhood classroom. These ideas are great for connecting the language skills of reading, writing and speaking. In Google Maps she outlines an excellent lesson idea for using Google Maps to placemark the birthplaces of students in her class, thus making a geography lesson more relevant.
Laura Milligan presents 25 Safe, Fun & Educational Virtual Worlds for Toddlers, Kids, and Tweens posted at eLearning Gurus. (Please note that there are varying degrees of what constitutes 'safe'. If an adult can register, how safe can it really be? Please be mindful of this when introducing students to virtual worlds and test them for yourself.)
In the News
Kelly Hines provides a thought-provoking discussion about 21st Century Skills in Why the Fight? posted at Keeping Kids First. This topic has been hotly debated in the past month and this is Kelly's response to a Washington Post article. Kelly brings new light to this discussion and shares her own perspective -well worth checking out.
Gerald Aungst gets us thinking this month with his posts on Creativity vs. Discipline and Finding the Ace in Every Child posted at Quisitivity.org. He writes about finding the balance between discipline and creativity in our classrooms. He points out that some highly successful people were particularly unsuccessful in traditional classrooms. He challenges us to find ways to support all students and explore their individual talents.
Look No Further
Helen Eddy shares First issue of Early Childhood News for 2009 is on space posted at Helen Eddy's Blog. Given that 2009 is the "International Year of Astronomy" this post may provide you with some useful resources for exploring space further with your class. Here you will also find other resources about a variety of topics relevant to teaching in Early Childhood.
Thinking about taking an online course?
Kelly Sonora presents Top 50 Educational Policy Blogs posted at Online University Lowdown.
Patricia Turnerp presents 101 Killer Open Courseware Projects from Around the World: Ivy League and Beyond posted at The .Edu Toolbox.
Jessica Merritt presents 100 Weirdest Open Courseware Classes That Anyone Can Take posted at Online Best Colleges.com.
Alissa Miller presents 101 Free Open Course Classes to Learn How to Build ANYTHING posted at Best Universities.
Why not submit your post for the next carnival?
At this stage, editions of The Teaching K-6 Carnival will be posted monthly on the 7th. I will be collecting submissions throughout the month, looking in particular for posts that discuss and exemplify innovative teaching and the integration of technology in the K-6 classroom. I also invite a few "brain strains" to keep our minds alert and challenged. Please submit only articles of which you are the author and refrain from using this merely as a sales pitch.
If you have a relevant post that you would like to submit to the next edition of Teaching K-6 Carnival use our carnival submission form or the widget at the bottom of this page.
Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page or on the widget at the bottom of this page.
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