Fear of the number 13, knocking on wood, stepping on a crack. Where did these superstitions come from? Why do we still believe in them? Find out by watching this TED Ed video and then taking a quiz, digging deeper with web links, and writing an answer to a discussion question. Better hurry, though. Halloween is coming!
Ever get sick and tired of writing down the same one line journal prompts? Why not try a video with a question? Once that TV starts rolling you've already got everyone's attention and journaling just became a lot less painful.
The Kid Should See This: Smart Videos for Fun and Learning
By screening short videos that provide a visual look at subjects ranging from science to art, teachers can reinforce concepts kids are learning in class.
Pros: Informative, kid-appropriate videos include written background information.
Cons: Content is divided into general categories, but isn't sorted by age or specific topic.
Bottom Line: Regularly updated visual content stimulates interest, learning; adding better sorting capabilities would make it a stronger resource.
Bring real-world stories from public radio into the classroom
Pros: Vast range of solid current event info and historical stories from public radio let students make genuine connections.
Cons: Audio-focused site could use a few more videos and images to entice kids used to snazzier visual content.
Bottom Line: A fantastic resource that brings both historical and current event public radio stories into the classroom.
Pros: Kids will find the articles interesting, and teachers can track student quiz and comment activity to facilitate progress.
Cons: Articles on fluff topics like a pageant shoe parade don't offer much useful information; the topic listings and tags could be more clearly defined.
Bottom Line: TweenTribune's questions, quizzes, and educator tools can help kids follow and understand the news; its content may work best with younger users.
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Valerie Bourbour is a certified educator and past Co-Director of The Academy of Ormond Beach. Ms. Bourbour has experience in online learning platforms and aims for student success.