Paul Bunyan. First popularized in 1910 by newspapermen and logging companies across the country, this larger-than-life character is a symbol of might, the willingness to work hard and overcome obstacles. Enjoy some of the tall tales about Paul Bunyan and his trusty blue Ox Babe and you will see why this hero embodies the frontier spirit and is loved by many.
Title: NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program
Summary: Wildly engaging contest turns students into novelists in 30 days
Pros: The light tone and fun activities ensure the novel-writing process isn't intimidating at all.
Cons: Every month should be National Novel Writing Month!
Bottom Line: A thoughtful adaptation of the famous and fun grown-up novel writing contest, NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program is brimming with advice and encouragement as well as classroom support.
Explore background information about Nelson Mandela and the end of the South African Apartheid in April of 1994 for Nelson Mandela Day, July 18th. Learn more about Apartheid and empathize with the plight of Africans suffering under Apartheid.
Title: Roadtrip Nation
Summary: Outstanding site motivates kids to follow dreams, work hard
Pros: Diverse, relatable, and just-plain-fun video content will knock the socks off even the most blasé teen.
Cons: Curriculum has to come from a classroom; kids can't go exploring the site on their own.
Bottom Line: Incredibly inspirational, fun, and helpful guide for kids trying to figure out a sustainable, happy future.
Looking for some extra fun to enhance your curriculum on Friday? Are you a geek? Do you like to cook? Check out this Science Friday radio program with guest Jeff Potter, a software engineer and author of Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks, and Good Food. Learn about food chemistry, what equipment can improve your cooking, and the impact of temperature on a variety of foods.
Best of all they have an archive! So you can pick old broadcasts to share.
Summary: Exemplary Common Core-aligned lessons from rock star peers at large
Pros: All lessons are classroom-ready; they're aligned directly to the ELA and Math Common Core standards, and include teachers' notes and reflections.
Cons: Lessons are often presented as a series, sometimes making it harder to teach them individually.
Bottom Line: Get a head start on the Common Core transition with this professional community for great classroom-ready lessons.
If you've been at the beach all summer have you been lathering on your sunscreen? You already know that a trip to the beach can give you a nasty sunburn, but the nitty gritty of sun safety is actually much more complex. Wrinkle-causing UVA rays and burn-inducing UVB's can pose a serious risk to your health (and good looks).
Summary:Get beyond binders with digital, remixable lesson-planning tool
Pros: Endlessly customizable features make it easy for teachers to remix content and share it efficiently with their students.
Cons: Some teachers and administrators might balk at having to start from scratch.
Bottom Line:If you invest some serious time in preloading your content, this is an exceptional tool for building and using your lesson plans.
Did you know you can communicate volumes of information in a simple handshake? Here's a great opportunity to learn more about this often misunderstood skill. Become more effective and learn to avoid handshake traps in this great resource.
Title: Google Hangouts
Summary: Communication, learning, and fun converge nicely in Google's slick platform
Pros: It's easy to use, versatile, and can keep kids communicating and building skills outside of class time.
Cons: As there aren't any kid safety rules here, highly supervised use is recommended.
Bottom Line: It runs like a dream, works on all devices, and can be used in so many ways to enhance interactive learning.
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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.