Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Connections Through Thinkfinity

This week I had a workshop on Thinkfinity in the Classroom. I had a very diverse group of teachers. There was a dance teacher, ESL teacher, health teacher, foreign language teacher, etc. What was so great about this group was that everyone found something that they could use in their classroom in Thinkfinity.

Thinkfinity is a free resource for teachers, parents, and students. There are thousands of lesson plans, podcasts, videos, interactives, e-sheets, etc. At first glance, many teachers think it is only for the core curricular areas (Math, Science, Social Studies, and Language Arts). The attendees in my workshop proved that Thinkfinity has something for every subject area. 

Here are some things that they found. There were some resources that I wasn't aware of, so I wanted to share them with you.

The ESL teacher searched keyword ESL and then clicked on the Thinkfinity Community Tab. On that tab were several resources. One that I thought was very good was "Assembling an ESL Toolbox". Another one was "Oral English assessments and ESL speaking English Activities". 

The Health teacher found a lesson he liked in ScienceNetLinks on diabetes. He said he liked the lesson because it gave him all the information he needed to teach it and articles for students to read. The lesson was "Heart 2: Changing Lifestyles and Heart Health." There is a quiz for students, esheet, assessment and answer key.

A 5th grade teacher found "What can you make from a buffalo" (a student interactive matching game). This came out of a lesson from Smithsonian's American History on "Origin Stories of Plains Indians". When we pulled up the interactive, we were looking at what Native American children made out of the ribs of the buffalo. They made a sled with the ribs. Then I mentioned that Wonderopolis had a Wonder of the Day about How Sleds and Sleighs are Different.

Almost everyone found something in Wonderopolis. A couple that they pointed out were: "Does Matter Really Matter?" and "What Fairy Tale Ending Would You Change?". They really liked the vocabulary words, the comments, and learning about the different wonders.

One of the things I really liked about this workshop was that everyone found something they could use in their classroom. Also, how they could connect to other areas through Thinkfinity and the Content Partners. The other thing I really liked is that I also learned some new things. That is my favorite type of workshop, where we all learn new things together.

Thinkfinity Content Partners

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