Monday, December 9, 2013

Awesome Stories - Primary Source Research for Students

Awesome Stories is a great free story based research site that provides additional media with a focus on cited primary resources.  The stories are high interest, focusing on events from the present as well as the past.

With the recent passing of Nelson Mandela there are story snippets from his book Long Walk to Freedom. Each page contains numerous additional resources in the form of hyperlinks within the text as well as from the list on the side of primary source photos, movies, sound files, and other media.   

Students can use the search bar to look for specific topics or use explore the calendar to see stories for that week.

With the free version of this site there is access to all the stories and the primary sources.  With an additional silver membership (free for a 30 day trial) there are expanded options such as teacher account with student tracking, audio read alongs, visual vocabulary builder activities, CCSS alignment resources as well as other features.  A more advanced gold level is in the works.

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Hour of Code - Celebrate Computer Science Week Dec 9 - 13

Join classrooms around the country next week by doing an hour of coding with your students. has pulled together resources to make coding simple to introduce to students at all grade levels as well as being easy to understand for teachers who are unfamiliar with coding.

Why coding and why introduce computer science to your students?

The site as some jaw dropping statistics.  By 2020, there will be 1,000,000 more jobs than students in computer science.  9 out 10 schools don't even offer computer programming classes.  Just to list a few.

Visit the site, look though the tutorials and try a few out for yourself.  Do you have limited access to computer labs?  Only a few tablets in your room?  The site gives many different options, including non-tech lessons.   For coding and programming apps check out the post on our iDevice in the Mountains Blog

Not only will you be introducing them to computer science, but you will be helping them build problem solving strategies and teaching them perseverance.