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How do you spell…..? March 25, 2010

Posted by twinsunplus1 in Digital Natives, Education, Technologies.
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My own children are in second grade and Pre-Kindergarten.  With the second grader we are in our second year of spelling tests.   Spelling does not come naturally to them.

We have tried LOTS of techniques–flashcards, repetition, writing, crying, yelling, more flashcards.  All of these usually ended with someone crying…and not always the second grader….   Then, our lives changed.  We found Spelling City.  

Spelling City is an online spelling resource.  Parents and teachers can import spelling lists OR they can use pre-established lists.  There is  “teach me”, “test me” or “play a game”.   The visual and audio component is a great new technique to add to the study skills. 

We have been using Spelling City for a few weeks now and I have to say, from my vantage as a parent, I LOVE IT!    My second graders can work independently on the words and take responsibility for their work.   If you are a parent or teacher with students who are struggling with their spelling, I encourage you to visit spelling city.

Name: Spelling City

Cost: Free Version & Membership Version

Pros: Allows for independent work, can print selected activities to work offline,

Cons: Selected activities cannot be printed, adds to student screen time. 

Digital Native Rating:  4 out of 5 .



Teaching the Digital Native March 6, 2010

Posted by twinsunplus1 in Digital Natives, Glogster, Prezi, Science, Teaching, Technologies, twitter, YouTube.
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The Teaching Science to Digital Native blog is my way of keeping up with the latest ways to bring science to the students. 

Most of us have heard the term, “digital native”.   Do we really know what that term means?  It refers to the generation of students who have grown up with technology–cell phones, laptops, home computers, digital cameras.   Since they have been using these tools since they were toddlers, in some cases, they understand the technologies better than the adults. 

Teachers have always worked hard to bring their students new experiences.  In the age of the digital native, the students are bringing the experiences to the teachers.   Teachers are the ones who are learning how to operate, integrate, and incorporate technologies into lessons and classrooms. 

Classrooms where the student and the teacher are using digital technologies are classrooms where project based learning or PBLs are the norm rather than the exception.   PBLs allow the student to enter the learning rather than being a passiver participant of the learning.   Technologies such as Twitter, YouTube, wikis, and blogs allow the student to go out and find the experts and learn more up-to-date and current information then was possible ever before.   Once the student has gained information and experiences, they can then utilize services like blogs, wikis, YouTube, Glogster, Twitter, and Prezi to get the information back out and incorporate it to a new situation.   That synthesis and redistribution of information is what learning is all about.   


Join me on my journey as I return to the world of education and learn to teach the digital native all about the world of science.   Over the next few weeks, I’ll be exploring some of these technologies and figuring out how to incorporate them into the NC standards and a High School Biology curriculum.   If you know of a technology that’s not listed, I’d love to hear about it.  If you use one of these in an “out of the box” kind of way, I’d love to hear about it too. 

In the meantime, I better check on the natives,