Friday, March 4, 2011

Library of Congress - FREE Resources for Teachers

If you are looking for quality classroom resources, check out the Library of Congress website for teachers.  The url is:

The layout of the site "keeps it simple" and is easy to navigate. 
 As you can see from this screen shot, you will find classroom materials and opportunities for your own professional learning.  There are 15 modules of online PD for teachers that take from 45 - 180 minutes to complete.

 You will also find classroom material including: lesson plans, themed resources, primary resources, presentations, activities, and the LOC's collection specific resources.  The classroom materials for language arts, social studies and library/technology are searchable by topic and era.  Lessons are aligned to state standards.  I like the searchable lesson database that allows you to choose state, grade and subject.

Teachers are always looking for quality images that are not blocked in schools.  You will find that on the LOC site and teachers are allowed to use the materials for their classroom.  On the additional resources tab you will find another collection of information for music, science, newspapers, the Veterans History Project, and more...
This is a great site that contains relevant material and activities that will help you add rigor to your classroom lessons.  Let me know how you use it and share your suggestions for using the site as a comment here. 

Monday, February 28, 2011

Check out - Myths and Legends Story Creator

I've been recharging for a week and haven't been posting although I have been researching appropriate web 2.0 tools and innovative teaching strategies.  Here is something for you to consider if you teach upper elementary or older grades/classes.  There are a lot of comics web 2.0 tools you will find and what I am sharing supports my previous posts about digital storytelling tools and strategies. 

Myths and Legends Story Creator is one of those tools that allows students to create their storyboard while developing their story online.  I like the way this British site is laid out and the "simple" way you click to add a background, characters, objects, speech bubbles, and slide a bar to re-size or rotate objects. 

There is a HELP tab at the bottom of the page.  When you click it, explanations and directions are provided to each part of the story creator by rolling your mouse on each section of the site.  "Simple" for kids to figure out how to manage the site with few questions.  When you are done click "help" again and the explanations stop and you can resume creating.  You type the text at the bottom of each page. 

You can create and print stories using Myths and Legends  without a log in but, there are additional features if you join the site with an email and password.  You can record audio on each scene.
You can also save your stories with a log in.

 The story creator does require Flash Player.  Here is the link to the requirements for Myths and Legends.

Here is the link to teacher information including registering your school for the site.  You can read and decide if that is something you want to do but, students do not need to log in to use and develop a story. 

I hope you find this creative site useful and supportive.  I would love to hear your feedback on the site and know how your students like it.  Enjoy!