#iCONNECT Tech Tips

Friday, October 31, 2014 #EHSRedDevils

Collaborative Learning with Google Maps

4th grade started their unit on Ecosystems this week so we took that opportunity to explore the Alabama Virtual Library to conduct research and apply facts we learned to an interactive, collaborative Google Map.


Most students were able to make their first pin by the end of our first lesson and will continue to add to the map as their lesson on Ecosystems continues. There are many great tie in activities that can be included using the Google map including longitude and latitude, mathematics, social studies and more!


Because this is our first time using Google maps our lesson is quite simple. Here are a few links to much ore involved lessons using Google maps:




Here is our very simplified lesson plan:



Students will choose an ecosystem using this spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1BVeAw06wYbpHtoDXqV_m3FQ3ITlD1DCXE_NVfXSrHhg/edit?usp=sharing


Students will use the Alabama Virtual Library to find out the following about their ecosystem:

  1. One interesting fact about the country where their ecosystem is located. Include a image/video.

  2. A description of animal life found in their country's ecosystem. Include a image/video.

  3. A description of the vegetation found in their country's ecosystem. Include a image/video.


Students will use an interactive Google Map to record their ecosystem research.

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Creepy Crawly Mind Maps

3rd graders got into the Halloween spirit this week by researching creepy, crawly spiders! We started the lesson by using KidRex to find interesting facts about spiders. Once students had written down at least four interesting or unusual facts about spiders, we organized their information using Popplet to build a mind map (graphic organizer).


Tuesday I started this project with Ms. Walker's 3rd grade students but we were only able to finish our research. I showed the students quickly what we would do with their research using Popplet the next time I was scheduled to come to their class. I was so excited and surprised when I walked in to Ms. Walker's class on Thursday and several students had already been on Popplet and had already made their mind map!


TIP: Be sure to change up the mind maps (graphic organizers) you use with your students. Check out this link for some great online graphic organizers and what areas are best to use them with kids. https://sites.google.com/site/richardbyrnepdsite/rsu-1-mind-maps-and-timelines

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Math, Reading, Grammar...Oh My! My MobyMax!

3rd grade spent time this week getting familiar with MobyMax. MobyMax is similar to Khan Academy in that it is an adaptive program and provides real time reports so that teachers can provide just in time intervention but covers not only math, but reading and grammar as well. Students can earn game time by completing set amounts of activities with a passing score. Students can also earn badges and other incentives as well as they work through the learning modules.


MobyMax makes it easy for teachers to differentiate based on each students ability level and actually find the gaps and fills them for each student's academic development.

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Coding For Kids- By Linda Smith

Google has provided a fun, just in time for Halloween coding project for kids, The Yeti Project.


Coding is the ability to read and write a machine language as well as to think computationally. Learning to code can lead to outputs valuable in and of themselves, but the process of learning to code also develops problem-solving skills, (digital) confidence, and helps young people understand the world around them. In many respects, we should encourage kids to code for similar reasons to those we give for encouraging them to play sports and learn an instrument: it's good for their development.


Try it out and see how good you can be at coding!