Wednesday, August 15, 2012
A Favorite Website: Build Your Wild Self & New Products
Hiya! I've got a LOOOOONG post for you today, but it's filled with goodies! First, I've been busy creating again and I've come up with two different things! The details are below. Under that, I'm sharing one of my favorite websites with you all!
My first product I created is an Ultimate Teacher Planner! Well, it can be an anything planner, but it's definitely useable for teachers!
Included in this planner:
-Month by Month UNDATED single page spreads & double page spreads
-To do list template
-Parent communication form
-Daily schedule template
-Class list forms
-Lesson plan template
-Daily 5 Checklist forms
I chose to create this for my own pleasure, but wanted to share it with you all! I left the calendars undated - why??? Well, so you could use this planner year after year without having to change the dates on the form - you just write the dates in yourself! I also chose to create some of the forms with numbers. This is so that way you don't ave to rewire names 9723948 times and can just assign your students a "number." I'm not trying to say that your students are just numbers... this is just for your forms! :)
I chose the coral damask since it's my favorite color, but I do have many other backgrounds that I can make - if you want one on request, let me know! I'll see what I can do :)
My second product I created is a Fraction & Decimal Matching Game.
This game is really very basic, but I wanted to keep it this way. Why? I remember when I was younger... I had a few friends that had trouble learning their fraction and decimal equivalents. My teachers gave them similar types of activities... flash cards, quizzes, etc., to help them practice. I loved doing fractions and decimals, but saw the struggles they faced. So, I chose to create a plain, gray and black game for students to practice learning their fraction/decimal equivalents. I didn't want to fancy it up with a bunch of graphics and so forth, and I wanted a calming background behind the cards. Anyway... this is great for those students that need more practice or for a review before a big test! I hope that you can find some use in your classroom for these :)
Build your wild self? What the heck does that mean? Well, I'll tell ya! This is a website that I absolutely adore (and a website that I wish I would have come up with). I'm not sure how many of you are familiar with this website, so I thought I would share! It's called Build Your Wild Self. This website is sponsored by the New York Zoos & Aquarium and the Wildlife Conservation Society.
First, I'm going to show you how to make your own wild self, and then I'll give you all some ideas (and things that I've done with this website)!
Once you hit the start button, it's pretty self explanatory. You write your name first and then choose your gender. You can also choose your skin tone below where you chose your gender if you would like to change that. Once you choose your gender, you start to choose the rest of yourself.
You choose from your hair, eyes, ears, face, arms, bottoms, and tails. But, I'm warning you now: you may have some students that become upset when using this site. When you sometimes choose a piece of clothing such as shorts, it may get replaced by a bottom that you have chosen. Therefore, you cannot always have the shorts and bottom you want and might have to pick between the two. Make sure your students know this or else you are gonna have a few upset students!
The cool thing when choosing your body parts and clothing is when you put your mouse over a certain object, it tells you what kind of animal that is from. For example, in the picture below, I chose to put spider crab claws on my person. You can see this by where my arrow is over top of the arms in the choice window. I had to point this out to my students, so they started trying to find all the same body parts for the animal, but realized they couldn't. This site tries to make sure you cannot just build a single animal... and I'll show you why!
After you choose everything you want on your person, you click your backgrounds. I chose a background already in the picture above... but chose a random one. This is the fun part - you can challenge your students to choose a background that best fits their character they made. This is where habitat skills come into play! Have fun with it.
The next picture is my finished person. I've also clicked on the red button that says, "I'M DONE." It will bring you to this new screen where you find out a TON of information about your wild self.
At the top on the left hand side, you see my name is "Sara, the Ibex-fen-mon-cra-bat." Try saying that 3 times fast... my kids LOVED telling each other what their new name was. Beyond that though, this screen brings out some amazing science information. Do you see where it says, "What's WiLD about you?" This is my favorite part of the entire website. This is where the true science comes into play.
Each body part that you've chosen is listed in that scroll down menu. For example, I chose Ibex horns. Well, in that little box, it tells me what the Ibex horns do for me. Therefore, this is an ADAPTATION lesson!!! How cool is that? And you thought it was just going to be a silly, fun activity. NOPE. It's SCIENCE!!!!
This is a great project to lead into discussing various adaptations that animals have all over the world. What kind of adaptations do polar bears have to help them survive in the arctic? What about flies, what kind of adaptations help them survive? And so on. I loved this as an introduction, so I was upset when I couldn't use it...
Anyways... once you click on the "PRiNT your WiLD self" button on the bottom left hand side, you will see a big picture of what you created and then each adaptation is spelled out below that. I suggest printing these out and holding onto them for the two ideas I'm going to give you below!
1) With the knowledge of adaptations, you could have your students do a project using adaptations of a specific animal. It could be an animal included in their picture or an animal outside of the picture. This would obviously go with the subjects of Science and Language Arts.
2) Using the picture, have your students write a story from the point of view of their character. For example, since I have fox ears on my character, I could do a story about how I hear everything that happens in the animal world. I could also discuss how I overheard something that I wasn't supposed to, so I did something sneaky (kind of like Anansi in the Moss Covered Rock). This would be a great idea to use when discussing morals of stories or the character of a person. Therefore, this would be a great activity to go along with the subject of Language Arts.
Of course, there are MANY other ways that you could use this simple, fun creation, but these are just a few ideas that I have come up with on my own. I intended to use this idea in my 2nd grade classroom with the idea of #2, but we "ran out of time..." - long story.
SO, I hope that you found this website useful and that it can be a quick and simple, yet educational, project you might use in your classroom - regardless of the ages of your students!
That's all I've got for you. Time to go to dinner for baby sister's birthday - Italian ... MMMMM.
Have a good evening, y'all!