Animal School Video

A picture is worth a thousand words, and a video even more when it puts together pictures in such a powerful way. What are we doing to our children?

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Website: Understanding Evolution for Teachers

Here is an excellent source created by the University of California Museum of Paleontology, “Understanding Evolution for Teachers“. The site for teachers is part of a larger site for evolution.

The section for teachers is divided into learning about evolution and teaching it.

Topics include the history, understanding of evolution, including misconceptions and relevance to our daily lives. The site is geared toward teachers with lesson plans, but there’s also a section that’s geared toward all readers, not just those who are teaching.

This is a very thorough website, neatly laid out with information and hands on lesson plans for teaching specific concepts. A very helpful feature is their search options. You can search according to grade levels, K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12, by topic or keywords.

To see everything laid out, their site index is neatly laid out and very easy to follow. They, also, have a very nice glossary with short concise definitions and pronunciation guide for most of the terms.

Web pages, also, have graphics to illustrate the points made in text. And while there’s a lot of information on the website, there isn’t a preponderance of text on individual pages, making it easy to read. Links lead the reader to other sections of the website for further study or clarification and/or to outside resources.

This is a great resource for both understanding and teaching evolution. It can be used exclusively or nicely supplemented with living books. While it’s not specifically for homeschoolers, the lesson plans I looked over can be easily adapted for use in the home.

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Buddhist Studies

Buddha Buddhanet.net is an extensive site filled with well laid out variety of resources for the study and practice of Buddhism.

From their site:

BuddhaNet is a non-sectarian organisation, offering its services to all Buddhist traditions. It aims to facilitate a significant Buddhist presence in the ever-expanding realm of computer communications technology, applying this technology to helping make the Buddha’s teachings freely available to all.

Their e-learning section has curriculum for all ages.

This section contains links to pdf files for adult self study, and an extensive curriculum for primary and secondary grades. Primary grades include links for mazes, coloring pages, stories, puzzles, and songs with corresponding mp3 files. The link to the primary grade syllabus is here.

I clicked on the first unit for primary grade and found an adorable graphic of a little Buddhist, that seems to follow all the lessons.

little Buddhist

The page has text, pictures and a link to a story about the topic being taught. At the bottom of the page is an activity box with links to various activities, including guided meditations with instructions for teachers, and mp3’s of the songs with lyrics, and a karaoke version for budding singers, no less! There’s, also, a quiz box.

I briefly look at the secondary syllabus, and clicked on their first unit, and was equally impressed. It, too, has an activity box and quiz with corresponding links.

I have not used these resources yet, but intend to. There are tons of resources to download. This site contains a wealth of material, is thorough and definitly worth taking a look at if you’re interested in teaching Buddhism and/or practicing Buddhism!


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Website: The White House

The White House graphic I’m still on a high from yesterday’s inauguration – the long sustaining high that comes from inspiration and commitment. Not just the temporary sugar high of excitement, although, I confess, at this moment I feel that, too!

At 12:01 P.M., right after President Obama became our 44th president, his new website went up at whitehouse.gov.

Its interactive and it’s phenomenal. What a fantastic resource to keep engaged and knowledgeable as a citizen, and what a wonderful, real time way for students to learn about and participate in their government.

One of the features I love is the ability to review and comment on non-emergency legislation for five days before the President signs it. I see no age restriction here. My eleven year old can put in her two cents worth just as I can.

To keep up to date on what’s happening, you can sign up for email notices or subscribe to their rss feed. There will, also, be weekly videos starting Saturday, by the President.

You can read more in depth about these features here on The White House Blog.

URL: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/change_has_come_to_whitehouse-gov/

The educational section is wonderful. Learn about the White House, the history of it, fun facts, time lines and slide shows.

URL:http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/white_house_101/

For a study on government, federal, state, judicial, and resources, this link is fabulous.

URL: http://www.whitehouse.gov/our_government/

It’s a work in progress, but worth keeping up with. What better way to learn about our government, but to engage directly with it?

This is one way, that may inspire you and your student to become engaged in ways that are right for you in your own community.

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NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program

ywp icon
NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program.

This started November 1st. It’s the youth part of the National Novel Writing Month for adults, and runs from November 1st through the 30th, 2008.

Even if your child doesn’t participate in the event, and set a word count goal, they should at least sign up to receive the wonderful pep talks, emails, from various authors. There are, also, three e-workbooks you can download for free on creative writing.

I downloaded the elementary one, and it looks like a pretty helpful resource. Click on the highlighted corresponding words for the middle school and high school workbooks. Better yet, just go to the website and check it out for yourself, visit the forums, get ideas, inspiration and support. The website, itself, is wonderful with writing helps and prompts.

Brhiannon, who is a VERY reluctant writer has started on her novel. I frankly don’t care how far she gets with her word count. What matters is that this site inspired her to try something she normally wouldn’t.

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