Monika’s Integration Corner

The “yellow limousines” are filled with inquiring young minds… so how can we help teachers meet the needs of their students and pass the grade of coolness?  Here are a School_bus few beginning of the year integration ideas to get things started on the right foot!

Welcome to Our Zoo (All About Me) –easy

Have students choose an animal that best represents them.  Let them find 2-3 images (Image Gallery) to add to a word document.  Students can then describe their animal and how/why it represents them.  If you really want to get creative, hang the documents on a bulletin board and string yarn in front… just like a real cage!  Don’t want to use animals?  Have students pick a planet, geographic location, food, etc… anything to get them to describe themselves to their classmates.

The First Six Weeks: Character Development — easy

The first few weeks are the most important for teachers when it comes to setting the mood in their classroom and establishing some ground rules.  Promote teamwork, cooperation, and conflict resolution with such videos as:

Let’s Get Along: Nice Things Kids Can Do (K-2)

Kids Learn Respect: Courtesy // Disagreements (3-5)

Conflict Resolutions (6-8)

Buzz Clip –easy to hard

Want to motivate those older students?  Using their editing software, teachers can edit several video clips together and show it as a montage of what’s to come this school year.  If they don’t have editing software or want an easier way to show highlights, PowerPoint is always a great alternative (embed or hyperlink videos).  Teachers, stimulate their minds with visual concepts of what your class is all about!

Of course, don’t forget Parent Night—what a great way for teachers to display how students in their class are integrating technology.  Have them display projects their students have created or will be working on using resources from unitedstreaming.  Even better, put together a short PowerPoint demonstrating video streaming and ways that their classroom is on the cutting edge of cool (and technology)—play the PowerPoint on a TV, projector, or a computer situated for all to see (they can choose to loop the slideshow—less maintenance)!

More integration ideas to come…but don’t hesitate to contact your Implementation Rep at 800-323-9084 to get a few creative ideas.

And as always, we want to hear from you!  Reply to this blog with some of the ways that you’ve integrated unitedstreaming into your classroom.

~Monika Davis
Discovery Education, Implementation


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  1. Michele Futch said:

    Thanks for the great tips! I enjoy reading your Blog. I am going to try the “Welcome to our Zoo” project.

    We have a Science Night scheduled for Oct. 12th at my school-Blountstown Middle. Danielle is coming to help me host our first! I am very excited about this! Any cool ideas on projects we can do ahead of time to show our parents. Maybe something kinda like the Zoo project? But, Science oriented?

  2. Matt_Monjan said:

    Thanks Michelle!

    How about challenging your students to build and operate a zoo?

    Have your students research the types of animals that they will care for – what they eat, where they live, layout of the zoo, etc. and then create a virtual zoo using PowerPoint or Inspiration.

    You can download editable clips on various animals and the ecosystems that they live in.

    Replace the videos narration with your own students’ narration using MovieMaker or iMovie (Digital Story Telling).

    Here are a couple of editable clips to get you started.

    I found them by clicking on the Advanced Search link and then chose>grade level 6-8>Subject Science>Sub-Category Life Science and checked the editable clip box:

    1. Biology: The Science of Life: The World of Animals

    2. Where Have all the Animals Gone? Endangered Species

    Need help creating a Digital Story?

    Check out the Professional Development page, and then click on the link to the Live On-Line Webinars

    Or check out the one page fact sheets listed within the Professional Development>Trainers Tool Kit>unitedstreaming

    Open the Zoo at Parent-Teacher Night!

  3. Monika Davis said:

    Hello again!
    You can honestly use this same idea for a myriad of science topics– types of clouds (earth science), types of rocks (earth science), chemicals (chemistry), planets, etc!
    Something that was a big hit in my classroom– A Petting Zoo. As an intro to my Rocks & Minerals unit (3rd grade), I had my students go out and find a pet rock. They were to bring the rock to school along with a description and an explanation as to why they chose their rock. We had a mini “Show & Tell”, and they really acted like proud parents. After this, I introduced some of the key geology terms used to describe various rocks and minerals. Students then updated their descriptions to integrate the new vocabulary.
    I then took a box (turned on its side) and decorated the inside to look like a zoo cage or natural environment. I added a few smaller boxes or steps (made out of sturdy paper) so that I could display our pet rocks– each rock was visible. Lastly, I used yarn to enclose our pet rocks… the yarn became the bars (front opening of box) so that our display looked like a real cage at the zoo. Around our cage (bulletin board), I displayed the descriptions (final copy). We even went as far to invite other classes to view our Petting Zoo and read about our pet rocks.
    This was such a fun activity… cheap, easy, and memorable– the students were inspired to study more about rocks & minerals and become expert geologists. You could easily do something similar for any unit– I hope this helps!
    ~Monika Davis

  4. Michele Futch said:

    Monika, between your great ideas and Matt’s, you two have me wanting to teach Science full-time! Discovery Education and the technology it has on United Streaming and thru the DEN have really put a whole new focus on Science for me!!!

  5. Ana McMoran said:

    What about writing/making a story using PhotoStory3 using all these ideas. Add on that Digital storytelling. and Sunshine State Standards for Narrative Writing. The product of this project using still images and storytelling will amaze you and the kids love it!!

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