Archive for the ‘FREE STUFF’ Category

“The producers of PBS’s best science show, NOVA, have posted an excellent gallery of online experiments: Skydive from 100,000 feet. Replicate Shackleton’s 800-mile open-boat journey from the South Shetland Islands to South Georgia. Tweak the variables in a steroid, a rice paddy, or a rocket. Perform a virtual heart transplant. You may get so caught up you never escape.

Our favorite experiment involves Bill Goldfinch — a British prisoner in a Nazi POW camp who looked out the window, saw snowflakes rising, and had an epiphany: Could he glide to freedom on the same updraft? Together with another prisoner, he constructed a false wall, then built a handmade, two-passenger glider behind it. They were almost finished when the war ended — but decades later, some of Goldfinch’s fellow POW-camp alums used his design to build and launch another glider, one that actually flew. Here you can test-fly a virtual version — and at far less risk of crash or capture than Goldfinch might have faced.” – – VSL


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“Oxford’s podcast series allows you to audit courses at the English-speaking world’s oldest university — free of charge, and from afar.

Learn about quantum nanotechnology while riding the subway. Study Milton in the Laundromat. And hear the creation story as it’s described in the Torah, the Bible, and the Koran. You can also hear American economist Joseph Stiglitz’s recent talk on the credit crunch (it’s the top-ranked podcast at iTunes) and tag along with Michael Palin (Oxford ’65, Monty Python ’83) as he gives you a video tour of the university and its Bodleian Library (it’s home to 9 million items, including four Magna Cartas). Oxford has launched the careers of countless movers and shakers — including 25 prime ministers. Here’s your chance to join their ranks!” – – VSL


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“MorgueFile — which provides quickly findable, high-res digital photos, free — is a graphic designer’s dream come true.

The site archives stock photographs submitted by professional and amateur shutterbugs, all of which are ready and waiting for your commercial or personal use. (N.B.: Morgue file is a newspaper term for the stock of past issues.) There’s no sign-up, no hassle, no fuss: Just take what you need and go. But the site does recommended that you credit the photographers, or be extra-polite and shoot them an e-mail. Sounds reasonable to us — if a picture’s worth a thousand words, we’ll start with “Thanks.”” – – VSL


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This summer, “Bugs and Insects” are the themes in the libraries across Kansas. I decided that we would use this opportunity to study them throughout the summer months – – and I will try to keep up with what I do so that you may use whatever resources are listed for your own Thematic Unit. Since we decided to do this in the last couple-a-days, it will be a hodge-podge – – hopefully, we will get a little more organized as time goes on.



Day One
Language Arts – Insect Word Book (http://members.enchantedlearning.com/books/mini/insects/)
Literature – Books: The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle; Some Smug Slug by Pamela Duncan Edwards; The Icky Bug Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta; Bugs by Nancy Winslow Parker and Joan Richards Wright (Reading Rainbow Feature Book); Bugs are Insects by Anne Rockwell
Quiz on Books (www.BookAdventure.com) – The Very Quiet Cricket; Some Smug Slug; The Icky Bug Alphabet Book
Listened to books on Tape/CDThere Ain’t No Bugs on Me
Movie – Reading Rainbow: Bugs, FLO: The Lyin’ Fly

Day Two
Literature – Books: Are You a Bee? By Judy Allen; Bugs, Beetles, and Butterflies by Harriet Ziefert
Science – Bug/insect Report {BEETLE} (http://www.enchantedlearning.com/graphicorganizers/animalrpt/insect.shtml)
MovieMagic School Bus: Bugs, Bugs, Bugs!
Art – Various Insect/Bug Art Projects at the Library
Field Trip – Trip to the Zoo with the Brownies

Day Three
Literature – Books: Bug in a Rug by Sue Heap; Diary of a Spider by Doreen Cronin; Diary of a Fly by Doreen Cronin
Language Arts
– Bug Wordsearch (Worksheet from the Library)
MovieInsect; Antz


Day Four
LiteratureWhy Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears by Verna Aardema; The Ugly Caterpillar by Carl Sommer
Quiz on Books (www.BookAdventure.com) – Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears
Language Arts – Worksheets: Diary of a Fly, Bug Page and Word Search, Ant Maze (all from the Library)
MovieBugz; FLO: The Lyin’ Fly

Day Five
LiteratureUp, Down and Around by Katherine Ayers; The Caterpillar and the Polliwog by Jack Kent; Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni
Quiz on Books (www.BookAdventure.com) – The Caterpillar and the Polliwog; Inch by Inch
Language Arts – Worksheets: Diary of a Spider, Butterfly Coloring Page
MovieBugs!: A Rainforest Adventure
Science – Read Beetles by Scholastic; Lifecycle of a Butterfly by Angela Royston;

Day Six
LiteratureWaiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert; Army Ant Parade by April Pulley Sayre; Buzz by Janet S. Wong; Leo the Lightening Bug by Eric Drachman; Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! By Bob Barner
Quiz on Books (www.BookAdventure.com) – Buzz
MovieBug (2002) ; Ants: Little Creatures Who Run the World
Art – Color Pages: Spider and Ladybug (both from the library)


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I wanted to give my daughter some options with spelling – – different activites each day.  Here is the spelling activities page I made (in PDF Format) with Bonus Braille and Morse Code Alphabet Pages (also in PDF Format): Spelling Activities
Braille Alphabet Card
Morse Code Alphabet

Most of the ideas came from several different spelling sites.  I didn’t make note of all the sites I visited – – so if you happen to recognize your idea…thank you!!  🙂

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“As office managers and cubicle dwellers know, the Internet is a great help for procrastinating on the job (ahem: Scrabulous). But now wasting time at the office has become much less risky, thanks to Read at Work, a website that houses cleverly disguised books in a fake Windows desktop environment; the days of bookworms’ desperately clicking back to a spreadsheet when the boss approached are over.

The site is a dead-on simulation of Windows with the books organized in desktop folders. Click and you’ll see the text rendered as a Power Point presentation, with the words rolling into graphics, charts, and photo captions. You can read short stories, novels, and poetry — by canonical authors such as Tolstoy and Orwell, and contemporary writers like Charlotte Grimshaw and Fiona Kidman.

The site, designed by the company Colenso BBDO, Auckland, is an effort by the New Zealand Book Council to entice people into reading. Sold.” – – VSL 

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Apparently, I made the contest too ‘hard’ – – so I will revise it. 

If you wanna win this book, just leave a link to your site in the comments section.  The contest will run until June 6th and I will announce a winner by June 8th.

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“Teleportation and traveling at hyperspeed would be fabulous, but even when we were children, such science-fiction staples struck us as probably, well, impossible. Still, we always imagined that someday we really could have the galactic maps that pop up at the touch of a button in shows like Star Trek. And now, thanks to the Website WikiSky, we can realize our dreams of zooming in on Betelgeuse in glorious detail just by pointing our cursor and commanding, “Make it so!”

Using images compiled from ultra-high-powered telescopes, WikiSky presents an ever-growing visual map of the universe, one that users can update and modify just as they can the more earth-centric Wikipedia. Maybe you’ll appreciate the detailed information, but if you’re like us, you’ll spend most of your time simply gaping at the site’s highlights (helpfully indicated to one side of the home page), such as a magnificent nebula that’s been aptly dubbed the Eye of God.

The Web can’t transport you to deep space (yet!), but staring at close-ups of the sublime Horsehead Nebula is the next-best thing.” – – VSL

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This week CurrClick is offering the LBC Nature Journal.  I was really excited when I saw “36-Week guide” until I downloaded it – – now I am SUPER glad that I got this for free – – not worth the almost $20. 
For those of you who are fans of the Charlotte Mason Method – – this will probably be right up your alley – – so go snag it now, for FREE…..

From the site: ”

It’s all in one place! A guide to nature journaling and a template for creating your own journal. This 90-page book follows Charlotte Mason’s guidelines, has a 36-week nature journal template, includes tips, suggestions, a bird, tree and mammal observation list and food for thought on the many ways nature study enriches your child’s life. Contains:
Introduction to Nature Study
Finding Delight in Nature Study
Charlotte Mason on Nature Study and “Nature-Diaries”
Better Nature Journaling
Dry Brush Technique for Nature Journals
Instructions for Nature Journal
36-week Nature Journal Template
Bird List
Tree list
Mammal List”


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Boo has done a LOT of reading (and consequently) a LOT of test taking at Book Adventure. The first prize that she chose was six months of Highlights.

The second prize she chose was an educational {computer} CD called “What’s the Secret (Volume 1)” from Whitney Worldwide Inc. (Shown Below)

The third prize she chose was an autographed book called “The Barefoot Fisherman” by Paul Amdahl. (Shown Below)

We received the CD today (although it was ordered a while back). There was a nice surprise inside. They included an order form for volumes 2 and 3 at $20 off EACH CD. I was struggling to find another prize to use, as she has already done the “cool” ones on the site. I told her that I would use the same amount of points that she “paid” for the first CD.


I would be really interested in some of the parent motivated ideas……

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