Thinkfinity.org: An Effective Web-Based Differentiated Instructional Resource Tool for Health/physical Education Teacher's Use in Health Class
Erbaugh, Carolyn P., VAHPERD Journal
As Physical Education/Health teachers, how many times do we rack our brains trying to find innovative and creative ways to keep our health students on task in the classroom? Those who work with middle school students know they are the first to tell us worksheets, power point presentations, and even health videos become boring day after day! In this day and age of computers, gadgets, and gizmos, technology can be the answer to discipline problems and large class size in the health classroom. Thinkfinity.org offers a wealth of free and innovative lesson plans, classroom ideas, and interactive games for teachers, parents, and instructors in all subjects and is sponsored by the Verizon Foundation. They share this information as a free online educational service to the world.
Who is your favorite athlete? What is your favorite sport? How can legendary sports figures be positive role models to young teens? How can sportsmanship examples mold students' character, esteem and respect for others? These questions engage and motivate students as they are participating in this research assignment.
Read, Write, Think
Biography Project: Research and Class Presentation (Grades 6-8)
S.O.L.'s 7th and 8th Grades:
--Demonstrate sportsmanship and respect for others.
--Explain how a positive role model can influence one's personal development.
Students are expected to research a famous athlete on the
Thinkfinity.org website. During the research procedure each student formulated a Bio-Cube (hotlink), designed a graphic organizer (web creation), write a written report and gave an oral presentation to the class.
Each student had use of a computer, either I-Macs or I-Books, COW's-(Carts on Wheels) in my health classroom. In a situation where there are not enough computers (health classes may have as many as 41 students) students may be partnered. Partnering may be an effective way to support students with special learning needs. Students were able to work at their own pace within the two weeks. This time was allotted in health class for research, the writing of reports and the presentation of oral reports depending on their own skills and strengths. After reviewing general rules and procedures, students were given the following specific directions for this differentiated instructional web-based activity.
Type in: Thinkfinity.org (http://readwritethink.org/lessons/lesson_view.asp?id=243)
Type in: read write think
Type in: Biography Project: Research and Class Presentation, Grades 6-8
Develop the Student Learning ActivityResearch a famous athlete on Biography.com, Bartley.com, or Wikipedia.com .
After reviewing the above URL, students can clicked on links to websites containing biographies.
Students evaluated several biographies before selecting an athlete they wished to research based on a favorite sport. Knowledge of appropriate reference materials, reading comprehension, meaning and pronunciations of unfamiliar words were emphasized. No duplication of research subject was allowed per class.
A Bio-Cube (hot link) was used to assist in developing graphic organizers. Create a graphic organizer (web creation) on their chosen athlete. Sample webites are listed below. Martin Luther King Jr. is cited as an example. This is for a concept comparison, student check for understanding. Students created their own web using words and graphics on computers. These webs allowed for creative input, addresssed the needs of visual learners and allowed students to explore various ways of organizing ideas and information.
Graphic Organizer/web sites: