Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Apps for Dyslexia

Apps for Dyslexia

Some thoughts on apps for dyslexic students from educators, parents and students themselves
1. Dragon Search - (FREE) Dragon Search is a great free app that allows you to use talk commands to search for information on Google, Youtube, Itunes, or Wikipedia. No more typing!
2. Dragon Dictate - (FREE) Another super free app from the makers of Dragon Naturally Speaking. Dragon Dictate can be used to dictated your email messages, Facebook posts, Twitter, or notes to yourself.
3. Web Reader - ($1.99) Web Reader is our pick for speech-to-text reading of webpages. WebReader will read webpages to you and you can use copy and paste to limit the read sections. The voices are pretty good (male and female) and can be used also for Project Gutenberg books, Google Reader and RSS Feeds. You can control the speed of reading and also use a highlighter function.
4. My Homework - (FREE) My Homework is a simple color-coded organizer to help with deadlines, classes, tests, etc. Notes can be sent to your email.
5. Evernote - (FREE) Finally, Evernote is a handy app for keeping track of information. You can copy text, take a picture, record an audio message and Evernote will keep track of it and sync to your Mac, PC, or web. Pictures can also be filed with text that can be searched later. Use this for taking picture of instructions written on a whiteboard, notes to yourself, stuff you may want to look at later.

Apps Connected to Ecology

Once on site, the full application uses GPS to help you navigate through the majestic Eco-Odyssée water maze in your paddle boat. The maze is spread out over 6 km of water trails; even this natural setting, you will be able to choose the adventure that suits you and discover the secrets of the marsh. Learn about the animals and plant species hidden in this green paradise, where time seems to stop.

Click here to be moved to the iTunes store

EcoChallenge is a fun method to reduce your impact on the environment.
Participate in challenges with your friends and lead a more sustainable life. Topic by topic you learn how to take the first steps towards a bit more sustainability in your life.

Click here to be moved to the iTunes store

Dictionary of Ecology is the most comprehensive and authoritative dictionary of ecology available. Written in a clear, accessible style, it contains more than 6,000 entries on all aspects of ecology and related environmental scientific disciplines such as biogeography, genetics, soil science, geomorphology, atmospheric science, and oceanography.

Click here to be moved to the iTunes store

"Life Cycles for Kids" is an excellent tool that teaches variety of life cycles to little ones while also developing their eye-hand coordination, and developing interest in eating variety of healthy food!

Click here to be moved to the iStore

Useful Apps for Students With Dysgraphia

Dysgraphia is a learning disability that affects writing abilities. It can manifest itself as difficulties with spelling, poor handwriting and trouble putting thoughts on paper.

With Dragon Dictation 2.0, you can dictate text or email your friends, send notes and reminders to yourself … all using your voice.

Click here for more information

iTalk Recorder Premium is a smart, simple audio-recording device with options to select recording quality and to name the recording.

Click here for more information

iBook Creator:

Develop your own books with this amazing app!  Add videos, images and text.  The speech tool provided by the iPad also works with this app adding to its versatility.

iEarned that:
This is a productivity app used to motivate students by keeping track of their merits.

Idea Sketch:
Good for brainstorming new ideas, illustrating concepts making lists and outlines, planning presentation, creating organizational charts.  Lets you easily draw a diagram, mind map, concept map or flow chart and convert it to a text outline.

Tools 4 Students:
25 top quality graphic organizers.  Choose the best template and fill in your information right on your mobile device.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Ecosystems and the Environment Lesson Plan

First Nations – F.O.F. Middle Years Lesson Plan Ecosystems Overview This lesson is to introduce middle year students to the understanding of ecosystems. To emphasize the importance of interdependency a story is told. Story telling is a vital part of cultural identity and its use in teaching lessons is of great value. Curriculum connections Science: Grade 6 – Life Science—Diversity of Living Things (DL) Grade 7 – Life Science—Interactions within Ecosystems (IE)

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Digital Text Assignment

Using Photostory 3 create a digital text that explains either a food web or the water cycle. Your digital text needs to include the scientific vocabulary introduced in this unit. Define the words if necessary and explain thoroughly all steps in the process.

Click here for instructions on how to use Photostory 3 and Paint.

Click here to be moved to a site where you can download Photostory 3.

Click her for a rubric to assess the assignment.

Tutorial on Photostory 3

iMovies can be used instead of Photostory 3

Click here to be moved to the iStore

Comic Life Assignment

Using Comic Life create a visual text that explains the transference of energy in a food chain or the steps in the water cycle

Click here for a rubric to assess the assignment.

Click here to be moved to a web site to download comic life

Click here for instructions on how to use Comic Life

Video Tutorial on Comic Life

Did You Know Bubbles Assignment

Create a Did You Know Bubbles poster for Food Web or Water Cycle
Video on Did You Know Bubbles

Instructions to Support Students in creating Poster
1. Teach students how to skim and scan
2. Group students by topic and allow them to read books on topic – stop every 20 minutes or so and have students record an interesting piece of info read about topic. Do not copy from book – use memory, but students can look at book and confirm info after recording.
3. Teach how to search the net. Use Bring to computer lab and have students look for sites – 20 minutes
4. Teach how to verify validity of websites –give student s time to search net – use observation rubric from TIA to assess.
5. Show ebsco – have students continue to stop and record interesting ideas.
6. As a group or individually, create the Did You Know poster by decorating with a visual that represents topic researched and a number of bubbles which record interesting and significant information about the topic. Use rubric.

Click here for link for rubric to assess Did You Know Posters

Food Web Assignment

Create a food Web that has 5-10 items by using Inspiration software or a hand drawn facsimile.
Click here to go to a web site that includes information on Inspiration and a free trail download.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

It's Time for Jeopardy!

Interactions and Ecosystems Jeopardy:
Play a fun game of Jeopardy based on Ecosytems!  You can play single player mode on your iPad or play with multiple teams.  You choose!  Visit Jeopardy Labs to play a pre made game.  Or go to the main page and create your own version of the game.

3-D Ecosystem Projects

Food Chain Flipbook

  • A study of food chains can help children realize how plants and animals are connected and interdependent. Use a small notebook with at least 25 sheets of paper. Draw a clump of earth on the first page. On the next few pages draw a local plant growing gradually. Next, research what kind of insect eats that plant and draw the insect eating the plant. Then draw the kind of bird that might eat the insect, and so on. Be sure to draw the pictures near the edge of the paper where they will show up as you ruffle the pages from front to back to view your fast-action food-chain flipbook.

Read more: 3D Ecosystem Projects for Kids |

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

PowerPoint on Learning Disabilities and Apps

Click the link to view on PowerPoint on apps that will provide assistive technology for students with learning disabilities.

Needs of Living Things

Cute video

Food Chain Interactive Quiz

Click here to go to quiz

Producers, Consumers, Decomposers Game

An interactive game for students to play. Click here to play.

The Water Cycle

Interactive visuals and definitions of the Water Cycle. Click here to open site

Other Resources for Mi'kmaq Ecological Knowledge

Unama’KIDS looks a natural resources and the environment from the point-of-view of youth in Unama’ki. One of our goals at UINR is to reach the youth in our communities and work with them to determine what information they need, and to develop innovative ways to get that information to them that will have the most impact. Unama’KIDS involves students in the Mi’kmaq schools and other schools that have Mi’kmaq students. The Unama’KIDS have participated in the release of the endangered American Marten, a moose feast in the Highlands, a puppet show on the endangered Piping Plover, nature walks, workshops in biology, traditional knowledge and art projects. UnamaKIDS also uses computer communications technology like video conferencing, Facebook and the world wide web to share and learn.

Food Web Chain Reaction Game

Purpose: to show how abiotic and biotic factors in the forest ecosystem affect the complete food web of the forest.


  • Large ball of yarn
  • "forest identity cards"
    • deer
    • elk
    • small tree x2
    • large tree x2
    • fern
    • water x2
    • sun
    • fox
    • bear
    • coyote
    • raccoon
    • worm
    • bird
    • fly
      • Add native species of animals to your cards and make as many sets as you need to hand out to your class based on size.


  1. Hand out an forest identity card to each student.
  2. Have the students stand in a circle with their identity card facing out.  Tape them to their shirts or use a paper clip/safety pin.
  3. Give someone in the group the ball of string.  Explaining that while they are holding onto one end of the string, you will pass the ball to another person giving them your energy because they need you.
  4. Keep passing the string until all students are connected to at least one other person or forest factor.
  5. Once everyone is connected find the person who is the WATER.  Now lets pretend that there is a drought this year, so there's very little water for the forest.  The water person would then gently tug on the string.  Do you feel the tug?  Does anyone in the circle feel the tug?  This is a great way to show how we are all connected.  Other scenarios would include: Disease has killed the foxes, too many trees have been cut down, the air has become heavily polluted.
  6. If you wish, make up some of your own situations to test when you've finished.
Part 2:  Inspiration
As a closing activity students will visit Inspiration and use the software to make a food web to show what they have learned during the activity.  Their web must have a balance of producers, consumers and decomposers.

Mi'kmaq Ecological Knowledge

Since time immemorial, the Mi’kmaq have used and occupied their traditional territory known as Mi’kma’ki which includes Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and parts of Quebec, Newfoundland and the northeastern part of Maine. Mi’kmaq Paleo-Indian sites in Nova Scotia provide archaeological evidence of Mi’kmaq occupation for over 10,500 years. Today, the Mi’kmaq continue to use and occupy Mi’kma’ki and share a deep and profound relationship with their traditional lands. In Mi’kmaq cultural tradition, the Mi’kmaq utilize Netukulimk – a Mi’kmawey concept which includes the use of the natural bounty provided by the Creator for the self-support and well-being of the individual and the community at large. Netukulimk also encompasses ecological beliefs through the interplay of collective and individual responsibilities of the Mi’kmaq to the natural world. Such relationships with the land are holistic in nature and consider many aspects of the natural and spiritual world. These include, but are not limited to, land/marine resource use, management, conservation and Mi’kmaq spiritual beliefs. Throughout history and today, Mi’kmaq subsistence and spiritual practices encompass the natural world in a manner that is, at times, distinct from understandings inherent in western society. The Mi’kmaq do not perceive the natural and spiritual world as separate and distinct spheres.

View this video:


A challenging text on the transference of energy through an ecosystem. Ecosystems Part 2 - Nutrient Cycling

What is an ecosystem?

Food Chains and Food Webs

Very good defintions of vocabulary in this video. This information is presented at a higher reading level.

Explanation of the Food Chain and the Producers, Consumers and Decomposers

A very information video that explains the interactions and connections of all living things within an eco-system.

Song About the Food Chain

This music video teaches about food chains and the pyramid of energy.

National Geographic Video

This is a fun and informative video that explains the food chain and how energy is transferred along. It explains producers and consumers.

Unit 1 - Interactions and Ecosystem Organizer

An excellent graphic that conveys all major ideas in this unit. Click here to see the graphic

First Scientists: Bras d'Or Lakes Project

Chain Reaction

This is an interactive game that allows students to organize pictures into a food chain. It provides immediate feedback by letting the students know if their chains are organized correct!  

Visit EcoKids today!