Last summer I attempted to use my classroom blog to continue our learning community digitally over the summer break. It was quite a bit of work and I think most of my students and their families forgot about our blog as the freedom of summer took hold (It was a bit difficult for me to remember at times too!). As I sat down to outline what our student led conferences would look like this year it occurred to me I could create a mentormob playlist with several of the websites we have used this year and have students share this with their parents at the end of their conference. At the moment my plan is to embed the playlist for families on our last classroom blog post of the school year so it will be easy for them (and their children) to find. The first four steps on the playlist are paid subscriptions and require a username and password. I have included 8 other websites on the playlist that I think will be fun and engaging for second graders.
In my second grade classroom we are knee deep in a unit on Space. This week we have been researching the 8 planets in our Solar System. Research has been a breeze for this project thanks to the recently discovered MentorMob website I found via the Kleinspiraton blog. With MentorMob you can forget about spending oodles of class time looking for content suitable for your wee ones. MentorMob allows you to create playlists with videos and websites that you have researched and are confident contains appropriate content. You can embed your playlist right into your Blog, Edmodo or Wiki page and direct your students to head there. Here is the playlist my second graders are using at the moment. This playlist was created by another teacher and made available to all MentorMob users which is something I love about the website. You can create your own playlists to individualize instruction across the curriculum as well.
If teaching your students how to search for information is one of the areas you want to focus on during a research project then you might want to give the kid safe search engine Kidrex.org a look. My first grade son and my second grade students use it with ease and all the content we have come across has been safe and appropriate for children.